Toss clothes to the floor

It’s the first Wednesday of the month again, time for a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.


This month, I’ll forgo the optional question and instead ask a question of my own. It has been bugging me for a while. You see, I like reading romance novels. In many of them, both historical or contemporary, when the characters are involved in a sex scene, they often throw their clothing to the floor. I wonder why?

In all my life, I’ve never tossed my clothing to the floor. I think it is unsanitary. I understand that the romance heroes, while in the throes of passion, are in the middle of an erotic interlude, their desire rages, their lust is unbridled, yada, yada, yada, but…

Isn’t there a chair in their bedroom? A drawer? A hook on the door? Maybe even a chest in a historical romance. Why can’t they hurl their clothes to any surface but the floor? They just stumbled in from the outside, their shoes are dirty, and they smudge the street dirt all over the floor while engaged in a torrid kiss. Why don’t the drop their clothes on a side table instead of underfoot?

Is it common not only in romance novels but in real life as well? I’ve never done it – I have a special chair beside my bed – but does anyone fling their clothes to the floor when they undress for bed? Or is such weird behavior reserved exclusively for smutty encounters?  

It is an insignificant detail, I know, but please, indulge my curiosity. Tell me in the comments.

This entry was posted in Insecure Writer's Support Group, Olga Godim, Reading, Romance, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Toss clothes to the floor

  1. patgarcia says:

    Good question. I have never thought about it. But I can tell you that my characters don’t throw their clothes on the floor. In fact, the man undresses the woman and hangs her clothes in the closet. -:)
    I’m laughing as I write this but it true.
    Have a lovely month of June.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

  2. alexjcavanaugh says:

    That is a good question. I haven’t tossed my clothes on the floor since I was a little kid. They go on my dresser.

  3. cleemckenzie says:

    You made me laugh today, Olga. Maybe it’s the moment of abandoning cares and seizing the moment that the author’s trying to capture. An ordinarily fastidious person suddenly casts off the rules (metaphor, the clothes) and falls into bed or wherever. I’ll have to look more closely at love scenes, I guess.

  4. soniadogra says:

    Hello! I’m literally laughing Olga. I never gave it so much thought. Although I’m very particular about hanging my clothes before going to bed and never throwing them on the floor but I must say I need to be more observant of our characters now.

  5. Big, big smiles. You are right. I ‘think’ it is a cliched sign of unbridled passion but… And no, I don’t fling my clothes to the floor.

  6. The only clothing I throw to the floor are those that are supposed to go into the laundry basket, and I’m too lazy to go there; even this happens only seldom. But else … no, I do hang them, or drop them to a chair, or even on the bed, but not on the floor.
    As I have never written a love scene, and am not particularly interested in reading them either, I have never noticed this behaviour in any written work, but now that you’ve made me see this, I *will* notice where our heroes are disposing of their clothes next time 😉

  7. emaginette says:

    One of the most romantic and funny scenes I ever saw was In the Line of Fire when Eastwood and Russo got together. In their case, rather symbolic. I think Leslie Nielsen did a similar scene in one of his wack-a-doodle movies too. Both hilarious as weapons hit the floor. That is, if I’m remembering it correctly.

    So I guess my vote is, throw it. ;-P

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  8. Juneta says:

    I have never just tossed my clothing although I have been known to start a small pile then have to up all away at once. I don’t know, but sounds like writing wise could be fun and funny.

  9. Lee Lowery says:

    I obviously don’t speak for the world, but I think that’s a big, fat no on that, Olga. I’ve read/seen that behavior in books and on television, and it just seems . . . fake. Especially in historical times, where clothes were few and by necessity needed to be well cared for. As for smutty encounters, I don’t think all the clothes even come off in those instances. 🤣

  10. I think throwing clothes on the floor in a sex scene is supposed to show how passionate the characters are. And yes, I think it happens in real life.

  11. Sarah Foster says:

    LOL! Great question. I think sometimes clothing has ended up on the floor in my experience, but you’re right, it’s usually on a chair or something.

  12. Loni Townsend says:

    Reading the comments, I might end up being the odd one out. My husband will shed his clothes everywhere. There’s often a pile on the floor next to the bed or his socks next to the couch or his jeans with belt and wallet still attached next to his closet or a pile of his clothes in the bathroom right next to the dirty-clothes basket I put in there for my son (we won’t talk about my annoyance factor there). I used to drop my clothes on the floor in front of my closet too, but because I got annoyed at my son forgetting his clothes on the bathroom floor all the time, I decided I needed to take the effort to get all my own discarded clothing either in the closet or in the hamper to be a good example.

    But we also have a rule of no shoes in the house, so the floor doesn’t really get dirty. That said, it’s not unbelievable to me that clothing gets tossed on the floor in stories, because it happens all the time in my house.

  13. Steph W says:

    Personally, I find that stripping away clothes while standing is an effort for people wearing corsets and a dozen layers of clothes. Making out while standing up seems like a lot of work. (Maybe the 1′ 4″ height differential in my marriage is showing, lol.)

  14. Denise Covey says:

    Hi Olga! I must admit in my women’s fiction on the lovers first encounter the clothes go on the floor – but they’re wringing wet after being rained on. And the guy, especially, is fastidious, so not normal behavior. Maybe I need to go back and rewrite it, LOL. (Gives me another chance to rewrite!)

  15. Steven Rose, Jr. says:

    I can’t say a lot about romance fiction since I don’t read it, but it sounds like dropping clothes to the floor is just one of the too many cliches that are in fiction today. You think there’d be some sanitary characters in romance who can drop their clothes in a cleaner place! lol

  16. 3mpodcast says:

    Love this post. I read the other comments, and apparently I’m the only shameful one. Or one of very few. Yes, there are times when we’ve thrown our clothes on the floor. We pick them up afterward…

    Shannon @ The Warrior Muse (thewarriormuse [dot] com

  17. denizb33 says:

    I agree! Just drape them over the bed or couch or whatever! I’d maybe fling my socks to the floor, but they’d be likely to go straight to the laundry basket after, anyway, ha ha!

  18. yvettecarol says:

    Ask my kids, they seem to think the floor is where their clothes belong! Though they are not involved in smutty encounters…
    From my perspective, I’m with you, I don’t think I’ve ever thrown my clothes on the floor. I understand that in fiction it’s considered to go hand-in-hand with passion!

  19. Jemi Fraser says:

    This made me laugh! As a Canadian, we never (ever!) wear shoes inside the house (always leave them at the door/mud room) so that helps keep our floors fairly clean… but, no, I don’t fling my clothes willy-nilly on the floor either!

  20. Rebecca Douglass says:

    I’m going to assume that in a moment of wild passion and excessive haste to get at the other person, clothes could end up anywhere. I also think that in moments of that kind of haste, most of the clothes don’t get removed, at least not at first.

    My own clothes only go on the floor if I throw them at the laundry bin and miss (and I pick them up). Socks are an exception—I’ll drop them on the floor next to my shoes, to be put back on when my feet get cold.

  21. Hi, good question. I couldn’t stop laughing.
    I guess they are in such a tearing hurry, that after tear off each other’s clothes off, they have no time to drop it on a sofa or somewhere else.

  22. Hi, good question. I couldn’t stop laughing.
    I guess they are in such a tearing hurry, that after they tear off each other’s clothes off, they have no time to drop it on a sofa or somewhere else.


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