Romantic Lurve – or 50 Shades of Beige
Romance, in one form or another, is threaded through all our books at New Romantics Press. Lately, we’ve been discussing how one reader’s sublime is another’s ‘cor blimey!’
Apparently, there was no such thing as romantic love until after the 12th century. Until then, knights regarded biffing each other as pretty much its own reward. After that, they needed an explanation for all the biffing, (if they couldn’t think of one, they asked a minstrel to make something up) and sagas of battle moved to tales of courtly love.
Sublime? So, what about the ‘cor blimey!’
E.L. James’s erotic bestseller has sold 100 million copies, and still counting. It’s women who are flocking to see the film.
Allegedly, before the launch, B&Q sent a memo to staff, warning of a possible increase in demand for certain products. These would be from customers recreating their own Fifty Shades experience. What were they expecting? People stringing themselves up in the shelving section and spanking one another with Vileda mops?
Have I seen the film? Noo. I always feel a teensy bit self-conscious watching that sort of thing – a voyeur looking through a keyhole. There’s a sort of agony of embarrassment and my hand keeps creeping up to cover my face – as if a week-old kipper is being wafted around.
I often skip the more palpitating passages when reading, too – especially when it starts to sounds a tad gynaecological.
“I don’t make love. I ****. Hard.”
(Ooh, heck. Move over Heathcliffe.)
Those words from the film sound less erotic to me than the Victoria Wood song about turning off Gardeners’ Question Time in the hope of being bent over the hostess trolley and beaten on the bottom with Woman’s Weekly.
I’m not quite of the same mind as the film reviewer, who said 50 Shades made her want to rush for her pinny and start polishing the silver.
I admire people who write about sex and erotica well. It takes skill to get it right. I just know that I’m not one of them.
I’ve taken heart from writer Joan Didion who suggests that concealing something, can heighten its impact. She says: “It’s like dressing. If you’re covered up, it’s sexier than if you’re not.” (Discuss?)
I heard a theatre director say recently that sex on stage is a notoriously tricky thing. A little, he said, goes a long way. It’s the suggestion of sexiness, apparently – not the act itself – that raises the temperature in an auditorium.
Raising the temperature! That’s it! That’s what I’m always struggling to achieve in my novels. But I appreciate that what floats my boat, may well scupper yours.
So, what about you? What do you think? Comments in plain brown envelopes, please!
I’ll leave you with another quote from Victoria Wood: ‘Orgasm? I haven’t blown my nose since Wednesday!’
And to cool things down, here’s a picture of myself at 5, dress tucked into knickers. (I still wear a similar voluminous sort which may go some way to explaining my own views on this topic.)