Submitted by ginnygrakie t3_zyxdsp in books

In the middle of a book about two backpackers missing in outback Australia. The sister of one comes from Germany to help, and (you can call it a spoiler but it’s so god dammed predictable) ends up interested in the cop investigating. ‘My sister is missing presumed dead and I’m alone in a foreign country, but my top priority is how fuckable this cop is’. I can’t stand it. The worse offence I’ve ever seen is from Mary Higgens Clark. A girl is told her sister is missing, she’s upset. Her new husband suggests they have sex to cheer her up, literally 5 minutes after getting this information, and she doesn’t call him an inconsiderate bastard, she has sex with him!

Please tell me I’m not the only one deeply annoyed, and slightly offended, by these insane forces romances in situations that make no emotional sense. I feel crazy because if it’s so common it must be that most people like it!



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Talmor t1_j296f24 wrote

For me, it depends. "Cop hooks up with sibling of the victim" drives me up the damn wall. "Out of town PI hired by sister hooks up with local deputy while they investigate the case together"--yeah, I'm ok with that.

But I'm only "ok" with it--I'm here for the mystery and the twists and turns, not the romance. If they need to have it, at least try to keep it somewhat reasonable and ethical, at least.


candlehand t1_j2a1dgr wrote

I think the key that makes your example work is that the romantic partners can't be a victim of the tragedy that is currently occuring.


zebediah49 t1_j2atw9y wrote

Can the twists and turns be the cop and PI missing or breaking something important due to being "distracted", and then totally screwing the case up by turning it into a coverup while they try to avoid getting in trouble?

The nominal mystery is solved in boring fashion half-way through because it was actually simple, and the actual plot is now whether or not those two are going to get caught and charged for their gross negligence?


Scythe_bio t1_j29jarf wrote

I dont even care about sex scenes in books. They can be good, they can be bad. But what really grinds my gears is that every story (whether books or movie or tv show) needs to have a forced love story cranped in there. Where is the story about a boy and a girl who are just friends? And stay that way? Surprise me with a story where there are two protagonists of different gender who dont end up together but just high five at the end or something.


TheNextBattalion t1_j29vvm2 wrote

Harry Potter almost made it like that, and I loved that about the books


tommytraddles t1_j2awt0d wrote

Everyone married someone they went to elementary school with.

That's some wild ass shit.


capn_corgi t1_j2bq8up wrote

That’s why I hate Christmas movies and Hallmark movies, so over everyone always ending up with their high school boyfriend. My high school boyfriend is a woman now so what am I gonna do?


TheNextBattalion t1_j2bxs8q wrote

Marry her of course. I don't think it'd make a Hallmark movie though


Not-your-lawyer- t1_j2c9ohv wrote

I think they already included a lesbian couple? So it's at least partway there.

Break up in high school because she realizes she's into women/ done with his stereotypical masculine presentation & behavior. He moves to the "big city" and drops all contact with everyone at home. Ten years later, someone's back in town, making an effort to reestablish connection with their family. They're still not 100% on board with their daughter's new presentation, but they're trying. The rest of the town isn't so cool with it.

The ex stands up for her, since she's dealt with something similar being gay. They reconnect as they try to change the minds of everybody in town. By the end of the movie, nobody's fully on board with it all, but they're moving in a positive direction. Small town girl leaves for the city with her ex-bf-now-gf, thinking maybe it won't be so bad to come back home next Christmas as well.


ActionDeluxe t1_j2d4i28 wrote

What a nice, hopeful ending to a story that really reflects my life right now.


MollyPW t1_j2cnnq9 wrote

Isn’t elementary school American for primary school? Hogwarts is a secondary school.


tommytraddles t1_j2dcqeq wrote

They start going there when they're 11. That's Grade 5/6 in the US, and elementary age.


Scythe_bio t1_j29z9do wrote

Yeah, Harry Potter was great about that until almost the end.


FreshChickenEggs t1_j2az0ig wrote

I am really good friends with a guy from a friend circle that I've known since we were like 14. We're both late 40s now. We've never hooked up or had anything other than a friendship. His ex-wife had the same type of relationship with my husband from the same friend circle. When we'd run into them, it was great. No one ever got jealous, and everyone caught up, and friend pairs could have conversations without anything being weird. We still text to catch up every few months.

There are several books that could be written about this friend circle where it was just a group of friends doing things, and rarely did anyone hook up,if they did most of them ended up married. Just some guys and girls hanging out having fun and doing stuff.


Yellowbug2001 t1_j2bvv4t wrote

Sometimes I wonder if I'm strange because I'm a woman with a number of male friends from high school, college, and grad school, we've always been just friends, it's never been weird, there was never any question of romance, we went to each other's weddings and were happy for each other and are now friends with each other's spouses, too. I literally can't remember having seen this dynamic in any work of fiction outside of like, The Muppet Show. Are most people just randomly horny about literally every member of the opposite sex they meet and very short-sighted about who they decide to flirt with? Or is this some weird thing where fiction doesn't reflect real life at all and writers only bother writing male/female friends if they're going to use it to inject some drama when the plot lags, because "seriously, actually friends" is boring on paper even though it happens all the time?


hodler41c t1_j2e2j5q wrote

But have you ever solved a murder together? Because if books have taught us anything that will do it.


SoriAryl t1_j2crfgc wrote

I wrote an urban fantasy book like that for a class. The chick and dude were roommates, and they loved each other like best friends. Writing prof docked my grade because there was no romance in the book. The FMC literally summoned devils to save her roommate but because they weren’t boinking, I lost a letter grade.


TheImposibleGrl t1_j2cwhgy wrote

Might I suggest, if you’re interested in British police procedurals, Jackman and Evans series by Joy Ellis and Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons. They are perfect examples of two detectives that are friends and never romantically interested in one another.


jorjor-binks t1_j2aq0ta wrote

Hey, my books are like that! Two bffs that stay that way, because I had the same thought. Plus I loved their chemistry the way they were and just was not interested in them becoming more.

(Not trying to advertise, just offering a perspective.)


Scythe_bio t1_j2az4ud wrote

What are you books called? I wanna give them a shot!


RingtailRush t1_j28m6rw wrote

I always sort of assumed the sex scenes in books were to help them sell to adults by making them more "interesting" to adults?

Basically the same way HBO developed a reputation for showing nudity and sex all the time, to the point that all the shows include it whether relevant or not. I definitely knew people who considered that a plus of HBOs shows.

Dunno if that's actually true or not but it makes sense to me.


TheNextBattalion t1_j29vp6h wrote

Some of that on HBO is heavily featured in the early eps to remind viewers ''you couldn't see this on TV!" and feel gained value from their subscription. Same with a gratuitous f-bomb two minutes in


appleheadg t1_j2ahe9d wrote

when you look at HBO's roots, you see how important that was to stand out from regular TV. these days, with everything accessible, it's a bit different, but it seems like they're riding on tradition. doesn't bother me.


candlehand t1_j2a25n2 wrote

Maybe it's because I grew up in the bible belt but I always felt like HBO's sex scenes are just there for repressed people.

Like people who told me porn was a sin growing up love some GoT and loved Harlequin romance novels.

These "culturally approved" sex scenes must be super enticing to someone who doesn't allow themselves to have another outlet.


redwings1340 t1_j2a5jui wrote

Im asexual, and Im legit confused when watching most media portrayals of romantic and sexual relationships. From my perspective, either the majority of humanity is a bunch of sex obsessed idiot bullies, or portrayals of sexual relationships are just unrealistic. I legit can't tell which is the case.

If it's the former, then I'm clearly the weird one for getting extremely bored during these scenes, in which case I should just admit that most media isn't made for me. On the other hand, I just get frustrated when the fate of the worlds on the line and all the characters can think about is whether this person likes them! Nothing takes me out of a story faster than that, when the writers feel the need to take a break from interesting stuff to write the most boringly annoying scenes that just feel completely pointless to me.

I'm probably the weird one here honestly. About 90% of songs are about romantic love too, and I don't understand the lack of creativity there either. So I'm probably just wired a bit differently and just don't really get what most of humanity takes for granted.


BetterLivingThru t1_j2ad4b8 wrote

Bit of column A, bit of column B. But, for the most part, yeah, that stuff is in there because most of humanity is pretty dang horny whether they repress it or not, it's why sex sells. I am sure that does suck for you though.


srjnp t1_j2aqvyd wrote

agree with the HBO shows comparison


Alewort t1_j2b43c1 wrote

I assumed it was to try and get crossover sales from the romance genre customers.


Major_Ad_5480 t1_j292zut wrote

I truly thought that i was the only one who thought like this. You are absolutely right, in most cases it disturbs the story more than it progresses it and actually makes one question the characters personality (See the example you stated in the OP).


huldrat t1_j28bruu wrote

I really hate those as well. But overall I'm not into sex scenes in books from which I expect something else from. For example in King's (horror) books there's always this semi-random sex(ual) scene. I think maybe the authors just personally enjoy writing them? Or think it makes it more immersive? Or there is indeed a part of the audience that really enjoys them? Hard to tell for me


jumpsteadeh t1_j29ro7j wrote

"The writer's barely-disguised fetish"


Thuraash t1_j29zras wrote

See: half of the later Dune novels. Minus the "barely disguised" part.


Potatoskins937492 t1_j29ekgo wrote

Until recently, I thought I was the outlier on a lot of things. Forced romance in all media is one of them. I wish there would be more platonic friendships that emerge. Maybe because it's more realistic they avoid it since a lot of people are looking for an escape, but I escape just as well when two (or more) people become friends. I actually escape more deeply when there isn't romance.


candlehand t1_j2a2s14 wrote

It always kills the pacing when a story pauses the plot for a forced romance scene


MoscoeLucilfer t1_j29sjcy wrote

Speaking as a writer who likes romance, I think the author is either doing a self-insert into the novel, or just trying to appeal to an audience who needs the stimulation of romance to maintain interest in a story.

I agree that the romance has to make sense in the story. Often times, I never see that and get confused as to why lips are locked and clothes are ripped while a monster is on the loose. I would make a bold presumption that about 60% of the love stories that appear in genres outside romance novels, are never executed correctly. Always forced and clash with the plot.


ginnygrakie OP t1_j2b7dqc wrote

Exactly! I’ve read maybe one mystery where the romance was not only a wonderful addition to the plot, but an important factor in the characters development. Every other one feels like they are writing two different things and then smashed them together


Suspicious-Shock-934 t1_j295ot8 wrote

Not just books, forced romance in all media. I think it's a ham fisted attempt by corporations to include 'something for the ladies'. Sex is similar, but for shock value, or the teen and perv (pretty synonymous IMO) demographic.

Think of the last piece of media you consumed that did NOT have sex or romance somehow. Barring maybe kid centric content, and that'd a maybe, it's always there.

I think both CAN be useful plot devices or character expressions, but not in everything.


Lopeyface t1_j29dlwz wrote

Well, you're not wrong. There's a lot of ham-fisted romance everywhere and I think it appeals not just to women.

Then again, real-life people are constantly looking for sex and romance in their real lives, so perhaps it's not that unrealistic.


Dazzling-Ad4701 t1_j29wht7 wrote

I think it is unrealistic. How many hundreds of men/ women do you work or interact with over the course of a year? And not a shred of sex/romance in most of them. In real life it's so much less of a thing.


Alaira314 t1_j2arz20 wrote

I've got a list of books that don't contain annoying romantic sideplots! Sometimes romance is mentioned, or side characters are involved in things, but the main character isn't allosexualy exploding all over everything like in most books. 😂 It's compiled from personal experience(occasionally I completely mentally melt down and demand suggestions for books that contain no romance from my friends/colleagues), and this is what I've got from my reading tracker and TBR(starred books are ones that were suggested but I haven't read, so I can't vouch for them personally):

Elatsoe, by Darcy Little Badger
Comfort Me With Apples, by Catherynne Valente
The Girl from the Well, by Rin Chupeco
Remote Control, by Nnedi Okorafor
From Below, by Darcy Coates
The Many Deaths of Laila Starr, by Ram V
And Then I Woke Up, by Malcolm Devlin
What Moves the Dead, by T. Kingfisher
Nuclear Family, by Joseph Han (I recall sex/romance is mentioned with regard to PoV characters, but they're not interested)
Gideon the Ninth, by Tasmin Muir*
Madam, by Phoebe Wynne*

My apologies if I've somehow forgotten a romantic subplot in one of these. To the best of my recollection, they're safe! Also, the fact that my tracker contains 68 books(not to mention the TBR list, which is unnumbered) and I still only have 11 items on this list, despite actively seeking out this type of material, just goes to show how uncommon these books actually are.

EDIT: Just finished Rust in the Root by Justina Ireland, and I can also add that to this list! The main character has a very slight crush on a secondary character, but it doesn't amount to anything and barely even exists.


No-Border-6678 t1_j29fw2g wrote

Stephen King thought It needed to end with a preteen gangbang ...and an editor just went along with it. 🤷‍♂️


crystalsinwinter t1_j28qwi3 wrote

I understand that. I love to read romances. I skip sex scenes if they exist. I notice I love it when the mysteries I read or watch on tv are not romantic. My brain is so into the mystery and thrill that I feel like there is no room for a romance. And if there is a mystery in the romance, I feel like the story ends too soon with unanswered scenes in the story. I like the fusion of romance and comedy but not romance and mystery. Mystery is a wholly different genre or world that compels our brains differently than a romance does.


Traditional_Lead_97 t1_j29ghlm wrote

Why does this sub hate romance? Every time it's mentioned here it's to insult it .


freeeeels t1_j29th41 wrote

I haven't read the book OP is talking about but "I'm in a stressful situation, I'm running at peak anxiety every waking moment - a bit of sex sounds like a welcome distraction" sounds like reasonable human behaviour?


candlehand t1_j2a3g26 wrote

Different strokes (huehuehue) for different folks.

If I or my wife just learned a family member was missing we would not be in a sexy mood, so the example given seems pretty alien to me.


Traditional_Lead_97 t1_j29x81l wrote

I'm not talking about this specific book I'm talking about how romance is talked about in this sub which is almost always negative.


yazzy1233 t1_j2a837c wrote

It is. Some people can't have sex in a stressful situation while others use sex as a way to de-stress.


lapsangsouchogn t1_j2aow93 wrote

I read one years ago where this couple was imprisoned for several hours, and had one chance to escape - when the guards go on that long awaited 10 minute break. That's when the author queued up a 6 page sex scene instead of the escape. So awful I threw the book away.


mollycoddles t1_j2a313g wrote

God forbid characters blow off some steam together!


nimitzhunter t1_j2a84tg wrote

For me because how predictable it is. If one of the characters is described as a sexy beast, then there will definitely be a sex scene.


Traditional_Lead_97 t1_j2aj0ab wrote

Yeah , but maybe the unpredictable aspects will be when it comes to the plot not the smut itself. If you know what i mean . Plus , there are tons of smut free romances , it doesn't mean that the ones that have it are unclassy or badly written. It just means that the author included it because that's what they like to write and read , personally i like it , it's a nice addition to a good story , if you're not in the feels it looks awkward but when you're in the right mindset it's incredible, enhances the experience more.


Alaira314 t1_j2asd2i wrote

People who are okay with romance(or sex scenes - they're different concepts, and this thread is kind of conflating them together when it shouldn't!) never come on the internet to say how much they're okay. You only hear from the people who've got beef. It's just like how people who've had bad customer service experiences are much more likely to submit an evaluation than those who had amazing service.


Traditional_Lead_97 t1_j2ayuf5 wrote

That's not true at all , a lot of people especially on bookstagram and booktok, and obviously the romance book sub express how much they love this genre.


Alaira314 t1_j2b1uqk wrote

I wasn't talking about the genre. In the context of my comment and this entire post, it's referring to romantic content outside of the romance genre.


ginnygrakie OP t1_j2b8djg wrote

I’m not a prude, and I don’t dislike romance. What I dislike is poorly written romantic or sexual subplots in stories where they don’t make sense with the plot, the emotions of the situation, or what the characterisation has been like so far. That particular issues seems to crop up a lot in mysteries and thrillers.


Traditional_Lead_97 t1_j2dadp6 wrote

Sure , no problem, just that it struck me as odd how repetitive this kind of opinion is , i'm sure there a lot of poorly written non fiction yet i don't see the amount of hostility towards it as much as romance. Anyway, i'm aware you can dislike an entire genre if you can , i just expressed what i noticed.


snoopy369 t1_j2bbnsy wrote

Young male heavy demographic of Reddit most likely. Not that every young male dislikes romance, but they’re definitely more likely to.


Traditional_Lead_97 t1_j2da3fg wrote

It's still odd , in the romance sub reddit, even when most of us don't like non fiction or other genres, we never insult them or even bring them up . A book subreddit is supposed to be accepting of all genres , including romance since it's one of the oldest genres, older than sci-fi .


snoopy369 t1_j2du89f wrote

r/books is in the default subreddit list for new Redditors, though, so way more people read it than just book lovers.

To be clear, I’m not defending them, it’s shitty to act like that. I’m just explaining why.


Traditional_Lead_97 t1_j2dwmz1 wrote

Yeah i know , you may be right, i'd like to think that rather than to believe other readers are elitists and consider romance to not be a worthy genre , or a silly genre .


George_Askeladd t1_j2f7jju wrote

I actually love it but only if it's done well. I don't need predictable and forced romance


WhenRobLoweRobsLowes t1_j29r2j2 wrote

Yeah, the only time I see people being up sex in books is to knock it and imply the authors are perverts. Bunch of damn prudes.


DiscoEthereum t1_j29xv2n wrote

I think it's because it seems to be most often done very poorly. Whether it just doesn't make sense for the characters, the writing is bad, or it feels shoe-horned into the book like it was a requirement from the publisher and they're checking a box.

Some people are surely prudes as well, but at least in my experience it's just that it usually takes away from the overall story instead of adding to it.


candlehand t1_j2a4f4g wrote

It's just done poorly very often and shoehorned into situations it doesn't belong.

There may be some prudish people but I'm not offended if I read an out of place sex scene, I'm just a little bored.

We live in a world with the internet and anything sexy directly at your fingertips. Incorporating a sex scene just because has lost it's relevance and steaminess.


mollycoddles t1_j2a3a1k wrote

Maybe there's an overrepresentation of asexual people in this sub?


Hartastic t1_j2aiu94 wrote

Depending on your taste in mysteries, you could always go Agatha Christie, who pretty much never writes sex but occasionally two characters who have just met will decide to get married in the denouement.


ginnygrakie OP t1_j2b7xmi wrote

Haha, I’ve read pretty much all of her books. I don’t mind that getting married very quickly element, because from what I can gather from stories of that era, it’s accurate.


ManyCats247 t1_j28sp53 wrote

Sex in the story is a huge turn off for me. It's rare that it works into the story enough for it to be excusable.


Bittersweetfeline t1_j2a1fs9 wrote

I like sex... if I'm reading smut. Maybe if it's been led up to alongside a good story and it's nice to see it culminating (but preferably without many details because I'm not reading it for the sex).

I hate when authors just shove two characters together. One of my biggest mistakes was reading the Song of Achilles thinking it was a greek retelling, and not knowing it was basically a romance.


ginnygrakie OP t1_j2b7q7f wrote

Exactly! If your going to do it, so it correctly. I read one mystery that had a great romance. It was build up, the characters grew, and it was like a refreshing break alongside the main, emotionally difficult, plot


Bittersweetfeline t1_j2bkuaz wrote

Yeah! I think one book I hated for this was Phantoms by Dean Koontz. Great overall story I felt, but they shipped the sheriff/head cop (I don't recall) and the main character and it was just so hammy and horrible. I was like, god please stop. Then I read "Door to December" and there was insinuated a crush but ZERO romance and I was like, oh thank god. It was so much better.


Earthwick t1_j2a42ua wrote

This is one of my biggest pet peeves in books well in movies and TV shows for that matter as well but at least in movies and shows it doesn't last that long. Having to read 20 pages about it drives me nuts. Like how Hank loves Gretta the misfit from the upper class town who would rather dance all night than have fancy cocktail parties with the other elites. What makes it worse is "Does she hold a dark secret?" And no, she doesn't just wanted to throw the misdirection at you to make her charecter feel more important.


NunsNunchuck t1_j2a7125 wrote

And sci fi too. Look here is a man and a woman…bet they hate each other and then fall in love. YUP. Especially in The Foundation series (the 7 or so books in it)


Kumoitachi t1_j2advmf wrote

I love romances and smut and deep, slow burning passion between characters. If it's written well, that is. Is a book only introducing a character as a side note so that the main character can fuck someone? Get that out of my face.

But if the love interest turns out to be a real character that has a real connections with them, then I'm all for it. I love romance side plots between detectives and their sidekick because most of the time they're best friends and already share a great chemistry. Not having this and instead getting a badly written no- name character would make me feel like I've wasted my time tbh.


AprilBelle08 t1_j2akl9y wrote

I haven't read a good slow burning relationship for ages. Have you got any recommendations?


mayb-edjumacated t1_j2a9ysj wrote

I try to skip over or ignore the romances when I’m reading. It usually has little to nothing to do with the rest of what I’m reading. When I’m in the mood for romance or sex in books, I read the genre for them.


FreshChickenEggs t1_j2b1dhn wrote

I'm not some old lady pearl clutcher, but most sex scenes in movies/TV shows and books I can do without. Most feel forced and just unnecessary to the plot. Some aren't, and those can be good they can move the plot and even characters along.

Like the characters of Dani and Khal Drogo in GoT. I think the progression of the sex scenes was necessary to show the development of their relationship and them and characters.

Two people running for their lives from Ninja zombies who finally find a safe place in a rotting bathroom to hide for 10 minutes, and decide to have sex after they find out each other's names is just weird to me.

Or like in the OPs examples. If my sister or kid is missing, the last thing on my mind is gonna be how hot the detective is.

"Hey, I know we just found out a murderous biker gang may have my sister, and we may never find her body or be able to prosecute them, but what cologne is that?"


judjuds t1_j29rk7t wrote

I put Billy Summers down for a couple months because of this. Here I was enjoying a decent crime thriller and then out of no where I get hit by >!graphic sexual violence with a heavy dose of Stockholm syndrome.!< I don’t enjoy media with that subject in it and this was just so unnecessarily detailed.


dobsco t1_j29m8q5 wrote

I agree, and I don't understand it because obviously I'm reading a thriller and not a romance novel. If I wanted to read that I would seek it out, so please stop shoehorning it into every book!


businesslut t1_j2a2wtj wrote

Honestly most romance scenes turn me off from a book or show. I'm a romantic but it's often the least realistic plot lines and so heavy handed.


Gawkhimm t1_j2abtt0 wrote

badly wtitten forced romances and interpersonal dramas are the bane of my existance as a scifi reader too


JamJamsAndBeddyBye t1_j2ayudb wrote

Are these mysteries and thrillers you’re reading or “romantic suspense” novels? Because there is an actual difference, and in one (I bet you can guess which) there are pretty strong romance/sex/erotica tendencies.


ginnygrakie OP t1_j2b8v5m wrote

Absolutely mysteries, at least they’re marketed as such


TikkiTakiTomtom t1_j29tqb5 wrote

Unless it’s relevant or a minute supporting detail it shouldn’t be in the story. And that’s for all genres not just romance. Coming of age/ slice of life gets a pass for daily chores and menial tasks and relationships but otherwise no…


VivereIntrepidus t1_j2aelp7 wrote

isn't there a part in westside story where Maria has sex with her boyfriend literally right after he kills her brother? sociopath level shit in some of these old stories, I swear. like, i'm sorry bro, killing a woman's family member is not the way to get laid.


Silent-Revolution105 t1_j2aoo06 wrote

Lee Child claims he started writing because of nonsense like that.

I no longer read mysteries/thrillers if there's any mention of "alcoholic", "divorce", "romance", "drugs"... in the write-ups


duman82 t1_j2a5wnc wrote

Agree, I've read three Jack Reacher books recently and it's to the point where you know when a character is introduced with a female name they're gonna get it on with Jack Reacher at some point.


wish_to_conquer_pain t1_j2altbw wrote

Most of the time I would agree with you.

But I also love watching Hercule Poirot play matchmaker.


ginnygrakie OP t1_j2b8skr wrote

Huge Poirot, his matchmaking has never annoyed me. It’s part of his character, so it doesn’t come from left field, and it’s accurate to the time period.


Leontiev t1_j2b1qmi wrote

I think there was a time a few decades ago when publishers encouraged their writers to put sex in their books. I find it totally distracting and end up skipping many pages. Also, it fills up the word count, I think they want the books to be like 600 pages long so they are looking to fill it out. I also remember a time when it was considered daring and rebellious to put in graphic sex, but those days are long gone. Henry Miller was considered scandalous - Tropic of Cancer banned! But we have all seen those words in print nowadays.


Drfeelgood3525 t1_j29vuti wrote

Sex isn't cool outside of real sex lmao


Kallistrate t1_j2abtog wrote

It’s probably because romance and erotica are two of the most-read, best-selling genres. Most people in life also have romantic relationships, so it would be as odd to strip that out of every situation as it would be to strip out friendships or family.

But if you’re just saying, “People don’t want to have sexy sex while mourning their dead child,” then yes, but that’s more a criticism of bad writing than it is of the inclusion of romantic relationships.


westdl t1_j2ac7yg wrote

Thank you for saying it.


Shadow_Lass38 t1_j2b40eo wrote

I've been moving away from cozy mysteries for this very reason. I'm tired of the same old whitebread attractive female protagonist who is all of a sudden romancing the sexy cop/sheriff/private eye--or heck, anyone else in the book.


catcrapfondu t1_j2b7f6x wrote

Personally I like a healthy dose of sexual tension, but with no resolve because they are adults who know they can't always have what they want. But it does seem like EVERY thriller has some sort of romance. Why can't two people just think the other is attractive but not fall head over heels or have the need to act on it??


oywiththepoodless t1_j2b9x45 wrote

Riley Sager is so bad about doing this in his books


George_Askeladd t1_j2f76kd wrote

It's so annoying because it's so damn predictable and boring. In every of the last 8 thrillers I read, the romance always followed the same scheme. First the protagonist falls in love with the first pretty girl he sees, she rejects him and he's pissed and then he falls in love with the not so beautiful but mysterious girl that somehow opens up to him very quickly. Usually she has a bad backstory too and pretends to be tough but after they get together, she's super vulnerable. Only exception I saw was when the protagonist not only fell in love with the mysterious tough girl but also with his damn teacher. It's annoying when the good story is getting ruined by the forced romance. Why can't the protagonist be single or at least have an unpredictable love story. As soon as that kind of girl is introduced, I immediately know she's going to be his love interest. Sooo boring...


SonofBeckett t1_j2akb1h wrote

Agatha Christie does this in a lot of the Poirot novels. Sometimes it feels like he’s matchmaker first, mystery solver second.


ElbieLG t1_j2aoagn wrote

maybe it means you need to diversify your reading a bit?


ginnygrakie OP t1_j2b90mg wrote

I like mystery’s. I read most other genres (not a huge fantasy fan), but I do actually read romances. I just really don’t like the poorly written romantic subplots that are shoved into other genres


Alaira314 t1_j2aosec wrote

I feel the same way about romance in all books where the focus of the main plot isn't, well, romance. If your plot is about falling in love(whether it's in the romance genre or not), sure, go for it. But if the plot is you're saving the world from terrorists(with a side of romance), or solving the mysteries of the universe(with a side of romance), or figuring out who killed Mrs Jones(with a side of romance), or journeying to destroy the macguffin in the fires of hell(with a side of romance), or protesting police brutality(with a side of romance)'s just ugh. Hot take, but 95% of side-plot romances are unnecessary. I'm not even talking about sex scenes. I just think that characters are falling in love all over the place, and most of the time it serves to distract from rather than enhance the plot.


t_town101 t1_j2b6eqq wrote

And then the cop/detective was just trying to get close to her to distract her from the fact that he was the killer


RavenPuff_23 t1_j2bq3uh wrote

Omg yes! I read a book recently where a woman was being held captive by a guy who spends the entire book gaslighting her. He ends up not being the primary villain, but still an asshole. She ends up marrying him!


Medit8or t1_j2bukio wrote

I read a lot of mysteries written between 1930-1970. Romance is almost a given, whether it’s a main character or it’s the b plot. It’s often the damsel in distress being rescued from her predicament.

I agree wholeheartedly about friendship being a more interesting option.


DGummibuns t1_j2bxrs7 wrote

Don't read Verity. Made that mistake


adavi608 t1_j2c1quj wrote

"Taken," "But for Him," "Alone with My Hero," "Life Will Never be The Same," "His Children," "how am I doing"? Barnes and Noble book titles are my inspiration


Ok-Mycologist2220 t1_j2cn0ap wrote

I do find it annoying when a sudden romance or sex scene appears in a story that is otherwise a thriller or mystery story as I feel it too often breaks the pacing of the story. I usually just skip a few pages to try to get back to the interesting part of the story.


[deleted] t1_j2cvyhd wrote

I loved Mystery and Thriller books. SciFi too. The romance being shoehorned into freaking everything has made it so I haven't been able to pick up a book in a long, long time. I miss reading, but screw the darned Romance BS. If it's not Romance being shoved in, it's SA, or Abuse. There are other ways to create tension!


k2t-17 t1_j2cwdnh wrote

Writing romance/sex scenes is hard and very per person, men are horrible at it, women can't really write for men, and editors try to make them more general for everyone. End of the day you get a washed out version when you could probably make a cute/fun/hot side plot but it turns into watching your parents be handsy when you're 12.


TheChocolateMelted t1_j295qbw wrote

You might like the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith. There's a very slow-burn romance between the detective and his receptionist/partner that is kind of the only constant from one book to the next (although I've only read the first five of the six published thus far). They're a lot of fun. Might suit you better.


Lopeyface t1_j29d9vm wrote

I bought one of these for a friend years ago before JKR's downward spiral, and he really liked it. Shame she's decided to self-destruct.


RemLezarCreated t1_j2bb4be wrote

I read the first three and loved them all a lot. Stopped after she went insane.


wizoztn t1_j29i4zv wrote

Haven’t read the books, but they did a CB Strike show that I really liked.


tintumonu21 t1_j29e8gi wrote

Sex is an integral (enjoyable as well) part of life, why can't it be a part. We may be distracted by it because of our enthusiasm.

Yeah, forced romances are weird to read, but that is the case with any forced emotions.


yazzy1233 t1_j2a7tao wrote

Eh, some people use sex as a way to de-stress


IfonlyIwasfunnier t1_j2a90vk wrote

Maybe I am just too cynical about real life lovestories, but to me it seems like there is a lot of truth behind the thoughts: Proximity makes love and a lack of options lowers standards everytime.

I am more annoyed with plot devices showing up on different geographical conveniences. "Well you were gone for a few days longer than expected so I jumped into a plane, travelled across half the globe and detectivitated my ass into your life´s story to deliver that final missing accident"

But as far as lovestories go, I would literally just look at lovestories from normal teenagers and be amazed if you find any that would actually lend themselves to be a readable romance story. Same with the sex thing...I mean, I don´t like it either, but even knowing how it works irl it is always pretty darn hard to imagine why some people for example always come back together with their abusive exes, of course they are stupid and illogical and don´t deserve better until you fall into the same pit and realize the same principles would apply even to most "normal" people all the same. Most normal people are not any smarter than the stupidest idiots, they just usually have a few more safety stops (possibilities) in their given surroundings that´ll catch them before the fall.

So really, is it good bookmaterial? No, hell no, unless it is...but could it happen irl? Ye, most likely it could. Not to everyone but probably to everyone under the right circumstances. Books should always be allowed to be as stupid as reality. It is a bit of a problem when the author doesn´t seem to have the intent to show that, when it is just a trope that has to appeal to a certain audience, because then it is just not my kind of book. I am not interested in stupid plots like that. But if done I still don´t like it but then I don´t need to blame it, most likely it would either be tied into a plotpoint later down the line or I would simply have to applaud it for describing real life as pitiful as it truly is. So it matters more to me with what kind of intent stuff like that is written. And obviously if the rest of the book makes up for it. If it just describes life as it is then it is probably too depressing for me. (Like said, maybe I am a tad bit cynical...)


josephvonhazard t1_j2axaw9 wrote

Can I please not have another romantic side plot? If I wanted a romance, I would have read a romance.


TheRomanian128 t1_j29rrkb wrote

Oh look it’s this complaint again. With reading books with sex, it’s that easy. Some people like it some don’t, read what you enjoy


dobsco t1_j29u0mx wrote

This is literally OP's point. People who enjoy that sort of thing can seek out romance books. But it's annoying when it's prevalent in other genres because we're specifically not looking for that. If we were, we would read romance.