Writing BDSM “Right”

14

19/09/2012 by Basia Rose

ONE

I was editing a BDSM scene last night, and I edited, and edited, and edited… took out a thrust here, a slap there…

…And suddenly my kinky scene involved two vanilla people having run-of-the-mill missionary sex.  The scene sucks.

Writing BDSM is hard!

TWO

I was reading a few reviews of a very popular BDSM author on a very popular book review site today, and there was practically steam coming out of my ears by the time I stopped. I wanted to tell those people who know nothing about BDSM to not make comments about it, because – love a book or hate it – you can’t admit to not knowing about BDSM in the same sentence you criticise the author’s portrayal of it!

I call this Fifty Shades of Twilight Syndrome (or Fifty Shades of Facepalm as a Facebook friend called it today – I’m totally hijacking that name!). Everyone knows the right way to write BDSM these days!

Allegedly:

  1. Real people don’t go to BDSM clubs (then why do they exist?).
  2. Real people never play in public (what are all those play parties for then? Scrabble? Musical chairs?).
  3. Real people don’t like exhibitionism (some – too many! – do, actually!).
  4. Real people don’t use BDSM equipment (and yet, it exists).
  5. Real women in BDSM aren’t sluts like the characters in BDSM books (by that, they mean that if you play with more than one person, you are pretty disgusting). And they think women who play in public are all sluts because…
  6. All BDSM scenes involve sex (no, they really don’t, especially not in public).

I could go on, but you get the picture. Of course REAL people don’t all do these things (MANY don’t), but there’re plenty of REAL people who do. The authors aren’t pulling these ideas out of their arses!

I don’t know how those two things (my writing + the book reviews) are related, but I had both thoughts on my mind all day. Writing BDSM is hard… reviewing BDSM is really bloody hard when you don’t bother to look into some details before speaking about it with authority. By all means review the book however you want, but don’t start announcing that “people in BDSM don’t do that”. Because yeah, they bloody well do.

Does this mean you can’t review something unless you know all the details about the lifestyle? Hell, no! Same goes for any other genre.

But I think a visit to FetLife is in order for these reviewers before they claim nobody in BDSM is interested in sharing their kinky experiences with onlookers (what – about 50% of the men there have a close-up of their penis as their profile picture!).

On the other hand, these people involved in the discussion did make a valid complaint that if you like reading books about BDSM outside of clubs, the pickings are slim. Because a few popular authors write really good, slightly fantastical depictions of BDSM clubs, everyone wants to copy them.

However, I’m more than tired of the readers who write off any BDSM fiction set in a club. Why? Because a club (or a simple play party) setting opens up a book to so many more possibilities. You’re rarely going to read about cool stuff like fireplay if a book is set in someone’s house.

Also, there’re only so many times you can read a BDSM book that covers things like, “What’s a safeword?” before you need to move onto Kink 102.

Do real BDSM clubs stock every kinky thing known to man, allow public sex at every turn, and have hundreds of 6’ 4’’ male supermodels just waiting to fulfil your every desire? Uh… that would be a definite NO! Actually, I am getting tired of the mega-sexy Domly Doms who populate many books. I don’t want them hideously ugly, but a little less emphasis on the perfect would be nice – especially as their subs are always plain, unpopular and have weight problems and no confidence. Double-standard anyone?

That’s wishful thinking, of course. With Fifty Shades of Twilight doing its best to bring about the downfall of society, mega Doms and their Bella Swan-inspired bimbo subs aren’t going away any time soon.

But – for the love of God – people please try Googling something to see if it’s real before telling authors to write books by your idea of how REAL BDSM is supposed to be done.

14 thoughts on “Writing BDSM “Right”

  1. Black Hippie Chick says:

    I’m getting ready to start a Creative Writing program that’s geared towards movies, animation, gaming…wouldn’t it be fun to write a script for a BDSM RPG, lol. You could have different kink ratings in the settings, 50 Shades of 5 Fingers to the Face could be the PG/R rated version.

    • Basia Rose says:

      LOL – “This program is rated Fifty Shades.”
      I’d like to know how they’ll rate the movie – and I’m hoping the rumours about Justin Bieber being in it are true. That would be hilarious!

  2. Black Hippie Chick says:

    I can hear my teen begging me to see the movie, becase he’s in it…

    • Basia Rose says:

      Imagine – cinemas full of kids going to watch porn!
      But Bieber’s too religious to do it anyway. He thinks sex is for evil people!

  3. Black Hippie Chick says:

    Opps, because…that’s what I get for talking & toying at the same time

  4. Joan says:

    I love this post. I really see a lot of those ‘alleged’ facts in books that are supposed to be “BDSM” romances, too.

    • Basia Rose says:

      Thanks! It drives me crazy. There’s not some magical “correct” way BDSM is done, and often the things readers think don’t happen are actually some of the more popular aspects of it!

  5. Gawd, I love this post. We went to a public play party just the other night at a local swing club. Loads of equipment (st andrews crosses, spanking benches, bondage swing, a fucking machine, etc etc plus people doing low-rent shibari), lots of public and semi-public sex. It happens, people. Get over it. 🙂

    • Basia Rose says:

      People read Fifty Shades of Grey and now think they’re experts. I can’t believe how many times I’ve had a completely vanilla person recently say how BDSM REALLY is.
      I don’t know why they’d think none of this other stuff exists, and I don’t know what it is to them anyway! They are just missing the good stuff.

  6. I know for me personally Cherise Sinclair, Kallypso Masters both have some of the best BDSM books and they both go on fetlife and do lots of research. Tymber Dalton is also a good one but I have only read the Reluctant Dom but she lives the lifestyle. I have thought about trying to write it but it scares me because I don’t live the lifestyle I wouldn’t want it to come across as ohh here is some vanilla chick trying to write BDSM lol

    • Basia Rose says:

      Annabel Joseph and Kitty Thomas also come to mind – both live the lifestyle.
      Sometimes the best writers aren’t involved in the lifestyle though – if you’re a good writer, you’re a good writer!

      • Ohh I did not know they also did. I still haven’t read any of their books I swear there are so many books and so little time. 🙂

  7. I have a serious question Basia my dear…has anyone ever hung you from the rafters and beaten you into silence or submission for real? This is not meant to be a smart comment but I am really curious because the best way to write about it is to DO IT…

    • Basia Rose says:

      As I’ve said, I don’t talk about my personal experiences on purpose – I’m currently dealing with a stalker, and don’t need to give them any more ammunition. I refuse to bring my personal life online.
      Of course personal experience helps – but there’re some real-life BDSM folks out there who write really shitty books. And some who don’t live the lifestyle but who write incredible books. That’s all I was saying.
      However, I’ve had one profile or another on FetLife for a while, for a reason…

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