In those pre-Amazon days there used to be a little used bookstore in my town that specialized in harlequin romance novels. For entertainment my girlfriends and I would pop in, pull out the used paperbacks and hold them open by the covers to see where the biggest gaps were between the pages. The joke was that those were the locations of the sexy bits; anxious readers would pull the book open that much further when they got to the good stuff.
Of course, most of those novels were covered in pictures of Fabio dressed as a pirate, a cowboy, or any other profession that was a primarily shirtless endeavor. Today’s most popular dirty novels have an entirely different career man in the lead: POTUS is now the sex object du jour.
In an article titled Why sex with presidents is so hot right now, Salon‘s Amy Odell detailed a disturbing trend in these presidential-themed dirty novels. Afraid of “slut shaming” should their affairs be discovered, “these women are completely powerless to dictate the terms of their affair: If you’re sleeping with the president, you must be available on his schedule, you must not upset him or he could easily banish you from his presence, and you must not tell a soul about it.”
In other words, lest they become the next Monica Lewinsky or wind up like Weiner’s Twitter galpal, they’d better keep quiet and play along. Which, in the case of the novels’ protagonists isn’t hard to do: Forget having the President’s baby, these ladies are sleeping their way up the career ladder. That makes the potential for slut shaming totally worth it. All the ladies are saying it in the hottest reading clubs around town: “At least she’s doing it for her career and not just to be a stay at home mom.” The scoffs are palpable.