Last week in one of my favorite TV shows, HBO’s True Blood, Sookie finally has sex with the vampire, Bill, and allows him to bite her neck. While she’s giddily telling Lafayette, the cook at the bar where she works, about her experience, she mentions that when Bill first bit her neck it did hurt, but then she felt euphoric. Lafayette remarks that he’s all for great sex, but when there’s blood involved that’s “crossing the line.”

We all know erotic romance has been pushing the envelope (straining the condom?) more and more each year. Different publishers have guidelines about what is and is not acceptable in the sexual arena. But are those lists of guidelines getting shorter and shorter?

Bondage – OK. Golden showers – not OK. Sex with a werewolf – OK. Sex with an animal – not OK. Ménage a trois – OK. Gang bang – not OK. Are these fine lines, or does the “ick” factor rule the day? Of course, one person’s “ick” might be another’s “mmm.” Although, I do believe there are universal “icks”—deviant behavior, behavior harmful to non-consenting people, illegal behavior, etc. I think those will always remain off-limits to publishers of erotic romance (although perhaps not to publishers of erotica).

At the end of the scene between Sookie and Lafayette (who’s gay, by the way and earns extra cash by starring in his own homemade porn videos), Lafayette gushes to Sookie that if you don’t cross lines in life, you’re not truly living. But then when Sookie walks away, he mutters, “Skank.” LOL – I guess for Lafayette, Sookie crossed that line.

Do you have a "no-crossing line" for erotic romance?


Jill James said...

Mia, I am loving True Blood. I had not read the books but I love the show. In erotic romance as well as just romance I can't cross the line of m/m. f/f is okay but not the other. Why? Don't know, but that is my line.

Mia Varano said...

Jill, funny you should mention m/m. We're doing a menage series of connected stories at Red Sage. I've written menage before, but not with any m/m action - until this story. It was a trip to write, and I hope it goes over well.

I haven't read the Sookie Stackhouse books either, but the series is fantastic! I loooove Bill. Wasn't it so funny when Lafayette mutters, "skank." LOL

Jill James said...

Yeah, like he has any room to talk. LOL I love Tara and her bitchiness. There is a hurt little girl hiding somewhere in there. And Sookie looks like she is helpless, but definitely is not. Not everything is as it seems in Bon Tempe.

Sandy said...

Crossing the line for me would be child molesting, but I understand some publishers accept it. To me that's perpetuating a crime.

Mia Varano said...

Sandy - triple ugh! I wrote several stories for a free erotica website, Literotica. They definitely crossed all kinds of lines! However, the characters in the stories had to be 18 or over, or they would not accept the story. And they meant it - one of my heroines in a historical erotica I wrote for them was 17. They rejected it and told me to change the age.