SubmissiveI first started writing BDSM erotica as fan fiction several years ago, and posted it at a few fanfic sites. It was something I did for my own enjoyment and because some fellow fans enjoyed it as well. My only intention was to entertain and turn people on. It never occurred to me that it might actually have a more profound effect on people’s lives.

 One of my readers back then contacted me and thanked me for sharing those stories. She said they had introduced her to a world she didn’t know existed, and had shown her that the fantasies and things that aroused her were not sick. For the first time she felt she didn’t have to be ashamed of her desires, and now had a way to explore them. Reading my stories had changed her life.

 I was surprised, to say the least, and very glad that I’d been careful to write realistic scenes. I had felt it was important to do so because a) I wanted the reader to have an authentic vicarious experience, and b) I knew I could do a lot of harm by giving misinformation. But it had never occurred to me that my writing might have such a powerful influence.

Because of this I don’t write anything I haven’t personally experienced or seen done. (Unless I’m writing something paranormal— I’ve never actually been bitten by a vampire, for instance.) Knowing that some of my readers have no idea what BDSM is really like, I want to be honest and not sacrifice reality in the name of dramatic license. Besides, I find it more interesting to read the real thing, because it can give you a new perspective. That’s one of the reasons I’m drawn to authors like Tony Hillerman or Dana Stabenow—they introduce me to cultures I’m not familiar with, and give me a sense of how the members of those cultures think. In my writers group (No Safeword Writer’s Group, a great bunch of people) I’m always fascinated when someone presents a story from a Dom’s point of view. I’m a sub, myself, and love hearing what goes on in the head of a Dom.

 BDSM BondageI will occasionally have one of my characters break the rules, and there are probably some practitioners out there who find that upsetting. But I think that’s part of writing a realistic character’s practice of BDSM. Most of us break the rules at some point. It can go horribly wrong, so I make it clear to the reader that what the character’s doing is a Really Bad Idea.

My reasons for writing BDSM erotica are still the same as they were way back then: to entertain and turn people on. But now, in addition, I hope that I can help people understand what real BDSM practitioners do. I want to open people’s minds and engage them in a world they might not otherwise know. And for those who are already into kink, I want to share my own internal experience of it, because it’s different for everyone. If I’m doing my job right, I’ll give my readers something to think about as well as something to fantasize about.

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