Saturday, July 5

BDSM and Role Play (BDSM Blog Hop)

The B in BDSM stands for Bondage and, in this context at least, B is my favorite letter, because for as long as I can remember, I've been fascinated by the idea of getting tied up.

No, really, I mean for as far back as I can honestly remember, because it started with this:

Although I was entirely too young to understand why scenarios like these captivated me so much (pun intended!), they always gave me a strange sort of vicarious thrill.  (And yes, I'm dating myself by showing these particular images, but this is honestly where it started.)


There was just something about seeing someone tied up and helpless that appealed to me. I didn't know why or even that it wasn't a mainstream idea--at least not until I was playing superheroes with my friends and they didn't want to tie me up as part of the game.  (Truthfully, I think they were just worried about what their mother would say if she walked in on us.)


So I transferred my bondage fantasies to when I was alone playing with my dolls. Poor Barbie always ended up trussed up with yarn--but funny enough, never at Ken's skillful hands. No, it was always another female doll who tied up poor Barbie. Yeah. Without knowing it, I discovered my bisexuality at an early age, too.   ;-)

The story lines I played out with my dolls weren't terribly complex, but they were pretty consistent: allegedly villainous (but really merely misunderstood) female kidnaps Barbie, holds her hostage, and of course, ties her up (my poor aunt lost more skeins of yarn to my childhood fantasies.)

But here's where the story got interesting. It was only natural for Ken to (eventually) ride to the rescue--but by the time he got there, Barbie didn't want to leave. She'd grown to love (in a non-romantic sort of way--I was only 6 or 8 and didn't have much of a concept of romance) her captor. Barbie had seen the "villain" for someone who was lonely or shunned by the village and only wished for companionship--companionship Barbie was happy to give her. So she invariably sent a dejected Ken packing and stayed with her "mistress."

It doubtless comes as little surprise that one of my all-time favorite fairy tales was (and still is) Beauty and the Beast (and I do not mean the one with singing teacups!) in which a beautiful young girl is given to a hideous beast by her father--because if Dad doesn't hand her over, the beast is going to eat him alive. Of course, Beauty eventually falls in love with her Beast who isn't really a monster after all (in either spirit or appearance). 

In fiction, scenarios where someone is coerced into sex dub con, or dubious consent and for a long time, I thought I was the only person who found those situations (in fiction) to be very, very sexy (in reality, there is nothing sexy about it). Truth is, it's a common fantasy and it doesn't make me a bad person or a weak woman. It actually takes a very strong person to recognize and become comfortable with their submissive side (although that submissive side will manifest differently in different people; dub con fantasies are common but not universal. Some people react very strongly negatively so you should never assume anything.)

Whether you're a woman who enjoys giving up her power or a man who doesn't fit somebody's idea of masculine--or "worse" a man who looks that part of the macho guy but still enjoys giving up your power--it is very difficult to fly in the face of convention. Society tells us men should act a certain way and want certain things. It tells women...well, it tells women a whole mess of contradictory things, but one of them is that we have to be strong and independent, and that being obedient to a man (or another woman for that matter) is a sign of weakness.

And I think that's the appeal of dub con in fiction and in role play. When your partner "forces" you to submit and ties you up, the responsibility for your submission is taken out of your hands. It's liberating. And one of the reasons BDSM provides such a good place to explore our kinkier fantasies is because the guiding principle of BDSM is Safe, Sane and Consensual Play.

Okay, maybe you're scratching your head. Didn't I just say that dub con was all about dubious consent, the kind of thing that would get you arrested in real life? That's the difference between reality and fantasy--and between real life and a BDSM scene. In BDSM, nothing happens without all parties involved consenting to it before hand. For my husband and I, the exchange is short and simple (we've been together for 10 years and known each other for twice as long.) It goes something along the lines of  Him: "are you going to be good tonight, or are you going to fight me?"  Me (mischievous smile), "I don't know, what are you in the mood for?" Since we've spent years discussing and discovering our hard and soft boundaries (which are pretty much identical to one another's) not much else is needed. Obviously, when you first start playing with someone, a whole lot more conversation is going to be necessary to establish the ground rules for your consensual non-consent.

But whether you enjoy role playing (rape-fantasy, naughty school boy/girl, kinky cops and robbers) or a total lifestyle commitment to a D/s (Dominant/submissive) or M/s (Master/slave) relationship, BDSM provides a safe, healthy outlet for some of our "darker" fantasies. (I don't really think they're all that dark, I just think some people are uncomfortable shining a light on them.)

So. In that vein, I have a story called Tentacles and Chain that I'm giving away. It's dub con and it is fantasy--and not just because the main characters are a merman and an octopoid merman (think Ursula from Disney's The Little Mermaid only male, hot, and dominant.)

Tentacles and Chain is a grown-up version of the story I used to tell with my Barbie dolls as a little girl (but with guys because m/m is what I do). There's a dash of BDSM, a little pain play, a sprinkle of romance, and a very happy ending. And just let me say it again, it's fantasy. In real life, stalking is creepy.

So here's the deal:
  • Starting today, I'll post a chapter a week here on my blog as well as backing it up on Tentacles and Chain. (That way, anyone who misses a chapter can catch up.) 
  • I'm also giving away a print copy of Tentacles and Chain at the end of this blog hop (with that awesome cover from Gus Li!)
  • All you have to do for a chance to win is leave a comment below--and make sure I have a way of getting in touch with you
  • You can DOUBLE your chances of winning by subscribing to my newsletter; in it (I should have it out this week) you'll find a news-letter-subscriber only contest to win another copy of Tentacles and Chain
  • What's in my newsletter? About once a month, I send out a brief update on what I've been doing, a book review or two, and a fun recipe (I love to cook!)  Now...I've been slacking, but starting in July, I promise to be regular and on time again. (I also send out occasional special announcements and run news-letter-subscriber-only contests). 
  • I'll pick a winner the day after the hop--your book will be in the mail just as soon as I get it back from the printer. (I'll email the winner with details).

Now, don't forget to check out the rest of the authors participating in the hop!

http://www.grace-duncan.com/bdsmbloghop/






Tentacles and Chain

Chapter One


Consciousness returned slowly, like haze lifting from the shore. The first thing Trellen became aware of was deep, throbbing pain. The second thing was bone-numbing cold. He opened his eyes—but saw only darkness.
Fear tightened in his chest. Either he’d been blinded or sucked into the world Below, a black place where no sunlight penetrated.
The place where the Unspeakable Ones lived.
Trellen’s pulse hammered harder in his ears. He’d never quite believed the stories about the Unspeakable ones before now. How could such monsters exist when no one had seen them? But no one who had ventured too far below the sunlit waters of the Blu had ever come back, either.
He closed his eyes and took several deep breaths, pulling cold water in through his nose and pushing it out through his gill-slits in an effort to calm his thundering pulse and gather his wits. How had he gotten here?
Where is here? He had no idea.
 Slowly, fearful of what he might encounter in the dark, Trellen opened his eyes and stretched out his arms. He was lying on something hard and rough, but it wasn’t rock. It was…strange.
Like the leviathans from Above.
Sometimes he would explore the hulking wrecks, bizarre vessels brought down to the bottom of the Blue by storms that sometimes raged in the Above. The Elders didn’t approve of such explorations.
But they don’t approve of much at all.
At last his breathing calmed some, though the knot in the pit of his gut remained, and Trellen began to feel his way over the surface of whatever it was he was lying on. He moved carefully, praying his eyes would adjust to the darkness.
Please let it only be darkness. If he was blind…. Dearest, Kaia, please….
The only thing worse than becoming blind would be becoming so injured or infirmed that he could never swim through sweet blue waters again.
Trellen gulped back the lump in his throat and continued creeping forward. He quickly found a wall made of the same material as the floor, jutting up at a forty-five degree angle, and followed along its rough-hewn surface. In short order, he came to another wall and then another, each the same as the last.
Definitely like the leviathans.
Their innards were made up of sharp-angled rooms, most so small he could barely turn around. Yet Men, to judge by their skeletons (for Trellen had never seen a living man) were only a little smaller than Cetaceans, and only because instead of long beautiful tails, they had two strange appendages that they used for walking upright on land. 
Legs. That was it.
Rani, one of his teachers, had called them “legs.” She had seen a man once, and described him as a great hairy beast.  
“Men are without souls,” she said, “for souls come from Kaia, the Sea, and Men have no love for the Sea. Men would only conquer and tame, taking what is beautiful and making it into something weak by yoking it to their will.”
Men were selfish, arrogant brutes.
But they were still less frightening than the Dark Things, the Unspeakable Ones who lived Below.
When he came to the fourth wall, Trellen stopped short. It wasn’t made of the same strange material, but rather, something else: rough, cold, bars. Trellen had seen such bars, black and corroded by the waters of the Blue, in many of the leviathans he’d explored—but these bars held fast, no matter how hard he pulled on them. Again and again he yanked—then pushed—then pulled again.
Finally, Trellen slumped down to the floor of the tiny chamber, defeated.
Then he swam up—but didn’t get far. The roof of the chamber wasn’t but a hand-span higher than he was tall.
He slumped back to the floor and wrapped his long slender arms around his body, trying to warm it up. Trying to remember. What was the last thing he’d seen before the darkness….?
The rocks.
He’d been exploring past the reef wall, a massive expanse of jewel-colored coral that separated his colony from the great expanse of the Blue—and therefore the Below, which lay beyond the reach of the Blue’s filtered sunlight. Technically, Trellen was still too young to leave the colony alone, but that hadn’t stopped him yet. Today’s exploration had taken him to the far side of the little island the colony called home, where the seafloor fell at a steep angle into the darkness. There, just at the furtest edge of the shafts of sunlight, he’d spotted a strange rock formation, and curiosity took over.
“Curiosity will be the death of you.” Rani’s warning. If she wasn’t scolding him for his insatiable thirst for knowledge, she was chastising him for daydreaming. But Trellen was seventeen turns of age—nearly eighteen. He was tired of sitting hearing about the Blue; he was ready to explore it.
He looked around the darkness again—or rather, he turned his head from side to side, trying to imagine what his tiny prison might look like if he could actually see it. Maybe I wasn’t so ready to explore the Blue after all.
He remembered swimming toward the rocks, heedless of the growing darkness, and the thrill of discovering that they weren’t rocks at all, but carved statues of strange, hairy Men. Not that Cetaceans didn’t have hair on their heads, but Men had hair everywhere and it fell—if the images Trellen had found on the leviathans were accurate—in long, tight ringlets. Rani said that not only did they have hair on their heads and chins, but also had hair on their arms and chests and legs and everywhere in between.
At that moment, Trellen wouldn’t mind a body full of disgusting hair, if it would keep him warm. He pulled his tail up between his arms and leaned his head down on them. He closed his eyes. He’d been so delighted in his discovery of the huge statues that he never saw the danger hiding in the shadows—or at least that’s where it must have been. Something had wrapped around his tail and yanked him down into the darkness. He’d thrashed and pulled and cried out, but it was fast and strong and if anyone heard him, they didn’t arrive soon enough.
But chances are no one heard. There were only a few narrow pathways through the reef wall and little reason to guard them or patrol the waters outside the protective barrier. Men rarely ventured close to their island and there hadn’t been a dispute with another colony for as long as anyone could remember. And it wasn’t like anyone knew I was leaving. He’d snuck out like he always did, without telling anyone because after Lucien left, there was no one in the colony who understood him.
Luce…. Thoughts of his best friend made his heart ache.
 I must have blacked out after that thing grabbed me. Or maybe poisoned. Certain fishes carried poisonous barbs. Maybe Unspeakable Ones had poisonous barbs, too. It was an unsettling thought.
Trellen fought back the wave of despair, but it wasn’t long before it overwhelmed him. He wasn’t sure if he should pray for death to come by way of cold and hunger or if he wished for his captor to come and tell him why he’d been brought here. The only thing he knew for sure was that it was no use praying for rescue; even if they had known where to look, no one would come.










13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great post, and I'm intrigued by the story!

Trix, vitajex(at)Aol(dot)com

Cornelia said...

Informative post. Thanks for giveaway
cvsimpkins@msn.com

MEN OVER THE RAINBOW said...

OMG ! That's really intriguing ! Want more, a lot of ! Can't wait to be next week... And thank you.

pat nelson said...

I really like this first post, and would love to win the print copy. Please count me in. =}

npat78@yahoo.com

kirifox said...

This is exciting! I'm looking forward to reading it.

Sara Testarossa said...

Wonderful post! Count me in for the giveaway... Much love to Tentacles and Chain, Trellen and you know who... and that cover art is lovely!

You're not the only person I know who's had bondage fantasies since childhood. I haven't, but some of my fellow kinksters have.

Interesting about the Barbie adventures, that sounds quite fun!

Thanks for detailing about the difference between fantasy and reality. There's definitely a big line between consentual nonconsent play and assault.

Hm, guess I should sign up for the newsletter with this email address! Looking forward to it!

bn100 said...

Nice excerpt

Signed up for newsletter

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Penumbra said...

Sounds like a fun read :) Thanks for participating!

penumbrareads(at)gmail(dot)com

Lee Todd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lee Todd said...

sounds great!
please count me in

leetee2007@hotmail.com

Sula said...

I have been good and have already signed up for your newsletter :)

Thank you for this extract and a chance to win this book.

New readers to this authors who like a bit of kink and & romance with their BDSM try out HB's other book Bound: Forget Me Knot - There is also a free read on this series and another one coming out soon ;)

H.B. Pattskyn said...

Thank you so much for the kind words, Sula!

Sherry said...

Very interesting post. Thanks for the giveaway.
sstrode at scrtc dot com