Friday, February 20, 2015

Guest Post: BDSM in Literature~ RE Hargrave #Giveaway

I have RE Hargrave author of The Divine Trilogy here on my blog today. She's going to talk about a topic that we have ALL heard before: BDSM. However, she's going to talk about BDSM in Literature. 
Since she is familiar with this subject, who better right? 

She is also doing a giveaway for one reader. You can enter the rafflecopter below and one person will win any of her ebooks gifted to you via Amazon.

Here she is...

I’m excited to be here on Diverse Reader today. My host is such a kind and honest woman, and has a terrific message to get out there about acceptance. She’s asked me to do a post about BDSM in today’s literature since I write in that genre. Anyone who has read The Divine Trilogy knows this is a favorite topic of mine.

It’s no secret that I credit my early writing endeavors to Twilight fan fiction, as well as my budding interest in the subject of BDSM. Except that, as time has gone on and I’ve submerged myself into studying, and even partaking in the lifestyle, I’ve realized my interest goes much further back. I guess you could say I’ve always had a proclivity for kink.

They do say, “It’s always the quiet ones.” But I digress.

Anyway, I found myself fascinated and reading anything and everything I could with a BDSM theme, and then researching it further. I can assure you there are no shortage of fan fiction or original fiction stories in this genre. Where the differences comes in, is in the accuracy. 
Some writers just want to tell a story regardless of whether the supporting information is factual. Their end goal it to get the tale out there and make the ‘facts’ fit the story, rather than the other way around. I guess there’s nothing really wrong with this, it is fiction after all, and the end result should be that the reader was able to escape from reality for a while by getting lost in the story. Then there are the writers who go for accuracy in their storytelling, ensuring that the story supports the reality, and here is where you’ll find your real literary jewels. Both types of writers may be very good at telling a story and drawing a reader in, but I’m partial to knowing the author wasn’t afraid to get dirty, so to speak, and do their homework.



What happens when the content and subject matter pique the interest of the reader? What if they want the story to become reality? Or, perhaps the reader is appalled by what they’ve read, and finds the content too abhorrent to even conceive of happening. How does the curious reader know what’s ‘real’ and what’s just crafty embellishment?

Who wants to do ‘homework’ when reading for pleasure? Most people are going to reply with: “Not I!” So, allow me to enlighten you on a few key aspects of the BDSM lifestyle in the hopes that the information will settle in your brain storage. Hopefully, you’ll be able to recognize when you’re reading a true to life BDSM tale, and one that’s just been pulled out of thin air and glorified.

Let’s start with what BDSM means. Bondage Discipline Sadism & Masochism, Domination/submission. Here are a few more lifestyle acronyms for you:

SSC: Safe, Sane, Consensual

RACK: Risk Aware Consensual Kink

PRICK: Personal Responsibility, Informed Consensual Kink

A lot of words packed into those little acronyms, aren’t there? Well, there’s a lot packed into the lifestyle—what is one person’s kink is not always another’s, and the people that choose to practice BDSM come from all walks of life. Some are rich, some are poor, and everywhere in between. Some may have shady or abusive pasts, but in reality, most don’t. The beauty of this lifestyle is the acceptance for that diversity. Do you see a main theme? Consensual. In the realms of a true pairing or grouping of ‘kinksters’, everything is done with consent, from the Top(s) and the bottom(s).

*Contracts. They do happen. No, they aren’t legally binding, and they are fluid, i.e. ever-evolving as the Dominant and submissive evolve in their relationship. What they are, is a symbol of communication, negotiation, and consent amongst adults to reach an agreement on expectations from both sides. And clarification of what will happen if those expectations are not met.

*Scening. Also known as ‘playtime.’ Guess what? Scenes aren’t always sexual, and the lifestyle is not all about the ‘whips and chains.’ A level of trust has to be established in order to hand your well-being over to another person, both physically and mentally. For some, they get what they need out of a D/s relationship just being able to submit, to relent control over everyday things, to their Dominant. That letting go is freeing, whether the submissive party is a school teacher, a doctor, a janitor, or a professional Dominatrix. Domination and submission comes from inside, it’s who they are, and is not determined by their station in life.

*Safe words (or safe signals, in the event that speaking is not possible). A Dom(me) WILL respect these at ALL times. Depending on the word the submissive uses, the play slows or stops altogether and the Dominant assesses why—without punishment. At times, it may even be the Dominant that has to use the safe word because they are not comfortable doing what their submissive is asking of them or they realize their sub is too deep in their head to accurately judge anymore. Which leads to the main reason for all negotiations and expectations to be laid out before a scene begins. It is not uncommon to get into a scene, and the submissive begins begging for more, faster, harder … a responsible Top will not give into these wishes because the submissive’s state of mind is altered by the natural chemicals being released into their systems. They may as well be drunk or on drugs and unable to comprehend what they’re actually asking for.

*Aftercare. Scening can be intense for all parties involved, but most especially for the submissive(s). And yes, a scene can involve more than two people … no judgment, just acceptance, remember? Chemical changes occur in the brain and body when one experiences high levels of pain and/or pleasure, so a submissive could need anything from massage, minor first aid, or simply needing to be held and cuddled as they level out. Sometimes aftercare is needed immediately following a scene, but the emotional aftercare could be needed hours, or even days, later. Common ways to administer aftercare: cuddling; soothing, low-volume speaking; shower or bath with the Top; arnica cream to alleviate bruising; rehydration by drinking water; chocolates to level endorphins.

*Forms of Address. A ‘real’ Dominant is not going to demand submission from everyone they meet, and most certainly not on the first encounter. A major red flag for any reader, or curious person seeking a Dominant is to know that if you’re told to call them Master or Mistress right out of the gate, you need to keep on going. These are titles that are reserved for collared submissives or men and woman who are specialists in a certain area of expertise, such as a Rope Master. Using Sir or Ma’am is a sign of respect to fellow lifestylers, not an indication of submission.

*Collaring. In layman’s terms, view this like marriage vows. Yes, there is usually a material symbol of the collaring. No, it is not always an actual collar around the neck. Collars can be necklaces, bracelets, rings, anklets, tattoos … any item that the involved parties want to symbolize their commitment to each other. In that vein, please also understand that a collaring doesn’t simply declare ‘ownership.’ When a Dominant collars their submissive(s), they are making a promise to that person—to protect them, to help them fight their demons if they have them, to push them to better themselves, to take care of them.

*Gender expectations. This one should be obvious, but because of some reactions I’ve seen to fellow author’s BDSM works, I’m going to through it in here. A Dominant can be male or female, and likewise for a submissive. The desire to dominate or submit comes from within a person. Just like we can’t help who we love, we can’t force how we find pleasure, comfort, and release. Is it really so hard to understand how a big strong fireman, who is responsible for countless number of lives on a daily basis, might need to escape to his knees, to let someone else take care of him for a change?

I’m going to go ahead and wrap this up. Thank you so much for reading, I know I’ve given a lot of information but I’ve only scratched the surface. These are the beginning basics. Please, if your curiosity in the lifestyle truly is piqued, don’t be afraid to reach out to a local BDSM group or try a site like FetLife (just proceed with caution and listen to your gut instinct, not everyone on the site is there with YOUR best intentions in mind). In general I’ve found that lifestylers really are the friendliest bunch of people I’ve ever encountered. They’re normal people, just like you, me, and the mailman. Case in point, I have to give a special thank you to Rae, her Master, and Sir John for pre-reading this post for me as a cross-check for accuracy. 



For quality BDSM reads, check out these sites:
http://bdsmwriterscon.com/nominees (You’ll find my novel Surreal, Book 3 of The Divine Trilogy, listed here as a 2015 Golden Flogger Nominee. As a bonus, they are offering a buy one get two free special … if you purchase any of the nominated books, email BDSM Writers’ Con a copy of your receipt and they’ll give you two free books from their featured authors!)




About the Author:

R.E. Hargrave lives on the outskirts of Dallas, TX where she prides herself on being a domestic engineer. Married to her high school sweetheart, together they are raising three children. She is an avid reader, a sometimes quilter, and now, a writer. Other hobbies include gardening and a love of music. A native 'mutt,' Hargrave has lived in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Alabama, Texas, and California. She is fond of setting her stories—which range from the sweet to the paranormal to the erotic—on location in South Carolina and Texas, but it’s anybody's guess as to what the genre will be!






Social Media Links
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Specific to The Divine Trilogy:

To buy SIGNED paperback copies from me directly: 
 
To join my street team, Divine Darlins, on Facebook: 

Current titles:
Anthologies
Treasured Moments
Novellas
Sugar & Spice
Haunted Raine
Unchained Melody (ebook only)
The Food Critic
Fire Lust (releasing Feb 27)
Novels
To Serve is Divine (Bk 1 of The Divine Trilogy)
A Divine Life (Bk 2 of The Divine Trilogy)
Surreal (Bk 3 of The Divine Trilogy) — 2015 Golden Flogger Award Nominee


I can not thank the talented and wonderful RE Hargrave for being here today and sharing her knowledge with us. This is a topic of much controversy. I have always said knowledge is power and everyone should share what they know. 

I'm sure RE has enlightened many of you as she has me. Do make sure you check out her books and as always, review. 

Now, as I said earlier there is a  giveaway. One lucky fan will have the chance to win an ebook by RE Hargrave gifted via Amazon. Enter below. Contest will run until February 27th. Winner will be contacted via email so make sure you check your spam.

Good luck!
 
 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

13 comments:

  1. Thank you for the pleasure of sharing today.
    (And sorry for the typos! I swear I read that thing several times, lol. Proof that even editors need editors ;) )

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    1. Is it bad that I read it like 3 times and didn't see the typos either? *SMH* I'm sorry. I love this post so much and can't thank you enough for doing it!

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    2. "through" should have been "throw" LOL ...

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  2. Loved this post and how you highlighted there is a difference within fiction, of the portrayal and elements of BDSM--those stories in which elements of BDSM are molded to fit, and those stories where the story is shaped to fit the elements of BDSM. That's a huge distinction that not a lot of readers are going to realize, and I think that contributes to the extreme discourse revolving around the current worldwide phenom that I shall not name. Again, thank you for the great post!

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    1. It was my great honor to write it up! I'm glad you enjoyed it :D

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  3. I think the Dom/s dynamic if it's a safe environment is the most erotic connection between two people you can have to trust someone with your wellbeing and know that your submission is a gift and is taken as such is beyond Incredible.

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  4. Love this so very much!!!!

    Thanks RE, this means the world to those of us who live this lifestyle 24/7.

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    1. Thanks for helping me through the door to see what it could really be like ♡

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  5. Great post. Most of it wasn't news to me but it was wonderful to see it all put together in such a clear and comprehensive way. I haven't read R.E. Hargrave's books yet but clearly that's an omission I'll have to correct in the not too distant future.

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    1. Thank you, Helena! I hope you enjoy your reading when you get the chance.

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  6. When I think of bdsm, it is of deep and complete trust.

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  7. Thank you so much for the giveaway.
    When I think of BDSM, as long as its SSC, anything can go, as long as both parties are willing. If done right, it can be fun and fulfilling.

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