Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Remember When . . . You-Know-What Went Out of Fashion?

Things you might want to know: two more days to enter the giveaway for Lisa's Meander Scar. Ditto for Stray Drop at Continuous Delights. Five more days to enter for it at The Character Therapist. New review of Stray Drop up at Tiffany's Bookshelf, which gives an opinion on the book from someone who doesn't always read Christian fiction. My guest post is still up at Chocolate Contemplations on achieving your dreams.


So, on a blog dedicated mostly to Christian fiction, am I allowed to talk about (casting a furtive glance around) S-E-X? (Did you catch the whisper? LOL) Well, I hope so, because I'm gonna.

In the interview about A Stray Drop of Blood that's up on A Sequence on Continuous Delights (linked above), the blog owner asks for a rating on the romance. I understand why she wanted this and applaud her, actually, for providing the information her readers want to know. But it got me thinking.

In Stray Drop, sex is a huge factor. It just IS. The whole book revolves around it because Abigail's beauty led her into a situation where she was forced to a man's bed. She's a slave, so historically speaking, this is nearly a given. (Nearly.) But as Jeannie (licensed therapist) points out at The Character Therapist (also linked above), Abigail then had to go through the feelings any rape victim today goes through. And she had to do it all under the watchful eye of her loving masters without letting them in on the secret.

Obviously, I had to actually mention what was going on to deal with it, LOL. So I was very relieved when the first review came in from Dina Sleiman and thoughtfully answered my question about how well I handled it. She liked how each moment of passion was answered with realistic, Bible-based lessons and consequences.

I find it interesting, though, how history deals with the topic through the ages. There have been times (Ancient Rome among them) when people talked about it as openly as we do today. Then there are the times in history when women are taught that it's a terrible, terrible thing good only for making children, and that no proper lady would ever dare enjoy it. In my Victorian trilogy, I had to take into account this mindset, and yet somehow still make it understandable to women today. I chose to bridge that gap by making my heroine raised along the Med, where the British view on the subject was not shared so much.

It's a topic that needs to be addressed, I think, especially in Christian writing. Sex may just be the most universal subject out there. Everyone, from Adam and Eve down to the youngest among us today, will have to deal with it in some way or another at some point in their lives. You show me a person who has never faced sexual temptation and I'll show you a cardboard cutout. How we deal with it profoundly affects who we are--and because it's so crucial, so important, God has a lot to say about it.

Can I write a historical that doesn't deal with sexual temptation/sin and the consequences of it? Well, maybe I could . . . but I haven't yet, LOL. It's not always a driving force as it is in A Stray Drop of Blood, but it's going to come up, however understated it may be in some stories. Because I don't know about you, but I deal with people. And people deal with sex. QED.


  1. Oh Roseanna, this is why we were meant to be friends! I love that you are plucky enough to talk about this.

    I think even less commonly talked about is the existence of sexual temptation within your marriage, and keeping sex within a proper mindset with your spouse.

    Here is my take on sex in Christian marriage. It has two purposes: Procreative, which needs no explanation, and unitive, which may not be a legitimate word, but I just made it one, so there :)

    The unitive purpose of sex within Christian marriage is to allow you and your spouse to fully experience the wonder that God created you, all of you, including your sexuality, to be shared with each other alone, for the glory of God. It is a gift, and expression of love, that God gives us, to give to our spouse. The unitive property of sex within Christian marriage allows us to closer experience God. But with that comes the responsibility to maintain sexual purity within marriage. A marriage license is not a "blank check" when it comes to sexual experience with your spouse. One must always strive to maintain the spirit of unity and love that is intended with sexuality. Do we fall short? Sure, we are human, and sexual purity within a marriage is yet another aspect of grace that we are granted through salvation.

    Did any of that even make sense? Ha ha ha.

  2. I fully approve of the word "unitive" ;-) And though spell check doesn't agree, does, so you get double points for creating a word that actually DOES exist but is rare enough to earn the red squiggles under it. ;-)

    And your point is a good one too, and made perfect sense. It's something that I don't think has been discussed much, and my thoughts on the matter aren't fully formed--but I recognize the 'wrong' kind when I see it depicted. Sometimes I'm honestly amazed by how people (okay, mostly characters, LOL) view it. But certainly it's a critical part of marriage and should be one of life's greatest blessings.

    Plucky girls unite! ;-)