I'll be the first to admit I write a little bit of kink. Not a lot, mind you, but some. Most of my stories are m/f and yes, they are ultra hot but every now and then I throw in a menage story or two. Normally, I set my menage stories in the paranormal realm because it's just easier to build it into a world where the rules can be 'different'. As a writer you can create laws that 'justify' the menage relationship.
Lately, I've noticed that erotic romances are getting kinkier and kinkier. We have bdsm (bondage lite and not to lite), menage, menage plus, sex with demons, vamps, dragons...you get the drift. It is my understanding that menage and bdsm are the biggest sellers for most publishers. Don't have facts about that, just heresay.
I guess my big question for today is where does that leave the reader who just wants a satisfying, ultra hot erotic m/f romance without all the kink? I know there are some out there and probably more than we know. I remember signing books at EC's Romanticon last fall and one reader came up to ask me....do you have something that has no 'funny stuff'? At first I was puzzled. She went on to say she was tired of all the "weird" stories. She wanted something hot but something that she could relate to. I get that. Don't you? In the end, she headed off with an anthology of older women/younger man stories and she seemed happy with her selection.
Contemporary romances will always be around. You know how every few years some industry person says the historical is dead? Um. Never happens. I don't know if they are saying the same about the contemporary but I wouldn't doubt it. From what I hear, sales might be declining but will they ever go away? No. Never. I just wonder if a time will come when the readers will reach saturation point and begin to turn their noses up at all the kink and weirdness, the strange 'toys' and mystical creatures? I suspect we will always have fantasy lovers. I'll confess I love it too but these days, I'm finding straight m/f contemporaries very satisfying.
Maybe more of us need to go back to basics from time to time. I believe there is a market for it. Want some boiling vanilla? I, for one, kinda miss it.