Tag Archive: men

Dec 27

Erotica Romance for the Straight Man

 

As you probably know by now, I write erotica and erotica romance. For many people, there isn’t a difference between the two…for others, the differences are dramatic.

In general, in my mind, I use the following as loose definitions:

Erotica – Lots of sex but little in the way of romance and commitment.

Erotica Romance – Lots of sex but with a romantic element and a commitment.

Yes, it’s a fine line.

The fact is that women prefer the concept of erotica romance. We like the idea of the commitment and the hero romancing us. Yes, we find the sex hot, too, but it is the romance and the commitment that really grabs us.

On the other hand, men tend to find the romance part a bit sappy. Maybe silly is a better word. Some men will freak-the-fuck out over the very mention of a commitment. They do like the sex, though.

And that brings me to the real subject of this blog…

Can erotica romance be written to appeal to men as much as it does to women?

Let me toss in a caveat here…for this discussion, I am assuming straight men. Well, I am also assuming straight women. There are entire subgenres of erotica romance aimed at gay/lesbian readers, but for this post, we are looking at straights.

In some ways, men already like erotica romance. As I mentioned, they like the sex. Who could blame them for that? But there is an easy way for your man to enjoy the rest of the story as well…

While we never really start off in this direction, Jack and I have found that we can share one of my stories by reading to each other. That invariably leads to acting out the various scenes. Yeah…particularly the sex scenes. There was a time when I thought Jack was simply tolerating the romantic parts to get to the naughty bits, but I have become convinced that he has grown to like the romance, too. Oh, he has admitted that for a while he would read or listen to the romance as a means to an end (i.e. having me folded over the chair like a taco), but he has come to enjoy the romance, too.

So you can get your man to enjoy the books you read. Just read to him, or let him read to you. Yes, girls, it really is just that simple.

But, what about the other side of the book? I mean, what can authors of erotica romance do to make their stories more attractive to men?

That’s equally easy, though the readers really have no control over this half of the equation.

In a nutshell, all an author need do is to write some scenes from the male point of view (POV). Most authors do this, but it is from the idealized male POV that the heroine of the story has. In other words, the male POV used in most erotica romance stories is not a real male POV. It is the use of a real male POV that will make the story work for a man.

The trick is to make the realistic male POV something that will also work for the female reader. Think of the real “bad boy” alpha male, and you have the idea. No, not the idealized bad boy that we see so often in stories…you have to think like a man to pull this off.

Ask yourself this question, writers…you have the hero and heroine together in a romantic setting and the heroine is naked. What would a real man be thinking? Odds are a real man would not be thinking too much—if at all—about how gorgeous she is or how her skin is so soft or other such feminine nonsense. He would think instead about how to get his cock inside of her until he gets off. When you’re in his POV, really be inside his head.

The majority of authors of erotica romance for straights are women. By definition, we have problems actually thinking like a man, but if you want this to work, you need to make that jump. Talk with your husband/boyfriend/SO and get their thoughts. Revise the scene based on their input. In other words, think like a man.

The big thing in erotica romance today is the idea of what most people call ménage. I hate that word when used in erotica romance settings. In erotica, ménage is fine because, in my mind, the word implies simple three or more way sex without a commitment. I much prefer polyamory…this implies a committed, loving relationship.

Anyway, what do you do with a story that has polyamory as a part of the plot? This is a tough one.

For the sake of simplicity, let’s limit the discussion to just three people. You have two possible combinations: Two men and one woman or two women and one man.

The latter combination is easy. Pretty much every straight man on the planet has fantasized about having two women in his bed. The few who haven’t are liars. There is a fairly large and common belief that most straight women harbor a secret desire to make love to another woman. I’m a bad one to ask about that…I am, at heart, bisexual. Been there, done that, liked it. The bottom line is that you can work in the two women having sex fairly easy. This will fit with the concept of many women being at least bi-curious and the men will love the scene.

From the view of a straight male reading the story, the former combination is problematic. If the two men in the scene have any contact, many men will completely miss the fact that the characters are bisexual and immediately label them as gay and their homophobia will turn on like a light bulb. Once you trigger that reaction, you have lost the male reader. But all is not lost…you can introduce the relationship between the men slowly. Start off with them as friends and comrades. Have them do a little three-way with the heroine where there is no contact between the men. Escalate things from there until the trio is making love to each other. If done slowly and carefully, this will work. The trick is to focus on the men making love to the woman and bring in the two man having sex as almost an aside. A good thing that I have used in stories is to have the heroine and one of the heroes fellate the other hero. Most men can handle that image without going into a homophobic fit.

And then there is an idea I have played with for years but never found the time to actually write the story…

I envision a story written in two different POV…one from the female and one from the male. This would be harder than it sounds because the timeline is very critical. The same things must happen in both versions at the same time and in the same order. The difference is that the POV is from two different angles. The authors reading this can see how this would become a nightmare. And the editors reading this probably already have slight throbbing behind their left eye.

I even have a name for the idea…Bedtime Stories for Him and Her. Remember the books that had two stories in them with one starting at each end? You turned the book upside down to get to the story at the other end. Yeah, that printing style would be perfect for this.

The aim would be for the male reader to read the Her version to his lady and the female reader to read the Him version to her man. Ideally, the couple wouldn’t get through more than a page or two a night, so the stories could be fairly short. I suspect that the sessions after the reading lamp went off would be much longer.

So, why all this talk about getting straight men to read erotica romance? Simple…

We can double the target market.

Now all we authors have to do is get the publishers to look at the idea!

But that’s another blog.

Keep Loving!

Melodee

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2012/12/27/erotica-romance-for-the-straight-man/

Nov 22

Why Erotic Romance Is Pornography (& That’s Something to be Thankful For)

First off, Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends. In Canada, we celebrated our Thanksgiving more than a month ago, with all of the turkey and none of the great sales. I’m thankful that you and I live in countries where we are free to express our thoughts and opinions, and where it is totally okay for women to write books with hot sex. So while you’re waiting for that bird to cook, here’s some food for thought.

I was visiting another blog last week when I came across a post about romance novels being ‘porn for women’. I’ve heard the term ‘Mommy porn’ as well, especially in relation to a certain colorful trilogy, and I’ve heard the term used to describe romance novels in general. Usually women are quick to deny it. After all, women don’t like porn. Do we?

First, let’s look at the definition of pornography. According to Merriam-Webster (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pornography), pornography can be defined as:

1: the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement; 2: material (as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement; 3: the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction <the pornography of violence>

Many erotic romance novels would certainly be considered pornography under this definition. I see you waving your hands and I know you’re going to say that erotic romance novels are about telling a story, not just about sexual arousal. But I dare you to read a story-driven erotic romance and NOT be aroused during the sex scenes. The reason we write these scenes is to cause sexual excitement. They are certainly not often necessary from a plot perspective, although there are some exceptions. Let’s be honest. Readers (and I certainly include myself here) pick up the erotic romance novels because they enjoy being sexually aroused by them. If we didn’t want to get all hot and bothered, we’d pick up the sweet romances instead. A mainstream romance does not fit the definition of porn. It may have occasional scenes of a more sensual nature but not of the sort most people would be completely turned on by.

So here is another way of looking at it. My husband has a huge collection of porn. And he’s got the whole range of stuff from VHS to DVD to books to magazines (sorry honey, you know I love you!). I know what porn is. My standard of judging whether something is pornographic is to ask myself, “Would I want my children finding this?” If the answer is no, it’s porn. We make sure to keep hubby’s stuff well hidden. Would I care if my kids picked up your average Harlequin? No. Not that my eleven year old son would. When I told him I was having books published, the conversation went something like this:

Me: I have a book for grown-ups being published.

Him: Cool! Since you’re an author, can you introduce me to J.K. Rowling?

Me:  Writing a book doesn’t automatically put you on speaking terms with every other author.

Him: Well can I read your book?

Me: Absolutely not.

Him: Can I read it when I’m 40?

Me: I guess I can’t stop you then.

Him: What kind of book is it?

Me: A romance.

Him: Oh. (noise of disgust) Well never mind then.

But I digress. Or do I? If my standard for pornography is its suitability for my kids, then my book most certainly is pornographic. I don’t even want them to see the cover! Nor do I want them to find my collection of ebooks, because they aren’t appropriate. Period.

So now that I’ve established that erotic romance (at least the sort I read and write) is pornographic, let’s discuss its suitability for women. Well, duh! Of course it’s for women! And for you hand wavers from before, this is where the story aspect comes into play. I love a good romance story. Many women I talk to love romance.  I first read romance when I picked up my mom’s books at home. (Corollary standard for porn: Would I want my mother finding it? Answer: NO!) But as I said before, if it was only about the romance story, erotic romance as a genre, would not exist.

So if you are looking for something sexually arousing, why not try watching porn, too? There really is something for everyone out there. Just as the romance novels have a heat rating, porn has different ratings, too. It doesn’t have to be all hard core gang banging. There is an increasing amount of “couples” porn out there – all the hot sex (which will appeal to the guys) but with the important story included for the girls. Admittedly, some films do this better than others, but so do some books. And while you’re busy watching the porn, give your hubby a book or two. Mine enjoys them because there’s lots of hot sex, but enough of a story to keep it interesting. We’re both finding that my writing ‘dirty fuck books’ has side benefits 😉 and me watching porn certainly helps with the book ‘research’.

But the most important reason for sharing your interests is the connections you can make as a couple. It is a starting point for those discussions about sex that are sometimes very awkward. How do you tell him you’re ready to try some BDSM? Hand him 50 Shades, with your favourite parts highlighted. Or watch a movie and tell him which parts you like best. It certainly won’t make things dull! And it may just give you 50 things to be thankful for.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Windswept, by Diana MacArthur, is available from http://www.bookstrand.com/windswept

Click here to read Melodee Aaron’s review of Windswept!


Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2012/11/22/why-erotic-romance-is-pornography-thats-something-to-be-thankful-for/

Aug 23

Attractive and Sexy Survey – Part Two

This post is actually a little informal survey about what is sexy and attractive.

This is the first of two posts (the second will be posted in a few days), and this one focuses on the male form.

Both men and women are welcome and encouraged to reply.

Below you will find six pictures of men gathered from the several social media sites. The pictures were selected based on a number of criteria like the number of views, the number of shares (as appropriate for the system), and other factors. The details really don’t matter too much.

After viewing the pictures, please make a comment that answers a few questions you will find after the pictures.

Pictures are identified by a letter below the picture.


Picture A


Picture B


Picture C


Picture D


Picture E


Picture F

Now, here are the questions:

Are you female or male?

What one picture did you find MOST ATTRACTIVE?

What one picture did you find SEXIEST?

Please feel free to make any comments you would like to add.

Keep Loving!

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2012/08/23/attractive-and-sexy-survey-part-two/

Jan 02

Men and Makeup…

We just got back from dinner at the local eatery, The Descanso Junction Restaurant, and I have thought about something all through the meal…

As we were getting ready to go, I was sitting at my makeup table putting on my makeup. Yeah…why else would I sit there? Anyway, Jack was watching me as I applied my makeup, and I started to wonder why.

Every single man I have ever known has liked to watch me put on my makeup. Some, like Jack, have been totally mesmerized by the process. When I glanced over at where he sat on the side of the bed, he was totally engrossed in watching as I put on powder, eyeliner, shadow, lipstick, and all the rest of the primping we girls go through to make ourselves beautiful. And he had this silly grin on his face, not unlike the village idiot.

Why are men so fascinated by a woman putting on makeup? It’s far from an attractive process…we bug out our eyes, wrinkle up our forehead and cheeks, purse up our lips in unnatural ways, and in general look a lot like the aforementioned village idiot having a bout of facial tics. And I personally see nothing sexy about the ordeal.

Maybe it’s something about how we are doing all of this work just for them?

Or could it be that they are anticipating how other men will stare at us and wish they were in our man’s shoes?

Help me out here, guys! You men out there, talk to me about this!

When I ask Jack, he gives me the same answer all other men have given me…something along the lines of, “I just like to look at you…” If that’s the case, why doesn’t he look at me that way all the time?

Jack does tend to stare at me when he thinks I’m not looking, but not the same way. It’s not a look of lust or passion or love. It’s the look of a child fascinated by something they have never seen and don’t understand. And when I am putting on my makeup, he doesn’t even try to hide the fact that he is looking at me.

So just exactly what is up here?

Any ideas?

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2012/01/02/men-and-makeup/