What the hell is Mormon romance?

So I went a-seekin’ keywords for my website header information and, naturally, plugged “Mormon romance” into Google and what did I get? This:

Mormon romance novels seduce book buyers

Germane point:

“I realized that there was a big hole in the LDS market for women’s fiction and I felt like I could do better,” [author Anita] Stansfield said. “I couldn’t find anything to read that satisfied me.”

Several years ago Stansfield wrote about a woman recovering from breast cancer. An important part of the book was the woman’s relationship with her husband, which included their relations in the bedroom, Stansfield said.

The novel’s bedroom scene dealt sensitively and obscurely with the topic of sex, referring more to the woman’s feelings than the couple’s activities. And yet Stansfield doesn’t believe those scenes would make it through the editing process today.

“I know I couldn’t write that now. They have cracked down,” she said.


I haven’t read Anita Stansfield because I never heard of her. This is easily explained: I’m east of the Rockies and there is a great divide amongst the cultural habitus of Mormons west and east of the Rocky Mountains. But you know, I feel for her.

I don’t know when the idea of sex became anathema to Mormons, but it drives me up a wall. We’re fairly notorious for having large families and yet…all those kids musta been brung by the stork, cause you know, nobody had sex once that bedroom door closed. We won’t even go into polygamy (apparently they didn’t have sex, either).

I just…don’t get it. Mormons are human, too. We a) make mistakes, b) have pain and temptation, and c) develop coping mechanisms for said pain and temptation. Culturally, we dance around the subject of sex, and I think that it’s neither appropriate nor helpful.

So, like Stansfield, I couldn’t find anything to read that satisfied me, either, so I wrote it. Oh, I expect it’ll piss a few people off, namely members for daring to juxtapose the church against sex, and nonmembers disappointed I didn’t trash the church.

The Proviso isn’t about Mormons having sex or turning the air blue. It’s about people who live their lives and happen to be Mormons or ex-Mormons steeped in its culture. It is graphic, though. I wish that, as a culture, we could find some happy medium between the two ends of the spectrum of sacred to profane.

I wrote people with a unique set of problems informed by their unique culture. I believe there are more people like me out there who want something more, something different, something less sanitized lest some poor soul be led astray (too late for me, I’m afraid).

Do I think there’s a market for this? Yes, I do.

Where is it? Don’t have a clue.

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