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Characters Who Like to Watch
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Anne Marble



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 606

PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 9:25 pm    Post subject: Characters Who Like to Watch Reply with quote

There are a lot of scenes where the hero gets to sneak up and watch the
heroine swim naked. Some of these scenes are fun, some are just icky.
(Especially when there's a huge age difference and a guardian/ward relationship. Can you say Judge Turpin? Razz )

What do you think of books with scenes where the hero watches the heroine, especially really hot scenes? Do you find them fun or creepy, or both?

Also, can you think of any scenes involving voyeuristic heroes? Or scenes involving voyeuristic heroines? What do you think of scenes that let the heroine watch? Do you think they give the woman more power? Or do they freak you out? Or both?
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Lynda X



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oddly enough, I don't find the heroine spying on the hero swimming, etc. to be erotic, probably because it's usually just an extension of "oh, he has such a nice chest" (boring) or on her discovery that boys and girls are actually different (ridiculous). The anachronistic response of delight by young women spying on men annoys me; although many Victorian or Regency girls would have spied, they would have done so with guilt and enormous fear of discovery--two emotions never shown in this scene. And if the heroine is swimming, he honorably promises not to spy, and he doesn't. Not sexy.

One of the few exceptions of the usual tepid (and cliched) spying scenes is in the beginning of Shannon McKenn'a first book, "Behind Closed Doors" where the hero has a hidden camera in the apartment of a woman he believes to be the mistress of our villain. Of course, she isn't, but we see the hero excited by her undressing, and, at the same time, possessive and protective of her (he won't let anyone else see her). Very sexy, IMO.
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 6:40 am    Post subject: Re: Characters Who Like to Watch Reply with quote

Anne Marble wrote:
Also, can you think of any scenes involving voyeuristic heroes? Or scenes involving voyeuristic heroines?


I know a book with both Very Happy : Sleepless at Midnight by Jacqui d'Alessandro. I didn't like the book as a whole that much, though, so I recommend it only because your question was so specific. Smile

There's also one in The Serpent Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt, which I found really, really hot because we don't know until the end of it that the hero is watching her. At the beginning of the scene, I was already thinking that it would be great if he walks in on her or something . . . and then she opens her eyes and sees him standing right there Shocked ! (Minor spoiler hidden just in case.)

Quote:
What do you think of scenes that let the heroine watch? Do you think they give the woman more power? Or do they freak you out? Or both?


I was actually a little embarrassed while reading the scene in the d'Alessandro novel. Embarassed If I were caught in the same position to spy on a man while he bathes, I would not do it. I'd be so mortified--and I'm already a modern (or I suppose, a postmodern). So I agree with Lynda X that a Regency woman would have had more guilt and fear than the heroine displayed.

Heh. I'm rereading the relevant scene now and I have to laugh when the heroine even thinks that the hero's naked body deserves a standing ovation. Laughing How's that for an anachronistic thought?
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veasleyd1



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 2064

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 6:49 am    Post subject: Re: Characters Who Like to Watch Reply with quote

Schola wrote:


Heh. I'm rereading the relevant scene now and I have to laugh when the heroine even thinks that the hero's naked body deserves a standing ovation. Laughing How's that for an anachronistic thought?


Not anachronistic at all -- the famous standing ovation that led to the custom of standing during the Hallelujah Chorus of Handel's Messiah had occurred decades earlier, and it certainly wasn't the first time.
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 6:57 am    Post subject: Re: Characters Who Like to Watch Reply with quote

veasleyd1 wrote:
Schola wrote:


Heh. I'm rereading the relevant scene now and I have to laugh when the heroine even thinks that the hero's naked body deserves a standing ovation. Laughing How's that for an anachronistic thought?


Not anachronistic at all -- the famous standing ovation that led to the custom of standing during the Hallelujah Chorus of Handel's Messiah had occurred decades earlier, and it certainly wasn't the first time.


Well, of course I don't mean a standing ovation per se. I just don't think a gently-bred female of the Regency era would see her first naked man and think he deserves applause. Perhaps a heroine born 150 years later would, but not her. As I was saying, she'd probably feel more guilt and fear than admiration. As it is, she sounds like she's from a modern movie.
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NoirFemme



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lynda X wrote:
Oddly enough, I don't find the heroine spying on the hero swimming, etc. to be erotic, probably because it's usually just an extension of "oh, he has such a nice chest" (boring) or on her discovery that boys and girls are actually different (ridiculous). The anachronistic response of delight by young women spying on men annoys me; although many Victorian or Regency girls would have spied, they would have done so with guilt and enormous fear of discovery--two emotions never shown in this scene.


Oh I don't know about that...Lucy Honeychurch wasn't particularly scandalized during the lake scene, and neither did her mother grow faint with shock and beg Lucy to cover her eyes, in A Room with A View (1908).
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willaful



Joined: 02 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find the surprisingly frequent scenario of the heroine who spies on the hero having sex with another woman and gets really turned on rather odd. I guess it's a form of introducing sex when it's not yet appropriate... for example, in After the Night by Linda Howard, where the heroine is only 12 or 14.
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jc



Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 76

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My favorite voyeuristic heroine scene is in Joyce's After Innocence. It was at the beginning of the book and I was hooked. I never really thought of it before, but I think we're all a little voyeuristic - reading love scenes or watching them in movies. If it's done well and has a great story it doesn't bother me.
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desiderata



Joined: 23 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Normally voyeurism leaves me "eh" whether it's the hero or the heroine peeking. One exception is in Emma Holly's Beyond Innocence, where the hero watches the heroine in a dressing room being fitted for a gown. Very hot. Of course, it's Emma Holly -- it's going to be well done and hot.
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

willaful wrote:
I find the surprisingly frequent scenario of the heroine who spies on the hero having sex with another woman and gets really turned on rather odd. I guess it's a form of introducing sex when it's not yet appropriate... for example, in After the Night by Linda Howard, where the heroine is only 12 or 14.


It's not surprisingly frequent in anything I've been reading! Shocked

I've read books in which the heroine wonders what the hero does with his mistresses and becomes very jealous of them, but I haven't read anything beyond imagination--and definitely nothing involving a young girl!

jc wrote:
I never really thought of it before, but I think we're all a little voyeuristic - reading love scenes or watching them in movies.


That's an interesting point, JC! Yet reading Romances is still different from watching love scenes in movies, because the reader isn't being a passive viewer, but someone whose imagination is doing a great deal of the work.
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Elizabeth Rolls



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Yet reading Romances is still different from watching love scenes in movies, because the reader isn't being a passive viewer, but someone whose imagination is doing a great deal of the work.


Would that make it a threesome once the reader is on board? Razz And where does that leave me as an author who has penned the occasional sex scene?? Shocked

Elizabeth
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elizabeth Rolls wrote:
Quote:
Yet reading Romances is still different from watching love scenes in movies, because the reader isn't being a passive viewer, but someone whose imagination is doing a great deal of the work.


Would that make it a threesome once the reader is on board? Razz And where does that leave me as an author who has penned the occasional sex scene?? Shocked

Elizabeth


Laughing Laughing Laughing

I was dropping by the thread to add something else which occurred to me last night about sex scenes before full-length mirrors . . . but now I've forgotten what I wanted to say. Laughing
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sssspro



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lacey Alexander wrote a good book that started this way. Conveniently titled, Voyeur. A woman wanted to get away and went to a friends remote cabin. While she is pleasuring herself, the owner of the cabin is watching through a web cam. It started off innocently enough, he was just checking out his cabin to make sure she got there all right and goes from there. Though my description might sound a little creepy, the book was pretty good.
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Yulie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 8:00 am    Post subject: Re: Characters Who Like to Watch Reply with quote

Anne Marble wrote:
Or scenes involving voyeuristic heroines? What do you think of scenes that let the heroine watch? Do you think they give the woman more power? Or do they freak you out? Or both?

Off the top of my head, My False Heart by Liz Carlyle. And if it's just the heroine wondering/interested in what the hero is doing with other women, When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn.

It's not something I've given much thought to - I guess it's all in the context of the plot and the characterization, and how the scene is written. I'd rather not have some pervy guardian coming across his gorgeous virginal barely legal ward cavorting in her transperent shift/clingy revealing dress type thing.
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Susan/DC



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 1669

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 12:42 pm    Post subject: Voyeurism Reply with quote

desiderata wrote:
Normally voyeurism leaves me "eh" whether it's the hero or the heroine peeking. One exception is in Emma Holly's Beyond Innocence, where the hero watches the heroine in a dressing room being fitted for a gown. Very hot. Of course, it's Emma Holly -- it's going to be well done and hot.


For some reason that scene actually turned me off the book; it struck me as creepy and I don't know why. It's particularly weird because I loved Judith Ivory's The Proposition, which begins almost the same way, where Mick sees Winnie lift her skirts and is immediately impressed by her gorgeous legs. Just another example of being able to hold two mutually contradictory ideas at the same time.

Another example of voyeurism occurs in Robin Schone's Gabriel's Woman. Gabriel owns a brothel, and he gives the heroine a tour. A number of the rooms have peepholes so they witness the activities taking place inside.
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