The first thing I ever read that had some serious bonking in it was The Fog, by James Herbert. Even more astonishing than that first foray into frankly quite odd sex (seeing as how the people are kind of mental when they're doing it, turned insane by THE FOG!), was my first exposure to erotica: The Splits, by Ray Gordon.
Which wasn't quite all I could have hoped for, I have to say. Although I boggled at some of the detail he went into (and still does go into), the female protagonist seemed a little...over the top. She breathed every word she said and loved loads of stuff really suddenly, including some things that sounded as painful as the activities in Anne Rice's Beauty books. I suspected that secretly, the main character wasn't loving things as much as Ray Gordon claimed she did.
In fact, I suspected that she secretly hated having ten bananas shoved up her bum*. And I didn’t want women who secretly hated very painful sounding things. I wanted women who were dirty and naughty and loved and were loved and did all of these things while making me believe in them, absolutely. They spoke with my voice. Even when they had crazy things to say.
Which is when I read Path of the Tiger, by Cleo Cordell, Gemini Heat by Portia Da Costa, Crash Course by Juliet Hastings, Conquered by Fleur Reynolds, Dreamers In Time by Sarah Copeland, The Houseshare by Pat O’Brien, The Stranger, by Portia Da Costa, Menage by Emma Holly.
I’d never read anything like them. I still haven’t. I’ve read far and wide in the world of erotica, I’ve read erotic romances and paranormal erotic romances and books in which the hero and heroine travel through space and VR machines and lands populated by werewolves, while bonking. I’ve read about alpha males that look like Fabio, big girls and small girls and silly girls and clever girls.
But I’ve never read books like Black Lace books. When I was choosing my pseudonym, I almost called myself Claudia Winthrop. You know why? Because Claudia is the name of the central character in The Stranger, and Winthrop is the surname of the central character in Menage.
You meant a lot to me, Black Lace. I will always be grateful to you, for representing me. For showing me that it's okay to think men look hot and to talk about it, to write about women that can be tough and not tough and all things in between without seeming weak or stupid. And for not insisting that women like ten bananas shoved up their bums.
Or at least not in a way that I couldn't buy into.
I am glad I got to write for you, even if it was just for a little while. I shall miss you very much, in all ways that it's possible to miss something. Once, I was a young woman in her boyfriend’s little blue bedroom, marveling at the things you told me I could do, if I wanted to.
And I’m not just talking about the uses for garden vegetables.
All my love now and forever,
*May not have actually happened in book.