Cheerleaders in Heat: Erotica with twists and then some
I know one of the authors from Triberr and she jumped at the occasion when I asked if anyone needed/wanted a review. I hope you’ve read my interview with Muffy yesterday, and I know she’s anxious to read my review of the erotic novel Cheerleaders in Heat. Now you know that Erotica isn’t my usual fare, despite my own foray into the genre. Het erotica even less for obvious reasons. It’s like handing an airline pilot the user manual to operate a ship.
Yet, I have to hand it to Muffy Wilson and co-author Chrissy Laurence that Cheerleaders in Heat is a story that is worth reading even if you’re not str8. I’ll even admit to being aroused by it, which was more surprising to me than anyone else. But alas, I guess that is a testament to the two authors, to get this pilot interested by a “ship owner’s manual”. I had never before read het erotica, and so I can’t really claim to be either a connoisseur or an expert of it, but it was certainly an educating experience. I don’t know how typical this story is for the genre and it is difficult for me to review it without talking about the content, and I’m not primarily talking about the sex, because that’s pretty much a given in Erotica.
Whenever someone talks about het romance, it is usually with disdain for the genre’s use of words to avoid the use of the word “penis”. Het romance has been around forever and for eons, censorship didn’t allow authors to be direct, and while gay romance has no qualms with calling a dick a cock and a pussy a cunt, it seems that the het world still struggles with this concept (hence my question to Muffy yesterday.) To me, reading words like “Pussy-pounder”, “sweetmeat”, “demon slayer”, “macro-throbber” or “eroco-throbber”, to just capture some of the weird ones, is hilarious, and I can’t really say it adds to the story, but as Muffy mentioned, it’s a trope they’re playing with. To me, it was distracting, then again, I don’t like tropes either. I mean, the other common words are used just as frequently, so why not call and apple and apple and be done with it?
This story contains elements I found deeply disturbing from this reader’s point of view. Frequent use of Extasy and some really graphic violence including rapes are part of the story, and as is typical (?) in Erotica, since the story is secondary to the sex, isn’t explained or justified. Muffy mentioned in her interview, that the violent chapter is to be seen as a key scene in the transition of the main character, and well, it is, it’s just not entirely believable. It happens too quickly. Since much of Erotica is about fantasy rather than reality, sex rather than plot, the authors get away with it, and the drug use by the characters enable them to twist the story (the sex i.e.) to Dionysian levels. And I have to attribute it to the genre that some of the weird plot twists remained unexplained, e.g. Juan’s sudden change of heart with regards to Randi. From my humble point of view (I know the authors see it differently), the violent chapter added little to the story, except maybe help push Juan out of it. I would’ve liked a different solution, simply because Erotica is to entice a reader, not turn hir off by beating someone to a pulp. Who gets off on such violence? The mere thought that some people do is scary…
I don’t like to talk about editing. That is up to the author and hir editor(s). However, there are a couple of odd changes of POV in the immediate chapter after the violent weekend, when Cherie, our main character, is referred to in the third person while also appearing as “we”, speaking in first person about herself and her friends. And I don’t understand why a corkscrew is needed to open a bottle of champagne.
At the end of the story, and I won’t give it away, I was almost lost by changes in names, and I flipped backwards several pages to try to make sense, before I gave up (blaming it on bad editing, which it isn’t!) before I finally realized what was happening. The ending has the redeeming qualities necessary, explaining a lot of the “oddities” of the story, but not all, but that’s probably just me.
This was my first het Erotica, and it was an interesting story to read, and I applaud Muffy for allowing me to read it. She’s taken quite a risk. From a queer theory standpoint, I was happy to see that het erotica is branching out and includes more diverse characters, from transsexuals to lesbians, with an emphasis on the fact that most people actually are bisexual, somewhere between the extreme poles that are het or gay. Thank you for that!
From a feminist point of view, I am saddened to see that women to this day write stories where the men come swooping in for the rescue, and I was appalled by some of the scenes where Cherie is treated like a piece of property. Yes, there are large elements of BDSM in the book, and I understand that domination and subjugation play an integral part to that role play, but it goes beyond that. Sampson, Juan and all other men in the story are male chauvinist pigs no matter how chivalrous they appear at times. I’ve seen too many women who’ve completely internalized their gender’s subjugation to the male to even see it any longer. I’ve asked the question to Muffy, and you can read her answer in yesterday’s post.
All in all, if you like Erotica which goes beyond girl meets boy and the shag happily ever after, you should definitely give this book a shot. But be aware that it is – at times – an extremely violent story, with frequent drug use, BDSM elements and the inclusion of LGBT characters. I know that’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
Well, Muffy? I hope that you and Chrissy are happy with this review. I certainly learned a lot about het sex reading this story, reminding me of the old adage “things you never knew you had to know…” And if even half about the fluids squirting, flowing and dripping from pussies is true, I think the makers of feminine pads have an entirely new market to “tap” into. I mean periods last a week; seems to me that given all the wet underwear in this story, women would be needing pads every day of the month…
I wish the authors all the very best for their continued writing. You can pick up your copy of Cheerleaders in Heat on Amazon.
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Join me again tomorrow for another great interview in what has turned out to be an “erotica week”. J.B. Rogers sweated blood and tears answering my questions…