How Far Would You Dare Go?

As writers we often do a hell of a lot of research for our stories. Whether we’re investigating blood splatters for a crime piece or ancient curses surrounding ghosts and vampires, we’re trying to make the information on the pages within a book accurate as well as enticing and sizzling. This can be more of a daunting process than you know. How Maintenance Reminder of Lessons Learnedmany of you readers have noticed something in a book that is so blatantly outside the realm of possibilities you’re thrown out of the book, no longer enjoying anything? I think we can all say we have. I know many writers who read and search the Internet constantly, trying to learn about something they may never have the opportunity of experiencing in real life, only to be criticized by critics and readers for inaccuracies.

Writing is a combination of creating fabulous characters, mixing the background about locations, professions, creatures, politics, religion and copious other aspects. Weaving a story is just that – taking you through a moment in time or a lifelong sage, giving you tastes of another world through the eyes and imagination of a writer. We’re all a bit creative in other ways at well. I’ve found writers who are amazing chefs, incredible chemistry brainiacs and even lawyers, who sizzle when they write highly erotic pieces. Writing is a joy and for me, when I write something that truly stretches my comfort zone, then I’m the happiest. Why? Well, I think we all get bored with what we read and for someone like me, who can write very quickly and who has been blessed to have so many books published, I can get bored to death too.

So the question on the table is, just how far outside of your comfort zone would you go in order to learn about some aspect of life, love, or perhaps dangerous concepts in order to be accurate. Hmm… How far do you dare go? Think about that for a minute. If you were tasked to write a piece for school or work, perhaps you freelance writing travel pieces for magazines – would you try hang gliding or actually climb the slopes in Nepal in order to give the real flavor of the area or the wind through your hair? Would you eat something so disgusting like perhaps chocolate covered roaches in order to be able to accurately describe the texture and taste? Another hmmm… For many of us I think we might just say a resounding “yes” but for others, we scratch our heads and resort to Googling. Wikapedia tell you everything accurately, right? Wrong.

I know many a crime writer who wouldn’t dare explain the detective’s thought processes when he drew his gun and fired on a criminal without actually having had fired that very gun. They want you to understand the smell of the gun power, or the feel of the cold steel in their hands. They want to know the sound a bullet makes when it leaves the chamber and the very moment of tension and perhaps horror they feel when the bullet connects. In The perfect collarother words, they long to get it right.

That’s a very responsible way of handling something you don’t know about – you try it. But… Can or should we always? Often times there is no way we’re going to learn enough about a subject so we’re forced to resort to the Internet. Unless you’ve been in the CIA, you’re only ever going to be able to write about policies and procedures from what you glean out of books and from television. That’s just a fact of life. Does that mean you shouldn’t write about the CIA? Well, of course not. You simply add the details in that you can make accurate through qualified sources or research.

Now many romance authors aren’t going to have to do more research other than romantic locations or perhaps a profession or creature of the night they don’t know about. Those are fairly easy tasks to research. Well, I say that but… Then there are some that perhaps you can never truly write about unless you experience. This is MY personal opinion and that only. I know many authors who read so much they can make you believe they’ve been a pilot for years. For me, I do like to touch and taste, feeling and experience. Let’s take one particular genre that’s exploded over the last year or so. BDSM and the D/s relationship. How many of us really even know what BDSM stands for? Hmm…

B – Bondage; D – Domination or Discipline; S – Submission or Sadism; M – Masochism. Of course D/s is Domination and submission and often I have heard people say in order to have a D/s relationship there has to be BDSM involved. WRONG. I’ve written many a blog on this already so I won’t go into explicit detail here but D/s is much more than simply putting BDSM into the context. But, how many authors writing about BDSM or D/s live this or have even tried some if any aspects regarding the subject? Well, my guess is not as many as you think. Then again, you might be thinking, what’s so hard to write about a little flogging and handcuffs? Awe, the crux of the problem. There is so much more to the lifestyle, those who live it cringe when they see the majority of books coming out.

You can certainly talk with people who live or play in the lifestyle. You can even attend events in your area, some designed as methods of training in various kink aspects from cupping to electric play, flogging techniques to Shirbari, but… You’ve heard the old adage, until you try you don’t really know what it feels like. Would you allow yourself to be tied to an apparatus, such as the well talked about “X” Cross, just to know what the feeling is like? Would you trust someone enough to be spanked or even flogged in order to know Just stay like thatexactly the stinging sensations from a piece of wood or leather striking your naked skin? For many of, we would say no, of course not. But for some, the experience is a vibrant part of being an immersed author.

Believe me I’m not suggesting or condoning whether you do or don’t. There are a lot of situations you don’t want to place yourself in, but if you could trust someone completely to train you in certain behavioral techniques, would you? For my author friends out that I’d love to hear your thoughts. For the readers, do you respect authors who go to this length in order to provide you with a detailed story? I know what you might be thinking, what have I tried in order to write BDSM? Well, let’s just say I enjoy learning and I’ve been lucky to have a Master Dom teach me some basics. He is very good at weaving a story based on reality. Have I gone any further? I plead the 5th

Writers tells you a story using both their imagination and moments from their past as well as giving you a taste of something unusual. They world build. They give you characters with emotional needs and creatures who aren’t of this world. They also allow you into things that you may never try, but how beautiful the very idea of indulging in their private fantasies can be. I hope you’ve enjoyed.

Kisses   xxx


About Cassandre Dayne

Cassandre Dayne is the pseudo for the best selling author of romantic suspense and thrillers
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7 Responses to How Far Would You Dare Go?

  1. katerichards says:

    For me, as an author, I also combine parts of my real life with my imagination. And research is fun whether on the computer or with my ever so tolerant husband who will put his arms and legs “right there” to see if people actually bend that way. But being able to explore the things we do, not only probably puts our computer IP addresses on the government’s watch list but also makes for the most interesting of days!


  2. You mean a St. Andrew’s cross? LOL I am active in the BDSM lifestyle. Once Hubby retired, I could freely admit it. I’m a switch. I am also a collared slave to my Sir, with whom I switch. (Sorry about the mess the exploding heads of the “won twue wayers” will create.) And I’m poly. Sir is not Hubby. And Sir is happily married. So we’re a poly N quad. My head wants to explode when someone criticizes my work as “not realistic” because I draw on real life for most of my BDSM scenes. My friends in the lifestyle love my books because they enjoy seeing play they easily could have witnessed or participated in the weekend before. Just because my scenes aren’t like someone else plays, or like some fictionalized BS books by a ‘nilla writer, doesn’t mean they aren’t true to life.

    I even wrote a tutorial for my fellow writers on BDSM because so many were coming to me with questions about the lifestyle.

    I cringe when I read things in books by people who obviously didn’t do research. Like one book where handcuffs were used for suspension. Um, can we say broken wrists and nerve damage?

    No, I haven’t read FSoG. I tried, I really did, several times. But I’ve heard enough about it. And now when people ask me about my writing, I tell them what I write makes FSoG look like Dr. Seuss. LOL

    I currently write this still bearing black and blue marks on my ass from last weekend’s scene. 🙂 So anyone who wants to doubt my experience, I’ll bend over while they pucker up to kiss my tushy. LOL

    Unless you’ve had a person trusting you and your skill with an implement, who trusts you to restrain them while you begin inflicting pain and pleasure on them, unless you’ve felt the rush that comes from that headspace as You read their body and keep them riding that razor-thin edge between coding and ridingit out, it’s impossible to write about it accurately unless you’ve done a LOT of talking to people in the lifestyle and witnessed real scenes first-hand. Unless you’ve experienced the fear/thrill of trusting someone enough to submit to them, it’s impossible to write about it without, again, doing a LOT of first-hand research.

    Whips and chains might excite people, but trust and communication is the foundation of all BDSM dynamics, and that’s hard to describe without either experiencing it or doing a LOT of talking to people who have.

    WhenI talk tonwriters who want to write BDSM, but then say they could NEVER go visit a dungeon or munch, then I tell then if they aren’t willing to do the research they shouldn’t be writing about it. This isn’t particle physics or space travel. allows kinksters from all over the globe to connect. It’s EASIER now than ever to find kinksters in your area to talk to. There is no excuse NOT to find people really in the lfestyle to help vet your work before you submit it.


    • behalle says:

      My my, I couldn’t have said it better. The more I learn and yes, I’ll finally admit have tried and not just fuzzy handcuffs and purple leather floggers either, the more I respect the need to know and plan on continuing my journey. The writing is very cathartic for me and I love talking to other writers and especially people who live the lifestyle as well as write. Thank you very much for your candid and incredible comment.


  3. Phoenix J says:

    Research, I find, is highly interesting and fun. When it’s for writing. This kind of research takes that to an all new level!


  4. Qwillia says:

    I have to admit, it took someone with a bullwhip to confirm that I prefer sting over thud. I’m not in the lifestyle but I am very interested in it and I’ve attended a fetishists’ conference (that’s where I got to be whipped–that was fun and I had fellow authors there keeping an eye on things) and a reading at a dungeon. If I get the opportunity to attend some munches or events, I will.


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