Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Squeezing in here, excuse me, sorry, pardon me...

Sorry, I'm English, it's natural for me to apologize when I'm late and rushing to complete cowboy books and promote things and blog and...what was the other thing I'm supposed to do-oh yes, WRITE.

The more I read about the erotica v erotic romance debate, the more I feel I might be writing erotica because all my stories would fall apart if the sex wasn't in them. All my characters learn and develop from their sexual encounters and they are absolutely integral to the plot. They can also be remarkably edgy. Is it possible to have bisexual heroes, marriages where couples have sex with other people and even menages in erotic romance? God, I hope so.

I'm fascinated by the ambiguity of sexual choice and that's what I write about. My characters make decisions that can be quite outside the norm and that's fine with me. It will be interesting to see if readers feel the same way.

In "Antonia's Bargain" my hero is bisexual and choses mainly to have sex with men. When I first wrote the story my editor said she wasn't convinced that the hero, Gideon, would ever fall in love with a woman and I was temporarily flummoxed. It seemed obvious to me that he would. But I had to go back to the story and use another male character with an equally ambivalent sexuality to explain.

"Gideon reached across to slide his fingers beneath the open neck of Peter’s shirt. He tugged gently on his nipple ring. “A woman who only chooses to acknowledge me when she is dressed as a man. Take off your shirt.”
“I can’t say I’m surprised. A woman masquerading as a man would suit you perfectly. “
Gideon raised an eyebrow as Peter continued. “I know you’ve chosen to bed mostly men in the last few years, but I’ve never believed your heart was in it.”
“You haven’t?”
“Just because you’ve tried to convince yourself that you prefer men, doesn’t mean that it is the truth.”
“And how would you know this?”
Peter locked gazes with him as he removed his shirt to display his lean muscular chest and scarred skin. “Because I spent seven years of my life in a Turkish brothel and I’ve been in every sexual situation imaginable. You use men because you believe they can’t hurt you like Caroline did. If you truly preferred men, you’d let them fuck you as well and you don’t.”
“Perhaps I’m one of those men who believe that if they don’t allow themselves to be fucked, it means they aren’t a sodomite.”
“You’re not like that. “
Gideon let out his breath. How was it that Peter thought he could see things so much more clearly than he could? “Does that offend you?”
“Me?” Peter grinned. “No, because I have no preference either way. I’m happy to fuck or be fucked by either sex.”
Peter was tanned darker than Gideon, a legacy of his years in captivity. He knelt between Gideon’s outstretched legs, the crown of his long cock already showing through his unfastened breeches. He tugged at the fastenings of Gideon’s breeches. Gideon stayed his hand.
“Wait. Why are you so certain that you are right?”
“Why are you even asking me that? It’s very simple. Despite all your lovers, how many men have you fallen in love with?”
Gideon stared at him, his thoughts in turmoil. “None.”
“How many women?”
He shrugged. “Only my wife and look what came of that.”
“And now you are obsessed by another woman. I rest my case.”

I think that explained the situation nicely, but does it skate too close to the erotic romance/erotica line? Possibly, although many readers say they love to read m/m encounters. In my upcoming Kensington books, the secondary character, Peter will get his own book and his story is anything but traditional!


Kalen Hughes said...

I always thought that the line between erotica and erotic romance was the idea of a main relationship and at least the hint of an HEA. If you've got at least one main "romantic" relationship and there's the idea of an HEA, then it's erotic romance.

Peter's logic seems faulty to me, though. I know lots of guys (gay and bisexual) who fuck, but don't allow themselves to be fucked. Some guys are just not bottoms (no pun intended).

As for the idea of a bisexual man who chooses to have sex mostly with men but does on occasion fall in love with women, I could always introduce you (or your editor) to my best friend. This pretty much sums him up. Right now he’s sleeping with man, but in love with a female opera singer.

Kate Pearce said...

well I'm glad you turned up Kalen and I agree with you, about everything!

I do write erotic romance, (phew) although for some reason people who write 'erotica' seem to get more respect from the literati than romance writers.

Peter simply knows Gideon well enough to sum up his preferences, I don't think he's attempting to generalize (although I'll ask him later)

and yes! thank you-your bf sounds very much like Gideon!

Kalen Hughes said...

I do write erotic romance, (phew) although for some reason people who write 'erotica' seem to get more respect from the literati than romance writers.

Fewer girl cooties?

Pam Rosenthal said...

I enjoyed the excerpt, Kate.

And while I know it's not helpful day to day, I'm convinced that the distinction between erotica and erotic romance is bogus -- that it only gets interesting in the gray area in between.