Bad Girl

Hi ladies!

beyond-shameSo, Kiersten Hallie Krum posted yesterday about Kit Rocha’s Series.  I read Kit Rocha’s first book BEYOND SHAME.  It’s not totally my cup of tea, (reasons below) yet she hooked me in because she paints that to-some-degree-still-innocent heroine who has a strong/ secret/guilty/melty yen to be bad.

Now that is definitely a place where my own writing impulses come from as well.   Sometimes we just wanna be bad.

But…but…but…it’s so interesting to consider this appealing urge and how romance, erotic romance, and erotica take this trope and spin it like a top.

Great EscapeLike it could be a genre all it’s own. And there’s such a wide spectrum to how this “I wanna be bad” trope plays out. Me, I write about the good girl who has i-wanna-be-bad impulses.  But my heroine is always mighty conflicted about it.

Looking to the sweeter side of the spectrum Susan Elizabeth Phillips (SEP) works with conflicted bad girls too. SEP almost always puts it out there and then she almost takes it back again.  One of her secondary heroines gets a spanking–that doesn’t hurt.  SEP sex scenes can get pretty steamy, and yeah, in the latest book her heroine knocks boots with a biker.  But even though she meant it to be a ‘let’s be dirty and then walk away’ kind of sex–the heroine’s encounter gets complexicated almost immediately.  The event is the beginning of something more sweet and more sincere–because at heart SEP’s readers understand the impulse, but don’t really want their heroine’s to face the consequences that come with being very bad.

beyond-control
Kit Rocha’s books are the good girl’s version of dark erotica…

And way over on the other end of the scale you have erotica.  In erotica girls are bad, very bad, and they don’t give a F*&%.  Strippers, call girls, or women who’ve just been pushed to the limit and want to dive over the edge.  Dark Erotica authors push things even further.  Their heroines are so deep in the bad zone that the word loses all meaning.  They lose their minds, and give it up to the darkness, until they are pure raw passion and emotion.  At least I think that’s how it goes–I am hiding my eyes too much to really be sure.  When it comes to Dark Erotica about all I can handle is reading the book blurb.  My mind kind of shorts out pondering what might be in the book, and that’s enough for me.

Kit Rocha stays in that murky zone somewhere between erotic romance and erotica. However, Kit Rocha really goes there with the sex scenes. Rocha includes foursome-ish scenes, and public sex where the heroine goes down on the big leader. How does the heroine feel about some of these things?

Madonna drying her armpit at the Port Authority bus terminal in Desperately Seeking Susan was NOT a good girl.
Madonna drying her armpit at the Port Authority bus terminal in Desperately Seeking Susan was NOT a good girl.

How did I feel? I did not like the public B.J.  But other women probably would, you know? It’s a fantasy.  The heroine knows she’s exposing herself, putting herself in the hands of others, making herself vulnerable, and her heart seems to ache with the uncertainty of it all.  It makes the reader’s heart ache as well…but I guess I’m a simple girl.  I think there’s almost a kind of pack philosophy involved.  I bet people who like shifter stories would love these.

Myself,  I have a feeling that I’m going to wind up writing about the kind of heroine who wants to be bad–does something about it–then goes scrambling back to hide under her rock, convinced she never ever wants to be that bad ever-ever-ever again.

SmoulderYet that one moment will have consequences which won’t let her go back…and that’s where her story begins.  We’re in a count down over at Lady Smut.  The release of our anthology LADY SMUT’S BOOK OF DARK DESIRES is five months away.  I can’t wait for you to get a chance to read my novella in the anthology.  The heroine in SEXSOMNIA definitely makes a transformation from fairly naive to worldly.

What about you reader? What flavor of naughty do you like your heroine?

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2 thoughts on “Bad Girl

  1. Well…I like shifter stories, so…

    The public sex is titillating to me because I am a performer (though not sexually. Easy there.) But I get the rush that comes from performing and so I can understand and follow that to a sexual performance that is consensual (which they are for the heroines in Kit Rocha’s books). I was reading Beyond Pain the other night and the book opens with one of the women stripping and then getting off on stage. The reader views it from the POV of the heroine who has conflicting feelings about it all, but through her POV, Rocha explains at length how the dancer’s performance is empowering not debasing. I found it all very interesting, especially as I’m writing a WIP (not erotic rom/erotica) whose heroine is a burlesque dancer, but initially she was going to be a stripper. I had a bunch of conversations w/my critique partners about how to present it as empowering (for my heroine, it’s also cathartic) and not debasing or victimizing and we agreed it was/would be a fine line to walk. I think Rocha does a good job at that. I’m not sure I buy it completely, but I absolutely buy it within the world of these books.

    What’s harder for me to buy overall (and this is a lot of the reason why I don’t read much erotic rom/erotica) is the submission. I’m way too ornery to find anything empowering or arousing about submitting to anyone but especially in a sexual forum (though I do like a good tussle.) Again, Rocha does good work detailing why the characters feel that way and she’s not the first author to believably detail the dynamics, but there’s a barrier in my head and my gut that keeps me from getting it overall, though I know it works that way for many. I don’t find it arousing or empowering and genuinely puzzle over anyone else finding it to be so.

    Overall, I think the application of “good” is what becomes the issue as the term becomes relative. Within these books, the “good” people are clearly shown to be corrupt a-holes while the “bad” people of the sectors are really loyal, trustworthy, sacrificial people who like to get their kink on. (There are purely bad people in the sectors too, but so far are much more plentiful in the Eden city.) I think overall, the heroines (and some heroes) in Rocha’s books are presented as indulging their “bad” sides in the conventional sense, yes, but then Rocha goes to some pains (heh) to show how this is more a freeing of their true selves than an indulgence of something “bad” and that their ultimate HEA – however many people may be needed to fulfill it – can only occur after that true self and been discovered, indulged, and celebrated.

  2. I have a friend who LOVES that flipped inversion of the good people are really bad, the ‘bad’ people really good, etc. And I see why people really like that.

    Oh, I loved all you had to say! It *is* so subjective what we like and why–Definitely there are ‘bad girls’ in history who have found empowerment by not following the rules. It’s great to find a way to model that in romance writing.

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