Since when is sex love? Is it okay to substitute lust for love in literature? As a reader, does this work for you?
Okay so I get the fact that we read fiction as a form of escape and pleasure. However, one of my biggest pet peeves in books is when the love story is not even the least bit realistic. I dislike it when the two main characters meet each other and jump into bed with one another and ooh ahh true love ensues. That is soooo not realistic. Usually once a book gets to this point if we are only in the first few chapters, I have a strong urge to put the book down. If I decide to continue on, the plot becomes completely predictable. Next comes the staring at one another longingly whenever it is NOT appropriate or possible to jump into bed with one another. This is the part of the book in which the characters FANTASIZE about having sex with the other character or replay what they have already done in their head. All this desire and attraction is usually substituted for love. What a load of crap! I want to see my characters develop a true appreciation for one another, not a mere physical infatuation. I want to see them build a relationship that is based on real strength of character and commitment to one another. I want the main character who is narrating the book to offer the reader a guided glimpse into the heart of his/her companion, not just a raunchy roll in the hay. So to answer the topic question for today, it is NEVER okay to substitute sex for love! Give me a tender, loving, rip you heart out scene any day over a steamy sex scene and I will believe in my character’s love for one another.
One of the things I absolutely hate in romance is the instalove/instalust aspect. I’m sorry but I don’t buy it that just because someone is hot, all of a sudden the character wants to jump their bones and thinks they’re in love. No. Just, no. That, my friends is lust, it is attraction, but it is not love. It is fine to be attracted to someone and want to start a relationship with them, but I hate when books call that love. I don’t believe in love at first sight because you really need to get to know someone before you can truly love them. So in romance books where the characters fall in love two pages after meeting, I find the character development lacking. I as the reader want to fall in love with the book’s love interest as the protagonist falls in love, so that is why sex and lust does not work for me as falling in love.