Ah, good old forbidden knowledge. It's seen my books through some good times. And it's seen my brain through some good times, too, when my brain says "hey, I'd really like to get down to some dirty fantasising. Vagina called me yesterday, and she says she's just not getting the attention she needs so you know. Let's get on that, ok, Charlotte?"
I honestly have no idea why my brain and my vagina talk. And really, vagina has absolutely no reason to feel neglected because I feed her Alex O'Loughlin all the time and he is HOMG to an insane degree.
But anyway, I digress. About vaginas.
Let's get back to why my vagina likes forbidden knowledge so much, shall we?
I think it likes it due to the book Dreamers In Time, by Sarah Copeland. I've talked about this book before, but I'm going to talk about it again because it's orsum and set in the future where everyone's forgotten about sex, and there's something about that...something about the idea of sexual knowledge being forbidden or forgotten that really gets my vagina by the throat.
I mean, just imagine that. Imagine not knowing about sex. Imagine that there's a big book somewhere and it contains all the knowledge of indecent, lurid, physically impossible sex acts - sex acts that no-one knows about because we just go about our day drinking tea and looking blankly at each other - and then one day you sneak into the Parliament of Important Secret Knowledge and oh God it's getting me hot just thinking about it.
I totally want my characters to sneak into the Parliament of Important Secret Knowledge. I want to write a book in which such a place exists, just so I can have them break all the locks and bust down the doors and run away in the dead of night with this mammoth dirty book under their coats.
Because seriously, there's nothing hotter than breaking down walls and busting taboos and bursting out into sexual freedom. In fact, one of the things I always find difficult about writing contemporaries is that there's so little that is forbidden, now, and I heart the forbidden. I want my characters to explore new territory and be breathless about it, be nervous, be terrified.
And I mean, sometimes you can get away with that with a contemporary female character. But it's tough to do with a contemporary male character and even if you do pull it off (which I hope I did with Gabriel, in Control), there are plenty of people who don't want to read about it. Contemporary men usually have to be tough and gruff and manly to reach a wide audience.
But I'm not sure futuristic or fantasy world men necessarily have to be. I think you can get away with a bit more, when you've set your novel in a world where sex doesn't exist, or where it once existed but has now vanished, or where sex exists but not with women because women are extinct (yep, that's the entire reason I wrote Past Pleasures- because of my love of the forbidden and the forgotten).
And I love all of that. For me, forbidden knowledge is not about closing doors. It's about flinging them wide open.