say what you will about the porn industry, it’s done wonderful things for moustaches: reading the diva diaries

Back at home there is a neat and adorable alcove where all the family books are kept.

With ceiling high shelving, every page from mine and my sister’s childhood, along with all the collected books from 23-odd years of raising a bookworm in a family of readers are stacked up there somewhere and it is in this adorable little hideaway that I discovered this week’s read.

Imagine, if you will, my surprise followed by fevered excitement after romping for an hour through my childhood literary pursuits coming across 248 pages of erotic literature, expertly jammed between JK Rowling, a giveaway illustrated children’s scripture novel forced on the unsuspecting students of my primary school and the explicit horrors of Stephen King.

I’m not sure how long Karen Anders and her Harlequin Mills & Boon published masterpiece The Diva Dairies was hiding there or why three or four pages had signs of ear tags, but like Anders’ deliciously verbose characters I felt a sudden rush of excitement and snaffled the cheeky item to share with all you lovely people.

Featuring the insatiably petite violinist Jenna Sinclair on a hunt for her grandmother’s sex diaries and the obligatory tall, dark and handsome western Adonis Sam Winchester, the book was the most exciting thing to come out of that alcove since Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

For reasons I think are obvious, I didn’t have the nerve to ask where the cheeky lit came from, though I will take this opportunity to say Hi Mum!

First off, I don’t think it needs to be said that the literary quality was pretty poor.

Clunky prose is the standard for the porn-lit industry and is something Mills and Boon have been doing since the 30’s. So no surprise there.

What I found a bit of a shock was how bloody long it took for things to get cheeky.

After 100 pages the only serious play time (finger quotey things) was one brief description in the prologue in a dream state for the soon to be deceased grandmother (spoilers!).

After that it was about 114 pages of lengthy foreplay between Jenna and Studly McStudly, abruptly and resolutely ended by the perpetually poorly-timed farm manager Tooter.

For a reader who went into the book with no other expectations than for rampant sexy times, I have to say I was a bit shocked.

It was kind of like settling down with your favourite private internet browser (stop reading Mum!) only to find a lengthy discussion about the co-ed’s back story in Silicon Valley, followed by a detailed exposé on her university majors and life goals.

Overall it felt like the whole thing needed a reminder of the importance of ‘time and place’.

That said, when Karen Anders gets hot and heavy, she doesn’t hold back. If you’re following along at home, flick to page 115 (strangely situated bridging chapters 7 and 8) and read through to page 126.

In spite of the obligatory clunky prose, what I really enjoyed about the read is the sharp relief it through on the emerging and explosive market for erotic literature.

With the non-existents of any real kind of kink, I was surprised to find a novel (printed in 2003 and dedicated to the more risqué shelves at your local bookstore) to be so solely dedicated to pretty, standard romantic sex—right down to the awful euphemisms used for gentleman’s Vadoodium and the lady’s Therangulator.

It really drove home (no pun intended) just how fast the industry can move considering the likes of erotic fiction being printed in the later, and perhaps rightly named, part of the Noughties, as compared with more recent porn-lit, what with all the bells, whistles, whips and chains.

Overall, Karen Anders is a bit if a fox and I’m glad she was the one to take my porn-lit virginity.

 

From the internet friend who is scared to say something wildly inappropriate, but can’t leave without a sign off,

Curiosity 

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