“I’m sorry but the safe word is not ‘I forgot the safe word.’” – A bit about BDSM in books

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“Look, if you want to torture me, spank me, lick me, do it. But if this poetry shit continues just shoot me now please.”
~Lori Petty in Tank Girl

james buchananHey, it’s ManCandy day and I, James Buchanan am butting in. Don’t worry, I’m sure Wave will still give your pre-Halloween candy.   Heck, it’s Halloween, youjames 1 deserve a treat, so I’ll give you half-dressed Twister from this year’s Folsom Street Fair.  

For those of you who might be unfamiliar with me, I write gay male romances oftentimes with a BDSM overtone.  My newest book, Personal Demons  was released this month from MLR Press…and surprisingly has no BDSM, just lots of hot sex, an FBI Agent who falls for a Cuban-American LAPD Detective while they investigate Santeria, Voodoo and ritual murder.  More surprisingly still, I’m not talking about that book today. 

Right now, I’m working on book three of the Taking the Odds  series.  The series features Nicky, the Nevada Gaming Control Agent, and Brandon, of Riverside PD.  Nicky’s a bondage switch and Brandon is the sexual submissive in their relationship.  They’re far more fetish than lifestyle and they don’t play service games.  The other set of obviously BDSM centered books are my JB Hardfallfinal lgeDeputy Joe Novels  with Utah Sheriff’s Deputy Joe Peterson and his boy Kabe.  There is a Sir/boy dynamic to their relationship with heavy S&M elements.  

Just ‘cause I’m a kinky bastage I’ll let you in on a little of my life: I’m a dominant (with some switch tendencies – although I hate pain and I’m not really comfortable being restrained) and my life partner is a sexually submissive masochist.  We don’t have any real service elements in our lifestyle.  We occasionally attend large public events, but other than belonging to National Leather Association-International (mostly for news and such) we don’t socially interact with a lot of the leather community.  We may hang with individual members of it, but not social groups or local scenes. 

And probably a good deal of you reading those last paragraphs had the WTF moment: Isn’t BDSM, just BDSM?

The answer is no

A person, any person, can be as into the scene as they want.  BDSM is a catch-all that covers a wide variety of tastes and levels and lifestyle.  It’s one of the reasons that a lot of us in the life (at whatever level), get really annoyed at books by people not in the life whoJames BDSM_whippingby JereKeys don’t at least try and understand the basics.  Not that you have to be Leather, or Rubber, or Puppy to write those stories, but it’s one of those areas where research really helps.  And not just about the props like how to use a St.   Andrews Cross, but who would use it and why. 

In the less than stellar books you’ll generally find a full blown service submissive masochist who lets a Sadistic DOM control everything.  There is no discussion of limits or boundaries or the big one SAFTEY.  They don’t understand the difference between Domination/submission and Sadism/masochism (you can have both, but you might have one without the other).  Puppy play has a different dynamic than Sir/boy.  Those types of stories are all about the whips and chains and NOT the head-space why the characters form the trust to employ the devices that turn them on.  And may I just say that BDSM is not therapy…it can be therapeutic, but it’s no substitute for professional intervention. 

Seriously. 

james 2Complete lifestyle relationships are fairly rare. Lifestyle D/s relationships breathe, eat and sleep in their roles 24/7.  Syd McGinley’s Dr. Fell  series is one of the better one’s out there for a reasonably accurate picture of that deep a commitment.  By reasonably accurate, I mean Syd doesn’t bore you with the minutia, but does touch on and/or acknowledge the bigger issues.  Same with Claire Thompson and Eden Bradley  (both of them write various “flavors” and I’m just throwing a few names out there – although Eden WOOF!).  Remember, it’s fiction and reasonably accurate is the best authors can mange without readers drifting off to sleep. 

I try to maintain reasonable accuracy as well.  In Cheating Chance  Nicky makes a DOM’s promise to Brandon.  “I promise you that if you say [the safe word] I’ll stop everything and get you undone.   I promise I won’t leave you tied up alone.   I promise I’ll never leave you face down on a bed.   I promise to look out for your safety.   Trust me.”  They negotiate their limits and set boundaries.  Now, Joe and Kabe have never had that discussion…because Joe is learning that this is something he enjoys.  But he does understand consequences: you tie someone’s arms above their head, they’re going to lose circulation, you smack someone’s butt they may walk out on you.  As he says of himself, sometimes he can be a “thick hick.”

This is one of the peeves of the readers/writers/reviewers in the larger community of BDSM.  Rarely do books touch on the issues of Safe, Sane and Consensual.Personal Demonssm  BDSM can be dangerous.  One of the scandals of the Leather Community was a former Ms. Leather was participating in a breath play scene and the sub, who was not being watched properly and was not supported properly, passed out, fell on his face and broke his nose.  There was a great deal of outcry among leather folks and discussions of whether her title should be stripped. 

A case that made national news in the US was the death of Adrian Exley  who liked mummification bondage and suffocated.  The Dom involved committed suicide.  Another death occurred in Wales when a man inhaled chloroform gas through a soviet era mask during a scene.  Each year many people die in Autoerotic (self bondage) accidents. 

james buchanan bikeObviously, I’m not talking about this to be a downer or “scare” people away.   I enjoy BDSM…immensely.  I’m not going to tell people not to do it or write about it.  Yes, it is risky, but so is riding my Harley on the 110.  My only plea is be responsible.  Take safety seriously.   Educate yourself.  If you’re going to write about it, have your work read by people in the scene.  I’m into bondage…I still have other people who have significant involvement in BDSM review my postings and books for accuracy and safety.  If you’re going to get into it, learn about it. 

Self pimpage: I have a reoccurring feature on my blog called Nicky Says…where Nicky from Taking the odds will answer questions about BDSM (you can email your questions to him at Nicky@james-buchanan.com).  I also have guest bloggers who discuss various issues and/or their take on or involvement in BDSM. 

Then hit the bookshelves.  Start here –Safer Kinky Sex  it’s a free eBook.  Then I recommend anything by Midori or the KnottyBoys about bondage.  The Leatherman’s Handbook by Larry Townsend is iconic.  Even if you’re not a gay leatherman, there is a lot to be learned there.   For basics, try: Jay Wiesman’s SM 101: A Realistic Introduction, Learning the Ropes: A Basic Guide to Safe and Fun S/m Lovemaking by Race Bannon, Consensual Sadomasochism : How to Talk About It and How to Do It Safely by William A. Henkin or more specifically geared toward women The Sexually Dominant Woman: A Workbook for Nervous Beginners by Lady Green.  You can find them on Barnes & Noble and Amazon. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, but you’ll get a good grounding. 

james 3Of course, the best way to learn is hands on.  Instead of going into a scene never having tied someone up…you can take classes.  I don’t particularly endorse any of these classes, well other than Knotty Boys and Society of Janus because I’ve seen them…but there are live classes out there where you can learn the basics of BDSM in a safe non-judgmental environment.  Some are for singles, some for couples.  Most don’t involve sex (if they do, it’ll likely be announced as a play event – although many of those don’t allow sexual contact either), its all about learning the techniques.  

The National Leather Association International  has local chapters throughout the US and Canada and some hold informational seminars.  If you’re in Portland you can check out Nobel Rope , they offer classes on bondage.  In the San Francisco Area  The Knotty Boys give regular seminars, The Society of Janus  holds newbie coffee socials and informative events and Loki teaches various beginner BDSM classes.   Chicago’s Discovery Center  and Seattle’s Center for Sex Positive Culture  both offer a variety of classes.   Midori  gives lectures around the US.   You can find them if you look.  JB CheatingChancePrint

I’m not going to tell people who don’t practice variants of BDSM not to write about them.   I would hope that they understand they need to educate themselves as they would on any topic.   I would also hope that readers who get turned on by BDSM and want to start exploring it, educate themselves with something other than fiction.  If you’re honest with yourself and honest with your partner you can expand your relationships in many ways.  Just learn, play safe and have fun.

47 thoughts on ““I’m sorry but the safe word is not ‘I forgot the safe word.’” – A bit about BDSM in books

  1. Erastes

    Thank you so much for posting this, James. Time and time again I read books where people are just whipping each other without any rhyme or reason and it gets to me, because someone who really ties people up non consensually and beat the living daylights out of them isn’t erotic. People do need to understand at least some of the mechanics and dynamics behind it, that being a sub can also be about control and without that sub the dom is nothing yadda yadda. I think a lot of the sadism comes from fandom where writers would – for example – make Lucius Malfoy – some kind of madman who delighted in whipping Potter on a regular basis. (too good for him, imho)
    -
    It’s difficult to deal with this in a historical setting, because the whole safe and sane aspect of it is a more recent invention than the times I usually write, but I am sure that any lovers of any time would take care of their partner. Ava March does it well in Bound by Deception – the dom gets pleasure from the acquiescence of the sub and the sub knows how the dom wants him to behave.
    -
    When I wrote the character of Michael in Transgressions, his relationship with Jonathan isn’t at all meant to be a BDSM relationship in a modern manner. Michael is an 17th century monster, on an escalating scale towards being a serial killer using the Witchfinders as an excuse to be able to partake in the tortures he enjoys.
    -
    Great post, James, and thank you!

  2. Tam

    I have to confess I’m one of those people who doesn’t really get the BDSM lifestyle. I never even read about it much until I discovered m/m. I will say I like what is often referred to as “BDSM lite”. I can understand the appeal of D/s and bondage to a point but the S/M for me is a giant “huh?” and the 24/7 slave thing is a “double huh?”. But I’m sure there might be aspects of my life that people don’t get either. LOL
    *
    I think for me, stories that focus purely on the physical, just talking about what was done, the tying, spanking and whatnot don’t work as well as those that explain the reasons why someone does it, what they get out of it emotionally and why it feels good to them. That helps me enjoy it more than just reading a description of an activity. I guess it helps me “get it” more.
    *
    Of course when I read a book I have no clue if its accurate or not because I’ve never been involved in that. I guess like anything you need to do your research, whether it’s medical stuff or BDSM.
    *
    P.S. Looking forward to Brandon and Nicky’s story. :-)

  3. Ingrid

    As it happens I just reread Golden boy/man by Claire Thompson this week. And as always when reading books with a bdsm theme I wonder how “real” it is.
    So I am glad you mention her here as being rather accurate.
    *
    I do like the theme in books so if I see one I will pick it up (most times). I like to see how 2 different personalities make this work for them. How they balance things out. So it´s rather the mind aspect that´s more important to me then the actual play.
    And I want to be realistic, not a plot line to keep a story going.

  4. LadyM

    “In the less than stellar books you’ll generally find a full blown service submissive masochist who lets a Sadistic DOM control everything. ”
    ~
    Thank you for this post. I have to admit that I’ve wanted to stop reading several books because the submissive was beaten senselessly, tied and humiliated repeatedly without ANY discussion about safety and personal boundaries. These books made me wonder about the sanity and intelligence of both participants. One or two times I decided never to pick another book written by those authors.
    ~
    While I personally don’t enjoy any elements of the lifestyle (with the pain as major NO), I did a research about it because of the acquaintance who was involved in it. I previously had no knowledge about it whatsoever and I was surprised to learn how much ground the term BDSM actually covers. I also learned that I enjoy reading the books with BDSM elements if they, like Tam said, describe characters’ motivation and perception rather than just their activities. I found that boring. It’s like the authors are writing the recipe instead of describing the smells, colors, taste of food. Or something like that. XD
    ~
    I enjoyed Hard Fall immensely, but I have a soft spot for Nicky (why did you have to sacrifice his hair?!) and I’m looking forward the next book. ^^

    1. Tam

      That’s too funny because after I posted I’m walking around thinking “You know that really sucked that Nicky lost all that gorgeous hair.” LOL

    2. Wanted_A_Pony

      I also learned that I enjoy reading the books with BDSM elements if they, like Tam said, describe characters’ motivation and perception rather than just their activities. I found that boring. It’s like the authors are writing the recipe instead of describing the smells, colors, taste of food. Or something like that.

      Actually, I think it’s exactly like that! I’ve read BDSM erotica for decades & played, off & on, around the edges of the lifestyle for about as long. In that time, after reading I-don’t-know-how-many books & articles about technique & toys & props & mindset, plus the aformentioned fiction, I’ve never read a better description of the “first he did this, then he did that, then she moved here…” sort of stuff. Like the authors are writing the recipe–what a great metaphor!

      1. James Buchanan

        It is a great metaphor. If I do that in a scene intentionally (yes I’ve done it in Book 3 of Deputy Joe) it was to show a disconnect, a fracturing of their relationship where they’re “going through the motions,” and have to heal on all fronts. But I’m glad you’ve found this post and thanks for commenting!

        Is there significance in the scene to your name?

        1. Wanted_A_Pony

          Not directly, no–I started using Wanted_A_Pony to shield my professional ID from my ‘alternative activities’ online. It’s a contraction of All I wanted was a pony… referring to that horse-mad longing that many girls suffer, unrequited. I have great respect for accomplished human ponies, however, as well as fascination with their tack & equipment. ;-)

          I came to your site via your review of Sarah Madison’s latest book, BTW, & couldn’t resist clicking on the ‘Popular Posts’ link.

  5. Wave Post author

    I like to read about BDSM because sometimes I get tired of the same old, same old boy meets boy, they have a Big Misunderstanding, and then they live happily ever after. BDSM adds some spice to these stories and although I’m not into the scene I can usually tell when a writer has done his/her homework.

    **

    Some of the BDSM books I like, other than yours James :), are the Deviations series by Jody Payne and Chis Owen, where the protagonists live the lifestyle 24/7; Natural Law, a wonderful book by Joey W. Hill which I think is a stand out (it’s M/F if anyone is considering picking it up) – I read this book several years ago and I still re-read it); Golden Boy/Golden Man by Claire Thompson.

    **

    There are obviously many more BDSM books out there that have a lot of merit, but this is not a popularity contest, this post is about SAFETY above all. I hope that writers of this sub genre follow James’ advice if they don’t know very much about BDSM or are not into the lifestyle.

  6. James Buchanan

    Erastes – in historicals it is harder, but even if you don’t talk about it in modern terminology there is the whole, “do you like me doing this?” and “yes.” that has always been a part of consensual (as opposed to those who literally owned others be it by purchase of social status) beating the crap out of people.

    Tam & LadyM – snort, I get more hassle about the hair. o.O

    Ingrid (and Tam & LadyM). At the most basic level BDSM is all in your head. I can have as much fun spanking a guy I’ve tied up with his own necktie and using my leather belt as I can doing an elaborate rope tie and using a special paddle. ‘Cause it’s not about the props. Yes it’s fun staging an elaborate scene because you get the buildup of anticipation to go with it.

    I think that’s where people who don’t look into the scene go wrong. They think it’s all about the toys. But you’re your mnd is the house is where you live, you don’t need more than a few basic necessities to live there, but the decorations make you happy.

  7. Katrina Strauss

    Nodding my head here at many of your points. To me, as an author, a reader, and yes, a practitioner, the psychological D/s dynamic is more important — and sexy! — than the accompanying whips, chains, and/or blistered red bottoms. (Of course, I like those elements too, but give me the motivation behind the act if you want to turn me on!)
    ***
    And thank you for pointing out that, just as no two vanilla relationships are alike, neither or any two BDSM relationships. A “how to” manual should serve as guide, not bible, and good fiction reflects this reality and variety.

  8. Eden Bradley

    Woof back at ya, James! And thank you for writing such a well-thought-out article. You know I share this pet peeve (people writing BDSM who have no real clue about it and haven’t bothered to do any research). I love that you address how ‘lifestyle’ can have such a variety of meanings, depending on the individuals involved, and I really, really love that you addressed safety issues-something too many people don’t consider before playing. As an author who has been involved in BDSM for over 20 years, I feel it’s my responsibility to touch on these issues in my books-even though they’re fiction-rather than perpetuate myths that can harm those trying this sort of sensual play for the first time-and I know you do, too. Thank you for that. :)

  9. James Buchanan

    Katrina, yeah, I know switches involved in relationships with other switches and they play way differently than a D/s pair would. My idea of a hard limit is some other dude’s idea of just warming up. Realizing that goes a long way to making a book or your own life work.

  10. Stella

    Thank you, James!

    I recently was involved in this exchange; (Idiot ignorant author); “It’s genuine BDSM, she is abducted and forced into servitude and humiliating display. She consents because if she doesn’t she’ll be beaten.”

    Me; “No, I won’t edit your story, and here are some places you can go for information on this subject you insist on writing about.”

  11. Emmy

    hey, it’s Tio Jimmy! :P

    My favorite books are the ones where the characters are at a bar getting pissed, then stumble out to the parking lot for a little smack and tickle. No safewords, no condoms, no negotiating the scene beforehand…just handcuff me to the bumper of the car and boink me blind, baybeeee!

    *trout stare*

    ohohoh and my second fave books are the Dom type guys who grumble something like “Don’t tell me what you want. We just met, but I already know everything you *need*.”

    1. Kris

      And I’ve already vented with you, Emmy, about one of my not-so-fave themes being ‘BDSM will cure what ails you’. *shakes head*
      *
      Awesome post, James.

  12. Angelia Sparrow

    Posts like this are why I read you and why your kink ends up on my “must buy” list.
    *
    I did BDSM wrong for so many years. It was a logical progression out of my upbringing and my taste for kink. I fell in with a top who had the attitude of “I’m the master, you do as I tell you. No safeword, no limits.” And it worked for a lot of years. I found it very sexy for a long time. Of course, we both read too much John Norman in that era.
    *
    These days I try to write safe, sane, consensual. But I’ve been known not to, sometimes even without consequences. (like the one top who basically kidnapped a hustler off the street and turned him into a housepet and justified it with “when you save their lives, you’re responsible for them forever.”)

    1. Danny

      Just a word about… safewords. I had once a Master and I did not have safewords. Yes, there was negociation beforhand, but I did not want safewords. I was sure that if I had called him by name, instead of using “Sir”, he would have known that something was very wrong because I NEVER used his first name. With a safeword, I would have feel like stealing him the control. And anyhow, as my Master said: “You’re so proud and obstinate that, even if you had one, you would not use it”. He was totally right. Stupid me?
      But then, what I want to tell is that is not because a Dom gives you a safeword that he will necessarily stop if you use it. O.K. Probably you will never go back to his place again if he does not stop, but then, maybe the damage is already done.
      And for the Master, the problem is: will the sub use his/her safeword?
      My masochism made me go fast in what I called the “zone”, where endorphins made me fly. When I was in that state, nothing mattered to me. A safeword? Ah ah! I would never have used it in this state of mind. Happily, my Master knew me pretty well, so he knew when to stop and he never went too far. But what if you go with a newbee who does not know what a masochist looks like once in the zone?
      So, do not think that a safeword is the key of the perfect BDSM encounter.
      And for the novels in which the Dom did not give the sub any safeword… Have you read The Humiliator?
      http://www.nifty.org/nifty/gay/authoritarian/humiliator/
      No safeword, no limits, no sane, safe. Consensual, yes, but…
      This is one of my favorite BDSM Book. Why? Because I am looking in books what I did not want to try in reality. I like to read hardcore BDSM. Please, publishers, publish those books. If I cannot have what I need in books, where will I find it? Will I be forced to go to bars to try it? Books are safe. No one is really harmed. And that is false to think that this will lead people to play unsafe. I am not crazy. I will not go with someone I do not know without any backup (leave the address where I go to someone) and without negociation, without a meeting in a public place first, etc. And yes, I prefer a safeword at least for the first scenes (we never really know). But when I know the Dom, that I feel safe with him, the safeword is not mandatory anymore.

  13. James Buchanan

    Ellie, I hope some of this is useful.
    ***
    “she is abducted and forced into servitude and humiliating display. She consents because if she doesn’t she’ll be beaten.” *Shudder* yeah, ahhh, no, I’m with you Stella that’s called Rape and kidnapping.
    ***
    Emmy “bar getting pissed, then stumble out to the parking lot for a little smack and tickle.” As an acquaintance of mine has said…that’s the whole POINT of leather bars. But, yeah, that’s a quick hook up.

    Angelia, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and then we just do the best that we can.

  14. mrb

    great post James. I enjoy reading BDSM books so unfortunately I come across lots of books that are either way over the top, make no sense or are extremely unsafe. A little research goes a long way. Read a book with a good plot and interesting characters a little while ago, then the Dom leaves the sub tied up for hours, unattended after a whipping … well that did it for me, won’t buy the author again. And what’s with all the spanking, seriously?! Just because there seems to be a BDSM trend that doesn’t mean authors have to jump on it.

  15. Claire Thompson

    This is a very interesting post and the comments are interesting too! Thanks for the reference to my work. It is heartening to be referenced as “reasonably accurate”! Grin!

    Here is some food for thought. Some BDSM books are about consensual, realistic relationships, and should incorporate all the aspects discussed here – safe, sane, consensual, with lots of communication and working stuff through and figuring out limits on both sides. That’s what my more recent work includes (Golden Boy, Masked Submission, Dare to Dominate, Sub for Hire, Submission Times Two, Accidental Slave etc).

    That said, even within these books, people fuck up. Eric in Golden Boy went way too fast and way too far with Johnny, because he wasn’t mindful enough to just how new Johnny was to it all. Doms aren’t perfect – they are human and flawed, and they fuck up, sometimes to the point of nearly destroying a relationship and/or damaging the trust of their sub.

    When I write these novels, I want to tell a story, first and foremost. A story about real people trying to figure things out and get it at least kind of right. The BDSM in my BDSM stories is of course a central theme, but the main theme of these romances is, by definition, romance!

    Then there are other kinds of novels, the nonconsensual,dark and dirty fantasy abduction stuff, which, if you are sick and twisted like me, is very fun to write and read. NOT to live, mind you, but as a dark fantasy, it can be very compelling. I would caution the reader, when reading some of my earlier, nonconsensual, non-romance stuff, that’s it’s designed that way. It’s NOT about safe/sane/consensual love stories or a how-to manual on a D/s relationship. No, it’s a fantasy, and should be read as such! This would include Obsession, Slave Jade, The Toy, Frog, Golden Angel, etc. … I even break them out on my website so no one gets tricked into reading a nonconsensual when they are in fact looking for a romance…

    Thank you, James, for an excellent blog. Thank you all, for your insightful and interesting comments, and thank you Wave, for giving us the forum!

    p.s. I don’t just write about this lifestyle, I live it! Hence it is great comfort to know I am reasonably accurate! grin

    1. Wave Post author

      Claire
      I’m very happy that you break out the different types of BDSM books, non con and others, so that readers who go to your website know what to look for. But what happens when they buy these books from say, amazon.com, where there is no differentiation?

      **

      Whenever we review books, whether it’s BDSM or some form of non con, or twincest, or whatever, etc., I and the guest reviewers on this site always note this in the review. However, not every review site is as conscientious, and readers may unknowingly buy the wrong kind of BDSM book and try to practice what they read.

      **

      I agree with James that not all writers know the basics about BDSM before putting pen to paper (I’m not talking about you Claire because you have always made it clear that you live the lifestyle), and they provide erroneous information in their books, which is a damn shame.

      1. Claire Thompson

        I agree too, and those writers who just make up their idea of a D/s relationship end up creating lousy stories that don’t ring true. Just like vanilla romance authors or authors in any genre who write a story by forcing a plot line, rather than letting the characters lead the way and create a story that is natural for who they turn out to be.

        For me, D/s is a passion, and I have tried with my romance novels to convey the depths of that passion. But it’s also FUN! I want my characters to enjoy it, to appreciate the intensity and also the playfulness.

        When I was first writing, I was so dang serious about it all, but as I’ve grown older, and have more real life experience, I try to add the sheer joy of it all, and hopefully, sometimes, I manage to capture that.

        I just finished the manuscript for my first cowboy m/m bdsm novel, called Texas Surrender. It was fun to write because one of the guys was utterly clueless about the scene, while the other was world-weary and jaded. To have them come together (no pun, I swear) in an unlikely pairing was a challenge. I will leave it to readers to see if the challenge was met!

  16. Diane NYC

    Does anyone know if there are any books or essays on the evolution of BDSM literature? The first books I read on the subject were classic translations of the Marquis de Sade and The Story of O… but I found them to be kind of depressing. I stayed away from the genre for a while until I discovered the more grounded and romantic BDSM lit Buchanan is discussing. Is that style of BDSM lit new (meaning in the last 10 or 20 years) or was I just unlucky and read the wrong stuff in college?
    -
    Btw Wave – it is interesting that you mentioned BDSM lit and Amazon. I bought a bunch of Claire Thompson’s stuff a while back based on Amazon recommendations and her books Obsession and Frog accidentally made it into the mix (my fault, I didn’t read the descriptions carefully). Wow.. that stuff makes Marquis de Sade look like a girl scout! :)

    1. Wave Post author

      Diane
      I like BDSM but try to stay away from “extreme” examples of it in books because it doesn’t turn me on. I have not read Frog or Obsession but I’ll take your word for it about the content. It’s always a good rule to read the reviews carefully before you buy a book because you could end up with one (or two) that make your hair curl, and maybe not in a good way.

      1. Claire Thompson

        The extreme thing about Frog and Toy is that they are abduction stories. They are not D/s stories. They are stories of kidnapping and erotic torture. They are NOT for the romance reading crowd, and were never written for my gentle readers of today. They were penned nearly a dozen years ago, and are dark fantasies about what it would be like to be abducted and held against your will and used sexually. They really have almost nothing to do with BDSM, certainly not in the romantic sense we have been discussing here. On my site, they are under “Other” and then further categorized as “The Dark Side” so you would never accidentally buy one, thinking it’s a romance! That said, they are penetrating stories that try to get into the mind of both the abductors (Their motives, what they get from this) and the abductees (both innocent young women who not only find a way to cope with what is happening and even (in Frog) to exact revenge and (in Toy) to escape.

  17. James Buchanan

    Sorry to have disappeared on you all for a bit. We threw a Halloween bash for the Spawn and their friends tonight. 5 people RSVP’d we had 35 kids. That’s So.Cal for you. Spent the last hour just cleaning up…and we haven’t done dishes yet.
    **
    I’m glad you liked topic, Sloan. Thanks for stopping by.
    **
    Oh, cool, thanks, MRB, for the updated version! It is a great resource.
    **
    Hey, Claire, you’re reasonably accurate and f*ng sexy…snort.
    **
    NP, Syd. I think Dr. Fell is pretty damn good.
    **
    Dian, I’m not sure anyone has done a study of the growth of BDSM through literature, but Syd or Lee Benoit would know better than I.

  18. Ingrid

    Sorry for not being a native speaker but what I meant is that romance stories are unrealistic. So I am glad that one aspect of the story is real.

  19. Diane NYC

    Hi Claire – I was just commenting on how Amazon’s recommendations tool doesn’t always differentiate between romantic BDSM and rape/torture fantasy books because as you pointed out, they are separate genres directed at different audiences. I guess Amazon’s software sees enough overlap between the two genres to encourage it to make cross recommendations – though I suspect a fair number of these crossover purchases are just from dumb folks like me, who click before thinking:) I just visited your website and you do an excellent job of segregating the titles there. And so what if some of your books gave me nightmares – I am big girl, I can handle it *grin*

  20. Mercy Loomis

    Great article James! And I particularly like the comment “But you’re your mnd is the house is where you live, you don’t need more than a few basic necessities to live there, but the decorations make you happy.”

    I love me some toys, don’t get me wrong, but honestly they’re mostly for the husband. If I’m blindfolded, I won’t see them, will I? ;)

    mrb, you asked why all the spanking? Because it’s fun! Although that’s where I prefer toys, honestly – I’ll take a flogger or a slapper or a crop over a hand ANY day.

    I know a lot of people don’t get the pain thing, so the masochist headspace features in a few of my short stories, particularly “The Princess and Peony.” The appeal is really hard to explain in person, but easier to “show” in fiction.

  21. mrb

    *
    mrb, you asked why all the spanking? Because it’s fun! Although that’s where I prefer toys, honestly – I’ll take a flogger or a slapper or a crop over a hand ANY day.
    *
    Mercy, totally get the spanking, flogging in real life BDSM relationships … spank away. :-) My question was meant for m/m authors that suddenly 3/4 of the way through a vanilla m/m book have one of the charcters spank the other out of the blue, neither fits the characters nor does anything for the plot. BDSM sells, so I guess thats why some authors just throw it in.

  22. watswhods

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