Monday, April 11, 2016

Loving Oddly - Where My Characters Come From

Here's a write-up about writing my novel, Show Me, Sir, for my publisher titled Loving Oddly; hope you enjoy:

When I started Show Me, Sir, it had begun as a chance to redeem my main character, Max Wells, who’d unfortunately and a little unfairly been cast in the antagonist role at the end of my first novel, The Taming School. She’d been used to kick the story’s main pair into action, through her misunderstanding of their BDSM relationship. She, much like many of my family members and friends before I came out as kinky, had a very specific idea of what kinky people are like. That was in no way based in what it’s actually like to be kinky.

So, in her own novel, I wanted to give Max an opportunity to find out what kink can be.

Growing up, I remember hearing people talk about kink. Conservatives talking about how fetishes and kinks perverted family values and traditional definitions of love and sex. Health professionals talking about how non-normative desires were a result of bad brain wiring and unhealthy manifestations of past trauma. Even progressives and feminists talking about how disturbing it was that kink romanticizes, glorifies, and sexualizes oppression and abuse. I remember growing up, not just thinking, but knowing there was something wrong with me. That wanting the things I wanted made me broken. That desires, that felt natural and normal to me, were parts of me that needed to be fixed.

That takes a toll on a person. It’s a psychological weight that scars. And it took a very long time and a lot of research and introspection to overcome it. Even after I’d come out, knowing that, when done safely, sanely, and consensually, kink can be a healthy and happy part of my life and identity, I still had to convince everyone else in my life that everything we’d all been told about kink wasn’t true. That I wasn’t crazy or damaged. That my partners weren’t sex-crazed monsters with no limits or boundaries. That, as a kinky bottom, I wasn’t putting myself in danger or asking for abuse. That I was still the same swaggering, smart-mouthed, sass-filled feminist I was before I came out. That nothing about me—about the person they cared about—had changed. They just knew something about me now that I’d kept silent and hidden for most of my life.

And some of my loved ones got it right away. Took it all in stride and were supportive from the start.

And others…weren’t. Some of my loved ones took some hand-holding to come to terms with this revelation. And I’m lucky enough to have people in my life who loved me more than they feared the BDSM boogeyman we’d been taught to avoid. And, in fairness, I know that most of their concerns and confusion came from their love and worry for me.

And, more than anyone, Max’s story is for them...


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