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June 25th, 2007
The Brighter Side of Kinky

boundAs I wrap up the last in my Rodesson daughter’s erotic Regency trilogy, I’m planning my next proposal. And the question I’m wrestling is: can my hero and heroine be kinky? And how kinky can they be?

When I’ve read some erotic romance, I’ve noticed that kinky is often the preserve of the “bad guy”; kinky is the line drawn between good and evil. The villain pursues group sex, bondage, fetishes, and often preys sexually on children (and yes, I’ve had my villains do that too).

The hero and heroine might try a little bondage or some new positions, but can they be truly kinky and be heroic? I.e. can my hero just not be able to perform without a good spanking first? I’m apt to think not—I think that would just raise too many concerns in the reader. Mainly, what has happened to him to limit his sexual responses to one pattern, and how can he be…well, made a more well-rounded and whole lover?

In my proposal, I wanted my heroine to be afraid of her sexual fantasies. The hero will show her how normal, healthy, and fun they are. I want my heroine to reach the level of trust where she reveals the images that disturb her. And as a writer, I know I have to toe a delicate line—I want to celebrate fantasy, exploration, role playing, etc., but I know I can’t just eliminate the weight of morality that comes along with playing those games. The guilt is important, and adds a lot of the spice, but I don’t want characters wallowing in it.

So while I’m crafting villains for my new idea, I want to show that the evil doesn’t come from indulging in kink, but in using power, violence, and torture to harm another person. In all the info I’ve read on the BDSM lifestyle, what is most important in a good relationship is consent and trust.

Here is an excerpt for my August ’07 book, BLOOD ROSE, where my heroine tries to understand the dynamic between predator and prey in a vampires’ brothel:

Serena’s face was on fire, her throat dry and tight.

Mr. Swift leaned forward—heavens, she felt his erection push against her backside. He was aroused. She wanted to push back against him. But she tried to stay completely still.

“Is this the sort of thing you do?” she croaked the question at him. She should disapprove. But she found watching so arousing, so irresistible.

“Is it the sort of thing you would want to do, little lark? Wouldn’t you wish to perform for him, to entice him beyond all control?”

She had no answer, swallowed hard. “But those women are enticing vampires. The vampires will feed from them, hurt them.”

“But you know vampires do not always kill—and the only ones allowed here are those with control over their feeding urges. And the girls are well treated, in a way. They have warm beds, beautiful clothing, and are very well fed. They have every comfort they could imagine. These are not girls trapped and abused by a brutal madam.”

“They are free to leave?”

“Yes, but they don’t leave.”

“Why not—if they have freedom, why would they not take it?”

Swift leaned closer. “Because they need to offer their blood. They cannot exist any longer without joining with a vampire and surrendering their blood.”

“Slaves? Or worse—food!”

“In all relationships, one partner feeds on what the other offers. In different ways. The vampires are as much their slaves.”