Saturday, October 29, 2011

Flavors of Sex: Readers Weigh In

by Ann Leveille, editor

Though I was running a bit late after lunch that first Romanticon© day, I wanted to know what was up with the delicious-sounding 31 Flavors of Sex panel and ventured forth to listen to what authors Desiree Holt, Allie Standifer, Cerise DeLand and Samantha Cayto had to say. And I’m glad I did, because I gleaned some interesting tips from the no-holds-barred discussion that those wildly funny ladies had going.
(Please be warned, I didn’t number my pages of notes, so if you attended the workshop and my order of discussion seems a bit…out of order, well, that’s why.)

Heavenly Hash, in the panel authors’ terminology, is just about any kind of group sex. They emphasized that the complications and difficulties of Heavenly Hash were the dynamics between the participants and the logistical aspects. Many panel attendees said that they preferred some sort of polyamorous relationship in the end to just having the Hash as an aspect of a more traditionally coupled story. (So go, ménage authors!) Desiree Holt confessed that she uses a certain brand of not quite anatomically correct dolls to act out her multi-partner sex scenes. She’s apparently broken off a few legs during her plotting stages.

As part of the discussion the authors asked about the male-female-male ménage. Readers agreed with the panel that the fun of that kind of relationship is that the focus is all on the central female character, the character with whom they most closely relate. However, the attendees were also clear that they liked to have an emotional connection of some sort between the male participants in ménage relationships, even if they weren’t physically interested in each other.

French Vanilla, defined as a male performing oral sex, was referred to as an “art form”. Authors and readers agreed that they didn’t want a male down there who didn’t know what he was doing.

Phish Phood, or sex on the beach, was only briefly touched on. Most agreed that while it sounded really romantic, there are a lot of practical considerations that can ruin the mood. (However, those considerations can be worked around, and attendees had some great ideas how to make the actual deed read as romantic an act as it sounds like it could be!)

I was happy to see that there was time spent on Rocky Road, or BDSM, and that I didn’t miss that discussion. Audience members said that they didn’t necessarily like submissive (doormat-y) heroines but that there was a lot of appeal to the strong woman who wanted someone to take over for a while. Some commented that they were drawn to the idea of BDSM in real life but that the question of who to trust left them preferring their fantasies on the page instead.

The panel agreed the BDSM is a misunderstood flavor in a lot of ways. It’s not just about hitting a person or making them submit or serve. They emphasized that BDSM requires intimacy, trust, emotion and respect between participants. There is, it was emphatically stated, more trust in a BDSM relationship than in any other relationship.

As things wound down, the panel threw out a few questions. One interesting one was if the audience had a preference for circumcised or uncircumcised male parts. While attendees preferred their men cut by a respectable margin, there were some holdouts for the au natural in the group. Panel authors were unsurprised and commented that in the United States readers tended to prefer the former, but international readers weren’t as fazed by the latter, as circumcision isn’t as widespread overseas.

My only regret is that I missed some of the fascinating flavors that these delightful authors came up with. I would have loved to have heard what they had to say about Icing on the Cake (Exhibitionist Sex), Chunky Monkey (Shape shifter sex) and Cappuccino Crunch (Morning sex). Oh and maybe Vanilla Fudge Twirl (Masturbation) and African Vanilla (Interracial sex). And Tutti Frutti (Same-sex sex). Okay, honestly, I’d have loved to have heard them all!

But let me put the questions to our dear Redlines and Deadlines readers: What do you think about the flavors of sex? Is there anything in particular that you’d like to share? What turns you on about fill-in-the-blank flavor when you read it? Inquiring minds want to know!


T. said...

I want the sex to be part of the story. Escalating sexual tension is what I love most - I honestly don't mind waiting for three or four books for the protagonists to get it on; anticipation is sweet.

Bill Greer said...

What flavor is mile-high sex?

Barbara Elsborg said...

Something dark and dangerous and daring?
er - chocolate icecream flavored with Marmite.
(Might have to be a Brit to get that! - once tasted -never forgotten)