Remember what it was like? The excitement, the guilt, the vague sense of embarrassment…not to mention the potential to get caught, which was an aphrodisiac in and of itself. Maybe you were in bed after lights-out or hidden away in a closet, but you were probably alone with no one but James or Edward or Rex. Maybe you weren’t quite sure what was going on, because you were twelve years old and still didn’t understand why you weren’t allowed to watch all of Dirty Dancing, but you knew you’d never be the same again.
Um, I’m talking about your first romance novel, of course. Sheesh. What were you thinking?
My first romance novel (that I can remember) was Heather Graham’s “Sweet Savage Eden.” I have no idea how it came to be in my possession (although I suspect I used my allowance to buy it at Haslam’s in St. Pete during one of our many family trips to the bookstore), but the novel opened my eyes to a lot of things. A lot of big things.
Basic plot? Boy mistakes girl for prostitute, deflowers her, marries her, knocks her up, falls in love with her, all in that order. The late 80’s/early 90’s were the dying days of the classic bodice-rippers, when “no” meant “yes” and the women learned to love it by the dawn’s early light. Don’t take my word for it. Check this out:
I’m not going to go so far as to say that everything I know about about sex came from romance novels, because that would do Judy Blume, Cosmopolitan and HBO a great disservice, but I certainly didn’t learn the really good stuff from sex-ed via the public education system. Although if belted sanitary napkins ever come back in style, I could probably hook you up.
I think I’m off topic…and no doubt any guy who was reading this has now checked out. All I was really trying to say is that that first romance novel leaves an impression, whether you fall in love with Mr. Darcy or with Fabio. For me, it inspired an entire career.
So, being a naturally inquisitive person, I’m always interested to hear about other people’s experiences. Even if you didn’t end up writing romance novels, you had to have at least picked one up at the store and flipped through it at some point.
C’mon. There’s a first time for everyone.