What I Write: It's Not About Handcuffs


Yes, this is Jared Leto. Yum.

(Photo of the "Hurricane" video via VH1)

Most of you know (or have figured out from that smoking hot book cover up there in the right hand corner) that I write erotic romance. And specifically I write in a subgenre of erotic romance--BDSM erotic romance.

What is BDSM? For those of you who aren't quite sure...

From Wikipedia (because they can summarize better than I can):

BDSM is a continuum of erotic practice and expression involving the consensual use of restraint, intense sensory stimulation, and fantasy power role-play. The compound acronym, BDSM, is derived from the terms bondage and discipline (B&D or B/D), dominance and submission (D&S or D/s), and sadism and masochism (S&M or S/M). BDSM includes a wide spectrum of activities, forms of interpersonal relationships, and distinct subcultures.

For those of you that are already eroRom readers, I'm sure you don't bat an eyelash that I write in this genre. BDSM is a huge, highly popular subgenre in erotic romance. But for those of you who haven't read much in the genre, the idea of BDSM may be a bit intimidating or too "out there." Images of leather-clad people wearing heavy eyeliner and dog collars may flit through your mind. You may be thinking, "Why on earth would I want to read about that? And how can this be a romance novel?"

But believe me, the types of stories in this subgenre run the gamut. If you want the extreme, it's out there. But also out there are stories about every day people who happen to like things a little (or a lot) edgier in the bedroom. Characters who discover that something about this kind of relationship with another person feeds something inside them.

This is not a case of--oh hey, let's throw in some handcuffs and call this book BDSM. These stories are about people who on some soul deep level crave things like power exchange in the bedroom. Or at least that's how I write my characters. I write from the perspective that this is part of who they are--either because of life experiences or genetics or whatever. (*sings Lady Gaga's "Born This Way"*)

For instance, my heroine in CRASH INTO YOU, discovers she likes being sexually submissive early on in her adulthood, but then she's brutally attaked and raped. Now, ten years later, she's terrifed of giving control to someone else, yet the part of her that craves sexual submission is still in there. She's just tamped it down because even the thought of it sends her into a panic attack. (Of course this means I--evil author--had to put her in a position  where she had to face that fear.)

But she's not some alternative character that only people in the BDSM lifestyle could relate to (though there would be nothing wrong with it if she was.) She's a smart, successful social worker with a "normal" life. If you've never read erotic romance and you pick up my book, it's not going to feel like some "out there" genre. It's going to read like a romance because that's what it's about--love. (Don't believe me? You can read chapter one here.) Of course, there will be super hot sex scenes that include things you won't find in a non-erotic book, but hello--who wants to miss out on that? :)

So if you've never read "this kind of book", I encourage you to try it and not be intimidated. You will find more of the familiar than unfamiliar in them. (Here's a suggestion for what to try if you've never read BDSM romance.) And you never know, it may give you some ideas to try out with your own significant other. ;)

Oh, and because it's now in my head, a little Gaga for you...


 So, are you an erotic romance reader? Have you read a BDSM story before? If so, what are some of your favorites? If you haven't read one, are you at all intimidated by the genre? What would make you give a book in this genre a shot?