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There are some universal values in BDSM stories, such as “safe, sane and consensual.” Every author approaches these values differently. As a lawyer, I was intrigued by the notion of a contract to govern the BDSM activities and relationship between two people. The Bequest - 200x300

Here’s what law students learn about what makes a contract valid: you need an offer, acceptance, and consideration. Consideration isn’t politeness, by the way, it’s payment or sacrifice. If I offer to give you something and you accept, there’s no contract because you didn’t provide any consideration. (This paragraph, plus another few hundred hours of boring material, a ton of debt and a lot of stressful tests, will earn you a law degree.)

The other way you know if a contract is valid is if you can enforce it in a court of law. BDSM contracts aren’t enforceable because the whole idea of “owning” another human is contrary to public policy. And yet, I’m positive that there are Master/slave contracts in the world and not just in erotica. It’s never a bad thing to write things down—even if it’s only your shopping list. It’s never a bad thing to negotiate what each party wants and keep a copy so that there’s a record of what was agreed. And it’s never a bad thing to bring the clarity of precise language to a murky area…which is why having a lawyer help draw up a contract can be helpful.

Ah, but where are you going to find a lawyer who can help you with that BDSM contract? It has to be someone in the life, or you’ll spend time explaining what the terms mean.

I’ve invented a fictional lawyer, Mackenzie Lyon, to be the “Lawyer to the Doms.” He’s the lawyer you hire when you really need to win your case before the Supreme Court. He’s not the tallest man in the room, but he’s so powerful it’s crazy awesome. And he’s committed to supporting his BDSM community, which means he’ll help negotiate a Master/slave agreement, a will, whatever.

Mac is a “Sherlock Holmes” character. (So is Xavier Greer, the owner of The Aerie, the Denver BDSM club in my first trilogy.) Such characters know everything…except how to manage their own personal lives. I knew all along that the final book in the Lawyer to the Doms series would be what happens when the woman Mac Lyon loves returns. So much easier to deal with the “love of your life” when you have to tell people she’s dead. When she shows up, alive? That’s when the real work starts for Mac.

That romance will be The Appeal, Book 3 in the Lawyer to the Doms series. In Book 1, The Bequest, I considered what would happen if a Master left his slave, Sara, to a vanilla nephew in a will that Mac drew up. Again, such a provision wouldn’t be legally binding. That doesn’t mean it wouldn’t have weight, though. Mac’s the executor of the estate, so it’s his job to make sure that the deceased’s intents are honored.

That’s the point of BDSM agreements—they have power to affect the way people think and act. In other words, they can help make BDSM “safe, sane and consensual.”

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10 Comments

  1. Selina Eichelberger October 28, 2013 7:15 pm  Reply

    So looking forward to reading Christina Thacher lawyer series.

    Selina

    • Christina October 28, 2013 11:11 pm  Reply

      I’m glad you’re looking forward to them. Just so you know, the lawyer (Mackenzie Lyon) is in all three books, but his romance (which I’m writing now) is the third book. First up: Cal Raynes, a composer. I hope you like him. I have a thing for tall men, and he’s 6’5″!

    • Christina October 30, 2013 1:46 pm  Reply

      Selina — You sent me a very nice note on my website, and I responded but it got kicked back. I may not have gotten your correct email. Could you send me another note at Christina ChristinaThacher {dot} com? Many thanks!

  2. Jim Lyon October 28, 2013 7:24 pm  Reply

    As dry as law can be, it certainly has its purpose. I imagine that sorting through the concepts of contract law could lend itself to interesting scenarios in master or mistress and slave agreements, particularly if the property/slave were bequeathed to someone. Considering your lawyer character has the same surname as my pen name, it would be intriguing to read how you’ve developed him in this series. ;-)

    • Christina October 28, 2013 11:17 pm  Reply

      Jim — Funny story. I originally named him Mackenzie Steele. A beta reader (and fellow author) pointed out that unless he was Anastasia Steele’s long-lost father, I should probably change his name! LOL (I’d been thinking of the old mystery TV show, Remington Steele, with Pierce Brosnan. I watched reruns of that all through high school.)

      Here’s what I love about Mac Lyon — he’s a problem solver. He helps solve Cal Raynes’s problem with his bequest (his deceased uncle’s slave), then in Book Two (The Negotiation), Mac helps a determined sub and blackhearted Dom work out the problems in their relationship.

      Well, you’ve heard the expression, “Shoemaker’s children go barefoot”? That’s Mac–he can solve everyone’s problems but his own! That’s the plot of The Appeal, which I’m working on now.

  3. Angel October 29, 2013 4:46 pm  Reply

    Count me in. This lawyer idea actually sounds very intriguing, and the post makes me very curious. One to look for.

    • Christina October 30, 2013 1:46 pm  Reply

      How kind of you to say that. I love some lawyers in real life, but my own fictional lawyers? Yum!

  4. Penumbra October 30, 2013 3:20 am  Reply

    Ok, now this sounds interesting. Count me in please :)

    penumbrareads(at)gmail(dot)com

    • Christina October 30, 2013 2:08 pm  Reply

      I love your name, Penumbra. (Yes, it’s a nom de Internet, but it’s a particularly cool one.) Good luck in the contest!

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