05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What's Sexy? What's NOT?

What's sexy? What's not?
It depends, of course, on YOU. It can be a look, a word, a touch of hands. Doesn't have to be a connection of bodies. It can happen between two people, or in one of my sci fi romances it's quite likely to be between sexy aliens who share some characteristics of humans but are enhanced in other ways. They may even be half-human, half-alien. That makes for some great, angst-y conflict! I read a review of one of my books that really made me think. The reviewer first mentioned the things she liked about the story and then the things she didn't. She liked the story and the characters, and especially the way the heroine set the arrogant alpha hero back a few paces by standing up to him and letting him know she would accept nothing less than his respect and love. But she did not like one of the erotic plot devices; the heroine appeared naked in front of others, without her express consent. I hit one of this reader's hot buttons. We all have them, just as we all have our own private fantasies, both romantic and sensual. The story was written, I may as well admit, as a private fantasy of mine. One (do I really need to say it?) that I would never want to actually experience, but enjoyed imagining. It was one of those 'What if you had to …' fantasies. What if you had to placate an incredibly sexy, alpha shifter … by having sex with him? What if he was barely in control, and you, a smaller, more fragile female, were the only creature capable of keeping him from going mad in the grip of his male passions? What if you discovered that the episode was all your wildest dreams come true? Yep, it's a fantasy, all right. I'm a real woman. Touch me when I'm not in the mood? Nope, sorry. Expect me to cater to every male mood, and don't hold your breath. I love my husband, but there are limits, right, ladies? But my private fantasies are a different bottle of wine. Romantic and sexy are different for every woman and man on the earth. We've all read stories that we loved, until … that particular thing happened in the story, and we didn't enjoy it anymore. As a romance writer, I hope readers who enjoy getting lost in a sexy adventure, will discover that I've unleashed a fantasy you never even knew you had until my heroines and heroes show it to you. The story I mentioned has done this for many, many readers, I'm happy to say. It just keeps selling. Readers have sent me personal notes, and posted reviews. Of course those folks with the hot button? They've let everyone know too! But that's all right with me. I'd rather someone got steaming mad and hated my hero, hated 'that moment' than to have them shrug and say 'Eh, it was okay. Probably won't read any more of what's-her-name's books.' A review of my newest book, Stark Pleasure, includes the words that 'I've read all of Cathryn's books'. It also includes the opinion that my newest hero (who admittedly needs to do a lot of personal work) verges on being a socio-path. Ouch! But that's honesty for you. And since the reviewer smacked the hero upside the head, and not me as a writer or human being taking up too much space on the planet, I'm fine with that. She's gonna love his eventual smack-down, which believe me, is coming. Hang on through the series, and Logan Stark will be schooled by a small woman! If you love the romances you read, of course the writer hopes you'll say so. If you don't … can I send you some chocolate, and we'll keep it between us? No, seriously, I hope you'll try another, one that will give you just the experience you're looking for. I'm currently spinning another personal fantasy series, one that I hope will resonate with readers. For now … I'd love to know, what do YOU look for in a romance? What do you LOVE in a story? What are your personal hot buttons?

Happy reading, Cathryn Cade Best-selling author of sci fi romance ... it's hot in space, red hot! Goodreads, My Website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, My Blog, And sign up for My Newsletter for a chance to win goodies!


Judith Ashley said...

Hi Cathryn, If I like the characters and the rest of the storyline, I just skim through the 'sexy' parts if they are into something I'm not. If I'm having problems with the storyline and characters, I no longer force myself to finish the book to "learn" from it.

Hot Buttons (where I skip) when the author has the h/h having sex every which way constantly. While I can appreciate physical attraction and the urge to mate, at some point can't they talk? or do something other than move to another room, chair, etc.?

Love when the author shows me all the ways the h/h are connected (and it doesn't mean they don't disagree). The journey from talking but not listening to figuring out what the other person is saying when they use certain words; what the other person is saying through body language, etc. IMHO that enriches any story and is as if not more powerful than the physical sexual act(s).

Off soap box now!

Sarah Raplee said...

The mental and emotional issues make a fascinating romance for me. Of course, there has to be sexual tension as well!

I will not read about a hero who is violent towards women or children (or animals)and unhealthily controlling. Your reader is right in that there's a fine line between the old-fashioned Alpha male and a sociopath. To me, these are not heroes. This includes hit men.

Anything involving multiple partners at the same time or same-sex love scenes makes me uncomfortable and I won't read them.

That's about it. Interesting post, Cathyn! Thank you for sharing your experiences with reader reactions.

Paty Jager said...

Hi Cathryn! Hot buttons are so interesting in each reader. My main hot button is a hero who is over the top alpha. Can't stand that. Or int eh case of an erotic book I'm reading now, there's so much sex that it's become boring and I'm looking for the strings that will hold them together. This is a book where if they'd just talk to one another it would be over in the second chapter. Probably won't continue reading it.

Great post. I don't care for alien things but I'm lovin' your Hawaiian series.