Romance Novels notwithstanding, there is a lot to be said about love and sex in fiction. I’m not going to focus on my issues with sex scenes in romance novels (I’ve yet to have stars explode behind my eyes), and I’m going to be a little candid here about the subject.
I am a fantasy writer first and foremost, which is a genre that often only touches on either subject. Love more so than sex. And while I have little interest in writing a fantasy romance novel, I also don’t want to ignore it. I mentioned sexuality and gender in a previous post that I have only one character that is asexual. Maybe a little ironic, her story contains the most sex and the least romance, simply because of the plot.
But the others are very romantically diverse. Since the ‘Love’ aspect is a bigger part I’ll start there. One of the fanfictions I’m currently working on contains a somewhat taboo relationship. A polyamorous one. Now, it’s based off of the Dragon Age series, which already leaves some acceptance of it, but not entirely. The idea that one can (or perhaps should) only love one person is still there, and I do understand that it is the common way of thinking of relationships.
Which is why I’m exploring the topic in my writing in this fanfiction. The main character, Beatrix, is a sexually empowered woman who falls in love with multiple characters for different reasons. The story covers some introductions into bisexuality and polyamory for one of Bea’s partners.
Polyamory in and of itself is a bit of a hot button for some people. There are a lot of people out there that consider it bad, or that those who engage in it are just wanting to ‘have their cake and eat it too’. I, however don’t believe that.
And without giving too much away, many of my stories (including my novel) involve, to some degree, polyamory. One of them has a love triangle that works in it’s own way.
But beyond the different romantic patterns that can be established, I’m also going to be exploring various different aspects of love. I rarely describe my love for my friends as equating them to siblings and I think it’s a bit of a cop-out, to be honest. So describing love is going to have a bit of a role when necessary.
And now for the sex… Now, I’ll be honest, despite having had sex, writing it can be a bit difficult. So even though I get annoyed at the idealistic and often times laughably ‘neat’ sex scenes, I usually don’t try to write better myself. While leaving out the sex scenes is not a big deal, my characters definitely have sex. Many of them, a lot of it.
You remember I’ve mentioned most of my protagonists are women? They are, and for the most part, I prefer to make them sexually empowered. They are not ashamed to be having sex. A big part of this, and I could go on about it for some time, is that I am not ashamed of sex and I don’t believe anyone should be. While I won’t go into a long rant about sexual empowerment, I do believe that this is another one of those things that gets played to the male fantasy in fantasy novels.
Women are often directly or indirectly shamed for having sex. While this is getting much better in fantasy novels, it is still there. Not as obvious as it used to be, with female protagonists becoming common, which is great. Women who are able to have sex without immediately falling in love with the man who they had sex with.
But the idea still persists, and there is definitely still an undertone of the female protagonists wanting their ‘knight in shining armor’. I, personally, like women who are not really looking for anything romantically. If they stumble upon their partner, whatever gender or mold they might be, fine. No biggie.
(And this ending up being more about love than sex, but oh well.)