I've recently received yet another reader review on one of my BDSM books where the reader doesn't take issue with the story so much as they do the content. Basically because I'm guessing either 1) I didn't write about doing things the way they do it, or 2) they don't know the subject matter in real life.
And now since hubby's retired, I'd like to make a quiet little announcement that a lot of people already know about: I know the subject of BDSM not just because I've researched it, and not just because I have friends in the lifestyle.
I know the subject because I live it.
I know both ends of the D/s spectrum because I'm a switch. Dominant in some circumstances, submissive in others. I tend to play on the tamer end of the scale, but you know what? I've found out that impact play really helps lesson the "bad" pain I suffer from my fibromyalgia. I'm not a masochist, I don't "enjoy" pain. I do, however, relish the pain RELIEF I get from the endorphins released after a hard play session. There are also activities, like fire cupping, that give awesome pain relief. And as a top, I've discovered I'm a pretty vicious sadist. Fortunately for me, I have a dear friend who is also a switch (both a heavy sadistic Dominant and a heavy masochistic submissive), and I've learned a lot from both ends of the cane, so to speak, from him.
I'm not a swinger. I'm not a sex fiend. I'm not some strange pervert who goes around trying to get my freak on with any and everyone. Again, hubby and I in the grand scheme of things are relatively tame compared to some of our friends. LOL People who are into BDSM are into it for a variety of reasons. Some people play on the more sexual end of the scale, and some don't. I know people who play with each other all the time who have no sexual play whatsoever. I know some people whose BDSM play is mostly sexual in nature. And many fall somewhere in the middle.
But I am sick and tired of people who are either vanilla or kinky "won twue wayers" claiming aspects of my BDSM works aren't valid just because they don't agree with them. They are valid. Many of the things I write about are either based on some aspect of reality, or I've had people come to me after the fact and tell me that either they or someone they knew went through something similar. Play sessions I write about are frequently inspired directly (at least in part) from things I've witnessed or even participated in. I constantly have friends coming up to me and asking in a hopeful way if something I've seen them do will end up in a book. LOL (Yes, it might, but I always change names, people, and circumstances to totally fictionalize what happened.)
In "Safe Harbor" there are several characters, incidents, and locales based on reality. In "The Reluctant Dom" not only did a friend of mine tell me a similar circumstance happened to people he knew (the Master husband had to find a new Master for his wife), but I've had lifestyle slaves contact me to say that they either went through something similar, or that they strongly related to Leah, the heroine, because they discovered BDSM as a way to channel their self-injurious behavior into safer play.
Who's to say that's wrong just because it disagrees with someone's view of the world?
Life is truly stranger than fiction sometimes. I've personally witnessed scenes I couldn't even begin to write about because, in all honesty, no one would ever believe it. I've even participated in a few. LOL But one thing I can tell you, since we've started participating in BDSM, we've met friends we never would have known otherwise, a great group of people who are more like family than friends. And while yes, we've run into a few bad apples, for the most part it's great to be able to talk about vanilla subjects and veer into lifestyle topics at dinner and not have to worry about whether or not someone's going to look down their noses at you and judge you.
I joke with friends that I'm not in a mid-life crisis -- I'm in a mid-life oasis. Not that shit hasn't happened lately, because between the fibro and personal losses we've experienced yeah it's been a rough year. But in terms of how I'm dealing with it? Let me tell you what, I've got the world's best support net. I've got a husband I wouldn't trade for anyone or anything, close friends that are closer than family who I know I can always turn to when I need a shoulder, and a wide net of friends and acquaintances who are always quick with a kind word or patient ear when I need to kvetch.
And they understand.
I truly feel sorry for people who don't get to experience that level of trust and friendship in their lives. Not saying you have to participate in BDSM to get that, but I've found something that I never found in the "vanilla" world.
For the first time in my life, I can honestly say I'm overall happy and content with who and what I am.
And how many people get to say that?
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