Monday, February 2, 2009

Yet Another Guilty Pleasure

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When straight woman joke to me that they want to switch teams because they are tired of men, it is my civic duty to explain that the grass is really not that much greener on my side of the fence. Although I am glad I don't date men--aside from Clive Owen I don't find many of them attractive--the orientation has perils that extend way beyond lack of legally recognized relationship status. For starters, the dating pool is so small that even in a metropolitan area you may end up dating women your friends have already dated, or sharing a lot of mutual friends with your date, thus making breakups very messy! And finding women who aren't child obsessed can be a challenge. Plus, women are emotionally complicated!!

Being gay can also mean exile to a pop-culture ghetto. "Lesbian culture" is an oxymoron characterized by mediocre movies, badly written books, and depressing acoustic music. However I recently ran across an author who has provided a surprising new guilty pleasure on the lambda literary front. Georgia Beers has written a whole slew of lesbian romance novels that provide a much needed escape from the doldrums of the typical DC metro commute.

Beers' characters are very post-gay in that they are out of the closet and beyond the coming out drama. In contrast to the L Word, in which Kit is the only straight who isn't a dolt, Georgia Beers' women have supportive families and straight friends. They are also multi-dimensional, smart, gorgeous, and independent to the extent that the onset of an unexpected romance is viewed as a source of disruption in otherwise fulfilling lives. Also unlike the characters in the L Word whose glamorous jobs enable them to hang out all day at a chi chi coffee shop, Beer's women have real jobs and responsibilities and baggage--the latter of the hard knock life variety and not self-imposed lesbian drama.

For instance, in Mine, Courtney is mutually attracted to Rachel, the sexy control freak of a real estate agent she has hired to sell the house she shared with her late partner. But first, Courtney must get over the sense that she is being unfaithful to her late partner's memory, and Rachel has to accept being vulnerable. In Too Close to Touch, Kylie is the stunning assistant who falls for her no-nonsense older boss Gretchen, who is too cold and controlled to show that the feeling is mutual until she must lean on Kylie to get through a family tragedy.

Beers has a unique gift of building romantic tension replete with detailed wardrobe descriptions, then crescendoing to steamy, passionate love scenes that leave trails of discarded clothing strewn down the hallways of tastefully decorated houses. I can't wait to read more, and fortunately Beers is prolific enough to provide material for many more metro commutes!

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