It makes me happy to have Lise Horton as my guest, because she is a brilliant writer and my friend. We go way back! Her newest release, Hold Tight with Loose Id is hotter than lava and that is barely a metaphor. She is a voracious reader, I love to her talk literary to me! Read on to discover books that have inspired her, in honor of Banned Books Week…
…I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish Wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.
–James Joyce, Ulysses
Thinking as I do annually about Banned Books Week, I thought back to my (ahem) formative years, literarily speaking, and had an epiphany about what I love to read, and especially what I love to write.
From Ulysses to Fifty Shades, books have most often been banned not because of the violence they depict. Not for political reasons. Not because they foment bigotry or hatred. But because they depict S-E-X. Obscenity, or as the famous judge quipped, “I know it when I see it” – which to me is purely subjective personal judgement. Sex in literature is treated as something nasty, something to be hidden away, lest it corrupt us; when, in fact, depictions of adult human sexuality are based on, guess what: the real thing! That sort of important (and fun) activity we all participate in. Birds do it, bees do it and hello! Guys and gals do it, too! With great regularity. And amazing ingenuity.
As an author of kinky erotica and erotic romance I have come to discover that it was reading all manner of banned, salacious and graphic books, along with many others in my youth, that has led me to the balanced place I am today as a writer.
Some naughty tales I first partook of were historical epics by an author lost in the mists of my brain, but I later happened upon works by Anais Nin, Erica Jong, Henry Miller and Marilyn French’s The Women’s Room, in all their carnal glory. I devoured feminist tracts by Kate Millet and Simone de Beauvoir, along with earnest books like Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex and Our Bodies, Ourselves.
And into this cerebral cauldron went early romances, from Mary Stewart’s romantic suspense novels to the gothics of Victoria Holt. Books that hinted at attraction and love, but kept the bedroom door closed as tightly as could be. At a pivotal moment I read Love Story and there was no turning back!
What emerged from my odd amalgam of reading material was the magical spirit of frankness, romance and sexual curiosity that gave rise to my writing today. Writing where anything goes (as long as it is legal!) I am a feminist who believes that depicting a submissive woman in a BDSM relationship does not, in fact, go against my beliefs. A character choosing her path, sexually or otherwise, in pursuit of happiness and satisfaction, is a feminist in my mind. And adding romance to the mix is not dumbing down the human sexual experience, but rather projecting what so many of us yearn for – a trustworthy companion to share our life who happens to be as hungry for our body, as for our mind, or our heart, and soul. Rounding out the mix is the earthy carnality and unfettered lust that is part and parcel of the human condition. When not burdened with others’ mores as to what is “right” or “acceptable” men and women explore their sexual selves with great freedom. Happier and more accepting of others because of their understanding of themselves.
A wonderful mantra in the BDSM community is “My kink may not be your kink, but your kink is okay.” And “safe, sane and consensual” is a wonderful credo for everyone (vanilla or not so much) that urges us to look at the world around us and demand that adults get to go for their sexy gusto without censure or condemnation*. And that goes for what we want to read, as well!
It makes me smile to remember my favorite expression growing up – one which embarrassed my mother beyond belief.
“Whatever blows your skirt up!”
And would you look at that! I’ve grown into an author who writes exactly what blows my own way, way up – and hopefully, yours too. With that in mind, I’d like to urge everyone to turn themselves on.
In honor of Banned Books Week, read a dirty book today!
She felt every stroke, every sensation, as he possessed her completely. His hands gripped her thighs, holding her steady so he could force his way in as deep as possible. The stretching of tissues, the friction, the pain, the possession, his words, his grunts and growls barreled up and up, and everything began to tighten and coil deep inside, like a spring, poised to fly, to send her into an orgasm so monstrous she might not survive.
–Lise Horton, Hold Tight
* I advocate sexual freedom only among consenting adults. I do not condone fetishes that fall into the realm of abuse, pedophilia, bestiality, etc.
I know you enjoyed Lise’s passage from Hold Tight, click on your preferred format below to get your copy!