Friday, August 31, 2012

Exhibitionism Isn't New

Recently, I've been working on a story with a dominant who is very much into exhibitionism. His soon-to-be-submissive is completely new to not only the kink lifestyle, but sex as well. Because of this and the heroine's body image issues, I was drawn to the idea of a bedding ceremony for their first time together.

I know, a bit extreme especially for a virgin, but I kept getting flashes of scenes from old historical romances I had read. Which got me thinking and researching. Not always a good thing, but in this case, pretty helpful for the project I'm working on. Then it hit me that I could use a bit of the information I'd gleaned to write up a quick blog for Kinky Ever After.

I love how publishers and some readers are surprised by the BDSM and kink lifestyle. As if it suddenly dropped onto the planet yesterday...or whenever they picked up their first book that had the kink element in it. Dominant/submissive relationships have existed for millennia in one form or another. Even the use of sex toys has been dated as far back as the Bronze Age, I believe. So, exhibitionism is nothing new and it was, in fact, part of the wedding ceremonies of higher ranking members of society during the Medieval period. It was called the 'bedding' ceremony.

A bedding ceremony ended the festivities (the wedding feasts) of the nobles and wealthier classes. Depending on the country and the customs, the event included the female guests stripping the bride, the male guests stripping the groom, both groups tucking the pair into bed together and lots of ribald jokes and suggestions. Now, in some cases, the groom would be brought to the bride in a robe and the bride would already be tucked into bed. Other situations have the guests in the room watching the couple consummate their marriage. (Talk about performance anxiety!) Still other scenarios have the guests in the room but with the bed curtains closed, or the guests just outside the door.

No matter which way you look at it, it's exhibitionism -- public display. Somebody is watching. Seeing every touch and caress; every kiss and embrace. And the perfect beginning to the relationship between my characters.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Writing to extremes

Is there a tendency for d/s fantasies, and the fiction based on them, to go to extremes? Not a universal trend, obviously. Certainly not the mainstream of bdsm fiction, whatever that might be. I’d guess that it happens more in porn than erotica, more in fiction meant for men than in that meant for women. Which makes me an outlier. Because when it comes to extremes, my books sure go the distance.

Fiction is a bit like dreams, in that real world boundaries are missing. You know those dreams where some small element goes out of control, becoming more and more outlandish? I think that’s just because there’s nothing to stop it – like being on a trampoline without benefit of gravity (come to think of it, I’ve dreamt that, too).

There are more constraints in fiction than in dreams (assuming you want anyone to read what you’ve written). But it’s so easy to take the next step, and the step after that, and arrange for reality to adjust to your latest extravagance. If a sub can be spanked for five minutes, why not ten? If a week of orgasm denial is hot, then a month is even hotter, and six months is incendiary. For the writer / owner of the fantasy, of course; not necessarily for the reader.

Because of course these powerful extremes are the wilder fantasies, the visions so linked to arousal that they lose their tether to anything resembling Planet Earth, and take off like achingly over-pumped helium balloons. These are the kinds of thing you might imagine when you’re this close to orgasm. In other words, fap fodder.

Does this perhaps explain why the extremes are more common in d/s fiction meant for men, and why my male readers seem to object so rarely to the lengths (or depths) to which my fictional doms will go? Or maybe it has something to do with the way men are better at compartmentalizing. Jerkoff material is for jerking off; when you’re done it goes in that box over there, with the dirty socks. It doesn’t engender worry and empathy, pervade the consciousness or turn up on the grocery list, the way it might do for women.

Women are in fact better at multitasking than men; research proves it. Our corpus callosum – the connection between our right and left brain hemispheres – is on average thicker than men’s. We’re good at making connections, emotional and otherwise. What we’re not so good at is tucking something away and forgetting about it; our brains don’t tend to work that way. So maybe when it comes to kink fantasy, women aren’t so likely to just enjoy the ride without worrying about the fictional slaves pulling the carriage.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Kinky Haiku--Denial edition

Leather holds me fast.
He whispers against my neck.
I shudder and sob.

Can't see, only feel.
Fingertips trace and tease like
a soft fall of rain.

"Please, may I come, Sir?"
A chuckle. A slap and pinch.
"No, good girl. Not yet."

Friday, August 17, 2012

No Nookie Without Motivation

I can't write sex.

I mean really, seriously, I just finished writing the first book in a short series and the only scene I couldn't write was the sex scene. Worse yet, I couldn't write the kink either. Of course I tried and tried to write both, but it was like attempting to eat soup with a fork--and almost as ridiculous looking.

Then my friend (I hate you by the way--but not in a bad way) Elijana Kindel pointed out something that I should have known or noticed long before. "There's no reason Rose needs to have sex with Ibraham." No reason? It's a romance novel, an erotic romance novel. There's every reason why they need to have sex by this scene in the book. Nookie is necessary to drive the plot forward....

That's when she pelted me in the face with logic and reality -- "You're not a plot driven writer." And I'm not, but apparently I've been trying to be plot-driven for a while now, and it's messed with my writing mojo jojo.

For me, as Elijana so graciously pointed out, the sex between my characters is driven by their growth. Which in turn, is impelled forward by the establishment and increased trust developing between them. This is an important factor for me -- trust. Important because it's the varying levels of trust that allow my subs to enter freely into relationships with their Doms.

I'm all about trust. Because what's more important to a person's decision to hand over their body and heart to someone than trust? If they feel, even the slightest bit hesitant that their gift will be respected and treated appropriately by their lover, then it will show in their responses. The pleasure won't be there, or not as much as it could be.

So, in my world trust is key. There isn't any sex without affection. There isn't any affection without trust. Most importantly for me and my characters, there's no kink if there is no trust. Many times my characters instinctively trust their partners, but the head tends to override the gut until it gets on board and can see the fun that can be had.

So, while I have walked my way around my temp job for the last three days, I have slowly and methodically begun to draw the picture of just how the motivation of my characters and their growth as individuals is bound to their developing Dom/sub relationships. With luck readers will like my Poker Posse series.

Must run now...temp job awaits! Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Other worlds

There’s something about the idea of publicly acknowledged power exchange. Kinky relationships in private are all very well, but for some, the more people who know, the hotter it gets. That may have something to do with the humiliation factor. I’ve noticed that readers who hate humiliation seem to prefer their fictional characters to keep their kinky behaviour to themselves. A preference for out-of-the-closet m/s may also have to do with the intensity of the power exchange. Fictional slavery that’s gone public is slavery with law and custom behind it. That means the owner has Power with a capital P. If that gave you a yummy little shiver, put up your hand.

When the story is about masters and slaves, owners and property, authors cook up all sorts of creative ways to make the bondage stick. Mysterious islands, pirates, slave planets, aliens with a fetish for human chattel. Secret societies, thugs with warehouses full of caged beauties, oriental flesh markets. Or historical fiction set in a time when people could be property. Whatever will make the slavery “real.”

Consent is, of course, a tricky issue in stories like these. I had to maneuver the plot of Owned and Owner through some narrow windows so that my s-type could be utterly helpless and yet totally consenting. Many authors go with the I-hate-it-I-love-it approach, as their outraged heroine succumbs to her inner submissive. And if the heroine isn’t kidnapped into slavery, it’s astonishing how often she’s kidnapped by bad guys and has to be rescued by her true dom (with a nod to Annabel’s rescue theme). It’s as if the kidnapping has to get in there one way or another.

Anyway, my main point was about the elaborate worlds we concoct for our naughty purposes. What imaginations we have! How many ways we contrive to render our characters helpless! I don’t know about you, but from a very early age I spent every minute of my time between lights-out and sleep, creating worlds like this. Sometimes I’d spend more time working out the society’s custom’s and belief systems than visualizing the payoff: naked slaves in bondage. Speculative kinky sociology; now there’s a specialty!

The book I’m working on currently has a string of fantasy worlds, so this sort of thing is on my mind a lot. What about you; Is there a secret slave society living in your head?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Safety and being saved

A couple weeks ago on Twitter, Serenity of At a Kinky House posted about my novel Cait and the Devil. She said it affected her because her own relationship was built so much on safety, just as Duncan is charged with looking after Cait. That got me thinking about the connection between submission and feelings of safety.

In a way, it makes perfect sense. It's really difficult to submit to someone who makes you feel endangered. Edge players do it, of course, but most of us prefer to know no harm will come to us, that our dominant will not ask us to do anything that will injure or maim us. With domination comes an unspoken responsibility, an ethical mandate to take care. There's something very safe in that kind of set up.

There is also safety to be found in obedience. Obedience is so simple. You can't do the wrong thing, or the inappropriate thing, as long as you do as you are instructed. There's no apologizing later or feeling like you screwed up. As long as you obey, you're a "good girl" or a "good boy" and to a submissive, that's a very heady feeling. It certainly feels safe.

For me, it goes a step further, not just being safe, but being saved. I've always fetishized peril and rescue. My favorite romance novels were the ones where the hero saved the damsel in distress. I was so confused when I learned that some romance readers are turned off by this trope, that it speaks of female weakness and helplessness to them. I guess I never saw it that way--I saw it more as male strength than female weakness. In most cases the damsels in distress were otherwise strong women who couldn't catch a break.

I've felt like that at times in my life. Haven't you? And I dreamed of someone saving me, and many times, someone did. It's a huge fantasy for me and so I find it popping up in my books a lot, these dramatic rescues. In Cait and the Devil, Duncan rescues and avenges her, with the help of Cait's priestess mother.  In Cirque du Minuit, Theo rescues Kelsey at the same time he puts her in danger. In Deep in the Woods, Sophie's rescue comes via Cerberus, the dog, although our hero Dave is an integral part of it too. And of course, Kyle rescues Nell in Comfort Object at a very high personal price.

I think feelings of safety will always go hand in hand with submission for me. I'm sure people submit for a plethora of reasons, but at the core of my submission is appreciation for a caring and protective dominant. If he didn't make me feel so safe, I wouldn't feel comfortable giving him so much.

It's power exchange, totally. Submission in exchange for safety. To me, it's a great trade.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Release Day!!!! Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon

Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon by Candace Blevins

The second half of Dana and Zach's story is available!

Some of you will remember this post about emotional books I made back in February. The story I was writing turned into two books: Safeword: Davenport, and Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon.

You have a chance to win a copy of either Safeword: Matte, Safeword: Davenport, or Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon at the Scorching Book Reviews BDSM Blog Hop.

Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon is for sale everywhere this morning except Barnes and Noble and Fictionwise. It should be up at Barnes and Noble before much longer, but Fictionwise sometimes takes weeks to put books into their catalog.


Buy it at:
Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon at Amazon Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon at Excessica Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon at Barnes and Noble Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon at Bookstrand Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon at Fictionwise
Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon at Smashwords Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon at ARE Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon at Books on Board Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon at 1 Place for Romance

Safewords Davenport and Chiffon

Safeword: Davenport by Candace Blevins  Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon by Candace Blevins