Sunday, December 10, 2006

What turns you on?

Gift Certificate Winner: Elaine Breault. Congratulations, Elaine!!

I've been thinking about why certain passages in certain books really DO it for me, and others -- perhaps much more graphic -- don't. For me, I think it's a combination of vulnerability (nothing more of a turn-on for me than a strong male figure who is willing to acknowledge his inner world), intimacy (emotional/mental rather than only physical) and sensuous word/sentence choices. And, the long hair thing, of course.

While I've been known to write graphic things (the heroine in my novella -- now being subbed to publishers -- swears like a . . . well, a swearer), as a reader, if the strong language and graphic body motions don't come tied up with the aforementioned turn-on things, I tend to skim.

I've probably said this before, but some of the most arousing sections of books I've read have been about Jean-Claude, Laurell K. Hamilton's multi-layered vampire. I don't want to see the new comic book she has out because I don't want anyone else's interpretation of what JC looks like in my head.

Just to make things fun, I'll pick a comment on the Winter Solstice (Dec. 21) and give away a $5 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press.

What turns you on?


Author Cia Leah said...

A cowboy who is strong willed, soft spoken, and always a gentleman. :)



You hit the nail on the head certain lines or passages can turn someone on because it is believable or lifelike in that you can just imagine it happening, right then and with you in it. The words or the scene is just "THERE" you are in the middle of it and is happening to you as you read it like a script, step by step, you see it in your mind as it plays out and your body responds. OH MAN what a rush and maybe an orgasm or two haha.. yep who said reading was only a spectator sport, you are down in the field instead. Gotta love a good book.

Rhonda Stapleton said...

I like a book that surprises me with intensity and deeply evokes the senses. I also like unique love scenes, especially where the two characters can't control themselves. :D

Hera St. Aubyn said...

Cia: Ah, ya gotta love those cowboys!

Elaine: I couldn't agree more! I love when something about the scene evokes an unexpected response. When it takes hold of one of my hidden desires or buried neuroses and gives it a tug.

Rhonda: Ah, the "can't control themselves" thing. I agree. It's a personal favorite! I thought J.D. Robb did a great job (what else, eh?) with the first sexual encounter between Eve Dallas and Roarke in the first "Death" book. She'd painted them both as so controlled, then when they couldn't stop the tidal wave, it was awesome. Don't get me started on Roarke!

Cassandra said...

A combination of things, really. A man who is comfortable in his own skin, not afraid to look silly, to laugh cry. He may have a dark past, but he's learned from his mistakes. And more than anything else, he respects, and cherishes the woman he loves. He'd give his own life to protect her if there was no other choice, but he's a realist and he'd much rather be with her than without her.

That kind of man turns me on, more than any physical attributes. But if the casing is just as pretty and buff as what is inside, then I won't be upset. ;)

Happy Yule!

jennybrat said...

For me, it's the intense emotional connection and physical chemistry that makes it so obvious they're right for each other.

Hera St. Aubyn said...

Cassandra: That's lovely. Absolutely. A man who is comfortable in his own skin. Who cherishes the woman he loves. Yes. Wonderful.

Jennybrat: Intense emotional connection. My favorite. The best part of my last marriage was in the beginning when we'd literally lay next to each other on my bed, staring into each others' eyes for endless moments. It was the most arousing thing I'd ever experienced. (Now, of course, I suspect he was thinking of what he was going to have for dinner! HA!)

Elizabeth said...

oooooo, i know what you mean about reading a graphic scene and feeling...nothing. nada. not the faintest twinge of response. disappointing? very! *s*

i find the scenes that i respond to are the ones i can picture in my mind. can't picture them? then they're no where near as effective as if i could. really makes all the difference.

turn ons: great characters, fabulous scenes, brilliant sex, BELIEVEABLE story/plot/sex

turn offs: BDSM, nontraditional piercings/tattoos (*wince*), nonconsent/'forced seduction'

mild submission is fine, but hardcore? no way!

what about you?

*WIN A $15 GODIVA GC + other prizes!!!* - see this months newsletter for details (

joye said...

I enjoy reading about strong willed characters. What turns me on to the (descriptive) romance scenes is that I enjoy reading almost the entire book before those scenes happen. I guess for me it is the journey or the build up. When I pick up books in the bookstore, I quickly scan the first couple of chapters to see if they have already made it to bed. Those I don't usualy read. And I agree, there is nothing sexier than a tall, dark and handsome cowboy

Hera St. Aubyn said...

Elizabeth: Yes, so true. I also need to see them. But even more important for me, I need to feel them -- to resonate intuitively. We just know when something touches us, don't we?

Joye: Yes! The slow, delicious build-up! Almost frustrating in its slowness, sometimes. Yum!

Liz said...

emotional connection fersure I have to feel it
and a buff bod

Debby said...

I must sayt that that picture is nice. I like to have some mystery in my men.

Julie said...

A man who is strong, masculine but, can show a softer side when he needs to.

Margaret L said...

like the picture
man with brains

Hera St. Aubyn said...

Dear Liz: Yes! Give me that emotional connection every time!

Debby: That is quite a nice photo, isn't it?

Julie: I'm with you! A man confident enough to be all that he is!

Margaret: Brains! Give me intelligence in a gorgeous package anytime!

Pam G said...

The scene has to be believable, but kind of like in a fantasy way, if that makes sense.

I like books where the heroine is not perfect, doesn't have the perfect body and/or looks, and the hero doesn't talk filthy.

Personally I hate the F*** word, I don't know why, but to me that is the ugliest word on earth. It may be my Southern upbringing, I don't know. That word just bothers me. To me it isn't romantic and hurts the love scene.

Pam G

Michelle B said...

A good sound storyline with suspense, action, & comedy skillfully mixed into the romance & erotic scenes. I really enjoy paranoramal, sci-fi, & fantasy based stories they add an extra zing.

Hera St. Aubyn said...

Pam: I also enjoy books where the characters aren't perfect. More real. I'm afraid you won't like the heroine of my novella very much. She's got such a mouth! She loves the way the "f" word rolls off her tongue. She has mastered the art of using it as a verb, noun, adjective, adverb, etc.! (It's a vampire story about an inner city musician and the vampire who rocks her world.)

Michelle: Yes! That extra zing! That's why I love paranormals!

Teresa said...

What turns me on is a man that is nice looking and has a great sense of humor. He has to be an incurable romantic at heart.

Janet W said...

Well, the guy on your front page isn't bad...but if there's no sense of humor or sense of fun then it's not worth it!!

Hera St. Aubyn said...

Thanks for participating! I just wrote everyone's name on a little slip of paper and chose:

Elaine Breault

Please contact me Elaine to get your gift certificate!!

Happy Solstice!