Sounds a little like asking if you want to be a rock star, right? Certainly neither the respective lifestyles nor dream aspirations are easy and something few truly understand about. I am the President Elect of the Passionate Ink Chapter of the RWA and we had a board meeting last night. One of the topics of our discussion was about the upcoming BDSM party event the chapter is having at the huge national conference being held in Anaheim California this year. I won’t give you all the juicy details YET as we are still finalizing them but there will be some educational talks and demonstrations about BDSM.
The funny thing is this truly isn’t grabbing onto the supposed new brass ring because of 50 Shades of Grey. The theme was selected last year. BUT…as you can imagine, the chapter is very proud of the fact we are doing something to capitalize on not only how much erotic romance is increasing in popularity but also about the fact that BDSM is being written about more and a genre readers are truly trying to get into. I of course have a BUT in here. The more I learn about the concept the more I realize I have to learn and the more I truly respect those involved. It’s not about pink fuzzy handcuffs and light spanking.
As we began to have a discussion about what we could do and what the panel discussions or educational aspects should be, I really started thinking about how many more misnomers there are with regards to the lifestyle and I’ve talked a bit about some of them. While exploring my needs for writing and enjoying learning more about the lifestyle, I’ve read more pieces from authors who are writing about BDSM – or more of what they think it’s about. Now, BDSM can be playtime to the lifestyle and of course the majority of folks who start out thinking about this read all by themselves first in the privacy of their kindle or nook, making sure NO ONE knows they are kinky. Right? That would be horrible, huh? Interesting how much romance and the erotic romance genre is increasing in popularity.
After getting all hot and bothered reading, they think they’re ready maybe for more. So perhaps they’ll indulge in checking out some website and they will quickly find there are hundreds of forums from the sub’s perspective to the Dom’s, kinky clubs to societies catering to allowing freedom of choice. Then there are groups, such as Fet Life, where you can not only learn but meet people either online or in situations that are called “munches”. Generally these are gatherings of people interested in meeting and learning more about the lifestyle and are held in very public locations, such as restaurants, so that everyone can feel comfortable.
What some people find surprising is that people who crave the playtime and the lifestyle are of course regular people with day jobs and families etc. The munches are simply a fabulous way of talking out in the open without fear of retribution. I was talking to a writer friend of mind, who is just getting interested in the lifestyle, and she is considering going to a munch. I think it’s a fabulous way of truly indulging even in simply fantasies while you’re considering whether or not you could or want to handle the lifestyle. It’s something I’ve considered too and as many of you have spent hours talking to Dom’s and societies. I’ve learned so much – enough to scare me too but I am more than curious.
If you really start clearly seeing yourself in what will be a life altering change in your love, relationship, and possibly every day aspect of simply how you handle yourself, then you could potentially move on to vacation type spots who cater to BDSM and you can have ever fantasy fulfilled. Hedonism of course comes to mind and from your mildest fantasy of you and your partner sharing a beautiful sunset while you make love on the beach to something much kinkier like engaging in a ménage with a stranger or having a man flog your partner, you can find it. Yes, they are safe and you have to be as well so several precautions are taken.
All of the above is slightly clinical but during my discussion with the board last night there was some questions that came up about demonstrating. You know what’s funny? Most people think of BDSM and flogging comes to mind, but do you truly know what you’re talking about? Spanking is different from flogging. Flogging means typically something like a bullwhip or a leather tarse is used and most people also think of the “x” cross as the first picture they envision in clear detail. True they are widely used, but not always. The apparatuses are very expensive and sometimes tough to put in your house.
With the explosion of 50 Shades, what I am terrified of is either having the lifestyle shown too lightly or on the opposite side – as in the dungeons etc. I hope as writers and readers you’ll understand there are so many sides to the concept you can’t put it in a neat package and either explain or truly explore in a short period of time. If you’re writing about the lifestyle, I challenge you to truly do your homework. When I posted a long vent about a ridiculous show Dateline presented a few weeks ago, I had more responses than on any blog. Some of the folks mentioning the show and my blog are and have been involved in the lifestyle for a lot longer than I have been researching and writing, and some of them are truly incensed how so many writers are suddenly experts. Trust me, I know I have just begun to scratch the surface.
In saying that I am guilty of roping up or locking down someone on a cross or bench and flogging them and I have personally never felt a whip on my backside in this manner. How in the world can I write about it effectively? Well, pain is pain but the methodology used by people who truly know what they’re doing involves experience and more than just grabbing a flogger or two from a closet. People can get hurt – not only physically but spiritually. That’s why I am taking more emotional passes at learning and crafting my work.
I’m had more wonderful comments about On Becoming His, the very emotional journey I wrote about two people’s journey into venturing into the lifestyle than any of my other BDSM pieces. Why? Because it’s very emotional to even think about doing something like this – changing your entire life. Imagine just for a second totally obeying another human being? That’s what the lifestyle is about – not about flogging. I caution you as you read to take some of the books with a grain of salt and not judge. This is a forever learning process.
It you’re curious about Jessie and Luke’s journey, which will have at least two more books, you can take a taste for free on the On Becoming His page and the book is on sale at Amazon.