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I’ve been musing on this subject for a while now. Then Bisexuality Day came along to remind me just what a challenging word this is. We live life as though all is set in stone, and anything ‘outside the norm’ seems to provoke a lot of negative reactions from people.
That’s always seemed alien to me. I love the different, the strange, the unusual. I think I was born that way, and grew up that way because I had parents who raised me to accept difference. We lived in an area of high immigration in the days when we needed people from other countries to come and work in our mills and factories. I played with Muslims, Sikhs and Caribbean children. They accepted us in their homes and we reciprocated. At school I had a friend who was a thalidomide victim. She had a stump for a hand. I never commented on it, and held ‘hands’ in the playground without acknowledging it. I knew it embarrassed her, and I didn’t see the point of bringing it up. In later life I had a polio victim friend. I’d known her a year when she asked my why I’d never mentioned her limp and clumsy footing on occasion. I replied it didn’t matter to me. What mattered was that we liked each other and were friends. She was thrilled and said she’d never met anyone who had resisted asking before.
I’ve never seen the need to reject, insult or judge anyone on the basis of their looks, health issues, sexual preference, sexual orientation or relationship arrangements. Who am I to tell someone else how to live? Of course, there are completely unacceptable behaviors such as murder, pedophilia, rape. They are harming others, and no-one can or would want to condone that kind of behaviour.
I live by the credo ‘Do as you will and harm none.’ Harm none includes myself.
All that said, why are human beings so afraid of difference in each other? We divide and subdivide ourselves into little groups that war with other little groups. Why? I suppose it’s buried deep in the lizard brain to suspect anything we don’t understand and see that as a threat to our survival. We have to work at acceptance. Reason with ourselves. Think before making snap judgements. Remember that underneath that hoodie might be a nice young man who is cold and hungry. We spotted one hoodie getting all excited and concentrating hard on what he was doing at the edge of a roundabout. We watched suspiciously. It turned out all he was doing and getting excited about was photographing a rainbow. How cute is that? So what if someone is into kink or is gay or transgender? Or Black or yellow or whatever. What matters is the personality of the human inhabiting that body. What people do with their sex lives, personal taste and dress code is up to them. You might not like what they wear or do, but tolerance is needed. After all, they might not like what you wear or do, and you expect tolerance at the very least, if not acceptance from the world around you.
I thrive on those differences, use them in my work. And I’m here because I want to write and share some of the contents of my mind, which as you can see is pretty open. So I write. I have a fair whack of experience to draw on, and I think the contents of my mind might entertain people who enjoy BDSM, kinky sex, sex with more than one partner and lesbian sex and more. Who knows where my imagination will go next? I’m working on a new novella right now, and enjoying creating characters who are different. Who like to buck society’s constraints and find their own way to enjoy their kinks. Who have the bravery and strength of personality to be themselves.
Difference gives the opportunity to learn from each other. We can broaden our horizons, learn how different difficulties affect other people and learn solutions for problems we might not have understood previously. Speaking for myself and Fulani, our lives are richer for the people we have met and interacted with.
If I was to meet you, I’d accept you until you did something unacceptable, like treating me badly, abusing my trust or behaving badly to someone else. In other words, I’d be nice to you as long as you were nice to me. Celebrate difference, enjoy meeting interesting-because-they-are-different people, and have as much fun as you want in your sex lives.
I hope you come back to us, enjoy our stories, make use of the information we can gather for you here and enjoy being yourself, a unique individual who celebrates being different!
Whatever or whoever you are, you’re welcome here. Just be nice, please!
VelvetTripp xxIf you’re interested in stories that ARE different, that tickle your imagination in the sex arena, you might like the novellas Fulani and I wrote in Naked Delirium, an anthology of five stories out in illustrated paperback or on Kindle now. They’re tales of sex during altered states, all wildly different to each other and all, we hope you think, great reads. All of our other published work can be found here.
Unashamedly copied and pasted for all of us bisexuals today! Hope it’s been a good one for you.
Yes, they came a few days ago. A good part of an otherwise unremarkable week that was mainly spent writing very unerotic social policy stuff (but you never know, all kinds of issues end up sliding sideways into our erotic writing…).
Velvet Tripp’s pics of our anthology copies:
Erotica for the twisted and erotically minded? Definitely!
Not much posting going on here recently, but that’s because not much erotica’s been going on. Our creative juices have been flowing in other directions. However, insofar as I’ve found time to write erotica, it’s been experimenting with some slightly different ideas. In particular, trying to move away from the rather tedious trope of dominants being immensely rich and powerful with their own castle or penthouse or whatever with its secret, custom-made dungeon. Also in particular, experimenting with bringing little dollops of social theory into stories in an explicit way, usually to show that the characters have lives outside bdsm, were paying attention in school (some of them anyway), and have some reflective capacity about what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.
So what follows is a short extract from a work in progress. It’s the start of a scene where a young woman who works in a home improvement store gets to see exactly what her favourite customer has been doing with the wood, screws, shackles and hooks he’s been buying. And ultimately how he’s modified the electric saw.
The question is, do you like the way it’s written? Does the self-reflective stuff intrude or add to the story? Comments welcomed…
Fulani opens the door, invites me into the hall. Hangs up my coat, puts my bag down in a corner. Inspects me, in my underwear and hold-ups and boots. Apparently he’s impressed I came stripped for action. Semi-stripped for action. Spins a finger to tell me I should give him a 360 degree twirl.
‘Very good,’ he says.
The side table has stuff on it. Stuff that’s been put there for me, I guess. Leather cuffs, wrists and ankles. Same with the collar. And this is the business, fits on with little padlocks. I won’t be getting out of these until he decides to let me go.
‘Only thing is, for the kind of party this is, you’re a little overdressed…’ The fucker has scissors there. Cuts off my best bra and sparkly G-string. That, right there, is him marking ownership. Your property is of no consequence and I am entitled to destroy it. Your skin is mine to display naked as I see fit. Symbolic, you see. Yeah, I did sociology at school. Symbolic interactionism and stuff.
‘I’m at work tomorrow,’ I remind him.
‘I’ll make sure you get a couple of hours sleep.’
‘It’s okay. I’ve gone into work before now on no sleep at all after being out clubbing.’
He just gives me a lopsided smile and sticks a leash on the collar. Makes me kneel down. I figure what’s coming. Open my mouth ready for it. I knew I’d end up sucking cock. Hey, I enjoy it. But I did think it’d be longer than thirty seconds before I had one in my mouth.
Not that it’s a problem. Not a problem at all. It’s just a mindfuck, a reversal of the usual drink-talk-kiss-pet-fuck scenario. Another bit of symbolic interaction, a prove-you’re-really-submissive challenge. So, on my knees, mouth open, I prove it.
After I’ve proved it, I make my entry to my first fetish party. Nude, hands cuffed behind my back, on the end of a leash, drying spunk on my chin and tits, feeling like a human sacrifice about to be thrown into a pit of wild animals.
Did they throw human sacrifices to wild animals? I don’t know, but that’s the thought in my head.
Velvet and I were driving recently and stopped at a motorway service station. The thing that struck us in the shop was that they had a complete floor-to-ceiling bookcase, more or less next to the entrance, stocked with Fifty Shades – and a bunch of its competitors. It seems that in the wake of the ‘Fifty Shades phenomenon’ every major publisher and imprint has been scrabbling to find their own bdsm erotica author to promote because they see bdsm as the ‘next big thing’ in the world of publishing.
But that’s not all. They’ve also decided that the cover of Fifty Shades is distinctive, and decided to go for a similar look and feel for their own covers. Almost without exception they’re black or grey backgrounds with an image that is either part-shadowed (as Fifty Shades is) or with one element that’s in a bold colour.
So what we have here, ladies and gentlemen, sluts and perverts, is the mainstreaming not only of bdsm erotica, but of specific design features intended to key you in to the nature of the book. And there are, suddenly, a lot of these books. Plus, booksellers, motorway service stations and others have got in on the act by deciding that they now need a specific bdsm erotica section in their shop. Even if they don’t explicitly call it that.
(The pic in this blog, incidentally, doesn’t come from the big display in the service station, but a local bookstore.)
One other interesting feature of at least some of these books is that while Fifty Shades was a sort-of romantic story of girl-gets-her-man (I’m relyng on reviews here, I’ve never read more than a few pages) the competitors, some of them anyway, feel the need to up the ante by promising their novels are in fact erotica and no romance is involved.
So how do we feel about this?
On the one hand, it’s opened up the kind of stuff we write to new audiences. On the other, those audiences are now being targeted by the major, mainstream publishers, which makes the writing of erotica a little more competitive. So on the one hand, it would have been cool to be approached by publishers promising big bucks in their publicity drives. But we would say that, wouldn’t we? And, while we don’t want to criticise authors we don’t know – congratulations to them for having got lucky in the publishing stakes, they presumably know what the public wants right now – given what we’ve read and what we know first-hand about bdsm, we can nonetheless kind of afford to be a little sniffy about at least some of mainstream stuff we’ve read thus far.
That said, audiences probably move incrementally and a large proportion of the Fifty Shades audience may not be quite ready for us yet. We’ve never set out to be deliberately populist, because we write the kind of stuff we’d like to read ourselves.
We’ll keep going, and sooner or later either the new audiences will find the mainstream publishers aren’t selling what their tastes graduate to and they’ll find their way to our more humble (though more hardcore) publications, or else the mainstream publishers will feel the need to take on board writers of more hardcore erotica, and we’ll stand a chance of getting picked up at that point.
Anyone else have any thoughts on how the bdsm erotica thing is unfolding in the mainstream of publishing? Or on the cover designs and marketing, etc.?
And if someone does want something more hardcore, and wants it now: Naked Delirium may be your thing – for the playfully and pleasantly perverted, as it says in the book intro. Five novellas on sex in altered states, with bdsm and some other deviant sexual practices, and some paranormal and other altered states, from five different authors including me and Velvet, plus illustrations as a bonus. It’s on Smashwords as an ebook too, but they you don’t get the nice pictures (plus Smashwords has each of the novellas as individual publications as well: Fulani’s and Velvet’s and the other three). Oh, and the cover isn’t a Fifty Shades clone, Sweetmeats Press have their own established cover style…