By Lisabet Sarai
Another set of six pack abs, and I’m going to scream!
I want to thank Victoria for having me as her guest today and for allowing me to rant on about one of my pet peeves: perfect bodies in erotic romance. Actually, I’m not all that happy about the emphasis on bodies at all. Obviously, “erotic” means sex is part of the equation, and sex usually physical interactions between bodies (but maybe not always…see below). However, I personally get extremely bored by a never-ending stream of tall, buff, muscular guys without an ounce of flab. They just seem – well- plastic. And I’ve never really had a thing for department store mannikins.
When I think back over the men I’ve loved the most, not one of them had anything like a typical romance hero body. Yet I was physically attracted to them – not because of their bodies, per se, but because of the way their bodies expressed who they were.
One of the great loves of my life was, to be bluntly honest, fat. He was also extremely tall (about 6′ 4″) which made his weight less obvious – and probably caused us look pretty silly together since I’m barely 5’2″. I didn’t care. His size emphasized the D/s power dynamic between us. I found his physical presence, his bulk, remarkably sexy – so much so that I sometimes still find myself reacting to strangers with similar physiques.
Another guy I was crazy about was just the opposite, lean and kind of skinny, with longish black hair and a straggly pirate mustache. God, was intense there chemistry between us! He was smart, creative and bohemian, and really looked the part – what I call “the dark poet” type. I met him at a party and was seized by instant lust that soon turned into hopeless love. Our relationship had its bumps in the road, but at its best it was a meeting of the minds expressed through transcendent melding of our bodies.
Then there’s my husband. He’s a darling but I doubt anyone would ever think I married him for his looks. He reminds me a bit of a baby-faced troll. (Hopefully he’ll never read this! He reads my stories but has no patience with blogs!) I love his body, though. It’s cuddly and tender, hard and urgent, depending on our moods. And he loves (and respects) women, possibly more than any other man I’ve known. (Women tend to have similar feelings about him, too.) He uses his body to demonstrate that love.
My books include a variety of body types – not only for my heroes but also the heroines. The hero of Raw Silk is a tall, powerful alpha type, but Mark from Incognito is a medium height, medium build, bookish, glasses-wearing professor, and Rick Martell, the crafty industrialist in Ruby’s Rules, is actually modeled after my long lost poet. Ruby can’t understand why she’s so attracted to such an ordinary, rumpled looking guy. I sympathize, remembering my reactions to D.
When I write mÃ©nage, I frequently visualize heroes with strongly contrasting bodies: skin tone, build, degree of athleticism. In Bodies of Light , my recently published science fiction tale, Alyn is fair skinned, hairless, and fine-boned, while Zed has the bronzed complexion, black locks and sturdy build of a Mayan warrior. In Wild About That Thing, coming in the September collection Treble, the heroine is torn between burly, blond, bearded Southern boy Zeke and slender, elegant, head-shaved New Orleans blues man Remy.
As for my heroines, they include the tall and willowy Miranda (Incognito), short and athletic Kate (Raw Silk), petite Anglo-Asian Ruby (Ruby’s Rules) and statuesque, voluptuous Stella Xanathakeos (Exposure). I will never, ever, make comments about my heroine’s bra size, but I do like to write ladies who have plenty of curves and aren’t afraid to show them off. (I know my lovely hostess Victoria has similar preferences, and I applaud her for that.)
Coming back to Bodies of Light – although I just described the heroes to you, in fact, I embarked on writing this tale by asking myself if it was possible to write a sex scene that didn’t involve physical bodies at all. I don’t want to elaborate because I’ll give the plot away, but let me just tell you that the answer is yes.
Are you curious? You can buy your own copy of Bodies of Light from Total-E-Bound . Or you can enter my ongoing contest and possibly win a copy. You have a few more days, and it’s easy as pie. I want you to tell me about what body types you prefer in your heroes and heroines. Just write me an email at contest [at] lisabetsarai.com with the subject line “Bodies”. On July 15th, I’ll randomly draw one name from all the emails I receive and give that lucky individual a copy of the ebook.
Once more, I want to say thank you to Victoria for hosting me. You can find out more about me and my books at my website Lisabet’s Fantasy Factory, http://www.lisabetsarai.com, and my blog Beyond Romance, http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com.