Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bright Red and Fifty Shades of Gray

You know, when erotica is available as a mass market paperback,
displayed on the shelves of my neighborhood grocer, we've
reached some sort of watershed in this country.
Whether it's a continuing slide into a nadir of literary standards
or an opening of tolerance of expression, I can't say.

Years ago, I always felt a bit embarrassed when I 
entered a local used book store. One entire wall was covered
by romance novels with pale pink spines. Since women generally 
prefer to visualize their erotica rather than actually see it, those
books were/are the woman's equivalent of 
men's pornographic videos.

However, one man I knew read the books for amusement
(he said). Secretly, though, he imagined himself in the role 
of rescuing hero, the prince whose "sword of 
hardened steel" left his lady in a dazed swoon,
grateful for his attentions.

I wonder how many of those books are actually written by men?


dive said...

Great photos as always, Speedway.
Erotica is now mass-market? Where's the fun in that? I'm rapidly running out of things I can do furtively, darn it!
I had always assumed those romance books (the ones with the pink spines are pronounced "ROmance" rather than "roMANCE" to differentiate them from the real thing) were written by small groups of middle-aged women laughing their asses off.

Speedway said...

I understand the publishers of the pink-spined books send their writers an outline to follow. Essentially, it's fill-in-the -effin'-(literally) blanks, Dive, with lurid curlicues of innuendo to describe glass-shattering love-making without really mentioning body parts by their proper or improper names. It does, however, require research into the historical era of the story. I believe, then, that you could write great ROmance novels, Dive. Just turn your barista into a barmaid at the inn or QE1's lady-in-waiting.

dive said...

I'd laugh too much, Speedway. Much as I love both history and excruciating sexual innuendo, I have to defer to Lulu where that stuff is concerned.
You'll find her in the sidebar of my 500 Words short story blog. Check her archives for some spectacular sexual shenannigans that leave me choking with laughter and yet are still strangely erotic.