Jedi Council Member
Against my better judgment, I bought 7 Nights in a Rogue's Bed and I'm a little over halfway through it. I think this has a lot to do with it, with STS and STO oriented female sexual fantasies being broadcasted through these novels in a sort of conflicting manner, with the STO energy holding a slight edge. I notice how a lot of the hypergamous attributes that are brought up in Incel circles like was mentioned in the Tomassi material are present in this book. You've got a tall dark man who's rich with muscles big enough to strangle Samson, has a mysterious past and has seen mysterious things, who's also kind of jerk but can be a gentlemen inside, and you are the only woman in the world with the key to his heart of stone able to access the ambrosia inside. You can't really make heads or tales of half the things he does, does he love you or love you not, but he can sweep you off your feet, and his overbearing yet gentle, orcish yet soft, sexuality can totally rock your world. "Oh brother,' I found myself repeating over and over again. This appears to be the "formula" I've heard about when I've encountered such books and discussion of such before, which permutates endlessly with minor variations, I've just never taken the time to actually read one. I guess if I build a big fancy house, subscribe to the WWE workout plan, and parade around town atop a white horse, I will have so many women throwing themselves at me that I actually won't be able to stand the sight of any of them. If I'm emotionally ambivalent and keep the women guessing, all the better. I actually saw a similar spectacle when walking in on my grandma watching an episode of the Bachelor and was just like, "give me a freaking break."I can't remember the exact session, but it had something to do with westernized men completely quitting relationships with women because it just wasn't worth the trouble. (Something along those lines).
I've actually seen women slapping other women down in social media for being "unrealistic" and they laughed at them for being single because of their long list of demands, which, if reversed, they couldn't satisfy themselves. It's obviously a western disease.
But these are not real thinking women (or men for that matter). It's definitely emotional.
When I first started this book I thought it was stupid. Our "tall dark man" Jonas basically just wants to rape our innocent fair maiden Sidonie, who is blessed with an irresistible voluptuous virility and little else. As the story moved on and some of the nuances were explored beyond the tropes, I could appreciate why Jonas was a jerk, although I still don't like him very much, and Sidonie's determination to try and brighten his life despite his flaws was endearing, I guess because I experienced a shade of that once. I'm not entirely sold on how she goes from his pseudoprostitute to someone he loves, but it's just a (slightly far-fetched) story. I can understand how Jonas is overcome with his sexuality and his emotions once he figures out that she kind of loves him and tries to suppress it for awhile, because I experienced a shade of that once too and did exactly the same thing. The fact that neither one of them wants to be vulnerable hits close to home. For about 40 pages in the middle there I could somewhat relate to Jonas' and to a lesser extent Sidonie's emotional state. Then once we get to the first sex scene it all becomes purely theoretical.
So now my rating is up to mediocre. Bound and determined not to let this book stir my sexuality, despite its attempts to suck me into Jonas' body and experience what he feels, I've been reading it from a detached sociological perspective. I could title my paper "Romancing Your Woman the Right Way: A Literary Survey of Female Erotic Techniques and Fantasies". The last four chapters have been pretty pornographic, albeit with a lot more emotional depth than porn would typically have. The only interesting part out of all of this is the descriptions of the way he caresses and makes love to her. For the most part, his sexual "skills" are the only way he can communicate that he loves her and bridge an inner spiritual world which is difficult for him to articulate. In some convoluted way, this author seems to be trying to convey that sexuality can reflect and transduce spiritual realities. I'm not particularly impressed with this couple, but some of the ideas and "skills" could be extracted from this novel and applied to more "wholesome" situations. I've still got about 150 pages to go so I will withhold final judgement until the end, but so far it hasn't elicited "positive emotional states." It's just been a combination of analysis, curiosity, some sympathy, and "OMG why am I reading this?"
As for whether there is some STO influence behind these novels, I would say yeah, probably. It seems to be a really mixed bag, lots of noise mixed in with the signal, and if you actually want a clear channel you have to dissect, extract, distill, and reconstitute pieces of many such novels into one of your own. In that sense, it could stand as a counterbalance to the postmodernist STS porn world, because alternatives are well-hidden, almost underground really, and I suppose these novels do preserve some vestiges of them. Overall, I probably don't have any business reading this type book because it really doesn't have any practical significance or relevance to my life. It could probably spark some heady discussions if I was in a relationship, though. I also don't have any resonance at all with Downtown Abbey-ish high society stilted etiquette of some of the things set during this time period, it just feels too constrained and contrived even if the emotions are real, but it isn't really a problem with the book I'm reading now.
As for Mary Balogh, I was looking through her books yesterday and the only one that really popped out at me was called Truly, which seems to have a lot going on such that I could probably enjoy the story even if I don't really care for the romance. I don't know yet if I'm going to continue with this genre or not, 7 Nights has me kind of ambivalent. It'll be interesting to see if the Cassiopaeans have any straightforward answers regarding all of this.
I remember Ra saying that male-female is the most effective form of partnership that exists, and while it is interesting to imagine a bunch of people channeling their sexuality after making contact with some higher thought center via these studies in order to bring down creative energies of a higher order into their lives and the surrounding environment, that's probably going off the deep end a bit.