Call me old-fashioned, but I think romance novels should come with an Advisory Health Warning. You know, the kind they have on cigarette packets – minus the graphic photo of a diseased body part. I’m thinking: WARNING: Reading romance novels can seriously damage your relationship’s health!
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good ole romance novel as much as the next person, but, and like J-lo’s, this is a big but, these books can have a serious effect on your relationship. In short, they can give a girl unrealistic expectations about love, relationships and worst of all, bedroom gymnastics. Allow me to clarify:
Extravagant romantic gestures
Have you ever noticed that in romance novels, nobody ever seems to be hampered by a small matter like cash? They all seem to be swimming in the stuff. At the drop of a hat, someone is being swept away for a surprise weekend to the most romantic city in the world – and I’m not talking about Milton Keynes here. We’re talking Paris, ladies! “Gay Paree”, where the streets are paved with l’amour and the accent is so damn sexy, that listening to someone order a simple baguette can leave you needing a cold shower (or douche as they say Europe-side). Such extravagant gestures depicted in romance novels leaves your partner thinking that this kind of behaviour is the norm and suddenly, the surprise weekend to “waterworld” seems a bit of a disappointment. Since when did hurtling down giant plastic tubes become unsexy? Damn you romance novels!
And it’s not only the extravagant gestures that affect things, let’s think for a minute about other themes in our good ole fashioned romances:
Picture the scene … the dizzy-haze of post love-making, you looking lovingly into your partner’s eyes, her gazing devotedly back at yours. You think you’ve done a great job, but you feel her stiffen. All of a sudden your partner isn’t content with a good old-fashioned ‘wham bam thank you mam’ – over in seconds, brush your teeth, light out! No, now she’s just finished the latest lesbian love story and what she’s expecting is the comprehensive positions of the Sapphic Karma sutra, all at once…plus a candle-lit supper thrown in. One word …Unrealistic!
What is it with romance novels that give us the impression that every sexual encounter will be the most satisfying, blissful one ever? Can we really expect to be taken to the veritable heights of human ecstasy on our first night with a new lover? Or is it not more realistic to expect a first night of drunken fumbling, a promise to try harder in the morning, followed by a good ole snooze to sleep it off!
Furthermore, when the sex comes in these novels, it comes EVERYWHERE!! And I mean, everywhere. Who really wants to have a session in the work canteen, a busy moving train or the toilets of a local KFC? And yet, this is how it happens in such books.
Up against such adventurous locations, the good old bed or sofa isn’t enough. No, ladies, enough is enough! When we step into the realm of romance novels we are expected to be at it 24-7, in the park, up against walls, on park benches. I’m exhausted just thinking about it! No, all I need is my lover to be sprawled out on the bed, covered in a pile of chocolate chip muffins with a sign saying, “Go on, make a pig of yourself!”
Wined and Dined
Likewise, romance novels always include dates in fancy restaurants. Remember the time your lover was happy to dine out at the local Pizza Express, using the coupon you got from Groupon? Well no more, now she’s looking around for the candle lit table in the most exclusive restaurant in the city, where you can’t even pronounce anything on the menu, let alone afford to pay for it!
So, that’s it. Whine done. In short, romance novels have a lot to answer for. They build expectations to an unobtainable level, make us feel that we are inadequate in the bedroom, and make a night at the local pizzeria seem like a crap date. I, for one am rebelling! I’m using Groupon vouchers whenever I take my lady out, thus freeing up cash for a more worthier cause e.g. purchasing a nice comfy bed to perform the magic in. Who knows, maybe I’ll throw in an orthopedic mattress. Whoever said romance is dead?