I was finishing up page proofs on my upcoming book Blood Rose, and realized that masks are a sexual ‘toy’ that pop up frequently in my stories. In my Regency set erotic romances, the heroines wear them. Since the sisters in the first two books end up sneaking into orgies and sexual scavenger hunts, and they are proper young ladies with good reputations, they have to wear a disguise. However, each heroine finds that being masked gives her a lot of freedom—each heroine suddenly has the chance to act out fantasies, to escape the restraints of proper behavior to be wild and wanton.
The mask with the red feathers is an example of a Venetian style mask. Here’s the site, if you’d like to view more: http://www.stagepresence.co.uk/masks/masks.htm (Please note, I’ve posted this link for illustration purposes only. I haven’t actually dealt with the store.)
I have to admit that keeping my heroines masked did prove awkward at times, and I was certain that the ladies really longed to be able to cast off their disguises and be honest about their identities. But my books are set in the Regency and scandal was a real fear for a young woman. Scandal would not only ruin a woman, but also the reputations (and futures) of her other sisters. Remember how horrified Lizzie is in Pride and Prejudice, when her younger sister Lydia runs off with Wickham?
While I was working on these books, I discovered a store in my hometown that sells beautiful Venetian style masks. These were beautiful, made of papier maché and painted with beautiful vivid colors. My attention was quickly caught by the men’s masks that feature long, beak-like noses. (At the side is an example of that type of mask from Wikipedia: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karneval_in_Venedig ) So in Blood Rose, the heroes are the ones masked, and they put those noses to intriguing uses for the heroine.
Personally, I’ve never worn a mask other than the cardboard and stretchy elastic style, but I fell so in love with these lovely Venetian ones that I’m thinking of splurging on a beautiful one for the Romantic Times convention. How about you? Have you donned a disguise to spice up your love life by adding the aura of mystery and fantasy?