Thursday, December 18, 2008

Redheads and Kissable Lips

One of my greatest (and thankfully few) detractors once said I write sex scenes like Mr. Rogers. I'm still amused, and not 100% convinced that's accurate, but I will say that it's all the "perihperals" of sexuality that fascinate me and take up the majority of my description of it in writing. Even when I have a dream at night, most of it's spent on kissing and not on thrusting. Or even better than kissing - almost kissing, being right on the verge of kissing! It's all about expectation and desire, not fulfillment (and that's Platonic prudery, not Christian, BTW). The curve of a woman's neck, eyes closed, mouth slightly open....

Yeah! Like that pic up above! That's one of Rosetti's paintings of Beatrice. I saw several of them in person this summer and was so taken by them (they are striking after only seeing little reproductions in books and on the net) that I was all set to rewrite her scenes with her as a redhead. But I kept thinking, "A redhead? An Italian? Really?" And as I was thinking that, I wandered into the next room of the gallery and thought, "Oh, look, another redhead!" It was by the same painter. This time the subject was Helen of Troy. Next to her? Another redhead. Eve. Next to her? Jezebel, also a redhead. Mary the mother of God, Mary Magdalene, Salome - all redheads when this guy's holding the brush. So I figured it was some "thing" of his (which is fine and all) and didn't rewrite.

But, crimson locks or no, the guy captured that sense of suspension and expectation, rather than possession and use, that I find fascinating in feminine beauty.


Blogger B-Sol said...

Just for the record, it's entirely possible for Italians to have red hair, I've known a few--including my grandmother.

10:08 AM  
Blogger KPaffenroth said...

Yes, I'd read the statistics for redheads back when I was doing research on Judas (supposedly he of red hair). It is a minority trait in every ethnic group, even Irish. So it's not impossible, but would draw attention to something (hair color) that doesn't need attention.

11:43 AM  
Blogger John Goodrich said...

The genetics of red hair (which ALWAYS got discussed IN DEPTH in EVERY biology class I ever took) are fairly complex. First off, you have six genes for hair color. redhead is recessive, so you need five or six in order to get the full redhead effect. I've likely got a blonde gene, which is why my hair isn't that metallic coppery red

Second, the gene cannot express if a certain amount skin melanin is present. So anyone who lives in a sun-drenched Mediterranian or equatorial environment is less likely to demonstrate that they have these genes. Most of them will have a chestnut cast or reddish highlights.

6:01 PM  

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