Wednesday, June 15, 2005

To Condom or Not To Condom, That Is The Question

So, I was reading this romance story, and I’d got to the obligatory first sex scene.

The hero and heroine were getting all hot and heavy, sweating like nuns in a whorehouse and all, and you knew that the guy was about to do a Vesuvius any second now, and then lo and behold, he reaches into the pockets of his discarded jeans and grabs some prophylactics.

There was a some crinkling as he ripped the condom wrapper open, and then he very nimbly slid the rubber onto his penis.

This ‘always-use-condoms’ reminder only lasted about two lines, but I gotta say, it took me out of the story at that point, and I ended up skipping the whole sex scene all together. (I know, I know)

This was a completely sub-conscious act on my part and I hadn’t realised I’d done it, until much later on in the book.

I couldn’t figure out if I’d skipped the sex because of the condom adorning, or if the sex scene just muchos sucked. I’d like to think that I’d done it just because the sex scene sucked, after all, I am a woman of the noughties, thus a staunch advocate of safe sex, right?

But here's the thing, there were other sex scenes in the book that didn’t mention the use of a rubber, and I read them ok. Sigh.

So this got me thinking, do we as readers prefer that our romance characters practice safe sex (for those of you who like secret baby plot devices, you probably don’t need to answer) or is this a little too much of the ‘real’ world being insinuated into what is, for all intents and purposes, a fantasy?