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Breast Intentions

by | Aug 21, 2017 | General | 6 comments


Did you know that breasts are out of fashion? Apparently Millennials have little interest in cleavage. As a result, restaurant chains like Hooters and Twin Peaks (hadn’t heard of that one!), where the main draw is busty waitresses in low cut blouses, are losing money, closing stores, and being forced to reevaluate their business strategies.

While I can’t say that I feel much sympathy for the silliness of “breastaurants”, I find the apparent shift in tastes for particular sorts of bodies quite intriguing. I could posit a variety of explanations. Maybe the increased cultural acceptance of LGBTQ individuals had led to a more androgynous physical ideal. Maybe, with sexting and other sexual instantiations of social media, the sight of naked tits has become so commonplace that it’s uninteresting. Could there be a Freudian explanation, a repudiation of the maternal principle as women choose careers over motherhood? Or perhaps this is simply a typical rejection by one generation of the values and preferences of its predecessors—a breast rebellion.

Of course, throughout history, we’ve seen cyclical changes in cultural norms about body type and sexuality. Perhaps we’re headed back to the days of flappers, with their slender, boyish figures. Hopefully we’re not also on the brink of another economic collapse, like the Great Depression.

Now there’s a topic for someone’s doctoral dissertation: the relationship between popular breast size and the health of the economy. After all, ample bosoms were exceedingly popular during the boom years of the nineteen fifties. Full-figured ladies were much admired in the prosperous Victorian period, when England reaped the benefits of scientific progress and a far-flung empire. If we believe the paintings, breasts were big in the Renaissance as well, with its flowering of trade, art and culture.

But I digress.

The article above reminded me of the link between sex and money. Sex sells. The fact that this is a cliché does not make it any less true. And when one’s marketing strategy is based primarily on sex, a change in popular sexual culture can spell economic ruin.

Have you checked out the latest innovations in sex toys? You really can’t get a simple vibrator anymore. Anything you purchase is likely to be USB-chargeable. It has a Bluetooth connection to your iPhone. To use it, you need to download an app. Innovate or die. That’s apparently the law of the market, even in the realm of sexual implements.

Which brings me to erotic writing. I have to ask myself: am I just as guilty of exploiting the Id for my own enrichment as tasteless and gimmicky places like Hooters? And if I am, do my personal sexual preferences, molded in the Golden Age of the sixties and seventies between the invention of the Pill and the advent of AIDS, doom my work to eventual obsolescence? Am I headed in the direction of Twin Peaks, scrambling to reinvent myself in order to sell my stories?

For instance, how many millennials find pubic hair arousing? Or chest hair on men, for that matter? Dangly earrings and long skirts, worn with no underwear? Sweaty sex in the back seats of automobiles? The sweet bounce of unfettered breasts under a loose tee shirt?

I really can’t imagine what sort of sex twenty-somethings find interesting. Given the general decline in literacy, it may be Millennials aren’t likely to read my books no matter what sort of sexual content they contain.

Fortunately, it doesn’t matter. My livelihood doesn’t depend on my writing—praise the Goddess. I love seeing the royalty payments bump up my PayPal account, but that’s primarily because it’s evidence that someone is reading my stuff. I am writing for fun, to explore new ideas and genres, to entertain myself and my readers, and yes, to turn myself on. If Millennial’s can’t connect with my characters, well, that’s too bad, but there’s nothing I can do about it. I don’t claim to understand them. I’m not surprised if they feel the same about me.

I’d like to believe there are some universal truths about human sexuality captured in my tales, that I can tell a story that will resonate and arouse despite one’s background or generation. I am probably deluding myself, though.

For one thing, I like breasts too much.


About the Author Lisabet Sarai

Sex and writing. I think I’ve always been fascinated by both.

Freud was right. I definitely remember feelings that I now recognize as sexual, long before I reached puberty. I was horny before I knew what that meant. My teens and twenties I spent in a hormone-induced haze, perpetually “in love” with someone (sometimes more than one someone). I still recall the moment of enlightenment, in high school, when I realized that I could say “yes” to sexual exploration, even though society told me to say no. Despite being a shy egghead with world-class myopia who thought she was fat, I had managed to accumulate a pretty wide range of sexual experience by the time I got married. And I’m happy to report that, thanks to my husband’s open mind and naughty imagination, my sexual adventures didn’t end at that point!

Meanwhile, I was born writing. Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, though according to family apocrypha, I was talking at six months. Certainly, I started writing as soon as I learned how to form the letters. I penned my first poem when I was seven. While I was in elementary school I wrote more poetry, stories, at least two plays (one about the Beatles and one about the Goldwater-Johnson presidential contest, believe it or not), and a survival manual for Martians (really). I continued to write my way through high school, college, and grad school, mostly angst-ridden poems about love and desire, although I also remember working on a ghost story/romance novel (wish I could find that now). I’ve written song lyrics, meeting minutes, marketing copy, software manuals, research reports, a cookbook, a self-help book, and a five hundred page dissertation.

For years, I wrote erotic stories and kinky fantasies for myself and for lovers’ entertainment. I never considered trying to publish my work until I picked up a copy of Portia da Costa’s Black Lace classic Gemini Heat while sojourning in Istanbul. My first reaction was “Wow!”. It was possibly the most arousing thing I’d ever read, intelligent, articulate, diverse and wonderfully transgressive. My second reaction was, “I’ll bet I could write a book like that.” I wrote the first three chapters of Raw Silk and submitted a proposal to Black Lace, almost on a lark. I was astonished when they accepted it. The book was published in April 1999, and all at once, I was an official erotic author.

At this point, Raw Silk has been reprinted by three different publishers. The most recent version is available from Total-E-Bound and still selling well, I’m pleased to say. Since that initial release I’ve published more than fifty single author titles in erotica and erotic romance, including eight more novels, and have contributed to dozens of anthologies.

In addition to writing erotica and erotic romance, I also edit the stuff. I’m very proud of my anthologies of literary erotica, Sacred Exchange: Stories of Spirituality and Transcendence in Dominance and Submission (with S.F. Mayfair) and Cream: The Best of the Erotica Readers and Writers Association. I’m also editor for the Coming Together Presents altruistic erotica series. Each Presents volume offers work by a single author, supporting a cause selected by that author. So far we’ve released seven volumes of stellar erotic fiction, each of which does double duty by making the world a better place.

A lot has changed since my Black Lace days. Black Lace itself has bitten the dust, as has my second publisher Blue Moon. The e-book revolution has made it easier to get published but a great deal more difficult to get noticed. Promotion claims at least as much of my time as actual writing. Speaking of which, I blog regularly at Beyond Romance and Oh Get A Grip, and offer news, excerpts, free reading, reviews and more at Lisabet’s Fantasy Factory.

I still get a thrill from writing erotica. It’s a never-ending challenge, trying to capture the emotional complexities of a sexual encounter. I’m far less interested in what happens to my characters’ bodies than in what goes on in their heads.


  1. I’d love to see a paper on breasts and the economy! I completely enjoyed this post. I, too, look at ‘kids’ and wonder what makes them tick. They do NOT read. Aliteracy is a true thing (people who can read and don’t) They don’t interact with each other well. It is just odd and sad. Needless to say, I’m NOT buxom and wish I was. I also love hot steamy stories and will continue to read them. xoxoxo

    • Thanks, Kristen!

      My characters tend to be on the brainy side. Maybe I’ll write something in which my heroine is an academic researching this topic!

  2. I’ve always been more of an ass-man, but as you say, a pair of young, resilient tits jiggling unencumbered under a loose top… Yum!

    • It’s the whole package, Daddy!

      I wonder if the Millenials are more interested in derrieres?

  3. Donna George Storey

    Millenials do seem to be more interested in Kim Kardashian derrieres. But the fashion always leaves a lot of people out. I’d love to read your story on an academic researching breast size and the economy. I just finished an interesting academic study, An Intimate Affair: Women, Lingerie, and Sexuality by Jill Fields, that discusses fashions in the female figure. Her thesis is more along the lines of women’s social status influencing styles. Breasts as a very visible sign of sexual difference came into fashion again in the 1930s and film was a good way to advertise them. Also, for the first time there was the technology to emphasize “lifted and separated” breasts through the brassiere. Before that the “monobosom” was in fashion from around the 1890s. Still I think individual beauty and individual preference will always transcend fashion where it matters–between lovers!

    • I personally appreciate variety. But fashion is definitely a mirror of society.

      So in the Fields book, does she maintain that visible, emphasized breasts were a sign of women’s enhanced social status? Or diminished status (relegated to being sex objects)?

      It seems that women had a lot of freedom in the twenties, after the first World War–then maybe lost it.


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