Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Bliss of BDSM Romance Erotica

You read a book one day that wowed you.

In the past, you’d discovered the romances you liked best were hot. The hotter, the better and you sought them out. Pored over back cover blurbs and flipped through the pages to spot “those” words. You know the ones. The ones that rang your chimes. Some of those books were sensually and romantically erotic. Others? Just down and dirty raunchy romance.

Then one day the book you picked up had some other words. Words like Dominance and submission. Kink. Master/slave. Words like flogger, butt plug, bondage, discipline, paddling, spanking, sadist and masochist.

And your little heart went pit-a-pat, didn’t it?

And something else started up to throb and tingle, too, didn’t it?

‘Fess up.

What you discovered next was that this book wasn’t one of a kind: There were dozens and dozens, nay, hundreds of these kinky romances out there. Not just hot vanilla love scenes. Not just the always titillating ménage romances. No, these books were totally populated with ladies and gentlemen getting their kink on.

So you began to devour them. As you read, however, you began to notice that the quality varied. Sure, there was lots of well-choreographed BDSM action going on. But sometimes it felt like the characters were being put through their paces by an author who just didn’t quite . . . get it?

And those books didn’t have quite the same oomph factor as some others. Those others that really stirred you - where the characters’ psyches and emotions were all woven together. Their kinky desires didn’t spring from nowhere. They weren’t just “playing”. Those dark needs and cravings were all part of the heroes’ and heroines’ personalities. And those needs and cravings caused conflict. Those needs and cravings were part of a journey to an emotional and physical understanding, and acceptance of self. The acts these characters engaged in were not casual. They were part and parcel of the romantic exploration the lovers undertook together as their loving relationships evolved.

These are the books that truly mesmerize me. I want the souls of these characters laid bare for me (along with their bodies). I want to understand, be aroused and seduced, and take the journey with them.

I want to read about their feelings and the physicality of their play. Don’t just tell me he spanked her …. I want to experience her reactions. Not just physically, but how does the act she is indulging in make her feel – emotionally? How does He feel when she kneels in submission? How do the complexities of the lifestyle challenge them, both physically as well as emotionally?

Getting the full picture is what makes a BDSM erotic romance pulse with life for me, as a reader.

And as a writer of BDSM and erotic romances and erotica, I want to be able to give my readers, too, exactly what I crave: Specificity, authenticity, reality.

I have learned a great deal about BDSM over the years, both as a person, and as an author. But it wasn’t until I attended the BDSM for Writers Workshop in 2013, where a small group of authors explored further aspects of BDSM together, that I realized just how much more I needed to know.

So this August’s 2014 BDSM For Writers Conference turned out to be one of the most awesome experiences I could have had, as an author AND as a reader and fan, of this smoking hot genre.

Grandly expanded, it afforded the opportunity to meet so many new people in the lifestyle. In addition to panels and presentations, we visited a local NYC dungeon, Paddles. We watched dozens demonstrations of activities that you can read about, but can’t fully grasp until you see them unfolding right in front of you.

A beautiful young woman being bound and punished by a powerful, dominant man. Hearing her moans. Watching the expressions on her face as he put her through her paces. Seeing her body in all its spanked and bound rosy flush. The memory of these sights, and her sighs, now fuel my own writing.

And that couple who gave a flogging demonstration?

Watching her strip. Watching the focus as the two of them began their scene. Hearing the sounds of the floggers, hearing their whispers. Hearing her shrieks. And then watching her lazy smile as she checked out the marks he’d left on her ass.

And incredibly, watching the pair as they essentially shut out the rest of the people and withdrew into a world where it was just the two of them. Cuddling, stroking, holding one another in the afterglow.

There were tons of other opportunities to chat with authors and lifestyle participants. Good, dirty fun at the “Kinky Confessional” panel. Witnessing a spanking. And the array of implements we got to test out – How can I spank thee? Let me count the kinky ways!

Fire play.

Electric play by a very creative – and funny – Dom and his traveling array of violet wands and kinky accoutrements.

Of course, everywhere there were books with BDSM-themed covers. There were giveaways and raffle baskets filled with naughty toys. There were paddles and floggers that left marks. Nipple clamps and blindfolds for sale. And books, books and more books. By iconic authors like Laura Antoniou and Joey W. Hill and many authors unknown to me (of whom I am now a rabid fan), who were all generous and informative about their books, their writing, and their own personal kink.

And best of all, there were readers galore. Readers who’d come from near and far to celebrate their favorite sub-genre of romance: BDSM erotic love stories.

So I was in heaven for those four days. Surrounded by kinky toys, kinky people and kinky books, I was able to learn a great deal. Experience a few new things, get a more in-depth understanding of the variety that exists in the lifestyle - from the sublime, to the legally precarious moments lifestyle practitioners may encounter. Still, we all laughed so hard it was ironic, given the many chats on sadism and masochism we had!

Dr. Charley Ferrer, author, lifestyle teacher and spokesperson, lecturer and creator of the Conference, provided us all this chance to wallow in the warmth, humanity, humor and insight of the world of BDSM. To network with others of like-minds, and to uncover great new details for our own writing that, I, for one, can attest will ensure I have the knowledge to craft a richer portrait of my kinky characters.

And here’s the best news of all for you readers and authors of BDSM erotic romance and erotica! You, too, can get your kink on, meet some great authors, mingle with some fellow fans, and if you’re feeling adventurous, volunteer to be a subject in a demo!

BDSM Conference for Readers and Writers 2015 is already open for registration! http://bdsmwriterscon.com/

See you there!

Lise Horton is an avid reader of BDSM erotica and erotic romance, and a writer of same. Under her erotica pseudonym Lydia Hill, her short story, “My Master’s Mark” in the 2014 “Slave Girls: Erotic Stories of Submission” anthology edited by DL King, earned Library Journal’s praise in its starred review as “surprisingly poignant”. Her short story, “A Simple Tryst of Fate” will appear in the upcoming Violet Blue edited Cleis Press anthology, “Best Women’s Erotica 2015”. As Lise Horton she writes erotic romance, including Words of Lust (Carina Press, 2013). For more of her kinky creative musings, visit her blog http://blackrosediaries.blogspot.com/