Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Bit of a Moan: Part 1

There's nothing British people like more than a good moan.  Whether it's about our crappy weather, crappy national football team or pretty much anything crappy about our lives in general, give us the opportunity and we're there laying out our woes to anyone who'll listen and expounding our views on how to make things better.

I'd just like to thank the readers of this DIK blog for giving me the opportunity today  :).

In fact, it's not just today, but over the next three days I'm going to have a moan about certain things that crop up, mainly in contemporary romance, which makes me roll my eyes a little, at best, or gnashing my teeth in annoyance at worst.  Most of my contemporary romance reading is m/m, but I think some of what I'm going to talk about about applies to m/f contemps too.

Let's start today with something which mostly makes me roll my eyes:  Sex in the shower.

Nearly every contemporary m/m book has a sex-in-the-shower scene.  When I first began to read the genre, I found this a bit of a novelty, after all, I'd come from reading m/f historicals when showers weren't invented (except in that Lisa Kleypas book, and I'm still slightly sceptical about the accuracy of that).  However, as I continued reading the genre, and realised that nearly EVERY m/m contemp was going to contain a shower scene, I began to get a bit tired with the whole thing, mainly because it sparked off several of my 'worry' buttons.  What worry buttons, you may ask?  Well let me draw up a list:

1. Aren't showers a bit small for fitting in sex?
Now this is possibly a cultural thing.  In Britain, showers tend to be quite small and cramped and the thought of fitting two great big blokes in one is, frankly, rather laughable.  I know that showers in the US are possibly roomier, but surely not that much more.  Yet all sex shower scenes are a master-class in sexual choreography and not once do they bang their elbow/knee on the tiles or catch important parts of their anatomy on the shower hose or taps.

2. I worry about the slippy bath/tiles.
I've come to the conclusion that all US showers have industrial strength rubber matting because these guys can seem to manoeuvre themselves into a vast array of positions and never once do they slip.  The worry is there though, in the the back of my mind, as to whether one of them will end up with concussion after slipping on the tiles and banging his head on the shower screen.

3. Water deadens taste/touch.
Now this maybe TMI here, but I've had sex in a shower.  It was bloody uncomfortable and not an experience I'd care to repeat.  One thing that I noticed during that little 'experiment' was how difficult it was to taste the skin of the the person in the shower with you.  The water deadens the taste, washes it away leaving everything tasting of...well...water.  Yet time after time the authors of the sex shower scene tell of how wonderful the skin  tastes.  It's also quite difficult to breathe when the shower is pounding down on your head, so how these guys don't pass out from lack of oxygen is anyone's guess.

It's not just these worries that affect my enjoyment of the sex shower scene.  Mostly I'm just bored with reading them because they crop up with such regularity.  It's gotten to the stage now where when it comes up I'm thinking 'oh here we go, time for the shower sex scene'.  After all they've done it on the sofa and in bed, it must be the turn of the shower.

So what about you guys?  Are you bored with the shower sex scene?  Do you have the same worries about damage to body parts as I do?  Or am I just weird and it's all in my head?


Kris said...

*snort* I always worry that the guy is going to cut his knees to shreds by his constant dropping down to give the other dude head. Seems more ouchie to me than anything else.

LesleyW said...

Jenre - First of all - so right about the moaning. Lol.

And next time I read a m/m and come to the shower scene I'm going to think of you, 'cause you're right they do crop up regularly.

Jessica said...

OMG!!! That was hilarious, and way too true. I loved the blog. I've read m/m romance and yes I have to agree there seems to be shower sex in every story. No I don't think about the logistics of body parts, or the slippage possibilities, why? Have no clue. But you can bet your bottom dollar I will from now on! This shall prove to be interesting. Must go read!!!

Clare London said...

So many true things spoken in jest :).

And what have you done to my future career?! I'm working on a new novella - like, right now! - that starts with a shower scene! How can I keep going? LOL.

Maybe I'll have to incorporate some of those awkward moments into it, trying to make them sexy in their own way...
*peers hopelessly at her WIP*
*ah well*.

How are things going with you? Great to see you here on the Island!

Ingrid said...

Lol Jen. I also wonder about the space sometimes and water and lube don't go together either.

M Jules Aedin said...

Does it count if I mention all the awkward moments and elbow-banging and slippy worries? *laugh*

That said, what gets me MOST is when someone decides to have penetrative sex in the shower and uses soap/shampoo/body wash for lube. All I can think is, "Dude, that's going to itch like a motherfucker."

Jenre said...

Kris: That's so true! Bruised knees on the cold bath/shower floor is not conducive to getting in the mood.

Actually, I did read a shower scene not too long ago where the guy on the floor complained in his head about how hard the floor was on his knees - I liked that!

Jenre said...

Hi Lesley
British men especially are the worst at moaning about stuff. I sat next to this guy at my kids sports day a couple of weeks ago and he moaned all the time about the kids' 'form'. Poor kids, lol!

There's a scene in nearly every book, I joke not.

Jenre said...

Hi Jessica
Oops, hope I haven't spoiled all that m/m shower sex for you now :). My trouble is I spend far too much time worrying about the logistics of stuff and not enough just going with the flow, lol!

Jenre said...

Hi Clare

I did wonder as I wrote the post whether I may be spoiling a few WIPs. Oops :). Never mind, I'm just one lone voice in the wilderness about this, I'm sure. Shower sex must be pretty popular as it's regularity in m/m books must count for something.

I'm doing well, thanks for asking :). This is actually my first blog post (as opposed to a review) since I closed my blog and I was a bit nervous about it - silly me.

Jenre said...

Hi Ingrid
Oh yes, lube! I'd forgotten about that. Water based lube and showers don't go well together, that's for sure.

Jenre said...

Hi Jules
I definitely prefer the shower sex scenes with banged elbows and tangled limbs than those that are perfectly choreographed - mainly cos I have a hard time picturing how those perfect ones work in such a limited space.

You're going to write one into your m/m/m, aren't you? Even more bodies in a small space!

I'd never really thought about the shower gel/shampoo as lube being itchy. Now you've mentioned it, I can see how it would itch if it doesn't get washed off properly. Yet something else to be pondering when reading shower sex - as if I didn't have enough to distract me, lol!

M Jules Aedin said...

Jenre: LOL! No, there's not shower sex in the m/m/m. I can't even imagine. But there is an instance of Keith trying to get Adam to have sex in the tub. (And the tubs at that particular hotel ARE big enough for three people!) But he doesn't win. Adam's too practical for that.

And yeah, I'm always worried about the poor penetrated partner getting all the soap out, because if you don't wash it out well... Urrrrgh. (I read a fanfic the other day - by an author I love and respect! - where they used *laundry detergent*. You can bet I was hella distracted trying to figure out how that worked.)

jessewave said...


I love this post. Just a few comments ...

I kinda like the shower scenes as a change of pace from having sex in the bed, outdoors, on the kitchen table, on the couch, on the floor, against the door, on the fire escape etc. etc. :) When you think about it, I think authors are really challenged to come up with new locations for their guys to have sex. Maybe they should reduce the amount of sex. :)

Actually I think that most showers in North America, including Canada, are big enough for two people, but maybe not comfortable for two big guys.

Re the lube, there is waterproof lube now. :)

Tracy said...

Hilarious and so true! I have to admit that sex scenes in the shower do get old. There are some that are just damn hot but yes, they're not really logistically possible at times.

Chris said...

I ask myself similar questions, although I'm thinking US/Canadian showers are a bit roomier! Also, it's rare that there's a "shower hose" (handheld shower?), so the chance of strangulation is much reduced here.

I do wince every time I read about someone dropping down to his knees - dude! You're going to break your knees! And also slip...

Jenre said...

Laundry detergent!!!!! I'm assuming it was the liquid sort and not granules. At least his arse would have been squeaky clean with all those enzymes up it, lol!

Jenre said...

Hi Wave

Ah yes, the range of locations would be a problem if they took out the shower scene. Maybe I'm just too vanilla, but for me it's what they do and how they feel, not necessarily where they do it that counts. Unless of course it's part of some voyeurism kick and they're doing it in a car park :).

Jenre said...

Hi Tracy

Thanks :).

The hotness of the scene depends on the couple for me. I've read a few showers sex scenes which have done nothing but made me think about all the niggles about shower sex, and some where I've been so caught up in the sex that the niggles didn't bother me.

Jenre said...

Hi Chris
I think it must be a cultural thing with showers then. Our showers tend to have a shower head which is attached by a flexible pipe to the shower unit. That's the bit I worry about strangulation with :).

Lea said...

LOL I can't say as I find the whole sex in a shower thing very sexy for the exact reasons you mentioned Jenre. However, I've read a couple of very sensuous scenes in contemps and one was a m/m where the guy watched the guy taking a shower through a glass door and doing "things" to himself.

Now, that, was hot.

Chris said...

So I'm reading The Distance Between Us, which is annoying the crap out of my because it's based on a BIG MISUNDERSTANDING and the plot to sex ratio is so skewed that I'll probably start nodding off during the sex scenes soon. ANYWAY - lots and lots and lots of shower sex, which is getting analyzed quite a bit more than it might've on, say, Wednesday. :) Pretty sure somebody should have drowned by now or slipped and dislocated something at the very least.

Jenre said...

Hi Lea

I agree voyeurism scenes where one character watches another is very sexy. Yum :).

Jenre said...

Chris: Funny you should say that, but that book was the one which sparked this post. They spend nearly the entire book in the shower with each other - a huge shower sex to other type of sex ratio :).

Chris said...

Ha! I had my suspicions after I started to read the book. :)

Jenre said...

Chris: You just know me too well :).

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