Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Condoms in Literature

Here I go: condom use in books is WAY underdone. Confession: I have a not-so-secret love of trashy romances. I love them. They're easy to read, you imagine yourself as the heroine and all is good for an afternoon. Let me ask you this? How many of those broad-shouldered-narrow-hipped-cowboy-superhero-half-naked-firemen have wrapped it up before getting busy? Not many.

I wrote a scene where one of my characters was a sex worker.(Yeah, yeah, I know, BAD feminist). The john wore a condom. All three of the ladies editing that chapter commented on it. From then on out, if my characters didn't wear one, I got yelled at. It wasn't because I didn't want them to use protection, I just didn't think about it while writing. Taking time out of a very sexy scene to pull out the Trojan and saran wrap the penis is not so sexy.

Guess what?

I went back and added a condom to every single sex scene in the entire book.

I'm a bad feminist. I write characters who are hookers, I have strong strapping men who want to rescue the girl, and sometimes, the damn girl needs rescuing.

Let me say this again: I'm. A. Bad. Feminist. I should write empowering books about women pursuing men and choosing their own path and overcoming the pressures the world puts on us. When I'm writing, I'll sacrifice feminist ideals for story every single time. Go ahead, yell at me. It's my right as an author, and my story would suffer if I made different choices.

But, here's the point. My men wear condoms. Why? Because they should, because non-monogamous sex should be safe. I cringed for the first few times I had to write it in. Figuring out at what point it would happen, how to do it without ruining the tone, etc. I did it. I also managed to explicitly write in consent, which had Amy swooning, but that's a post for another day.

I may be a bad feminist in a lot of ways, but here is my contribution. I'm going to make condoms sexy. I may suck at everything else I should do, but I'm going to make condoms sexy.

Have I said condoms enough in this post yet?

Hats off to Amy and her post on the issue over at Check it out. I'm Author B, by the way!

1 comment:

  1. You are not a bad feminist! You write fiction! In real life you don't believe a woman needs rescued. A good feminist will require a condom because she is in charge and takes her health seriously.Good for you!