Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Unwrapping: Wacky Wednesday - POLL TIME!

As you may have heard with all of the talk about 50 SHADES OF GREY, many so-called experts have been saying that Romance Novels are to women as porn is to men. At first, I thought, NO WAY!, then I began to think about what porn does for men. Men are sexually stimulated by what they see. This means that they prefer to look at naked women, make love with the lights on, and look at naked pictures of women and watch porn.

What about women? Are we sexually stimulated by the same things. I don't believe so. Oh, we can fully appreciate a good-looking man with a great physique. We ooh and ahh over the pics we share on our blogs. But do we look at those pictures by themselves and suddenly want to go jump our partner. 

[shaking head] I don't think so. Although, I think I could stare at this guy all day.  : ) 

However, if we read something like:
This was the first time she'd seen his chest bare in any substantial light, and she wasn't disappointed. His shoulders were wide, his chest strong, his belly flat. A thin cluster of golden hair formed a vertical line down the center of his abdomen, starting just above his belly button. Oh yum, was the first, involuntary thought to flit through her mind. Amazing, the second.  - excerpt from FEVER by Joan Swan (my review)

I don't know about you but that stimulates some parts of my imagination that reach far beyond my brain.  : )

Kayt Sukel, author of  Dirty Minds: How Our Brains Influence Love, Sex, and Relationships, actually submitted to a test where she masturbated to orgasm while her brain was being examined during a MRI. The results were astounding - to men. Frankly, it didn't surprise me. Doctors are just beginning to understand that a woman's orgasm may actually be more in her brain than between her legs. Well, we all know it starts in the brain and ends between our legs. LOL!! What the MRI showed was how Ms. Sukel's brain lit up like a Christmas Tree (her words) in the midst of her orgasm. Yes, we feel it all over but it's mainly occurring in the brain.

Now the question to be answered is what gets the brain to that point. Is it roses and champagne? Is it watching a sexy movie with your partner? Is it looking at porn magazines or films while your man pants and drools over them? What pulls your brain away from the grocery list, the to-do list of chores, or the long list of things you need to do at work the next day?

I would like all my dear lady friends to vote in the following poll and then ask their friends to vote too. This isn't a scientific poll, it's just for fun and totally anonymous so please, answer truthfully. I will let the poll run until next Tuesday around noon, after which we'll see next Wednesday if those experts might be right.  In the meantime, check your bookstores, there are some great new reads coming to stimulate our minds!

Happy Reading Everyone!   Thank you to everyone who took the Poll. This Poll is NOW CLOSED!



Shauni said...

I don't think it is quite so cut and dried.. Sure it has it's moments but I don't read Romance Novels for the sex.. I read it for the story and to be absolutely honest, there are times I just skip over the sex parts...

So in a way the answer is yes.. as in is it Porn or is it merely escape?

I think there are those who want to demean the Romance Genre by categorizing it as porn

Anonymous said...

OK trying this again... I voted "possibly" because sometimes even while reading I'm also still thinking about all those other things. Now, if a scene can make me STOP thinking about all those things, then, for sure! But if I'm just reading as opposed to being totally into the story, not so much. Does that make sense?

Anonymous said...

OMG I guess it just doesn't like me when I try posting using my wordpress account!!! (This is Amy C btw.)Thank goodness I can FINALLY post on your blog! Amy C.

Vickieann said...


Anonymous said...

OMG I guess it just doesn't like me when I try posting using my wordpress account!!! (This is Amy C btw.)Thank goodness I can FINALLY post on your blog! Amy C.
Well it worked once anyway...

Beebs said...

I agree with Shauni, it's really not that cut and dried.

I don't read romance as a means to get aroused, I read for the story and the escape. I read mainly historical romance and in some of the traditional regencies, the H/h never get beyond a kiss.

I think the difference is that people buy porn (men and women) to enhance their sex lives. I can't speak for everyone but that's not why I buy books. Although, there are some books where a fan would definitely be appreciated. :)

Gabriella Hewitt said...

Agree with Shauni and Beebs. I buy romance for the story. Some books do have a hot love scene. But by the third or fourth love scene, I'm starting to skim to get to the action.

I think it's a great post and thought-provoking. Many years ago, my much younger cousin-in-law repeated to me that her pastor said that romance novels were the equivalent of porn and so she didn't read them. It was the first time for me to meet her, so I didn't say too much. To each his own, but I think romance novels have a lot more going for them than pure sexual titillation.

Amy Valentini said...

I'm loving this discussion!

I'm getting that even though some romance novels may heat us up, it isn't the reason we read it's just a wonderful side effect whereas men actually seek sexual arousal from their 'porn'.

Romance Novels offer way more than any girlie magazine. xoxo

@Amy C., I see all of your comments and bravo for finally getting it to connect. Sometimes, it's about the cookies. Glad you're here and welcome to my fellow AVON ADDICTS!

Amy Valentini said...

I'm wondering if situations like you have with your cousin-in-law is one of the reasons some are fearful of proclaiming themselves Romance readers. Does she know now? ; )

My dh said something last night that had me thinking - do you suppose that the mainstream is trying to denegrate the Romance genre by calling it porn because it's increasing in sales even as the rest are suffering?

What say you?

Beebs said...

I think your dh might have a point. I've also seen comments recently where people have said that now they can get their books on e-readers and don't have to worry about the covers being on display, they're reading more and this goes double for men. No snarky comments 'cos nobody knows what you're reading.

Not that I think people should be embarrassed by their reading choices, but it is a fact that some people are. I imagine this will also have a very positive effect on romance sales.

Amy Valentini said...

Beebs, you're right about ereaders allowing Romance readers to read more openly. Personally, it never bothered me a lick to read openly but I know many still don't even want to admit they do. I also know there are plenty of guys who do but don't want their buddies to know. I know Romance sales are still doing very well despite the economy plus it's a cheap way to 'escape' it all, so I guess there's another plus to having an ereader. : )

Anonymous said...

I read almost anything, sci-fi being the one genre I just can not get into, but historical romance/fiction is my favorite and if it has the added aspect of also being a time-travel, well it has me all the way! But I read historical fiction/romance for 2 reasons; I LOVE history and as the years have passed since I began reading historical fiction, the stories have become way more accurate, historically, which pleases me greatly. Secondly, give me a break! Who can't NOT love a good romance? Add the 2 together and I'm in heaven. I'll often tell my hubby the hows or whys of the beginnings of certian things and then I'll say, "Guess whare I learned teach you honthat?" at which point he'll say, "Where?" when he KNOWS what I am going to tell him. I'll tell him from all those "bodice rippers" I read! I then inform him, since I just increased HIS knowledge by something I learned from reading one of my favorite romance novels, they aren't a waste a money and they CAN teach you things! Amy C

Amy Valentini said...

Amy C,
You said it, girlfriend!! Brava!