The Empowering Perks of Steamy Fiction
13 Bestselling Romance Authors Speak Out on the Empowering Perks of Steamy Fiction
Erotic romance books have become an integral part of the publishing industry since Fifty Shades of Grey and readers are reaping the rewards of easy access to red hot love stories that make their toes—as well as other parts—tingle.
I reached out to many of today’s most popular bestselling authors of steamy romances and asked them to share their thoughts on why these books are great for readers and their relationships, and why it is so beneficial it is to see erotic love stories embraced as part of the mainstream. Here’s what they had to say:
Kristin Proby, With Me In Seattle Series: “Erotic romance has been around for a long time, but I think you’re right in that it’s been in the past few years that it’s become less taboo for readers to admit they enjoy the genre. I think romance novels have been popular for so many years because they feed a woman’s need for fantasy and romance. It sparks her imagination, and it can certainly carry over to her relationships too.”
K. Bromberg, The Driven Series: “Women are no longer embarrassed to talk to other women about sex. Women are now reading these scenes in explicit detail, becoming comfortable with the terms and new ideas, and then suggesting them to their partners. What better way to spice of your relationship that has turned predictable over time than to try new things? The mere fact that women realize they can be classy and modest as they were always taught they needed to be, and at the same time be little vixens in the sack is extremely empowering to the woman herself and to the gender as a whole. This genre has given women confidence, a newfound sense of self, and allowed them to read about fantasies they once might have thought about but never dared to ask their significant others to try. Now, they are reading a scene, seeing it play out, and then figuring out for themselves if it really is something they want to try. How cool is that?”
Liv Morris, Touch of Tantra Series: “Through reading erotic romances, I believe women are realizing that they can and should be in charge of their sex lives, and open to explore areas that they never imagined before. A well-educated woman in the sex department is a powerful one. Viva Women!
Tara Sivec, Chocolate Lovers Series: “I think anything that encourages a woman to embrace her sexuality is a good thing. Romance books, and especially erotic romances, have come a long way in the last few years. Women in these books are no longer weak and introverted. They are strong and independent and aren’t afraid to explore their bodies and take charge in the bedroom. There’s nothing better than getting lost in a book that helps you embrace your inner goddess!” —
Lauren Billings, half of the writing team of Christina Lauren, The Beautiful Series: “Every day Christina and I sit down to write, we work to dispel the idea that romance is about women being self-indulgent. Romance novels allow women to reflect, to escape, to play, to learn. We want women to feel powerful in every facet of their lives, and when we write our erotic romances, we embrace women as strong, opinionated, sexual beings. Women dominate in our ability to create connections, to relate to others, to form communities. It stands to reason that we love books about the fantasy of love, of friendship, of sex. Each of us has our own path in life, with friends and family and lovers, but how much fun is it to read about different experiences? I like to think it’s just like my father reading about new civilizations on Mars–a boss falling in love with his headstrong, ambitious intern is a frontier I’ve personally never explored, but I love to think it exists.”
M. Leighton, Bad Boy Series: “I have gotten loads of feedback from women telling me how much acting out the scenes from my books has enriched their love lives or how the material has encouraged them to be more creative. And too many times to count, I’ve gotten messages from women saying their husbands thank me. While that is humorous, it seems that kick-starting the libido with sensual reading can end in some fun time between mates. Pleasurable reading followed by pleasurable exploration. I call that win-win!”
Jasinda Wilder, Alpha Series: “It’s spice. It’s an escape. It’s a fresh perspective on love, on sexuality. Erotic romance, at its best, shows what a good romantic relationship should be: a balanced, erotic partnership, wherein both people seek the pleasure and happiness of the other person as their primary focus.” —
Lisa Renee Jones, Inside Out Series: “I love erotic romance because I think the genre represents freedom for woman to experience life and love to the fullest possibilities. It’s high time we overcome the expectations of past generations that insist we stay in a box not of our own making.”
Michelle A. Valentine, Black Falcon Series: “I believe the steamy romance novel craze has helped women in expressing their own sexual desires to their partners in a healthy way. Reading these novels give them a sense of empowerment over their own physical needs and allow them to know they aren’t alone—that it’s okay to want a fulfilling sexual relationship. I can’t tell you how many times readers have told me that their husbands thank me. It’s nice to know that not only have my stories entertained them, but have improved their quality of life as well.”
Samantha Young, On Dublin Street Series: “I definitely think erotic romances have had a positive effect on women’s sexual self-expression. As much as we as a society are trying to make strides to eliminate the negative and derogatory terms used in relation to women and their sexuality, there is still a lot of mixed messages and confusion out there. Hopefully the genre removes that negativity and allows women to feel like they can just be themselves in life and in sex. “ —
Nicole Edwards, Club Destiny Series: “In my opinion, embracing fantasy, especially in books, is important for the simple fact that it allows us to let go of the day-to-day stresses of our regular routine. It offers us an opportunity to get lost in something that could potentially be so far outside of our reality that we may not recognize it, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t experience it. In fact, opening ourselves up to these new things is how we got to where we are today. One of the greatest things that I’ve heard from readers was that my books help to turn things around in the bedroom. It makes my heart smile to know that not only have they gotten lost in the characters, or enjoyed the story, but they’ve received something more tangible from the book.”
Tali Alexander, Love in Rewind: “Fantasy is a mental vacation. When a woman escapes into a romantic novel, she doesn’t just get to be a voyeur she actually gets a chance to mentally morph into a new character. She may be a mother of two with a pile of laundry and a tired husband, but in her latest fictional journey she briefly leaves her ordinary world and gets to be a young socialite, or perhaps a powerful dominatrix, or better yet a naïve virgin catching the attention of a millionaire. We live vicariously through books and get to enjoy many lives without leaving our homes.” —
Laurelin Paige, The Fixed Series: “It’s [erotic romance] the next frontier for feminism. We have broken so many boundaries in the last century or so, but there is still such a stigma regarding sex and women. It’s different for men. Women aren’t supposed to feel sexy or lose their virginity or want to have a sexual relationship. These books are taking us where our minds and hearts always have been, making it more acceptable and comfortable for us to be the sexual beings we were born to be. I also find that the stories can help strengthen relationships. Women need some downtime and relaxation before getting in the mood. Books can help women do that. Reading and writing them has certainly strengthened my marriage!