Are Erotic Romance Readers More Liberal?

With the social climate here in the US getting more and more conservative, while the number of erotic romance books being sold is growing by leaps and bounds, I can’t help but wonder how these two conflicting phenomenon correlate. Is one a reaction to the other? Or are what we read and what we believe two entirely different things?

I scoured the internet for some data on readers or erotic romance, or even just erotica (the main difference being that erotic romance has a ‘happily ever after’ or a happily for now’ ending). There is no data on the readers at all. The only available information is on the number of books sold. Not surprisingly, the number of ebooks sold versus print books sold is proportionately higher than in other genres of romance or fiction. Obviously the key piece here is that people buy much more erotic literature when they can do so discreetly.

I couldn’t write a story showing my heroine benefiting from her sexual experiences if I thought they were morally wrong, so certainly I am more liberally-minded. But is this true of the readers? This is fantasy after all. Do some readers like to read kinky stuff that they feel is morally wrong, just for the release? Many people like to read about killers and their horrific murders, but that doesn’t mean they are condoning that behavior.

Without passing judgement on anyone, please tell me. Does what you read match your beliefs?

Six erotic sentences – Pandora’s Gift by Jennifer Lynne

My Six Sentence excerpt this Sunday is from one of my favorite romances. Pandora’s Gift is the erotic story of Flint, a war veteran who has seen too much, and Pandora, the woman who is destined to bring him out of the darkness towards hope:

Being here with her, a woman he didn’t know and was unlikely to see again after tonight, he felt as if she’d invaded his mind and his heart. Like tendrils of light, he could feel her coiling inside him, searching out the dark places, banishing them. The urge to let go, to let it all out, became almost overwhelming.

One hand had somehow wound itself further into her hair, and as if to get a grip on reality he pulled it, hard, pinning her head against the couch. She looked up at him, seemingly mute, but damned if he couldn’t hear her voice again inside his head.

Not possible.

Read more of Pandora’s Gift at Amazon or Red Sage.

For more Six Sentence Sunday entries from participating authors, please click HERE.

Sexual Freedom in Greek Mythology

One of the most interesting aspects of the research into Greek mythology for my Gods of Love erotic romance series, has been the discovery  that the ancient Greeks did not define sexual orientation or behavior by gender. Rather, they looked at sex from a Dom/sub point of view. One person as the dominant penetrator, and the other as the submissive penetrated, regardless of gender.

Gender in fact, became almost irrelevant as sex and sexual activity did not come attached with the social “labels” that we use today – gay, lesbian or transgender, for example.

The lack of moral judgement on sexual activity, and the growth of mythologies around particular gods and goddesses as patrons of different types of love, was extremely appealing to me as an erotic romance author developing ideas for a GLBT themed trilogy that would place ancient Greek gods into a modern day setting.

Shades of…hmm, dare I say it? Yep! Grey, rather than black and white. The idea of almost infinite possibilities for love and desire, without the moral labels, intrigues me. And I’m wondering if maybe we should be taking some lessons from ancient history?

In my first story in the Gods of Love trilogy, Platinum Passion, I introduced Pothos, god of sexual yearning and one of the erotes (aspects of Eros and the children of Aphrodite, goddess of love and sexuality). Pothos visits Jake and Jeannie on the night of their twentieth wedding anniversary to fulfill Jake’s wish to experience bisexual love and to help Jeannie regain the sexual spark that their long-term marriage has been missing.

Aphrodite Calling (Gods of Love #2), is about Himeros, god of sexual desire and brother to Pothos. He responds to the call from Gina, a post-surgery, male to female transsexual, whose desire to be accepted as a woman touches Himeros like no other call before.

The third story in this trilogy, tentatively titled Sex Club Secrets, will be about Anteros, god of requited/unrequited love, who has settled into modern life as the owner of a sex club. Anteros is a naughty boy at heart, and he has a whole lot of fun with two bisexual friends who need the blinkers removed in order to see the truth directly in front of them.

Each of these stories is a stand-alone read, but with the common theme of the erotes running as a thread throughout them all. The freedom I’ve felt in writing these varied storylines has come directly from my research, and from my discovery that not everyone throughout history has defined sexual orientation or gender in the same way that we do today.

What do you think? Can we learn something from those ancient Greeks? Do you enjoy a touch of mythology in your erotic romance, and if so, what are your favorite mythologies/myths?

Here’s a short snippet from Platinum Passion (Gods of Love #1)– a Best Book of 2011 nominee in GLBT Fantasy Romance at The Romance Reviews. It is available for only 99 cents at Amazon, All Romance ebooks and Barnes & Noble:

“Are you ready again, Jake?” Pothos asked, and he nodded.

“Yeah.” His voice was hoarse.

“Jake.” Jeannie spoke his name again, but this time with understanding. She could probably read the rampant desire in his face. Her lips parted and she asked hesitantly, “Who do you want?”

He reached for her beneath the water, felt the curve of her hip and pulled her close. She gasped when she came into contact with his cock. Hell, he felt like gasping himself, he was so ready. “I want you, Jeannie,” he said. Then he looked over his shoulder. “And I want you, Pothos. I want you to fuck me, hard, while I make love with Jeannie.”

He didn’t wait for a response from either of them, confident that the ache of desire he felt was about to be amplified by Pothos. However their new lover did it, Jake didn’t care. He just knew that this night was like no other he’d ever experienced, and the heady lust that filled his nostrils had just gotten stronger as Pothos’ eyes flashed bright and his wife let out a faint moan and shifted impatiently against him. He lifted Jeannie, taking her weight easily with the help of the water’s buoyancy, and settled her warm pussy onto his dick. She immediately wrapped her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck and clung like a limpet while she kissed him. His hands kneaded the rounded cheeks of her buttocks and he pushed up into her hot center, taking her resulting gasp into him as they continued to kiss, feeling the tip of his cock connect with her body in that deep, dark place inside her.

He broke off the kiss. “You’re mine.” He thrust again, not sure why he felt he had to stake his claim, and she let out a strangled cry.

“Always, Jake.”

Then he felt the hardness of a male body up against his back, pressing into his thighs, and he buried his face in Jeannie’s golden hair, almost overwhelmed with a mixture of fear and excitement at the realization of what was coming.

“And you’re mine, Jake,” Pothos said. “You and Jeannie. Mine.”

Here is a short snippet from my upcoming release, Aphrodite Calling (Gods of Love #2):

She felt the zipper on the back of her dress begin to wend its way down her spine, and her breath caught when the warmth of a fingertip followed in its wake, urging the edges of her dress to slither away more easily until the material pooled at her hips. Then his lips were against her skin, branding her with heat, just at that dip where her neck melted into shoulder.

She let out a shuddering breath, one she hadn’t even known she was holding, and arched her head to one side to allow him better access. So hard to think straight, when his hands were spanning her waist like that, caressing the edge of her ribs. When his lips and tongue were doing the most incredible things up the delicate line of her neck to nuzzle in such an intimate manner at her earlobe.

“Himeros,” she whispered, as her knees threatened to buckle at the heat and the heaviness between her legs. And it felt different, this time, from what she remembered of past encounters. It wasn’t just centred in her groin, that familiar feeling of an impending explosion. It was her pussy that was hot and heavy, and aching to be stroked, yes, but she also felt the ache throughout her whole body, like a river of spreading warmth. She hadn’t realized it could feel this…damn…good

She reached back to find his hips, pull him closer in against her, wanting to share this newfound sensation of desire.

“I do desire you,” he growled in her ear. “So much.”

“I know,” she said, emboldened by these new feelings, wiggling her ass against the rock-hard core of him. “I can feel how much you want it. Me.”

She turned in his arms then, and she caught the momentary grin that lit his features before his mouth swept down to claim hers. And if she’d thought the sensations before were unique, they were as nothing to the onslaught that swept through her when his lips and tongue forced their way in to brand her with his essence. The power behind his kiss was so intense she couldn’t even respond, other than to let out a moan that he swallowed then continued on.

Demanding more.

Dominating.

Find out more at http://www.jenniferlynne.com.au

 

 

Six Sentence Sunday – Power Play by Chellesie B Dancer

Erotic Romance Novella Power PlayThis is from “Power Play,” my novella about sensual bondage:

“You like my power tie?” he asked with a sly smile.
The humor was clear, but there was an edge to his voice. She giggled nervously.
He spun her around, grasped her wrists and bound them behind her. Liz gasped, her blood racing through her body in tremors of anticipation.
One quick tug on the tie ensured that her hands were secured.

To find out more about “Power Play” go to my web site www.ChellesieBDancer.com

And check out some other fabulous authors taking part in Six Sentence Sunday.

Sunday Snippets 5 – Power Play by Chellesie B Dancer

This scene is from my hot novella Power Play, where Liz is giving Sergio a tour of her house.  Both are naked, and Liz’s hands are bound behind her back:

Hands at her neck and the small of her back, he sat her upright. As he lifted her down, her breast swept against him and his hard cock pressed into her leg. The sudden contact stole her breath. He froze a moment, then sent her on her way with another swat on her bare bottom.
She got the idea and headed through the door into the kitchen.
“Ah, what a wonderful kitchen,” he said behind her. “And it certainly would be an appropriate place to dine, but I’d like a little more artistic atmosphere. Besides, I’d probably get carried away with all the condiments in your fridge, not to mention all the interesting torture implements—I mean, cooking implements.”
In case he wasn’t kidding, Liz hurried toward the door as best as she could with her wrists behind her back.
“Wait a minute,” he called as she stepped out of the room. She turned, but didn’t step back over the threshold. “Aren’t you going to offer me something cold to drink? No manners.”
She made a face at him. “How am I supposed to serve you? With my feet?”
He slowly dragged his eyes from her feet all the way up to her mouth, his gaze heating each spot it touched. “Oh, you’ll serve me with your entire body.” His sexual tone and all its implications made her shiver.
He pulled his gaze from her lips. “A cold drink is definitely needed.”
“There’s iced tea in the fridge, and champagne if you’d like.”
“Yes, champagne would be ideal. And ice water for when we get overheated.” He opened the large stainless steel door and considered. “There are two kinds of champagne. Which do you prefer?”
“Dom Perignon. Or whatever you want.”
He closed the door and approached her, tipping her chin so she’d meet his eyes. “What I want is for you to do exactly as I say. When I ask you a question, you must answer directly and honestly. Is that clear?”
“Yes.”
“Will you do my bidding?”
“Yes.”
“Are you prepared to do whatever it takes to please me?”
She gulped. “Yes.”
“Good.” He grinned. “I could get used to this.”
His hot cock touched her stomach, and that slight friction ignited a small inferno.
“We’d better eat soon,” he murmured. “I can’t wait much longer for dessert.”

Check out other Sunday Snippets HERE.

Read “Power Play” on Amazon now!

Read “Power Play” on Barnes & Noble now!

Erotic Madness Blog Hop: how hot do you like it?

It’s here – the Erotic Romance Madness Hop, hosted by The Romance Reviews! We’re offering a $10 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky commenter on this post between the 10th and 14th of May, so if you like your romance steamy, read on to find out how to win. There are four of us here at Sexy Romance Stories, so we thought we’d give you a taste of our favorites – one each – and why we love these hotter than hot stories.

Roz Lee on INSIDE HEAT:

I’ve always loved baseball. It’s a thinking man’s game, relying more on brains than brawn to be successful. That doesn’t mean baseball players aren’t athletes in top physical condition – it just means they don’t knock each other upside the head very often! Sure, there’s the occasional collision, but it’s rare. In my book, INSIDE HEAT, I wrote about two superb athletes, Jeff and Jason Holder, twin brothers who are both at the top of their game in the world of professional baseball. They’re sexy, smart, and dedicated to the game. They’re on parallel paths, sharing everything – including their women – until their love for Megan changes the game and puts them on a collision course.

Sharon Buchbinder on DESIRE AND DECEPTION:

In writing DESIRE AND DECEPTION, I wanted to tell a sexy suspenseful tale about smart, powerful women and the men who love them. I wrote about society’s expectations of what a woman should be versus what a woman wants to be. And since the standing advice to writers is to “write what you know,” I then placed these characters into the setting of a rigidly hierarchical academic world where tenure and promotion are the duo brass rings. With Isabel and Sarah chattering at me the entire time, DESIRE AND DECEPTION is an erotic romantic suspense tale that practically wrote itself. The story had to be steamy because Isabel is a man eating sex goddess on the prowl and Sarah is a newlywed trying to get pregnant. Hello? Sex, anyone? The sex is integral to this story and the plot because Isabel uses sex to control men and Sarah uses sex to work at getting pregnant. Two very different women, two very different agendas, two very sexy couples.

Chellesie B. Dancer on POWER PLAY:

As two people become involved romantically, their sex life, or lack thereof, is a critical part of the developing relationship. Oftentimes the sex mirrors the challenges they have between them, other times it counterbalances their problems. In POWER PLAY, the control battle between Liz and Sergio in the workplace is juxtaposed with the control battle in the bedroom. This battle for sexual power creates a Dominant/submissive dynamic that excites both of them beyond anything they’d encountered before. So the sexual relationship reveals an inner yearning in both of them, and allows them to find their happily-ever-after.

Jennifer Lynne on PLATINUM PASSION:

Greek mythology plays a central role in my erotic romance series, Gods of Love. There is so much intrigue and passion in the lives of these gods and goddesses – especially around the time of the winter solstice, when festivals including wine and sex were designed to ward off the darkness. In researching these gods I discovered the erotes, purported to be the children of Aphrodite and aspects of the primal god of desire, Eros. My celebration of the erotes led inevitably into the realms of the erotic and my first foray into menage romance in PLATINUM PASSION (Book #1). I love this series, and I love this book, because it has given me the opportunity to bring together all the love, erotic romance and mysticism of those passionate Greek gods and place it into a contemporary setting – where we can all dream of being seduced by a god.

Amazon Gift Card Giveaway:

What do you look for in an erotic romance? How hot do you like it? We love our heat here at Sexy Romance, and we’d love to hear what you like! Leave a comment on this post to be entered in the draw for a $10 Amazon Gift Card. We’ll announce the winner here on our blog at the end of the Hop on the 15th of May.

For more sizzling erotic romance recommendations from others participating in the Blog Hop – not to mention some fabulous giveaway prizes at each site – please click the button below:

The Romance Reviews Erotic Romance Madness Hop

Six Sentence Sunday: Desire and Deception

This is from my erotic thriller, Desire and Deception.

The blanket tossed aside, an arm thrown over his eyes, Dan’s well toned chest and abdominal muscles rippled as his breath rose and fell. Dark brown hair tapered down his belly to where his groin was barely covered, but she’d take care of that minor obstacle in a moment. Sarah slipped the cotton sheet off and sucked in her breath at her husband’s full naked glory.

Oh, yeah, baby. Not bad for a guy pushing thirty-four. Tanned, rested and at the ready in all the right places.

Please check out some other fabulous authors taking part in Six Sentence Sunday.

Sunday Snippets 3 – DESIRE AND DECEPTION by Sharon Buchbinder

Today’s Sunday Snippets is from Sharon Buchbinder’s erotic thriller, DESIRE AND DECEPTION, the story of a man-eating Mexican cartel princess and the secrets she’d do anything to hide.

A baby cried in the distance. Tomas glanced at the bedroom door, then back at Isabel. Indecipherable grunting was followed by the sounds of the baby cooing and giggling.

“Out of all the nannies in Mexico, you had to get a deaf one. What were you thinking?”

He shot her an annoyed look. “Wasn’t like I had a lot of time to interview her. Besides, you should be happy. You told me to get a quiet one this time.”

Isabel sashayed closer to Tomas, and pushed her breasts into his chest. “I think you were too busy looking at her big breasts and nice ass to notice anything else.”

Tomas flushed. “Izzy, no, it’s not like that–”

“I see the way you stare at Rosa. You look at her like she’s an ice cream cone.” Isabel licked her lips, grabbed her husband’s ass, and pulled him close. The citrus smell of Emporio, her favorite men’s cologne, enveloped her. “The only woman you’re going to lick is me. You got that?”

He leaned down and nuzzled the hot spot on her neck. She arched her back, thrusting her pelvis against the growing lump in his jeans. Her robe fell open, and Tomas began kissing her breasts, licking and rubbing her hardening nipples. She ran her hands under his shirt and traced the outline of the large grinning skeleton tattoo on his back from memory. He slid his hand between her legs. Already wet and aching to have him inside, her nimble hand reached into his pants and found his rock-hard erection.

“I’ve been very naughty,” she breathed into his ear. “I want you to spank me. Hard.”

The robe slipped onto the floor in a puddle of white silk. Naked, Izzy, strutted to the bed, sat down and patted the bedspread. Slowly, Tomas strolled over, drawing out the suspense.

“I suppose you want to know why I’ve called you into my office.”

She giggled. Role play. Perfect.

“Well,” she ran her hands over her breasts and tugged at her nipples. “I’m thinking you’re about to give me a nice promotion.”

He stood knee to knee with her, his jeans rough against her skin. “Are you kidding? You’re one of the worst secretaries I’ve ever had.” Tomas plopped down on the bed and pulled her over his knee.

She wriggled her crotch against his rising bulge. “I don’t understand, Boss, what did I do?”

“For one thing,” he caressed her buttocks in slow circular motion, making the circles smaller and smaller. “Your coffee sucks.”

A soft slap landed on her ass, barely causing her to flinch.

She nearly spat in frustration. “Is that all you’ve got?”

“For another thing, you can’t type.”

A harder smack. That was better.

“In fact, I have ten things that I need to discipline you about. So start counting. And don’t skip any numbers. You’ll only make it harder for yourself.”

“Ten.”

His hand landed on her bottom in a furious staccato, the cracking sounds filling the room.

“Yes, yes, yes!” She jerked forward and his clever fingers slid between her labia, sending an explosion of pleasure mixed with pain up her core.

“Nine.” With each slap, he stroked deeper, harder, sliding in her wet moist center, strumming her clit like a guitar string. She was so close, just a few more spanks and she’d be there.

“Seven.” A furious crack on her smarting butt, soon, soon she’d be there–

The Mexican national anthem blared from a red telephone.

She moaned. “Not now.”

“You’d better grab the damn thing before it gets to the next verse.” He stepped away from her. “You know how your father is.”

Read DESIRE AND DECEPTION at Amazon

Read DESIRE AND DECEPTION at Red Sage Publishing

For more Sunday Snippets from participating authors, please click HERE.

Horrible Warning or Good Example?

Jezebel.

Why is it that this name is often associated with the following epithets: whore, slut, evil, harlot, seductress, scheming, manipulative, and murderess? How many of us have actually read that portion of the Hebrew Bible closely? I hadn’t until recently when I picked up Alice Ogden Bellis’ book, Helpmates, Harlots and Heroes: Women’s Stories in the Hebrew Bible.  Bellis’ book is an eye-opening, feminist review of women’s stories in the Hebrew Bible. The author employs the latest critical thinking in feminist literature while simultaneously reminding the reader of the realities of women’s lives in that era, as well as the fact that men wrote the bible.

Warning: If you are offended by feminist interpretations of biblical tales, don’t read the rest of this post.

Here’s the real deal about Jezebel: she was Queen of Israel and came from a different kingdom. She was an outsider, a daughter of the King of the Sidonians.  An independent and strong woman, she brought her religion with her to the marriage. She worshipped Asherah (the goddess found in many cultures of that time) and Baal, the son of Asherah.  Elijah, the prophet, told everyone to abandon their idols for Yahweh. At the time, Yahweh was a new concept, an invisible god, competing with a lot of other visible gods and goddesses.* Elijah called upon Yahweh to destroy the false prophets. This was in no small part because Queen Jezebel had already knocked off a bunch of Elijah’s followers. These were not forgiving people, nor were these accepting times. The power struggle between Queen Jezebel and Elijah was a fight to the death.

1 Kings 18:19 Now therefore send, [and] gather to me all Israel unto mount  Carmel, and the prophets  of Baal four hundred  and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s  table.  (The Blue Letter Bible http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=1Ki&c=18&t=KJV#19)

Only the prophets of Baal were destroyed–none of the “prophets of the groves,” i.e., the goddess, Asherah. Elijah declared himself and Yahweh the winner.  But, Jezebel  was one tough cookie. You had to be to survive in those times. When she saw her husband, King Ahab, was depressed because he couldn’t  buy some land from two men, she arranged to have the men killed via the council of elders’ decree. (Some experts suggest she was not behind this move, that it was King Ahab’s action). Her husband got the vineyards and lands.  Years later, after King Ahab dies, the son of one of the men she had killed for his vineyards became the new ruler. Elijah backed the new king. When Jezebel realized she was about to die, she put on her make-up and fine clothing, looked out the window at the mob below and spoke to them defiantly.  Three eunuchs grabbed her, threw her to her death, and then she was trampled by a horse. When someone called for a decent burial, all they could find was her skull and a few bones. Elijah wanted this woman and her influence completely erased. He said to let the dogs feast on her. He also said:

1 Kings 9:37 And the carcass of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; [so] that they shall not say, This [is] Jezebel. (The Blue Letter Bible http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=2Ki&c=9&t=KJV#30)

Elijah clearly did not want a martyr’s grave.

The early kings did not acquire their thrones and kingdoms by being nice. They took things by force and grew alliances through marriage, which is one of the reasons Jezebel was married off to King Ahab. She was the daughter of a powerful ruler. She was also a pawn in a biblical game of thrones. Yes, Jezebel was scheming, manipulative, and possibly murderous, because her husband’s throne was at stake. There is no evidence that she was a harlot, whore, slut or seductress. Was she evil? Were her actions any different from the men of the times? Or was she deemed evil because she was a woman? Take a moment to reflect on how King David sent Uriah to the front to be killed after Bathsheba became pregnant. Yet, David is still held up as a role model and Jezebel as a terrible example. In a patriarchy, women are not supposed to think, have power, or do anything except have male babies and obey their husbands. Have times really changed that much?

As I listened to the sound bites and followed the Rush Limbaugh/Sandra Fluke controversy , it occurred to me that many of the same epithets used against Queen Jezebel were used against a modern woman, a learned woman, a law student. When all else fails, it seems, some men will call a woman a slut. So, what do you think of Jezebel? Horrible warning or good example of a strong woman living in tough times?

(* Raphael Patai, biblical scholar and author of The Hebrew Goddess writes about the archaeological support for the idea that Asherah and Yahweh were a divine couple who lived a peaceful and loving co-existence in the Temple of Solomon. But that’s another post for another time.)

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PS: When I wrote DESIRE AND DECEPTION , I purposely chose the name Isabel for one of my heroines because of its similarity in sound to Jezebel. Here’s a link to the sexy book trailer for this erotic read.