Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I write romances with heavy bondage scenes. In my books, the man is sexually dominant and the woman is always submissive. Often they have issues...troubles...dealing with their sexual preferences. A man who doesn't want to give into the 'cave man' mentality of bossing a woman around...a woman who needs to reconcile her hard-won, feminist independence with a desire to just relax and give all that power to a man. The Dominant/submissive dynamic and the internal struggles that go along with it have always fascinated me.

But I go further than that in my romances. I add in some of the stronger elements of BDSM. She likes being tied..."forced" to do things she would never have dreamed of until meeting a man she calls "Master." Slavery. Sexual slavery that teases...excites...fulfills. I write of our deepest held secrets, of fantasies we only whisper to ourselves on dark nights when no one can hear. I write of snapping whips and chains that bind, of spankings that leave the skin pink, and of hot sex that leaves the reader breathless.

And then a man goes into a schoolroom and tells the boys to leave, keeping the teenagers he then makes sexual advances toward. He takes their freedom...and at least one life. And another man walks into another schoolroom, this one filled with children, and he keeps only the little girls, tying their ankles so they cannot walk. He plans to sexually assault them, but kills them instead.

These men are twisted and sick and they differ from my heroes only in the matter of degree. Bondage, male dominance, the sexual submission of women...these are themes that run through these crimes just as assuredly as they run through my books. Do I bear some of the responsibility for their heinous actions? I don't have an answer to that...and it torments me.

Consent is a big part of the key...my heroes always obtain the consent of the woman they love. They do not push their sexual preferences on those who do not want them. My heroes respect women and love them for their independence, understanding that the power truly lies with the woman in a D/s relationship...for a woman has only to say the word, and the ropes are untied, the bondage gear put away, and the "play" ends.

"Play." Another key element, I suppose. Even among real people who truly live D/s lifestyles, the term "play" is used along with another word to describe the sexual act with all the trimmings: a "scene." Both these terms, derived from the theatre, denote a setting-apart...a definite movement of the action out of real life and into a realm of fantasy.

My husband tells me I cannot be responsible for other's mental illnesses. These men could not see the line between fantasy and reality...a line that is often blurred even by those of us society considers "normal." I understand that. I really do. And yet, a part of me will always wonder when these things happen...where does my responsibility begin? And where does it end.

Please...please...please....ALWAYS remember to
Play Safe.

Diana

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Diana-

I just got done reading your latest entry. Your husband is right. There is alway a finite line out there that can be crossed. As you said, you write of heroes who love their woman. I don't think you cross the line writing bondage and I don't think you contribute to the mortification that we all felt in regard to the school shootings this past week.

People live with demons inside of them. I can't control those frightening aspects of one's personality more than you can. What happened this week has happened in some form or other since Adam and Eve walked out of the garden. And it will continue to happen because that is the nature of man, as sad as that is.

So you cannot heap blame on your shoulders nor can you do what you do - and that is write from your heart - yet question yourself at the end of every scene. You've always advocated the 'play safe' standards. Be proud of your ability to put that standard into words.

If you were beside me, I'd hug you.
Love, Ruby Storm

Diana said...

Thank you, Ruby. You make me smile. This has been pestering me all day long. I just get so angry at people who do stupid things and wonder why they can't all just be nice. I know...I'm very naive sometimes. You're right...mental illness is a part of human nature...a part we'd all like to pretend doesn't exist. But it does...and sometimes it's very ugly.

I do advocate play safe in my books, but there's always a part of me that says..."but will people listen?" I can't second-guess myself when I write. I have to be true to the characters, although I CAN make them behave responsibly. Will that make a difference? I have to believe it will...that it can.

(accepting your hug) Thank you, Ruby!

Dianabfv