Commentary From A Non-Sex Goddess
It happened again yesterday. I was having a perfectly fine conversation with a male acquaintance when suddenly things went very wrong. The cause behind this unfortunate turn of events? Alas, ’twas my chosen profession.
You see, as a writer – and reader – of erotic romance, I keep it hot. I like writing love scenes between the hero and heroine that scorch the pages, and I want my readers to enjoy reading them. Sex can be a big, beautiful, complicated bundle, and it’s interesting for me to explore within the confines of erotic romance how relationships begin and build, and how the chemistry works between the players, igniting them to some really great places. But that, men of the earth, does not mean that I’m a lusty, raunchy, turned-on-at-every-minute bonafied sex goddess. In fact – hard as it may be to believe! – I’m not a sex goddess at all. What I am is a mild-mannered writer by night, corporate slug by day. Nothing glamorous, nothing titilating, and certainly nothing that should make your eyes light up with a weird, I-never-thought-of-her-like-that-before look.
Learning about my writing should not cause you men to leer, or give me a knowing grin. What is it that you know, anyway? Do you think I’m going to need a partner to practice my scenes with? Thanks, but I’ve got my husband for that. Sometimes men who learn of my writing will want to hear my story ideas. Or so they say. What they really want to hear is me describe – in detail, no doubt – the sex scenes. Yeah, like that’s going to happen.
One is the most frustrating things to me about men’s reactions in hearing that I’m an erotic romance writer is that they completely overlook that very thing. I’m a writer. I think up stories. I bring thoughts, ideas, characters, plot lines, and action into one cohesive body of work called a book. I think about pacing, dialogue, point of view, and character development. I suffer anxiety about whether any editor’s going to want to publish my work, and if I’m so fortunate that they are, then I suffer further anxiety as to whether the readers are going to enjoy it. It’s the same journey, with some variations, that all writers take. But just as soon as guys learn that my writing happens to contain steamy sex scenes, the conversation goes to hell in a handbasket.
So guys, please. If we happen to have a conversation that turns to the fact that I write erotic romance, don’t think it means that I’m loose, a nymphomaniac, or available. I’m not going to give you a sneak preview of the sex scenes, and I don’t need your input on what I should write about. I’d love to have an intelligent conversation – which I have, and it’s been great – about what guys like in romance, what doesn’t work for them, what their viewpoint is on building a male character from a guy’s point of view. If we can do that, awesome.
OK, that’s about it. Sorry for the rant, but I just had to get that off my heaving bosom. Now, if I could just get this bodice off. Maybe if I rip it . . .