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Bodice-ripper "rules"

Posted by ESC on July 05, 2000

In Reply to: Some Definitions posted by Patty on July 05, 2000

: Bruce wrote...

: On a scale of 1-3, a PORNO PATCH would be at a low level, the BODICE RIPPER at the next one and a BONKBUSTER near the top.

: Bruce, I take it that a true "bodice ripper" is not simply suggestive, but has a graphic-description element to it. But it sounds like the "patch" would be graphic, too.

Here's a definition from the "Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume 1, A-G" by J.E. Lighter, Random House, New York, 1994. "BODICE-RIPPER n. a fast-paced romantic novel, set typically in England in the 18th or 19th C., that includes scenes of sexual passion and usu. a female first-person narrative."

I think there's more to it than that. More "rules." For example, in the books I remember, the heroine wasn't "responsible" for any sexual activity. She was either swept along by overwhelming passion or physically overpowered. (Kind of like the women in the old 1950s True Confession and True Love magazines -- they always lost consciousness right before the act.) And it seems to me that author Barbara Cartland had her own rules that the whole affair had to end in marriage.