Monday, July 31, 2006

The Case Against the Bodice-Ripper

Actual plot line of actual romance-novel paperback found in our home library at Hacienda de Meimei. I don't know who bought this (fo'sho it ain't me) but I won't be surprised if the author in question had written books in a similar way.

Heroine with Exotic Name: Oh, poor me, I'm a naive young miss who needs to lose her virginity!
Unusually Virile Romantic Interest #1 With Exotic Name: Behold! I will charm you with my long, flowing tresses, my broad, muscular chest, my over-the-top mansion, and my unusual talent! Oh, and also to have sex with you.

Heroine and Unusually Virile Romantic Interest #1 spend the next 20 pages having lots and lots of graphic sex complete with highly detailed descriptions of certain body parts.

Heroine: Oh, I have enjoyed my time with you. I think I am in love with you!
Romantic Interest #1: But I cannot love you. You are young, there is so much of the world that you should know and explore.
Heroine: No, I won't leave you! I love you!
Romantic Interest #1: Here's my charming and witty friend, Unusually Virile Romantic Interest #2. He comes from an exotic land where women are driven to distraction with kinky sex.
Romantic Interest #2: All-right, THREESOME!
Heroine: Oh, well, if you insist, then.

30 more pages of graphic sex. And then...

Romantic Interest #1: I'm jealous.
Heroine: Too late. Romantic Interest #2 is taking me on an exotic holiday. Maybe you should stay with your hot-blooded and exotically-named new girlfriend. With whom you cheated on me. Ta-ta.
Next 50 pages describes holiday between Heroine and Romantic Interest #2 in Exotic Faraway Place, punctuated by short moments of graphic, kinky sex involving various positions, accessories, and a few implements which are sadly unavailable at your friendly neighborhood sex-toy store. And then...
Heroine: Something has happened in my home town. Maybe I should go back and visit.
Romantic Interest #2: Well, okay, then. But remember, you are now an intelligent and independent Woman of the World, and I have taught you things that the highly virile Romantic Interest #1 has never taught you before. And also, you are MINE!

Enter Romantic Interest #3, with not-so-exotic name and plain, conservative outfit concealing innate sexy qualities.
Romantic Interest #3: Hi. I was just in the neighborhood and wanted to see if you wanted to get a malt or something.
Heroine: No, I cannot go with you! I must find out why Something has happened in my home town! And also to see if Romantic Interest #1 is still alive so I can have steamy hate-sex with him.
Romantic Interest #1: Behold, I am here for you, my Heroine! I may be older now, but I will turn your steamy hate-sex into wild passionate lovemaking! Also, I will tell you my Terrible Secret that has led to Something happening in your home town.

More sex in the next 15 pages with Romantic Interest #1 as character exposition continues at glacial pace.

Heroine: Oh, how I wish I had not known this Terrible Secret!
Romantic Interest #1: Yes, but you must know. By the way, I love you. And now I must die.
Heroine: Noooooo!
Romantic Interest #3: See, I told you he had something to do with it.
Heroine: I hate you, I hate you, I hate you! Wait, Romantic Interest #3, you're beginning to look hot to me.
Romantic Interest #3: Well, I've never had hate-sex before with a woman like you, then. And certainly not with the ex-girlfriend that I've been hung up on all this time who's kinda lousy in bed, now that I think of it.
Heroine: All this supposedly witty and spontaneous banter is making me horny.
Romantic Interest #3: Let's just go back to my plain suburban house, where I don't have a spiraling staircase and satin sheets like you're used to with Romantic Interest #1.
Heroine: Great.

Next 10 pages spent on supposed hate-sex where Heroine has near-religious moments of ecstasy as Romantic Interest #3 introduces her to hot lovemaking in conventional positions without props and toys.

Romantic Interest #3: You're a great gal, Heroine. I think I'm falling in love with you.
Heroine: But I must leave you! At least to resolve that plot line involving Romantic Interest #2, who seems to have dropped out of the picture.
Romantic Interest #2: I am here! Come with me so we can explore more Far Away Lands!
Heroine: I'd love to! Wait, where is this sudden bout of indecision coming from?
Romantic Interest #2: Never mind. I want to fall in love with you, but you are beginning to remind me of my unintentionally homoerotic friendship with Romantic Interest #1. Let me put you back on the next plane to your home town while I get on the phone with Romantic Interest #3 and tell him what he should do to win back your love, since there's no chance in hell that I'm actually gay.

Heroine gets on plane, and spends an entire half-chapter crying about What Should Have Been. Also to wonder if Romantic Interest #2 is really That Gay.

Romantic Interest #3: Hey, long time no see. By the way, here's the non-sex-related stuff you like that Romantic Interest #2 told me about the other day.
Heroine: My love! My true love! Oh, how much I love you!
Non-sexual body contact. Heroine then gets turned on by Romantic Interest #3's manly smell, even if his conventional polo shirt and khaki pants don't seem to do the trick.
Romantic Interest #3: I love you, too.
Heroine: I'm ready to start my new but less exciting life with you.
Romantic Interest #3: Hey!
Heroine: Kidding. Let's go home. I think we could both use some looooooove.
Implied sex, then implied long-term monogamous relationship. The End.

4 comments:

Toya said...

OMG! That was awesome! BTW - I did an entire term paper on bodice rippers when I was in college. Imagine the research!

meimei said...

T. - the research on that paper must've been very painstaking,at the very least. Although I'd be also the first to admit that some of the historical novels - especially Bertrice Small's, which also has tons of exotic kinky sex -are quite pithy when it comes to term-paper worthy information about women in history. This novel I've summarized, unfortunately, is not one of those novels...

meimei said...

BTW, I love me some bodice-ripping action myself as well. Glad you liked this! ;)

LitFiends said...

Just found your blog as I was starting my own. Great stuff on here. Have you ever thought about writing a book? Be in touch!