Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The LiberTina: She Ain't The One

Kathleen Eagle GuestBlogs tomorrow, Wed, Jan 10!
I'm writing this Top Ten Most Romantic Book Gifts for Valentine's Day feature for Internet Broadcasting and Romance: B(u)y the Book. It's gonna be linked to a great contest, which I'll tell you about soon. Anyway, this nice guy from Penguin sends me this book he thinks might be good for the list called, "She's the One," by Gregory Gilderman, a guy who writes about guys -- the 'generic guy' as he calls them -- for women's mags.

So Gary says, forget what you read in Cosmo and Marie Claire, etc. Those tips will in no way tell you what guys really want.

"The idea pervades just about every self-help or pop-advice piece ever written: men are visual; men are from Mars; men only think of pizza, football, getting laid, or some way to enjoy all three at once."

Yet, Gilderman says more guys than ever are hooking up for life. Why? "...because we want to," he says. "Every guy is looking for the One. And what men want from her is the obvious stuff -- love, honesty, friendship, fidelity -- as long as she meets some distinctly male needs."

Gilderman then goes on to describe in funny, self-deprecating, sometimes shockingly simple ways just what makes guys tick (we already knew), and what they really want in bed (we just thought we knew). Pages 127-53 alone are worth the price of admission, girlfriends. And you'll love his take on feminism; it ain't all that different from how we discuss it right heah.

So back to Pages 127-53: Gilderman cites a study done by Harvard prof Stephen Pinker in which good-looking men and women were hired to approach members of the opposite sex on a college campus asking whether they'd like to a) go out on a date that night, b) come over to their apartment that night, or c) go to bed with them that night. Here's how the numbers churned:

Yes to date W - 50% M - 50%
Yes to going to apt W - 6% M - 69%
Yes to having sex that night W - 0% M - 75%

So this study reminded me of one I ran across recently at Yahoo! UK: Yahoo! UK's The Great British Sex Survey. And the psychologist writing the piece talks about this phenomenon that pretty much opposes Pinker's findings, called

The LiberTinas , a group of young women who are embracing, taking control of their sexualities in ways women before haven't reported. Brava! Yet, this also was a finding:

"The most striking aspect of this finding however the fact that 57% of the LiberTina’s think it’s alright to have impersonal sex, as compared to of 46% of men in the same age group. This truly underlines how far the LiberTina’s have come in expressing their sexual freedom."

The more life I live, the more it becomes clear to me that women simply aren't men. What I mean is, women have entirely different investments when they choose to have sex, and I wonder how women compartmentalize emotional needs, reproductive considerations that affect life choices, etc., when they choose no-strings casual.

No strings, kick-ass casual is hip in romance, and Vivi Anna's "Hell Kat" is a great heroine to admire for getting what she wants by whatever means she deems necessary. It's a great fantasy for lots of romance readers.

What's the no-strings, kick-ass romance heroine fantasy mean to you? And, in real life, what makes women able to choose hungry-man sized portions of sexuality w/out those messy emotional strings attached?

Encore! Grazie, Eve Ortega, for chatting with us about FanLit and Wicked Games. Please, please let us know when you've got more news about "Goddess of the Hunt."
Encore due! FanLit Grand Prize winner Sara Dennis Guestblogs Fri, Jan 12 w/ 2 great contests!
Encore tre! beverly, alas, no Colin to accompany it, but you've won a basket of Fair Trade chocolate from Eve! Please email me at romance@ibsys.com with your snail mail. And, maureen & alyssa, you've won downloads of "These Wicked Games!" Please email me.


Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Yeah, well, apologies, Bellas, for only just posting today's blog around 3.30 CT. Blogger is KILLING me today; couldn't even get on to comment.

I'm looking forward to chatting with you all today, or at least for what;s left of it.

amy kennedy said...

Blogger is apparently a serial killer for I have been slain also.


Love the topic Michelle--it might be one of my faves for discussion. However my break is almost over so I'll have to come back to it--again and again.

Fantasy--freedom--(can't think of another 'f' word--well, I can...but) what I would never do in real life (except when I was much younger and much singler)

Although, today 'no strings attached' was not the 'one night stand' of my past. The former might be empwering, the latter just sad.

ah well, good times, good times.

Kati said...

It's an interesting idea Michelle.

I am a fan of kick a$$ heroines, and Vivi's are among my favorites. I have a long standing love affair with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but it's really the interpersonal relationships she has that draw me.

Of the two LKH series, I prefer Merry. And why is that? I think it's probably because Merry defends herself when necessary, but only when backed into a corner. She understands her human frailty, and while she's tough when needed, she's not afraid to let someone take care of her. That appeals to me more than kicking a$$ and taking names. I don't know why that is.

I definitely think that there's a huge time and place for kick a$$ heroines. For me though, I love heroines who use not just their strength but their minds to defend themselves (or avenge themselves). For example, I adore Jessica Trent from Lord of Scoundrels. She doesn't put up with an ounce of crap from Dain and will do anything to be sure he treats her with the respect she deserves. IMHO, it makes her among romance's most memorable heroines. So, she'll resort to brute force to win the battle, but uses all of the resources available to her to win the war. I aspire to that. LOL!

Anonymous said...

Hey Michelle! You know I LOVE talking about kick-ass anything.

What it means to me...

Empowerment. Standing on my own. Not needing anyone else to take care of me. Or needing someone else's love to make me feel like a whole person. I am a whole person.

Oh and FYI..INFERNO, the sequel to Hell Kat got an amazing review at All About Romance. Grade A, a Desert Isle Keeper Review..

Beverly says this...

"As the title implies, Inferno is utterly hot! It is a steamy story, well-told and masterfully peopled with Vivi Anna’s complex characters. Although I haven’t read Hell Kat, I had no problem at all following the plot of this one. Vivi Anna does a great job of weaving the threads of the original story and of Kat and Hades’ history into this tale, still, I can’t stand not knowing all the sultry little details, so I am picking up a copy of the original story and waiting with baited breath for the next installment. This is simply a great book. I am definitely looking forward to Kat’s further dark adventures."

Beverly is my totally new best friend in all the world!!! LOL

Wolfy said...

Hey Everyone.......I love the strong, heroine, but love it even more when she meets her match........LOL

Man blogger has been a real bug bear today.........Yuck !!

Kati said...

I'm SO thrilled for you Vivi. I hope this means we'll be seeing Inferno on the NY Times best seller list any minute now!


Anonymous said...

This is Vivi...

Even if Blogger won't let me say so...

Thanks MK! I don't expect to see if there....but a girl can dream.

But hey, if you have 100,000 friends you can tell about the book that would be great!!! LOL

Playground Monitor said...

And, in real life, what makes women able to choose hungry-man sized portions of sexuality w/out those messy emotional strings attached?

I grew up in a totally different era and to be honest the whole idea of no-strings-attached, friends-with-benefits sex eludes me. I'm not saying it doesn't work and work well for other women, but I just can't wrap my mind around the concept. At least not yet.

Sure, I drool over Matthew McC and the new James Bond, but if either came knocking on my door, stripped in the foyer and said "Let's go to it baby," I'd probably run screaming from the house.

Interesting you're talking about kick-ass heroines cause tomorrow I'm blogging about the end of the Bombshell line of books, which featured kick-ass gals and not necessarily a happy-ever-after ending.


Michelle Buonfiglio said...

I've got, like, twenty Bombshells, maybe more, that haven't been read. Maybe I should do a contest.

Really sorry this has been a bad blogger day. We've been bloggered, as the wenches at Lustbites would say.

Of course, I guess it's not my fault, I just feel like I should apologize; the whole Italian Catholic thing, and all.

Looking forward to spending some time with youz and Kathleen Eagle tomorrow. She's got a good topic.

Yuck. I've been at the damn computer literally all day. I'm a little numb in a lot of places, including my brain.

But i just got the new Susan Elizabeth Phillips, so maybe I'll crack that one open for a couple minutes before I pass out.

TMI on the SEP?

Buonanotte, Bellas.

Lenora Bell said...

Hi there. Great topic!

Vivi Anna- I really want to read Inferno now. The shipping costs to China are killing me, though. I'm going to take a trip to Shanghai soon and see if they have a Barnes & Noble yet. I need my fix.

I love kick-ass heroines and the women who write them (I'm thinking of Liz Maverick right now). The fantasy for me is all about women who don't give a f*** what other people think about them. They just go out there and blaze through life (and men) without all the self-doubt that plagues more cautious types (like me). They've either never learned to fear, or they've mastered their fear enough to overcome it.

As for "hungry-man sized portions of sexuality w/out those messy emotional strings attached" -- yes, it's completely possible. I know a strong, beautiful, emotionally stable woman who goes through four or five new boy toys a month (of the much younger and completely hot variety). That's what she wants, and that's what she gets. Oh man, if her sheets could write romance novels...

But of course when you're in a long term monogamous relationship, you can serve yourself up some hungry-man size helpings as well, am I right bellas? And those emotional strings just make it more delicious.

Try living in a hotel in China. My new home is dominated by a very huge, very comfortable and very luxuriously linened bed. What is it about hotel beds that brings out the naughty trollop in us? I'm just lucky if I get any writing done at all.

Good luck blogging from your hotel bed in Vegas, Michelle...

Anonymous said...

Hi Michelle,

You're killing me!(smile) The new SEP is still four weeks away! Let us know how you are enjoying it! Based on the reviews from Amazon so far, I can't wait to get my copy.

ev said...

Glad to see I was not the only one having a problem. I was beginning to think it was my puter. eek!!

MK- I prefer Anita over Merry. I was actually a little disappointed in Mistral's Kiss. About 10 pages of story and the rest was all sex. Which is not a bad thing, but when I get a new book, I want story line. The best part was the ending and the battle that ensued.

I don't have a problem with having a friend with benefits. Before I was married I had one. Worked for us. At my age, I would not want to be on the dating scene again, so if I were single again, I would consider it. All the benes you want and none of the strings. And i don't think it is a generational thing either. I have friends much older than I who have the same type of arrangements. Successful women who don't want antoher relationship to complicate their lives at this stage but also aren't ready for the blue haired retirement community either. It's more of a mindset and knowing what YOU want not what every thinks you should be doing. Oh, and my friend and I are still in contact, but not physically. Still friends and we are happy with that.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Thanks, everybody. Even though we only had a little time to chat about this, I find your comments very thought-provoking.

Boston Legal has a cute sub-plot goin about BFw/B right now. I really like that show and am glad I took some time to watch last night.

So, Lenora. What are you doing in China? My daughter was born there, in Qidong, Hunan Province. It's not near anything, like,, six hours from the closest "larger" city of Changxa/Changsha. We're dying to get back to take our kids there. My daughter doesn't talk much about China or being adopted from there even though we give her lots of opportunities to do so, and to talk about her mother/birth mother and father. But a while ago she made a comment about being concerned that if we traveled back to China, we'd be wanting to maybe "return" her. Can you imaging? Luckily, I'd heard similar stories and was kinda sorta prepared for it.

China was wonderful. I can't wait to visit again when we can swing it.

Thanks everybody for being patient today and for writing in despite mean ol blogger.

Lenora Bell said...

Hi Michelle,

Thanks for asking. I was teaching English but now I'm trying out life as a full-time writer because my BF took a job as the exec chef at a hotel in Suzhou, Jiangsu and I got to tag along. I'm pretty new to the romance genre but I'm serious about pursuing publication for my Victorian gothic erotic romance now that I have more time to write.

Guess what? We spent nearly two years in Changsha, Hunan in 2000-2001 (but we never visited Qidong). We know so many great people in Changsha. If you visit again I should give you some phone numbers. Your daughter sounds so sweet. I've been thinking about adoption lately because I met some of the most adorable orphans over Christmas and I wanted to take them all home with me.

I blog about China sometimes at www.lenorabell.blogspot.com.

Julie in Ohio said...

CONGRATS, VIVI!! Nobody pushes Kat around...but Hades. I can't wait to read Inferno. :o)

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