Friday, October 29, 2010

I love you one thousand times, li may!

Yes, VERY!

I swear this postcard made me laugh and want to cry at the same time. You and your ineffable sense of timing had this meet me at one of the lowest points of my year...I really do love you, you know? :') Good ol' li may. It's amazing how we've lasted through the years and miles and timezones -- except it didn't feel amazing, it just felt like the way things should be. Of course special friends have that special immediate connection upon meeting! Of course friendships hold strong no matter the obstacles! You've spoiled me for life, I say.

Thank you for reminding me that people care; that you care. Thank you for sticking around when I'm being difficult (form 1 days, anyone?). Thank you for letting me be who I am in front of you, flaws and weaknesses and all, without feeling lesser, somehow. Thank you for being in my life. 

Sniffles. And I was trying not to get too sappy. Just this once then, 'kay? 

P.S.  I tried belly dancing once too, and YES the shimmy is bloody difficult. I commiserate with "How come they look so hot and we this?" HAHAHAHAH 

P.P.S.  This is also a <3 shoutout to some unnamed persons who have stuck around, so to speak :) you know who you are. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On rakish heroes and faithful heroines

Something that might be jarring in romance novels (and this is purely preferential) - sex scenes, or at least sexually-charged ones, between the hero and another woman. This is usually to showcase the hero's rakishness, or if he isn't a rake, his sexual prowess and desirability as a mate, or something. I don't know. I also think it's an acknowledgement of the fact that lust is not love. That's alright, it's not, and showing just why things are different with the heroine is part of the journey. 

And then it hit me. I have never seen a heroine portrayed the same way.* And by that I mean, in a sexually-charged scene with a man other than the hero. You might say it is because I read mostly historicals, and (unmarried) women of times past are understandably constrained in their sexuality. But I'm not even talking about acting on it, I'm talking about sexual attraction, straight up. I find it unrealistic that these women with (almost always) repressed/unawakened passionate natures have some sort of lock to said nature, for which only The One (hero) has the key, and that all previous attempts to pick it by Not The One's have been bungled because...well, they are not the ones.

But it's romaaantic that way! Really? I didn't think it romantic to depict the hero with some other woman mere pages away from his meet-cute with the heroine, but I understood that these things happened. Also, sexual attraction is not love. I find it incredible that we can recognize that in the hero, but not in the heroine. If a heroine, on the first page, walks into a roomful of strangers and her sensual senses alight on a particular man, then the reader knows he is to be our hero, no question. Apparently the heroine's sex-o-meter is also a love compass. Every other man, even when observed to be attractive, is usually tagged with a but-in-an-aesthetic-way! qualification, thus stripping him of his sexuality (in the heroine's eyes anyway). 

I honestly don't get the reluctance to allow romance heroines to fall in lust (however briefly) with men other than the hero. It happens, yo. This brings me back to the theory of the heroine's love-sex compass (with North pointing to Love of My Life and South to Sex Me Up Now). What bothers me, is that it is built on the assumption of the tired old stereotype that women are incapable of separating love from lust but men do it all the time. Which is complete and utter bullshit.

So blahblahblah deeply entrenched double standards in romance genre blahblah okay this post seemed more well thought-out in my head. And more coherent too. My apologies. Blame it on the time of the year.

I need to find some new authors.

*Edit: Upon reflection, I can think of a few, but probably on one hand.