Hey all! It’s Erin Saluta’s day off. Luckily, longtime member of the Women and Words community, Ted Beveridge, took up the baton. Let me take a moment to say how cool it is that Ted not only reads Women and Words, but also feels safe enough to contribute a guest blog now and again. He is a great ally to lesbian fiction and we are lucky to count him as a friend.
One other thing, completely off topic, WordPress and Facebook have decided they are no longer willing to play nice with each other. Andi and I have both tried to reset the connection and we have both been denied (by the Internet gods, no doubt). If any of y’all have a magic trick to make them start communicating again, I’d love to hear about it.
And now, on with Ted!
Andi, fire up the sound system with some classic Salt and Peppa. You know the track. Jove, if you’d dim the lights a bit. Thank you. Yvonne would you be a dear and get the wine.
Let’s talk about sex.
Now let me hold up a hand now to the obvious protests, I know what you’re thinking. I’m psychic like that. I totally understand the target audience for this blog. I asked around over at ‘The Lesbian Review Book Club’ about potential topics for today’s Readers Perspective. And one suggested a UK article that talks about how straight women are flocking to lesfic romance/erotica because it’s “hotter” than straight romance. My reply was that I don’t read lesfic for the sex. I also don’t shy away from erotica if I come across it, but I don’t seek it out for it’s sake. So that got me thinking.
I’ve been reading lesfic for many years. My kindle library says I have over 1,700 titles. Probably at least a hundred more in Kindle Unlimited. Why would a mid 40 year old bisexual guy who’s in a 22 year marriage with a woman be THAT interested in lesfic? Fair question. It’s a question only a few brave lesbians have asked me. My answer is this. The puzzle pieces in my head slot into place comfortably when I read lesfic. I’m content. It’s very normal for me. I guess that makes me a little weird. I’m fine with the label. However it does prove that you don’t have to be a lesbian to enjoy lesfic.
So it’s pretty obvious that sex sells. What? Don’t roll your eyes, it does. Everyone’s either doing it, wants to do it, or is envious that you’ve done it. Hopefully successfully I’d add. The real question here is how much needs to be in a book. Some authors out there don’t put any in at all.
I’d venture to say around 80% of general lesfic romance has at least one scene where it gets intimate. After that it’s usually glossed over with a, “And so they did”, kind of thing. I’m perfectly ok with that. See above, I’m not in it for the shag. Personally for me at least, it’s in the emotion of the coupling. I’m all about the, “Awww” moments. Ask anyone that knows me and I’m all about the carebare riding the unicorn that’s fartin’ rainbows.
I can’t even imagine being an author and having to write such a scene. I mean how much do you put in, vanilla, a little kink, hot passionate 10 minute romp and move on, or a long drawn out chapter of an all nighter. Do you base it off your own experience, or on what you could see yourself branching out to something new. If you do base it off your own experience, I’d have to think things would need to be changed up a bit. No sense letting someone in on a free pass in your bedroom. That’s just weird.
Then we have the outright erotica department. Here it’s all about the shag. And I’ve stumbled on quite a few that were face fanners. Now this book isn’t necessarily labeled in Amazon as ‘Erotica’ but it very well could be. The Night Off by Meghan O’Brien.
Here Meghan has written, quite possibly, the best butch I’ve ever come across. And by best, I mean the character as a whole is so fleshed out and complex you wished you knew her in real life. Nat is that kind of character. I found myself stumbling quite a few times as I listened to this audio book while on one of my runs. I’m not immune to the efficacy of those kinds of scenes. I’m not one to blush but wowzers.
Then there’s a book I just read recently called ‘Slow Burn in Tuscany’ by Giselle Fox. This one had topped the charts in Lesbian Romance and I thought what the heck, why not. Well I liked it so much that I wanted to see what else she offered. And that brings me to the ‘Claire and the Lady Billionaire’ series. Here again it’s not specifically labeled as erotica but my god, no one warned me. Each of the 5 books has em shagging 5 ways till Sunday. But the story Iline is so good I just couldn’t help myself. I kept coming back for more.
And lastly, ah yes, is ‘I Dare You’ by Larkin Rose. The sheer intensity of this book rocked my foundation. The pure passion, emotion, and pull is so incredible in this book. Do you ever have a moment, at the end of the book, where you just sit there and stare at the screen? Just sit and absorb it for a few lost minutes. Yep. This one did it for me. I really wanted more. More time with them and their cocoon of awwwe.
So there it is then. My take on sex in lesfic.
So those are a few more steamy reads that worked for me. I believe, personally, that there doesn’t need to be pages upon pages of shagging tor a book to be meaningful. I mean I want the couple to get together and be happy with their relationship, intimate and otherwise. But what really does it for me is the emotional connection. The chemistry. The pull. The, I can’t keep my bloody hands off of her when I’m near. That’s what makes a book good/great for me. The rest is superfluous.
So while sex is a part of our day to day in lesfic, it’s not what makes the book great. I can suffer through the 3-5 pages of it to get back to the other 300 that I’m more interested in. And hey! That’s me. That might not totally be you. I get that. Everyone is different.
Andi. Hit the replay button. Thanks.
Let’s talk about sex.