I write several different sub-genres of erotic romance, but my favorite and the one I now write for Aphrodisia, is definitely historicals, particularly erotic Regency historicals. I'm lucky because I grew up in and around London, England, with the history all around me. I even majored in history at college and wrote my thesis on "The Welsh and the Founding of Quaker Pennsylvania" (my first 'published' work-all 2 copies of it!)
So you'll understand if I try to be as historically accurate as I can. One of the things that fascinates me as a writer is the whole topic of fertility, (possibly due to my Roman Catholic upbringing, who knows?)When I was writing my last book, I realized that I needed more information about condoms and whether they were actually in use during the Regency period. I found out that they were used, and I even found a picture of one (see above) and, even better, a recipe from 1824 about how to make them! (just in case you have a few spare moments this weekend)
How to make a sheep-gut condom. Soak a sheep's intestine caeca in water for a number of hours, then turn inside out, and macerate them again in weak alkaline, changed every 12 hours. Scrape them carefully to remove the mucous membrane, leaving the peritoneal and muscular coats, and expose them to the vapour of burning brimstone. Then wash them in soap and water, inflate them, dry them and cut to a length of seven to eight inches. Finally, border the open end with a ribbon to tie round the base of the penis, and before use soak the condom in water to make it supple.
I was delighted to find out about this and used this 'product' in my story to great effect. Of course, after the book was published, I found out that these condoms had to be soaked in water for about half an hour before they were soft enough to use. I'm not sure that even the best author in the world could write an erotic love scene around the hero popping a condom in a glass of water and waiting for it to soften-I should imagine other things might soften as well. And I can't quite see how even the most ingenious of heroes would arrive 'pre-soaked'-(any ideas gratefully received.)
I think I'll just have to pretend that the pre-soaking has happened and move on...as I said, sometimes historical accuracy just interrupts the flow of my writerly imagination!
I'm still anticipating the cover for my first Aphrodisia Regency historical "Simply Sexual" Feb 08, hopefully I'll have it by the time I get to blog next month! I'm sure it will be much nicer to look at than that sheep gut condom complete with ribbon...