Squawk Radio

Monday, September 04, 2006

LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX, BABY


When my dear friend, Elizabeth Bevarly, invited me to be a guest blogger here in Squawkland, I was, needless to say, honored. But then I had to think of a blogworthy topic. So I’m goin’ with sex ; ) Sex sells, you know – especially right now. It’s all the rage in the romance market. And people generally like sex. I know I do, and I bet you do, too : )

If current trends in the romance market are any indication, women are loving sex these days, which is cool, because it happens to be a pretty big element in all of my novels. In fact, my latest, SWEPT AWAY, is the first single title novel launching the steamy new Avon Red line, like, right now, today (and at a bookstore near you!)

People say to me, “Toni – what’s a nice girl like you doing writing about sex all the time?” I grew up in the Bible belt, people, and I still live there, so sometimes it’s an issue. Sometimes old ladies scowl at me. Sometimes smarmy men look at me as if writing about sex equals wanting to have it – with them. Can I hear a chorus of “Eeee-ewwwwe”s?

But here’s why I write about sex. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t write about it because I think it’s frivolous and giggle-worthy. I write about sex because I think it is trés important in a relationship and trés important to who we are as women. And I think a whole lot of the female identity is somehow tied up in how society has treated women and sex.

When it comes right down to it, women’s sexual history in the United States can be summed up like this: You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t ; ) When I was growing up, you were supposed to be a nice girl. Now you’re supposed to be a sex kitten. Or that’s what I gather when I watch the E! channel anyway. Thing is, I kinda don’t think most of us are either/or. I think we can all be nice girls and sex kittens and about a gazillion other things in between. Thus, in my books, I really strive to create heroines who personify this – women who are embracing their sexuality but also have a heck of a lot more going for them than just that.

Okay, I’ve gone all feminism on you, haven’t I? I really didn’t mean to – honest. Later his afternoon, in Part 2 of my blog, we’ll get back to the sex. Not the feminist part of it – just the good, hot stuff ; ) For now, though, feel free to share your thoughts on what you’ve read so far. Do you believe sexy romance novels can qualify as feminist literature? Or do you think I’m deluding myself? Or maybe you think I’m just getting way too serious because you read romance purely for the fun of it? Let me know – I want to hear what you’ve got to say.
Christina Dodd, 11:19 PM
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