Thursday, October 15, 2015

Changing the aesthetic

I met a gaggle of great new-to-me authors at DTHE3, and I've been trying to read at least one book by each since. I didn't think it was possible to do, but I believe I have overdone it. Yes, I have overdosed on erotica. I literally can neither read nor write another sex scene and will have to wait until the effects wear off. Whew.

I've been noticing recently that authors are trying to embrace the notion that not all heroines need to be reed thin or cover girl beautiful, although the hero always thinks, and tells her, she is. Absolutely nothing wrong there -- beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? It's subtly written, usually along the lines of "he loved her curves". You' will never read "he kissed the adorable pudges of fat bulging at the base of her shoulder blades" or "he lovingly caressed her muffin top". She is usually self-conscious about her weight, while he thinks she's crazy for not recognizing what a knockout she is.

The heroes,however, aren't getting cut any slack. They are all handsome, hot and, without a doubt, hung like a horse. All are unbelievably skilled lovers. In a book I recently finished, I lost count of how many orgasms the heroine had,each of them "the most intense//overwhelming/amazing she'd ever had in her entire life".  How high does that bar go anyway? The love interests in our books are never short or chubby. It's as if there is an unspoken bond among romance writers to compensate for real life by giving us perfect book boyfriends. Is there no room for reality in romantic fiction? If I wrote a love story about two overweight 50-somethings, would anyone read it?

Personally, I find all sorts and sizes of people attractive. If you iined up the guys who ever played the part of love interest in my life, you'd never find a more diverse group. Not a George Clooney or Brad Pitt in the bunch but still capable of making my heart beat faster and my temperature rise.  I was never tempted to impose unrealistic expectations on them regarding appearance. However, I can't say
the same for myself. I completely fell, and still fall, victim to the belief that because I'm not thin and growing older, with the wrinkles and gray hair to show for it, it's not appropriate for me to act in a sexual way. My husband once broached the subject of recording a video. "I do NOT want to see that," I told him."If I ever see myself having sex, I may never want to have it again, and I like it far too much to give it up."  I've always said that you can get a woman to do almost anything if you convince her she looks beautiful doing it. I guess I'm harder to convince than most.

I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for more romantic characters that stray from the conventionally good looking mold. I'm rooting for the nerdy guy that fixes the computer, the accountant that saves me money, and the contractor that builds me a steam shower. My heroes!

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