Today's Friday Video is all about sexually active senior citizens, but I had an email about it about a half hour ago that led to an interesting conversation. Meike wrote:
The desire for more mature characters in erotic romance fiction is becoming more important to me as I become one of them. It gets a little tiring to always read about these beautiful young bodies having this amazing sex. I would love to hear about the amazing sex us softer oldies are having. Sure, I read to escape, but I also like to feel a part of a story, feel like I can fully relate to the character. Hopefully authors will realize the babyboomers are ready for mature erotica.
I wrote back and asked, “Here's a question: do you like mature erotica that features older protagonists, or do you also have some interest in older heroines and younger men? Ellora's Cave did a series recently that was termed “cougar” lit – all about older women and younger men. Would that interest you, or do you want older protagonists together?”
Wow, I love the questions, thank you. I like both characters to be mature, but I also do enjoy “cougar” stories. However, I prefer those stories to be within a realistic age range, preferably less than 10 years and definitely less than 15 years. Looking back now, my 40's were a great time of awakening for me as a woman, but now into my 50's I'm having to adjust and accept different life limitations. I would love to read stories of people (couples) dealing with those issues of life. I recently read Joey Hill's “Afterlife”( A | BN | K | S ) and loved how the couple dealt with their 13 year age difference. However, I was quite surprised when it stated that she was 43 & he 30. It was hard for me to imagine a 30 yr old man having that type of maturity. It would have been more interesting to me and more real if the characters had been older. Yes, I would definitely love to read erotica about people in their 40's, 50's and 60's – life (and sex) doesn't end at 30.
So, time for Good Shit vs. Shit to Avoid! Several readers in the video comments mentioned Major Pettigrew's Last Stand ( A | BN | K | S ) by Helen Simonson, and while it is a secondary and not primary romance, I loved the story of Harry and Victoria in Jennifer Crusie's Trust Me On This ( A | BN | K | S ).
The thing with GS vs STA columns is that merely knowing the book is out there isn't enough – most readers want to have some recommendation for or against a book, so if you know a book is good, or not so good, and features protagonists over 40, please share! Note: I don't necessarily define “senior citizen” as “over 40″ but the most-often-seen age range for heroes and heroines is 20s-30s, with a few in their 40s showing up here and there. But what about romances where both are older? As Meike said so aptly, life and sex don't end at 30. (I should hope not – I left 30 awhile ago!)