The “I” Word

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!

Top 5 Alpha Males from Classic Literature

Ooh, those take-charge, take-no-prisoners alphas.

  1.  Heathcliff – Wuthering Heights: This brooding man of the moors ticks all my boxes. Uncertain past, check. Challenging upbringing leading to a need to not only prove himself to all his detractors, but put them in their places, mercilessly, check. Commanding physical presence, aka, hot bod, check. Deep, simmering passion for his one true love, Catherine, check.
  2. Mr. Rochester – Jane Eyre: The only way to describe this Alpha is layered. The dark mistake from his past (locked away both figuratively,in his heart, and literally, in his home) under-shadows everything his does. Yes, he plays with poor Jane’s heart. Yes, he can be cruel. But dammit, that only makes you want him more.
  3. Mr. Darcy – Pride and Prejudice: Oh, Mr. Darcy. Arrogant on the outside, principled on the inside. Your seemingly casual slights are just infuriating enough to make us want to know more.
  4. Othello – Othello: Tall, dark and handsome, indeed. A man’s man, a military man, one whose troops would willingly follow him into battle. Also possessive and jealous to the point of murder. But that’s the thing with alphas isn’t it? They are a mixed, unpredictable bag. Either dark and brooding with a heart of gold, or charming and beguiling with a tortured soul. Complex. A mystery we want to solve.
  5. Oliver Mellors – Lady Chatterly’s Lover: Yes, he’s the gamekeeper on Lord Chatterly’s estate, but we’re never in any doubt that ain’t nobody’s the boss of him, least of all Lord Chatterly, whose wife he’s taking to new heights of pleasure on the regular. He’s a man of few words, but oh,those words. He was the inspiration for the nameless, working class hero who puts my protagonist, Celeste, in her place in my free erotic short story Down,Girl.

Oh, and one dishonorable mention. Though Gone with the Wind’s Rhett Butler may be on many a woman’s list, but he’s not on mine. Sure he’s charming, commanding and arrogant. Sure, he doesn’t give up until he gets what he wants. My problem is with what he wants. Scarlett? That flighty, self-absorbed little narcissist? Please.

Speaking of please. My newly released erotic romance, Please, is available in the Amazon Kindle Store for just $2.99.

Hump Day Free Erotic Short Story

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Oops! I lied in my last post. No Top 5 Alpha Males from Classic Literature today. I’ll post about that tomorrow.

Today I want to talk about leather.

How do you feel about leather? I love it. In fact, I love it so much that I would never wear a leather skirt or pants. Well, at least not in public.

What is it about leather? Maybe it’s the smell. No matter how many chemicals and dyes it’s treated with, it still has that underlying animal scent, a musky, earthy smell that triggers primal memories of running through fields, long grasses whipping at your flanks, drinking from spring-fed streams, rutting with the urgency and abandon of the hunted.

Maybe it’s the feel. Cool and slick at first touch, it grows warmer and softer the longer you maintain contact with it. It’s like a living thing, changing, responding under your hand, molding to your body.

Maybe it’s leather’s backstory. All the subliminal associations buried in the most primitive part of our brains. From cavemen to cowboys, bikers to rockers, the toughest and wildest of men have worn leather.

Or maybe it’s the simple fact that leather is skin. And skin is, if not the sexiest, then certainly the most sensual of organs.

The heroine of today’s free erotic short story loves leather, too.

Leslie has a wicked fantasy about being taken from behind by a masked man dressed head-to-toe in leather, a fantasy her live-in-lover, Giles, has never indulged. But today’s her thirtieth birthday, and Leslie’s about to get a hot, hard, leather-wrapped present she will never forget.

Want more? Click Submit to read it in my collection of short stories, now available in the Amazon Kindle Store.