13 Things I Learned While Writing BDSM Romance
By MFRW Author Cecilia TanCecilia is "simply one of the most important writers, editors, and innovators in contemporary American erotic literature," according to Susie Bright. Her BDSM romance novel Slow Surrender (Hachette/Forever, 2013) won the RT Reviewers Choice Award in Erotic Romance. In a career that spans 23 years, Tan is the author of over a dozen novels including The Hot Streak, The Prince's Boy, and Daron's Guitar Chronicles, as well as the founder of Circlet Press. Her short stories have appeared in Ms. Magazine, Nerve, Best American Erotica, Asimov's Science Fiction, and tons of other places. Connect with Cecilia on her blog, facebook, and goodreads.
1. My reality is other people's fantasy.
I was first swept off my feet by a brassy male dominant, put in bondage and mercilessly pleasured when I was 24 years old. It's every bit as passionate and rapturous as it sounds, and as a good romance novel should be.
2. Sometimes research is fun.
Even with firsthand experience, I haven't tried everything. I get to read the most interesting how-to books and blogs in the name of research!
3. Sometimes research is really REALLY fun!
The BDSM community has plenty of obliging folks in it, too. For the books SLOW SURRENDER and SLOW SEDUCTION I went and tried out a few things, including a little rope bondage and glass sex toys!
4. No one likes reading instruction manuals.
It was important to me that my BDSM scenes be sexy and seductive and sweep the reader away. I didn't want them getting stuck trying to figure out what kind of knots were being tied or what kind of rope was being used. Fortunately my heroine, Karina, didn't know a lot of the details, so it was very easy to leave them out of her point of view!
5. Teasing is a kink for readers, too.
James, the dom in SLOW SATISFACTION, has a delayed gratification kink. Fortunately that means the readers who love the way he brings Karina to the brink and then leaves her begging for release tend to be the ones with the patience to wait between books! (Fortunately all three books are out now, though!)
6. Balance the exotic with the familiar.
Just like in a BDSM scene, when you want to introduce a new kink, you rely on other familiar elements to keep the bottom or sub grounded, it's important in a book where you're pushing the characters to exotic, erotic extremes to have familiar ground for readers to tread, too.
7. Variety is the spice of life.
One of the great things about having BDSM in a book is that no two sex scenes are ever alike, even when they are plentiful and frequent, as they are in SLOW SURRENDER, SLOW SEDUCTION, and SLOW SATISFACTION.
8. Use all the senses.
They say good writing evokes all the senses, including scent and sound and touch and taste. In a BDSM scene there is no shortage of sensory hooks, from the scent and creak of leather, the feel of sting or tickle or burn, the taste of the glove or the whip when kissed...
9. BDSM is bonding.
A great romance shows how the bond between two characters grows and strengthens. BDSM gives the characters not only a lot of ways to interact, but lots of bonding material, everything from intense shared experiences to the private language or names they might share.
10. No pain, no gain.
11. Fear without fear.
One of the great elements of BDSM role play is you get to include thrills, chills, and ""threats"" to the heroine without having to introduce actual jeopardy or threat of rape. The heroine and the reader get to experience a rollercoaster ride, not a plane crash.
12. Doms are bedroom alphas.
Sometimes I just can't read another ""alpha"" male who just comes across as a stalkerish, self-centered asshole. Doms put their power to the best use, in the bedroom (or dungeon), and don't abuse it elsewhere.
13. It never gets old.
My next book series is going to have BDSM in it also, but there are so many combinations and kinks and roles to explore, no twosome will ever be exactly like another. I can't wait to get started on my next one!
MFRW Author Cecilia Tan released Slow Satisfaction (Struck by Lightning Series, Book 3), an Erotic Contemporary BDSM Romance, with Hachette/Forever in August 2014.
James has finally pushed Karina beyond her limit--not her limit for kinky sex play, but for his extreme secrecy. She has had enough and breaks things off. But James won't give up on Karina and will do whatever it takes to get her back. He's ready to share his deepest, darkest secrets, but is Karina ready to hear them?
James offers Karina not only the truth but a place at his side... onstage. He wants Karina to star in his final musical production and enter his life and his world fully and completely. As the two work together, they rekindle the trust and love they'd lost. But James's world is full of deceit. When he is blackmailed by an unscrupulous music industry executive, James must give in to unreasonable demands or risk exposure of his and Karina's secret sex life.
Will Karina and James's love be strong enough to withstand the many obstacles being thrown their way?
Unlimited pleasure. But passion has a price. The thrilling conclusion to the award-winning Struck by Lightning trilogy.