Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Using BDSM to Heal Past Abuse






I'm Kallypso Masters, author of the Rescue Me series of BDSM erotic romances. As the BDSM Unleashed Blog Hop continues, I'm going in a different direction and explain what intrigues me about one aspect of this lifestyle and how I've been researching BDSM as sexual healing for several characters in my series. 


Sometimes BDSM hurts. Sometimes life hurts. And sometimes people find ways to use BDSM to take away the power of those past hurts in life.


That's where readers will be going in my next book, Nobody's Perfect. In Masters at Arms, the introduction to the series, readers met the very tortured heroine, Savannah Gentry. Life--mainly because of her incestuous, abusive father--has not been very kind to Savi. After escaping from her father's house, she took the name Savi Baker, which is who she is when this book opens. She's an incest survivor and a former sex slave, but she's one of the strongest characters I've ever written. She's dealt with some of the abuse and moved on to study and train as a therapist to help other kids going through the same things, but one area she neglected to address in her own therapy was to reconnect with her sexual self. She had no interest in ever having sex again, so she didn't see this as being of any importance in her life. Until she has to run again--into Damián Orlando's waiting arms. Then she finds herself bombarded by negative images and triggers from the past, co-mingled with happier memories of their one perfect day at the beach eight years earlier. But in reality, she is shackled by the past.






Finding a man, whether he's a Dom or not, who has the patience to deal with a woman so badly scarred and closed off is a challenge in fiction, much less real life. I know, because I'm one of those lucky enough to have found a very patient man who loves me despite all my issues. I also am an incest survivor (from a grandfather) and a child-abuse survivor (from countless other men) and know that connecting to my sexual self again is an ongoing process that takes a lot of work even after our 30 years together, because that crap never goes away, as my fellow survivors know.   


I don't live the lifestyle other than role-playing in the bedroom, but I heard from a number of readers who connected with Savi's character because of their own past abuses, and they very generously shared with me their ways of coping. With this book, I want to show a side of the BDSM community that I know exists from their stories, those of a Dom whom I consult with on scenes and scenarios, and postings in the forums on FetLife.com. That is, one in which a Dom helps his submissive redirect negative internal messages and deal with PTSD triggers using sadomasochism and control techniques. 


I know from personal experience that there is something very freeing about letting go of all those censors in your head that tell me to stop (or not even start). Being restrained does that for me and I'm sure it does for many others, too (and not just from past abuse). Of course, I'd never let someone restrain me unless I trusted them implicitly. But it's so much easier to let your guard down with that special someone you know is only going to give you an incredible journey and not take advantage of your vulnerability to take you beyond your limits. 


While I was able to draw on some of the emotions of being an incest survivor myself, I had no experience with using sadomasochism as a "therapeutic" source of healing. I had chosen the more traditional route with a decade (off and on) of therapy. I gained a lot from that, but in this BDSM genre series, I'm exploring how SM and other BDSM practices can help a survivor reclaim her body, redirect the negative messages in her head, and begin the journey toward become a sexual being in a health relationship. I have consulted with a reader who is a clinical psychologist, though, to help me make Savi's character more realistic (Savi's a therapist, too). I know that it's hard for someone who hasn't experienced this type of background to understand how having someone inflict more pain on you is supposed to help, so I asked Jennifer, my psychologist beta reader, to explain and she said:


"You've done good jobs at portraying [how] sometimes people are so numb it's the only thing they can feel, or it grounds them back into their bodies when emotions are too intense; sometimes they need physical pain to express or 'stand in' for the emotional pain they experience or to open up the gates for them to express emotional pain.... Sometimes people who aren't wire that way just won't get it because it's such a visceral thing." 


A word of caution before I go any further--this type of edge play can be dangerous in the wrong (or inexperienced) hands. If you want to explore this type of play for sexual healing (or fun), first and foremost, find an experience Dominant who is extremely patient and understanding and knows what s/he is doing after many years of practice. That includes finding a Dominant who will mentor your partner or spouse, if necessary. I have heard horror stories from those who went from childhood abuse only to grow up and choose partners who just continued to abuse them, but in the name of BDSM. I'm NOT talking about those types of relationships here, because that's abuse, not BDSM. The characters I write about and the people who provide me with expertise for these characterizations always are in consensual, healthy relationships. 


As I learned from the primary Dom I consulted with for this story--John Bacon (Toymaker on FetLife)--not everyone who has been abused is a good candidate for this kind of practice. Once I commented to him that Savi's was an extreme case, and he proceeded to describe an even more extreme case. John also told me that if a submissive he was working with turned out to be an active cutter (someone who inflicts cuts on her/his skin that aren't life-threatening, but used to give the cutter an endorphin release), he would patch her up and take her to a hospital with psychiatric treatment facilities, because that's a form of addiction and there's no place in Safe, Sane, and Consensual BDSM for addicts. There's a very real risk of the Dom in that situation going further than is healthy for the sub, or for the sub to replace SM for the cutting pain, and thus form a new addiction.  


One of the issues my character, Savi, has to deal with is allowing herself to feel--especially to cry or scream--because those are seen as signs of weakness to her from her past abuses. Kellie Hunter, a submissive who also beta reads for me, helped me a lot in trying to understand the inability to cry unless her Dom puts her through a severe impact session in order to get her to break down and release the tears, stress, and emotion. All of these emotions turned inward can lead to depression and stress, so it's good to be able to release them. 


Kellie explained it as such:

"For me never crying started out as never giving my [abuser] the satisfaction of knowing that she hurt me. Then it became such a part of what I was made of, I just can’t cry without help now… So for me, [SM and impact play] is a way to let go, to be able to cry and get what I need to release emotions I don’t usually know how to release. For me, it is almost like a therapy, to get rid of the stress and tears that I hold inside.”
After reading one of the scenes where Savi is fighting back the tears, only to release them after a session with Damián, Kellie wrote: “You got the whole crying thing down perfect. It is exactly what I do, too—blink really fast so I don’t cry. And when I do [cry], it is like I can’t stop. It was like you were in my head.”
Many of the scenes where Damian uses SM to help Savi occur later in the book, because I wanted to show that establishing trust between them takes quite a while (as it should in real life). They also needed to bond in non-sexual ways. Here's an UNEDITED scene in which they're beginning to explore the SM relationship with Damian as her Top. We're in Savi's head:


Damián moved his duffel bag behind her, she supposed so that she wouldn't see what he planned to use on her. She heard the clatter of what sounded like…lightweight pieces of wood.

He molded his body against her backside and encircled her waist with his arms, although the cross kept him from pulling her body into his. He pressed something against her skin, but she couldn't see what it was. After a few moments, he moved to her side and his erection pressed against her hip, sending a wave of panic clawing at her chest. She tried to move away from him, but couldn't budge. His warm, gentle hand stroked the bare skin of her abdomen in long circles, calming her after a time.

So numb. She didn't want to be numb anymore.

Anxious to get the scene started, she willed her neck to relax and her head lolled to the side. Warm lips pressed against the pulse at the side of her neck. His goatee should have tickled her, but she felt nothing.

Still numb.

Savi groaned in frustration.

"Breathe, Savita." His warm breath on her ear caused her to open her eyes. Breathing deeply, she felt something small and hard in his hand pressing against her abdomen. Looking down, she saw it was a clamp-like clothespin. She could picture him using it to clamp what, for most people, would be very sensitive parts of their bodies. Would she even feel it? He'd promised not to play with her pussy, but she hadn't put other places off limits, like her nipples. She'd heard him rattling more than one in his toy bag. What did he plan to do with those pins?

With his other hand, he gathered a pinch of her skin at her side, near her breast, and squeezed the flesh.

Pinch.

She gasped. While still numb, the pin had surprised her. She didn't like surprises.

"Here comes another little pinch." Standing behind her, she didn't know where the pin would be attached until he pinched the skin on the opposite side, but about the same place, near her breast. He fastened the pin to her skin. Again, pressure, but no real pain. She felt her skin warming where the clothespins had pinched her. He stepped away and she grew cold in the absence of the body heat that had provided so much warmth.

"How are you doing, mi sueño?

"Fine…Sir."

"Now, I am going to continue more rapidly so we can move on in the scene. All you need to do is breathe. In…and out." She heard the rattle of more clothespins, supposing he was stocking up on them. .

For the next several minutes, he continued to pinch the pins into place down her sides, alternating from one side to the other and restocking when he ran out. He must have applied a couple dozen of them by the time he stopped just above each of her hips. The next one was attached to the underside of her arm. She hissed. That one broke through the numbness a little bit, probably because she'd expected him to continue working down her body. He did the same on the other side, but she anticipated that one better and prepared herself by shutting down her pain reflex.

Too late, she remembered that wasn't the goal here, but that habit had helped her survive for so long, she knew of no other response.

"Focus only on your breathing right now, Savi."

Easy for him to say. He wasn't under attack from so many fronts at once. Again, she turned her attention to her inhalations and exhalations.

In. Out.

Damián left her side again and she almost gave in to the fear, but regained control as she forced herself to breathe in a very regulated manner, the way she'd been taught to breathe through the contractions when she'd prepared for Mari's birth. She focused her mind on each individual breath she drew.

In. Out.

Damián's hands stroked her back from her neck to just above her butt, then moved around to her chest, pressing his arms into the pins on her sides. She knew the clothespins must be digging into her flesh, but still felt nothing too terribly uncomfortable.

Just numbness and pressure.

"Savi, when it's time, I'm going to remove the clothespins one at a time. Immediately after each one is removed, I want you to attach a memory associated with a negative emotion—fear, anger, rage. You can scream, cry, cuss, or do whatever it takes to release that memory and feel that emotion, but you need to do it out loud and immediately. I need to hear it in order to take away its power over you.

Savi's mouth grew dry. She shook her head. "No, I don't think I can do this. I don't want to think about those things."

"You need to let those memories go so they'll no longer control or hurt you. They are holding you back. Even though you aren't consciously thinking about them now, they have held you hostage your entire adult life, possibly most of your childhood."

"I've repressed much of my childhood."

"Those will be some of the last memories you'll recall during this scene. It will take them longer to surface. But you want to release even the most painful of them."

She groaned. "Can I just think them? Don't make me say those things out loud, Sir." She didn't want him to know what she was.

"Speaking them is the best way to lessen their power over you. Otherwise, this will just be an exercise in pain for pain's sake. No value. No learning. No healing."

"But I don't feel pain. I don't feel anything."

Damián chuckled. "Oh, you'll definitely feel something before I'm finished, especially as the last pins are removed. The longer they pinch off the blood supply to your skin, the more you'll feel."

He truly expected her to feel something. He would be terribly disappointed when she didn't react at all. For some reason, the thought of disappointing him bothered her.

"Be my brave girl?"

"I'm not brave. I'm afraid of everything."

"Bullshit. You aren't afraid of me, are you?"

"You haven't hurt me, Sir. Not yet. Please don't ask this of me."

He stroked her cheek. "Savi, do you trust me to know what you need? To know what's best to help you?"

I think so.

Yes.


No!

She groaned again in frustration. How could he demand this of her? She couldn't think about the horrors of the past, much less speak of them. Most of the traumatic events she couldn't even remember anymore. She'd relegated those memories to the recesses of her mind long ago, right where she wanted them to stay.

"Trust me, Savi?"

If she didn't try this, she'd always wonder if it might have helped. She needed to do this.

She nodded.

"I want to hear you say the words."

"I…trust you, Damián…Sir."

He placed a kiss on her numb cheek. Her eyes stung. She wanted to feel his lips, but…nothing.

"That's my girl."

His girl. She wasn't his girl, his dream, his anything. Yet, when he spoke to her like that, some broken, damaged piece of her wished she could be. The realization that a relationship with Damián could never be left her feeling surprisingly sad.

"I have restrained your arms and legs so that you won't be able to move. It's critical that you remain as still as possible so that I don't miss."

Miss what?

"You don't have to worry about anything but attaching a memory to each pin as I remove it. ¿Comprende?"

She didn't want to understand, but she did. "Yes, Sir."

Her heart pounded, but he brushed his lips across her ear and said, "I'm so proud of you."

That unfamiliar warmth spread through her again.

"Now, breathe, Savita."

In. Out.

He stepped away, moving behind her, and the loss hurt more than any since the night she heard him ride out of her life at her father's house. Her eyes burned. She blinked them to ease the sting. Silence. Fear surged to the surface.

"You won't leave me alone like this, will you, Sir?"

He cursed under his breath and seconds later placed his hands on the sides of her face forcing her to look at him.

"A responsible Dom or Top never leaves a sub alone when restrained. While there will be times when I want you to spend time in your head, right now, I want you to be thinking about some of the scenes you will release for me soon. Don't you dare even think I might leave you alone, restrained, at any time. Okay, Savita?"

Part of her wished he meant that as in forever, but she pushed that impossible thought aside. No one could ever love someone like her. He was just trying to help her. "Thank you, Sir."

His lips brushed hers. Tingling. She'd actually felt something! Perhaps because she hadn't anticipated it. Maybe if she let her guard down more, gave herself permission to feel something, this scene actually could do some good.

Savi pictured herself as Damián must see her, naked, arms and legs spread wide, exposed. She hadn't placed herself in such a vulnerable position with a man since she'd regained control of her life and body after escaping her father and Lyle.

Crack!

Savi jumped. Well, more figuratively than physically, given how tightly he'd bound her. The sound of the whip popping in the air brought her senses to full alert.

Damián came from behind her. He had recoiled the whip and held it in his left hand. He walked in front of her, so near she felt his body heat. He wrapped the whip around her back at waist level. He pulled it from side to side against her back, letting the friction of the leather warm her skin.

"The whip is going to free you, Savi. I don't want you to fear it. I want you to embrace it as it is embracing you right now."






Two Ways to Win!


I'm going to give away a copy of Nobody's Perfect (or any other Romance in this series) to one lucky winner who comments below WITH an e-mail address. Those without e-mail addresses will not be eligible. The winner also will receive some Rescue Me series swag (Master Adam hand fan, bookmark, Romance Trading Cards, and a purple pen for the Ahh, Kallypso...the stories you tell" blog.) Drawing will be held on/after July 21. Watch for a posting by Leagh Christensen, my assistant (and Fairy Godmother 1st Class).


AND



There are several GRAND PRIZES in this blog hop, but to win those, you need to follow the instructions in the form below:






Thanks for making this stop in the blog hop and watch the following sites for announcements for the release of Nobody's Perfect in late August:


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kallypsomasters
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/kallypsomasters
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/KallypsoMastersAuthorPage
Web site: http://kallypsomasters.com (sign up for my newsletter here or at my blog)

Blog: http://kallypsomasters.blogspot.com




72 comments:

  1. i love this...scars and bruises fade but the mental part that never goes away

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  2. This is going to be a verrrry interesting book.

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  3. i cant wait, i am looking forward to reading Nobody's Perfect :)

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  4. I'm so looking forward to Damien and Savi's story, Kally!!

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  5. I already have the FABulous swag....so I won't enter so someone else can have a chance. BUT....that excerpt!! OMG!!! I had to tell myself to just breathe while reading that! Wow!!!! And very interesting storyline with the healing from abuse aspect....I'm intrigued to read the whole story and then of course see Savi get her HEA!!! ;)

    Lee (Alisa)

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  6. Kally, When I read the beginning of Damien and Savi's story, it was VERY hard. It was a major trigger and I actually had to walk away and come back. Then, the first time I read it, I realized I purposely didn't 'read' it. So, I went back. I got triggered again, but I really read it that time and cried as I did. I know that I am not alone in the sexual abuse that I silently suffered through from the age of 7 to almost 14; but it is such a personal hell that you end up feeling as if you are the only one in the universe. My hell was made worse that when I finally got the nerve to tell my mother that her best friend's husband had molested me for almost 6 years, she called me an over-dramatic liar and never spoke of it again to me. Even worse, she tried to force me into family situations where he was there. (She is still friends with both of them) 40 years later, I have finally started therapy...but the healing had started about 5 years ago when I finally told my husband of then 20 years that normal vanilla sex had never been enough. SO, we started experimenting and I can say through both our researching how to bridge the past and my therapy that at 48 my sex life is 'normal' now. I look forward to Damien and Savi's book. I may have to put it down and walk away...maybe even read it again to even get the story; but I will because this is one series/story that has hit home in a way that is cathartic for me. Thank you for writing these books, especially this one.

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  7. Can't wait to read more on savi story as a survivor of child abuse myself I love hearing how other survivors cope and heal from the past..I have read the entire masters series and have recommended to all my friends thank you for writing such awesome books..

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  8. Can't wait to read more of Damien and Savi's story. I love the entire Masters at Arms series!

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  9. Great post, Kally. It's good to know it's possible to get past horrible experiences in our lives, whether through BDSM or not. I've read all the Masters in Arms stories but haven't had time for Nobody's Perfect--yet. It's on the Kindle!

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  10. I love Damian and can't wait to see Savi finally begin to heal from her past. I love the entire series. Thanks for the giveaway.

    rachaelmccully@yahoo.com

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  11. Love your books Kally and this one is going to be so special. Your characters are so alive your readers, many are going to cry with Damian & Savi!
    modularmates(at)comcast(dot)net

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  12. After 35 years of "conventional" therapy, I still haven't gotten over what happened to me as a child or my father's reaction to it (saying it was my fault because I was leading the man on). I have a lot of repressed anger that I can only release through pain. Most people can't understand this, but it is my way of coping when the emotions get to be too much to handle.
    I'm really looking forward to reading Damian and Savi's story. I know it will be difficult, but I've found that I can learn new coping mechanisms through reading these books and other people's stories.
    Thank you, Kally.
    rmwyer@shaw.ca

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  13. What a great blog and excerpt Kally!! I cannot wait for Dami & Savi's story. I know that it will be well worth the wait. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Robin
    robinwomack@comcast.net

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  14. Thank you Kally for approaching an issue that causes so much pain. I was not a victim, however, my mother was and I continued to see the aftermath throughout my childhood and into adulthood. My mother's parents were not supportive and even blamed her...even after she became pregnant from the recurring abuse at the hands of my uncle. She was forced to continue attending family functions with him there and her sister accused her of trying to "break up" her marriage. I now understand why we were not allowed to spend anytime with that side of our family. Thank you for helping so many understand.
    Mel
    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

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  15. Awesome excerpt...can't wait to read Nobody's Perfect...come on August!!!
    andieleah78@gmail.com

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  16. Wow, Kally! You've done it again! Another spectacular book I can't wait to get my hands on! I hope I win so I can get my copy sooner and start reading right away!

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  17. I am not reading it! I don't want a spoiler. Love the Masters at Arms!

    ovalleba@charter.net

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  18. This story is one I'm going to keep close to my heart for a very long, long time for a whole lot of reasons.

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  19. While I enjoy reading the various blogs on "The Playroom" I rarely, if ever, leave a comment but I feel I must congratulate you on a truly incisive and clearly very personal piece of writing on an extremely sensitive issue.
    As it happens, I have read all the previous books in this series but if I hadn't I would have ordered them on the strength of this article alone. I look forward to reading "Nobody's Perfect" on its release and commend you once again on an erudite blog.

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  20. I won another contest you had and i would love to have this book -- it sound great
    audie@wickerness.com

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  21. Thank you for reminding me to breathe. Wow, I found myself holding my breath alot through that excerpt! I can't wait til this book comes out.

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  22. Hi Kally,
    thank you for the chance at such a great giveaway. i love the cover of the book, it's gorgeous and the excerpt was wonderful. thank you also for the explanations, it helps to understand when you aren't involved in the lifestyle but read some of the books.

    tammy ramey
    trvlagnt1t@yahoo.com

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  23. Such a great post! Thanks so much for sharing yourself with us. I think one of the reasons that I enjoy reading BDSM is because I have such a hard time handling my emotions. Looking forward to reading this book!

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  24. This was such a eye opener. I have read your other books, but this one even though it is only a sample has made me really think. I can honestly say I am a little afraid to finally read it all. Marie Lisk melisk1966@yahoo.com

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  25. I really enjoyed this post and the excerpt. I am enjoying this series so much.

    Gabrielle
    meingee@yahoo.com

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  26. Love the chance to win. Can't wait for the next book. kbmckee at mail dot com

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  27. Awesome Article and excerpt Kally! You expressed it so well! and I agree with everything you said wholeheartedly. i've met a number of abuse victims involved in the lifestyle and what you said is spot on. i applaud you for having the courage to share part of yourself and tell your stories so realistically.

    stardf @ gmail.com

    Thanks!
    Stacey

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  28. Thanks for the post! Can't wait to read Nobody's Perfect even though it will cry. All great books do.

    asweet520@hotmail.com

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  29. Thanks, all, for reading and commenting. I'll be honest, I'm the most nervous about the release of this book, for so many reasons. For one, they've come to look for hot sex scenes in my books. Well, not this time. And then I know many readers don't want to be faced with real-life, serious problems when they read (although I think my readers aren't in that category, because my characters have lots of traumas and hurts to overcome).

    But mostly I worry about causing triggers most of all, so reading that there are some survivors willing to read it KNOWING that's a possibility is very heartwarming. Thanks, Ekatarina, Becki, Chrystal, and Heidi for sharing your pain here, too. And, Mel, your story is sadly typical. The shame. The vow of silence. The blame. Some of these family dynamics are mentioned in the story, too.

    It's my feeling that the silence about the abuse is the worst, so I always encourage readers who are survivors to post on my FB wall if they can or just send a private message sharing their story, because just telling someone is SO empowering. I can't do much but listen and commiserate, but it helps to tell someone who understands.

    Thank you to those who confirmed that BDSM has helped in your sex life, as well. Marie, I can say this research and these stories were an eye opener for me months ago when I began to research this story. It won't be an easy read--for non-survivors and survivors alike--so you need to decide if you can or not, and stop if you need to, as Heidi mentioned.

    This book will be dedicated, in part, to my fellow survivors. Like Savi, we really are so strong--sometimes we just need someone to bring out that strength and help us through the dark times when the demons return with a vengeance.

    Of course, the book will come with a reader warning (and it will be in the product description, as well). I don't want to blindside anyone. (I had a warning in Masters at Arms, too, because those scenes in Section Two are hard to read, just as they were hard for me to write.)

    Thanks again!

    Kally
    kallypsomasters.com

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    1. You are right, Kally. Sometimes what is needed is a push to even acknowledge the pain, hidden or otherwise. The warning is good, this time I am going in realizing that you weren't playing around...that was my first error in Masters at Arms. This time I know. The biggest thing is that if it triggers, stop immediately and walk away so you can think about what you just read. LOL, my therapist would be SOOOO proud of me for saying that. That all being said, I am counting the days until this book comes out.

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    2. Good girl, Heidi! I'm proud of you, too! :)

      And good advice, too! I have a number of readers who will worry me, so I'll have to have everyone check in if they decide to read it. I may need a support group! I hope they'll talk with someone, though. I have lots of supportive readers who watch my wall and can help, too.

      I hear you on the earlier warning in Masters. I don't write the way Romance readers have come to expect authors to write in this genre. Maybe I'm more mainstream than Romance, but I need that Romance label to assure readers there WILL be happy endings! I can't read about this subject matter or some of the pain and angst I put my characters through without the assurance all will be okay. Never perfect, but as long as the characters are there for each other, they can support each other as they go through tough times.

      Now I have to get some sleep. Chemo infusion for my sister tomorrow and I need to pick her up early. Will check in for new comments here when she's settled in for the treatment.

      Kally

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    3. Thank you Kally. I'm not worried about the lack of sex in the book. The genre is what originally drew me in but, now that the characters are part of my family, the continuing story is what will keep me coming back.

      You are right that just talking to someone helps...even if they can't make the problems go away, they can commiserate.

      I know that this will be a difficult book to read, with lots of "time outs". But, difficult as it may be, I learn new coping strategies all the time and, someday, I'll eventually get rid of my father's "tape" telling an 8-year old that she's a slut and leading men on and deserves whatever she gets.

      Thank you for listening.

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    4. I hope Mary's chemo goes well tomorrow. My thoughts are with you both.

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    5. Oh, Becki, Savi has some of the same tapes. Damian is very creative as he begins to work on erasing those tapes and redirecting those thoughts (as you can see in the above excerpt). OMG, wait till the...well, I won't say, but there are some powerful, powerful scenes in the book. Take as long as you need to read it! It'll be a while before the next one, anyway!

      Hugs,

      Kally

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  30. Thank you so much for sharing your story, and for the work you put into sharing your gift with us. I am looking forward to Nobody's Perfect, I have read the others in the series and other books you have written and just love them. I had never put 2 and 2 together and thought about my need to be submissive (I too only take it as far as role play in the bedroom) to being a rape survivor. The only person I have ever shared that story with is my husband and that was after we had been married for 15 years. So I guess I have done a damn fine job of repressing all of it. Anyway thank you for sharing, Carin
    mawmom(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Carin! I didn't repress everything, and didn't realize I had that much repressed until I was with my hubby and my daughter was approaching the age some of the abuse I remembered started. (My older sister tells me it started when I was one, but I don't remember that far back.) Savi's mind also has protected her until she's ready (or felt safe enough) to remember some of those things. One of the times I had to stop writing was when things were coming out for Savi and it reminded me of those times for me when the flashbacks hit. The psychologist who beta reads for me said they were the most emotionally honest flashback scenes she'd ever read. And, of course, that's because they WERE emotionally honest.

      But it's interesting how the right partner and relationship can tell our minds that we're ready and it's safe for those things to come out.

      All the best to you!

      Kally

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  31. Thank you for the very informative post. Their story from MAA just grabbed me and I look forward to reading more of them.
    lfacchini(at)tampabay(dot)rr(dot)com

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  32. wow...this sounds like a very different Masters book from Kallypso! Much more emotional and releasing. I love Kallypso's writing and I WILL read this book but it sounds like it will be a difficult read. Thank you for the giveaway!

    books4me67 at ymail dot com

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  33. Im so looking forward to this part coming out!
    heathdan

    ReplyDelete
  34. Wow, that was such an emotional post Kallypso. I wouldn't have thought about BDSM as healing. It's wonderful that it can help that way. The excerpt brought tears to my eyes. Damiian is priceless, so patient and understanding. He's just what Savi needs to help her.
    luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

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  35. Thank you so much Kally for sharing so much of yourself with us. Your own personal experience and how you tried to be true to the scenes spoke volumes about what a dedicated, caring and wonderful person you are. By showing those of us not in the lifestyle that BDSM is more than whips and chains but a way of expressing and empowering oneself beyond social constraints. the more I read your posts the more you open my eyes and make me ask questions I never asked about myself before. I think I do have a submissive side (as far as in the bedroom only) and by reading your books helps understand some of those aspect, though leads to so many more question.

    Thank you Kally and I can't wait to read the book, the excerpt had me on the verge of tears because I felt so much for Savi.

    redfirewood888(AT)yahoo(DOT)ca

    Ollie aka DarkBloodyVamp

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  36. Kally, thank you for trusting ud with your story; as well as to the others who did the same. I am sure that Damien and Savi's story will be great. You are a very strong women and I applaud you. Suzanne
    suzyrph@charter.net

    ReplyDelete
  37. Love that excerpt! I can't wait to read the entire series, Kally. You've done so much work making sure you get it right, and I'm very impressed with you. :)

    terrihawk66@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  38. Wow Kally,
    I am on pins and needles. Just reading that little blurb has me so into the story I got teary. I can't wait. Be sure to let us know in advance when it will come on BN I will need to take a day off work and set up daycare for the kids. Thanks Kally for for being a good Domme and teaching me patience.
    Linda
    linmeza@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Kally,
    I (like so many others) am very eager to read this new book. I already have a couple of light, fun reads lined up to read after this, because I know I will need them. I can't imagine going through some of the things that "Savi" has gone though.
    I worked for years with young teen girls who had gone through some bad situations in their lives. Many of these girls turned to cutting, along with other addictions such as drugs, alcohol, and sex to deal with the things that had happened in their lives.
    You and the other other strong women (and men) who have survived these horrors are such strong, amazing people. May this story help others to heal. <3
    June
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  40. Wow, that was a wonderful excerpt. It's funny now some people think of BDSM being all about pain and they don't realize how freeing and healing it can actually be. Thanks so much for sharing and I can't wait to read Savi's story.

    tiger-chick-1(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  41. SOOO late to the party, but I just wanted to comment that it’s so good to see BDSM represented as something that can be GOOD for someone who was abused. The stupid 50 series has presented BDSM as something BAD that happens to you because of abuse. So thank you for countering that with a positive message!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Basia! I think that's the main reason I don't plan to read Fifty Shades. Of course, this book was in my head long before Fifty was a blip on the charts. I always knew that I would show the BDSM community in a positive light, because the people I have met who are in the lifestyle are some of the most supportive, positive, helpful people I've ever known. I don't like that BDSM is vilified there, although there are horror stories in that community, just like any others. I guess she chose to focus on those.

      Delete
  42. p.s. Not looking to enter the competition - just wanted to thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Thank you Kallypso for presenting the true picture of BDSM and the research you put into it. ITA with you that BDSM can be healing when in the hands of a genuine, caring Dom/Domme. And those relationships take time to establish, they don't develop overnight. I look forward to reading NOBODY'S PERFECT.

    FetLife is a powerhouse of information. I have been active there for a bit now. There are groups for any interest or activity and it's not all about sex either - LOL!!!

    cindersmaria AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FetLife is great, although I mostly use it for research (great and informative forums!) and to find people to ask questions of.

      Thanks so much!

      Kally

      Delete
  44. Thanks for a wonderful post. As a victim of sexual violence, I understand how BDSM can be used as a trigger or a healing act, depending on who you place your trust in. What a great article and I am totally putting Nobody's Perfect on my TBR list. :)

    Erzabet

    erzabetwrites (at) gmail dot com

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    Replies
    1. Erzabet, hugs on your traumatic past. There's just so much abuse and violence. A number of my characters in this series are dealing with various forms, including the heroine in the next book (Cassie in Nobody's Dream).

      I encourage you to read the series in order so that it will make sense. The introduction, Masters at Arms (which is free), is a must. But Nobody's Angel #2 will be necessary to understand the subplot with Marc and Angelina in Nobody's Perfect. You would also benefit from reading Nobody's Hero (book 3), where Damian and Savi first come together again after eight years apart. Scenes in that book show Savi that it is possible for her to begin to trust Damian. And the Epilogue in that book has the first scene in chapter one of Nobody's Perfect, as well, only in Hero it's told from Damian's perspective and in Perfect from Savi's.

      I don't write standalone novels. One reader described my series as one long book, told in installments. I like cliffhangers, story lines (including the romance) that continue from book to book, and this group of people are a BDSM Community and like family to each other. Luckily, I don't charge more than $3.99 for a book!

      Kally

      Delete
  45. My husband laughs at me cause he says I sit around the house and read mommy porn all day but what he doesn't realize is that it helps me to see a different way of life. I enjoy feeling like I'm transported to another world seeing various characters and how they deal with their problems. Yes I do enjoy the more risky topics at times, but I feel that this book will probably be the best one yet. A character that's probably going to have her life changed forever from the sickness from which she came. I can not wait!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ugh. I hate the mommy porn term, although I know it's used more with Fifty Shades than my type of books.

      I like reading (and writing!) about characters going through tough emotional times and having to deal with real problems in life. And I like writing Romance because I know (and my readers know) that there WILL be a happy ending. In mine, that might not mean all the problems have been worked out, but at least they'll be committed to working on them together.

      Of course, I have a number of male fans/readers, too, especially among the military. :)

      Kally

      Delete
  46. I have heard your series is awesome!! I have bought your first book and am very excited to read it! Now hearing about "Nobody's Perfect" I'm thinking your books are gonna get bumped up on my TBR pile!!LOL

    lennifer@telus.net

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    Replies
    1. Jen, if you bought the first one, then you don't have the latest version. A reader of mine who served in the Marines 22 years went over it and helped tweak some things to make it even better. You might want to delete the old one and download the new. (It's at Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, and All Romance eBooks.)

      Thanks!

      Kally

      Delete
  47. I have a disease where my nerves interpret every input as pain so I am intrigued to read about Sivi who cannot feel pain. Can't wait to read the book.
    Jenniferredwing@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Wow, Jennifer! I can't imagine. There is an interesting scene in the book where Adam is explaining to Savi how the brain processes pain. Not sure it will help, but it was interesting when I read it described that way in one of my resources.

      All the best.

      Kally

      Delete
  48. Kally, great post. I experienced MST and have found that BDSM can help in some areas with the right person. Thanks for the chance to win.
    Patricia
    panthers.ravens@yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ALWAYS with the right person! It's encouraging to hear from so many readers who have found this to be true in their lives.

      Hugs,

      Kally

      Delete
  49. Kelly, thanks for another great post. Your books just keep getting better and better. I'm sorry I wasn't able to make the dinner in Denver. I'd love some swag!
    Lisaguertin at yahoo dot com
    Lisa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Contact Leagh, my PA, at assistant@kallypsomasters.com and ask her to put you on the list for the mailing this fall. I need to get through one more convention, then we'll mail out some of what's left. If you want extras to hand out to family, bookstores, book clubs, etc., then let her know and she can put you on the Kallypso's Street Brats street team.

      I'll definitely be back in Colorado next year. Loved it!

      Kally

      Delete
  50. I know this is late but I just want to say that I love the post. I can't wait to read Damian and Savi's story.
    suz2(at)cox(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  51. Great excerpt, thank you!

    pennykathleen28(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  52. Great, great post, I hope it hopes that need it and may make some of those that need to give voice to what happened to them finally come out. I look forward to it, I know it will be emotional and I am ready for it!

    Eva
    evitap67(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  53. Great info in that one! I cant wait to read the story! I as well as MANY have had to deal with issues that are some what similar. Although I am one of the "lucky" ones I guess some would say since I dont remember most of the things that happened to me. so I understand the need for pain to just FEEL!

    Brandy
    lovinmybooks@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brandy, much of mine happened when I was too young, too. My older sisters filled me in on some and then I will get little flashbacks that just tell me where I am and what position I'm in, but nothing more. It's disconcerting and I'll admit that, while writing this book I often just tamped the memories back down when I felt they wanted to surface. I really don't want to know.

      Hugs to you for being a survivor.

      Kally

      Delete
  54. Leagh - Kallypso's AssistantJuly 24, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Using random.org I have chosen a winner for the Kallypso Masters prize pack.

    Congratulations to...

    Suzanne
    suzyrph@charter.net

    I have emailed you so please look for that. If you did not recieve an email please email me at assistant @ kallypsomasters . com (no spaces)

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congrats, Suzanne! Thanks, everyone, for the comments!

      Kally

      Delete
  55. Dear Kallypso,

    I'm very sorry to hear about the awful things that were done to you, and I have huge respect for your ability to face them so head-on! I'd also like to say that the potential for BDSM to be a factor in personal healing goes beyond the heterosexual male-dominant female-submissive dynamic in which it is the submissive female who has a history of abuse. I'm an active member of my local BDSM community, and I've met more people than I like to think about who have histories of sexual trauma and who have found that BDSM can be part of the healing process in many different ways. Often this involves reenacting (either as the perpetrator or as a version of their earlier selves) the original trauma. Some people doing this in the context of a dominant/submissive relationship, in which a submissive partner cedes authority to the dominant partner to making decisions for both parties (within agreed-upon limits) understanding that the dominant, the submissive or both may be processing trauma. For others it happens in the context of a top/bottom encounter (in which neither partner cedes authority to the other - but one partner will typically be delivering sensation and the other receiving), or with multiple people in either/each role. The partners in question may have a romantic relationship or relationship cluster or they may be trusted friends or chosen family. Last, but not least, the people involved can have any gender identity or orientation. BDSM is an incredibly versatile constellation of practices, and there's plenty of room for it to play all kinds of different roles in people's lives, relationships, and healing.

    All that said, a quote that encapsulates something that I've heard from every person with whom I've talked about this topic is that, "BDSM is therapeutic, but it isn't therapy." If someone is dealing with this kind of trauma, a certain minimal level of processing often, if not always, needs to happen before BDSM can be a tool for healing instead of for self-destruction. I strongly encourage anyone who is interested in using BDSM this way to find themselves a Kink-Aware therapist (for an excellent listing of Kink-Aware Professionals of all varieties see the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom's list at https://ncsfreedom.org/resources/kink-aware-professionals-directory/kap-directory-homepage.html ).

    All my best,
    A

    ReplyDelete
  56. I was reading the little bit you have posted here for your story Nobodys perfect and I too have a lot of triggers but I was so intrigued to see if he can heal her. I dont like to read any kind of sharing so I hope this story is not about that.

    ReplyDelete