Aloha everyone! Today I’m having a chat with my fellow Romance Erotica writer Spencer Dryden about an article we were both lucky enough to be interviewed for in the excellent Good Men Project online magazine.
Go and have a wee look at Brian Trout’s terrific article and tell us what you think?
Spencer and I have been meaning to have this conversation for a while. We’re both romance erotica writers on slightly different sides of the page, or was that bed? The views from the female and male side of what we write bring up some interesting points and ideas we hope to convey to our readers along the way.
Spencer has the more unusual experience of writing in a genre that is heavily dominated by women writers. It’s also saturated with women readers. The original question Brian was asking, among others was: Do women readers refuse to read anything written by a man in romance erotica, simply because he’s a man?
I said no, that wouldn’t automatically turn a woman reader away. What we find harder when reading a male writer of romance erotica is that men often have the mechanical action part of sex, but largely miss out the important emotional aspect of having sex or making love with someone.
Years ago, someone said to me, “You could tie a man up and blindfold him. It wouldn’t matter who gave him a blowjob, he’d still come. Whereas a women wouldn’t. She has to have the emotional connection there.”
I've never heard the story about the blow job. That's funny in a guy way. What I have said is, if a man was trapped on an island with the ugliest woman in the world, he'd fuck her.
On the other hand, if a very beautiful woman was stuck on that same island with with a less than desirable man, she'd eventually bond with him and they would make love. Women are bonders and sex is a natural expression of bonding. (Ergo, my only hope with Eva Mendes is to be trapped on an island.)
LOL. Oh my god. That’s so accurate. Yes, you’re right—women ARE bonders. Why aren’t all men? And one thing I’ve noticed with men sometimes. They LET the women be the bonder, without putting a great deal of effort into the relationship. But take the bond away and they’re not always happy about that. What’s that about, do you think?
One hope I have for my writing, or one thing that would make me feel very fulfilled as a writer is if I ever got a note from someone that my story lead to a conversation about sex.
Most of my stories, the woman gently leads the man to the way to please her. Women need to understand that a few simple words can dramatically improve their sex life..."I like it when you do...X
Do you know, I’ve never read an erotica story with someone? I know our fellow romance erotica author Michele ‘Mikey’ Rakes does with her husband. I always find that fascinating. I’d love to be able to do that with someone. I think even the fact that someone could read a story and it might encourage them to try something new or talk openly with their lover is a huge bonus.
So, here’s my question always to the men out there. I actually like Spencer’s way of saying, “I like it when you do X…” It’s a nice direct, but gentle way of guiding someone.
Are men actually open to that Spencer? Because I’ve been with some lovers who didn’t listen, couldn’t have cared less what was working for me or not. Needless to say, they lasted five minutes as someone I’d see again. But do you think generally, most men WOULD be open to that suggestion and why?
Meg, men and women's sexual turn on's and responses are so different, it's amazing that we ever get together. Sometimes you want to ask God, Mother Nature or
were you thinking?’ By and large men's turn-on's are quick, visual and urgent. Darwin
I haven't read erotica with someone either. I have watched soft core porn though. (Am I ever dating myself-does that even exist anymore?).
Of course in the dating world you're going to have terrible misses, but I think it's safe to say that men really would like to please a woman. Seeing, feeling, hearing a woman's sexual excitement is a big turn on for guys-especially if he's the one doing it. But we don't know how and we lack the verbal tools. Face it, men are just not good at verbalizing feelings and once blood leaves the brain to service the demands of the libido... well, sometimes there just isn't enough blood.
My dating days are long behind me. But in the time I was out there I had enough lovers to experience how very different women were about sex. The only way a guy can learn how to please a particular woman is if she guides him. Now we may be insensitive louts at times but our sexual ego is very fragile so as I suggested above the best way is to focus on the positive. "I like it when you do…X." If you, a woman, can say that, he'll most likely do it. If he doesn't, then that's a pretty good sign you're kissing a frog who's never going to be a prince.
Okay, listen up ladies; we’re getting very sound advice here. You’ve GOT TO SAY something. I do think sometimes there’s a slight attitude of: “Well, they should know.”
In an ideal world—yes. But most of us didn’t grow up in one of those. Where would we even learn that stuff from? Certainly not our parents unless we’re really lucky. I like the phrasing he’s used and think we should all adopt it.
|Let's be clear ladies. This could be why men don't ask us for directions :-)|
Spencer brings up the point that seeing, hearing, feeling a woman’s excitement is the biggest turn-on for a guy. I’d agree with that. You don’t have to be a living breathing replica of Marilyn Monroe (Just note also: a very curvy woman by today’s standards. We love curvy women and so do men. Actually Spencer, can you please talk about that next for the women out there? Especially considering that we know men are very visual.)
But back to the, ‘what turns a man on question.’ When I was younger, I used to hang around with some older guys who used to tease me all the time for being a virgin. Steve’s greatest advice to me was, “Don’t lie there like a stuffed dummy. Move about, make noises, let a guy know you’re enjoying yourself.” Best free advice Steve ever handed out! I took it.
By the same token, I like a man to also let me know that what I’m doing is turning him on.
And returning for a moment to the ‘did you catch a frog,’ syndrome. What if he’s not doing anything where you can use that phrasing, of, ‘That feels nice or I like it when you do…X?’
Every so often, I’ve gone out with a nice guy and he just would NOT listen. Why? Obviously, you can’t speak for him for Spencer, but take a wild stab in the dark. Oh dear, that image…yes…part of the problem with this guy. Hmmm. J
Meg, lets deal with the issue of body image. Guys love curves. It's the fashion industry that puts women up to this ridiculous standard of skinny.
If I had a magic wand I'd wave it over women to banish this foolish notion about body type. It's very destructive, particularly since it is moving down the age range to girls. It contributes to the struggles with sexuality. Women need to feel desirable before they can appreciate being desired. So both sexes start out on the wrong foot. The guy has trouble expressing himself and the woman thinks it's the way she looks.
"Does this make me look fat?" Is never a question a woman should ask a man.
Marilyn Monroe is an interesting example. Yes she had curves, but she did not have a model's face of high cheekbones etc. She had allure…far different from good looks. It was the allure that made her a screen idol for men. I think any woman who's comfortable with her body and feels desirable, is going to project plenty of allure. I wish I could recall the name of the author and the book-it was a tell all by a former call girl-okay-hooker. She said the biggest turn on for men was excitement-if they had a partner who was excited about them. Isn't that one of the reasons men are so easily led into affairs-someone shows some excitement for them. In my own crude way I say men want two things stroked, their ego and their cock.
I can't speak for guys who won't listen but I can say that men's sexual self image is often way below what they project. (It's why we laugh and cry at Woody Allen's characters.) You're a therapist you know that when people feel very insecure, it's almost like panic- they can't hear.
So that brings me around to the stab in the dark. Too much sex happens in the dark, under the covers with eyes closed.
I think in ideal world virgins would be defrocked by older, calmer, self confident experienced men and young men would be indoctrinated by older women who are comfortable with their sexuality. It would be a great premise for a story. I actually have an unpublished story called "Tricks of the Trade" where a young plumber meets an older woman at the big box store. She's desperate to complete some repairs before her party. He shows her how to fix her plumbing, she shows him how to use his better.
You’ve brought up some great points there Spencer. I’ll get back to them in a minute. I just want to bring up another thing that you and I have touched on briefly in emails. Spencer and I were both involved in the Good Men Project with Brian Trout. One of the things you’ve noticed is that older men’s sexuality is not addressed as well. What are the things you’d like to have more articles or just information on? I know when I was researching for Henry and Isolde, the info I wanted was harder to find than I imagined.
One of my main characters Henry is 68 and he’s surprised he can even get an erection that lasts. Or that they keep coming back. I have a theory that the more we use our sexual energy in our body, the more it’s there. The more sex we have, the more the fire energy in the body is activated. I also have Henry using a transdermal testosterone cream on his skin everyday. This is not a ‘steroid’ quality. It’s just the amount of testosterone a man has stopped reproducing naturally in his body. In the same way that women need natural progesterone cream from their late thirties onward, when the body stops slowing down the production.
I wanted it to be realistic for Henry, but also have him still able to have sex, just not all the time. I researched it and one doc said he still had a patient that was having sex at 98. So that gave me hope on lots of fronts.
I think it’s important for women to know too that we don’t hit 50 and everything shuts down. I turned 50 last year and thought…I’m not ready to hang up my sexual slippers. I’m too young still!!
Okay so coming back to the ‘we like curves’ theme. I’m just sitting here with a young male friend of mine and he’s also a fan of curves. I just asked him why. Here’s what he said: “Bigger thighs and arse are better. Something to hold onto. It feels good. Size 00 feels awful.”
Take note everyone.
I asked him what our ‘fat’ feels like to him.
“It just feels like skin. Soft skin. ‘More cushion for the pushin.’” Crude, but true.
I’ve made the same observations Spencer has. It’s the way we feel about ourselves that makes us sexy or have allure. Men like curvy women that have confidence.
I agree with Spencer about teaching younger people with older, more experienced men and women. The French always used to train their boys that way. And I presume those lovers skills got passed on to the women. I, for one, would LOVE to see young men trained to be lovers by skilled patient older women. I’ve been out with too many men that were terrible in bed, because they just didn’t know what they were doing. Or didn’t listen to either instructions, clues, hints…or even just the noises I was making didn’t seem to clue them in. I’m noisy. If I’m not making appreciative noises, you haven’t hit anything good.
I know some people are not very expressive, but there are clues generally that something is happening. You can generally tell from their natural reactions like: goosebumps, shivers, exhaling really hard. If you pay close attention, the carotid goes in the neck, the pupils dilate and breathing changes.
Adam says that most men’s goal is to pleasure themselves. But his main goal is to pleasure his partner. Why? Because it gets him off. It turns him on.
“Why does it feel better,” I ask?
“It’s more intimate, more of a connection, it’s a better feeling, even with a one stand night. It’s a false sense of intimacy, yes, but you gain this security that you feel safe, that even though it’s a one night stand, the connection is there.”
Meg, if Dr. Oz was with us he'd say there are many reasons for a decline in male sexual performance, many are lifestyle related like smoking, obesity and excess alcohol consumption. Add to the list circulatory issues, especially adult onset diabetes, medications for high blood pressure and cholesterol. The blue pill is probably the worlds most consumed recreational drug.
Henry may be a bit of an outlier in terms of male sexual performance, but I think the endearing thing about his story is the way that youthful infatuation can happen at any age.
Years ago, travelling on business, I was sitting across the isle from a man who must have been close to 90. He was making the most romantic talk to his seatmate, a woman who looked roughly his age, then he kissed her full on the lips. It was so touching.
If there is a secret, it's probably in making the decision to remain a sexual being. I just wish we could lose the obsession with youth.
Yes, agreed Spencer. I’ve realized that despite being chronologically 51, I don’t feel it or look it. And I’m not the only person out there who feels that way. We’re not aging the way our Grandparents or parents did. We’re still keeping our zest for life. We’re not ‘aging gracefully’ and frankly I’m good with that. I don’t want to hit the stop button because I’ve reached a ‘certain age.’ I loved your recall of the man who was 90 and his lover. How gorgeous!! Isn’t that what’s it all, at the end of the day.
There are three things in life we need:
Something to do
Someone to love
And something to look forward to.
So, have we come to any other conclusions in this conversation, or just waffled on? LOL. J
I think that men and women all over the world naturally want to bond and mate with another being. We want the connection, love, contact, companionship, sex, laughter and the dancing in all its various forms.
Whether men or women write romance erotica, it doesn’t seem to matter. It’s more the fact that we do have both genders writing about it. Despite the years of increased sexuality out there in awareness, education etc, we need to communicate with each other. And whatever way that’s available, I’m keen to see more of that.
I’m currently editing a book for another romance erotica writer and one of her stories is exactly what we’ve been talking about. The need for people to communicate more. She’s had lousy sex for years. He watches a porn flick and comes home to try it out. When they finally get it right, he’s sad. He realizes he’s missed out on years of wonderful sex with his wife.
Women: Say what you like. “I like it when you do…X” “Right there, that spot, that’s perfect.” Also, it’s okay to position someone’s hand or anything else so they know what works for you. People aren’t mind readers. Ask the man what he likes too.
Men: Listen and take the time to learn EXACTLY how that works for your lover. Most men I find are too rough. We’re not men, we’re women. Our skin is often more delicate. It requires less pressure than yours. Rub your fingers back and forth across your palm with a steady even pressure. Okay, now lightly stroke your palm with your fingers. Can you feel the difference? That’s the lovely sensation we like. It doesn't require elbow grease!
Which brings me to: Use our natural lubricant, please. I don’t like having my skin rubbed raw because someone’s grinding my dry skin or hasn’t had thought to check if we’re turned on and wet.
And for God’s sake. Do NOT stop half way through. Stop when a woman pushes your hand away, because she’s too sensitive from the massive orgasm she’s just had and can barely speak.
Only a relatively small percentage of women climax through penetration. Check with her. Ask. I know, asking for directions. J I’m teasing, but also serious. Someone once told me, that he always makes sure a woman orgasms first because it’s a) a huge turn-on, in itself and b) the vaginal muscles are contracting from the orgasm and it’s tighter and more stimulating for him when he enters her.
In terms of what we write: On a personal level, I love good soul searing sex and soul deep emotionally connected relationships. So I write what I love. I think the sex is as much a part of the relationship as anything else and when it’s not in a book, I feel slightly cheated. Oy! Where’s the good bit gone? J I also think it’s a natural part of life and relationships. I want to see that well represented.
Contact Meg or Spencer at:
www.troikaromance.com - Meg Amor
http://www.fictionbyspencer.com/home.html - Spencer Dryden