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.

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