Tempted To Be Very, Very Bad

12 Nov
Tempted by the tease

Tempted by the tease

By Elizabeth Shore

So I’m at work the other day and a colleague said something supremely annoying to me. It was one of those comments that was a pseudo compliment but with a dose of backstabbing buried within. Kind of like when you stuff your dog’s pill into his food hoping it’ll disguise the nasty med.  Maybe she was having a bad day. Perhaps she had a fight with her spouse, maybe she has money issues, maybe her hair dye came out wrong. Whatever the reason, her comment was damn rude and I was tempted to tell her where she could go with it. But I resisted the urge. I didn’t want to sink to that level, it would have been professionally a bad move, my mother raised me better, etc. etc. I can justify why I stopped myself but damn, was I ever tempted.

This whole experience got me thinking about temptation in general. I did a quick Google search on “denying temptations” and got a boatload of religious references, beginning with “The 3 temptations of Jesus.” Um, yeah. Not what I was looking for. But after a few more searches I hit pay dirt. Scottish novelist A.L. Kennedy wrote an article about why we’re tempted to do naughty things when no one’s looking. A-ha! Now we’re talking.

Her article points out that the influencers of good behavior, such as positive leadership, collaborative support, and moral guidelines can have the opposite effect and tempt people into bad actions when the oversight is removed. So when you know no one’s looking, for example, you might be tempted to swipe goods from a store or have an illicit affair. If we think we’re not going to get caught, the temptation to indulge where we ought not to proves – to some – irresistible. If you knew with absolutely, positively 100% foolproof certainty that you would never get caught, what would you be tempted to do? Would you be bad? Really, really bad?

I admit that the possibility of getting caught may have contributed to my holding back on that colleague. If I’d said something and my words had been made known to someone with influence over me it could have had a detrimental effect on my career. Or at least on my upcoming performance review. But what about if I had known with 100% certainty that I could fully speak my mind and it would never, ever be known to anyone aside from the two of us. Would I have said something? Part of me says, hell yeah. Let that biatch have it. But another part of me, a bigger part of me, would still have kept mum because I just don’t want to be that kind of person. Tempting as it was.

The other aspect of temptation that I find fascinating is why we’re not tempted toward the good and wise, as in, “I’m so tempted to exercise every day!” “I’m so tempted to be knowledgeable about the stock market!” Is it because being good is a lot more work and not very fun?

DarkDesiresMy story in our anthology that was released last week, The Lady Smut Book of Dark Desires, explores the temptation of having anything and everything you want – for a sky high price. I’m fascinated by the idea of how far people will go in order to get what they want. My character is a struggling documentary filmmaker who’s been surviving on hard work and crossed fingers for as long as she can remember. She can turn it all around in a single evening, but she can never get back what she has to give up. Will the temptation of having it all be too much to resist? Hopefully I’ve tempted you to read and find out.

In the meantime, come one, come all and join our Facebook release party tomorrow! We’ve got fabulous authors joining us! We’ve got giveaways! You’ll definitely want to be there, so click here and join the fun. C’mon, give in to the temptation.

 

6 Responses to “Tempted To Be Very, Very Bad”

  1. Kel November 12, 2014 at 9:54 am #

    Ah temptations…

    This is where I lose touch with a lot of other people. I don’t have the same layers of filters you all do, or rather, my audience of record is *me*, so I am never not going to get caught by the only person whose judgement matters. I am always watching.

    It means that I’m willing to do things that other people aren’t, because I’m the only opinion that really matters at the end of the day… but it also means that I am completely unwilling to do things that other people think are one hundred percent okay because they “won’t get caught”…

    And I have no idea how they can look at themselves in the mirror without wanting to stab themselves in the face.

    So no. I’m not tempted to do “naughty” things, but mostly because I don’t see a lot of the things other people think of as “naughty” as even slightly wrong, or I see them as being steps towards a person I am not and refuse to be. It means I’m basically That Devil Woman to a lot of conservative religious people, and a horrifically unyielding outspoken Social Justice Warrior to a lot of others, while what I consider the sane people find me amusing, a little wild sometimes, and a good friend.

    And really, I’m okay with that.

    Like

    • Liz Everly November 12, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

      We need to get to know you better, Kel. I always find your comments so intriguing!

      Like

      • Elizabeth Shore November 12, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

        Ditto! Kel, you’re a great commenter and very interesting person. Also, I love what you say about you being the only one who decides if what you’re doing is OK or not. At the end of the day, we all need to be able to look at ourselves in the mirror and not stab ourselves in the face.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. elfahearn November 12, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

    Miss Peachy, I think your co-worker is jealous, and with good reason. You’re gorgeous, she’s a slut; you’re professional, she’s a bitch with no future and you can write like a goddess and she is still struggling to spell her last name. There–I said all the nasty, tempting stuff for you.

    Like

    • Nicola November 18, 2014 at 8:18 am #

      Can we all just stop calling each other sluts/casting aspersions on other women’s sexual habits?

      She might be mean/a cow/jealous etc but it has no bearing on who she sleeps with just as who and how many people she sleeps with has no bearing on how mean/how much of a cow/how jealous she is.

      I think the more we think about the words we use, the less likely we are to find ourselves on the receiving end of sexual slurs.

      Like

  3. Author Charmaine Gordon November 30, 2014 at 11:37 am #

    Temptations. Ahh. If we’d stop at chocolates than it wouldn’t be so bad. In show business, the casting couch was a snare for so many women I knew. Not me, I’d think. No way. And backstage, temptations abound as the actors run around half naked changing costumes. So there. Did I resist or didn’t I? That is the question. It’s a good thing my voice gave out and I changed careers to become a writer surrounded by three cats. They paw at me and lick my body parts. Fun stuff.

    Like

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