steamies

What Are British "Steamies?"

When I came across this article that mentions British “Steamies” I saved the link for a future post.

So what are “steamies?”

The London publishers Piccadilly Press describe steamies as “escapist romances, featuring young women, the same age as the readers, exploring their first sexual desires and their first sexual experiences.”

Then the author writes this:

In other words, porn.

Interesting. And I say this because most authors who write erotica and erotic romance will tell you how careful they are to stay away from any YA material. Their publishers feel the same way. That’s why I make a point of keeping this blog G rated at all times. You never know.

While Britain may have the dubious title of being mainstream erotic fiction’s spiritual home, much of the groundwork for this new genre has been undertaken in these United States. The “steamies” movement draws inspiration from the much-loved work of New Jersey native Judy Blume, whose 1975 novel “Forever” is seen as the first young adult novel to discuss sexuality in a frank manner. It was, inevitably, subject to widespread bans from schools. Racy American teen titles such as Abbi Glines’ “The Vincent Boys” have also recently been picked up by Simon & Schuster UK.

I love my British readers. I’ve been amazed how how supportive they are. And it doesn’t surprise me that the term “steamies” originated in Britain.

Plus, this is the third time this week I’ve heard about Judy Blume’s book, and now I’m dying to read it. I want to know what’s considered porn by some of these people.

But notice one thing in particular. None of the smaller e-presses that focus on erotica and erotic romance are marketing toward a YA market (as far as I know anyway). It’s Simon & Schuster, going in for the kill once again…one of the big six. Years ago this was the kind of thing that could slip by, and to a certain extent it still is. The mainstream media is so out of touch with what’s been happening in publishing it is really a little sad. (What do they get paid to do?) But not completely, because people like me are reading these things and blogging about them now, for free.

In any event, it’s an interesting article and it talks even more about “steamies.” And I have a feeling we’ll be hearing a lot more about that word, and these books, in the coming year.