Grey & A Few Other BDSM Colors

Restraints, clamps, collars, floggers, crops, gags, spreader bars, pugs, beads, canes, blindfolds, rigging, paddles… Sweat dripping, tension building. Skin pulled taught. Chest heaving, dragging in air that’s too thick. Will I? Won’t I? Can I? What if it hurts? What if it hurts and I like it? Scared and excited, and uncertain about which out weighs the other….

Oh the wonderful world of BDSM.

So what brings us here? I have gotten a decent amount of crap for reading Grey, and wanted to clear some things up. I’ll start by saying I don’t give a shit what people think of what I read. Book choice shouldn’t be a popularity contest. Read what you like and leave others alone so they can do the same. Simple as that.

Grey sold over 1 million copies in 4 days. Yet, if you look at Twitter and read how quick everyone is to denounce it, you’d think not a soul had bought it. I smell some closet Grey readers. Sucks our book culture has made them feel a shamed or like they need to hide what they read. Tisk tisk.

Anyway, that really isn’t what I wanted to rant— I mean discuss. I won’t defend the book as great literature. I can’t say it is a must read, or even that it was exciting and passionate. I am not even telling you to go read them. I have better reading recommendations for you if you are looking for things in that vein. For me, both the original trilogy and Grey were lackluster, okay reads. I like the plot. I wish it was better executed. I can think of some of my favorite erotic writers that could have done wonders with it.

And that plot is what I am defending. I have heard so much outrage and disgust about those books containing abuse. I’ve engaged in many debates about whether Christian abuses Ana. I only feel the need to defend them because BDSM is not abuse. I think it is important for people to understand that.

I did a mental check of the sex scenes in the 1st book. Most are pretty vanilla. He asks, she gives consent, and they have sex. Pretty basic stuff. There is the first time he spanked her. It was with his hand. He told her exactly what he was going to do and she laid herself willing over his lap to let him do it.

Yes, I know, she cried after he left. But she states that it was because he left her(not spending the night, which he did come back and do) and that she was confused by the fact that being spanked turned her on. Not that she felt beaten and abused. And yes, it can be hard to reconcile your feelings about some measure of pain or punishment, such as being spanked, turning you on. That’s normal.

Every scene between there, and the last in that book, she describes herself feeling excited about what he was going to do. Nervous, yes, but that is part of BDSM and I’ll get back to that in a second. When they were in the boathouse, he said he was going to spank her. She asked him not to and he didn’t.

He told her, and it is very true in any grounded BDSM relationship, that the sub(Ana) has all the power. He can only do what she will allow. If she says no, uses a safe-word, or otherwise doesn’t consent through preset limits or otherwise, it doesn’t happen. Period. That was always true in this fictional relationship between Christian and Ana.

The last scene. She asked, physically opened her mouth and asked him to paddle her. She wanted to know how “bad it could get” in his BDSM world. He asked if she was sure. She said yes. I would think—and please remember that I am talking about a fictional character, so I am projecting here—that a man like Christian that had been in the wonderful world of BDSM, was hoping that she would like it. Or at a minimum think it wasn’t so bad and she could do it if he liked it. We all do things that we are not thrilled about, but find tolerable, for our significant others.

What?!? I know, I know. I must be crazy right? He thought he could bend her over a bench, paddle her, sending flames of heat up her body, making her hurt, and scream, and cry, and burn, and she would like it? Even be turned on and wet for him after? Yep. That’s what I am saying. It would be a common hope for someone like him.

Maybe the thinking behind why some people like that kind of thing, deserves some explaining, but I think if you want that explanation from me, it will require it’s own blog post. If there is enough interest, I’ll write it… Ooo into the mind of May. Okay moving on(scary place).

If Christian had spent years with women who did like that, why wouldn’t it be okay for him to hope Ana would like it too. Don’t we all want the people we find a romantic interest in to be into the same things we are? To learn to love the things we love and share them with us? And is it unreasonable to ask them to try what you like if they haven’t before?

I could understand if he tied her to a bench, didn’t tell her what was going to happen and then started wailing on her, popped up at the end and said, “So, was that good for you? It was great for me!” But that is so far from what happened.

I have also heard the argument that it was not what he physically did that was so horrible, but that she only did it because she thought it was the only way to stay with him, that made it so bad. It is unfair to layout what you need, or what you think you need in a relationship and let the other person know they can walk away if they can’t provide that?

I think more people should hop on that train.

She wanted a relationship with him. As a result she put herself out there and tried somethings she had never tried before. All of them, with the exception of one, she ended up liking.  The last book would lead you to believe that not only did she like them, she liked them so much that she insisted that they continue doing them well into their marriage. Yes, even spankings.

BDSM, by it’s very nature, is about pushing your limits. Doing things that make you nervous, put you on edge a bit and require you to put your faith in someone else. For anyone entering into that world for the first time, not just this fictional virgin, it is a nerve racking experience where you constantly question “Can I? Will I? What if? I’m not sure about this?”

Those are not bad feelings to have. A lot of new experiences in life are scary. A lot of them you do because someone else is pushing you to do them, asking you to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. You either like it or you don’t, and either way that is okay. BDSM is no different.

Okay, I’ll step away from the BDSM side of this conversation for now. It is a big topic. So much bigger than these books touch on. But before I rest my case, I just want to make one more point.

I read a lot. I read everything from YA to erotic. Thrillers, urban fantasy, romance of all kinds, some science fiction, historical fiction…. I think you get the point. It is SO, SO very common in all of these to see death, murder, torture of many kinds, violence(the non-consensual kind), abduction…

I don’t see mass outrage on social media about the number of fictional characters that get offed in horrible ways in books. Are we saying that it is more justified to be outraged by a book depicting a consensual spanking with a paddle, than all of the hundreds of ways we end lives in books? I doubt it. They offed a bunch of kids, in Hunger Games. Is that not worse morally than a spanking? Perspective, people. Perspective.

I would say it’s more likely that we just like to get together in mass and be outraged about something. Unfortunately for a lot of top sellers, they give us a focus that so many of us know about, making it easy to unite in our outrage against some facet of them. Pop culture is not your enemy. So you don’t like it and don’t understand why a million other people do? So what. Move on. Don’t waste your time on banding together to be “outraged” by something you don’t think others should enjoy.

Perhaps you could band together to uplift something you do enjoy and put that on the pop culture map? Just a thought. But really, where ever you want to spend your energy….

As always, you can find me on Facebook and Twitter. Hit me up, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this or anything else.

Sincerely,

May B.B. (The, hates that everyone hates on everything, writer)

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Who Am I & How Do I Get Out Of Here

January 12, 2015

I‘ve spent a decent amount of time thinking on the subject of who I am, and what the different parts of me are. This came about in earnest when I was working out the plotting for my current WIP. It’s a book about a girl that has so severely dissected the parts of her life, trying to please the people around her, that she is losing track of who she is as a whole, and can’t quite figure out how to blend the parsed-out sections of her life back together. When you’re one girl at work, one for your old friends, one for your new friends, and a completely different closet version you’re afraid to admit you like, how do you deal when they start to collide?

Once the book was well underway and I could start applying those thoughts to Alex, my MC, and not myself, I left thinking that topic through regularly, behind. That is until recent events had me brewing about it again.

A few weeks ago I was talking to some friends, and a few of their friends that I don’t really know. The subject of movies came up and I was feeling rather lost about most of the titles. When I admitted that, the people I didn’t really know started listing out some fairly iconic movie titles that most people our age have seen and asking if I had seen them. This is far from the first time I’ve had this conversation. I got the normal reaction of slack jaws and bug eyes. How had I not spent my childhood watching Star Wars and the Goonies?

Well, for one, I was told to go outside a lot. I can’t quote movie lines from the 80’s and 90’s, but my fort building skill are on point. Anyway, we can chat about my odd childhood later. I know I’m the only person my age who has never seen Star Wars, or Farris Bueller’s Day Off. I’m coping with it.

At some point during the conversation I was informed that my “geek card” was being revoked. I wasn’t even aware that it was something I had, or that I was supposed to be defending it in that moment, but none the less it was gone. I was officially not geeky enough to be a geek. I was crushed, as you can imagine ; )

I tweeted something about it later that night, and a guy I know, okay this time I actually don’t really know him, I just read his blog and he puts up with my too frequent pestering on twitter (I have no idea why), but I digress. So the guy wrote a nice little blog post about how there really isn’t a such thing as a geek card and how, as a group, it’s a shame to see the “geek club/society” start acting like the “cool kids” from high school. (I might have done a bad job of summarizing that) Point is, it made me happy but seeing as it was not the first time it had been brought to my attention that I was not geeky enough to be a “real” geek, I think the jury is still out on giving me back my imaginary club card.

Fast forward a week. I was on Facebook reading postings in a book club. The question was, “What was the first romance book you read that turned you on to the genre?” I was surprised to see how many people prefaced their answers with “I’m ashamed to admit this…”. That was most often followed up by the answer Twilight, or Fifty Shades of Grey.

 I have noticed in many of my social circles, online in particular, that it’s now the cool thing to hate on mainstream, or pop culture. I can’t tell you many things that irritate me more than reading a tweet or post, ranting about some faction of pop culture, knowing that they’re just hating on it because it’s mainstream. I really just want to yell at them to get over themselves.

I read and enjoyed both Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey. I’m not really sure why I’m supposed to be ashamed of that? Perhaps because admitting that will get me kicked out of one of the other social clubs that I’m not quite enough of this or that to fit into. So I’m not alternative really, because I like a few mainstream things too.

And now rewind with me a few months. I was sitting in a local sports bar. I spend a fair amount of time there. If you’re on my softball team, you either work there, are dating someone who does, or are enough of a regular that they would probably put you on the payroll. I like sports, participating and spectating. Not all sports, but a majority. I won’t watch a golf tournament with you, and though I’m happy to go out to the greens, it’s likely you’ll just get frustrated at how outstandingly horrible I am at it, and never invite me back. On the other hand, any given Sunday, rain or shine, from the months of May through October, you can find me at the softball fields.

So as a girl, if you ever tell a guy that you like sports you’ll be immediately quizzed. Be prepared, ladies, these are grueling. I was sitting at the bar watching a Mariners game. This guy asked me if I actually liked baseball or if I was just staring at the TV because it’s what was on. I informed him that I do like baseball, and play softball. He then quizzed me on the Mariners roster. News flash, I don’t know it. I could see him scoff as I told him I didn’t know the entire roster, or even who was in their bullpen. Still, I like them and if a game is on that’s what I am probably watching.

I have had a very similar conversation with a man after he found out I box. He then wanted to talk about current boxers and upcoming matches. Thing is, I box, I don’t watch it. UFC? Hell yes. I’m all over it, but boxing, nope. So maybe I’m not Sporty Spice, or a real jock.

I was born in Texas, and am undoubtedly Southern. My first real paying job was herding cattle on horseback (don’t tell anyone). I do have one pic and you’ll never see it. Second job was teaching classes on riding and equine care. I spent summers on a dairy farm as a kid standing in cow shit. I like country music, but only about half, and not much of the current stuff. I’d also take alt rock over it any day. I don’t, however, own cowboy boots, or a hat, or wranglers. I do own guns and like shooting, but wouldn’t be caught dead in camo as casual wear. I don’t kiss men that chew (sorry boys). I’m not teasing my hair, and hate NASCAR. I lost my absolutely ridiculous half Texan, half Mississippi accent (thank the lord) a few years after I moved to Colorado, and for most proper country folks, I’m too liberal. So I’m not country enough to be country.

So here is where I’m headed with all of this. I’ve learned, and it only took 29 years, that I’ll never be enough of one thing for any particular group.

I am geeky about reading, writing, my fish, fish tanks, and the plants I grow in them, but probably not much else.  I am a dork; goofy, stupid and silly, unnecessarily so at times. I like sports, but don’t know as much as you do, sir, I’m sure. I’m artsy in that I draw and paint, but by far not hippy. I like some mainstream things, some hipster things, some offbeat things, and some things that I’ve yet to categorize. I like to dress girly, wear my heels, and put on make-up, but not every day, and I am just as comfortable in sweats, or my softball cleats.

Most importantly, I am sure that I’m not alone in my inability to fit into a predefined category. I was relieved when I got out of high school, thinking I would find that these social groups were no longer a thing. I am sad to see that they still are. Not only are they still a thing as adults, they are thriving on social media.

So geek, dork, jock, hipster, preppy, country, artsy, emo, alternative, I’m okay with being them all and not in equal parts or even ratios that make much sense. At the end of the day I’m just me. Something you might not like all of, but odds are we will have something in common. I won’t feel bad for liking Twilight, and Taylor Swift, while also liking The Hobbit, and Goo Goo Dolls.

I find that if you just focus on what you like, and not so much on why or what that means you are or aren’t, you’ll be a happier you. Try it out.

As always, you can find me on Twitter and Facebook or shoot me an email via the contact page on this site. I love to hear from you.

May B.B. (The, I’m confused about who I am and most things in general, Writer)

Rape in Romance. It’s still rape.

January 9, 2015

It has been at least two weeks since I’ve read any romance genre books. Too long. So I thought I would dive back in with a short erotica novella. The teaser for the one I chose looked good, and $0.99 is always the right price for me so I downloaded one from an author I had not heard of.  

It made me cry. Not because the writing was good and moving in any way. Not because the author set a sad scene (intentionally). No one died, and I can’t say that any of the characters would tell you any tragic events happened (which is, essentially, the issue here). I cried because the book being passed off as erotica, a genre I write, read, and love, is really a rape scene.

To give you some gauge of my sensitivity in general, I can count on one hand the number of times I cried, actually physically shed tears, last year. I am, unfortunately, a distant, if not cold person. I can let things just roll of with the best of them, usually.

So here is how it goes down. A girl gives a guy a BJ. That is over, and it looks as though they’re going to go their separate ways when another guy, a stranger she doesn’t know (to be fair she doesn’t really know the first guy either but their encounter was prearranged), so a guy she doesn’t know, doesn’t know is there, doesn’t know is watching, comes from some unseen place and slams into her, pinning her to a wall.  She is dazed and confused when he then forcefully kisses her and shoves his fingers inside of her via the easy access of her dress.

The author writes it out that the girl is still so lust drunk on her encounter with the first guy – who is still standing there chatting it up with his buddy that is forcing himself on the girl- and now coupled with how fast everything is progressing, that although the girl wants to struggle, everything is too hazy and heavy. Does this sound like a rape scene to you yet?

Okay so at some point she starts to like it, even want it in some confused way. (I could freak the fuck out right at this moment, but I’ll wait a second.) So the guy stops forcibly penetrating her with his fingers and tells her he wants her consent to now letting him actually fuck her. Before she answers he starts with the fingers again. She is still pinned between him and the wall and his douche-bag buddy is still looming too. He also proceeds to bite her.

He asks again for consent to fuck her and she notes, mentally, that she should point out that more or less he is already fucking her (without that consent). (Could also freak the fuck out here but…) So obviously she says sure. They fuck, douche-bag watches and then they ask her to go back to their hotel….. I honestly quit reading not long after this, but not before the author makes one small attempt at curtailing the rape opener.

The girl asks the one guy that raped her (‘cause that is what it was) if she had said no when he eventually asked for consent (after he had already vaginally penetrated her) would he have stopped. Of course the dude says that he would have stopped and even says that he goes to extremes to get what he wants but he isn’t a rapist. I might have just vomited in my mouth.

So am I supposed to think “Oh, well since he would have stopped, you know, eventually, because he had already started, then it’s okay”? With that attempt to lighten the blow of rape, I would assume the rest of this novella is a few kinky sex scenes and the end. Don’t know. Don’t care. Not reading the rest.

I was, at the point where the author is attempting to curtail rape, still crying. She can have her main character think non-rape-ish, confused, maybe I want this, internal thoughts. She can tell you that it is erotic. There doesn’t have to be crying and screaming from the girl. Those of us that know better, those of us that have a healthy fear of men (if any fear of men can be called healthy) will never see scenes like that as anything other than what they are, rape. It will hurt for us to read them and hurt even more that someone, a woman especially, is trying to pass it off as being acceptable.

For those that don’t know better, the author is painting a horrifically misleading picture about what rape is.

As to what she is saying to men, well, this is what I see. This opening say that it is okay to physically trap a woman, penetrate her in some way, work at her for a bit and if you’re good enough at it she’ll like it and let you continue. Great fucking message. There is also a small bit in there about her being wet so must be turned on. NO. It is a biological reaction, not a fucking invitation.

I cannot, and will not try to articulate to you how far off base this author is about what goes on in a woman’s head when someone who is physically superior to her, traps her, and enters her body with anything: fingers, dick, foreign object, doesn’t fucking matter. *It doesn’t have to be his dick. And to say or portray that it wasn’t rape because he only enters her with his hands and not his dick right away, is wrong. Colossally wrong.

I have read other books that contain rape scenes. I have even liked books with these scenes, not liked the scene themselves, or the fact that it was a part of the book, but liked the book as a whole work. It is an understatement to say that it is unfortunate that rape is part of, or has been a part of life for some people. As all parts of life do, it has its place in literature. My issue with this novella in particular is the authors attempt to pass off the act of rape as something else, as something acceptable.  

Because I don’t really want to sit here on this train of thought all night, I’ll wrap this up by saying that if you ever write a sex scene, and you intend it to be anything other than rape, you need to have this order of operations down pat. 1) Consent, clear consent. 2) Everything else second.

May B.B.  (The, disappointed in her own genre sometimes, Writer)

*I am not implying that you must be, or that rape only happens when one person is physically superior to another. It’s just how it went down in that case.

As always, you can find me on Twitter and Facebook or shoot me an email via the contact page on this site. I love to hear from you.

Dirty Secrets of a Girl

Howdy, 21774321_s

Trying out different greetings. How do we like that one? I was born and spent the first twelve years of my life in Texas, so it seemed fitting. Anyhow, I was thinking about sex tonight. Not the act of sex so much, but the idea that as a girl I can be sexual, even overtly so.

I grew up in a home, even a culture where as a girl I was taught to be conservative. Women didn’t dress provocatively; we don’t make jokes about sex, or do ridiculous things like ogle men. I grew up with the idea that women didn’t watch porn, go to strip clubs, or hangout in groups having dirty conversations about the things we had done or would do. Sex was not something women pursued or admitted much about. Walking, talking virgin Marys. I have just never been able to shake the feeling that sex is a boy’s club thing.

To be fair, the first twelve years of my life I grew up in a very religious culture. The rest of my life has been a free for all, but we can talk about that some other time.  I’m sure that most of my thoughts on this come from those first twelve years. Even in that religious culture, it was still much more acceptable, even expected that men would talk about/ watch/ participate in sexually related things, and women would just blush politely when it was brought up.

It might surprise you to know, considering I write romance and erotica, but I still feel awkward about being open regarding sex. I still feel judged and ashamed. It is the main reason I use a pen name and not my name to write. I want to be able to promote my writing without the judgment of those in my day to day life, say the people I work with.

I was at a Facebook romance book release party tonight. If you have not been to one, GO! They are so much fun. Mostly it is girls posting pictures of men missing their clothing, and talking dirty. Really dirty. It was this party that got me thinking about tonight’s topic. Well, sorta. Really it was the fact that right after I sat here shamelessly posting pics of naked, beautiful men, and using words like lick-able, I went to post a much less provocative pic on Twitter and paused.

I didn’t want to post the pic on Twitter because I was afraid of what people might think. This is stupid considering my followers on Twitter all know me as a romance and erotica writer. Thing is, I was worried that they might think of me as less intellectual, or even sluttish, or shallow. I was worried about the other writers that follow me, and not so much those that follow me as readers or lovers of romance books.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized it is the men that follow me that I was most concerned with. After going to enough of these FB release parties I know just how dirty my fellow ladies are. I know that I’m not the only one that enjoys a beautiful man or having a place to be forward about it. We just do it behind closed doors (or in private FB parties). We do, however, judge each other in public, and I think that is just to save face.

So why is it that no one bats an eye when a man talks about a woman having a nice rack or ass, but people cringe when a girl talks about men that way? Is it the same for me to say a dude is packing, or that I wouldn’t mind finding out if he is?

I’ve spent a lot of time in bars. My parents owned one I worked in growing up, along with several others. Currently most of my friends work at a sports bar. I hear the way the guys talk about the girls that are not afraid to express their desires, thoughts, and selves regarding sex. Those are sluts, trashy, or girls that are less classy than the rest of us. Except that they aren’t. They’re just braver than most of us, or don’t give a shit about the unjust judgment. I also have heard the vilest things come out of these same men’s mouths, but they don’t suffer the same judgment.

So here it is for what it’s worth.  I like the human form, men and women (though not equally). I sometimes think dirty things when I see a form that appeals to me particularly, as I am sure men also do. If you have a nice mouth (yes we’ve talked about this before) I might think them while you’re talking to me. Some of the things I think or say might be considered objectifying. I like to think of it as appreciating, and don’t care that men do the same. I like strip clubs. Yep, not just tolerate them, like them. I’ve been known to scroll through a porn site, though with no regulaJameson_j-howtomakelovelikerity. The first nonfiction book I read was Jenna Jameson’s, How to Make Love Like a Porn Star. I am human and there for somewhat sexual in nature. Being a girl doesn’t change that.

I can be all, and do all of the things above and not be “dirty”. I can still be classy and intellectual. It doesn’t mean I sleep around or that I want to.  I have not, nor do I want to do all of the things I write in sex scenes for books. I do enjoy writing them, however (along with all of the other parts of the book and yes, there are other parts).

So this was supposed to be freeing in some way and I’m thinking it really isn’t. I know I’ll still second guess making that dirty joke or posting the yummy pics I find. I will still blush (and hate that I do it) when people say things that are sexual in nature to me. I won’t start posting things under my given name, and I’ll think about what you all think of me after I post this. I’ll post it anyway.

 Ladies, stay fabulously you. Be crazy, love what you love, and feel no shame.  Men, in too many ways we are just you with boobs and nicer asses.   

Give me your two (or three) cents on this, or anything else, on my Facebook or Twitter page.

May B.B. (The, I can be a good girl (sometimes), Writer)

Prince Charming is Dead, Now What?

I try not to put things out that sound like a PSA announcement, but this might. Sorry. Today, things feel a little sad for me. But that 17059284_sis part of life, right? Some days just aren’t great, and as someone who lives part of my life on paper I suppose that eventually it was bound to happen that I would want to write something on one of those sad days…. 

Prince Charming isn’t real. There will never be a man that whisks you away, that drags your life up from the mundane, pulls you off your floor scrubbing knees, thrusting your life into this idea of happily ever after. I’m sure this isn’t a shock, or even a revelation to any of you. We all know that perfect man we read about as little girls isn’t real, but for many he was the dream.

So when you come back down to earth, open your eyes, and realize this is the real world and not your fairytale, where does that leave the Marks, Johns, and Bobs in your life? If Prince Phillip, Eric, Adam, and Charming(yes that was really his name) were the pinnacle, albeit unrealistic, what does the bottom bar, minimally acceptable look like, and all the shades in between?

We read, and for some of us write, stories where the guy is the hero, he saves her, but for a lot of girls that is not what the men in their lives will be. Even if you never bought into the fairytale, I can tell you that this is a hard blow to take when it really hits home. Maybe that is because as much as we don’t believe it, some part of our heart secretly holds onto wishing it could be true.

So how do we reconcile the dream with what we really have, Charming with Bob? I have spent most of my life dealing with other people’s addictions; first a very close family member, then men I let in my life. So what happens when Charming drinks too much, or does drugs? What happens when Charming has a temper? Disney never answered that for you, did they? That’s what life is though, at least for many women.

I asked above what the bottom bar looks like. I asked because I think it’s important. As women we need to figure out what is acceptable from the people we love and what isn’t. From the outside looking in you might think these are easy standards to set, but I know that they aren’t. I can easily paint you a verbal picture of the perfect man. I can also articulate one that is completely unacceptable, but there is an in-between that is blurry and hard to explain.

I don’t know if anyone ever really learns from other people’s experiences, or if we have to live it ourselves, but I’m going to put this out there anyway. Living with, or loving people with addiction issues, hurts. Unfortunately sometimes it hurts physically, and more often than not it hurts emotionally. It’s lonely. Even when they are there, in some ways they live in a different world, one you can’t live in with them even if you try. You will always be second, maybe even third, or forth.  If you stick it out you’ll have to be in love with the person you know they can be, not the person they are, and both will break your heart.  

So this is where this is going to get very PSA-ish.  We know Charming isn’t real, but too many of us are still waiting around for him, or worse, hoping we can love the man in our lives enough to somehow transform him into Charming. You can’t. He will never be Charming, and that’s okay, but make sure he is still someone that is good for your life.

Think about, talk about what you want and what your bottom bar is. Aim far above it. Don’t wait for someone else to save you. When life is too hard, when you’re sad, tell someone. And not the person that is making you sad. Tell someone else. He isn’t going to put you first, so put yourself first. Live healthy, live happy, and let people into your life that want those things for you too. Prince Charming is dead. Reality killed him. Now we need to paint a different picture of what the people we give our hearts to should be.

Promise to those who read the silly things I write: the next one will be happier. Episode one of Holding Out for Home should be posted very, very soon!!! You can read it here on my site and it is free. I can’t wait for you all to meet Gwen and Jackson.

Here’s to hoping we all find our happy place. You can catch up with me on Facebook and Twitter.

May B.B. (The, not always happy, Writer)

Love & Other Things I Don’t Know Shit About.

Being a romance writer the subject of love comes up often in my circle. Usually not spurred on by me, but that’s another story. Today’s conversation had to do with loving someone you have never met, and if it’s even possible. The conversation was based around falling in love over the net, but it applies to all scenarios where one can fall in love without ever having actually met the other person: letters, private messages, email, tweets, posts… for example.

The group of us seems to be much divided on whether or not it’s possible to fall in love over the internet. I was thinking about this on my ridiculously long drive home today and am truly torn on the subject.

Let me first say that the subject of love in general is such a colossal idea that I wouldn’t even begin to tell you I understand it. Yes, I know I write about it, but in small fragments and sections. I write about pieces of love that exist in a word I created.

Mostly I write about the dark parts of people, the ugly, broken sides we try to hide from the world; what it’s like to love with scars and loving those who have them. Writing about love and relationships in that context is like looking at a single speck of dust floating in a galaxy.

So now that we have established that I don’t know jack shit about love, let’s get back to the subject at hand. Can you fall in love with someone you have never met?

I can come up with two arguments on this. One – and the more pessimistic side of me leans this way- you’re not falling in love with a person, just the idea of them. When I interact with someone new online I form an idea, if only rough, of who they are. More accurately, who I think they are. I take their, tweets, posts, words –whatever- and start to paint a mental picture of what they’re like. I give them characteristics like funny, smart, witty, kind, any number of ways you can describe a person.

The more I really think about it, however, it is their words I am assigning characteristics to. Not them. This would beg the question, are we our words? That is a rabbit hole I’m not diving down right now, but a great topic for debate, later.

So, I know a guy. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, but really I know a guy. This guy spent a very long time in prison; most of my life, actually. During his extended stay in one of our fine penal facilities, he found love. Awe how sweet.

Through a series of events he started writing a woman he had never met. They wrote for the better part of a decade before he was released, recently. When he was released they got married after spending a week together and then he moved in with her. I read a post from her not so long ago that said, “I thought you were my knight in shining armor. Turns out you’re an asshole in tinfoil.” Well said, lady.

I can only assume she was ranting about that guy I know. I think this is a perfect example of what I mean about falling in love with the idea of someone. She formed an idea of who he was based on the words he wrote her. Apparently the idea she had was a shiny knight.

I’m projecting here- When he moved in and didn’t smile as often as she imagined he would, didn’t use all those polite words he had written when he spoke to her, when he showed the flaws we all have but don’t present in written form, she saw something less than her imaginary knight, like tinfoil.

So the other side of me, we’ll call it the smaller side, would argue this: Falling in love with someone via written words that you’ve never met, is falling in love with the purest form of a person. Yes, that sounded more than a little idealistic and philosophical, but hang in here with me.

I will be the first to tell you that physical attraction is important. A man with a beautiful mouth does funny things to my heart. (Unimportant side note) I very much believe that the small things a person does – the way they grin when you compliment them or how they always let you walk through a door first – are things to be adored and loved. They can, however, also be the things that get in the way of actually seeing someone.

I know from my own long term relationships that there are times when all you see are those things, the small ticks that annoy you. It doesn’t take a long term relationship to stop seeing who a person is past what you find irritating about them.

I had a professor in college whose class I hated going to because he flailed his arms like a fish without water when he lectured. I found it so distracting that I couldn’t concentrate. But we are not our ticks. That professor was not his flailing arms. I’m not my tattoos and piercings, though I know plenty of people who dislike them. My daughter is not the annoying way she pops her gum. My brother is not the stupid voice he makes when he tries to impersonate me (poorly).

Getting to know someone by letter or internet interactions gives you the ability to know them apart from physical form. When all you have is a person’s words and thoughts, their ideas and feelings, you have who they are outside of what you see and the things they do. Who we are at our purest form, maybe?

Okay, so I did nothing to help answer the question of whether or not you can really fall in love with someone you don’t know. I’m just as torn on the subject now after making both arguments as I was driving home.

I know that I get happy when I see certain people in my Twitter or Facebook feeds, and I couldn’t begin to tell you why, considering I don’t actually know them. No, that’s not love. Not even close but I can’t help but wonder if for some people those unexplainable moments of happiness is how it starts.

Maybe it’s that there really isn’t one answer? Love is different for everyone, certainly, and that is the only thing I am certain of when it comes to love. So whether you love the idea of someone, or the purest form of who they are, I say if it’s making you happy go for it. Life isn’t long enough to deny yourself the people that make you happy or improve how you feel in some way.

Thanks for listening to me ramble. Let me know your thoughts on this, or anything else, via the contact page, or on Twitter and Facebook.8711243_s

May B.B.  (The, I love him, I love him not, Writer)