I was recently asked why my heroes don’t call their heroines by love names during intimate scenes.
Believe it or not–and no swooning–there is a HISTORICAL reason for this.
As it would be, Liberty, for as annoying as she was at times, is actually one of my most historically accurate heroines, in most regards. Not necessarily in regards to her strong will or her penchant for revenge, but her goal in life to live inside the bounds of propriety. One such thing is how she addressed others and how they addressed her.
During the time period, men and women DID address each other formally–both before and after they were married. Lord Townson. Lady Townson. Mr. Grimes. Mrs. Grimes. Particularly in public. In private, they *might* be more relaxed about this if they were especially close. But even then it was fairly common to address each other formally in private.
In turn, gentlemen were often more “relaxed” with their mistresses. Sure, they might request their mistress call them by their title, but often the intimacies they shared with their mistresses were done under different circumstances: desire as opposed to duty. So with their mistresses, they’d be more likely to call them “sweet”, “pet”, “love”, etc Just some sort of meaningless term of endearment.
From a historical and romantic standpoint, it would seem the greatest show of intimacy (besides sex itself) for a couple would be to forgo formalities and use their given names. This includes not using terms of endearment as that is both a coverup for not using their first name as well as always makes me think of how they’d style their mistress. (I’ll add a disclaimer, I can think of at least one time that I DID use a term of endearment during such a scene, but it was only once and he did use her name, too. In general, I shy away from them as I don’t find them to show intimacy between the characters, but rather is more of a mockery since that’s how he might have styled another woman. Just my thoughts and feelings.)
So now that I’ve mentioned this, be honest, had anyone else noticed this before?