Sunday, September 30, 2007

Hair today, gone tomorrow?

I like male chests. Nicely defined, well muscled, male chests. For me, there's nothing sexier than a shirtless guy in a pair of well-worn jeans with the waistband dipping ever so slightly so that the line of his hip is exposed. Seriously, my mouth practically waters when I see that little trail to paradise going down from six-pack abs.

Recently, I went to a water park where there were a great number of bare, male chests available for my viewing pleasure. Unfortunately, there was a definite LACK of muscular chests in the selection. Granted, it was a family oriented park and not Muscle Beach, but it got me to thinking.

One thought that popped into the chaos I call a brain was, HELLO, Ever hear of Bowflex? The other thought was the vast, vast majority of men have hairy chests.

Now, my father is a hairy, hairy man as is my husband, so that may color my perceptions some, but I always thought once a man went through puberty, they grew hair upon their chests. It's sort of what separates the men from the boys, yes?

Then how come in all the posters, book covers, and even movies and soap operas, all the men have muscular hairless chests? Does the act of pumping iron work like Nair? (If so, I'm starting on a new leg regimine so I never have to shave again.)

Have we as a society in our endless search for youth associated hairless chests as a sign of beauty?

I happen to like a little hair to run my fingers through and rub up against on all the right spots. I'm not talking about completely gorillia here, but an nice patch of fuzz over the pecs and leading down to a thin Happy Trail is very sexy to me.

I appreciate the uncluttered beauty of a hairless chest on male models, but when we're talking about getting nekkid and doing the deed, I like having a bit of hair to play with.
(Sorry, TMI?)

So, tell me, what do you think? Hair or no hair? And why?

Now I think I'm going to have to do some personal research, have a great weekend!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Great Scot!

Do the words,

"Come with me girl and let me run my hands all over your lovely little body and make you purr..."

Make you squirm? No? Maybe? What about this then,

"Come with me lass and let me run my hands all over your bonny wee body and make you purr..."

Now maybe neither of them does any of them for you but that's maybe got more to do with the cheesy dialogue than the point. Which is this, what's in an accent? Why is it that a man with an accent is so much more of a turn on? Particularly a Scottish accent it seems. Maybe it's all the rolling 'rrrr's' and the thought of what a tongue that dexterous can accomplish. Now a Scottish accent doesn't do a hell of a lot for me but that might be because I'm Scottish myself. Now give me an Irish, Italian, or an American accent and whoa! I write Scottish heroes in my books because it's what I know, but the Irish, American and English characters... well,
they're for me.

So what is it? Is it the appeal of the exotic? Is it the whole package? Do we fall for the stereotype's attached to that voice? The Scottish Laird who will lift you up in his big brawny, sword wielding arms and carry you off to his castle, uncaring about the freezing Highland mist that nips at his naked arse under his kilt. The charming, playful Irishman who'll ply you with Guinness and legends of pookhas and banshees and take you home to his picturesque village on the coast. The fiery Italian who'll sweep you off you're feet with romance and flowers and make love to you with unrestrained passion.
I know which on I'd choose, so which accent does it for you and why?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Got Ménage a Trois or More?

In the aftermath of the latest brouhaha uproar over what constitutes a romance, I thought it would be fun to pretend that we’ve all agreed a romance book can include more than one hero and/or more than one heroine. (I know, I have a very optimistic imagination. *grin*) Which then evolves into the question: How many is too many? Do you have a breaking point where an erotic romance has gone too far by including one too many people in the “group”? Where is the cut-off, and if there is one, are we again drawing lines some believe we have no right to draw?

To break it down with examples, I thought I’d pull out a couple of my own books to examine…

Let’s start with a body count of 3 in A WANTON’S THIEF, the first in my Thieves & Lovers Robin Hood series. When Falcon (aka Robin Hood) begins a seriously hawt romance with Lady Salena Tremayne, you think it can’t possibly get any better…until the ties that bind Falcon to Little John come into play. The relationship in this m/f/m trio is formed on a solid base of mutual love and respect between them all. BUT, due to a centuries-old curse, John must eventually find his own woman to love…

Now, onward to body count 4. In the second book in my Thieves & Lovers series, A GYPSY’S THIEF, Falcon and Salena return, but by now, John has literally fallen for Scottish gypsy, Catriona. However, we still have that bind between Falcon and Little John alluded to in the previous paragraph. Which brings us to a scorching ménage a trois or more. Incidentally, the third and final book in this series is currently being written. Hmm, stay tuned to find out the body count on that one. ;)

Delving a bit deeper beyond population, does it depend on who’s interacting with whom? (Now I could go as high as 5 or more, but for the purposes of example and length, I’ll stick to 4 here.) In other words, which combination below, in your opinion, is the best/hottest in erotic ménage romances:

1) m/m/f
2) m/f/m
3) f/f/m
4) f/m/m/f
5) m/f/f/m
6) m/f/m/f

Or does it depend on the dynamics of interaction more than numbers? Strictly from my writer’s point of view, it can get somewhat confusing keeping all those appendages and orifices straight while coordinating more than 3 in a scene. But from my reader’s vantage point, both number and combination don’t really matter. It all depends on how well the author has written the love scenes, how hot and romantic it all comes across, and what sorts of emotions are going on between all the lovers.

So, in multiple-partner erotic romances, do you think the more the merrier is acceptable, or would 3 lovers be your limit? So again, I ask… Got ménage a trois? Or got more?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Back to Skool

Back. To. School. Three magic words. Whether you have kids going back or are going back yourself (on either side of the desk), you cannot deny the incredible wonder of those three words.

New pencils, new crayons, new notebooks, new binders. New books . Loved the new books. Especially when they really were new. Mostly what we were handed had been used by several classes before us, but on occasion, we were lucky enough to be the very first to use a particular textbook. I loved listening to the creak of the binding being opened for the first time and sniffing the somewhat oily smell of the shiny pages with pictures (we loved to sniff dittoes, too. We were convinced the smell from the purple ink could make us high. Yes, I’m that old.).

And let’s not forget new teachers! First year or fifteenth year…their experience didn’t matter a whit on opening day. They were new to us and that was cause for tons of anxiety the night before. What would she look like? Did he grade really hard? Would she be really strict? By the end of the year we’d either be old friends or hard enemies, but on that first day…anything was possible.

My favorite and my scariest first day of school both happened on the same day. After eight years in public schools, I decided I needed more focus on learning academics and less focus on survival. My junior high years were filled with violence (not a day went by that I didn’t witness at least one fistfight) and I wanted a change. So I talked my parents into sending me to one of several Catholic high schools in our city.

That sounded great in theory. But I’m one who doesn’t really like change. Keeping the status quo is usually just fine with me. Sure my head wanted the move…but the morning of that first day…my heart quailed. What the heck was I thinking? New building, new people, new everything! Heck, I was even wearing a uniform! I didn’t know a single person of the five hundred and twenty-five ninth graders who entered that building that day (a fact I later realized was wrong. As the year progressed, I discovered there were actually two people I’d gone to school with in elementary school or in junior high…two out of five hundred and twenty-five).

So what on earth could make this become by favorite first day? That understanding would come only with hindsight. Later I understood the tremendous courage I’d had to muster to walk through that door and I still take pride in doing something that scared me so much. I also ended up loving that high school…the teachers, the kids, even the administration all combined to create an incredible experience for this shy, scared fourteen-year-old freshman who screwed her courage to the sticking place and got through that first day. I’d not trade those years for anything.

So what about you? What are your favorite memories of the start of school? What made them so memorable? And more importantly, did ya learn anything?

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Same Sex...Marriages??

In 1965 the Supreme Court of Canada labeled Everett Klippert a “dangerous sexual offender” and tossed him in prison because he had admitted to being gay and having sex with other men.

Forty years later in 2005 the Canadian Parliament passed a law officially recognizing and making same sex marriage legal and legitimate.

Wow…we’ve come a long way, baby! Or…at least some of us have. On one hand I am so very thrilled to live in one of only three countries in the world to have taken this giant leap, and yet…

There are still dissenters. Two provinces and a territory continue to refuse to adopt the legislation. Politicians debate the legitimacy of the law citing some of the most ridiculous reasons as to why it’s not valid. Why it couldn’t possibly represent the majority of Canadian opinion. Why it threatens the very fabric of our society.

It threatens the fabric of our society. I see. And how do we figure this, exactly? Will the existence of the law act as permission for millions of gay and lesbian people to suddenly erupt from the closet? Abandon families, husbands, wives and children and flock to local ministers to tie the knot before spilling into the streets in mad abandon? Dancing naked and engaging in public homosexual sex-acts, thereby enticing innocent law-abiding heterosexual to abandon their values and dabble in the dark arts of male/male tonsil-hockey and…gasp…anal sex?

THIS is the kind of attitude that continues to baffle…and yes, distress me. Why does our society, on the whole, continue to be so threatened by anyone who is a little…different. Who doesn’t fit into those small round holes we have drilled out for them?

The institution of marriage is not permission or a license, or the only established way to have or raise children and build a loving family unit. Marriage is a celebration of love and commitment, and in a world where traditional marriages dissolve as easily and routinely as Kool-Aid in water it should be encouraged and affirmed as such. Whether it is between two men, two women, a man and a woman shouldn’t matter. And frankly, whether it’s recognized by the state shouldn’t matter.

Having said that, however, there are legal issues, issues of financial benefits and child custody that such a law facilitates and I don’t blame this segment of society for seeking legitimization. And I do believe that such a law provides that—a tangible validation for the ‘square pegs’ in our society. It heightens awareness and inspires discussion. And while the debate may be infuriating and frustrating at times, I take comfort from the fact that at least, in this new Millenium there is discussion, and that the issue is no longer so cloaked in secrecy and scandal.

As an author who writes—and very much ENJOYS writing—tales of same sex romance, I applaud this law. And I also hope that my stories will have their small part in promoting awareness and acceptance of an alternative lifestyle that has been feared and persecuted, but an indisputable part of society since the dawn of time—and that will continue to be part of it long after my books have turned yellow and disintegrated into dust.

How do you feel? Would you like to see your government consider such a law? Do you see problems with it? Moral issues? Whether you agree or disagree…I’d like to hear!