03 October 2007

The Appeal of Paranormal Sex

You know, there is something about paranormal romances that doesn't get a lot of "talk time"...

Oh, we love to talk about the sexy paranormal hero and how he embodies the "dark" side of humanity. We'll talk about why we love to escape into new worlds and explore new mythologies. That's good stuff. Interesting stuff.

...but what about that other "stuff" we like in our paranormal romances?

SEX :) Sex with men who aren't human. Sex with women who are so much more than mortal. It doesn't matter if the paranormal is an erotic or a behind-closed-doors sweet story. Most sexual encounters in paranormal romances strain against society's conventions of "normal" sex.

The taboo aspect to paranormal sex sets it apart from other romances. It pushes the limits and often goes in the direction of rape and bestiality. Yes, those two words are loaded and controversial, but the truth is that those things are part of the human sexual psyche. If you disagree, I'd point you in the direction of any Nancy Friday book or ask you to peruse the laws on the books in your state.

Here is where I have to make an important point. I have NEVER read a paranormal romance where a woman or man is physically raped. NOR have I read a story where a human makes love to an animal. Obviously I haven't read every paranormal romance out there, but the big publishers and bigger e-publishers won't print those stories (and say so in their submission guidelines).

Rape and bestiality are not romantic. They are deeply embedded triggers inside the human experience.

But let's think about how many vampire lovers have visited the heroine in her dreams--not by her permission, but by overpowering her mind with their own to create a sexual encounter beyond the physical realm. Or how about when the hero makes love to the heroine and she's covered in fur and licking intimate parts with her very long tongue?

Hot stuff. Not for every romance reader, but I'm not the only one who likes edgy scenes. We are buying paranormal romances by the millions.

We walk a fine line in our stories and there are some authors who are true masters at bringing the reader tantalizingly close to those lines--without pushing them over. (If they would nudge too far, we'd squirm and put the book down. No author or publisher wants to have a reader do that!)

Okay, I touched on two reasons that I believe are involved in the appeal of paranormal sex. Why do you think paranormal romances and their love scenes are in such hot demand? Oh, come on. Spill.

--Totally off topic: I've got a free short story posted on my blog. Check it out here.--

~Margo Lukas
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