Bad Romance part 2: The romance genre needs better critique, not more gatekeepers

Though romance novels have always centered relationships and women, there’s no argument that issues of consent and coercion abound in the genre's shady past. Consider the conflicted relationships readers have with Kathleen Woodwiss’ The Flame
and the Flower
, a novel that is said to have started the modern “bodice ripper” romance genre. Here's part two analyzing the romance genre in books…

Bad Romance: Yes, I'm a feminist who loves romance novels (+ a Seattle event on May 8th!)

I, like a lot of romance readers and writers, wasn’t always proud to admit that the romance genre was my passion. Contrary to popular belief, it turns out many smart, creative, thoughtful, well-educated women are reading romances (and our status as houswives, or not, is beyond the point). We raise families, nurture careers, create art, and break through barriers personally and professionally without expecting to have our problems solved by a billionaire into kinky sex. We sure as hell aren’t longing to be thrown over the back of a horse and ridden away with (though if you are, I don’t judge!). Here's part one of how things are evolving in the romance genre…

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How do I stop my teenage son from pressuring girls into sending nudes?

I have a 13-year-old son who I've recently found out has been pressuring a female friend into sending nude photos to him. I'm SO disappointed as I thought I was doing a good job teaching him about enthusiastic consent, legal issues with minors, and framing media news in a teachable way. But I'm going wrong somewhere. Do any of you have any advice or resources for dealing with this?

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How to explain BDSM to your family without getting embarrassed

I've been writing about kink online for over a decade. I used to sometimes write under a pseudonym to protect my identity. Now that I’m older and wiser, I’ve realized that there’s nothing to be ashamed of as long as I keep it appropriate for the audience and circumstance. Do I talk about kink out of nowhere, with strangers or acquaintances, using “I” statements and sharing anecdotes? No. Never. Would I talk to my family about it? Would I be embarrassed? Would you? Here's how to explain BDSM to your family without getting embarrassed…