October is the most glorious time of the year! Are you looking for a little gloomy Halloween gothic joy? Like this Halloween Romance Facebook Page. We are watching movies and TV shows while cracking wise on fb, discussing our obsession with Crimson Peak and other sexy Halloween & romance related topics. Perhaps you’re looking for a sexy PNR romance to read this season. Look no further…
Did you know my Gothic Lair newsletter comes with a shiver-licious novella called SEXSOMNIA? It’s the perfect Halloween sexy romance cause it’s just a wee bit creepy around the edges. Sign up for the newsletter and you not only get an ebook copy of Sexsomnia for free, but also an entertaining email from me once a month.
Fall is a time to remind ourselves that death can be gorgeous. Remember to take long walks through the mist and scarlet leaves. This morning I’ve poured myself a giant cup of nettle tea and started pounding the keys. Next week I’m blogging about the horrible families in movies you’ll relish. 🙂
SEXSOMNIA: Jenny needs to figure out what she’s been doing at night—and who she’s been doing it with.
She’s suffering from a rare sleeping disorder, but when cravings and curiosity overwhelm common sense, Jenny sets out to explore what she does while her mind is asleep and her body is awake.
What starts as a sexy fantasy soon grows into a creepy nightmare. With the help of a hot biologist named Turner, Jenny is ready to start fighting her real enemy–the paranormal demon inside her.
A quick note — Over at Lady Smut, Alexa Day posts her blogs on Sundays. My responses to her posts are often the length of full blog posts, because she puts these really great profound topics out there, and there’s just so much to say in response. So, f*** it, I’m just gonna start posting my responses here. Why not, right?
In which she advocates for them, and bewails America having issues with a single woman who only wants to get it on, yo.
Yeah, I agree with her, a single woman who’s got the itch to boink and wants a one night stand should be able to do so, and walk away without taking a hit from society. I also agree that the neurotic complex America has around women and one night hook ups is multi-layered and profound. Here are FOUR REASONS WHY society shakes it’s heads over women and one night stands:
#1 WOMEN WHO BOINK UNDER FALSE PRETENSES CAUSE THEY REALLY WANT MORE:
Some women don’t really want a one night stand–they want more of a connection with a guy but they’ll boink right off the bat simply to get his time and attention. This I’ll-take-what-I-can-get-and-hope-for-the-best happens perhaps out of loneliness, or perhaps on the oft-deluded hopes that the sex will be so ravingly wonderful the guy WILL call them the next week, etc. So when their secret hopes are disappointed, then chagrin, upset, and scorned-fury follows. Men sometimes experience this too. At any rate, I think some tsk-tsking over one night stands is due to feeling that some (most) women are setting themselves up to be hurt, to get the short end of the stick, etc. It’s a protective response.
Men and women like this should just stay away from the one night stand world–clearing the field as it were.
QUESTION: is it the man’s or woman’s ethical responsibility to appropriately vet partners and avoid the women/men above who deep down — or not so deep down are expecting/wanting more? The real conundrum is this: would the vetting time it takes to ethically clear someone take longer than one night, thus defeating the purpose of a one night stand?
At any rate, a lot of guys and some women know they’re gonna get burned with the false pretenses kind of one night stand partner mentioned above, and yet they never learn. Sigh.
#2 SOME PEOPLE DON’T WANT MORE, BUT THE BOINKING STILL ISN’T ABOUT SEX
Then there are women and men out there having one night sex for other reasons. Competitiveness is one I think. The younger generation often wants to show she’s bad-ass. She wants to show that she can f*** just like the guys do. That she can f*** just like her girlfriends and earn her equal bragging rights. She wants to show she’s not all talk and no action, so she sucks it up and puts it out there. But that doesn’t mean she’s getting off, and come Monday even though she’s bragging she’s not cringing a little on the inside. I’m not saying all women go through this, but I’d bet at least 25% do. Guys too. The worst of the worst is having to have sex with someone because your wing-girl/guy has dragged you along, and you’re stuck at someone’s house over night in someone’s bed, and there are expectations on the part of three other people that you’re going to put out and you cave rather than make a fuss for everyone. This makes me cringe.
Alexa would greatly benefit by all these women just clearing the field. Another problem Alexa mentioned is safety. But there’s a problem for one-night-standers that lies somewhere between the perfect one night stand experience and escaping a serial killer. I’m talking the skeeze-ball in hiding.
#3 THE PROBLEM OF MR. SKEEZE:
You connect with a handsome guy over pricey drinks –a single doctor no less, and a liberal, animal-loving, beemer-driving stud. But the next morning you wake up in bed with a married, part-time car salesman,who doesn’t remember your name much less what political party he said he voted for last night, and asks you to crawl out the door past all his hunting trophies before his wife comes home with the kids from visiting her folks. Next week you get a call from him next week because he’s got an STD and passed it on to you. Yes, I’m talking the Mr. Cringe. Some of us are more sensitive to Mr. Cringe than others. Some no doubt, see Mr. Cringe as merely the price of doing business.
#4 YOU DRANK THE ROMANCE COOL-AID:
Finally — I myself just never reached that place of sexual sophistication, maturity, and self-sufficiency until looooooong after I was in a committed relationship to handle anything like a one night stand. I mean, some people–like me–just can’t handle it. We’ll walk away feeling empty.
On top of that, I’ve yet to be able to contemplate physically wanting a guy to the point where I didn’t care what he was like on the inside. Fantasizing about a guy’s outsides is one thing, actually rubbing my sensitive bits against him when I don’t know what’s going on behind those eyes is another. I’m too over-sensitive and overly vulnerable to handle it. (Which is not to say that people who have one night stands aren’t sensitive and vulnerable. Just not in this way.)
Nor have I ever reached a place where I don’t care that a guy doesn’t care what I’m like on the inside. Back when I was available I had a perception problem. I felt like I was SO different on the inside from what I looked like on the outside, that a guy being attracted to me based on my looks just left me cold.
Now I see that sometimes people can be cool and humane with each other and boink just for boinking’s sake and that’s enough. But ultimately, I’ve always been challenged with simple interactions like that.
I’ll admit that I’ve drunk the romance cool-aid, ladies and gents.
I’ve been talking about Anne Calhoun’s LIBERATING LACEY here lately — which folds right into this discussion. In this book, Lacey, goes out to have a one night stand and boy does she ever — with a younger guy who’s a cop. But she wishes it would go on, and it does! Then she wishes it would go even further–and it does! Then she hits that point where she realizes that a) she’s never going to be able to have another one night stand–clearly she’s the kind that needs attachment to go through with sex and b) she worries that if the relationship doesn’t continue to grow and deepen, she’ll get really badly hurt.
Not to fear — because this is a romance fantasy and this guy wouldn’t begin to dream of letting her go. LURV IT! The book’s resounding popularity speaks to the fantasy I mentioned above–where the guy who has a one night stand with you and just can’t quit you cause the sex is so hot. The book’s success shows this fantasy is alive and well throughout the heartland. The more people realize this IS a fantasy and act accordingly in their best interests, the better.
Hello my sweet kittens! I’m snuggling up next to the space heater on another snowy day after posting a blog on LadySmut.com about Madeira Darling. I am still pondering the rapture of our mutual interests. This is like an after-party to my post, because I am just so frickin inspired. I want to celebrate a gothic erotic revival going on — if only in my own brain.
I got to ask Madeira, a professional dominatrix who’s interested in writing erotic romance/erotica, about her own sexual fantasies. What a private a topic to share – but share she did and I was just fascinated with what she had to say.
I get angsty now and then about my own writing because it’s a bit off the beaten track, but Madeira is all about reveling in what you like and licking your fingers clean when it’s done.
She mentioned Poppy Z. Brite & I *LOVE* Poppy Z. Brite. There’s just so much perverse goodness out there, people. I want to knicker and scream for joy sometimes at all this good stuff. And it’s not just in novels — or would-be novels either. I think that TV is a part of this gothic erotic revival as well.
I wonder if Madeira likes AMERICAN HORROR STORY? AHS is a new obsession of mine, though as always, I’m way late to the party on this one. In general I am more of a fan of creepy sexy suspense than I am a fan of true horror. I’ll admit to fast forwarding through great swaths of AHS the first season as well as season three: Coven.
With the first season, for me it was all about the young love story. I liked the he’s-not-a-bad-boy-he’s-just-misunderstood story line in season one.
Whups! Turns out he really *is* a bad boy, but we know exactly why and how he got turned along the way, and at the end he is as redeemed as he can be given his situation.
With Season Three, Coven,I like the way that they bring back the same actors in different seasons–making it a theatre ensemble. That is so cool. Season three is my favorite if only because it’s all about girl power/women’s power and that really turns me on when you make it witchy and wonderful. I think it was a little less squicky overall–perhaps because they knew that they’d have a younger teen audience tuning in? Again, the romance story hooked me hard. There’s something just so good about the sweetest romance ever that falls like an egg off the counter, and there it is, cracked, the sweetness leaking out all over the ground, marred and un-fixable. It’s the best thing EVAH!
Then there’s Bates Motel. Another wonderful mash-up of tension, suspense, sex, and shame–with a glittery sprinkling of innocent curiosity over the whole. Yum! I could eat it up with a spoon.
What brings you perverse fragrant joy in this spam-in-a-can society? Share with me your fav cult books that celebrate young love gone splat in a world gone dark. Bonus points for romance titles. Here are a few culty-favs of mine below. Warning: this is difficult reading hour presented to you — none of these are glossy romance titles. These are cult-hugs sent to you like a late valentine on a blizzard-y winter day. Mmmmmwhaa!
The Secret History — mystery novel about why a group of beautiful friends kill their buddy
So, 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.
Like 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.
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?
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.
Yet 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?