Need. Lust. Burning desire. Gripped in the cusp of passion and the driving need to mate, all the outward characteristics fade until the only thing that remains is the animal attraction. The salty taste of flesh. The smooth, slick feel of skin. The smell of sex. The heavy sound of breathing.
The inner feminist in me cringes at the portrayal of women and their “need” to breed. Yes, the biological clock ticks insistently in some of us, but most women tend to be more reserved about their need to be ravished. At the same time, the dark romantic in me craves the intense mating of two people caught up in a maelstrom of desire.
In some cases males must show their worth, their dominance to win their mates affection. Who doesn’t want men fighting at the chance to prove what a wonderful lover and provider they would be? Lets face it, dominating males are sexy as hell (in fiction at least!).
Writing in the shape shifting genre gives us a unique opportunity to blend reality with fantasy. A clever writer will build their world and the uniqueness of their shifters. What traits make their book original? Do they shift in a magical burst of light? Do their animals crawl out of their skins?
Recently Lori Devoti wrote an amazing post describing some of the different “types” of shape shifters. (To read that post, click this link).
That being said, one of the best examples of shape shifting and the effect the moon has not only over the animal inside of them, but the libido as well is the Riley Jenson – Guardian series by Keri Arthur. She’s built her world in such a way that casual sex is hot, dangerous, and irresistible. Not only was there romance, there were several intense scenes that drew me inside of Riley’s world. When in the moon’s cusp, nothing matters but the need. I found it liberating and erotic to see a woman so comfortable with herself and what she wanted.
Done correctly I feel the need to mate can bring an erotic feel to the book that doesn’t overwhelm the plot. Done incorrectly, your heroine is a tramp. It can be hard to unblurr the lines of lust and love when caught in such a fevered coupling.
Where do you, as a reader, an author, draw the line between animalistic behavior and social norms?