Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Romance Novels

If you are a woman, do you read romance novels? You are not alone.

Another tidbit in that book "A Billion Wicked Thoughts'' is that romance novels generated $1.37 billion in sales in 2008. The romance genre has the single largest share of the fiction market. At least 74.8 million people read romance novels in 2008. And more than 90 per cent are women.

To put those numbers in perspective, about 100 million men in the U.S. and Canada accessed online porn in 2008 only a quarter more than the number of women who read romance novels. About 25 per cent of the porn watchers are women. But women won't pay for porn and the companies often flag credit cards with female names that try to pay for porn. But they will spend over $1billion on romance novels.

Another interesting thing is that sex is not absolutely essential to a romance novel. But the sex scene is important. The heroine is sexually inexperienced until her lover introduces it to her. The awakening to love is that much more powerful when it's accompanied by a sexual awakening as well.

Since our readers tend to be kinky, do you like a romance novel with no kink?

There's more on what women like in their romance novels, but I thought I'd ask my readers what they like and see if it fits with what the authors say they like.

And who knew romance novels are a billion dollar industry? Hmmm. Maybe I should try to write one. LOL.

Your thoughts on romance novels.



  1. I grew up reading the raciest possible bodice-ripper romance novels I could get my hands on. When there was kink, it was usually carried out by the villain of the piece. I would get very confused as to why those parts invariably would turn me on far, far more than the good, right and proper sex between the principle characters.

    I learned a LOT from those historical romances, because those authors do a heck of a lot of research into the period. I don't really read them anymore, but I still remember some of them (due to repeated readings) with nostalgic fondness.

    Anyway, to answer the question, once I worked my way around how those books worked, I went for all of the books with "slave," "bondage," "captive," and the like in the title. So yes to the kink, please.

  2. I'm an avid romance (and erotica) reader.

    That $1 billion number includes romantic fiction, not just genre romance. That's not to say it isn't a big industry, because it is, but just that it's a wide net.

    And there are plenty (plenty!) that don't have sex scenes, either because sex doesn't happen in the scope of the book or because it's a closed door situation. These frustrate me not just because I like to read about sex, but because I feel like I missed out on seeing their relationship develop. Nevertheless there are plenty of people who read these and prefer them.

    I dispute the statement "The heroine is sexually inexperienced until her lover introduces it to her." Maybe that's how they all used to be in the 80s, but our female protagonists have come a long way :) Often they are on an even footing with the hero, and sometimes the initiator/mentor. Of course, we do like a hero who knows what he's doing.

    The BDSM erotica/erotic romance genres are growing rapidly, but they are still very new. This means that not as many good authors are in the space (there are some, to be sure) but nothing like the huge amount of great writers in, say, historical romance.

    But, in answer, I like all kinds of romance. Contemporary, historical (England, American), paranormal, erotica, mystery. I don't really go for sci-fi or fantasy.

  3. I used to devour romance novels, the steamier the better. Now I read more for the story line than for the steamy kink.

    I found it interesting btw, that women watch porn but won't pay for it, to the point that someone (porn companies?) would flag cards with women's names.

  4. Wish I had time. And if I did, a little kink might make me a regular reader :)

  5. I used read romance novels all the time. Not at much since I've come to understand my submissive nature, and what my needs are. There is a lot more romance in my marriage so I don't need the books as much as I used to.

    But I do still read them some. Most of the sex scenes are a bit dull after reading the stories in the blogging community. I like a book with a strong Dom character, but not so much a submissive one because there needs to be a bit of conflict to make the story interesting.

  6. I go through phases of reading romance novels. I love where the story-lines take me in my mind, they are a stepping off point for fantasy. The sex scenes aren't necessary for me and I often skip those paragraphs just because I have my own thoughts of what should be happening. I did do the black cover fetish novels for a year or so but now like to experience things for myself instead. It is a lot easier to find a kinky sex partner than a romantic lover after all.

  7. I love historical romances. They are considered soft porn because women aren't as visual as men. But that doesn't mean we can't be.

    My favorite writer is Beatrice Small. Some of her books should have a BDSM label. Her sex scenes are the best.

  8. How's this for a statistic, FD....since my husband and I began our wonderful DD lifestyle, I am no longer interested in romance novels. In fact, I rarely sit down with a book these days. And trust me, I used to give my Kindle a workout!

    Wonder if Amazon is missing me?

  9. I used to read them, but have not since I got married. I honestly think I pretty much live a romance novel. Especially the spanking ones...but I don't like that part!

    I just don't enjoy them. The sex is well written but I prefer the real thing and the real man..my man. :)

  10. I love romance novels! I mostly like Vampire, Amish, and kinky novels.. lol Odd combo I know. I think that women read romance novels for the trill and climax in the stories.

    ~Signed Loving

  11. I'm late in commenting, but you disappeared from blog roll. Yes, you should write some good, kinky stuff. And by kinky i mean tye stubborn damsel in distress being willful and spanked for it! I'm having the hardest time finding something that interests me, other than stories that take all of 3 minutes to read.