Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Blowing Off Some Steam - "Don't Be Trashing My Smut"

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!


21 comments:

BLHmistress said...

I agree it angers me but what gets me is that its okay for guys to read playboy or watch porn but because we romance that has sex scenes its smut and porn. That is a big big pet peeve for me.

Theresa @ Fade Into Fantasy said...

LOL ((Belinda)) I love you, girl! Loved every minute of your rant, couldn't agree more, and *high five*!! SMUT READERS, UNITE! :p

Belinda said...

Hey Donna *waves* The last man who tried to tell me that what I read is pron walked away with a limp. It's a pet peeve of mine too. I'm lucky to have a husband who fully supports my reading of romance. He walks away with a limp but that's a different story *winks*


Hi Theresa *high fives back* you cracked me up - Smut Readers, Unite! LOL

Alexa said...

Great topic Belinda!
My best friend is a guy and he is always teasing me about this! I read YA books and Adult romances so he always asks me how my teen erotica is. Just angers me because there is no such thing as teen erotica!
Plus my other guy friend always says I'm degrading men by getting books with half naked men on the front covers. Hello men have degraded women in that fashion a lot longer than there have been half naked men on books!
Goodness I'm about to start my own rant here, I'm sorry I will control myself lol.

BLHmistress said...

LOL my ex didn't mind too much though he teased me. Now I don't have to worry now though I can enjoy my lust crushes without anyone saying anything ;)

A Journey in Reading said...

Ahhh, yes...... I hate this! I don't typically read books marketed as romance, but if I read a book that has romance in it, then that's ok. I had someone say that romance books, young adult, anything written by authors "who publish a book 5+ times a year" is just trash. Really??? What have they published or written??

To those people I simply say "bite me!"

jackie b central texas said...

I have something even worse than the books being called "smut" for you to think about... Years ago I was told by a man that we only read "dirty books" because we do not "get any", he did not understand that those "dirty books" paved the way to some reenacting with our significant other and that just like Playboy for a man the books "set the mood" but without all the "gory pictures"...
Truly astonishes me still how many women hide their books written by Megan Hart, Lorelei James, Maya Banks, Eliza Gayle and Beth Kery to name a few "page scorchers"... I have no problem with what I read being known, if it makes me happy who cares what others think when they see the covers of my erotic or historical or contemporary romance reads!

Belinda your rant is just truth, we all need to take it with a grain of salt that perception of what is in a book based on a cover or genre is no way the truth of what it is really about... Good stories, good characters and you are right some of the best feel good moments in reading there is out there!

Marg said...

You know what bothers me more? When people who read romance call it smut. Drives me crazy because by doing so we perpetuate the stereotypes that are already out there.

Leetid said...

I bet the people that call it smut are reading it as well!!!

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