Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Virgins Ahoy!

So I was tempted to throw another book at the wall today. I was in the mood for romance, but unfortunately this tale of a widow seduced turned out just to be another case of "virgin's ahoy." You see, her newly deceased husband was a cold fish who couldn't keep it an up and she had never gotten a chance to do the happy-happy. Why didn't she take a lover? Because women of her time didn't do such things. I'll buy that I guess. Except as soon as she meets the inappopriate Duke of Something, she can't wait to do the happy-happy all over the place out of wedlock.

Ack! I don't do virgins.

Wait...that sounds nasty. I don't write about innocent virginal characters in either my romances or mysteries and prefer not to read about them. I'm a sucker for two world weary types who find one another. It isn't their first time at the happy-happy rodeo, but hopefully it's their HEA. (Actually, since I've been married for almost sixteen years, I truly DON'T do virgins. But that's another post and TMI.)

What is it with romance novels and virgins? I just don't get it. What is supposed to be so damn sexy about deflowering a virgin? And the virgins in these novels don't behave the way I remember. Maybe it's because my memory (admittedly a bit faded) of early happy-happy wasn't OMGHOT!, but more like ow! and where does this go? Now what? I remember it as awkward fumbling, not exactly the transcendant experience of romance literature.

And the virginal heroine is always paired with a rakish hero who had been around the block a time or twenty. I guess somebody has to know what goes where. Maybe I should write about a virginal hero who was trapped in a loveless marriage but is quickly seduced by an older hot to trot...oh wait...Hello, Mrs. Robinson. Are you trying to seduce me? Maybe not.

I like my characters to have some rough edges and enough experience to recognize when they have found something worthwhile. Sex needs to be so much more than "insert tab A into slot B" and for my money, virgins are too much about trying to remember what goes where. I'm casting characters for a short story right now. No virgins need apply.


Kim said...

Eeek! My heroines used to be virgins (historical romance), and I got sooo tired of writing them. Now, some are (but not the innocent, giggly, that goes where? types), but the heroine in my current WIP is not only NOT a virgin, but she's already got a past with the hero. She's been fun to write so far ;)

Mary B said...

Hooray for nonvirgins! See, that is my dilemma. I love historicals, but I like my characters with a little spice. My current heroine is most definitely not a virgin. She was in a sexless marriage, but not a loveless one. Her now deceased husband was homosexual, but they were very close. He didn't mind that she took lovers, as long as she was discreet. So far, I'm loving it.

Average Jane said...

I'm with you, virgins are annoying.. I can't believe I ever was one. I think characters are more well rounded and interesting if they're a little dirty and not as pure as the wind driven snow.. give me yellow snow anytime.. wait.. that didn't come out right.. hmmmmm....

Anyways... *cough*


Anonymous said...

What's HEA?
I don't write romance novels, but it sounds to me like you may be saying you can't create compelling virginal characters. Or maybe you just don't have the chutzpa for it. Come on, you can't create a virginal character with edges? What kind of writer are you? (Yes, I just challeneged you and now you must write this character - LIVIN said so.)
After all, the title of this post brought me here... so maybe you should use the word "virgin" in your book title too.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you! I much more enjoy the heroine who has been in love, lost, and finds love again over someone inexperienced. Makes for a much more interesting read!

Mary B said...

Sorry LIVIN, I don't do challenges. (Boy am I glad I was double-dog-dared, cause then I'd have had to do it.)

My issues is that there are too damn many virgins cluttering the romance landscape. If I read one more deflowering scene, I might get physically ill.

:D Oh, and HEA is Happily Ever After, a necessity for romance.

Jen said...

And here you have stumbled upon the reason I quit reading romance novels -- particularly historical ones, at least.

I enjoyed several of them, but they started to all run together, for the same (virginal!) reasons.

If I had the guts, I'd do what you're doing, but I think I'll be lazy and just read the fruits of your labor instead! :D