Thursday, August 17, 2006

On bi-sexual heroes (if that even makes sense!)

Every now and again I visit the ARR message boards, or how Harlot and I call it “that likesbooks place” LOL. I seldom read past the first couple of posts since I find it very confusing and disorganized, but yesterday I scrolled down farther than I usually do as they had some interesting posts: Judith Ivory, Anne of Green Gables, heroines that would sleep with anyone, most wanted heroes and heroines and... *gasp* bisexual heroes. Huh? Say what now?

This is the quote from LLB’s RWA conference report that started the discussion:


I had breakfast on Friday with Anne Stuart, whose writing I've loved for years. I asked her about her next book, entitled Cold as Ice. It is a sequel of sorts to last year’s marvelous Black Ice, and it sounds as though the hero is every bit a hero on the edge as Bastien in the earlier book. As a matter of fact, the hero, a spy who slept with a man in Black Ice, has total control over his body, which allows him to have sex with men or women, whatever the job entails, without any emotional feelings whatsoever. At one point in the upcoming release, the hero informs the heroine that he kissed her to distract her in order to knock her out. When she asks what he would do if he needed to distract a man, he answers, “I would do the same thing.” Cold as Ice will be released in November. Given Harlequin’s sometimes old-fashioned reputation, I asked what the editors at MIRA thought about this. Stuart indicated hers loved it and that other editors who heard about it thought it was “cool.”


My take on the whole issue is this: I don’t want a bisexual** hero or heroine. I don’t feel comfortable with it, hence won’t read about it; it’s way outside my comfort zone. I do, however, applaud Mrs. Stuart for incorporating this into her books and for stretching the boundaries over at Harlequin. I’m just, simply, not going to read about a hero getting it up the ass; not by another guy, not by a woman with a strap-on either. As a matter of fact, I don’t want to read about ANYONE getting it up the butt LOL—that freaks me out!

So I was wondering, what is non-negotiable in your romance novels? What would make you not buy a book, or put down one you’ve already started?

This is my list:
  • Sex with barnyard animals (or any other type of animal for that matter!) and/or children are completely out of the question. So is “granny sex” if you were wondering.
  • Beatings and rapes, or people getting whacked with a mallet on their little toe in order to make them orgasm.
  • Threesomes, foursomes, group sex, orgies, swingers or any type of hero/heroine being “loaned” to other people for sex!
  • Forced prostitution or slavery.
  • People who are horribly disfigured. Am I awfully shallow? Probably. But honestly, who wants to read about a hero that has third degree burns in half his body, is missing a nipple, a leg, half his teeth and all his fingers? I don’t expect my characters to be perfect, but please, why must you exaggerate the note so much (*cough* Mary Balogh *cough*)?
  • And you know what I hate most of all? Spineless pushover characters that spend half the book whinnying! Sadly, most books have one or two of these. *sigh*
Your turn. *g*

**Definition according to Answers.com: Of, relating to, or having a sexual orientation to persons of either sex; having relations with either gender.

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52 comment(s):

Blogger Vixen said...

Trollop, you always put a smile on my face. Your crack me up!

My non-negotiable things are pretty much the same.

Sex w/ children or animals - BIG FAT NO!
The rest I'm in aggreement as well. You know the orgy thing is what annoyed me about that vampire book by MaryJanice Davidson. I know their feeding (ew) but still the orgy was really unappealing and ruined the hero for me.

Also, I can't stand asshole heros The kind that never even for a second show a softer side, just grunts and insults. I don't care if the sex is hot and the girl thinks he's sensitive on the inside an asshole is not appealing. Tough and rugged is wondeful but asshole is out.

Great post Trollop!

8/17/2006 09:59:00 AM  

Blogger Lola Lovegood said...

I have some questions about this book (author?).

What does that mean, he has total control over his body? Does it mean he can turn his privates into female/male ones? Is this book paranormal? Or will he just fuck anything in sight? Also, why would he need to kiss/sleep with a man to begin with, does he work only with gay men and women? I find no need for this in a romance novel. Kudos to the author for pushing the boundaries as trollop said, but I aint reading about a bi hero :P

8/17/2006 11:15:00 AM  

Blogger Lola Lovegood said...

Forgot the question :P

I don't like warewolf books. Books where the heroine was raped and carries the scars for life. Anything that constites physical/verbal abuse from the hero to the heroine or vice-versa.

8/17/2006 11:21:00 AM  

Blogger Jolie said...

Lola, I thought the same thing. Total control over his body? So my first guess was it's a paranormal book. I mean if heroes can be dogs, cats, worms, surely they can turn into a woman(?). :S But I checked! It's NOT a paranormal! LOL Now I'm intrigued. :P

8/17/2006 11:23:00 AM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Good questions, Lola!

As for my non-negotiables, same with mi Trollop, and then some:

- I don't need a perfect hero but neither do i want one who's fat and bald (why yes, i'm shallow). Oh, fuck off. I want something i can grasp, hold on to during sex. His hair! Oh gad, not his flabs. :/
- Hero who fucks anything on skirt. Including the heroine's step/mother. Ack.
- Incest. :S
- Jamie Fraser.

8/17/2006 12:36:00 PM  

Blogger Petra said...

I have nothing against being gay, bisuxual, but I have to say I don't want to read about a bisexual hero. I always imagine myself as the heroine LOL and I can't be with someone who also sleeps with a man. This is the first time I've read of a romance book with a bisexual hero. LOL Kudos to AS.

About non-negotiable things, I agree with Trollop's list. Also, a heroine who's spineless. Like Pussy de Winter. :P

8/17/2006 01:04:00 PM  

Blogger Mailyn said...

OMG I blogged about this today and OMG your list looks alot like mine!!! Bahaha, great minds think alike. LOL.

Although I don't mind bisexual men much. What can I say. LOL.

8/17/2006 01:23:00 PM  

Anonymous 2nd Amdt said...

I'll admit that Stuart's book doesn't really catch my literary eye, but not necessarily because of the male/male stuff. I hate gratuitous sex in my romances. I like sex, I like erotica, but let's put a little emotion behind it, huh? That this hero will do men just to get a job done is not within my meaning of romance.

I have read some more racy erotica - Lora Leigh, Emma Holly, etc. - that includes menages and male/male stuff, but 1) there is always romance behind the acts, not indiscriminate sex, and 2) if there is m/m action, it is only a by-product of what is "felt" for the heroine in the story (gee, does that sound cheesy or what?). The stuff that is purely gay or lesbian romances, I don't touch.

I recently bought two Aphrodisia publications, a new erotica line by Kensington, and I won't buy another one, because it is just gratuitous sex, no emotions or romance behind it, IMO.

My list of non-negotiables in romances include infidelity (during break-ups is okay, but anything during or before the story is not acceptable), I don't even think I've seen a book with children, but I did see an erotic with a disclaimer on animals once; but both are no-nos for me as well.

Um, ah, what is "granny sex"? I haven't heard of this before - is it a position or an aged person?

8/17/2006 01:29:00 PM  

Blogger HOTMAMA said...

Trollop, babe, now I'm gonna HAVE to mention that abomination of a romance novel I had the misfortune to read (almost completely) by *cough* Emma Holly *cough*. I have a feeling that her other books aren't like the one I read. Having read it and not thrown it away soon enough, I now know how gay men have sex, and all the ways they do and with 3somes, and remote controlled butt zappers and here's the problem. I had no idea what this book was goin to be like, no warning whatsoever!! Just reading along, and all of the sudden, 2 men are doing the tongue tango and rubbing their dicks together. Nothing like When Jamie was in prison and a victim.

I'll post more later, gotta go..

8/17/2006 01:37:00 PM  

Blogger C Bradshaw said...

I once dated a guy who's bi. It didn't bother me at first, he's such a great guy, but after a while, everytime he'll look at men I couldn't help but think he's checking them out. That creeps me out.

Now my non-negotiables in romance: definitely rape, pedophilia, bestiality. Big no nos to those!!!

8/17/2006 01:40:00 PM  

Blogger Lollie Rose said...

Like 2nd Amdt, I've read some books with menage that have M/M action. I don't mind bisexuals too, but I understand what C Bradshaw has said.

My non-negotiables in romance:
1. Hero who sleeps with everyone. The same with heroine, no nymphomaniacs please.
2. Too stupid too live heroine.
3. Ugly hero. Sorry, but I want me some fantasy.
4. Villain that is better than the hero. WTF? Or villain that looks better than the hero. Same reason as 3.
5. Unresolved problems. Hate this! I should mention that I'm a sucker for epilogues.

8/17/2006 02:34:00 PM  

Blogger Gun_Wielding_Bitch said...

Ok, the usual kiddies/old people/animals/rape and the occasional getting whacked with a mallet on the little toe is all out.

Guy on guy is not my bag. If I was a gay man, I'd be all for it. But, I'm not a gay man, I am a straight woman and I want all the hot sex to be aimed at me.

Romance for me is one guy one girl. Not many guys and girls, not gay, just one HOTT stud and me, er, I mean, a nice (not a stupid or "pussy") heroine.

I am pro gay, marry, screw, whatever. But, I don't get excited reading about it, which would defeat the purpose of reading the book.

Label it so I know and I won't buy it. It will leave more copies for gay, bi and tri sexuals.

8/17/2006 02:48:00 PM  

Blogger C Bradshaw said...

2nd amdt, I think "granny sex" is having sex with an aged person. LOL I don't like this too, come to think of it. Just the thought of my parents having sex is creepy enough already, what more of a young person having sex with a 70-yr-old!

8/17/2006 03:02:00 PM  

Blogger Jordis said...

Great topic, Trollop!

Have a question. :P Just a bit confused. Bisexuals sleep with both men and women. The hero mentioned above sleeps with men "without emotional feelings whatsoever."

So he's not gay? Because first you have to be sexually attracted to persons of the same sex as yours to be gay? Or he's gay anyway because he fucks men?

8/17/2006 03:17:00 PM  

Blogger e4c5 said...

I'm finding all kind of interesting blogs to read today! I mean that sincerely...

8/17/2006 03:49:00 PM  

Anonymous Patrice said...

A hero who sleeps with men?!?!

8/17/2006 04:36:00 PM  

Blogger Lorelei said...

Emma Holly has a bisexual hero in Beyond Seduction. And I liked that one. I don't mind bisexual hero or heroine for that matter. As long as they love each other and the story is a good one, please, pass that book to me. ;)

8/17/2006 05:03:00 PM  

Blogger HOTMAMA said...

Lorelei, The title may have been STRANGE ATTRACTIONS. I'm not really remembering the title, just what all was in it lol. At first, I did not mind what I was reading. Then it became more and more deviant and by then, it was making me sick and too late to get the scenes out of my head. I could have handled the one scene, and that's all I expected and that the rest of the book would involve the hero and heroine and how they built they're relationship. But the relationship was between the 3 of them. I've heard that not all her books are like this one. Now I'm afraid to read any more of hers.

8/17/2006 05:30:00 PM  

Blogger HOTMAMA said...

Trollop, you mention "loaning" for sex. That seems to happen in books where royalty is a character. I so do not like that and steer away from royalty based books.

Spoiler for SOMETHING WONDERFUL:

And the age thing...I just reread SOMETHING WONDERFUL. Even though I love Jordan... when he first met Alex, he thought she was a child and treated her as such, then had to overcome this when he was sexually attracted to her. That def interrupted the flow of the book for me, but still loved it, and the title :D

8/17/2006 05:37:00 PM  

Anonymous Kris said...

What is wrong with being bisexual? If you can read about vampires werewolves, etc, in romance, why can't you read about a hero who fucks another man? At least he's doing it with someone who is alive and won't turn into a canine.

8/17/2006 05:46:00 PM  

Blogger Isabella said...

Kris, what's wrong with being bi? Nothing. Just because I don't want to read about a man kissing/doing it with another man doesn't mean I hate gays/bi. I just don't want to read about it.

8/17/2006 06:25:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Kris,

If i don't want to read about a bisexual hero/heroine, would that make me a homophobe? No. Don't i have the right to choose what i want to read or not touch those i'm not comfortable reading? Of course i have.

Just because i don't want to reading about two men doing it doesn't mean i think it's wrong or immoral. I'm just not comfortable reading about it. The same principle applies to those who enjoys reading about books with bisexual hero/heroine. Are they rotten pervs? Absolutely not. :)

8/17/2006 06:29:00 PM  

Blogger HOTMAMA said...

I completely agree, Isabella and Harlot. Gay men having sex has not ever been part of my fantasies. So, I'm sure as hell not gonna like reading it!

8/17/2006 06:41:00 PM  

Blogger Lorelei said...

Hotmama, if the hero is an artist, then that's what I'm talking about. The sex was freaking hot! LOL Anyway, I've yet to read more of Emma Holly's books but from what I've heard, many of them have bisexual heroes. Is this true?

8/17/2006 06:42:00 PM  

Blogger Danielle De Barbarac said...

I think this is all about what appeals to you as a reader, or what you fantasize about. LOL Let's face it, most people read romance because of the fantasy it brings. If you're not into bisexuals, then there's a big possibility you won't like a book with a bi hero/heroine. This is the same with me and BDSM. I do not like books with BDSM because I don't care about it. I'm personally not into it, it doesn't appeal to me.

I agree with what Harlot said. If a bisexual person turns you off, or it's outside of your comfort zone (fiction wise), you won't read it. But that doesn't necessarily mean you have a problem with bis/gays in real life.

8/17/2006 06:57:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

Lola,
Re: What does that mean, he has total control over his body?

I have no idea. I actually wondered the same thing and went to check if the book was a paranormal, but it isn't.

This character seems more like an amoral robot than anything else. A male prostitute of sorts: exchanging sex for information.

Harlot,

RE: Jamie Fraser LOL LOL LOL How could I forget him? Though he can be grouped in the beatings/rapings category!

Hotmama,

Re: remote controlled butt zappers

I'm sorry but that is the funniest thing I've heard today. Butt zappers? No freaking clue as to what that is but sounds very funny LOL LOL LOL

Lollie Rose,

RE: unresolved problems.

Yes! that's one of my big pet peeves *arrrggg* it goes hand in hand with stupid flashbacks and introducing a hundred different characters that add nothing to the overall plot then just disappear without a word! :/

GWB,

RE: Label it so I know and I won't buy it. It will leave more copies for gay, bi and tri sexuals.

LOL LOL LOL Oh god yes! LOL maybe we should send a sign petitio to RWA :P

Jordis,

Good question. Harlot and I were just discussing the same this morning.

This is the dictionary's definition of homosexual and bisexual:

ho·mo·sex·u·al (hō'mə-sĕk'shū-əl, -mō-) adj. Of, relating to, or having a sexual orientation to persons of the same sex.

bi·sex·u·al (bī-sĕk'shū-əl)
adj.
Of or relating to both sexes.

Having both male and female reproductive organs; hermaphroditic.

having relations with either gender

I thin your sexual orientation is related more to the gender you are attracted to, more than who you have sex with. Yet, if you on a regular basis, have sex with either men or women to me you are bi.

Kris, did I say there was anything wrong with being bi anywhere in my post? That I don't feel comfortable reading about it, doesn't mean authors shouldn't write about it. It just means I'm not buying those books!

Isabella and Harlot,

Well said! :D

8/17/2006 07:23:00 PM  

Blogger HOTMAMA said...

Trollop,

re: butt zappers, a.k.a. anal vibrators with remote control :P

8/17/2006 07:30:00 PM  

Blogger HOTMAMA said...

Lorelei, I think the reason I read so much of "that" book(lol) without throwing it out early on is because I thought it was hot too, but the scenes between the men became too much a center/focus of the story, ya know?

8/17/2006 07:39:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

>>>RE: Jamie Fraser LOL LOL LOL How could I forget him? Though he can be grouped in the beatings/rapings category!

Oh babe, Jamie Fraser is in a category of his own.

8/17/2006 07:41:00 PM  

Blogger Ladybug said...

I have a lot of gay friends, some are bi. As much as I love them, I don't need to know (or in this case, read) about their detailed sex lives.

Now my non negotiables: asshole hero who treats the heroine like crap and the stupid heroine justifies it. RAPE and sex with animals. Gag! Hero and heroine who don't end up together - very rare but this still happens!!!

8/17/2006 07:50:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

I forgot this. Non negotiable? I'm sorry but if i buy a romance novel, there better be some laving in it. Yeah, sex me up, baby; the hotter the better. ;-P That's why i'm not buying one of those inspirational romances. Just like me not reading about bisexuality, believe it or not, despite what it may seem, i SWEAR i have nothing against virgins.

8/17/2006 08:09:00 PM  

Blogger Scott from Oregon said...

I'm with GWB (OK, so I'm not, really, but I agre with her.)

I don't care if you aare gay, just don't put it THERE.

Know what I mean?

And I don't want to read about a guy stickin' it THERE either.

Actually, truth be told, sex in books is a bit of a non-event for me. I prefer characters who wake up together over ten pages of pounding.

Now, if there were pictures...

8/17/2006 09:19:00 PM  

Blogger C said...

Haven't you ever read The Story of O or Beauty's Punishment?

8/17/2006 09:29:00 PM  

Blogger Rachel said...

"i SWEAR i have nothing against virgins."
Harlot, that's funny! LOL Now about bisexuals in romance genre (or any other topic for that matter), if I like it, I'll read it. If I don't, then I'm not going to.

Kudos to Anne Stuart for introducing bisexuality to Harlequin readers. If you don't want to read about bis, that's fine. I would find it wrong though if you'd try to ban this book because of bisexuality.

My non negotiables are pretty much the same as Trollop's, except I like threesome. LOL But no swinging!

8/17/2006 10:10:00 PM  

Anonymous MIkal said...

Definitely no bisexual h/h. I don't care that the h/h is hot, I don't want to read about that kind of stuff.

Your list pretty much is the same with mine.. but I don't want to read about a hero who is old. Like, I don't want the girl to be 20 and the hero to be 55 (and vice versa).

Gross...

8/17/2006 11:13:00 PM  

Blogger Aggie said...

ROFLMAO.
Would I buy bi books?
Bugger off! No, it's bye bye to Bi & no buy at all!
I don't even want to know who its by. Label & avoid.

Emotionally detached/disconnected heros do not attract me. It means there is something wrong with them and it is a common character trait of most serial killers. That should tells ya something!

My list of no no's same as y'all.

8/17/2006 11:22:00 PM  

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8/18/2006 12:35:00 AM  

Blogger Polly King said...

Bisexuality is irrelevant, so is the color of one's skin. No one is saying it doesn't belong in the romance genre. Just that some people are not comfortable reading it. Same with erotica.

8/18/2006 12:53:00 AM  

Blogger Lollie Rose said...

Would I buy bi books?
Bugger off! No, it's bye bye to Bi & no buy at all!
I don't even want to know who its by. Label & avoid.

Good god BB, you're making Aggie rhyme. LOL! Loved it.

8/18/2006 01:09:00 AM  

Blogger Lily Moon said...

Trollop, my list is the same as yours. Plus Mikal's too old hero. I don't want to read about a 45 year old dude humping an 18 year old. Euw.

8/18/2006 01:15:00 AM  

Anonymous Tisty said...

Bi-sexual? I've never really read a romance where the Hero was a comited bi-sexual. I have read books where the hero has been involved with homosexual acts in his past (thinking of Laura Kinsales The Shadow and the Star (Excellent by the way)) and still enjoyed the book (Actually the S& the S is one of my faves. The hero Samuel is damaged by a life of Childhood homosexual prostitution (*gasp* also on list) and he is a truely bueatiful human being) So that is not an absolute no for me. I might even check out Anne Stuarts book at some point.

Your other 'I don't think so' that i didn't entirely agree with is physical disfigurment. Yeah as a selfish teenager I hated those books, but I've found a growing appreciation of that kind of thing being explored in romance.

The rest?
Barn yard animals? NO
Spineless characters? NO
Whacking with a mallet? well if the mallet is fur lined and the offending area soothed with kisses... well... yeah, maybe....

8/18/2006 03:00:00 AM  

Blogger Gun_Wielding_Bitch said...

Kris,

I don't read Werewolves/vampire/things that go bump in the night romance books. That isn't a turn on for me. Either is guy on guy action. Am I anti-gay? Hell no. Rock out with your cocks out I say. I just don't want to waste my time reading a book about two guys bumping uglies cause it defeats the purpose of me reading a romance, to read about love and hot sex.

I'm also not saying we should ban the books, I'm saying I wouldn't buy it, nor would I buy a vampire romance cause it doesn't turn my engine over.

Now, I might be able to get over a girl on girl bi book, (something about soft and soft is easier to get into than tough on tough) but it better end in cock!

8/18/2006 10:20:00 AM  

Blogger HOTMAMA said...

GWB, once again, your eloquence is right on point! Well said ;)

8/18/2006 11:26:00 AM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

GWB,
Well said!

Now, I have a challenge of sorts for you *wink* Would you be willing to try the Dark Hunter series? It's a paranormal series, and the heroes are sort of (but NOT) vampires.

The men are HOT HOT HOT and the sex is even hotter! So hot I blushed in parts LOL And the men in them sure like laving :P

What do you say? Want to give them a try? Email me at thebookb@gmail.com so I can send some your way :)

8/18/2006 12:43:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

HOW COULD I FORGET PROSTITUTION?

No male/female prostites as heroes (unless it's pretty woman LOL). And no hero that make it habit to boink whores ACKK!

8/18/2006 01:20:00 PM  

Blogger Petra said...

Trollop, there are courtesan heroines I liked. Coco in Judith Ivory's Sleeping Beauty. I love her. But I know you hate JI, LOL, so not sure if you should be reading that one. :P

8/18/2006 07:54:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

I love PRETTY WOMAN. Also, Gaelen Foley's THE DUKE. The heroine there is a courtesan. You should read it!

8/19/2006 07:22:00 PM  

Blogger Chris said...

No books that include sex with aliens or machines either.

8/20/2006 01:41:00 AM  

Blogger Shoshana said...

I can handle bi-sexual if I have to, but not bestiality. Sex with a horse is not sexy! Incest. Shouldn't even be included unless it's to see absolutely that it is wrong and evil!

It's what killed that LONESTAR *now I've totally ruin it, Matthew M is in there* movie for me. but editors were smart enough to put that at the very very very end, I'd have broken the DVD in pique if it weren't a damned recording.

Ah Chris, aren't "vibrators" considered machine? That kind can be really sexy.

8/20/2006 03:43:00 AM  

Blogger Chris said...

OK portable hand held machines are ok.

8/21/2006 12:50:00 AM  

Blogger Ladybug said...

I agree with Serendipity, vibrators can be really fun and hot!

Chris, alien sex? WTF? I'm afraid to ask. LOL

Trollop and Harlot, I love Pretty Woman. I will never get tired of watching it.

8/21/2006 02:57:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL this post had me howling. I agree with your list totally (the up the ass thing with a hero, who then has sex with the heroine just doesn't work for me...sorry Anne Stuart, I'm passing on your book) I would add to the list, sex with a hero who has a hairy back. Yuck.

8/22/2006 10:32:00 PM