So I was enjoying Mary Balogh’s newest RegencyinDisguise, The Proposal (which kicks off her new Survivor’s Club series as well as being a Bedwyn prequel), when a bit of dialogue stopped me dead in my tracks. The hero, Hugh, Lord Trentham, whispers this in his lady’s ear while he tells her of his deepest, darkest dream: “There will come a time, Gwendoline, when you will be drenched with my seed. And I think at least one of them will take root. And if it does not, at least we will have fun trying.”
Though Gwen turns breathless and goes weak in the knees in response to that sweet nothing, my reaction was Squick! All in all I thought The Proposal was pretty fabulous—it came thisclose to being an all-time keeper (missing for another reason altogether), but that seed business stuck in my brain long after I finished reading.
Instead, I thought about how often heroes drench, fill, pour, soak, spout, spurt, spew or otherwise flood their heroines in seed, ejaculate, semen, seminal fluid, come, or even (the dreaded, dreadful) cum. Do romance writers think we find this sexy, or is it their somewhat ham-fisted attempt to tie sex with babies, which is—at least—what Balogh tries to do here? Honestly, it’s not something I like to think about when reading a love scene, whether it’s one of those as in The Proposal, or as erotic as, say, Sarah McCarty’s Conception. Or anything in between.
Conception was intended to be the start of The Others series. I don’t know if McCarty ever intends to return to it—I hope she does—but if I’m not mistaken, Dusan’s mating oath to Eden also makes appearances in at least one of the author’s two Wild anthologies.
Conception was published in 2006, so a lot of what is de rigueur in paranormal romance today was considerably more attention-grabbing six years ago.
In a nutshell, Eden Lavery escapes her grandfather’s fanatical experiments with her infant daughter and makes her way to the child’s father, Dusan Knight. He has led The Chosen for six centuries, and she is his mate. She brought him their daughter with plans to leave the baby in his care, intent upon returning by herself to the evil old man and his experiments to protect those she loves. Dusan intends to keep Eden and their baby safe for eternity. It just so happens that his blood can help heal the internal injuries inflicted upon her by evening out her body’s chemistry, but it’s not just his blood. Other bodily fluids will work just fine.
“My blood is not the only fluid in my body that contains elements necessary for conversion.” She blinked. He was talking about his semen. She shook her head. “You aren’t seriously going to try and convince me that giving you a blowjob will save my life.”
And not just any blowjob. It’s a never-ending blowjob, a sacred blowjob, a life-saving and life-giving blowjob that must be meted out like an I.V. drip so as not to overwhelm Eden’s immune system.
Take from me what you need. The ancient words flowed easily from Deuce, filling the space between them. This was more than sex. More than pleasure. This was how it was between the Chosen and their mates. She gave him light, purpose and freedom from loneliness, and he nourished her with his seed, his blood, providing all that she needed in all ways...
She took his first offering with a soft whimper of satisfaction that centered his attention. “Whatever you desire from me, I am here to provide.”...
She took his next offering with an enthusiasm that brought sweat to his brow. He held still, waiting, analyzing her body for signs of rejection. When she did not vomit, he gave her a little more, feeling her body’s scream of relief to his soul, resenting the necessity of holding back. He wanted to give her what she cried for, slice an artery, do whatever it took to relieve her pain. Instead he had to give her a just a little of himself at a time, while watching her respiration for signs of distress.
That’s just the beginning of The Conception’s seedathon. As part of the bonding, Dusan will give Eden exactly what she craves, which involves so much bodily fluid deposited past her cervix that her abdomen actually distends from it.
She was aware of the incredible fullness in her abdomen...“What have you done?”
“We are mated the Chosen way.”
Internal feminine muscles clenched. He groaned and jerked.
Pain and pleasure blended as his cock danced deep within. “What does that mean?”
He didn’t answer verbally, but an image of his cock sliding through her cervix flashed through her mind. “That’s not possible!” Horror built in the aftermath. Her mind denied the reality, but her body knew the truth.
Even after realizing what is happening, Eden can’t seem to help herself. In Conception’s world, it’s completely natural for a male to push past the cervix during sex and share so much of the sacred stuff that a thousand crunches wouldn’t alleviate your distended tummy.
She struggled as he pressed, nature fighting for what it wanted, wiggling her hips, jostling him within, drawing more semen from his balls long past when he thought he should be empty...
She had taken more than he would have expected. He gentled his touch but could not resist curving his fingers on the convex curve of her stomach. A seeded woman was a thing of beauty. “You are beautiful.”
She looked down, shock in her eyes and voice as she saw the small distension caused by their union.
“I’m a bloated cow.”
“Any Chosen man who saw you now would be instantly in rut.”
She cast him a glance that indicated he’d lost his mind.
Apparently, back in the day, as Drusan reminisces, Chosen women proudly walked around parading their “seeded” stomachs, wearing clothing to highlight their condition, making a statement about their Chosen status as their proud mates watch. So says Drusan to Eva...
“There is something beyond beautiful in a seeded woman to the point that many of our women wear clothes to imitate the state.”
He would love to see her abdomen distended with his come, love to parade her past the Others with a belly so round she would have to waddle as Chosen had in days of old, her stomach marking her so much his that none would dare to trespass.
Amazingly enough, McCarty’s book as a whole features an interesting world and offers up plenty of romance and eroticism. Unfortunately, that whole seeding thing was as squicky the second time I read it (for this article) as it was the first time around, even though I knew what was coming (sorry...I couldn’t help myself). I’d actually wholeheartedly recommend Conception to those wanting to try a paranormal erotic romance—yes, even with the “better body chemistry through blow jobs” moments—but for those seeding scenes. What was the author thinking?
There’s one other book I want to mention before signing off. It’s a book I’m sure many of you have read in recent weeks...Sylvia Day’s Bared to You. It’s still on my mind a couple of weeks after finishing it, which in itself is fodder for another article, but before I go off on that tangent, let me set the scene that totally took me out of the narrative, and not because I took off in search of my husband for some afternoon delight.
Gideon has just brutalized Eve’s “tender sex with [his] thick column of rigid flesh” while on a couch in his mother’s house, not yet knowing, as Eve does, that they’ve been watched:
Cautiously, he began to pull out of me. I was shocked to feel how wet I was, how copiously he’d come. The final few inches of his cock slid out in a rush and semen slicked my inner thighs. A moment later, two audacious droplets fell to the hardwood floor between my spread legs.
“Oh, shit.” He groaned. “That’s so damn hot. I’m getting hard again.”
Once again, squick!
My husband is my sounding board for male attitudes and desires, and we had quite a conversation about this. He asked me if women fantasize about being drenched in it at almost the same moment that I asked him if men fantasize about drenching women in it. Clearly, neither of us has a clue whose fantasy this fulfills; quite frankly the notion of “audacious droplets” was squicky for us both. What about you?
Laurie Gold cannot stop reading and writing about romance—she’s been blabbing online for years. She remains a work in progress. Keep up with her on tumblr and goodreads, where she spends much of her time of late, follow her on Google+, Pinterest, or on Twitter @laurie_gold, where she mostly tweets about publishing news and [probably too often] politics.