Wednesday, March 08, 2006

What was they thinking?

We think we can read their minds, but we can't possibly know where guys are coming from just from reading romance novels and BOB series. I stumbled across this while doing some research and thought it was interesting. My hero, Rick Reilly's there, too.

Thank you
J.R. Ward for guest-blogging and blogchatting LIVE yesterday.
And, thank youz for blogging on to chat with her and keeping it so smart and positive. J.R. said she had such a good time, she's coming back Sept. 4, the day before Z's book, "Lover Awakened" comes out!

Now, I ask you: How flippin cool is that?

Encore! I don't love erotica; the emotions driving the content don't always make the earth move for me. I do think it's legit, not porn, and speaks to other folks and that's okey dokey with Pollyanna here. Still, I apreciate good evocative writing of any kind. "Talk to Me Baby," from "Another Woman's Lipstick," based on "Red Shoe Diaries," (get all that?) is a hot little piece with some tense and sexy imagery and related spoken word that make the thing work on lots of levels. It pretty much rocks.


Monica Burns said...

Thanks for that interesting link, Michelle. Makes me think that there are varying levels of testosterone in these guys. Jay Leno seems on the heavy end of it.

If I were Mavis, I would have met him at the door with a frying pan. Rick seems like a really thoughtful and interesting guy. Wonder why some woman hasn't recognized him for the charmer he made me believe he was. I liked Brian too. They both seemed like nice guys, fairly sensitive and yet guys. *grin*

The golf widow thing I can totally relate to! The DH said he wanted to go to Myrtle Beach for vacation. Resulting conversation....

Why do you want to go to Myrtle Beach?

Because of the golf courses.

But I don't play golf, what do the girls and I do while you're hitting that little white ball all the time.

Ummm, well, ummm

Yeah right, if you want to go to Mrytle Beach go with a friend for a weekend. When we do vacation its something for the whole family.

Men...if you didn't love 'em you'd want to kill 'em. *grin*


amy kennedy said...

I agree with Monica about Rick--he has a cool head on his shoulders. I think Jay's was more for the laughs-or not. But really what got me is: Maybe we give them too much credit and they are just kind of these simple creatures.

I'm exagerrating (sp?) I have met complex men--maybe even married one. But I've also been around alot of single cell organisms.

amy kennedy said...

Oh, and it is so cool that J.R. Ward will be back in September. Maybe that one I can actually stay on for the live chat.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Oh! So now everybody sees what I do in Rick, huh? Well, it's OK, he's manly sportswriting columnist enough for all of us. My guess is he's not to hepped to get tied down when he can hang out with young SI swimsuit models. Still, he seems like a good guy, no? That's why I like his columns. He's the voice of reason and decency in sports and speaks for the majority of good people who play and love sports, too.

Lori Foster said...

Argh! I'm going to be a downer and say that I hated that link, that I don't think the men were honest, and that if they were trying to be honest, then THEY don't really have insight into men either.
People (men and women) cheat because they're cheaters. It has nothing at all to do with what is happening at home. I've known women who were extremely sexual and adventurous and willing to try whatever the old guy wanted, and still he'd cheat. I've known the reverse too, where the woman went looking for no good reason other than that she is a cheater.
Men & women who are commited stick it out through thick and thin. After babies are born, sex can be scarce. It's a fact for awhile. If a guy has a lot of pressure at work, sex can be scarce. Love and marriage is not about sex, or always being deliriously happy. It's about caring for someone for the long haul.

Men are smart, as smart as women. Men are also dumb, as dumb as women.
Men are as sensitive, caring, giving, as some women, and vice versa.

Do they show it in other ways? You betcha - just like women do.

Ouch, I'm on a tirade. But how can 3 men give any insight into billions of men? Just as women are individual and flawed and wonderful, so are men.
Now I'll shut up.

No, first I'll say that Michelle, I'm loving this whole blog thing of yours way too much! LOL. I should be writing. ;-)


amy kennedy said...

So, Lori, howdo you really feel. I am kidding. You know what's funny, I skipped over the one on cheating and golf--so I shouldn't even comment on those, but you bring up good points. Except sometimes I think things happen to people who are normally loving/committed people and it has nothing to do with sex--it has to do with long term treatment of a subtle but none the less shabby nature. A soul can only take so much--especially after repeated attempts to stand up for ones-self.

Alrighty then. Besides, technically I asked for the divorce
first. Then I cheated.

Rach said...

Lori, you're right about having babies and sex. After my first child, I cried after my six week postpartum appt. because I was "cleared", and I *knew* my husband had been counting down the days. God love 'im, he didn't pressure me. But I have to say, I felt REALLY guilty for rpeatedly telling him "no". Especially, as I've come to realize, for him, sex is his way of expressing his love for me, so each time I was turning him down, well, let's just say it wasn't very good for his ego (I know all this because we talk and work on our relationship CONSTANTLY).

Anyhow, things are way different after baby number two. You just never know how things are going to work out.

As for the pornography thing, well, I'm not that happy about it. I get depressed if I think my husband is checking out nekkid women on the 'net because, well, I perceive them to have better bodies than me. I want him to find me sexy, dammit!, not them!! But, then I think, men are turned on visually, we are verbally, and don't I read Lori's and other's books and do just that?

Okay, that boardered on way TMI, I appologize =).

Interesting link, Michelle. Thanks!

Rach said...

Okay, one thing to add to my last post is that with pornography, and nekkid ladies, well, those ladie are *real*, they are there in the flesh. And although it is highly unlikely, if not impossible, you could wind up face-to-face with them. In romance novels, although you feel the characters are real, and although you fall in love with them, and although they may be real to the author, in the end, they really are just fiction.

Did that make sense??

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hey, Lori:

I hear you. I always think the cheating comes from innate insecurity in the cheater. Now, it's never the fault of the person being cheated on, but lemee play devil's advo.

What if the cheater's been trying to get the cheetee's (?) attn for ages, trying to get her/him to communicate, emote, whatever the cheater's looking for? They've gone to their religious counselor. They've done the psychotherapy route. The cheatee ain't budgin.

If the cheater's commited, should he/she resign him/herself to not having their emotional or sexual needs met for the rest of their married lives? Should they dissolve the marriage at this point?

I love to make an argument. But I also think a lot about what happens after the happily ever in romance novels.

I guess I'm also saying that giving a person all the wild sex s/he wants in a marriage may not be what s/he's really needs, and s/he doesn't even know it.

I blogged way back in "Valentine P.S.A." about smart-guy Ian Kerner, PhD, who writes about sex and relationships. He's got a terrific book that addresses the issues of how guys think about sex and relationships called "He Comes Next." It's a follow-up to "She Comes First," which I think every woman should find a way to present to her husband. And that's all I'm sayin about that. :)

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

OK. Now that I read your post about the porn thing Rach, you have SO got to check out Ian Kerner's book "He Comes Next." He covers this issue of guys and porn, but he doesn't go the 'oh, guys just get turned-on visually, so accept it' route. He does speak to the 'whatever consenting adults want' issue, but he's got such a healthy attitude about how couple can stay commited (and have great sex). He addresses post-pregnancy issues. He's another of my heroes. Hmmm, I love the overbearing mercenary types in novels, but the menschy good-guy intellectuals in real life. (my husband would argue against that last part.)

I love this conversation.

amy kennedy said...

I felt I had to add another comment, I'm not saying what I did was 'right' I'm just saying it's what I did. I'm a diferrent person today and re-married and I know I can say for certain I wouldn't cheat on him.
Also, it was my second time asking for a divorce from husband #1--I thought the first time had shocked him into new learned behavior--I was wrong.
Rachd, at least you just bordered on TMI--I went all the way.

Rach said...

I'm so checking out the books. You aren't the first to reccommend them. I've seen them a couple of other places. They sound intriguing.

As I've told my honey before, there's something about an alpha male--i.e, I ADORE cowboys--but I would NEVER actually *want* one! I'll take my hunky computer geek any day of the week =).

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

As the weeks go by, Amy, you will find you can never share TMI on my blog. Are you goin for Catholic of the Year or something? Please we love you and it's Pollyanna's blog and Pollyanna loves you so there!

Rach, do NOT ever think that romance can ever be confused with pornography. Nor erotica. I'd be happy to write a dissertation for you on that one. I love your point that the romance heroines and heroes are in are minds and dissapear once we move on to other sexy topics like frozen foods and moisturizers.

Rach said...

amy, that's okay, we're all anonymous friends here, right? ;-) I've always been inqisitve about what would lead someone to cheat. I know everyone has their reasons. Some, because like Lori said are just cheaters--once a cheater, always a cheater.

However, I think that may not always be the case. What would lead a person to be so desperate that they would do that? (No, amy, I'm not asking for your personal details *grin*). There has to be some impetus whether it's for shock value, or the fact that maybe they *aren't* getting something emotionally from their s/o. Just some thoughts to throw out there--I'm typing as I think them, so they're not that coherent I'm afraid.

Rach said...

Michelle, I'm not the one confused about romance/erotica and pornography *grin*! And, at this point, I don't think my husband is either. You wouldn't *believe* the "discussions" we've had on the topic ;-).

I don't want to get on a soapbox about the issue, so I'll just say this, I've had to "educate" quite a few people about the difference b/t romance novels (erotica too) and pornography. I feel ya sister! =)

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Oh, God. Rach. Now I'mm gonna start the whole girl thing with: I didn't mean to imply you were the one and I'm so sorry if it seemed that way, and I hate that aspect of trying to communicate via email and posts...

Maybe I'll make a run at Catholic of the Year.

amy kennedy said...

Doesn't it all come down to validation and worth.
I've come to realize I might not always get what I need from one person (I'm not talking about cheating now or sex)This is why we so desperately need friends and blogs.
I was going on and on to my husband at the dinner table yesterday and he finally said, "So, you didn't get a chance to blog today."
Thanks for letting me give TMI and now I really have to go to work.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Ames: You're welcome. And he makes me LOL. And I'm so glad you're my friend.

Rach said...

Michelle, Michelle, Michelle, stop being sucha girl ;-P! Of course I didn't think you meant me, you were using "you" as a general. I knew that, and (now comes my turn to be a girl!) I'm sorry if I came across otherwise =).

To go completely off subject, I like that this blog and SR are full of nice people who seem to genuinely care about not hurting each others' feelings and respecting each other and their opinions. I've seen some blogs where the people are just vicious to one another! Thanks for having the Pollyana blog (just so you know, my sister will often try to insult me by saying, "You are *such* a Pollyanna!" and I'm NEVER offended by that =) )

Lori Foster said...

Rachd, I totally hear where you're coming from! But honestly, it wouldn't bother a smidge if my hubby looked a nekkid woman in a magazine or on tv or whatever. (Just better not catch him with one in person! LOL) I dunno, I just feel very, very loved and so I never worry about it. I KNOW those women have better bodies than me. LOL.

Michelle, please know I love spouting my opinion. :-) It never means I'm saying anyone else is wrong, just that I disagree. But anyway, if someone isn't getting what he/she needs from a life partner, even after requests and talking and expression, then hey, that other person doesn't love ya enough. It's a dead end. Be good to yourself and get out. It's destructive to stay in a relationship where someone wouldn't care enough to at least TRY and meet your needs. :-D

Amy, never, ever would I judge you. I haven't lived your life, or dealt with your problems. So please know that just because I post what I do, doesn't mean I'm passing judgement on anyone. And if you're in a really good marriage now, I'm so happy for you!

As for Alpha males vs intellectual types... well here I go again. One is not mutally exclusive of the other. I think Alpha's are very misunderstood. Being Alpha does not mean being abusive. One of these days, when I'm sure y'all won't throw cyber eggs at me, I'll share all my thoughts on what an Alpha male really is, vs what the media tries to tell us he is.
Happy blogging!


amy kennedy said...

Oh, Lori I didn't think you were judging me (oh, alright don't you sometimes feel like you're always being judged) But I do love that we can state our opinions in a safe place. I also agree with you about the nekked women--I just don't care if he subscribes to Playboy. I should say I don't feel threatened by it.

I pride myself on being Pollyanna--I think I'm happier that way.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

This online communicating is so weird. Every time someone uses the word "you" collectively, I think they're talking about me.

Can I tell youz how happy I am that we talk here about this stuff?

Dyin to hear Lori on the Alpha thing,(I cap it, too and the proofers lower-case it on me). I always think there's a difference between a romance Alpha and a real life Alpha. I must say, the idea of a big, strapping MENSA member does sound appealing. Part of the appeal of the Alpha fantasy for me has always been that he's big and aggressive enough to literally sweep me off my feet. As the Brothers say, ya feel me?

Oh. No. Looks like it's time for the up-against-the-wall sex question...

Monica Burns said...

This is going to sound really, really wild coming from an erotic romance writer, but I'm definitely UNCOMFORTABLE about my husband looking at porn on the Internet or Playboy,Hustler,etc magazines.

Some of it is because I have a lousy opinion of my body. Interestingly enough recent comments from the DH have made me wonder if he needs glasses or if he's becoming senile. After almost 20 years, it amazes me how totally blind he is to my flab!! LOL I know none of us ever see ourselves in as positive a light as others do, so with that in mind....

Lori - GET A GRIP GIRLFRIEND! LOL I would kill for your body!!! You have a wonderful figure! At the Lexington, KY booksigning in October I remember thinking, God why do all of the NYT bestseller authors have to be so damn skinny, good-looking and nice to boot. Hugs

My other reasons for being uncomfortable with the porn issue is because of the inner conflict and baggage I'm carrying around. Before I met my husband, I was engaged and the B^&(*# cheated on me. Cheated on me with someone I knew, someone I thought had been a friend. That's a pain that doesn't ever really go away, no matter how
much I've told myself it wasn't anything I did. Betrayal is betrayal, and I'm sure that's a large part of my objection to the DH looking at porn. Sometimes insecurities don't ever leave us, they're a part of who we are.

So how do I reconcile that emotional baggage with my erotic romance writing? I don't know. Maybe I'm a hypocrit, maybe I'm a nutcase (oh like that's not the truth - *grin*) or maybe its because when I write, I'm writing about love when it first happens, when a character is experiencing that initial connection that they think is just physical attraction but that is something more, something deeper. There's nothing more exciting than that initial first contact, that beginning phase of a relationship where one is falling in love. I love to remember what it was like when the DH and I first met and fell in love. It was wonderful, warm, sexy, funny and passionate.

What comes afterward can be pretty mundane at times, and since I write what I as a romance reader would like to read, I want the heat, the passion, that explosive chemistry in a book.

I don't know about anyone else, but I do NOT look like the goddess Venus when I first wake up in the morning (oh who am I kidding! I never look like Venus, Hera maybe, but never Venus LOL), and daily life can get in the way of keeping up that level of passion, the chemistry. All relationships evolve over time and maintaining that initial passion, wild passionate chemistry isn't easy to do. So I write what I'd like love to be like ALL the time, but in truth, it might wind up being quite draining all the time. Just like in a book, one has to have the opportunity to breathe from the fast paced action.

Shoot, I'm not sure where all this rambling is going. I guess what I think it really boils down to is that Women are from Venus and Men are from Mars. It's our differences that can make it so frustrating and yet so exciting for each other.

Some people would maybe liken my writing to the same thing as the DH looking at porn. I would vehemently disagree because of the fact that porn doesn't reflect love, it's there for stimulation purposes nothing more.

Erotic Romance is simply romance writing that expands on the love two characters have in terms of their expressing that emotion. Sex is the ultimate expression of love.

Now just to point out another real contradiction in me. I love the naked body. I love seeing it in all its glory. Brad Pitt's body in Troy, the shot where he's laying on his stomach and the camera pans over his entire body. THAT was an incredible shot. The first thing I thought was, "this is a work of art. A work of the Almighty, ok so BowFlex helped, but it was beautiful. I also have several nude females on my website that I love. They're artwork that hangs in musuems, but they're a celebration of the human body, not just out there to make a guy drool like a caveman.

Granted one man's art is another's porn, so like everything in life, it's all subjective. You know, in the past four years I've come to totally despise that word! LOL


Lucy Monroe said...

Michelle...I love Pollyanna...and that's my family's nickname for me. Which is probably why I like your blog so much. And can I mention that I adore the "Wish List" feature on B& to keep track of books I want to read. I added the Kerner books already and the next time I make an order, I'll get them. :) They both sound really good. And for me, they're a writeoff as research. :)

Lori...I love your passion and your vehemence. It's what makes you such an amazing person to me.

Amy...I live by the rule there is never really TMI between friends. I don't know, I just really care about people and feel more comfortable relating at a heart level than on the surface. This can get me in trouble, but after almost four decades, I don't see myself changing. So, thanks for sharing a bit of *your* heart. :)

Monica...I'm with you. I'd be very uncomfortable with dh looking at porn. He wouldn't like me doing it either. Neither of us looks...I mean at all. We've talked about it a lot because so many other people get all breathy over hotties and gorgeous women. It just doesn't work for either of us. I think he's like Godiva chocolate...nobody can top him and he feels the same. It's good. I don't care if it means he's's how our love works. And there's way too many destructive messages in the world of porn. So much violence against women and diminishment of the emotional component of sex that I'd be unhappy with my hubby getting caught up in that in any way. However, the artistic nude body? Love it...seriously and beautiful sex depicted visually...gotta love it too. I guess that makes me a contradiction. But I never said I was perfect. :)

Rach...I totally agree. I gravitate toward the online places that feel good and encourage people to relate in a positive way. I think that's healthy, not to mention it works for my Pollyanna view of the world. ;)


Rach said...

I too have a body image problem, which is why I would be very dismayed if hubby looked at porn, or even a very tame Playboy. I want to be the one that "does it" for him, not some other woman. =)I wish it were otherwise, but there it is.

I am also a contradiction in that I think the pysical form is beautiful. I love a well sculpted male back, and the female body empitomizes beauty--when done artistically, not to arouse and stimulate. I guess that makes me a hypocrite too =).

And, finally, Monica, I read romances for the same reason you write them. I love my life. I love that there is a routine and love and all that. But, there is something about those first few moments (be they hours, days, weeks or months) when people fall in love that is just magical. That's why fairy tales always end, "They lived happily ever after". No one wants to read that they settled into married life with two kids and a dog and that Prince Charming leaves beard residue in the sink and occasionally leaves the toilet seat up. Or, that Sleeping Beauty is actually Snoring Beauty who awakens with Medusa-like hair.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Yes, yes, yes. That's at the core of why we read romance, ain't it: we want to recreate those first heady moments and feelings, etc., and those of you who write it bring it to us.

It's also, I think, at the core of why a lot of folks cheat.

Rach said...

You're right on target with that last statement, Michelle! I have a friend who told me she reads romances for that *exact* reason. She LOVES the thrill of new love, and without it, she might be tempted to cheat. Wow! Nah, not me, but what a thought.

Lori Foster said...

You realize ladies, almost all women have body image problems. I don't know anyone who doesn't look in the mirror and lament _something._ (I'm not sure I'd want to know her either. LOL)

Monica (that's my sister's name!) I SO do not have a killer body. Not, not. I'm the great breastless wonder. At 47, I keep waiting for puberty to kick in so I can blossom. LOL. Think I should give up on that?
But I thank you all the same. I just hope anyone reading this doesn't run into me at some point and stop to stare, wondering what the heck you were talking about. LOL.

Ladies, the thing about your hubbies reading/looking at porn... doncha know that he'd drop that in a heartbeat if you wiggled your little finger? Your hubbies don't care if your bodies are imperfect. I'm laying odds right now that any one of them would say, "Just get naked and in bed. I'll prove it doesn't matter."
Men are so easy. They love, just like we do. They're usually more physical and don't have our issues of modesty. Naked. That's what they care about. Forget big hips, or pregnancy stretch marks. Seriously. Just get naked.
That's what they want.
Okay, enough blather from me.
I guess I should elaborate on Alphas sometime. Dianne and I did at an RT convention. I forget what we're talking about this year, but it might be the same thing. I'm partial to Alphas. Actually, I'm partial to sharing my opinion on everything under the sun, too.

Have an awesome weekend, y'all!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Lori, perhaps I'll see you at RT? My first attempt. I'll be blogging soon about what I'll wear to the Saturday night Leather Event...

And I will ever wax ad nauseum in praise of the Alpha male.

Lori Foster said...

Hey Michelle, yeah, I'll be at RT. I won't be at the Leather Event though, whatever that is! LOL.
I'm such an early bird. Anything that keeps me out and about past nine has to be mega important. :-P
I'll look forward to meeting you in person! Awesome.