The Case for BODICE RIPPER SEX ED by @TaylorLeeWrites

Bodice RipperWhen CNN featured the life of Jackie Collins whose books sold over 500 million copies worldwide and were translated into 40 different languages (and who some call the birthmother of the bodice ripper), I grinned at a quote from Collins’s fellow romantic writer Barbara Cartland. Calling Collin’s first book “nasty, filthy and disgusting,” Cartland added that Collins “was responsible for creating every pervert in Britain.” BTW, Collins’s novel The World Is Full of Married Men was banned in Australia and South Africa, but proved a hit with her British and US audiences.

The exchange reminded me of a great article in none other than the Gray Lady herself, the New York Times, titled: “Romance Novels Are The Best Sex-Ed.”

Seriously, this is news

The New York Times’ article, “We Need Bodice-Ripping Sex Ed” was written by contributing opinion writer Jennifer Weiner. In her clever, insightful article, Weiner claims that she got a smidgen of information about sex from her well-meaning parents. Another sliver came from junior high sex ed classes that named body parts and detailed all the bad things that can happen to you if you have sex. (Think hideous diseases and, of course, the ultimate curse, pregnancy.) Fortunately for Weiner, like a lot of us, she was a reader. And what did she read? Yep, you guessed it: Romance novels.

Weiner throws a bone to the likely readers of the NYT when she concedes:  “The literary establishment doesn’t have much love for women’s fiction, whether it’s romance, erotica or popular novels about love and marriage.”  She adds, “Romance novels come in for an extra helping of scorn. Critics sneer that they’re all heaving bosoms and throbbing manhoods, unrealistic, poorly written and politically incorrect.”

Not so, says Weiner. In the central theme of the article she insists, as an information-hungry teenager, the romance novels she read, “for all their soft core covers and happily-ever-afters, were quietly and not so quietly subversive. These books taught readers that sexual pleasure was something women could not just hope for but insist upon. They shaped my interactions with boys and men. And they helped make me a feminist.”

True Vindication for the Bodice Ripper

WOW! True vindication for those of us as teenagers hid in the closet, gobbling up everything from Gone with the Wind (you know the scene on the stairs when Rhett apparently has his way with a blushing Scarlet…) to Judith Krantz, to Erica Jong, etc., etc. Without understanding that we were being “brainwashed,” we romance readers came to believe that female pleasure was a must, something that we should insist upon.

Weiner explains, “Because these books were written for and consumed by women, female pleasure was an essential part of every story. Villains were easy to spot: they were the ones who left a woman “burning and unsatisfied.” She cites Shirley Conran’s “LACE” that features a heroine telling her feckless husband that she used an egg-timer to determine how long it took her to achieve orgasm on her own and that she’d be happy to teach him what to do.” Weiner adds with what I’m sure was a grin, “At 14, I never looked at hard- boiled eggs the same way again.”

Bring in the #MeToo Movement

Weiner takes her argument in favor of romance novels into the political issue of the day, the #MeToo Movement.  She quotes Bea Koch, the co-owner of the Ripped Bodice bookstore who says, “Romance novels teach readers that all partners are equal participants in a sexual relationship….In some instances it can be a literal roadmap for how to bring up difficult topics with a partner. They give a roadmap to people wanting to experiment with their sexuality, or even get in touch with what they want and need in a sexual relationship.”

Are romance novels “just porn” as so many reviewers sniff?  Given the rampant availability of porn, that is a worthwhile question to ask.  One recent study found that “79 percent of men and 76 percent of women look at a pornographic website at least every month, another that three out of 10 men in that age group were daily viewers.” In contrast, those of us who read and write about a range of intimacy know that while “sex might be easy, relationships are hard.” Comparing romance novels to porn, Weiner says, “The book has the ability to paint a deeper picture. A 400 page novel can teach you more about relationships that any X-rated clip.”

Equal Empowerment

In the current climate where so many people, men and women, are wrestling with crossed wires and mixed signals, Weiner concludes, “If we want men and women equally empowered to form real connection, to talk honestly and openly about who they are and what they want, there are worse places to start than curling up with a good book.”

Amen.

****

P.S. If you like your Bodice Ripper books with no holds barred, check out:  JAKE: The Justice Brothers Series. Trust me. These guys and gals don’t need egg-timers!

Jake Taylor Lee

It’s FREE August 27- 31!!!

  • The new Tribal Police Chief, determined to go-it-alone, is as brazen as she is beautiful
  • The sophisticated Commander of the DPD, is the acknowledged law enforcement leader in the state–and the one Justice Brother no woman has been able to snare
  • The murder of a young Native girl threatens their professional relationship and puts their passionate love affair in the crosshairs
  • Together they discover that Justice—like Love– isn’t always fair or

WARNING: Romance so HOT it singes the pages.  HOT, tough, explicit. Not for the faint at heart.  Definitely bring a fan!

And if you can’t get enough of sexy heroes and heroines grab a terrific collection by my author friends.:

Unforgettable Deceptions: Heartbreak and Revenge

Unforgettable Deceptions H and R

My book in the Box Set is: 

Betrayed Taylor Lee

BETRAYED 

A rising-star political hotshot wants Viviana’s expertise and to bask in her media aura. And not incidentally, he wants her. 

Viviana is hard enough to control. Now Jax has to fend off an interloper who is almost as sexy and arrogant as he is. And that’s saying something.

In the ultimate betrayal, Viviana is forced to acknowledge that her infamous go-it-alone MO has not served her well. In fact, she almost loses everything important to her, including the man she loves above all else.

 

Food – Almost Better Than Sex by @TaylorLeeWrites #Giveaway

What’s Almost Better Than Sex? Why food, of course!  Remember, I did say almost. Next to writing sexy romantic thrillers, along with my very special guy, I enjoy, make that—lust after food. I love to cook it, eat it, discuss it, and frankly, play with it. Which for sensualists is totally understandable given that food in all its glorious iterations is sensuality personified. As Robin Leach says in his intro to Amy Reiley’s terrific sensual cookbook Fork Me, Spoon Me, “Forget the bedroom. The new sensual spot is in the kitchen—the perfect foreplay to getting hot and steamy, at—or on—the counter.”

Fork Me, Spoon Me

Face it. What can be more erotic than paging through glorious recipes featuring lusciously beautiful, tasty food in preparation for a special night—or morning or mid-afternoon with your special guy? To me, one of the best indicators of a man’s sensual “acumen” is how he relates to food. Does he eat for the pleasure of it as well to satisfy his hunger? Does he choose food based on color, taste, texture and aroma? And the real test, does he like to play with his food, eat with his fingers and of course to feed succulent pieces to you?

Two of my favorite cookbooks are InterCOURSES; An Aphrodisiac Cookbook by Martha Hopkins and Randall Lockridge, and Reiley’s Fork Me Spoon Me. Both books feature tantalizing recipes guaranteed to liven your tastes buds and stoke your hormones. They are encyclopedias to the time-honored aphrodisiac powers of various foods. The pictures alone are sensual visual treats. So, grab your favorite guy/gal and head to the kitchen—the new sensual hot spot!

InterCourses Cookbook

Enter the Giveaway!

Contact me on Facebook and I will draw two winners. One will receive InterCourses: An aphrodisiac Cookbook, the other will receive Fork Me Spoon Me.

And while you’re grabbing that breath, grab my New Release: Don’t Stop Believin’, Book 4 of The Olive or Twist Saga.

Don't Stop Believin

As Cole began to uncover the signs of the hideous crime perpetrated on the lovely woman, he vows to bring the perpetrators to justice. The question is whether even the powerful district attorney can convince the challenged woman that she is worthy of his love.

Grab Don’t Stop Believin’ and restore your belief in the power of love to heal the most devastating wounds.

If you like smart characters, formidable issues and scorching passion, you’ll love Taylor Lee’s sizzling thrill-ride.

WARNING: Romance so HOT it singes the pages. HOT, tough, explicit. Not for the faint at heart. Definitely bring a fan!

Who Needs A Shot In The Arm? by @TaylorLeeWrites

Shot In The ArmWe all do. That shot in the arm I’m referring to is the Covid 19 vaccine. We now have passed the one-year anniversary of living amid a devastating pandemic. The statistics are horrific. Thirty million people in the United States alone have been infected by Covid 19 and more than five hundred and fifty thousand Americans have died from the virus.  Untold millions of people—men, women, and children—have suffered economically, socially, personally, and medically from this once in a century catastrophe.

My guy and I are social beings. We love music, art, the theater, and hanging out in sports bars. We are super connected to our families and can’t imagine not celebrating every holiday and special occasion without them. And, yet, that is what we have had to do this last challenging year.

Along Comes a Shot in the Arm

But then the miracle of scientific miracles came along in the form of a shot in the arm. We now have not one but three—with more on the way—life saving vaccines.

I got my second shot in the arm in a huge sports area along with thousands of other excited and grateful people. I was far from the only one who jumped out of my car and insisted that I get my picture taken with the first responders giving the shots. It felt like we all were part of a determined army insisting that we truly could turn the corner.

Now to my dismay I’m hearing about a scary new issue. Vaccine hesitancy. For some, it’s fear from past discriminatory practices associated with vaccines. For others, it’s a fear of what they see as medical conspiracies. And now there is a new group who say they won’t get the vaccine for political reasons. Ouch!

Let’s Live Life! Get That Shot!

I’m spoiled; I don’t mind admitting it. I want to eat in restaurants. Going to a movie theater is a favorite pastime of mine. I want to watch my sports teams in person. And most of all I want to hug my grandsons. I’ll also admit I’m a caring person and would never forgive myself if I caused someone to get sick or die because I refused to take precautions.

So please, guys, whatever your fears or reasons, let’s join together and defeat this Covid 19 monster. Roll up your sleeve and get that shot in the arm.

And while you’re waiting for your shot, treat yourself to my latest book in The Olive or Twist Saga.

Challenging Year

He’s a hard as nails police chief.  She’s a feisty ADA. The one thing they have in common is arrogance.  Sparks flare when the challenging duo face off.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want is the third standalone book in The Olive or Twist Saga, a steamy romantic suspense series. If you like smart characters, cops, courts, and scorching passion, then you’ll love this sizzling thrill-ride. Grab You Can’t Always Get What You Want to get hot under the collar today!

~  ~  ~

And while you are at it pick up a copy of Unforgettable Revenge: Glory and Satisfaction. Eight New York Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling Authors have joined forces to bring you fast-paced love stories so filled with passion and danger, you won’t want to put it down.

Topaz

 

My book in the collection is Topaz, part of the provocative Ladies of the Night series. The Ladies are covert agents in a secretive, off the grid security organization. Highly trained fighters, they’re as gorgeous as they are dangerous. The only thing these formidable women are NOT is “ladies.”

A Challenging Year … Enter “Mattress Mack” by @TaylorLeeWrites

To say this has been a challenging year is a massive understatement. But then how do we describe, much less fathom, a year when half a million Americans have died from Covid 19? Add that millions of people have lost their jobs, foodbanks are running out of food, schools are operating at half-mast… the list goes on. A breathtakingly challenging year indeed.

But I’m an optimist at heart and was beginning to think we might be turning the corner. On a personal level, my “guy” underwent months of radiation treatment and his prognosis is encouraging. We made it through the holidays. Hopefully next year I will be able to celebrate with my daughters and grandsons. The election drama is over. Help from the federal government to people in desperate need seems to be on the way. I got my first vaccine shot. Yep, I thought, maybe the challenging year was behind us and things were beginning to look up. I decided we might be able to get back to living life again.

And then the storm of a decade (century?) hit Texas. As of Sunday, more than 14 million Texans were under orders to boil their water before drinking it–or did not have water. Millions lost power.  We saw pictures of families putting on all their clothes and huddling under covers with their kids in below zero temperatures. Across the state, neighbors lined up at municipal spigots for water, melted snow to flush their toilets, and lined up for food at poorly stocked grocery stores and food banks. The scenes were devastating. So much for optimism.

Just when I was about to give into depression, along came Mattress Mack! In case you missed the story, Mattress Mack, otherwise known as James F. McIngvale, is a Houston furniture store owner who was known to dress up in a mattress in his television commercials. According to the Associated Press, seeing his fellow Texans cold and hungry, with little shelter from the winter storm, Mattress Mack opened his doors. In the last week thousands spent a few hours on armchairs and couches to warm up, or slept on their choice of beds in the 100,000 square foot showroom. Little kids played on playground equipment. They ate donated food or food paid for by Mr. McIngvale. McIngvale said, “When my people are dying and freezing, I am going to take care of them,” he said. “That comes before profit every time.”

I don’t know about you, but knowing that there are people like Mattress Mack, selfless beacons of hope in decidedly crummy times, is inspiring.  It might even confirm that being a “cock-eyed” optimist is at least worth considering. Onward.

On a decidedly optimistic note, my latest book goes live today.

Challenging Year

He’s a hard as nails police chief.  She’s a feisty ADA. The one thing they have in common is arrogance.  Sparks flare when the challenging duo face off. You Can’t Always Get What You Want is the third standalone book in The Olive or Twist Saga, a steamy romantic suspense series. If you like smart characters, cops, courts, and scorching passion, then you’ll love this sizzling thrill-ride. Grab your copy of You Can’t Always Get What You Want to get hot under the collar today!