Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sex rating?

To our regular readers, it's come to my attention that there's some confusion over LVLM's sex ratings. There is a ratings explanation bar on the right lower side panel, but from comments made to me personally and some I've seen, I gather it's confusing.

Current rating explanation:

Orgasmic- Smokin hot- graphic erotic language/situations
Wet panties- Graphic sexual language
Damp panties- Mild-- sensual language/sexual situations
Dry panties- No or barely there sexual situations

Orgasmic does NOT mean that I personally have been having orgasms while reading the book. Nor does Wet Panties mean that my panties got all wet while reading.

When Kirsten and I set up the blog, we wanted something different than the usual 1-5 heat level. And because I review a lot of erotica and erotic romance we do need some sort of rating to let readers know the type, amount, and how graphic sexual content is. I know some of our readers don't like to read graphic sex.

Personally, there's been quite a few books that I've reviewed in the area of erotica and erotic romance that have not turned me on at all, but I rated Orgasmic because of the amount of sex and how graphic it was written. Nor does the fact that I've rated something Dry Panties mean that I've not gotten turned on. It just means there's not much or no actual graphically written sexual content.

What turns people on sexually is their own business. But when I read reviews of erotic romance or erotica, I wish to know what type of sexual content is in the book and how often, etc. So I do need to have a rating system. But I can see how Orgasmic or Wet Panties comes across as a particular reviewer's personal experience of a book.

I'd like for there to be no confusion on that. And I'd like a rating system that accurately reflects actual content and not how the sex in the book personally affected the reviewer.

The trouble is, with erotic romance and erotica, there are all kinds of language. When I say graphic, I usually mean hard core terms for genitalia, sexual acts, ect. Then there's sensual language which uses lighter, more common euphemistic terms to describe sex. Sexual scenes are included but it's not hard core. It's really hard to define that when giving a rating, which is why I include actual sexual content like dildo use, or anal, or spanking, etc.

So I ask you guys, our regular readers, what kind of rating system would work well for you? I'm willing to change our system to one that is more effective to the reader and maybe less offensive or confusing.

Would you guys like something simple like a 1-5 heat rating? Or something more like a movie system G- X rated? Or something else?


JenB said...

Someone actually asked if your panties got wet while you read?

Wow. Are people really that literal? O_o

You should rate on a scale of 1-5 cupcakes.

But then someone would probably ask if "4 cupcakes" means you made 4 cupcakes while reading the book or if you ate 4 cupcakes.

Gah. Sad.

LVLM said...

Heh, Jen- no, no one ASKED me if my panties got wet. That would be a bit too weird. snort I've just had/ read comments that it seemed a bit TMI as if it were the truth.

I really don't know. Everyone's different and I can see that it could make someone uncomfortable. I think I give a way more TMI in a review than the rating.

And my rating system was way at the bottom where people don't look usually.

I might just go with something really simple. I just wanted to be a bit different then the usual "heat" "flame" "steam" rating, but it's not such a big deal to change.

Cathy in AK said...

I think your system is unique. But I have an idea : )

Sitting in front of my wood stove, trying to keep a fire lit (spring, really? where?), I come up with a rating from damp kindling (not gonna light, man) to four log rager that makes you sweat : )

LVLM said...

LOL Cathy- I think you're on to something.

JenB said...

Oh, thank goodness. I was so creeped out! LOL

I think your rating system is fine. It's pretty clear to me.

For erotica and erotic romance, I always appreciate a double rating system--stars or letter grade for quality of writing, then a flame rating for sensuality--since it's so easy to have a sucky book with hot sex or vice versa.

Jill Sorenson said...

Oh! I guess I AM really that literal, because I thought the rating system was TMI. Sorry! Thanks for explaining.

I'm not a big fan of heat ratings. I don't think I want to be warned about the specific sexual acts, either, unless something really weird happens. Even then it's all so subjective. One person's weird is another's hawt.

LVLM said...

Jill- LOL I heard from several people so it's an issue. Maybe minor but I'd like to make it clear.

I'm thinking to just go simple and rate it 1-5 heat level. I pay attention to those kinds of things when I go shopping for books.

I get pissed off if I want some sex in my book and it says erotica and there's no sex or barely there sex. And sometimes I'm in the mood for no sex. I want to know

I will still write what's in a book as well. It's another thing I appreciate when buying a book, that kinks are mentioned. I'm not too partial to spanking or BDSM in general, so I like to know that. I might not buy the book then. And better that then I get pissed if I come across it when I wasn't expecting it.

When I put erotica on the top part of the review, that only indicates that the focus is not as much on romance but more on the sexual relationship. So that doesn't necessarily define heat rating.