Friday, May 27, 2016

You're Into WHAT?! - Trying to Explain the Inexplicable

This is a piece I wrote for My Crazy Bookish Life; I hope you enjoy:

So, if you take one look at Show Me, Sir, from cover to content, it’s not hard to guess that I write kinky erotica. I write it primarily for people who are into kink. Who, from the moment they pick up the story, already find that kind of thing hot.

But, in my heart of hearts, I like the idea that, even if the kink I write about isn’t your thing, you can still read the story and find it sexy. Or at least can better understand why someone else does.

It was my biggest concern and most difficult obstacle when I began writing for a wider audience than BDSM forums and websites. When I first began thinking about publishing, I gave my stories to vanilla friends, just to see what they thought. So I could have a better idea of how a readership outside my intention might react.

And, while many of them enjoyed my writing and the basic plot and romance of my stories, the kink was still, to use a kinky phrase, squicky. Was something they couldn’t really relate to and still felt more comfortable skimming over, since it clearly wasn’t written for them.

Which, I suppose, it wasn’t.

But could it?

I saw it as a personal challenge to be able to write an undeniable, unashamed, untempered kink story
that even a vanilla person could enjoy.

The question was how.

How do you describe how sexy and hot something is when, for you, it just is. When the very thing that makes it arousing for you is the exact thing that makes it unappealing to them?

Think about that for a second. Think about explaining kissing or sex to someone who finds the idea of the exchange of bodily fluids, from spit to sweat to…well, stuff, or the mashing together of body parts weird and off-putting. How would you explain the experience to them? What would you tell them when they asked you why anyone would do this?

Show Me, Sir is all about this idea. How to talk about kink to someone not inclined to like it. How did I take Max, a woman with all these preconceived notions about kink and what she thought it was, and break all that down and show her what kink can be?

I thought back to when I first came out as kinky. What were the things I told friends and loved ones, when they couldn’t quite understand? What did I say, when they were shocked and confused and curious about this side of me and my life? How did I explain the inexplicable to them?

Sometimes it helps to break things down. To take a close study and really analyze things. Show Me, Sir talks a lot about the philosophy of kink. The psychology and science behind it. There are several points in the story when my characters take a very intellectual examination of this lifestyle. Where I get to share much of the research and introspection that has had an impact on my own life and identity.

But that can only take you so far in an erotic story, right? It’s all well and good to lay out a more cerebral, contextual groundwork but, unless you’re a sapiosexual, ain’t nobody getting sexy to that.

So, in the same way it’s hard to make making out sound sexy by focusing on the basic physical act or the cultural significance of swapping of spit, I had to rethink how I described BDSM. It wasn’t enough to just say that Max was being spanked or restrained. It’s not even enough to just say that she’s enjoying it. If I wanted to really show her enjoying kink, and not just tell, I needed to delve deep and describe how and why that was arousing. I needed to really think about what each activity felt like. What happens to my characters’ bodies—the heat and flush of their skin, the speed and strength of their heart rates, the heightening and play of their nerves—when they get spanked or flogged. What happens in their heads—the flood and rush of their brain chemicals and the electric firing of their synapses—when they tie someone up. I needed to be able to put my readers inside my characters’ minds and bodies. I needed to make them feel it. 

I don’t know if I’ve succeeded in my goal; I suppose, as we kinksters are fond of saying, IMMV—Individual Mileage May Vary. But, even if my kink isn’t their kink, I hope anyone who reads Show Me, Sir can at least have a better picture of what life and love as a kinkster can be.

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