Erotic Romance, Menage, and Butter over at Kirkus Reviews

A short announcement that my column for Kirkus Reviews is up – and I’m talking about erotic romance, menage, and butter. No, really.

I cannot believe they kept the title I suggested. Go, Kirkus!

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  1. 1
    Carrie Sessarego says:

    Love your column, SB Sarah!

  2. 2
    Joanna S. says:

    I have to say that “co-nookial bliss” has to be a new favorite phrase of mine from you – and you have given me so many!  However, this one…

    *kisses fingertips*

    Brilliant!

  3. 3
    Scraps says:

    Excellent column Sarah!

    I have to say that one of the VERY best menage books I’ve ever, ever read (4 times) was Something New by Cameron Dane and published by Loose Id LLC.  The amazing depth of the character’s relationships and the growth and development gave me chills.  The first time the three of them were physically intimate…ohhhh….*shudder*. And the m/m scenes were the hotest I’ve ever read – even taking into account m/m erotica (from the same author).  Honestly, my husband got more nookie every time I read this book.  I’d highly, highly recommend.

    Spam word: federal23.  I used to make 23 different federal cases AGAINST menage until I read a good one.  Now you can’t keep me away!

  4. 4
    Cathy B says:

    Great article, Sarah.
    And since you’ve raised the menage topic….
    I read this article


    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/breaking-news/gang-rape-fears-over-calvin-klein-advert/story-e6freonf-1225941004937 

    in my local newspaper a couple of weeks ago. The link goes through to this article.


    http://melindatankardreist.com/2010/10/sexual-assault-counsellor-asks-why-is-it-ok-to-use-sexual-violence-as-a-marketing-tool/ 

    Now, I agree with the principle that advertising is over-sexualised – but that’s nothing new. Sex sells. The issue I have here is – that picture doesn’t look like a gang rape to me. It doesn’t look terribly comfortable, mind you, but… it looks more like a consensual menage. If I was CK I’d be pretty annoyed at being accused of glorifying gang rape. Why is the assumption made that just because there appear to be more than two people involved in sexual activity in this picture – although a couple of the guys actually look half asleep – that it can’t be consensual?

  5. 5
    MaryK says:

    Thanks for the heads up.  I haven’t been able to figure out how to subscribe to or RSS feed Kirkus’ blogs.

  6. 6
    Megaera says:

    I would love to find more lists of recommendations like this.  I’ve gone looking for menage books and other erotic romance, and there’s so much out there that it’s hard to sort out the books good enough to spend my extremely limited dollars on.  When I buy one and it turns out to be a dud it’s really disappointing.

  7. 7
    orangehands says:

    Can’t say I’m a huge reader of menages, or erotic romance, (or that I want to be), but one of things I find interesting is some stories have one person as the object of the other twos’ affection, and others have all three people share in sexual relations with each on a one-on-one basis. (To clarify: One story has three ways but it’s about two people sharing the third’s body, and the others have each three sexually attracted to each other so that taking one person out of the relationship doesn’t mean they won’t have sex.)

    Cathy B: I’m not sure how much I think that specific picture looks like gang rape (I’m not able to see their facial expressions very well), but CK has a long history of glamorizing rape and sexual violence in their pictures.

    Ms Grundy said advertisers were blurring the line between rape and group sex and the Calvin Klein poster was “clearly intimating” the gang rape of a woman.

    I think she isn’t saying it’s gang rape because there is more than two people involved (her “group sex”), but that it’s gang rape because most advertising pictures like that have female models with fearful faces and have the male models in aggressive poses. Does that specific picture fit the bill? I can’t tell. But considering CK’s history I don’t trust them to show any kind of sexualized image that isn’t trying to degrade or be violent towards women, and I also don’t trust them to show an equal partnership between however many men and one woman. (Or hell, an equal partnership of any gender ratio.)

  8. 8
    Khenta says:

    Great column!

    Why not sextet menage? Are there even beds big enough?  LOL…

    My favorite menage stories are Rachel Bo’s contemporary “Double Jeopardy” (the first in the series, but not the sequels), and Jet Mykles’s paranormal “Leashed”-series. Oh, and Angela Knight’s vampire novella “Soul Kisses”.

    Spamword medical39: Yes, I work in the medical field, and I will turn 39… for the n-th time… ;)

  9. 9
    Brigit says:

    What puts me off most menage stories is the D/s (or BDSM) content in many of them.
    Why must menage relationships always be portrayed as such? Is it because they are published by small erotica publishers (who specialize in kink -for lack of better phrasing-)?
    I don’t want to read about female subs, being topped by one man, let alone 2. Not my cuppa tea.

  10. 10
    darlynne says:

    Another great column, SBSarah. I enjoy your perspective on all things romance-novel.

    The few menage I’ve read always—and I mean 100%—had a despicable villain and something, usually a terrifying and painful past, one of the M’s had to overcome. Fear played a huge factor in bringing the trio together and I found that really distasteful. Apparently I am reading the wrong books. Thanks for the list.

  11. 11
    Suzanne says:

    Loved the article Sarah, I’m so glad that you are writing for Kirkus because I’m new to the romance genre, so these articles are like a primer for a newcomer to the genre.

    I started reading historical romances and love them (the few contemporaries I’ve read just haven’t drawn me in as much). I especially enjoyed Anne Stuart’s House of Rohan trilogy…..and then discovered Jess Michaels, who does historical romance/erotica very well!!!

    I’d love to hear recommendations for other authors I should check out, that are in the same ‘dark hero’ vein as Anne Stuart and sexy as Jess Michaels. Woot!

  12. 12

    Loved this, Sarah!  There’s nothing like a well-written erotic romance.  Very satisfying, pun intended.

    Lauren Dane’s Laid Bare presents a great menage, that’s revisited briefly in Coming Undone.  (Also, the characters and story in both of these books are fantastic.)

    I also really enjoyed Opal Carew’s Forbidden Heat—superhot M/M action, plus an interesting relationship between all three main characters.

    Finally, Sheri Whitefeather’s got some fun menage scenes in Masquerade.  (Granted, one of the dudes is totally emo and the heroine isn’t that likable, but whoo, those bedroom scenes are awesome!)

    england35: I want to visit England before I’m 35 (5 years to go!).

  13. 13
    Donna says:

    Oh, I have to agree; I LOVED Laid Bare. She’s grown the relationship between Erin, Todd & Ben through out the series. It’s a thing of beauty.  I’d also have to recommend Emma Holly’s comtemporary erotic romances. Personal Assests is the gold standard by which I judge others in the genre. It’s too bad she’s gotten into this whole PNR thing, because they just aren’t as emotionally interesting. And that’s the key. The acrobatic explicite nonstop sex is fine, but without some fine character building behind it… Meh.

  14. 14
    SB Sarah says:

    Thank you so much for the kudos and compliments!! If you have any ideas of a subject I should cover, please, let me know – I’m so so pleased to know you’re enjoying the columns.

  15. 15
    Christy says:

    Can you keep linking on this blog when you post a new column on Kirkus?  I love to read your columns there but am wilting at the idea of signing up for another feed.  (I know that it’s reading the same amount of info, it must be psycological)  :)
    Thanks!

  16. 16
    Suzanne says:

    I agree with Christy! I receive the SB blog in my email inbox and that’s how I found out about your Kirkus column, so yes, please continue to announce each new column here so we can click the link and read it!

    As I mentioned in my earlier comment, I’m new to the romance genre and my interest is in historical romance. However, I recently read a review of a romance written by a woman that involved two men (no women). The question it raised was: a) do women read these m/m romances? b) why would a woman write a romance about two men? Please excuse the naivete of this question, I don’t mean for this to sound stilted, I’m just curious, because I can’t imagine reading anything other than a romance between a man and a woman?

  17. 17

    Cathy B makes a good point…The girl looks turned on and it looks more like erotic photography than a ‘gang rape’. Maybe they should teach the difference of aggressive males/females in images and passive males/females in images. The one guy has a hand on the other’s back…and looks very turned on.

    If it was supposed to represent a gang rape…they’d actually be holding her down and it’d look a heck of a lot more violent. She’d probably look terrified and scared…She looks damn happy to me. I used to do a lot of volunteering at a women`s shelter and did several training courses for it.

  18. 18

    Crumb…sorry that was a comment for another post.

    I meant to say that I recently got into Lorelei Jame`s`Rough Rider`s series. They ever hot… :P

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