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SUBTLE, IMPLICIT BDSM (in Jess's erotic fiction)

By author/artist/non-conformist, Jess C Scott
16 March 2011

Jess on the perspectives that guide her BDSM stories.

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bdsm girl

Image from Demise of Sanity.

There is a certain level of violence/humiliation negatively associated with BDSM, and I personally think this association is largely due to:

1) the porn industry's presentation of BDSM, and
2) overly lurid and sensationalized media coverage of BDSM.

I remember having an interest in kink from an early age (before I was a teen; before I knew what the term "BDSM" was all about). I was particularly fascinated with whips and bondage.

I haven't incorporated whips into one of my BDSM-themed stories (yet--I won't rule it out totally).

What made me want to write some stories of this theme, was a casual remark a writer-friend once made to me (when we were 16 or 18). The person said that "BDSM stories were so boring."

I think I got what the person meant. A lot of modern erotica is literate porn, and as a writer, my intent with erotic fiction isn't to create "literate porn." It's not because I'm snooty or elitist--I just want to create something more meaningful and unique than porn.

It's also my personal belief that it is the 'how' and 'why' which define the quality and substance of the BDSM lifestyle one leads. There is more to the erotic life than explicitness, a perspective I will continue to maintain with my future "contemporary fiction" that's not really erotica, but still totally focused on the subject of sex
(without being graphic/obscene/lewd/crude/explicit/noxious).

I've always made a separation between sex in real life, and sex as portrayed in pornography. Porn is a fantasy. It commercializes sex, because it is a business. So porn has to depict certain "extremely graphic" forms and images of BDSM, which is alright...

But I'm not going to let that cramp my style (and neither should anyone else, for that matter).

What I like is navigating the underlying issues that are connected to a BDSM scene: the power exchange, the trust issues, the combination of fear and arousal. A certain level of sadomasochism (some level of pain, to enhance the sexual experience) can be very erotic. Personally, I am not into the extreme violence that can be associated with BDSM (but I will navigate this territory, if it is crucial to the character or plot). BDSM is more than tying a person up and beating them.

I am into how BDSM can be a very intimate and exciting expression of affection, without the emphasis being on violence/extreme pain/humiliation. While the latter falls into the 'BDSM' sphere, I also believe there's a difference between 'power exchange' and 'abuse' (where there is little to no 'transcendence').

BDSM is a subject that has intrigued me for many years, and I think it's quite alarming/tragic that the more intimate components of BDSM can be forgotten in the midst of all the "violence" and degradation/humiliation/etc that come to mind, when one hears the term, 'BDSM'.

I write about sex, not porn, and I write about love/emotions, not fluffy romance (100% commercial fiction is something I will never be able to do, LOL). I suppose all this culminates in the unconventionally subtle/implicit route I've taken (and will continue to take), with BDSM-themed stories (I am a non-conformist, after all).

P.S. It is a kind of restraint, for me, to write erotic fiction (BDSM, in particular) without being explicit--which I suppose provides me with a kick, given my early penchant for bondage...

Footnote #1: Here's a great article on Common Misconceptions about BDSM, by Margaret Nichols, Ph.D./Director @ Institute for Personal Growth.

Footnote #2: Another great article titled "Bisexuality, BDSM and the Myth of Violent Pornography" @ Lucrezia (quality erotica).

bdsm beardsley
bdsm yaoi
yaoi bdsm gun
bdsm cuffs

Images, left to right:

1) Aubrey Beardsley (1895) (Oscar Wilde's artist)
2) Yaoi Bondage (manga / explicit)
3) Yaoi Bondage (manga / explicit)
4) Fetish Community Website

* * *

play bdsm

UPDATE / Aug 2011: jessINK is pleased to present PLAY/BDSM Anthology,
by Jess C Scott.

* * *

UPDATE / May 2013:

"EROTICA" IS NOT "PORN"!

erotic art

Erotica and Porn: A polite request for clearer distinctions to be
made--and how YOU can help :)

* * *

UPDATE (7 February 2014):

Lily Zheng, president of Kardinal Kink at Stanford, says:

"Kink and the BDSM community that is inevitably associated with it are two things that most people know only in the context of terrible porn or some mixture of the two. . .Don't talk to me about Fifty Shades of Inaccurate Depiction--that doesn't count."

-- Lily Zheng / Static Journal, Stanford (Page 22-23)

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