Monday, May 14, 2007

"Virgin heroines for 200, Alex."

I was over at Thrifty Reader where Ames has a review on Lori Foster’s Tempted. Though I have not read the book, and starting to believe I won’t, something in her post caught my attention and had me thinking (an unusual occurrence that! LOL):

But what is up with virgin sex therapists?? (Remember in Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon?) Despite the hymen, Lace really was a kinky girl. LOL Unlike Niks however, I couldn’t get past the ol’ double standard—he has a damn cabin for his sexcapades and yet he’s so disapproving of Lace when he thinks she’s experienced. What is this, 1802?

Let’s try and put Niks out of our minds for the time being, as hard as that’ll be, because who wouldn’t want to discuss pervert retrogrades with sex cabins instead of virgin heroines? LOL

So, what is up with virgin heroines?

Forget about the stupidity of making a sex therapist a virgin. It takes years** to become one so unless you give me a VERY good reason why a normal 26+ year old woman who helps others with their sex lives still has her hymen, I’m not buying it!

As for the rest of them virgins...

Historical virgins are both understandable and expected. I’d be more surprised to find a magic elf riding a unicorn in a historical, than a heroine that has been around the block LOL. But widow virgins? Give me a break! It’s bloody ridiculous to make me believe that someone was married for more than a day, let alone years, and never had sex. This is a mind-boggling plot line for me; I don’t recall one author who has been able to pull this off. Anyway, what’s wrong with a heroine that had a nice loving relationship in her first marriage to begin with?

In contemporaries, throughout the years, the virgin heroine has become less and less common. Which I like. *g* That doesn’t mean that if the story is good and there’s a reasonable explanation as to why a 35 year old woman hasn’t done the horizontal polka, or gad forbid, has never seen a penis (can’t believe how many books have this btw; what were these women doing during senior year of HS and college? LOL) I won’t find it credible.

Still, I wonder, why are some authors obsessed in making contemporary heroines virgins? Is it that they believe we’ll think less of women who like and have sex before they meet their soulmates? Or perhaps it’s us, the readers, and not the writers who want to read about pure and virginal “ladies”? Mmmm....

**Time investment: After high school, 4 years of college, 2 years for a Master’s degree. If you go on, the average is 7 years to complete a Ph.D. Then, how fast can you accumulate another 1,500+ hours of supervised clinical contact (with patients)? At 20 a week, (heavy caseload for a neophyte) that’s 75 weeks.

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32 comment(s):

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

answering my own question here...

At Ames someone posted this:

"Although, in Ms. Foster's defense most of her heroines are not virgins. If you haven't read her Visitation series (starting with Say No To Joe) I would highly recommend them, they are a lot of fun. Almost all of the heroines in the series are ex-prostitutes".

Errr, HUH? LOL Maybe I am a prude after all! I dont like virgin heroines but I dont want to read about heroines that are ex-prostitutes either. Can't we have something in between? LOL Someone normal, like me. I'm 26 and I've had sex but I've never received money for it. Is that too much to ask for? LOL

BTW, love Pretty Woman, so maybe, just maybe if those books are like that I would give them a try. MAYBE... :P

5/14/2007 02:52:00 PM  

Anonymous Diana said...

I have to ask Ames about this Niks and his sex cabin LMAO. First time I hear of this author but sounds like a fun book.

As far as virgin heroines go, I don't have a real problem with them unless they make the virginity thing a big issue. Some authors will go on and on and on about why the heroine is a virgin and how she's either proud of it or is dying to give it away to the next passer by.

Judith Mcnaught and Susan Elizabeth Phillips have contemporary heroines and they've done it right. Except maybe for the one with the cowboy and the girl who worked in a resting home. I liked the book and it was funny, but I found the reasons for her to be thirty and still a virgin to be a little ridiculous.

5/14/2007 04:36:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Good post babe. Now about the damn virgins--i mean virgin heroines. :P

First off, DO NOT impose on me that *I* should be a virgin when you, the men, are not! So those stupid gits who have double standard, they can kiss my inexperienced ass.

As long as you're taking care of yourself, not having sex left and right without protection, etc, there is nothing wrong with being sexually experienced. Besides, personally, were i a man, i would prefer a woman who enjoys and celebrate her sexuality than someone who don't.

Now, virginal widows? WTF?

5/14/2007 04:49:00 PM  

Blogger Sparkling Cipher said...

I've read a few comtemporary virgin heroines that haven't made me gag, but it's tough to make them relatable. I mean, really, even most butt-ugly girls get at least a little experience by the end of high school. And most VH's are pretty, or "ugly" like Rachel Leigh Cook was in She's All That before Zack's sister made her wear contacts. Are you telling me no sweet-talking boy ever got these girls to go beyond kissing? Puh-lease.

And don't get me started on the ones who have never had any kind of sexual pleasure. I really believe that people who say they've never masturbated are lying. Barring medical or psychological issues, there is no reason a 20-something woman should not know what an orgasm feels like.

5/14/2007 04:57:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Sparkling Cipher, i so agree! LOL

I have nothing against virginal heroines. Nope, of course not. If someone prefers not to have sex to save it for her hubby during their wedding night, more power to her strong will to resist temptation or something as i for one is weak. *sniff* Forgive me, it's hard to do it when you're surrounded with oh so delicious men ready to please you. :S

As for those who say they don't wank, oh please... Unless you're deliberately withholding yourself pleasure to achieve world peace or whatever, i'm sorry but i think only an idiot would protest to masturbation.

5/14/2007 05:14:00 PM  

Anonymous Lola Lovegood said...

I don't mind virgins in romance books, not even in historicals. I started reading romance in the early 80's and back then all the women were virgins so I guess I got used to it. With that said, I don't mind experienced heroines either. What I do hate are preachy, perfect and pure heroines.

About the ex-prostitues heroine: Is it a joke? Never heard of that series or the author but it sounds like something very hard to pull off.

5/14/2007 05:16:00 PM  

Blogger Jordis Juice said...

I love your pet peeves list bitches!

I think it's understandable to have virgin heroines in historical romances, even heroines who don't have any sexual experience whatsoever. But a modern virgin heroine? These days, I think it shouldn't be but most 13-14 year olds know what a blowjob is. It's hard to believe a virgin can survive high school, more so in college.

Regarding heroes who demands/wants their heroines to be a virgin when they are not, they are not so different with cavemen.

5/14/2007 05:26:00 PM  

Anonymous Diana said...

Jordis, Pet Peeves list, where is that? Did I miss a post?

5/14/2007 05:50:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Diana, click that link in "widow virgins". ;)

5/14/2007 06:01:00 PM  

Blogger Vanessa said...

Trollop, I have two words for you: Barbara Cartland. lol Have you read her books? Her heroines stay virgin from beginning to end. At least those titles I've read. The heroes like them as virgins so they stay that way. How very convenient and ignorant and uncomfortable too.

5/14/2007 06:31:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

Re: Barbara Cartland.

Actually I've never had the pleasure (?). I do remember owning one years ago (in HS). It was a small red hardcover, couldn't have been more than 150 pages. Never did get to it though.

Wondering now if it was so short b/c of the lack of sex? LOL It can't be that hard to keep the hero and heroine from getting it on if your book is thinner than a car's manual :/

Diana, I love our pet peeves post. We've been thinking of republishint it. Maybe soon...

5/14/2007 07:03:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually prefer virgin heroines, assuming they're not too old. I think early 20s just about right. Anything above that is slightly unbelievable. I agree that Judith McNaught does virgin heroines well.

And about the masturbating comment...actually, I haven't done it :p. I swear I'm not lying. Just that me and my friends don't really talk about it, and it sounds weird.

5/14/2007 07:09:00 PM  

Anonymous Diana said...

Just finished reading the pet peeves post. I haven't laughed so hard in months! Great article girls.

By the way, who are Bawdy Babe and Tart? Were they guest bloggers?

I do ask many questions don't I? LMAO

Read Trollop's post again and one of her questions caught my attention: "what is wrong with a heroine that had a nice loving relationship in her first marriage to begin with?" You know, I've often wondered about this myself. Authors seem to either write the older hero that was impotent, the abusive husband that had the horrible death he deserved, the good older friend that the heroine married out of kindness, but seldom do we read about the happy couple in love that had a nice loving relationship.

I think Francesca, from the Bridgerton books, had a nice story from her first marriage. I liked that :)

5/14/2007 07:16:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

RE: And about the masturbating comment...actually, I haven't done it :p. I swear I'm not lying. Just that me and my friends don't really talk about it, and it sounds weird.

Anon!!!!!! Do not tell me that. Ok, I understand it might sound scary and "weird" and even yucky but you'll thank us later *wink* it's so good you wont care about any of it or about what your friends think. They're probably doing it anyway and not telling you about it LOL

Really, you should try it. I swear you wont regret it *g*

5/14/2007 07:21:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Diana, they are our friends who were part of blog but were too busy to participate and had to leave.

RE: "what is wrong with a heroine that had a nice loving relationship in her first marriage to begin with?"

To add drama i suppose. You know, i don't know what's worse. That or the main character whose spouse died and can't get over it therefore will not let anyone in up to a point they will resort to doing uber stupid things (take Rome Matthews for example).

5/14/2007 07:33:00 PM  

Blogger Petra said...

I think the main problem with virgin heroines in contemporary romances is that readers can't relate to those characters, especially when they're almost 30 or pass 30. There is nothing wrong with being chaste but in these day and age, it raises a lot of eyebrows.

If I have to read about a virginal heroine in the modern world, I want to have a believable reason why she remained "intact".

5/14/2007 07:46:00 PM  

Blogger Lorelei said...

I don't mind a virginal heroine, historical or contemporary. Neither do I see a heroine as a slut when she has enjoyed sex before she met the hero.

What is wrong with a heroine that had a nice loving relationship in her first marriage to begin with? Nothing. But there are many readers who like a heroine who has suffered sexually before meeting the hero and then have him make her feel things she has never felt before.

5/14/2007 08:42:00 PM  

Blogger Danielle De Barbarac said...

Ah, virgins. I like virgin heroines. What I don't like is a virgin heroine who is a "proper lady" and keeps her virtue intact but gets it on with the hero after only a few hours of meeting. What is that? It is so out of character and not credible at all. And yes we know it's with the hero anyway but she doesn't know he's the hero!

5/14/2007 10:24:00 PM  

Blogger Danielle De Barbarac said...

BBs, what about virgin heroes? Jamie Fraser *ahem* :P

5/14/2007 10:27:00 PM  

Blogger Isabella said...

I don't have a problem with a heroine who is a virgin by choice. I can't relate with her though. The big problem about romance with a virgin heroine is that she has a sudden change of sexual orientation after she meets the hero. For someone who's been untouched all those years, suddenly she's really into sex and has no qualms about one night stand. I just think that's a bit odd.

BTW, awesome pet peeves list!

5/14/2007 10:42:00 PM  

Blogger Aggie said...

Virgin heroines - nothing better guaranteed to make me fall asleep while reading. Too boring and not credible unless in the historical context. Even then it has to be an excellent story before I'll bother. I find it laughable that virgin heroines get it off (finally) with the Hero and suddenly they are sexual experts who cannot fail to please him ... yah, I really buy that! Pfft!

5/15/2007 06:46:00 AM  

Blogger Lollie Rose said...

I think virgin heroines are very popular. Look at the titles of many romances: "The Sheik and His Virgin Wife" "The Virgin Mistress"

It has to do with the "first and only" scenario. But we're living in the 21st century where it's hard to believe someone beautiful and passionate (most heroines are) could reach the age of 25 without having sex.

5/15/2007 08:08:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes losing your virginity just dosen't happen! I didn't even have a boyfriend in highschool, let alone fool around till I was in uni-and even then it was only fooling around till we broke up and I explored my options a bit more once I left my home and went travelling. And no, I'm not 'butt ugly' it just didn't happen before that. So I can almost relate to them as long as there is no elaborate explaination, like keeping herself pure ect...and yes okay I will admit thirty is a bit unrealistic.

5/15/2007 11:49:00 AM  

Anonymous Ollenska said...

Virgin heroines, mehhhhh... I'd rather have an experienced heroine. Plus virgin heroine who becomes a sex-pert all of a sudden, that's not believable I tell you.


5/15/2007 12:39:00 PM  

Blogger said...

I don't think I'd mind so much if the heroine were a virgin in the 21st century if she weren't written like she knew nothing about sex. Because how can you miss it? It's everywhere.

As for (ex)prostitutes... remember that "whore" is another way of saying "I love you". (Er, not work safe.) ;)

5/15/2007 03:16:00 PM  

Blogger said...

Oh. Also? I spend a good 5 minutes staring at the title, trying to make sense of it, before it clicked. Sigh. I'm very slow today.

5/15/2007 03:19:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Ohgod, i just read the comments on this thread; i sound like a drunk. :S For one, that's supposed to be experienced, not inexperienced ass.

I swear i was dead tired when i was commenting. :/ It was election day here yesterday and it's my mom's birthday too. Have insomnia; i usually sleep at 7am, but since i have to vote in the morning, didn't get the chance to sleep. After voting, had to meet BF for lunch till 6pm. Then dinner out with my family and some of my mom's friends. I didn't get to go home from 8am till 11pm, that without sleep the previous night! Oh well..

I'm sure you drove your ex bfs crazy, you minx. ;) I have to tell you ladies, i'm living in a very Roman Catholic country where virgins are a requirement or something. :/

You're not the only one. I asked Trollop what the hell does "virgin heroines or 200, Alex" means and that evil woman said, "don't tell me you don't know what Jeopardy is?" *grr* Of course i do know about the show, but i swear i have NEVER seen an episode of Jeopardy in my life. I don't even think they show it here.. :/

5/15/2007 03:57:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Diana Palmer! most are virgins and 15 years younger than the hero, it just gets so repeditive and I can see books written 20-25 years ago but they are virgins now, and in some cases havent even kissed a guy at 21! what the hell

5/15/2007 10:08:00 PM  

Blogger Jolie said...

I have read at least two Diana Palmer. I remember Lacy. Virgin. Very predictable but not that bad.

5/16/2007 11:14:00 AM  

Blogger Lyn Cash said...

Somehow the virgin sex therapist stories make me think of Helen Gurley Brown, sixties, Tony Curtis as hero movie, et al - and I wonder how anyone born after 1965 can conceive of that type of innocence. Probably just me. *g*

Thanks for the interesting post. Enjoyed it.

5/17/2007 08:26:00 AM  

Blogger ames said...

Wow - I'm two weeks behind on my bloghopping and I see you lovely ladies mentioned lil ol'moi? Wow. :P

5/17/2007 09:27:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

Lyn, Tony curtis? LOL

Ames, sweetie, we think lil ol' you is fabulous and definitely Book Bitch worthy :P

5/18/2007 12:53:00 PM