This week I talk about Kendrick's stalking, why I like teasing scenes, and briefly only female masturbation in romance novels. I also introduce the chapter where some of Kendrick's secrets come out to reveal a more complicated man.
There are some aspects of Kendrick's personality that are a bit creepy. In specific, him watching Lily's bedroom window from the back yard. He is a stalker… that part wasn't intended, nor is it his natural inclination, but him running from the Martins, he can't exactly come up to her front door.
Some of the reasons for his behavior come up in this chapter, but not the reason he is running. This chapter was the point where I started to really work on the reason for his running and how it ties into the concept of "to be a man" in this society. Pride is a powerful thing, but this is more than just pride, there is a major consequences for Kendrick to accept the Martin deal, one that he doesn't feel he can accept because of his feelings for Lily. His major conflict is that he sees accepting the deal with the Martins will lose him Lily forever. At the same time, being with Lily means breaking his word.
There is a lot I like in this chapter. It starts off with what could be a typical sex scene (girl is lusting after boy, boy shows up and acts all mysterious, girl invites him into the house) but it is filtered by Lily's insecurity and Kendrick's fear of getting too deep. The compromise they come up seems more natural as they explore their relationship instead of immediately diving into each other's pants.
It also makes me a tease.
This chapter also has a little scene for something I don't see nearly enough in the books I read, masturbation. I know its a little thing, but so few romances have it. When they do, it's usual the female love interest enjoying herself for the pleasure of an onlooker. Rarely is it the female protagonist doing it for her own enjoyment and pleasure.
That just seems strange to me. Human beings are rather sexual beings, there is a reason why romance and erotica are the two largest genres. Likewise, a lot of people masturbate. They do it for pleasure, stress relief, and to just enjoy themselves. It seems strange that books don't show that slice of life, more so since these books frequently deal with sexuality.
I think some of this is because romance novels are about two people finding each other. Masturbation, by its very nature, is a solo activity that brings much of the same joys. If someone really enjoy themselves, why would they need their destined love interest?
Well, for me, love isn't sex. I feel that Lily's falling in love is happening in parallel with her sexual explorations. They are tied together and closely related, but they aren't bound tightly. In that aspect, she can enjoy pleasure in many forms including herself without needing a man to do so.
Second-Hand Dresses 13: Strangers in the Dark
Lily can't sleep with her thoughts spinning around Kendrick and Hasan. The elder Martin's words echo keep her awake as she wonders if Kendrick is watching her from the back yard while she sleeps.
Read the chapter at https://fedran.com/second-hand-dresses/chapter-13/.
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