Home

Thursday, May 5, 2011

IS EROTIC ROMANCE DEAD?

Adele Dubois Wants To Know!

-- Contest Alert! --

An editor from a popular electronic publisher and I had a discussion about the current state of the erotic romance market. I wondered if a traditional erotic story about one man and one woman falling in love and having amazing sex contained enough thrills for readers anymore. I questioned whether it’s necessary for men and women to tie each other up, bring out the clips and battery-operated toys, or have group sex with partners of both genders while their relationship unfolded in order to meet market demand.

Has sex without bells and whistles, cartwheels and back flips become an obstacle to reading pleasure?

Many of my author friends, who in real life are as conservative as I am, have turned to what we call “writing to market” to increase their readership. They’re writing about kink of all kinds because it seems that “plain vanilla” isn’t enough to titillate fans anymore. I’ve upped the ante in my books, too, by including scenes with multiple partners and F/F sex to mix things up a bit. These stories were fun to write and I hoped readers would enjoy them. In my heart of hearts, though, I still want to write those smokin’ hot romances about one man and one woman having incredible, un-kinky sex while falling deeply in love and planning a happily-ever-after future together.

Is erotic romance, in its early form, dead?

According to the editor to whom I posed this question, the answer is a resounding no. She said that some of the hottest, most memorable stories she’d edited or read for pleasure were love stories about one man and one woman. In her view, “plain vanilla” can still slack the thirst of the most demanding reader. She encouraged me to keep writing traditional erotic romances, submit them, and not worry about being “conservative”.

Still, I’m skeptical.

So, savvy readers, tell us all. Which style floats your boat? Traditional flavor or kinky? Do you want your heroines tied up and blindfolded, or in charge? Like your heroes abrasive or romantic? Tell us what you want in an erotic story, and why. We want DETAILS. Those who reply with the most informative answers will automatically be entered to win a copy of my best-selling erotic e-book novel REV ME UP. If enough people provide thought-provoking answers, I’ll give away two books.





















REV ME UP and its stand-alone sequel REV ME TWICE will be offered in trade paperback this fall under the title REV ME.

Thanks for playing!  Best--Adele

Visit Adele Dubois and read about her books at www.adeledubois.com/


55 comments:

Marie Rose Dufour said...

As a reader, I really like straight up (no pun intended!!LOL!) traditional hot romances. While it's fun to read about menages, just the hot and heavy interaction between two people is thrilling.

Adele Dubois said...

Thank you for your reply, Marie. I love M/F hot romances, too.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Best--Adele

Tina Donahue said...

Great post, Adele. I, personally, like the one man/one woman concept. It's what dominates my stories. My fans and reviewers seem to agree. Sensual Stranger was named the Best Book of 2010 (Erotic Category) at Blue Moon Book Reviews. The review (which was in French) said (I'm paraphrasing here) that the book was more than just sex, it was about the characters and their deep-felt feelings for each other.

Those are the kinds of stories I like to read. I don't think classic erotic romance will ever go out of style. The m/f/m or f/m/f Dom/Sub, BDSM, etc. etc. might be exciting. But if those stories don't have a strong emotional connection between the partners, then the readers won't feel it either.

Then, it's just sex. And as we all know, sex without the heart and brain being involved is pretty damn boring.

Debra Glass said...

My best selling stories, by far, have included light bdsm. While I feel my paranormals are my best "plotting" my historicals far out-sell them. As a reader, I enjoy the fantasy elements that come with a historical. If there is no emotional connection, then it's not romance and my books include the traditional GMC with an HEA. But those are the type stories I like to read, so that's why I write them. Adele, your books and characters are wonderful and the writing is beautiful. In answer to your question, what we deemed as erotic romance when EC first burst onto the scene, is now available at every romance publisher from the biggest NY house to the smallest Epub. As a writer, I think it's important to focus on writing, honing my craft, and writing the type books I enjoy reading.

Nina Pierce said...

Adele - What a great question. If sales are any indication then the traditional m/f erotica isn't what readers are looking for.

For me? I love the romance of a man and a woman falling in love while saving the world and bringing down the villain. Hot vanilla sex definitely works for me.

That being said, my books have definitely become kinkier.

Katalina Leon said...

This is a great question Adele and I'm so happy you brought this up.
In the end, I think it's all about story and drawing out a reader's emotions.
A good love story can stay in your mind forever.
XXOO Kat

Adele Dubois said...

Tina--I think you're right that traditional M/F stories will never go out of style, and emotional connection is key to a good romance. Maybe these books are taking a short-term back seat in the marketplace. I don't know.

Q: How does that explain the soaring popularity of kink? These stories seem to be edging out the M/F stories by publishers. I visited a popular site recently and not one book offered featured a traditional M/F story.

Roz Lee said...

I have to agree with Tina - classic will never go out of style. That doesn't mean a little kink won't be appreciated now and then too.

First and foremost, I think our readers choose our books for the romance first and the smokin' hot sex is a nice bonus. Throw in a little kink now and then for a those who want it, and all is well.

So, no matter whether it's 'vanilla', 'classic', 'kinky', or whatever label we put on it, if there isn't an emotional connection between the characters (however many), then we've lost our readers.

I let my characters tell me what they're willing to do. Sometimes it's pretty traditional sex, sometimes it's not. If you give your character enough emotional depth, the reader will go along with whatever the character 'needs' to do.

Just my .02.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I'm a traditonal one man, one woman romance reader. I don't have to have hot, kinky sex or multiple partners to fall in love with a story. What I do need is a deeply connected couple who meet obstacles and trouble and triumph in the end. I can even enjoy a good inspirational romance without a single sex scene. It is that emotional connection that calls to me and makes me remember the story long after I've read the final page.

Adele Dubois said...

Debra and Nina--You proved my point. Sales are higher for kink. If readers don't support the traditional M/F erotic romance market, authors will stop writing those type of books.

(Thanks for the kudos on my books, Debra).

Best--Adele

Tina Donahue said...

In answer to your question, Adele - kink might produce shock (and a giggle or two), but when it's overdone (and it will be), then the pendulum will swing in the other direction again.

I recall when I first read The Story of O. I was so shocked, I was glued to the page. However, I wasn't moved in a good way. Nor did I restrict my reading to those kinds of novels. It gave me a jolt. It didn't provide satisfaction. And that's what I want as a reader.

Adele Dubois said...

Kat--This subject has been on my mind for awhile. I don't usually "write to market", but write the stories I want to write.

Roz--"It doesn't mean a little kink won't be appreciated now and then." Lol. Love that.

Thanks for weighing in.

Best--Adele

K. M. Springsteen said...

I'm traditional. I don't like the kink. I'm afraid that much of what is considered romance is nothing more than sex for titillation and that grays the area between romance and straight erotica.

L. K. Below said...

Definitely a thought-provoking post, Adele. Personally, I think that hot M/F romance without the bells and whistles will survive. It can weather anything, in my opinion, because that's the sort of situation most readers find themselves in, and it's heartening to read a real-to-life romance. But is the market changing? Absolutely. We're pushing boundaries.

Readers, I think, want to live vicariously through romance novels, too. They may never wish to be tied up or be involved with two men at the same time, but reading about it gives them a thrill. Almost like they have experienced those things (except guaranteed to turn out well). Romance books teach readers to be accepting of their bodies, to embrace their sexuality, and that kind of comfort can significantly enhance their lives and relationships. A kinkier book is the perfect thing to fulfill fantasies that they are afraid or would rather not act out.

That being said, I don't think these kinkier books are displacing straight M/F romance. Rather, I think it's relegating M/F romance to a "lower" heat level. I've read and written very hot M/F romances without toys of any kind. But in the stores, it's a lower heat level because it has no kink. The saddest part of all is when publishers no longer accept stories from authors unless they heat it up a notch, by introducing sex toys if not BDSM or menage. I know it's happening to a couple of the bigger publishers. Personally, I find that disheartening, but maybe the publishing industry will straighten things out. I've seen other publishers who are introducing lower heat levels than before, which I enjoy seeing. Because if everyone were to try to make their manuscript scorching, there would be a lot of wooden romances on the market. Sex should only be used to further the plot, further the romance between the two (or three or four) main characters.

Thanks for posting such a stimulating question!

lbelow(at)lbelow.net.

Delaney Diamond said...

Adele, first things first, the man on the cover of Rev Me Up is hot!

You posed some interesting questions. But as someone pointed out on this blog yesterday, there are a variety of writers because there are a variety of readers. If everyone writes kink, then we'll have an underserved market of people who are seeking traditional romance.

I firmly believe there is still a strong market for so-called vanilla sex. In fact, even as you point out an increase in kink, I've noticed an increase in sweeter romance.

There's a new e-publisher who only publishers sweet romance, and they seem to be doing well. The Clean Romance group on Goodreads is growing by leaps and bounds. I've even communicated online with readers who say they want traditional romance without all the menages and extreme sexual exploits.

Traditional romance isn't going anywhere. It better not, because that's what I prefer to read, and it's what I write!

An emotional connection between two people coupled with steamy sex will never go out of style. I know plenty of people who like those types of stories, and so do I.

Adele Dubois said...

Sarah--I share your enthusiasm for many types of books, at all heat levels. My faves are strong heroines and heroes who overcome obstacles together.

Thanks for posting.

Best--Adele

Adele Dubois said...

Tina--

Thanks for responding to my question. I think you're right about the shock value. Once readers aren't shocked anymore, I suppose the pendulum will swing back to more traditional stories.

Best--Adele

Adele Dubois said...

K.M.--You bring up a valid point, which is the subtext of my blog post. Erotic romance is changing so much that the definition has become blurred. Erotica is not erotic romance. There's a big difference.

Thanks for visiting and posting.

Best--Adele

Cynthia Arsuaga said...

Hi Adele,
Interesting you pose this question. I recently received a contract for a story dealing with this idea. I wrote about a romance author who writes the "sweet" M/F stories and is suggested by her publisher to "up her game" and write more erotic, kinky, sex scenes to gather a larger audience. I'm very conservative as well so writing the scenes can be difficult, but this is a series and with each successive one I write the sex is getting more "adventurous" as well as dark. I did this intentionally. To balance this out, I am writing more "vanilla" types to experiment with the attraction to readers.
My husband is also an author and he calls his sexy romance, not erotic. He doesn't like the kinky sex or same sex scenes or multi-partner; however, in his most recent manuscript he finished, he delved into F/F for his sci-fi paranormal sequel, but in the end hooked the heroine up with a male friend.
In the end, I think reading the "kinky" sex romance is like anything else in trends, they come and they go. If the underlying story is written well, it will surface to the top and if you wait around, an other trend will replace the last one. You never can go wrong betting on the taste of the American public.

Adele Dubois said...

L.K.--I couldn't have said it better. Thanks for your well crafted reply.

This subject reminds me of something I heard recently about the ice cream sold at Baskin-Robbins. Despite the introduction of numerous exotic flavors, guess which flavor still outsells them all? Plain vanilla. LOL.

Maybe there's a lesson in that for us erotic romance authors and readers.

Best--Adele

Ann Raina said...

Hi Adele, erotic romance will not die, I'm sure of that. First, especially women love to read the classical romance in all varieties. Friends and folks I asked, told me that this still applies if they know about the ending. They want to read about the subject because it satisfies certain wishes a woman has. We long for romance with the right guy. And if the romance doesn't last with the first one, we are able to recover and try again.
As a writer, I like to add some spice to my stories, some games, some ideas out of the ordinary. Yet, if you take "Freedom in Chains" or my trilogy "Living for the Act", the women long for relationships to last.
I can't tell if the 'one man for a lifetime' happiness still applies and in real life you see many couples come and go. I think, we have all accepted that a relationship might not last for forty years. Still we crave for it.
A girlfriend once told me that the world consists of couples and those who want to become couples. Even if I hear singles say that they love their lifestyle, I doubt they will love it in twenty years. And if they can't get the romance in their life, they still like to drown in such a story for some hours, a good cup of coffee on the left side and a bowl with chocolates on the other...
Cheers, Ann Raina

Anonymous said...

What a great topic, Adele. It definitely made me think. For me, the difference is what I want in my personal life vs what takes me away as a reader. I am an aspiring author and my first book was written as a menage. There are some times that a one woman/one man story is what I need. It reminds me of how wonderfully fulfilling being in love can be on a semi realistic level. Cause let's face it...even a 1 on 1 steamy story is a fantasy.

I live a very busy life like most women. I have a husband, an 8 yr old son, own my own business, and write during any spare minute I have. Sleep is mostly unheard of. So when I take the time to indulge in a romance, I usually want to something that will take me out of any realm of possibilities. Kinks, BDSM, menages and what not.

That isn't saying I never look for the traditional, but my life is so real, too real sometimes to be reading "traditional", no matter how hot it may be. I know many people have different tastes, and I don't think the one woman/one man love stories will EVER be dated. At the end of the day, women, including me, will always want or/or fantasize about that one man who can't live without you and who you can't live without.

Elece

Adele Dubois said...

Delaney--So glad you appreciate my REV ME UP book cover. Thanks! You're right about the upswing in sweet romances. I like lots of hot sex in my books, so I doubt I'll ever write sweet, but that trend definitely says something about the marketplace. Readers, authors, and publishers will find ways to balance things out.


Cynthia--I think you're right about trends. See my response to Delaney, above. I enjoy writing sizzling hot stories, but I guess I'm only willing to push boundaries to far.

Thanks so much for participating, Delaney and Cynthia!

Best--Adele

Debra Glass said...

I gotta ad, writing light bdsm comes very naturally to me. I enjoy exploring the psychology between the desire to submit and the desire to dominate and how two characters can come together to meet those needs. I think my stories show my honest, raw, "interest" in the subject and hopefully, my readers respond to that. (Believe me, if DH ever came at me with handcuffs, I'd run screaming - but I enjoy the fantasy) If writing kinkier stories doesn't come naturally, don't try it just to boost sales. Readers will see through it. Adele, I think you write what you know and love and that you've created your own niche. (I look forward to reading your story in Girls Who Bite!)

Adele Dubois said...

Ann--I love your confidence and the surety of your answer. There are certainly publishers who have thrived on romance for decades.

Loved your quote, "The world consists of couples and those who want to become couples."

Thanks so much for your post.

Best--Adele

Paige Tyler said...

I only write M/F, and my books usually have some playful spanking in them. I like to keep things light!

Congratulations on the new release!

*hugs*
Paige

Adele Dubois said...

Elece--What a great perspective! I like the way you explained why you like something different in your reading material from the norm in your lifestyle. Best of luck with your writing career. Thanks so much for posting.

Debra--I'm with you on all points. If my DH came at me with handcuffs or restraints, I'd head for the door.

I do love to write very hot erotic romance, and as you know, my books contain scenes with multiple and same sex partners. My lesbian stories are right out of fantasy too. In real life, I would never do the things I write about in my books. It's all for fun. I have my limits, though, and won't write past those.

Thanks for your support, Debra. If a year ago you told me I'd write lesbian vampire tales, I wouldn't have believed you. LOL. Gotta' love being an author.

Best--Adele

Adele Dubois said...

Paige--I keep the spanking light, too. I must admit I've written a little of that.

In DESERT WILD, my Native American hero ties the heroine's hands with a thick strand of rare flowers when they make love in the desert. I think that's one of my best scenes, ever. I loved writing that book. It won great reviews and an award, so I guess readers liked it too.

Thanks for stopping by!

Best--Adele

Ari Thatcher said...

It's interesting that as readers we all say we prefer the vanilla, but the charts at the booksellers say we're in the minority. I try to find characters I love who work well in the multiple partner theme, so I can enjoy writing what sells.

Tess MacKall said...

Nice post, Adele. Very thought-provoking question. I think a lot of the answer lies in where an author is published and where the author and publisher promote the books, too. I much prefer writing M/F and vanilla sex than anything else. I'm presently working on a menage--to challenge myself, AND to write to another market--however, even in that menage, I am writing it in such a way that it still ends up being M/F in the end. No happily ever after trio will work for me. I don't see anything romantic about it.

If sales say anything about M/F, then I'm pleased to report it isn't at all dead. I think there is a lot of curiosity out there about the kinkier stuff and therefore a lot of buyers pick up copies to read. And some will stay with that genre. But in addition, they will always fall back to the traditional erotic romance as well.

My upcoming release, Strip Down (June) is another M/F book. When my editor contracted it she specifically said it was some of the hottest work she'd read. M/F can be just as hot and arousing as any kink. As writers we just need to dig deep to make it that way. And it's hard work, too.

Fiona McGier said...

Very interesting subject, Adele. I write strong females who have interesting men in their lives, and the men are the ones to decide that woman has to be theirs for the long-term. My current WIP has a love-triangle in it, and I've agonized for months, even asking hubby for a man's perspective, as I figured out how to include a menage scene. I'll be submitting it soon and keeping my fingers crossed.
That being said, I have to say that I was the one to BUY the fur-lined handcuffs years ago! And we made videos! Hey, choosing one person to share your life with forever means you better really enjoy sex with that person, since that's your only choice, right?

Adele Dubois said...

Ari--I appreciate your candor. That's another subtext of my post. If readers enjoy vanilla M/F erotic romances, their purchases should reflect that preference. Which brings me to Tess' comment...

Tess--I agree that publisher support and their selection of titles has a great deal to do with sales of certain types of books. Sometimes I'll visit various erotic romance sites to see what those publishers offer. It becomes clear within minutes what their preferences are. I'm fortunate to write for a publisher who offers a wide selection of choices.

Fiona--You naughty girl! LOL. Maybe I should try that. ") You're so right when you say we should enjoy sex with the person we marry, since that's our only choice. I've been married nearly 25 years. That's a lot of enjoyment!

Thanks so much for visiting and posting, ladies!

Best--Adele

Anonymous said...

To me any kind of erotic sex is dead in the water, if there's no build up or a reason for them to have sex. I love sexual tension. The more the better. That way I can understand why they're coming together not just because someone's lonely, horny, or has a moment of lust. There's an author with a large publisher who writes sexual tension really well, so much so her characters usually don't get it on until the very end. And I've eaten up all of her books like hot cakes.

Nina Pierce said...

Adele - Thank you so much for this post. I keep coming back to check out the thought-provoking comments.

Harlie Reader said...

As a whole, I don't think m/f is dead. The problem I see with erotica in general is that there are so many sub-genres out there that the "traditional" m/f gets lost amongst everything else. Kink is very hot right now and I read it some but I still prefer the classic boy meets girl story. From the "cute meet", to the first kiss, to when the finally sleep together. I don't need it rough, with ropes, wax, other people or toys. Thrown in conflict and the HEA and I'm a happy gal.

I also feel that some readers have been desensitized with traditional m/f which is a shame because most readers are either in a m/f relationship or have been. Reading is an escape but I don't think, at least this reader, doesn't need the "extras" in a story.

maw1725@gmail.com

Adele Dubois said...

Anon--I think you've accurately described the difference between erotic romance and mainstream romance novels. I read a lot of mainstream romance--which are sexy, but not erotic. They don't contain explicit or graphic sex scenes, yet they're racy enough to keep me interested. Sexual tension is key to any good romance, no matter what the heat level. Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

Nina--So glad you see you here, since you're one of my favorite people! ") Thanks for joining the conversation!

Best--Adele

Adele Dubois said...

Harlie--Eloquently put! Yes, the word I've been waiting for someone to say is "desensitized."
I've suspected that for some time, which is why I think kink in its many forms has grown as a subgenre.

Perhaps we've gone full circle and are ultimately talking about the difference between recreational sex and lovemaking. Ergo, erotic romance vs. erotica.

Thanks for posting!

Best--Adele

Rie McGaha said...

Adele, NICE cover! :) Now to your post - I know erotic romance sells very well, otherwise there wouldn't be so much of it available with new authors popping up every day. M/M erotic romance is currently the top selling genre (according to one publisher) and women are the top readers of this genre. I was surprised at that tidbit.

However, I think, (and this is just my opinion), like all else, our tastes evolve and change over time, including reading material, and for me, as an author, what I write also evolves.

I did not begin writing with erotic romance in mind. I went with the publisher who actually helped me beef that first story up with some hard core sex that I was totally uncomfortable writing. So much so that I had to drink in order to write the sex scenes. I got better at it and eventually could write the porn, um, erotic sex, without alcohol but I never got over the feeling that I was pandering for the sake of publication.

I have nearly fulfilled my existing contracts and what will come in the future will be what I want to write and it won't include erotic sex scenes. I don't even like reading the erotic sex scenes and skim quickly over them when they are in a book I'm reading.

Maybe it's old age, I don't know but for me erotic sex is a thing of the past.

Rie McGaha

Brenda Hyde said...

First let me say, I'm so new to writing fiction that I'm staying away from bestselling lists, polls, and anything like that because I'm afraid it will just confuse what I need and want to write. I'm also fairly new to romance-- just a couple of years, but I'm a long time reader of sci fi and fantasy.

Now, my input on this-- I know I've read that writers try to guess the market, but chances are by time they write and get something published the public's "favorite" will be changed. Kink might be bigger right now, but in 6 months is it possible something else will be the best seller? Can we really guess correctly what will sell better in a year or longer? Personally, I love "different" but not really kinky to the extreme. I like Happily Ever Afters with a good plot, great characters and steamy romance--action and suspense are good too:).

Sharon Hamilton said...

Boy, just looking at the number of comments, I'd have to say this topic could live forever, like a good paranormal romance.

I agree that the paranormal gives so many interesting characters and, ahem, body parts, or stamina issues, that it makes the sex really run to read and write.

I don't like full "kink" but the hint that perhaps it's going that way and stops just short. Think that's what makes RS so great - the thrill of the danger. There is a thrill factor in reading erotic things outside our everyday lives. And since we are writing escapism, well, that's okay.

But I would read anything where there is great tension, and I'm willing to be open-minded and read a friend's things, even though it may not be what I would enjoy writing. I don't enjoy erotica for just the sex. I want the relationship, the falling in love, so erotic romance is my thing, definitely.

What is equally enjoyable is watching how the author crafts it. You know what's going to happen, but the how and why of it, is what matters. I love to be "tempted" by a good story, with characters I won't forget.

Adele Dubois said...

Rie--I had to smile at your confession that you had to drink to write sex scenes. I remember reading that some very famous authors had to drink to write anything at all. Apparently you were in good company. If you're not comfortable writing those scenes, you're smart to write what you love, instead. Best of luck!

Brenda--I appreciate your comments and agree that market shifts can be unpredictable. I'm willing to write to the current market up to a point. Otherwise, I write the story I want to write and hope readers will love it. So far, that practice has worked well for me.

Thanks for commenting, ladies! Good luck with your careers.

Best--Adele

Dita Parker said...

Could there be some kind of gateway effect in effect as erotic romance gains popularity, readers progressing from one subgenre to another, desensitized like Harlie said?

But dead? Romance dead? That's like saying love is dead and I don't believe that in the end readers, or writers, want a world, real or fictional, without love.

Having said that, I think it's pretty fantastic how many subgenres and voices and scenarios there are to choose from these days (and so well-written!), really something for every taste and fantasy.

Still, falling in love, not merely lust, has been The Story for centuries. It's not going anywhere anytime soon. But should you find evidence to the contrary, just kill me now because I would die if I couldn't read, or write, those stories. So keep 'em coming, ladies, it's a classic.

Adele Dubois said...

Sharon--Oooh, I do love tension! I enjoy reading a good thriller, a well crafted mystery, romantic suspense and far out paranormals. All with great sexual tension, of course. I agree with you about the thrills, the escapism, and unforgettable characters. :Sigh:

Thanks so much for joining the discussion! It's been lively and I've enjoyed chatting with everyone.

Best--Adele

Adele Dubois said...

Dita--I'm with you! I love to read and write romances, spiced with lots of sex. It's the type of sex we're talking about. Vanilla vs. kink. It might be nice to try exotic flavors, but hopefully, vanilla with remain the favorite.

Thanks for playing!

Best--Adele

Ann Jacobs said...

I love to read and write one-man, one-woman romance with lots of sensual, erotic sex. While I usually spice my stories up with anywhere between a little and a lot of kink, I don't enjoy reading MM, FF or most menages as much as I do "vanilla" erotic sex between one man and one woman.

I think you can be kinkier and get by with it better if you're writing other than contemporary settings, even though my current Necessary Roughness series books feature a specific fetish that runs through each story. My futuristics, urban fantasies and historicals tend to have more way-out kink, which may be why I write them less often.

Adele Dubois said...

Ann--Good to see you here. You brought up an intersting point, which I think has merit. That is; kink is harder to introduce in contemporary settings. I can understand how a kinkier story could take place in a less familiar environment.

Thanks for stopping in and sharing your perspective.

Best--Adele

anny cook said...

I started out with m/f romance. Then sorta skipped sideways into a flirting with m/m and m/f/m plus a little kink. And now I'm back to m/f romance.

I've talked to a LOT of women about what they read. It's interesting...only three women have actually admitted they prefer menage stories. All the rest ranged from being uncomfortable with a lot of sex in the story to prefering a lot of sex in the story. The thing I found the most interesting was the age/kink ratio. The younger women were more uncomfortable with the kinkier scenarios while the older women were more likely to want that type of story.

I believe the real answer is somewhere in the middle. An excellent story. Fabulous characters. And well-written loving sex. Then there's the test of time.

I re-read a story from my bookshelf written in 1973. I loved the story enough to keep the book all these year. When I read it last week, I still loved it. That's the answer.

Adele Dubois said...

Anny--Beautifully stated! Sounds like you've come full circle. Interesting what you shared about younger women vs. older woman and kink. Maybe that's because older women are more secure in their sexuality.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Best--Adele

Marianne Stephens said...

I've written M/F erotic romance and read it. Straight love stories with just a hero and heroine. Not interested in more than that. I need to focus on just two characters in a story...with nothing "kinky" happening. Maybe I'm too conservative, but that's what I enjoy.

Adele Dubois said...

Marianne--According to the editor I spoke with "conservative" is just fine. I'm glad to know there's plenty of us around!

Thanks so much for posting!

Best--Adele

Adele Dubois said...

Many thanks to everyone who visited with us today at Sweet N' Sexy Divas and chatted with me about the current state of the erotic romance market. I enjoyed every minute!

The two winners of REV ME UP are:

L.K. Below and Harlie Reader.

Please email me at author@adeledubois.com/ to claim your prizes.

Thank you!

Best--Adele

Sam Cheever said...

I definitely think, for a certain segment of the market, traditional "vanilla" sex is passe. Books that include some form of kink sell better than straight books. I don't think there's any question. But the irony is, I'm also seeing a swing back to sweeter or more sensual reading by a growing segment of the market, including a lot of reviewers. One sign of this is the number of adults who read young adult fiction. Since I published my new Young Adult fantasy I've been amazed by how much of my target market is adult. Even the smokiest YA can't hold a candle to adult fare, sexually speaking (nor should they #:0), yet tons of adults read them. So I think the answer to your question is both. #:0) How's that for covering my bases. hehehe

~~*~~
Magic, Adventure, Love on the Run
www.SamCheever.com

Adele Dubois said...

Sam--I agree with you. It seems the market is balancing itself. Funny that you should mention YA, since I enjoy reading that genre too. I don't read sweet adult novels, but like a good YA book now and then. Otherwise, I prefer sexy adult contemps or paranormals.

Thanks for weighing in!

Best--Adele

Michael said...

A great blog Adele.

As a writer of it all M/F, M/M, menages and soon, some f/f, I can say I dont think str8 vanilla will ever go away.

Truthfully, I do enjoy the hetero is its written with a little kink. Doenst have to be BDSM but maybe a romp outside, a little role play, something that will make the story stand out.

What will make stories last through the the test of time is how well they are told bot what the content is.

Great blog!

S.Lira aka Mike M/Rawiya

Adele Dubois said...

Michael--It's nice to meet you. I like your approach. Yes, a little something-something kinky without the pain sounds more like my style. ") I've included some of those elements in my books, and they've added that touch of necessary spice. My foray into F/F should prove interesting. My first story will be in the GIRLS WHO BITE anthology. I'll probably always write M/F erotic romances, though. I like them most.

Best--Adele