Sunday, December 18, 2016

If It's Not Clean, Is It Dirty?

Sweet romance vs. Dirty romance?

I've noticed a disturbing trend. Well, disturbing to me anyway. Why are we categorizing or labeling sweet romances as "clean?" I'm not talking inspirational romances either. No, the "clean" romances I've read were not tagged as inspirational. What resulted in the "clean" designation was that there were no described loves scenes.

By calling sweet romances "clean," aren't we somehow implying that sensual or erotic romances (the hotter, steamier counterparts of sweet) are somehow dirty? Yes, I'm well aware what is meant when people say they like to read "books with the dirty parts." We're calling sex dirty. I get that. I don't totally understand it but I get it (Got it?).

What's Clean about Sweet?

Sweet romances are considered "clean" because the hero and heroine only kiss and the author:
  1. doesn't describe any further intimacies between the H/H; or, 
  2. the H/H do NOT engage in further intimacy
 Isn't this still misleading? To be honest, what's clean about kissing? It's an exchange of bodily fluids (And sometimes germs--mono, anyone?).

Even if the author divulges that the H/H made love, the author still leaves the reader facing a closed bedroom door, impatiently waiting while the deed is done. What's clean about the act of lovemaking? Are there not say...towels or other items to clean up certain stickiness? Even if you engage in a little lovemaking in the shower, there is still a certain amount of cleaning up one has to do. You know what I mean.

Hotter Romances Deserve a Break

Sensual and/or erotic romances invite the reader to keep right on reading and enjoying the H/H relationship without ever closing the door. Heck, maybe there isn't even a door to close!

Seriously though, who hasn't read a few love scenes and wondered, "Hmm. I'll have to try that."  Does that automatically make the story "dirty?"

My Ending Thought

I enjoy plenty of sweet romances and steamy ones too. I just wish we didn't promote one as clean while subconsciously implying all other romances are...well, dirty.