Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Guest post: "The value of romance & erotica" by Chris Liccardi

The guest post series on the value of romance and erotica continues today with a post from author Chris Liccardi. I'm excited that Chris agreed to participate in this series, since I'm not aware of many men who write romance and/or erotica. In his exploration of what romance and erotica can add to our lives, Chris presents a steamy little scenario as example and meditates on the basic human needs that the genres speak to. Enjoy!

"The value of romance and erotica" by Chris Liccardi

Who doesn't like taboo? If they tell you they don’t, there probably lying to you... and definitely lying to themselves. The intrinsic value of sex should be evident, but the reason for romance and erotica as a genre may not be.

At a certain point in everyone’s life, we want to be touched by others: physically, emotionally, spiritually. Erotica and romance speak to that want. Whether it be a fantasy man or woman, or the hottest starlet to hit the big screen, everyone wants to feel that desire.

Imagine a couple - attractive, sexy - are standing off to one side at a party. It's a quiet event with soft music and good food...filled with soft conversations, intimate moments and lots of places to hide away and share secrets. Candles, good booze and this couple...seemingly unaware of us, but very aware of what they want. The couple I see are male and female,  but that's me. Yours can be whatever. The important part is them, not their sexes.

Let's watch them for a moment, observe them as they are. He touches her arm gently and she closes her eyes, enjoying the connection and of course the feeling. She caresses his free hand, letting her fingers drag slowly up his arm.

They lean in closer to each other.... His fingers wind gently through her hair and she shifts her weight so she is just a tenth of an inch closer, smiling at each touch.

You can see that nothing else matters to them - not the party, not the guests, not even the room. It's just them. He leans in and he closes his eyes now, inhaling deeply of her perfume. The smell, sweet and inviting, caresses his senses and pulls him in closer to her.

What if I told you they end up in the guest room - third floor, end of the hall  - before the night ends? Would you be surprised? How about intrigued enough to follow?  I'm betting you want to know what happens, because that too, is human nature. That’s where romance and erotica come into our lives. We may not have a swanky party to go to and watch, but we have the penned imaginations of romance writers to show us things that excite us!

Sex is not the act of getting off. It's a connection between people. It's something shared between them that shouldn’t be taken away by mundane bullshit. It's a bond, and whether you are having it daily or not, it's that feeling you get when you have that bond that makes the genre relevant. If you are lucky enough to know what that feeling is like, reading it is the next best thing. It brings new ways and ideas to an existing aspect of our lives that sometimes falls into a monotonous drone of the “same old, same old.”

Romance is a key way that people can use to share that connection. It's an expression of a life we either have or want to have. Its imagination, exploration and discovery - touching someone in a way that brings them such pleasure. It may be the most personal and powerful part of ourselves that we can share.

It's need and desire written out where others can see it. It's sharing a feeling of control or surrender, of vulnerability and strength that most of us aren't brave enough to ask for or seek out on our own. Need proof? Look at the explosion of sex-oriented stores and online sites.

Now on to the why...why write it and read it? That's simpler still. Humans are nosy as hell. When it comes to people and the things people do to make themselves happy, nothing beats a good strong dose of curiosity. I want to see that couple, experience that passion, and I believe very much that you can feel it every day, if you choose. I know I’m among the minority on that.

No relationship needs to be devoid of that ecstasy if you don't want it to be.

I think that the genre has such an impact because it is viewed as taboo, but consider: it's like reading a fairytale or a period piece. It transports us and sucks us in - forgive the pun - to a world we cannot see or touch, but one we want, one we dream about and long for.

More than tantalizing us, romance empowers and motivates both imagination and action, enabling people to read something and then try it, to live it and enhance their own lives and passions.

Everything from photography to music videos to sex clubs and reading groups…everyone wants to feel that sort of passion in one form or another, and romance and erotica are great ways to experience and express that passion.

You can connect with Chris on Twitter and read more about his writing and process on his website.

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