Getting it on in Empire Waists
The Victorian period is commonly known for its erotic elements. Not only were some of the first ( and often very strange ) erotic fiction pieces being written, but because of the sensibility of the time, with sex being so taboo, there is an underlying eroticism that seems to permeate everything. People fainted at the sight of chair legs, for heaven’s sake.
But the period I write, the Regency period, is less often seen as an “erotic setting”, even though it is one of the most popular time periods for romance novels. I've often wondered why this was true because I love writing erotic romance set in the Regency period. Why? Well, here it goes:
- The Rules : Just like in the Victorian period, the Regency period has many rules. But they aren't as… weird as Victorian maudlin rules. Women and men were kept apart, so finding a way around that is very difficult, especially if your heroine is a gently bred lady. But then again, all ladies need to be tutored by their lovers, so that can be fun. I had a great deal of fun focusing on that very issue in my summer release, An Introduction to Pleasure.
- The Clothes : The Victorian’s have their sexy corsets under layer upon layer of crinoline. Fun yes, but so is the more streamlined Regency style. Inspired by Greek fashions, they were thin fabrics, often lower-cut necklines and a minimal amount of underclothes. Essentially, they scream ‘easy access’ for lovers who want to get frisky on the quick.
- The Men : The "Upper Ten Thousand", or the richest of those in the country at the time, ran everything. And just as they are the heroes of many traditional regency romances, their sexy, titles selves really play into erotic stories. Men of immense power, and perhaps interesting proclivities, searching for women to fulfill their desires. And then there are the ones outside the titled and rich. I’m just saying, there are some sexy men floating around in great coats.
- The Women : Though the ladies of the bunch are raised to be proper, it’s always fun to play with what they should and shouldn't do. And there are a wealth of courtesans, maids and governesses who can also find sin and love.
Essentially it’s the fact that there are so many delicious taboos that make Regency Erotic Romance so fun to write. So do you love the regency period in your erotic fiction as much as I do? Have any taboos you’d like to see a writer break?
Jess Michaels writes erotic romance. Her current series is The Mistress Matchmaker series,
available from Samhain Publishing. Find her at www.authorjessmichaels.com
Don't miss my Review of For Desire Alone tomorrow morning!