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On Being "Broken."
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Written by Amanda Gannon   
Tuesday, 23 August 2011 01:15
One of the things I hear occasionally from people who aren't well-versed in BDSM subculture – or people who are just jerks – is that those of us who enjoy hurting people or being hurt, dominating people or being dominated, serving or being served, must have something "wrong" with us.  That we are "broken."

These people look for excuses.  They can't see any reason for a perv to be a perv besides "damaged goods."  This person was spanked as a child, that one's a rape survivor, that person over there had an overbearing mother, this one was bullied, one was raised a fundie, another was in an abusive relationship.  All of that shit will fuck you up, it's true.

I'm not sure if this is just because people want explanations for behavior that is foreign to them, or because they are seeking ways to dismiss behavior that they find appalling, or because they want to reassure themselves that "that could never be me."  Surely some of it is relatively innocent ignorance which, while often annoying, is not intended to be malicious.  This sort of ignorance can generally be remedied with a little patience and gentle education.

But a lot of it is used to dismiss and belittle, sometimes even within the kink scene itself.  Even a kinky person can look at someone who has a kink they consider out-of-bounds and say "It's because you were toilet-trained at gunpoint, isn't it?"  Sometimes they even judge someone with their same kink: "I like being beaten because it makes me feel strong and sure of myself.  That person likes being beaten because their last boyfriend was abusive, and they're just acting out what they know."

It's rude to reduce someone to a set of formative circumstances like this, but it's also human nature.  If we didn't like trying to understand how and why things work, we wouldn't have airplanes and antiviral drugs, refrigeration and roller coasters  The assumption that every kink can be explained away by some previous experience or circumstance is annoying, but using that explanation – even if it is true – to dismiss or judge someone is downright poisonous.

Here's the thing.  When it comes to what people think of us, it doesn't matter why we are the way we are.  .  .

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 August 2011 02:02
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About the Size of It
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Written by Paul   
Wednesday, 17 August 2011 23:56

I want to talk here about penis size, and no, I'm not going to talk about the size of any actual penises, but rather about dealing with the topic in fiction.  Just as with anything else, the size of a character's dong is something you really only have to consider if you write porn, because if you are writing the usual 'go into heaving metaphor' mainstream sex, then it doesn't become a thing you have to really address.  In specifics.

But porn is different, and you will get the urge to somewhere say something like "He whipped out his nine-inch Viking War Spear and made with the pillaging".  I'm not saying you can't do things like that, I'm just saying you probably should not, and I'll tell you why. 

Perhaps nothing in sex is as fetishized as penis size, except maybe for boobs.  But still, when it gets down to the actual fucking, both men and women are focused on that dick and the exact dimensions thereof.  And then you, the author, are left with a choice - do you take part in the fetishizing of dicks, or do you not?

The main problem with getting on that train and coming out with hard dimensions is that inevitably, hypertrophy will set in.  After all, if the first dick that gets whipped out in the course of the story is supposed to be big, then you are stuck with the next one being even bigger.  You see where this is going?  Dongs are a part of the - pardon me for saying it - rising action in a narrative.

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Last Call!
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Written by Paul   
Tuesday, 16 August 2011 23:52
This marks the last free chapter of Sky Pirates of the Rio Grande, so if you have not subscribed, then this would be a great time to get on that.  Only a $5 minimum and you get 30 days access to the complete novel archive as well as the new chapters as they appear.  Will Eden escape the attentions of the villainous Matando?  Will Captain Belial and Zenobia have some awesome sex?  Tune in Friday for another exciting episode!
 
Headspace
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Written by Amanda Gannon   
Monday, 15 August 2011 23:22

It's Tuesday!  This week I'm answering a reader's question: Do you have any techniques for getting into the right headspace for writing really hot scenes?

Some sex scenes you can put together by the numbers, and they'll shine up okay.  No extraordinary measures required.

Other times you know that you really have to blow the doors off a scene.  It's a pivotal scene, something the reader has been waiting to see, something that will affect how we feel about a character from there onwards, something that sets up or pays off a relationship, something that either resolves a problem or poses a question.

You know it has to be hot.  As hot as you can make it.

Those scenes can be bastards.

Last Updated on Monday, 15 August 2011 23:23
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My Kink is Your Doom
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Written by Paul D. Batteiger   
Thursday, 11 August 2011 01:52

This is a subject that has bothered me for a long time, and with the last few weeks' posts on gender, race, and body size, it seemed a good time for me to address the politicizing of desire, or rather my opposition to same.  A lot of people have this problem, and I'm sure it causes untold inner turmoil, pain, and lack of fulfillment to many people whose lives and identities are intimately tied into the battle against racism, sexism, ableism, and whatever the term for 'hating fat people' would be if it were an "-ism".

See, it is one thing to hold beliefs on the equality of humankind, and another to argue with your own deepest lusts and desires.  What does one do, after all, if one's fetishes or kinks clash with one's own deeply-held political beliefs?  What if the unpersoning of another human being is not just abhorrent to you, but also really, really gets you hot?  What do we say to the feminist who wants to be spanked and humiliated?  The equality activist who cannot stop fapping over geisha-girl fantasies?  The safe and consensual B&D fetishist who wants to be unsafe?

Beyond this, what do we do when our innermost sexual wants are not just personally distasteful, but indefensible by any measure?  What do we say to the pedophile, the necrophiliac, the person excited by rape or other nonconsensual kinds of sex?  Do we really have nothing to offer these people at all?

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Writing the plus-sized character.
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Written by Amanda Gannon   
Tuesday, 09 August 2011 00:07
Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a fat girl, and knows that I am committed to the principles of size acceptance.  It's very important to me.  So, in my stories, I try to make an effort to include women who are definitively not thin.  There's trouble with this, though.

How do you write about a person's size so that the reader knows that they really are supposed to be capital-F Fat? A lot of sexy fiction (and unsexy fiction, but that's not our trade here) written from a woman's point of view has some version of this in the first fifty pages:

"Sexerella knew that she could stand to lose a few pounds, but nobody had ever complained about her voluptuous womanly body, and she knew that her new super-tight velveteen dress was going to look like leopard-print dynamite over her dangerous curves at the fuckerware party later that night."

Yeah.

Last Updated on Sunday, 27 November 2011 01:37
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The White Writer's Burden
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Written by Paul   
Thursday, 04 August 2011 03:32
One of the first things a writer learns to grapple with is writing about characters who are of a different gender, and trying to put yourself into the mind of a man or woman when you are the other one is one of the first great challenges an author faces.  Let alone the issues that arise when you factor in gender as a continuum rather than a binary, which many people never even acknowledge exists, let alone attempt. Some get quite good at it, some not so much, but we all have to try.  Unless you are willing to forego characters who are not whatever you are, blanking out half the world (not to mention disappearing literally everyone who falls in between that binary.) then you are going to have to try it.  It is so common that we don't even really see it anymore.  Oftimes a writer reveals more about him/herself in the process, and this can be quite illuminating, but no one is likely to call the author a sexist for trying. Maybe for doing it badly, yes, but not just for the effort.  What I mean is: writing about women is not considered the exclusive province of women, or vice versa.

We do not have quite the same thoughts about race, at least not yet.  Feminism has made a lot of progress, but different races remain largely unimaginable to a depressing percentage of the white population.  There is a great deal of difference between how women were handled in, say, the Pulp Era as opposed to now.  Race has made some inroads in this regard, but writing about a race you do not belong to can be sticky and a white writer who writes about a different ethnicity - at least a living, real-world ethnicity (or imaginary ones standing in for same; see: Avatar fail) - is in for some trouble.  When said author is writing porn, then that can become a lot of trouble.  How to treat non-white characters when you are a white writer is a knotty problem, and when sex comes into the mix it can get downright thorny.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 August 2011 02:35
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