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Regulating our Fantasies

(From the archives)

This little post about safe sex in fiction is one that I’ve shared several times because it’s always relevant. A big part of my switch to more and more paranormal and urban fantasy fiction is because no on questions whether sex is safe with a vampire or a demon. Unsafe sex goes without saying. PNR and Urban fantasy are wonderful ways to explore our more dangerous desires in story. Plus I love writing it. Enjoy the post and whatever you’re reading at the moment, enjoy it with abandon.  — KD xx

 

The topic of safe sex in erotic fiction comes up all the time amongst writers and readers. I recently had a run-in with
someone who was disturbed by the fact that the characters in my novels, and most of my short stories, don’t wear condoms. It’s true. They don’t. They don’t because they live in the fictional world I’ve created, an erotic world designed to play out my fantasies and, I hope, those of other people as well. The truth is that never once have I had an erotic fantasy that involved the use of a condom. I have written a couple of stories in which condoms are used, but in those stories, I didn’t use condoms to make a statement nor to assume that my readers needed reminding that in the real world, safe sex is a must. Rather, condoms played a role in the development of the story.

 

My stories are my fantasies, entirely and completely the product of my imagination. I’m a firm believer that my readers are intelligent and savvy and very aware of the world around them. I also understand that some people prefer their fiction and their fantasies more realistic. Fair enough. Fortunately for them, there are writers who prefer to write that way. I don’t happen to be one of them.

 

It’s ironic that the stringent rules and regulations that apply to erotic fiction do not apply to other kinds of fiction. I understand that some of those guidelines in erotica have to do with the publisher knowing the target audience. But In other types of fiction, subjects are covered all the time that are completely forbidden in most standard erotic guidelines for submission, and yet no one expects that readers of non-erotic fiction should need to be reminded that guns are dangerous and murder and rape are wrong.

 

I have written stories for which the submission guidelines demanded the use of condoms in all scenes involving penetrative sex. I gritted my teeth and wrote what the guidelines dictated. But it seems to me that the message such guidelines send is two-fold. First of all that because erotica is about sex, it’s automatically more dangerous than other types of fiction, and secondly that readers of erotica are just not as smart as readers of other types of fiction and they must have extra instruction and guidance to equip them for the reading of such dangerous material.

 

Do we really believe that people are more ignorant where erotic literature is concerned, and more likely to cause themselves and others harm than they are if they read any other kind of literature? Do we really believe that if the character in a story has a gang bang without the use of condoms that the reader will automatically think this must be what sex is all about, and go out and try it for her or himself?

 

Erotica is, by its very nature, the place where the reader can experience for him or herself what would never be considered safe in the real world, what, given the opportunity to do in the real world, given the opportunity to participate in, her or his response would be an unequivocal ‘No thanks.’ Is it any different than a thriller or a horror story, or an adventure novel?

 

The whole point of a novel is to live vicariously a life that one wouldn’t have the opportunity, and more than likely wouldn’t even want to live, if one did have the opportunity. Commercial fiction is all about vicarious thrills and vicarious experiences from the safety of our own home. That’s why reading is so much fun.

 

I believe readers should be given credit for discernment, credit for being as savvy about the differences between erotic fiction and reality as they are about the differences between other kinds of fiction and reality. I’m not saying that fiction can’t be didactic. And indeed part of the beauty of fiction is that it offers the inadvertent opportunity to learn something new. What I am saying is that I tell stories. I tell stories for fun in a world that, I think, could use more fun. If there are lessons taught, they come about inadvertently while I’m having fun telling a story. But I don’t feel a deep burning need
to tell my readers to do what they already know to do, what they’ve been aware of every moment of their lives from the
time their old enough to understand that the world is a dangerous place. And sometimes the world adults must live and function in can be a boring place as well. If they’re like me, and I assume at least some of them are, that dangerous world, that boring world, is a very large part of the reason they enjoy fiction so much.

 

And they enjoy it while they continue to stop for red lights and level crossings, while they continue to treat their fellow person with respect, and while they continue to practice safe sex, all without having to be reminded that these things are for their own good.

 

Slave Nano Talks About Regulating our Fantasies and the Use of Safe Words

 

It’s my pleasure to welcome Slave Nano to my blog today. Nano read Sunday’s post about the use of condoms in erotic fiction and has kindly offered to do a blog on another way in which our fantasies are regulated. Welcome, Nano.

Thanks to K D for having me on her blog page today.  Indeed my contribution is a response to her own blog, Regulating Fantasies, in which she discusses the topic of safe sex in erotic fiction and in particular whether stories should portray the use of condoms to encourage responsible sex.  I agree completely with her argument that our readers are intelligent enough to realise that erotic fiction is a work of imagination and understand the difference between fantasy and the real world.  I don’t believe it’s the place of erotic authors to write manuals for safe sex.

Nano BDSM no safewordunnamedIt occurred to me that the corresponding stricture on writers of BDSM erotica concerns the use of safe words.  There is something of a mantra that safe words are the touchstone of safe play but I don’t believe that’s the case, neither in the writing of erotic fiction nor indeed in real play.

There are two acronyms in use to define the principles of sensible consensual BDSM, one is SSC (Safe Sane Consensual) and the other is RACK (Risk Aware Consensual Kink).  The crucial difference between the two is that the latter accepts some activities involve an element of risk which participants acknowledge.  There seems to be an assumption that safe words constitute safe play.  On the face of it, this sounds so easy and obvious; one person is given a word that stops or controls an activity. But it’s far more complex than that.

I’m not going to be prescriptive, people will express their BDSM writing and relationships in different ways and safe words may have a role to play.  My point is that no one way is right for everybody. Sometimes I’m convinced this mantra that safe word = safe play is expounded by people who have no experience of BDSM.  Indeed, I would go further and say that safe words aren’t even safe!  Let me explain.

Safe words can lead to lazing ‘domming’ and that is dangerous.  What keeps a sub safe is an experienced, aware and responsible domme (I’m assuming female domme for purposes of this piece) watching her submissive all the time, gauging his responses and judging how best to develop a scene.  A domme sitting back waiting for a safe word and failing to engage fully with her play-partner is an unsafe practise as she will miss those critical reactions to stimuli.

Safe words don’t take into account the psychology of submission.  The whole point about the relationship between a dominant and submissive is the surrendering of control to another person.  Safe words get in the way of that.  In an intense scene a submissive attains a state in which he will go anywhere, do anything for that other person.  A person in that state of mind is not always in a position to make considered choices.  His focus is on serving and being taken as far as his mistress leads him. In these circumstances the judgement of an experienced domme is a much better safeguard than a safe word.

Edgy is part of it. Once again, this is about the psychology of submissiveness.  Edgy is exciting, it contributes to the sense of anticipation and being thrust into the unknown gets the adrenaline going and the endorphins rushing to your head.  Safe words miss the point. Humans knowingly do illogical and hazardous things and part of the BDSM experience is about taking that risk.

So, to sum up, if you trust the person you’re doing this with you don’t need a safe word and if you don’t trust them, be honest, a safe word isn’t going to do you any good anyway.

Ok, let’s get back to the writing now.  The extract below is from my book Adventures in Fetishland.  It is part of a scene with cling film mummification and breath play.  The setting of the book may be fantasy (it being a BDSM/fetish reinvention of the Alice stories) but underpinning it all is a psychological relationship between dominant and submissive that is real. This is edgy play for my two characters.  To have a safe word lurking in the background would undermine the whole purpose of the scene, which is to show my main character, Kim, demonstrate her trust in the Red Queen; as I think any discerning reader would recognise.

So, I support K D on this one in opposing the regulating of fantasies, whether that be in authors portraying safe sex in erotic writing or safe words in BDSM writing.  I don’t believe authors who write BDSM should succumb to the demands of the safe word police.

You can find out more about me and my writing at http:/slavenano.co.uk

Extract from Adventures in Fetishland

As the Egyptian goddess worked up her body pulling the cling film as tight as she could Kim felt strands Nano bdsm no safewrdunnamedof her long hair brush against her flesh and smelt her sweet and exotic scent.  She worked especially hard to pull the cling film over Kim’s tits and ensure that her soft mounds of flesh and her engorged nipples were wrapped tight.

She had reached Kim’s neck.  How far would she go?

“You trust me?”

“Mmm,” Kim was in a sensual daze and could only mutter her approbation.

“Take this and make sure you hold it tightly between your teeth. Don’t let it go.”

She inserted a plastic tube into Kim’s mouth.  Kim’s heart jumped a beat.  What did this mean?

The cling film was wrapped around her neck and then twisted around the plastic tube to hold it firmly into place.  Kim was wetting herself with fear and anticipation.  She knew what was going to come next and, although part of her couldn’t believe that she had allowed herself to be offered up for this mummification ritual, another part of her desperately wanted to surrender herself to it.  It was this latter part that won over as she laid there quietly, submissively, yearning to be enveloped completely and give herself up.

“This is the gateway Kim, the path into another world for you. The jackal-headed god Anubis is here to ease your path through it,” she said acknowledging the presence of the duchess in the mask.  Kim drank in this moment before she was deprived of sight, perhaps of breath and life itself.  Leaning over her was the imperious dark haired figure of the Egyptian goddess arraigned in golden jewellery and precious stones with her piercing blue eyes that penetrated right into her soul.  Next to her was the snout headed figure of Anubis beckoning her on, inviting her to take a further step into this strange world she had committed herself to.  She had one last chance to look down at herself, a bizarre figure mummified in Nano BDSM No safe wordunnamedwhite cling film.  Kim thought she looked fantastic; very exotic and sexy in a bizarre way.  She took one deep draft of air through her nose before the cling film wrapped around her face, over her eyes and ears until finally her head was covered. She tried to imagine what she looked like now, a cocoon of white with a plastic tube sticking out of her mouth.

Deprived of sight, sound and smell and with only the taste of the plastic tube in her mouth, she was totally immersed in the sensation of the thick white film clinging to her body.  She drew in deep gasps of air through the tube, that very act making her head spin even more. The psychological sensation of surrender and submission was overpowering.  She was immersed in her own body, the overwhelming feeling being that of the tight cling film holding her in.  She felt herself drifting off and would have loved to have floated in this submissive nether-world for ever but then suddenly something yanked her back to a perverse kind of reality and an awareness that there were still other people in the room, even though the sense of them seemed to be some distance away.

Buy links

At the moment Adventures in Fetishland is available for the insanely cheap price of 39p/$0.64

Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Fetishland-length-erotic-novel-ebook/dp/B008G3N4HO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389727790&sr=8-1&keywords=adventures+in+fetishland

Amazon.co.uk

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Adventures-Fetishland-length-erotic-novel-ebook/dp/B008G3N4HO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389727450&sr=8-1&keywords=adventures+in+fetishland

 
© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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