Friday, December 29, 2006

Female fantasies of female submission

by Kristina Lloyd

I know it’s all tinselly and the lights are so pretty but I’d like to talk about sex with dogs. Or, more specifically, about Nancy Friday whose collection of female fantasies, My Secret Garden, caused such a fuss when it was published in the 70s. Why? Because it was so dirty. For the first time, ordinary women were voicing their lusts, and society was appalled. Many scenarios centred on female submission and rape fantasy, and women, they complained, surely didn’t think like that. In Women on Top, published in the 90s, the submissive fantasies had largely disappeared to be replaced by those of dominatrices, closet lesbians, and a rather high incidence of gals who dreamed of getting it on with the family pet.

I don’t know where Nancy was getting her data from but the implication was that, thanks to feminism, women’s fantasies had suddenly got healthier. OK, so doing it with Fido might not sound that healthy but it does neatly evade the gender politics inherent in your more average hetero, human shag.

Today, there’s plenty of evidence to show that fantasies of female submission are still immensely popular. A fem sub fantasy can be anything from a good, hard kiss against a wall, to a mild spanking, to a hardcore gangbang in a fully-equipped dungeon. What all the scenarios have in common is that he, our object of lust, is the boss. We can flip this notion on its head and declare it’s actually the woman calling the shots: as the fantasist, she’s in control of events; as a role-player in BDSM games, she probably has a safeword to mean ‘stop’. This might be true but, for me, it misses the point. And the point is: many women get off on thoughts of being dominated by a man. Or by a couple of them. Or by a whole, badly-tattooed football team in a massive hot tub. (Oops, there goes another of my secrets.)

Not surprisingly, in our postfeminist age, this can make us uneasy. Our fantasies seem to be in direct conflict with our real-life hopes and expectations. But consider the inequalities of the society we’ve been brought up in, and it’s easy to see why these fantasies are so common. In our culture, nice girls don’t, and dreams of being overpowered absolve us of responsibility and guilt. The fantasy dom is also extremely useful because he knows exactly what we want and he’s staying in control – of us and himself. We don’t have to ask for a thing. We don’t have to try and please. Take a look at him. See? He’s already pleased. Very. And all you’ve done is show up. Heck, what a relief.

The desire to be desired is, I believe, at the heart of erotic fantasy. We can imagine ourselves to be so goddamn gorgeous that our man, Mr Slightly-Twisted Alpha (back off sister, he’s mine), can’t control his base, animal instincts. He wants it, and he wants it now, and our cries of ‘No, stop!’ don’t mean jack shit to him. My imagined man is seldom someone I’d want to have dinner with. But then it’s not his mind I’m after. It’s his smouldering masculinity, his arrogance, his charisma, his cracking pair of thighs. The dominant male archetype is something we’ve all been brought up with, inside the home and out. He’s there in film, books and TV. He’s Tarzan, he’s daddy, he’s the bogeyman in the dark. He’s the bank manager, he’s Shakespeare, he’s Heathcliff, he’s God. He is, in short, the product of centuries of male social superiority. Small wonder he’s so hard to knock off the top spot.

The fem sub scenarios I like to read and write about are fairly dark, grubby acts tinged with danger. I’m not into elaborate, ritualised behaviour or heavy equipment. I struggle to read fiction where the bloke is referred to, without irony, as 'master', 'sir' or, heavens above, 'He'. This stuff leaves me cold. I can’t see the characters for the role-play. Its world is artificial. I prefer my fem subs to be ordinary, believable women who are perhaps uneasy about what butters their muffins. I want conflict, internal and external. I’ve written about rape fantasy. Sometimes it’s called ravishment, being taken, forced submission or consensual non-consent. It sounds better phrased that way but it amounts to the same thing: he made me do it, and it was raw, scary, debasing, sweaty and hot. (And here I'm obliged to add, for the hard of thinking (Wow, you made it this far? Here, have a biscuit.): no woman wants to be genuinely raped. As a concept, it's really not that tricky to comprehend.)

In Asking for Trouble, my second novel, Beth agrees to play a game with Ilya, a virtual stranger, in which they explore fantasy. Reluctantly, Beth admits to having rape fantasies, making it clear it’s fantasy. They agree to a safeword but the stakes are high: not only does the safeword stop a particular sex act, it also ends the relationship, no questions asked. In one scene, Beth and Ilya are angry. Ilya wants to fuck. Beth doesn’t. ‘Well then,' says Ilya. 'This is shaping up to be a pretty decent rape fantasy, isn’t it?’ He squashes her against a wall, his hand clamped to her mouth. Beth, whether she wants to or not, is unable to utter the safeword.

This is a key moment. Ilya has denied Beth the right to speak. He has taken her out of the game and his power has become purely physical. Language is political. Language makes us. Language separates us from animals. When Ilya silences Beth, they are no longer equals in the game - or in the world - and fantasy has become too realistic.

In the book, I really wanted to make this point. I wanted to highlight the importance of distinguishing fantasy from reality. Sure, there are overlaps for us all but in this instance, the line has to be clear. Ilya, in using his muscle against Beth, is effectively stealing her fantasy by twisting it in something else.

In our culture, female sexuality has been silenced for too long. Feminism has finally given women a voice, allowing us to articulate our desire (even if sometimes that amounts to little more than ‘uh, uh, yeah’). It’s crucial we speak and allow ourselves to explore and enjoy our fantasies, even – perhaps especially – the dark, troubling stuff. Our desire has been denied and distorted for centuries. The last thing we need to do is silence ourselves.

I’m an enlightened, independent woman with a filthy, overactive imagination. I consider myself a feminist. Why wouldn’t I? And I’m happy to say (and I’ll say if for you if you’re shy): I love a forced submission. I love those arrogant bastards.

Anyone else agree? Anyone else say ‘uh, uh, yeah’?

Kristina Lloyd

  • Asking for Trouble has just been reissued in the US alongside Black Lace releases, Dark Designs by Madelynne Ellis and Sex and Shopping. Scroll down a couple of posts to enter our amazing giveaway competition, featuring these 3 books and many, many more!

  • To read more about Asking for Trouble, click here. To read an extract, click here.

  • The image at the top of this post is copyright Kristian Purcell and is used here with kind permission of the artist. Take a look at Kristian's website. His work is lovely.


Anonymous said...

Uh, uh, yeah.

Although I think to some extent it misses a point too. There are lots of male submissives out there too, although it might be even less common to admit it.

I wonder how much the alpha male and beta or lower female archetypes that do still exist strongly in our culture actually make it easier for women to admit their need? I know of a man who, I strongly suspect, is strongly submissive but is an alpha male in everything except his sexuality. He enjoys playing kinky sex games, and tries to take on the dom role, but fails badly because he wants to be the one tied up, spanked, forced, whatever. I think he fails because in his fantasies he's submissive but he can't actually admit that and he's attracted to submissive females because they fit the rest of his self-image.

Whatever the truth - a good submissive fantasy and the occasional or more often acting out of it certainly hits all my buttons.

Anonymous said...

The trouble with female submission in erotic romance is the sameness. There is so much of it! It gets boring after a while. What about the stories for those of us who like power play that's a bit more fluid?

Olivia Knight said...

I think what anon says above is a key point about the quality of erotica. If female submission is just used as a trope, then of course it will be tedious. Any story can be broken down to its tropes, from the most dot-to-dot standardised cheap rubbish to Byatt, Dostoevsky, Shakespeare, X (insert whatever you regard as quality). A cardboard woman submitting to a cardboard man will titillate no-one. If the individual idiosyncratics of personality, plot, setting, motivation etc are fully painted, so that one enters into the life of the story rather than observing it from without, then it can be thrilling. All tropes are things we thrill to, when done properly (cue Gandalf's Heroic Return -"Look to my coming on the third day", phner phner) and ghastly when done badly. I think this is similar to what Kristina says about the artificiality of role play.

All that said, I think it can be exquisitely erotic. Having been brought up profoundly religious, it was exactly the escape-clause my frantically horny self wanted from my conscience (in fantasy, mind), and still remains as deliciously shivery, though for different reasons. Now, I'm much more demanding, highly organised, trying to squeeze twenty different kinds of expertise into one mind on one day - and having responsibility swept away is gorgeously liberating.

Discussion of submission divides curiously on gender lines: male submission is thought to the provenance of busy tired high-powered executives, looking for relief from their usual ultimate control; female submission is too often read as the secret state of our cringing little selves. Au contraire. Someone who can overpower a subservient whimpering creature has no personal power to speak of; someone who can overpower a strong passionate woman is correspondingly more worthy of respect.

Apologies if the ideas above are a little mish-mashed; I shall go in search of my second coffee for the day...

Olivia Knight said...

P.S. I must come clean - I've never actually read Dostoevsky - it's just saying it is such fun. All those consonant clusters and vowel shifts... mmm...

kristina lloyd said...

Anon 1, I think it’s difficult for anyone – man, woman or trannie – to act against the gender roles we get saddled with, and I can well understand a man being reluctant to fess up to a sub streak. But I think it’s a fairly common kink: witness the popularity of the sexually-assertive woman in male fantasy. Again, I think it’s down to that desire to be desired, and to shuck off various responsibilities.

What’s interesting for me is that women have been long been socialised into viewing sex as something they mustn’t ‘give away’ too easily because there are consequences (social disapproval, pregnancy), whereas men generally have something to gain from putting it about a bit. I’m trying to conjure up a scenario where a woman forces a bloke to have sex against his will, and I’m really struggling here. It would be unusual.

Anon 2, the reason there’s so much fem sub stuff in erotic romance is because it’s mighty popular! As a writer, I’m always looking for fresh ways to approach this and I only find it boring if it’s done badly. Maybe fem sub fantasies will become less prevalent as society changes and women gain more control of their lives and sexuality. But there’s heaps of other stuff out there, and erotic romance is increasingly varied. Check out Leonie Martel from Black Lace for a spot of male squirming. And for some hot, original fem dom action, there’s Lust Bites' very own, award-winning Mathilde Madden. And m/m and m/f/m is really on the up. Look, there’s Madelynne Ellis waving! Oh, and I’m sure people can suggest more. I’m very poorly-read.

Olivia, I agree: scenarios in which the sub is a meek, obedient creature who rolls quickly onto his or her back are no fun at all. I don’t think ‘submissive’ is a very good word; it reminds me of puppies, and that’s not erotic. If anyone knows of a better description, please share.

Alison Tyler said...

It’s a really interesting post, Kristina. I can imagine reading your article in any mainstream magazine. (And I think one on male subs would be a different topic entirely. Tilly? Are you listening?) But the genre is totally broad. Some people live for the Master, Sir, He scenarios. (I know, because I get huge amounts of this type of submission for my Best Bondage anthologies.) Others want to be taken completely, to give in to the fantasy of having no will in the situation.

Still, I do have a bit of an issue with the line drawing:

“It’s okay as long as the woman isn’t a meek little sub."

“It’s okay as long as the character is a strong, powerful woman.”

What about: “It’s okay.”

It’s okay if you want a man to push you up against a brick wall and fuck the daylights out of you. With no help, no safeword in sight.

It’s okay if you want to bend at his feet and lick his leather boots.

It’s okay if he makes you call him Sir. Or if you want to call him Daddy.

It’s okay if he’s your boss or your employee, if he’s the guy who picks up the trash or the one who delivers your pasta primavera. If he’s someone you’ve never laid eyes on before, or someone you’ve known since kindergarten.

Fuck it. It’s just okay.


Personally, I think that in well-written sub scenes, the sub often has all the power (be the character male or female). But that’s just me.

Nikki Magennis said...

I think there's a need to distinguish between submission in fiction and life submission - when people were saying 'it's ok if the woman's strong and powerful', I think they meant that plot wise it provides more balanced and interesting characters, no?

Surely nobody is tryng to tell anyone else what's okay or not in their life (or head)? Maybe the point of this topic is that we're still so wary about it - we still feel it's wrong (and oh baby, that just makes it all the more exciting.)

I'm not sure about the whole 'guilt relief' thing though - I'm not sure I could find much repressed in my psyche no matter how hard I looked. Do we still feel the need to be good girls? Really? Since ladette culture and all that jazz - yes, even the Spice Girls fit in there somehow - I'd like to think there aren't many women who would feel they needed to repress their desires.

I don't feel the need to have a man ravish me to absolve me from my sexual wants. I just like to be ravished ; )

I think for me, the allure is something to do with being acted upon, being an object of desire. Being done to rather than doing. Surrender is so deeply satisfying.

Alison Tyler said...

Mmm. I love the word ravished.

Nikki Magennis said...

Yes, and 'surrender' is pretty good too, isn't it?

I just had a very horny conversation that consisted of only two words: He said 'yes', and I said 'no' (- repeat ad nauseum.)

Mathilde Madden said...

Wowee - I knew this would be a good one.

The problem I have - which is a mere entertainment problem not a moral problem - isn't with fem sub so much as with male dom. Almost all fem sub stuff (even that written by men) has the fem sub as protagonist and goes to lengths to talk about her desire and fantasy and hot this twisted stuff turns her on. To which I say great... but.

But what about him?

What I'd love to see done and done well is M/f from *his* point of view. I've written a lot of fem dom stuff which talks a lot about what it really means to get turned on by hurting someone (say). I love those twisted alpha heroes as much as anyone, but sometimes they seem a little unreal, like the author can't let us get to close to them because their sexuality would be too disturbing. But I say, disturb away.

That guy on the other end of the rape fantasy, what must his conflicts look like. Sheesh!

(And also, yum, 'cause I guess, at the heart of it, I really do like seeing men suffer)

Alison Tyler said...

Oooh, I think Rachel Kramer Bussel just answered your fantasy, because she has a new book coming out called "He's on Top," which is an anthology of shorts all from the male tops pov. (The companion book is "She's on Top.")

But I thought you liked to see men hoover. :)

Nikki Magennis said...

Hey Tilly,

That's funny, I was just thinking the same thing. Wondering how I'd feel reading a dom male's fantasy. Well, I have read some and 'conflicted' is about right. (Unfortunately much of what I've read has been rather poor quality.)

Apart from Mike Kimera's beautiful story 'Other bonds than leather', which is fantastic and fascinating.

But the other stuff seemed juvenile - from writers who didn't understand the fine points of domination or submission and were just indulging in macho ego-boosting fantasies. But then again, is sub/dom all about the ego? Surely I can't sneer at men who fantasise about similar things to me? Somehow reading male dom fantasy does make my hackles rise though, whereas the fem sub point of view presents no problems. Do male writers avoid this topic? Do they need license to confess their buried fantasies just as we needed Nancy Friday? She did a boy's fantasy book too, no?

And as for the fem dom thing, Tilly, Equal Ops was a brilliant description of the inner thought processes of a female sadist. I do like whimpering, helpless males every now and again.

I'd love love love to read more thoughtful, horny, well written fem sub from a male's point of view. Any suggestions, anyone?

Nikki Magennis said...

Right, thanks Alison. I think I'll have to order both books, for research.

kristina lloyd said...

Alison, I agree: it’s all OK. None of us choose our kinks and quirks; they choose us (the sneaky little blighters). I certainly didn’t intend to sound prescriptive. Apologies if I did. I’m just talking about what pushes my buttons as reader/writer/human being. I probably come at it from more of a ‘sub-lite’ angle (which is also OK) but, hey, I defend anyone’s right to do what they will (as long as no animals are harmed in the process etc)

The subject of guilt and repressed desire is really interesting. I know, as 21st century adults, we engage in a culture which is sexually very open and women have been allowed to enjoy sex for, oooh, quite a few decades now. How novel! But I think our sexuality, our attitudes to sex and all the baggage of gender gets hardwired into our brains at a very early age, in some very subtle, insidious ways. It’s difficult and sometimes impossible for us to think our way out of it. I really don’t think I feel sexual guilt (and sometimes I wish I did; Catholics have all the fun), but maybe on some deeply-buried level I do. Maybe men do too. Or, at least, maybe we all, as people, have a sense that it’s a bit wrong and not very civilised. Otherwise we wouldn’t be quite so hung up about it as a society and we’d all be shagging on the bus. But I quite like hang-ups. I wouldn’t want to live in a society where it’s all truly OK and out in the open. Smiling naturists having happy, athletic sex, for example. Now that makes me shudder. It really is perverse.

And I’d love to read some good male dom pov stories. I’m taking notes of the recs here.

Mathilde Madden said...

But I thought you liked to see men hoover. :)'s all good. And, of course there are many, many artistic ways of combining the two things.

Actually he's hoovering right now. Rawr!

Oh, and thanks for the compliment Nikki. Mary - the sadist from Equal Opportunities - gets quite misunderstood sometimes. Glad you saw it.

And, I should also say, that even though I mostly fall on the femdom side of the fence, Kristina's Asking for Trouble is absolutely stunning in a way that made me cross and jealous and excited. Hey, Kristina, how about a short from Ilya's POV?

Of course the very best thing of all is kinky m/m - then you get a male sub and a male dom for your money. Hee.

Nikki Magennis said...

Yes, I think I need to work on improving my hang-ups. I tend to scare people at parties.

Isn't there just the thing that we want sex to be 'other' than real life? We want it to be the place where we dispense with niceties and politesse and constructive reasoning, and just get down and rut like dirty great beasts. Ever watched dogs shagging, in fact? I'm sure they don't agonise over the implications, they just jerk and growl and spasm.

Oh dear, I've done it again. Created a bestiality tangent. See, not enough hang-ups : )

No more doggie sex, I promise.

(Kristina started it.)

Alison Tyler said...

Kristina, you didn't sound overly prespcriptive! I'm just being PC. I got a ton of hate mail when I said I thought anal sex was dirty. I didn't mean that in a bad way. Just to me if it wasn't "dirty," it wouldn't be so damn fun. But I got all these letters saying it was so healthy and good and wholesome and clean and fun it could be in a Coca-Cola ad. So I'm gun shy now. (My original title for "Luscious" was "Dirty.")

Best Male POV dom story in my opinion is Selling Point by Carl Kennedy--which I put in both Best Bondage Erotica 1 and Luscious. And I know Thomas Roche has a slew of sexy stories, but I'm blanking right now.


PS Shagging on a bus? Mmmm...

Nikki Magennis said...

Here, follow the link to Kimera's wonderful story.

Nikki Magennis said...

And this was a blog I loved: Tea and Oranges, for lots of insights into subspace and beyond, good links, and a title that makes me hum one of my favourite songs all day.

Alison Tyler said...

Of course the very best thing of all is kinky m/m - then you get a male sub and a male dom for your money. Hee.

Oh, I have to agree. Your story "Pervertable" was so fucking hot. I know it's not from the dom POV, but it's really one of my favorite stories. Ever.

kristina lloyd said...

Thanks to Alison, I'm currently humming, 'I'd like to teach the world to fuck...'

Tilly, you make me blush. Thank you. Ilya's pov? I think I'd be too scared of spoiling him. I like him all dark and mysterious.

Nikki-no-hang-ups-Magennis, you are obviously just dirty (in a quality, Alison Tyler kind of way).

Kate Pearce said...

I agree that it's difficult in a feminist/equal(ha ha)/girl power world to admit you fantasize against being dominated by a man. But it's fantasy, right? and I think we're all mature enough and equal enough to be allowed to fantasize about what we want-that's a sign of true sexual coming of age for women isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1 here...

I agree male rape situations, outside of m/m situations are harder to imagine than female ones but submission in general is about more than forced sex isn't it? There's a definite gender divide around the rape fantasy I suspect, but less of one around the predisposition to be sub, dom, or vanilla.

If you want some non-professional bondage and D/s type stories can I recommend Gromet's Plaza which contains all kinds of kinky fun, a fair proportion of it written by people who have a fair degree of experience of it.

Olivia Knight said...

Having had sex on a bus *and* forced an unwilling man to have sex, I can recommend both...
The latter was a revenge-fuck to a terrible womaniser who had seduced me, much against my will and to the detriment of my relationship, a couple of years before. (Hell, I was naive, young, and drunk.) He'd decided to go the straight-and-narrow and stay faithful to his girlfriend. The moment will stay with me (I hope) to my dying day: him pinned against the wall, dying of shame and arousal, saying "No - no, don't - I mustn't - stop it..." while I used all his own best tricks back on him. After a long string of "no"s I smiled at him and said "God, that sounds mighty familiar." At that point he realised, to his horror, it was revenge. Delightful. Overcoming other people's moral obstacles is such fun - that's my favourite kind of rape-fantasy, and works on both men and women. Physical force alone doesn't do it for me.

Shanna Germain said...

Wow, what a great discussion we're having today. I'm just sorry I came late to the party!

I too love that the submission and power play stuff can swing both ways between genders. And I agree with Alison -- to me, the sexiest stuff I read is when it's actually the submissive person who has the most power. It's one of the reasons I tried a story from the male dom point of view earlier this year. In "The Sun is an Ordinary Star" (which is part of the He's On Top collection), my narrator is a dominant man, but it's clearly his female partner who's in control, from start to finish.

I guess to me that's the main difference between, say, rape and a rape fantasy. In the first situation, you don't have control. In the second, you've chosen to give up control or to pretend that you don't have control.

Susie Bright has a great commentary on rape scenes on her blog as well.
You can read it here.

Now, I'm off to take a peek at all these great suggested reads!

TeresaNoelleRoberts said...

I hope I'm even coherent here, ladies, since I'm coming in late after a lovely, relaxing glass of wine.

Do we still feel the need to be good girls? Really? Since ladette culture and all that jazz - yes, even the Spice Girls fit in there somehow - I'd like to think there aren't many women who would feel they needed to repress their desires.

I'd like to think so too, but I suspect it's not true. I know some of my friends still have a hard time talking about their desires, especially the more offbeat or "kinky" ones--and I suspect my friends are a bit more verbal, open-minded, and self-aware than a randomly selected group of 40ish American women. (After all, they choose to be friends with an erotica writer who likes to post links to very kinky stories in her blog...they're not, as a rule, uptight.) One of the values of the growing popularity of erotic romance is that it may give these shy types a vocabulary--and tools--for talking about what they really want. (See, Ma! My work has social value.)

Are these shy gals the women who are buying dom/sub romances? Maybe...but I bet I'm not the only person who enjoys taking the sub role in real life and is buying these books because they're not the rape fantasies of disempowered women (like some of the old bodice-rippers) but hot, gritty--but still romantic and mushy--stories about women who know what they want and yield willingly and eagerly and in all their strength to hot men who love filling their kinky fantasies.

I do find it fascinating that fem dom doesn't seem to be a more popular fantasy in erotic romance, as opposed to erotica. Ellora's Cave, and possibly other houses, actively discourage femdom stories. Yet we've gotten very good response to Valerie, the lifestyle domme character in Cat Scratch Fever. Then again, she's a secondary character, an important one, but not the heroine. Is claiming our dominant/toppy fantasies the next stage, now that we seem pretty comfortable admitting that sometimes some of us like to sub, some of us like the idea of two guys getting it on, and threesomes with two hot studs (at least in fantasy) make us weak in the knees?

Teresa Noelle Roberts/1/2 of Sophie Mouette

ADR Forte said...

Somewhere along the line I picked up the phrase "You can't rape the willing."
Interesting concept that when I think about D/s erotic stories. Are there really any that we get turned on by where the sub (m or f) really has no attraction (even guilty attraction) or desire at all for the dom/ravisher/alpha? Deep down on some level there is something in the psyche of the sub that wants to give up control. That enjoys relinquishing the control. That's what makes it hot.
And that for me qualifies as consensual.
We could delve into those whys and wherefores of submissive desire and figure out the social and psychological underpinnings. But that doesn't seem like much fun. I prefer simply taking a journey with a character, either as a writer or reader, and exploring the range of their desires. Whatever those turn out to be. And if there's guilt so much the merrier! (yes, that's the ex-Catholic in me speaking)

Now that said, I agree that in our world gender roles and D/s roles are dreadfully complicated things. In my own experience I can't relate to ever having been more than 50% of one or half of the other. My personality tends to be dominant and I seek out dominant partners. My enjoyment comes from the resulting power struggle (and fireworks *grin*) and I find that to be a much more interesting dynamic to explore in my fiction than straightforward Somebody On Top situations.

kristina lloyd said...

I am going to shut up soon, promise, but I just wanted to add my support to a couple of things. Teresa, I like that you remind us of people who are uncomfortable discussing sex and kinks. I think this is fine. Sometimes, it seems it’s almost de rigueur for modern woman to be out, proud and horny, and to have a cabinet of vibrators to brag about to the neighbours. Sex is such a personal, private issue and, even though I write erotica, I’m in absolute agreement with that. I can be quite a prude. For me, erotic fiction is a small, quiet space where reader and writer hook up in some way. Plus, desire IS repressed for all of us, and that’s where it gets so deliciously twisted up. Again, it’s the shagging on the bus. If desire weren’t repressed, we wouldn’t be able to function as a society or as individuals, and I’d be forever licking the face of that cute little Italian in the deli down the road.

Adr, I do like exploring the social and psychological background to this stuff. I like to see the wider picture. But I agree with you, fiction ain’t the place to do it which is why it’s been so nice to bounce stuff around on this blog.

Happy New Year everyone!

Alison Tyler said...

Oh Kristina, it's such a relief to know that other writers can feel prudish, too. People are always surprised to see me at readings, because I turn truly scarlet when I get to dirty words. You'd think by now I'd be over it.

But I do know some women who absolutely ARE proud and horny and all that. In fact, tomorrow night, we're going to Donna Sheehan's New Year's event. She and her partner Paul came up with the idea for Global Orgasm Day. And she is one of those amazing, confident, in your face ladies.

I'm ever in awe of her.

Robin L. Rotham said...

I'm an enlightened, independent woman with a filthy, overactive imagination...I love a forced submission. I love those arrogant bastards.

Amen and amen!

I also live in Bumfuck, Nebraska, where most of the Doms are redneck assholes. I'm married to a beta who, while he's happy and proud that I choose to submit to his authority, always defers to me. Every now and then I can get him to go all caveman on me, and while I wouldn't necessarily want him to act that way at family gatherings, it totally takes my breath away in the bedroom. As far as I know, we're the only couple in the whole county that plays kinky little games, and it's kind of lonely.

There's no living openly kinky around here. My MIL read part of a Nora book and declared it smut -- I can't imagine what she'll say if she ever reads one of mine. I order multiple items from Adam & Eve so that they don't send a single dildo in an envelope and give our postmistress a heart attack. I just took writing deductions for the first time ever, and our accountant warned Mr. Robin to keep an eye on me -- apparently his SIL started writing romances for Simon and Schuster and went crazy, actually began living out her romantic adventures. I can only imagine what he'll say when the checks from EC start rolling in.

Those of you who are free to express your sexuality in your social circles -- count your blessings. You're an inspiration to the rest of us.

Nikki Magennis said...

Hi Robin,

Thanks for your comment! I think we all live with people who would cast aspersions on our sexual preferences if they knew about them. My own dear 'MIL' would probably start a campaign to have me burnt at the stake if she read any of my writing.

I've been thinking about the whole 'repression' thing all weekend, and it just occurred to me that what I mean by repressed is not admitting to oneself ones own desires and fantasies. I don't mean naked hula dancing in the high street or randomly pouncing on every guy who tickles one's fancy, or even discussing every gory detail of one's sex life in the spirit of open-mindedness.

Repression, I believe, is when someone feels ashamed of their wants or dreams - that they are somehow wrong or dirty. From my own experience, as I've got older I've become more and more comfortable with whatever screaming kinks my subconscious throws at me - liberation for me is feeling at ease with my own desires, rather than letting it all hang out. Erotica has helped me to make friends with my kinks, as I'm sure it does for many women. I also think a dash of prudery and coyness is a healthy catalyst to libido!

Then again, I suppose writing books about all my sex fantasies could be seen as letting it hang out all over the place...

Which is where pseudonyms come in handy - on which topic Shanna Germain (who writes as herself, brave girl!) will be musing next week.