Talking to Your Daughters About Sex

April 3, 2014

Parents who refuse to provide accurate sex education for their own children often become caretakers of their teenagers’ grandchildren. Today’s guest, erotica author Missy Jane, discusses why she has no intention of repeating her parents’ mistakes.

Talking to Your Daughters About Sex
by Missy Jane, author of Erotic Influence

As the mother of four daughters I had some serious decisions to make when it came to educating them about sex. At what age should I have the talk? How much is too much, and how little is too little? What do I think they need to know, and at what point do they need to learn for themselves?

My own experience was very limited. No one in my house was allowed to talk about sex. To be honest, I’ve no clue how I learned. I do know that both of my sisters got pregnant and ran away from home as teenagers. I also know by the time my mother finally agreed to put me on birth control I was already pregnant. This is not the outcome I want for my girls.

Luckily my daughters know what I write. They know I’m always open about sex and they can ask me anything. I chose to educate them young, around eight years old. Why? They were already hearing things at school that brought up questions most parents would cringe at. When your third grader hears the words blow job you really have to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. I chose to be completely honest with my girls and educate them on the birds, bees, condoms, and VDs so they wouldn’t learn the hard way. So far, we seem to be on the right track and the honesty flows both ways.

I have a serious problem with not educating our kids about safe sex. I do understand the religious reasons some people are hesitant. I was raised Catholic, in a family that tried to stick to the doctrine as much as possible. It obviously didn’t help (see mention of sisters above). So, there comes a time when you have to ask yourself, who am I hurting here? In my opinion, giving my girls all the facts and letting them know all the options, hurts no one. I’m not going to get into a religious discussion here, but I don’t feel I’ll burn in hell for talking openly and honestly to my children. If anything, I feel it makes them safer. We talk about gun safety, food safety, car safety, and numerous other threats to our kids. Why in the hell not safe sex?

Having four daughters can be nerve wracking for many different reasons, but I don’t want to raise my grandchildren because my daughters are kids themselves when they have them. I’m raising girls with long-term goals to have careers and lives before making babies. I’m also raising girls with enough self respect to know when to say no. I’ve taught them to think for themselves and recognize the boys who won’t respect them as they deserve. They know there’s a man out there for them when the time is right. What kind of romance author would I be if I didn’t talk up the perfect hero?

Overall, I think the most important aspect of sex education is to not expect anyone else to give it to my children. The one thing I don’t do is wait for their schools to inform them about sex. By the time the school decided to show them the infamous film for girls, I had already told them all about it. I’ve taught them how to walk, talk, eat, and many other things. Teaching them to be safe once they decide to be intimate is a no brainer. Teaching them there is a time and place for intimacy, and a certain age when it’s not yet acceptable is also common-sense in my book.

Sure they’ve read YA books, seen movies, and even TV shows where a young character decides to have sex. Does that mean they’re going to run out to look for a partner? Nope. And I can say with confidence I’m not being naïve because I spend time with my girls and know them well. I also talk to them and most importantly, I listen.

About Missy Jane
Missy Jane is the alter ego of a married mother of four who was born and raised in Texas. A few years ago she finished reading a book by Mercedes Lackey and thought “Now, what if…” and a monster was created. Missy now spends most of her time lost in worlds of her own making, alternately loving and hating such creatures as vampires, shapeshifters and gargoyles (to name a few). When not writing, she spends her time reading, taking photos of her beautiful daughters, and training her husband to believe she’s always right. Excerpts from Missy’s paranormal and erotic tales can be found at on her website and blog. Missy can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

About Erotic Influence (Sequel to Erotic Images)
Annie may be a shy twentysomething who spends her days keeping track of her wayward teenage sister, but Rick noticed her living across the street as soon as he moved in. Now he can’t stop fantasizing about his sweet, innocent neighbor and wanting her has become an obsession. He just has to convince her to give him a chance instead of always running away.

Buy it at Ellora’s Cave.


Cacophony of Gossip, Fabrications, Deceptions, etc.

March 13, 2014

Once upon a time, not so long ago, a newspaper (or three) delivered information to your doorstep (or you grabbed a copy from a kiosk on the way to work). You might have listened to snippets of news on the radio during your commute. And if you lived long enough ago, in a large enough community, you might have also received (or picked up) an afternoon paper.

You might even have read a weekly or monthly news magazine delivered to your mailbox or selected at the newstand. But, except for Uncle Walter or David Brinkley on the evening news that was it. A finite number of words, pieces of paper, and broadcast signals, devoted to delivering information each day.

Now, thousands of mainstream “newspapers” and “magazines” (some of which no longer have print editions) post information online. Access to international news organizations for an enlightened perspective on the inanity and inaccuracy of U.S. media reporting is a few keystrokes away. You can read about the same event from a dozen different perspectives eliminating the concept of “objective” reporting from your vocabulary.

And, then there’s the blogs, many offering better researched, higher quality reporting than the once-respected standards such as the plagiarizing New York Times or the right-wing-slanted Wall Street Journal. This is especially true for obscure topics or ones that require significant, educated analysis to understand their subtleties.

(Of course some blogs are just soap boxes for ill-formed, unsubstantiated opinions, but that’s another post.)

If you don’t want to cycle through numerous publications or constantly refresh the ones you’ve chosen as your standards, Twitter and other “streams” offers you instant access to almost everything published – including rumors, innuendoes, parodies, satire, and outright falsehoods.

Now, rather than accept what some (usually white, middle aged, male) editor decides is newsworthy, you can select the sources that provide the information that’s of interest or is useful to you.

Unfortunately, this inundation of material has created numerous problems. The primary one is the proliferation of misinformation. U.S. and foreign media outlets too often pick up false rumors and parodies and pass them off as facts. How many times have some celebrities’ deaths been reported, before, and decades after, their demises? How many iterations of the same urban legends have been disseminated via Facebook, G+, and Tumblr?

No one is fact checking even though resources to do so are readily available such as Snopes and about.com’s Urban Legends (as well as others). Even previously reliable sources have posted and printed inaccurate and, sometimes blatantly false, information.

Anyone who shares knowledge gleaned from the Internet, whether with just friends and family or with hundreds/thousands of Twitter followers and Facebook friends, should take responsibility for the accuracy of what they disseminate. But, too many tweet, tumble, and pin articles based only on the headlines or someone else’s post, never verifying or sometimes even reading the actual content. And, not only is a picture no longer worth a thousand words – it provides no proof. (See “John Adam” aka action figure “Cody” above.)

Those who don’t get confirmation from more than one “reliable” source, just pass along false information (sometimes inadvertently, at times deliberately) and add to the cacophony of gossip, fabrications, urban legends, deceptions, constantly recycled old news, etc. increasing the dilemma for everyone.

Of course, the second most problematic result of information inundation is the sheer volume of data now available. (Although not everyone can retrieve everything, a fact driven home by academic friends pleading for someone to share papers they can’t access because of their location.) No doubt, one could spend every waking moment reading online reports, updates of reports, analysis of reports, and localization of reports or trying to confirm whether the article posted on your favorite site bears any resemblance to the truth.

So, where do we draw the line between well informed and news junkie? How do we tune out the lies and innuendos to find something resembling the truth (assuming we aren’t angry old white men just looking for confirmation of our right-wing nut job fantasies)?


Just because you read it in a book…

March 5, 2014

No one asks a mystery writer how many people she’s murdered. But, readers too often assume a writer of erotica has personally performed every sex act she writes about. Worse, as today’s guest blogger Beth Wylde discusses, they sometimes try to emulate what they read.

Just because you read it in a book…
by Beth Wylde, author of Broadly Bound: Broad Horizons

Fiction is fabulous. I was a reader long before I became a published author or an editor and I still have a voracious book appetite. The bill for my monthly book habit rivals that of a long-term addict. Words are my drug of choice.

My taste in fiction is also quite broad. As long as it is well written I will probably read it, no matter the genre or pairing. But, one of my criteria for a fictional story (even though fiction means the story is not true) is that it contain a bit of realism. Just a bit, otherwise I’d be shopping in the non-fiction section.

I know what you’re thinking: fiction is fake. Why should it be realistic? How can it be?

While it’s true that there are no such things as werewolves, vampires, or sex-enslaving aliens (or at least I haven’t met any), with a little research, an author can present the subjects in way in which the characters will be believable in a story.

I read for enjoyment, as an inexpensive way to relax. I want to be entertained. Nothing infuriates me more than weak characters, half-assed storylines, or an attempt to disguise abuse as BDSM. I want kick ass heroines and men who don’t feel the need to hide in the closet. I want action and drama and my HEA, no matter what. Sometimes the truth has to be stretched a bit to achieve that.

This is where our job as readers comes in.

Authors are first and foremost entertainers. We write stories for our readers to enjoy. Sometimes our characters do things that real people should not attempt. Some of you may be laughing right now, but I worked in a hospital for 13 years, three of those in ER Radiology on third shift. People chasing the orgasm do some stupid things in bed, on the roof, in the backseat of their car, on the kitchen stove, etc… (you get my point).

Hell, there is now an entire show dedicated to sexual escapades gone wrong and the subjects don’t always walk away laughing. Sometimes they don’t walk away at all.

Just because you read something in a book, especially BDSM fiction, does not mean you should run out and try it.

Your girlfriend may suck like a Hoover but when she is gone don’t try to use the vacuum as a stand in for her. She’ll come home to find you missing some valuable parts.

It’s never a good idea to put an animal up your ass, no matter how small it is or how amazing someone tells you it’ll feel once you get it in there.

There are certain household and easily found chemicals that should never be used as lube or arousal cream, and I mean never!!!

For those times you want penetration, and there are no toys handy to help you out, be very careful what you decide to use as a substitute. Bottles of any type are never a good choice, especially if they are glass or are open at the top. The vacuum effect can happen here too and it won’t be an enjoyable experience unless your desire is for major, internal surgery.

Don’t take someone else’s sex meds if your dick works. A loving partner will understand that you need recovery time and a ten-hour erection is not a fun thing, or so I’ve been told.

There are other incidents I could mention but those remain at the front of my mind. Overall it is the reader’s job to use caution.

I always add in personal touches to my stories, especially my BDSM ones. I write about things that fascinate me and turn me on. I do my research if it is a kink I have not personally experienced or had the nerve to try yet, but sometimes my characters still push the envelope of what is safe and sane. If you read about something kinky that interests you, even if you know the author does her research, you have to do the same.

Ask someone you trust, who has experience in the lifestyle, to guide you. Go to a munch, watch a demo, take some time to visit a local club and just observe for the evening. I’ve found people in the lifestyle to be unusually welcoming. I think part of that is because they have been the subjects of prejudice for so long they welcome those who are truly interested and want to learn.

But, don’t pick up an absolute stranger, go back to their house, and let them tie you up and beat you. (Don’t laugh. I’m not making these examples up.)

You won’t find ‘do not attempt this’ warning stickers on most fictional books, if any. The fiction category label is all the warning a reader should need. So go out and enjoy a good book, just remember in the end that it’s entertainment, not a how-to manual. If you enjoy reading BDSM stories, please pick some by authors who actually know how to research in that genre. If you need some good recommendations just email me. I promise you won’t find any poorly written, abusive-boyfriend-disguised-as-a-Dom, fanfic on my list.

About Beth Wylde:
Erotica author/editor Beth Wylde writes what she likes to read, which includes a little bit of everything under the rainbow. Her muse is a flighty smut bunny that believes everyone, no matter their kink, color, gender, or orientation is entitled to love, acceptance and scalding HOT sex! You can contact her directly at b.wylde@yahoo.com, visit her website or join her yahoo group.

Beth’s books range in genre from paranormal to contemporary and in pairings from lesbian, bi, het and beyond.

About Broadly Bound: Broad Horizons:
Welcome to Broad Horizons, the world’s first and only strictly GLBTQ BDSM entertainment facility. It’s opening night and the owners, Dani and Maryanne, want to invite you inside for a first hand look at what they’ve created. With ten themed bondage rooms, a main stage with several smaller performance areas, a second level observatory, two bars and a dance floor, plus a few extra surprises, your pleasures are only as limited as your desires. Tonight’s event is by invitation only, so bring your RSVP, your proof that you’re over twenty-one and your imagination because this evening almost anything goes.

Buy it at Excessica.


Why Writing About Female Submission is a Feminist Act

February 3, 2014

I reserve this blog as a soapbox. Starting today, I have decided to occasionally step aside and let others use this platform to share their thoughts. As my first guest blogger, I am excited to welcome Cecilia Tan who is an amazing writer, a ground-breaking publisher, and a great friend.

Why Writing About Female Submission is a Feminist Act
by Cecilia Tan, author of Slow Seduction

I’ve been writing fiction and non-fiction about BDSM for over 20 years and I often write about women on the bottom: subs, masochists, “slaves.” I write from the following basis:

  1. Sexuality is a normal part of being human and being a healthy female.
  2. Sexual and erotic fantasies are a normal part of being human and being a healthy female.
  3. Oppression of women’s sexual fantasies is oppression of women.
  4. Anything which oppresses women’s sexual fantasies cannot be feminism.
  5. Feminism’s goal is to overcome power structures that empower men at the expense of women.

By writing and sharing my sexual fantasies, some of which are about submission, I commit a feminist act.

Where people get tangled up when discussing BDSM is when #4 and #5 seem to be at odds, because in their view BDSM is a power structure that empowers men in favor of women. Put simply, that is a shallow, misinformed view of BDSM. BDSM is practiced by women, men, and people self-defining all along the gender spectrum, with no inherent role ascribed on the basis of gender. But the common idea that a man “should be” the dom and the woman “should be” submissive persists in the mainstream. That’s the setup in the wildly popular book 50 Shades of Grey, a book that has opened a huge conversation about BDSM but which doesn’t push that conversation beyond what the mainstream already gets wrong.

Setting aside the fact that in BDSM women are often dominant and men are often submissive, let’s talk specifically about women on the “bottom”–women like me and the women I write about. If we believe that women’s sexual pleasure is central to their freedom and to their health, we should be celebrating the diversity of things that turn women on. On one level, BDSM is a sensual and sensory experience.

There is a panoply of sensations, cravings, and tastes to be indulged when one is a masochist or a sub. This is the sensual world that Karina, the heroine of my Struck by Lightning book series, is introduced to by James, the mysterious dom she meets at the beginning of Slow Surrender. Karina quickly comes to realize that what makes BDSM so vastly different from the unsatisfying vanilla sex she’s previously had is that as the submissive, her pleasure and sensations are the absolute central component to her interactions with James. She’s confused when James doesn’t want his dick sucked at the end of their first encounter. It really is all about her. What gratifies James, as a dom, most is not his own orgasm but his ability to play Karina like a fine violin.

The psychological aspect of D/s comes quickly into play in Slow Surrender, too. Karina comes to realize how silenced she has been in her vanilla relationships, which have been built on (patriarchal) assumptions about what a “good girlfriend” is supposed to be like. Based on some unspoken standard, a good girlfriend is supposed to make herself attractive to her mate, be sexually available when he needs, but never too pushy with her own needs (because that would make her a slut). In her BDSM relationship with James, she finds he fully expects her to be open and honest about her needs. Consent and negotiation, the basis of BDSM relationships, can’t exist or take place without that honesty and disclosure. James also takes the guesswork out of it by being equally honest with her about what he wants and needs. Karina finds it refreshing that he will tell her what to wear, or that he’ll set options before her in which there is no “wrong” selection: Each choice she makes informs him about her preferences.

As Karina learns, dominance and submission doesn’t mean James dictates her every move. It means they have a framework within which each partner has agency. Unlike “traditional” relationship structures, which hand the majority of the power and privilege to the male partner, in a BDSM relationship the power is split in a systematic way. At first, Karina doesn’t even realize how much power she has in the relationship because she’s having too much fun to have thought deeply about it. When she realizes what immense power BDSM–and love–give her over her partner, it’s a lesson she’ll never forget, and I hope it’s a lesson the reader will remember, too. Not every reader is going to go out searching for a BDSM relationship, but my hope is that by seeing how an alternate power structure creates a functional relationship, some readers will be able to effectively seek out honesty, agency, and erotic satisfaction in their own lives.

If that’s not a feminist act, I don’t know what is.

About Cecilia Tan:
Cecilia Tan is “simply one of the most important writers, editors, and innovators in contemporary American erotic literature,” according to Susie Bright. Tan is the author of many books, including the ground-breaking erotic short story collections Black Feathers (HarperCollins), White Flames (Running Press), and Edge Plays (Circlet Press), and the erotic romances Slow Surrender (Hachette/Forever), Mind Games (Ravenous Romance), and The Prince’s Boy (Circlet Press). She was inducted into the Saints & Sinners Hall of Fame for GLBT writers in 2010, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Leather Association in 2001, and is a current nominee for the Lifetime Achievement Award in Erotica from RT Magazine. She lives in the Boston area with her lifelong partner corwin and three cats.
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Website

About Slow Seduction:
Slow Seduction is Cecilia Tan’s latest BDSM erotic romance novel, the second book in the Struck by Lightning Series. Karina finds herself in England, working at a major museum. There she meets the enigmatic Damon George, a dominant man with clues to James’s past… and to James’s desires. Damon is rich, gorgeous, and a member of a secret society that caters to the sensual thrills of the wealthy and powerful. And he’ll help Karina lure James in, while teaching her how to please a dominant man. By the time she finds James, Karina has been “trained” to please another. Will James reject her, or find her more irresistible than ever? Karina is determined to confront him and she will not be denied.
Read a chapter
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KOTW: Clothed Female Naked Male (CFNM)

January 27, 2014

This post originally appeared January 19, 2014 on Kink of the Week. Jade expanded the topic to the broader kink of “Clothed Top Naked Bottom” and you can find links to the interesting perspectives of others who enjoy the kink — both tops and bottoms — at the end of the original post.

Does CFNM or CMNF ring your chimes? Check out the conversation.

When I first discovered the joy of having men serve me naked, I had no idea the “naked” part was considered a fetish.

Then one of my toys sent me a link to a site that discussed CFNM (Clothed Female Naked Male). I shrugged. I just found it sexy to have my housework done by a naked man. I didn’t care why it turned him on as long as the house got cleaned and he had a cute ass.

Since Jade asked me to introduce the topic of CFNM for Kink of the Week, I thought I’d look for some online resources to point you to. Unfortunately, I discovered, there seems to be a dearth of accurate information about CFNM online. Searching for the term brings up a slew of male-centric porn sites. Many have unrealistic portrayals of gorgeous woman and (at best) average looking men. (Some women may like Bears, but personally, if you’ve got a beer belly, I do NOT want to see you naked.)

And, because these are male fantasies, the CFNM encounters often involve men getting blow and/or hand jobs. (Hint: if the word “job” is involved, you’re not likely to attract the interest of a female dominant.)

Sites that claim to offer facts about CFNM, instead provide misinformation about female motivation, presumably written by wishful men. (Any site that refers to women as “girls” but males as “men” is about male fantasy, not female dominance.)

So, I will offer some more realistic information about CFNM from the perspective of a FemDom who’s practiced it for almost a decade, written fiction which includes it, and discussed it with other FemDoms. Disclaimer, this is my opinion, your mileage may vary.

Motivations for participating in CFNM vary greatly for both genders. CFNM may or may not demonstrate a woman’s power over a man by keeping him vulnerable, presumably unable to leave the house without her permission to get dressed. It may or may not be part of a Dominant/submissive relationship in which she controls what he wears inside and outside the home.

CFNM may or may not allow a woman to objectify a male’s body (especially if it’s attractive to her) giving him a taste of what she’s experienced her entire life.

CFNM may or may not include humiliation play, such as making disparaging remarks about general or specific aspects of the man’s appearance including (in some cases) the size of his penis, his virility, or other aspects of his masculinity.

CFNM may or may not satisfy a male’s exhibitionism, especially because a woman who keeps her man naked may or may not allow other women to see him nude and parading around naked for one woman may or may not be enough for an exhibitionist.

CFNM may or may not involve sexual contact. And, any sexual contact may or may not include genital stimulation for the male.

For a CFNM scene at a party, women may dress up in fetish wear including boots or high heels. But, if CFNM is the household status quo, she’s just as likely to wear comfy sweats and fuzzy slippers.

If you’re interested in CFNM, I recommend you first determine what you find appealing about it and what you don’t think you’ll enjoy.

Women, does a naked male body turn you on? Do you want to humiliate and/or control a man? Do you enjoy making decisions for your man, including whether or not (and when) he wears clothes? Or do you just enjoy a naked ass peeking out from the bathroom as he scrubs the floor on his hands and knees?

Men, do you want to exhibit your body for admiration or humiliation? Do you wish to parade naked just for a special someone or while serving a dozen ladies at a FemDom tea or in front of the entire community at a dungeon party? Do you enjoy surrendering control or just the sensuality of forgoing clothing? Or is it just that you’re willing to do the housework, but hate getting chemical burns on your jeans?

Your motivation doesn’t have to match your partner’s, it just needs to be compatible.

And, much of your motivation may be determined by whether or not you want a relationship that incorporates CFNM or would just like to engage in the activity for fun once in a while, perhaps with different play partners each time.

Once you’re clear on your motivation, you will find it easier to seek someone who shares your interests or try to incorporate it into your existing relationship(s).

Yes, there’s a dating site just for people looking for CFNM encounters. But, rarely can a single fetish sustain a relationship, especially with a fetish as complex and with as many variations as CFNM. And, of course, in a TPE (Total Power Exchange) relationship whether or not the male enjoys doing the housework naked may not matter to his owner.

If you’re involved in CFNM, perhaps you’d like to join the conversation by sharing how you discovered you enjoy it? What about it rings your chimes? How important is CFNM to your relationship?

And, of course feel free to ask questions. I’ll do my best to answer them.


“Feminist” Backlash Against BDSM: A FemDom defends the eroticization of male domination

October 22, 2013

This post originally appeared October 15, 2013 on Female First.

While I do not believe 50 Shades of Grey has any redeeming qualities, I frequently find myself defending some of its concepts against the so-called “feminist” backlash.

Self-identified “feminists” (SIFs) object to statements such as “freedom is slavery,” “submissiveness is empowering,” and “BDSM erotica is feminist,” claiming they are “lies that patriarchal culture has served up for women.”

Since they shut down any comments defending those statements — but continue to promote them — I find it necessary to take the conversation to a forum that is more open to both sides of the discussion.

The first flaw in the SIFs argument is that BDSM is only about male domination and female submission. I am a FemDom (female dominant). I own a male submissive and have owned a male slave. I have never submitted (and never will) to any male.

I’m not unique. BDSM offers alternatives to women who refuse to accept patriarchal hierarchy in their lives or their relationships. In reality, BDSM relationships span the gender combinations, including (but hardly limited to) Male/male; Male/female; Female/male; and Female/female.

For some, slavery is freedom. It’s freedom from decision making, freedom from responsibility. Submissiveness can be empowering for those who choose to submit and who submit to a dominant who respects and honours their submission.

BDSM and BDSM erotica absolutely are feminist. Feminism is the fight for equality — to not allow gender to limit one’s opportunities. BDSM (and the erotica written by those who actually understand it) is about choice — about selecting your role based on your desire not your genitals.

Some women prefer to submit only in the bedroom. Some choose to submit for all aspects of their relationships. Some women submit to other women. And some women accept the submission of men (or women) and assume the dominant role in their relationships.

Feminism means not being forced to accept a role because of your gender. BDSM is about not being forced to accept a role (or even a gender) based on what’s between your legs.

50 Shades of Grey is not about BDSM. Christian Grey is not a dominant. He is, like Twilight’s Edward on whom he’s modelled, an abusive stalker. According to the Chicago Tribune, “psychologists at Michigan State University and Ohio State University concluded that its characters’ behaviours are consistent with the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s official definition of intimate partner violence — and that the book perpetuates dangerous abuse patterns.”

In the series, BDSM is portrayed as what’s wrong with Grey. It’s written by someone who has never participated in BDSM, never done any research, has absolutely no knowledge of BDSM beyond her own personal fantasies.

There are myriad books — fiction and non — that get BDSM right, some written by practitioners, some by those who take the time to do thorough research. But, the media — and the SIFs — focus on the material that feeds their prejudices and stereotypes.

For many, male domination can be extremely erotic, even if they only choose to explore that eroticism between the pages of a book. However, many prefer female domination. I write about both, but, my stories — and those of other responsible authors — always make it clear that consent is required; that abuse is not BDSM.

In fact, BDSM practices do not, as SIFs would have you believe, “actively oppress women.” Mainstream media’s reporting of BDSM actively oppresses women. Ninety-nine percent of the time an article about BDSM is illustrated by a photograph of a scantily clad woman in bondage. But probably as many men enjoy bondage as women. And, many men prefer to submit in the bedroom and in their relationships.

More than anything else, BDSM is about consent, a term missing from patriarchy. Those who submit, consent to their submission at whatever level they choose to submit and can walk away anytime the relationship is not meeting their needs. Anything else is abuse (including, and especially, the relationship in the 50 Shades series).

As the Tribune article states: “In consensual BDSM relationships, partners take negotiations seriously and respect each others’ boundaries.”

Every description of BDSM relationships that delineates the options we have includes the word consensual. (SSC: Safe, Sane Consensual; RACK: Risk Aware Consensual Kink; or even PRICK: Personal Responsibility, Informed Consensual Kink.) However you define us, you cannot deny that we take responsibility for obtaining consent.

BDSM provides more relationship dynamic options than anything you’ll find in the “vanilla world.” And, because BDSM requires much more communication about sex, sexuality, consent, etc., BDSM relationships are more intimate, more intense, and more openly honest than any other form of relationship.

Are there abusers who use BDSM to mask their abuse (àla Christian Grey)? Yes. But they are abusers. They need to be prosecuted for their abuse. For those of us who practice responsible, consensual BDSM, abuse is not part of the picture.

Exploring rather than repressing sexuality, allowing people to have choices that are not dependent on their genitals, giving people the freedom to make their own decisions about how their relationships are structured rather than dictating — whether from a feminist or patriarchal perspective — what their relationship dynamics look like, is transgressive. And it is feminist.


What Some Women Tops and Bottoms Have in Common

October 14, 2013

This post originally appeared October 12, 2013 on BDSM Book Reviews.

Power dynamics have interesting implications. What some Doms do to control; others require their submissive to perform as a service.

When I had a convertible, I always drove my own car. I enjoyed the turbo charged engine and its ability to take curves at high speeds. I never let anyone else behind the wheel of that car, and my submissive rode with me as a passenger. But, when I traded my sports car in on a sedate sedan, the dynamic changed. Driving became boring, so now my submissive chauffeurs me. It’s another way he serves me.

This implication can often be seen in D/s sexual interactions. When it comes to sex, women tops and bottoms often have something in common, besides the obvious. Although the context differs depending on their position in the D/s dynamic, many women abdicate the responsibility for their pleasure to their partners.

In some M/f relationships I’ve observed, the male puts a fair amount of effort into his submissive’s orgasms, whether it’s devising diabolical rape scenes or training her to come on voice command.

At the other end of the dynamic, some FemDoms expect their submissives to serve them by providing them with sexual pleasure — whether it’s fetish-related such as foot worship or actual intercourse often of the oral variety.

In either dynamic, the genitalia of the submissive may be considered owned by the Dominant. But, attitudes toward their possessions differ greatly.

In both cases, Dominants might enjoy tormenting their toys’ sexual equipment. But, the male Dom may take pleasure in forcing his girl to come over and over again until she can’t breathe while the FemDom asserts control by prohibiting her boy from having an orgasm.

This dichotomy is especially observable in chastity devices. The male apparatus prevents him from having an erection and therefore, in most cases, an orgasm. The female restraint only obstructs penetration.

Now both top and bottom females may be very explicit about what they want, what arouses them, and what they find distasteful. And, of course the turn ons and offs are likely to be diametric opposites. But, even if they’re very explicit about their likes and dislikes, many women prefer giving their partner control over whether or not, and how often, they come.

Personally, I can’t comprehend why any woman would surrender her sexual pleasure to another, even if it’s someone who works hard to satisfy her. I wonder if women do so because society considers female sexuality subservient to male’s. Or are women hesitant to take control of their sexual pleasure because society dictates negative connotations for women who enjoy sex?

Who takes responsibility for female orgasms in your relationship and how does that impact your D/s dynamic?


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