Angels: Not Genderless, Sexless, or Pure-as-Light
Today, I’m choosing to cross-post a blog entry written by my co-author. We are of exactly the same mind on this particular topic of the portrayal of angels in romance fiction, so I wanted to share her thoughts, which mirror my own. As a Christian (albeit the highly liberal persuasion thereof), the mythos of angels has always been a source of fascination, and as a QUILTBAG author writing QUILTBAG fiction, those who feel I’m abusing my own religion by writing angels can deal. (‘I’ll be your lightning rod of hate!’)
It is my hope to continue writing stories featuring various interpretations of angels, as I feel the themes surrounding them are compelling and give way to stories that are definitely worth being told! Without further ado, here is S.L. Armstrong and her blog on our take on angels. Enjoy!
It’s been pointed out in several reviews (and in general reader discussions) that some readers have issues with erotic books starring angels. For some reason, there’s a prevailing thought that angels are these genderless, sexless, pure-as-light beings, and I have to disagree. Like… heavily disagree. That’s not the Biblical mythos at all, and my angels tend to be based on that mythos, and then expanded upon (such as, my angels have bird-like qualities).
I don’t think angels are genderless. In fact, I tend to subscribe to the idea that all angels are male. Canonically speaking, the angels we’re presented with are all male. Male names. Male figures. Male everything. Now, as we’ve gone on, mankind has inserted female angels into the ranks, but I think that’s more progressive thinking than Biblical truth. (Admittedly, I am not Christian and don’t subscribe to their beliefs, but I’ve done a lot of research on Biblical angels.) This, to me, is a direct reflection on the roots of Christianity being a male-based religion, dominated by the male presence, from a masculine God to masculine angels to masculine heroes. (Also, check out Genesis 6:2 where angels are referred to, specifically, as the ‘sons of God’.)
Sexless. As in, non-erotic. This, too, I think is an odd opinion to take considering the angels—when the human race was young—bred with human females and created the nephilim. It’s part of the Noah’s ark story. The angels thought human females beautiful and wanted to be sexual with them. They were sexual, which led to the conception and birth of the nephilim (Chapter 6 of Genesis goes into that story). These were giant hybrids of angels and man. The angels got their freak on, and then God got pissed. God flooded the world and destroyed them before forbidding the angels to do it again. So, angels, to my reading and interpretation, were/are very sexual creatures with sexual appetites—appetites God instilled them with.
The pure-as-light idea is silly to me. Angels are without free will. They don’t possess souls. They were created to be extensions of God, to do His Will outside and inside of Heaven. They’re also cruel, murdering jerks half the time. Not only will they screw with man, but they screwed with each other, too. Depending on what you believe, there was the angel uprising in Heaven when God created man. When God’s love turned from the angels to man, Lucifer wasn’t happy. He rebelled. He became the source of evil in the world along with his fallen brethren. I tend to think angels were wonderfully summed up by Thomas in the movie Prophecy: Did you ever notice how in the Bible, whenever God needed to punish someone, or make an example, or whenever God needed a killing, he sent an angel? Did you ever wonder what a creature like that must be like? A whole existence spent praising your God, but always with one wing dipped in blood. Would you ever really want to see an angel?
To me, given the varied mythos we’re presented with, angels are complex, sexual, vital creatures, serving a purpose they can’t escape while loving their creator with the kind of purity and devotion that comes only from the absence of free will. Is it any wonder that they would seek any level of control over a life like that, or that bodily autonomy and sexual freedoms would be the only avenue they felt open to them? 🙂 This is why I write sexually active angels, both in Heaven and on Earth. It’s interesting to explore, and I don’t do it willy-nilly. Promise. 😉
Curious about our take on angels? Take a look at the following publications, all of which include at least one short story surrounding them. Both Advent and An Angel’s Soul are free, and “Angel Lost” is the longest short in our Love and Agony collection. I hope you read and enjoy the stories!