It’s Random Friday and that means it’s time for another topic that has been on my mind lately. This week is the myths and realities of romance readers. There is a backstory to why this has been on my mind and I’m going to share that. As a romance reader and writer, I get many different reactions that range from happy to crazy looks when I say I read and write romance, but one recently sparked this post.
Backstory: A guy said he loved to read too and when talking about book genres he proceeded to say romance novels were stupid, but that he would love to read what I have written. Now this conversation was on Facebook and like all my social media it says that I read and write romance and he had to have read my page to know I am an aspiring writer so he saw that I was a romance lover.
This conversation reminded me of all the myths that surround romance readers. So here are some myths vs realities that I have encountered.
Myth #1. They are full of sex
many people believe all romances are full of sex and X-rated so they are turned on by them and shouldn’t be talked about.
The Reality: There are many levels of heat in romances ranging from only chaste kisses and no mention of sex to many full open door sex scenes that are explicit. Everyone has their preferences to the heat levels they read and many read them for the stories and not to be turned on.
Myth #2. They give unrealistic standards for men
This is another one that many believe. They think that readers develop unrealistic standards when it comes to men from reading romances and that the men are always perfect.
The Reality: Most of the men in romances are not unrealistic or perfect. There are bad boys, damaged men (although a hate the term damaged), some that try to be perfect, and some with secrets. They do give many woman higher standards, but mostly in regards to how they should be treated and respected.
Myth #3. They are fairy tales and couldn’t happen in real life
Another thing many believe is that romances are fairy tales that could never happen in real life at all. Perfect lives and no real problems for the characters or only one thing to over come.
The Reality: Many of the stories mirror real life with the problems and obstacles to over come. Some authors are inspired by their own stories or other real life stories. There are no perfect lives and easy rides to finding love. Who wants to have a boring perfect life.
Myth #4. You need a real man in your life
Another myth is that every romance reader is a single middle aged woman with no life and need a man. Or they are in a loveless marriage and need to escape into books.
The Reality: Readers come in all ages and with different relationship statuses. Many readers and writers are very happily married to the men of their dreams that are like some of the characters in romances. Some are single but have active lives with and without a man. They don’t live in houses with just cats.
Myth #5. You have marriage or sex on the brain
If you read romance you either have marriage on the brain and it sends some men running. Or you are obsessed with sex and that’s all you want from men.
The Reality: For most readers, this is not true. Just like reading a sci-fi book doesn’t make you want to be an alien or being a wedding planner means your obsessed with weddings and being married (believe me, it doesn’t). Like in myth #1 there isn’t always sex in romances.
Myth #6. Romance readers are only women
All romance readers are women and there is nothing in them for men. Men would never touch a romance novel no matter the sub-genre.
The Reality: There are men that read romances. Look in any large romance Facebook group and you will probably find a few. Many are in the western groups and actively talk about the books with others.
Myth #7. Romances are only about a man and woman
Romances always feature a man and woman as the couple and never show any LGBT couples or anything considered taboo.
The Reality: While straight couples are usually what you see. There are romances that feature LGBT couples and even romances with three or more people in the relationship. There is something for everyone.
Bonus myth about writers.
Myth #8. If you write romance you are obsessed with sex and your husband must love reading your books.
Writers are obsessed with sex and that’s why they write it. That because all writers are women then their husbands love to act out scenes and read their books.
The Reality: Many don’t write sex scenes at all in their books. Also, many that are married will tell you that their husbands or wives (there are men that write romance and not all female writers are married to men and vice versa) don’t ever read their books. They are also asked about acting out scenes all the time and the answer is usually no they don’t act them out.
That it for the myths. Do you have any to add to the list? feel free to comment below or join my Facebook group to chat more about this.