Confession Time: I Don’t Like Smut

Posted August 2, 2021 by Brin in Discussion Posts / 0 Comments

blogger confessions

Confession Time: I Don’t Like Smut

I bet I got your attention with this headline, huh? It might be closer to the truth to say I get embarrassed reading sex scenes in books. Not because I’m a prude or anything (I’m really not, or I don’t think so anyway…) I’m also in no way shaming people for enjoying smutty scenes in books and it’s true that I do enjoy a good romance (and sex and romance do go hand-in-hand so it’s not like I don’t think it has its place). It’s more that the second-hand cringe really gets to me.

cringe

I’m the same watching love scenes in  movies or television – I tend to tune them out or even turn away altogether (or hide my face in a pillow – I’m not proud of this haha). I get the same way when people do cringey things onscreen (whether real or scripted). I learned today that there is even a specific term for this phenomenon ‘vicarious embarrassment’ (hey, every day’s a school day!) 😛

I get nauseous, my stomach feels like its flip-flopping, and my face turns a lovely shade of puce (it ain’t pretty). I have to plug my ears, shut my eyes, and hum to myself until the embarrassing and/or mortifying thing has gone away. Or, when reading a book (because it would be hard to physically do any of the aforementioned) I either have to skim over the section or skip it entirely if it gets too much.

It’s really weird because I do enjoy romance overall and characters forming emotional connections. I can even see why people might get… ahem… into love scenes (I can recognise that it can be hot or whatever – no judgement) but I just feel awkward and a little bit (okay, a lot!) uncomfortable.

embarrassed

I know I’m probably far from the only person that has this kind of knee-jerk reaction to other peoples intimate or humiliating moments but it does sometimes make me feel a bit out of sorts because I honestly cannot fully enjoy when things get spicey in novels. I actually much prefer when it fades to black (though if it doesn’t, I force myself to pull on my big girl pants and deal with it – i.e. rush through so quickly its all a blur!!)

To Smut or Not To Smut?

My aversion to smutty scenes makes no sense to me at times because I do like romantic elements (and the build-up in of it in books) and also read a great deal of books with prominent romances in them (as you can probably see from my purchasing history!) I suppose that the take-away from this is that everyone gets different things out of books. I might not be comfortable reading sex scenes but it doesn’t stop me from enjoying a book (or film etc.) overall.

Hopefully this post makes sense – I kind just word-vomited this whole spiel! Hopefully nobody takes my blogger/reader hat away for this confession… how about you folks? Do any of you suffer from the dreaded second-hand cringe? Do love scenes make you hot and bothered in a completely different way from intended? Enquiring minds want to know… 😉

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Brin

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