by Kate Pearce
Condoms-who needs them? Especially in fiction. It's an interesting question much debated in the romance community. There are some people who hate reading about condoms because they introduce the boring reality of life into what is, in essence, escapist erotic fantasy. Others won't finish a contemporary novel if the hero doesn't even suggest using a condom.
Can a talented writer slip a condom into a scene, (or an orifice) without taking the reader out of the story? Can a condom tell us something about the characters and how they feel about their partners? My critic partner and I had a very interesting discussion the other day about how what a man does with a used condom is very indicative of character. Does he leave it hanging, drop it in the sheets or your shoe or is he the conscientious type who puts it in the trash?
I asked some of my fellow Lusties to show you just how well a writer can deal with the whole issue. First up, keeping it short and sweet is Madeline Moore from her book Wild Card :
'I would wear a condom and I would not hurt you.'
'It's not possible to do it without hurting me,' she protested.
'Of course it is. I simply take my time. So? May I?'
He began kissing her tailbone.'
So sexy, so simple, so appropriate.
And then we have the very talented Madelynne Ellis from Dark Designs with an excerpt where the little details enhance the mundane and make putting on a condom an amazingly sexy and hot experience.
Dolores gave him a lip-gloss smile, and led him by the tail to the wooden stile. ‘Let’s get you dressed. I’ve brought some wet-weather
She rolled the condom down his shaft as if she was arranging one of her turtleneck sweaters. Dolores, he decided, would have enjoyed the days when sheaths had to be tied on with ribbons. She’d have fussed until everything was straight and neat.
‘Mmm, you’re so beautiful,’ she purred in her fake cut-glass accent. ‘All ready to come inside.’
Last but not least, in a contemporary setting we have the lovely Portia Da Costa who brings her own unique talents to the condom issue in her story In Too Deep
‘Give me that!’ I grab the condom and wrench open the packet. The contraceptive inside is slick and silky, but nowhere near as silky as the head of Daniel’s cock. Clear, silver fluid is seeping from the little eye there, his arousal just as eager and revealing as mine.
It’s a while since I put a condom on a man, but it’s one of those skills you never forget. Because it comes with the perk of handling a man’s delicious stiffness in the process. I manage to achieve our goal without fumbling, but the heat in his mighty flesh is unnerving. As is the agonised beauty of his face as I enrobe him.
Finally, he’s ready. Clad in rubber and even harder and higher than before, if that’s possible. My pussy throbs and purrs in anticipation.
What I like about all these excerpts is that each author makes the whole rubbery messy process into something special, somehow part of the foreplay and the thrill of having sex. So yes, it can be done. In the right hands, condoms are art.
And what about historical novels where characters happily fuck away and nobody gets a sexually transmitted disease or gets pregnant?
I did a bit of research about the history of condoms which I thought I'd share. Apparently, all my historical novels are obsessed with the idea of fertility and contraception. I didn't notice this until one of my critique partners helpfully pointed it out. Perhaps it's the result of being brought up as a Catholic and having four kids.
Here's a short excerpt from my book Antonia's Bargain, which deals with my heroine's fear of getting pregnant:
“If I’d had more time with you, I intended to introduce you to this method of ensuring a man doesn’t pick up the French pox.”
Antonia studied the thin envelope which seemed to be made of some kind of filmy animal skin. “Is it snake skin?”
Gideon opened the envelope and withdrew another piece of the thin parchment-like material. This longer narrower piece had ribbons around the open end and was sewn shut at the bottom. He carefully slid one finger inside and held it up.
“It’s pig intestine. The same thing used to make sausage skin.”
She glanced down at his groin before she could stop herself. “It goes over your cock?”
“That is correct. Not only does it prevent disease, but it means that a man’s seed remains trapped inside it after he comes which seems to prevent pregnancy.”
Antonia touched the wrinkled cream skin with her fingertip. She imagined it might feel as if you wore a glove.
“Do you use these?”
“Of course I do.”
“Did you use them with your wife?”
A muscle twitched in his cheek. “My wife refused to allow me to use them, which is why I eventually refused to have sex with her.”
Anyone brought up in the UK probably watched a children's show called 'Blue Peter' which was kind of a junior chat show, educational, sometimes funny and not to be missed. They were very keen on diy projects such as make your Mother an xmas gift using an old can, sticky back plastic and a tube of glitter, kind of thing-but I digress. Here is my very own diy project for those of you willing to make a considerable effort.
How to make a sheep gut condom (1824)
Soak a sheep's intestine caeca in water for a number of hours, then turn inside out, and macerate them again in weak alkaline, changed every 12 hours. Scrape them carefully to remove the mucous membrane, leaving the peritoneal and muscular coats, and expose them to the vapour of burning brimstone. Then wash them in soap and water, inflate them, dry them and cut to a length of seven to eight inches. Finally, border the open end with a ribbon to tie round the base of the penis, and before use soak the condom in water to make it supple.
(See? it's easy when you know how!)
Apparently, the two most famous London condom sellers in the mid nineteenth century were Mrs Phillips and Mrs Perkins, who produced competing pamphlets to promote their shops. Mrs Phillips also had a wholesale company on Half Moon Street off the Strand. For those who could not afford the services of Mrs Phillips and Mrs Perkins, Miss Jenny did a roaring trade in washed, second-hand condoms.
Oh Miss Jenny, how could you?
And just to prove that even in the future my characters still worry about the whole condom problem, here's a bit from my upcoming book Secured Mail, which is all about Sven an intergalactic viking trying to understand the strange sexual rituals of Earth women.
“What is that? Another toy?”
Thea held out the can. “It’s for your cock.”
Sven glanced at the gaudy can and then down at his erection. “I do not understand.”
Thea shook the can. “This stuff coats your cock and stops you impregnating me.”
“Why would you wish me to use that?”
“Because I don’t want a baby?”
He sat down on the edge of the bed, one hand wrapped around the base of his cock. “Ah, my queen told me about this. It is a form of contraception, yes?”
“That’s right. It’s much better than the old-fashioned sheaths which basically tried to stop your semen getting inside me, not always successfully.” She pointed at the can. “This stuff allows you to ejaculate normally but sterilizes your sperm as they pass through the coating. One spray works all night.”
Sven still looked dubious. ‘It is difficult for me to understand this, my lady. On my planet, every woman is desperate to conceive.”
Thea allowed the can to fall on the rumpled bed. “On this planet it happens to be the direct opposite. If you can’t accept that, then we can’t make love.” She held her breath, aware of a strange feeling of hurt inside her. Was she only desirable if she could become pregnant? He met her gaze, his brown eyes open and direct.
“I would consider myself a lucky man if you allowed me to impregnate you.”
She tried to laugh but the sound stuck in her throat as she registered his sincerity. “Thank you, I think, but I’m not changing my mind. No Sperm Be-Gone, no sex.”
So you tell me-how do you feel about condoms and contraceptives in erotic fiction?
Friday, May 23, 2008
Posted by Kate Pearce at 11:52 PM