ReaderFilter - Bring me your tropes of lust
November 23, 2020 1:45 AM   Subscribe

I feel the need to sublimate some of my spicier urges via fiction. I’m happily married, & I’ve had my share of whirlwind romances and flings and casual sex. I am finding myself a bit nostalgic about this, but not enough to jeopardize my reality. Time to live vicariously through the lens of fantasy as a healthy coping mechanism! Can you point me towards any fictional works - especially novels - featuring these specific concepts or tropes?

I require stories centring around steamy, dramatic affairs that a protagonist has with...
a) A person of a different gender than their spouse
b) An ex lover after coming into contact again several years down the road, say a decade or so

I realize those are actually rather oddly specific and revealing, but I’ve got a burgeoning case of seven year itch here! I’m a partnered woman approaching 30, and naturally, I am currently filled with all kinds of ennui and boredom as a stay at home parent. I mean, I was used to my life being a bit like this before the recent pandemic situation! With above average levels of isolation, a recent move to a small town, plus simply the time of year that it is, my feelings are certainly being magnified. However, I have full intent to continue living this faithful, predictable, monogamous life we’ve lovingly built together. A healthy outlet feels very important to me right now. Please, recommend me something to escape into during quiet moments, from the comfort of my sofa!

Big bonus points for woman protagonists.
Very big bonus points for either healthy and positive portrayals of parent/child interactions, or omission thereof.
Tragedies welcome, but please, spare me anything where a child being harmed or killed is central to the plot.
English or perhaps French language.
Any time period.
Erotica driven fiction is preferred. Spare me absolutely no ripped bodices!

I’d also be grateful for other suggestions, like say, a biography or live action film that features these plot points.

Things in the romance/erotica vein that tend to make me cringe, sorry but I just can’t help it :
Outlander, Twilight, Fifty Shades, most fanfiction, anything referencing incest, American crime dramas

Things that have appealed to me, I might like to read more like this :
The Time Traveller’s Wife, Alice Munro, Anne Rice, vintage Harlequin novels (but like minus the toxic gender role type stuff? cowboys ok), Wuthering Heights (but less sad maybe?), Watchmen comic

Most themes would be welcome though, I enjoy reading any genre or subject matter from supernatural to historical, from trashy paperback fiction to intellectual works of art. Thank you!
posted by nukacherry to Writing & Language (8 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
More literary, but what about The Passion by Jeanette winterson?

Looking forward to seeing other recs
posted by sedimentary_deer at 2:57 AM on November 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

The Change Room - Karen Connelly. Ticks your boxes for erotica, gender and positive parenting!
posted by freya_lamb at 3:49 AM on November 23, 2020

Gut Symmetries and Written on the Body, also by Jeannette Winterson.
posted by wg at 5:15 AM on November 23, 2020

I should probably watch this again to see if it holds up 25 years later, but how about When Night is Falling?
posted by oxisos at 12:08 PM on November 23, 2020

Ok, here is a book that may fit the bill: The Care & Feeding of Waspish Widows. Though the marriage is one of convenience, it technically fits your criteria. It's ambitious with about 8 different plot lines (bonus if you're into beekeeping), but the main one is the torrid affair.
posted by oxisos at 12:18 PM on November 23, 2020

Best answer: Roxane Gay is a fantastic writer who also writes erotica. She edited this erotica issue of Guernica. Her piece in there, "Broads," is great. I haven't read this anthology, but given that she edited it, Girl Crush is probably a good read.

I found the Sookie Stackhouse series (which became the TV show True Blood, but it was pretty different there) to be pretty sexy after a bit. It's much better written than Twilight.

(Also, forgive me if I am reading too much of my past experience into what you've written, but I did a bunch of reading on this several years ago when I was still married, and it turns out one key to success in long-term relationships is doing new things together. If you're at the point of resigning yourself to your current situation and channeling your sexual energy elsewhere--which, I understand, because I was there-- I want to gently encourage you to think about doing something like finding a good collection of erotica and perhaps considering reading a story aloud to your partner, and vice versa. Or, if that seems too complicated, figure out how you can find something like a hobby that is new to both of you. Online weekly couple dance classes? 29 is way way too young to think you can live like this forever. And, again, if I have misread, I apologize.)
posted by bluedaisy at 3:57 PM on November 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

Some more ideas, mostly films:
Carol, the movie based on Patricia Highsmith's book The Price of Salt.


The World Unseen

Room in Rome

Imagine Me & You
posted by oxisos at 7:11 PM on November 23, 2020

Judy blume's wifey
posted by brujita at 10:21 PM on November 23, 2020

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