Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Winners of the BDSM Unleashed Blog Hop!

Thank you all so much for taking part in our blog hop! We had a blast and we hope you did too. Here are our winners:

FIRST PLACE: pypercharmed AT yahoo.com
SECOND PLACE: modularmates AT comcast.net
THIRD PLACE: lfacchini AT tampabay.rr.com

If you haven't been contacted, you will be shortly.

We'd love to hear what you thought of the hop. Give us your feedback in the comments section below, and again, thanks for visiting!

-- The Playroom Authors

31 Flavors of Kink - Rerelease

by Cari Silverwood

This book is based on the true story of a woman who one day decided to overcome her fear of sex and explore her fantasies. She always knew she was attracted to BDSM but had never had the courage to tell her husband.

There are some things in life you have to try before you know how they will affect you.

After 5 years of awful sex, I was ready. Bondage and spanking had always featured in my fantasies, and one day, I convinced my husband to try them. That day was a turning point.
Ice cream comes in many flavors and that’s us too -- not vanilla, maybe not Rocky Road either. We can be a combination or make up our own and no one has the right to judge us.

But there will always be one question that tears at my soul: Will my husband, Nick, ever be happy with what I crave?

31 Flavors of Kink is a rerelease of 31 Flavors with some minor editing changes.

This is an early excerpt and also a sad one. There are many 'hot' kinky scenes in this book, but I feel it's the sadness and the struggles that make the story. This is a long excerpt. Feel free to read as much or as little as you like.  :)

It's on Amazon here 

On All Romance Ebooks (ARE) here

Loose Id also has it but their website is still being repaired so you can only get pdf right now. It is here.
I'm not sure but I think it is 25% off there right now as well as at ARE

It’s Thursday night, and Nick and I watch our comedy lineup together in bed. I lay my head on his chest. His little bit of curly black hair chafes the skin on my cheek. I glance up. Firm, manly lips, a jaw that’s pretty square but not perfect. A scar where he fell over as a kid and hit a shovel blade. He often has a simple hairstyle with mostly, like now, buzz-cut hair. If he were Fabio or Jimmy, he’d have long, flowing locks. I grin at that thought. I’ll never be able to run my fingers through his hair, but I don’t care.

I snuggle closer. His body is always a slightly higher temperature than mine. And he smells like love and comfort.

He strokes my hair as we laugh together through the shows. Humor is a big part of our relationship. In fact, I’m convinced he married me because I make him laugh. I remember my dream. Nick—serious and full of authority. I snort out loud. Never gonna happen. Even Mistress Helvetica can’t save us.

The TV goes off at ten p.m. sharp, and I roll over, tucking myself under the heavy white comforter. Before the light goes off, I trace the cherry blossom design. When we bought our little two-story, two-bedroom cottage a year ago, Nick gave me free rein in decorating. In turn, I don’t question his remodeling projects. That’s how our relationship works. We’re each in charge of separate little compartments of our lives. We’re like a business. The cherry blossom quilt, the bonsai tree on the dresser, the elegant bamboo window blinds are my ideas. The hand-built patio outside, right next to where the yard runs down to a little park—that was Nick’s.

I take a deep breath and process my day. Work too damn early, lunch, work, dinner, dishes, TV, bed. This is my life. I’m not complaining. We have our health. We have job security. We have the house with the dog and the white picket fence, minus the two-point-five children. Maybe someday we’ll even have that. We’re just like every other red-blooded American family. Except most couples probably have sex more than once every few months. And most women actually enjoy it.

But we have a strong relationship. Internally I pump my fist in the air to accentuate it. We don’t need sex. We have love, a foundation, commitment.

But no orgasms, my libido is quick to point out.

I sigh and briefly wonder if there’s a section in the phone book for “Dom Trainer.”

A hand snakes under my shirt and around my waist, warm against my bare skin. Nick’s breath sifts across my ear. Every muscle in my body tenses. I know what he wants. His cues are not so subtle.

I am in a constant state of guilt for always denying him. Tonight I will give it the old college try. His hand reaches my breasts and kneads one gently. I feel a tingle between my legs. Yes, that’s good. I can do this.

His fingers tweak my nipple, stimulating me in an uncomfortable way. I stiffen, then squirm a bit, reflexively, before forcing myself to remain still. Nick takes this as excitement. He kisses my neck. I melt into the mattress, looking up at him as he turns me onto my back. My neck, my ears, my collarbone—those are my erogenous zones. I wish he’d bite me. Just the thought of it makes my thighs clench. For some reason, I think the pinch of pain will help somehow. That’s based on instinct, not logic. How could pain make me relax?

He pulls my nipples again, and all I can think of is a cow being milked. I groan, but not in bliss. It’s really more of an irritated growl. But I can’t find it in me to say no. Everything from that point on makes me more and more uncomfortable. I’m ticklish and sensitive. It doesn’t feel like my husband’s loving hands on me but grating sandpaper. I want to crawl out of my skin. I tense at every touch, every kiss. I can’t help it. My body is a ball of anxiety. I will it to calm down. This is my husband, I yell in my head. He won’t hurt me!

No, but you want him to, a voice inside me yells back, smirking.

Ugh! This is so frustrating, I want to cry. And the worst part…it isn’t just me who’s suffering. It’s Nick, the man I love.

He enters me, and I fight to keep my thighs open. My face scrunches in pain. He stops and looks down—so much love and concern in his eyes that I choke on my guilt. I wish I could beat myself with a paddle. I’d deserve it.

“Are you okay?” he asks.

“Uh-huh.” I give a shaky smile.

He ponders me for a moment. “I know what you need. Lube.”

I sigh as he reaches under the bed to get it. Yes, I am that woman—the one who’s as dry as a desert. Cold. Impassionate.

“Better?” he asks, rubbing his erection at my opening after lubing up.

I nod. I hate lying, but I’ve ruined this too many times before. I’m petrified he’ll cheat on me if I don’t put out. So I grit my teeth and take it. The lube doesn’t help the pain much, but it keeps me from tearing. I stare at the ceiling and wait for it to be over. He finishes inside me. I am blank. Numb.

He rolls off me, then goes to clean himself.

I turn on my side and curl up in a ball under the blanket, hiding this horrible wrongness clawing at my soul. He climbs in beside me. If he hugs me, I’ll cry.

“I love you, honey,” he whispers in my ear.

I hate myself.

I fall asleep with the salty taste of tears in my mouth.

* * * *

Bethany Morris is doing far better than I. Bethany is twenty-three and having the time of her life with Mike and Mistress Helvetica. I’m just past thirty, and I’ve never had an orgasm with my husband. Bethany is a size zero with long blonde shiny hair and bright blue eyes. Lucky bitch. I’m a too-curvy plain Jane with unmanageable brown hair I keep cut in a bob and dull brown eyes. Though I used to be cute and perky, now my boobs sag, and I found a few gray hairs in the mirror the other day.

It’s nine at night, and I’m in bed reading Training the Dom. I hate Bethany Morris. I hate her and I admire her. My lips are pursed as I read. Sure, the Kate Moss look-alike can get her man to go Dom. I sigh in frustration and click to a different book. Nick comes upstairs and sits on the bed.

“Whatcha reading?”

I open my mouth to spout a generic answer I know he won’t question—romance—but Bethany Morris screams in my head. Do it!she says. Tell him the truth!

I consider it a moment. What would he say if I told him I’m reading a naughty book? It’s only a book. If he looks at me in disgust, I’ll just say I didn’t know what the book was about when I bought it. Yeah. That’ll work. This will be a test. An experiment. Like when Bethany told Mike her friends were going to a BDSM club to see what he’d say.

I look up. “Um, an erotic novel.”

His brows pop up to his hairline. “Really?”

Figures he’d be interested. He is a guy after all. “Yeah. It’s about…” Does he know what BDSM is? “Bondage and stuff.”

I stop breathing as I study his face. My heartbeat pounds in my ears. My fingers shake as I clutch my Kindle. It all comes down to this.

Hmm.” He lies back against the pillows and grabs the TV remote. “That’s hot.”

I’m reeling. Hot? Did he say hot?

We’ve been married for five years—five years of bad sex. Half the time I end up in tears. Nick comforts me, always, but I can hear his frustration. I can see his disappointment. It isn’t easy for me to talk about. Sex is shameful. I know it’s supposed to be joyous and beautiful and magnificent, but I only ever feel pain, shame, and guilt.

Nick’s frustration has gotten the better of him in the past. We went on a romantic weekend getaway a couple years ago. It was dark in the bedroom of the hotel. He was on top of me. I started to moan, loudly. He covered my mouth and shushed me. I panicked. Tears welled in my eyes and sobs escaped my throat, even though I tried to contain them. Nothing like a crying lump beneath you to kill the mood.

“How long do I have to keep living with your trauma?” he asked.

It was a valid question. One I had no answer to. I was just as tired of it as he was. The rape happened when I was thirteen, yet it felt as though I were living with it every day. The endless therapy sessions had helped me get on with life, but this, my sex life, was still in ruins.

I give my head a shake, leaving those memories behind. He just told me my erotic bondage book was hot. I have to go with this while I can. I scoot closer to him.

“You think it’s hot?” I ask.

He doesn’t take his eyes off the screen when he answers casually, “Yeah.”

“Well, what else do you think is hot? Do you have fantasies?” Maybe if I do one for him, he’ll do one for me. It’s a good strategy, I praise myself.

He shrugs and looks down at me. “I don’t know.”

I fight the urge to roll my eyes. He’s never been the creative type. Why did I expect him to divulge some dark, sensual fantasy?

No, I’m the imaginative one, as evidenced by my habitual kinky dreams.

Still, I urge, “Nothing? There’s absolutely nothing you’ve dreamed of that you’d like me to do?”

He pauses the TV and turns to regard me quizzically. “I’d be happy if regular sex pleased you.”

My gaze drops to my hands that are fumbling with the elastic on my Kindle cover. Regular sex. What does that even mean? But yeah, I’d be happy with that too. I have no answer for him. Again. But I’m desperate to please him. I’d do anything. Maybe if I tried harder.

I sigh. I know these thoughts are useless. I can’t make myself enjoy something so carnal, so intimate, despite it being attached to what should be feelings of safety and love. But I’m not ready to give up. I recall my mother telling me men hit their sexual peak in their early twenties; women do in their early thirties. I turned thirty a few months ago. Maybe there’s hope for me yet.

I put my Kindle down and snuggle in close to Nick. I bury my face in his chest, unable to look him in the eye. Inhaling a breath of courage, I mutter softly, “What if I want more?”

I close my eyes and wait.

He shifts underneath me. “More?”

I nod.

“Sit up so I can see you.”

I shake my head.

He sighs. “What do you want more of? Sex?”

No, I want you to order me around, tie me up, and beat me. That will not go over well. One step at a time, I tell myself. “Well, maybe we could try some bondage?” It comes out as a meek question—strange for me because usually I don’t do meek.

I wait with bated breath for his response. Worst-case scenario—he makes a noise of disgust and calls me a freak. But that’s not Nick. And I am kind of a freak.

“Okay,” he says.

My eyes fly open, and I look up at him. “Okay?”

He shrugs. “Sure, we can try it.”

Inside, I am grinning. Outside, I take his cue and shrug. “Okay.”

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Communicating Your Desire for BDSM

by Cari Silverwood
Over the last year I've spoken to many women who are curious about how to introduce BDSM into their relationship. Most have been in established relationships. When you think about it, if you know you desire this before you enter into a relationship, you are at a great advantage in some ways. You can discuss it with any new partners before you get too deep, or even go the whole hog and explore at a BDSM club through the established community.

I'm going to assume this is man and woman here, in a marriage, but this applies to any relationship really. I'm also mostly assuming you want to be the submissive if you want Dominance and submission (D/s) in your marriage.

Some have suggested it's far easier to find a person/ husband who is a soul mate in other ways first, than to find a BDSM partner first and then make sure they are on your wavelength in other ways. Perhaps this is true. It is hard to judge as we are all so different. I do know that those who still have some interconnection with their husband, some route of communication still open, are definitely in with a chance. I've met many women who have found their partners willing to go farther. But it all depends on you, them, and how you go about it.

If you're looking for a fantasy Dom, or someone who will leap in with great enthusiasm from the get go, you should readjust your sights. Yes, it can happen, but even in marriages where the man already has similar fantasies and desires, it takes time to adjust.

BDSM is such a wide encompassing term -- what if you desire to be the submissive, and your partner has the same desire, to be submissive? But here, at least you are on the same wavelength of recognizing BDSM as something that's not a weird thing to be swept into some dark corner and denied. Who knows, one of you may be willing to try the dominant role?

In many vanilla (non-BDSM) relationships, you don't know what is going through your partner's mind, because sex is often very mechanical and basic. You may suspect they lean toward dominance for example, but how far will they take that? If you want to introduce, bondage, spanking, nipple clamps, Domination and submission, or some other fun activity, how do you do it when you have little clue as to your husband's ideas on it? What if you suspect they will freak at the idea?

Here is where you need to take that craving of yours, and throttle it back to whatever speed suits your partner.

Communication takes many forms. Do what works for you and your partner.
Communication may take weeks, months and even sometimes years. If you want to give this a true college try, dont assume anything. You may take two steps forward and three back at times. Many people's initial response, if you bluntly ask them about BDSM, will be horror, maybe even a little worry or fear. They may say something that seems belittling. Persevere. People make fun of things they don’t understand.  This kneejerk feeling is even more likely if you spring it on them after ten or twenty years of vanilla sex.

If you get an over-the-top scary sort of reaction, go slower. There are those who are utterly opposed to BDSM in any form. Use your judgment. You know them better than I do.

Communicating your needs can including talking, looking at pictures and videos, your body language, and even physically showing them.

Talking -- you don't have to spill your guts at once. Pick your time. You can try before sex, or even during may work best in a spur of the moment sort of way. Approach the idea of being held down perhaps, at first. Suggest minor toys like a pair of cuffs. Tying your partner to the beds headboard seems pretty par for the course nowadays. Spanking, mild spanking, can also seem tame to many.

If you want true Dominance and submission, the idea is often wrapped around your partner controlling you. And one of the things that spoils this feeling is telling them what to do. But at first, you may need to.

Get that into your head. You may hate this. It may not seem to be, at any time, where you want to go. It may seem the very opposite of what all those Doms in stories do. But even men with a lot of dominance in their genes/ jeans (lol) may find it hard to be as dominant in the bedroom as you want them. For decades, men have been told to ask before doing , that no means no, and this is good. Even in true D/s the Dom needs to get permission beforehand. By discussing, showing, communicating, you can show them that they have permission. And that is when you can slowly loosen the reins, and progress toward them taking control in the bedroom. Depending on you and what you are doing, you may need a Safeword. There are some who say you always need one. Look safewords up, please. Also see the bottom of this article for places to go to read about BDSM, and more about safewords.

Back to talking -- try little hints, or in long conversations, text to him, send him ideas. Mix it up and do what seems to work.

Think before you try anything. If they aren’t a reader, handing them books is probably not going to work.

Reading? Some men will read erotic novels and get the idea from that. Not many, but some. Read him your favorite passages even, if you find you both like this. You can also find articles on the net about domination and submission and everything else you might be curious about. Print them out, send him links. Start mild! Research is the key to understanding what the whole BDSM scene is about. Research on your own and email him the more interesting articles-even if they don’t read, they will check their email, research together; make it a joint adventure.

If it gets a negative or dubious reaction, here is my second big rule – back off and let things cool down and reassess where you are. Maybe a different method of communication will work.

Pictures! Some men love pics, most of them probably. Don't send him a vid of someone being flogged! Not first off anyway. Mild bondage or maybe spanking vids might work. Go too far and they will be horrified. Look at them together in bed. Point out what you love. Cuddle up while you do so. This is partly body language and also positive reinforcement.

Next is body language – Squirming, squealing, moaning, carrying on like you love what he does, telling him at the same time, saying, Yes! Yes! never hurt anyone. Tell him with other hot and sexy words too. Men, whether they are Doms or not, cannot read your mind.

Another form of body language that many do not seem to think of, if you want D/s in your relationship: Act submissive. If you are dominant, or equals, outside the bedroom, this is even more important. Show him. Perhaps kneel on the bed. Ask him if you can do something to him. Ask if he wants you to do something, anything. Help him get undressed perhaps. Do what makes you feel submissive. And here is where you are telling in a way, yet it can work well – put his hands in your hair or wriggle your wrists under his hands and ask him to hold you. At first you may have to do this. At first it may seem wrong and the opposite of Him controlling you. But the more you do it, the more he will catch on.

For impact play, if you want say spanking, lie across him and ask for it. You may be surprised. Offer him things to use, like his belt.

This is definitely you instructing him and sure, storybook Doms just do it, but this is not a fantasy. In real life, you need to make compromises.

There are times when you want him to ignore your body language.
To start with, rather than being worried your partner may go too far and hurt you, you may have the opposite problem. For many submissives, it adds to the excitement to be able to wriggle, to struggle, to try to get free.  It may be the first time you show him that you want this sort of no means yes behavior, so don’t be surprised if you have to restate it now and then.

Say that you wrestle on the bed after you've challenged him. Maybe you've said, make me, after he's said, we're having sex now. Another example, in a body language way – he's holding you down and you can feel the weight of his hands on your wrists. You push, wriggle, and he lets you go. Oh my. If you want him in control, you HAVE to tell him, please don't let me loose if I wriggle. Hold me down. Say this before any scene, if possible. During will do for starters though. Small baby steps will get him doing what you want.

After a while, however you communicate, if he’s at all inclined to do this, he will understand what you want. After a while, if he truly loves that dominant role, he will run with it. You won't need to tell him. If he can see you getting turned on by spanking, by him controlling, by restraint, he will start these, not you. Yes, it may have taken you months to get there, but it will be worth it. You may even discover there are things both of you like that you never imagined you would.

Safewordsthese are a special word used to stop all play, immediately.

In public/ club BDSM situations, safewords are absolutely essential. This is so that others can come to your aid if necessary.

In the bedroom, when it's just you and them, negotiate, discuss. It should always be assumed, in any early relationship, that without a safeword, no means no.

In this situation, no is your safeword.

Within an established relationship, when you know each other well, you may still want a special safeword. For some it is a part of the whole way of getting into the headspace of BDSM. It is a way to let yourself have more freedom to react. It is not a magic word, in my opinion. If your partner will ignore you saying no, why in the world do you think he will pay attention to a safeword? It comes down to trust and what works for you, always.

The pros of a safeword?
- You can use a word that would never be used in the bedroom – like penguin or Madagascar. This may grab your Dom’s attention faster than, “no, I said no, are you deaf?”

- If you have a safeword, you can then say no, when you don’t mean it. This is a very common reason for wanting a safeword.

- A lot of BDSM revolves around the imagination, role-playing, being in the right headspace. To some, saying the word no may pull them out of that headspace, where saying for example, yellow, will not. Yellow is often used to just mean slow down or use less force, so it's not a clear-cut safeword but more a slow-down word. Then you can keep playing without stopping.

The cons of a safeword? I don’t think there are any, except that for someone not versed in BDSM, it can be an odd thing to ask them to discuss.

 Research safewords yourself is my advice.

If you feel you need a safeword, negotiate, discuss and find a word that works for both of you and use it; a safe word means nothing if you won’t use it for whatever reason. The worst thing to do is to try to tough it out and possibly get hurt, either mentally or physically. Make sure that what you are doing is discussed in minute detail. In the beginning, everything is new and there will be times that may be too scary or uncomfortable for both of you. If you have to use the safe word, all play stops immediately. Then you should have a discussion of what and why the word had to be used in that particular situation. Again, in order for the safe word to work-it has to be used.

Remember always, people are different, you are different, your marriage is yours only, make this your way of doing it and never let anyone say – this is how you must do it.

Always keep safe, sane and consensual in mind.

If you are truly outgoing, you can also get Dom training from those in the BDSM lifestyle, or go to organized workshops. I think not many couples are willing to go this route as a first or early step, but for some it may seem the easiest way. If getting live instructions is too much to handle, the internet is a wonderful tool…Google it! You will find tons of resources that will give you instructions that will lead you through. If you and your partner don’t understand completely what it is you want to do - Do. Not. Do. It.  As your experience grows, you can always go back and revisit it.
To see my published books go here

A link to a some BDSM sites if you want to do some research

Friday, July 20, 2012

BDSM - Play that has an Impact

One of the things I usually include in my BDSM books is some sort of impact play and everytime I write one of the scene’s I wonder what readers will think when they read it. It’s more than just if they’ll like the scene or not, whether they find it sexy or titillating. I worry, particularly for those not familiar with the lifestyle, whether they’ll understand it. Will it raise questions for them about what’s being used, how it feels, why the submissive likes it? Of course, I try to include enough information to answer those questions but it doesn’t stop me from wondering. So as part of the Unleashed Blog Hop I decided to write about impact play. What it is, what’s used, how it feels when I experience it and anything else I can think of as I go along.

I’m not going to be discussing why people enjoy impact play, that’s an individual thing but I will include one of my heroine’s thoughts on the matter. This small excerpt is from Finding Angel. It’s Angel’s thoughts as she admires the marks left on her after receiving a caning from Daniel.

Angel didn’t really understand the whole pleasure-from-pain scenario. She had stopped trying to figure out why the sting from a cane or bite of a firm hand on her ass aroused her. All Angel knew was that it did, and she was happy to accept that fact as part of her sexual desire and need.

Just so everyone is on the same page, when I talk about Impact play I’m referring to the following; striking a person repeatedly as a source of erotic stimulation or punishment. Impact play is sometimes referred to as an edge activity particularly if the play is performed with the intent of leaving deep tissue bruising. It can involve activities such as flogging, spanking, paddling, and whipping. There are lots of different toys and objects that can be used for impact play so here’s a quick run down of some of the popular ones you might encounter in a BDSM novel.

The Cane: No, I’m not talking about grandpa’s walking stick that’s solid and thick with a rubber stopper on the end. BDSM canes are long, thin, smooth, flexible tools often made of bamboo. Canes make a lovely whooshing sound when whipped forcefully through the air, although personally, I wouldn’t want to be at the end of that impact. You may hear the impact described as a bite or sting. For me, they are both perfect descriptions of how they feel. The cane stings like a…well, you get the idea. For me the threat of being caned will illicit perfect behavior. It’s not my favorite activity when it comes to impact play.  Depending on the severity of the strike a cane can leave long thin red lines on flesh, welting (which is sometimes slow to rise) and in some instances it can break the skin. The cane is usually used on the ass only.
The Flogger: These come in many varieties and are sometimes also referred to as whips. They have a solid handle with multiple tails (strands) extending from the handle. They can be made of leather, rubber, rope or sometimes hair. There can be as few as a couple of tails up to as many as fifty and the tails varying in length, so you can get short, medium and long tail floggers. The impact is often described as a thud, which I agree is a pretty accurate description. For me it sometimes feels like a hard push against the body on initial impact and there is also often a slight stinging sensation as the tips of the tails flick against the skin. It reddens the skins, sometimes leaves light, bruise like marks. Floggers are usually used on the thighs, ass and genitals. I personally love the flogger. It may surprise some readers to know I find the flogger has a relaxing effect when used on my shoulder blades. It’s almost like a deep tissue massage for me…yes I’m a little odd.
The Paddle: These are flat objects made of wood, leather, or similar materials. Paddles look a bit like a table tennis bat, even though they are not always round in shape. The flat surface reddens the skin and can leave a bruise. For me the impact is like a hard, firm smack and as the skin reddens and heats it can feel a bit like hot, prickly sunburn. Paddling is usually done on the buttocks and/or inner-thighs.
The Crop: Yep, picture a horse riding crop and you know what it looks like. The shaft of the crop has cane-like qualities both with the sensation and effect on the skin. Sting…ouch…yes Sir, I promise to behave. Crops usually have a little loop of leather at the end which I must say is the only part I really like. Gentle quick slaps of that on your clit or nipples is sooo nice…but I digress. Like the cane it is mainly used on the ass. As well as used to administer punishment crops are also used in pony play activities.

The Single Tail Whip: Come on cowboy, crack that whip (preferably not on my ass because it can cut the skin. I choose not to engage in play with this kind of whip. These whips are usually between 3 and 6 feet in length, they are made from leather with a string-like material 'cracker' at the tip. I’ve been whipped once (and I mean one strike). It hurt, left a gash on my butt check and I used my safe word, jumped around holding my bottom and called the Dom lots of nasty names. 

There are lots of other impact toys like the Tawse, Straps, Slappers, belts, beaters and the list goes on if you include the household items that often get used. You can imagine the sorts of things, hairbrushes, wooden spoons etc.   

For me impact play is guaranteed to send me into subspace, particularly if it involves the flogger, but there are safety issues that need to be addressed when someone decides to engage in impact activities. For me, I only ever play with an experienced Dom who knows and respects my limits and who I have absolute trust in. After all I am literally putting my body into his hands. Things can go wrong and injuries can occur so be careful.

I’ve included a link below to a blog about safe impact play. Please click on it and read it. It’s written by an experienced Dom who’s been in the lifestyle for many years. I have his permission to direct readers to the blog and I encourage everyone to take a look and become aware of the risks involved and how to manage them. 

Don't forget to enter our majotr prize draw by filling in the form below. Good Luck to you all.

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.


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?


"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.



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.


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).


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:

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