Unlike Leah, I knew I got hot and bothered by images and thoughts of women from my early teens, when I snuck my first peek at my dad's Playboy magazines. And I discovered the girl-on-girl action did it for me like whoa and like damn not long after that, when I stumbled on a Penthouse photo layout of two women together.
Imagine my shock and curiosity at a fairly innocent 15 years old to see Nina Hartley on Donahue (now I'm dating myself) of all places, talking about her boyfriend and her girlfriend and the logistics involved in a genuine, three-person relationship. How intrigued was I? I don't think I need to spell it out for anyone.
My first foray into the romance genre came not much later than my inauguration into the Hot Chick Appreciation Club. One beaten up copy of Catherine Coulter's Fire Song when I was barely into puberty and I was hooked. (I'm pleased to tell you all that my tastes have evolved somewhat, in that I don't enjoy the "Misogynistic, Violent Butthead as Hero" trope so much anymore.) And not long after that, I encountered my very first real live girl-on-girl scene in a romance novel--I can't even remember what book or by whom.
And then, oh the disappointment to discover the scene consisted of not much more than an aborted kiss. My crest, it was fallen. And to add insult to my drooping crest, I didn't come across another such scene in a romance novel until I began reading erotic romance ebooks a couple of years ago. And to be honest, that first scene didn't really do much for me, either.
Being lover of a good romance, there are things I find in books that bug the crap out of me--like a jerk-faced hero that needs a smack upside the head. Or a f/f scene thrown in for the sake of having it, without any real depth of emotion or chemistry. Or a villainess who is a lesbian just to show the reader that she's extra evil. Being a writer, there are other, more quantifiable things that bug me in a romance--typos, sloppy grammar, word choices that make me want to buy the writer a thesaurus for her birthday (and one for her editor, too), and I have unfortunately found a disproportionate amount of these in ebooks that focus on f/f content. This would seem to be because epublishers have decided this content "doesn't sell" to a straight, female readership, so it isn't worth the trouble of extensive editing.
Granted, I am finding fewer and fewer examples of the tacked on f/f scenes in ebooks these days, but that's because they are hardly publishing any f/f material at all.
Now, I'm the first person to admit to being a tad unconventional, but I knew I could not be the only slightly-queer-but-sorta-straight woman out there who wants to read this stuff. And stumbling across the occasional shining gem of a story--like Michelle DeLully's La Bonne--and discussing my feelings with Leah and other like-minded women, I've realized I am not alone.
And after listening for months to my repeated lament--"Will no one think of the lowly, languishing, neglected, bi-curious woman romance reader?!?"--Leah took matters into her own hands and decided to start this blog. When she asked me if I'd like to contribute and help her run it, I was all over it like a monkey on a cupcake.
So here it is. A place where we can all talk about books with smokin' f/f action, where we can admit to fantasies involving Angelina Jolie and a pair of handcuffs, where we can look at pictures of chicks kissing (BTW, holy crap, Leah, that picture is hot!) without anyone going "Eeeewwwww!" or asking "OMG, Kirsten, are you a...a lesbian?"
To help get the discussion going, I'm gonna randomly select four commentors on these first two posts to win a free copy of one of my ebooks. So have at it. Let us know you're out there.