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On The Scene » BDSM, Blogging, Community, Erotica, Featured, The Erotic Author, Writng » Respect in BDSM Erotica

Respect in BDSM Erotica

If you head over to StreetWraith Press After Dark (I linked around the 18+ warning because if you are going there from here, you should already be 18+ … you’re welcome) you will see a review with a similar title as this article. My first review of another author’s erotica. I hope that you find it enjoyable and that it stimulates your mind enough to want to buy the story. It’s a good one. Emily Ryan-Davis came highly recommended to me, and I recommend her as well.

What gripped me about Claiming Lauren and has me reading the rest of the eXclave series is the respect she pays to the Lifestyle and, most importantly, the safety and protocols that are so important in it. I wanted to expand on that idea a little more than I did in the review. The review was about Emily’s book, after all. Here, I can get on my soap box and talk a little more about Holle.

So let’s do so.

I talk a lot about respect in BDSM dynamics and BDSM scenes because without respect, nothing else happens. Someone asked in a group what we would do if a partner constantly flip-flopped about following a verbal agreement. For me, if I talked to my submissive about this, and it continued to happen, I would release her. Plain and simple. That flip-flopping on any agreement, verbal or written, shows a lack of respect to the dynamic and to me. If my submissive does not show respect, then how can I expect her to follow protocols (she’s not if she’s flip-flopping) or respond to any attempts to provide discipline?

For me, respect is equally important in erotica. If I am not being respected as a reader, then how can I get into your story? How can I care about characters who do not respect me? In BDSM erotica, that means seeing an author and characters who respect the very basic protocols of BDSM – Safe, Sane, and Consensual and RACK. I do not expect that every character will respect them, no. Some great tension can come from an antagonist who ignores one or all of these. I do not even expect the main characters to respect them all the time – great character develop can come from a character learning what these protocols mean and why keeping them is important.

I do expect that the author appreciates them, respects them, and holds her characters to them. Even if those characters flounder, even if they fall. Even if they have to struggle with the ramifications of those who do not respect them, the author must.

Must.

You must respect me as a reader. Just as you would in any other type of fiction – but most especially in BDSM erotica. Authors, when you write your story, you enter into a dynamic with your reader, for however brief a time. You may show your characters any amount of humiliation and degradation. Your story may be about how someone must become completely debase in order to understand his or her own worth and how to take ownership of self, and agency over his or her own sexuality. That is fine. If you cannot do this without showing respect to your reader and to the lifestyle that you are writing about, then why should anyone read your work?

It is the problem that I have with 50 Shades – beyond the terrible, terrible writing and lack of any real editor. Nothing in the books tells me that EL James has any real knowledge of or respect for the lifestyle. It reads as though she heard about something kinky, looked up some porn on kink.com, and decided “This would go great with Twilight!” As a lifestyler, I find it insulting and dangerous.

What I dislike about other erotica, I strive to rise above. In the lifestyle I have my own protocols that I live by. When I write about BDSM, I do my best to make those protocols felt. While I do not expect other BDSM authors to follow my protocols, I’m actually a little more strict than just SSC and RACK, I do expect that the basic protocols that anyone in the lifestyle is expected to adhere to if he or she wants to be respected and considered for dynamics or play are respected, understood, and if not followed, that the lack of following is understood to be wrong and something that has to be resolved.

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