I’d like to welcome guest blogger LISABET SARAI. I’m not sure when/how we met, but I consider her one of my dearest friends. I’m so pleased to have her visiting the Block today …
I’m really delighted to join Nina here at Around the Writer’s Block. This is one of my favorite spots in the blogosphere. Nina always manages to stimulate a lively discussion; with some luck, maybe I can do the same.
I was hoping that my title might grab your attention. You’re probably expecting a juicy story about the first time I fell in love. Given that I was only in the third grade, there’s a limit to how racy even I could make that tale! In any case, that’s not exactly what I want to talk about today. By “first love”, I mean BDSM – the genre of the first novel I published (Raw Silk), the genre which calls me back again and again, even when I flirt (in a literary sense) with vampires or clairvoyants or steam punk or hot gay guys getting it on.
Writing most genres is hard work for me. In contrast, creating a D/s story feels almost effortless. It’s no mystery why this is true. BDSM pushes my personal buttons. When I write D/s, I’m summoning up the emotions from deep in my own psyche. My power exchange scenes usually come across as genuine, because they’re fueled by real passion. I can write convincingly about the mingled fear and anticipation a sub feels when she’s bound and blindfolded, awaiting her master’s will, because I’ve experienced those emotions myself – not just in my fantasies, but in reality.
I met G when I was in my mid-twenties, in graduate school. I don’t think that I’m exaggerating when I say that our relationship changed my life. Lisabet Sarai the author would probably not exist if he hadn’t been so successful in awakening my submissive tendencies. He tutored me in the alchemy of trust, the magic of surrender. I loved him deeply, and I know he cared about me (more than I realized at the time). For two years he spanked me, bound me, beat me, attached clothespins to my nipples and dripped hot wax on my thighs – all with my eager consent. Most important, he cherished me. He encouraged me to feel that our kinky desires were not shameful but special, a delicious shared secret that set us apart.
Although we were different in many ways, I was (and still am) convinced that at the height of a scene, we shared a psychic connection. He used to tease me about reading my mind. I believe that at times he did – or else our fantasies were so completely complementary that it felt that way. When we were together, we entered an altered state of consciousness. I’ve read about “sub space” but I’m not sure that was what I experienced. Sub-space sounds very physical – endorphins and all that. At its best, being with G had a mystical quality that completely transcended the body.
As a result of this relationship, I tend to take BDSM rather seriously. I look at it as a ritual – almost a sacrament. Casual BDSM games, “play parties” and S & M clubs where one goes to be whipped by strangers – these notions don’t really appeal to me at all. BDSM doesn’t touch me unless it includes that sense of devotion. The Dom and the sub both need to commit themselves to their shared journey.
Some readers find it difficult to believe that BDSM can be romantic. They expect pain and abuse; they don’t understand that trust and responsibility are at the heart of a healthy power exchange relationship. As for me, I find it hard to write about D/s without also writing about love.
I can appreciate the fantasy of a dominant stranger who seems to see into your soul, who knows what you want before you’re ready or able to articulate your own desires. This is the basic premise of Raw Silk, my first novel. Being known and accepted as a submissive, valued for one’s obedience and willingness to serve, is tremendously arousing. The dominant stranger fantasy short-circuits the real world process of negotiation, in which the Dom and sub jointly explore turn-ons and limits. But the appeal of that fantasy still depends (for me) on the sub being able to completely trust her master. For me, that intoxicating trust is the source of much of the heat.
My relationship with G turned sexual (and kinky) rather suddenly, but in fact we’d known each other for more than a year. I’m sure that he was dropping hints and watching my reactions, even though our first time together felt wild and unexpected. The relationship was serious enough that even now, thirty plus years later, we’re still close, though we live half a world away from one another.
Raw Silk is partly dedicated to G: “my Master, mentor and muse”. I think he was surprised when all the emotions he kindled began spilling out onto my pages – and getting published! Since that book, I’ve written dozens of other stories and novels with BDSM content. My single author story collection, , is exclusively D/s.Rough Caress
Last November my novella “The Understudy” was published as part of the BDSM anthology Master Me. I loved writing that story. I found it relatively easy, compared to the usual agonizing birth pangs of my tales. I was going back to my roots, reliving the excitement of my own initiation into the dark pleasures of D/s. Returning to my first love.
A dozen years ago LISABET SARAI experienced a serendipitous fusion of her love of writing and her fascination with sex. Since then she has published two single author short story collections and six erotic novels, including the BDSM classic Raw Silk. Dozens of her shorter works have been released as ebooks and in print anthologies. She has also edited several acclaimed anthologies and is currently responsible for the altruistic erotica series COMING TOGETHER PRESENTS.
Lisabet holds more degrees than anyone needs from prestigious universities who would no doubt be embarrassed by her chosen genre. She loves to travel and currently lives in Southeast Asia with her highly tolerant husband and two well-traveled felines. For more information on Lisabet and her writing visit Lisabet Sarai’s Fantasy Factory or her blog Beyond Romance.
Lisabet’s most recent release is Almost Home, a M/M/F holiday romance featuring a mistletoe kiss, a warm fireplace, a hot tub, and lots of snow!
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