By Tim Smith
I must admit that this blog topic confused me at first. I know that appropriation means “to set aside for a specific purpose,” and is most often used in reference to a budget (i.e., an appropriation bill to fund the military). I was perplexed by how appropriation would apply to romance topics until I looked up the verb tense, appropriate. Meaning: to take by force, or to take control of.
Aha! We’ve drifted into “Fifty Shades” territory! Unfortunately, that didn’t do me much good because my erotic romances don’t bend that way. If I did undertake the domination theme, I could never write it as well as our own Lisabet, or many other erotica writers. I’ve read a few of these, and some of the goings-on actually turned me away. Inflicting or receiving pain for the purposes of sexual gratification has never appealed to me.
I’ve only used this character quirk a couple of times in my romantic spy thrillers. Each time it was applied to one of the villains. My two lead characters in that series are former CIA spooks named Nick Seven and Felicia Hagens. Both have left the spy game to settle in the laidback anonymity of the Florida Keys, where Nick owns a waterfront club in Key Largo. Installment number two in that popular series, “Never Look Back,” featured an unusual nemesis, a female former CIA co-worker named Terri Halloway. She and Nick had a fling once upon a time, but he didn’t stick around for an encore because, as he explains it to Felicia, “Terri likes to play rough and I don’t.”
I made this character a sexual sadist for a reason – to show that a female villain can be just as deadly as a male. Perhaps deadlier, given the right circumstances. Terri Halloway actually experiences a sexual climax when killing someone with a gun and gets off by making her bedmates suffer. I included a scene to highlight this trait. It starts out innocently enough, when she picks up a young stud by the hotel pool and lets him think he’s seduced her. They go to her room, and the guy quickly figures out that he got more than a casual pick-up on a hot afternoon. It was probably the leather belt tethering his hands to the bedframe and the hot candle wax dripping onto his chest that gave it away. Or possibly Terri giving his scrotum a painful squeeze so she can achieve orgasm by hearing him scream.
In another Nick Seven thriller, “The Vendetta Factor,” I reversed things. This installment had Nick taking on the Miami mafia, and there’s a bodyguard/enforcer working for one of the Dons, with a rather quirky character trait. He beats up and kills people for a living, and he thoroughly enjoys his work. So much so that it has crept into his sex life. After several graphic beatings, the pressure mounts and he must do something about it. I showed him going to a hotel room to meet an escort, who proceeds to physically degrade him. He reaches the point of no return and ravages her on the bed. Afterwards, he contemptuously throws $1000.00 at her then leaves, his needs having been fulfilled. All of this is done without a single word of dialogue or internal thought.