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BDSGym?

Recently I was asked to write a guest post explaining what I thought the appeal of BDSM is in erotica. As I wrote that post and sent it off, I found myself thinking about my workouts at the gym and drawing parallels.

I work out with a personal trainer twice a week. My trainer pushes me hard, much harder than I would be able to push myself, and I have a reputation for pushing. But I don’t trust myself. There are boundaries I’m afraid to push on my own. I’ve had too many injuries from pushing in the wrong way and overtraining. Though I love working out with my husband, and we have a great time together whether we’re practicing martial arts or whether we’re lifting, or even on a long walk, he can’t really push me like my trainer does because he’s not a trainer and because I’m his wife and he’s careful with me. Also he doesn’t want to be around the bitch I can be if he tries to push me too hard.

unnamedSo what’s different with a personal trainer? First of all, my trainer is an expert. I knew his credentials when I started working with him. Secondly, and most importantly, long before he could push my limits like he does now, we had to develop a relationship of trust. I went into that relationship with an injured knee. I had to trust that my trainer knew what he was doing enough to help me reach the level of fitness I wanted while not injuring me further, but strengthening me and facilitating healing. He had to trust that I would be honest with him and give myself over to his training. Once that trust was established, I knew that anything my trainer asked of me, no matter how impossible it seemed at the time, I would push toward. As time has passed he’s given me challenges that have driven me harder than I’ve ever been driven, challenges I would have never believed myself capable of finishing. And he’s also given me challenges that I’ve not yet finished, challenges designed to make me aware of how much farther I want to push those boundaries. During the year and a half we’ve been working together, we’ve developed a relationship of trust and camaraderie.

Today I hurt. I even have a few bruises from the boxing part of yesterday’s workout. I’m pretty proud of those, actually. It doesn’t matter how badly my body hurts or how exhausted I am — I keep pushing, and I know that I can push because my trainer’s looking out for me; he’s in control. What makes a situation that would appear to any outsider like torture something that I revel in is what happens inside my head. What I experience when I’m pushed to the edge of my endurance is somewhat similar, I imagine, to what practitioners of BDSM call subspace, which is the headspace in which submissives may find themselves when they’ve been pushed to their limits by their Doms.

I’ve been thinking about headspace a lot lately, about the place where I go, during a hard workout, when I’ve moved beyond tired and beyond pain. Pushing myself to the limit changes much more than my body. It feels like I go through stages. First there’s determination, and when the pain sets in (I’ve learned the difference between good pain and bad pain) and my body starts to rebel, the emotions start to well up – sometimes anger at the intangible, at some nemesis I neither have a name for nor can define. Sometimes that anger morphs into a child-like state that brings me close to tears, a state in which I want to turn on my trainer and ask him why the hell he’s being so mean to me – even as I push myself harder, even as I respect him more for believing I’m worthy of this challenge. When I get past that ‘why are you hurting me’ stage, what happens next is the most amazing part of all.  Somehow my body pushes the pain back. Endorphins, adrenaline, and all the chemical soup flooding into my brain and body take me to a place that feels far removed from what’s going on physically, and yet also feels right there at my very centre.

The thing about the change that takes place when my trainer has pushed my boundaries and tested my skill level is that, even when the workout is over, the change remains. I’ve gone where I’ve not been before. The reservoir inside me that makes me who I am seems deeper. I feel more real. I write this because I’m always seeking ways to understand what’s going on in the stories we writers tell, and when P1000816BDSM takes up such a large space under the Erotica Big Top, why wouldn’t I be seeking parallels, searching for ways to understand, ways to help my readers understand and identify. I do the same with all of the many components of erotica. Having said that, I hardly think it’s a surprise that gyms and physical fitness figure so prominently in erotic stories.

If I could put the experience I share with my personal trainer into a phrase, that phrase would be ‘power under control’ — my power, his control. And that power is power I didn’t know I had, power I would have been afraid to access without his control. I think we can’t overestimate the body as a teaching tool for knowing ourselves. We’re all our own biggest mystery, power unaccessed, depths unexplored, and most of us tend toward the path of least resistance. Moving off that path into the Undiscovered Country, accessing our power, is often easier when someone else is in control.

 

Acting Like An Erotica Writer

P1000816Writer Jane Wenham-Jones insists that most erotica writers she’s met look more like librarians. Most of us would happily admit to writing in our sweat suits or jeans or jammies. I don’t even own a corset and my feet are most often bare or in fuzzy slippers. Most of my erotica writing friends simply smile at the thought of writing in a basque and stilettos, and when we’re making a public appearance, I suppose we do look more like librarians than sex goddesses.

Most of us don’t mind so much when people say we don’t look like erotica writers. I confess the mental picture of me stretched out on a chez lounge with a feather boa and nose bleed heels scribbling away in a velvet notebook with quill is amusing, and it doesn’t bother me that I might look like a librarian when I’m out in public. I think librarians are hot. What does bother me, however and, what bothers most of my colleagues, is when people just assumed that we have DONE all the things we write about. Even that I could live with in a wink and a nudge sort of way, if it weren’t for the fact that sexual experience – especially for a woman – is sadly still stigmatized as something only ‘bad people’ have.

No one assumes Thomas Harris is a cannibalistic serial killer. No one assumes Anne Rice drinks blood and sleeps in a coffin. No one assumes Tom Clancy spent time being a terrorist. And yet, there are those who assume erotica writers have done everything we write about. For people who make that assumption, I have just one question; what part of ‘FICTION’ don’t they get?

Fiction writers don’t have to experience what they write in order to write about it. In fact, that’s why it’s fiction. IT DIDN’T HAPPEN — at least not outside the fertile mind of the writer. Erotic fiction is no different.

Fiction allows the reader, and the writer, to safely experience situations and worlds that, in reality, would not be safe or even be possible. In a world where safe sex has become a battle cry, as well as its own form of bondage, that has never been more true than it is with erotica. The erotica writer allows the reader to participate safely in an experience that can be both very wonderful and very dangerous. It’s no more necessary for erotica writers to have an orgy in order to write about one than it was for Thomas Harris to kill and eat a few folk before he could create Hannibal Lector.

Though it may add another layer to the psycho-sexual fantasy for the reader to imagine the erotica writer experiening first hand her orgy, bondage, or sex in a bus before she writes about, though that fantasy may be very sexy. It’s just that, a fantasy. In reality, what the writer has created it still fiction.

All that being said, I’m here to say that I do, indeed ACT like an erotica writer. In fact, I’m going to be even more general and say that I simply act like a writer. I see a world in my imagination and I recreate it on the written page. Some of what I write on that page involves sex, but not all of it. In fact most of what I write on that page is a story with an intriguing plot in which sex happens, in which sex helps drive the story. THAT is how an erotica writer acts!

writing image 2Like all other fiction writers, the world of an erotica writer is about plot, characters and setting. Unlike most other fiction writers, we allow human sexuality to be a powerful driving force in our stories, and we don’t shy away from the explicit when it serves our purpose. That erotic fiction is set apart from the rest of fiction simply because of its free and explicit use of sex saddens me deeply, as the stories being told by erotica writers are as relevant and as powerful as the stories told in any other genre.

Ultimately, if an erotica writer writes a good story with an intriguing plot, interesting characters and strong setting, then yes, she or he is acting like an erotica writer, behaving in character with all good fiction writers, using the same tools that writers in all other genre use – imagination, research and dedication to the craft. Erotica writers are just willing to give our readers a little extra heat — even if we do it in our jammies.

 

Books of Delight Delights Readers and Authors

Books of delight bannerunnamedSince November, readers and writers alike have been enjoying Books of Delight, a fab new erotica book club with a twist. Books of Delight is the brainchild of the awesome Chris Unity Bowness and his equally awesome wife, Caroline. Chris had been doing guest spots on my blog for quite some time now, and he has always been a champion of erotica and erotica authors, so when Chris approached the Brit Babes for some feedback about his idea of an online book club for erotica, he got a resounding thumbs up.

I recently talked to Chris, who is also a Relationship and Sex Mentor, and he had this to say about the Books of Delight’s conception and exciting firs few months.

“I love erotica and, as a sex mentor, I have used it over the years, personally and professionally, as a tool to open up discussions about sex, because what’s great about Erotica is that it’s about the sex. Yes there are fabulous characters and wonderful story lines, but enjoying erotica and saying so, I believe, makes a statement that you are sex positive and enjoy sex. To enjoy erotica means exploring and exposing yourself to sex. I am intrigued by the psychology of erotica fans. (Which I’ll save for another post.)

Furthermore, having been involved with the genre for a number of years I believe erotica has an almost cult like following supported by authors who are hungry to engage with readers of the genre. I think this stems from the fact that to explore and find the best erotica, beyond E.L. James and Sylvia Day, you have to really go out there and look for it. And sometimes even when you know what you’re looking for the search is made harder by search engines and booksellers filtering it out. There has been a recent well publicised ‘cleaning up’ by Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Amazon of erotica from its ebook stores.

About two years ago I started sharing and posting the newest releases, offers and news from the world of erotica and was surprised by the amount of people stopping me in the street or massaging me to say they’d picked up a book I’d shared and how everyone of them had enjoyed it and in turn told me to keep sharing.

It was then I started looking at social reading sites to further explore and engage with other fans of erotica. I wanted to find a place where I could engage with others, where we could share other books but also where we could converse with authors. After going from site to site and finding bits here and bits there, I asked myself why I didn’t start something which exactly fitted my needs but also was what I believed a community could be built on.

I wanted to build a community where books could be recommended and discussed on a regular basis. This would be a place where readers could be guided to the best books and authors, where we could share with each other our love of erotica. It would be a community which would be supported and also engaged by the very authors being recommended. Books Of Delights was borne…”

After a lot of hard work, planning and organising by the Bownesses, the group began in November as a Facebook private group. I was lucky enough to have Grace Marshall’s novel, An Executive Decision be one of the two choices for the virgin run along with the amazing Tabitha Raynes’ novel, A Clockwork Butterfly.

“I was lucky enough to have one of my novels as a featured book in Books of Delights alongside the gorgeous Kd!,” author, Tabitha Raynes said. ‘I loved being able to interact with readers and see how they interpreted the story. It was quite thrilling to learn things about how the books are read and to be surprised that some of the things discussed hadn’t occurred to me! Just shows that once a piece of work is out there, it takes on a life of its own. That was really lovely – to have your writing come alive in someone else’s imagination and hear about it. Books of Delights founders Christopher and Caroline are wonderful at bringing out people’s enthusiasm for what they are reading and to promote lively and interesting debate on some of the issues that the stories might raise. A wonderful experience – especially getting to ‘meet’ readers. Some even took the time to leave excellent reviews – most appreciated and unexpected. I loved it and I thoroughly recommend joining!”

Reader, and new convert to erotica, Cheryl Jackson says, “Books of Delight is what it sound like and more. Erotic books to tingle the senses but also the very community is a delight. I’d not read much erotica before joining and was pleasantly surprised by the engaging stories I read and am now a definite fan. There is plenty of opportunity should you wish to discuss the books, concepts found in the books and indeed general points relating to sex positive ideas. There are also general conversations and you soon find yourself drawn into the group. Participants and authors mixing in a friendly way. There is no obligation to join in the conversations if you chose not to but you will receive a warm friendly welcome if you do.”

Caroline Bowness is in full agreement. “I like the way readers have access to authors to ask questions and interact. I hope as it grows and people get braver we will have more discussions on the books we are reading.”

Speaking from an author’s perspective, there’s nothing writers love more than to engage with people in a discussion about their stories, and for me, that was the very best part of Books of Delight, the write and reader interaction.  The Brit Babes were all invited to join the group from the beginning, and the Brit Babes do love to talk erotica, writing and S.E.X.

Author, Lily Harlem said, “As an author I love being involved with Book of Delights, it’s informal, friendly and a wonderful way to interact with readers who are fans of the erotica and erotic romance genre. Writing can be a lonely business, tapping away all day on a laptop creating characters and plots, so when it’s time for some social time where better to go than a place with likeminded people for stimulating, passionate conversations about love and lust and everything bookish.”

Author, and founder of Writer Marketing Services, Lucy Felthouse, had this to say about Books of Delight. “I think it’s a fantastic idea to get a bunch of enthusiastic readers together to read and discuss books. As a writer, there’s nothing better than being directly in touch with readers to find out what they’re enjoying, to answer questions they may have, and to ask some of your own. It’s great fun, and I’m looking forward to what fun the group brings next.”

Add to that interesting insights and links added by Chris and Caroline, and you have the formula for a dynamic, exciting new group, which has been so successful. Even though BoD is technically in a trial period until April, as exciting as the first few months have already been, in February, Books of Delight is evolving from the successful private Facebook group to something bigger and even more exciting. Keep your eyes on Chris’s mentoring and sex positive website, www.multiple-asms.org for the exciting relaunch in February. Once the trial period is over, Chris is aiming for a full launch in the 2nd quarter of the year in which Books of Delight will become a micro subscription service.

BoD It’s BODdy Brilliant! — Author, Victoria Blisse

BOD is beautifully bawdy. — Author, Kay Jaybee

 

 

 

 

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

 

Cycle of Orgasm: Path to letting go during partnered sex

Welcome back, Chris Unity Bowness with another instalment of Consenting Adults

Consenting Adults psp ver1

As a mentor, I’m very intrigued by Orgasms and the issues that surround them.

Drawing on my mentoring experiences, I’ve created my own model of what I believe is a path to ‘letting ourselves flow’ to orgasm during partnered sex. As ever though this is not set in stone and is ever evolving based on my experiences of the issues people have shared with me.

I think it’s important to point out that there are a number of reasons for not being able to achieve an orgasm — physical, mental and medical. If you are experiencing problems I recommend first seeking expert medical advice and making sure everything is OK before exploring this path.

Ownership

One of the complaints I hear is “They just can’t make me come.” I believe that the starting point to orgasm is the understanding that ultimate responsibility for our pleasure lies with us. Self-exploration is a great way to achieve a better understanding of what turns us on but also what happens to our bodies during pleasure and orgasm.

Use the whole of your hands to explore your body. Probe every curve and ridge brushing and kneading with hands. Using your fingers in places palms can’t reach will give you a deeper understanding of your body and what makes you orgasm. Whether it’s penetrative, clitoral, g spot, anal or even nipple orgasms, discovering what we like can start in our own company and give us a greater understanding of our desires and how our bodies reacts. Introducing sex toys will help our self-discovery go even further.

Communication

Having a greater understanding of how we enjoy pleasure, what happens to our body during pleasure and ultimately what makes us orgasm can put us in a great position to be able to communicate this to our partners. Using positive consensual language can be a great way to let things go more positively and naturally. For example: “Do you want me to show you where I really like to be touched?” Inability to effectively use language during intimacy is often a stumbling block to orgasm. I’ve discussed this topic previously in a guest article on K.D. Grace’s fellow author and Brit Babe Kay Jaybee’s site which you can read here.

The biggest builder of intimacy between couples is not sex but the shared vulnerability which includes those moments during sex when partners make themselves vulnerable in order to give pleasure and receive pleasure. Communicating with our partner that we want to be pleasured, and how, is one of the most vulnerable positions in which we can put ourselves. It is positively giving our partners consent to touch us and to show them how.

Immersion

Once we have built confidence and trust with ourselves and our partner, we can then begin to fully connect intimately and spiritually with each other. Taking foreplay to a deeper level by using skin warming massage, or brushing and sensual kissing to awaken the whole of each other’s bodies are examples. Always check in with each other and only move on when both are ready.

Traditionally in heterosexual relationships men and women have viewed the ultimate climax of sex as being male ejaculation and judged the results of happy sex on that alone. Moving away from the idea of male ejaculation being the end point can help remove the pressures of performance for men and women.

Chris-Bowness-Unity-300x212Post coital time can also be important. Since sex can be a very vulnerable and soul bearing experience, people’s post-sex actions can help reinforce positive or negative feelings. Negative actions, such as walking off or getting dressed and going home — even after amazing sex, can reinforce negative emotions in regards to sex and allow stress and anxiety to build each time sex takes place. Positive actions, communication, and really checking in with each other after sex can create a positive experience that ease the ‘letting go’ and becoming vulnerable physically and mentally the next time the couple has sex.

Finally, it’s helpful to immerse ourselves in each other outside the bedroom with warm touches and kisses, which can flood our brains with oxytocin. This can help build deeper connections with each other. If we are not with our partners, checking in via text, or even using saucy texts, or emails can help to build deeper bonds and mentally prepare us for sex by starting foreplay well before we reach the bedroom.

Find Chris Here:

www.multiple-asms.org

 

 
© 2018 K D Grace
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