Raven Heights Radio – Red August – Episode 48

Red August will be available August 19th on Kindle – and if all goes according to plan, a variety of other platforms as well!  You can find out where to buy Red August at www.hlbrooks.com as soon as the links become available.

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Erica of Raven Heights Radio

As I posted in a quickie post yesterday, I was a guest on Raven Heights Radio.

I wanted to go ahead and do a little episode guide of sorts, to provide links about things that Erica and I discussed, as well as clarify a few points.  Because, as I stated in the episode, being misunderstood is kind of my kryptonite.

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I DO realize that some people make it their MISSION to misunderstand people, so those are NOT the folks I’m worried about.  So long as I do my best to be clear, I know I’ve done my part.

Before I want to get on with the links I want to make it clear that I don’t think there is anything wrong with classic romance where the guy saves the girl.  Romance is a fantasy world, and particularly fairy tales have that element.  Those are the stories I fell in love with and I still like those kinds of stories.  People rescue each other all of the time.  And I think if you look at the underlying elements of many romance stories – even if on the surface it seems like the guy swoops in and saves the day – you will see that people just rescue each other in different ways and sometimes the swooping is mutual.  For my part, in Red Riding Hood, I wanted to take the story of the little girl who was warned about going through the woods and turn it on its ear.  Whether I manage to do that, remains to be seen in the court of public opinion.  But whatever others bring to the story and read into it, that was my intention.  There is a possibility in the future that I will write a more classic “guy rescues girl” scenario – and there ARE elements of that in Red August – we don’t exist inside of a bubble, after all.  Relationships are built on mutual helping and understanding.  Whatever your tastes, somebody is writing it. There are many wonderful writers of romance out there to fill every type of story fantasy you could wish for, so go forth and find them.  Look for them on twitter and Instagram.  They want you to read their stories and you want to read them – what better match is there than that?

STUFF RELATED TO THIS PODCAST EPISODE!

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Fast Time on VHS!

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Genre Guideline Links

Sub-genres of Romance

What is Erotic Romance?

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Sex Positive Links

Sex Positivity

Laci Green

Joy of Sex 1972 – Man, everybody’s parents had one of these.

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I was going to say the two types were the top 40 and rock – but also rap was just starting to come out and I was fascinated by that as well.  I listened to Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Blondie, Queen, Billy Idol, John Cougar (no Mellencamp), Heart, Billy Joel, Sugarhill Gang, Olivia Newton John, Comodores, Hall & Oates…man the list just goes on and on.   Everybody who liked any kind of popular music would not miss Casey’s Top 40.  I’ve found that through the magic of the interwebz we can listen to a whole episode from July 24, 1982 – 33 years ago! WHUT!?  Even though it doesn’t have the full songs (I guess they can’t) but it’s got the commercials and everything!  Talk about flashbacks!  There is no doubt I was laying in my room on my bed under all of my music posters listening to this on my radio.  After I listen to this I’m going to have to make a mix tape and go make-out with my boyfriend.

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WHFS – DC (Historic)

HFS – Baltimore – you can listen online (but it ain’t exactly the same, tho!)

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George Lucas and Star Wars

This was written in 2014 —

“In 1978, Star Wars won seven Academy Awards. But if you want to watch that original version, the first of George Lucas’s soon to be seven-part saga, you’ll find it difficult. In fact, it’s actually impossible to buy an official copy of Star Wars as it was first released. Lucas doesn’t want you to see that version. Instead, he wants you to watch the continuously updated special editions—movies with added CGI, changed sound effects, and whole new scenes.”  READ MORE AT THEATLANTIC.COM

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As an example of the discussion over the digital work on the original movies, which birthed the controversy – Han Shot First.

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Jedi Academy at Disneyland

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After the show the featured song (which is really good, y’all!) – Slow Motion by The Jesters

Daddy Issues

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The following is regarding consensual interaction only.  It’s also just my opinion learned from life’s little lessons.  Also, I think “erotica”  and “porn” really falls outside the realm of this discussion.  Erotica is geared towards fetishes and fantasy.  If you’re trying to learn psychological lessons from erotica, you might be barking up the wrong tree.

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I’ve been thinking about the way people’s sexual preferences are portrayed in a variety of media.  How some things are typically frowned upon, regardless of context.  Things like older men even noticing younger women are “dirty old men” and how young women who prefer older men have “daddy issues.”  Mind you, when those words come up they are usually with a negative bent.

I think that what is missing from this equation is the acknowledgement that all of us have sexual preferences for reasons.  Having “daddy issues” or “mommy issues” demeans the people who choose these relationships.  A younger person falls in love with somebody older, it implies they cannot make a sound decision based on the older person as a whole.  It also demeans the older person as well, as though they are taking advantage of the younger person.

I’ve seen arguments that older people and younger people cannot have an equal relationship.  Implying that only people who are totally equal can ever be in a consensual relationship together.  But how can we possibly quantify, beyond known power imbalance, that this is somehow detrimental to a relationship?

Therapists should not date their patients.  Teachers should not date their students.  Bosses should not date their subordinates.  These things make sense.  There is definite power imbalance in these situations.  But beyond these types of relationships, things get murky.

People have all kinds of psychological reasons for why they are attracted to other people.  They love big breasts or tiny feet.  They fall in love with singers or writers or military men (and women).  There are many reasons we feel attractions and they are all valid.  Some of them can be self destructive.  For example, people who only fall in love with married people.  Or people who fetishize something to the point they cannot have a bonding sexual experience, or possibly any sexual experience, without that fetish present. Or people have a fetish that hurts others, non-consensually.

So what exactly is an equal relationship?  Only professors with equal education levels?  Only people who speak the same language?  Only people who are making similar income levels?  Celebrities can only date celebrities?

We have long rolled our eyes at the professor who sleeps with the co-ed.  But these relationships happen time and time again for a reason.  Each person is attracted and having some need met.  The co-ed swoons over the smart handsome professor.  Or the young male student is interested in a sexy older woman.  This could also be female/female or male/male.  The possibilities are endless. The professors feel adored.  Who doesn’t like to feel smart and adored?  The student feels special.  Both parties are smart enough to know the cliche – so why does it keep happening (and often ending badly) over and over again?  Because these people are chemically and psychologically drawn to each other.  If it turns out that they learn something along the way – that’s called a lesson.  If these people have destructive, hurtful relationships that hurt other people each time, then maybe they learn to stop the harmful behavior.  But at least sometimes, it works out.  And that’s not a mistake.  It’s because some people are actually meeting each others needs.

Learning from sexual mistakes are like every other mistake we make as we grow.

I’ve mostly been thinking of this because of Monica Lewinsky’s TED Talk about bullying.  And the imbalance in the blame that went on in the fallout.  I was much younger then and I remember being angry at her as much a Bill Clinton.  Part of that was media driven madness.  So unfair.  But now that I’m a bit older I realize that their behavior isn’t so out of place in a world where all of us have needs and sometimes they aren’t being met and the next thing you know, the thing that can scratch your itch is right there.  It’s human.  There was definitely a power imbalance in that relationship, so in my feeling if there is blame to go around it should be laid squarely at Bill Clinton’s feet.  In retrospect, the only thing that really bothers me about all of that stuff now, is the lies he told – to his wife.  But that’s none of my business.

I think we get mad, not because we think Monica did something that is so wrong or out of the realm of fairly normal behavior for a young woman intoxicated by a powerful man.  I think we get mad because we don’t want our spouse cheating on us and embarrassing us in front of everybody.  Wounding our egos.  Feeling like somebody is going to take away the thing that made us feel safe when we were first together.  We were mad at Monica because we identified more with the wronged spouse.  If you identified more with Monica, then you were probably not the spouse in the scenario.  It’s all relative.

Being with somebody who I totally trust has made all of the difference in the way I project my feelings onto these situations.  Growing up some, has given me perspective.  When you have a healthy self esteem and you totally trust that your spouse is truthful and always has your best interest at heart, you don’t worry about these things.  Therefore you don’t project your insecurities onto the people in these scenarios.  That doesn’t mean that your relationship will never suffer any serious blows.  Or that a lie can’t and won’t happen.  It just means that you’re more likely to get what you need from that relationship 98% of the time and you’re not going to go around being mad at things that have nothing to do with you.

I said all of that to say this:  we should stop portraying some sexual desires as gross or stupid.  Sure, we can have characters in stories that think some things are gross or stupid.  But it would be nice to see it stop being validated within the story.  An older woman and a younger man is always a “cougar.”  Sure, that’s fun and wink-wink, nod-nod.  And sometimes that is fine and appropriate.  But it’s become a trope and it sort of removes the humanity from the people involved.

Old men noticing young women isn’t always “dirty old man” situation.  Remember, every young man who came of age and was into young women isn’t going to just stop finding young women attractive because his body ages.  He may make the choice to only date older women or more mature women, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to stop his attraction younger women.

We seem to be at war with our humanness.  Rather than accept those parts that are normal and ingrained and then building on them to make better decisions.  Controlling our behavior for healthier happier outcomes.  Rather than build up from the foundation we’ve laid, we tear other things down so we feel better.  We have a culture of this sort of thing.  From the magazines at the check-out aisle where we can see which successful person who is richer than we are has cellulite so we feel better about our cellulite, to viewing senior citizens as funny little non-sexual entities. Some day we will be staring at a seventy year old lover, if we are lucky enough to be having sex well into our old age.

We all are attracted to what we are attracted to because it meets some need inside of us.  I don’t mean our sexual orientation.  That’s just part of what you are born with.  I mean the aspects and features of others that we are attracted to.   And even if you think somebody else has weird needs and attractions, so long as things are consensual and not hurting their lives or the life of somebody else, it’s ok.  They’re ok.  You’re ok.  And it’s none of your business. Just don’t stop growing.  The more honest we can be about these things, the more we can grow.

So buy that new whip for your dungeon room and put on that tu-tu and dance around.  Spank or get spanked.  Put on that superhero spandex.  Role-play.  Kiss.  Fuck.  Lick chocolate off of each other.  Have fun.  Healthy sex is fun, satisfying sex.