My sex life may be “vanilla,” but I’m still kinky, and so is my new BDSM erotica book Dirty Dates

16 Oct

by Rachel Kramer Bussel

When I saw my essay about my sex life in the October issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, I was, naturally, overjoyed to have a first byline in a magazine I adore and subscribe to. But a second, less welcome thought threatened to crowd into my exuberance—I was nervous. I’ve never shied away from publicly detailing the most intimate details of my life, but what gave me pause was wondering whether, by confessing that my current sex life is, to use the modern parlance, pretty basic—one position, every time—would I be damaging my reputation as a lover of spanking and kink?

DirtyDates_approved

This was especially important since I have a new book of BDSM erotica, Dirty Dates: Erotic Fantasies for Couples, coming out on my 40th birthday, November 10th. I didn’t want to be seen as a hypocrite, capitalizing on the popularity of kink while living a vanilla life. But the more I thought about that, the more ridiculous that fear sounded. Here’s why:

1. Just because my sex life may not sound “kinky,” and may not be, for the most part, I’m in the best relationship of my life. My boyfriend is the first partner I’ve ever lived with, and that commingling of our lives has brought numerous changes into my life, some challenging, some wonderful. I can take the time to take care of myself, and him, and our relationship, in ways I’ve never been able to with exes. His constant support, even though he’s far more private than I am, has given me the stability to focus on my writing in a way I never have before, and actually get published in magazines like O. Our relationship constantly surprises, delights and teaches me, in the bedroom and outside of it. I don’t need it to fit a certain model to be exactly right for who I am as an individual.

2. I’m still me, still the same woman with filthy fantasies I’ve been putting on paper for 15 years. I probably always will be. One fallacy readers make with any kind of fiction, but especially with erotic fiction, is that an author’s work always stems from their personal life, directly or indirectly. The idea that someone might sit down at their desk and create fictional tales about fictional characters seems to get lost in our desire to pin down what exactly those words “mean.” Well, I call bullshit on that. Yes, plenty of my stories have been inspired by real life, like my dishwashing fetish story “Doing the Dishes,” but I still carefully craft and curate every aspect. Even the characters who look and sound and dress like me, like “Rachel,” the protagonist of my very first erotic story, “Monica and Me,” are not, in fact, me.

3. My job as an anthology editor extends far beyond my personal preferences. I would be doing an injustice to my readers if I selected stories only because they dovetailed perfectly with my own personal kinks. Instead, the job of an editor of a book like Dirty Dates, as I see it, is to select a combination of kinky stories that will appeal to a range of readers, whether or not they personally practice—or fantasize about—BDSM. I want the stories to stand on their own, as stories. Yes, they are explicit and racy and deeply, deeply kinky. But they are also stories with a beginning, middle and end, the same as any other stories. There’s no checklist of personal experience to write erotica, and those who’d make that assumption fail to understand that words on a page have to live and die by the strength of their meaning, not their creators’ personal lives.

4. Lastly, I want to talk about what being “kinky” means to me. It extends beyond what I might do in the privacy of my home on any given day or night. For me, being kinky—which is a word I identify with, although labels are really not my favorite thing to attach to myself—means letting myself explore the ways I get off on power, submission, dominance and erotic pain. Sometimes I play with those elements in overt ways, sometimes more subtly, and sometimes not at all. But that’s still there, even within a framework that might sound “boring” to others.

Stay tuned for Dirty Dates week right here on Lady Smut, starting November 9th. You can also follow the book on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr; I promise, there’ll be plenty of kink.

One Response to “My sex life may be “vanilla,” but I’m still kinky, and so is my new BDSM erotica book Dirty Dates”

  1. Madeline Iva October 16, 2015 at 8:44 am #

    Indulging in particular kinks safely, without moral qualms, or a lot of time, expense, and energy can be a challenge when you already lead a full and busy life. Not to mention that your partner may not share the same taste in kink.

    Having the opportunity to indulge in the arousal and excitement through reading is a safe, economical, and unproblematic morally acceptable alternative. Ultimately, I’m glad that you’re able to see the bottom line is your own personal fulfillment. If you’re happy and not harming anyone else, who are we to judge?

    Like

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