Erotica Pet Peeves

I read a fair bit of erotica, and write some, although mine isn’t as hard, explicit, or graphic as some. That’s fine. It takes all kinds, everyone likes something different, and all of that. I’m not going to go on about how people shouldn’t write rape/ravishment fantasies, or incest stories, or non-consent or what have you. I don’t like those, but those aren’t my pet peeves. I just don’t read them. My pet peeves are themes that show up so often in erotic stories as to make one roll one’s eyes. The kind of thing where you read and think: “Really? That’s the best you could do? That again?”

1. Petite women with DD/DDD breasts. This is ridiculously common, and will crop up again along with my next peeve. And I realize that there are indeed well-endowed petite (5’2″ and under) women. What bothers me is how they pop up again and again in erotic stories, as though the authors were clinging to some sexual stereotype, which I suppose they are. But how many 32DDDs are out there? Honestly? Or even better, the 5′ heroine with the 38DDs. Come on, guys. Let’s go with something more likely, more plausible. I read about women with chests that size and all I think is: Ow. Hope she has a strong bra. Bet it has an underwire. Hope she can afford reduction surgery.

2. 6’6″+ men, with outsized equipment. Again, no doubt such critters exist. However, must every guy be tall enough to play center on a basketball team? There are tall men, I know — I’m 5’4″ and my husband is 6’1″. My dad is 6’2″, my brother is right up there with them. My son seems to be on track to follow. Still, most guys are not as tall as Zdeno Chara (6’7″). Ratchet it back and while you’re reducing their height, you can reduce their dicks. I don’t want to read about one more 12″-long penis that is as thick around “as a soda can.” (Yes, I read that in a story.) People — it won’t fit. There just isn’t room, even if the woman is on the Amazon side herself.

3. Combination of 1 and 2. For God’s sake, people — someone’s going to get hurt. The guy is going to throw his back out leaning 18″ down to kiss the woman, and she’s going to get a crick in her neck reaching up. I know it’s kind of an ingrained thing, whether biological or cultural, for women to look for taller men, etc. It’s natural, if only because men tend to be taller. So, fine. But let’s bring things a little more into sync so no one pulls a muscle.

4. Waist-length hair on the women. Many women wear their hair long, or long-ish. Mine is past my shoulders now. But waist-length? Do you know what a pain that would be? It’s not very practical, and it’s difficult to keep clean and to care for. I sense this is put into many stories because the authors think this is what guys want, but I wonder if they really do, in real life.

5. Petite women with long legs. Not sure how this works. It’s a little disconcerting to read about a woman who is 5’3″ and has legs “that go on forever” or that “go right to her neck.” She has no torso? Providing there are no problems and the woman is proportional, I can’t see this.

Let’s expand into the paranormal realm, since I write that as well.

6. Vampires named Alexander or Gabriel. These names are so overused, and not just in paranormal romance, but boy, I’d like to see some different names. (I have to say, it’s bugged me enough I’m working on a humorous story about a vampire named Bob.) Cael seems to be a distant third, so that doesn’t bother me as much.

7. Asshole alpha males. Be they vampires or weres, I’m pretty fed up with these guys, not to mention the women who find these asshole qualities attractive. If there’s something under the arrogance, fine — show me. Make me care. Give me a reason to believe he’s a decent guy somewhere, and that the woman has a shot at uncovering it. But a guy who is otherwise a jerk, except for the tiny circle in his life where the woman is, does nothing for me.

I’ll stop there. For now. 🙂

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Leigh on May 19, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    I’m LOLing at your complaints. They irk me too, but now every time I see one of these in action I’ll smile remembering your comments.

    BTW, I have waist-length hair. I also have long legs for my height. (Short torso. Had to wear kiddie bathing suits well into my late teens.) 🙂

    Reply

  2. Well, like I said, I realize there *are* women and men of such descriptions. However, there are many of other shapes and sizes, and this tiny woman/huge man (tw/hm) pairing seems to be the default of many erotica writers. I also realize they’re playing into some well-established and possibly even biological preferences but it wouldn’t hurt them to use some imagination. For example, I’m 5’4″ and my husband is 6’1″ — and there are a lot of couples like that, I see them all the time.

    And these are just my pet peeves, brought up mostly because I find them “overplayed,” like a lot of songs. (One more radio station plays “Gold Dust Woman” by Fleetwood Mac and I can’t guarantee the car stereo survives.)

    I’d just like to see some more variety.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Leigh on May 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    My mother is 5’2″, and my father is 6’2″. They are so adorable when they slow-dance, her cheek against his chest.

    Their best friends are the opposite. 4’10” husband, 5’11” wife.

    Anyway, my biggest erotica pet peeve is when the girl is waaaaaay too easy. Especially when it isn’t in her nature, and when there is no explanation for the sudden change. Like maybe a plot event changed her perspective. Or she really was a slut in secret all along. Even a bad and cliche explanation is better than none.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Walka on October 18, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    I love everything you said here. As I read your blog, I keep catching myself–holding my breath–and then exhaling in order to breathe again. Maybe I was thinking it would all change and I’d find it wasn’t all I was thinking it was. But it didn’t and I’m so glad. I totally agree with everything, I only wish I could say it as well. I have bookmarked the site and plan to return. Thank you for what you have given me today; the knowledge I am not alone in my views; that writing erotic stories doesn’t necessarily mean, having no limits.

    Reply

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