I could say that ‘abs and arses’ are cheating, I could say that the repetition of the f word in book teasers/promos is an ingrained trigger, but I won’t (even though I technically just did). Sex happens. In a lot of books, sex happens. People like sex, it’s how we all got here after all. In a lot of books aimed at mature audience it’s hinted at or spelled out. I am not in any way disrespecting people’s right to consensual pornography.
Pornography – printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate sexual excitement.
I do find some of those promos giggle worthy, I’ll admit it. I don’t see it “flying” in real life to have that conversation, but it’s fiction – escapism – and so it should be anything it wants to be. When we read we want to go somewhere, see something, feel something, and in a good book of any genre that’s what should happen. You’ve already seen my post about covers, and about the gentler sex, and hopefully most of my posts about that ‘something deeper’ I aim for.
Back to the sex – you’ve probably heard rumours that erotica is the most popular self-published genre, but it isn’t. The three most popular genres are fantasy, science fiction and romance. Especially popular if it has all three I’d imagine! In Amazon stats from last year, 40% of the market went to romance and just over 1% to erotica. But here’s the trick… the covers, the teasers, the half-naked men and women with handfuls of each other’s flesh, and the abs on the cover, the repeated f word, the ownership of each other’s body, the focus on f-ing you see all over the indie promos … apparently they’re romance. Which, depending on your definition of romance, I guess they are.
According to wikipedia – The romance novel or romantic novel in the literary genre, places their primary focus on the relationship and romantic love between two people, and must have an “emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.”
So if you’re especially drawn to this kind of romance, to what they describe as ‘panty melting’, to the drippy expressions for body parts and actions, then of course the adage is true – sex sells. And if you’re going to buy sex, it’d better be good because you can probably get the real thing for free. And if the books are giving you ideas, well… happy reading!