Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Flavors of BDSM -- Fiction vs Real Life

There are thousands of ways a BDSM relationship can manifest between two (or more) people. It can be mostly D/s with no S&M, it can be all S&M with no power exchange, it can be a combination of D/s and S&M. For those who flavor things with D/s, the submissive can be submissive only during scenes, or only submissive sexually, or submissive for everything. The levels of power exchange can extend from being mostly hands off with only a few rules, all the way to a TPE relationship where practically every minute of the day is micromanaged.

Various fetishes can also come into play -- objectification, medical play, puppy play, age play. These things can also make the relationship look completely different.

As long as there is consent, none of these things are right or wrong.

When we start talking fiction, multiply the possibilities at least ten-fold. Suddenly you can have a situation where money is no object and the slave doesn't need to work, can be isolated and trained, and taken to depths an actual human likely shouldn't be taken. Or you can have an almost all-powerful vampire who can bring the submissive to the point of death and revive them with blood. You also don't have to worry about those real life annoyances like your arms falling asleep when bound to the cross too long, or your knee caps not working if you kneel on a hard floor any time you aren't being used.

Authors can also play around with dubious-consent or even non-consensual fantasies. After all, it's just words on a page, no one is actually being hurt. It's a safe way to explore dark fantasies.

I enjoy reading books where things are taken farther than I can go in real life. I love books that push the envelope, the ones that challenge the boundaries I've erected in my mind. I don't mind the vampire stuff going way out of bounds, but I usually prefer the non-paranormal to stay at least semi-realistic. 

My Safeword series is all consensual, responsible, BDSM. I still head off into adventurous territory, but I want to show it's possible to handle edge play and serious power exchange relationships responsibly. I don't take things farther on the page than can be done in real life, though -- most of my submissives kneel on a soft surface, for instance.

There are some who disagree with me, who say that, as I delve into consensual-non-consent, I've gone beyond the boundaries of responsible. For a couple who doesn't know each other well, I kind of agree with them. However, for a long term relationship with lots of trust and communication? I know it can be done responsibly, because I've lived it. In some ways the reality sucks in comparison to the fantasy, but in other ways it far surpasses the fantasy. I hope to eventually show that dichotomy in a book -- likely the follow-up to Safeword: Matte, if I can ever finish my current WIP.

Eventually, I'll be exploring even darker subjects. Eventually, I'll take better advantage of the whole "fiction" thing, and delve into fantasy even more. For now, I've lots of ideas for stories that will keep everything realistic as I explore edge play.

Do you enjoy reading books that mirror your own preferences? Or you do enjoy reading books that take you farther?


2 comments:

  1. Although I usually read books that mirror my own preferences I don't mind reading something that takes me a bit farther.

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  2. I don't actually have any personal experience with BDSM, but I do read a lot of it. I do find that I like books that take me farther, push my boundaries a little. I tend to get tired of reading the same thing over & over (I think everyone does). By trying different books that push my limits, I don't get bored.

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