Monday, April 09, 2012

A Rubenesque Resurrection?

A bajillion years ago nobody had ever heard of an ebook. There are arguments about who coined the term, when the first ebook came into being, and cetera. But before anyone had a Sony, a Kobo, a Kindle or a Nook… people WERE reading on their computers. In 1990 I wrote for a press called Rubenesque Romance, and later re-titled Rubenesque Reads. It was born of an illicit love affair between IRC (internet relay chat) users who gathered in BBW (big, beautiful women) chats and fledgling webmasters. A weenie little star was born.

Featuring short stories in simple word files, men and women who favored the fat could download short stories and novellas onto their computers. It was safer and cleaner than fat-porn, and some of that junk was pretty good!

I wrote quite a bit of it.  When RR started the stories were free.  Later the founders asked for donations.  By 1992 they were charging for downloads and had created a contract for writers.  Some stuff stayed free; other stuff rose to the top, and was sold for a fair (I seem to remember prices ranging from $1 for a short to $5 for a collection) price.  I made a pretty insane amount of money on those early digital sales.

I’ve always wondered why, as Ellora’s Cave became a mad sensation and other epubs hit, nobody took the time or care to resurrect Rubenesque. It was strictly niche, and the BBW/Fat Acceptance movement has lagged in recent years. Or maybe it hasn’t and I’m just no longer interested in attending the “bashes” or conventions. I found my fat-fanatic prince and exited what had become more about a lifestyle than an acceptance movement, at least as I saw it.

Rumor has it RR is preparing to re-launch. I got a text. I had been hearing buzz. I really do hope this is true. Full figured women should not have to read fantasies that exclude them. Men who prefer their lovers to be big and bouncy should have access to reading material geared to their tastes, too.

I hope VERY MUCH that this big, fat rumor isn’t just a rumor. I miss those stories, and having a home for them. And I miss reading about sexually active and healthy women who looked like ME.

*Image: Venus at Her Toilet by Peter Paul Rubens

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