I’m feeling a bit punchy after a couple of very long work days, so here’s a quick ranty post on something that’s been bugging me lately in romance. You’ll have to click “continue reading” below to read my somewhat NWS rant, but if you’re in the mood for some tamer and more thoughtful blog material, head over to Teach Me Tonight’s post on Bust Culture: Notes From the Great Recession, whose accompanying image actually gave me the idea for this post:
The erections. They have to stop. Ok, not stop completely. I’m on board with explicit references if they occur after what the older folks used to call “heavy petting”, or, of course, in the context of an actual sex scene. Even sporting one after a sexy dream about the heroine is ok.
But the free range erections that heroes across the sub genres seem to grow when they so much as see, smell or even think about the heroine are just too much. No control = not sexy. And maintaining those erections in between heroine sightings, for hours, is, as we all know — having been subjected to countless Cialis commercials — a sign of a serious problem. Again, not sexy.
Oh, and having the hero’s friends remark on the erection? Squick.
I get it: he wants her. He wants her so badly that his penis acts like a homing pigeon when she is within sight. Signs of physical arousal are indeed important to communicate. But must authors always go for the big guns … I mean, gun? I guess writers can’t give heroes tingly nipples, but can’t they come up with a male equivalent of the smaller bodily changes that signal a heroine’s desire?
I’m just one reader, and probably in the minority, since pogo-penises seem so rampant lately. On the other hand, I know I’m not the first to complain about this particular strain on reader suspension of disbelief (the guy can’t keep it down, yet when he gets to the actual lovemaking, he’s charlie all night. Right.)
To me, a hero who walks around with with an erection is about as sexy as this:
Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.