As an avid MM Romance reader, I think I'm going through a phase I can only describe as "erotic overload." I seem to be entering a phase I can only inadequately describe as wanting to read more "emotional intimacy" without the eroticism. I think I'm needing less sex in the stories and more emotional intimacy. I know the two are not mutually exclusive... just feel overloaded with so much sex on the page right now. Hope that makes sense and doesn't sound weird?
I'm not making any kind of judgment about authors who write erotic romance. Believe me, I've read my fair share and am awed by those who can write good sex scenes. And doubly awed by authors who know how to write a sex scene that is integral to the storyline and moves things along or adds to the emotional impact of the story.
But I'm just feeling overloaded right now by reading so much sex. Maybe having sex almost every day with another guy has made me immune to the impact of reading about two other guys having sex? And if I have a choice (which I most certainly do!), I'll give up reading about two guys having sex any day, rather than the real thing! LOL!
One thing I haven't mentioned before is that I'm a very, very slow reader. Even with the help of my meds for ADHD, it's very hard for me to sit down for an extended period of time and make headway through a book. I hear about people who can actually sit down and read an average-sized book in one day. First of all, I rarely have much time to devote to reading since I'm doing so many other things, but I get distracted very easily and it seems my overactive brain is always bugging me about other ways I could be spending my time.
When I use to read traditional paper books, I would always see how long the chapter was and would LOVE reading books where a whole chapter could be tackled in 15 or so minutes. Short chapters always guaranteed that I'd stick with the book.
With e-books, I'm always scanning ahead to get a sense of how long the chapter is. If it's a really long one, I've somehow made peace with stopping after 20 minutes or so, even if it's in the middle of a scene. I hate doing that, but that's the only way I can make it through.
I've been told ADHD is not technically a learning disability, but my doctor says it's probably somewhere on that spectrum. I use to feel some shame that I have trouble concentrating and focusing and sticking with a story, but I now realize it's just the way my brain operates.
It's especially hard for me to read at night. My meds are wearing off and it's a huge challenge to sit down with a book and make any progress. It's frustrating to me because I actually love reading and I know a lot of people read in the evening to relax with a good book. I think my brain in the evening is like that of a young child in the sense that I don't want to slow down so I'm trying to stay up as long as I can!
Brad has learned there's one fail-proof way to get me settled down and into bed. Can you guess his method? Yep. Sex. It's the one time my brain and my body are in perfect sync and cooperating together and I don't have to worry about how long it's going to take. If sex is like a book, then that's the one time I LOVE really, really L-O-N-G chapters!
Let me get back to how much I enjoy reading for the "emotional intimacy." I know we all probably have different reasons for reading. Sometimes I like to read for escape or to be entertained or to be taken away from the "real world." I LOVE vampire and zombie stories. But lately I've really been drawn to stories where the characters are coming to terms with different aspects of themselves they've either just discovered, or have been in conflict with.
I LOVE seeing how the author lets us get a glimpse into their thinking, including the messiness of it all. And then seeing how they work things out. This is what I call "individual emotional intimacy." When the characters are able to struggle within themselves and finally resolve something within which allows them to know and love themselves better.
And then there's "emotional intimacy" between two characters. Seeing how two characters do the "intimacy dance" with each other. Feeling anxious. Feeling a little uncertain. Feeling drawn in. Feeling drawn away. Getting the dance steps just right. Deciding on who's going to lead, who's going to follow, how they're going to share the steps. Whether to reach out and touch. Whether to kiss. Whether to smile. How much to show. How much to withhold. I LOVE that "emotional intimacy" dance. Those are the kind of stories I'm drawn to now.
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So, what are your thoughts about "erotic overload" or "emotional intimacy"?