Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fighting for Control

So, did I happen to mention that Fighting for Control is out now? I know, I know, bad author! I'd suggest flogging me but I might enjoy it too much and not get back to writing!



Speaking of enjoying, this book has gotten some nice reviews! Angela at Sizzling Hot Book Reviews gave it 4 hearts!

Amy at the Romance Studio also gave it 4 hearts.

I am so tickled they liked it, and I got such a kick reading the book through their comments. There's a gift you can give all your favorite authors for the holidays - leave a review on Goodreads or the site where you bought the book. That's the best part of writing (next to royalty checks, of course!), hearing from the readers who enjoy your books.

Happy Holidays to you all! May Santa leave you a naughty toy or two, and a sexy playmate to enjoy it with. I wish you all a safe holiday.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

BDSM Book Reviews


Looking for one concentrated place to find good kinky books? There's a fairly newish review site out there specializing in reviews for BDSM books. BDSM Book Reviews. The reviewers themselves are kinky folks, so you know they're interested in these stories.

Okay, I'm particularly partial to this new site because they've just reviewed Fettered Love and given it 4 out of 5 Paddles. (Thank you Michele) But in this day and age of fragmented attention and a bazillion places to look for the perfect reading material, it helps to have a dedicated place to go if you crave one particular sub-genre.

Here's a snippet from my review:

"I enjoyed this story and the characters had depth and dimension. The depth that Kirk and Evan's love is consuming in and out of the dungeon. The BDSM scenes are descriptive and intense, but rational for the intensity supported throughout the story."

Several other stories in our 1-800 series have been reviewed at this site (Emerald Dungeon by Kathy Kulig and Needing Harte by Marilu Mann) so check them out. Who knows, maybe a few more of our books have slipped in without me knowing.

Take care and happy reading.

Safe, sane and consensual,
Michelle

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The ABCs of BDSM



More and more erotic romances today deal with the world of BDSM, an acronym that represents bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism. But the “life” has a glossary of terms all t’s own, so today I thought I’d let you in on what a few of them mean. A kind of roadmap for you to use the next time you read a BDSM romance.

BDSM is an acronym for bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism.

D/s (Dominance and submission) includes master and slave role-playing scenarios.

Aftercare: The time after a BDSM scene or play session in which the participants calm down, discuss the previous events and their personal reactions to them, and slowly come back in touch with reality.

Black sheet party: An orgy for people into BDSM sex.

Bondage: Acts involving the physical restraint of a partner. Bondage typically refers to total restraint, however it can be limited to a particular body part, such as breast bondage.

Bottom: one who receives physical sensation from a top in a scene; the one-done-to rather than the do-er.

Collaring: The formal acceptance by a dominant, of a sub's service, or the "ownership" of a pup by a Master or Trainer. Also the ceremony when a dominant commits to a sub (much like a wedding or other contract).

DM: Dungeon Monitor, a person who supervises the interactions between participants at a play party or dungeons to enforce house rules - essentially, the bouncer of a BDSM event. They sometimes also play cruise director to keep/get the party going.

Dominant” A person who exercises control - contrast with submissive

Domme: Woman who exercises control.

Dungeon: Usually referring to a room or area with BDSM equipment and play space

Fetish: A specific obsession or delight in one object or experience.

Fire play: Creative uses of heat.

Munch: A group of people that are into BDSM meeting at a "vanilla" place in street-appropriate attire. Sometimes this is a club.

Play party: A BDSM event involving many people engaging in scenes.

Safe, sane and consensual - (SSC) a credo used by some BDSM practitioners to determine the appropriateness of BDSM play.

Safeword - A codeword a bottom can use to force BDSM activity to stop - used especially in scenes which may involve consensual force.

Subspace: A "natural high" that a sub (or bottom) gets during a scene or when being controlled. The sub may feel disconnected from time, space, and/or their body, and may have limited ability to communicate. It is critical that a Dom(me)/top take responsibility for the sub/bottom and be aware of their sub's wellbeing if they are in subspace.

switch: Someone who likes being both top and bottom, either in one scene or on different occasions.

Topping from the bottom: A bottom who purports to be a submissive but who nonetheless wants to direct the top.

TPE or Total power exchange: a relationship where the dominant or owner has complete authority and influence over the submissive's life, making the majority of decisions.

Be sure to check out the entire 1-800-DOMHelp series. And visit my web site at www.desireeholt.com.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

BDSM Sayings


The following eleven "sayings" appear as written in Jay Wiseman's classic text, SM101. All credit goes to Jay and his noted sources. As an introduction to the wild, woolly world of BDSM, there's a lot of wisdom in these nuggets of advice. Here's the list:

1. You almost never get into serious trouble by going too slowly.
2. SM is something you do with someone, not something you do to someone.
3. If it's going to go bad, it usually goes bad in isolation.
4. Introduce one new thing at a time, preferably only one new thing during a session.
5. If you want to know what they're into, watch their eyes. They can't fake the eyes.
6. Harder is not necessarily better. Faster is not necessarily better. More often is not necessarily better. More elaborate is not necessarily better. More expensive is not necessarily better.
7. Beware the trap of over-eagerness.
8. Think with your head.
9. How someone will react to erotic bondage is one thing. How they will react to erotic submission is a second, separate reaction. How they will react to erotic pain in a third.
10. Experience it yourself before you do it to someone else.
11. If you want to know what you're into, take a close look at what you're fantasizing about just before you come while masturbating.

There are more nuggets like these from Jay on the list, but I didn't want to overwhelm.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Why I Write BDSM




I find the aspect of BDSM intriguing. I enjoy reading it, so it would follow I enjoy writing it. This lifestyle and subculture has many complexities and is often criticized and misunderstood. There’s a level of intensity between characters in these stories that isn’t usually found in typical vanilla romance. When I first decided to incorporate elements of BDSM and later write a full story, I have to admit I was intimidated.

Had I read enough? Did I understand the dynamics well enough to portray the characters accurately? And couples as loving, caring people? Through recommendations from well-known authors of this subgenre like Joey W. Hill, Ann Jacobs, Maria Isabel Pita, Marilyn Jaye Lewis, the 1-800-DOM-help series authors and many others, I’ve acquired quite a library of BDSM non-fiction and fiction books.
The emotional, physical and psychological areas in a BDSM relationship can create problems and conflicts such as insecurities, jealousy, dependency issues, fear of abandonment, physical injuries, etc. Some of these issues may also cause conflict in a traditional romance but not to the same degree. These difficulties provide lots of interesting ideas for stories. Imagine the level of trust involved when a character first allows a new lover to tie him up? Or uses a whip, or performs some other element of pain and/or pleasure.

In this kind of power exchange activity, communication and trust is essential. Of course you don’t have to be involved in this lifestyle to enjoy reading or writing it. I believe most of us are voyeurs at heart and curious about the dynamics of Domination and submission, Sadism and Masochism, bondage and discipline. We want to experience it, if only through our fantasies and through the eyes of the characters in the book. Even if we have no desire to ever feel the sting of a flogger.
Writing BDSM fiction has been a writer’s journey for me, talking with authors who write in the genre, reading non-fiction and fiction books. There certainly is an ‘edge’ to these stories that I like and writing them well is not easy. I’ve enjoyed reading all of the 1-800-DOM-help books. There’s a similar thread that these books share but each author has taken a very unique twist. Each one explored a different area of the lifestyle too. All of them great reads!
A well-crafted BDSM scene is an adrenaline rush, euphoric, and arousing for the reader and the writer. Author Susie Bright in her non-fiction book “How to Write a Dirty Story” says that once you’ve hit your zone and you’re writing the perfect erotic scene, it’s like, “an orgasmic cocktail.”

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

POETRY - JOURNEYS TO THE HEART


I was thinking this morning about what might convey the feeling, intensity or personal meaning of BDSM in a way that is accessible for those not in the lifestyle. The word "poetry" popped into my mind. As a writer I've dabbled in my own poetry (admittedly stone-age quality) to explore emotion. I decided to do a quick search on the web for BDSM or D/s poetry links. Here's what I got. Check it out.

DsCulture

#submission efnet bdsm chat

leathernroses

Poetry, like prose, touches the soul in a way that dry description cannot. It is a window to our inner playground. I hope to spend some time in the future creating my own D/s poetry. Here's to future projects!

Safe, sane and consensual,
Michelle

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fighting for Control Update


I'm so excited to announce I'm in edits for Fighting for Control and may have a release date to announce soon! In the meantime, here's a sample to whet your appetitite:

The golden god—Brad, she was certain—moved behind her and she twisted to see what he was doing. He stood at the table with the toys on it, but she couldn’t turn far enough to tell what he was up to. She heard him shift something around, and then he approached, standing so close she felt his breath on her shoulders.

“You want to learn if someone can fill your needs without being asked, right?” he said.

“Yes, Master C.”

“Be free to enjoy an evening without planning it all yourself?”

“Yes Master.” He was describing her wants practically word for word from her list. Hearing him speak them aloud made her understand submission as Mistress Marla described it. Lori wasn’t bending to someone else’s desires, she was looking for someone who matched her needs. Finding the man who wanted what she was willing to give, and who was willing to give in return.

“Tonight is not about taking orders, being told what to do. It’s about not giving orders. Do you understand the difference?” Marc, Master Q, asked.

“Yes Sir.”

“Tell me the difference.”

“I’m not going to tell you what I want you to do. I’m going to trust that I’ll be satisfied by what you decide to do.”

“Very good.”

Something as soft as a whisper brushed across her shoulders and she gasped. What a sensation, like butterfly kisses flitting across her skin. Master C swept the tool back and forth on her upper back. His gravelly voice heated her insides. “Pleasure comes in many ways. The entire body is a sex organ if you let it be. Close your eyes and focus on the feeling of the feather.”

She did. The feather stroked down her shoulder and up her raised arm, and returned to repeat the trip on the other arm. A wake of gooseflesh flowed outward from the touch. He circled her, moving to her chest—first the flat upper part, then skirting the slopes pushed up by the bustier. Her nipples tightened as her areolas wrinkled, the rest of her breasts swelling. The leather top grew uncomfortable as she filled the cups completely. Automatically she tugged her right arm to reach for the zipper, wanting to feel the feather on the rest of her breasts.

Realization that she wanted to bare her breasts to Brad made her freeze. She tried to put him out of her mind and focus again on the feather.

“Stop fighting it. That won’t get you anywhere. Relax and let us work. For now, just feel. Do you like it?”

“Yes Sir.” She wasn’t sure who spoke, since she still had her eyes closed. It sounded more like Marc's buttery-smooth tones. Both men orbited continuously around her. She heard their shoes squeak on the floor, became aware of their shifting energy, but only one continued to touch her, if only through the feather.

That changed when the constraint of her bustier released as the zipper lowered. Sucking in her stomach, she straightened. The need building in her from the feather on her chest evaporated at the thought of being seen by both men. She licked her lips to keep from speaking.

The bustier fell away and the men’s breathing audibly altered. The shorter, faster breaths made her feel sexy. They liked what they saw. Could she open her eyes yet? She needed to see their reactions.

Braving punishment, she blinked. Neither man was in front of her. She bit her lower lip. So much for her ego. No one was looking at her breasts. She twisted again to see what they were doing.

“Pleasure can be reached by many routes,” said Brad as he walked around and stood in front of her.

***

In the true spirit of torture, I mean, anticipation, I leave you here and get back to my edits. Enjoy!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Flogging for fun


While doing research for today’s blog I came across a very interesting web site called Flogging for Fun. I thought I’d share some of the interesting info with you. Just in case. Ya know?
Flogging and being flogged can be intensely erotically stimulating. For the Top (Dominant partner), it can be about power, but it can also be about giving a sensually superior sensation to the bottom (submissive partner). For the bottom (submissive partner), flogging can be about the pain, but for many of 'us', it is about the enormous endorphin rush we get coupled with the concept of kink, or the erotic connection between partners, due to increased sensitivity and acceptance of erotic stimuli. The truth about flogging is that there are as many reasons for the joys as there are individuals practicing it!
Choosing Your Flogger (the implement)
Floggers should be carefully selected for the sensation or level of sensation it provides. If you are not into pain, select your flogger for the softness and pliability of the falls. Generally, the thicker the falls, the thuddier the flogger will be, and conversely, the thinner the falls, the stingier.
While for many people, their bottom is the absolute favorite area to receive the flogger's caress, many of us also enjoy breasts, thighs, upper (muscle padded) back, genitals, and the soles of our feet (called Bastinado, and ONLY done with extreme caution).
Choosing Your Flogger (the person doing the flogging)
Unless you know someone who is an experienced flogger, the best thing to do is attend a flogging workshop, instructed by reputable, experienced floggers, before even thinking about flogging a live human. These 'demos' are often held regularly at local dungeons or bdsm community gatherings. And you never know what interesting people you might meet!
You should practice on an inanimate object, such as a pillow or cushion bolster. Place the pillow on a chair or stool approximately the height of the 'submissive subject's' bottom, and for starters, concentrate ONLY on the buttocks while learning to 'throw' the flogger properly and safely. Another idea is to pin a pillow to a wire coat hanger and hang that from a doorknob, to practice stroking an upright human being with varying stroke intensities and rhythms. A damp paper towel or tissue can be a great gauge of your control after you have practiced some on strike zones and aim.
If you do it right, your submissive will be begging for more!
Hope this helps a little and…happy flogging!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Woefully Overdue Report on Romanticon and Ass-Smacking (UPDATED)

Yes, I know. The 1-800-DOM-help authors have been back from Romanticon for over a week now and we have yet to report back to our faithful readers on the success of our conference presentation, Del Dryden's ass-smacking experience, or any other kinky, naughty antics from the event. I will hang my head in shame for the collective group. In attendance at the event were: me (Michelle Polaris), Christine d'Abo, Delphine Dryden, Francesca Hawley, Desiree Holt, Kathy Kulig, Delilah Devlin, and Allie Standifer. Samantha Cayto was also at the conference, but arrived too late for the presentation.

And I might as well admit right now that I have no photos from our group presentation which we lovingly entitled BDSM from Top to Bottom. There are many amazing and tantalizing photos from Romanticon floating around the web so I'm sure you can find something to sate your appetite. If any other group members captured a photo during our seminar please feel free to chime in and post it.

ATTENTION: REVISION ALERT!!! I do indeed have a seminar picture thanks to the lovely Cris Anson (www.crisanson.com) who heard my plea and sent an image she captured at our event.
Here is the lovely Delphine Dryden bent over the chair allowing me (far left in the red shirt, skirt and boots) to smack her ass. The green and black stranded flogger (soft leather) is mid-swing if you can spot it. In the background to the left is Desiree Holt also snapping a picture so I know at least one other exists.

And here's the same unrelated random conference pic for good measure before moving on with things.

The photo is of a couple of the EC Cave Men having fun with the pole dancers who entertained at the Sexporium/Book Signing on the Sunday of the conference. The dancers were amazing sliding up and down that pole and the guys felt obligated to jump in afterward and try their manliness out on the metal rod. Turns out its harder than it looks. And if you'd kindly disregard those sexual puns I can move on with the subject matter.

The 1-800 seminar.

Short version. It went well.

Longer version. Del Dryden was a very good sport as I tried my hand in a flogging demo in front of the seminar crowd. Her ass and shoulders got a good dose of my leather flogger while both of us chatted with the crowd, answering questions about the experience and other BDSM lifestyle issues. Del did indeed report the experience left her feeling relaxed. The flogging was the grand finale after my earlier presentation on various roles in the lifestyle and how the BDSM portrayed in our fiction stacks up to real life. After that serious note, Allie Standifer gave a rather amusing and fascinating description of her trip to a BDSM club last spring during the RT convention in Los Angeles. You might have read about her trip on our blog a few months ago. Francesca Hawley passed out an awesome list of research resources for audience members who wanted to know more about BDSM for writing or personal interests. And finally, we finished with the flogging.

The one disappointment is that we ran out of time to play the amazing BDSM Jeopardy game that Kathy Kulig created for the occasion. Despite no winning contestant we did pick a random name from seminar attendees to win the kinky gift basket we had prepared.
We are holding the game in reserve for next year's Romanticon, so register and show up to  compete using all of your BDSM expertise.

People attended our presentation for a variety of reasons. Some came because they want to write BDSM romance fiction. Some were simply curious to learn more about the lifestyle, and enjoy reading kinky erotic romance although it is not their personal thing. And others because they had genuine questions about the experience from their own interest in exploring this alternative lifestyle choice. I love that about Romanticon. It's a place where it's fine to discuss all sorts of sexuality, to be interested in reading about it, writing it, and to acknowledge, if one is comfortable, ones own personal sexual leanings. Or not. It's all good.

On a positive note, the new 1-800-DOM-help anthology, Dial B for Bondage, including stories from Kathy Kulig, Delilah Devlin, Francesca Hawley and Samantha Cayto, sold remarkably well at the Book Signing. Look for more anthologies from our series in the future.

In short, Romanticon was a blast. Join us next year.

Safe, sane and consensual,
Michelle

Friday, September 23, 2011

Well, Smack My Ass and Call Me Sally

Okay, don't call me Sally. That's a hard limit. But there will be a certain amount of ass-smacking going on at RomantiCon 2011, and I for one can't wait (Perverse, I know...and hey, perverted! The two don't always overlap like that, so I call that a win). The occasion? The 1-800-DOM-help authors will be giving a presentation at the 'Con on "BDSM from Top to Bottom"...with demonstrations! And I volunteered to be the whipping girl, since that's the kind of girl I am. I volunteered pretty quickly and shamelessly, in fact. Rumors that I pushed other volunteers out of the way in my enthusiasm are entirely unsubstantiated, however. Nobody can prove a thing.

Thinking about this whole shindig recently prompted me to add "glutton for punishment" to my Twitter profile (I was totally talking about homeschooling my pre-teen but we'll just pretend it's about the whole smacking deal). Because I really am looking forward to it, particularly to finding out how a flogging feels when it's delivered by somebody OTHER than the person who's been delivering them for lo these many years. And it's also a very relaxing activity for me (no, seriously) although I don't know how relaxing I'll find it in front of a room full of people. I have no problem with public speaking, or with acting on a stage, but the only time I've ever done anything BDSM-related in public was in a stage production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (and I was portraying a naughty-schoolteacher dominatrix. Seriously).

My main concern in all this? Well, as I'm going to have the aforementioned roomful of people looking in the vicinity of my tush, my big worry is finding/borrowing a pair of pants that don't make my ass look weird and/or lumpy. Other than that I'm pretty cool with it.

As long as nobody actually calls me Sally.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Top, Bottom or Switch?


I found a very brief quiz which I thought was fun.

The BDSM Selector will tell you if you're vanilla, a top, bottom, sub, Dom(me) or whatever. I rated as bottom, followed by slave/sub/switch. There was such a large gap between responses, however, that I must research the difference.

I would love to hear your results if you take the test, and whether or not you feel they're true. Come on, 'fess up!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

ROMANTICON Here I Come!

I posted on my Naughty Author Chicks blog last week about my impending trip to Romanticon, the Ellora's Cave readers and authors convention happening September 29th through October 2nd in Akron, Ohio. I blathered on about my promotional items, my costumes for the several kick-ass parties with the EC Cavemen, and my participation in the 1-800-DOM-help author-hosted seminar there entitled BDSM from Top to Bottom.

And that's what I wanted to mention today. The lovely authors in our group are gathering together to have fun with conference attendees, playing BDSM jeopardy, talking about some nuts and bolts of BDSM, and providing a naughty demo from the lifestyle. And of course we will give away a gift basket of prizes to one lucky seminar participant. I'm going to talk for about five minutes on the concept of power exchange in BDSM during the group presentation. My participation is all an excuse for wearing my black boots, but I'm hoping to be somewhat articulate as well.

The seminar is perfect for those who want to have fun and learn more about the alternative sexuality they read about in our 1-800 stories. What I love about Romanticon is that the participants are open-minded folks from all walks of life who want to let down their hair, and celebrate their common love of erotic romance in all its forms. I've met everyone there from those who might be kinky in their own lives, to others who are squarely vanilla but appreciate wonderful stories full of all different types of love and sex. Romanticon is one kickin' grand time. Plus, there is dancing. I love dancing. Did I mention the dancing?

For those of you planning to attend, stop by our seminar on Friday the 30th and share some kinky laughs. For everyone else, keep an eye out for news of next year's Romanticon event and sign your asses up right away when the dates and location are announced. You won't regret it.

I'm sure a number of the 1-800 authors will report back about the success of the conference on this blog. And about the dancing. There may even be compromising photos. We can only hope. Stay tuned.

Safe, sane and consensual,

Michelle


Friday, August 26, 2011

Get out of that comfort zone!

Some of you may already know that I'm on Twitter...a LOT. More than I should be, really. But I've found it such a fun way to branch out and meet new people, and I'm fascinated by the way it works, through organic growth that I've come to visualize as an infinite series of overlapping venn diagram bubbles. You follow somebody who somebody else tweeted, then follow somebody else because that person followed them, and it all just keeps bubbling around. 

Kristen Lamb wrote a great post recently about the dangers of getting too wrapped up in social media that only involves other people exactly like you (in this instance, of course, it was about writers who are following hundreds of fellow writers and other people who are already fans) instead of the people you'd like to target (all potential readers). This is easy to do, of course. We want to share our experiences with like minds, and we want the hive mind of Twitter to answer the questions we have - so who better to follow than people likely to know those answers? It's the same reason we all read and comment on one another's blogs - our "sames" are much more obvious than our differences, and that's the human comfort zone. 

This tendency is only natural, so natural in fact that psychologists (and political pundits) already have a term for it, "confirmation bias": people tend to seek out information (and people) to confirm what they already believe. The danger, of course, is that this only makes one more firmly entrenched in that belief...even in the face of otherwise seemingly undeniable factual evidence. And it means we have difficulty reaching out to others who might offer other opinions, even if they may also offer clear benefits like a willingness to purchase books. Other opinions are scary! People who aren't confirmed romance novel fans are scary! 

But what (you're probably asking) does confirmation bias have to do with writers who write kinky romance? And Twitter? Quite a bit, I'd say, because part of Ms. Lamb's point is we need to branch out and explore other opinions, even if it's difficult. Twitter is a perfect way to do this, and I think erotic romance writers might have an easier time of it than most because there are a lot of circles overlapping ours on that infinite venn diagram. There are tons of Twitter users who are involved in kink but not in writing or publishing, I've noticed. There are also tons of readers who may or may not be romance fans, who may never have read a kinky book, but might become a fan if they got to know a kinky book writer. There are media folks with interests that mesh with ours, medical or other professionals, just a wide variety of people, any one of whom might be a new reader. 

This week, try challenging yourself to follow at least one person a day you see mentioned in a tweet - who isn't a writer, editor, or reviewer. You may get friends and family of writers, you may get random persons out in the universe...but you may also get new readers, people who may have never read a romance novel of any sort before but might read yours. I've found one easy way to stretch like this is simply to look at the other folks mentioned in my mentions and @replies...and look for the men. Since so many romance writers of any flavor are women, this is a down-and-dirty way to narrow your search to non-romance-writers. The vast majority of the time it isn't somebody like Sascha Illyvich, it's some dude who has only recently discovered that erotica isn't just for the ladies. Target: acquired! 



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Most books from the 1-800-DOM-help series at least partially feature the BDSM club Unfettered, the mysterious club that appears and disappears as needed to help our heroes and heroines find their kinky happily ever afters. I thought back to the BDSM stories I've read and the predominate number include a club or public party of one type or another as a device to move the story forward between protagonists.

So much of the on-line advice I've read to those just beginning to explore the kinky lifestyle is to get out there in public, meet others at like minded gatherings, and make real life friends and acquaintances. And if you have no partner in the lifestyle, and hope to acquire an actual physical relationship with one, this is good advice. But it discounts a lot of people out there who for one reason or another choose not to "go public." I'm not talking about outing oneself as kinky, but simply attending events (social or play) with others in the lifestyle. Some of these folks choose to keep their relationships on-line, at social networking sites like FetLife. Some conduct one-on-one on-line D/s relationships. Some interact in Second Life, finding virtual partners in what I understand to be a very active BDSM community there. And some already have partners at home, keeping their relationships, play and any choices about D/s dynamics private and learning what they need from books and their own experimentation.

All are legitimate choices, even if the private options do not lend themselves to the best plots for stories. But perhaps this means more challenge for a writer--to include the most engaging elements of a BDSM story, one or more of the characters discovering or redefining this element in their life for the first time, all in the privacy of their home and without outside "advisers" in the lifestyle. Hmmh? Sounds like I have some brainstorming to do.

The beauty of BDSM, alternative lifestyles and sexuality is that folks are finding what is right for them. No one has a market on the "way." All paths, as long as they are consensual choices between adults, can lead to joy and fulfillment.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

PROTOCOL -- Noticeable in BDSM erotic romance?

"Protocol," in its meaning within the BDSM world, is the formal, structured responses that a sub learns in order to know what is appropriate for them to do in any given circumstance. (see Words of Power chapter for credit for this definition in Raven Kaldera's excellent book, "Dark Moon Rising: Pagan BDSM and the Ordeal Path.")

High protocol comes off as more formal. Low protocol is less so. I remember reading about various waiting poses a sub or slave might take upon a Dom(mes) command, with each pose going by a formal name and even number. So if I called out a number two, the sub might be on the ground with their arms in a certain position. This is one example of protocol. Or the protocol may be how the sub addresses his Dom(me) or how they offer to help with something. "Mistress, how may this slave serve you?" The responses may relate to something blatantly sexual or may be completely reserved and asexual.

Kaldera reminds us that protocols vary by couple, subgroup, and locality. There's no single protocol for subs and Doms, only ones that work best for the individuals using them. Apparently there's been a lot of wars fought over the "best" protocol. The kinky community is not above its own pettiness, as much as I'd like to report differently.

So my question is this. After reading the definition above, I've realized I have used protocol in my stories. But do readers outside of the lifestyle recognize it for what it is or even think about it? I'm hoping no, because that means I'm writing deep enough for that distinction to be meaningless and for the stories to grab the readers and sweep them away. I never portray my submissive characters having any anxiety about learning correct protocol. And they shouldn't. A good Dom(me) trains thoroughly and correctly, taking on the responsibility for finding a way to make the important lessons stick.

Discuss amongst yourselves. If you write BDSM do you explicitly notice your own use of protocol between your characters? If you read it, has protocol popped out of stories at you before?

Safe, sane and consensual,
Michelle

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Can an Alpha male be submissive?

Does an Alpha male truly lose control and power if he submits?
I got a chuckle out of Del's post here. I don't feel like a whip wielding she-wolf in boots and a corset. LOL

As I write Leather Becomes Her, my story is of a dominant woman meeting her submissive, but the submissive hero in the book is NOT a beta. My question is, can a man who is Alpha be submissive? Does submission change his role from Alpha to beta?


Alpha men can be macho to the world. You'd be surprised at how the power wielding men of society prefer to be brought down in private by submitting. (And some PAY professional Dominants to do it. It has nothing to do with sex, just submission.) They aren't less Alpha for doing it; their ability to submit makes them stronger. Imagine the lawyer in court fighting a hard case, arguing for his client, butting heads with judges, lawyers, police, etc. Every day, all day, long hours into late nights, week in and week out. They aren't out to please anyone. They want their way in all things. Win, win, win. These are men of sheer power and dominance--total Alpha males. Many times what does this kind of man wish for in private? Release. The joy of not making any decisions. Letting someone else take control and use him so he can relax. His only desire--to please a dominant figure (in my example, a Mistress).

So does submitting make an Alpha role switch to beta? (Urban Dictionary defines beta male as "An unremarkable, careful man who avoids risk and confrontation. Beta males lack the physical presence, charisma and confidence of the Alpha male.")

I don't think submission makes an Alpha man weak. I know quite a few Alpha personalities, men and women, who enjoy submission. Submission doesn't make one weak. It takes a lot of strength to let go taboos, outward appearances and expectations.

Imagine the lawyer again, all conservative looking...strip off his outer layers (suit) and bare him naked. What do you see? Toned muscles? Tattoos? (Okay, my personal preference there...ahem.) He still looks macho yet he immediately feels vulnerable. Does he want to run? Yes. Will he? No. Why? Because he has strength to keep him there as his Mistress desires. His urge to please Her overwhelms everything else. He will take whatever She desires--whip to the back, spanking over the knee, bondage, clothespins to the cock and balls, cleaning her house, licking her feet, etc. He doesn't say no. He doesn't shove Her away. He wants to please Her. That takes strength!

Once his service is complete, he is once again in control. Wait? Did he really lose control? He was controlled by Her, but he had a choice. He remained subservient. Did he have to? No. Isn't his choice to remain at her feet really just internal control as opposed to external?

He was released from his worldy responsibilities and outer appearance as the dominant male of power. His external control was stripped away like the clothes from his body, however, he internalized his power and strength to serve his Mistress, whatever her desire.

So, in my opinion, an Alpha male remains Alpha. He never loses strength or control, he merely changes the focus from outward power and strength in succeeding (money, career, education, etc) to internal control from running away like a coward.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dungeon First-Aid


People break legs simply by stepping off a sidewalk the wrong way, while riding a bicycle, skating or jogging. Accidents also occur even when playing safe in a dungeon. Here are a few tips, not a complete list, of basic first aid in the dungeon.
Burns: Burns can occur when dripping candling wax on your partner or not watching how close the flame is to the skin. Reddened skin is a first-degree burn. Immerse the area in cool/cold water or apply an ice pack, wet tea-bags, aloe vera gel to ease the pain. Commercial burn ointment is also good. Do not use petroleum jelly or butter.

If a blister forms, it’s a second degree burn. Initial treatment is cold/cool water too, then cover with a sterile gauze pad. Check with a doctor if it becomes infected (fluid in blister becomes cloudy) and leave blister alone. A third-degree burn is very serious. The area may blister then look charred or whitish in color. And the surface may be warm and dry. It may not even be painful because the nerves have been damaged. Cover with a sterile gauze and seek medical attention right away.

Head Injuries: When people are tied up, they are at risk of losing their balance, falling and hitting their heads. On TV we see people losing consciousness from a head injury all the time and they get up and go about their lives like it’s not a big deal. In reality, any head injury that causes unconsciousness is cause to a trip to the hospital emergency room. The injury could be life threatening.

Misplaced Toys: Oops! Did you lose something inside? If it’s in the vagina and doesn’t have sharp edges, no worries. There’s no place for it to go. It’ll soon work its way out, or add a little lubrication to help it along. If it’s in the rectum, that’s another story. Don’t try using an enema, or a foreign object to reach in to grab it. Lubricate the anus and go sit on the toilet for a while. Wait, don’t force it. It that doesn’t work or if there’s pain, go to an emergency room. I used to work in an emergency room. Hospital staff have seen this sort of thing many times. (A few items I remember: dildos are most common, but also a flashlight –light was still on, and several toy army men). Next time, choose a toy larger that won’t slide all the way in.

Overheating: Mummification, bondage, hoods, leather & latex clothing can sometimes cause heat-related injuries. Heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Consuming plenty of fluids (non-alcoholic) will help prevent some overheating. But partners should be aware of this hazard during play. Heat exhaustion can cause nausea, fainting, dizziness, excessive sweating and weakness. Weakened pulse, pale, clammy skin can be a sign of shock. In this case, keep the person lying down with head lower than feet and give small amounts of cool water or Gatorade-like product. Person should be coherent enough to lift his head to drink too. With heat stroke, the person’s body temperature rises above 104 degrees, convulsions or unconsciousness can occur. Cool him immediately and seek medical attention. Call 911.

Play safe in the dungeon.