Question About Bodice Rippers

I’ve only read one bodice ripper ever. And that was back in high school. I can’t remember the author or the title, but I do remember LOTS of sex in it. Detailed scenes of members journeying into budding love sheaths.

From what I can remember, the plot had lots drama. A strong-willed, yet delicate heroine forced to marry the Alpha of all Alphas. His manhood wines and dines her womanhood many times before they realize they love each other. Then just as things are getting good, they get separated (I can’t remember how).

She gets kidnapped or something and ends up in a harem, where her pleasure garden is tilled by peter and later, by woody. The hero thinks she’s dead and goes on with his life. He hooks up with a gold digging faux virgin, who’ll do anything to get him to marry her. Like burst the vein of a chicken in the vicinity of her harbor of hope so the hero doesn’t realize his boat’s not the first to dock there.

Anyway, the hero and heroine are eventually reunited and go on to live happily ever after.

Critics of erotica call the genre pornography and accused its writers of writing stories heavy on sex and light on plot. I wonder what they would call the bodice ripper I described.

This story has several graphic sex scenes and at least one forced seduction (the wedding night) and maybe another one between the heroine and a secondary character. In my opinion, the plot is more high drama than high conflict. Filler between the nookie passages. 

So can bodice rippers, like the one I read be considered pornography like erotica? Maybe soft porn because of the language used to describe sex organs and the sex act? How do you view bodice rippers?



Filed under Kimberly, writing

4 responses to “Question About Bodice Rippers

  1. aj

    I think those critics who would refer to erotica as pornography would probably have similar feelings about bodice rippers. I think as a whole when people became more comfortable with their sexuality we stepped away from that place where women had to be forced to allow themselves to step away from the “evil” of sex and enjoy themselves to a place where people can have sex on purpose and enjoy it. Bodice rippers are the predecessor of all modern romance probably. We just put on a dress that was less bodice. lol

    That book sounds awful by the way. I feared romance books when I was younger just because I thought I might stumble on to something like that. All the ones I had read were truly awful in my opinion. But I discovered I liked Johanna Lindsey because my FATHER read her. But otherwise up until about a year ago I avoided romances. But they are nothing at all like they used to be.


  2. jodi

    lol–I think I read that one. Did you like the one with the buxom heroine who was captured while the hero didn’t know it and “conquered” by dwarfs until she delighted in their manly parts? Then she had a beautiful–but evil– (because of the evil dwarfs part) daughter, who vowed to avenge her mother’s disgrace by hunting down the hero and heaving their loins together?

    they were good–in the context of writing at that time. Sort of like penny dreadfuls, or saturday matinees. I think it would make a great erotica to have a sensitive, yet plucky heroine leave her hero because they can’t dialog to fall into the company of “little people” with big nether regions and find her true hero–a man being discriminated against due to size-est prejudices. 🙂

  3. I think you have to see them in the context of the time when they were written -I’m talking about the early 80’s here, when

    a) a lot of women didn’t think they were supposed to fantasize about sex or really enjoy it, so the whole ‘being forced’ idea kind of let them off the hook 🙂

    b) women were often trying to be ‘the man’ at work and wanted something escapist and totally feminine to read to escape all the frustrations of trying to be something that might not want to be.

    I find them cringeworthy to read now but didn’t in the 80’s when they certainly helped to think about myself and sex in a more open way 🙂

    so not pornography, just an example of times ‘a changing’

  4. I did read a couple of books like that in the early 90’s. I shiver now thinking back to it. Your early description of members journeying into love sheaths brings back memories. LOL. It’s so hard to read stuff like that now, even though you still see some of that in historical romance. Thank God for erotic romance, seriously. A friend of mine had kind of laid off the romance genre for a while, only reading her favorite authors periodically, until I told her about the erotic romance market. Now, she’s fallen in love with romance novels again.

    I suppose you can say that erotic romance does for us today what the bodice rippers did for the women of the 80’s. I’m just glad that I know know what got put where…

    Even today, I cringe whenever I read the words “hot core”. Is that like the center of the earth? Lava beneath volcanoes of Hawaii? Some fire oven like they use at California Pizza Kitchen? Sorry for those who use this term. No offense. It’s just one of my pet peeves.

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