I'm currently reading about 16 different books, one of which is Deborah Harkness' Shadow of Night. It's basically Twilight for people who don't congratulate themselves on knowing who Shakespeare is but are overwhelmingly impressed with their knowledge of Christopher Marlowe's existence. For the purposes of this post knowing that the female protagonist, Diana Bishop, is an author insert if ever there was one and the love interest is Matthew, a millenia-old vampire of unspeakable beauty who is hopelessly smitten with said protagonist due to....reasons, is already more than you need to know.
It isn't my place or right to criticize another writer, especially one who can, you know, finish a book, which already makes her way more talented and accomplished than me, but I do have a question for anyone, Harkness, Meyer, all their ilk who write romance novels with a vampire as the hero. Exactly why must they all have cold skin?
Every vampire romance novel I've heard of in recent years has made a point of describing the vampires as having skin as cold and pale as snow. They linger lovingly over this detail, and remind the reader of it at least once per chapter, lest we forget how ethereally unhuman they are. And that's fine. I get why a creature who avoids sunlight and is essentially a perfectly preserved corpse is cold and white. There's a logic in that. And if those descriptions went only that far, I could live with it. But these are romance novels, so we know at one point in the series, if not the individual story, we are getting a sex scene. And at some point, that scene is going to mention again how cold a vampire's skin is.
ALL. OF. THEIR. SKIN.
It doesn't take a discerning reader to realize that these sex scenes are blatant culminations of a fantasy wherein a gorgeous man/rakish bad boy who has dodged love and commitment for centuries consummates his love with the self-appointed Plain Jane who has reformed him from his wicked ways because she and her love are just so indefinably "special". Clearly they are designed to titillate the reader, who is at this point picturing herself as the heroine, having wild, biologically impossible, endlessly thrilling sex.
With a dicksicle.
The most egregious thing is that these novels are written, for the most part, by women. Women, who are tapping out their fantasy sex lives on gorgeous antique typewriters like real authors use, and the thing they apparently all crave in bed is a popsicle shoved up their hoo-has.
I must ask all female readers and writers alike, when did this become a thing? These books sell like hotcakes and 99 times out of a hundred it's not due to the elegant prose or rich plots, so am I now in the minority because I don't want to flash freeze my lady parts?
I'm not saying I don't get the appeal of ice cubes during funtimes...especially in the summer when the air conditioner is broken. But they are supposed to stay out of the main event. I don't know what woman went to the gynecologist for her annual check-up and decided she wanted to enjoy the fun an icy speculum brings to the party on a regular basis, but I do want to know why she decided to tell the world that she was not alone in her frozen fetish.
And I'd also like to point out that she's a liar and a gross minority before the trend escalates and guys start taking ice showers before sex in a sweet but wildly misguided attempt to please their partners. Please don't do that.
At least not without asking.