Monday, September 7, 2015
SYNCOPATED RHYTHM: The Dance of Dom and sub
“This is like a kinky duet, my friend. You can’t do it alone and expect it to be smooth, or pretty.” Ben Sterling, HOLD TIGHT, 9-15-15 from Loose Id
Our second round of workshops on the first day of the BDSM Writers Conference was another opportunity to sit at the feet of Cecilia Tan and wallow in her greatness. Her “Doms Are From Mars and Subs Are From Venus” covered such rich ground as we delved into the supremely important aspects of a relationship between a Dom and a sub, that I’m still foraging for nuggets of writing gold in my notes.
As so often can happen with any relationship, miscommunication can lead to huge conflict. Add to this D/s play, and power exchange, and raw sexual action, and you have the recipe for wonderfully rich conflict and plot elements for BDSM erotic romance. This kind of conflict can heat up your characters, and your story, exponentially, helping to drive the blend of kink and romance that must be woven tightly and seamlessly to ensure riveting characters and a gripping story.
Trust. Truthful communication. Expectation. Kink. Love. Jealousy. Mistaken cues. Overlooked clues. These all become a recipe for a romance. Or a recipe for disaster. And what better way to torment your characters than to thrust them into a disaster!
I know there were other authors there who took note of a keen insight Cecilia had made while researching. A large majority of submissives would rather suffer bodily harm than disappoint their Dom. Startling, until you think about the power of the relationship in question. And then it is far more understandable. And shows just how difficult it can be to navigate a relationship in this world. Where even a safe word unspoken can rock that world.
As an author, using these realities of human experience and psychology allow me to create fallible characters.
Because, after all, who wants perfect on page 1? We want to see the characters in all their troubled, tangled, confused humanity. We want to watch them be forced to face their foibles, overcome obstacles. We want to cheer them on as they learn, and grow, acknowledge hard truths, embrace those truths and grow to become a better, freer person at the end of their journey. A person who can embrace the love that they thought they didn’t deserve, or couldn’t have. Characters who finally – FINALLY! - accept themselves in all their kinky glory, and find the right person to share their life with. Happily ever after!
Cecilia Tan’s presentation added a wealth to my library of information to work with when creating my characters. Wonderfully, too, she confirmed the legitimacy of my heroine, Eden Grant, in my forthcoming BDSM erotic romance (HOLD TIGHT, 9-15-15, Loose Id Publishing), whose mistake during a scene instigates a major hurdle that she and Hud Crockett, her Dom, will have to overcome.
No human is perfect. No Dom is always right. No sub always behaves. Scenes can go wrong. Mistakes can be made. People can mess up. And in our stories, perfection isn’t where the fun is. Conflict is our meal, and angst and drama are the spices that flavor our tales of lust and love.
Bottom line, screwing with our characters heads and hearts is where it’s at. Because it’s so awesome when they figure it out!
Yes. I’m that twisted! Aren’t we all? Come on. Admit it.