Friday, September 30, 2011

Give me What I NEED

Without giving too much away, I have to say, my new book, The Trip, and readers reaction to it, has gotten me thinking about this a lot. Relationships, commitment, love, and how both are supposed to satisfy the needs of everyone involved (see how I evaded the 2 people restriction? <g>). If you're in a relationship and your needs aren't being met, you shouldn't be in it, right?

But what are your needs?

For me, I know I enjoy breakfast in bed once in awhile. Don't get that often enough. I like surprise gifts. It's been too long since the last one. And then there's going out to movies and fancy restaurants and . . .

Wants. Those are things I want.

What I need takes more thought. I need to feel important. Like there's no one else who could be who I am. Like I have something to offer. I need to be touched, spoken to, listened to. I need the silence filled, I need quiet moments. I need to smile and laugh. I need passion.

These things can't be bought. They all take effort. But without them, I'm not truly happy.

But what about sex? Do I need sex or just want it?

Well, it's easy to dismiss sex as something all of us wants once in awhile, but we don't really need. I'd argue that the level of intimacy that can be reached during sex is essential. Studies say people who have satisfying sex lives are healthier.

Good reason to get it on, right?

Only, things aren't as simple as tab A into slot B for everyone. So simple 'vanilla' sex isn't satisfying. They need something extra to get to a place where they feel fulfilled. Without the extra, having sex can be a chore. Because the act is all give and no take for at least one of the bodies in the bed. And that's all they are. Bodies without any connection.

Because if there was a connection, someone would realize something wasn't working, no?

The problem is, realizing this takes more effort than is present in most relationships. Yes, I'm saying most. Whether it's lack of time, or lack of interest, the average relationship eventually loses 'that loving feeling'. At least one person isn't getting their needs met and eventually they get fed up.

When those needs involve things that fall under the scope of BDSM, things can get complicated. How do you explain to your significant other that you NEED to be tied up to enjoy sex? Or that you NEED to have control taken away? Or that you NEED a bit of pain to feel pleasure?

I don't claim to have all the answers, but I am getting what I need. Maybe not exactly the way I want, or as often as I want—notice, want—but I am getting enough to know that I'm worth the effort. Asking for it was hard. I don't want to have to ask for pain and rough sex. I want the man in my life to just know what I need.

But he needs me to tell him.

And if you want to take a look at The Trip check out my book page: for all my links and excerpts.

Quick question before I go. Do you know what your needs are? Does anyone else?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Writing what you know.

Now that I no longer make a secret of the fact that I am an active participant in the BDSM lifestyle, I am frequently asked about things I've written. "Did you do THAT?"

Sometimes the answer is no. Sometimes the answer is yes. Sometimes the answer is not exactly. LOL

Have some people I know, or things that I've seen, made their way into my books? Absolutely. (Or they will if they haven't yet.) But I will never, ever write something that would identify someone. I will always change things around so that the original event/people are not identifiable. I've also had a lot of people ask in a very hopeful way if they (or something they've done) will make it into one of my books.

As to what I personally have experienced... LOL I guess I'll have to just leave you guessing, won't I?

That said, I would like to say why I'm a participant in the lifestyle. First of all, let me tell you what I'm not. (And nothing against people who are these things, but it helps narrow things down.) I'm not swinger or into random sex. I love my husband very much, and he loves me, and we are committed to each other. We don't go hooking up or sleeping around. And I know a lot of people in the lifestyle who are also into monogamous relationships, so that's not surprising if you're at all familiar with the lifestyle. I don't play with people I've just met. In fact, I only play with two people: my husband, and another friend of ours (who is also in a committed marriage) who I both top and bottom to.

So that should narrow things down a lot, shouldn't it? I know a lot of people who are not familiar with the lifestyle view people into BDSM as either sex-crazed swingers who will fuck anything that moves, or people who are deviants and love inflicting pain on others.

Well, okay, I do love inflicting pain, but only on one particular person. LOL And honestly? I never saw myself as a sadist when I first started this, because my husband is definitely NOT a masochist. But as our horizons broadened a little, and I started learning how to be a top, I realized it's fun to be able to give someone what they want in the way of sensation play. It's not all about pain. It's also not all about sex. Most if it isn't about sex, as a matter of fact, although the play certainly can be sexy.

You see, I'm what's called a switch. I will top and bottom. But I consider myself "Dominant" in all other areas of my life. I will not submit to some random dom who walks up to me at a party thinking he can play with me. (And if someone was to try it, they'd find themselves on the wrong end of Hubby and Sir.) I only bottom to Hubby and Sir. And since Hubby isn't a sadist either, when it comes to more intense play, he tends to step aside and have fun watching me with Sir. When I'm in Top mode, again, Hubby participates in the play levels he's into, and when he's ready to step aside and enjoy the show, he turns me loose on Sir, who then turns into the pup.

And away we go.

Confused yet? LOL

I'm also not a masochist. Which will come as a shocker to anyone who's ever witnessed me bottom at a party before. My Sir, in His Top mode, is a VERY heavy sadist. I don't enjoy the pain. But I will also rarely code until He's pushed me past what I know I can physically handle.

So why do I take the pain?

Honestly? Because it helps me. See, for those of you who don't know, I have fibromyalgia. And we've discovered that the endorphin rush I get from subspace from a very heavy play session is better than any pain reliever I've ever found. I enjoy having bruises that last for days. I smile when I sit down and my ass is still sore the next day. Because it means my liver gets at least a couple days off from me taking OTC painkillers for my pain.

I thought I was just weird until I found out a lot of people with fibro or other chronic pain issues also enjoy impact play and receive the same pain relief benefits from it. Think of a really heavy massage that almost (or does) hurt when you get it. Doesn't it feel really good later? Same basic principle. Or think about the pain after a really good workout. You ache, but it's a good kind of ache. (Unless you've hurt yourself in a bad way!)

Another reason I enjoy bottoming is that I enjoy the freedom of letting go for a while, handing myself over to someone else who can literally take the world away for a few hours. I can simply be and focus only on what I'm told to focus on. It's a fantastic mental reset.

As a top, it's not so much that I enjoy inflicting pain, it's that I enjoy taking control and knowing that I'm giving the same kind of sensations to someone else that I'm able to enjoy. The same release of control to another. The same freedom from submission.

I know there are some people who can never understand that. I know I used to be one of them. A few years ago, had you told me I'd be doing this, I would have told you to go fuck yourself, because you were crazy.

Now, I know better. *smile*

When you utterly trust someone so much that you know you can literally lay your health and safety in their hands, it's beyond liberating. Oh, at any time I can stop the process or change it to suit me. Sometimes I have to if my body doesn't want to cooperate on any given play date. Sometimes I can just go with the flow. It's also a very...enriching experience to know that someone has the same kind of trust and faith in you, that they will bottom to you and let you guide them through a play session.

It's not just about kink. It's also not just about sex. It's about trust and faith and communication. And I feel sorry for people who never get to experience that kind of connection with another human being. It's also about having fun, and as Hubby, Sir and I have all agreed, the day it stops being fun first and foremost is the day we stop playing. We are friends above all else, in the lifestyle and outside it. The BDSM play is just a really fun bonus.

(Tymber Dalton is a bestselling author and active in the BDSM lifestyle. Her website is

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Interviews with the Doms-From Iron Dominance

Pacing back and forth across the bare office, I checked my watch for the umpteenth time, then smoothed the skirt of my jet black suit, cursing Cari softly under my breath. Why oh why had I agreed to go first? And why here? Who decorated this damn place?

This 'damn place' is our new office above The Playroom. With dark wood floors glossy enough for upskirting, two real sturdy looking, antique chairs that looked like they should be in the dungeon downstairs, and a desk from some 16th century shipping clerk's office—yeah, we had the classy thing down pat. But the huge room echoed every click of my fuck-me-heels, making me feel very small and out of place. Suits aren't me. Interviews aren't me. The heels . . . okay, I loved the heels. Black with red flames, high enough for a suicide dive.

Admiring the shoes killed another thirty seconds. Then I checked my watch again. Did Cari say 11:00 EST or Central? Am I early or late?

The door burst open, slamming back into the wall hard enough to put a hole in our new paintwork. The chandelier above tinkled. Two grey-uniformed men strode in and headed straight for me. The bronze and steel sub-rifles slung over their shoulders were unfamiliar and sprouted way too many shiny metal add-ons.

"Hey, guys! This room's reserved for --"

They grabbed my wrists, hauled my arms back, and then clicked on a pair of handcuffs before I could say another word.

A shadow in the hallway and steady tromp of feet told me I had another visitor.

"Quiet," my left-hand guard said, growling near my ear. "Dankyo prefers the room secure.”

"Am I allowed to sit?"

The room didn't exactly shake, but my bones seemed to and the metal circles of the cuffs made me all too aware of my helplessness... which I didn't like one bit. I bent my knees and then kicked back so my heel skinned the guards shin through his pants.

"Let me go, asshole. You have no idea the people I've got in here." I raked my brain for who I did have. Shit. All the good ones had the night off.

Someone took over the doorway. A big man.

Notgoodnotgoodnotgood. I straightened and my eyes widened into full I’m-scared-spitless mode. I so did not sign up for this!

His broad form drew me like a bee to honey--every goddamn lickable inch. Well-dressed, well-groomed, he looked like a deadly gentleman. Under his black jacket shoulders hulked--just wide enough for me to have to stretch my arms around. The hint of muscle under his dark brown shirt gave me the urge to undo every tiny button and reveal...mmmm a whole lot of tasty trouble.


But my fingers twitched as I imagined the feel of his ruler-straight brush-top of shaven hair.

Is this Theo? He seems...different?

"Don't." He tugged off a pair of black gloves as he approached.

I swallowed and managed to get my tongue working. "Don't what?"

"Don't make threats. I dislike them." His smile was as dry as the chaff on a field. I felt my courage blowing away. "However, I do like women in handcuffs."

"Cari..." Need a drink. Or several. And air would be nice too. "She arranged an interview. Would be easier if I could get comfortable."

"Very well. Sit."

I wiggled away from the guard and tipped sideways into the nearest chair. My skirt made itself into a belt and I did my best to tug it down with my hands bound. The leather upholstery stuck to my skin.

"" Time for questions. I had some, didn't I? "Theo. Where are you from?"

His dark eyes assessed me, strayed to my skirt and where my bare thighs showed. "Pull down the skirt for her Matthews, please."

"Yes, sir!"

The left-hand guard, a dark-haired brute, leaned down and used both hands to pull at the skirt. "Lift your bottom, darling. It's caught."

"I'm from a small Asian country that was long ago over-run by the GAM--the Greater Asian Monarchy. They used to call it Yazakistan."

"Miss," the guard said, with a smirk. "Your bottom?"

"My bottom? What the hell do you want to do..." It occurred to me that Theo had said something. About my skirt. My cheeks went red as road flares. I arched my hips to lift my butt and didn't look at the guard as he fixed my skirt. "And Mr. Theo, would you like to tell us a little bit about how you met Claire?"

"You are mistaken. It's Dankyo. The colonel has prior arrangements. If you would prefer to terminate the interview?"

My lips parted a little--okay, my mouth hung open. And I managed some kind of sound...nothing close to anything coherent.

As if my reply was irrelevant, he put his large hand on the other antique chair, pulled it over as if it was made of feathers then sat--it was like watching a car being crushed into one of those cubes--the muscle control just in that simple movement was…

Very distracting. Mind on the job, Bianca.

He leaned forward, hands on his thighs. "Answer me, please."

Right. Answer. I blinked. What's the question?

Took me a second, but I remembered. Terminate the interview? Are you kidding me?

I managed to keep most of the squeak out of my tone. "No. I don't want to terminate it." My lips twitched. Being a smart-ass should make up for embarrassing myself. Kinda my MO. I gave him a swift once over. "You'll do." Twisting so I could slouch a bit, I cleared my throat. "So how long have you been with Theo?"

The moment took on that long slow empty feel, like when you've said something wrong. His eyes narrowed slightly and I chewed my inner cheek. Then dropped my gaze to my shoes. Really love these shoes. Really hating Cari right now.

"I never 'do,' Miss Bianca. And I am not 'with' the colonel. I am his head of security and I perform my duties to the very best of my abilities. Though Theo Kevonis may allow me the pleasure of friendship, I never forget my place and neither should you. I have been in his employ since before the war. Nine years. I owe him my life, my livelihood and I will never allow anyone to get within a mile of him if they have any intention of disrespecting...or hurting him. Clear?"

My eyes stung a little. First I'd humiliated myself, then I'd proceeded to piss off a guy I had a bit of a crush on. Time to end the interview and crawl home to bed.

"Crystal." I licked my lips. "So should I assume we'll be seeing more of you in the future?"

"Here? I doubt it. With the unrest at the border, another war is likely. I have more important things to do than being interviewed at a club. However" -- he stood and shucked his coat off his shoulders, carefully pulled his arms from the sleeves and placed it over the chair -- "I believe you told Cari you'd like a spanking?"

"I...." The chair under my butt warmed up and my thong panties dampened. I squirmed. "Um...."

"Perhaps Matthews might oblige and put you over my knee." He sat again. The leather creaked. For the first time I saw a mischievous gleam in his eye and the slightest curve in his mouth.

*For more of Danyko and Iron Dominance Click here:

*Note from interviewer, Bianca Sommerland- Please excuse me if I'm out of commission for awhile. Ow!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Questions, anyone?

So what have you always wanted to know about the BDSM lifestyle, but were too afraid (or embarrassed) to ask? Toss them out there to us in the comments. We promise we don't bite...unless you ask very  nicely. *weg!*

I'll pick a random winner Monday (9/19) from all the questions left to receive a couple of signed bookplates. :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Why Not a Ménage?

Okay, for those of you who don't know me, I write ménage. Not because group sex is popular or because I fantasise about being double tagged (not saying I don't, but that's beside the point <g>) but because I like giving my characters everything and anything they want. Then I find ways to make them miserable.

Can I write a story without a ménage? Absolutely. I have a couple in the works, but I find sticking with a simple relationship involving just two people more challenging than doing one with three or more. Why? Well, because I spend a lot of time developing my secondary characters. Making them likeable. And if they're likeable, why not include them in the action?

In the real world there are plenty of reasons to avoid open relationships, or even committed relationships with more than one partner. Most of us were raised to view monogamy as ideal. The concept of being the one and only is so romantic. But at the same time, I think many of us have been in a situation where we…well, you know, the whole having cake and wanting to eat it too thing. Don't you find that saying funny? What else are you supposed to do with cake? Put it on a shelf and let it get all stale?

So to me, the question isn't why should I make a story a ménage. The question is 'Why not?'. Is the hero possessive? Can the heroine deal with him being like that? Has she ever loved before? Has he? Can they satisfy each other's needs?

See, when I'm writing a ménage, the hero might be possessive, but he's more concerned with making sure his woman is completely satisfied—both in and out of bed—than with keeping her all to himself. In Rosemary Entwined, this concept was easy because Rosemary actually needs all the men to survive. In Deadly Captive, the ménage they participate in willingly is a bit more complicated—but I won't spoil it for you. The point is, both these stories are fantasy, so blurring the lines of what's acceptable is pretty easy.

But what about in a contemporary story? Still fiction, but these people are stuck in the real world. What reasons could they possibly have to get involved in a polyamourus relationship? What's wrong with them?
To my mind, absolutely nothing. This might not be a popular opinion, but I think some people aren't wired to be monogamous. Actually, many would say most men aren't. Other's would point out women's hormones drive them to 'mate' with the strongest and settle down with gentle, caring providers. That doesn't sound monogamous to me.

All that aside, sex obviously isn't all about having babies. Whips and chains don't increase fertility. Getting in bed with another woman won't make me a better mother. But if that's what gets me off, it's all good, right?
Now, what if I couldn't enjoy sex unless I had more than one partner? Would that be any different? 

Obviously, some people will argue it is, but me, I figure as long as it's legal…no, scratch that. Sex in public isn't legal. Polygamy isn't legal. Having sex with someone you're not married to is even worse! It's a sin!

All right, how's this. So long as the partners are consenting adults—we're not getting into non-con here, I'll do that in another post ;) –and aren't hurting anyone (any more than they want to be hurt), it's all good.
But still, all that doesn't answer my original question. Why not a ménage? Lack of options? Social norm? If you're writing erotic romance, and there's an attraction between more than a pair of characters, why deny them?

Well, I guess it depends on the author. And on the characters. If you're aiming for a Happily Ever After, then by the end of the story, the hero and heroine should both be feeling—in the words of Jerry Maguire— 'You complete me.'

If not, well, maybe there's someone missing.

For all you lovely readers, if you want more of me, just go here:

Monday, September 12, 2011

BDSM 101: Puppy/pony/kitten play

One of the things I see a lot of in the BDSM world is puppy/pony play. (This isn't limited strictly to puppies and ponies, because I know people who are also cats/kittens, wolves, dragons, or some mythical creature they dreamed up.)

Let's get this right out of the way up front: "animal play" in the BDSM world does NOT involve real animals. It is PEOPLE getting geared up (from bare minimum costumes to full-on furry) and acting like an animal. Also, please don't comment saying, "Well, that's not how I do it!" because I'm not trying to define everyone involved in these activities, just give those who know nothing about the subject a basic primer.

I am involved in puppy play both as a Top and a bottom. (I started out as a Top and was eased into it as a bottom by my friend who I switch with.) He is also a pony, and while I haven't done a lot of that yet, it's something I'm also interested in.

People involved in puppy play range in scale from just goofing around and having a little fun, all the way to the far end of the spectrum of gay leather pups who are into strict disciplinarian scenes, and everything in between. Pony players tend to be a little more involved in it simply because the gear tends to be more complex. Sometimes there is a sexual element to the play, sometimes not. It all depends on the players and their relationships.

Two years ago at a fetish convention, I spent a couple of hours walking the vendor floor with my friend, who was in full pup gear, leading him around on a leash. He wore a backpack containing my purse and other things, and when I wanted to shop, I'd give him a hand command and he'd drop to his knees so I could get to the backpack. I'd stand on his leash, just as I would a real dog (I used to raise and train service dog puppies), and give him praise or leash corrections depending on his behavior. He was, for the most part, treated exactly like a dog.

In his case, he enjoys many aspects of puppy play, but he wanted a "full immersion" experience. The process of being de-humanized, treated as a dog, literally (not mistreated, mind you), and there to do nothing but serve me as a loyal "service dog." In other circumstances, he also enjoys it when impact play and bondage/restraint are mixed in with the puppy play, both as a top and a bottom.

I've seen people involved in puppy play who do nothing but the fluffy end of play, as I call it, and literally just chase toys around and get pats on the head and belly rubs, with no discipline or humiliation at all involved in the play.

Now, don't confuse pet players with furries. While some people are both, if you assume someone who is a furry is also into BDSM, they might likely correct you. A furry is someone who usually enjoys dressing up in a full-body costume of their choice of character, similar to the ones sports mascots wear. Some pet players have costumes that elaborate, but not all do.

Here are a few links you can check out about pet play.

Woof! *puppywiggles*

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Of Doms and Dommes

We’re all writers in this group and I’m sure we all have our different ways of portraying our men and women in our stories yet also I’m sure we’d all have answered the following question in a similar way. The question I was asked (paraphrased) was this -- are Doms in erotic romance stories formulaic or should they be suited to fit the different individuals you've created?

Now to me this is a no-brainer. People are different and in stories we should strive to make our characters be as real as possible within the setting we have created, so how could each Dom/me be anything but different? In a way this seemed to be postulating that Doms aren’t real. Yet Dominance and submission underlies many of the sexual games men and women play.

When I say ‘games’ I use the term loosely. BDSM is such a wide-ranging concept and to some the D/s thing becomes a complete 24/7 way of life, thus overlying everything that they do. This doesn’t mean it’s not fun at times of course but game seems a little wrong used there. Is it a game when the BDSM only happens in the bedroom? I suppose that depends on you. I think if you go as far as applying the Dom and sub terminology you’re going a bit deeper into the psyche than a game. But words are only words and I’m sure some will say it’s ALL a game. Others will say the opposite. In the end we’re humans and way too slippery and complex to pin down with itsy bitsy words. Though that pinning down and slippery part sounds enticing.

Moving on to writing, one of us authors suggested we introduce some of the Dom/mes from our stories.

From the decelerating whine of gyrocopter blades, Theo Kevonis has just landed on the roof. We don’t have a lot of furniture in the Playroom yet so let’s hope it suits him. He’s a little too rich to really… Oops, footsteps on the spiral stairs. I drum my fingers on my knee as I wait, sitting here on the way-too-hard leather couch. Why leather? Who ordered this uncomfy thing? I’ll bet it’s because fluids wipe off easily.

Sedate, seemingly unflustered by our modern decor, Theo Kevonis and his consort, Claire, take the last few steps down the carpeted stairs. His winter gray frock coat and white cravat are immaculate, and Claire…I blink as I take in her outfit, and the leash Theo holds that leads to her gleaming black collar.

A black satin catsuit covers her down to her elbows and her ankles yet reveals her breasts and pubic mound and as she turns to kneel by Theo’s side, the bare cheeks of her bottom show where the suit is cut away there also. A heavy silver chain runs down between her legs and more chains splay out across her breasts. The little black cat mask is adorable. No doubt the sparkly bits on the ears are real diamonds. I can’t help getting a little hot myself as I imagine how those chains must feel.

As they come closer, my stomach churns like it’s been invaded by a school of worms. To my relief a noise distracts Theo and he stops before he reaches the couch. Phew. The gods have smiled. I get up and slink over to the wall and hide behind a row of fake palm trees.
James, our current doorman is arguing with someone. Sten. He’s arrived early. But where is Kaysana?

Despite all the ruckus, most of the noise is from James. Uh-huh. The revolving shotgun is the problem. Sten’s shoulders rise and fall as if he’s sighed bigtime. Then he reaches up and draws the shotgun, places it on the counter.

“Sorry, sir, you’ll have to give up the rest of your arsenal too before I can allow you in.” James goes as if to fold his arms, then stops and lets them fall to his sides, hands curling, uncurling. Nervous? I would be too.

Sten slowly unbuckles and takes off his sword belt, his dagger…a small stiletto from an ankle sheath. By the time he’s done removing the weaponry James has thawed.

“Wow, and this one? This looks like gold inlay.”

“Yep. Got it on a job a few months ago. The sultan liked my work.” Sten points out some detail on the curved dagger.

I shake my head, lean back against the wall. Have to give James a lecture later. Still, looking good, maybe I won’t have to talk to any Doms after all.

“Evening.” A hand parts the screen of palms. “Lost something?”

Darnit. Sprung. I swallow and stare back at the man. Thick black hair shaven ruler straight across the top, a deep brown shirt, black trousers and a pair of black shoes polished so shiny you could use them for a mirror.

Oh, hell. Dankyo. What is he doing here? “Were you invited?” My voice has a little squeak in it that wasn’t planned.

“No, were you? I think you need to be questioned.” His big hand closes over my wrist.

“What?” Frantically I shake my head. “I’m…frick, I’m an owner! You can’t question me…” The palm tree looks solid so I take hold of the trunk and hang on. “Hey, besides, aren’t you a product of my imagination? So it won’t matter if I do this.” Then I kick him in the shins, real hard, and…

Damn, he looks cross.

Recording of conversation ends here. If anyone sees Cari, please let the front desk know. Theo is waiting.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Excerpt: BDSM - What NOT to write!

(The following is an excerpt from my book, "Whip Me, Beat Me, Make Me Write Hot Sex" available in e-book format from Captiva Press, Amazon, B&N, and elsewhere. Copyright 2010 Tymber Dalton, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication Prohibited)

If I had a dollar for every BDSM story I’ve read where the author committed some sort of sin that pulled me out of the story, I wouldn’t need to be a writer. For example, using handcuffs in suspension. When I read that scene in the book (I won’t name the offender) I literally was pulled out of “readerspace” and it totally ruined the story for me.

If you doubt what I’m saying, spend some time trolling the erotica discussion forums where readers don’t hesitate to state what they hate in a book. No, you can’t please every reader, and what one might hate, another could absolutely adore.

1. Do. Your. Research.

2. NEVER have your hero/heroine drug someone. EVER. That is predatory (I know I mentioned this before) and NOT something that normally happens.

3. Don’t have your characters get drunk/stoned before playing. In real life, most people play sober. In fact, at many play parties and clubs, it’s a rule you have to agree to if you want to play, you must be sober. It’s a safety issue.

4. Do not have your bound character, especially one who is suspended, left alone. (Unless it’s a bad guy doing it.) Also, most people cannot sleep bound all the time. It’s a health and safety issue (deep vein thrombosis is a real concern, as is tissue damage from blocked blood flow).

5. Try to avoid having your BDSM being used as a basis for “bad” things. That’s a stereotype that kinksters are these weird, crazy people who get off on beating each other. Most of them are normal people you might know in real life.

6. Be logical. Don’t have a person just go through a super-heavy, intense scene, and five minutes later they’re heading in to work like nothing’s wrong. Maybe that happens in real life on occasion, but usually a sub who’s just been through a heavy scene doesn’t want to do anything but wind down and chill out.

7. Ditch the stereotypes. Yes, a Male Dom with a female sub is one of the most common configurations out there. But shake it up. What if the Male Dom is actually only 5’ 6” and a geek in real life? What if he embraces his kinkiness and doesn’t care if anyone knows? Play around with the norms and try to come up with something other than a cookie-cutter answer.

8. While in real life yes, there are people who run “training schools” for subs and slaves, for the most part people figure it out as they go, usually through trial and a lot of error. Avoid the old, “Oh, she signed up for slave school,” theme. That one has been done to death and is becoming a cliché. However, many kinky conventions do offer seminars on various lifestyle topics, from bondage to toys and everything in between.

9. Remember your reader. You might be turned on by having a guy (or more than one) ordering you around in the name of “that’s how we do things,” but remember you’ve got a lot of readers out there—your largest commercial fiction demographic is, at this writing, hetero (or het) women—who will toss the book if they read that. You’d better do a lot of backstory and lead-up to that point to explain why the heroine would tolerate that kind of treatment and to make it sexy and not stupid.

10. Having a hero toss the heroine over his lap and spank her is not inherently BDSM. It’s spanking. There are plenty of spankers who consider themselves kinky, but not into BDSM. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but don’t label it a BDSM story if you’re only using spanking as another plot device. If you want to write a BDSM story, you need to get the characters into that dynamic.

11. People in BDSM relationships go through the same trials and tribulations as people in vanilla relationships. Sometimes even more so. There’s not this magical “I command, you obey” dynamic all the time in every relationship. There will be times, even in the most high protocol Master/slave relationship, where things change and arrangements are renegotiated. Never forget: people are not robots. Unless, of course, in your speculative fiction they are robots. Then knock yourself out.

12. Shit happens. (Sometimes literally.) Equipment breaks, people get muscle cramps or faint, power goes out, one or both people might not be in the mood to play because of a bad day, or the kids have a cold and can’t go to Grandma’s for the weekend, or whatever. People are not machines. Perfection doesn’t exist. Don’t be afraid to write a little imperfection into your characters, it humanizes them to your readers. Remember, these are real people juggling real lives, jobs, family, non-kinky social obligations, along with their kink.

13. Being a submissive (or Dominant) is only one aspect of their lives, not the sum of their existence. The kink aspect is just one part of their life even if it’s a large part. Many submissives consider their submission a gift to their Dominant. This isn’t ancient Rome, and anything other than consensual “slavery” is illegal. Being a submissive woman does not lower your I.Q. Being a submissive man does not make you a wimpy wuss. I’ve heard it said that it takes more balls to be a submissive man than it does to be a dominant man, because it takes a much stronger character to not only have that kind of trust in another person to submit to them, but to buck societal norms and not be a dominant man.

14. Anyone who is a serious lifestyle Dominant takes their role to protect those in their care very seriously.

15. Straight guys like anal sex and anal play. No, not all of them, but plenty of them do, and even more of them like it but are afraid to admit it because they think it makes them gay. No, it does not make them gay, it makes them human. Don’t be afraid to have your straight guy secure enough to enjoy taking it up the back door from his gal (via butt plug or strap-on or finger).

16. Which brings me to an extremely important point: anal sex requires lubrication to be enjoyable. The rectum and anus are not self-lubricating. Unless, of course, you’re writing speculative fiction with non-human characters, then knock yourself out and make it so.

17. Please, stop already with the wide-eyed woman gasping, “Oh. My. GOD! Will it fit?” when the hero’s willy flops out of his pants. Yes, it will fit, unless you’ve written speculative fiction and the guy is built like a French baguette. Women give birth to babies. Believe me, the cock had to get in there somehow, and I have yet to hear of a man’s penis that is larger around than the average six-pound baby’s head. This old chestnut has been DONE. TO. DEATH. Stop it. Your readers will appreciate it.

18. Most guys are not hung like horses, and most women can’t climax from one or two pumps inside them. The average male cock is around five to seven inches when erect. Some guys are growers instead of showers. You don’t need to write the guy as a pencil dick, but most readers prefer a little realism they can relate to. The woman who needs a “helping hand” to get off because just riding the pork sword (and if you use that purple phrase in a book I swear to the Goddess I will beat you like a red-headed step-child) doesn’t do it for her. The hero with a slight paunch. The occasional fart during sex. Realism doesn’t have to be nasty morning-after breath, but remember not everyone is perfect. Heroines who have a few more pounds on their frame than an anorexic string bean are very popular. So are heroes with a little realism. They don’t all have to be six-foot-seven Norse gods with abs of titanium. (I like to kill off characters that look like that in my writing…)

19. This is directed at straight male erotica writers: NEVER refer to women’s breasts as anything relating to sports items or produce. No cantaloupes, no softballs, nothing. Another point directed at straight male authors who wish to make it as a commercial erotica writer: your largest commercial target demographic, based on purchasing patterns, is het women. Write for them. Most of you male erotica writers who aren’t gay men writing for gay men (and honestly, a lot of us het women LOVE the gay male erotica writers) totally fuck up the story for us het women. If you want to learn how to write erotica for het women, READ erotica written by het women. We don’t focus much on the woman. We want to BE the woman (or the man, in the case of m/m stories) getting done. We could give a shit in most cases about long drawn-out descriptions of the heroine. We want to BE her. So quit trying to turn us on by writing like a guy, and try writing like a girl (or like a gay guy). We also like reading about what the characters are thinking, not what they’re seeing. And if you can’t write about the hero because it makes you squicky to talk about a guy like that, you really have no business being an erotica writer. There is a reason why the majority of successful erotica writers are either women or gay men. If you want to be one of them, learn how to write like one of them. (Of course, if you’re just writing for your own pleasure, write whatever makes you happy.)

20. Oh, and another stereotype, quit with the heroines with a waist so tiny the hero’s hands can span it. Most of us are a size twelve or more, and we hate the skinny girls. Write for US. Use heroes and heroines older than thirty (or forty, or even fifty) on occasion. We lived our twenties, we want to relate to people.

21. Try writing outside the old clichés. Instead of the wealthy man of industry, make your hero a mechanic or taxi driver or something the average person can relate to. Ditto your heroine, give her an occupation other than writer, newspaper reporter, or kick-ass take no prisoners corporate lawyer. (Yes, I’m guilty of that too.) No, I’m not saying you have to do that all the time, because yes, it is fun to escape into a book where it’s totally not like real life. But it’s nice to pick up a book sometimes where you can relate to the characters.

22. Don’t write your story based on what you read in other stories. There’s a good chance those other authors got at least something wrong, unless you know for certain they’re in the lifestyle or did a lot of research first. Do. Your. Research.

23. SAFE SEX. Condoms. You don’t have to stop the story to have a long, drawn-out discussion about it, but USE THEM. It can be as simple as inserting (ha-ha) a simple, “He sheathed himself in a condom and…” We don’t need to know he went to the store and bought them special, and we don’t need a huge long negotiation scene about them. It’s assumed people involved in kinky sex probably have ready access to condoms. But I’ve heard so many complaints from readers about stories where condoms weren’t used when they should have been, and I’ve heard praise for stories where they were used, that it doesn’t hurt to USE THEM to avoid pissing off your readers. Readers commonly expect condom use in non-monogamous or non-established relationships. (Unless, of course, not using a condom is a plot point meant to lead to a complication like an STD or pregnancy.) There is some flexibility when dealing with paranormal/speculative fiction, or if the couple is monogamous and has been together long enough to preclude their use, but for contemporary stories, at least mention their use.

24. Avoid purple prose. Seriously. The aforementioned “pork sword” is at the top of that list. Avoid swords, sheaths (although using sheath as a verb is usually fine as long as it’s not overused), cream, all those well-abused purple prose words that make editors and readers cringe. Also, avoid being too clinical. “He inserted his penis in her vagina” reads like a rape report, not hot erotic fiction. Also, avoid overuse of “hissed” and other non-standard dialog tags. Said and asked are the two best ones to use, although sparing use of others is all right.

25. And!! Oh!! AVOID EXLAMATION POINTS!!! Exclamation points are used to denote screaming or shock! Overuse makes editors’ eyes twitch! No, seriously!!

(Copyright 2010 Tymber Dalton, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication Prohibited)

Tymber Dalton is a bestselling author and lifestyle switch. Her website is

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What is BDSM - the basics explained.

So, what exactly is BDSM? I know a lot of people who are unfamiliar with BDSM tend to lump practitioners in with swingers, sex fiends, perverts, and the like.

Okay, so maybe there are a few people who are all of those and into BDSM as well. But let’s start with the basics.

BDSM is an overlapping, catch-all term that stands for

*Bondage &Domination
*Domination & submission
*Sadism & masochism

It is better to refer to BDSM as "WIITWD" (What It Is That We Do) because there are SOOOO many people lumped under the BDSM "umbrella" that technically don't fall under what is typically perceived as the BDSM lable. Just because someone's kinky doesn't mean they're a sadomasochist or into D/s play.

There are people who enjoy bondage play but no pain. There are people who are into the D/s (Dominance/submission) dynamic, but not into bondage or pain. There are people into pain play who aren't into D/s or bondage.

And every possibly conceivable permutation inbetween, including many you've probably never even thought of.

Also, don't think that just because someone is into kink of any kind that they mix their sexuality in with it. Some do, but some don't. I know players in the scene who are only into strict scenes that don't involve sex play at all.

There are people who are engaged in "pet play," which is where they basically act like an animal. Puppy and pony play are two of the most common. There are kittens and all sorts of fantastical animals as well. This is not necessarily the same thing as "furries" who enjoy full costumes. Just because a person is into one thing doesn't mean they're into another.

There are "spankos" who enjoy being spanked. Spanking parties are frequently a totally different, loose and laid-back atmosphere than that of a high-protocol dungeon where people might also get spanked. Some spankos are into BDSM, some aren't.

There are people who consider themselves "service submissives/slaves" where they want to be used for tasks like housework, but not sexually or for impact play.

There are people who are swingers or poly (or who are both) who are into BDSM, and there are monogamous couples/singles who are into BDSM.

In other words, don't go by what you see on the internet. The best way to meet people in the lifestyle is to attend a local function, like a Munch, where people get together in a vanilla setting to eat and chat. You can find people in your area on the website

And don't go to one BDSM party or dungeon and assume everyone plays like you witnessed. What people do varies as widely as there are people involved in the lifestyle. How traditional gay Leathermen might play may differ drastically than a husband and wife who only use BDSM to spice things up in the bedroom every once in a while.

I cover all this and more in my e-book "Whip Me, Beat Me, Make Me Write Hot Sex," which is available from Captiva Press,, for the nook, and in other online retailers.

Tymber Dalton (who also writes as Lesli Richardson, Tessa Monroe, and Macy Largo) is a bestselling author, who is also a BDSM lifestyle switch. Her website is

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

This is The Playroom

On behalf of myself and several awesome BDSM authors, I'd like to officially welcome you to The Playroom. Look around, take a seat, or, if you're the adventurous sort, let one of our sexy Doms snap your cuffs together and bring you to one of the spanking benches. Do not try the Saint Andrew's cross yet. Some of our sadists are practicing . . . 

All right, don't say I didn't warn you!

Basically, this is a place for us to come together and share our common love for all things kink. Not only will you find information on erotic romance and erotica novels exploring various form of dominance and submission, you'll also get a taste of what it's like to really live in the lifestyle. We'll talk about everything from toys to torture, chains to cages, light play to 24/7, and everything in between.

As you can see, we've got tons of pages, but some are still pretty empty. Well, they won't be that way for long. Every day contributing authors, reviewers, and guests, will be adding new stuff. And once we're all set up here, the Playroom Authors will be going on a blog tour which means tons of great prizes will be given out. To make sure you stay up to date on all the exciting things we have planned, we're given you several different ways to follow. Which I would personally suggest because we might spring a contest on here just to get things rolling! ;)

For now, I'd like to introduce two of our authors (I think the rest have gone down to the dungeon *eek!*)
Kallypso Masters is the lovely lady kneeling in front of the man with the dreamy green eyes and day old scruff on his solid jaw. Don't be fooled by her. The glint in her eyes means she's up to mischief and Master Marc will have to put her in her place. Oh! I wonder what he's whispering to her now! Ah. Strip.

Across the room, by the suspension rack, we have Cari Silverwood, waiting her turn. But unfortunately, Master Theo isn't around and it looks like she's topping Heketoro . . . hmm . . . he just took something out of his pocket. An egg. By Cari's flush I have a feeling she knows what that means. <g>

And I am Bianca Sommerland. Hanging around the bar, waiting for Kurt, or Largo, or Alaire, or all three . . .

Shit. Cyrus just walked in. I'll catch you guys later! *runs and hides behind a sawhorse.

To be continued...