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Vampire Smut

shocked grandmaI have a friend who calls all Paranormal Romance “Vampire Smut,” whether it has blood suckers in it or not. If it has some element of the supernatural and more than a casual mention of sex, to her, it’s Vampire Smut. Ever read any? You know the books I mean. The covers usually feature some hot, sexy, bare-chested guy with glowing red eyes, or a hint of fang displayed seductively, as he is poised over a swooning damsel in a diaphanous gown. Or perhaps the girl is wearing loads of leather, carrying katanas and silver handcuffs, and the sexy guy is watching her from the shadows. If it is Vampire Smut, there will be a sexy guy somewhere on that cover, because after all, Vampire Smut is purchased mainly by women, and they aren’t going to settle for a cover without him.

I have to say that on the rare occasion I do read Vampire Smut . . . I mean, Paranormal Romance . . . I am reminded pretty quickly of why I prefer Urban Fantasy. Vampire Smut is seldom written as interestingly, in my opinion, and can leap straight to the smut portions in the opening paragraphs. (I will spare you the sordid details of first pages that start with two people meeting each other and commencing straight to that part of the story.)  But whether I like it or not, this genre is huge. Huge! Even larger than the bared bosoms of the heroines of the books. Even larger than…well, no. I won’t go there.

I will admit that once in a great while, I read a paranormal romance that works. Mostly. If you leave out the portions where people and the creatures they love spend hours cavorting around the bedroom, experimenting with everything from dessert toppings to perfecting moves not unlike those of Olympic high divers. I’m sorry, I have to say those bits are the most boring and uninteresting—and often downright silly—bits of the books. They just don’t work for me, and not because I’m offended by graphic sex scenes, per se. It’s more that I’m offended by the lack of any real love or romance leading up to the scenes. Really, the name of the genre should be Paranormal Lust, since there is so little actual romance involved.

All of this is to say, I don’t personally find this genre worth my time and effort. I tried not to hate it because it is so popular. I even considered trying to write some Vampire Smut myself, since it’s such a money-maker. But I just couldn’t do it. I’d rather write the world’s sappiest love story—the operative word being love—than the hottest, sweatiest sex-filled book on the best seller list. Truly, it isn’t that I’m shocked by the detailed descriptions. I know where everything goes and why. I just don’t care for the voyeurism aspect of it all. If my memory serves me correctly, and if you are doing it right, sex is more of a participant sport than a spectator one, and therefore, I prefer to skip the really graphic stuff and keep looking for the plot. (There is one in there somewhere, isn’t there?)

Unlike one popular author of graphic romance, I am not angry when the bedroom door “closes in my face.” In fact, I prefer the canoodling (and a bit of foreplay, perhaps) right up to that door. I just don’t want to read extremely graphic details about the bump and grind that follows. Some things work better if left to the imagination, at least for me.

Yeah, I’ve read those scenes before and will probably read them again, somewhere, in some book—on the occasional research expedition, you understand—but they will never be my first choice for how to tell a love story.  And they certainly will never be my first choice for reading material, in general. But, each to his own, and if it works for you, then go for it, I say. Just don’t get carried away and hurt yourself later. Most of those moves are not attainable by anyone not working as a Ringling Brothers contortionist.

So. How do you feel about Vampire Smut? Do paranormal romances make up a large part of your reading? And, leaving out the paranormal, do bare-chested men of a more “normal” persuasion bent over scantily clad women catch your eye in the bookstores? Somebody has to be buying these books, but the strange thing is, nobody I know will admit to it. Unless, of course, the book in question is Fifty Shades of Grey, in which case everyone admits they read it, and then tries to convince me of its artistic merit.

Now tell me. It will be our little secret. Do you read Paranormal Romance? Inquiring minds wanna know, and I promise not to make fun of you. Much.

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12 thoughts on “Vampire Smut

  1. Hmm, I prefer my occasional forays into the vampire genre to be smut free.

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    • I’m with you, Maedez. I didn’t exactly say this above, but the worst sin of all in most graphically detailed sex is how boring it is. There are only so many words, slang or otherwise, for various body parts, and only so many ways to describe what is essentially the same activity. There are a lot more ways to describe love and how it can be expressed, I think. Of course, that’s just my personal opinion, and everyone is entitled to their own.

      As always, thanks for stopping by. Did you realize that you are almost always the first person to respond to any of my posts? It always makes me happy when I see you pop in.

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      • Awesome! I did not realize that. I enjoy your blog. 🙂

        I agree. There ARE only so many ways one can describe sex. It gets boring after awhile, especially in clumsy hands.

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        • Now you know what an honored visitor you are! I notice these things, you know!
          😀
          I’m glad you enjoy the blog enough to visit so often. I do hope to post more frequently soon, honest. I’m working so hard to get my book off to my editor that I barely get out of this chair for meals. My garden and my house are falling into disrepair, but I can’t help it. I made up my mind I’m doing this, and by golly, I mean it. But SOON, I’ll get back to my normal rate of several books a week, and I’ll have lots to post about, so you’ll have more things to comment on!
          😉

          Like

  2. I suppose that vampires have replaced the Harlequin-romance “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” guy as the ruffian that will sweep a woman off her feet. Whatever floats your boat, I suppose.

    You’re probably not surprised to find that I haven’t read much (any? I’m thinking…) paranormal romance. It seems like lazy writing. And that’s fine — there’s a market for it and people fill it. More power to ’em.

    It’s too bad about how vampires have become, you’ll pardon the pun, so over-exposed, because really, they should be super scary. Go read the original Dracula. Go read Salem’s Lot. Nightmare stuff — and not without sexual tension. Even 19th century Dracula.

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    • Hi, Steve! Already read Dracula, many times. And Salem’s Lot. I’ve been a Vampity Kind of Gal for over 50 years, since I read Bram Stoker at 12. I LOVE scary vampires that give you nightmares. But I also see the erotic appeal, too. However, that doesn’t mean I’m crazy for Paranormal Romance, no matter what kind of supernatural creature is featured.

      I’m not sure I would call it “lazy writing,” though. Some of the worlds are as well-developed and peopled as any other fantasy out there. Not all of it, to be sure. But overall, it’s the overdone sexual content that bothers me the most. That part truly IS boring. (I’d say “Been there, done that, but that would just be tacky!)
      😀

      Even in today’s glut of supernatural creature-fests, there are still some books that shine, either from the truly nail-biting suspense they manage to create, or from the fun of the romance packed into them. For me, most of those fall under the Urban Fantasy umbrella, as opposed to Paranormal Romance, even though there is often some overlap. But it ain’t everybody’s cup of tea, with or without the sex, that’s for sure. And no, I am not surprised that you haven’t read any. I would have been sitting here mouth agape if you had said you had!

      😯

      Good to see you jumping in. If Maedez is usually my first responder, you are usually the second, and it’s always good to hear from you.

      Like

  3. Hmm…I’ve never actually read a Paranormal Romance, but I am definitely going to call it “Vampire Smut” from now on. I, too, prefer to leave the bedroom door closed.

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    • It has a catchy ring to it, doesn’t it?
      😀

      Yeah, I don’t care what others read, but most of the time Paranormal Romance doesn’t do it for me, even though I’m quite fond of stories about the supernatural. But geesh, I wish I wanted to write it. It sure seems to be enormously popular.

      Thanks for stopping by, Sarah, and taking the time to comment. Have a great day!

      Like

  4. Felix on said:

    Marcia, you have made me laugh, thank you.
    I agree it would be boring. Your friend? is that really you ? ha ha ha.
    Just kidding, I know who you’re talking about.
    Excellent blog, you have outdone yourself.
    You know what I read, since you are my personal librarian. 😉

    Like

    • Felix, mi amigo! I’m so happy to see you here tonight. I’m glad I made you laugh. Oh, yeah, you know who my friend is, all right. I have her to thank for “Vampire Smut.” It’s too good not to share, though.

      Yep, I know what you read. I know what you are reading right this minute. And I probably know exactly what you will read next! I like being your librarian. Read on, my friend, read on!

      😎

      Like

  5. I have read some good Paranomal Romance, and some very, very, bad ones. (This is what I get for skimming book blurbs. Steampunk and vampires? Sure, why not?) The difference between Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy can be a pretty fine line.

    Sometimes the story is good–complex plot, fascinating world-building, a developing relationship, and then–smut!

    I’m with you. Where’s the ‘romance’? Bedroom calisthenics don’t count.

    Like

    • Hi, Caitlin! Always good to see you here. Yeah, I want that romance, for sure, especially if there is going to be a lot of sex at some point. Sex without it is just too clinical and meaningless. I want that build up, that tension, that game of “will they or won’t they,” even though you know they will, eventually.

      One of the worst things for me is that so many of the sex scenes that I have come across are written so poorly. Some of the descriptions make me laugh, especially when they involve things like the sky lighting up with colors, or the like. Really? I was a child of the 60’s (okay, a teenager/young adult of the 60’s). How did I miss out on that?

      And yeah, as I mentioned to Steve, there is a lot of cross over between Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, and for the most part, I think the Paranormal Romance benefits from it. It usually means there is more world-building, a more complicated plot, and more action, before we get to the Technicolor skies.

      I also agree that some PR is written much better than others. Like any genre, there will be the good, the bad and the truly ugly. But out of the sampling I’ve read, I find fewer of the books to be as well written as I’d like than I do in the Urban Fantasy genre.

      Of course, everything is subjective. And I want to be clear that I have nothing against Paranormal Romance AT ALL. It is popular, enjoyed by thousands of people, and I wish I could write one that would catapult to the head of the PR charts. But most of the time, reading them isn’t my cup of tea. I mostly just put this up to see who might show up and tell me they loved them, and why. *stirring the pot, here*

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment!

      Like

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