So, it's been a good long while since anyone posted to this blog. I apologize for that, readers. In honor of International Women's Day, I wanted to share some thoughts with you on why I write not just romance, but erotic romance, and what it means to be a feminist erotic romance author.
First let's start with the idea that romance is feminist literature. This may not sound groundbreaking in the news department, but it's a rather new idea on the block. For years romance has been denigrated for being anti-feminist, or bodice-rippers, glorified patriarchal rape fantasies that simply perpetuate stereotypical portrayals of women and romance in a male-dominated world. (Phew, that was a mouthful). In recent times, romance has become a better genre, but it also has become better understood, and the realization that it is actually the opposite of anti-feminist is becoming more and more prevalent.
Romance is about women, for women, written by women. That's what romance is all about.
Note however that women is not all romance is about, of course. There are lots of different flavors of romance on the market now, with new subgenres and different forms of love and life becoming more popular every day. Romance is also about men, and about love. There are ménage stories and m/m stories and stories about groups of lovers, asexual partners, trans and queer individuals, some who identify as women, and some who do not.
On the whole, even when the story is not about just women, and not written just for women, or by women, romance at its core is still about feminism, about the idea that a woman is just as good as a man, just as important and worthy, and should have the same ability to pursue life, liberty, and happiness as any man.
I was asked (as part of a large group) recently why my books were going to change the world. Why were they important enough that readers needed them? Whose lives were they going to change?
Those questions got me thinking, and now I have an answer.
My books are all about being sex-positive, body-positive, empowering and feministic. I write all kinds of flavors of erotic romance: f/f, m/f, m/m/f, BDSM, contemporary, femdomme, multicultural. And every one of my books has one theme in common: empowering my characters to know what they want, physically, sexually, emotionally, and to give them the tools to go after what they want. My characters embrace their sexuality. They embrace the idea that it’s okay to want and need a partner (or partners), to be vulnerable and sexy, and to be bold and strong, all at the same time. This is what makes my romance so feminist in nature.
With every book, I aim to break down the idea that sex is evil, or that women don’t have a sex drive. I work to dispel the myth that sex-positivity and embracing sexual desire is a bad thing. I also work to dispel the myth that feminism = man-eating bitches. Feminism isn’t about hating men. It’s about loving them in a way that doesn’t mean loving yourself less. And that’s what I write about. That is why I write erotic romance. We can break down these barriers. We can change the world.
One book at a time.