First the contest plug, then the rant...
Eternally Yours Contest
What could you spend an eternity doing? What is your passion? Your hunger? Your deepest desire?
Each day beginning February 5 and running through February 14 one of the ten authors will complete the line, "My darling I could spend eternity…" on either their blog or website. Collect all ten answers and e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org with Eternally Yours in the subject line to win some hot, romantic books. There will be three lucky Valentine winners.
The prizes –
1st prize--5 books
2nd prize--3 books
3rd prize--2 books
Entries must be in by February 16 at midnight EST. All books and prize winners will be drawn randomly.
Sandra Cox Silverhills
Mona Risk To Love a Hero
Brynn Paulin Tribute For the Goddess
Bronwyn Green Mystic Circle
Cindy Spencer Pape Stone and Earth
N.J. Walters Seduction of Shamus O’Rourke
Elyssa Edwards Mating Stone
Amarinda Jones Shades of Gray
Kelly Kirch Time for Love
Anny Cook Honeysuckle
Also note that some of these authors will be participating in a lovely chat at Love Romances Cafe from 1pm to 8pm on February 4th to kick off the contest. If you haven't already joined, what are you waiting for? Trust me, you don't want to miss this contest.
Now the Ranting shall begin.
I find myself flabbergasted, disappointed and angry on behalf of the men in my life. While recently reading an erotic romance I ran across the following line:
“To men, physical love and emotional love are one and the same.”
This was the advice of a mother to a daughter when her daughter expressed her concerns that her mate/husband had not told her he loved her and spoke of love only as an action verb. I had a visceral reaction to this comment.
I don’t say this to brag or to seem like an expert, but I’m usually spot on about guys. They seem so simple to me —not intellectually but in terms of understanding what they are thinking and saying. I have a coworker who literally runs her dates past me for approval. A friend of mine commented, after reading my novels, that my male characters are among the most realistic he’s seen and that he could identify with them even if it was a romance novel and not his usual fare. It seems I only fail in his esteem when it comes to relating the man’s thoughts during sex, which my friend says are generally very basic and not very romantic. I must admit this flaw is intentional, I'm writing for women readers as a rule.
Perhaps the writer meant that men express emotional love physically. They do. Men are very driven by the physical. Absolutely. And as women are no longer taught to fear and feel shame over their own sexuality, needs and desires, we are also becoming more rooted in the physical. Look at the skyrocketing rise of erotic romance. Such things were beyond comprehension fifty years ago. Men might sneak naughty magazines but women? Never. Look at the number of women who are openly engaged in extramarital sex, premarital sex or “no way in hell I’m marrying this dude, but let’s have some fun” sex.
Back to my point. Men are physical, and we as women understand that a great deal of how they express what they feel is done physically. Often the time men best know how to and feel comfortable expressing their love and affection for their partner is during sex or sex play. This does not mean that men don’t know the difference between physical lovemaking and emotional love. It does not mean that they are one in the same. To claim such cheapens all male/female, and especially male/male, relationships. It is this attitude that perpetuates the idea that gay male relationships are merely about the physical act of love, making it easy to marginalize their relationships and make their needs and feelings base, crude and unimportant.
It is insulting. It is insulting to men and to those who love them to say that the men’s emotional loving is the same as the physical. Can you honestly say you don’t know a man who doesn’t know the difference between a hard on and love? Look at the clichéd excuse for infidelity, “Honey, it didn’t mean anything. It was just sex.” Men understand the difference. They feel the difference. To claim otherwise demeans them.
It demeans the men like my dad who spent twenty-five years at the side of his wife. Raised to be a “man” he doesn’t show affection where anyone else can see. But when she died from heart disease as he knelt by her bedside, the tears falling from his eyes don’t come because he is sorry he will miss her in his bed, but because his heart is breaking.