Monday, April 27, 2020

Romance has gotten much sexier. How do we rate sexy?

Couple kissing in water

As you know, I've recently been reading a lot of smut. Yes, really! I'm drowning in sexiness and smuttiness, but I'm also discovering that I might need to update my heat rating system because it's not quite covering what I'm reading now but I'm not entirely sure what to do.

As background, here is my current heat rating, which you can also find in the rating system section of the bloggity. 

5 Flames:
Flame  Flame  Flame  Flame  Flame
Lots and lots and lots of sex. Probably sex in every chapter. Multiple partners, BDSM or backdoor sex. 
4 Flames:
Flame  Flame  Flame  Flame
Steamy sex (somewhat kinky or descriptive). 
3 Flames:
Flame  Flame  Flame
More plot than sex, but it happens once or twice. 
2 Flames:
Flame  Flame
One sex scene mostly behind closed doors (without much description). 
1 Flame:
No sex at all, but may have kissing, sexual tension or innuendo. 
No heat:
no heat
Mostly young adult, with little to no sexual tension, some basic attraction. Absolutely no sex.

I came up with this chart before I started reading reverse harem but had read menage (threesomes). And of course, since I've started reading smut, things have gotten even steamier. The heat levels are literally off the charts.

I've been reading erotic romance for a long time. And with erotic romance, I tended to rate it either four flames or five flames. 4 flames for if it's just one couple, and five flames if there are three or more people involved which encompasses the reverse harem genre.

Desk Job by Lily Harlem 10 Men by Stephanie Brother The President My Lover by Cassandra Dee and Kendall Blake

That was all fine and dandy until I started reading smut because holy steam coming out of my ears, Batman, the shizz is HOT. Five flames were definitely not cutting it. While adhering to the existing heat rating system I have, I was rating books that were smutty four flames for single couples and five flames for multiple partners, but that was not taking into consideration the heat level and smut factor of the writing which was making my Kindle melt into a puddle. Smut was way hotter than the usual 4 or 5 flames in ye olde erotic romance. Things have gotten a lot hotter since I started reading romance eons ago.

I'm in a book group with a few friends, and we call ourselves "Smutty Book Club" because we all love naughty naughty books. When talking about the books we were reading and recommending to each other, we decided that we needed a new emoji to signify smut levels. We came up with this funky looking stop sign that kind of looked like a flame for smut and that's been fun to use. It helps with the distinction between regular erotic romance and sexy, steamy romance versus smutty goodness.

Smutty emoji

Of course, it didn't end there because, upon further reading, we discovered an author who really pushed the boundaries of what is considered smut. I mean, I consider smut to be still quite refined in its writing. Dirty, sexy, erotic, yes, but skilled in its execution. This, however, was crude and messy. Kinda crass actually. Downright filthy even. There were fluids. Ick! It pushed me way out of my comfort zone. It wasn't quite porn but it came darned close, it was more... porny. Then I cheekily said that we had sexy, smutty, and porny. And we needed emojis for all of them. I had the bright idea of using water drops for porny because of the fluids. Eek!

Smutty emoji chat

To be honest, I doubt I'd read much that's porny. It's pushing the envelope a little too far for me, but at least now we have a way to measure it, right? :-p I'll stay within my smutty comfort levels, thank you very much.

So am I going to incorporate the smutty and porny rating into the bloggity's heat rating system? I don't know. Maybe? I'll have to think about how to go about it. Having too many ratings can get cumbersome, and I don't want to confuse my readers. It could maybe look something like this? Just one rating for each. Do you think that would be clear enough?

Smutty rating

Porny rating

In the meantime, take this for the little bit of fun it is, and I'm going to continue to enjoy the books I'm reading and pushing limits. We'll see how far I go. Tell me, what's the sexiest book you've read recently?

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  1. Could you just add another flame,? Nothing to say there can only be 5

    1. Of course, that would be the sensible thing to do, wouldn't it? :-p but I'm being silly and I do quite like the smutty and porny emojis. :-)