Bookish Ramblings · Discussions

What’s in a name? That which we call “Smut”

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Just last week (at least by the time I’m writing this post — it might go up a little later) I finished my Smutathon readathon… and as last time it was a lot of fun (it’s the second time I do this ) but it also reminded me of the controversy surrounding the word Smut…

It’s funny how it almost seems like a derogatory term for romance novels… and it’s not only used by those snobbish romance haters but even among ourselves hardcore romance readers… But let’s get down to basics…

Definition of Smut

“A story, usually a book or a fan fiction, that includes one or more sexually explicit scenes.”

That’s it… it’s just a book with explicit sex on it, logically a lot of romance books have sex on them (some more explicit than others) so calling them smutty books should not be offensive but why does it feel like it is sometimes… Why do we add that connotation to a mere descriptive word…

I found it funny how some of the bloggers and booktubers I follow completely avoided the word, or on the contrary they will give you a lecture on what exactly a smutty book is… most times linking the to Erotica side of the spectrum and I get that, not all romance books are “smutty books” after all.. but let’s not forget that we are talking about sexual content in books and there are degrees to that.. levels of explicitness sort of speak, so I might be using the word smut correctly if I’m referring to a book even if it’s not an Erotica Novel..

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Which brings me to another tangent… I could be reading a sci/fi book without romance in it… that maybe talks about alien reproduction or something like that and it uses explicit sex to explain whatever… So, in this case I’m sure people would avoid using the word smut but it would still be accurate, wouldn’t it? caliing it a sci/fi smutty book..

It upsets me how we turn one simple word or expression into the enemy… I recall the hated (I do hate this with a passion) “Mommy Porn” back when Fifty Shades was a huge thing… What?? Everyone and their dog read those books why is it called Mommy Porn? What the heck? It was just another way to demean the romance genre… just like this ridiculous thing with the word smut…

So, why not take back the word despite its underlying notions of  darkness and its   metaphorical use for “indecent or obscene”… After all what’s considered smut is in the eye of the beholder, like most things in the realm of entertainment.. And once again we shouldn’t feel wrong about enjoying sexy smexxy books… what’s the harm in that?, it doesn’t make them any less good or even relevant having sexual content..

Okay.. ranting discussion over, more or less, but now I’m curious … what’s your stand on the use of the word Smut?? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below…

As Always

Happy Reading

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7 thoughts on “What’s in a name? That which we call “Smut”

  1. What’s in a name. You could not have chosen a better title! I am of the opinion that to each his own and read what you want! There is not bad or right read. Excepet maybe extreme hate propaganda or something like that, I don’t care what you read. If you enjoy it that’s what’s important!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t see anything wrong with anyone reading whatever they want to read, but I do agree that there is a negative connotation to the word “smut.” Even if the dictionary definition of the word isn’t negative, the word is generally used that way. But if you want to use it positively, more power to you. LOL! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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