I received a distraught message from author Katherine Deane last week. She’s been hanging on the edge of writing age play for a few months now. On one hand, she gets it–she definitely has a latent “little” inside her dying to be disciplined by a stern daddy. On the other hand, age play squicks her out. She fears there’s some kind of incest-y vibe to it.
So what happens when we start to write about fantasies we know are “wrong,” like sexual slavery, rape, age play, non-consensual discipline, kidnapping, bondage, etc.?
In Katherine’s case, she started judging herself and she shut down completely, ready to throw out the story she started, crawl in a hole and stay there until her urge to explore this passed. Obviously, I didn’t encourage that option.
Author Emily Tilton agrees. “I remember the first time I wrote something a little violent. I can’t remember what it was, probably a rape scene. I was sure that it meant that I wanted that scene to happen. It took a long time before I understood that as much as fantasies feel like wishes, they are not wishes.”
Delving into the dark side of sexuality or the human psyche can be unnerving. The propensity to judge our very interest in something socially deplorable can make us want to back off. But in the end, it’s the exploration of that fantasy that helps bring it to the light. Living in shame of your curiosities, your fantasies is damaging. Take it from me–the girl who stayed in her spanko closet for forty years.
The very act of writing about these things helps us tease out why they are sexually charged for us, or what about them is sexually charged. And once we figure that out, we can embrace them with the healthiest possible expression. Obviously rape or non-consensual violence or bondage aren’t going to be healthy, but if you embrace your interest, the role-playing can be scorching hot.
About a year ago, I was telling my husband that some people are into medical BDSM. “I’m not really interested in that,” I told him.
“Of course you’re not,” he said, “You hate doctors.”
Oh yeah, right. Good point.
Being a good dom, he promptly treated me to a little medical play, which I giggled all the way through, but did, actually find quite hot. I realized it wasn’t so different from any other kind of domination. I decided to try my hand at writing a medical BDSM story. It became a form of therapy for me. What I quickly realized is that the reason I hate doctors is the very same thing that makes them hot in a D/s book: they lord a certain power or authority over one’s body. I managed to turn myself on writing the book and by the time I came out the other side of writing it, I found that I no longer felt tense and defensive about seeing a doctor. Like any D/s relationship, the top only holds the power if the bottom gives theirs up. Apparently I’d given mine up. I took it back. 🙂
Like Katherine, I’m also interested in exploring a book with ageplay. I started my first story last month and as I get into my character’s head, I find myself acting more like her–a bratty teen. My character is a victim in her own life, giving up her power to everyone around her and seething with frustration and child-like temper tantrums over it. What I’m planning for my character is that through exploring her “little” side with her sexy daddy dom, she will get clearer on what is childish behavior and what is not, and come out on the other side with maturity and grace in social situations that warrant it.
What I’m getting at, is that by digging into these scenarios, playing out our deepest darkest fantasies with the pen (okay, with the keyboard), we release some of the hold they have on us. We let go of shame, of judgement, of societal expectations. We figure out how to explore them in our real lives in healthy ways.
I encouraged Katherine to continue with her story, because I’m quite sure that by the time she completes it, she will have learned something about either herself, ageplay or both. I’m also confident that what she writes will be both hot and deep, capturing the very essence of the “little” psyche.
How about you? What have you written that scared you? What have you explored through your writing that deepened your understanding of either yourself or the subject and left you changed? Do these stories become substitutes for making the fantasies real in your life, or do you find ways, afterward, to express them in a juicy way?
I’d love to hear all your feedback!
Looking back over some of the stuff I’ve written it can be surprising to see how much of my self and my ‘issues’ have found their way onto the page. There is one particular story I wrote that explored some quite dark themes of humiliation and power that still doesn’t sit entirely comfortably with me (although it ends very happily ultimately).
I love that we have writing as an outlet to explore all these things. It’s interesting that you’re still not comfortable with that one story. Maybe you need to write another one like it. 🙂
I have been there with the same feelings many a time. It has caused me a lot of distress and I have been ready to walk away from writing Erotica many a time. Quite often I get a block with the story and can’t move it on. It takes a lot of coaxing before I get there. I need to experiment with my writing but the subjects I have written about have caused a lot of debate in my head and reservations. I have never been keen on age play and any elements of it I have put in my stories have been forced. But recently I started writing a new book called Daddy’s Little Girl. It is a loving story and a lot softer than a lot of my other work. At first I was afraid but I started to find out so much about myself and my own needs that I have ignored for so long. Once I got going with it it began to flow easily. It has made my writing style change for the better and this is now the direction I want to take my writing in with more romance, passion and love in my books. Writing teaches you a lot about yourself and exposes some home truths you have to accept about yourself.
Sara Curran-Ross (aka Arabella Kingsley)
Sara, I found it fascinating that you’ve been able to see such a change in your writing after tackling that topic. I have a dear friend who was previously my therapist and I tell her all the time if I’d been writing back then, she wouldn’t have made nearly as much money counseling me! One benefit I’ve found is that I understand so many of the dynamics of my relationship with my husband better now that I have to get into a man’s head in my books.
That’s interesting… I probably do too, but I hadn’t thought about it until you said that!
I enjoy writing fiction because it allows me to explore, and especially if I can explore something that I’m really not comfortable putting into words. How can I explain it if I can’t bear to consider it? To me, writing lets me put my toe in and test the water before I dive in over my head.
Fiction isn’t my thing, I’m much better writing anecdotal pieces, but if I did wrote fiction, writing the things I want to write would cause me a degree of angst. Rape play, other forms of non-con….all things of which I harbour fantasies about, all things I’ve negated to write about from an anecdotal perspective because of, or rather incase of, the negative reactions it may cause.
I have been writing several different taboo things and they are hot and creep me out at the same time. It’s hard to hold space for both. But part of the reason they are so hot is because they are so taboo. thank you for this article.