December 19, 2014

Hi again! I’m Susan Laine. I’m hosting a release party here today, Dec 19, starting from 2:00 p.m. EST for my latest release, The Sensualist & the Untouched.

I have a couple of themes that take center stage in this book.

The first is sexual inexperience and how detrimental the effect of that can be on a person’s self-esteem, especially if you are an adult. The emotions connected to that state of being are the same for both men and women: Poor self-esteem, shame, embarrassment, and feelings of inadequacy. Last but not least, there is loneliness, which is another central theme.

The physical aspect in a relationship may not be key but it is important. As social beings, we all have an instinctive need to connect with people, to see and to be seen by others. Our modern society is over-sexualized. Sex sells, as the saying goes. You can see it everywhere, not just on the pages of a porn magazine, but in huge billboards around big cities. Women with big boobs and butts, men with thick muscles and ripped abs. The imagery radiates sex.

It seems as though everyone is having sex everywhere, all the time, with anyone and everyone.

But… what if you’re not? What if you’ve never felt the touch of another, never been kissed, never been seen as desirable, never even been brushed against by someone who isn’t part of your immediate family?

That is where Corey comes from. No sex. No touch. No intimacy. No sensuality. Nothing.

He is fundamentally alone and lonely, and he’s tired of it. He’s an adult, in his thirties, and he has no practical knowledge of what it takes to be intimate with another human being. Loneliness is his best—and worst—friend.

Here’s a tiny excerpt to show how loneliness effects Corey:

Corey had never realized, not with the total awareness of this moment, how much he ached to be touched. His raw, palpable loneliness permeated his whole body, from skin to soul. Perhaps the constant solitude had fried his brain, making him mad, delusional, and wanting impossible things. But in his heart, he had more than an inkling it was this isolation that left him hollow and hurting, touch deprived and in desperate need for contact.

“Fuck. I’m sorry.” Corey was glad his face was hidden by the cushion, but he wasn’t stupid enough to believe or hope that Lucian hadn’t noticed.


How about a realization that others seem so capable of love—while Corey is not?:


Funny how Corey could recognize it, though he had never felt it or sensed it aimed at him. Perhaps it was instinctual and universal and undeniable.

If so, why couldn’t he reciprocate? Why could he not… feel… those better emotions, the ones that didn’t make him feel like a loser, despondent and bereft of hope? Had it been nothing more than… gasp… a fluke?

As I’m sure you can imagine, this is an emotional ride. Corey has a lot to deal with throughout the story, and because of him, so does Lucian.

Lonely Heart

And now, a question for you all: Do you find it easy or hard to talk about loneliness?

If you feel the topic is too intimate and private, there is absolutely no obligation to answer.

As I wrote, at times I almost choked on the heaviness and hollowing feeling as I experienced it through Corey. Many find it hard to admit they ever feel lonely, even in company, while others find comfort and safety in solitude. Our society labels poorly those who have the courage to admit their loneliness, as though they were abnormal or freakish somehow. That is the place where Corey’s loneliness stems from, the unwillingness to vocalize it, burying it under the condition of frigidity.

My books can be found through my website.

9 Responses to “THE SENSUALIST & THE UNTOUCHED Release Party #2: Themes”

  1. Marieke says:

    Can’t wait to read it.

  2. Marieke says:

    Oh, I will. I’ll let you know how much when I read it.

  3. Angela says:

    I don’t find it hard to talk about loneliness probably because i’m not lonely, but i know and can understand that there are people who find it very difficult because they probably are lonely.

    The excerpt is great so i would love to read this story.

  4. Some people do handle loneliness better than others, and some never feel lonely even if they are alone. Corey is only now beginning to feel the full effects of a lifelong loneliness.

    Thanks you for commenting, Angela :)

  5. Denise Dechene says:

    It’s very true that you can be lonely in a room full of people. If people don’t understand what you are going through it’s tough to communicate with them

  6. Su says:

    It is funny that you say that people do not like to recognise or acknowledge others that admit they are lonely, as I often feel society also does not like people who admit that they have no issues with being alone when they want to be. It just as tough to be in a room with many people when you would rather be alone, or would rather be just with a few intimate friends/family instead.

    Somehow Corey is going to have to break his life long conditioning and I imagine its going to be quite a difficult journey, without scaring of potential friends and lovers in the process. Loneliness can be overwhelming for people who are unfamiliar with the feeling.

    I love that their stories broach interesting situations and issues that many can relate to and are interesting to read.

  7. I understand that mentality well, Denise. Being an M/M author does confuse people and they don’t quite know what to make of me. That’s why they don’t know what to talk with me about, and I get lonely in a crowd.

  8. Thanks, Su. How people perceive social situations can be so diverse. In fact, probably every individual views loneliness differently.

    People who share your interests can make you feel at home, even if you don’t know any of them. While other times family is close to you but they’re not exactly like carbon copies.

    I did try to show in this book how hard it is to live in a big city and feel disconnected from people in every meaningful way. Corey’s isolation is partly due to circumstances, partly to his own approach to things. Thankfully he learns to try new things, even with the risk.

Leave a Reply