I'm delighted to have a special guest today. Dr. Charley Ferrer is an expert on dominance and submission and the author of several books on the topic, including one targeted at authors of BDSM fiction. Thanks for joining us today, Charley, and "letting it all hang out"!
I'd like to start with your professional background. Your sig line says you're a “Clinical Sexologist” and a “Sex Expert” (something we could all use!) Can you tell me about your training and experience, as well as what led you into this field in the first place?
Dr. Charley: Actually that’s pretty funny story as it all started with a detour in my life. It’s funny how the Universe leads us down the path we’re suppose to take even without us realizing it at first. I was actually working toward a BA in business when my night program ended and I was forced to either wait another year or transfer into the only other program that had an opening. With only one semester left to graduate, it was really a no-brainer to transfer over into the psych program. Within two weeks, I fell in love with psychology and immediately enrolled in a Masters program in Counseling Psychology.
While working on my Masters I found that sexuality was a topic most therapists avoided like the plague. Sadly when they did address it, the therapists' own biases interfered with their ability to be provide objective information or assist their patients embrace this sexual desires. I found many were more inclined to judge than to be accept an individual’s alternative lifestyles. Keep in mind this was almost twenty years ago. Although we’ve made some progress, we still have a long way to go. I still hear horror stories about therapist condemning their patients for their sexual orientation and even more so their D/s desires.
Also what most called “sex therapy” was actually “relationship counseling.” And though these two types of therapy may seem the same since you’re helping strengthen the relationship, they’re actually as different as night and day. Most therapist aren’t trained in sexual dysfunctions beyond the basics and just like everyone else, the typical therapist may not be comfortable discussing sex in great details. It was because of this that I sought out more information on sexuality and went on to obtain my Doctorate in Human Sexuality. Since then, I’ve attained my certification as a Clinical Sexologist, an Erotologist and Sex Educator. I also went on to complete a certification program in Hypnosis since I believe in learning anything that will assist my patients in getting the most out of life in whatever form that takes. I use hypnosis along with cognitive therapy not only to help individuals overcome their fears and anxieties as well doing life regressions and incorporations, but also use hypnosis to help men and women overcome their sexual inhibitions and sexual dysfunctions to enable them to enhance their sensuality and relationships.
I actually had a few individuals call me the “Monty Hall of Sex” at a lecture I was conducting for couples since I was constantly providing various options to try. I’ve been providing sex therapy and researching sexuality for the past fifteen years. Currently I’m an Adjunct Professor at Rutgers University and conduct workshops throughout the US and Latin America for physicians, mental health workers, and the general public. I also maintain a private practice providing counseling and mentorship in person or over the phone/Internet as a lot of my patients are outside of New York City. I also produce a TV Show called PLEASURE which deals with relationships and sexuality; and I write for various magazines and newspapers. Plus I write books on sexuality and self-empowerment.
How did you get the idea for your book BDSM For Writers?
Dr. Charley: Believe it or not, BDSM For Writers and BDSM The Naked Truth are here because I read a romance novel! I was reading The Vampire Queen’s Servant by Joey W. Hill and wrote her to thank her for providing a true depiction of Dominance and submission. Joey was very sweet and agreed to appear on my TV show instead. As she was attending the Authors After Dark 2011 Conference hosted by Stella Price, I was able to meet up with her in New Jersey. Stella was kind enough to invite me to sit in on the BDSM Panel during the conference to help normalize BDSM and provide some clinical insight. That afternoon, I was asked if I’d ever considered writing a book on BDSM for writers...and well, there’s the Universe stepping in again.
What do you hope to accomplish with the book?
Dr. Charley: In the past ten years there’s been a trend for more erotica and adventurous sexual encounters in romance novels. However, many authors still portray in their novels Hollywood’s and media’s misconceptions about dominance and submission. They figure throwing in a spanking or a whipping scene makes the novel D/s, not understanding that D/s is actually about love and respect and a spiritual connection just as a “vanilla” relationship is and there’s much more to BDSM than “whips and chains”. And though we do love our toys, many individuals in the BDSM lifestyle do not engage in physical activities and are purely “service” oriented. It’s these misconceptions that I hoped to help clarify through my book BDSM for Writers I also want to teach authors the underlying principles which will make their D/s stories more realistic and erotic.
With my book BDSM The Naked Truth, my goal is to shine a light into the darkness and dispel many of the misconceptions which are perpetuated by Hollywood and the media. I want individuals who are curious or identify within this uniquely erotic mindset to know that they’re perfectly normal! And for those that are just curious or interact on a social or professional level with individuals who embrace the BDSM lifestyle such as doctors, lawyers, law enforcement, even social workers and counselors, it’s my hope that they will use this book to learn the basics so as professionals they can help those that seek their assistance. It’s a tragedy that so many individuals suffer emotionally because there’s no one there to understand or guide them. And many who are accidentally injured will not seek treatment because they fear what their doctors will think or don’t know where to learn how to interact safely.
BDSM The Naked Truth is not only for the curious beginner; it also provides advanced techniques on protocols, training and more. Thus it’s also valuable for those individuals who are already in the lifestyle and want to enhance their interactions. And though the books are similar in some of the information provided, BDSM The Naked Truth does not contain the chapters for writers nor their tidbits. It also includes a special chapter on relationships.
Another unique aspect about both books is that unlike most books on the market with teach you “how-to” use a whip or “how-to” play with candle wax, etc, my books teach you WHY you’d want to! It shows you WHY the submissive craves to surrender and WHY the Dominant thrills—even feels complete—accepting the same. And as I am self-publishing these books, I’m able to ensure they are completely uncensored.
If you had to select one point you'd like readers to take away from the book, what would that be?
Dr. Charley: Respect. BDSM—Dominance and submission is about respect. It’s about honoring the gifts you share with the person you interact with whether that gift is their submission or their dominance.
Where can readers find out more about you, your books and your seminars?
Dr. Charley: The books are available through my website www.bdsmforwriters.com or www.bdsmthenakedtruth.com. They’re also available through Amazon and Smashwords.com. However if you purchase your copy directly from me, you’ll be entered into the LIGHTNING BRIGADE—what I’m affectionately calling the first 300 people to purchase a copy of my books. This means you receive a $500 Digital Erotic Art Collection from Captured Erotica free, and you’re entered to win one of 35 kinky toys and one mundane one—a Kindle. And you can also join my affiliate program and sell copies of my book on your website or blog and earn income and points for more prizes.
As for seminars, I’m actually conducting a series of seminars on BDSM FOR WRITERS and sexuality through Savvy Authors. The first one is August 15 (today!!). And there’s one on Ménage, Polyamory and Swingers on the 18th. http://www.savvyauthors.com/vb/showevent.php?eventid=1089
http://www.savvyauthors.com/vb/showevent.php?eventid=1098. But I’m not just about BDSM or sex *smiles* so there are also a few workshops during the Savvy Authors Summer Symposium on psychology such as Criminal Minds—Serial Killers; Psychology of Abuse Victims; Latina Heroines; and the Sexual Response Cycle and Fetishes. In October, I’ll be conducting a webinar on BDSM for the general public. Please contact me privately if you’re interested at doctorcharley(at)bdsmthenakedtruth(dot)com.
Before I say goodbye, I want to invite you to share your thoughts and comments with us as I value your opinion: good, bad, or naughty. *smiles* I also want to thank Lisabet for having me on her blog that I can share this valuable information with you.
Live with passion,
Dr. Charley Ferrer