Ass on fire. It’s what happens when you eat those really, really hot peppers like Red Savina, Scotch Bonnet and Carolina Reaper. I actually grow a couple of those in pots on my front porch.
What? TMI? Bet I had you going there for a minute, huh?
No this blog isn’t about my pepper growing skills. It has nothing to do with peppers at all. It’s pretty much focused on lesfic, romance to be clear, and the hot women we like to read about on our kindles or listen to in audiobooks.
The tall model thin women with long flowing hair and an irresistible smile with just enough vulnerability.
The handsome, sexy butch who makes you swoon with her sweetness, her biceps, and her ability to lay it down well in the bedroom.
The brunette, the blonde, the redhead with blue, green and/or soulful brown eyes.
You know what I’m talking about. Those characters in lesbian romances that are so fucking hot on paper that they make you fan yourself when reading about them. Don’t get me wrong, we love them because they’re smart, funny, strong and independent as well.
Yet, they still have to be hot or rather society’s perception of the term, depending on how the individual reader was socialized. It almost sounds like we’re objectifying women!
C’mon! Some of us kinda do. When we see pics or gifs of Cate Blanchett, Sandra Oh, Dominique Provost-Chalkley (those abs), Kat Barrell, Chyler Leigh, Katie McGrath, Nafessa Williams and Maisie Richardson-Sellers just to name a few or ten, what do we as queer women do? Be honest now. Look at them.
It’s what Hollywood baits us with on television and in movies so it seems natural for it to seep into lesfic as well. Beauty and sex sell. They are also part of that crucial formula that culminates in escapism. Some readers want the excitement of larger than life characters who have perfect bodies, perfect teeth, and when they finally get together by page ninety nine, it’s perfect because they couldn’t keep their perfect hands off of each other anyway.
Say that three times fast.
I get it. I really do, and as a writer of lesbian romance I’ve been known to go along with the trend. Hell, I’ve been known to read it too. Some want women like them and others want to be them. There is nothing wrong with any of it. We’re all entitled to whatever, so calm down. I’m not calling anybody out. I’d have to throw myself out there on front street too. I think I’ve probably done that enough this year.
Here’s the deal though.
There’s a part of me who’s a realist. I think people can probably tell by the characters I create in what I call down to earth romances. So, when I think about that aspect of my personality, I look at myself.
I’m a tall brown woman with long hair, locs to be exact.
My smile is okay. I know nothing about cars, or tools, and I scream at the sight of spiders.
I’m nowhere near thin. I’m not even thin adjacent.
I’m smart, funny, and intelligent, but about seventy five percent of the time I’m an asshole. In other words, I’m a work in progress even though it’s been forty five years. Guess what? Someone fell in love with me. To be honest ever since I came out, I’ve never lacked for companionship or girlfriends despite society’s perception of beauty.
The realist in me wants to read about a person who looks like me, acts like me and so on. The realist in me wants to write about women like me.
Why don’t I write about them?
Why don’t some of the other lesfic authors?
I can’t answer for them, but as for me, I don’t because it’s kinda scary. I’m not brave enough yet.
However, I’ve had a similar fear before when I thought my characters had to be white by default. Don’t get me wrong: some of it was ignorance, but there was a healthy dose of fear as well.
I wanted to sell. Good thing I got over that.
I think, in time, I’ll probably get over this whole perfection thing too.