Finding Your Own Kind of Romance (Novel)

‘Romance’ means something different for everybody. For some people this might be flowers, for others it may be handcuffs or role play. But how do you know what you want until you find it?

When I was younger I used to steal my grandma’s Mills & Boon novels and read them in secret, dreaming of being a grown-up in love, moving past teenage fumblings where none of my partners (or I) knew what we wanted or what we should be doing. In the Mills & Boons I read the heroine was generally wooed by the billionaire; won over by his money, arrogance, good looks, and the fact that he opened her car door for her. The sex was always fairly straightforward, and the story inevitably ended in a marriage and the promise of happily-ever-after.

A picture of two people's arms reaching out for each other and connected only by the grasp of a few fingers. One arm is pictured in a suit jacket while the other person appears to be wearing a wedding dress. The background is green trees.

And it’s totally OK to be turned on by those things! But since my days of Mills & Boon I have found that there are many other kinds of romance out there, and many other kinds of romantic novels. I still love an enemies-to-lovers romance novel like Penni Reid’s X or a romp in a hay bed in the highlands like Maya Banks’ X. But I’ve also discovered a love of the more erotic: light BDSM novels, D/s, threesomes/ foursomes (and there’s obviously thousands more kinks and niches out there that I haven’t ventured into). Some of the scenes may look great on paper and you might find them super hot to fantasize about, but that doesn’t mean you necessarily want to experience them in real life. While other scenes will have you feeling like you’ve finally found what you’ve been looking for in the bedroom. The first step to asking for what you want is actually knowing what you want, but it’s pretty hard to know what you want until you know what’s out there. I used to go into the library and out of a sense of shame, choose the covers that looked the most like they could be a historical novel or ‘chick-lit’. As I get older I'm not so easily embarrassed, but downloading the Libby app, where you can borrow digitally from local library server, definitely makes it easier. There’s so much available, no one knows what you’re reading except you and you can borrow up to 20 titles at once and then just leave it part way through if it’s not something you’re into. Think of it as research! Google, forums especially reddit threats, etc

According to personal experience, as well as Womanhood Wellness, this kind of reading is great for your sex drive: “…having great sex often means that we need to put ourselves into situations to help foster or build up the sexual experience... This is the build up we often get early on in relationships when we are anticipating a date or when our partner may kiss us. When we are in a long-term relationship, this novelty and tension can be harder to find, and it takes more of a conscious effort to create situations that foster this. Putting our mind in a sexual story or fantasy helps to turn on the sexual parts of our brains and this helps to lay down and reaffirm those specific neural networks that help to foster sexual desire.”

Happy reading, and get in touch if you need any recommendations at

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