Tag Archives: Italy

Outdoor Playtime

16 Nov

On a trip to Italy last fall, my husband and I were in Siena when a sudden downpour overtook the city and had tourists scrambling for cover. Most of the tourists, that is, except for one intrepid young couple who remained alone in the middle of Siena’s large main square, kissing passionately while the rain soaked them through and onlookers clapped and cheered. This display of youthful lust and bravado reminded me of an erotic romance I’d read in which the hero and heroine, having been cooped up in a cabin for some period of time, decide to throw caution – and modesty! – to the wind for a good ol’ fashioned outdoor quickie. It was a really hot scene because not only were they outside, but they were rollicking in the midst of a ferocious rainstorm. The couple in the book, unlike the one in Siena, was naked, and the description of their wet, slippery skin while they made love was nothing short of scorching.

I like romance novels that include love scenes taking place out of the bedroom and into the great outdoors. The uniqueness of the outside setting adds interesting elements that can’t be replicated in the bedroom. First off, there’s the weather. A blazing hot sun can make for some blazing hot sex when the couple is sweating and humping beneath it. Hair blows beautifully in the wind. Foggy nights are often equated with mystery novels, but I say fog could be an excellent cover should the hero and heroine be overcome with need and just have to find release outside, shrouded by fog. Even snow makes an interesting contrast when heated bodies are pelted with frigid flakes.

The other obvious element with sex outside is, of course, the allure of discovery. What better way to satisfy a couple’s exhibitionist leanings than by placing them outside amidst risk – or in their case, hope – of discovery. I read a hot ménage not that long ago called Midnight Madness by Olivia Starke in which the heroine happens upon two hunks going at it in the middle of the woods. The combination voyeurism and exhibitionism scene made for a satisfying read indeed.

Outdoors scenes often occur in the woods since there’s convenient built-in camouflage. Oceans and beaches are good choices as well, as well as down and dirty construction sites or garages (door open, of course). I like the fact that the outdoor sex setting brings with it the unique combination of freedom and restriction. There are no boundaries outside, yet there are inherent constraints because the hero and heroine can’t just do it anywhere they please. Or . . . can they? In the hands of a skilled writer, I’d be open to reading about outside sex taking place just about anywhere.

How about you? Do you have favorite outdoor settings, or is lovemaking just way too private of a thing to be taking place where prying eyes might get a glimpse? Share your thoughts!

An awesome weekend to all!


Ahh Italy! The food, the sights, the art . . . the romance?

12 Sep

Having just returned from a vacation in Italy, I was struck by how much that country is a venerable feast for the senses. Smells and tastes of sumptuous food, sights of stunning art and architecture from cities steeped in history, the soul-stirring ringing of church bells, the rugged feel of the cobblestones beneath my feet while strolling the streets.

As a writer of both contemporary and historical erotic romance, I look at Italy as a near perfect setting. Certainly the Italians don’t shy away from love, and they’re not exactly prudish when it comes to the naked body, either.

Take a gander through any art gallery and you’ve got pisellos gone wild. Pisello, as I’ve come to learn, is Italian slang for penis. (the actual definition is peas) They’re all over paintings and sculpture, and contemporary Italy continues to celebrate the phallus through calendars. Yes, calendars. Every year you can get your copy of “Pisello,”  a standard wall calendar that comes with a different picture every month of the penis in all its glory. Ancient pisellos from the frescoes in Pomeii brothels, sculpted pisellos from Michelangelo. You want a pisello, or any form of nakedness, you can get it in Italy.

So we’ve got the nakedness, the sensual experience, the fascinating history . . . think powerful Italian families like Medici, Borghia, Farnese, Sforza . . . and it seems like Italy would be the perfect setting for historical romance. But yet, dear readers, we just don’t see it. Historical romances in the U.K. abound, and there are plenty in the U.S. as well. But Italy?  In my years of reading historical romance, I can recall reading exactly one book that was set in Italy. How about you? Anyone have a different experience? And if not, then why? Love to hear your thoughts on why publishers say “no grazie” when it comes to setting a historical romance in Italy.

Arrivederci until next time,


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