Tag Archives: sex

(mis)perceptions #RT12

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, a blog which was founded to prove that smart women do read romance, did an excellent wrap up of the RT Booklovers Convention. It was right on target, from the misperceptions about the genre in general, as well as this specific convention in particular, to the unprecedented media coverage of the RT event last week in Chicago thanks to that book which shall not be named. The continued top seller status of  “Voldabook”, as we have begun calling it in my circles, meant there were TV crews there from CNBC and NBC Dateline perpetuating the long standing myths of the romance industry and even creating new ones. I.E., no Voldabook did not reignite the erotica industry and the eReader did not save it. What did happen is that technology finally caught up with consumer demand. eReader devices got better and cheaper and  made it economically feasible for  shorter works to be published, for publishers to take a chance on unknown authors or new and different cutting edge sub-genres, and for authors to self-publish. That all means that a romance reader has more choices, for less money, than ever before in history. It’s not that they can “hide” what embarrassing materials they’re reading, because there have always been decorative book covers that did that very effectively for paperbacks for years, if that was the goal.

Now that the RT dust has settled and my fun blog wrap-ups have been posted, I can get down to reality and post what really happens at RT. As Sarah on Smart Bitches mentions, though I can fault the CNBC piece for crediting THAT book with reigniting the industry in one breath while saying how the RT convention has been happening for decades in the next, and for finding and interviewing one of the small handful of (unknown) male erotica authors at a convention where there were easily hundreds of female authors, some making $1 million a year selling erotica, we really can’t fault CNBC for stripping the 4 male cover models that were actually at the convention and putting them on camera, because sex sells.

Want to know the reality? Part of that CNBC piece was filmed in the lobby at  6 a.m. the morning following the Ellora’s Cave party (which want late into the night). That scene was staged. Those authors milling around the hotel lobby with shirtless male models would not have been there at the crack of dawn otherwise. In reality, those models would have been in the hotel gym in tank tops working out before the start of another long day and night. The B-roll of the dancers and party were shot the night before at the EC party.

Yes, there are models (though one tenth of the number there used to be before the death of the Mr. Romance competition), and there are costumes, and fun and games and drinking and hanging in the lobby bar, but much like high dollar deals are so often made by men on the golf course, there’s that at RT too. I came home with a list of 15 items to do, a document with notes regarding ATF agents and bomb-sniffing dogs and another document full of notes I took at the Mark Coker (Smashwords) session with 11 points on how to top the best seller lists. My to do items included following up with the publicist from Kensington I met at the Kensington party, to send her promo materials to start getting some media attention for my book which doesn’t release until April 2013. It including items discussed at lunch with my editor at Kensington that I need to take care of now, again for that new release a year down the road. It included to do items from a discussion I had with the Samhain author liaison in the bar, to email my Samhain editor regarding my next bull rider series book release. On my list is the session I need to pitch to the RT organizers for next years convention in Kansas City in May 2013, and items to follow up with fellow Western authors regarding a reader event we may try to plan for one of the smaller cons happening later this year. On there was how I need to follow up with cover artists for my self-pubbed backlist, and how I needed to send follow up emails to some of the authors I had discussed a possible collaboration with.

So yes, I did post pictures of me in costume with two shirtless cover models holding big swords while wearing kilts, because readers most likely don’t care about my To Do list, or that this RT was the most productive to date for me professionally. But as CNBC and I both know, sex sells.

stranger than fiction

My life as a romance writer can get pretty strange. I realize that and freely admit it. I mean, I have a file on my computer named “porn star research”. You don’t get much weirder than that. But last night when the girls and I all gathered for dinner, certain things were revealed and I realized that life is far stranger than fiction.

I suppose I’ve always known this to some limited extent. I’ve actually watered down some true life stories for my books because the truth was too hard to believe. Just the other night I took one look at the name of a new bull rider on the pro circuit, Stormy Wing, and said to my husband, “If I named a character that I’d get killed with criticism, but it’s this kid’s real name”.

You see the dilemma when life is so strange no one would believe it if I were to write it in a book. However, I can write it here and perhaps have someone believe me that it is the absolute, God’s honest truth.

So what was the strangeness that assaulted me last night? It was the current state of the online dating scene. My friend has decided to make online dating a second job, or at least that’s what it seems like because it takes as much time and effort as a job, and some of the men she’s encountered are real pieces of work. For instance the one with the foot fetish. To his credit he did ask her during live date one (the one and only date) if a man with a foot fetish would disturb her. She asked the same question I did when she told me… what exactly does having a foot fetish entail? I was picturing toe sucking and cringing at the fact that it’s been far too long since I’ve had a pedicure, but apparently this man enjoys his (time for some purple prose here to keep the censors at bay) ‘nether region pleasured’ by feet. I kid you not.

In another area of the net, for people who don’t want to shell out the cash for the more well known and well advertised dating sites like the foot man above did, there is Craig’s List. Apparently you can find not only used furnishings on there but also men, women, and transvestites in the Personals section. I learned some new terminology. Apparently on Craig’s List in the Casual Encounters section, “car dates” are a perfectly common thing. (I believe they are using the term ‘date’ quite loosely there.) Fair warning, keep the kids far away from that site, my eyes are still burning from some of the images I saw.

Truth truly is stranger than fiction and in the internet age, dating is, sadly, stranger still.

Cat

of sex and comfort food

Judging by the title, you might think I’m suggesting you eat hot, creamy baked macaroni and cheese off your lover’s naked body. No, that’s not what I had in mind, but now that you mention it, it’s not a bad idea.

I am talking about indulging.

True life example. My friend told me about the new Starbucks Gingerbread Latte, full of flavor, hot, creamy, and sweet, loaded with mounds of whipped and, also, calories–probably enough to equal a person’s daily caloric and fat allowance. So we went to Starbucks, my friend and I, and decided we would indulge in this famed Gingerbread Latte of which she spoke, but we were going to be smart about it. We ordered it made with non-fat milk and just a tiny dot of whipped cream on top.

You know what? It wasn’t worth it. Yes, it was okay, but not wonderful and probably still loaded with calories. It was a pale imitation of what it should have been, and because of that, it left us feeling less than satisfied.

So that got me thinking. Do you sacrifice pleasure for frequency? Should I drink the ‘skinny’ latte to save the calories so I can indulge in it more often even if each experience is lacking. If we were speaking of sex, if the question was would you rather have frequent, unsatisfying sex, or blow-the-roof-off-the-house amazing sex less freqently, the answer would be clear. I’d blow the roof off the house. However, sex doesn’t make you fat (unless perhaps you are eating comfort food off your lover, but still, the sex itself burns calories so we’ll call it a wash).

So is the answer for food indulgences the same as the answer for sex? I think yes. I think I’d rather have the kick-ass, orgasmic, full-fat, piles of whipped cream Gingerbread Latte once in a rare while and savor the experience, than waste the money and calories on the pale imitation more frequently. What do you say?

Remember, life is short. Indulge.

Cat