By Liz Everly
Last week, I caught about the second half of “The End of the Affair” with one of my favorite actresses Julianne Moore and hunk Ralph Fiennes We were flipping the channels around, and there they were. One of my favorite sexy, sensual scenes in the movie consisted of this very luscious, silky looking blanket or bedspread–you know what they are doing beneath it, but you don’t see them, just waves and ripples of the blanket. It’s a fabulous, sexy, scene. But I digress.
What I really wanted to say about what I know of this film is that we have a husband and a wife who are not that into each other. Sad. But she has this incredibly passionate affair with the Ralph Fiennes character. Her husband figures this out and appears not to really mind. Or if he does, it’s because of propriety–not really his heart. “I’ve never been a lover,” he says.
So to sum up the movie a bit, toward the end, the husband confronts them—she and her lover during a night they spend together—but only because he’s gotten a phone call saying she only has a few months to live. The two men set aside their selfishness and decide to move in together to comfort and tend to her in her remaining months.
So my husband was the next room and I ask him what he thought of this. He said, “I’m not sure I’m that good of a person.”An honest answer. “You’re my wife and I don’t want to share you with anybody like that,” he said. This was sort of off the cuff because he hadn’t been watching the movie to know the emotional context and so on. But still, I think most men I know feel like this about their wives.
I thought the husband in the film’s gesture was very selfless and way beyond understanding. When she passes away and the two men embrace, my heart nearly bursts. (What is it about two men embracing?)
So in any case, the movie and my husband’s reaction, and my reaction, inspired thoughts about my women characters in my books who are nontraditional. There’s Maeve in SAFFRON NIGHTS, who is a player, but only because she ‘s been so hurt before. When she and Jackson finally get together, she stops playing. Love will do that for you—sometimes. And then there’s Sasha in CRAVINGS, who has never had a “normal” sex life because she began working as a prostitute very young, then as a professional dominatrix. Maybe these women would be hard for some to relate to–but not for me. I know women like this. I know women who are swingers, or just not that into having one relationship. And there is a tiny part of the intellectual part of me that is like “Yes, I can see how that would work nicely.”
But my husband knows that the character I’ve written about that I’m most alike is Jennifer, who is featured in my next book LIKE HONEY. She’s pretty traditional in that what she wants is one man, one relationship in which she can grow and explore. To date, this is my favorite book–ya know, my sexy beekeeper is in it and I’m still crushing on him.
But I love to write about the nontraditional woman, as well. I don’t think I will ever give her up.
Right now, I have a new short story published only on Amazon, which is really a part of a new series–EIGHT LAYS AROUND THE WORLD: EGYPT (A NAUGHTY TRAVELOGUE). I plan on eight of them, of course. My main character, Gigi is a 27-year-old writer that’s into the sex club and multiple partner scene. When she runs into her boss at a club, the story begins with a bang. He calls her into his office with a new assignment–to travel, experiment, and write to his “benefactor,” a very wealthy kinkster. The first stop is Egypt. She takes him up on the offer, of course. Gigi is great fun to write about. Young and free-spirited. If you’d like to check it out, I’m offering the first short story free until Friday.