Flipping through SBD

Bah. Doug is first on the subject. Romance? Erotica? He's got it covered so I'll just take a tangent and run.

When I first discovered Romance (not that long ago) I'd flip through looking the books for the heat. Yowza, man, I liked that stuff and I'm not gonna pretend otherwise. Yup. Pant. Pant.

But now that I'm writing erotica, I'm often tired of the physical heat. Sexual tension, blah blah blah. Followed by Sex=insert tab a (or b) into slot a (or b, or c or d)

B-d exist because there needs to be more for those hungry readers. Push that envelope. Not that envelope! We need a new envelope. Bring on oral gratification! Bring on butt sex! Bring on the living dead blud suckers.

I always thought that readers who professed to be bored by sex in books were just hiding their prudishness as ennui. Eh, maybe not.

Never mind the knobs and slots, bring on the people.

Lately I've been flipping through looking for other sorts of tension. Not the bickering stuff--I hate you; no, I hate you more-- not unless it's really well done. Something sparking between the personalities. I was rereading Heyer's Black Sheep and getting a kick out of the way the hero enjoys making the heroine laugh. And watching his blase facade break down (without changing his personality. Nosirree, despite that title, Heyer didn't go for no bleating heroes) as he actually makes an effort for another person. They have a great meeting -- she's mistaken him for another man and is berating him, he has no idea what she's talking about but he agrees with everything she says just because she's so amusing and he likes her smile.

And then there's Farr's description of a woman learning to laugh in Fair Game. The story is a Traditional Regency, nevertheless it's full of sexual tension. But you know Trevor's falling in love when he gets a kick out of watching Clarissa fighting her newly emerging sense of humor.

Okay, time to go off on the other tangent: laughing together.

I've just realized that nearly all my stories have the heroine and hero laughing so hard they can't speak. Talk about cliche. Yikes, I think I'll go look through my stuff to see if I'm right (I hope not. The Last Mind Reader doesn't but that's a catharsis anyway).

But really, shared humor is a fine intimacy. You can always do an orgasm on your own. The standard picture of aroused people is with closed eyes, head back--off in their own world of sensation. Check out all those women on the clinch covers. Orgasm is a private moment.

But when you have a laughing fit with another person? The meeting of the eyes is a powerful thing. A simple wiggle of the eyebrows, a little smirk and -- you both go off again. Yeah, okay, the smoldering look across the room is fine, but I like it when people can't make eye contact across the room because they'll start laughing again. It's clearly one of those plot ploys that suck me right in.

Lots has been written about the alphadoo/post orgasmic state, that relaxation after a big O. What about that profound relaxation following a laughing fit? That "aahhhhhh" of tension release.

It's what's kept me with Mike for the last 23 years. Ahhhh, last night . . . so romantic.

On the food channel Cat Cora was yet again making dessert with some inappropriate object (eggplants, I think). Mike went off on a riff, bellowing at her, haven't you learned? Aren't your disasters with the ice cream machine enough to teach you anything?

Within moments we were snorting and giggling so hard, the kids had to tell us to be quiet.


  1. I'm always more riveted by characters who are honest with themselves (and perhaps even others). For me that always brings a different perspective to the tension. Black Sheep, is a good example. The Hero is very aware of his shortcomings, not apologetic, just aware.
    I can read the other kind, and have, and usually do LOL, but I prefer the character who is aware from the get go. I find 'that' struggle to overcome much more interesting.


  2. Cat Cora -- eeeek! That woman is harsh. I'm always afraid she'll come after my nuts with a sushi knife.

    In general, I really dislike the new Iron Chefs America. While I like Alton Brown on his own show, as a host he bores me. And the guys . . . I can't decide which of the male chefs disgusts me the most, Bobby Flay or Mario Bawhatever.

    Think I'll make some bacon icecream tonight ;)


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