There's no other way to say it: Erotic novels are a blast to read. Fans of the genre can't get enough — and I'd be willing to wager that even the most highbrow of readers have snuck a peek at the pages of the super-sexy stuff, because it's impossible to resist. Hell, even the ancient Egyptians loved steamy scenes — they scribbled all sorts of risqué hieroglyphics on scrolls and temple walls. It's human nature to enjoy this kind of experience, but erotic novel-lovers have to endure an ongoing stream of struggles and BS in order to just do what they enjoy. Which is just read these books.
I was a classic erotica fangirl who did whatever it took to keep my dirty little secret under wraps. I'm kind of a conservative prude in social settings, so if anyone had discovered my hidden interest, it probably would've shocked some people... and they probably would've given me a ton of sh*t for it. But here's the thing: I no longer care what people think. I now understand that I can like what I like and that packaged, one-dimensional personality molds are for people on network TV, not real life human beings. I, just like all of you, can enjoy a healthy dose of page-turning sex in a book and still maintain the right to be uncomfortable when people freely discuss pubic hair removal fails and period sex. I mean, do you, universe, just please don't expect me to engage in these discussions because I'm simply not into sharing that much.
The point is that we can do and be whatever we want, and liking erotic fiction doesn't make us any less awesome than we were before we admitted this truth. But I know I'm not alone in this need to cover up our penchant for sex on the page. So, for all of my fellow erotic novel-lovers, these are the everyday struggles we face. Now we can face them together.
1. The Eternal Denial
"Have I read Fifty Shades? Please. Those books are garbage and I don't want to waste my time," she said before going home and speeding through Fifty Shades Darker and wondering what kinds of toys will be featured in book three.
2. The Need to Hide
When someone walks in the same room or general vicinity as you and your e-reader just happens to be on a very steamy page, you panic and immediately try to pull up Words with Friends like you've been playing it this whole time.
3. The Shame! Oh, the Shame!
Even the cheesy dialogue doesn't take you out of a scene (when it totally should), because you know a strapping fella with perfect abs is about to get naked. And you hate yourself for not taking the time to make fun of the dramatic declarations and penis euphemisms because... well, hello there, bulging member friend.
4. The Freedom to Read Anywhere
This is essentially porn, isn't it? And you know it's not moral or socially acceptable to watch porn in public, so how is this OK? You constantly feel like you're about to get arrested and then you get wrongfully excited when you envision a pair of handcuffs. DOH.
5. The Habit of Reading Everywhere
You can't put the book down because the sexy scenes are interspersed with really stupid and pointless miscommunications between the romantic leads and you're at the point where you read half a page while stopped at a red light and feel either furious or turned on.
6. The Addictive Behaviors
Because there's shame tied to it, and because these books have a seriously entertaining and winning formula, you have unhealthy thoughts like, I can stop anytime I want! or Just one more chapter and I'll get back to work. and finally, No, I can't come to your birthday party. I'm uhh... busy.
7. The Non-Digital Copies
You are utterly baffled as to why these are even produced as real books. Who wants to be seen reading one of these? E-readers have done wonders for us skeevy little pervs.
8. The Sexy Thoughts at Completely Inappropriate Times
Read enough of these and they start to blur together. The characters, the plot twists, even the positions become hard to remember. But every once in a while, your mind will randomly travel back to that one scene that left you all kinds of flushed (Claire + Jamie Fraser + Anywhere = temperatures rising). And it'll probably pop up when you're at work and in a very important meeting. Awesome.
9. The Feeling That You're the Only One
Because reading erotic novels it's such an isolating act, you can feel like you're the only one who is actually reading them. But you're not! We're all doing it. Virtual high fives all around.
10. The Annoying Judgment From Others
"Ugh. How can you even read that? I couldn't even get through the first chapter before tossing it aside. Yuck." Well, jerk acquaintance, it's because I'm not in it for the story, I'm in it for the hot sex. If I wanted a brilliant and mind-blowing fictional journey, I'd re-read the Harry Potter series. THAT'S NOT WHY I'M HERE.
11. The Related Recommendations That Are SO CHEESY, But Turn Out to Be Fantastic
Wherever you're buying or renting these steamy titles, the site you buy from is built to learn your tastes. So you will get all kinds of recommendations that will seem completely beneath you, at first. Then you'll cave and buy one and it'll be the one of the highlights of your week.
12. The Wait Until the Next Book in the Series Comes Out
If it's a super-popular series, the author has most likely turned it into a trilogy. So you have to sit idly by while he or she writes and edits and then adds that alluring cover art of male back muscles and bicep curves. It's just a lot to deal with, y'know? Of course you do. We all do. ;-)