Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mean or Merciful?

I want to start by saying that it's such a privilege to find myself among such talented, kinky authors. I've loved reading the interesting and thoughtful entries here. I'm so glad to be a part of it.

Now for the nitty gritty. I've gone back and forth about what to do for my first post here at Kinky Ever After and rather than doing a boring introduction, I figured I'd jump right in. You don't mind do you?

Lately, I've been thinking about what readers prefer when it comes to male dominants in fiction. Is it the tender and merciful dom who is always considerate of his submissive? Or is it the mean, sadistic dom who does things simply for his own pleasure? In reality, I like them brutal with a penchant for tender aftercare. As a reader I'm not much different. What can I say? I like 'em mean. You know, the type who deliver strict and exacting punishments, inflict pain because it pleases them, elicit tears and cries and whimpers for their own enjoyment, refer to their submissives using endearments like slut or whore... I could go on here, but I don't want to get too worked up.

Don't get me wrong; I've been known to take a liking to the more charming and amorous fictional doms. There's a lot to like about a man who can be fastidious and thoughtful. But honestly? They never get me as hot as the nasty ones do.

I've written doms who are more tender than cruel. Banner, the dom in Wrapped Around Your Finger, is far from rigid and much more into sensation play and emotional control than punishment and protocol. But when I began my latest project, I knew I wanted to write something different, a story about a dom who was strict, selfish and yes, mean. The problem I had was that I was sure there would be readers who wouldn't like him. I'd even considered softening him up a bit to make him more palatable for the masses. But no matter what my intentions were, his nastiness seemed to find its way to the page. Like a good little sub, I gave up fighting him and let him have his way. Needless to say, the story is flowing much better now.

So which do you prefer? Do you like your dominants harsh and exacting, merciful and romantic, or somewhere in between?


  1. Congrats on your first post, Fallon!

    I would have to say for myself... somewhere in between harsh and exacting and merciful and romantic. Leaning more toward harsh and exacting. I've read too much fiction where the Dom is too eager to give the sub what she wants over what he knows to be right or what he wants. Too many give into the brat sub rather than holding out for her to grow up for her own good. I like punishment for misdeeds, not reward. It's hard to find good fiction with that level of harsh demand, where he's really the Dominant. The sub being used for HIS pleasure, or not ... While it is cruel, hard to take, mean even at times ... it's still delicious! At the same time, there's balance to be had and I like the merciful, romantic Dominant too. I want him to have that core of steel, that will not allow him to hesitate to lay down the law, that will not allow him to give in before it's time, that will not allow him to forgo punishing her at all... I want a good mix of both. I want the aftercare, but I don't want him turning to mush. Not anywhere close. And I want it to be about HIM. HIM getting what he needs. HIM taking her where he needs her and believes she needs to go. HIM seeing the overall picture.

    Damn, now I need to go find me a good BDSM book to read...

  2. I have the exact opposite position of Lissa: I want it to be about HER. I want a Dom to be as nasty as he needs to be, or as merciful, to give the Sub what she needs. In Club Mephisto, for instance, I was a little shocked by the whole CPE dynamic laid out bare. But it was what the Slave/Molly wanted, she chose her lot, and so it was all good. I could never really enjoy a book in which I thought the Dom was taking advantage of the Sub or being cruel strictly for his own needs without taking her feelings into account. (Which, ironically, is why I can't get into Amanda Hocking....)

  3. Lissa - A girl after my own heart.

    Shelby - I agree that the submissive should desire the things the dominant does to her. The beauty of D/s is that a submissive can enjoy and get off on the fact that the dom doesn't consider her wants or feelings before his own.

    I think in writing a dom with a cruel streak, as an author, you have to pair him with someone compatible, someone who revels in his style of dominance. A submissive who doesn't flourish in the face of strict control, but is rather oppressed or damaged by it, wouldn't be a good fit for a harsh, sadistic dom.

  4. In (my) reality and in fiction, I prefer somewhere in between. Sometimes it just depends on my mood/emotional state at the time. Even though he was a total bastard, I was oddly drawn to David from NEVER THE FACE. Then, I end up hating the next harsh Dom I read about. Yep, I'm a nightmare to please. My poor husband. LOL.

    ~ Diana

  5. I completely agree, Diana. I was oddly drawn to David, too. I'm still reeling. You know I am...LOL

    And I agree with Fallon. I think an author has to be able to pair the right Dominant with the right submissive. Not every one is going to fit with every one and sometimes I think that's a problem in BDSM erotic romance. The wrong Dom with the wrong submissive, creates an off balance dynamic. The personalities have to work together and compliment.

  6. Hey, Fallon, welcome!

    Yes, the pairing thing is pretty important, unless the story is about the mismatch. I'm into fairly sadistic (but sane) doms who do what they want also, absolutely -- as long as there's some clear consent beforehand from the sub that this is what she wants. In other words, consensual nonconsent. Which means that the sub won't always like what happens; what they will like is that someone else is in charge.

    But as for the balance of cruel and kind, when a sub is pushed beyond her limits, and then put back together again with kindness and care, well... what could be better...(sigh).

  7. Welcome Fallon! I didn't comment on this before because I'm very much in between. I like all kinds, really, as long as it's consensual. What I don't want to do is read the same book with the same hero and heroine, just with different names, so I'm glad there's plenty of variety out there.

  8. I love the Doms who do what they want, who train the submissive to the sorts of things the Dom enjoys.

    But I want them to do things for the sub every once in a while, too. And I want the couple to be matched up well enough that the submissive can get off on being used for the sorts of pleasure she's being used for.

    When a Dom constructs the scenes solely around what the submissive wants, you kind of have to ask yourself who is really in charge, don't you? It's nice of him to do it here and there, but when every scene is based on her kinks and not his it doesn't really work for me.