Modern Lust: A Lady Smut Guest Post With Cara McKenna


 by Cara McKenna

cara mckenna head shot

Today’s guest poster, erotic romance author Cara McKenna

“Nobody really dates anymore. You just fuck a load of randos you meet on the internet until eventually you wake up married to whichever one bothered to make you breakfast.”

This wisdom from the heroine’s roommate in Downtown Devil. But let’s back up a moment.

I met my husband on the internet, back in 2007.

I was twenty-eight and an online dating veteran by then, and I have nothing bad to say about the practice (nothing that couldn’t also be said for analog dating, anyhow.) I met some friends, some boyfriends, some fond flash-in-the-pan* lovers, and of course, a spouse. I had dinner or drinks or played darts with a few duds and a few flakes, but no true creepers, and nothing bad happened to me, apart from a couple squandered evenings.**

A lot’s changed in the past nine years, right alongside technology. I mean, the iPhone was released the same year I met my husband. At the time, most of us were still texting on flip-phones by hitting the 2 key three times to type a C, and any photos the technologically advanced were able to take and send were as big as a postage stamp and as blurry as a frosted shower door and probably cost the object of your affections 40¢ to receive.

I won’t lie. If my husband dematerialized tomorrow and—after an appropriate mourning period—I was to jump back into the online dating pool, I think I’d be terrified. Even me, a former varsity-level participant.

Is sexting now compulsory, I wonder? If I joined Tindr and refused to send guys pictures of my knockers, would I even be able to compete? If my greatest strength had always been my ability to craft a charming introductory email, is that skill all but obsolete, now? Are we all just a profile picture and a witty tagline these days? Is it really true that there’s a lot of dudes holding fish in their photos?

I hope I never need find out the answers to these scaly questions.

Then again, maybe this is all just internalized anxiety from some hand-wringy New York Times article I’ve forgotten I read.

downton devil

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The closest I come these days to wading out into the choppy and largely pixelated dating waters is through my characters, and most of them still meet in a fictionalized version of real life. Even in my latest book, Downtown Devil, Clare meets Mica at the coffee shop where he’s employed as the world’s hottest barista. But from there, I strapped in and joined her on a journey I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to undertake, myself—dating in 2016.

In some ways, Mica is a dream come true. He’s charismatic, sexy, fearless, exciting, and forward—helpful when you’re not the type to make the first move. But he’s also my personal worst nightmare in this make-believe reality in which I’d be dating in the present day. He’s a flake and a player, and only texts or calls poor Clare when he’s DTF (eds by Kiersten: aka “Down to Fuck”). But the sex is so bonkers, she’s powerless to say no. Plus she doesn’t think she’s after anything serious, so what’s the harm?

I’d like to think I’d be liberated enough to enjoy Mica for what he is, but I dunno. Punctuality is REALLY sexy, in my opinion.

Before you panic—Downtown Devil is a ménage, and the second man, Vaughn, is as chivalrous and reliable and considerate as Mica is self-serving. I had fun wedging Clare (often literally) between the old-school gentleman and the modern-day man-whore.

I won’t tell you what happens—whether she comes to her senses and finally cuts flaky-hot*** Mica loose, or if she manages to reform him, or if all three of them ride off into the sunset together. But it was really interesting to put myself in her shoes and navigate this modern dating landscape, where plans are made last-minute via text; where you know the guy you’re into could easily be scrolling Tindr an hour after you’ve left his place; where a date can feel so incendiary, so hot and chemical and right, and then…crickets. Nothing from the guy for days and days on end. Do you break down and text him first? If so, what do you say? How casual do you spin it? And how long do you wait before you DO break down, and…? And? AND?

God bless you kids currently finding your way in this brave new world. I’ve been off the market for nine years, and I guess I’m an old lady now, because it sounds exhausting. I mean, the excitement of all that variety in the palm of your hand would probably be a thrill for a few days or weeks, but all the same, just thinking about it makes me want to stay in with a bottle of wine and a Silicon Valley marathon.

Nonetheless, I’ll continue to giddily explore it all from my lofty author perch. In fact, in the final Sins in the City series installment, Midtown Masters, the three lovers do indeed meet online. In FACT, the second man solicits the other two protagonists to do web-camming for him. So never let it be said that I’m afraid to play tourist in the land of digital debauchery. Not from the safety of my keyboard, anyhow.

*As a public service I Googled the origin of the term “flash in the pan,” realizing I had no clue what its literal meaning is. It doesn’t even have to do with gold glinting in a prospector’s pan, which apparently many people assume it does—people more clever than me, even if they’re wrong. Turns out, “Flintlock muskets used to have small pans to hold charges of gunpowder. An attempt to fire the musket in which the gunpowder flared up without a bullet being fired was a ‘flash in the pan’.” You’re welcome!

**My least enjoyable entanglement involved a nymphomaniac with a glass eye. How this has not made it into an erotic romance is a mystery for the ages.

crosstown crush

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*** like a biscuit, only with a wang.

Don’t miss the first book in the Sins in the City series, Crosstown Crush!

Cara McKenna writes award-winning contemporary romance and smart erotica, sometimes under the name Meg Maguire, and has sold more than thirty-five novels and novellas to Penguin, Harlequin, Samhain, and Signet Eclipse. She’s known for writing no-nonsense, working-class heroes with capable hands and lousy grammar. She is a 2015 RITA Award finalist, a 2014 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award winner, a 2013 and 2011 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award nominee, and a 2010 Golden Heart finalist. Cara writes full-time and lives in the Pacific Northwest with her own bearded hero.

Hey Folks, don’t forget to follow Lady Smut, and if you lurv Cara McKenna like we do, you might want to check out these other LadySmut links that are all about her books and our mad girl crush over them — Madeline Iva

Cara McKenna, Rocking My World

Why This Short Read by Cara McKenna Is So Awesome

Cara McKenna has written one of those Books We Can’t Stop Thinking About

Talking About Watching People Do It & Cara McKenna’s Book Crosstown Crush

Cara McKenna’s No Holds Barred Sexy Fighter

Stuff Your Holiday Stocking With This Read by Cara McKenna

More on Cara McKenna’s Crosstown Crush & The Problem of Cheaters Cheating

Talking about Cara McKenna’s book Hard Time & Love Letters

 

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2 Comments

  • Elizabeth Shore
    July 11, 2016 at 9:00 am

    I remember overhearing a conversation between a group 20-something women in which one of them had apparently just broken up with a guy. The prevailing question surrounding that situation was not how she could soothe her broken heart, but rather how and when she should update her Facebook relationship status. Different priorities in a techno world.

  • Madeline Iva
    July 11, 2016 at 9:29 am

    I think if I had to do a dating profile I’d put a bag over my head and let my personality come through — I’ve never liked guys who’ve been attracted to me purely on the basis of my looks. They have one and all been players and I am extremely allergic to the type.

    MEANWHILE — it’s so exciting that you’re here on the blog Cara! We luff you. Also, I have been sitting with Downtown Devil on my kindle as an awesome treat to crack open when I finish my deadline, but this blog post has made me too excited–I’m going to rush home and start it tonight. I read a really hot excerpt from the book at the end of Crosstown Crush, and loved the *smokin’* sex scene and the characters.

    AND AND AND! It’s so exciting to see that WILLING VICTIM and a bunch of other hawt, awesome reads have been re-released — peeps if you want to find Cara’s fiction go here on her Amazon page:
    http://www.amazon.com/Cara-McKenna/e/B00CEBULDO/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1468243619&sr=8-1

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