Maybe it should be if E. L. James’s “Fifty Shades of Grey” (FSoG) trilogy is anything to go on. I disliked James’s storyline because I prefer to read positive stories about women and find that writers of romance novels, erotic or otherwise, tend to depict their heterosexual heroines as women with low self-esteem who think of themselves as boring, ‘plain Janes’ until a handsome hero comes along to convince them otherwise. Other often used scenarios in the romance genre are the woman has been hurt before and is adamant that she won’t let it happen again, or that she only shuns the idea of having a long-term relationship until a handsome hero comes along to convince her otherwise.
While over 100 million copies of the FSoG series have been sold worldwide, I wonder how many people actually liked the book(s) or, like me, didn’t get past chapter one of the first one. I resisted buying a copy of the first installment in James’s popular trilogy, back in 2011, because I thought there were better reads to be read. I relented, however, because, as a budding author, the expectation of most people I knew was that I had read it.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe in the saying “to each his, or her, own” so I’m not posting this blog to oppose the romance genre generally, or the FSoG series specifically. Equally, I’m not taking a swipe at readers of romance novels or those who think James’s trilogy a good, easy read.
While money would be no longer an object for Ms. James, if it ever were, writing about sex was. Therefore, I merely ask as a writer: “Should my next book be saturated with sex?” My self-appointed literary agent and husband, Kuldip, thinks so. What do you think?