This post may contain some spoilers from the book White Boyfriend by Leesha McCoy.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click any of these links and make a purchase within a certain timeframe, I may earn a commission, at no extra cost to you.
Earlier this week, I finished reading a book listed as a ‘heart warming rom-com’. It was entitled White Boyfriend, written by Leesha McCoy, and I thought that I would be getting a light hearted but enlightening look at the intricacies of being a Black woman dating a white man for the first time. I mean, look at the cover:
I can be forgiven for that, right?
What I found however, was that like several titles I have read lately, this book was more about self-love. It was about self-discovery. It was about breaking the chains of oppression imposed upon children by well-meaning, overbearing parents. This also included a sort of sexual liberation, a secondary coming-of-age where a woman gets to decide what type of sex she wants and learn to be confident in getting it.
That’s where the vibrators come in.
Flowers and Freedom
I can’t help but notice that of late, vibrators and other sex toys are becoming symbols of sexual emancipation and more importantly, self-love (of the spiritual kind). No more putting up with dissatisfying, male-led encounters, where a woman politely searches the ceiling whilst a partner tries to figure out what buttons to bash for a win (or skips her pleasure altogether).
Now, instead of your typical girl-next-door being wooed by bunches of flowers, the flowers causing the most excitement in these books are vibrating roses, which, I have since discovered, come highly recommended on TikTok. By the time I finished reading White Boyfriend, I knew exactly where to purchase this little gadget, but could barely remember anything about what’s-his-name (besides the fact that he does in fact, season his meat, and that before our main character’s arc was complete, he discovered her vibrating, cobweb-dipped ‘bestie’ from college. Awks).
A Romance Trope?
As the main character grew to love herself, she became more confident and gave her rose a place in her life. A place that was all for her. Her previous ‘bestie’ had been previously lost or hidden by her ex (hence the cobweb), along with any hope of escaping a vanilla existence while with him. She was doomed to bedroom boredom by his conservative views. Thus, the rose entering her life allowed her to bloom in more ways than one.
Perhaps it is simply the titles I have been reading, or perhaps it is the sign of a turning tide? Is self-love the romance trope that we want and need? Or should self-love journeys remain strictly confined to contemporary fiction or development-based non-fiction? Is the focus on life-affirming romance becoming outdated? Let me know what you think!