Friday, 16 May 2014

Special Guest - Vida Bailey

We want to welcome our lovely friend Vida Bailey to the Brit Babes blog today. Vida describes herself as an occasional smut write and an infrequent blogger and you can find her blog here and link up on Facebook here. Her writing is beautiful and thought provoking... and we suspect that today's post will definitely get you all talking, so feel free to comment below!

Hello, everyone, thank you for having me, in my capacity not so much as a Brit babe, but as a Neighbour babe, let’s say :)

So, I’m going to thrust an Opinion at you today, for my guest post. I was reading an anthology and came across a story that made me think. I’ve no doubt lots of people will disagree completely with my initial point of view, and given that my feeble brain hasn’t recorded who the author of said piece is, they might well be here or be reading – and I’m sure they’d have a perfectly reasoned defence against my criticism. If it even is that.

The story that got me thinking was about a woman who tells her husband a fantasy of picking someone up at a bar and having a threesome. Right at the outset, she jumps in with the narrative point that they’ve already agreed they’ll never let anyone else into their marriage, but what’s to stop them getting off on the fantasy?

What indeed?

And then I thought... but... it’s fantasy. What’s to stop people who enjoy threesome fantasies reading actual... threesome fantasies? Why the fictive safety net? Just because you read or write a fantasy about something doesn’t mean you’ve committed the act. Writing a scenario only states ‘I am turned on by this’ to the same degree that writing a scenario in which the character states ‘I am describing a scenario that I’m turned on by even though I would never do it’ does.

It’s similar to the increasingly popular stories about someone picking up a mysterious stranger and committing dirty, edgy sex acts, only to come, and come back to earth, and say, ‘That was wonderful, darling husband, let’s roleplay same time same place, we’re so lucky to have each other and an interesting sex-life’.  Really... if you’re turned on by a scene, would you not write the scene? Is no one having sex with strangers in bars anymore? Has it really become that risqué, or alienating, to have a one night stand? I was a braver teenager than I thought, it seems.

Ok, so that’s the whinging about other people’s stories section of the blog post over and done with, let me move on to the Point. I read the threesome fantasy story and felt myself getting a bit narky about it. And then I thought about how, in my own day to day fantasies, I find myself apologising for the fat, droopy state of myself to the object of my affections. I know – in my own fantasies. It’s not impressive. I thought, for god’s sake – if it’s your fantasy, you can look like anything you want to look like and stop worrying about things. Liberate yourself, for heaven’s sake.

And then I thought, no, even better, dear self, why not have a fantasy where it’s all good and you don’t feel like you have anything to apologise for. Wouldn’t that be far more evolved than picturing oneself as Xena Warrior Princess? (I don’t do that, I promise.) I wonder if this is the difference between Romance and Erotica? Romance is all about the every-day, and Chick-lit desires coming true – where women get to be accepted for who they are in a safe and happy way. Erotica might be more about a deeper self acceptance and the grit that comes with it. Or not. Feel free to argue that point. What I’m most interested in is the limitations we set ourselves within our own heads, where limits don’t really need to be relevant. We still cling to them. A lot of my friends in committed relationships have said that they can’t dream-cheat. It’s really frustrating to them. Imagine, you’re stroking dream-Johnny Depp’s leg, and at the crucial moment, you burst out, ‘No no, Johnny Depp, you must leave, for I am a married woman!’ And you wake up gnawing at the pillow and cursing your own superego.

I read an author question on Facebook why some people claim they won’t read stories about infidelity. The poster wondered why this is, and I have often wondered the same. I mean... I tend to avoid stories with pee (or god forbid, tickling, shudder), because those things just don’t do it for me (and in the case of the latter give me the screaming heebie-jeebies). But cheating... there’s so much behind that... seems a lot to throw out with the bathwater. However there were lots of illuminating responses to the question, few of which I could discount – so I’m sure people who write fantasies about fantasies have good reasons for doing so. Still – I think there’s something to be said for examining the limits we impose on our own fantasy life too, and perhaps expanding our horizons a little further.

Thanks for having me, Babes, and I hope you’ll all comment up a storm in response xxx


  1. Hey Vida! Sorry I couldn't post on this earlier... blimmin internet!!!

    I LOVED this post - it got me thinking about a few things.
    So - do you think the 'don't worry the fantasy is safe as it is with my husband' - may be a safety net? Perhaps these stories are important for people only just exploring their fantasy side and are a little squeamish about being unfaithful even in their minds? - If they share a story like that with their lover, it may start something bigger.
    Or - is it to keep the writer safe from their filthy fantasies? Sometimes I'm astonished by the things that pop out of my fingers onto the keyboard... what if my lover reads them and think I want to do all the outrageous rude things with all these many other people (oh yeah) - and feels inadequate?

    To my knowledge, I have done this in a story where I simply did not want the character to be judged for being 'bad' - but it wasn't for being a dirty, dirty lady, it was for shop lifting... she pretends to have stolen a velet scarve in order to be 'punished' for it by her lover. Some reviews have said that she 'stole' the scarf - which makes me shriek, 'no, no! My ladies' would never steal!!'
    So maybe it is all about writers' hang ups... I'm going to post this as it's so long I can't read it all in the comment section!

  2. On to the acceptance bit. or The Point! Yes, I liked the bit about just having yourself in the fantasies where you are simply you - but a fully free to fantasise, you.

    I never picture my characters when I write and the same is true of my fantasies, I just don't have an image of myself to have a hang up about - I just concentrate on the action - so that helps.

    I agree with the infidelity thing - it does throw up such incredible material for a good turbulent story - and if your genre is romance/erotica, surely that is the ultimate conflict you could through at a happy partnership? I'm currently writing an infidelity story and it is putting me through the wringer! Not least, the fact that I have no idea where to submit it :D

    Phew, thanks Vida - great post with lots to think about x x So basically - we should have no limits! (yikes...)

    1. OMG - who says 'through' instead of 'throw'? Damn FINGERS!!! (also - the scarf was velvet, not, velet.

  3. I got that, I do speak fluent typo. I think all those things are valid (though I'm in favour of the occasional bit of creative shop-lifting myself :) Sure, everyone's free to self-censor, to suggest otherwise would be hypocritical, of course :) and yet... I think writing should also about being brave enough to horrify myself - my favourite writers do that so courageously - they refuse to be afraid to say the things they think - it's something I aspire to.

    1. Yes, to be brave enough to let yourself fall off that creative cliff... very scary! You need folks with a pretty big net to catch you at the bottom


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