Will romance writers be the last to acknowledge that “sculpted abs,” “lean bodies,” “perfectly rounded breasts,” and “firm rumps,” while all quite nice, are not prerequisites for sexual chemistry and satisfaction?
Perhaps not. Perhaps romance writers can instead position themselves at the vanguard of a literary movement to acknowledge that satisfying sexual relationships can exist between persons of considerable avoirdupois, as the French say.
The following excerpt (reprinted here with the permission of TenSpeed Press and shortened a bit) is from a story called “Fever,” by Rose Solomon.
“She is heavier than she looks. I settle against her large thigh. In its denim casing it is firm and warm. Something stirs – twinges deep in my groin. She stands up and removes her T-shirt. Her breasts spring free before the shirt clears her head. I eye the menu greedily: ripe melons, translucent plum skin, and the fragrance of roasted nuts. I will have them all! She unsnaps her reluctant Levi buckle and rolls down her jeans. The seams have left indentations across her hips and thighs. I run my fingertips over the soft, narrow roadways as she climbs onto the bed and straddles me. Bit by bit I see my shaft disappearing from view. We are architectural masterpieces. She leans over me and presses her breasts to my burning face. I am being buried alive, how alive! I breathe in my fate [and] succumb to it.”
Rose Solomon is a member of the Kensington Ladies Erotica Society, a group of six ordinary women who, in the 1970s, found themselves wondering whether women – real women – were actually “turned on” by the same erotic writings that appeal to men. Reluctantly at first, they began to experiment with creating their own erotica, which they shared only among themselves. By 1983, however, Rose felt that they had collected enough material for what would become the first of a series of anthologies of romantic and decidedly erotic short stories and poems about people with whom readers could identify – emotionally, psychologically and, yes, physically.
The late (and greatly missed) Erma Bombeck once said, “Gravity always wins.”
And so it does. But a less than Madison Avenue-perfect body is no less capable of savoring the sensual pleasures of life and of the flesh.
Maybe romance writers, given their vast audience, should be the ones to keep spreading the news.
(To learn more about the Kensington Ladies, visit their website at https://kensingtonladies.com.)