In an attempt to get into the spirit of things, I started this morning off by hitting my snooze alarm twice and cuddling up to my Hitachi Wand. What a lovely way to start the day!
I've been reading paranormal erotic romances again lately and have been thinking about the draw of the supernatural hero. Woman of all stripes seem to be drawn to vampiric heroes and demon hunters of various sorts. Of course, it helps to identify as least in part with the lead female character/romantic interest. But even when this is not the case, it is easy enough to slip into a voyeuristic mode while reading and vicariously experience a little forbidden pleasure.
What is it about supernatural males that make them so erotically appealing? On a superficial level, such heroes are often described as stylish predators who favour tailored clothing in a GQ or bad-boy sort of way. They live in castles, penthouses or rugged isolated cabins. They often demonstrate strict adherence to a code of conduct and have impeccable manners, when it suits them. They often have a tragic story of their own that is laced with solitude, loss and loneliness. Often they are warriors and are skilled at martial arts and other forms of combat. There is an effortless athleticism or warrior-like grace infused in their most mundane actions. It's as if you can smell the pheromones rising from the page!
The danger associated with the circumstances of the story ramps up the stakes and the adrenaline, and helps provide a context in which a "nice girl" can rationalize taking a walk on the wild side. Even though the characters may have only just met, we are willing to suspend judgement and accept as perfectly reasonable the immediate sexual tension and willingness of the characters to act on it. Often our own sexual response is easily triggered. When the lead character slips a finger inside the heroine, we experience muscular contraction and a sympathetic burning in our own body.
I think these characters appeal to the animal that lives inside us. On some level I think every person has predatory capacities, especially where lust is concerned. We may not agree with or act on it in most circumstances, but we certainly recognize and can be aroused by it. The characters in paranormal romance dare to act on impulses, in situations and in ways that most of us dare not. Such forbidden fruit can provide an intoxicating reading experience, and because it is couched in the realm of fantasy, poses little threat to our image of ourselves. After all, these paperbacks don't have any naughty pictures in them - how bad can we be for loving them the way we do? Some series featuring supernatural heroes and heroines keep the sex fairly vanilla while others step freely and naturally into the realm of BDSM. But in all of these stories, the draw is the same - the danger, the lack of inhibitions and boundaries that would normally govern behaviour unleash the animal inside the characters and to a degree, inside of us.
And so erotica and bondage find their way onto the shelves in stores and into the shopping carts on line. No brown paper wrappers or explanations are required. You can get your fix on the subway, during your lunch break or while the kids are working on their homework in the same family room. It's about the safest and easiest sort of sexual fantasy there is. All you have to do is go along for the ride.
But when the story is over, the kids are in bed and you are listening to your partner sleep, your mind may wander back to the story, to the images of the characters you created in your mind. You may indulge in a little fantasizing and bedtime masturbation to relieve the tension remaining in your own body. Or maybe, with a little luck, perhaps one or two of the characters will visit you company in your dreams.
Have a great Wanton Wednesday!