Thursday, February 22, 2007

Safe Sex Anyone?????

Got you with that title, didn't I? And no, I'm not making offers. :)

A couple of weeks ago, dearauthor.com posted a review of RUMBLE. I've been wanting to talk about it for a while but am just now getting around to it. So here it is - please read it first then come back for discussion (it's short, so no biggie).

First off, I'd like to think loyal fan and blogger Kimber for setting them straight on the humor end of things. I've had a couple of people say the book isn't funny and I can only be sorry for the people in their lives. If they couldn't chuckle - not even once - at this book then I can't imagine what they do find funny. But humor is not the issue here. It's a very subjective thing, I know, and people with no small-town dealings might not "get" it as well as some that have had experience in that arena.

My question concerns the issue of no condom. They seem to be incredibly bothered by this and I simply don't understand why. I am writing fiction - every woman's fantasy sort of fiction. I am not writing a public service announcement for the prevention of STD's. Nor am I making a statement for/against abortion, unplanned pregnancy or single motherhood. In short, I am of the opinion that my readers are A. Intelligent B. Know this is fiction and C. Don't have to have everything one would do in real life spelled out for them in my work. After all, I've never shown a character brushing their teeth either, but I haven't gotten bad reviews from dentists.

Not to mention that I'm confused by part of the review (either that or I need to reread my own work). They refer to the characters as having a discussion about being "clean." I don't remember any discussion about being clean unless it concerned getting the bayou mud off of them. There was probably a discussion about being "safe," but that referred to safe from the man who just tried to kill them, not safe from STD's. Any ideas on that one?????

For me personally, I don't like to read the "condom sentence" and don't want to write it. It breaks up the flow of the action and yanks me back out of the fantasy and into the reality of today's world. It's not that I don't want my books to be realistic, but only to a point. When that point interferes with the scene then I'm not going to write it. Now, if I were writing for teens and including a sex scene, I would feel obligated to include a condom sentence because they are not yet adults and I wouldn't want to give the wrong impression.

So what say you - do you like the condom sentence? Do you think it's irresponsible not to include it? (Mind you, you won't change my mind on the subject, but I'd like to know all the same)

10 comments:

Kimber An said...

After a decade of, ahem, HAPPY marriage and FOUR pregnancies, the last thing I want to read about in a romance novel of any kind is contraception! Oy.

Wendy Roberts said...

lol Kimber, got 4 babies and 15 years myself so we're in the same boat. I don't MIND the condom sentence but c'mon, I'm a grown woman here so I can figure things out. It bothers me far more to have a skinny size 5 heroine who is constantly eating fried foods but then those are my own issues ha ha.

Jaye said...

I'm totally with you, Jana.

I had a scene in one of my book that someone got on me about. She said the fact my VAMPIRE protag didn't wear a condom was a sign of disrespect for his lady. Give me a break.

My word verification is "Lucky."

Kim Stagliano said...

Very interesting. I've been reading Jenny Gardiner's "Sleeping With Ward Cleaver" (Because it's in the American Title contest) and she has an hysterical scene where the wife is putting in her diaphragm. It can be done - that doesn't mean it HAS to be done and you, as author, Jana, have that control. Screw the condom - hmmm, wrong word choice? LOL!

Tori Lennox said...

Oh, good grief. I couldn't possibly care less about whether or not the hero wears a condom. It's FICTION, people. These are probably same nutjobs who think all little kids are going to turn into Satanists because they read Harry Potter books. *rolling eyes*

Literary Aspirations said...

Now that's just going a bit overboard. It's a book! There's a whole lot that happens in life that I don't want to hear about when reading. The condom sentence is one of them.

Tori Lennox said...

Boy, I just reread what I wrote. I sure was Miss Cranky Pants this morning. *g*

Anonymous said...

Can you believe that there are still a few of us who don't like to read about sex scenes period? As a child, I had to watch my grandpa molest my cousin and an uncle of mine went to prison for the rape of a 16 year old. I have managed to work through this and have a normal, happy marriage, but I read your books for the story and I SKIP all those sex scenes. I wish they were not there. I buy your books in spite of those scenes, not because of them.

Jana DeLeon said...

kimber - your wish is my command - no contraception!

wendy - those skinny heroines piss me off too. But mine are always drinking beer, so I don't know.....

lol Jaye - God forbid, writing a disrespectful vampire. Shame, shame.

kim - I could definitely see where you could have some fun with the scene, but my sex scenes tend to happen at critical and stressful moments in the story. I might try one sometimes if the storyline calls for it though. It's a cute idea.

tori - you didn't sound grouchy at all, just honest. And I agree with you on the Harry Potter haters. It's really, really stupid.

literary - thanks for dropping by and letting me know you don't like the condom sentence either! I tend to think most romance readers feel this way, but I just wanted to put it out there and see what came back in. :)

anon - while I understand your position, the word "few of us" unfortunately describes your position very well. The vast majority want it hotter, longer, better, etc and the editors push for it because they know their market. I must admit that they're very hard scenes for me to write because I don't want to sound repetitive or cliche, but it's necessary in the contemporary market all the same.

Sassy Sistah said...

Oh for cryin' out loud. No, please skip the condom sentence. You're writing for adults, not children and not teens. For that reviewer to get her panties in a bunch because you didn't mention a condom? Good grief. Give me a break - adding discussion about a condom would have snapped me right out of the fantasy too. It's called FICTION for a reason!

And anyone who has grown up in a small, southern town WILL laugh out loud at Rumble. I KNOW these people. Believe me, not only do they exist but they're everywhere in the south. And they're FUNNY, by Gawd!

You keep on doing what you're doing, Jana. Rumble was great and I can't wait for Unlucky!

 
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