The Ultimate Buzz Kill: Unrealistic Sex

As I mentioned in a previous post, I think many readers of erotic romance transpose themselves with the heroine in the book they’re reading. They become someone named Catherine St Claire, feisty, wealthy, smart, savvy, head-turning beauty, who attracts men like flies to honey. Any not just any men, mind you, but the men all other women want but can’t have because those men are fixated on the heroine.

So in my fantasy world I’m getting a charge out of becoming Catherine St Claire, except when the writer describes Catherine in the throes of her seventh orgasm in the last ten minutes. More annoying still is when every one of those big o’s come entirely from pure intercourse with zero stimulation of the little love button.  Or how she loved it when her lover used soap as a lubricant before he had his way with her in the shower. That kills my buzz as fast as cops busting up a frat party. It takes me right out of the fantasy space and right into, “yeah, right. Like that really happens.”

I don’t doubt that there probably are women who can have seven orgasms in ten minutes. Or who don’t think that ordinary soap burns like hell when used as a lubricant. But for me, and I dare say for many females, it’s unrealistic. I know it’s all a fantasy – it’s called fiction after all – but for some reason I’m good with the heroine being breathtakingly beautiful, wildly successful, fluent in six languages, artistically gifted, but throw in her thinking that her lover’s sperm is as delicious as a Ben & Jerry’s milkshake and it takes me right out of the fantasy.

The great thing about erotic scenes in romance is the endless variety of what writers can have their lovers do. One person’s turn-on can be someone else’s trash, and that’s OK. But when a writer tries to convince me how the heroine screamed in ecstatic joy from her first-time anal experience, pain free and multi-orgasmic, I’m throwing the book against the wall.

What do you think? Ever come across unrealistic sex in erotic romance, or does anything go for you? Let me know!

Until next time,


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  • johncoyote
    October 5, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Sex desire is create by fantasy and desire. Need both to accomplish what you want and need. The mind control our hungry. If we believe we are in paradise. We will find it. Open the thoughts to ponder in your interesting blog.

    • elizabethshore
      October 5, 2012 at 1:47 pm

      I agree with you, John. We’re in paradise if we believe we are. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  • madeline iva
    October 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Some interesting points, Elizabeth. People have such a varied range of experiences — how much does sex hurt the first time? How much patience, lubrication, and skill went into that first anal experience—and how aroused was the woman to begin with? The outcomes can be so different person to person — what’s a writer to do?

    I think what you’re talking about is the skill of rendering authenticity in romance writing. The best writers can make you believe anything. But we all check back with our own experiences as readers, and experiences we know about…Perhaps the author has a better chance at providing us with a scene that works, when she at least acknowledges the unlikeliness of such an outcome in the context taking us from the expectations of the general norm and then leading us to this particular outcome where things were different —

    When I went to Romanticon last year they had a workshop called something like “Can that really happen?” wherein people (fully dressed) acted out the sex positions from published sex scenes that were read aloud to show how they weren’t physically possible. I went to the “contracts 101” session instead, sadly, and only got to hear the wild laughs from the other room. 🙁 Apparently, some writers keep multiple barbie n ken dolls handy in their desk for just this purpose. They position the dolls to check who’s doing what to who, where, and how– making sure that at the very least a flexible barbie can make it work.

    • elizabethshore
      October 5, 2012 at 5:51 pm

      I agree, Madeline. Excellent point. As I said, it’s fantasy, so a certain amount of suspending one’s disbelief is helpful. And great writers can make those crazy positions or unrealistic scenes work. But when the scenes are hard to take in the first place, combined with poor writing, well, I’m out.

  • ellaquinnauthor
    October 5, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    I know someone who uses dolls. I have to say, when someone says sperms tastes sweet I either really worry about their taste buds or think it’s a male fantsey.

    • elizabethshore
      October 5, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      LOL! My thoughts exactly, Ella.

  • madelineiva
    October 6, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    If I’ve found out someone I know has done something I’ve never done, I’m like: “So describe it for me.” This is when my friends start to hate me. “What did it taste like, feel like?” They’re being conversational, and I’m torturing them for sense-specific details. Sometimes all it takes is that one perfect detail and your readers will totally go for it.

    • elizabethshore
      October 6, 2012 at 5:43 pm

      I’m the same way! “What exactly happened,” I’ll ask. I want details. What was your feeling when you were doing xxx? When you were smelling xxx? I want sense specific and emotion specific details. Ah, writers!


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