Infidelity is a dirty word for a lot of romance readers. And not the good kind of dirty. The bad kind. Researching potential reviewers for my erotic romance novel, Please, a surprising number of reviewers flatly stated, “No cheating”, in the same way you might say, “No necrophilia” or “No bestiality”. Graphic descriptions of sexual acts with vegetables and other inanimate objects, A-okay, fucking someone you’re not committed to, nuh-uh. What’s that about?
I, on the other hand, am fascinated by infidelity. Sexual attraction is as natural as being human. And we all know that no matter what the fairy-tale says, it doesn’t stop when we find our One and Only. Human beings are, in essence, animals, programmed with the same biological urge to procreate that every single life form on the planet is. Our primal self tells us “More sex! With more people”. But over the millennia, we have found that while more sex with more people makes babies aplenty, it doesn’t always ensure the survival of those babies. And so we’ve developed this idea of fidelity, these rules that we play by to make sure that even if everyone’s not happy, most of us are. So we follow the rules. Except for when we don’t.
What I want to know is, what makes us break the rules?
Infidelity is a topic that I explore from a lot of different angles in Please. First, there’s the question of Elizabeth’s fidelity to her husband. Her marriage may not be perfect, and she is definitely tempted by the attention of the charming and seductive Sebastian, but what does it take to make her cross that line?
And then there’s Sebastian. He has an entirely different idea of fidelity. Even after he declares his love for Elizabeth, he continues to feed his sexual appetite from the buffet. He doesn’t ask her to be sexually faithful to him, either. In fact, he’s turned on when she isn’t. Yet, he believes he loves only her. Do we believe him?
And then there’s Elizabeth’s husband, Steve, who shtups his co-worker in a moment of weakness after months of sexual rejection from his wife. Was his affair justified? Is cheating ever somebody else’s fault?
Some other questions:
Is any relationship immune to infidelity?
Is it possible to be sexually promiscuous yet emotionally faithful?
Can a relationship that starts with cheating end Happily Ever After?
More questions than answers, I’m afraid, but I’d love to hear your thoughts!