In the movies, we would have made love again.
In real life, I was asleep in five minutes.
I know Matt and I'm sure this line was written a bit tongue-in-cheek, but that's not why I laughed. I laughed because it highlighted an issue I'm facing in my own writing.
As I've disclosed, I'm now writing, under the pen name of Meg Chambers, a steamy romance series about a 50-year-old newly divorced woman named Winnie Wilde who is rediscovering herself emotionally and physically. In the first novella, RUNNING WILDE, she starts off with an affair with a 28-year-old named Ben Church. Winnie's adventures continue in WILDE WOMEN, due out late summer 2015.
Here's an excerpt from WILDE WOMEN:
In the book, Adam kept up the action, but this wasn’t a book. This was reality and Ben was a real man. He might be a young man, but he still had his limits.
Sexual limitations. That's the issue. In reality, most men cannot keep on humping and pumping, unless they have the help of meds. In reality, couples, especially men, turn over and fall asleep pretty quickly after making love. I know this because I've been there, done that myself. And it happens more as you get older. Trust me on this. I'm not as old and stuffy as I might appear.
BUT, Winnie Wilde is fiction and in fiction the writer can do whatever he/she wants. Right? Maybe. Maybe not.
In the Winnie Wilde books I have Winnie and her lovers using condoms. There is no discussion about it. No whining from the man that "it doesn't feel as good." It's just the natural and responsible thing to do. Since it is fiction, I could have them enjoying unprotected sex without the thought of STDs. After all, it's my world and in my world STDs do not have to exists. Right?
Even though I write fiction, most of my fiction is reality based. One might argue that my Ghost of Granny Apples books are fantasy, but can you prove that ghosts don't exist? Or how about my Odelia Grey character stumbling over bodies every six months or so? No, that isn't reality either, but when it comes to portraying everyday life, I strive for reality.
When Winnie is about to embark on her affair with Ben, she has a frank discussion with her best friend Kathy:
“Condoms,” groaned Winnie, “there’s another concern.”
“Just stock up,” Kathy advised. “Get a small assortment of sizes, just in case.”
“Condoms come in sizes?” Winnie’s eyes shot open at the news. “You mean like shoes?”
“They also come in different colors and styles,” Kathy advised. “Just like shoes.” She winked across the table at Winnie.
Being a responsible adult, Winnie uses condoms. I made sure of that. As for the frequency of sex, I recently edited a portion of WILDE WOMEN to make it more realistic. The original text was much more exciting and involves a new romantic partner for Winnie, Dr. Gabriel Dunn, who is hotter than hot. But Dr. Gabe is pushing forty and he and Winnie need time to bond in other ways besides between the sheets. That's also reality.
So grown-ups in non-monogamous relationships use condoms and men not on meds don't keep it up for hours. Real sex is messy and often awkward, and if it didn't feel so damn good, we might not bother with it except to procreate.
BTW, I am having SO MUCH FUN writing the Winnie books.
And that's all I'm going to say about that...