The Devil You Know … Still Can’t Make You Do It
By Alexa Day
It’s the time of year for celebrating all things dark and scary! My favorite holiday, Halloween, is Thursday, and this year, I find my thoughts turning to Eternal Bad Boy #1: the devil. He’s not my usual fare. Sure, the devil brings lots of cerebral heft to everything he does, but that’s because he is pursuing his own agenda at the expense of everyone else’s. And he’s, you know, the devil. I do respect the occasional moral boundary from time to time.
He might be problematic as a hero, but the devil has a lot to offer the fictional world of erotic romance as a complicating factor. He’s been around long enough to be jaded and unimpressed with the “piece of work” that is mankind. He lives outside the moral code that seems to bind the rest of us. He enjoys the sensual fruits the world has to offer without consequence. And why not? He can afford to live like there’s no tomorrow because he answers to no one, and he wants us to live that way, too.
The devil’s only power is seduction. Despite the popular saying, he can’t make us do anything. He can only make us choose to do things. To do that, he has to make certain choices seem very, very attractive. He has to make wrong look oh-so-right.
To do that, he’ll use his vast worldly expertise. He knows what we on Earth want in our mouths or in our hot little hands. He knows where the black and white lines of our conscience blend together in spectrums of gray. He’ll pit his sexy strength against our personal weaknesses, and he’ll wait.
Before long, the world is consumed by the pain of not having our heart’s desire, and we’re starting to think the way the devil wants us to think. Just one time. Who would ever know? Why shouldn’t I?
The prospect of forbidden pleasure, the anticipation, and finally the moment when temptation turns to reality – it’s all part of his diabolical world. And it’s all so much fun to write! I love exploring how far a character is willing to go to get what he wants. I love testing them with things they shouldn’t want in the first place. Most of all, I love making all this torture worth their while. In erotic romance, the wages of sin can be downright delicious.
So who’s making bad look extra good these days on the big and little screens? What would make you sit down for an infernal negotiation? I don’t care how intently Willem Dafoe gazes at me, he’s not getting my signature in exchange for a Mercedes. I’m looking hard at a student loan — for starters. Think it over in the comments, and be sure to surrender to the temptation to follow Lady Smut.