Monday, July 9, 2012

Sex scenes = porn?

I realized I came off as a bit of a hypocrite in my last post. I write romance stories about "soul mates" searching for their other half destined to "complete them" so they can be happy. I'm full of shit, aren't I? Complaining about people wanting characters to get married and have kids when I'm guilty doing that to my own characters? Basically, what I was trying to say in my last post was it's perfectly okay to write about characters that want a hubby and kids. There should be stories about characters who DON'T want those things too. Why is it in fiction (and real life) if someone stands up and says they DON'T want to get married or they DON'T want kids people inch backward, wrinkle their noses, and an awkward silence descends? It's considered weird and sad because they are doing something different. It's expected for people to want to get married and have children. If you don't want those things there has to be something wrong with you, amiright? *looks around room*

So then! Porn! I've had many an interesting debate about good old porn with my husband in the past week. He's been reading up about Fifty Shades of Grey online and read an article that basically called it (and all erotica and romance books) ladies porn.

Why is it okay, the article argued, for people to be able to buy Fifty Shades (and other laddddiess porno books) in bookstores that children frequent (SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!)

Why is it okay for people to be able to read Fifty Shades of Grey in public but men have to place their bum and titty mags in paper bags and shuffle back to their cars casting nervous looks over their shoulders?

Why are men who like porn considered perverts and women who read erotica are not?

Are erotica books (and all other types of romance)porn because of the sex scenes in them? Does one sex scene = porn? How much sex does a book/film/etc need before it should be slapped into a paper bag and sold behind the counter in a shop?

And while we're on the subject it really irritates me that you can have topless men on the front cover of men's health magazines or girly mags like the Who but topless shots of women are considered too "pornographic" and slapped behind a paper bag? Why is it okay for children to be exposed to a man's naked chest but god forbid they see a pair of boobs?

It is weird that erotica books are generally more accepted by society than pornographic magazines and videos. You don't really hear about people whining for them to be removed from shops, don't you?

Weeeell...until Fifty Shades of Grey that is. It HAS been labelled porn by some groups and banned from some libraries in America.

Is it porn? Not in my opinion. But then again I have not read it...maybe I should do an update to this post after I read it?

You can't label erotica porn. Just because something has sex in it does not make it a porno. If erotica were re-classed as porn it would mean it would not be able to be sold in regular shops. It would be paper bagged and sold only in petrol stations and porno shops.

And that would shatter the careers of a lot of erotica writers.

I said to my husband it was insulting to call an erotica writer a pornographer.

Why, he asked? You're making sex and porn sound shameful and bad.

He has a point. As a society we're still veeerry conservative when it comes to sex. I went to a Lady Gaga concert the other week and saw a 10 year old dressed as a hooker and even I gasped and clutched at my pearls in shock. I always thought I was pretty cool and breezy about that sort of thing.

The problem with porn is there is too much variety in it. It ranges from sweet and sensual to illegal and disturbing and gross and wrong.

That is why you should not toss erotica into it. You're calling it dirty and wrong when it is harmless and tame and doesn't hurt anyone.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

What is a happy ending?

I have started a new romance book by an author I've read A LOT OF over the past ten or so years. She has three series of paranormal romances out and they're all pretty much the same minis a few differences: a violent, powerful man with no emotions and a long history of killing or destroying monsters/or vampires/or spies/or enemy soldiers falls in love with a woman who is usually very small, with large eyes, a tiny waist and has some sort of psychic power. The woman is either feisty and tomboyish or she's delicate and fragile and likes to bake. Either way she'll drive the man nuts and teach him how to loooove again and how to connect with emotions. The man will be possessive and even slightly abusive towards her (all for her own sake) and totally dominate the relationship.

I used to love these sort of stories but lately I've been growing tired of the emotionless violent man falling for the woman who teaches him how to stroke kitties without crushing their heads in his massive gorilla paws.

Why do some many women want to read stories about men who are so unlikable? So violent? So possessive? Is that the fantasy? to be ruled by someone bigger, larger, stronger?

Another thing I've been growing tired of is the "Happily Ever After" that always happens in these books...they get married and have children. Oh it doesn't matter if the woman doesn't want to do those things sometimes. The man will just put his foot down and IT WILL HAPPEN GOD DAMN IT. HE DEMANDS IT.

Sailor Moon is being rebooted in Japan in 2013 as a new anime. I am so excited about this. Sailor Moon continues to be an obsession of mine. I was reading about this new anime on a message board and someone brought up Sailor Mars and Venus's decision in the manga to pledge off men forever and to devote themselves 100% to protecting Usagi. They said they hoped the anime would not honor that manga plot and give Venus a boyfriend.

Cause, you know, then she would be happy right? Cause having a man in your life and eventually getting married and having children is the dream of every girl everywhere, right?

I actually really love that Sailor Moon does not obsessively push that point home for all of the characters. Yes Usagi does fall in love with Tuxedo Mask. That is a major plot point. Their romance is a big story point of the whole show. I actually really like that Venus and Mars chose not to follow in Usagi's footsteps. They make the very mature decision to devote their lives 100% towards being senshi and protecting Usagi and that really is the best decision they could make.

How could they be in a relationship with someone else and keep their identity a secret from them? How could they keep them safe? How could they raise a child while at the same time being expected to save Sailor Moon all the time?

Is it so wrong that two female characters might chose not to get married and have children? Is that so hard for some people to wrap their heads around? That maybe you do not need those things in life to be happy?

I wish there were more characters like Venus and Mars who are happy enough being single and devoted to something in their lives that they do not need a man to make them happy. Cause frankly the ideal "Happy ending" of getting married and having babies is bull shit. You do not need a man in your life, or a ring on your finger, or a child to be happy in this life.