Thursday, August 27, 2009

Seduction....How do you like yours?

Ok, admittedly, this pic is pretty risque! But I'm a hussy, and I LOVE this pic. Plus, it gives the right tone for my post.

You see, VampFanGirl and I had a chat last week about one of my guilty reading pleasures and that is the forced seduction.

Those 'bodice rippers' of long ago were famous for this, and as a result so controversial. But with the boom, or bloom of erotic romance, the alpha male who isn't going to take no for answer has resurfaced.

Now, I do not mean rape. Although, I did just attend a Women's Health conference for the day job and they had an esteemed professor talk about women's fantasies. She went on to explain each one in depth, including the most controversial one--which tops the list of fantasies. The rape scenario.

The whole room (which were health professionals)gasped, including, hussy me. I was shocked. But broken down, and in the professors words, it all made sense. There's an element of danger, with a strong, forceful male that calls to the 'primitive' female side of us, that soceity cannot break down. It's in XY DNA. We have an intrinsic need for males to compete for us, to fight for us. It's that DNA that says 'yeah, this man can protect and provide for me, and the children he'll give me'. Then there is the overwhelming feeling of being desired. So desired and wanted that the male is prepared to cross lines to have you. Then, and the most important part, the fantasy plays out as the woman wishes. After all, it's in her mind, and she can stop it whenever she wants. That's the definitive point of the fantasy.

So, really, to me, the 'rape fantasy' is more of a forced seduction in my mind. You know the scene, the hero wants the heroine, despite everything. She says no, he says 'c'mon', and he goes about making her change her mind. Again, it's the overwhelming feeling of being wanted and desired. Which, really, us women want. There's the element of danger with a man who is in charge and strong. It makes us wonder how is the hero going to get her to change her mind? Force? Skills? Talk?

The forced seduction scene is still controversial, despite the plethora of graphic sex, in all forms in romance. And this is, admittedly a controversial post to some. But as this is a blogging bordello for HOT historicals, I thought I would throw it out for food for thought.

Do you like the forced seduction angle, and if not, do you think you could ever be persuaded to read a book that had a scene in it? If you thought of it as fantasy, would it work better? Do you think forced seductions work best in historicals, or in any genre?


ranearia said...

Maybe because I grew up reading the old "Bodice rippers" It doesn't bother me, there has been one or two novels I've read when it's down right rape of the female lead that was a hard pill to shallow no matter what angle you look at it.
But when it comes to forced seduction it's okay( as long as it's written well ;P)

Amanda McIntyre said...

I wonder too, if the forced seduction scenario works better in historical rather than in contemporary for example, simply because of the social standards back then. Women were supposed to be chaste, not have sexual desires. It made it so much easier for an aplha male to seduce a woman with his animal magnatism as it were.

Now days, with women embracing their sexuality, their desires and yes, even their dominant role in sex- the "reasons" are perhaps not the same as back in the day.

These days, a womans reason might be that she loathes the man for some reason, feels a competition to him, but is physically drawn to him--maybe their personalities are very much the same?

In some cases, maybe she is emotinally vulnerable and easily seduced.

Her battling her independence and her desires-I've seen that type of scene carried out more in modern day novels.

Like Rane said though,either way, in any era, its a senstive thing to write.

Amanda M

Cecile said...

I can only imagine how it would be write this kind of scene. How to handle it. But to read it and be drawn to it... I agree with Amanda about the time period though.
IMHO... If we, as women, really admitted what is in our mind when it comes to the sexual fantasy... forced seduction works. There is a need to be dominated by the male. That is why we call him Alpha. Back then it was just easier to accept that he "had" to persudae the woman to want him. Today, we would look at him and say "yea,right... and laugh." But in the back of our minds, we would so love to see him fight and claw his way to have his way with us. Rape is another issue, when is the line drawn? How do you know it has been drawn? I have not read a book yet, where it verred towards rape. I would imagine that would be difficult to read. Especially in any type of romance book. But in life, you know when no is no and no is NO!
Great post Charlotte! Gets people thinking about how they view their sex scenes and the seduction game. Not sure if I made any sense or not... I will ponder some more and come back later...

Charlotte Featherstone said...

All good thoughts, everyone. I haven't read a book yet either where those scenes verge on rape.

I would though, I guess, question the historical context vs modern day sensibilities. It could be just my own personal situation/feelings, but to me, now more than ever, women need to feel protected, provided for. That's all part of a fantasy.

Did you guys knwo that in North America, that women have now surpassed men in the money making area. Not the elite levels, but at the middle income level. They work, they're wives, mother, carrying out those expected XY characteristics, and also taking on XX characteristics of being the bread winner. So I can see the fantasy/feelings of the modern woman verring towards that time when it was okay to have a man provide.

Anyway, that's getting too philosophical (and I know I butchered that spelling!)

All good food for thought!!!!!!

VampFanGirl said...

Sigh....I love forced seduction scenes. In my opinion, there's not enough in romance but I can understand the reasons. As the modern woman has evolved, so have our ideals.

But I think you're right Charlotte. As the modern woman has taken on more and more resposibility in terms of career and goals, we've lost the need for the dominant male as the sole provider and bread winner.

And yes, the rape senario does call to our inner primative side and I think you describe that need perfectly.

I don't think that forced seduction scenes should be relegated to one specific subgenre. I can see possibilities in contemporary, paranormal and urban fantasy but you don't read much of it. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to think of a scene I've read....hmmm nope. Nothing springs to mind. I wonder why this is? Is it due to the readers our the publishers?

I think that with the fast rise of hotter and more extreme sex in today's average romance, the forced seduction scene will come more into play. People will continue to push boundaries with their desires.

I think it's more than obvious that I'm game for a reemergence of this sexual scenario.

;) VFG

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Well, from one Hussy to another, I'm game as well!!! :)

VampFanGirl said...

Oh! I forgot to say that I'm lovin' that pic Charlotte. Yowzaa!!!

VampFanGirl said...

Hussies UNITE!!!

Charlotte Featherstone said...

OH, I totally love that pic. And I forgot to tell that's me, with Lord Craven-Moore! :)

Genella deGrey said...

Even before I started writing, I didn't like heroes who came off as assholes. I've had quite enough asshole men in my life. LOL

So if the 'save the puppy' moments are before the forced seduction, I won't mind - because I will probably be in love with the hero already.


Charlotte Featherstone said...

Genella, very valid point!!!!

booklover1335 said...

give me a bodice/bra ripper and I am a happy reader! I too am a fan of forced bring it on Charlotte :)

Cecile said...

Hussies ~ United we stand....!!!=)
Oh Charlotte... You and the Lord... WoWoWoWoWoWoW!!!

Oh I agree Genella... the forcer doesn't (and in my mind won't be) has to be an aserhole.
And I also agree that with the times, we have women have changed. I am all for woman power and us being strong and all that. I work full time, full time mom, wife, head cook, cleaning lady, taxi driver... whatever... but in my mind, I would love for a man to pick me up and have his way with me... and use a little force once in a while! To show me that he can!
Great post Charlotte....
Oh and Charlotte... don't forget to head on over to my place... we are discussing Birthdays... =)

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Booklover, I'll bring it on, and dedicate it to you and VFG, and forced seductions hussies you!!!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE FS books! My dirty little secret!

I like those types of books, but unfortunately I think it is not "PC" to write books with these scenes so I do not find them very often.
I do prefer FS in historicals.

Any suggestions for books (especially historicals) that have FS scenes?

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Anon, let me think on this, and I'll get you a list.

Anonymous said...

Ty Charlotte, I appreciate it!

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