Thursday, March 31, 2011

Surviving Desire

One of my favorite films of all time is a short, somewhat odd work by director Hal Hartley, Surviving Desire.

People have many different interpretations of what Mr. Hartley was trying to accomplish in this quirky little film, but for me, it is about guarding yourself -- or choosing not to guard yourself -- from the visceral, terrifying prospect of love and connection to another person.

In the film, a student falls for her professor. As it turns out, she falls only for the idea of loving her professor -- the romance of a May/December relationship, the stimulation of being with an intellectual, the novelty of bedding your teacher. She teases and seduces him. Once they sleep together, she moves on, reflecting on the short romance with a clinical, analytical detachment.

The professor, however, had fallen for her deeply and madly. He wanted to see how far the relationship could go. In the end, we get a sense that the student is happy to be alone again, but as observers we intuit that she is not really happy and not really living a full life.

The professor, who was willing to risk all and lose all, was left distraught. In one of the last scenes, we see him lie down in a gutter, eviscerated by love (and perhaps a bit caught up in his own drama.) A passerby asks if he's alright and he says that yes, he will be. The passerby then asks for directions and our professor sits up and joins the world of the living again, and we realize he is essentially the happier person who will continue to take risks and live life to the fullest possible measure.

So who are you in life? In relationships? The all-in risk taker or the detached, self protective participant? So often in BDSM relationships, I hear the phrase "We only play together." To me it always sounds like a cop out, a fear thing. Fear of risking emotional attachment and the mess that entails. Doms and subs do all manner of intimate and trusting exercises with one another, but often maintain that they are only friends, or not even friends...just play partners.

This has always taken me back to that film -- which is nearly twenty years old by now -- and that student who chose not to risk herself by continuing to develop her relationship with her professor. It's a frequent subject in my books. In Comfort Object and Mercy it was the D-types who wanted to remain detached in a self-protective way. In Deep in the Woods and Fortune it was the submissives who were very cautious and slow to trust.

I think one of the wonderful aspects of real romance is the overcoming of these fears and self-protective impulses and barrelling headlong into love no matter how scary the prospect is. In romance, of course, there is no risk. There is always a happily ever after. In real life, there is no such guarantee, and I'm sure there are instances in BDSM pairings when a deeper relationship is neither possible or desireable.

But in general, how wonderful it is when you take a risk in love and a new, fulfilling relationship prospers. And when the risks don't pay off, at least you know you tried. You did something, and gave it a whirl. In the end, either way, you survive.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bad Boys

I had a conversation with a cousin's daughter recently. She's in her younger twenties and has been making some really bad choices when it comes to guys. Really. Bad. Choices. It's been painful to watch on my end, I know it's been painful on her end.

The guys she chooses are all hot. Seriously hot. But ten minutes after meeting them I know they aren't someone that anyone in their right might should get serious with. Fun date material, hot fling material... but not relationship material.

So I had a talk with her about the guys you date for fun, and the guys you have a relationship with, and how they are rarely the same guy. She thought I was crazy at first when I said that one of the qualifications for someone you'd have a relationship with be that he is a safe driver... until I pointed out that if she had children with him that he would be driving their children around, sometimes without her in the car. That got her attention.

I told her that in my experience, the bad boys are really good in bed. Often they are exceptionally good in bed. I also assured her that it's possible to find the kind of guy that's right for a relationship who is good in bed, too, though.

I did not have a BDSM talk with her. I would have, if she'd given me clues that it was warranted, but she did not.

For those of us who need BDSM activities in order to enjoy sex, we kind of have the best of both worlds. If we find a nice responsible Dom then often he's also a nice responsible person in his everyday life... but he lets his bad boy out in the bedroom under controlled circumstances. Sure, we have to watch out for those who are in the lifestyle as an excuse to be an abuser, and it's my understanding that in the 15 years since I met my husband there more of those who have "found" the lifestyle. Hopefully they are as easy to spot now as they were back then.

Anyway, here are (well, were) some of my qualification for someone to have a relationship with:
  • Be a good driver - not a boring driver, but a skilled driver. It doesn't have to mean driving slowly and coming to a complete stop. It can mean he's a good defensive driver who doesn't tailgate and who isn't afraid to ask for directions. If you'd feel comfortable allowing him to drive your children around then that's good enough.
  • Either have a responsible job that he takes seriously, or be in college and be taking it seriously.
  • Talk nicely about most of the people he's dated, and take his share of the responsibility for the break-up of previous relationships.
  • Take all of his responsibilities seriously - whether it be pets or kids or a promise to walk the neighbors dog.

There are more, a lot more, but I think those are the big ones. Of course, we have to have things in common with each other, not annoy each other every time we open our mouths, have sexual chemistry... all of that is important. But it was good for me to have a list of things that I kept outside of how I felt emotionally. If they didn't have certain qualities then I kept them in the "just for fun" box.

How do I translate this into the perfect Dom in my books? Some of this would be kind of boring in a book, although some of it is easy enough to have happen even if I don't point it out. Some would just be odd - to talk about an ex? I'm doing it just a touch in a current book I'm writing, but in that case the ex died and he took care of her through an illness. That takes care of a couple of things - it shows responsibility, care, and previous experience in a good relationship.

What makes a guy qualify as good relationship material for you? Is it the same in real life as it is in the kinds of books you enjoy?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Consent, fantasy, and narrow plot windows

I’ve been trying off and on to come up with a new novel idea that will work. It’s been a struggle, because I put so much into As She’s Told that for a long time there seemed to be nothing left. And given online distractions like Fetlife, it’s hard to get myself down to work! Still, I miss writing.

I may be hampered by having something of a reality kink; the more believable the setting and parameters, the more genuine the power exchange, the more I enjoy the story. And if there’s anything realistic about the plot, what goes on has to be consensual, or I start thinking in terms of rescue instead of kink! No, I’m not kidding.

But not all the kink in my head is entirely consensual. With no personalities involved, I can get off on slave civilizations with the best of them. I just can’t centre a plot on them without building in a revolution.

It’s a perennial question in the bdsm world, reconciling real-world values with what gets us off. Rape fantasies, women kidnapped and enslaved, all that – it can take some serious introspection to keep that stuff where it belongs, in its separate compartments, away from human rights and the equality of the sexes. Of course there’s the common plotline of the victim taken by force and then learning to love their slavery. Which I find not only unlikely but ethically twisted, even in a story.

No, for me to write it, fully realized characters need to be in consensual relationships from the start. Combine that with a kink for real, enforceable power exchange, and I’ve ended up with a very narrow window through which to manoeuvre my plots: early free choice, no or minimal choice later. In other words, consensual nonconsent.

So, how to use all the politically incorrect flotsam in my head? I think shared fantasy may be the way to go. I’m going to be working on this over the next few months (see, if I say it publicly, I’m forcing myself to actually do it); more later as I see if it pans out.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Kink Monday - Spanking

Ahh...spanking. It was the gateway to harder pleasures for many of us. I know I began my kinky journey poring over the pages of Shadow Lane magazines and catalogs. This was before the age of the internet. I sent away for my first issue using an address I found buried in the back of a Cosmo magazine. I was absolutely transported by those stern spankos wielding belts, paddles, and hairbrushes, and the red bottoms that resulted.

Fast forward twenty years later. I still enjoy the Shadow Lane website, and I still enjoy a good old-fashioned spanking. There are a thousand ways to spank, and a thousand ways to enjoy a spanking. There's something about the vulnerability of giving yourself over to have your bottom tortured. There are so many implements to use, so many positions to be placed in. So many reasons...serious or trumped up...to be disciplined this way.

Often, in my books, over the knee (sometimes called OTK) spankings are reserved for moments of great emotion or re-connection. This is perhaps the most intimate form of spanking. The bottom is placed over the top's lap, body against body, and the spanking is often done by hand. When my tops and bottoms are reconnecting they usually use hand spanking rather than a hairbrush or some other implement. Hand spanking is so intimate. A kind of joining and connection that is painful, yes, but powerful. And I suppose in a hand spanking, the top receives his own sensation -- a stinging, warmed hand. My husband often trades off hand spanking with implements, because, of course, the spanking is supposed to hurt me, not him.

Spanking is a great fetish because there are so many possible ways to do it, and so much intimacy in the act between two people. The nice red bottom and lingering spank marks are just the icing on the cake...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kinky Haiku Sunday

Without further ado...

E*harmony sucks.
Nobody on there knows how
to wield a flogger.

A big date tonight.
Sir says to prepare myself.
Ouch. Bikini wax.

Why do submissives
Try to outdo each other?
I AM SLAV-I-ER!

Rain pounds on roof top
Reminds me of my Master
pounding on my ass.



Saturday, March 26, 2011

Review: Books with a pet theme

What worse place can I beg in your love

I have a dozen or so books floating around in my head that made a huge impact on me. What Worse Place Can I Beg in Your Love by Syd McGinley is one of them.

The premise of the book is that Dave is on a spacecraft, and was recently dumped by a master who called him annoyingly obedient. Dave's ex-master replaced him with someone less submissive, and Dave is still trying to figure out where that leaves him... if he'll ever find anyone who can handle the level of submission he wants to give.

The spacecraft crash-lands on an alien planet and Dave finds himself in a jail cell. He is eventually "adopted", he realizes, in much the same way someone would go to a dog pound and adopt a dog. The species on this planet is very large (seven plus feet) and they don't speak English. Dave is not allowed to try to learn their language. He is nothing more than a pet. A pet who is eventually used for sex. It's an M/m story, so if that's not your thing then beware. But if you can deal with it, the D/s is exquisite. Dave wants to submit, and he revels in being nothing more than a pet who has no say in anything at all that happens to him.

The science fiction fantasy element worked to make the pet fantasy real... not play pretend. At the time I read it, it was the first such type of story I'd read. I now know there are similar books, some that predate this one, so it's not the first written with this idea. But this was my first and it stuck with me.

I am not a pet in our home, nor have I ever been treated like one, other than short role playing scenes. But I admit the fantasy of being treated that way for an extended period of time with no way to safeword out is a huge turn on for me. I might even agree to it for real if it were for a week or less. As long as I got to eat human food.

Books with similar themes

Anneke's Owned And Owner is an M/f story that involves a female from one planet being treated as a pet on another planet. And I loved the section in Anneke's As She's Told where Maia is treated like an animal for most of a summer. Not the same animal the entire summer, but the idea is there, where there is no language allowed. Because the people in the house are speaking Danish, which she doesn't understand, she doesn't even have the ability to know what they are saying, other than basic commands they give her. I love that Anneke found a way to make it real without the science fiction element.

Not exactly the same theme, but another series where one species basically turns another into a sexual pet is the Interstellar Service & Discipline series by Morgan Hawke. This particular species has two penises, so you get it in both holes every time you have sex. The best from this series is Victorious Star, but I also enjoyed Fallen Star.

And finally, Obedience Training by Mya gives us a four armed (huge) golem who makes a very willing pet out of a werewolf. That's another M/m one though, so beware if that doesn't do it for you.

Do you have books with this theme that you've enjoyed? One that turns the whole "pet" idea into something more than just playing around? I would love to hear about them.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Donald Trump Dom

Okay, don't get grossed out on me. I don't mean, literally, Donald Trump for a dominant. Combovers are never sexy in a D/s scene. Okay...rarely sexy. I actually know some guys who could pull it off...hmmm...but I digress... Ahem...

Back on topic. I'm writing today about one of the "tropes" of BDSM fiction -- the successful, powerful, and mind-numbingly wealthy dominant. When you think about it, the "successful and wealthy dominant" trope isn't so far fetched. Dominants need to be assertive and organized to be good at scening with subs. They need to have a certain mojo that compels submissives to obey. These are the same kind of skills that serve people well in work situations. I mean, I personally can't picture an insecure, unemployed man as a dominant. But does that mean every dominant should be a high-ranking businessman, exacting boss, powerful lawyer, or an otherwise top-of-his-or-her-field type person? Now and again I'll hear a complaint about it. Why is every dominant in BDSM books rich and successful? It's not realistic.

That's probably true. But out of all the dominants I've written, the ones people write to me about most are Matthew of Mercy and Jeremy of Comfort Object. I frequently hear "Matthew pressed all my buttons," or "Jeremy was an ass but he got me so hot." I think a lot of the attraction is that both men are just filthy rich and very successful at their careers. Matthew is an uber-rich developer. In my mind, it lends him some kind of authoritative bouquet that colors everything he does in life (and turns me on). Jeremy is a mega-movie star. Sure, he's an ass, but he's a movie star and so we accept that he does these outrageous things to Nell. It becomes a guilty pleasure, rather than us saying "Ugh, he sucks!" as we would in real life. (Although, admittedly, some readers thought Jeremy sucked.)

I guess my point is that it's a trope for a reason. We might notice there are a lot of very rich, very successful, "Donald Trump"-style doms roving around BDSM fiction land. But I for one melt at the knees for a super successful dominant. The richer and more demanding, the better. Even a combover can be overlooked when the dominant is good at taking -- and keeping -- control.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Finding books that fit your kinks

I think that kinks are probably a lot like fingerprints - no two are exactly alike. Find ten people who like bondage and you'll find ten different bondage preferences. One will want comfortable bondage (that's me, BTW), one will want as much discomfort as possible, one will want to be forced into the bondage, one will want some movement available, another will want as much movement as possible to be restricted. The same goes for people who enjoy being spanked - some prefer thuddy, others prefer sting over thud, some need to have the intensity gradually work up until their endorphins join the party, others want it to hurt right off the bat before their endorphins can dull the pain.

There are literally hundreds of specific kinks under the BDSM umbrella, and with each kink having so many options, is it any wonder sometimes people have such trouble finding a partner with kinks that are complimentary to their own?

With the number of books out there, it should be easier to find books that hit your pleasure spots... but sometimes it isn't so easy.

As a reader, I get annoyed when the blurb gives the impression of power exchange and the book has nothing to do with power exchange. Or when it warns it is intense and it isn't. But, as with hot peppers, one person's intense is another person's mild. Unlike hot peppers, there is no Scoville scale, no measuring stick we can all agree on. If you are already familiar with an author then you likely know what the author's measuring stick looks like. When Annabel Joseph said she'd been wanting to write a book with more intense BDSM, for instance, I grabbed Club Mephisto right away. And she was right, it is intense. It's not for everyone... but it was right up my alley. Not that I would want to live Molly's life, but that Molly's life is great fantasy material, and the things done to her hit all of the right buttons.

How do you choose BDSM books? Do you trust the blurb? Do you stick with authors you know who seem to have similar kinks as your own? Do you wait to see what others have to say about it first?


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What Colour is Your Orgasm?

I used to have trouble thinking in images. Now I have trouble thinking without them.

Before I started writing in earnest, my style was straightjacketed by all the work-related writing I’d done: direct, factual, humourless and concise. A fantasy description recorded what the characters said and did: first this happened, then that happened… fap fodder and nothing more.

But my favourite books teemed with images. I feasted on wonderful, rich descriptive language at every re-read. Barbara Kingsolver integrates metaphors into her work so seamlessly that they seem born out of the language itself. Michael Chabon builds wild, brilliant heaps of images, then leaps away and builds more.

Way back in my university application days, the MAT (Miller’s Analogies Test) was a walkover, so even if I couldn’t seem to produce figurative language, apparently I had an affinity for it. But I thought for a while that my relentlessly literal left-brain was all I had to work with.

With my first book, Owned and Owner, I tried to expand my boundaries but didn’t get too far. I remember the elation, though, when I came up with this one: “At times he could still sense manipulation, resistance: the subtle drive of muscles under her own command, the guerrilla flash of eyes half hidden behind their lids.” Believe it or not, “guerrilla” felt like a revelation.

With As She’s Told I was determined to bring some richness of language. One thing I had to struggle with, though: How do you describe an orgasm? The story focuses a lot on teasing and denial, so it wasn’t as if there was an orgasm on every page. Those that happened had to mean something. But how? I turned to Carrie’s Story, remembering this: “All I could do was rock my pelvis band and forth, meeting his tongue, chasing it, and then retreating, pretending to hide from it, and finally just surrendering to it, moaning and then yelling until everything exploded and first I was falling from a very great height and then I was a puddle on the rug, the winter afternoon light slanting in on me through the leaded windows.” What a lovely vision, no?

For a while I toyed with giving Maia synaesthesia – the crossing over of sensations from one sense to the other – feeling colours, seeing sounds, that kind of thing. Which was the source for this one: “Anchored, I arched my back and howled, felt myself contract in brilliant white waves around him…” Not bad. But I couldn’t keep it up; I think it takes a synaesthete to write about synaesthesia.

All Anders’ teasing means that Maia’s orgasms are – shall we say – intense? This is from the gearshift scene: “And then suddenly at my centre there was a flash, like a thunderstorm in fast forward, billows of it, ecstatic, extreme, agonizing.” (Okay, out of context it does looks a little over the top. But Maia enjoyed it.)

So tell me, what colour are your orgasms? What’s your favourite literary climax? ;-)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Kink Monday: Sensory Deprivation

Sensory Deprivation is one of those kinks that can range from slightly-more-than-vanilla to extreme-kink-with-lots-of-safety-warnings.

At it's simplest, sensory deprivation usually means a blindfold or simply being instructed to keep your eyes closed. Probably the best known movie scene for this is the food play in Nine and a Half Weeks.



That scene isn't about sex. Or, it doesn't start out that way, anyway. This scene is about power exchange and sensory deprivation. Elizabeth has no idea of the texture or temperature or taste of something until it hits her tongue. Some things, like the jello, taste as soon as they hit her tongue. Some fruits won't taste until she bites into them. Can you tell the difference between a grape and a cherry tomato until you've bitten into it? Do you know whether to expect sweet or bitter or sour? Whatever is going in her mouth is an unknown until she accepts it into her mouth, and even then, some things remain an unknown until she bites into it.

Sensory Deprivation often means being bound, but it doesn't have to. When not bound it gives a different flavor to the power exchange, it's more about the submissive giving the power away, as opposed to having it taken away. In the clip above, Elizabeth is an active participant in her sensory deprivation.

When you don't have your sight, other senses get turned up more -- you hear more, you are more attuned to temperature changes, and sometimes even feel someone's breath as they get near you. You feel more.

The next step on the road to sensory deprivation often involves the loss of sight and hearing. This can be accomplished by using hearing protection created for shooters, but it can also be accomplished with a combination of ear plugs covered by noise canceling headphones that are playing either white noise or whatever music the Dom has chosen.

Being deprived of sight and hearing can be overwhelming and can send some people into a panic. It is very important the Top pay close attention and provide lots of reassuring touch until the bottom figures out how to anchor to reality without sight or hearing.

Once your other senses are turned up to compensate for loss of sight and hearing, then whatever happens is magnified. Whether it be an orange slice in your mouth or your partner's mouth on your breast, you feel it more, and somehow sense more of it than you ever have before. If biting into a simple orange slice can become so much more, then imagine what sensory deprivation can do to BDSM activities. A spanking is exponentially more intense when it's the only sensation your body is processing.

At its most intense, sensory deprivation can mean being placed in a special sensory deprivation tank where you float in water the same temperature as your skin, and breathe air that doesn't smell. And, of course, no light or sound can penetrate the tank. There are no anchors to reality in such a tank - there is no sight, no smell, no hearing, and none of the nerve endings in your skin can feel anything, either. If someone is placed in such a tank with a vibrating butt plug, for instance, then that will quite literally be the only sensation their brain can focus on.

For people without a sensory deprivation tank, the most intense BDSM scene generally involves loss of sight and sound, being bound by multiple points so you can't really feel any one point as being restrained more than another, being gagged, and being spread out so you can't feel your own body with any other part of your body. This can mean that even your fingers are spread out in some way.

My most intense sensory deprivation scenes have involved loss of sight and sound while bound. In a very memorable scene, I was not gagged, but given instructions the only sound I was allowed to make was a safeword. Any other sound, even a grunt or moan, resulted in a tens unit that was attached to my delicate parts being turned way up for a short time. The level of trust involved for that kind of scene is immense.

But I also have some quite memorable scenes that involved no more sensory deprivation than a simple blindfold. You don't have to make it complicated.

Have you experimented around with any kind of sensory deprivation? Did you enjoy it?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Kinky Haiku Sunday

Welcome back, kinky haiku lovers. Time for your weekly dose of Annabel's kinky haikus...

Cuffs are lavendar
Slapper is cute pink leather
Ass is black and blue.

Something in the walk
Or the way they talk to you...
Got to be a Dom.

Who would have thought that
A man could look so hot in
corset and stockings?

A good scene is like
water -- flowing and cleansing
and wet, wet, wet, wet.

Did you obey me?
Answer my question right now.
That's what I thought, girl.

Oooh, that last one kind of got me going! If you like, add your own kinky haikus in the comments section!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Five (non)kinky books that kinked me...

We all know the most popular books for the emerging kinkster. The Story of O, The Beauty trilogy, The Marketplace books, the Gor books...okay, I never said they were all pinnacles of literature.

With that said, long before I picked up The Story of O for the first time, I found kink that called to me right in the pages of mainstream fiction. In some cases, the books, characters, and situations probably weren't meant to be kinky, but to me they were. Here are five books that formed the kinkster inside me even before I picked up that first bonafide BDSM book.

1) Ayn Rand's We The Living.

Most people know Ayn Rand for her Objectivist ideas and her books Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. But fewer people know about Rand's first book, We The Living. It's too bad, because aside from all the anti-Soviet undercurrents, We The Living is a really emotional, complex love story between three people. One of those people is Leo Kovalensky, and I can honestly say, Leo was the first "Dom" I can remember perceiving from the page.

Leo is handsome, demanding, sexually voracious, and most of all, tragically proud and independent. I read this when I was barely more than a tween, the same age all the girls read Twilight now. Leo was my Edward, Andrei Taganov was my Jacob. This book turned me inside out by the end, and Leo will always stand as my first literary love -- and my first literary Dom.

2) Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind.

Rhett Butler was so Dom, and he played Scarlett like a fiddle. Ever wonder why I'm always writing those tough, Doms-we-love-to-hate type guys? Enough said.

3) Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon.

This is a massive, lovely Arthurian book. Seriously, set aside a good week or two to get through it, but you will be absorbed in the story every second of the time. This book appealed to my fantasy side for the most part, but one section in particular got my kink motor roaring.

Of course we all know the romantic conflict between Arthur, Gwenhwyfar, and Lancelot. In the last chapter of the second section of this book (The High Queen), this triad of longing and desire takes an unexpected turn, ostensibly due to a charm Gwenhwyfar concocted. I won't spoil the scene for you, but to my young, virginal mind, it was the combination of the most wanton depravity and the most romantic loveliness of all time. I still shiver every time I read it.

4) Alice Hoffman's The Ice Queen.

Here again we have a highly underappreciated offering from an author who is better known for other books. But this book had a strong undercurrent of power exchange when I read it. The man, Lazarus, was struck by lightning and changed by it. The woman (the ice queen of the title) was struck by lightning too. The alchemy they make when they come together is just basely sexual and kinky to me. Strangely, many others who've read this book do not feel it at all and do not feel any affinity for Lazarus or the book's female protagonist, who remains unnamed. But fire, water, and force come together, for me, in a seriously kinky way in this book.

5) Elizabeth Arthur's Bring Deeps.

Again, in Sebastian, we have a Dom for the ages. Aggressive, sexual, demanding...and mysterious. Aside from the overt instances of power exchange in this book -- for instance, when he ties her to the bed with his belt -- there are a hundred little kinky nuances that work for me. By the tragic ending, I was ready to follow Sebastian into the sea. This is a really thinky read, and to be honest, I didn't much care for the female protagonist, Emrys, but Sebastian more than makes up for her annoying personality. If Leo Kovalensky was my first literary Dom, Sebastian is my favorite literary Dom, the Dom of my heart.

If you've read any of these books, I'd love to know if they set off your kink radar too. If you haven't read them, are there other mainstream books you've read that have sent your power exchange indicator pinging?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The many faces of BDSM

Bondage and Discipline. Dominance and submission. Sadism and Masochism. That's a lot for one little acronym to cover.

In the world of BDSM erotica you can find books that cover a little consensual slap and tickle all the way up to pretty extreme non-consensual total slavery. It's all fiction, so it's all good. But everyone won't enjoy every BDSM book out there. It's important to know what works for you, and what doesn't work for you, or you're liable to get a book that doesn't go far enough for your tastes... or one that goes too far.

Are you into power exchange? How far do you want the power exchange to go? Only in the bedroom, or 24/7? Only for things related to sex, or for every aspect of their life?

How about pain? Do you like the Sadism and masochism aspect? How much? A little warming of a bottom, or a full out intense caning?

And then there is the consensual versus the non-consensual. Personally, when reading I like the books that play around with non-consent in a totally consensual way. Occasionally I can get into a kidnap type non-consent book, also. But when writing, I tend to write totally consensual relationships.

There is also the gender question, whether the story is two guys, two girls, a male Dom and female submissive, or a female Domme and male submissive. Or some combination of those when you start talking about three or more people in a relationship. Some people can only enjoy one type of paring, other people enjoy the power exchange itself and the gender of the people isn't all that important.

Some people enjoy human pony and human puppy play, others are turned off by the very idea. It's not something I enjoy in real life, but when written well it totally works for me. That's the beauty of fiction.

We mustn't forget the B&D portion of our acronym. In real life comfortable bondage is a lot more realistic than most of what is written, but books are fantasy and that means the uncomfortable kind of bondage jumps off the page a whole lot better. And then there is the discipline issue - some people are turned off by one adult disciplining another adult, others don't enjoy a power exchange book without it.

There is no one book that is going to please everyone - and in the world of BDSM erotica, that is probably more true than for any other kind of book.

There are no right or wrong answers here, whatever works for you is what works for you, and those are the types of books you should seek out. Sometimes it's not so easy to tell by the blurb, though, is it?


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sensitive Smut

A new blog! Thanks, Candace and Annabel, for inviting me along.

If writers are strange creatures (and I think we are), erotica writers are stranger still. Anyone who writes fiction extracts inward experiences and lays them out in patterns, exposing their own innards in the process. Writing erotica means exposing particularly raunchy layers of the cerebellum. It means bringing out stuff that’s been collecting in folds and crevices, its tantalizing glimmers well hidden. We shake it out, examine it, find its truth. Tuck away the truly tawdry bits. And then see if what remains might make a good story.

I’ve always been surprised by the detailed level of kink that seems to be shared across the bdsm spectrum. So many themes, desires, roles, beliefs, attitudes, practices and gear are common enough that they become iconic. When cartoonists want to make bdsm jokes, out come the whips, the corsets and black leather. Check out a kinky equipment store and that’s actually a good percentage of what they sell. Oddly enough, there’s a bdsm mainstream – a nice St. Andrew’s cross whipping at a safe, sane and consensual play party.

But there are a million ramifications to bdsm. Diversity abounds. Cultures vary. And there’s a lot that is intensely personal. So readers who enter the writer’s imagination may find themselves in a very strange place indeed. Will it fit with their own inner lurkings? Will it take them somewhere new, somewhere they want to go? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

For myself, turning that material outward for the first time was an interesting experience. Not only was I confessing to weird kinks, but finding that some readers didn’t get off on them! Oh, no! That great leap from silence to blatant shared sexuality was riskier than I’d thought.

But I’ve also found readers who are with me for all or at least part of the journey, readers who dwell for a while in the world I’ve created, and let me mess with the furniture in their heads. A strange and wonderful form of communication, in a world where telepathy is in short supply.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

It's Kinky Haiku Sunday!

Ah, there's nothing like the sound of kinky haiku on a Sunday morning, don't you agree? If you feel moved to compose your own kinky haiku, please share with all of us in the Comments section. Remember your syllable count, 5-7-5. Clap it out! Serious or funny, abstract or concrete. Just have fun!

Immovable bonds
The pain-sweet smell of leather.
Ow! That f*cking hurts!

Master arrives soon.
I wait on my knees for him.
I'd wait forever.

Taking a belt off
Might not seem sexy to you
But for me...I drool.

The kink universe
is a very diverse place...
Um, that's just scary.

Dom school 101:
Always provide a safe word.
Don't make it too hard!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Welcome to Kinky Ever After!

Once upon a time, there were a group of authors who decided the world needed a little more kink and happiness, and they set about writing novels for their perverted -- er--devoted subjects. They started a blog to keep their readers up to date on their kinky projects and shine a little pervalicious light into the kingdom of power exchange. Not just into the castle, but the dungeon too! And they all lived happily ever after...

Or something like that!

Welcome to Kinky Ever After, where we'll strive to bring you the best in kink, BDSM, and power exchange loveliness. We have tons of great things planned. We'll have days when we post about particular kinks, days when we post reviews, lists, or silly poetry, and of course, days when we opine about a subject close to our hearts.

In time, we hope to add features such as author interviews, guest bloggers, and all that other good stuff. If you're a lover of BDSM-based romance and fiction, we hope you'll become one of our regular readers.

And please spread the word about Kinky Ever After! Leave comments, join in the discussions, and let us know what you want to see more of. Love, kink, and happily-ever-after are what we're all about.