Sex is amazing. Sex is a beautiful, wonderful and extremely fun thing. Sex in a book can add a lot of spice, a lot of characterisation and a lot of realness to a book. And, since so many of our books have female protagonists, it’s always nice to see a woman who engages passionately in her sexuality without shame or judgement and finds genuine joy in it (which is why I wish we saw more paranormal romance where they actually did that!)
However, sex can also be extremely funny and down right weird - especially the way some of these writers write it. I’m going to assume all of these authors are not virgins who have no access to decent porn (the internet is there for a reason folks!) - though anyone who has read the Aurora Teagarden series is going to find that a stretch - but some of these scenes make me wonder am I doing sex wrong? Because I can’t imagine doing some of these things in bed (or the sofa, or the kitchen table)
Yes, it’s time to look again at Paranormal Romance: Engorged, throbbing and fainting, Oh my!
The Medically Worrying Orgasm
One of the prettier metaphors for an orgasm is the “petit mort” the little death. Trust the French to have a pretty and slightly morbid way to describe sex. Now, while orgasms in these books rarely leads to death (the odd succubus notwithstanding) there are certainly times when I think that the participants might want to drop in on their doctor for a check up.
Like the screaming. Yes, passionate noise during sex is understandable - but outright shrieking their lungs out? Screaming so loud they become hoarse? If my lover started howling like that I think I’d stop and check to see if I they are badly injured, or that a serial killer hadn’t snuck in behind me. More of these scenes should include the guy pulling out and gasping “oh my god, are you ok?!”
In addition to the screeching, we also have blindness. I admit there probably are people out there who would boast “I fucked so hard I detached a retina” but… really? If you go blind during sexy times, you should stop humping and head to the emergency room. Sudden blindness is not sexy and not to be taken casually.
Of course, you always know you have had super-hot sex when you can’t move afterwards. Sure, you may be a kick arse vampire hunter who can run for 15 miles then singlehandedly kill 8 werewolves, 2 vampires and an angry tax accountant without breaking a sweat or breathing hard - but sex? That’s going to wipe you out! I wonder, again, how vigorous and how long these hyper fit, super physical people have to be having sex to exhaust their impressive stamina. Some of them are supernatural and can lift cars for crying out loud! They must be humping so fast their hips are a blur!
The ultimate test of sexiness always has to be losing consciousness. Because nothing says sexy like your lover collapsing on top of you like a corpse (I’m looking at you Lynsay Sands). I have to say my lover going blind or screaming would worry me during sex - but I can’t think of anything killing the mood (and any erections) faster than thinking your lover just died and you’re now intimately connected to dead body
Women Cannot Produce an Ocean Between Their Legs
Yes, women lubricate when they are sexually aroused. Some women even ejaculate but no woman produces an ocean between her legs at the slightest touch, at a heated look, or a kiss. A guy smiles? GUSH! You like his clothes? GUSH. The muscles on his arm did that thing? GUSH. He just said something cool? GUSH. I think some of these women wear plastic underwear - not for incontinence or anything similar, just to stop themselves leaving wet patches or trails behind them every time they have to spend 5 minutes in the presence of a reasonably hot guy.
What the hell is a core?
Yeah, I get them some authors shy away from being more explicit in their writing to avoid the label of erotica but can we please do away with the word core as it relates to women’s bodies? I am sick to death of reading that she felt him in her core, or ached for him in her core, or even touch her core - in fact if dude is touching your core, he’s too big to be inside you in the first place.
The Synchronised Orgasm
I can’t say I’m a big fan of the sport, but I have to admire the artistry, the skill and the very hard work that goes into synchronised swimming. The dedication and practice that goes into ensuring two or more people line up with perfect symmetry, is an impressive feat
But Paranormal Romance goes one better - because if you’re having sex you and your lover will orgasm at the same time. Even if you’ve never had sex before, even if you’ve never had sex at all, you can be sure that you’ve met your one true love when you both start screaming and going blind in perfect harmony!
Of course, if your relationship isn’t so perfect that your oragasms are in perfect synch, you can guarantee that merely seeing your lover orgasm will push you “over the edge” (and orgasms are very much cliffs in romanceland, you’re always falling over the edge into one - this may be what causes the screaming and serious injury). Personally, I’ve seen a few o-faces in my time and that scrunch-eyed gasping, grunting look is not generally all that sexy. Let’s be honest, orgasm-faces are not when anyone looks their best (and I can’t imagine slack-jawed fainting orgasm looks any better, unless you have a fetish for the limp and lifeless).
Sadly your relationship may fail in this level of synchronisation but there’s one last resort - coming on command! Yes so many lovers will fall off their cliff when their sex partner gasps “come for me!” I have to say it sounds very convenient and time saving being able to come on command, but it also seems awfully lazy. Also it could be awkward if your partner forgets and says the word “come” while you’re in the frozen-food aisle of Walmart (especially with all the screaming).
Though you probably won’t be in the frozen food aisle because you’ll be busy replenishing your wardrobe after your ripped away your last outfit (AGAIN) in a fit of passion. It’s a good thing that most of these lovers are vampires or werewolves or fae because their super strength is essential - seriously have you ever tried to rip a pair of jeans? Even leaving gushing trails round the house like the world’s biggest snail must be less embarrassing than trying to tear your lover’s clothes in a fit of passion and not being able to. Not the kind of failure to perform guys normally worry about but likely equally embarrassing
I still want to see the hot sex scene interrupted by someone yelling “what the hell?! That was Versace you arsehole!”. Because I don’t care how hot a guy is, there are some lines you do not cross.
Following the Script
Maybe the key to these excellently synchronised orgasms is rigidly following the same script over and over again with few deviations . There’s the kiss. Oral pre-amble #1. Oral pre-amble #2 (with first scripted mini-gasm). And then penetration - and there are two options here: 1) the man (who is so huge I’m actually surprised he doesn’t pass out from the blood being diverted from his brain) easing slowly in like someone trying to park an articulated truck in a compact car bay or 2) he rams his (gargantuan) penis in like he’s trying to mine with his cock. I’ve seen jackhammers used with more finesse (hey the screaming makes a lot more sense now).
Maybe this is why they faint at orgasm - they haven’t fainted, they’ve fallen asleep from the rigid mundanity of it all.
I’m sure our readers have their own examples - or there’s some trope you want us to comment on - let us know in the comments.