I’ve been asked a lot recently to describe what it is that I write, and I thought I’d share some of my thoughts with you on how I see it.
I write BDSM erotic romance. This means that my stories revolve around the sexual journey of my characters, in most cases learning about themselves as Doms and submissives (and in one book, as switches). If you remove the sex from my stories, the books wouldn’t exist. It’s essential to the plot.
About the BDSM. BDSM stands for Bondage & Discipline, Domination & Submission, Sadism & Masochism. The idea of BDSM squicks some people out. I know that. I get it, and if your first reaction is “Ewwwwwwww,” then these stories probably aren’t for you. That’s okay. I know not everyone likes the same things.
If you’re still reading along, BDSM is a regular part of many, many people’s lives. Kinky people are everywhere – they could easily be your next door neighbor, your child’s school teacher, the quiet librarian, the paramedic who took such good care of your grandmother when she fell, and you’d never know it. These are the people I’ve been writing about. Not kings, not multi-millionaires with more money than God, just your average people.
Also, in my stories, what you get is what most people consider light BDSM. And, to be totally honest, I know some people don’t think it’s BDSM at all, because the play is fairly easy play. Y’know what? I don’t care if they think that, or not — it is. Just because my characters don’t get whipped to the point they bleed doesn’t mean it’s not kinky. There’s a saying out there, YKINMK. It means “Your Kink Is Not My Kink” and it’s often followed by “but your kink is okay, too.” Mostly, I tell stories of domination and submission, with a teaspoon of the rest of the BDSM acronym soup mixed in to add a little extra spice. In my books, there’s nothing too heavy— some spanking, some flogging, some rope, some restraints, a few other kinky things.
Still reading along? Okay. Here is THE most important thing…EVERY SINGLE THING is consensual. Hard limits (a do-not-pass-go line in the sand, if you’re not familiar with the term) do not get ignored. Doms and submissives both have safe words (Red = “stop RIGHT NOW”). Even Gabe, the most domly of my Doms, uses his safe word in Forbidden Obsessions when he realizes he’s not enough in control of his own behavior to protect his sub, Olivia. And in my holiday novella Matzoh and Mistletoe (out in November), Jeremy gives Becca his own hard limit list, and says “if these are things you want to do, I’m not your guy.” Consensual isn’t just the woman — or, rather, the sub, who could be male— giving in. It’s an agreement between both people.
So, yes, there is a lot of sex in my stories. A whole lot. But I hope that along with hot sex scenes, my readers see the growth of love between the characters. Everything that happens in these books happens within that loving relationship, and is fully consensual. I write romances, stories with a happily ever after — you know at the end, they’ll be together forever.
I hope that answers the question of “what do you write?” and maybe addresses some questions you have about BDSM. Now it’s my turn to ask questions. If you read BDSM erotic romance, what draws you to it? If you don’t, what keeps you from reading it?
Leave a response and I’ll enter you for a chance to win any one of my Bondage & Breakfast books (ePub or PDF) – your choice of which book. I’ll draw one name from all the entries. Contest is open until Wednesday, September 25th, at 8pm ET.
I like reading books that have some BDSM in them. Like that charcters I have some hard limits, like you mentioned whipping to the point if drawing blood is a no-no for me. A little bit of spice in the bedroom is a great thing.
Thanks for replying, Robin! Spice is good. 🙂
For me it’s important that the couple have a strong attachment before they begin pursuing the BDSM relationship — that there’s already a fundamental element of trust. In some erotic romance, the sex starts too soon, and the reader doesn’t get to experience the exquisite buildup of sexual tension.
Hmmm, interesting point, Andrea. I’ll have to think about the books I liked vs. didn’t liked and see if that could be why!
I love the added complexity a power dynamic can bring to a romantic relationship and seeing how BDSM (at any “level!”) can contribute to a love story. There are so many different ways to say “I love you” and even if kink isn’t how you do that in your personal life, a really good writer can transport you to a place where nothing could possibly be sexier than how the characters have negotiated their fantasies into reality.
I couldn’t agree more, Tamsen! Thanks for chiming in! 🙂
Tamsen, you’ve won the copy of whichever of my Forbidden books you’d like. Let me know which! 🙂
I would say that for the most part when I’m looking for a little kink, I stick with lighter BDSM. I feel more comfortable if the characters have safe words and limits. I have only ever read one book that was WAY past my comfort level. I didn’t know how heavy the BDSM was going to be when I started it. I still really enjoyed the book overall, but there were a few scenes where I was actually uncomfortable with what I was reading.
I’ve been there, Jenny. I’ve hit a few where I’ve said “No. Just…no.” Thanks for responding! 🙂
I’ll read (and to a lesser degree, write) nearly anything in the BDSM/kink arena. I do have a few “hard limits” as a reader/author, but for the most part, if the participants are enjoying what they’re doing, so will I, even if it’s not my thing personally. I think some people don’t understand what a small step it is over the line from vanilla to kink. They see “BDSM” and picture dungeons and whips and chains, but most of it is much more tame. I’m happy to see so many well-done BDSM/kink stories of all types out there these days. 🙂