Sunday, May 18, 2008

Whose Fantasy Is This Anyway?

Back in the early 20th century, Sigmund Freud asked his famous question, “What do women want?”

Judging from my spam folder, I think guys are still trying to figure that out.

Penis enlargement is the–um–big thing. All you need is a super-sized tool, and the women will fall all over themselves to go to bed with you. Of course, I keep wondering how you’re supposed to reveal this piece of equipment to get her interested. Flash her at the office or on a bus?

Guys are preoccupied with size. And volume, apparently. How about THIS ad?

“Did you know that a recent survey showed that 85% of women actually get aroused by a man who produces ‘above average’ semen amounts? With our pills, she’ll be speechless… and definitely coming back for more…”

Yeah, she’ll be speechless, all right–when he floods her out of the bed.

Okay, I realize I’m getting a little gross here. And I also realize these ads play to male fantasies and vulnerabilities. It’s easy to satisfy your sweetie. You don’t have to be good at conversation, dancing or foreplay. Flowers, candy, and Champagne? A tender show of emotion?

Forget all that. You’ve got everything you need right in your magic wand. The bigger the better.
Any man who bothered to sit down and read a romance novel would find out very quickly that semen is pretty far down the list of what turns a woman on. Really, how many love scenes have you read where the guy erupts like Mt. Vesuvius? Or love scenes that get around to cleaning up after sex? Not many. Of course, a big tool can be a turn-on. But it’s not the be all and end all of sex. Just pointing that Maypole at her, then stuffing it into “slot B,” isn’t going to do the trick, because a woman needs her partner to turn her on before they get to intercourse. Remember that famous line from SEX AND THE CITY, delivered after a particularly disastrous sexual encounter: “Do you know what a clitoris is?”

Romance novels make it pretty clear what women want. We’re looking for a man who focuses his attention on his woman. Who charms her with his witty dialogue, then slowly and skillfully uses his hands and mouth to bring her to a tingling level of arousal before he . . . .

Well, you get the idea.

I enjoy writing love scenes where a man and a woman give each other pleasure. And when I’m in the middle of one, I’m as focused on the emotions of my hero and heroine as I am on the physical descriptions. The emotions of these two people and the building arousal reinforce each other to give the scene a depth that most male writers can’t achieve.

There are a few men who can do it, though. One guy who “gets it” is Ken Follett. In fact, he was actually one of my role models. When I read THE KEY TO REBECCA, my reaction was, “THAT’S what I want to write–two people falling in love against a background of suspense and danger.”

The hero and heroine may start off lusting after each other. They may jump into bed for the fun of it. But they end up committed to each other–body, mind, and soul.

Since I write romantic thrillers, I know my plot is going to drag my hero and heroine to hell and back. But I also know I’m going to reward them with a long, happy life together. And a fantastic sexual relationship is always part of the package.

To bring us around to the paranormal, that’s one of the reasons I got into werewolves. I love writing about the men in the Marshall family–my strong, sexy alpha male shape-shifters.

They enjoy sex on a very basic, very animal level. But when each of them finds his lifemate, the sex between them is mind-blowing–and a strong part of the bond they forge. In my latest book, GHOST MOON, even when Caleb Marshall is a ghost, he’s using sensuality to reach out to my heroine, Quinn, because he longs for a physical connection with her.

Sex is always integral to my stories. But sex in the context of a relationship where each partner takes pleasure in pleasing the other.

That’s what I’d like guys to take away from my books.

What do you want from your fantasy lover? And from the romances you read?

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