Behold! The Great Fuddy Duddy

Maybe it's because I've been reading romance for so long. Maybe it's because I turned 40. (Yay?) Maybe it's just because "hotter" titles are more prolific these days. I don't know. But I'm finding myself turning into a sex scene skimmer.

I just really don't need the super duper explicit scenes anymore. Too often, they don't advance the plot, don't have ANY emotional punch, and are just way too explicit for lil ole me. So I skip or skim.

I don't begrudge those scenes to people who like them. I don't even need fade-to-black scenes. I'd just like more middle of the road scenes without going into such detail that you can practically hear the uncomfortable squishy sounds.

Finding less explicit books has been near to impossible. It's either inspy/closed door, women's fiction, or extremely explicit. Sometime in the last 5 years, romance and erotic romance have erased that separation. Now it seems to come down to page count rather than content.

Maybe I'm the only one out there looking for less explicit stuff, but post-50 Shades, it seems like the market has pushed so far into erom territory that people like me are being left out.

This is honestly what's led to me reading more mystery and urban fantasy and less romance. I just don't have the patience to flip through what is increasingly becoming 1/3 of the book to find the plot. Obviously, for a lot of readers, this explicit content is what they want. I just keep hoping the pendulum will swing back the other way, and (yes, I'm a dreamer) we find a common term to help identify them. Sweet doesn't seem to be effective, since many romances I consider sweet are also hella explicit.

Anyone else out there a skimmer?


  1. Me too. I was nodding along all through your post, because I feel exactly that way. There are maybe one or two authors who can do sex scenes that don't bore me and have me skimming. Not sure if it is that I have changed or that the romance genre has (probably both).

    1. I think it's both for me. I've changed a little, but I do think there's so much highly explicit content since the 50 Shades phenomenon hit the publishing world. It was there before, but...I don't remember it to this degree.

  2. It's not just you. I still enjoy explicit scenes (I read all over the sensuality scale), but for me I'm becoming increasing bored by sex scenes that are just blithely inserted (ha!) into the story. Like someone told the author, "You need to put a sex scene in here."

    Like all good things in fiction, I want the sex scenes in romance novels to be organic to the story. And so often they feel tacked on. Superfluous. Totally unnecessary. And they shouldn't feel that way. If they do feel that way...the author is doing it wrong.

  3. That's it exactly. It just seems like they HAVE to put X number of scenes in, and they must be super explicit. Sometimes explicit doesn't fit the mood of the book, too, and it sticks out (sorry not sorry). We seem to have a bunch of authors who lack the skill to make those scenes work and are feeling forced to write them in anyway.