I wasn't quite sure if I should have gone with this title for my blog post, because I don't mean to be funny (even if I did I often fail miserably LOL) and I certainly don't mean to be disrespectful in any way towards either topic. It just goes to show the strange ways in which my mind works.
I'm sure by now most of you have seen the amazing YouTube video of Susan Boyle, the 47-year-old Scottish woman who blew away the audience - and dare I say the world - with her incredible performance on "Britain's Got Talent", England's version of "American Idol. I had never heard the song she sang, which was "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables', but by the time I watched it once, I was captivated. I ended up immediately watching it 3 more times. Since then, I've probably seen it 15 times, and each time, it manages to get to me and I get tears in my eyes from watching how she didn't let the laughter intimidate her but instead did exactly what she set out to do - she made that "audience rock". It was astounding. (For more of her of her incredible voice, listen to her 1999 version of "Cry Me a River". Just gorgeous).
While pondering the amazing reaction the world has had to Ms. Boyle, it made me think of how judgmental I personally am. If I hadn't heard all the buzz and previously known before watching the clip what a phenomenon she turned out to be, I can't say for sure that I wouldn't have been just as judgmental as most of the audience initially was. In fact, I'm pretty sure I would have been rather doubtful about her talent. I feel horrible for saying that, but I think it's the truth. I would have judged her before hearing even one note. Well, thank you Susan, for going out there, being brave, and showing us (me) how wrong we all were. She exceeded my expectations, big-time.
So anyway, Susan's knockout performance got me thinking about expectations in other areas. Like for instance, how I look at books. Sometimes I look at a book cover or read the blurb and it either catches my attention in a good way or it completely turns me off. Before even looking a bit further, perhaps reading a passage to see if it grabs my attention, I decide to either buy it or write it off as my my thing.
Now I know that is not unusual, especially when there are so many books, movies, t.v. shows, etc., to choose from, and there's only so much time in the day and it's impossible to grab everything that catches your fancy. But what I'm talking about is not being willing to give something a try, just pushing it aside at first glance because initially you don't find it appealing.
That's how I first felt about m/m romances. I was more than fine with the m/f/m storylines, where the heroine gets to enjoy the sensual attentions of two hot, sexy men who want to worship and pleasure her. Very hawt. Then I noticed that in some of the m/f/m books I was reading, the men weren't just pleasuring the woman, they were pleasuring each other, and enjoying the hell out of it. It was more about the emotional connection between all three of them, and I could accept it in the storyline. However it didn't take long before I was reading the sex scenes between the men with as equal enthusiasm as I was the ones between the hero(es) and heroine. They could be rougher, dirtier, more aggressive, yet that didn't make them any less sexy. I've read plenty of sex scenes between men and women that have been more empty and meaningless than a lot of the sexin' that goes on in the m/f/m and/or m/m romances. Because when the characters really care for each other, the sex can get extremely raunchy yet also be incredibly sexy and arousing. They are about something more than just the shock value or trying every sexual position known to man (and beast), because after awhile, when you read enough of it, if there's no connection, it can get pretty bor-ing.
So what I've learned from the experience is that though I thought I knew what I liked, and had strong convictions about what works for me, there are times I can be really surprised, in a good way, when I check some of my assumptions at the door and just give it a try. The bottom line (no pun intended *g*) is that I LOVE a memorable love story. I'm so glad I opened myself to the idea of romance being about the love story, period, whether it's a man and a woman, two men and a woman, or even two men. I haven't yet read a love story between two women that has captured my interest, but I think I'm ready to be convinced. That would definitely be reading about something that made me uncomfortable, primarily because f/f sex does not turn me on. These are the scenes in romances that I skim past. However I will make a full confession and say that the scene in Lacey Alexander's "Bikini Diaries" was kinda hot, though what really appealed to me about it was that the guys were so into it and it totally got them all horny. (Read Katiebabs' thoughtful post about writing outside her comfort zone).
Can you think of a recent experience that totally blew away YOUR expectations?
Was it good or bad?