Eyes Wide Open

Return to Issue #38 of Laurie's News & Views

Author Jo Beverley (beverley@mail.island.net) about the eyes-open command:
Interesting topic, Laurie!

I think I might have written that a time or two -- the hero asking (note) the heroine to keep her eyes open. If he sounds commanding, it's probably just that she isn't paying a lot of attention at the time! If so, and I'll have to check back to be sure, it certainly wasn't an act of domination. I think I would see it as him just trying to slow her down a bit. A distraction, something that makes it a bit harder for her to fall into orgasm. After all, in erotic love scenes, which is often what we're writing in romances, making it last is half the trick, don't you think?

I know I've written a couple of scenes where the heroine is a bit slower than he is and where she deliberately watches him, enjoying it. Of course, in that situation, no hero would leave the lady unsatisfied!

Mona Montana (monamont@3rivers.net) about the eyes-open command:
Some stories have the hero telling his lady to open her eyes during the climactic moment. Others plead with her to do so. It always seems to me to be a combination of power and intimacy. To share with another that moment of ultimate vulnerability, looking through the clearest window to the soul, is one of the most powerful moments imagineable. Sometimes, the man demands it perhaps to erase any other memory she has of that exact moment. But, by doing so, he also does away with any barrier that exists between them. By wanting to see her vulnerability, he allows her to see his. Too, the request can be unspoken. The natural physical reflex of the moment seems to be the turning of a head, the closing of eyes, the momentary fear of giving too much. But to look into the eyes of the one you love above all at the moment of climax of the most intimate physical interaction conceivable . . . oh, my . . . that's powerful.

Eleanor Kay about the eyes-open command :
I don't have views on the ordering someone to have sex with eyes open thing (sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't), but I don't understand your argument. If watching the heroine orgasm is a sign of commitment from the hero, why is he telling her to keep her eyes open? Shouldn't he be watching her? Or am I missing something? A scene from the hero's perspective in which he is stunned by how moving he finds her orgasm would work for me, or one in which (her perspective this time) she watches him orgasm and finds it touching and wonderful. But I cannot understand how the hero making the heroine open her eyes is anything other than a power thing. Of course, it could be a power thing with the best possible motivations - eg he wants her to know he loves the passionate, physical side of her, and that she shouldn't be ashamed of "letting go", if she has previously been a bit on the repressed side, so he wants her to see the approval on his face - of course, I don't know that she'll be thinking very much about the expression on his face at that moment, but maybe that's what he's thinking....

Ellen Micheletti (micheed@wku.edu)about the eyes-open command :
As for the eyes open - I have noticed it for some time now. I know that in the throes of passion, pupils dilate, but I can't remember any writer mentioning that little detail. I am almost blind, so I never could tell if my husband's did or didn't (not that I was looking). I really prefer the tight embrace and the hero calling out the heroine's name.

Judith Blush (jblush@erols.com) -
About the eyes-open command:
Oh gosh I'm gonna get trounced. I'm a feminist to the death but love the eyes-open device. I have never had a partner ask me to do it but would love to. I have never felt it was a power thing, and being deep into finding the "power motivator" in every action around me I think I would have been offended if that was how it appeared to me.

I felt it was an intimate act. One that said "you are not a body" but someone who I want to look upon, who I want to see me during this moment of weakness, during this most intimate moment.

If you think about it, sex is an act of domination if not handled correctly. A woman must turn her body over to the partner, she must release control to him. A man has only one moment of weakness, during ejaculation. For a man to want a woman to see him at that moment is, to me, a very intimate thing.

In all the books I've read with this device it wasn't "he wanted to see her" but he wanted them to watch each other.

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