Tag Archives: romantic

“Coming Home” A Sexy Short Story

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The following is a sexy short story I wrote that was inspired by a few recent Memorial Day stories I read. Enjoy!

“Damn, it’s good to be home,” said a restless, but relieved Brian Porter.

The decorated marine, having achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant and served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, stood in the driveway of the modest suburban townhome he shared with his wife, Wanda. At just a few minutes past midnight, it was more than just a return home after another long tour overseas. It was the end of a journey that began ten years ago.

“Ten years,” Brian mused, “has it really been that long?”

That was a trick question, the kind that would’ve pissed off his old drill sergeant back in boot camp. It really had been that long. He vividly recalled the day he graduated high school and enlisted in the marines less than an hour after receiving his diploma. With his father, grandfather, older brother, and uncle having served, Brian knew back in middle school that he was going to serve as well.

He just had no idea how far it would take him. It started as a three-year commitment. Then, it became five years after he got deployed. Two more years followed, complete with tours, injuries, and multiple missed holidays. Somehow, within that span, he managed to meet his future wife at a Marine Corp Ball of all places. They’d married three years ago, but had to cut their honeymoon short due to another deployment.

That was all going to change, now. There would be far fewer lonely nights where he and Wanda had to text each other their love from across the world. After a decade of loyal service, Brian had received an honorable discharge and already had a job lined up at the same aerospace company his uncle worked at. At long last, he and his wife could settle into a new life together.

“I hope you’re not working another shift at the hospital tomorrow, baby,” Brian said into the brisk night air, “because we’ve got a lot of loving to make up for.”

His heart raced as he ascended the steps to the front door. He was as quiet as possible, employing some of the stealth techniques he learned from some Special Ops friends of his. Brian had every intention of surprising his wife. He wanted to see the look on her face when she wasn’t expecting him until the end of the month at the earliest. He’d seen plenty of those videos online of families being surprised by the return of a loved one. He wanted one of those moments as well.

Upon unlocking the door, he entered a darkened house. It was almost exactly like he’d left it during his last home leave five months ago. Everything from the arrangement of the furniture to the location of the coffee maker was still in place. His wife knew how meticulous he was about his living space. Seeing everything so clean and organized made him all the more excited.

“I’m really home,” Brian said under his breath.

He smiled to himself, letting the stern demeanor of a marine falter for once. He still remained skillfully quiet, setting his oversized bag down in the foyer and closing the door behind him with the utmost care. Near as he could tell, his wife was fast asleep.

Already contemplating her reaction, the battle-hardened marine made his way through the living room, taking extra care to avoid the squeaky floor-board near the living room couch. He then ascended the stairs, making sure his heavy black boots didn’t make a sound with each step. As far as he was concerned, every step he took was as critical as one of his missions.

“She says she hates surprises,” he said under his breath. “I think she’ll make an exception tonight.”

Grinning in anticipation, Brian made it to the top of the steps. The door to the master bedroom he shared with Wanda was within his sights. Then, he encountered an unexpected sight.

“What the hell?” said the marine, stopping dead in his tracks.

Within the darkened hall, illuminated only by the light of a full moon beaming in from a window, he saw a large greeting card pinned on the wall over a picture. It happened to be his wedding photo with Wanda, which should’ve been a sign. Curious, and a little shocked, Brain took the card from the wall and opened it.

Much to his surprise and chagrin, there was no card in the envelope. There was only a large piece of paper that said, in familiar handwriting, “In The Bedroom, Soldier.”

“Well, I’ll be damned,” Brain said, standing in the middle of the hall in a befuddled state.

He must have said that a little too loud because the door to the master bedroom opened slightly. The marine’s combat-honed reflexes took over and he glanced just in time to see a light turn on. Someone was awake and someone knew he was here.

At that same moment, he noticed a distinct aroma emanating from the room. He quickly recognized it as incense with a distinct hint of Jasmine. From that, Brian pieced together what was happening.

“I’ll be damned twice,” he said, shaking his head in amazement.

No longer caring about stealth or tact, Brian set the card aside and made a beeline for the master bedroom. Upon opening the door, he was greeted with a sight that would’ve made even the most harden soldier melt with joy.

“Hey there, Soldier,” said the sweetest, sexiest voice he’d ever heard. “Welcome home.”

It was a scene right out of his sexiest fantasies. Brian swore she had read his mind, noted every detail, and reacted it in their bedroom. Only a woman as wonderful as his wife could’ve achieved such a feat.

She’d put effort and resources into it that would’ve impressed his old Colonel. The lights had been draped with red cloths, bathing the room in an intensely erotic hue. At least two dozen candles lined the dresser and nightstands, providing the source of that intoxicating aroma he’d smelled earlier. The sheets of the king-sized bed had also been replaced with fancy blue linens and a comforter bearing the emblem of the United States Marine Corp.

In the center of it all was a beautiful, angelic woman who’d gone the extra mile to make a restless soldier feel welcome. Wanda hadn’t just made herself extra alluring to her husband, putting on extra makeup to look as beautiful as she had on their wedding day. She also wore the most revealing, transparent nighty he’d ever seen, complete with a matching black thong that got his heart racing in an entirely new way.

The way she was sitting on the bed, casually leaning back on her arms and showing off those incredible legs of hers, hinted that she’d been waiting all night for him. Brain was so utterly astonished that he couldn’t move his legs. For a trained marine, that said a lot.

“Wow!” gasped Brian. “Wanda, I’m uh…”

“Feeling welcome, yet?”

“Yeah…among other things,” he said.

“Good,” she said with a proud smile, “then the hardest part of my plan is a success. You once told me that surprising a marine was the hardest challenge, by design. Glad to see I was up to the task.”

Brian laughed at her remarks. He remembered telling her that on their first date. She claimed she would one day surprise him. He thought she’d been joking, but here she was, three years after their wedding and she delivered. Just when he thought he couldn’t love this woman more, Wanda found a way.

“Before you ask, I kind of had help,” she said. “Your older brother is a great guy, but he sucks at keeping secrets.”

“Of course it was him,” Brain said, rolling his eyes at that revelation. “Remind me to never share classified military secrets with him.”

“In his defense, he accidentally texted me instead of your mom that you’d caught an early flight home.”

“I’m still going to kick his ass the first chance I get.”

“And I don’t intend to stop you,” Wanda said. “First things first, though, my dutiful husband.”

With an intensity in her eyes that would’ve frozen a squad of Navy SEALS, his beautiful wife slipped off the bed and casually walked across the room. In every step she took, she swayed those toned hips of hers, sending the trained marine into a trance. Between the ridiculously transparent night-gown she wore and the thong that supplemented it so perfectly, Brian quickly forgot about his older brother’s terrible texting skills.

Like a moth drawn to a flame, he met her halfway between the bed and the door. When she slipped her arms around his neck, pulling her into his warm embrace, Brain felt his heart skip a beat. In an instant, her soft touch erased memories of countless cold nights inside cramped barracks. Just feeling her skin on his again, and all the loving warmth that came with it, was enough to sooth the soul of any hardened soldier.

“Wanda,” Brian said, already dazed by her warmth.

“You’ve been away for so long, fighting the good fight and doing your part for your country,” Wanda told him, sounding so sexy yet so intense. “Now, you’re finally home.”

“And I don’t intend to leave again,” he told her, clinging to her as though she were the only source of warmth in the world. “I’m here to stay this time.”

“And I’m here to love you as much as a wife can love her Marine Corp husband. I knew the day I accepted your proposal that it was going to be a challenge. Lucky for you, I’m the kind of girl who likes a challenge!”

“Yeah,” he said with a wide grin, “lucky indeed.”

“Even my mother warned me that marrying a marine meant a lot of lonely nights and long distances. She also gave me that corny line about absence making the heart grow fonder. I brushed it off at the time, but it’s true, damn it!”

“I know…so true.”

Her loving tone took on a sense of desperation. Now cupping his rugged face, which he hadn’t shaved in nearly a week, Wanda leaned in closer so that her forehead rested against his. The way she held him and the way he held her only proved that corny saying even more. Distance and longing had only strengthened their love.

Brian had heard more than his share of sad stories from his fellow soldiers. That same distance had ruined relationships and marriages for some. It had even led to bitter breakups. Some of his own squad-mates even warned him about getting married while still in the marines. They said outright that the odds were against him. At that moment though, holding Wanda in his arms again, he knew without a sliver of doubt that they had beaten those odds.

“I’ve missed you so much, Brian,” she said to him, her every word laced with emotion.

“I’ve missed you too, Wanda,” he replied, trying in vain to match her passion.

“Now that you’re back, I’m ready for the next challenge, whatever it may be.”

“So am I,” he said without hesitation.

“I don’t doubt that for a second, but before we even get to those challenges…I say we do a little celebrating.”

The way she said that last part sent his hard, as well as a few other body parts, into overdrive. With her arms still securely around his neck, she leaned in and kissed down the side of his bearded face, giving his ear lobe a little nibble along the way.

She knew how much he loved that. She’d done it the first time they made love and since then, it had been that unambiguous sign that they were going to get extra intimate. Tonight was no exception.

Upon sending that signal, Wanda guided lightly grasped his arms and guided him towards the bed. Already entranced by her sexy, loving aura, Brian followed like the obedient soldier he was. Upon reaching the foot of the bed, she sat him down. She even made sure he had a perfect view of her breasts, which were so clearly visible through her nighty.

“Sit down,” she said seductively. “Relax…and let me welcome you home.”

“I’m already feeling pretty welcome,” Brian said as he admired her breasts.

“That remains to be seen, my love.”

Wanda sounded determined again, like one of his old squad mates who’d been dared into a race. That brought out the best in soldiers, but it also brought out the best in sexy wives.

Armed with that drive, Wanda reached for his pants and undid them with the skill of a trained bomb technician. Once loose, she dropped to her knees and pulled them down his legs along with his underwear, even untying his boots along the way. As soon as his manhood popped free, it began hardening. The second his pants came off, got between his legs and went to work.

“I see some parts of you missed me more than others,” Wanda teased upon taking his member in both hands.

“You have no idea,” Brain said, already breathless with anticipation.

“More so than you think,” she quipped.

With the eagerness of a woman who’d endured as many lonely nights as him, she smothered his cock with her lips. There was no hesitation, whatsoever. She took in his entire length, showing that her gag reflex was every bit as good as it had been during their honeymoon. That hot, warm feeling sent shivers of bliss up through his body. Now leaning back on both arms, Brian soaked in the feeling.

“Whoa!” he gasped. “Wanda…you really missed me.”

His affectionate wife didn’t miss a beat. Like a medic performing triage, she gave him the kind of oral sex that got his blood flowing in all the right directions. She was so skilled and thorough, her soft lips slithering along his length as her firm grip squeezed the base. He must have missed his wife more than he thought because he swore he’d never gotten so hard so fast.

It must have surprised her too, his dick getting so hard. That, or his wife was just that good at giving her husband oral sex. He preferred to think it was a little of both. Wanda still kept teasing him, flashing him that same erotic glance that made him want her so much. All that time apart hadn’t dampened her libido. If anything, it intensified it.

“Mmm…Brian,” Wanda said after giving his shaft an extra thorough lick. “I want you…so much!”

She must have stepped up the timetables for her mission because she shot back to her feet with an urgency that would’ve impressed any drill sergeant. Then, drink on passion and desire, she took off her nighty, leaving her in just that skimpy black thong. Brian literally couldn’t kick his boots and socks off quickly enough because she practically tore his shirt off, rendering him naked and at the mercy of his wife’s lust.

“I want you too, my dutiful wife,” he said to her, using that extra deep voice he knew drove her wild.

“Then, take me!” Wanda said intently. “Make love to me…fuck me…do everything you couldn’t do through email and phone calls.”

“After all this time? You think you can handle it?” Brian asked, goading her with his seductive glance.

“As I already said…I like a challenge!”

As if to prove her point, she practically pounced on him after throwing his shirt to the floor. Brian caught her in his powerful arms, lifting her up with ease and laying her down atop the soft sheets. The fact the sheets bore the emblems of the Marine Corp on them somehow made that it all the more erotic.

Now on her back and urging him on with her eyes, Brian grasped the sides of her panties and slid them off down her legs. Upon tossing it across the room, her legs eagerly parted and welcomed him into her loving grasp. He could already feel the moist heat radiating from her inner thighs, exuding the utmost desire. Her flesh craved his…the line between physical and emotional desire blurred to the utmost.

Following that powerful desire, Brain got on top of her, his combat-trained body on full display for his wife. Her legs now hitched up over his shoulders, he guided his throbbing manhood towards her waiting womanhood. With a strong thrust of his hips, he entered her and officially ended months of limited intimacy.

“Ohhh Brian!” Wanda exclaimed.

He loved that sound. He’d missed that sound so much, the sweet echoes of his wife crying out his name. It motivated Brian to make love to her with all the love and passion a dedicated marine could muster.

His gaze now entirely focused on her, the same man who endured multiple rounds of basic training at boot camp channeled his physical prowess on the intimate act before him. Keeping a firm grip on her thighs, Brian began moving his body, working his hips in a steady, yet fervent progression of motions. From each movement, ecstasy and intimacy followed.

Hard manly flesh merged perfectly with warm womanly depths. It was incredible, the tight heat of her pussy surrounding his cock. It moved and slithered within her so effortlessly, his lover’s entire being embracing him as much as he embraced her. Love, sex, and passion all converged into a singular act between him and his wife.

“Wanda…so much,” Brian gasped. “I love you…so much.”

Immersed in the daze that naturally came with pleasure and affection, he eagerly smothered his lover with affection of every kind. He leaned in and kissed her, tasting those sweet lips that he’d only dreamed about during his deployments. He threw in plenty of tongue, as well. Wanda loved tongue.

Recalling his love’s various many kinks, he trailed his lips down her neck and nibbled along her shoulder. He also slipped his hands down to her butt and squeezed it, something he knew she loved as well. Much to his surprise – and a very pleasant surprise, at that – Wanda climaxed almost immediately.

“Oohhh God, I’m coming! I’m coming!” she cried out.

“Already?” he said with a grin. “You’re handling this well…very well!”

Upon making that comment, Brian steadied their sexual rhythm, allowing his wife the time and space she needed to bask in orgasmic bliss. Wanda prided herself on being theatrical when she climaxed. For that special moment, she was extra animated.

“Ohhh Brian!” she exclaimed.

The proud marine watched in a mix of awe and accomplishment as his beautiful wife arched her body, curled her toes, and grabbed hold of the bed sheets under her like they were the edge of a cliff. She did not hold back, either. She was extra loud with her euphoric cry. It might have already woke the neighbors. Even if that made for an awkward conversation tomorrow, it was so worth it.

He held his wife in his powerful arms for every second of loving bliss. Eventually, his hands found hers, their fingers interlocking as her body shuddered from her peak. Brian could still feel the extra throbbing around his manhood, the lingering echoes of her pleasure. It brought him a special kind of bliss seeing it. Knowing Wanda, though, there was no way it would end at that.

“That…may be the fastest a man has made his wife come…ever,” Wanda said, still panting heavily from her peak.

“The wives of the best soldiers deserve the best sex,” he teased. “It’s only fair.”

“Fair?” she laughed in a mischievous tone. “Brian, my love…we’re a long way from fair.”

With an energy that shouldn’t have been possible for a woman who’d just had an orgasm, Wanda shot up and captured his lips in a hard kiss. Then, with a strength that caught the marine off-guard, she turned him over so that she was flat on his back.

Their flesh remained united, her pussy still embracing his rigid cock. Now on top, looking like both an angel and a sex goddess in the erotic light, Wanda guided his hands back to her butt and she began riding him.

“You’ve done your part…and so much more,” she told him. “Now, let me…do mine!”

“Wanda…” was all Brian could get out before she silenced him with another kiss.

Marines were trained from day one not to submit or surrender. It went against everything they stood for. Under the loving touch and raw sex appeal of his beautiful wife, though, Brian gladly made an exception. Hell, every marine in history would’ve understood if they found themselves in the intimate embrace of a woman like Wanda.

True to her word, she did her part. With unbridled energy and passion, she gyrated her hips in a heated rhythm, working her pussy along the length of his cock. The ecstasy resumed, now more intense than before. Brian squeezed her heart-shaped butt, soaking in every hot sensation that followed.

She was so determined and thorough, holding onto his shoulders for maximum leverage. The sight of her loving gaze – as well as her bouncing breasts, which were always a special sight – sent him to the brink of orgasm in record time. He didn’t bother holding back. He could tell she didn’t want him to. She wanted him to share in the ecstasy as well. It was only fair, after all.

“So…so close,” he panted. “Wanda…I’m close.”

“Come, my love,” Wanda urged him. “I want this for you…for us.”

After a few thorough gyrations from his wife, Brian felt himself cross that special barrier between desire and fulfillment. White hot surges of intense pleasure shot through his core, spreading throughout his body in a sweet, satisfying release.

It was like swimming in a pool of pure pleasure and his wife was the one who dove in with him. It perfectly contrasted the strain and toil that came with being a soldier. Discomfort and grit became contentment and bliss. He felt his member tense inside her, his hot manly fluids mixing with her feminine depths. It was a perfect melding of flesh and intimacy, the kind that once seemed so distant for a soldier. It made him feel like he was truly home.

“Wanda…my beautiful Wanda,” he said in his blissful days.

“I’m here, Brian,” she told him. “We’re here now…together.”

Those were the only coherent words either of them got out. After that, the two of them now drunk on passion and pleasure, Brian embraced his wife in his arms once more and continued their overdue lovemaking. After so much time a part and so much pent up desire, there was no way the night would conclude with just one orgasm.

After that first peak, though, everything became a bit of a blur. Brian captured Wanda’s lips again in another passionate kiss, led her into a fresh round of heated foreplay, and followed their intense desires into more sex. Together, they really rocked the bed, going at it from every position they could pull off. It was like making up for all the lost time. The soldier in him would not leave any ounce of love for his wife untapped.

At some point, they ended up under the covers. Brian couldn’t tell how many times his wife climaxed, but if the ringing in his ears was any indication, it was more than enough to establish how much she missed him. He had more than his share too, pushing the endurance he’d honed as a marine to the limit.

By the time he and Wanda had fully vented their passions, they collapsed in each other’s arms, lying together in a heap of sweaty flesh and loving affection. His arms still draped around his lover, he laid with her in a state of pure contentment. The battles they endured to be together was over. Finally, Brian was ready to find peace with his wife.

“I love you,” Wanda told him.

“I love you too,” he said softly.

“I’m so happy you’re home. I’m glad I could surprise my wonderful, battle-hardened husband.”

“Me too,” Brian said with a grin, “but I’m still kicking my brother’s ass for telling you.”

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Do Soul Mates Actually Mates Exist?

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When it comes to love, romance, and whatever else manifests in every song a boy band ever sang, the ultimate manifestation of this beautifully sentimental phenomenon is the soul mate. We’ve probably all heard about it in some form. Some are even lucky enough to be with someone that they consider to be their soul mate. Regardless of whether or not you care for the concept, we envy those people.

As a long-time romance fan and an aspiring erotica/romance writer, the ideal of the soul mate is the alpha and omega of the concept. It is to romance what Superman is to modern superheroes. It is the ideal to which we aspire. It embodies the ultimate example of what true love is and what we want it to be.

I’m not going to lie. That sort of thing makes parts of me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, among other things. Most people who enjoy romance to some degree probably feel the same way. The idea that two people have a love so strong that it’s practically interwoven into the fabric of time, space, and the basic laws of reality just feels so special.

It makes for both a great fantasy, full of more romance and passion than most can ever manage without seeing “Titanic” fifteen times in a row. It’s the kind of love that makes romances like Jack and Rose, Romeo and Juliet, and even Superman and Lois Lane seem ordained by destiny.

Now, here’s where I kind of have to put a dent in the time-honored fantasy. I know that’s kind of dangerous for a self-proclaimed romance fan, but I’m going to do it anyway because I think it’s a discussion worth having. It’s a discussion based on a simple question.

Do soul mates actually exist?

I know that me asking that after I just said it makes parts of me gush sounds like an about-face. I promise there’s a context to it and one that ties directly into how we go about answering this question. Whether or not you’re a romance fan, the ideal of the soul mate and our inherent drive to seek love makes it an important question to ask.

Before I give my answer, I need to add a few caveats to my fondness for the concept. Yes, it does resonate with me, somewhat, as an overall romance fan. However, as a fan of compelling stories and an aspiring writer, I actually don’t really care for stories built around the idea of soul mates.

Don’t get me wrong. I still think it’s a sweet concept. When I was younger and just starting to explore romance, I really liked those stories. As I got older, though, and my tastes in stories evolved, that appeal quickly waned. Whenever I read a book or saw a movie that ran with the concept of soul mates, it became somewhat of a turn-off.

That’s because from a narrative perspective, soul mates make for bland and shallow stories. If a couple are established as soul mates, then that basically renders any need to work or nurture their love moot. They don’t have to put in the time, work, or effort to become a great couple. Destiny and whatever supernatural forces behind their bond do that for them.

This is why I don’t care much for “Romeo and Juliet.” It’s established from the beginning that they’re “star-crossed lovers,” which is basically a more Shakespearean way of fate had ordained for these two to fall in love and there’s nothing anyone or anything can do to prevent it. Sure, it’s sweet and dramatic, but it’s a very limited story.

Those same limits that undermine a story are a major factor in answering the question. For someone like me, who follows romantic plots and sub-plots way closer than most straight men will ever admit, it shapes my perspective on what makes a great love story and what makes a real or fictional relationship strong.

Within that context, I’ll give my answer to the question. I don’t claim that this answer is definitive. This is just my opinion, having formed it from years and years of both consuming and crafting all things romance.

No. I don’t believe that soul mates are real.

I’m sure that’s tantamount to blasphemy for other romance fans out there. I understand that sentiment and I gladly accept the scorn that comes with that answer. However, I am willing to justify my answer.

It’s not just because I regularly write about the inherent flaws in the human brain, which make the prospect of achieving any ideal, be it perfect love or perfect justice, impossible by default. I think the concept, as a whole, does not fit with the whole process of love, at least as I see it.

Whether it’s love in the real world or love in sexy novels, falling in love and being in love is an ongoing phenomenon. It takes many forms and plays out in many ways, sometimes chaotically and sometimes dramatically. That’s part of what makes it such an appealing narrative.

Some of the best manifestations of that process, which I’ve gone out of my way to highlight, occur when two people work together to build and strengthen their love. They work together. They fight together. Sometimes they even clash, along the way. There’s never an endgame in mind. Their love is something that builds and evolves day-by-day.

In the real world, we see that play out in the work people put into their relationships. Whether it’s scheduling a sex night or going on some romantic getaway to Fiji, people in love put work into that love. It’s not something that just happens. For that feeling to remain strong, it takes time, effort, and understanding.

With soul mates, there’s no process to love. It just happens. The universe basically commands it. There’s no reason to put any work into it because those involved are so made for each other that they couldn’t drive each other apart if they tried. That kind of love doesn’t just rely on supernatural forces. It relies on two people’s thoughts, feelings, and desires being perfectly compatible every second of every day until the end of time.

Given the chaotic nature of the human mind, that’s just not realistic. It’s not even that romantic, when you think about it. I don’t deny that there are particular moments, such as a wedding day or the first time a couple makes love, where they’ll feel in that moment that they are soul mates. I don’t deny that feeling exists. As for the larger concept, as a whole, I think that’s about as real as Superman holding a black hole in his hand.

So I guess my answer does have a bit of a caveat. I do believe there are moments when two people are so in sync, emotionally and romantically, that they fit the mold of soul mates. Those same people can go onto break up, get divorced, or cheat on each other. That’s just the chaotic, unceasing nature of human passions.

Again, my answer to this question is anything but definitive. Perhaps there are other romance fans out there who believe I’m dead wrong and that soul mates do exist. If you feel that way, I’d be happy to discuss that issue in greater detail. For now, I simply ask that all those reading this contemplate that question and answer it for themselves.

Even if you’re not big on romance, it’s a question worth answering. It reflects both our sentiments and our aspirations when it comes to seeking love. As someone who is currently single, writes sexy stories, hopes to fall in love one day, I imagine I’ll continue contemplating this question for years to come.

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Have A Happy (And Sexy) Valentine’s Day!

On behalf of myself and all those who appreciate romance, sexy or otherwise, Happy Valentine’s Day!

I know I’ve made clear in my last few posts that I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day. There are many personal reasons why it’s so hard for me, some of which I’ve even shared. However, being an erotica/romance writer, a part of me does appreciate the love, passion, and sexiness that comes with Valentine’s Day. I just hope I get a chance to share it with someone one day.

For now, I hope all you other lovers out there use this day to celebrate love, hopefully in a way that’s clothing optional. If you need help setting the mood, check out some of my books. I’ve got books that involve intensely passionate romance and books built entirely gratuitous sex. Whoever you are and whatever you romantic situation might be, I have something that should help make your Valentine’s Day special.

Hopefully by this time next year, I’ll have more reasons to celebrate this most romantic of holidays. In the meantime, get out there and get romantic! The world is a better place when there’s more love in it, sexy or otherwise.

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Love Or Obsession: Pop Music First Edition

Any form of media can seem innocent if presented in a cheery, upbeat form. You could probably present tax law and traffic tickets in a positive light if you just used a combination of boy bands, catchy tunes, and bland lyrics ripped from a Hallmark greeting card.

It’s an odd quirk of human psychology. If music is upbeat and catchy enough, we tend not to care what the lyrics say or what the song implies. Musicians like Van Morrison and Bob Dylan built entire careers on this quirk. Nobody can say it’s wrong because it really works. You can’t complain too much about the flaws in our brain wiring when it works so damn well.

If, however, you can dig beyond to upbeat tone and catchy lyrics, which is a pretty big if in many cases, you may find the contents of these songs can be a bit off. There are near infinite amounts of songs flowing through the various channels of media. A good chunk of those songs involve love, sex, and the pursuit of both, sometimes to distressing degrees.

Now I admit I’ve patronized many of these songs. My smartphone is full of sappy love songs, sexy dance songs, and gangsta rap that glorifies the female ass as if it were a holy relic. I love music and I’ll even dance to it, although it usually takes a certain amount of alcohol consumption. I think many of us are guilty of that in some form, sober or otherwise, at some point in our lives.

However you feel about the kind of bubblegum pop music that has been making teenage girls scream and teenage boys horny for decades, there’s no denying its impact on pop culture. It’s a part of our society. It’s a part of our lives. Hell, some of us may have even been conceived with help from these songs so we shouldn’t take them lightly.

With that in mind, I’d like to conduct another one of my “Love or Obsession” exercising on a few pop songs. I’ve already done it with TV shows and literature. Music is the just the next logical progression. Given the sheer volumes of bland, bubblegum pop music in the world, this will only cover a few songs. I intend to do others down the line. This is just the first and if someone wants to suggest a song to assess, I’ll gladly listen.

For this post, consider this the first edition of this analysis. I’ll stick to pop songs for now, but I’ll definitely consider genres for future assessments.


Britney Spears: Hit Me Baby One More Time

Love or Obsession?
Obsession

Let’s face it. Catholic school girls in mini-skirts are sexy as hell. Britney Spears found this out the easy way around the turn of the millennium. Being young, beautiful, and willing to dress like a sexy Catholic school girl, which is very much a fantasy of a good chunk of the male population, was a good way to achieve success.

Perhaps it’s because of that sex appeal that nobody looked closely at the lyrics to the song she sang in her first hit, “Baby One More Time.” The song talks about loneliness, being blindsided by a breakup, and wanting to stay in a relationship that clearly has some issues.

Now sometimes you do stay in a relationship out of love, hoping to make it work. However, when wanting to requires that someone “hit you one more time,” it’s getting dangerously close to abuse. You don’t endure abuse unless you’re trapped or obsessed. Given the context of this song, I go with the latter.


Backstreet Boys: I Want It That Way

Love or Obsession?
Love

Alongside the rise of Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys proved that basic sex appeal and catchy lyrics can sell a fuckton of records. These kids were on the top of the world in the late 90s. They sung cute, sappy love songs to get the hormones of teenage girls going and it worked. It worked very well.

One of their biggest hits, “I Want It That Way,” epitomized their appeal and was, by far, one of their biggest hits. Given the tone and structure of the song, it’s kind of hard to hide the lyrics. They’re a bit messy. If they were on a greeting card, it would be a very confusing greeting card.

However, at the core of the song, there’s the sentiment that someone doesn’t care about the flaws or shortcomings of a relationship. They don’t want to change it into something it’s not. They, aptly put, want it this way.

As sappy as it is, it’s actually pretty damn healthy in terms of love. Real love involves accepting both strengths and flaws in someone. This song nicely embodies that and is probably one of the healthiest love songs a teenage girl can listen to.


Aerosmith: I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing

Love or Obsession?
Obsession

This song was another big 90s hit that made Aerosmith relevant again. That alone is a hell of an accomplishment. It also accompanied a big Michael Bay movie of the time called, “Armageddon.” So between Aerosmith and Michael Bay, this song had a lot going for it.

Unfortunately, the sentiment in the song, despite Steven Tyler’s screaming, isn’t exactly very loving. It talks about just watching someone sleep and never seeing anything else when you close your eyes. The love he’s describing is literally something you can never not think about and not missing it seems like a live-or-death imperative.

This is the kind of song that Edward Cullen lives his life by. This is the kind of song that hopelessly-obsessed stalkers turn to when they want their obsession to seem like love. The implications are as distressing as they sound.


Rick Astley: Never Gonna Give You Up

Love or Obsession?
Obsession

Before it became an overplayed internet meme, Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” was a big freakin’ deal in the 80s. It was very much a product of the polished, prepackaged pop music of the time. Take a handsome guy with a handsome face, make him sing lovey dovey lyrics, and set it to weird techno-enhanced beats and you got yourself a hit.

With this song, however, there isn’t much need for analysis. It’s in the very title of the song. Never giving someone up, never letting them down, and always being around describes a very unhealthy mindset for someone to have with a partner. It basically champions making someone else the entire center of your world. That’s sweet, but wholly unrealistic.

It’s still a catchy song and the fact it became an internet meme reveals its staying power. That said, it has the same problem as “Every Breath You Take” by the Police. Break down the lyrics and it’s not a love song. It’s more a stalker/obsession anthem and there’s nothing romantic about that.


Hootie And The Blowfish: Hold My Hand

Love or Obsession?
Love

Here’s a band people love to hate for lousy reasons. Hootie and the Blowfish were a simple, but effective band at a time when music was emerging from the grim and gritty grunge era. Their music was upbeat. Their lyrics were simple. They didn’t try to look too fancy or gritty. They dressed like regular guys and made music.

Naturally, it became cool to hate them. It also ignored the fact that they were one of the most successful bands of the mid-90s. Their first big hit, “Hold My Hand,” got things going. It was not a dark and gritty grunge song. It was a simple, upbeat love song. Break the lyrics down and that sentiment just become stronger.

It’s another one of those songs that presents an oddly healthy attitude towards love. It doesn’t send the impression that you have to make someone else the center of your world. It says in the chorus, “I want to love you the best that (the best that) I can.” Trying to achieve an ideal is unrealistic and foolish. Trying the best you can is the most anyone can ask for, even in love.


Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

Love or Obsession?
Love (Mostly)

Here’s a classic from the late 60s and early 70s, a time when soul music and R&B began growing in popularity. It was also the pre-disco era so there weren’t any bell-bottoms or aphros. It was a better time is what I’m saying.

This song, which has been remixed and remade multiple times, has an upbeat tone and many unique rhythmic mantras. It’s pretty complex piece of music. As such, the lyrics are hard to judge. On one hand, they talk about there being no force on this world to keep someone from getting to you. That does sound a bit obsessive.

However, the context of this song, as well as the sentiment of the other lyrics, keep it from getting into that dark territory that “Every Breath You Take” fell into. As a whole, the song speaks more about keeping promises and being there for someone you love. That’s a good kind of love, even if the verbiage can be misconstrued.


The Beatles: I Want To Hold Your Hand

Love or Obsession?
Love

This is as simple and innocent a song from one of the biggest bands in the history of pop culture. Love songs and the Beatles are like peanut butter and jelly. They just go together so perfectly that it’s hard to imagine one without the other. Can anyone honestly imagine the Beatles doing a Taylor Swift style breakup song?

With one of their earliest hits, “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” the sentiment is simple. They don’t talk about wanting to watch you sleep, focusing every waking thought on you, or never being able to escape your love. They just talk about holding hands and sharing a simple kind of intimacy.

Being a hugger myself, it’s a sentiment I can appreciate. Holding hands is as innocent a gesture as it comes when showing love. It’s a far cry from never wanting to give someone up or watching them with every breath they take. For that, the Beatles deserve props for championing healthy love.

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The Standard Model Of Romance (And Why It Needs Updating)

A big part of being a romance/erotica writer often involves reading about romance/erotica in general. I know that sounds like common sense, right up there with mechanics driving cars to learn more about cars, but it’s not as common as you might think.

Now I confess that when I began writing years ago, I didn’t do much reading. I didn’t enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing. Trust me, it showed in some of my early work. Some of those pieces (which I hope never see the light of day) made it painfully obvious that didn’t read as much as I should on the subject.

As I’ve gotten older and refined my skill, I’ve done more and more reading. I don’t just read about erotica/romance. I try to read a bit of everything to get a feel for what it means to tell a story. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a 500-page novel or a 22-page comic like X-men. They still have lessons to tell.

At the moment, I’m reading a book called “Sex At Dawn” by Christopher Ryan, Cacilda Jetha, Allyson Johnson, and Jonathan Davis. Now this isn’t a standard romance/erotica story like “Skin Deep” or “Jackpot.” This is a non-fiction book that explores the hidden side of human sexuality, scrutinizing our assumptions about romance, sex, and the social norms guiding these forces.

It’s interesting to me because it gives me some insight into the lesser known aspects of romance/erotica. There are so many stories that try to fit the romance and erotic components into the same framework we, as a society, have always embraced without question. I’ve found it’s more interesting to step outside that framework every now and then.

Now I’ve just started this book so I can’t give my whole assessment just yet. However, the first two chapters do highlight an important component that’s worth bringing up. The authors call it “The Standard Model” of romance. That model goes a little something like this:

  1. Boy meets girl
  2. Boy assesses girl for health, beauty, fidelity, and an ability to sire healthy offspring
  3. Girl assesses boy for wealth, strength, ability to provide, ability to protect offspring, and a capacity to remain faithful and not stray
  4. Boy and girl pass assessment, enter into a series of formal and informal agreements to love, cohabit, and provide for one another
  5. Boy and girl enjoy early passion, begin a family, and grow together
  6. Boy and girl start to lose interest as passion fades, becoming less sexually satisfied even if love remains strong
  7. Boy begins looking elsewhere for other young, fertile women
  8. Girl begins looking elsewhere for young, virile men
  9. Constant struggle endures, straining relationship

I agree that this model is grossly oversimplified and somewhat formulaic. I don’t doubt that there are plenty of romances, real and fictional, that don’t follow this model closely. However, it’s a model that accurately reflects the ideals and principles that modern society has ascribed to romance and sex.

This book, however, dares to question whether these ideals and principles are actually viable. It also dares to question whether these ideals and principles are even natural to the human condition.

This definitely resonates with me because it fits into my frequent discussions regarding caveman logic, a phrase I love throwing around on this blog to explain the peculiarities of the human condition, both in and out of the bedroom. It also resonates with me because it helps nurture some of my ideas for future novels.

In addition to the inspiration, I also think that our assumptions surrounding this model need greater scrutiny, if only to better-prepare ourselves for meaningful romance. At the moment, the model doesn’t exactly have a stellar record.

In most of the industrialized world, divorce rates are over 50 percent. If a model isn’t working more than half the time, then that’s a clear sign that it needs tweaking. If a car broke down more than half the time, why would anyone drive it? Humans are great at building tools, but when it comes to updating the ways in which we love and make love, our ability to adapt is nothing short of glacial.

The Standard Model is outdated. That’s the primary message that “Sex At Dawn” sends during the first few chapters. It wasn’t adapted for modern, secular society. It emerged 10,000 years ago as a direct result of mankind’s transition from hunter/gatherer societies to sedentary/farming societies.

For the fast majority of human history, people lived on farms and toiled in the fields. That kind of work is less and less necessary these days, due in large part to industrialization and better technology. The Standard Model worked perfectly for that system because it meant keeping women focused on child-rearing while men did most of the work to provide food/safety. That system just doesn’t work as well in our current system of cities, cars, and Big Macs.

So if that system doesn’t work as well anymore, what do we do? Which system does work in a modern society where few people toil on farms and fields? That’s not a rhetorical question. That’s a real, honest question that is worth asking. It hasn’t been answered yet and I feel not enough people are daring to ask it.

I get that there are still those in society who wish to cling to the older ways, seeing the Standard Model as something traditional, moral, and ethical. That’s all well and good, but that’s basically the same as an opinion. It’s as valid as random tweet these days. We’re too diverse and erratic as a species. One model is simply never going to be enough to accommodate the needs and passions of every individual.

Every species, be it human or insect, needs to adapt their systems to a changing environment. The environment for humans is changing so rapidly that some refuse to even acknowledge that change, as if they’re worried about what it implies. There aren’t many constants to human systems, but the desire to love and make love is one of them.

For the sake of our future and that of our descendants, we need to adapt a system that will meet those desires. If we don’t, we’re all in for a cold, lonely, unfulfilled tomorrow. I’m not nearly equipped to create such a system, but I can offer some interesting/sexy ideas with my novels.

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