When we talk about realism in romance:1) Who defines reality
2) What is that reality
We each have a unique set of experiences and filters…
The world is a diverse and wonderful place. How I might experience might be different than someone else experiences it... and that's okay.
Just because it's not your reality doesn't mean it's not someone else's...
I know some readers require more “realistic” story lines, characters and plot with more grit. I’m one of the many readers who pick up a romance to escape “reality”. My preference is happy fluffiness. And that bleeds over into my writing...
Sometimes I wonder how much reality people are looking for... There’s a lot of REALITY I don’t usually include in my romances not because I'm clueless but because these are things that don't up the romance factor for me as a reader/writer. (Adjusting my beret & shrugging)
Here’s some that come to mind:*Come streaked brown leaking out of a gaping asshole (BTW realistic when one has anal sex)
*Hemorrhoids & anal tears & bleeding
*Stealthing (act of pretending to wear a condom than not)
*Gift giving (knowingly transmitting a disease usually refers to HIV)
*Bug chasers (knowingly seeking to catch a disease)
*Men who have sex with men just to get off and don’t fall in love with a hookup/rentboy
*Going to the bathroom (bodily functions don't excite me... so you can imagine golden showers aren't my cup of tea either... hee hee yeah I know what I did there...)
*Certain fetishes or sexual practices
*Unhappily ever afters/bitter sweet/meaningful but not happy endings
You get the idea… I as a romance writer simply don’t want to go there…
Reality I would/have put in a romances that can/do annoy readers:*Sex that is it just for the sake of sex
*Characters having a ton of sex (based on their age=realism)
*Sometimes it takes more than a few pages for a character to accept something (especially a perceived change/adjustment in their orientation)
*Misunderstandings: can and do affect how people act which can spiral out of control based on assumptions (Has happened to me many times)
*Insta-love happens in reality (I’m a product of it)
*Characters who aren’t like your average people (Lots of different people in the world and I enjoy writing about people who are atypical… I worship the fringes and enjoy the edges)
*Orientations: Aren’t just three little boxes so I explore them and try show the variations within each.
*Troupes are troupes because they do tend to happen in real life…
Reality necessary in a romance is in the eye of the reader.
As a reader I pay careful attention to the author’s brand… I know authors try REALLY hard to clarify themselves so the readers know what they’d be getting (aka how much reality will be injected into the romance).
May you always have as romance as you want.