Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Consent / Non-consent and My Fantasy Dilemma

I’m struggling with something at the moment. (A months-long moment, if I’m being honest.) My third book is barely out of the gate. The concept requires some fantasizing on the part of the protagonists. And what I’ve got’s not working. Contrary to my comments on Qwillia’s thread, I do have non-consensual fantasies. I just can’t seem to write about them. When I write, the characters get real very fast. And once they’re real they can’t be victims. Real victimization is something I can’t deal with; for me it’s the antithesis of sexy.

My non-consensual fantasies are all about the setup rather than the personalities. Institutionalized slavery, women as an underclass, that kind of thing. Nothing I’d want to see or would find the least bit alluring in real life. So, you may ask, how is it I manage to find my unwritten fantasies sexy? I think there’s an undercurrent of consent going on – these nonspecific women are happy in their chains. Let’s face it: great literature it’s not.

So what about consensual fantasies; what’s wrong with writing about those? The brave, adventurous submissives like Phaedra in Kushiel’s Dart; the sensuous courtesan in lace and silken bondage; the club denizen who scenes one night with just the right man. What about those?

Nope, doesn’t work for me. Too tame. Insufficient power involved. What turns my crank is something beyond negotiation, beyond kinky sex play. Genuine power and control, of one person over another. Pervasive, meaningful, and not a little frightening. Requiring serious levels of trust and responsibility.

The fantasies I’m trying to write span a period of time in my heroine’s life, from mid-adolescence to perhaps her late ‘20’s. So I’m struggling to remember what my fantasies were like back then. What I’ve dredged up has fallen pretty hard into the non-con category above, and hasn’t been helpful. I don’t want to scare readers off with extreme stuff right off the bat. On the other hand, I could try using them and have her thinking through all the contradictions herself. (That’s always a useful way to deal with a problem like this: have the protagonists struggle with it themselves.) In which case I’d have to find a way to write them that doesn’t sound totally stupid.

There’s also the question of whether I really want my heroine to be a total reflection of myself. These women start out with a lot in common with me, and then take their own (far more submissive) path. Can I make this one her own woman with her own fantasies? So far my imagination is coming up blank. I think if I’m ever going to write this book, I’m going to have to write from my own erotic imagination. Damn.

Any advice? I could really use some. Not that I promise to take it. ;-)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Kink Monday: Wax Play

I am not talking about waxing for depilatory reasons here, though I am aware there are couples who get into that. Today I am talking about the dripping or pouring of hot wax onto a willing submissive.

The pain threshold here can go from barely warm and very relaxing all the way to hot-hot-hot-hot-HOT!!!! The Top can control the level of heat by the distance he (or she) holds the melted wax over the bottom's skin.

My most memorable waxing scene was not done by my husband, though he was present when it happened. This was when we were dating, before we were married, and when we often traveled out of town for fun BDSM events. It was done by a very well known person who used a crock pot to melt large quantities of wax, and then used a ladle to pour it on. The levels of pain were brought up in increments, the heat levels varied based on which part of my body the wax was being aimed at, but I was in a full hood, so I often had no clue where the wax was about to land. It was one of the most delicious, sensuous, exquisite experiences I've ever had. (And the full hood was actually a safety thing, I think, since the hood ended up with a few drops of wax on it that splashed up.)

But you don't need to use a half a gallon of wax to have fun with wax play. You can use the wax from a single candle, letting it drip slowly. One drop at a time. Or let it melt and pool a bit and pour out a small stream.

Whether you are blindfolded or not can make it a totally different type of play. When you can see the drip forming, can see it leave the candle, can tense up for the pain... I think your brain releases different chemicals while all of that is happening. But when you don't know when it will land, or where it will land, you experience the pain in a completely different way. Unless you have a whole lot of self control I think it's best if the hands are restrained for wax play, but that's just kind of my own personal preference. I am sometimes made to use self restraint, but it's so much easier when you can relax and not worry about having to control your hands and arms.

Here are a few pieces of advice for wax play:

  • Do not use beeswax. Just don't. It's not safe. It can easily cause the kinds of burns that require a doctor or hospital. You want paraffin, not beeswax.
  • Soft candles in glass jars usually also have mineral oil in their blend and burn cooler. The cheap glass jar candles you buy at the dollar store are my favorite. The next step up is usually pillar candles, with taper candles burning the hottest. All of those can be safe to use as long as they are primarily made of paraffin or soy.
  • The Top should pour or drip a few drops onto his own forearm before play gets started. He (or she) needs to know the burning temperature of this particular candle at six inches and at two feet so he knows how much pain he is handing out. Not all candles have the same make-up, one jar candle will not have the same feel as another jar candle. Unless you buy them all together, but even then there can be differences.
  • Not all crock pots are created equal. Tread with caution. We've found that it's best to turn it on and melt the wax and then unplug it once the wax is the right temperature. The wax should be well stirred, as there will be hot and cool spots if you don't mix it well.
  • Buy a bunch of cheap shower curtains at the dollar store, something you can throw away once play has stopped. Wax play is messy and there can be a lot of splatter. You may need to spread two or three of them out if you are being messy, or one may be enough if you're just using a single taper candle at a time.
  • Shave very, very, close. And be sure you get every hair. Shave better than you ever have before. And keep your hair up and away from the activity.
  • A rub down of baby oil ahead of time can make it easier to get the wax off of you. Sometimes I'm allowed baby oil, sometimes the plan is to flog the wax off of me and there is no baby oil ahead of time.
  • Have a bowl of ice close at hand, just in case. It's a safety thing, but can also be fun to play with. When blindfolded, sometimes you can't immediately tell the difference between a drip from an ice cube and a drip from a candle.
  • If the submissive is restrained and you are using candles then a fire extinguisher and quick release snaps would be a good idea.
  • Some people use paintbrushes to paint wax designs onto the skin of their submissive. I'm not a fan. Ladle it on me all you want, but don't torture me with a paintbrush.
  • The Top should be aware of where hot wax is dripping and puddling. If what he is pouring onto a back is sliding down to the outside of her breast, or finding its way down the crack of her ass, that may or may not be a good thing. The back and legs and stomach can generally take much hotter temperatures than the sensitive bits. It's okay to put it on the sensitive bits, but you'll probably want to do it from a good bit higher up.
  • If you've seen people made into human candelabras and want to try it, it's best if there isn't a metal piece on the bottom of the candle.

If you've never played around with it and want to try it out in a small way then my advice is the jar candles from the dollar store and either the tablecloths or shower curtains from the dollar store. The kitchen floor or the dining room table may be a better solution than the bedroom - use your best judgment. The Top should start high up and slowly work down. If the aim is for sensual pleasure then the Top will probably stay fairly high, if the aim is that of the Sadist and masochist then it is still advisable work your way down slowly the first time.

When done correctly wax play can be a very safe and sensual... or safe and painful, thing to play around with.

And for us, since we only do it once or twice a year, it's one of those things that never gets old. I both love it and dread it when I know it's coming.

Have you ever played around with wax play? Do you like it or hate it? Is it a sensual thing for you, or is it the pain you enjoy? If you haven't played around with it, does the idea of the sensuality of it or the idea of the pain of it do more for you?


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Kinky Humor Sunday

I wrote this a couple years ago, when I started to get involved in the online kink world for the first time. I became very amused by the way many doms and subs tried to style themselves as the "mostest bestest very most serious-est" of their kind. S-types in particular seemed to delight in out-slaving one another and throwing one another under the BDSM bus. Ah, gotta love em.

HOW MANY SUBS DOES IT TAKE TO SCREW IN A LIGHTBULB?

Answer:

1 to say she's not allowed to change a light bulb without Master's permission;

3 to say they're not even allowed to talk about changing a lightbulb without Master's permission;

1 to say, "well, that's why I'm glad I'm a sub and not a slave;"

15 to take offense to that statement as slaves;

56 to become embroiled in a discussion about what defines a slave vs. a sub;

3 peacemakers to point out that the definition of slave and sub is complicated, and different for everyone;

1 to finally overcome their submissive nature, take the initiative, and go to the store to pick one out;

4 to stress out on her return whether or not that particular light bulb casts the most pleasing glow for Master or Dom's pleasure;

1 to begin to screw it in anyway;

6 to debate if that's the right way to screw it in, because they do it differently;

1 to say, "well, I do it differently because I am a slave, not just a sub';

15 to take offense to the 'just a sub' phrasing;

78 to become embroiled in a hot debate over who's better, a sub or a slave;

3 to act as peacemakers and point out that the important thing is to change the light bulb according to their own kinks and beliefs;

1 to once again take the initiative to start screwing in the bulb;

436 to remind the sub that she needs to use lube every time;

5 to argue that it's more exciting to just do it dry;

436 to say, 'well then, I hope you are stocking up on Depends';

1 to tell that urban legend about the person who tried to 'insert' a light bulb and ended up in the ER;

1 to comment that she and Master use the Gorean ritual to change lightbulbs while cryptically leaving out what that entails;

4 to say they don't change lightbulbs because they're only submissive in the bedroom;

19 to comment that, for them, BDSM is about a lot more than sex;

6 to make cheeky, naughty comments about sex with their Master or Dom anyway;

33 to soothe the sub afterwards, when she worries she did not install the light bulb well enough to please Master or Dom.

1 to compose this list and post it to the Suck it up, Buttercup group on Fet Life.

HOW MANY MASTERS DOES IT TAKE TO SCREW IN A LIGHTBULB?

None...they make their submissives do it.

Friday, May 27, 2011

One Person's Humiliation is Another's Pampering

It all began with a simple comment made to a friend. An idea I was kicking around in regard to my latest story. A visual image of the submissive, Triss, naked and seated on the floor beside the hero, Vince, while he fed her. I could see it so clearly and it made sense to me -- it would reflect how much the Dom cared for her.


My friend's response: "That's degrading. Humiliating. Treating her like a dog. How can that resemble any kind of care or respect from him?"


What part of the scene did she object to? The fact that she was being fed from her Master's hand or that Triss was seated on the floor without clothes on? Or the placement of the scene early in the relationship between the couple?


And that's what got me thinking. What one person (me) identified as a method of pampering and care, another (my friend) saw as a form of humiliation.


If the scene had taken place in a bed, with Triss supine and Vince feeding her from a tray, would it still have been humiliating? If she were in the chair next to him at the table, would it still have been humiliating? If he'd placed her on the table, holding the plate for him, would it still be humiliating?


Then there's the question of Triss's nudity. Dressed or naked, would it make a difference in the perception of the reader?


In my mind, the answer is no. No to all versions of the scenario including the original when she's seated on the floor, because what the image reflects is how the submissive views the situation. Triss sees herself as being cared for and pampered by her Dom.


But that's when it struck me. The reason neither I nor my characters have any problem with the scene is because the connection between them has already been established in our minds. The feeding and her seating are all reflective of the love and affection the two have for one another. The bond of trust they have with formed.


My friend couldn't see that. With the scene placement too early in the story, to the reader, Triss's easy acceptance of Vince's command didn't make sense. The trust was only beginning. The relationship was still new. The pair was just starting to learn about one another.


I'm sure where I've decided to place the scene will make more sense to the readers. I'm also sure, no matter when it takes place someone who reads it will be put off by the imagery. A woman seated like a dog at her man's feet, waiting for any crumb of affection.


Stop and think about it though. What level of trust is she showing by taking that position? Her message is clear -- she loves unconditionally and is there for him. It's now up to him to show the world (or the reader) the importance she has in his life. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kinky Non Fiction

I wanted to share some non-fiction SM books I’d gotten a lot out of. A book recommendation was how I got involved in BDSM nearly 20 years ago, and books have given me both inspiration and safety information for scenes in real life, and more recently, for the scenes I write in my stories.

The book that got me started was Sensuous Magic, by Pat Califia. One of the things I remember about the book is that I didn’t know the gender or the orientation of the author when I was reading it, despite trying to figure it out, and that made it all feel more objective somehow, and less about the battle of the sexes. It simply presented SM as being beyond gender entirely. The other thing I love about this book is that it mixes the how-to information with some very hot short stories -- kinda like candy coating, but I think it also helped get me past my inhibitions to want to do some of the kinky things in this book, and also explore power exchange.

The book I’ve gone back to most, however, is Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns, by Philip Miller and Molly Devon. No short stories, but lots of hot black and white pictures of real people doing the kinky things talked about. And diagrams. This book is just awesome for reference. I even made a flogger using the directions towards the back of the book. Best of all, the entire book is written with an excellent sense of humor that makes it easy to read. Unfortunately, there isn’t an e-book edition, and the many illustrations and large format probably will keep it that way. Oddly, there is a kindle study guide.

I used Jay Wiseman’s Erotic Bondage Handbook as reference for Roped In, and refer it to it now and then. It really focuses on restraints, and I think this is the kind of book I’m most likely to pick up these days: books by people who are really enthusiastic about a particular kink, and can write about it to those who maybe do that activity just now and then. It was very helpful to me in writing a book about a rope expert, when I can't tie a square knot consistently despite spending hours practicing.

Any books you’d like to recommend, that have either been helpful in your kinky life or in your writing? For that matter, any books you’d like to warn people away from? I’m of the opinion that something can be learned even from a bad book, but sometimes it helps knowing that the information in it is slanted before you start.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Kinky Pop Culture

I'm always so fascinated to see BDSM references and examples in current media and pop culture. I'm sure being in the scene has made more aware of it than I would be otherwise. Every now and again I catch glimpses of things in the news, on television, movies or the music industry so I thought I'd do another post about this over here at Kinky Ever After.

Word of warning: some of the links below may lead to scenes that some may find objectionable. View at your own risk.

Kink is no stranger the world of advertising even decades ago. I wouldn't say these print ads were made specifically with kink in mind but there is certainly a correlation. In the last few years many of these vintage ads have made the rounds on the web accompanied by articles about how sexist they were and how things have changed since then. They obviously don't run in the same circles as I do.




In recent years it's been pretty prevalent even showing up on popular tv shows such as CSI (remember the fur pile and adult baby episodes? Not to mention Lady Heather), Supernatural, Desperate Housewives, True Blood and you can also still find it in advertising, although women have taken on a more powerful presence.

We're often treated to music stars wearing Dominatrix outfits or producing videos with strong BDSM themes. Rhianna's videos come to mind and I won't even bring up the atrocious video a certain blonde pop star released not so long ago. P!nk's Please Don't Leave Me is one of my favorites though. How could you not love P!nk in that nurse costume?

It crops up in movies blatantly like in The Secretary, which by the way I LOVE. I've even seen it in action flicks like Mr. and Mrs. Smith, in suspense movies like 8MM and The Killer Inside Me, and horror movies like Strangeland.

Anything you've noticed in current or past media that flips your kink switch? I'd like to hear about it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Kink Monday - Impregnation fantasy

What's that you say? You didn't know people fetishized pregnancy? I didn't either, once upon a time. As I journeyed deeper into the fetish world, I came to learn that pregnancy and pregnant women can be a very strong fantasy for some, particularly males.


When I wrote my book Mercy, one of the most controversial scenes involves the hero impregnating the heroine. It just so happens that in Mercy, the impregnation is non-consensual. This too is a fetish for some, as I was to discover when people started to write to me about their feelings for that scene. Some of them were outraged -- literally spitting mad -- that he would do such a thing to the heroine. Others saw the forced impregnation as the ultimate sign of male dominance, and guiltily confessed that it got them hot.

I can certainly understand the latter view. Honestly, I find the scene hot too, well...as a fantasy. I think most who fetishize pregnancy and "breeding" do so in a fantasy sense. For a dominant, what can be more powerful than creating a life in another person? For a submissive, what can be more exciting than being a vessel for bearing the child of your master? Okay, sure, that sounds kind of sick. After all, the result of this fetish, a child concieved, is a non-consenting participant.

Once on Fetlife, I came across a thread by a master concerning "breeder slaves." He was asking Do you have one? Have you fantasized about breeding your slaves? Half the respondents were like, ooh, that's hot. And the other half were basically saying You are a sick f*ck!

But that's the nature of kink. Sometimes we fantasize about things we would never actually do. Sometimes we fetishize things just because they're beyond the pale, or because they tap into some elemental base desire of human animals. In reality, we are too civilized to go around knocking up everyone we love just to show our power over them.

But is it a hot thing to fantasize about? What do you think?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

More Kinky Haiku with Strictest

Part two of the Strictest haiku collection. Posted with permission of course. Enjoy!

"Obey Me!" he barks.
I wince, she just plays along,
wishes she was mine.



Warm breakfast in bed,
clean home, her body waiting.
A dom's life is good.



Her moans of pleasure
sound twice as lovely when I'm
deep inside her throat.



She fights the restraints,
Her body welcoming each
Deep stroke of his cane.



Tears, regret, sincere
Apology. Punishment
Is never a joke.



Pick your slave for life.
Shackles always hurt the most
When they are removed.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Different Flavors of Pain

The BDSM acronym doesn't have a P for Pain in it, but most people jump straight to the idea of pain when they see the term. Most of the letters reference pain either directly or indirectly though:

  • B&D - Discipline gives the idea of punishment, which most people consider should involve pain, though it doesn't have to.
  • D/s - An indirect reference -- when the bottom is not a Masochist then any pain the Top chooses to give is generally there to illuminate the power exchange.
  • S&M - Sadism and Masochism leave no doubt about there being pain involved.

Those are three types of pain, three different mindsets around pain: the pain of Discipline versus the pain of the Masochist versus pain for the sake of D/s when the bottom may not be a masochist or when the pain given may not be something the masochist enjoys.

One of my favorite quotes from BDSM erotica comes from Deviations: Submission by Chris Owen and Jodi Payne:

Pain is a present, active reminder that someone else is in control.

There are submissives who are not necessarily masochists who enjoy pain for this reason. Their suffering is proof of their submission, proof that someone else is calling the shots.

And then there are masochists who are in it for the pain. They may or may not be submissive, they just want to feel.

I also know someone who enjoys the anxiety and fear before the pain, and the memory of the scene afterwards, but doesn't especially enjoy the scene while it is happening.

For me, I can appreciate all of the above. There are certain types of pain that I enjoy, that I even crave, at times. And then there are certain types of pain that scare the bejeebers out of me, but I submit to it because it is a personal turn on for my husband, and the idea that it is turning him on is enough. Usually.

This means I can enjoy books that come from the mindset of the masochist who can enjoy the pain as well as the submissive who is terrified of it but who still needs it. It also means I can relish a good punishment scene, because when those are done correctly it is the epitome of showing who is in control and who is not. That doesn't mean I like all BDSM books, it just means I can usually appreciate the diverse types of pain that show up.

From reading various reviews of a lot of books, I get the feeling that how someone experiences pain, the reason they choose to submit to pain... my theory is that this has a great deal to do with how they perceive the pain in a book. For those who haven't experienced it yet, I think that the reasons they are considering it are paramount. Do they want to submit, and part of submitting means they take the pain a Dom/Master/Sir wants to give out, or do they crave the pain itself and not the submission so much.

Do you think this may be why you enjoy certain scenes that others are negative towards? Could it explain why you are angry about a scene that others think is hot? If those are your reactions then they are honest reactions and there is nothing wrong with them. But sometimes it's good to understand why you react to things a certain way, when others react a different way.

My trigger is trust - I find myself getting angry when a Dom or sub becomes untrustworthy.


.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

On Inspiration....

This is actually a re-post from another blog I guested at a few months ago, but I thought I'd share it here too, since I've been struggling so much with inspiration lately. I'll share my top five inspiration sources as a writer, and then, maybe at the end, you can leave a comment about things that inspire you.

Source #1: People Well, I guess that’s not much of a surprise. I confess, I am definitely one to slobber over celebrities to get my inspiration fix. Daniel Craig has inspired pages and pages of my writing. Ever notice how many of my Doms have blond hair and blue eyes? Colin Firth, Gerard Butler, and Gregoire Colin also float my boat, and sometimes capsize it. But I am inspired by a lot of real life friends too. Club Mephisto was inspired by a friend who actively seeks to train and mentor other people in the BDSM lifestyle. Fortune was inspired by a friend who dabbled in origami and shibari. Until I met her, I didn’t see how naturally the two combined. Other friends have inspired me in myriad ways, exposing me to kinks and viewpoints I never even considered. Without my awesome, creative, sexy friends, I would be lost as a writer.

Source #2: Movies Do you ever walk out of a movie theater completely buoyed up and energized by the artistry you just experienced? I love that feeling. I’ve been deeply touched by a lot of movies in my lifetime. Some that stand out in my mind are The Double Life of Veronique, Hotel Splendide, and La Belle Noiseuse. Theater productions can be even more inspirational because the actors are right there, nearly close enough to touch. I still remember productions of The Fantasticks, Sweeney Todd, and my ultimate favorite, Sunday in the Park with George. Sigh. George was so Dom and Dot was so submissive in her vanilla way. I saw that when I was fifteen or so, and it remains an inspiration to this day. There’s just something about a good film or theater production that makes you want to create your own inspired work.

Source #3: Music Just as I’ve had books inspired by people, I’ve also have books inspired by songs. Caressa’s Knees was largely inspired by The Magnetic Field’s song 100,000 Fireflies. I listened to a lot of Beck while I was writing Deep in the Woods, and a lot of Liz Phair when I was writing my upcoming release Owning Wednesday. I think perhaps music stimulates some subconscious part of our brain and frees up those creative juices. I don’t know. All I know is that sometimes I’ll hear a really good song and next thing I know, a story is taking shape.

Source #4: Places I know I’m not the only author to be inspired by places. You only have to look in the “travel writing” section of your library to see that. But the wonderful thing about places is that they affect everyone differently. I’ve been places that didn’t seem to move my companions at all, but felt especially magical or compelling or depressing to me. Sometimes even a photo of a place online can inspire me. I wrote all of Lily Mine with a picture of a country estate as my desktop wallpaper. This place became Lilyvale in my mind, although I’ve never been there and probably never will even know the real name of the place. The story of Deep in the Woods coalesced in a moment when I came upon a shaded, picturesque clearing on a hike. It was beautiful, but it had some hint of menace to me, perhaps because of the jagged, sagging branches overhead. I immediately thought of someone struggling for their life there. I never know when or why a place might trigger a story for me, but I try to explore as many disparate places as I can.

Source #5: Life I guess this is a little obvious, sure. But in your day to day activities, do you ever pause just to observe life going on around you? What do you see? A look, a secretive glance? A person laughing or crying? Someone who seems desperate or devastated, or blissfully tuned out? Do you ever watch people and play your own game of “Dom, sub, or switch?” I do. There is so much to see if you just take the time to look. A lot of writers go to people-watch at malls or airports, but for my money you can people-watch almost anywhere. Sometimes you even feel obliged to stick your neck out and ask questions or get involved in the life you’re observing. That’s when the real fun starts.

Inspiration is something you have to look for, but once you get good at it, it’s not that hard to find. So what has inspired you today? What has been the most inspirational event of your life? Have you ever inspired someone? I hope so. It’s true what they say…inspiration is a gift.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Guest Post: Eden Bradley -- Wickedly Ever After

It is my great pleasure to welcome Eden Bradley as today's guest blogger. I read The Dark Garden when it first came out, back when I was still buying books in paper form. I have an ebook of Breaking Skye though, which is being offered today as a give-a-way (see below for details). Breaking Skye is a beautifully told story of a woman's first couple of BDSM experiences, so happy reading to whoever wins it!

__________________________________


Wickedly Ever After

with Eden Bradley aka Eve Berlin


First, I’d like to say thanks so much to the kinky folks at Kinky Ever After for inviting me to blog with them! I always love to find other kinksters out there. I think there are so many of us who feel alone in our kink. It was much worse in the pre-Internet days (also known as the Pleistocene Era, and yes, I’m dating myself!). Oh, there were a few books out—I remember the first time I read Story of O. Such subversive material and shh, don’t tell anyone! I felt so adventurous. And as I read—and read!—so depraved. And by the end, so…good.

This is one of the things I most love to write about: those moments of discovery, those deep, personal epiphanies, whether it’s why you hate your mother, or why you like—need—to be spanked. In the case of my erotic vampire Midnight Playground series, it’s why some may choose immortality over life, why some choose not to love until love chooses them. And of course there’s some lovely, wicked kink woven through these stories.

In Book One, THE SEEKING KISS, the kink is more of the ménage variety with a bit of blood drinking thrown in for good measure. In Book Two, BLOODSONG, I take it down into the dungeons of London’s hottest vampire sex club and things get rough—just the way I like it! In Book Three, THE TURNING KISS, which was just released in March, there’s a bit of everything (vampires are a kinky bunch!), with more coming in Book Four, EVERSONG, out this fall. My vampires are pure sensualists. They can’t get enough, whether it’s blood or music or sex. And the more extreme stimulation involved in their sex play seemed completely natural for them. I literally was unable to write my vampires without integrating some hard-core kink...not that that's a bad thing!

I’ve written quite a lot of BDSM, starting with my early novels THE DARK GARDEN, and THE DARKER SIDE OF PLEASURE, and I'm writing more BDSM books now as Eve Berlin for Berkley Heat (PLEASURE'S EDGE is out now, and DESIRE'S EDGE will be out September 6th, with another book, TEMPTATION'S EDGE, out next year). I’ve explored the topic numerous times, using many of my personal experiences as fodder for my imagination. I believe a writer can do a very good job with a BDSM story as long as they get the basic principles of power play, but for those who’ve actually lived it, there’s always another level there. We recognize it in each other. We seek it out. And I think we’re most satisfied when we find that common ground. All hail the kink!



Here’s a peek at THE TURNING KISS, available now from Samhain Books:

They have nothing to lose…except the one gift they never expected to find.

Midnight Playground, Book 3

Ilana escaped a life of sex slavery, using her extraordinary beauty to survive among the few remaining wealthy humans in London. But she has higher aspirations. For two years she has haunted the BDSM dungeons of the Midnight Playground, hungering for The Turning Kiss—that deep drink that will make her one of them. An immortal vampire.

Turned out onto the streets of Edinburgh as a child, Calam’s tortured path led him to a job at the club, where he also engages in exotic and dangerous sex play with its clientele. Craving, like Ilana, the eternal escape of the Turning Kiss.

Ilana is undeniably drawn to the beautiful Scotsman, but she has no time to waste; the club takes no one over thirty. When a sinfully compelling vampire pair brings them together for an unusual foursome, she and Calam are shocked to discover it isn’t the vampires they crave, it’s the tenderness and emotion they feel for each other.

After years of seeking to feel something, anything, other than the pain of the past, the ultimate gift is within Ilana’s reach. Yet the cost—leaving her heart behind with a mortal—could be more than she can bear.

*****

WARNING: X-RATED!

Luka smiled at her, held out his hand. She rose to meet him.

He stood with her beside the bed, swept the robe from her shoulders and eased her down with his hand. He stripped his clothes off, leaving him naked, dazzling. His body was all perfectly carved muscle. His cock was a long and graceful shaft of rigid flesh. Beautiful. He knelt on the bed, moved to reach past her, touching Calam’s face.

“Wake up, Calam.”

She turned to see Calam’s eyes flutter open, that shining silver brilliant beneath his long auburn lashes. He smiled, sat up, ran a hand over his short crop of dark red curls.

“I want you to hold our magnificent ice queen,” Luka said to him. “Hold her while I spank her.”

She saw Calam’s pleased grin. He sat up, opened his arms to her, and between them Luka and Calam placed her over Calam’s lap. He was hard already, his erection pressing into her belly. She breathed him in, that lovely scent of male and soap. Her come and his. And as Luka leaned over her, she inhaled that pure scent of granite or marble, the scent the vampires wore. She felt the impossibly silken texture of Luka’s hair as his long braid fell over his shoulder and onto her back. Felt as much as she heard him lean in to place a kiss on Calam’s lips.

She was squirming with need, waiting. For one of them to really touch her.

Luka.

Calam.

Calam.

As if he could read her as easily as the vampires did, one of his hands slipped under her to caress her breast, kneading the flesh, his fingers moving over the fullness, then to the taut nipple. At the same time Luka’s hand smoothed over her lower back, her buttocks.

She sighed.

“Ah, you love the spanking,” Luka said. “To feel our hands on your flesh.”

“Yes,” she whispered.

“You find it difficult to wait. You are so much less the ice princess now, Ilana. We love that about you. That the sex itself melts you. That you submit so beautifully. Yet you are still regal in some way. Do you not find her so, Calam?”

“Yes,” he said, his voice thick with desire. As thick as his swollen cock. “Beautiful and elegant, always.”

“Even as she is being spanked,” Luka said. He brought his hand down in a hard slap across her ass.

“Oh!”

“Absolutely,” Calam agreed, humor and need in his voice.

Another slap, but this time she knew it was leather. A small flogger, perhaps. Lust rose, spiraled, soaking her sex.

“Are you wet for us, beauty?” Luka asked. “Tell me, Calam. Do you find her wet with need?”

Calam slid a hand under her hip, his fingers slipping in her juices. She moaned.

“Ah, she’s wet and ready, Luka. Her pussy is like silk.”

“Keep your hand on her while I whip her. While we watch her beautiful ass turn pink.”

“Gladly,” Calam answered.

Luka began the flogging then, a series of hard smacks on her ass with the strands of leather. And Calam kept his hand between her thighs, his fingers rubbing at her slit, at her swollen clitoris. Soon she was completely out of her head. With pleasure. With endorphins, as she slipped deeper and deeper into subspace, that misty place her mind went to when she submitted. It was a relief, as always, to give up all control. And the pleasure was exquisite.

The flogging went on, punctuated by Luka stroking her hot, sore skin with his palm, creating a wonderful contrast. Calam’s cock grew even harder against the soft flesh of her stomach. She spread her thighs without even thinking about it, wanting…everything. To be fucked. Spanked. Caressed.

“Ah, she is wanton,” Luka said, pausing to pinch the inside of her thigh.

She gasped. He laughed. But there was nothing mean in it. He was simply pleased with her response.

“I love that about her,” Calam said quietly. There was still desire in his tone. But something else… It was too hard to think. She was overcome with sensation. “I love her response to every small touch. To what you’re saying.”

“Oh yes, she loves even that. To hear the words spoken.”

“So do I,” Calam said.

Another small chuckle from Luka. Then, “I want to fuck her. So do you.”

“Gods, yes!”

*****

CONTEST! If you'd like to be entered to win an e-copy of my contemporary BDSM novella, BREAKING SKYE, just comment here and tell me what your favorite reading kink is. Do you like to read spanking stories? Rope bondage? Or the heavier stuff-whips and floggers, Master/slave relationships, training houses? I've written about all of these things, plus food fetish, sploshing, even a train fetish-so don't be shy-I'm never one to judge. I'll choose a winner tomorrow, so check back to see if you've won!

*****

Meanwhile, you can find more info about my books-or me!-on my websites: www.EdenBradley.com or www.EveBerlin.com or on my group blog www.Smutketeers.com



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Calling it play

I hang out on Fetlife a lot. (I may have mentioned this before.) You can talk about practically anything there, kink or non-kink. You can even talk about Fetlife, and many people do! I myself run a group called “The Social Psychology of Fetlife.” Online group behaviour can be quite fascinating.

But of course, mostly folks are there to discuss bdsm in one form or another, at least some of the time. Or to link up. There are huge numbers of local groups announcing events. With over 800,000 members and 27,000 groups, there’s a lot going on. And if one word comes up more than most, it’s “play.”

There’s a culture – here’s where social psychology comes in – of “the scene,” which is about events and play parties. A pervasive assumption that this is how it’s done: semi-public scenes with strangers or mere acquaintances either involved or observing. And this puzzled the hell out of me when I first came across it, and made me wonder. Were these people all exhibitionists / voyeurs? Something I thought of as incredibly private was obviously seen very differently by the majority of kinksters. Even in my horniest youth, when my body wanted nothing better than to be tied and spanked, I could never have imagined some stranger’s hand doing the deed. Even then, for me it was all about relationship.

A relationship that included actual power, of someone else over me. For real. Not some negotiated bit of play in a club that I could end with the merest safeword, and talk about afterwards on an equal footing. That would imply that it was all about sensation, and that sensation could be enough. Which for me just wasn’t the case.

The other day I ran across a thread on Fetlife in which a woman wrote that using the word “play” for bdsm activity didn’t feel right to her. It sounded too light and frivolous for something that for her would be rather serious and important. She was something of a newbie. Most of the responses suggested that the woman lighten up, since there was nothing wrong with having fun. I don’t think they got the question. One poster put his finger on it when he said the issue wasn’t “play” vs. “work;” it was “play” vs. “real.” Is this just playacting, or does it mean something? Momentary enjoyment or an expression of something deeper? Or something in between?

A Fetlife friend of mine, oatmealgirl, who writes a lovely blog called Submission and Metaphor, commented on the “play” vs. “real” issue by saying, “I don’t play, I submit.” She takes what she does very seriously – not without humour or lightness, but with a great deal of meaning.

There’s nothing in the least wrong with play, or playacting, or role playing, or sensation, or exhibitionism, or bdsm as performance art. There’s nothing wrong with fantasizing about bdsm without taking it to the point of reality in any form. One of the commonest complaints in the bdsm world is about 24/7 types looking down on those who “only play,” while the ones who engage less intensively make fun of those who adhere to “the lifestyle” as if it was a religious faith, complete with doctrine (e.g. The Gospel of Gor). There is also the gospel of Safe, Sane and Consensual, which holds that everything must be public so that experts can supervise the doms and test the knots.

Another type of thread that puzzles me is the person asking for guidance on what they should do with their partner. Not just fun and kinky ideas, but on what they should do. Aren’t they into this because they have some ideas of their own? Because something in the bdsm spectrum intrigues them and turns them on?

As has been said a million times, there’s no one way to do this. We all find the path that works for us. The trick is to thread our way between the assumptions and directives, the groupthink and the safety czars, to explore and see what resonates. It’s a process, and a captivating one.

What’s your process been like? Do the broad paths work for you, or would they take you in the wrong direction? Are the twisty paths suspect, or are they the most intriguing? How does the word “play” work for you?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Kink Mondays: Chastity Belts

Here’s a real speciality item! No, they aren’t just in cartoons about knights going off to the crusades with a key to their ladies’ virtue. They really exist, honest!

A few weeks ago I wrote a kink Monday post about teasing and denial. Chastity belts take this concept to another level. Teasing and denial doesn’t have to include a d/s dynamic-- it can be a mutually-agreed-upon game or even a solitary activity – but when it is part of a power exchange relationship, some bondage may apply.

Perving on relevant sites has convinced me that the vast majority of those engaged in teasing and denial make use of firm orders and willpower rather than locks and keys. But there is a minority that prefers reinforcement with hardware. I suspect that most cb aficionados are also big on bondage devices generally, especially those made of metal. Shackles, chains, padlocks and other dungeonware; implacable instruments that make it all feel very real and scary. What could be more real and scary than tight metal locking up one’s most sensitive bits, with someone else holding the key?

There are so-called chastity belts made of leather, intended for brief play use, and these are no doubt fun for an hour or two. But the real thing is designed for longer-term wear, allowing for natural functions, bathing and concealment under clothes. Real long-term bondage, while walking around like a normal person! Of course, such devices have to be carefully fitted, and are very expensive, but a number of manufacturers have come (and gone) who design and sell them. CB discussion boards are obsessed with their tiniest technical detail. Need I say that these boards are almost entirely populated by men? By male subs, I should say. The thought of handing power over their very male paraphernalia to someone else seems to rock their boats in a serious way.

In contrast, the market for female chastity belts is quite limited. It’s not that the idea has no appeal. But once again we are doomed by our anatomy. It’s perfectly possible to prevent full erections in men, and preventing male orgasms is on the tricky side but apparently not impossible. On a woman, the most you can manage is to prevent intercourse, and make orgasm difficult. Oh, yeah, and it looks cool.

The whole idea can be a turn-on, and a fascinating bit of power exchange. It’s in both my books in a big way. Realizing the fantasy is a tricky bugger, however, requiring much disposable income, patience and a really obsessive determination to lock or be locked.

A Google search will turn up many a site and pervy pic, if you’re curious. The oldest site on the net on the subject is at www.tpe.com/~altarboy, though I think the pictures are down (and yes, the fact that my own site shares a server is not a coincidence). I’m guessing my own particular obsession looks pretty fringe and freaky. Tell me, does the idea ring anyone else’s bells?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

No poetry today--a funny site instead!

Howdy everyone. I know you've become accustomed--nay, addicted!--to kinky poetry on your Sundays. But today we have something new!

I thought in the interest of advancing the cause of kinky laughter, I'd feature a wonderful website called



BDSM Bad Advice

I have spent much time there laughing my @ss off! Artists Jonathan Byrel Moore and Chris Kelsey create hilarious cartoons poking fun at some of the sillier aspects of what-it-is-that-we-do. They also have a Twitter feed you can subscribe to, so you can be notified whenever a new cartoon is posted.

If you've never visited this site, check it out. We can all use some BDSM (bad) advice at times. :-)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Secret Reader

One of the lovely things about the e-book reader is the fact that it lets one read whatever one wants with perfect anonymity, anywhere one wants, and no one knows whether you’re reading Three Men in a Boat -- okay, the might think that’s a gay ménage, anyway -- er, Les Miserables, or As She's Told. Or anything in between. Men can now read romances in public. Women can now read porn. Yay, freedom!

Of course, before the e-book reader, there was the book cover, but book covers just meant people assumed you were reading smut no matter what, and would crane to get a better look. At least, that’s what I assumed they’d do. The one person I know who used book covers was actually reading SF novels most of the time, and I know because I craned.

There’s a good side and a bad side to this, of course. The bad side is that you’re less likely to meet someone with similar interests, but the internet provides those opportunities in abundance. All you have to do is read this blog! The good side is that you don’t have to worry that someone is going to decide that if you like “those kind of books” you might enjoy being stalked. I’m thinking the good outweighs the bad, and I think I’m only slightly prejudiced by the fact that I earn part of my living by selling e-books.

So there we are with our Kindle in hand, reading Comfort Object, sitting on the subway, secure in the fact that our expression and manner clearly indicates that we are a Jane Austen reader. It all seems like a good plan, until things start getting heated. Am I blushing? Will anyone notice my discreet little squirms? And how awkward it is when Nell is getting a good arse fucking and you feel like the young man next to you is reading every line, even though you know his angle makes that almost impossible?

Despite what I read and write, I’ve never felt like I knew what kind of books anyone else was reading on their e-reader. I might enjoy thinking they’re reading one of my books, but the odds aren’t especially good, and I know that. I have never ever thought, “Oh, that person’s clearly reading something that’s making them horny.” So my guess is that it is, in fact, perfectly fine to read that BDSM novel in public.

In fact... I think I may even get a perverse thrill from it. :)

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?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Kink Monday: Figging

We are told the practice of figging was originally practiced on horses. Apparently stuffing a piece of ginger up a horse's ass made him step higher and look lively, and into a mares vagina made her step higher and look lively. The practice was originally called feagueing, but has turned into figging. These days I think the horses are all safe, it's just the submissives and masochists with bits of ginger stuffed here and there.

One of the interesting qualities of ginger is that it doesn't actually burn sensitive tissues, it just does something to the nerve endings so they think they are being burned. Unlike hot peppers or Tabasco sauce, ginger does not cause any harm. It feels like it, but it doesn't. That makes it perfect for BDSM play. (Unless you're allergic to ginger, of course.)

You can buy large pieces of ginger root at most grocery stores and pretty much all Asian markets. Once you get it home, you peel it and then shape it into a butt plug, making sure the part that will be clenched upon is thick enough to handle it, and that the flange is wide enough the plug won't get lost. It doesn't have to be a big plug, just make sure you get the shape right. You don't want to use any lube, if you wet the plug in cold water it will be slippery enough to slide in. If you use lube it acts as a barrier and keeps the ginger juice from doing its job.

The ginger juice feels like liquid fire. It feels like I imagine Tobasco sauce would feel, but since I've never experienced Tobasco sauce, I can't be sure about that. I believe it is possible the ginger hurts worse. Also, any clenching one does makes it hurt even worse, as it squeezes a little more of the juice out.

Some people say the oldest looking ginger is the spiciest, others advise you to go for the younger looking ginger. Personally, I think you have to find the balance between old enough to be mature but not so old that it has dried out. It needs to still be juicy. The burn will be a bit different each time you do it, as some ginger is going to be stronger than other ginger. My advice is to buy the largest piece you can find that still has a mostly smooth exterior.

So that's the technical bits. Now for the fun stuff.

I know of a couple who only use ginger for punishment. Ginger does no harm, so she isn't allowed safeword out of it. She is restrained, the ginger goes in, she gets whatever spanking or flogging or caning she has coming to her, and then she stays in place for thirty minutes before being released and being allowed to remove the ginger. She's enough of a masochist that impact play isn't enough, but she can't handle the burn of the ginger, so this works well for them.

The practice of figging is especially good if the Dom is trying to teach the submissive to relax and not clench up during impact play. It burns enough without clenching, thank-you-very-much.

There are plenty of people who do it for pleasure though, and not just as a training or punishment exercise. Figging creates heat. A lot of heat. And if you can keep it in long enough, you can reach a different sort of subspace. I'm still not sure if it's the endorphins that put you there, or if it is a result of the ginger root juice making its way into your bloodstream and creating an altered state of consciousness. But it's certainly there. It takes at least 15 or 20 minutes though, so you'll need to stick with it a while. Ginger is generally listed on those lists of herbs rumored to be an aphrodisiac. While I don't think it is an aphrodisiac when ingested in the normal way, it certainly seems to be when inserted into body parts.

It's not just for the ass, either. Female Dommes have the option of placing a sliver into the slit of their submissive's cock. And I've heard from people who have had pieces of ginger placed along both sides of their clit. There is also the practice of putting it into the vagina, but I don't know anyone who has tried that.

The burn builds, and keeps building. If you think at two or three minutes that this is no big deal, it might be wise to not say that aloud until you reach the fifteen minute point. Some ginger is still easily tolerable at fifteen minutes, but other is... not. The great thing about ginger though, is that the burn stops when the ginger is removed. You'll still feel slightly tingly for perhaps ten or fifteen minutes, but the burn stops.

She is restrained over the spanking stool, wrists and thighs held firmly in place, ass high in the air. He stands in front of her, taking his time peeling the ginger and then carving it so it's just right. When he's satisfied with his creation he gives her his most sadistic grin and walks around behind her. She hears the sound of something being dunked in the ice water, and then feels him part her ass and begin inserting the ginger. It's cool at first, but she knows that will soon change.

His footsteps move him away from her, and then bring him back. He walks in front of her again, making sure she sees the cane in his hands. It's the Lexan cane. She is afraid of the Lexan cane.

"You'll clench when you're told, or I'll make you clench with this."

Just his words have her clenching. Ouch, there's the burn starting. She immediately relaxes as much as possible. "Yes Sir."

He walks around behind her and runs his fingers lightly up and down the outside of her pussy lips a few times. The burn is getting a bit intense, and she is trying to stay as relaxed as possible. And then his deep baritone voice vibrates across her soul as he gently says, "Clench and hold."

Does that sound like fun to you? Or something out of a nightmare?


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Guest Haiku with Strictest

I have to defer to the master...Strictest writes much better kinky haiku than me. He said I could share his impressive collection, so he'll be dropping by as a guest haiku poster now and again on Sunday.

God, I adore that man. And not just for his leather pants. :)

Without further ado...

Basement, mid winter,
Two of them: the sound of the
one paddle spanking.


Does a whip have the
Buddha-nature? Strip down and
I'll let you find out.



She pressed her body
against the cross. Heaving, moist.
He picked up the whip.


Still trembling, speechless.
Her head resting in his lap,
fresh welts on her back.


On her knees, eager,
an image of devotion.
Born to satisfy.


Phew. I'll be in the cold shower over there.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Writing the Cringy Things

A couple of weeks ago, there was a discussion about rape and rape fantasy at the popular readers' website Dear Author based around a thoughtfully written Opinion Letter by "Reader A." I began to read this reader's post with great interest, being fascinated myself with the politics of force, rape, and dubious consent in romantic books. Shortly into her piece, she admits that, even as someone who enjoys rape fantasy, she had read one erotica scene that left her chilled. I was thinking to myself, hmm. Wonder what scene that was?

A paragraph later she reveals that the scene in question was in Mercy, a book written by me.

I had a horror flush reaction. My heart raced and my blood thumped in my ears to see my book and my name written there on the screen. This kind reader went on to say that she didn't have a problem with the rest of the book--just this one particular scene. That comforted me (and made me very curious about what scene she was talking about.)

Still...

It got me thinking about writing "the cringy things." Do we? Don't we? Should we? Shouldn't we? As authors, we have all been chided in reviews or critiques for having our characters do things or think things that readers disapprove of. I was scolded on an author's board and in a Dear Author discussion a couple years ago, regarding my Dom Jeremy and his behavior in Comfort Object. But, in a recent poll on my site, readers voted him the #1 winner in a "Battle of the Doms." Matthew, the Dom in Mercy, gave Reader A and surely many more readers uncomfortable and angry feelings. Nonetheless, Mercy is by far my bestselling book and has been so for many months now.

So what is a writer to do? To be honest, I don't have much control over those cringy moments. My characters seem to create them on their own when I'm trying to portray these complex power exchange relationships. BDSM is not always pretty. Wait, strike that. BDSM is sometimes horrifyingly ugly, just like any other intense emotional relationship. But I also know there is a large readership that is attracted to that "warts-and-all" view, even in romance.

And the why of why I don't edit those moments out...or rewrite them to be more palatable... I suppose that is the privilege of being the writer and not the reader. If the scene is in there, I feel it belongs there, issues of romance, feminism, and fantasy aside. Of course, I apologize to readers like Reader A, who may find my cringy-er scenes disturbing or distasteful. But whenever I write something cringy into a plot, it's never because I have some rape- or anti-woman agenda, or because I wish to disturb my readers.

I think it's just because real life is cringy sometimes... Men and women do make mistakes and hurt each other in the pursuit of love and happily ever after. To feel intensely and to love intensely is also to risk erring intensely. But the wonderful thing about romance is that we can watch our H/h redeem themselves and come out on the other side stronger than they were before.

How do you feel about rough, cringy scenes in your romance novels? Want? Don't want? Want only under certain conditions?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

SSC versus RACK

SSC means Safe, Sane, and Consensual. And that works well for many people playing around with BDSM. If those three terms are met then everything is fine.

However, for some people, SSC doesn't work so well with their kinks and fantasies and desires. One person's definition of insane is perfectly rational and sane to another. And one person's definition of safe may seem a bit too risky for someone else.

RACK stands for Risk Aware Consensual Kink. It acknowledges that much of what we do has some inherent risks. RACK acknowledges those risks and looks for ways to minimize them where possible. SSC says if it isn't safe you don't do it. RACK says we understand there may be a risk, but we've educated ourselves about it and know how to minimize the risks, and we choose to take the chance from an informed perspective. It's a different mindset.

With needle play and knife play there is risk of infection. With wax play and fire play there is risk of being burned. There are risks with electrical play, breath play, suspension bondage, watersports... the list goes on. Risk can be minimized with proper education, but there is still risk.

Why do people do it? Why take the risk? Personally, I think a big part of it has to do with the level of trust involved in taking things to that level. But that's not all of it - if you are turned on by bondage then five years from now you may need to take it to the next level to keep it fresh and new and still be turned on by it - that could mean suspension bondage.

And that leads me to talking about SSC versus RACK when it comes to erotica. Most of what I see in the popular consensual romantic BDSM books out there is SSC. But, most of those books are the beginning of a relationship, and often one of the partners is new to the scene. So SSC fits in with that basic template. But is that why most authors seem to stick to the tenets of SSC? Or is it that the readers are more comfortable with that?

There are a few edge activities that make it into books -- wax play, branding, and suspension bondage, for instance. But what about some of the less socially accepted, edgier, activities? Needle play? Breath control? Knife play? Fire play? Catheters? Would the extra risk, done responsibly, be more spice for you, or would it be a turn off?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Plot or Not?

Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m a total wuss. When the background music goes into that minor-key “danger” riff, I dive right out the door. Or I used to. Now I just stay away from the television altogether.

I don’t need bad guys in my fiction. There are enough of them in the real world (mostly politicians) and they upset me plenty; do I have to deal with them in my off hours, too? I hate knowing that there are helpless victims in the world; it’s painful.

Now, this may look like a contradiction. After all, what am I writing about (and turned on by) but helplessness in the hands of strength? But for me the similarity is superficial, not real. In my fantasies there’s always consent up front, safety, sanity. Nonconsent is too scary; I can’t go there.

Take out bad guys, risky, non-consensual action, genuine fear, and you lose most of the traditional plot devices. Which is fine with me, but also creates a certain level of confusion in my readers, who keep expecting for something big to happen. A breakup, a breakdown, a kidnapping – something. When Lisabet Sarai reviewed As She’s Told for Erotica Revealed, despite giving it two thumbs up, she complained that there wasn’t enough conflict or revelation; no big climactic finish. (I’d argue that there is conflict, revelation and growth, but it’s internal.)

And here we come to the standard plot trajectories. Readers have expectations. Viewers do too. There are cues: falling shadows, a character with no apparent ties to the plot, a phone call in the middle of the night with no voice at the other end. Romance plots require misunderstandings, pride, abduction, gulfs of class or distance – something separating the lovers before the final revelation and happily-ever-after. (See, I’m so out of that loop that I don’t even write HEA.)

But what I’ve written about so far is relationships. Deeply kinky ones, but nevertheless relationships as they develop. Is there not enough drama in that? I’d like to think so. People can be fascinating as they change and adjust and create something new, something larger than themselves. There’s a plot going on, but it’s subtle, enmeshed in the slowly developing kink trajectory.

What’s your take on this? Does lots of external action and tension make a book a better read? Do you prefer certain types of plots over others?

Can lovers living in harmony win your heart?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Kink Monday - 1950's Household

I'm following up last Monday's Domestic Discipline post with a 1950's Household post, since the two are somewhat related. In kink circles, you will often find the DD (domestic discipline) and TIH (Taken in Hand) folks hanging out with the 1950's crowd, just because they are all more or less throwback kinks. In fact, I tried to get a DD/TIH/1950's group going in my hometown but apparently there just aren't many people practicing this kink where I live. Or perhaps it's just that these home-based dynamics are just very private for people. I know I couldn't imagine my husband carrying out a DD style lecture and punishment as part of a play party. But I digress...

1950's Household is more a social than sexual fetish. It basically involves the playing of "traditional" gender roles. In a 1950's dynamic, the man is the head of the household, and the woman is generally playing at housewife under his domain. The nice thing about 1950's is that you can do it tongue-in-cheek if you wish. You can do it just for a while, and then return to equitable roles when you feel like it -- unlike actual 1950's housewives, who probably were grabbing a drink behind the china cabinet now and again to deal with their subservient lives.

In modern-day 1950's play, the woman chooses to be submissive and serve her husband. The man can choose to be the man of the house, bring home the bacon, and do all the manly tasks around the house. The woman may wear an apron, full makeup, high heels, and whip up a casserole before greeting her husband at the door. Clothes are fun to play with in this dynamic. The woman might only be permitted to wear dresses. The man should certainly wear at least a tie so he can loosen it when he gets home.

When my husband and I play 1950's, a lot of the fun comes from the housewife rebelling against the husband or doing a shoddy job on the ironing or cooking. Of course, this kind of willful housewifely behavior must be nipped in the bud with a good over the knee spanking or a belting over the sofa. The tie comes in handy again! Great for tying up the "wife."

I put "wife" in quotes because any fun-loving kink couple can play 1950's for an evening or even a weekend while the kids are a grandma's. You don't have to be married! Some couples may choose to live 1950's as more of a 24/7 dynamic. The wife literally stays home and keeps house. The couple may stay in their roles the majority of the time, if those roles are comfortable to them.

Overall, 1950's is just a fun way to explore traditional "retro" gender roles and play with stereotypes, while working in a spanking or two. If you are looking for new scene ideas as a Dom/sub couple, you may find 1950's a real adventure. Bonus points for going to vintage thrift shops and getting some period attire!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Kinky Limerick Sunday

Oh, snizz-zap! Did you think I was a one-trick pony? No, I write kinky limericks too. I know what you're thinking. Multi-talented. Yep. Without further ado:

There was a young sub from Kenzie
who sent all the Doms into a frenzy.
She took the flogger with grace,
and had a beautiful face,
and a body that was nice and bendy.


(okay, okay, I never said I was good at writing limericks!)

There was a hot Dom from Charlotte
Who liked to spank women scarlet.
Their asses were sore
but they begged him for more.
He turned them all into harlots.


(That was better, yeah?)

There was a male sub from Rafferty
who craved to be put into chastity.
He locked up his cock
Tossed the keys off a dock
Now he's questioning his sanity.


Voila! Limericks are not that hard. You have to start by finding three rhymy-ish words, one of which is a place name. Another pair of rhymes in the middle and there you go. Post your own--if you dare!

Phew. Next week I think we'll be back to Haiku.