So there I was on Friday night at the (AWESOME) Romance Roundtable sponsored by Porter Square Books and one of the first questions asked from the audience was, essentially: men and women experience sex differently--how do you, as a woman, write it from the male point of view? Give explicit details. Ok. So the "give explicit details" wasn't stated, but it was pretty much implied. And, yes, I had one of those OhHolyCrap moments.
I mean, it's not like I haven't considered the idea that someone might ask me a similar question. But, well...
I can't talk about sex.
I just can't.
I can write it. I can write about it. But I can't talk about it. It's the biggest joke ever in my family, especially when my mom, sister, and cousin are some of my main beta readers and I write some fairly explicit scenes.
But it was also why I thought it was kind of hysterical that my first Facebook ad ever got flat-out rejected due to "sexually suggestive" content. (Not nearly as hysterical as the fact that, due to various likes and comments, after the ad was rejected, Facebook kept telling me that I should consider boosting the post due to its being an "engaging" one. But I digress.)
First, the ad:
I've learned a lot about FB ads over the last few days, I have to say. For example, all those really out there pictures that get posted? Not ads, therefore there's no problem. The pictures in the headings? Also not ads, so ditto. If you don't pay for it, it's not an ad, and FB apparently keeps its hands off. (NOTE: I'm actually fine with that. Yay, Facebook, for trying to find a line between control and censorship.)
One of the main issues of my ad was actually the amount of text involved. FB is very clear that they allow no more than 20% text in the images used as ads. There are even tools involved to test it out. See http://www.social-contests.com/check-image/ and https://www.facebook.com/notes/living-fabulous/facebooks-20-percent-text-rule-on-ad-images/828458160511405/.
I, incidentally, totally didn't do that.
Also, a few people mentioned it might be because of the amount of skin showing in the picture. And, yes, I did choose that picture quite intentionally to use pretty much across the board. (You may have noticed it's used as the heading for my author page, and on Twitter, and on my website [look up above!], and on my business card, etc.) And I chose it specifically because it was, yes, suggestive--in a way that I think fits my first two books quite perfectly, thank you very much. Jeans and t-shirts, baseball and apple pie, Nate and Dorie and Deke and Fitz--and lots of happy (and not so happy) sexy times--in small town Inspiration, IA.
There was also the matter of the quote itself:
“Just because you like my cooking,” she whispered, “doesn’t mean you get to have everything in the kitchen.”
He stared at her, seeing every iota of doubt and vulnerability she kept bottled up inside. Then he smiled. “Guess I’ll have to keep coming back until I’ve licked the cupboards bare.”
Um... O.k., yes, that's pretty suggestive, too, in a way that makes me both blush furiously and, well, smile. Because, hey--since I can't talk about it straight out, I do my absolute best to be suggestive.
But then my mom walks into the house to visit and the first thing she says to me (before even saying hi), is: "Well, of course, Facebook rejected your ad! 'Lick the cupboards bare?'"
And that right there was when my worlds collided and I pretty much self-combusted.
Write it? Yes.
Write about it? Yep.
Talk about it with my mom? Absolutely freaking NOT.
So, Facebook, you got it right. And there's no way in hell I'm going to say a word out loud about it.*
* But if you'd like to see how I write about it, please feel free to preorder CALLING IT. I'd be 100% o.k. with that.