Attending RWA Nationals in New York City was an expensive endeavor, so most authors unwilling to sell kidneys or children on the black market opted to buddy up on hotel expenses.
As a result, many of us wound up not only sharing rooms, but beds.
Not a bad way to get to know someone.
|Based on attire, Jeffe's party looks more fun!|
I’d arranged in advance to room with sci-fi romance author Marcella Bernard and erotica author Jeffe Kennedy. Though I’d met Marcella once at a conference in Seattle, I had never actually met Jeffe in person.
Marcella and I got there first, so we each claimed one of the two double beds and turned in for the night. Jeffe arrived late, so our first introduction to one another involved me blinking sleepily up at her.
“Hey, it’s great to finally meet you!” I said as I crawled out of bed to give her a hug.
“You, too!” she said, setting down her suitcase to hug back.
“Did you have a good flight?”
“Not bad, how about you?”
“A little long, but tolerable,” I said. “So who do you want to sleep with?”
So much for foreplay.
I have a tough time imagining many men having conversations like that, but none of us thought twice about it as Jeffe donned her nightie and crawled in next to me. She was a perfectly lovely bed partner who didn’t hog the covers or steal my pillow.
It was a scenario replicated in rooms all over the hotel, as many authors found themselves bedding down with strangers in the interest of saving a few bucks.
|Hanging with Jeffe and Marcella in Central Park.|
But keep in mind, RWA is an organization comprised mostly of female authors. How many men would feel comfortable with it? Probably the same number who’d look forward to snuggling under the covers with someone of the same gender while sharing a bottle of wine and a bag of pistachios and critiquing the third roommate’s wardrobe selections.
“That one’s nice, but try it with that other bra!”
“Here, wear my choker! It'll look great with that neckline!”
I hate to generalize, but most guys I know would sooner sleep in the mini-fridge.
It’s worth thinking about this in terms of writing. I ask male friends to read each manuscript I write just to flag things that sound off.
“A guy would never say this,” is a frequent note made in the margins next to a questionable piece of dialogue. I believe it. Men and women are wired differently, with different taboos, comfort zones, and ways of speaking.
When I got home from the trip, my two twenty-something male housemates were deep in conversation about motorcycle repair. After the preliminary hellos, they cut right to the chase.
“So how was it sleeping with that other chick?”
I almost felt bad not embellishing the story for their entertainment. I did see their eyes light up at the word “erotica,” and it's possible I described a pillow fight that never happened.
Are there other things you do comfortably that you can’t imagine someone of the opposite sex doing without the threat of torture? Please share!
And while you’re at it, how about sharing your bed? Might come in handy if I have to go on book tour.