Thursday, June 18, 2009

On forced seduction, rape fantasies, bondage and f/f(/m) romance...

I'm going to share a secret with you all (okay, knowing me and my penchant for oversharing, it might not be a secret at this point): I enjoy reading a little non-con now and then.

Especially f/f non-con. Also, f/f/m bondage--in fact, while m/f BDSM doesn't really float my boat at all, throw a second woman into the mix and it's like popcorn with a gallon of artificial, imitation, butter-flavored topping for me. So sinful, so delicious...

Although I've noticed of late that these particular scenarios have been making less frequent appearances in my repertoire of fantasies, and I've been wondering exactly why that is. And why they were such reliable sensual fodder for me in my youth.

Unlike my blogging buddy Leah, I came to my affinity for girl-on-girl action early on--before I knew sex was more than kissing, even. I can still remember myself at age ten or so making my Barbies kiss each other, often while Ken watched from the sidelines, calling instructions and encouragement. I also remember "mean" Barbie making "nice" Barbie do things she didn't want to do (mostly cook and clean and stuff, because hey, I was ten), and the thrill I got from imagining myself as "nice" Barbie, subservient and sweet and infinitely biddable, going about my tasks, eager to please "mean" Barbie and earn more kisses. In these games, Ken was often involved peripherally, a guiding hand to the system of reward and punishment, alternately praising both Barbies when they pleased him, and ratting out "nice" Barbie when she misstepped, and making suggestions for suitable retribution.

Yup. I can hear Hank Hill's voice in my head as I type this: "Only ten years old, and already the girl ain't right," LOL.

I've read a bit on the dwindling prevalence of rape fantasies among women (most memorably Nancy Friday's Women on Top, which combines research and scientific speculation with some blammo one-handed reading--no dry academic analysis to be found there, heh). She posits that the rape fantasy--once a staple of Rosemary Rogers and the rest of the old guard of romance novelists--was popular among women raised before the sexual revolution because they were raised to be "good girls" and "good girls" don't have sex--especially not for pleasure. It seems strange for me to think of a time when the only acceptable sexual equation was 1 penis + 1 vagina = 1 baby, or where noted sex experts insisted that cunnilingus (or anything extraneous to the above equation that might gratify a woman sexually) interfered with fertility and was therefore to be eschewed by married couples.

Keeping in mind that we're not talking about actual rape, but rape fantasies, the premise is that removing the power of consent freed women from those daunting social strictures. To remain a "good girl", one had to keep one's legs together. Withholding consent was one way for women to give themselves permission to have sex--and enjoy it--without the shame of being labeled a fast woman. It only stood to reason that a romance heroine raped by her hero would then fall in love with him--the man who'd given her that pleasure and allowed her to transcend the dictates of those ingrained pressures in the only way possible. And because he invariably married her, in the eyes of society at the time, she'd done no wrong.

What does this have to do with my diminshing love for f/f non-con? Everything, really.

I remember hiding my Barbie play from my mother. It was a secret, shameful joy for me, tainted with the inherent understanding, even then, that were I caught, those Barbies might end up in the trash and I might end up in a counsellor's office. I suppose I ought to have given my mom more credit than that, but homosexuality in general was still largely in the closet at that time. I'd never seen two women holding hands or kissing, had never even heard the words "lesbian" or "bisexual". I had no social yardstick by which to measure my feelings. I only knew they were not the norm. And the fact that both Barbies still liked Ken only confused things further.

Looking back on it now, I realize that having "mean" Barbie dominate "nice" Barbie was my ten-year-old way of giving myself permission to fantasize about f/f sensuality while still being "a good straight girl". "Nice" Barbie never had a choice--she did what she was told, and took her rewards and punishments without complaint, free to enjoy them as much as she wanted because the burden of accountability had been removed from her. Ken's presence in the scenario increased the sense of security and freedom from judgment, because when he was dictating the action, even "mean" Barbie was liberated from the power and responsibilty of autonomy, so the shame of those feelings was one more step removed from them.

And having recently had "the talk" with both my parents and my kids, and finding them accepting, though not enthusiastic, about my attraction to women, I've discovered I don't really need the fantasy anymore. And when I do have it, I'm no longer "nice" Barbie. I'm not "mean" Barbie, either. I'm strong, dominant Barbie, the tender alpha in the scenario, not forcing but seducing. "Nice" Barbie might be confused and unwilling at first, but she comes around because she knows it's okay to feel and act on an unexpected attraction to another woman. The fantasy has become tempered by me giving myself permission to like what I like.

What does all this have to do with f/f(/m) romance? Plenty.

There are plenty of women out there who have no compelling feelings of attraction toward other women, but who still enjoy reading and watching f/f erotic material. For many of them, it's kind of a secret shame, complicated by the fact that they're straight and don't want others to speculate about their sexual orientation. For them, there may be a certain comfort to be found in books like Mackenzie McKade's Lisa's Gift, where the two straight women are friends, love each other and share incredible intimacy, both emotional and sexual, within the insular comfort of an m/f/f BDSM relationship. The hero's dominant guiding hand liberates them from choice, from shame, from confusion. They can have sex with each other and enjoy it, and it's okay. Straight women can read it and enjoy it, and it's okay.

In another way, it skates very close to the Girls Gone Wild phenomenon, where it's socially acceptable for women to be sensual with each other so long as it's at the behest of a man, while those who exclude men are still considered anathema. The whole, "Those lesbians are going straight to hell. Soon as I finish watching these chicks on the TV washing cars and rubbing their wet, slippery bodies all over each other, I'm going to go cast my vote against same-sex marriage," kind of attitude.

I'm kind of wondering whether women as a whole will ever reach a time when the majority of us, straight or queer, will give ourselves permission to like what we like, without that external stamp of approval. Because freedom without autonomy may be comforting, but it isn't exactly freedom, either...

29 comments:

M. A. said...

I've always wanted to write a f/f or a f/f/m involving a "dubious consent" element. I've always loved m/f romances with plot elements like that, the "marriage of convenience" or "forced engagement" or even a forced tryst which ultimately grows into an honest love match.

I just have never found a way to make a credible plot line out of it. I just can't see a female character compelling another female into an intimate relationship. I think for it to work it would need to be a Sci-Fi or fantasy world with different social dynamics or something.

Chaeya said...

To answer M.A., I did create an intimate f/f relationship in my science fiction novel I'm currently shopping. They are on another planet and find comfort in one another as they help each other transition. But I think it could work in a regular, modern setting as well.

To the original post: Last year, I went to a club and I haven't been out in a while. I was shocked by the Girls Gone Wild action on the dance floor, and one of the girls I was with pulled me on the dance floor and enticed me to start feeling her up and she said she was doing it for the guys. I told her: 1) if I start to feel you up for guys then they'd better start sticking some dollars in my waistband and 2) if I continue to feel you up for more than five minutes, I'm taking you home and I will finish it.

So I didn't get lucky. But it did make me realize that I had become quite comfortable with who I am. I don't go and broadcast it loudly to the world, but I don't hide it either.

kirsten saell said...

I just can't see a female character compelling another female into an intimate relationship.


I think sexual assertiveness/agression in women is a tough balance to strike. I've said before I'm not turned on by "butch/bitch" women. Even "mean" Barbie was the "walk softly, carry a big stick" type, rather than strident or pushy or bossy.

Most of my earlier fantasies involved a kind of slave/mistress dynamic, where consent wasn't even an issue--it was simply nonexistent. Now, the idea of persuading a reluctant woman is much more appealing--but the consent eventually has to be there for it to work. Or perhaps some non-con play, with a little hair-pulling *ahem*, but where it's definitely play.

Compulsion can be downright sexy, but yes, it would be extremely hard to pull off a female character who would be willing to force another woman, and have her be likable at all.

I'm mulling something over right now with Ellora's Cave in mind (I was invited to submit something to their editor in chief, go me!, and she said I could send her an f/f, which I think is absolutely amazing). It will involve a kind of bodyguard-captor/damsel in distress dynamic, which I admit kind of has me a bit hot as I consider it more and more. Regardless of what everyone says about the wonderful egalitarian nature of same-sex relationships, I'm still all about the power imbalance, whether it's m/m or f/f.

Cathy in AK said...

I like M.A.'s term "dubious consent" better than forced or coerced or whatnot. I find it more soothing to my psyche : P

We do need to give ourselves permission first. If we aren't able to defend something we enjoy, who will do it for us? As with most art forms that push the boundaries, there will be a long road lined with stone throwers that we'll have to duck, but in the end it will be worth it.

Cool beans on the EC submission, Kirsten. But is there *supposed* to be an egalitarian nature of same-sex relationships? Huh, I'd think that dominance issues were a human thing, not necessarily attached to gender interaction.

kirsten saell said...

1) if I start to feel you up for guys then they'd better start sticking some dollars in my waistband and 2) if I continue to feel you up for more than five minutes, I'm taking you home and I will finish it.

Although I do get hot at the idea of voyeurism within a three-person relationship (no matter who's doing the watching), the idea of girls performing for guys is kind of icky for me.

When I'm in the right mood, I can enjoy the idea because of that ick factor (because I'm a pervert, if you didn't already know, heh), but I don't really want to be an active participant.

And there's nothing more annoying and condescending than the guy whose eyes light up when he finds out you're bi, and asks if he can watch. Like WTF? Do his het friends let him watch THEM have sex?

And yeah, the girl who starts dirty dancing with me could be getting more than she bargained for. It's very frustrating, trying to figure out who might actually respond positively to an overture, and who's just doing it to be like Katy Perry. The whole GGW thing just muddies the waters completely.

kirsten saell said...

But is there *supposed* to be an egalitarian nature of same-sex relationships? Huh, I'd think that dominance issues were a human thing, not necessarily attached to gender interaction.

I hear a lot of this from readers/writers who like m/m--that there's no gender politics or power imbalance involved and that's why they like it. To which I always reply "Whaaaa?" I mean, there's absolutely nothing egalitarian about being rogered up the bum. In fact, anal penetration in men could be argued to be more "bottom" than in women, because women are used to being penetrated and are therefore not giving ground by allowing it. Men being penetrated? That's a lot of bottom. And I think I've used up my daily quota of bad puns with that, so I'll stop there.

M. A. said...

*sighs* This is such an interesting discussion, I hate it that I have to go to school. Ciao ya'll.

Cathy in AK said...

to be Katy Perry-ed (v). Usage: when a woman is led to believe another woman is sexually interested in her. Example: "Shoot, she was all over me on the dance floor, rubbing up against me, then she went off with her boyfriend. Totally Katy Perry-ed me, the wench." : )

Sorry.

kirsten saell said...

That bitch Katy Perry. I would so love to pin her down and make her forget men ever existed. LOL

MB (Leah) said...

She posits that the rape fantasy--once a staple of Rosemary Rogers and the rest of the old guard of romance novelists--was popular among women raised before the sexual revolution because they were raised to be "good girls" and "good girls" don't have sex--especially not for pleasure.

You know, I came of age during the mid 70's when these books were popular but I don't recall ever once having those kinds of rape fantasies although I remember from Cosmo and other mags that it was discussed in popular psychology and such.

I don't even recall what kind of fantasies I had really. LOL But at the same time, I was very open sexually, not meaning trampy, but I had no hangups and it never occurred to me that what I felt sexually or wanted sexually was wrong, not my right or something to be ashamed of.

But I can see how for many women that not having to worry about the reputation factor in a forced situation would be appealing. "It's not my fault." Although frankly at that time blaming a real rape victim for being raped by being sexually alluring was the norm.

I've always loved m/f romances with plot elements like that, the "marriage of convenience" or "forced engagement" or even a forced tryst which ultimately grows into an honest love match

I like these too but for different reasons maybe. I like the idea of being forced to stick it out with someone because I've been such a flake to walk out and leave so easily. And I like the idea that love grows from a reality standpoint and less from the fantasy involved when people are falling in love.

In a f/f situation I'd love to read something like that.

, and one of the girls I was with pulled me on the dance floor and enticed me to start feeling her up and she said she was doing it for the guys.

Oh see, I would have gotten really pissed at that. I hate the f/f thing as a fad in which the girls are doing it more for attention than because they really want to be with a girl.

Regardless of what everyone says about the wonderful egalitarian nature of same-sex relationships, I'm still all about the power imbalance, whether it's m/m or f/f.

I have to agree with you on this. So far in all my readings, I get really fed up with the equal stuff. It's so boring really, no drama or juice. I much prefer when one character is a bit more dominant. Being equal almost takes all the sexual tension out of it as well and makes it more a friendship with bennys and less a romantic thing.

But at the same time I'm not attracted to the really butch type. I think there can be different power dynamic without one of the women being butch but who takes the male role.

When I think of the perfect dynamic in that I think of Ellen and Portia. Ellen is obviously the man of the house but she's still is not butch or too masculine. I like how those two interact.

Jill Sorenson said...

Nice post, Kirsten. Very interesting. I'd be interested reading an f/f/m with the guy tied up! Not exactly what you were talking about, I know.

Have to agree about GGW. In a way, that kind of material seems non-con, too. The girls are so young and so drunk. It's kind of sad. : (

kirsten saell said...

Have to agree about GGW. In a way, that kind of material seems non-con, too. The girls are so young and so drunk. It's kind of sad. : (

Frankly, I think it's the non-con aspect of it that does it for me when I'm in a certain mood. Usually when everything else in my life is all haywire and I just want to let go of all my responsibilities. Let someone else take over everything.

But it is sad. I always feel squicky because these are real women, and they're really drunk, and that guy went to prison for a reason (although I'm guessing he got out on appeal). If a woman is so drunk she can't legally consent to sex with a guy, how is she legally competent to give consent for a guy to film her having sex and then plaster the video all over the place?

Dubious consent and non-con are clearly things that work in fantasy but in reality, not so much. I was sexually assaulted once (it wasn't violent, just non-consensual), and I wouldn't call the memory masturbation material. At all.

JenB said...

Okay, I have nothing brilliant to add to this, except that your post reminded me of a Loose Id story I read a while back...Sorority Girl by Cheryl Dragon http://www.loose-id.com/prod-Sorority_Girl_Pledge_Time-615.aspx?

It's about hazing, the bitch lesbian taking advantage of nice straight girls, girls who hate each other having angry sex...lots of dirty fun. :)

M. A. said...

Chaeya, good luck with your novel!

one of the girls I was with pulled me on the dance floor and enticed me to start feeling her up and she said she was doing it for the guys.

Yes, this does qualify as one of ickiest things I've ever heard in my life.

Kirsten Congrats and best luck with the EC submission!

I hear a lot of this from readers/writers who like m/m--that there's no gender politics or power imbalance involved and that's why they like it. To which I always reply "Whaaaa?" I mean, there's absolutely nothing egalitarian about being rogered up the bum. In fact, anal penetration in men could be argued to be more "bottom" than in women, because women are used to being penetrated and are therefore not giving ground by allowing it. Men being penetrated? That's a lot of bottom.

*nods* That's always been my "head scratching moment" when it comes to M/M as well.

Chaeya said...

Oh, I was completely icked out at this club because these women were drunk or behaving like they were on video, so I said it mainly to get her away from me and it worked. Shame because she is very pretty, but then she starts talking . . . Oh! I didn't say that. But I felt insulted really and the guys were the usual bunch of dolts standing there with beers in their hand looking like "duy-ah." And when I see that, it just gets me into trouble, like that time at the strip club . . .

Thanks for the well wishes M.A. It almost feels like coming out of the closet in some ways. I know we as authors say we write, but on some level, we do confront the issue of backing up what we write whether it be a fantasy or having really happened. Even if we chose to speak out or remain silent to our readers, we still are representing in some way.

As far as sexuality, I've always found alpha males a big turn on, even though I want to challenge them and take them on. I like for them to order me about, to dominate me.

I don't mind aggressive women who take charge, but I'm not into butch either (no offense to butches), but I would read of androgynous women. I like boiz, then you have your pillow queens which is my heroine's lover in my book, and my heroine becomes more like a girly stud, even though the pillow queen is the controlling one, but quiet and demure on the surface.

I think there is a huge playground where authors could write f/f and there are so many quirks heroines and their female counterparts could have.

There are some controlling women that are downright sexy without seeming bitchy at all. I remember reading Marion Zimmer Bradley's "The Firebrand" and I think it's Casandra's aunt(?) who was this Amazonian queen and she made her sound so hot. She was a warrior, but not overly masculine.

Great discussion.

Chaeya said...

Oh and about the m/m thing. I remember I had a friend as a teenager and we had this mutual friend who was very much the feminine gay male and his lover was just your average looking joe. Most people would think he was straight if they met on the street. My friend moved in with them and at the time it was my presumption that the "feminine" gay males were the "bottom" guys, the ones getting f*cked. My friend went "oh no, he's the one that does the f*cking." From then on I realized that there was a lot more to being gay than met the eye. I think I told Kirsten this, I wouldn't even attempt to write a m/m yet. My co-worker wrote a gay romance and I ordered it off Amazon. I haven't yet read a m/m romance.

kirsten saell said...

It's about hazing, the bitch lesbian taking advantage of nice straight girls, girls who hate each other having angry sex...lots of dirty fun. :)

I remember that one, Jen. Not so strong on the romance, and the alpha was a bit strident for my taste, but it was good one-handed reading. :D

I don't mind aggressive women who take charge, but I'm not into butch either (no offense to butches), but I would read of androgynous women.

Well, there's butch, and then there's butch, if you get my meaning. I think there's a type of butch that can work for a lot of women, even straight ones--Samantha Ronson, Shane from the L-Word, even Hilary Swank in Boys Don't Cry--and the kind of butch who overcompensates for her femininity by discarding all feminine qualities, not just physically but emotionally. I'm not drawn to women who won't let themselves be vulnerable or soft in any way. It's that softness I'm most attracted to in any woman, whether she's a princess or a biker. As for Ellen Degeneres, I'm not attracted to her, but I can relate to her in many ways.

*nods* That's always been my "head scratching moment" when it comes to M/M as well.

I'm not knocking m/m, mind you, because I can and do enjoy it, but the egalitarian thing just makes me roll my eyes so hard I sprain my eyeballs. I mean, the only possible egalitarian sexual relationship--IMO--would be an f/f where no one penetrates anyone anywhere. And as far as I'm concerned, if both partners are equal all the time, it's a big old dud, anyway. It's like a cart with no driver and two passengers.

My friend went "oh no, he's the one that does the f*cking." From then on I realized that there was a lot more to being gay than met the eye.

LOL, Chaeya. In Chancellor's Bride, the m/m relationship involves a physically imposing, very intensely brooding man, and one who's like Seinfeld: "People think I'm gay because I'm single, I'm 30 and I'm neat." I loved the idea of making the smaller, more fastidious (and to be honest, less physically attractive) one the alpha.

M. A. said...

Chaeya

But I felt insulted really and the guys were the usual bunch of dolts standing there with beers in their hand looking like "duy-ah." And when I see that, it just gets me into trouble, like that time at the strip club . . .


What? You felt insulted? Because you weren't "into" your pal's jonesing to exhibit yourselves to give the dolts some cheap thrills? How dare you!

(that was my sarcastic voice in case you did not hear it)


Thanks for the well wishes M.A. It almost feels like coming out of the closet in some ways. I know we as authors say we write, but on some level, we do confront the issue of backing up what we write whether it be a fantasy or having really happened. Even if we chose to speak out or remain silent to our readers, we still are representing in some way.

Of course I want to write plausible fiction regardless of the pairing but...I admit I don't care if people speculate as to my "real reasons" or "hidden agenda" in writing same sex romance or menage romance and how it might be applicable in some way to my personal life or my fantasy life.

As far as sexuality, I've always found alpha males a big turn on, even though I want to challenge them and take them on. I like for them to order me about, to dominate me.

I like alpha characters but I hate how sometimes a "dominant" personality is portrayed as a "mean" personality.


There are some controlling women that are downright sexy without seeming bitchy at all. I remember reading Marion Zimmer Bradley's "The Firebrand" and I think it's Casandra's aunt(?) who was this Amazonian queen and she made her sound so hot. She was a warrior, but not overly masculine.


Great book! It's on my "keeper shelf." Lot of great characters there but I felt the story was a little "tainted" because all of the male characters seemed two-dimensional to me. Akhilles was just terrible and Aeneas seemed weak, flat, not really "man enough" for Kassandra.

mfred said...

If you're looking for a book that combines non-con, BDSM, and f/f, and m/m, and m/f/f and m/m/f and uh, pretty much every kind of other slash slash slashes in the world, I would totally recommend Macho Sluts by Pat Califia.

I've seen it described as "hardcore queer f*cking" and I think kind of encompasses what this book is about. Its pro-queer, pro-gender queer, pro-BDSM, not for the faint of heart, in your face erotica.

Chaeya said...

To Kirsten:

And as far as I'm concerned, if both partners are equal all the time, it's a big old dud, anyway. It's like a cart with no driver and two passengers.

I agree. No offense to anyone, but one problem I have had with bisexuality is this "I'll do you and then you do me, m'kay?" That to me is the equal thing that needles me.

I'm not drawn to women who won't let themselves be vulnerable or soft in any way. It's that softness I'm most attracted to in any woman, whether she's a princess or a biker. As for Ellen Degeneres, I'm not attracted to her, but I can relate to her in many ways.

I feel the same way. But it goes into the Butch/Femme roles. There are femmes who enjoy the hardcore macho butch. I once came upon a website called Fat Ugly Dykes and the Women Who Loved Them. Okaaaay. There are people for everyone. But then I love femmes and I'm not butch enough, more like a pretty boi. And they're a whole 'nother ballpark too who like to go out and womanize and there are chicks who love them for that. Not my style either. Still, it just goes to show there's a lot of room to play here.

To MA

I admit I don't care if people speculate as to my "real reasons" or "hidden agenda" in writing same sex romance or menage romance and how it might be applicable in some way to my personal life or my fantasy life.

I feel the same way, but I've seen some authors go out of their way to say "don't ask me about what's in my books" or "I'm as wholesome as apple pie and not anything like the people I write about." There's the rebel popping her head up in me that says I'm tired of women having to hide from what we write. I remember reading interviews with famous singers and other actresses and they play this "I don't find myself sexy, I'm not a sex symbol, I bake pies and when I wave it's like the Queen of England." F-that. I'm owning it. Yeah, I help my kids with their homework and go to school meetings aaaaand I write about sex and I've probably done everything I've written about. I love to flirt and feel sexy as a woman, sometimes I show too much cleavage, and when I'm done f*cking or making love, depending on the mood I'm in, we can sit and discuss the space-time continuum.

I like alpha characters but I hate how sometimes a "dominant" personality is portrayed as a "mean" personality.

Can't do mean. The moody, angry, misunderstood a$$. That was my first husband, been there done that. I like alphas who are playful, but they clearly love the heroine even if they do give her a hard time in whatever way or they get into it. I loved Rhett Butler, I would have had fun with him. My memory isn't working where I can think of any more at the moment.

About Marion Zimmer Bradley, I've read probably most of her books and she definitely had issues with men, but for the time (80s, early 90s) I read her, I liked the fact that she told stories from the female perspective, especially mythic women who had been demonized for so long like in Mists of Avalon. I loved the Firebrand because I brought it with me to Cypress (so the book had meaning for me being there) and I lay on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean alone in Polis (it was in May before the tourist season so no one was there) and I was there for hours and got through like half of the book. I couldn't put it down. I read it in like two days. I bought it a few years ago and tried to read it again and I couldn't. (Sigh) Gotta get the moment.

M. A. said...

To Chaeya:

I've seen some authors go out of their way to say "don't ask me about what's in my books" or "I'm as wholesome as apple pie and not anything like the people I write about." There's the rebel popping her head up in me that says I'm tired of women having to hide from what we write. I remember reading interviews with famous singers and other actresses and they play this "I don't find myself sexy, I'm not a sex symbol, I bake pies and when I wave it's like the Queen of England." F-that. I'm owning it.

I'm not sure I hide from what I write, but I've also come to understand that my writing may at times hold different meaning to others than it might to myself. That's okay.

I like alphas who are playful, but they clearly love the heroine even if they do give her a hard time in whatever way or they get into it. I loved Rhett Butler, I would have had fun with him.

See, this is neat. Of course at face value Rhett is quite a man, but it's funny because, as I got to know him better the less I liked him. The drinking and alcoholism, the open involvement with prostitutes (especially after his marriage,) his tendencies towards abandonment (almost throughout the entire story he's leaving Scarlet at one place after another.) Those just are not "alpha" characteristics to me.

To me, there's also something pretty wrong with a man who will chase after one woman for YEARS while the woman's carrying a torch for another man. The idea that he can "change her mind and make her love him instead" suggests some degree of weakeness to me. I can't help thinking that if Scarlet had returned his affection much earlier in the book he would have gotten tired of her pretty quickly and moved on to the next (dysfunctional) "challenge."

Please forgive me, I can get pretty analytical at times.

Chaeya said...

MA,

Oh I completely agree with you about Rhett. He was a true womanizer and it was the glory of the chase with Scarlet, BUT what I meant was the charm he exuded in the movie (not the book, I read the book). He was a different kind of alpha male for me.

Here's the tic. I've been around playboys and womanizers a lot during my life and I had fun with them. Truly. What kept us together was always keeping them guessing and the chase stayed on. For a long time I didn't want to get married and I was happy just having a lover. If Scarlet wasn't so sloppy and if she really wanted Rhett but worked him right, she could have had Rhett jumping through all kinds of hoops.

The element of the womanizer I like is, they have an understanding of women and they know how to treat them. They have to because it's what keeps woman going after them and hooked on them. Nice guys bore me. Bad boy, troublemakers, you can keep them. Beta men, forget it, I'll eat them alive. I think womanizers challenge me as much as I challenge them. Knowing I'm bisexual, they can't ever have me completely body and soul, but there's that part of them that can't quit trying to get it all.

In saying that, in playboys, there's a part that's very vulnerable and sensitive, almost feminine in some ways on how well they relate to women. Some of them are stupid, so not all of them have redeeming qualities. But the ones I knew, my male side connected with them very well and we became almost like best friends with benefits.

The hero in my next WIP is a womanizer and I had a ball writing him and he's fun. But he truly loves women and loves many different women and sex just as much.

MB (Leah) said...

I know we as authors say we write, but on some level, we do confront the issue of backing up what we write whether it be a fantasy or having really happened. Even if we chose to speak out or remain silent to our readers, we still are representing in some way.

As a reader I rarely assume that what an author is writing is their personal experience. It might be, it might not be, I don't care.

However, I do feel that authors who write f/f, f/f/m, which is not well accepted, are at the very least open to reading it or they wouldn't write it. But that's me and I might be really off on that.

There's the rebel popping her head up in me that says I'm tired of women having to hide from what we write.

What's kind of sad is that it's true that authors of non-con and general erotic romance/erotica often feel the need to defend what they write against true or perceived judgments.

Those just are not "alpha" characteristics to me.

I think Rhett is a Gamma. Definitely his own man, a rogue who did what he felt like and used whomever and whatever he could to his advantage, which was just using his brains, charm and ingenuity. Those are sexy traits.

Knowing I'm bisexual, they can't ever have me completely body and soul, but there's that part of them that can't quit trying to get it all.

This is very interesting. Do you think then that a bisexual person cannot really go deep with one sex or the other because their partners will always wonder if they are missing something and keep some emotional distance? I know that's a rather personal question, but it's an interesting perspective that I've never heard before.

In many of the f/f with characters of a bisexual nature, it's usually a "gay for you" situation. But I wonder then what would happen to the one party that is usually more into women or the lesbian partner. If she would worry that the bi lover would always be ready to jump into the arms of the next man that catches her fancy.

Maybe it's why I enjoy reading the bi character with a lesbian or more aggressive woman. The bi or straight "gay for you" has to be constantly seduced and to some degree controlled by the lesbian partner to keep her. It creates interesting dynamics.

M. A. said...

However, I do feel that authors who write f/f, f/f/m, which is not well accepted, are at the very least open to reading it or they wouldn't write it. But that's me and I might be really off on that.


I admit when I wrote "The Garden House" I had no idea what the audience was like or what the market was like. I wrote F/F for the same reason I write anything else -- J & I had a good idea and it sounded like fun to write it.

I'm much more conscious of the market these days because the industry is more conscious of it.

Hmmm...Regarding the bondage issue...I wear corsets and I've been accused of being "into" bondage because of that. I do like the "squeeze" of being laced down but I've never associated that with bondage.

Cathy in AK said...

I admit when I wrote "The Garden House" I had no idea what the audience was like or what the market was like. I wrote F/F for the same reason I write anything else -- J & I had a good idea and it sounded like fun to write it.

This is what I went through when I started my story well over a year ago. I had no idea what the market for f/f was like, who I'd be targeting, or whether it would ever get any kind of acceptance. But I loved the story and the characters as I was writing it, and still do : ) Will it get published? Maybe, maybe not. But by writing it I learned a lot about the genre and myself, so that's a win-win if not a win-win-win(publishing it :)

Chaeya said...

To MB Leah

This is very interesting. Do you think then that a bisexual person cannot really go deep with one sex or the other because their partners will always wonder if they are missing something and keep some emotional distance? I know that's a rather personal question, but it's an interesting perspective that I've never heard before.

No, not at all. I feel I love very deeply when I do love. The thing is I have no need of ownership. I believe in unconditional love. I'm not jealous, as long as the person isn't slighting me intentionally, I'm good for sharing.

There is always this need of "ownership" in love and I spoke about it on another board. You're mine, let's "fall" in love and here now are the "conditions." You're heart belongs to me, you complete me and all that. Being bisexual and on top of it, being a fierce Aquarian, I've never had the need for ownership in a relationship. There is a part of you that could belong to me and there is a part of me that could belong to you, but your soul and your heart is your own and always will be.

This is not to be confused with "non-committal" which is the problem Lesbians have so much with bisexuals. That we will simply fly off to whoever have their arms open.

Calling Rhett a Gamma was excellent and yes, a better word than alpha. He was his own man and he was someone I would have had a lot of fun loving, as long as I could get a piece of him periodically, I would have been happy.

Unfortunately, when I speak like that, people confuse it with a licenteousness which it isn't. I do have ethics and my own code as well. I understand it may not work for everyone, I just have a different view of love. I have an open relationship with my husband because I could not make a promise I would not ever ever connect with someone else. But for him, I am with him to raise our children and be a mother and that is my commitment.

I've always believed the saying: Love is for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

Chaeya said...

I felt the same apprehension when my heroine informed me she was bisexual and there was a part that felt like I had "doomed" my MS. But then I have a number of things probably hurting it. I have a biracial heroine, I don't follow the traditional romance format and my heros are huge and look Persian. I'm all prepared to put it out myself. I've been playing around with a marketing plan in the back of my head. I'm prepared to go it alone if I must.

MB (Leah) said...

This is not to be confused with "non-committal" which is the problem Lesbians have so much with bisexuals. That we will simply fly off to whoever have their arms open.

I've read that this is true, that lesbians feel that way about bi or "straight" women who might be attracted to them.

I guess this happens a lot, I don't know. But I can't imagine that a bi or straight women who would fall in love with a lesbian would just simply run off at the next guy who comes along. I just don't get that.

I said on another board that just because I'm het, doesn't mean that I will just jump into the arms of any guy who comes along when I'm in a relationship with someone I love. Most people don't. So I can't see if I would really fall in love with a woman that I would just run to any guy that came along just cause he's a guy. You fall in love with who you fall in love with. Period.

And I've heard the whole thing over and over that because bi's swing both ways that they aren't capable of settling down with one person, which I also don't get.

Unfortunately, when I speak like that, people confuse it with a licenteousness which it isn't.

I don't think that but I can see how most would. Licentious means willy nilly so to speak, and I don't think we fall for people like that. But I feel that one can love two people at the same time and that it can work out, which is why I do enjoy the menage that works in a story.

Especially the f/f/m menage only because I personally feel that loving a woman or man is apples and oranges. I think it's different even if it's romantic and sexual for both. And I think what I can have with a man is way different than a woman, so I can see how bi woman could deal with a menage or going off to hang with a female partner on and off while in a committed marriage.

Personally I'd like to believe that this is possible however far reaching.

Good luck with your book, I hope it gets published. It sounds right up my alley. I like stories with uncommon characters, mixed races, sexually ambiguous and so on.

M. A. said...

And I've heard the whole thing over and over that because bi's swing both ways that they aren't capable of settling down with one person, which I also don't get.


I agree with this. I don't see how sexual preferences figure into personal values. Either a person values traditional concepts of romantic commitment (fidelity and an exclusive relationship) or s/he doesn't.

In my opinion, a bisexual person who values those concepts would have no problems in a committed, exclusive relationship.