Mind Over Libido: Why Romance Writers Let The Clit Win Every Time!

“So, do you not owe it to yourself to bend Andrew’s will to be your own? To make him lose himself to you, so you are one? Is that not why we marry one another? To be one mind, one flesh? -- Mistress Malena Darke” ― JR Scott, Remote Control Volume I: Owned From Afar
I'm going to give full disclosure before I even get started with this post.  First and foremost, I get it!  I understand how sometimes the body overrides the mind and shit happens.  I've been there.  We've all been there.  I rather like it there, so I try to visit that place as much as possible... okay, I digress.  Having acknowledged the reality of super-charged loins having more power than super-charged brain cells, I must confess my disappointment with the vapid use of what Luzia Bielefeld *BookWhore BR*'s Reviews on Goodreads refers to as, Treacherous-Body-Syndrome.   I freaking love this term.  Wish I'd thought of it myself.

What is Treacherous-Body-Syndrome (TBS)?

Therefore, I choose to define TBS as a person's inability to honor their own sense of self-preservation and make decisions in their own best interest as opposed to listening to what 8000 nerve-endings perched on something the size of a pinhead says is the right thing to do at that moment.  Yes, I realize how petty and petulant I sound right now, but come on!  Are women really so weak and addled by arousal they're not able to make better choices for their bodies?  For themselves?  If you read and believe romance novels, it would appear to be the case.

It isn’t enough to set up a believable conflict in your story; you also have to resolve it. A conflict, however believable, is not successful if it does not end in a way that satisfies the reader. ~Jennifer Lawler

My Caveat: The whole internal conflict of mind over body is juicy and can be sexy as hell when used to create the slow-burn.  However, there has to be a resolution of this conflict in order for it to be effective in moving the plot and/or characters forward.  If the TBS is not resolved at some point, then basically we're left reading about sexual coercion and assault, and there's nothing sexy about that.

Enchanted Treacherous Body Syndrome

If you are not aware of my brand, let me give you a short and dirty rundown of what it is and how it underpins everything I endeavor to create.

  • Brand Name--Enchanted
  • Brand Meaning--The strength, beauty, bravery, sensuality, spirituality, and creative power innate to every woman.
Now, allow me to explain how I like to use TBS and why when I use it, it's Enchanted.  My novels will always have a heroine who saves herself.  Why?  Because I have three daughters who need to understand they--I mean, we are not damsels in distress.  We don't need a prince charming to save the day with his long, pointy tool.  We have everything we need to do anything we want... and we can order our own tools from Amazon or the Pleasure Parlor.  Sorry, got sidetracked... the point is; it's important to and for me to present my sex-crazed heroine as more than a Brazillian waxed vagina and dying brain cells.

I understand why reading the TBS conflict is so appealing.  We've all fanaticized about the unwanted-wanted sexual encounter as a way to get over the guilt of cheating, fornicating, breaking social norms--whatever taboo thing it is.  The-I didn't want to do it, but when he started touching me... my mind left me and one thing led to another- excuse.  People read romance to escape and/or live vicariously through the lives of characters who have no real consequences once the book is closed.  

Here's my take on it.  If I'm thinking about being with someone and it requires the development of TBS to make it happen, I need to evaluate what's motivating my desires.  That is to say, there may be a reason the thought of having sex with someone who would use my body against me is appealing--and it has nothing to do with how well hung the phrases of a romance novel are.  

We know the status quo for using TBS conflict, let me share with you how I use Enchanted TBS conflict. 

Enchanted TBS conflict is only resolved when the heroine admits what she wants, goes after it, and obtains it on her terms.  I want my readers to be empowered to do the same as my heroines.  I want to encourage my readers to own their own desires and make no apologies for having them.  Every woman is born with strength, beauty, bravery, sensuality, spirituality, and creative power.  What she does with it is completely up to her; not her 8000-nerve-laden clitoris.

Remember, writing is a journey and sometimes the Universe sprinkles her wisdome along your path to guide you along on way.  Be present, don't miss the enchanted moments of your life.  Until next time; be brave, be beautiful, and be enchanting.



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