I'm not sure whether this will be a full blown hard core rant but believe me, in the past this topic has been for me *evil grin* Right now, it's more of a question/observation and I hope it makes sense. So here goes. Have you ever noticed how if someone else has the audacity to label the romance novel your reading SMUT, you are ready to draw blood and fight to defend the story to the death? And if the poor fool is a man... let's just say his balls are in a vice grip and being painfully crushed within seconds of those offensive words leaving his mouth.
Smut is seen as a fighting word to those of us who love our romance, at least it is to me. I can't begin to count how many times someone has asked me, "Belinda what are you reading? Oh romance is nothing but smut and porn." Somewhere along the way, people have gotten it into their heads the romance=smut=porn and THAT'S ALL. You can't convince them either that sure some books have delicious sex scenes in them BUT they also have amazing storylines filled with action, humor, passion and my personal favorite, emotion. Romance books ooze all kinds of entertaining goodness that doesn't solely revolve around doing the hot and heavy between characters. You can learn all kinds of life lessons and you walk away feeling good about yourself and the world.
For me, the word smut has a real negative connotation to it, and when people make those comments, my first reaction is "Am I meant to feel bad for reading it? Am I doing something wrong?" It gives off the feel that you're doing something dirty. Sorry, but that just pisses me off (ahh here's the rant part) There shouldn't be any kind of judgement placed based on what a person reads. You can not agree or enjoy that style of writing but it doesn't mean there's something wrong with those that love it. There's definitely things I don't like reading and while I might not understand the appeal, my thought is "If it floats your boat - have at it and find your bliss" Don't push and transfer your beliefs or repressed self onto me because that's just not cool. Of course, there are those who'll joke around with you.. "Ah I never pictured you for a smut kinda girl" To those, I giggle back and tell them they should try it. My frustration comes from those that with straight faces, full of seriousness lay judgement at my feet.
*takes a big breath and pulls rant back, trying to remember what the main point was*
So am I the only one who has those kinds of experiences and reactions? I will admit I don't get as bent out of shape as I used. Most times now I'll chuckle and excuse myself, letting them know I haven't had my smut fix yet and go on my merry way. That or I give them my Damon Salvatore vampy eye stare and send them off with the sudden need to order Cherise Sinclair's Shadowlands series (have you read those yet? They are WICKED hot!) Where once I would've argued and defended to the death, I'm cheeky enough now to start giving blow by blow descriptions of my favorite scenes. "Oh you're right.... they are smut... don't you love it?"
Ahhhh I knew I'd get to the purpose of the post sooner or later. What I was wanting to comment on was - have you noticed that other people, especially men, can't call our romance novels smut BUT we have no problem calling it smut ourselves? Isn't that funny? I noticed it the other week when I was chatting on Facebook and at first I was a little shocked but what it really showed me was all this time it wasn't the word smut or even what it meant that bothered me. It was the emphasis and way it was used that did. When I joke around with others, we talk about how much we're loving the book we're reading, how arousing it is and it reduces us to giggly, swooning, gooey readers who are in need of cold showers. We're feeling energized and excited and in no way is the word used in a derogatory manner. We don't feel degraded or put down and we don't walk away feeling bad about ourselves. It's a positive experience and I think that's what makes the difference. Interesting how intent can influence how your react to things, right? I think it also serves as a great reminder that when you get comments filled with the "look down nose" judgment and labels, don't take it personally. Be confident with who you are and continued to do the things that bring your happiness. Don't let some one elses negativity tie you in knots. *nods head for emphasis and signal end of rant*
Thanks for reading. I'm not sure whether it made much sense but feel free to share your thoughts. Now if you'll excuse me, I have smut to read *winks* Happy reading!