Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sex over 50?

Earlier this year, the spouse and I both hit the big 5-0. We also became grandparents, And while we might not be as voracious as we were when we met at age 21, we're both still very much sexually alive. So it never occurred to me that this was anything out of the ordinary. Still, it isn't something you see in books all that often.

Then a little while ago, one of my publishers sent out an email about erotica over 50. I answered that I AM 50, which does surprise a lot of people, since I have kind of a baby face and a youngish attitude. (This picture was taken in January 2013, just so you know.) No, I was informed, they were looking for folks who had written erotic romance with the protagonists who'd passed the half-century mark. They found very few. Later, I saw a call for stories from that publisher, Ellora's Cave, asking specifically for this.

Huh. Is there a market for this? Most women I know who are my age and older read sexy books about younger characters. In some cases, those characters are the ages of their kids, even grandkids. There aren't a lot of books with steamy sex among the silver-haired set. A while back there was a bunch of Older Woman/Younger Man stories, but that doesn't float everybody's boat. What about older/older stories? I happen to think my 50 yr old hubster is pretty damn hot, in bed and out.

It had been a while since I'd written any erotic romance. For a couple years, I've been mostly focusing on paranormal and steampunk, but recently, a publisher asked me specifically to contribute to an e-rom anthology. The story I wrote was accepted, and will be the Mr. November story, (title pending) in Decadent Publishing's Calendar Men series for 2014. It was fun to do, and I remembered a lot of things I like about writing e-rom. So add 1+1 and I'm thinking about writing an over 50 e-rom for this submissions call. Could be a lot of fun. Could be a total flop. I'm just really curious to find out.

So what do you think? Is there a  market for this? Would you read it?

18 comments:

Amber Skyze said...

I'd definitely read it. I'm 5 years away from the big 5-0, but couldn't imagine live without sex. :)

Angela Campbell said...

I think it depends on the reader. I'd have no problem reading an erotic story with older protagonists, but I'm only guessing a lot of younger romance readers might not be initially attracted to the concept. I say this only because a relative I shall not name who is only 22 and who reads romances actually asked me why the characters in my story were "so old." My characters were only in their early 30s! *facepalm*

Victoria Adams said...

What a fascinating idea. I don't write erotic - but there is probably a massive market out there. In our forever young culture - it must be annoying for the older readers to always read about perfect 20 something bodies with slim hips or rippling torsos.

Brenda Williamson said...

I don't know that I pay particular attention to ages when reading,so unless they are doing something only teenagers do, I suppose it doesn't matter if they are 20-something or 50 something.

And as a 54 yr old I may have the wisdom of age, but I still act the same way I did in my twenties, just with a little more caution in the back of my mind.

As for the EC call... I thought they read my mind. I already had a story written, so it will be submitted soon.

anny cook said...

Um, there's sex over 60...over 70...and so on. From the folks I've talked to, it's better and sweeter. And...according to folks that know about these things, there's an STD epidemic among the older crowd so don't forget the condoms!

Melissa Keir said...

Age is just a number. When I read, the characters become my own age, not the young flighty newbies. I guess that's why I don't read YA. I like a man and woman who are comfortable in what they want.

As far as promotion, some will pick the book up based on the age and some will ignore it. But that's the nature of the biz!

Natasha Moore said...

I hope there's a market for it. I plan on writing one of those over-50 stories too.

Since hubby & I are both over 50, I can attest to the fact that sex is even better when there are no more kids at home. :)

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Thanks, everyone! Lots of great comments. Natasha, all I can say is "Mine won't leave! Arrgh." LOL.

Ashlyn Chase said...

Love the idea, Cindy! Why let the kids have all the fun? Also, there are online magazines and newsletters specifically for over 50's and I'll bet cheap ads would be possible. Unless you can afford AARP mag!

I was sad when I found out HGTV doesn't want people over 40 on their shows. How about downsizing? That's what we're looking to do in the not too distant future.

Maggie Nash said...

I think it's a great idea and I believe it would have a large market - lots of women that age, and men for that matter, read erotic romance. And hey, experience is a sexy thing!

Suz said...

Hey, I'm 58 and have a randier sex life than ever before! If course there's a market for over-50 erotica!

VenusBookluvr said...

I'd say there is definitely a market for this, I mean really if you poll romance readers I'd bet the majority of them are 35+. I'm not 50 yet but I believe thjat any character who is well written and easy to relate to to would be well recieved and Cindy you write some of the best characters I've ever met!

Cara Marsi said...

This subject keeps coming up. I believe HQ tried a line of older h/h and it didn't go over well. There is probably a market for it, but I don't think it's a big market. I'm an older person, well past 50, and I don't want to read romances with h/h over 50. That's just me. I'm always in the minority about this.

Dalton Diaz said...

I would be okay with it if the hero/heroine actually acted their age! They have to be more mature in their thinking than their 20's/30's, or it's a turnoff for me. I want an equal, not another kid!

Anna Markland said...

This is a timely post for me. I am in the process of completing a manuscript I've dabbled with for two years. The hero and heroine are both over fifty. It's a contemporary romance.
Yes, I have finally broken free of my medieval rut!
I find this discussion very encouraging because I've had doubts about the viability of what I am writing.

Molly Daniels said...

I read a hilarious romance last year about a woman in her 60s who never expected to find love again. So bring it on:)

artlover said...

I think it's a g ret idea, but am not sure of a market. I think many readers want to buy in the expectation of hot, hot sex, and they might pass this by.

Tessie Bradford said...

Hi Cindy~
I received incredibly positive comments regarding my book, Pampering Jessica, which is about a married couple celebrating Jessica's 50th birthday. Hana's Handyman also has both h/h over 50, and my current work in progress is also a mature love story! I love reading and writing older characters - they have depth and a whole lot of experience in life!