Guest post and giveaway by Josephine Myles: Researching BDSM
Part of the How to Train Your Dom in Five Easy Steps Blog Tour
A while back I asked my readers for some blog topic suggestions they’d like me to explore, and this came up:
I have wondered how much research is involved with regard to the D/s aspect or your stories, if you have personal knowledge of same? Where do you go to do any research? Do you have ‘consultants’? (JBelle)
I suppose there’s a part of all of us that burns with curiosity to know just how much an erotica writer is writing from personal experience. We secretly suspect them of being depraved, kinky types—after all, isn’t it a basic rule of fiction to “write what you know”?
Okay, well you’ll have to get used to disappointment. I’m not going to be giving the lurid details of my own sex life in this blog post. Partly because I want to maintain an air of mystique, but more importantly, because it would be a violation of my boyfriend’s privacy. That and he’ll tie me up and spank me stupid if tell you all what a perv he is 😉
But seriously, it’s perfectly possible to research BDSM without ever having taken part in a scene. Here are a few of the research avenues an aspiring BDSM writer can explore:
I’m not talking about reading fiction—if you want to know more about how BDSM works in reality rather than fantasy, then you need a decent “how to” guide. I now own a small but select collection of BDSM books detailing both practical and emotional sides of the equation. Most of them are geared towards straight couples, but many techniques can just as easily be applied to a gay couple. You can also look online for plenty of advice, but make sure you stick to reputable sources. As we all know, misinformation abounds out there. Here are a few books I’ve found helpful:
Testing out the toys
I’m not suggesting anyone tries anything dangerous like auto-erotic asphyxiation by themselves, but there’s a lot you can try out in the privacy of your own home, even if you don’t have an obliging partner to experiment with you. What’s more, you don’t need to spend any money to try out some kinky practices on yourself. Anyone can spank themselves to find out what it feels and looks like–although enlisting a willing helper will also give you the element of surprise and definitely be more fun!
Why not try out figging–you only need a small bit of root ginger and a sense of adventure! Want to try out nipple clamps? Use a clothes peg (or two). Hold together a bunch of shoe laces to make a rudimentary flogger and slap it onto your thighs. Test out the difference in sensation on clothed and naked flesh. Spend some time blindfolded to get a sense of how it changes your perception. Just bear in mind that masochists enjoy a fair bit of pain and so won’t necessarily experience it in the same way you do.
It’s also really useful to see and hold some proper toys in reality. Visiting a good sex shop or erotic trade show/convention is a really good idea to familiarise yourself with the tools of the trade. I was introduced to the dubious pleasures of the misery stick at a BDSM demo at the Eroticon convention, and I’ll always remember the first time I saw a buttplug for real in a Brighton body piercing studio. I’d seen it in their catalogue but had never realised just how huge it was—ouch!
Talking to those who live the lifestyle
There are so many places you can do this. Anyone can join online kinky social media networks like Fetlife, where threads on all kinds of kink abound. No one will judge you for being a novice and asking what you might think are stupid questions. People are generally very glad to give you the benefit of their experience as they want to dispel the rumours and fears about BDSM. I met Sir Bastard—my BDSM consultant for How to Train Your Dom—on an online forum and his input has been incredibly valuable. Not just on the practical aspects of BDSM but on the social side of it. Sir Bastard was scathing about his local fetish scene which he really didn’t feel comfortable in, and his attitudes definitely informed those of my character, Jeff.
But you don’t just have to meet people online. Most cities and large towns will have either an occasional fetish club night or at the very least a “Munch”, where kinky types meet up socially. Be brave and go along to one of these—they’re not nearly as scary as you might think, and in the “straight” scene very little in the way of public sex actually happens (I’m informed it’s very different on the gay scene, but since women aren’t allowed into those clubs I’ll just have to take my gay friends’ words for it). Indeed, I was amazed at just how cosy and unsexy a certain West Country fetish club night was when I took the plunge and attended. I will always remember sitting there, feeling a little out of my depth while watching a woman being spanked by her Domme, and then the sub started chatting to me about my shoes. Surreal. Clearly she wasn’t being spanked hard enough!
Readers, do you think you can tell the difference between BDSM written from research and experience? And writers, do you have any other BDSM research recommendations?
The How to Train Your Dom in Five Easy Steps Blog Tour Giveaway!
I’m currently touring blog land, chatting about my latest Samhain Publishing release. Each post gives a unique insight into the book, and a lucky commenter will win a prize at every stop along the way. Winner’s choice of either:
- two of Jo’s backlist ebooks
- or a signed copy of Junk (or another backlist paperback, subject to availability) – shipping worldwide
Comment on this post for a chance to win today’s draw. The winning entry will be picked on 10/3/2014 and the winner will be notified by email within 48 hours.
Check out the full Blog Tour itinerary here: http://josephinemyles.com/published-stories/novels-and-novellas/how-to-train-your-dom-in-five-easy-steps/blog-tour/
Sometimes the little head really does know best.
Jeff White’s needs are simple. All he wants is a submissive to help him explore the dominant side that his ex-girlfriend couldn’t handle. Problem is, inexperience in both dating and domming has resulted in a string of rejections.
What he needs is an experienced sub willing to show him the ins and outs of controlling a scene. Unfortunately, the only one willing to take him on is male, and Jeff is straight. One hundred percent, never-gonna-happen straight.
Easygoing painslut Eddie Powell doesn’t care that Jeff is younger, working class, and shorter. Eddie likes a bit of rough, and Jeff fits the bill perfectly. The trick will be convincing him to follow Eddie’s five-step training programme—which would be easy if Eddie wasn’t starting to have feelings for the rough-around-the-edges landscaper.
Once Jeff lays his hands on Eddie, things definitely get out of hand. But it’ll take more than hot, sweaty, kinky sex to persuade him to come out of the closet—especially to himself.
Warning: Contains a happy sub, a confused Dom, a high ratio of sex to plot, misuse of root ginger, and a suitcase of kink. Written in Jo’s usual exceedingly “English” English.
Check out MtSnow’s review here: How to Train Your Dom In 5 Easy Steps
English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.
Jo publishes regularly with Samhain. She has also been known to edit anthologies and self-publish on occasion.
Website and blog: http://josephinemyles.com/