Saturday, March 21, 2009

Is it me?

I recently did a book signing event that had an author meet-and-greet session before the signing event. I told a crowd of folks about myself as an author, the books I've written and what I have coming up. One person asked me after I talked about my BDSM titles how I did my research. Of course there was a ripple of giggles going through the audience. So I was honest. I told them that I hung out with a local BDSM group that taught me the ropes, pun intended, about BDSM. That little revelation quieted the group.

A week or so after the event, I attended a luncheon with my BDSM buddies. As always, there was a demonstration after the luncheon. The demonstration consisted of stringing up a couple of submissives to a huge man-made spiderweb contraption and spanking, flogging, whipping and paddling them.

My Domme friends are never content with me just watching the action. So they put a flogger in my hand and showed me how to flog a submissive. For me, the feeling felt odd. To me, I was hurting this submissive, which is not my personal thing. To the submissive, he loved ever minute of it. He told me so afterward and even went so far as to kiss my feet (through my sneakers). When I turned around, my BDSM buds all had smiles on their faces. My Domme's submissive said that he thinks that I'm really a Domme in the closet.

I don't think I am. When I do my research, and I'm asking people who are actively involved in the Lifestyle about how they feel and the appeal of it, I understand it. I get it. I konw that they feed off of their submissive's reaction just as the submissive feeds off their Dom and Domme's power.

Here are my questions: for the readers, when an author writes something contemporary, why is it that readers think the author lives that lifestyle? No one ever asks an author who writes murder mysteries or horror if they've killed someone or if they have someone bound in their basement. Why is that? Why is one more possible than the other?

The other thing I want to ask is why is it that other people can see something in me that I don't think is really there? Maybe it's something they're projecting, something they wish I could personally produce. Do I need to necessarily live that life to write it successfully? I hope not. I'd like to think the world is my oyster as far as writing subjects. I just want to give you my pearls!



Jax Cassidy said...

Great post Bridget! I do a lot of research and I know exactly what you mean. Because I write erotic, my readers often think I live a promiscuous love life. They'll often say, "so I'm sure most of this is written from experience.." -- Well, I normally laugh and let the readers believe what they want. Of course, I would like to think that if authors have the readers convinced, it proves you don't have to live the lifestyle to write convincingly. I say, kudos to you for writing something that is totally believable! It just means you've got a great imagination. :)

Miriam Pace said...

When I first started writing, I had a t-shirt made for my husband that said 'my wife writes sexy novels' on the front and on the back it said, 'and I do the research.' He was the hit of BEA that year. That was after my very first book was published in 1981 and BEA (which was ABA back then) was in L.A.

Today, Jackie writes all the sex scenes in our books. Her imagination is boundless when it comes to sex. (Did I say that right?)

Though I do wonder where romance is going from here. Erotica is going to wane and I'm wondering what the next trend will be.

Bridget Midway said...

Oh I hope erotica doesn't wane. I truly enjoy keeping the "door" open when I write a sex scene. What I hope is that all sex scenes are written that way so that the lines of what erotica is blurs with straight romance.


Niambi Brown Davis said...

I do think that many readers believe we've put our lives out on paper for them to see. One man asked if I was actually the heroine of my book, because he planned on paying a visit. And it was by no means erotic, although her romantic encounters with the hero were pretty hot (lol)

Now I DO wonder about Stephen King, though (lol)