Author Topic: Promiscuous Heroines  (Read 5487 times)  

Online paranormal_kitty

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #75 on: September 11, 2017, 07:50:33 PM »
That absolutely cannot be true. I want to believe you (or not so much you, but the research you're citing), but... OMG. If I were to make an educated guess by myself, based on the people I know, I'd say it has to be at least fifteen. Hell, I've blown through that average number cited in one week during college break. This just... I'm literally in shock and I'm not being a smartarse either.

I'm interested in reading this research.

I found some numbers broken down by US state. I was really surprised my state is the second highest considering all the abstinence they teach in schools...but hey, there's nothing else to do here. https://www.livestrong.com/article/13559373-this-is-the-average-number-of-sexual-partners-people-have-state-by-state/

Offline Dennis Chekalov

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #76 on: September 11, 2017, 09:09:09 PM »
In fiction, a so-called strong male character (from Conan to James Bond) f*s everything that moves (or not).
But in the real life...
Honestly, I'd say, if a man sleeps around and around, this means that he has serious problems.
On the one hand, he can't establish long relationship.
On the other hand, he can't be alone and enjoy it.
In a sitcom, Barney is funny. But in the real life...
Without screenwriters' help, such wanna-be-macho is, well, pathetic.
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Offline K.B.

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #77 on: September 11, 2017, 09:32:54 PM »
And here comes the psychoanalysis.

Some people just like sex.

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Online Laran Mithras

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #78 on: September 12, 2017, 07:44:07 AM »
People like realistic situations with larger than life heroes/heroines. That should say it all.

Offline CLStone

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #79 on: September 12, 2017, 08:06:41 AM »
LOL.

My main core series is one girl who has nine (9) romantic love interests.

It's Young Adult. Romance. And she doesn't pick one. Part of the ongoing conflict is the group figuring out how to make it work with all of them dating her at the same time.

No one had done it before (as far as I know) with that theme, in the YA genre, until I started, but after a handful of USA Today bestselling books...guess I can say people like it. :) A lot of other authors write with a similar theme now.

And in fact, if I wrote a reverse harem now and didn't have all of the guys going after her, I'd be in trouble with readers.

Reverse harem is a thing. A pretty strong growing genre now. Other authors are picking up on it and writing the same. (Rebecca Royce, Jane Washington, among others)

My point, I guess, is if you write it well, anything can be done in fiction, even in romance. Did everyone like it? Nope. :) But not everyone likes werewolves, either. Just write a good book and people will pick up on it.

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Offline D. Zollicoffer

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #80 on: September 12, 2017, 08:41:06 AM »
And here comes the psychoanalysis.

Some people just like sex.
Sex is amazing. Although, this is just my two cents, if someone (outside of the sex industry) is sleeping with five people in one week then they probably should have a serious conversion with themselves. It's fine as long as it doesn't become an addiction, but if I'm being honest--that sounds like one.

Offline ibizwiz

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #81 on: September 12, 2017, 09:24:18 AM »
And here comes the psychoanalysis.

Some people just like sex.

This!

All I'd add to K.B.'s fearless, shoot-from-the-hip-area comments is a slightly wordy modification to her like-it-is summation:

A large, but ultimately unknowable, proportion of adults (would) like to have (more) sex, but (for the great majority of these) culture, circumstance, peer group pressures, economic realities, kids, and, sadly, a controlling or dull or even resentful partner blocks their access to explorations of their sexuality.

How do these frustrated folks cope? Many do so through our books.

It's fine to debate sexuality facts and figures in the real world, but our characters don't live there. Our characters and story arcs take people *away* from the restricted no-fly sexual zones of day-to-day reality. I suggest it's more productive to focus on what our readers *may* wish to experience vicariously than claiming they will reject a character's presented, *fictional* behavior, based on the reader's *presumed* real-life antipathy to persons who may (or are assumed to) have exhibited such behavior.

This is not to say one shouldn't try to understand hard-coded biases and real life resentments. Rather it's to concentrate on creating worlds and personas that free the reader from the sociosexual bonds and burdens of conventional life. It's not how many readers are inhibited, for whatever reason, but how we loosen the inhibitions and free the sensual spirit.

If an author is concerned about her/his fem MC being resented for her openness to sexual experimentation and growth, then don't write in genres where readers are conditioned to a limited view of female sexuality. For a great many commenters here, that choice has led them to UF, Sci Fi or future history, or to fantasy and paranormal relationships, where most can be comfortable with sexually "aggressive" lead females.

The NA writers face a tougher challenge. It gets even harder in stories where the fem MC is sexually active, hoping for "romance",  even when their life experience shows them HEA is for most a pipe dream. These women, who are NOT "new adults" strive more realistically for a HFN outcome. Put one of these admirable (to me) fem survivors, with all her hopes and vulnerabilities, into an intensely erotic, polyamory situation, add all the real-life elements of economic survival, including helping a daughter cope with her own sexuality and vulnerabilities, and you get a foundation story arc that could be happening not in "someday", but taking place right now, across one's comfy suburban street, or in an apartment on the floor over one's head; no need for a distopian future or misty past world setting.  I call this "realistic" erotica, and do not expect it to become an economically significant sub-genre in my lifetime.  8)

This thread is of special interest to me because I publish "realistic" erotica. I try to create scenes that are *credibly* outrageous or provocative and comic, which occur in *credible* sexy places, in a world that's *credibly* realistic. Put simply, just enough fantasy to engage an inhibited reader, male as well as female, and give them access to the lives and loves and ups, and, yes, numerous downs, my characters share.


Offline Dpock

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #82 on: September 12, 2017, 10:45:50 AM »


A large, but ultimately unknowable, proportion of adults (would) like to have (more) sex, but (for the great majority of these) culture, circumstance, peer group pressures, economic realities, kids, and, sadly, a controlling or dull or even resentful partner blocks their access to explorations of their sexuality.

That's pretty spot-on. That Seinfeld quote, paraphrasing: "Men aren't interested in what's on TV. They're interested in what else is on TV", explains it a bit. Men may have a sexual partner, but they're curious about other women. Sexual yearning is a never ending male saga. Some say our species wouldn't exist without it. For many, it makes monogamy oppressive.
 

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #83 on: September 12, 2017, 10:51:36 AM »
And here comes the psychoanalysis.

Some people just like sex.


"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

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Offline Dennis Chekalov

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #84 on: September 12, 2017, 12:30:46 PM »
There's a big difference between
(a) sex with a person whom you love and respect;
(b) sex with different/random partners (sleeping around).
« Last Edit: September 12, 2017, 12:35:11 PM by Dennis Chekalov »
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Offline Becca Mills

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #85 on: September 12, 2017, 12:39:22 PM »
Some people just like sex.


Sex really likes Chuck Norris, but it's afraid of being rejected.




Online paranormal_kitty

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #86 on: September 12, 2017, 12:46:59 PM »
There's a big difference between
(a) sex with a person whom you love and respect;
(b) sex with different/random partners (sleeping around).

Are you saying that one is good and one is bad, or that readers will accept one and not the other? The MC in my book experiences both, and she notices the difference, but I don't imply that one is good/moral and the other isn't.

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #87 on: September 12, 2017, 01:14:28 PM »



Sex really likes Chuck Norris, but it's afraid of being rejected.

lol Well played.
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

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Offline Nic

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #88 on: September 12, 2017, 01:51:39 PM »
As Becca and I both told you, that idea did not originate with SM. So you're being "astonished" at something that isn't even true.

However, according to Wikipedia, however correct their article may be, it is a very recent concept and not steeped in any kind of original lore. Which ties in with my own reading experience, and I've been reading vampire stories for over four decades now. The first time I came across it was with Stephenie Meyer. Right along with sparkly vampire skin.

Offline Nic

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #89 on: September 12, 2017, 01:58:49 PM »
Agreed. But it isn't only because of pregnancies...to me it's also about the fact that society expected women to be pure (talking about in the historical context). People were more religious and women were expected to be virgins when they married. Even all the way into the 20th century. I have a widowed heroine who had sex with the hero but there was more advances in birth control by then...though not much (talking 1940's here). But pregnancy was a big reality. The last thing you wanted was to be labeled a trashy woman with a [illegitimate person] child (like Emmy from Gone With The Wind, heh).

Socalled "veneral diseases" were still a major problem in the 1940s. It wasn't just society which kept women from having many sexual partners.

Offline Nic

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #90 on: September 12, 2017, 02:04:03 PM »
That absolutely cannot be true. I want to believe you (or not so much you, but the research you're citing), but... OMG. If I were to make an educated guess by myself, based on the people I know, I'd say it has to be at least fifteen. Hell, I've blown through that average number cited in one week during college break. This just... I'm literally in shock and I'm not being a smartarse either.

I'm interested in reading this research.

I will try to unearth it. In the interim, Usedtoposthere cited a probably more recent US study saying basically the same thing. I think a lot of people overestimate what the majority does (or doesn't).

Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #91 on: September 12, 2017, 02:13:37 PM »
Here you go. US and Europe. I doubt this was a random survey so you will have some selection bias. However, I expect it would be skewed high not low--these are people willing to answer questions about sex.

It would be interesting to see age breakdown but that is not provided. I'm sure there is plenty more info online re other studies if one really wanted to dig into the numbers.

Overall: 7 lifetime sexual partners for men, 6.4 for women. Data provided by country and US state. Louisiana has highest average number at 15+ partners, Utah the lowest at 2, as you'd expect.

https://onlinedoctor.superdrug.com/whats-your-number/
« Last Edit: September 12, 2017, 02:55:48 PM by Usedtoposthere »

Offline ibizwiz

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #92 on: September 12, 2017, 02:29:06 PM »
There's a big difference between
(a) sex with a person whom you love and respect;
(b) sex with different/random partners (sleeping around).

True enough, though it would be helpful if you actually described the "big difference". But we also need to consider the cases you left out:

(c) sex with customers you like
(d) sex with the other customers
(e) sex with person*s* you love and respect
(f) sex traded for power
(g) sex openly performed by one couple with another couple
(h) sex with a FB - meaning with a f**k buddy, not in a Facebook performance
(i) sex with a person you can tolerate as part of a commercial performance
(j) sex where one is forced
(k) sex which is technically illegal but is nonetheless consensual
(l) consensual sex with random strangers in a sex party setting (as opposed to "sleeping around")
(m) sex with a mentor (where learning about one's sexuality is a tacitly agreed part of the learning process)
(n) cybersex (as for mutual masturbation)
(o) sex as a consenting submissive, even while in a conventional "love" relationship with another

I could probably list more; I haven't even mentioned the unmentionable i-word instances. But the point, I think, is made.
 
Stories in some popular genres may avoid these all too common situations, but they are grist for the mill of human experience, so it's no surprise such a large proportion of novels throughout history confront these cases. After all, it's not illegal to write about acts that are illegal. Not yet, anyway. Nor is it illegal to write about topics and persons most "nice" people would prefer to never have to hear about.

As one of my fem MCs reminded me the other day, "Promiscuity is in the eye of the ones who didn't manage to behold her."

Online paranormal_kitty

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #93 on: September 12, 2017, 02:43:36 PM »
**snipped**

Ignored, sorry. I gave you an example of an earlier use of this trope that you conveniently chose to overlook. Off-topic and beating a dead horse. If believing that everyone who uses this idea is copying SM makes you feel better, go ahead and believe it. I have no desire to keep arguing about it.

Online paranormal_kitty

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #94 on: September 12, 2017, 02:45:40 PM »
As one of my fem MCs reminded me the other day, "Promiscuity is in the eye of the ones who didn't manage to behold her."

Awesome line :)

Online Monique

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #95 on: September 12, 2017, 02:47:17 PM »

Overall: 7 lifetime sexual partners for men, 6.4 for women. Data provided by county and US state. Louisiana has highest average number at 15+ partners, Utah the lowest at 2, as you'd expect.

https://onlinedoctor.superdrug.com/whats-your-number/


Interesting. Fits (basically) with what my friends and I would say if asked, I think.

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Offline Crystal_

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #96 on: September 12, 2017, 03:03:45 PM »
I have said that I'm trying to write closer to market and this has honestly been one of the harder habits to break away from. I think there's value in what you're saying (I.E. not drawing particular attention towards something) and it's something I'm going to consider.

Over the past few weeks, I've really been plotting and planning a massive connected world of books (Seven series that intertwine with each other, each series having 5-7 books) and I'm slowly drifting away from the characters I used to write. I'm really, at this point, considering splintering this project off into a new pen name.

It's tough. Romance readers are so hard on heroines who are anything but inexperienced and sassy. And even then, if they're too sassy, they get the b*tch label. I tend to find a way to compromise what I want to write and what is marketable at this point (i.e. writing a promiscuous heroine but mentioning her experience in passing rather than drawing attention to it). It's one of those things where you have to pick the hill you want to die on. It's fine to stake that ground somewhere--I have things I will not write, and some not at all commercial things I am planning on writing--but it helps to know what you're flexible on.

Online Colin

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #97 on: September 12, 2017, 03:04:25 PM »
Sex sells, but if you can get it for free it's a bonus.

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Offline Going Incognito

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #98 on: September 12, 2017, 03:06:26 PM »
Utah the lowest at 2, as you'd expect.

Probably crappy and stereotypical of me but I'm surprised at Utah. As much as you hear about polyamory there, I figured that would be higher. Tho maybe not if say the sister wives each only sleep with one partner, that would greatly bring down the average of that one partner sleeping with multiple partners.

Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #99 on: September 12, 2017, 03:07:01 PM »
One reason that some women reading more realistic romance might not be able to relate to a heroine who had a lot of casual sex is a ... well, matter of realism in how satisfying such sex tends to be for men vs. women. One of my sons (aged 30) said recently that when he was younger, sexual satisfaction was more of a binary thing. "You checked a box. I had sex? Ding. Box checked." Whereas, since somewhere around 75-80% of women require more stimulation than intercourse provides to reach orgasm, and different women require different types/amounts of such stimulation, orgasmic sex requires a partner wiling to put in the effort to discover what works for her.

For my audience (not all audiences, even in romance), which happens to be looking for more realism (and is reading for romance), they probably aren't going to think of a heroine who has tons of casual sex as powerful, because they're going to think that sex probably isn't all that physically satisfying. A lot of the appeal of romance, especially of the steamier variety, is the idea that she's got a guy who cares about her both physically and emotionally and who takes great pleasure in giving her great pleasure.

Which isn't every guy, especially every hookup from a bar.

I'm sure people will chime in about how physically satisfying casual sex can be for women, but I'm relying on the ample statistics available on how often women orgasm and what they need to do it. Personally, no guy I know would be happy if he didn't have an orgasm virtually every time, and I'm not either, so that's a big factor for me in my reading. If my thought is, "Really? She got off from that?", it's not gonna be a real sexy book. And a LOT of romance-and-other is still written like that. Written the way a guy thinks is hot sex and that most women aren't going to be satisfied by.

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