Today's stop is an character interview with Sidney (not her real name). 31 Flavors is based on her life.
There's been some debate recently about romance novels and how they may destroy a marriage. What do you think of that?
Sid: I think it depends on the person. If you’re insecure in yourself and your relationship, or if you buy into the image of the perfect man then I can see how it might be harmful. Look. Fiction is fiction. It’s not reality. There’s no perfect man. Or perfect Dom. If you don’t know that by now you have more problems than whether to read romance novels. For me it opened my eyes and my mind. It made me get in touch with my femininity and sensual nature. Reading about BDSM specifically made me feel more normal. Like I’m not the only person who craves kinky. I’m not a freak. It’s okay to want these things. It’s okay even to need them. After that I was far more confident in communicating it to my husband. Quite honestly, romance novels saved my marriage.
-- what did you think of sex and talking about it with Nick especially, before reading these novels?
I thought it was shameful. Something to be kept secret.
-- would you ever have discussed BDSM with Nick if you'd not read about it in novels?
Hard to know for sure. Maybe I would have exploded with pent up sexual frustration. Lol. But I don’t think I would’ve ever told him.
-- do you think the unreality and hype in such novels could be a bad thing?
Yes, as I said, when women don’t recognize it for what it is – fantasy. Yes you can experience similar things in real life – good sex, true love – but it will never look exactly the same as in the books. When you start comparing, that’s when you run into trouble. Be grateful for what you have while leaving room for improvement. That’s my advice.
-- what are some of the important things in those novels that may have helped you.
Don’t be embarrassed about my sexuality. It’s okay to want things, need things, that go beyond vanilla sex. And in order for me to be fulfilled, I have to talk. Talk, talk, talk. Even read books or scenes you like out loud for your partner. If you can talk face to face, email. Or text. We did a lot of texting.
Q: Would you say you're unusual in finding the answers to your problems with sexuality from the pages of a fiction book?
Sid: I have no idea but I doubt it. Romance is a popular genre. Women are reading it for a reason.
-- has traditional psychotherapy helped you?
Oh sure. But some things you need to figure out for yourself. Sometimes your greatest epiphanies happen outside of the box.
Q: Do you foresee the rise in eBooks as continuing to open up women to the idea of sex being something that should be discussed openly and not thrust under the carpet?
I sure hope so.
Links for the book and the authors:
31 Flavors releases Valentine’s Day February 14th.
Available from Smashwords, Amazon and on other eBook retail sites like ARE but may take another 2 weeks to get to those.
31 Flavors site – www.thirtyoneflavors.weebly.com
Leia’s site – www.leiashaw.com
Leia’s blog – www.leiashaw.blogspot.com
Leia’s facebook – www.facebook.com/leiashaw
Leia’s twitter - @LeiaShaw
Cari’s website http://www.carisilverwood.net/
Cari’s blog - http://www.carisilverwood.net/keyboard-fandango---blog.html
Cari on facebook http://www.facebook.com/cari.silverwood
Cari on twitter - @CariSilverwood