BDSM Fiction and Authenticity

As you’re all aware by now, we write a lot of BDSM fiction. We’ve noticed a lot of concern about the non-consensual writing that’s around being a ‘poor representation of the BDSM world.’ (this came from an Amazon review of another author).

Fiction is fiction, and I doubt this same complaint would be levelled at a murder mystery or a sci-fi novel in which characters are treated badly and not as we would like in an ideal world. What is important, I believe, is that if a story is non-consensual, it is honestly marketed as such. The reason for this is so that newcomers to the scene, many of which learn through reading, (and that’s often fiction), can see the clear boundaries which should not be crossed in reality. After all, you wouldn’t really expect a zombie to stomp round your living room or a vampire bite you, would you?

I have no problem with writers or readers who produce or have fantasies of non-consensual play or sex. What is of more concern is passing those fantasies off as acceptable sex or BDSM practice.

We try in our stories to make these things clear. My fiction is always consensual, primarily because non-consensual is too far off my radar and I wouldn’t be able to write it convincingly as a result. Fulani stretches the boundaries a little more, but always makes this clear for the reader so they can make an informed choice.

What we are proud of is the inclusion in our fiction of safety awareness. I like to include some details of things to be aware of, such as characters having some way of communicating their hard limit if gagged. A safeword of course cannot be used when gagged, so characters are given a ball or something similar, which they can drop to alert their dom to stop the play. I feel it is important that anyone thinking of tying someone up, making them helpless and creating pain for them should be very aware of their responsibility to that person.

This has all come from personal experience. I know how it can feel when someone does something to you that you did not want to happen. I know how it feels for someone to try and push you to use your safeword, thinking this was the way to play. It is not. Safewords are intended to STOP play for whatever reason. For either the sub or the dom, a safeword is just that. A word to use to keep you safe. And that means safe physically, mentally or emotionally. It is used in extreme situations and not as a goal for the dom to reach. A responsible dom would set up a scenario in which he/she could PLAY at pushing a sub beyond their safe limits, but not as an aim in reality.

There are types of BDSM play a few people wish to indulge in that are not safe, such as choking, or breath play, which can result in death long after a session due to heart attack or stroke caused by the interruption to normal heart rhythms. There is no doubt that breathplay ranks among the more dangerous practices in BDSM, and infosar as you may find a little of it in a few of Fulani’s stories, you’ll also find commentaries in the text that make those dangers crystal clear.

So, reader beware. Ensure you realise that what you read in fiction is not always acceptable BDSM practice. Nor is it always a fair representation of the BDSM world any more than crime novels always accurately depict how detectives work.

Follow up to ‘Emotional Safety During a Scene’

There’s a Combichrist song we like to use as background music when we play called ‘This Shit Will Fuck You Up’. It was on the other night. I remarked that actually, this shit can sort you out! There’s a good reason for that. The memory I had that prompted the original post Mental and Emotional Safety During a Scene has, over recent weeks, been aired, sorted and ousted from my life and psyche. I had to work at it. I had to talk a little more about it, and I had to act on what I felt was right for me. In this case, I needed to regain my self esteem and self respect that had been damaged all these years by my past, forgotten event. Bringing it out into the open via the vehicle of BDSM, although an accident and a shock at the time, was very freeing and has had a positive effect in many areas of my life, not just the sex.

This is a world where you have to communicate clearly to your play partner. Otherwise you get stuff you didn’t want, and what’s the point in doing it if it’s NOT what you want? That’s not very satisfying for you and not for your play partner either. Dom or sub, you hopefully want your play partner to enjoy the experience in their own way as much as you want to yourself. People with low self esteem find it very difficult to assert their own needs. I am, due to the purge of the past, much more able to do that. Not only in the bedroom/dungeon but in everyday life too.

And that improvement in my life came partly through more play. Another scene. A much more positive one (well, two actually). It’s a great way to act out stuff you can’t in any other arena I can think of with someone who cares enough to see it through with you and be there should you need them to be.

If you have the support of a good play partner go for it. Explore new territory, dare to push your boundaries. Just remember to deal with stuff if it appears, however painful (and I’m not talking welts!). Don’t try to ignore it. You might find it more freeing than you think.