Let’s talk about sex. Specifically, sex in romance novels. Can someone tell me what’s up with virgin heroines’ first times being, well, awesome? And not painful at all? I get a little annoyed by historicals where the heroine feels “a little pinch” and then goes on to have an awesome time. Is this realistic for some people? Truthfully, I prefer it when things don’t go all that well. I can’t suspend disbelief long enough for the little pinch.
My own first experience wasn’t classically awful. But it hurt. Enough that we had to stop. I get that every girl is different, but I’ve never been the type of girl that had a lot of girlfriends so I don’t know: is no pain the norm?
The reason I ask is that I recently read a fairly silly contemporary vampire romance. It wasn’t the best book, but there were aspects of it that were compelling. The most interesting thing is that because the vampire hero is so very drawn to the virgin heroine’s blood, they’re concerned that the small amount from breaking her hymen might set him off so she goes to a doctor to have it broken. The author described the process in some detail, which was odd for the context, but interesting from a social perspective.
All I could think was, “Well, shit, why didn’t I do that?” The reason is that no one ever offered. It never occurred to me to ask for it. In all of sex ed (and I grew up in a liberal college town in California so we had a lot of it), the topic never came up. I was talking about it with my husband and we both agreed that it’s probably the archaic vestiges of men desiring virgin brides and girls unwittingly buying into the ridiculousness that virginity is a gift. If it were up to me, it would be a standard part of the sex ed curriculum. Let’s all go get our hymens broken! Like scoliosis screening.
Okay, maybe not. It’s should obviously still be the girl’s choice. But it sure would have been nice to have understood that as a rational option.
What do you think? Is the little pinch a realistic depiction for more people than I’m aware of? Did anyone go the doctor route? Did it make a difference?
May 29, 2014 at 10:50 pm
I have thought about this as well. It's pretty rare I think for first times to be awesome and for the woman to have multiple orgasms but it seems pretty common in romance novels. I don't mind too much because, well frankly, I think it's usually more fun to read about awesome sex than awkward sex, even if it's a little unbelievable. There was a HR I read where the first time was not great, which I thought was kind of cute. The guy was all sad but the woman was more practical and said something like "Well it's going to be better next time right? Let's practice!" which I thought was a good way to be realistic but still sweet and sexy.
May 30, 2014 at 4:27 pm
The fantasy aspect of it is what keeps it from being a deal-breaker for me. And you're totally right: a lot of the sex in romance novels is fantastical that way and it is definitely more fun than having it be ultra-realistic all the time. I've read a couple of historicals where the first time wasn't great and I did like those a lot though. I'm curious about what book that was where the heroine suggested practice. I would find that awfully amusing, I think. Thanks for stopping by!