Monday, January 24, 2011

Our world loves 'magic sex'


Janet Tronstad here sharing a few thoughts on -- that's right -- magic sex. I read a broad range of romance authors (mostly from my local library) and I was reminded again that one of the main differences between secular romance and inspirational romance is what I call 'magic sex.' The hero and heroine in many secular romances today recognize their true love by the simple fact that, out of the hundred or so sexual partners they have had, sex with their true love is somehow magical. It's never been like that before, they all say. So they decide they are in love and the book ends happily ever after. But, I'm sitting there as a reader going, what if they find someone tomorrow who is even sexier than their true love? Is 'magic sex' really a reason to think you're in love? Fortunately, in inspirational romances, authors need to reveal a deeper reason for the hero and heroine to be in love -- some piece of their characters and lives that makes their emotion seem genuine. I like to read (and write) books that have the hero and heroine making a significant change in their lives (usually spiritual) that allows them to come together and make a commitment. Therefore it is the commitment that holds them together. If you think of your favorite romance story, how did those characters know they were in love?

13 comments:

beemama said...

Not to be trite or simplistic, but the love between a hero and heroine must be a "God" thing for it to be real. That doesn't mean that there was a message written across the sky about their union, just that there was a message that God wrote on their hearts. Sometimes it took a while to read and understand, but it was but there by God nonetheless. Those are the relationships that last no matter what they face.

Nobilis Reed said...

Interesting. I write secular romance, but I don't feel that my hero and heroine discover their true love as a result of sex.

But then I'm out of the ordinary in a lot of other ways, too.

I'll keep this post in mind, however. You have inspired some ideas.

Tim King said...

I think for a number of romance authors and readers, the sex in story substitutes for deepness of relationship between the characters, because we associate sex with such a broad range of deep emotional needs, including our need for attention, emotional and physical intimacy, family stability and security, status, and even spiritual growth. (I recently blogged about this, so the thoughts are still fresh in my mind.)

One of unfortunate the side effects may be that we tend to glorify magic sex, rather than real relationship. There's really no magic that keeps a relationship going over the long haul. And if we look for the magic, then we'll probably end up with just that, rather than with satisfying, fulfilling relationships.

-TimK

Karen Kirst said...

I can definitely tell a difference between secular and inspirational romance. Many secular stories(not all) seem shallow, the connection between the hero and heroine not true and deep. For me, faith is an integral part of the story. I enjoy reading and writing about characters who grow spiritually.

Janet Tronstad said...

Beemama -- You're right, it's not always an 'instant' thing. In fact, I'd say it usually is not.

Janet Tronstad said...

Nobilis -- I don't mean to imply that all secular romances do so. That's not true. It is something for all of us to keep in mind though -- what makes our characters really love each other.

You're got a great name, by the way.

Janet Tronstad said...

Tim King --

You're a prince (sorry I couldn't pass that up). You have some good insights though. Glad you shared them.

Janet Tronstad said...

Karen -- thanks for sharing your opinion. And keep reading and writing. Are you targeting Love Inspired with your writing, by the way?

Anonymous said...

Here's the thing about "magical" sex, at least in real life. It totally clouds your judgment. I've stayed in relationships longer than I should have, knowing they had no future, because the sex was, well, pretty great. So this idea that sex is so unique when you find the one in romance novels is funny to me because it has been the exact opposite in reality.

Janet Tronstad said...

Anonymous -- I completely agree! That's why I have such a hard time buying the happily-ever after in those kinds of books.

Karen Kirst said...

Janet,
My debut novel, The Reluctant Outlaw, is a Love Inspired Historical coming out in September! Very excited :)

Janet Tronstad said...

Karen -- Good for you!! Congratulations!! Come visit us on the Love Inspired Historical group on Goodreads -- you'll find a bunch of readers who like historicals.

Karen Kirst said...

Thanks Janet! I'll look for you!