I’m still at work on the in-progress “Everything I Know About Love, I Learned from Romance Novels,” and I wanted to again humbly ask for your help and your perspective. You are among the smartest folks I know, anyway, so how can I not come begging? (I am almost done and promise not to do this in neverending annoyingpants fashion).
I’m currently working on how romances influence readers, and want to ask you:
Have romance novels helped you with real life relationships? How? Or, in the words of my least favorite essay questions, “Why or why not?” Which books left an impression on you for that reason?
From the book title, you can pretty much surmise my thesis. If I hadn’t learned anything, it’d be a really short (and very easy to write!) book indeed. But you are always welcome to disagree with me.
I’d love to hear what you think, about whether reading about courtships has perhaps changed the way you think of your own relationships, and whether romance has given you tools to improve yours.
Note: I absolutely mean to include sex in that question, so whether you want to discuss romance, sexual agency, sexual satisfaction, and your newfound love of wearing a beaver suit while hitchhiking to meet hot guys, please bring it on. I know that it’s very easy to skirt (ha) too close to the “romance is just porn” accusation because of the sexual explicitness of some romance, and discussing reader response to erotic content can get … oh, pick your favorite: hairy. sticky. tricky. concupiscent. turgid. banana hammocky.
Seriously, I absolutely think that reading about women and men experiencing sexual honesty along with their sexual agency is a very powerful (and subversive) thing. But if you disagree with me on that, I’d love to hear why.
As with my prior entry about the book in progress, please let me know if I can quote you, and under what name you’d like to be quoted. As of right now, I’m using the handles and usernames and not real names unless they were provided, but if the editor gives me a big ol’ WTF? on that, I’ll come back to you about it.
And as with my prior request for your opinions as I work on this book, thank you, thank you, thank you. You rock my world, my casbah, and the entire tri-state area.