Aisha’s Musings: Why Romance Novels are Bad for Sex

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In Nigeria, we have a lot smothering our sex lives, the weather, economy, religion, family members, and of course romance novels and porn. I saved the greatest two for last obviously, one unnecessarily flowery and the other unnecessarily… well… more on that in my next post. Both promoting impossible stereotypes and creating overly unrealistic expectations that are almost never met.

The classic warrior who conquers a kingdom does not fall in love with one of the king’s daughters, he rapes her, or worse. A marriage of convenience hardly blossoms into true love and while there’s a thin line between love and hate, enemies hardly become lovers, (sex buddies maybe, but let’s not be overly ambitious). First kisses don’t feel like sun flowers and music and yes, all that climax-at-the-same-time-reaching-heights-never-before-reached-and-beyond nonsense is just nonsense.

Let’s begin with the covers (excuse me, let me laugh). Our female is swooning, distressed, consumed with passion—all at once by the way—while our male is strong, broad, chiselled, fierce, consumed with passion too, of course. Throw in a few scars on his chest and/or face, put in a title like The Rebel Heir or A Night with the Duke and we are set to proceed.

I have mentioned our two characters before but let me introduce them properly:

  1. Our man: As you might have guessed, he is the heir or Duke (or Prince, or whatever titles billionaires go by). He is dark and brooding and just wants to be left alone. He does not know yet that he is broken and what he really needs is true love. Under no circumstances can he be sexually inexperienced. How else can he kiss our heroine so passionately that she is stunned speechless? How else can he navigate her (sometimes losing control) through the complicated and wonderful terrain of lovemaking, knowing what her body needs before she even thinks it?
  2. Our woman: While she might be witty, feisty, mischievous, submissive, desperate to stay away from him or a combination of some or all the above, one thing is for sure; deep down, she can’t resist his handsome, dark, brooding self. So while our male might be a classic asshole, she stays, falling for him every day, while he too (though he doesn’t realize this) falls for her, becoming a better person in the process. And sex? Uncle knows her body more than she does, she is a Spanish guitar and he is the guitarist. Aunty is living the dream.

There is little else going on in these two people’s lives besides have sex and talk about the sex they have had or are about to have, there might be fights here and there but he’ll just pull her to him and make sweet angry love to her. Someone’s life may be in danger but they’ll overcome and make sweet thankful love to each other. Happy and sexually satisfied ever after, the end.

But that’s not obtainable friend, because first, very few Nigerians live sexually satisfied ever after (welcome to the truth), and then, these characters do not even exist in real life. You know how fairy tales have left our girls aspiring to marry princes and become princesses so badly that they can even kiss slimy frogs? Well, romance novels are fairy tales with sex scenes. A dark and brooding man that just wants to be left alone is best left alone. He might be a creep with a sex dungeon somewhere looking for an extra occupant. There is no romance here, don’t take your chances with the sex, resist him.

I also disagree that quality of sex is a function of experience. There are people who have been doing it for decades and believe in missionary or nothing or just put it in there and homicide it. Then there are those beautiful versatile people who are willing to try new things, to learn and improve. Most importantly, ladies, there is no such thing as a man that knows your body better than you. Don’t suffer in silence and endure terrible sex because romance novels said he has a special ability to know what you want without you saying it—he doesn’t. Don’t go and be timid either, there is no rule that states who is meant to lead and who is meant to follow.

Bad sex is violence.

1 Comment

  1. Summerita

    August 23, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Very well said, Aisha. Romance novels are escapism and fantasy and best left that way. The category romances are stereotyped and mostly read for easy past time. I used to read them a lot but these days, I find the alpha heroes arrogant and not worth the time. Who’d like to meet such domineering, overbearing men in real life? That’s why I write heroes who are innately good and worth the heroine’s love. And yes, such a man would take care to know what the heroine likes rather than be a know it-all about what women like in bed in general by virtue of his promiscuity. Did I mention I hate playboys being depicted as heroes? I do though.

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