Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Let's Talk About Sex

Please note: This isn't a rant. It isn't a negative statement on anything. It is something I wanted to talk about after a few notes I've seen on reviews of Through the Fire, and that had been raised in conversations. It's not directed at any one person or any specific review. It's just an observation and a something to ponder.

Also, please note: There might be spoilers ahead for Through the Fire. If you haven't read it, want to read it, and don't want to be spoilered, please turn away now. In fact, I'll even break out my meme again just so that you are extra warned.

Now that's out of the way, shall we talk about sex. More specifically, sex with multiple partners (No, not all at once! Yes I'm looking at you. I know exactly where your mind went).

In a few reviews and conversations about Through the Fire, I've noticed a trend. A number of people have hinted that they weren't happy with Evie having more than one sexual partner over the course of the book. And I get that, I do. There is something a little romantic about finding 'the one and only' and having things work from there and they are your literal one and only. It was very clear to me very early though that Evie wasn't going to be the sort of girl to wait around forever for 'the one and only', especially when she's scared and vulnerable, and seeking love and acceptance. I'm sure there are many people who've made similar, and worse, decisions in that frame of mind.

To be honest, I didn't know how it was all going to go down, I rarely do when I start writing, but it was very clear early on that Clay wasn't going to be the one to claim her virginity. I think, given the circumstances, he would have been a bit of a douche if he had. I mean, just think about it . . . before events he would have been giving her a less than stellar surroundings for it and after events, well if he'd done that and left he would have deserved a junk-punch. But that's neither here nor there--I have a different point to make with this post.

Okay, so what is my point then?

It's this: not one review has mentioned that they wish Clay had saved himself for Evie. He made it quite clear in a certain scene that he's had other partners too, but no one seems to mind that. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my point. That's what I wanted to raise and discuss: why the double standard?

The thing is, this isn't something unique to my books or my reviews. How many countless books are there where the hero is an unapologetic manwhore and the woman is the virginal beauty just waiting to tame him with her patient love and understanding. All of which almost immediately turns him from from his womanising ways. It very rarely happens the other way around. I've seen it a few times, but it's definitely the exception rather than the rule.

I don't know what this says about authors, book readers, or even the community at large. Maybe nothing. Maybe everything. It's certainly something to ponder though, isn't it?


  1. That is life for you, Men are supposed to be worldly and knowledgeable about women and sex and for some reason it makes them sexy (mind you not for me), the woman on the other hand has to be pure and chaste. Look how many men (regardless of partners count) say I can't take her home to met the parents so I will look for a life partner that I "can take to meet the parents". Mind you all those blokes are having sex with someone???.

  2. I love this post. It's a topic I also tend to think about. I also think it relates to double standards, but I'd like to offer you an alternative explanation. I've read readers complaining about love triangles because they're not sure who the heroine with end up with. I see the most helpful book reviews on Amazon are long descriptions of the characters and what happens to them. I see readers always preferring a happy ending. What I conclude from this is that some people like certainty when they read books. Perhaps we're too conditioned to deduct that if the heroine sleeps with someone - he's the one for her, and when she ends up with someone else - it's confusing.