(St. Audries Bay, North Somerset. I’m not sure if you can see it, but the white blur on the horizon is the very south coast of Wales.)
An Anonymous commenter on a previous post said the following the other day, which I believe is one of the nicest compliments I have ever been given:
Your ability to maintain a website, blog and discussion about erotic romance without sliding into the licentious or sensationalistic is one of the main reasons I read here.
So now I’m going to tramp all over it. Well, hopefully not. But I’ve been thinking a lot about that comment since I read it, because it is something I try to do: keep it clean.
Odd as it sounds.
I do use all sorts of c-words in my work (don’t know if y’all remember, but last year I wrote an entire essay on the word “cunt” and why we shouldn’t be afraid to use it in erotic romance, and what a useful word it is and how its origins are attractive.) So, not afraid to get a little dirty.
But I walk a fine line. I read a lot. I read a lot of erotic romance. And I have to be honest. Notwithstanding how talented my fellow authors are, there are a lot of things I read that just turn me off.
I want to make it clear this is MY problem, me me me. It’s not that what they’re writing isn’t sexy or appealing. It’s not that I think they write disgusting lowbrow crap. That is not it at all, nononono. It’s my own strange interior line, one I actually think makes ME an outsider.
Take dialogue as an example. My characters don’t tend to talk a lot in sex scenes. Because dialogue at that particular time usually feels to me like a mood killer. I put myself in the heroine’s place and think, “Are you gonna do it, or are you gonna just talk about it all day?” Some dialogue is fine, but let’s not go overboard. As Miranda said on Sex and the City, sex is the one time in life it’s okay to not talk. This isn’t to say they don’t talk at all, or even that they don’t ever talk dirty. But I do keep it minimal, and I try to keep it down to stuff that wouldn’t make me laugh or squick if someone said it to me. Grown men should not, for example, refer to their Manbits as “him”. If you consider that part of you to be an entirely separate person, doesn’t that indicate (aside from a certain silliness) that you are unwilling then to take responsibility for “his” actions?
(BTW, this very subject led to a particularly amusing conversation this morning between the hubs and myself, based on the scary sci-fi idea that “he” might actually develop a mind of “his” own, and control the rest of the body, and how would you explain that to your wife? What if it decided to up and leave the rest of the body and strike out on its own? Hilarity ensues.)
Anyway. The point is, some things just squick me out, so I try not to go there.
What squicks you out? What in a book, specifically in a sex or love scene, turns you off? Comment anon if you want, but let’s see if we can have some fun on this bleak Friday!
If you are on Livejournal, you must go join the community What was that book. SO awesome the awesomeness cannot be quantified.
New Words: 3,384
Total wordcount: 40,007
The Good: Hoo hoo, guess who sees somebody’s death wish?
The Bad: Big Bad follows us around, scaaaary!
The Gross: None, I guess. Hmm. A spilled milkshake?
The rampant drug use: Lines, pills, a joint
Location: Smelly alley, safe warehouse for street kids, diner, Chess’s bathroom
Research: WWI aviation uniforms
Downspeech: “Some of us needs an edge on things make us feel right, else we don’t like feeling at all, aye?”
I Hate My Work: You are so boring and obvious and dumb, and you suck like a starving leech.