Imagine if a Harlequin Romance Novel Could Vibrate, Too…

Susie Bright went to a Romance Writers convention and came back with this observation:

When a woman buys a traditional Romance, it’s like a hardcore porn fan
buying a XXX video. She wants her money shot. She does not want
distractions. She wants familiarity, to connect with "the childhood
masturbatory feeling," as my friend and offbeat Romanticist Pam Rosenthal
so perfectly described to me. I say this with utmost sympathy, but fans
would probably feel exposed by that description. Still, I believe
romances are stroke books— they are not so much read as used.

I wonder what she’d say about mysteries after going to a Bouchercon or Malice Domestic convention?

6 thoughts on “Imagine if a Harlequin Romance Novel Could Vibrate, Too…”

  1. I have never read a romance book, but she’s probably right. The women I know who do read them strike me as the type who “use” the books, who reallyreally need them. I absolutely cringed reading her apt description, especially combining the words “childhood masturbatory.”

  2. Not so long ago I wrote a film review in which I suggested mysteries, specifically cozies, are a gentrified justification by nice and decent people for the obscene, perverted, and demented.
    Any day now I should have all the tar and feathers resulting out of my hair.
    For the record, I love mysteries. I do. I am slowly, ever so slowly, writing one that pays homage to the cozy, the thriller, the hard-core, the hard-boiled, and the regional mystey.

  3. I’ve never read one all the way through. I tried, I honestly did, but I just couldn’t get interested. My sister-in-law tells me all about them, though.

  4. So Kitty, because you don’t find them interesting for whatever reason, it means that Ms. Bright is correct in her assumptions? And since your sister-in-law is the one telling you about them(I take it this means that she’s the reader), she too strikes you “as the type who “use” the books, who reallyreally need them”?

  5. First, off, so what if we “use” romance books? Secondly, there’s obviously a spectrum: it’s very big genre and generalizing about it doesn’t change the fact that there’s some really good stories in it. Stories that are worth reading and not just “using.”


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