Confessions of a Closet Romantic


Do you hide your love of romance? Feel a bit ashamed while snuggling up with your favorite romantic stories? Then sit by me, as I talk about the best kisses, actors and scenes from romantic movies, books and TV shows, and confess about my latest obsessions. In detail, without embarrassment or shame. Mostly!

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Quick Take: Gentleman Jack
May 19 2022
12 mins
Quick Take: Gentleman JackSexy Mythological Retellings: Neon Gods/Mighty Aphrodite/Wonder Woman
May 5 2022
31 mins
The Romcoms of Richard Curtis
Richard Curtis romcoms are canon, and I've touched on them before, but now I'm joined by a special guest, Joe of the Right in the Schoolies podcast, to try to tease out why they work so well, and talk about the differences in UK and US romance and romcom humor. Let's dig in!https://www.confessionsofaclosetromantic.comJoe is a complete delight. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his fabulous podcast Right in the Schoolies here. I first fell in love with Catherine Cohen's modern idiosyncratic poetry, but never got to experience her weekly cabaret show in New York.  That poetry vibe — along with hilarious songs and comedy —are captured in her new Netflix special, The Twist…? She's Gorgeous. I had a big goofy grin on my face the entire time I was watching it.Movies/TV ShowsI first saw Four Weddings and a Funeral in London, and its warm, affectionate humor and found family tropes remind me of a very special time in my life.Notting Hill isn't Richard Curtis' best, according to Joe. But as an American book publicist based in London, I haunted quirky little book shops like the one in this movie, so it has a special place in my heart. Plus, the found family trope in this one is epic.To be fair, Love, Actually has lots of moments that I enjoy. Just don't make me sit down at Christmas to watch the whole thing.Vicar of Dibley only got three seasons (and a few comedy specials) and each one is a delight. This little highlight reel of vicar Geraldine's path to Mr. Right just fills me with giggles. I think the reason this series works so well is the contrast between the seriousness of Geraldine's religious calling with her joyous search for love. Joe feels another reason it works so well is because so much of the humor comes from the quirks of English church and village life.The Vicar of Dibley ensemble cast is fantastic but the late great Emma Chambers as the vicar's verger Alice deserves her own highlight reel.  I CRY with laughter watching this.Bridget Jones's Diary, cowritten by Richard Curtis, is based on Helen Fielding's best selling novel and it's full of those vulnerable, awkward attempts at love that Joe talked about in this episode.Richard Curtis wrote the story for the sequel Mamma Mia Here We Go Again, and I like it even better than the original Mamma Mia movie. It feels emotionally deeper and I think the plot fits even better with the ABBA songs.About Time is the most touching look at love and family and what happiness really means.  In this romantic fantasy, an ordinary guy is given a family secret that allows him to travel back in time and redo past relationship mistakes. In true Richard Curtis fashion, there's a bit of sadness mixed in, but it ends happily.Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/poppyconfesses)
Apr 21 2022
35 mins
Slowburn Romance: Bridgerton/Sanditon/Bright Star
My favorite costume dramas of last year are back with sophomore seasons, and they're the slowest of slowburns. Will Charlotte get over the loss of Sidney and finally find someone in Sanditon who appreciates her? Will Anthony Bridgerton marry for love or family? I've thrown in one of my favorite slowburn screen romances, inspired by the love of poet John Keats for artist Fanny Brawne. This is slow but incendiary love — the opposite of instalove, but sexy and romantic all the same.  (CW: film clips contain spoilers!)Many thanks to Kristina, JM and Jack for buying me a coffee and supporting the show. If you like what you hear and want to support the show, send me a little tip here.https://www.confessionsofaclosetromantic.comMovies/TV ShowsBridgerton has been a runaway hit on Netflix for good reason: excellent direction, crisp editing, emotional scripts, stunning costumes and sets, exceptional ensemble acting, incredible pop/classical music, and a wonderfully diverse cast. Oh and the wigs! Insane hairdressing. Sanditon is based on the final unfinished Jane Austen novel. It's a fresh, modern adaptation and a costume drama lover's dream. Rose Williams as Charlotte Heyward is the central jewel of the excellent ensemble cast. Her friend Georgiana Lambe, played by Crystal Clarke, really comes into her own during this season.This is a somewhat odd trailer for Bright Star. The overall mood of the film is more elegiac — stark and darkly romantic, which better suits the story. This scene, a bit longer in the film, is one of my favorites and represents the mood of the movie best to me.BooksBridgerton is based on the romance series by Julia Quinn.My college seminar instructor would rap my knuckles because Keats' poem is actually called Ode on a Grecian Urn. You can find more of his famous poems here. Keats' life was tragic but also prolific, full of romance, friendship and beauty.Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/poppyconfesses)
Apr 7 2022
28 mins
Historical Romance Badassery
To celebrate Women's History Month, I'm highlighting favorite real and fictional badasses. Warning: I mention the word badass many, many times in this episode. Clearly I love me a bit of badassery. Women worthy of official biographies and iconoclastic female characters in historical romances all provide ready-made inspiration. I need as much of that as I can get.https://www.confessionsofaclosetromantic.com Virginia Woolf's house on Gordon Square (4th picture in right sidebar).  She had many gatherings of the Bloomsbury Group in that house. See the windows with the balcony in front? I sat in that room as an inaugural student in the Gender Studies program at University of London. One of my favorite memories ever.Mariah mentioned the gender non-conforming writer and performance artist Alok Vaid-Menon BooksFor me there is nothing like reading about someone's life through their diaries. Virginia Woolf was a dedicated diarist who documented the fascinating people, work and relationships that filled her days in the early 20th century.She was also a talented essayist. A Room of One's Own is a groundbreaking, feminist classic.A Week to Be Wicked is Book 2 in the witty, smart, sexy, sizzling hot Spindle Cove series by Tessa Dare.Mariah and I talked about Brazen and the Beast, Book 2 in the Barenuckle Bastards series by Sarah MacLean.I read from At His Lady's Command by Nicola Davidson, part of the Surrey Sexual Freedom Society novella series. It's one of the hottest historical romances I've ever read. Movies/TV ShowsOrlando is visually sumptuous and totally intriguing, as is the Virginia Woolf novel it's based on. The movie's gorgeous ethereal music was co-written by director Sally Potter.Wynonna Earp is thrilling, a bit scary and thoroughly absorbing. Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/poppyconfesses)
Mar 24 2022
30 mins
Brave Romcomedy
I'm celebrating International Women's Day with a round up of comedy badassery by Ali Wong, Amy Schumer, Jenny Slate, Rose Matafeo, and Iliza Shlesinger. Whether it's a romcom movie, TV show, blog, book, or live special, these writers are funny, raunchy, honest and real when talking about their lived experiences. They're badass inspiration. (CW: lots and lots of profanity, mentions of body image, brief mention of drug use, and lots of juicy sex talk.)https://www.confessionsofaclosetromantic.comThis episode featured a section from "Bring Me Tequila and Your Dick" an audio porn story from the smart, sexy, funny, real and really kinky Girl on the Net.Movies/Comedy Specials/AudiobooksAli Wong has never been better in her hilarious Netflix comedy special Don Wong. Baby Cobra is also wet-the-pants funny. Just me?! The friends to lovers trope in Always Be My Maybe is so heartwarming. Ali Wong's chemistry and banter with Randall Park is smart and delicious.Michelle Buteau has hilarious laid-back comic timing as Ali Wong's best friend in that romcom, and she's a really good standup comic too.You can count on Amy Schumer to be scathingly honest in her observational comedy, especially while exploring marriage and pregnancy in her mid-late 30s. She dishes it all like a boss in Growing. I really like her low-key vibe, too, as she narrates her life stories in The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo.A big part of Iliza Shlesinger's sharp, smart comedy is her physicality—especially the voices and faces she makes. Elder Millennial is a great example. She narrates the audio version of her book of essays Girl Logic and it's fantastic.I fell in love with Jenny Slate in the romcom I Want You Back, and then fell in love with her all over again watching her comedy special Stage Fright.I can't count the ways I love the goofy charming antics of Starstruck. Rose Matafeo is a curvy, self deprecating and hilarious emotional mess who is completely relatable, which is why I think this show works so well.Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/poppyconfesses)
Mar 10 2022
33 mins
Love & Romance Over 40: Part 2
I'm really starting to feel that cultural and romantic invisibility cloak that covers women of a certain age. Luckily, there are a few aspirational, sometimes inspiring TV shows and movies that feature people over the age of 40 romancing each other and getting it on — even if it seems that you need to have a beautiful face, well-placed wrinkles and a near-perfect body to deserve the same. CW: talk of anti-body positivity and toxic Hollywood and cultural beauty standards.https://www.confessionsofaclosetromantic.comThis podcast will always be free, but if you want to send me a tip to keep this labor of love going, I would greatly appreciate it!GuestsYou can find the full essay "On Bodies" here and follow the brilliant writer Kristina on Twitter.Taffeta V. is a true Renaissance woman -- she is a semi-retired costume designer, wardrobe mistress, writer and host of two cool podcasts among other things.  You can find her on Twitter.Jack Badelaire studied film and has written many historical action-adventure novels. His Twitter feed is a delight.Movies/TV ShowsIssues around relationships, sex and aging have never been so funny or profound as they are in Grace and Frankie.I absolutely loved catching up with Carrie, Charlotte and Miranda from Sex and the City 20 years later in ...And Just Like That. The show isn't perfect but it looks gorgeous, they look gorgeous and the story arcs are a perfect evolution for these characters.Mamma Mia is full of age- and sex-positivity and it's exuberant and exhilarating, thanks to the direction, acting and the music of ABBA. Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again is equally delightful.All I Wish is a cool story about finding passionate love later in life. If only I could book Sharon Stone's make-up artist, hairstylist and trainer.Hampstead is charming and you can't beat the London setting. Brendan Gleeson and Diane Keaton are just marvelous in this.I love Jennifer Lopez, so of course I'm going to eventually see Marry Me. I'm a romance podcaster, not a monster. I'll just have to be feeling particularly confident that day, because for a 50 year old with two children, girlfriend does not look a day over 30.Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/poppyconfesses)
Feb 24 2022
33 mins
Love in Disguise
A distilled, potent, curated, intensely romantic relationship might not always be possible in life, but it's certainly a staple of classic and modern romantic stories. The exquisite romances in today's episode happen through love letters, physical disguise, and boyfriends for the night--or the moment. They're sexy, passionate and all about the heart's deepest desires that emerge only when love is in disguise.https://www.confessionsofaclosetromantic.com"Companionship is a big deal for a lot of people, even before the pandemic," says sex worker Chel, who offers the girlfriend experience with "nerdy girl-next-door chitchat and role-play ranging from sweet and steamy to kinky and even dark." She's featured in a fascinating recent profile by erotica writer Guy White.Novelist and writer Suzanna Lundale tweets some of the most amazing VSS (Very Short Stories).MoviesSteve Martin turns Roxanne into the most heartfelt, vulnerable, funny and clever story about a lovable man who believes he's unlovable.The movie musical featuring Peter Dinklage as Cyrano is directed by Joe Wright, who directed the 2005 Pride and Prejudice I was gushing about in my previous episode.There's a reason Shakespeare in Love won a bunch of Academy Awards, including Best Picture.It was supposed to be all business: we know how this trope goes! The Wedding Date gets tied up a little too neatly at the end, even for a romcom, but it's charming.The Girlfriend Experience is titillating, fascinating and terrifying. Riley Keough stars as law student & high-end escort Christine Reade in a performance you'll never forget. The Extra Man is a quirky movie about an aging NY escort who takes a young aspiring playwright under his wing.  Worth watching for the performances of Paul Dano and Kevin Kline alone.Victor/Victoria is an original love in disguise movie, and it's a delight from beginning to end.Easy was featured in my Sex Positivity episode — it's one of my favorite TV shows of the last 10 years.BooksAfter Stella hires hot escort Michael, she not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all of the other things he's making her feel in The Kiss Quotient.The Boyfriend Experience is sexy, smart and delicious.Curio, the story of American ex-pat museum curator Caroly and Didier, the Parisian escort she hires, is one of my favorite romances I've read so far this year. Beautifully written and totally seductive, it has an intriguing twist before you get to the happy ever after.Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/poppyconfesses)
Feb 10 2022
33 mins
Mod Classic! Jane Austen
This former literary snob confesses that — at least right now — I prefer watching Austen to reading Austen. I need streamlined, quick banter, a snappy pace. Luckily, there are a ton of adaptations, retellings and inspired by Austen books and films to last quite a while. Vanessa King, author of A Certain Appeal, the Pride and Prejudice-inspired story set at a New York burlesque club, stops by to talk about why she decided to modernize Austen. And listener Mariah joins me to explore the 2005 Pride and Prejudice with its subtle updates to the classic story. Grab a cozy throw and pull up a chair. How do you take your tea? https://www.confessionsofaclosetromantic.comThe performance of the audiobook of A Certain Appeal by Julia Whelan brings this bright, modern Pride and Prejudice reset to life. Darcy is the hottest, sexiest thing ever here--as good a lover as we'd always hoped he'd be. The final sequence of the 2005 Pride and Prejudice is pitch perfect in every way: the pacing, the dialogue, the editing, the performances, the music. Darcy striding toward Elizabeth, frock coat flapping, across that misty field at dawn! How close they stand in this modern adaptation! And the casual, young-love intimacy of that final shot, with them in various stages of undress, is exactly what a modern audience wants to see for this favorite Austen couple.I realize I say this about nearly every kiss or proposal in an Austen adaptation, but the proposal in the 1996 Emma performed by Jeremy Northam and Gwyneth Paltrow is just about the most beautiful ever filmed. The whole movie is a delight, modern, fun and fresh, but in this sequence, writer/director Douglas McGrath constructed the ultimate culmination of their friends to lovers journey. The gorgeous score by Rachel Portman doesn't hurt, either.That final kiss sequence in the 2007 Persuasion just thrills me to my bones. It's such a perfect metaphor for their second chance/last chance relationship. Sally Hawkins' performance in this movie was a revelation, and she is now one of my most favorite Anne Elliots ever. You can watch the whole movie, broken into two parts, here.Clueless, based on Emma, may have been made in 1995 but it still feels fresh and modern today — fully capturing the spirit of that centuries-old story.And for some bonkers, post-modern fun, you can't beat the delightful time-travel story Lost in Austen or the immersive amusement park that is Austenland.Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/poppyconfesses)
Jan 27 2022
29 mins
Learning from Romance: Part 3
The lessons keep on coming! In this final episode in my miniseries on what I've learned from romance, I encounter...monster erotica. I'm tardy to the party, so giggle along with me as I explore my "first-won't-be-last" monster fucking romance, and listen to an excerpt from an erotic monster story--full of tentacle sex--by guest author VB Beringer.BooksA Lady of Rooksgrave Manor is Book 1 in the short Tempting Monsters series. It's sweet, hot, steamy, intriguing and tender, all at once, which makes it the perfect intro to monster erotica. It's available on Kindle Unlimited. Guest writer VB Beringer specializes in fantasy, science-fiction and other erotica sub-genres. He read an excerpt from "Night Fever" from The Rift Walker erotic action-adventure series, available on Medium. Find links to his writing here. He creates custom erotica, people!TV ShowsThere are two seasons of the sweetly kinky Bonding on Netflix and this show could not be more sex positive about BDSM while also having a good bit of fun with it, too. Sex Education has to be one of the most delightful sexual coming of age stories ever committed to film. This series, about the teenage son of a sex therapist who decides to make some extra money by giving sex advice to his classmates, is absolutely delightful and the young ensemble cast is incredible. Gillian Anderson as the gorgeously randy sex therapist is a highlight. No monster fucking but pretty much every other kind of sexual challenge makes an appearance in this hilarious but tender show.
Jan 13 2022
25 mins
Learning from Romance: Part 2
My year of reading romances has modeled so many good things for me, especially stories with the family of choice trope. We're not all lucky enough to be raised in an emotionally healthy family, so reading about how loving, supportive people show up for the people they care about can be a healing experience.https://www.confessionsofaclosetromantic.comLauren is a fellow member of the Heaving Bosoms podcast Facebook page, and we share a love of many of the same romances. She was so much fun to talk to--thanks Lauren!Fran writes the most witty, romance-related epigrammatic tweets.There are a lot of other interesting tropes linked from the Family of Choice trope page at TVTropes.org.BooksThe rock bands in the VIP series by Kristen Callihan and the Dirtshine rockstar series by Roxy Noir are some of the best families of choice romances I've ever read. Fall is my favorite book, but both series feature intersecting, emotionally rich, sexy steamy stories about the realities of life in the spotlight, and what happens to ordinary people when they enter that glamorous world.The New York burlesque setting of A Certain Appeal makes for an inspired Pride and Prejudice retelling. The Elizabeth, Jane and Darcy of this story are irresistible, too. Don't miss the audiobook narration by Julia Whelan -- her Darcy is a sexpot.MoviesThis trailer for Magic Mike is mwah. The women in Hustlers are so stunning, so sexy and centered in their power, you almost forget their modern gendered Robin Hood scheme is basically breaking the law.Broadway Danny Rose, A Prairie Home Companion, and classic movies The Bandwagon, Gold Diggers of 1933 and the Broadway Melody movies of the 30s are some of the best found family showbiz movies ever made. 42nd St. is groundbreaking, and Footlight Parade creates much of the same magic.Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/poppyconfesses)
Dec 30 2021
25 mins
Classic Holiday Romance
'Tis the season for my much-loved, annual classic holiday movie marathon. For me, film is richer in B&W, and you can't beat classic holiday movies for stirring inspirational monologues and heartwarming affection, love and romance. (CW: for a few mentions of suicide).https://www.confessionsofaclosetromantic.comMusic in this episode: Jazzy Bells by Dee Yan-Key is used courtesy of a Creative Commons license from the Free Music Archives. The sleigh bells sound effect is courtesy of a Creative Commons license from freesound.org.MoviesChristmas in Connecticut has so many funny and charming moments.The Man Who Came to Dinner is stagey and delightfully over-the-top. Here's the Christmas Eve scene when Lorraine Sheldon discovers that she's been pranked and didn't actually get engaged to a lord.Here's the whole sequence leading up to That Phone Call in It's a Wonderful Life. The rotary phones! The 78 records! People looking dignified and dressing up! Plus the sweet authentic sentiment--this movie represents pure love to me, and I never tire of it, no matter how many times I see it.Another delightful Jimmy Stewart holiday classic is The Shop Around the Corner. I've talked about this movie a few times,  because the rom com You've Got Mail is based on this charming story (see my Intimate Worlds episode).In Bell, Book and Candle,  Jimmy falls under the spell of Kim Novak on Christmas Eve.  I mean, who wouldn't?The lesser known Frank Capra holiday classic, Meet John Doe, is now in the public domain--watch the full movie here.Frank Capra intended to direct It Happened on 5th Avenue but it didn't happen--it still ends up being the most charming and affectionate holiday film he never directed. When a tramp squats in a 5th Avenue mansion around Christmastime, he changes the post-war lives of many other people--including the billionaire who owns the mansion.Cary Grant plays the charismatic angel Dudley who comes to earth at Christmas to help a struggling bishop in The Bishop's Wife. Dudley realizes if he wants to help the bishop, he needs to show him how to cherish and value his wife. There are many beautiful moments and scenes in this film, including this one performed by The Mitchell Boychoir. Heavenly.Janet Leigh plays a young war widow with an adorable son who works as a secret shopper at Christmas in Holiday Affair. After she meets a handsome salesman (Robert Mitchum) in the toy department, her whole world is turned upside down and she starts to reconsider marrying her steady boyfriend.The hopeful post-war sentiment of White Christmas moves me, no matter how many times I've seen it. The lush romance, music, gorgeous costumes and wintery Technicolor sets turn this movie into a holiday fever dream.Remember the Night is about a beautiful shoplifter (Barbara Stanwyck) taken home to Indiana for Christmas by a handsome district attorney (Fred MacMurray) who feels bad that she'll sit in jail over the holiday. It has everything you want in a holiday movie: redemption, forgiveness, a close-knit family, found family,Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/poppyconfesses)
Dec 16 2021
32 mins
Learning from Romance: Part 1
I've made some surprising discoveries about myself while reading romances this year. The wave of positivity, love, respect and acceptance for all sorts of fictional characters in these stories has encouraged me to love and accept myself, and even discover new aspects of my sexuality.https://www.confessionsofaclosetromantic.comGLAAD has really useful definitions for the entire asexual spectrum, including demisexuality. Come to think of it, I just might be aceflux, too.So what does it mean to be sapiosexual? Oh, this is me as well — if your brain is sexy to me, then you're super hot. "Sex can be anything: Just kissing; having a long, erotically charged conversation...as long as you’ve got consent, and no unwanted pain, you can roll around like puppies.” The secret to great sex.I mean, I have eyeballs and can see that David Gandy is hotter than the surface of the sun. But what is his mind like? And is he kind? Does he love on puppies? Help older ladies carry their groceries? These are the questions that a demisexual might explore before jumping in the sack.Featured in this episode:Connect with writer, listener and general badass Kristina on Twitter.Writer VB Beringer specializes in monster/fantasy erotica, and he's a doll.The fascinating article by writer Lacey Cross about the intersection between her demisexuality and her erotica can be found here.Erotica editor Tasha Taylor is a delight.MoviesHer is one of my favorite movies ever and represents romance heaven for demisexuals like me.Clueless (1995), loosely based on Jane Austen's Emma, is the most adorable movie. Alicia Silverstone's performance is full of humor and heart--she makes the whole thing tick, and even the 90s slang stands up.BooksGrace and Seb, the demisexual nerds-turned-lovers of My Fake Rake, are a delightful pair. The audiobook is fantastic.The mental health, social anxiety and demisexual/asexual rep in The Charm Offensive is absolutely heartwarming. Sweet Charlie and Dev win you over immediately.I fell in love with Gray and Kai in The Happy List. The way these men love, cherish and respect each other first as friends, then lovers, is sexy and inspiring.Jake, the hero in Tempting Talk, is a hot cinnamon roll demisexual (what a combo!), and this story about small town rock DJ Mabel fallingSupport the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/poppyconfesses)
Dec 2 2021
30 mins
Royally Romantic
It's the Anglophile edition of the podcast, where I claim to "not be into royalty all that much," and then immediately prove myself wrong. Fake kingdoms in mountainous areas of Europe, fake royalty who always seem to speak with a British accent, commoners lifted from their humdrum, working-class lives as a metaphoric crown is placed on their heads: I might giggle uncontrollably over the contrivances, but I'll watch and read it all.https://www.confessionsofaclosetromantic.comMy bestie, Charles, Prince of Wales, lives quite the charmed life.MoviesA Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a classic of children's literature. It was adapted into a memorable 1939 movie called The Little Princess starring Shirley Temple as the plucky young heroine Sara Crewe. The Victorian novel The Secret Garden, also by Burnett, was adapted into a wonderful 1949 movie starring Margaret O'Brien. The Hallmark royal holiday movies are frequently re-run around Christmas on streaming or cable services that offer the Hallmark Channel as well as the Hallmark app.I have great memories of ice skating every winter and even the summer at ice rinks in the Midwest where I grew up, so my affection for Christmas at the Palace  isn't a mystery. The King in this movie is a fox, too--his voice alone makes me feel weak.The Prince & Me is a winner because of the two lead actors, especially Julia Stiles, and the sequels just didn't re-create that magic for me.His Highness in Crown for Christmas  is another hottie and this reminds me — I need to make my list for Santa.Once Upon a Holiday steals pretty shamelessly from Roman Holiday but it's a fun twist on the royal gone rogue story. Paul Campbell is my Hallmark movie crush--he's lanky,  handsome, witty and smart and I'll watch him in anything.The jewel in the crown of all royal romances is Roman Holiday (1953) with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. It's Audrey Hepburn's first starring role, but you would never know it. This movie is magical and has two absolutely perfect on-screen kisses.BooksPrince Nicholas in Royally Screwed starts out a gorgeous, privileged, egomaniacal royal, but quickly become lovable, caring, and relatable thanks to his love for--and on--lowly barista Olivia Hammond. She's sassy and curvy, he's sensual and ripped, and the sex sneaked in around the security detail is very, very hot.The grump/sunshine pastry chefs of Battle Royal  and their "battle of wits and whisks" on the fictional reality show Operation Cake, make this romance clever bubbly fun and an absolute delight in audiobook.Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/poppyconfesses)
Nov 18 2021
32 mins
Romance After Dark
My current fantasy bedroom is full of steam & kink. I'm in the mood, people, so let's read-aloud from some of the hottest, kinkiest romances I've ever read! It's hard to find this level of heat, consent, care AND happy-ever-after on screen, but romance writers have got you covered.https://www.confessionsofaclosetromantic.comThe Psychology of Sexual Kink at The Swaddle is a must read.The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is a nonprofit membership organization that advocates for consenting adults in the kink and non-monogamy lifestyles by fighting discrimination and persecution.In case you were curious: Vice lists the top five kinks in the US. And here are the results of a 2015 survey of sexual diversity in the US.ClipsI love the Netflix show Easy for so many reasons, but mostly because it's chock full of humor, relatable relationship issues and sex positivity. The writing is smart, and the ensemble cast is fantastic, too.Calling all musical theater geeks: Schmigadoon! will be catnip for your soul.Fifty Shades of Grey is the kink granddaddy of them all. This movie is a comfort re-watch for me.Hot StuffThe gorgeously smutty Serve series, set in an exclusive NYC BDSM club, was my introduction to kink in romance and it's a doozy.Melt Into You is the scorching-hot Book 2 in the  Loving on the Edge series, set at a private, exclusive BDSM ranch in Texas.Sugar Daddies.  Daddy Crush.  Y'all. Y'ALL. Neon Gods is Book 1 in the steamy, sexy Dark Olympus series. The erotic short stories by women & erotic podcasts round-ups from Oprah Daily are chock full of kinky, sexy, hot AF goodness.Erotica flash fiction writer JM Seaborn writes dirty, smut-hot stories featuring daddy kink and dominant/submissive scenes.The evolution of a kink is a fascinating read, full of compassion, sex positivity and acceptance.The explicit female-gaze audio porn from Girl on the Net is super well-done and classy, and it probably doesn't hurt that she narrates with a British accent. Love Bytes Originals offers high-quality short form audio romance and erotica. Their stories bring "heart, heat and humor" and their professional team of narrators are fantastic. It includes one of my favorite romance audiobook narrators, Emily Woo Zeller.I haven't signed up for Audio Desires yet -- "erotic audio stories for women and couples" -- but oh, I want to.Cosmo magazine was writing about girl power and sex positivity way before it was cool. So leave it to them to develop the Complete Beginner's Guide to Fisting.Kinkly is aSupport the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/poppyconfesses)
Nov 4 2021
34 mins
Bad Boys & Gentle Villains
Does a bad boy or villain hero give you a bit of a thrill? A little tingle? Dark romance unsettles me, but there's something reassuring and  protective in the gentle villain/noble demon, who chooses any means to the end of protecting you from hurt and harm. They'll burn down the world for you when needed--and what's not to love about that?https://www.confessionsofaclosetromantic.comMore on the Morality Pet and Morality Chain tropes at tvtropes.org. Every aspect of these story tropes fascinates me and I can spend hours following the links on this site.You can find my guest listener Monique at the fantastic Her Entrepreneurial Spirit podcast.Movies/TV ShowsWatching the characters in Dangerous Liaisons out-evil each other is delicious up to a point, but it ends with most of the players' lives in tatters.The Talented Mr. Ripley with its glamorous 1950s Italian setting, is so charming at first: you watch rich, beautiful young people living an indulgent, luxurious lifestyle. But it quickly devolves into tragedy, and by the end, this story seriously creeped me out.My best friends on the block had Grease on VHS and I lost count of the number of times we watched it.The setting, plot and main characters of French Kiss make it one of the most delightful rom coms of the 90s.The bit that I watched of Shadow and Bone was excellent, but I need training wheels before I can get into most world building like this. BooksIf you enjoy world building, the sexy, sweeping and captivating fantasy-romance series  Blood and Ash is wildly popular for a reason.Return Billionaire to Sender is part of the Billionaires of Manhattan series by Annika Martin, and they're not your typical arrogant, hot rich guy romances. Every one I've read has been full of clever banter and plotting, funny, sharp heroines and sexy bad boys who adopt them as morality pets only to become the better men they were always meant to be.Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/poppyconfesses)
Oct 21 2021
31 mins
Calling Every Body: the Radical Romance of Shrill/This Way Up/Dietland
These funny, sharp TV shows written by women knock fat- and mental illness shaming on its behind, and tell stories of hard-won self-acceptance instead. It's about embracing our deepest desires and the person we are, not who They say we should be. It's about romancing yourself. CW: mentions of body shaming, anti-fat bias, mental illness, and briefly, abortion, weight loss and suicide ideation.https://www.confessionsofaclosetromantic.comI paraphrased the gorgeous Mary Oliver poem, The Summer Day.The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance fights the discrimination that one third of the world experiences on a daily basis.TV ShowsShrill is one of the most joyous TV shows about anti-fat bias and body acceptance that I've ever seen. It's fun but also smart and thoughtful, and much of that is due to the charming performance of Aidy Bryant as Annie. The show is produced by Elizabeth Banks and Lorne Michaels, so funny rules, but always with that trademark light touch and satirical bite.How do I count the many ways I love This Way Up? From its overall tone to the hilarious writing and often poignant performance of Aisling Bea as Aine, just trying to recover from a nervous breakdown while keeping her sense of humor intact, it's such a funny but insightful journey down the messy road to self acceptance.Dietland pulls zero punches in its depiction of fat shaming and the difficulty in accepting yourself in a critical, mean and often abusive male-dominated world. Their solution might not be the most realistic, but it's certainly satisfying.The Bold Type is a glossy modern take on holding onto your self-esteem and self-worth while operating within the Global Female Dissatisfaction Industrial Complex.BooksIn the acerbically funny memoir Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman sticking up for yourself means amusing yourself at the same time. Lindy West covers how to keep your sanity while "coming of age in a culture that demands women be as small, quiet, and compliant as possible -- like a porcelain dove that will also have sex with you."Dietland is a crazy ride, a feminist subversive fantasy that "guarantees you won't look at a pair of stilettos or a bathroom scale the same way again."Muffin Top by Avery Flynn is one of the sexiest, most fat-positive romances I've ever read. Marie Lipscomb's Vixens Rock series features gorgeous curvy herSupport the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/poppyconfesses)
Oct 7 2021
27 mins
Goodbye Romance Shame, Part 2
It's the first anniversary of this podcast! Turns out, I'm even more in love with romantic TV shows, movies and books one year on. And still feel no shame--mostly--crushing on romance. So in support and love for the genre, let's revisit some of the lushest, most romantic, and rom com funny movie scenes evah. Cue the gushing.https://www.confessionsofaclosetromantic.comMovies/TV ShowsThe scenes featured in this episode are from just a few of my all-time favorite romantic movies & shows:Outlander, especially the first season, is a must for anyone who loves stirring, romantic epics. It's based on the massive series of adventure romance books by Diana Gabaldon.The "official" trailer for Something's Gotta Give says nothing about the sweet, sexy honesty of the age & sex positive romance between Harry Sanborn and Erica Barry, played by Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton. Any Nancy Meyers rom com is a must see.What more can I say about this classic, groundbreaking rom com? It's in my Romance Hall of Fame, and I've quoted from it throughout much of my life.Ditto for this classic rom com. Another personal Romance Hall of Fame entry. It's no surprise that Nora Ephron and Meg Ryan were involved with both movies.Moonstruck is a romantic comedy, a poetic and sexy look at the whims of love, and a meditation about the importance of family (or found family) in grounding you when you feel lost. Laurence Olivier often chewed the scenery and was quite the ham, but he was never more moving than in this scene from the 1939 movie Wuthering Heights, based on the novel by Emily Brontë.I featured the rom com Book Club in my Love, Sex and Romance--After 40 Edition episode, and I adore its age and sex positivity.I'm going to feature Trainwreck in an upcoming episode because I love the humor, honesty and bravery of Amy Schumer's writing and acting.I featured Destination Wedding in an early episode and its banter and wit put this in my Top 5 Modern Rom Coms.BooksIf you're recovering from romance shame, Dangerous Books for Girls is a fascinating look at the history of the romance genre, why it's so important to women, and why it has been mocked for so long. And most importantly, why you shouldn't feel bad about escaping into its stories.Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/poppyconfesses)
Sep 23 2021
24 mins
Dear Darling: the Romance of Letters & Messages
There's nothing more intimate than a letter, card, text or message written for your eyes only. The epistolary novel has been popular for centuries, and romantic stories using this device can feel like the best kind of eavesdropping.https://www.confessionsofaclosetromantic.comMovies/TV ShowsThe script for Love & Friendship takes Jane Austen's epistolary novel Lady Susan to new heights. I always call this director "Will Stillman" but it's Whit.84 Charing Cross Road will always have a special place in my heart. The book and movie are delightful.Daddy Long Legs has it all: So playful and Parisian! The costumes! The music! Slightly inappropriate with the age-difference trope! Kevin Bacon plays the titular character in I Love Dick and the whole thing is a visually fascinating, messy, complicated look at desire.I find most Hallmark movies insipid, but the lead actors' chemistry, locations and script for Her Pen Pal made it super enjoyable.BooksYou can read Lady Susan by Jane Austen on Project Gutenberg.I cried multiple times while reading the romance-novel-in-text Way Down Deep. The ending felt a bit rushed to me, but it's an HFN and the characters are beautifully fleshed out despite learning about them in short messages. Their emotional journeys are unbelievably compelling.From the smart banter and hilarious plot, to the funny heroine and gorgeous grumpy hero, The Billionaire's Wake-Up-Call Girl is one of the best romances I've read this year. Can't wait to read the whole series.In Flashed, a former male model and party boy gets in a near-fatal accident and hides away at his secluded ranch. He reluctantly hires a local art student as his live-in cook and housekeeper with one rule--she’s not allowed to see him. So she resorts to texting him.Stay is about an exclusive virtual assistant service that promises its VIP clients anonymity--until the owner figures out that the customer sending her mildly flirty texts requiring her attention at all hours is a hot hockey superstar. The World Needs More Love Letters is a wonderful letter writing project.The Penpalooza penpal project started in Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/poppyconfesses)
Sep 9 2021
28 mins
The Sweet, Sexy Cinnamon Roll
The sweet, sexy romantic cinnamon roll: there's no better hero in all of Romancelandia. Let's explore this gooey hearted, tender fictional confection and why this character brings all the feels.https://www.confessionsofaclosetromantic.comThe Onion article that inspired the whole thing.Movies/TV ShowsAshton Kutcher was a sweet doofus in That 70s Show and he grew up to be the hot cinnamon roll of No Strings Attached.The opposites-attract romance of Long Shot only works because of the sweet, relatable cinnamon roll that is Seth Rogen.You only have to see a few scenes from Ted Lasso to get the quirky, gooey, warmhearted charm of this series.Bill Hader is the best cinnamon roll ever in Trainwreck.Hugh Grant and his group of kind-hearted friends in Notting Hill qualify as one huge cinnamon roll.The 40 Year Old Virgin has the usual Judd Apatow bro excesses, but cinematic cinnamon rolls Steve Carell, Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd keep things mostly tender and sweet.Luke Wilson loving and helping Sarah Jessica Parker fly her freak flag in The Family Stone epitomizes the cinnamon roll hero.BooksRen Bergman is the sweet, soft hero of Always Only You, the second book in the Own Voices Bergman Brothers romance series by Chloe Liese. Every single Bergman brother is a cinnamon roll, and this entire series is so diversity-and-disability-positive it just warms the heart. The heroes in Kate Clayborn's books Love Lettering and Love at First are tender-hearted, introverted, intellectual geeks, and I don't think there's a better combination. Featured in the Intimate Worlds episode. Marie Lipscomb writes body-positive romances. and the plus-sized hero and heroine in Amped, her third and latest book in the Vixens Rock series, are kind, caring and absolutely irresistible.The cinnamon roll hero of The Sweetest Fix is a baker who can bake cinnamon rolls and other treats at his NYC bakery, making this story a ciSupport the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/poppyconfesses)
Aug 26 2021
23 mins