Reading

Are You A Book Prude?

I was reading It’s Monday!  What are you reading? posts one day and realized that lots of people read lots of books with shirtless men on the covers and I never do.  My only thought looking at them is, “I bet he’s cold.”  Then I realized that my grandmother would be so proud!

My grandmother liked to read.  She had a Harlequin books subscription and had hundreds of books.  All the books were the same.  They were all Regency romances and they were clean.  Think Jane Austen but not so naughty.  In the absolute raciest of these books people kissed once before they were married.  In most of them people got married and then there was an epilogue where children had magically appeared.  My mother and I referred to these books as Grandma’s Smut Books.  In her honor we are going to Bath in May (the location of most of the books) on what I am calling the Smut Book Tour of England.  I don’t think my mother wants me to get shirts made.

So maybe it is my upbringing that makes me avoid sex scenes in books and movies.  The worst is sex scenes in audiobooks.  Witch With No Name had a long sex scene that I was trying to fast forward through.  garblegarblegarble…He touched her..garblegarblegarble…She found his…garblegarblegarble etc.  I just hate the break in the story telling.  Outlander made me crazy with this.  They are supposedly running for their lives but they keep stopping and having sex.  I wanted the British to find them indisposed and shoot them both just for being stupid.

I had a short story published once. This is ironic because it is erotica. I wrote it just to see if I could after I saw a call for stories about sex and science and my first thought was, “I know about science!”

So, I’m in a shirtless man book (under a fake name) but don’t ever read them. I haven’t even read this whole book.  I thought about writing more but I figured I should read some books to see what was expected and I just couldn’t summon up the willpower.

Is it just me or do other people get bored during sex scenes in books too?

13 Comments

  • Ardelia

    I get embarrassed when I see a sex scene in a movie. The ceiling becomes suuuuuper interesting. It’s not quite as bad when I read, but I’m not a big fan of sex scenes in novels. They have to be short and tasteful or I quit reading the book. I just prefer that the curtains blow in the wind or something like that. I’m totally ok with babies mysteriously popping up nine months later. So yes, I am a book prude. 🙂 (but I will take one of your t-shirts. For wearing around the house, of course.)

  • Elizabeth

    Thank you for this post! Everyone I’ve ever said that to thinks I’m crazy. I’m very plot-driven, so all I need is a sentence. “They had sex.” The same with a chase scene. It’s all just something for me to skip or fast forward. I’m not a prude, i just don’t see the point, since for me it’s not entertainment, but for some it is.

  • Litha Nelle

    I also hate covers where there’s just a bare chest (which is ironic, as I read books with those type of covers these days anyway). But I think it has less to do with me being a prude than growing up with two older brothers who were athletically inclined, and a man with no shirt (and often no head) on a cover makes it seems like the book has nothing to offer you but a man with a fabulous physique.
    I used to fast forward through sex scenes, but now I don’t mind them so much (unless it gets excessive, which has been known to happen). If I’m not in love with the characters I’m half-asleep while reading them.
    Great post- I’m glad I’m not alone in my cover prudery!
    ~Litha Nelle

  • Shannon @ The Tale Temptress

    Great question! I have to admit I skip a lot of them… I only read the ones that really capture my attention and are done in a different way. So many of them read like the author had a checklist while writing the scene. This hand goes here, then it has to move there. Then this, etc… If it’s really original, I can get into read one.

    However, I have the same reaction on audiobooks that you mentioned. If there’s a sex scene in an audiobook, I tend to cringe and blush, as if the narrative was in the room with me. Then I start wondering if the narrator of the audiobook was blushing when s/he read that scene. LOL!

    Shannon @The Tale Temptress

  • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    I used to really avoid books with sex in them, but I’ve gotten a bit more used to it and I have to confess that I’ve been known to enjoy a sexy scene here and there. I don’t mind sex in my books any more, as long as the whole plot of the book doesn’t have to do with sex (it has to be an aside to an otherwise good plot). Sex scenes in audiobooks would just be weird though. Not for me! I find it hilarious that you wrote erotica when you don’t read it – very ironic!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  • Terri M., the Director

    For me it’s all about whether the scene is being realistic portrayed. Some authors seem to shy away from describing certain acts or body parts and that can make the whole scene feel awkward and weird.

    Heather, my mother-in-law refers to the Harlequin books as Nickel Nasties. 🙂

    Terri M., the Director
    Second Run Reviews

  • looloolooweez

    I feel sort of the same! I really prefer the “fade to black” method of sexual intimacy in books. IRL I try to be sex-positive (providing everyone is a consenting adult, yada yada non-judgmental blah blah blah) but I also do not want to see/read about in detail! There have been exceptions — generally in books that don’t focus on romance, but only if the sex doesn’t disrupt the flow of the narrative or get to be entirely gratuitous (Jean M. Auel, I’m looking at YOU and your increasing interruptions of otherwise fun cavepeople adventures).

    Also I’m pretty sure you should make Smut Book Tour shirts anyway. If it makes you’re mother feel better, you could have the shirts say GRANDMA’S Smut Book Tour. Much more respectable, IMHO.

  • Laurie C

    I thought the same thing about Outlander (i.e. Are you kidding me? You’re taking your clothes off and doing this NOW?) but have to confess to enjoying the sex scenes, and thought they were the best parts of the audiobook! But I don’t like hairless chests on men (or books with shirtless, hairless men on the covers); it makes them look like young boys. I guess I’m showing my age there!

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