Monday, 9 April 2012

Why do I love BDSM romance?

You know 10 years ago I would never ever have dreamed of writing about BDSM, let alone writing BDSM stories. Not knowing anything about it other than what I'd heard in whispers over the years, I thought (and I'm sure a lot of people still do) that it was all about being beaten up and tortured. I couldn't even imagine a time when a person would want to be put through what I saw as an unnecessary and painful ordeal. I thought these people must have some type of psychiatric disorder and they desperately needed help.

At the same time as I was thinking these bad things about a philosophy and a lifestyle I knew next to nothing about, I was finding myself fantasizing about all sorts of situations that made me feel very confused and conflicted. On the one hand I condemned BDSM through misunderstanding and misinterpretation, and on the other I found myself drawn to movies and stories where the heroine was completely at the mercy of another person. And not necessarily a hero either.

As an impressionable adolescent I watched as Robert Redford held a gun to Katherine Ross while insisting she take her clothes off. I got so hot that I still dream about that scene.  Worse, I remember watching a movie about a serial killer where he tied his victims to a bed and touched them all over while watching on fully clothed, and I wished it was me. Of course my fantasy turned him into a handsome lover who eventually let me go, but at the time I thought I was quite disturbed!  Heck, it's amazing that my strict Catholic upbringing didn't send me to the loony bin even thinking about it. Okay, maybe I still think I was disturbed!

Later, when I discovered fumbling sex with my boyfriend and we made out in alleys and on the beach, the thought of being seen by others turned me on at the same time as it horrified me! I watched the movie EMMANUELLE which gave me years of scenes to fantasize about but I thought I was being really really naughty! Boy did that make me feel weird, but I never really made the connection to BDSM. Not until years later.


I was already reading and writing erotic romance when I bought a book to support a fellow new author and read it in one sitting. The book was NO ONE BUT MADISON by Doreen Orsini. I had no idea it was BDSM until I read it. I couldn't put it down, and to this day I revisit it over and over again. In fact I have probably read it more than 20 times since it first came out in 2006. Thank you Doreen for starting me on my journey of discovery!

It all began to make sense. All those pent up feelings and fantasies were not just me. Others had them too. Others even lived their life by them. How exciting! What a relief!

I spent the next few years reading as many BDSM romance books as I could, finding wonderful authors such as Joey Hill, J W McKenna, Delilah Devlin and more recently my fan girl crush is on Cherise Sinclair. But I still had no idea what attracted me to this genre and this lifestyle.

In the middle of this I decided that if I was going to fantasize, I needed to write it all down, but before that I had better do my research. I spent months looming on BDSM sites, reading non-fiction books on the subject, speaking to practicing subs (since quite frankly, I'd decided that was more me!) before I started my first book on it.

THE MASTERS PRIZE was the result, and even though I don't think I got it completely right, I did manage to get a lot of my pent up feelings out and down on the paper. I finally found a way to express what I had been feeling all of my life. It was incredibly freeing for me and I hope others have been able to see that in the book. Of course it isn't a real depiction of BDSM as I do not live the lifestyle, but I have spent a lot of time living in the headspace of a sub, and researching it all was so much fun :-) I know a few who read it loved it, so that's the main thing!

So back to the topic. Why do I love BDSM romance?

Remember these are my own opinions, and many of you may disagree with me and that's okay. This is all about what I feel personally.

It took me a long time to sort out why I was attracted to this fantasy, but I think I have a handle on it now.

There four parts to my answer:

1. It's about letting go without losing yourself. The characters in BDSM are courageous enough to let go of their lives, their fears, anxieties, and yes, even their orgasms and place themselves in the hands of another. What an incredible gift to give another human being! And how freeing for an individual to be able to do it, allowing another to make decisions on what your body will have or not have.

2. It's about trust. There is no way you can give over of yourself to another if you don't trust them to allow you to be the one with the ultimate control. You gift them with yourself, but know that they can't do it without your consent and willingness. Being in a relationship where you trust another person to be responsible for what happens to you is, as I said, an amazing gift, and without trust it's not going to happen. How wonderful to be able to trust someone this much!

3. It's about heightening sensations. Being unable to control what happens to you makes you hyper aware of every inch of your body. It's an amazing feeling and very addictive :-) We've all heard that old adage "There's a fine line between pleasure and pain". Being taken to another plane with sensations given in a loving way can only heighten the pleasure and take it to even greater heights. (great song too!).

4. It's about being sane (knowing what you're doing at all times), safe (using caution and safety in all that is done) and consensual (knowing that both sides agree at all times and that it's okay to change your mind and stop).

As you can see, most of my reasons for loving BDSM romance involve the dynamics of the exchange of power. The deep emotions, the great sex and the amazing sensations are the results of this and can't exist without them. Plus I guess I'm just a tad kinky :-)

So give me a sassy sub who willingly gives control over to a loving Dom and I'm happy. If he gives her amazing experiences by pushing her limits, and pushing mine as the reader, all the better!

And before you ask - yes, I have tried a lot of what I researched :-) Not telling which bits though :-) My plan is one day to be brave enough to visit a club or even to a BDSM retreat for a weekend escape...so one day you never know! All in the name of research of course!

These days I have plenty of authors I enjoy reading who write BDSM the way I like it. As I mentioned, I love Cherise Sinclair, plus there's also Nichelle Gregory, Desiree Holt, Ann Jacobs, Katherine Kingston, Mackenzie McKade, Sindra Von Yissel, Qwillia Rain, Reese Gabriel, Lisabet Sarai, Lily Harlem -  and the list goes on. Some of these lovely authors live the life, some of them, like me -  fantasize and research....but boy do I enjoy reading them as I am sure they love writing them.  Reading these books is like joining a secret women's business society!

My guilty pleasure. *Bliss*




My second BDSM book is available now. It's called ILLUMINATIONS.  It's set in Victorian England and is related to a full length novel I am writing. Victorian England as a setting puts an entirely new spin on it for me but the emotions are the same.

So for a chance to win a copy of ILLUMINATIONS, tell me why YOU like BDSM romance? What good BDSM books have you read lately? Or just say hi!  Don't forget to leave your email address in your comment so I can contact you if you win.

I'll choose the winner randomly from all the comments and you have until Wednesday night (Aussie time) to post.




Don't forget to come back on Thursday because I have Aussie BDSM/Steampunk author Cari Silverwood dropping by with a peak at her latest release!

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maggie,
I love well written BDSM. Some of my fav authors include Kim Dare and Cherise Sinclair (her Club Shadowlands books are fab!). I think the sub has all the power, even though the Dom may be giving the commands. And, as you wrote, it is all about trust.
Cheers,
Lami ;-)

Chris said...

Maggie, your article was absolutely spot on, even down to the catholic upbringing! The nuns always said I was "going to hell in a handbasket", and little did they know what a great ride it was gonna be. I now have an even longer list of authors I need to look up and as you and Lami both say, it's all about trust.
Have a great day,
Cheers
Chris

Bonnie Bliss said...

This blog posting has made me not only buy your book, but totally respect you as a BDSM author.

I write BDSM as well as live the lifestyle. I know that not everyone gets it right, but when I see an effort behind the fantasy it makes the read all the more enjoyable for me.

I know very well getting out my own fantasies (not yet touched upon by Sir) onto the page for others to secretly enjoy!

- Bonnie

Maggie Nash said...

Thanks for posting Lami! I love Kim Dare too, and I also agree about Cherise's Club Shadowlands series. I have them all!

Maggie Nash said...

Thank you Chris! I think there's a lot of closet subs who went to convent schools! Interesting hey?

Maggie Nash said...

Bonnie - thank you so much! I try to make my books as authentic as I can, so I would love to hear your feedback :-) I'm learning more all the time, so hopefully my next books are even more so.

Maggie Nash said...

I missed listing so many other wonderful BDSM authors. You should also look out for Lisabet Sarai, Brynn Paullin, Saskia Walker, Portia De Costa...oh I could go on! Make sure you look them up!

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hello, Maggie,

You've captured the essence of BDSM, and why it's so overwhelming. My first book was an outpouring of personal BDSM fantasy. Though I wrote it a dozen years ago, it still turns me on.

One thing I'd like to mention, though. One doesn't have to be involved with the organized BDSM "lifestyle" in order to experience real dominance and submission. Many everyday relationships include elements of power exchange. People who'd never dream of stepping into a BDSM club are topping and bottoming - that's just as legitimate as "official" BDSM (though some individuals in the "scene" might sneer at my comment).

And thanks for including me in your list, too... ;^)

"Imagination is the ultimate aphrodisiac."

Visit Lisabet Sarai's Fantasy Factory
http://www.lisabetsarai.com
Venture Beyond Romance
http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com
Join Lisabet's List
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lisabets_list

Maggie Nash said...

Thank you for dropping by Lisabet. How could I not include you - Love your books!

Yes, I totally agree. There are so many different ways that individuals and groups can experience their BDSM fantasies and that does not take away from them. There is no right or wrong way as long as everyone involved is getting out of it what they want and need.

Thanks for adding some extra insight to the topic :-)

Julia Kanno said...

This was an absolutely beautiful post. I think you did a wonderful job of narrowing down some of the reasons why some are attracted to BDSM.

I must check out some of your books. :-)

Ashlyn Chase said...

I loved the Master's Prize, Maggie. I think it came from such a place of honesty, because your heroine was like you. Curious, but not sure why. Her journey was gradual, yet sure--kind of like yours was.

BDSM is a guilty pleasure for me, but I think I relate in a different way. I'd have to be the Dom. LOL

Tory Michaels said...

You put it so well, as well as gave me a great new book to check out (the Madison one).

I had no clue what BDSM was until I had a roommate who was into it. I still can't talk to the husband about it (yeah, I have issues, freely admit it), but something about a well-written scene can just turn me into a puddle of Tory mush. It's all about trust, and actually something about your article, being able to let go, clicked something into place that I was missing about one of my heroines who's been giving me grief about the issue. Thanks!

Rachel Randall said...

This is a fabulous post, Maggie. Thanks for sharing :)

My first experience of reading a BDSM story was when I had a terrible fever/flu for about 3 days, and all I could do was lie in bed and read. My poor over-heated brain imploded. It got under my skin when I was too weak to resist ;)

Power exchange is HOT.

WildAboutBones said...

I too, like Ashlyn said, would be the domme. I can't tell you why reading D/s and BDSM makes me hot, any more than I can tell you why reading M/M makes me hot.

I recently read and adore Ann Mayburn's Sodom and the Phoenix and The Breaker's Concubine. She writes some hot M/M and M/F too. Okay I admit it, I have a huge fangirl crush on Ann.

I also like Cherise Sinclair's books and as well as Delilah Devlin and others you mentioned. I would love to win and read some of yours.

Nicole Morgan said...

EXCELLENT post, Maggie! I don't really think you're much different than a lot of people and not just women. Being 'at someone's mercy' and submitting to them is a turn on for many people. Yes even me. While I agreed with your breakdown at the end of why you loved BDSM, I like to summarize (my opinions) by saying...

It can be very beautiful. That is why I love it.

Once again... GREAT POST! :)

Maggie Nash said...

Thanks Julie! And welcome to the TEB family!

Maggie Nash said...

Oh Ash thank you! You're always good for my ego. And yes, there is a lot of me in Elise :-)

Maggie Nash said...

Tory - so glad I could help you work out your character's motivation! Thanks for dropping by!

Maggie Nash said...

Hi Rachel - oh yes, power exchange is at the heart of it! Love it!

And how fitting that you began your journey when your control was restricted!

Maggie Nash said...

Thanks for visiting WAB! Yes, you and Ash would make wonderful Dommes!

You should read Natural Law by Joey Hill - fabulous Domme, and a sub who is also Alpha..works really well! Hot as hell!

Maggie Nash said...

Hi Nicole - oh yes, it can be very beautiful. When I read a BDSM love story that is done right, I cry my heart out because of the beauty of the relationship :-)

Maggie Nash said...

And the winner is....

Using the random number generator!

Post 15 - which is Nicole!

Congratulations! I'll send you your copy of Illuminations :-)

Doreen Orsini said...

Maggie,
Thank you so much for your mentioning No One But Madison in your blog! As a major fan, I couldn't be more thrilled that you liked my book that much. When I first started researching the lifestyle, I merely wanted to write a hot romance, but I soon realized I had to show just how much Doms and subs love and respect each other. People think BDSM is all about the kink but it is so much more.
Doreen

Maggie Nash said...

Doreen! So glad to see you here! You know how much I loved that book when I read it :-) I had to mention it :-) And yes, it is so much more, and thank God for that!
I hope all is well with you *Hugs*

Doreen Orsini said...

Hi Maggie,
Hugs right back at ya!
Doreen

Sami Lee said...

Terrific post Maggie! I shared many of the same confusions growing up. I was fiercely independent IRL but my fantasies were the opposite. I couldn't fathom how such contradictions could exist inside me. It takes a long time to accept yourself, ALL parts of yourself.

I too like to add a bit of kink to my books but I don't live a BDSM lifestyle. Love how a bit of bondage or spanking forces characters to face their trust issues, though. And its HEAPS of fun to write

Maggie Nash said...

Hi Sami

Isn't it so liberating being able to write about it!

Thanks so much for dropping by :-)

Maggie

Cari Silverwood said...

Yes, Fiona Archer was naughty reposting this.

But, on topic, I've found a LOT of women encountered John Norman's Gor series and obsessed about the whole BDSM/ slave concept in those. I know they were my guilty secret.

Maggie Nash said...

Why is she naughty Cari? It's quite common to link to older blog posts that someone finds interesting :-)

Thanks for the John Normal Gor suggestion. I will have to check his books out :-)