Today we're excited to have Roni Loren here to introduce us to her new book Crash Into You and to talk to us about BDSM. Thanks to Roni I've now learnt a thing or two and hope you enjoy her post as much as I did. Don't forget to enter her super special giveaway. Jodie xoxo
BDSM 101: What It Is and Why It’s So Popular in Books
By Roni Loren
When I tell people I’m a writer, I inevitably get the same basic questions—“Are you published?” and then when they find out I’m going to be…“So what’s your book about?”
Depending on who’s asking, I can answer that a few different ways. But if it’s someone who maybe isn’t overly familiar with my genre, the answer is usually something like, “It’s a sexy romance about a social worker who has to find her missing sister with the help of her ex.”
And for a while, I was able to leave it at that. But as the book got closer and closer to publication and started showing up on Amazon and such, I started getting that other question. “What is BDSM? Is that like handcuffs and whips and stuff?” *insert judgmental, slightly wary expression crossing their face (or a saucy eyebrow raise depending on who was asking)*
To answer: well, yes, it can be about those things. But that’s a very small part under a very large umbrella. Throwing a pair of handcuffs into a story does not a BDSM book make.
So if you’re new to this subgenre, here are some basics:
BDSM stands for Bondage & Discipline, Dominance & Submission, Sadism & Masochism (some of the letters do double duty in the acronym).
- Bondage – Physically restraining a partner in some way (tying someone down, handcuffs, etc.)
- Discipline – Giving physical or psychological punishment to control behavior.
- Sadomasochism -- Sexual sadism is deriving pleasure from inflicting physical or psychological pain on someone else. But it’s not the same as pure sadism. A sexual sadist (especially the ones we write about in romance novels) only enjoy inflicting the pain because the partner is a masochist and derives pleasure from receiving it. It’s an exchange of mutually pleasurable activities. (As opposed to a sadist who would get pleasure from torturing an unwilling victim. That’s a different thing altogether.)
- Dominance/Submission (or D/s): This is the power exchange between partners, whereby one partner (the submissive) gives over all the control to the other (the dominant). This may be only in their sexual relationship or it may be in all aspects of the relationship. Also, don’t assume that the submissive partner is always the woman. Though that’s the more popular theme in romance, men can be submissive too. (Read Joey W. Hill’s Nature of Desire series if you’re interested in reading some great female dominant BDSM romances.)
A few other terms you may run across:
SSC (Safe, Sane, Consensual) or RACK (Risk-Aware Consensual Kink) – These are the cornerstone philosophies in BDSM play. All activities must be consensual and safe (or risk-aware if both parties are engaging in the edgier stuff).
Safewords – A word is given to the submissive to signal “stop everything right now”. The words “no” or “stop” aren’t typically used as safewords because sometimes in BDSM play, someone may say “no” as part of the scene. So a word that easily sticks out like “Waffles” or something is chosen. When the sub says that word, everything stops immediately, no questions asked.
Subspace – This is the trancelike or euphoric state for submissives. I won’t attempt my own explanation of the science since Wikipedia does a better job:
“the intense experiences of both pain and pleasure trigger a sympathetic nervous system response, which causes a release of epinephrine…as well as a dump of endorphins... These natural chemicals…produce the same effect as a morphine-like drug, increasing the pain tolerance of the submissive as the scene becomes more intense. Since the increase of hormones and chemicals produces a sort of trance-like state, the submissive starts to feel out-of-body, detached from reality, and as the high comes down, and the parasympathetic nervous system kicks in, a deep exhaustion, as well as incoherence.”
So when people looking from the outside in wonder why the heck someone would want to be tied up, flogged, and bossed around---well, there you go, subspace is one reason why.
But why are so many romance readers and writers getting into BDSM stories?
I can’t answer for everyone, but for me, the D/s aspect is really what drives me to write and read these stories. Romance readers have always enjoyed the very alpha hero. Think of all those historical romances where the duke/rake/etc. takes all the control. Or look at the paranormals that have all those alpha wolves going after the heroines.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely an I-am-woman-hear-me-roar kind of chick. But in a world where we are often weighed down with so much responsibility, it can be a nice escape to imagine having a break from that. Of imagining putting ourselves completely in the hands of a guy we love and trust—one that will keep us safe and also rock our world. ;)
And that’s how I wrote Brynn in CRASH INTO YOU. She’s very in control of her life, very strong, and has overcome a lot in her past. She doesn’t *need* a man. But because she’s always had to be responsible and in charge, submitting to Reid gives her an escape, a place where she can just let go and feel. And I think on some level, we can all relate to that.
All right, hope this wasn’t too much like some whacked-out school report, lol, but I wanted to give anyone who hasn’t read BDSM an idea of what it’s about. If you have any questions for me or any of this is unclear, let me know in the comments! : )
Brynn LeBreck has dedicated herself to helping women in crisis, but she never imagined how personal her work would get, or where it would take her. Her younger sister is missing, suspected to be hiding from cops and criminals alike at a highly secretive BDSM retreat-a place where the elite escape to play out their most extreme sexual fantasies. To find her, Brynn must go undercover as a sexual submissive. Unfortunately, The Ranch is invitation only. And the one master who can get her in is from the darkest corner of Brynn's past.
Brynn knows what attorney Reid Jamison is like once stripped of his conservative suit and tie. Years ago she left herself vulnerable only to have him crush her heart. Now she needs him again. Back on top. And he's all too willing to engage. But as their primal desires and old wounds are exposed, the sexual games escalate-and so does the danger. Their hearts aren't the only things at risk. Someone else is watching, playing by his own rules. And his game could be murder.
*CRASH INTO YOU is told in chapters alternating between the present and ten years earlier. This is from a “past” chapter.*
“That’s one of the things I like about you. You don’t seem to give a damn about who my family is, so I can just relax around you.”
She laughed. “Yeah, once I found out you couldn’t fire me, you lost all shot of me kissing your ass.”
He slipped a hand onto her hip and pulled her closer, their bodies almost touching. “So what’s your stance on kissing other things?”
Every muscle in her body strained to move forward, to close the sliver of distance between them, but she held still. “Probably not a good idea since we work together.”
He smiled and shook his head. “See, you’re always such a half-empty kind of girl. Working together means we’ll get paid to hang out with each other.”
“And everybody in the office will think I’m hanging out with you for the wrong reasons.”
He shrugged. “That’s why we don’t tell. It’s none of their business anyway.”
She chewed her lip. “I like you, Reid, but I don’t know . . . it’s just complicated. I’ve got a lot—”
He put a finger over her mouth, hushing her. “Stop overthinking things, Brynn. It doesn’t have to be so complex. I know you don’t bullshit, so I’m not going to either. Since the first day I met you, I haven’t stopped thinking about what it would be like to touch you.” He cupped her chin and ran his thumb over her lips. “To taste you. I leave the office every day fighting a hard-on because just hearing your voice sets me off.”
She swallowed hard, the blunt words and his finger on her lips throwing gasoline on the flickering flame of longing she’d been fighting since they’d left the office.
“So in about three seconds, I’m going to kiss you. If you don’t want that, you tell me to stop, and I’ll never try again.” He curled his hand around the back of her neck, his gaze tattooing her. “One . . . two . . .”
To celebrate the release of Crash Into You and this fabulous book tour Roni is giving away some awesome prizes.
* One signed set of Romance Trading Cards for "Crash Into You" to a random commenter at every stop.
* A $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
* A $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
So make sure you comment and follow her book tour - leaving comments at each stop.