BDSM in books vs in real life.
The “Real Deal” about BDSM vs. The fiction: what a terrific question, and thank you for asking it!
A great starting point for me is to say that the question has ALWAYS been an important one for me, too. I think it’s fair to say that every writer who creates stories around D/s, whether they are in the lifestyle in real life or not, wants to get their stuff straight about what rings true and what doesn’t.
That’s probably why this post might surprise you.
Because I’m going to say that as I’ve read more and more great writers in this genre, I am so excited to see that damn near everyone DOES get it right. And I am proud of the responsibility I and my colleagues feel about that essential kernel.
Okay, disclaimer: sure, there are elements that we all like to embellish a little so as to make the fiction more fun, the same way television writers want you to believe that Olivia Pope has a different outfit for every hour of the day, or Oliver Queen can heal from getting his butt kicked overnight.
For instance, in the dungeons I’ve been to (which are limited to my neck of the woods, Southern California), I haven’t seen any Dom who has a private room or an office bigger than the size of a closet. Land is simply too precious around here, and in a dungeon, every bit of play space counts. But that doesn’t stop me from giving that perk to my own guys. C’mon, they’ve gone out and beat the bad guys for our country! I think they deserve a glamorous play room, right? Another example: the time frame of a play scene. For books, we have to condense this sequencing into portions that won’t make the reader want to hurl their device out the window, screaming, “Get the he** on with it!” as they do. In real life, I’ve witnessed scenes that take up to two hours, with aftercare extending that time frame. When you’re working with someone’s real-life issues, things twist and turn in crazy directions…and that takes amazing patience on both sides of the D/s equation.
But the really important stuff about BDSM—the communication, the connection, the respect and yes, the love—that’s been the coolest reality to translate to the page (hopefully!) in my own work, and to see so beautifully said in other writers, as well. This style of interaction isn’t for everyone. It requires vulnerability (many times, more from the Dom than the sub!), accessibility, and complete honesty…and at times, at least from my own experience, a lot of soul searching. Many don’t seem to get this part. Even Rayna Chestain, the heroine from my current book, “Handcuffed By Her Hero,” does, in this little excerpt:
She needed air.
In a rush, she jerked the handle, shoved the door open and got out of the car. As she expected and dreaded, Z scrambled out, too.
“I’m okay.” She forced a light tone. “Sorry. It was just getting warm in there.”
“Yeah,” he agreed after a moment. The wet ground squished beneath his boots as he approached. “You sure you’re all right?”
He let her have a long moment to respond. When she didn’t, he shifted closer. Her breath hitched from his warmth, so familiar and strong…such a perfect fit with the deepest fibers of her body. It was likely why she let him latch one of his hands into hers and pull her around to face him. He circled his other hand to the small of her back. With semi-automatic instinct, she lifted her hand to his shoulder.
One side of his mouth tilted, along with the corresponding eyebrow—just before he swept her into a perfect waltz.
“Did I mention that Mel also used me as her ballroom dance lessons partner?”
Rayna laughed then squealed as he spun her even faster. After they circled once through the clearing, scattering wet leaves as they went, Z slowed their pace into a more sedate step, similar to a back-and-forth prom night sway. But as his dancing calmed, his stare didn’t. Once more he drilled a searching scrutiny down at her, his dark lashes dropping, his irises filled with glittering bronze intent.
“What?” Rayna finally stammered.
“What what?” He curled her hand in against his chest. Even through his thick jacket, he warmed her skin. His fingers enveloped hers in unflinching strength.
“Why are you looking at me that way?”
“In what way? Enlighten me.” His voice dipped lower, as focused as his gaze now. She turned her gaze down. If she looked at him now, she’d blurt something ridiculous. Something that stemmed from what she hoped his intent was, and nothing of the truth.
“What is it, Rayna?” He squeezed her fingers tighter. “You can tell me. But I’ll be clear about something. I’m not buying the ‘it’s too hot in the car’ excuse anymore.”
She forgot his fingers as the timbre of his voice seeped into her. The authority of it, mixed with such deep protectiveness, sounded exactly like the order he’d given her last night. Kneel for me, honey.
Just like then, her heart raced. Just like then, she was a little afraid and a lot aroused. She closed her eyes, savoring the strands of heat and ice in her blood.
She took his hand and pressed it to the side of her face. When she opened her eyes, letting her gaze lock so deeply into his once more, she almost formed her mouth around the words again.
Please. I know it can’t be forever, but I need…all of it. Your bondage. Your body. Your control. Your strength.
I need you.
Instead, she clenched her teeth around a smile before gently kissing his knuckles. “I’m fine. Thanks for your concern. Let’s just get going, okay?”
Be reassured that Zeke doesn’t let her get away with this evasion for long. *Wicked grin.* He’s real good at helping her to remember that the hard work of knowing yourself better often yields immense, intense, and oh-so-satisfying rewards.
I hope you enjoy “Handcuffed By Her Hero,” and thanks for the chance to share a bit with you today!
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