Why do you read romance?

Happy Thursday, Bibliophiles!

For the next four weeks, I am hosting a weekly romance discussion that involves anything and everything about the romance and erotica genres.  I am excited to hear your perspectives on romance, and together we will debunk the myth that romance is a lesser form of fiction.

 

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So, for our first week, I thought we’d start simple…

Why do you read romance?

Or if you don’t, then why don’t you read romance?

Share with me in the comments below.  All opinions are welcome!  Please respect others when commenting (hateful or inappropriate comments will be removed).

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My Story

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(Oh hey!  That’s me ^.^)

I an avid reader and writer of romance, but this wasn’t always the case.  I was raised to believe that romance novels are “trashy” and off-limits, and it took me years to grow comfortable with reading romance and erotica novels publically.  It took me even longer to be comfortable with writing romance as a professional author.  However, my background also helped me to understand the marginalization that romance and erotica authors and novels face due to the genre being seen as a “pleasure” genre and cheap fiction due to its subject matter.  To some, romance is equivalent to porn and seen as illicit.  But to others (me, for instance) romance is a way for readers and writers to explore and express love and sexuality while deepening feelings of self- and partner-love.

After much contemplation, I came to a conclusion.  My other favorite genre is horror (the bloodier the better), and I began to realize that I read romance and horror novels due to the extreme emotions they elicit within me.  Books have always been my portals, and I have found that reading horror and romance has provided me with emotions and experiences that are not available to me in person.  I prefer novels that expose deep feelings, and love and sexuality are two strong emotions that are universal.  Romance novels allow you to explore your sexuality and escape in a way that is personal for each reader.  For me, romance reading and writing has allowed me to explore the unexpected and expand my understanding of all types of relationships.

I read romance because it relieves stress and makes me feel closer to not only myself but my partner as well.  Romance helps me practice self-care while expanding emotions and exposing new experiences through literature.  Whenever I open up a romance novel, I immediately feel like I’m going home, and there is no place I would rather be.  Romance helps readers explore human relationships in a format, and I will also advocate for romance and erotica authors and readers.

Much love,

Ashley Nestler, MSW

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