VANILLA, BDSM, WHO CARES?

cage/whip

I finally started a new novel. It’s an erotic romance, which is a complete departure from the 2 romantic comedies I have written. But my muse writes the story. I find I have very little control over which way it goes.

Unfortunately, the writing has been very slow going because the muse has chosen to add certain facets to the story I am completely unfamiliar with, resulting in me having to do a crapload of research. One of my heroes is an artist, another is a pediatric neurosurgeon. My heroine owns horses. She teaches Gothic architecture at a college. I know of none of this stuff. Write what you know, they say. There’s a reason for that. You get your book written in half the time.

But my muse is stubborn and her ideas are firm. She wants elements of BDSM. I groaned when she first informed me of this. “No, no, no, there are enough Fifty Shades of Grey knockoffs, for goodness sake,” I complained. But the bitch wants what she wants.

Now, researching the BDSM lifestyle is interesting because it has obviously exploded since the 3 Fifty books came out. I understand the BDSM community has felt misunderstood in the past, that outsiders think it’s all about abuse, and Fifty is in no way an accurate representation of an authentic Dom/sub relationship.

I’ve been reading tons of blogs. I’ve talked to both men and women involved in the lifestyle. I’ve joined private groups on Facebook, and followed many pages of Doms, Dommes, subs, and littles. Private groups on Facebook, and even certain blogs on Tumblr portray the lifestyle pretty accurately. Their main objective is to provide accurate information, which is vital so participants don’t get taken advantage of, or worse, injured.

The public fan pages on Facebook mystify me though. Obviously, erotic authors have professional fan pages with provocative photos and/or relevant articles related to whatever they’re writing about, but this is done to sell books. I can’t figure out why any Dom or a Mistress would create a fan page just for the hell of it. Entertainment? A creative outlet? Ego? And they have tons of followers, mind you. We’re talking thousands. It’s like they’re celebrities.

Dommes post erotic photos (within FB guidelines), which are like the clean version of porn stills, so the comments are all by middle-aged to older men wishing it was them being stepped on with spike heels or paddled or walked outside with a leash. “Yes, Mistress,” Please, Mistress,” “I love you, Mistress.” But Mistresses make it clear they’re not to be solicited for business.

Dom pages are even worse, because women as a whole seem to be particularly vulnerable to men who come across as assertively sexy or provocative. Doesn’t matter that these women have no idea what the man looks like. Hell, he could be posting while sitting on a dirty, ripped couch in stained underwear, swigging a Bud, but if they portray themselves as sensitive and in touch with women’s feelings (while being DOMINANT, of course), women swoon like prepubescent girls paging through Tiger Beat Magazine.

“Oh, Sir, if only I could find a man like you.” “Sir, your words hit me right in my solar plexus.” “Sir, Sir, Sir…”

It feels a little cult-like to me. Why should a stranger call someone they don’t know “Sir” if he’s not your Sir. No one addresses a “Daddy” as such. It’s way too personal a title. Another thing I’ve noticed is a lot of middle-aged Doms prefer emotionally-broken 20-somethings. I’m not sure if this is because they feel they can save them or mold them, or what. And FFS, does every Dom have to be a polygamist and an exhibitionist? Seems like their most important pastime in life is going to dungeon parties, picking out a new, young impressionable thing, getting her up on a St. Andrew’s cross and going to town on her.

It’s bad enough practically every single kinky picture involves young, thin, and firm. (Isn’t this what “vanilla” people complain about all the time?) In a lifestyle claiming diversity and open-mindedness, where the fuck is the diversity? Where are all the middle-aged, thick women? Surely, there are plenty. And in a community that preaches non-judgment, they’re pretty freaking judgmental when it comes to a vanilla lifestyle. If a couple wants to have vanilla sex and it’s satisfying to them, who is anyone to judge? Just because someone enjoys being whipped or humiliated or tied up doesn’t make them any more edgy than someone who prefers being vanilla. (Oh, how I despise that banal term.)

I guess what I’m questioning is the need for some people to have their sexuality right out there in the open. Is it really anyone’s business what their kinks are? Why do they feel the need to share them with the rest of the world? If I came out as a lesbian, I don’t think I’d start a public Facebook page and only post things regarding homosexuality. By making it your sole identity, it goes against what gay people ultimately want—to be like everyone else by not having their sexuality singled out.

I dunno. Maybe I’m just a cranky, private, introverted, non-exhibitionist monogamist.

I’d love to hear anyone’s views on the subject.

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. dave94015
    May 28, 2016 @ 22:06:04

    Reblogged this on dave94015 and commented:
    why are some people open about their kinks…and many others are not!

    Reply

  2. dave94015
    May 28, 2016 @ 22:07:56

    my guess is that for every person who is open about their particular kink, there are many more who are not!…but these things may matter to those who are dating.

    Reply

  3. LifestyleGambler
    May 28, 2016 @ 23:25:10

    Have you checked out Fetlife.com? I think you might find a better representation of the BDSM community on this website specifically catering to us. I see pictures all the time of people who are older, not model-thin, etc. on this site. I definitely see your point about the FB pages and people seeking fans, but I don’t think this is an accurate picture of the majority of those who engage in BDSM. I think you have been unfortunate to find an exorbitant number of posers, as a good dom/me does not prey on others, regardless of age, interactions are based on trust and respect. I too agree that it is odd to call someone “Sir” just because he is a dominant, however many dominants do direct their sub to refer to all doms as such. Or, again, these may simply be posers who are trying to make themselves look like authentic individuals involved in BDSM. If you haven’t checked out fetlife I strongly suggest you do – I believe you will find more of what you are actually looking for in regards to learning about the community. Good luck!

    Cheers,
    LG

    Reply

    • Tiffany N. York
      Nov 09, 2016 @ 13:12:57

      I’m so sorry to be responding only now. I was never notified of a comment pending. Your response is right on the money. Because I’m a FB slut and spend the majority of my time on it (when I should really be focusing more on my poor, neglected blog), I’m in a lot of closed groups involving eroticism, BDSM, etc. And I think because of the lack of diversity in photos–ie most every woman being white, young, thin, and in sexy lingerie, my views became a little tainted. I’ve now managed to stay off the poser pages and stick to the ones with intelligent and real representation of the lifestyle.

      I have been on Fetlife here and there, but I should devote more time. What I should do actually, is go to some munches or parties, or even a dungeon, but I can’t swing it right now with my son.

      What I have learned is that every BDSM relationship is different, and that most people committed to the lifestyle are more interested in educating others, rather than flaunting their sexuality.

      Again, thanks for your thoughtful comment.

      Reply

  4. RisingSong
    May 30, 2016 @ 18:38:07

    RIGHT!! I mean, I’m all about live and let live…to each his own…which means to me my own also. And really what’s with the public display?? Is it like having bumper magnets that depict the kinds of hobbies you enjoy? Or the activities your kids are involved in? I don’t know…

    Reply

    • Tiffany N. York
      Nov 09, 2016 @ 12:58:38

      I always love the honor roll bumper stickers. I need one that says: “My child will never be on honor roll, but I’m proud of him anyway.”

      Sorry. 6-month-late reply. D’oh!

      Reply

  5. pupscout
    Jun 01, 2016 @ 23:00:22

    Hi there, The blog that I write, I try to take a balanced approach to my lifestyle and provide useful information about the aspects of BDSM that I am a part of, many of the reasons I do this is for educational for new people entering into BDSM and leather community. However my FB page shows more of my life, whilst there are also many aspects I will not share publicly as It is private. I would leave this, that BDSM relationships is so much more then what many portray, its about, love, respect and trust, but on a different level then the so called “Vanilla” relationship. The one thing that stands out for me is that the sub gives their trust to their Dom, and the Dom is the keeper of this trust, and together they allow it to grow and flourish. Good luck with your book.

    Reply

    • Tiffany N. York
      Nov 09, 2016 @ 17:28:51

      Forgive me for responding so late. I’ve only just now seen your comment. I agree with you that BDSM relationships have a greater level of trust than many vanilla ones. I also think conflict resolution is more clearly laid out within the lifestyle, as well as needs and desires being expressed more openly. Thanks for leaving your thoughts. I’m off to check out your blog.

      Reply

  6. lisa thomson-The Great Escape...
    Jun 05, 2016 @ 18:17:18

    I really enjoyed reading this. My first time here. I like how your characters tell you who they are! 🙂 As for this culture of 50 shades, I think it’s the books that have popularized the whole community. They’re becoming more common than vanilla ice cream. I actually love Hagan Daz Vanilla flavor ice cream. It’s quite divine if you let it melt slowly on your tongue. Not as boring as its been portrayed. I am talking about ice cream, I think—LOL

    Reply

    • Tiffany N. York
      Nov 09, 2016 @ 12:56:21

      Wow, I had no idea your comment was pending. I’m so sorry for taking so long to reply. That’s how wrapped up I become while working on a book. I ignore my blog. I love love love Hagan Daz Vanilla! It’s always been one of my favs. As for my characters telling me who they are, I must admit it’s frustrating at times because I’m having to do so much research on subjects I know nothing about–horses, neurosurgery, Gothic architecture, bipolar. “Write what you know” is def not the case this time.

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Reply

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