Why I got into BDSM
I'm starting with a fan requested-topic; I hope with the website move, I might resurrect fan questions.
"I'd like to know why you got into BDSM , like why do you think it's part of your make up? Although I'm not sure if you want to get that personal."
I laughed a little when I read this message from my friend. "... that personal"? Sometimes I think I'm lacking in the notion of "things too personal to be shared." When I first created an author's blog, in posting on it, I had struggled with "Is this too personal?" or "Is this un-professional?" I'm reminded of the feminist statement of "The personal is political." That adds another dimension for me because the personal, professional, and political intersect in my life.
I am a lifestyle submissive; I live 24/7 in a fetish relationship with my dominant, whom I address as "Master," unless various factors call me not to do so. Before meeting my first girlfriend, I'd "found" Marquis de Sade in the library and loved him; while I love his writing, it has very little to do with a modern, consensual BDSM relationship. I was introduced to this modern BDSM by my first girlfriend. She introduced me to BDSM in two ways- she moved me beyond de Sade to reading Anne Rice's "Beauty" books, originally written under a pen name although she has since published them under her own name as well as engaging in BDSM with me. The "Beauty" or "Sleeping Beauty" books, both nicknames I've seen used in the BDSM community, as well as having used myself are an "erotic fairy tale"; I think Anne has even used that phrase in her writing, hence the quote marks. The thing is, she wasn't trying to write reality; she was working from the Sleeping Beauty myth, just taking it in an adult direction. She also was not trying to write a modern, consensual BDSM relationship. Thinking on de Sade and Anne Rice's erotic writing, I knew I loved it, I knew it resonated with me on some level, but I knew it wasn't livable. Unfortunately as a new adult, I moved into more and more conservative areas, into areas that didn't have many or any stores that carried adult books. The internet also wasn't the quite the behemoth it is today; I didn't realize I could go to websites and buy books. I certainly couldn't just go to barnesandnoble.com and search "BDSM erotica" to find the specific genre I wanted; yes, I have done just this search recently and found some books I wanted to buy and others that made me laugh uncontrollably. However, circling back to when I was finally old enough to buy erotica legally, as I did not have access to the wealth of choices, authors I do today, I assumed that no one was writing BDSM erotica that was based in reality, showed modern, happy, healthy, consensual BDSM relationships. So the voracious writing that I'd started as soon as an English teacher got me writing in sentences found its way into this BDSM erotica that I envisioned.
Now I'm going to copy/paste something I posted on another blog post- when the "Liebster Award" was going around my spanking/Domestic Discipline/BDSM writing friends. Answering "who/what inspired you to write this book?" asking about my WIP (work-in-progress), I answered this:
Tom- who I mentioned earlier, mentioned in my dedication. The situation just wasn't right for either of us, but I wanted more from the relationship. I pulled pieces of him and me into various characters in various ways. I've described Vala as "me to the Nth" degree; I partied with guys in high school to get drugs so she was actually a prostitute. However, when that relationship went away and my Master claimed me, The Queen started to grow beyond Tom, to take on characteristics of my Master, finally growing into his own person. But there are many strands of inspiration, beyond these. I'd started writing BDSM erotica for many reasons. One of these was the fact that I didn't enjoy much of what was out there (when the Marquis de Sade is your favorite writer, that shows some trouble). I also wanted to find a balance between the wishy-washy, politically correct, sanitized BDSM I was seeing. I wanted something real, something vital. I'd found it in real life with my Master; I wanted to have it fiction and I found I had to write it myself- although feel free to share the names of authors who also engage in this dance; I'd love to read their writing.
For me, BDSM has been a reading/writing/living thing. Each of those pieces mixed in me. I loved to read BDSM writing; I wanted to write it because I wasn't seeing exactly what I wanted; I wanted to live BDSM in a modern, consensual relationship with a person who was also open to my desire to live polyamorously.
The next piece of "personal, professional, political"- political. Various people and groups are engaged in activism around giving people the right to engage in BDSM practices responsibly. While sadly only existing as a resource now, the first draft of this spoke of Leather and Grace UUs for BDSM Awareness. It is important to me as a Unitarian Universalist that "kink" (as it's been come to be called when not wanting to use BDSM, S/M, leathersex, or any of the other names that "alternative sexuality" sometimes is called) is an accepted part of my sexuality. I am pansexual, non-monogamous, and kinky (or BDSM-oriented as I'll often say it)- I consider those three things to be integral parts of my identity. Please do take the time to read the "Kink as an orientation?" page on L&G's. While some authors of BDSM erotica and other "risque" sub-genres of romance choose to write under a pseudonym to keep their private and professional lives separately, I've decided to use my legal name because I write, read, live it. This is political for me because BDSM practitioners have experienced discrimination, myself included. Many laws do not support our freedom. So I've made the choice to put my face out there, my name out there. As Harvey Milk said, "Come out, come out, wherever you are!" speaking of homosexuality, I think the same thing can be said of BDSM practitioners who are able. So writing erotica is also a political act for me.
Finally, there is the personal "why are you into BDSM?" that dances through all these answers. Many more words than I could ever care to read have been written philosophizing why some people get into BDSM. I'm not sure I can say why? Certainly not just one reason. With any part of sexuality, I find it disingenuous to try to say there is just one cause. Consider the whole nature/nurture argument as it plays out among same sex rights. Does the cause of one's homosexuality really give credence to either equal or non-equal rights with the heterosexual majority? I don't think it should. However I can give some things that might be the why. My mother is a perfectionist and I believe that she is manipulative. As I was growing up, I never felt that I could please her. Eventually, I got to my teen years and actively wanted NOT to please her. That desire to people please was already solidly in me however. In lifestyle BDSM, I've found that I can focus on that people-pleasing just on my dominant while not allowing other people to use me. I've lived all my life in Michigan; unfortunately it is one state that has a lot more "abstinence-only sexual education" and I was further unfortunate to live in a conservative area where this was the curriculum. So when I lost my virginity to rape at 13, I was sadly lacking in knowledge to make sense of what happened to me. Of course, as I write this, I am 25 years removed from that experience. I have had the chance to heal, the tools of my healing varying from time to open-minded, liberal religious experiences including various neo-pagan and finally Unitarian Universalist beliefs. It kills me though to think how my rape experience feeds into the stereotype of "freaky person into freaky things with bad stuff in the past." I was excited recently to read this article though; the author discusses how "S/M helped [her] heal from [her] rape." While my experience and hers are far from the same, I definitely related to her story. However, her talk about trust made the most sense to me. I don't trust most men, I don't trust them to respect me, my desires, my history. It may seem paradoxical to those who don't understand BDSM, but the structure of our relationship helps me to trust my Master in ways I never trust another guy.
So I'm sure that I’ve more than answered the question, albeit wandering around and around the point as I often do. However, I will answer further, if there are questions and I do feel like answering. "Submissive" does not necessarily equal "doormat."
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