Join Prism Book Alliance® as Megan Derr goes Outside the Margins today.
I always dreaded dating growing up. Dreaded everything it entailed, everything connected to it. All I wanted was to be left alone or to hang with friends. I hated the idea of sex, hated that I hated it, hated that no one would leave me alone. Sometimes I caved and went out with people, usually after being pressured (or tricked and manipulated by well-meaning friends). It always ended badly and I unwittingly hurt people who didn’t deserve it. It took a long time for me to figure out there’s nothing wrong with me, that I’m not broken, or a prude, or a frigid bitch. That it’s okay to be happy exactly the way I am.
Maybe it’s strange I love reading and writing romance so much, I don’t know, but people read and write things all the time that they’d never want to experience in real life. Why not me? Romance is great, it has everything the other genres have and more. No one here bats an eye at anything I do, and there’s nothing more fun than writing about two nerds falling in love the hard way.
So it’s frustrating, and even heartbreaking, to see over and over the same problem that I have endured IRL for my entire life. “It’s a good story even though there’s no sex,” and “it’s just not a real romance if there’s no sex,” and “what’s the point if there’s no sex,” along with dozens of other equally hurtful phrases. Whether intended or not, if you say things like this you are hurting real, actual people. You are telling them their love doesn’t count, their affection doesn’t count, their relationships don’t count. You are saying that unless people are willing to fuck, they don’t matter. You are telling writers who may be uncomfortable writing sex for any of hundreds of reasons that they’re worthless.
And that’s a shitty thing to say, a shitty attitude to maintain. Writers are not your bitches. Stories don’t owe you sex any more than a person owes sex to a date, a lover, a spouse. Romance has always rightfully prided itself on how open and honest and accepting it is about all shapes and shades of sex. Why then, when presented with a story that doesn’t have sex, does so much of this community largely sound exactly like all those people who bash our genre? Why do so many sound distressingly similar to all the men wailing about being friendzoned?
The romance genre is better about sex and relationships, and all the permutations thereof, than any other genre. It’s what makes us great. What makes a haven and home for so many. But remember that ‘no sex’ is one of those permutations, and as valid as all the rest, and in the future stop shaming and hurting people who have only ever asked for the same acceptance everybody else gets.
About Megan Derr
Megan is a long time resident of LGBTQ fiction, and keeps herself busy reading, writing, and publishing it. She is often accused of fluff and nonsense. When she’s not involved in writing, she likes to cook, harass her cats, or watch movies. She loves to hear from readers, and can be found all over the internet.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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