What is it about smut that draws all of us back again, and again?

Being readers, the outside-in view of us is quite skewed. People think we’re intellectuals (often also straight-up called ‘boring’) who don’t really understand socializing. I can speak for myself here, for sure. People are weird, considering them thinking I only read some out-of-the-world books with philosophical and some scholarly discussions that I may be having with my friends. I’m not.


So, this is NOT a rant about how people who don’t read treat me (perhaps I shall write that too, someday). But this is more about the WHAT I read, to explain in simple words.


I fell into a massive reading slump recently and I cannot even decide if I’m out of it yet. I read a whole lot of fantasy and sci-fi, yes. But what brings me back from a slump, or remains a comfort read is – smut.


Smut is essentially, something obscene or indecent. Or in more crude words as urban dictionary puts it – A writing style that is sexually explicit and generally associated with females. Basically, sexy romance, porn aimed towards women.


The thing is, I’ve noticed romance readers are looked down upon a lot. Honestly never understood why because literally everyone I know (including those who say they HATE romance books and films but are in an evident denial of life’s most ostensible truth and covet it for themselves) loves watching rom-coms, listening to real life stories and dream of having one too.


I see women read Mills and Boon in trains, so discreetly as if people are going to disapprove just by looking at its cover. (They do.) I don’t blame them. I’ve been shamed for reading romance too.
But hey, not everyone can read literary fiction and sobby sagas of the world. Sometimes I just don’t relate to it. Even if it’s a fantasy, if I won’t relate to a warrior from a certain country of a certain era, I won’t do it.


Most of us relate to being the heroine in a story, atleast I always have. No, I wasn’t ‘the perfect looking woman with lips like petals of roses and a dreamy body’. But the emotional aspect of it relates. The need for comfort of arms, the want of a forehead kiss, or simply the crackling sensual chemistry – hey I’m game for it – shame me all you want!


At times, going to a smutty read (not necessarily for the sexual content) but simply for the romance, for the feeling of being held hands with and leaned on by a man who will treat you the way you want to be and deserve to be – can be nothing short of therapeutic. At times it’s even coping mechanism. Nothing wrong with it.
I feel like we women go to smut simply for that feeling of perfection. The debate of unrealistic expectations in men is a long-standing one and we’re not even sure if it comes from books or the sub-standard non-committing entitled man-child we meet in most men on swipe-right dates lately. It’s that one moment of warmth.


So going back to a nice, smutty read is something I look forward to no matter how much I love those heavy hardcovered fantasies. Those who feel skeptical, I suggest try that once. If you don’t like it, atleast you tried!

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