FILED IN: Mominatrix

Bedtime stories, Mominatrix style

If your schedule is anything like mine, then the last thing you probably read was the label of the children’s Tylenol bottle. Reading has become sort of an ancient art – a ritual celebrated by DINKS who have so much time on their hands that they’re practically giving it away.

Reading anything other than a set of instructions for a kid’s toy, a recipe, or the contents of your Tucks wipes while you’re sitting on the shitter is a complete luxury.

And if you are able to pick up the relic called a “novel” or “memoir,” you end up having to read them a paragraph at a time, which doesn’t bode well for actually finishing anything but the back matter in the next century.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise that moms are reaching for a different kind of book these days -– the erotic romance novel.

These books are a cheap grocery store romance novel and full blown erotica hybrid, and offer moms a decent plot and fairly hot sex, all in under 50,000 words.

And it’ll probably only take you about 1,000 to get off.

Yep, these puppies are steamier than anything you’ve probably ever gotten your hands on, without being blatantly pornographic. Written by published authors, many of whom are moms themselves, these books are well-written erotic stories with character development and way more than just the stereotypical romantic trysts. Think soap opera with sex.

Pretty freaking hot sex, actually.

Combine that with intelligent writing and you’ve got the perfect recipe for moms -– stimulation for the mind and the muff.

Now don’t get me wrong. You’ll definitely see a pretty obvious writing formula that might make them a bit predictable. But like a great movie with a hot sex scene, you’re not watching it just for the story line. It certainly helps that there’s more going on than sex in four thousand different positions, but the high points are clearly not the beautifully written prose. Erotic romance novels take what’s generally missing for women in porn and apply it to something you can stick in your diaper bag or nightstand stable, or even better, download right to your Kindle, computer, or iPod.

It’s no surprise that there are the true romance novel connoisseurs that criticize the erotic romance movement for tainting their long respected tradition.

“It’s pornographic smut!”

Please. They should be thankful that they’re getting the publicity and a younger audience.

And really, is reading about someone basically about to have sex as opposed to someone who’s actually getting it really that different?

The best part is that they won’t break your budget. In fact, as most folks face hard times thanks to an economic downturn, the erotic romance novel industry is seeing even more business, and rightfully so. For around five bucks, you can escape the stress and the mundane for a trip to a dude ranch, deserted island, or television show-like hospital with more hotties than Grey’s Anatomy. Hell, you can even enjoy your penchant for the paranormal or guy-on-guy action as well. If you’ve had a recurring fantasy or just a hinting curiosity, chances are you’ll be able to find exactly what will pique your interest.

Here are just a few of the many purveyors of erotic fiction:

Harlequin – Probably one of the most recognizable names in romance novels, and publisher of thousands of books ranging from simple romantic love stories to erotic fiction in paperback, ebook, or audiobook form.

Ravenous Romance – Home to a wide selection of completely downloadable titles – including full length books, short stories, and anthologies, Ravenous offers over 15 topical areas like Green Love for you eco-friendly nature buffs, Wicked Pleasures for you kink-sters, and Fantastica for all things paranormal.

Virgin Books – One of the oldest publishers of erotica in the UK, Virgin offers three imprints – Black Lace (for women), Nexus (erotic fiction – books and anthologies), and their newest Cheek (for the younger sex crowd).

If you’re looking to get your feet wet (or vagina, for that matter), start with an erotic short story (purchased alone or in an anthology) that will take you only a few minutes to read. Aside from the satisfaction you’ll get from actually finishing something other than your kid’s dinner plates, they’re the perfect length for in between naps, feedings, or right before you hit the sack -– talk about redefining bedtime story.

And “I read a book last night” sounds way better than “I watched a porno” -– at least at your neighborhood playgroup anyway.