Man-Back Riding

For my first post here at Wonk-Central I thought about doing something on why I am the way I am. You know, like an intensive breakdown of what makes me so wonky, with diagrams done in MS Paint and long reports from people who’ve seen me up close before running away frightened. I wouldn’t even need reports from people who’ve seen me up close, in all honesty, because I’m guessing most people here and on Twitter could attest to just how wonky I am.

My Twitter cloud would probably have a lot of penises in it. Which isn’t so unusual, I know, but when you consider that the penises are sometimes attached to Howard Wolowitz from the Big Bang Theory, I think you can start to see where I’m coming from. And I don’t just like to chat about nerd penis, either.

I like to write about nerd penis. I like to write about it A LOT.

And even when I manage to wrestle my brain back under control and force it to write about someone who’s, you know, actually handsome, it’s almost never the handsome parts I’m most interested in. I don’t look at Armie Hammer and think ohhh, look at those strong, manly shoulders.

I look at his strong, manly shoulders and think: I wonder what they’d look like under my legs, as I rode him like a horse.

Though I’d like to stress, at this point, that it’s not just the little-known sport of man-back riding that I’m concerned with. I have many and varied wonkmantical interests, ranging from heroes that cry because they’ve just been beaten up, to heroines who enjoy the fact that the hero is crying, because she just beat him up.

But I digress. Where was I, again? Oh yeah: I wasn’t going to go into why I am the way I am. Which is probably a relief to you, right around now, because I just said I like writing about beating dudes up — though of course when I say that I do mean the good kind of beating up. You know, the kind where he keeps saying “Harder, harder,” but you can’t go any harder because your arm is tired, and besides, the ball-gag’s making it really hard to discern if that’s really what he wants.

Maybe he’s saying “Sparta, Sparta,” because 300‘s on the telly and he’s not-so-secretly into dudes.

Who knows, in the kind of wonk-o-mance I’m interested in? I mean, my favourite wonky erotica breaks just about every rule ever laid down for all the books in the world ever. It’s not just a tad beta-y, with maybe a hint of fucked-up-edness. It’s full-on glorious wonk, of the kind I’ve only ever dreamt of since.

I mean, let’s look at some of the things that happen in it, shall we?

1. Even though the heroine is the most virginy virgin to ever exist, she doesn’t once seem frightened of sex. In fact, she’s the one that intiates most of it, and when she’s not intiating it’s only because she’s been taken by surprise. Once the surprise is over, she goes at it like a bobbing dashboard toy.

2. The heroine teaches one of the heroes what sex is. No, no – literally. This literally happens. I’m not talking “gentle tutelage in the ways of love”. I mean: the hero does not know what sex is at all, because it’s ceased to exist in the future world they’re living in. And then the heroine’s like: “Check out my badass vagina. You can do this stuff to it!”

3. When the heroine decides to stay in the present, things don’t just turn out magically great. Angsty arguments ensue, about how little she’s able to cope with this brand new world she’s in.

4. The present day version of the heroine actually chooses to jaunt off to some future dystopia. Because clearly she’s deeply into massively horny beta guys who are practically virgins, too.

5. There’s twincest.

And yeah, okay, maybe this book was never classified as a romance, exactly. It’s erotica, and often erotica is permitted a lot more leeway than erotic romance is. But I don’t care, because it’s orsum and still romantic and just a great, highly unusual book. It was and is a huge influence on my writing, as you can probably tell if you’ve ever read Past Pleasures or Control.

There’s nothing quite like a hugely horny beta guy, to get my motor running. And if it gets your motor running, too, then try Dreamers In Time, by Sarah Copeland. Go on. You know you want to get wonky.

P.S. My new novella, Doubled, was released yesterday! So if you’d like to be gently eased into my brand of wonk-o-mance, now’s the perfect opportunity. Doubled is wonky (it’s about twins) but not too wonky (the twins do not get it on with each other, just the one girl they’re both interested in), and there’s plenty of hot menage-y goodness. Hooray! You can find it here.

Posted in Writing Wonkomance | 6 Comments

A Post Wherein Cara Dissects The Bachelor

Wonk-o-mance is everywhere! Any place you might find a love story, you might also find wonk. Novels, movies, folklore, operas, country songs, erectile dysfunction medication ads, TV shows, and certainly real life. If it’s ripe for love, it’s ripe for fooked-up love.

Let’s hone in on those final two sources, though. TV and real life. Reality television. Specifically, ABC’s The Bachelor and The Bachelorette franchises. Wonked, or no? I endeavor to find out.

Firstly, let’s examine why it isn’t wonk-o-mance. In plenty of respects, the premise of the show is suffocatingly traditional. After all, if a season is successful, there’s a marriage proposal as the finale! A marriage proposal a tender few weeks into the courtship! Can’t get much more traditional than that. Why not toss in a dowry, promotional consideration provided by eHarmony, tin cans tied to the bumper of your brand new Saturn Sponsoriffic Roadster?

But pause for a moment and let me make one thing perfectly clear: I love The Bachelor and Bachelorette. I’ve been hooked for five seasons now, and look forward to catching the latest installment every week on Hulu, glass of middle-shelf merlot at the ready. To love The Bachelor is to mock The Bachelor. Don’t misconstrue my contempt as anything other than adoration.

Now back to the dissection tray. Add to the traditional marriage fast-track: the contestants are all heterosexual…or operating as such. The contestants are also nearly all caucasian and mainstream attractive, which mirrors what we see in the majority of Western romance novels, romantic films, soap operas, and so forth. Parents are met and their approval is sought.

At first glance, The Bachelor promotes everything we might deign to call “conventional.” Its posited goals certainly fit the mold of a conventional, stereotypical love story.

But come on. This show is wonked. Sure, each season’s alpha bachelor or bachelorette is ostensibly aiming to land a straight, fertile, attractive, compatible mate for the purposes of matrimony and reproduction. But in order to do so, they have to audition a stable of twenty or so potential matches. When in real life does anyone ever get this opportunity? Outside of Bangkok, say?

Nothing wonked here! Just a beauty pageant in which the singular judge gets to bonk and marry the winning contestant!

And let’s examine said opportunity. From one angle, how can the bachelors go wrong? They get to choose from twenty-odd good-looking, vetted women, with no male competition (save the odd twist when somebody’s ex “spontaneously” turns up after spending the night staring pensively out the limo window en route to the mansion-harem, looking constipated with emotion). They have the network’s resources at their disposal to plan amazing, luxurious, international dates. They get to steadily whittle down the pool (sometimes it’s a literal pool, frequently a hot tub) of contenders until they pick the best candidate (sometimes with their brain, sometimes with their heart, perhaps occasionally with the coaching of a publicist, but often mainly with their southerly plumbing).

It’s an entire adulthood’s worth of dating, boiled down to a compact assembly line of courtship! A virtual romance buffet where in the end, you get to pick the dish that gave you the least violent allergic reaction, and eat that dish for the rest of eternity, forsaking all others (or at least until the After the Last Rose special). How efficient is that?!

But from another angle, what are the chances that out of twenty given people, you’ll actually fall in love with one? And have that one fall in love with you back? In the span of perhaps five one-on-one dates and several more circus-like group outings? And always with multiple cameras (and multiple camera operators and producers and sound engineers and stylists, presumably) swirling around you? And people screaming their opinions about it all on blogs and in tabloids? And you just know that the producers purposefully tossed in a few combustible personalities (read: psychos) and coached the bachelor(ette) to keep them around for at least the first few weeks, for dramatic effect.

Plus the way the show is constructed, we’re meant to believe that by the final episode, the bachelor(ette) really is in love with two different people. Two people of twenty! If only we could manage to fall in love with a whopping ten percent of the people we meet in real life.

In all likelihood, the bachelor, if he has indeed fallen in love, favors one contestant over the other by the time the finale rolls around. But because of how the drama must play out, he has to pretend to be torn, stringing both along so the audience is surprised. [Props to Ali from season six of The Bachelorette for not making poor Chris drop to one knee up in a tux and offer a ring, even though it wrecked the suspense of the finale. You’re a class act, Fedotowsky.]

Dude, that is some wonked-up shit, right there.

But it’s romance! I take the show as seriously as most people, which is to say, not very. But during nearly every episode I’ll have a misty moment (usually once I’ve drained the first glass of aforementioned middle-shelf merlot) where I really do think, yes, they just connected! It really could be true love! And then another similar moment often follows, only between the bachelor and a totally different woman.

But by the end of the season, I’m shaking with anticipation and anxiety, dying to know if the bachelor or bachelorette picked my favorite competitor. And yes, competitor. Triathletes have nothing on Bachelor contestants in the psychological anguish department. That show makes dating into an Xtreme sport.

Maybe I adore The Bachelor for the same reason I adore a good love triangle… Hell, that show is a love dodecahedron. It keeps you rooting, keeps you guessing, keeps you biting your nails, closer and closer to the quick with every episode. You’re rooting for true love, for a proposal, for the most conventional of romantic goals. Yet you have to wade through a thrashing sea of wonk to reach that bunting-festooned marital shore. It’s wonked, and it’s worth it.

Oh, is it ever worth it.

Posted in Television | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Weekly Wonka Wrap-up

Congrats to Kaetrin, Corina, Penny, and Catherine for winning a $5 Amazon gift card each! You ladies should have received your prize via email.

Here’s the low-down on Wonkomance this week:

Greetings and Salutations by Ruthie Knox

In the Land of Romance, the men are all tall and tanned, the women are thin and plucky, and the sex is always mind-boggling. It’s a fine land, indeed. But we prefer the land of Wonk-o-Mance.

Why We Like It Wonky by Serena Bell

…there’s a reason we Wonk-o-mantics are crazy about the wounded, the wacked, and the weird. And that reason lies at the heart of story theory. In other words, we don’t love wonk-o-mance because we’re perverse (though most of us would happily confess we are, and also perverted)—we love it because it’s actually the epitome of what romance can and should be.

Wonky links of the week:

What-to-read Wednesday: Amazon Lily

Theresa Weir’s American Dreamer is free for a limited time at Amazon. She also released Last Summer in Kindle format this week, with some of the funniest, wonkiest product description copy we’ve seen.

Posted in Weekly Wrap-up | Comments Off