Fight night

As payback for taking him to see Twilight, my hubby made me watch a UFC fight.

Having read about fights in my romance books and having watched movies, I was confident I knew what to expect. The hero would have quiet dignity and not be very demonstrative. Neo-like, he’d move so quickly the naked eye would have trouble following his actions. Rocky-like, he’d take punches stoically without so much as a flinch. He’d wait until just the right moment, when he’d unleash his punch and with minimal fuss, subdue the bad guy in seconds. It would be a thing of beauty.

I was taken back as soon as the fighters emerged. Neither of them looked right. For one, their hair didn’t look like Fabio’s and they weren’t cool and aloof. They were tattooed, with shaved heads, broken noses and had ‘cauliflower’ ears–an item never once mentioned in a romance book.

When the fight started, it was a huge let down. For minutes on end, all the fighters did was circle each other giving their opponent their version of the ‘evil eye’. I stared as time passed and not a single arm was lifted. When I finally asked my hubby what was going on, he explained they were ‘looking for an opening’. An opening? Napoleon didn’t plan as long as these two did.

When they finally got into the actual scuffle, their punches were ridiculous and uncoordinated. While Rocky had punches that could fell a tree, these guys seldom hit their target and their hits looked feather light.

Something romance books never mention is that the chin is like a On/Off button on people. When a flailing limb somehow hit one of the fighters on the chin, he went down like a sack of potatoes.

Another fact that romance books blatantly ignore is the power of the elbow. Fists might look powerful but if you want to really hurt your opponent, you should use your elbow. Harder than any knuckle, the elbow can do incredible damage and can actually cut someone’s face. To my knowledge, not one of my romance heroes has ever elbowed someone.

And to bring about submission, you writhe on the ground with your opponent looking a lot like two earthworms who have gotten very friendly with each other.

Watching two well trained athletes slither on the ground, grinding against their opponent burst what was left of my hope that this fight would ever resemble those in my romance books. Not one ounce of dignity, not an iota of romantic flare, this wasn’t a hero and a bad guy, this was nuts.


I practically ran back to my romance books.

Reality and romance

I love romance. It’s my favourite genre by far. Still, there are times when I shake my head at a book or two. See, once in a while, romance borders on the…well, unrealistic.

The hero can definitely be over the top. His hair is perfect, his teeth are perfect and his smile can make females swoon from miles away. Sometimes perfection itself is not enough. I’ve read books where he was ‘incredibly male’, whatever that means.

Other times the love is over the top. There are love stories where the hero and heroine despise each other the entire book but magically come to passionate, desperate love in the last two pages of the book. Really?

But the worse infraction by far are those sex scenes. I’m all for imagination and trying new things but some of the scenarios I’ve read made me cringe–and I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the reaction the author wanted. I’ll leave alone the fact that no one in a romance seems to have any sort of realistic sexual issue, some of the situations made me wonder if it was physically possible at all.

Can two people actually have sex on a horse? Really? Because I’ve ridden a horse and I’ll tell you I had trouble simply staying seated on the animal. How come no one ever slips during hot, steamy shower sex but I barely make it out of mine alive in the mornings? Should I mention how dirty pirates were (no tooth brushes!)? How could sex with them be even remotely appealing?

If you’re interested, here‘s the article that got me ranting about the topic. A fantastic read by All About Romance.

What do you think? Is it realistic or do we say, eh, and just believe?