BDSM Romance by Z. Allora

 

Beyond the Scene BDSM Romance

 

Reading a BDSM romance can be glorious or triggering.

(Keep in mind this is a broken love slave’s take on BDSM Romance. Everyone’s got their own filters and I respect that. I’m only sharing mine.)

When I’m reading, I have certain expectations of a romance book: Interesting characters who are three-dimensional and who overcome their obstacles, including themselves, to get to their happily ever after. There are much the same expectations for a BDSM romance, just with a few additions based on the genre.

Reality:

I realize BDSM romance isn’t a how-to guide, but I need my books and the authors I read to be responsible for what is being put out there.

In my Entwined Dreams series, I depicted a luxury network of BDSM clubs that I’ve only seen in my dreams. My current work in progress has a more realistic setting, where you carry your own towel around to sit on because Goddess only knows what’s on the chairs and equipment. I didn’t mind glazing over that bit of detail in Entwined Dreams, but I wrote several blogs on the subject.

It’s a romance, and sexy gloss is expected. However, I worry when I see too much of reality being ignored.

There are some safety and basic play rules that should be respected, or icky consequences should happen as a result of unsafe play. At the least, mention the luck of avoiding a negative outcome in that situation. Reality with a fuzzy lens is typical in romance. For instance, we usually do without reading and writing about passing cum-filled farts, which can be a reality. Just saying there’s some realism that it’s okay not to focus on and others we should.  

If a sub is hit out of the Dom’s anger or the sub is abandoned when a scene is finished with no aftercare, I’m wigging out. I don’t need to say it but I will: hitting out of anger is violence and abuse, and you can even tell by my word choice (abandon) what I think of lack of aftercare.

Abuse and BDSM can look pretty damned similar, so I need the lines identified so I know the character is safe and we aren’t passing on bad habits to people interested in playing or dabbing in BDSM.

This is not to say variations from the norm are always bad. In fact, in my tiny experiences, that is actually the norm. But there’s usually an accepted approach to BDSM, so authors need to acknowledge what that is through the characters, and then, if the characters deviate, I want to understand why. That’s the fascinating part to me.

Needs Being Met:

As in any good romance, the wants of the characters are identified and then we take a journey with them to see how those are met.

In a BDSM, not every sub or Dom desires the same things in terms of life or BDSM. What do they each want? How can they fulfill that need in their partner(s) and themselves?

I see it as the author’s responsibility to show the reader how and why their characters are getting exactly what they crave, because that is the essence of a happily ever after: Characters getting what they need and want out of life, together.

First, what is the desire to be satisfied in the character? When the activity they require is atypical or needs to be done in an unexpected way, I want to know why. What created this need in them and how is it satisfied by this activity, doing it in this specific way? Exploring the variations is where I find satisfaction.

Sometimes conflicting needs happen. Both can be valid, and how the story unwinds to deal with it can be supportive and amazing or it can leave me cold and sad.

Limitations = Opportunities for Creativity

What is the characters’ relationship with BDSM?

Another important piece of who the character is depends on their experience with BDSM. Were their experiences in the past bad or good? Did they visit clubs or go to private parties? Do they attend classes and read books on BDSM? Does the reality equal their fantasy? Are they new to BDSM? What are they looking for out of it: fun, lifestyle, partner, etc.? Are they disappointed and not getting what they want?

All these things and more affect how the story is told and what our expectations are as readers. We want the full picture of who the character is, like in any other romance, but with this added bit of information.

What is the characters’ relationship with each other?

Unequal relationships can be triggering.

On the surface: Dom is over sub + What Dom says goes = Possible Triggered Reader/Abuse

I’ve met people in these type of relationships in real life. Only a handful remained together when there was such inequality, so when I read it in books, I can’t help but to worry. In the cases where they remained together, each individual was getting a tremendous amount out of the relationship, which satisfied them well beyond the “sub = spanking” and “Dom = BJ” scenario.

Sub doesn’t equal doormat!

I love watching two people who know what they need or work to identify what they want. The romance part is making their lives together work, just like with any other romance. BDSM is just part of what makes their relationship a happily ever after; it shouldn’t be the only thing.  

Always seek your own truth.

I’d love to hear from you, so comment here or use the contact information to touch base with me privately.

Many hugs,

Z. Allora

 

To contact Z. Allora:

E-mail: Z.AlloraHappyEndings@gmail.com
FACEBOOK:   Z Allora Allora
Website: www.zallorabooks.com
Twitter: @ZAllora
Blog: http://zallora.blogspot.com
Dreamspinner: https://bit.ly/2Jv14r1

BIO: Z. Allora believes in happily ever after for everyone. She met her own true love through the personals and has traveled to over thirty countries with him. She’s lived in Singapore, Israel and China. Now back home to the USA she’s an active member of PFLAG and a strong supporter of those on the rainbow in her community. She wants to promote understanding and acceptance through her actions and words. Writing rainbow romance allows her the opportunity to open hearts and change minds.

 

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