Saturday, March 8, 2014

Why Bondage Turns Me and My Readers On

By Vonna Harper (Guest Blogger)


He took a slow step toward her. “First things first. Getting rid of your clothes.”

Suddenly angry, she stood her ground. “What? No. That can’t be the first thing.”

The beginning of a cool smile lifted his lips only to be replaced by something dark. “It’s what I say it is. Either you strip or I do it for you.”

Excitement lanced her. Damn it yes, this was what she’d signed up for—even if it killed her.

I read the rules,” she countered. “You aren’t supposed to do anything I disapprove of.”

Oh you’ll approve. And you’ll keep everything that happens here to yourself.”

On edge, she took in everything she could of the man standing between her and freedom. There was something primal about him. A cave-like depth. When he was on the island, this man did what he wanted to. He had no concern for the consequences because there weren’t going to be any, maybe no interest in her beyond getting her to submit to him.

Why wouldn’t I tell anyone?” she finally thought to ask.

You’ll understand, eventually.”

Nothing was going like she’d told herself it would. Emotionally off balance, she curled her toes in an attempt to keep from bolting.

All right,” she said. “Show me.”

His attention flicked to the window to his right. For a moment she swore she was looking at a predator instead of a human. This creature would stalk and capture and control.

She was still trying to shake off the crazy thought when he charged. He grabbed her around the waist and pushed her back and off her feet. She landed on her ass on the couch.

What the hell!” She reached for his neck but he flipped her so she was sprawled the length of the couch on her belly and planted his knee against the base of her spine.

More disbelieving than terrified, she wrenched her head to the side so she could breathe. He was so close she saw only a blur. His weight bore down on her making it impossible for her to do more than flex her knees. Her right arm was caught between her body and the couch back but maybe, if she tried hard enough, she could grab his cock with her left and inflict—

Too-big fingers clamped around her left wrist and wrenched her arm behind her. Despite her struggles, he captured her other wrist and brought it back as well.

Pay attention.” Moist breath dampened the back of her neck. “It’ll make what comes after easier to accept.”

She wasn’t his play toy! Determined to regain use of her arms, she strained to free them.

So you like to fight do you? Fine with me. The thing is, I always win.”

Bucking and kicking, she put all her strength into trying to get him off her. The couch was so soft she felt as if she was sinking into it. As her muscles started trembling, she’d come to the not too brilliant conclusion that he was taunting her.
He placed one wrist over the other so he could control them with a single hand. She debated trying to dig her nails into his thigh but he’d probably make her pay for it.

Pay for it. A captive’s punishment.

****

I wrote that. The scene appears in my ebook Taking Her Down available at such sites as Amazon. http://tinyurl.com/m2g8olf Although it’s hardly my first story dealing with bondage, I'm still amazed by the direction my writing has taken, still exploring my fascination with one of erotica's most popular subjects.
Back when I was writing conventional romance, it would have never occurred to me that there might be a market for the kinkier aspects of sex, let alone that readers would be hungry for fantasies I'd kept to myself.

Just goes to show how little I knew.

Why was I so naïve? So repressed?

A lot of finger pointing can be aimed at none other than Sigmund Freud who in 1908 maintained, "A happy person never fantasizes, only a dissatisfied one." (Say what?) The man studied S & M for over twenty years, maintaining that the practice was pathological and tied into unresolved issues of dominance and subservience traceable back to childhood. (Of course he would) Therapists who worshiped at Freud's feet incorporated his conclusions into their practices.

Fortunately the tide has changed. In her groundbreaking book My Secret Garden, Nancy Friday shared women's private sexual fantasies with readers. Once considered outspoken, graphic, and taboo-shattering, the book has become a classic study of female sexuality. 
 
Back to the question of why BDSM and bondage stories have become lucrative. For the answers, I turned to those diggers into the human psychic, psychologists. 
 
Roy F. Baumeister pointed out that today's culture places more demands on people than any time in history. "That stress makes forgetting who you are an appealing escape." Fantasy sex slaves want to imagine shedding their own identity with its autonomy and responsibility and submit to the will of another.

Harold Leitenberg and Kris Henning reported that conservatives have as many fantasies as liberals. Another study concluded that nearly half of conservative Christians believe sexual fantasies are unacceptable or morally flawed. (Talk about conflict!) Leitenberg reports that one person in four feels guilt about their fantasies. 
 
According to Ethel Person, author of By Force of Fantasy, 44 percent of men imagine dominating a partner. Other studies concluded that 51 percent of women placed themselves on the receiving end of forced sex. Leitenberg and Henning concur, adding that, "Women who find submission fantasies sexually arousing are very clear that they have no wish to be raped in reality," Women zero in on "the personal or emotional characteristics of the partner," even if the sex partner is a mysterious stranger, abductor, or dominatrix.

Strassberg and Lockerd reported that women who fantasize about being submissive have more positive attitudes about sex. Pelletier and Herold agreed, adding that such women feel less sexually guilty and more open to a variety of sexual experiences.

****
A form materialized, startling her. She sensed more than saw a human shape. Years of watching her back kicked in. She turned toward the shape, folded her fingers into a fist.
Then something slammed into her and knocked her backward onto the ground. Her head slammed against hard earth. A hand clamped over her mouth. A weight settled over her, knees grinding against her forearms and preventing her from lifting them. The man—that much she was certain—grabbed her hair and turned her head to the side while still gagging her. The way his body rested on her chest, she couldn’t draw a decent breath. Terror lanced her, making it nearly impossible for her to think.

Maybe her attacker knew what she was experiencing because he let go of her hair and mouth. Before she could get her act together, something wide and sticky pressed against her lips. She tried to shake it off, but he stayed with her, hauling her head off the ground and wrapping the gag around her head. He wasn’t content with one wrap. By the time he was done, he’d looped her head a total of three times.

Step one,” he muttered.

Her heart hammered so she thought it might burst, and when he climbed off her and flipped her onto her belly, she did little more than try to squirm away. He grunted and pulled her arms behind her until her wrists were crisscrossed.

The splinted pieces of her mind came back together, and she bucked, screaming impotently into the gag. Again he sat on her and held her down, holding her wrists in place with one large hand.

A little risky,” he continued in the same low tone, “but I need to feel alive.”

Every fiber of her being screamed at her to struggle, but he weighed a lot more than she did and all that weight was holding her down. With her arms wrenched behind her, she stood no chance of pulling them loose. .

He moved to the side a little and shifted his weight slightly. She bent her knees in an attempt to slam her heels into his back. No matter how much she strained, however, she couldn’t put enough force behind the effort to make any difference.

His chuckle chilled her.

Not the smartest thing you’ve ever done as you’ll find out. Now to prepare you for transport.”

From my Her Submission: http://tinyurl.com/kdjfxpg

The above leads to the question of how far erotica writers can push the boundaries. A study conducted by Eileen Zurbriggen and reported on in Journal of Sex Research (2004) indicates that as long as certain components remain, the sky may be the limit. Women are more likely than men to fantasize about submission and while men's fantasies focused on their and their partners' desires and pleasure, women tended to focus on their own. Such fantasizes provide women with a safe place to let go. In the secret places of our minds, everything becomes about us.

I don't really want to be tied down, but I'm having a ball dreaming up scenarios and putting the results on paper.

As Ph.D. Cheryl Renaud said, "while bondage may be painful, thinking about it never hurt anyone."

Leitenberg agrees. "Sexual fantasy is a natural part of being human. It's pleasurable. So why not fantasize?"

Why not indeed?

Share your thoughts about bondage and forced submission in fiction by leaving a comment, and I'll enter you in a drawing for a PDF copy of Taking Her Down. Don't forget to include an email address so I can contact you if you win!  


4 comments:

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hello, Vonna,

Welcome to Beyond Romance, and thanks for two intense excerpts - and the giveaway!

My own D/s interests usually don't run to forced submission but occasionally I'll have non-consensual fantasies and also dreams. When it's well-written, I can find it hot.

I know lots of readers feel the way you do, though.

Word Actress said...

Loved this post. Am working on my first erotic story
and I'm becoming obsessed with it, which is fun!
There's a different cadence to how these stories are
told and I loved getting into the rhythm of your story.
Thanks for sharing!

She said...

Interesting post. I like reading about bondage and submission. I've been to a dungeon and found I had no desire to dominate or submit but I love the fantasy of it. It is the control. Taking control or giving up control. How far can I go without crossing over the line that would hurt me? It's a fine line but one I push often in my reading.

smg5775@yahoo.com

kate deveaux said...

Loved the post, so true and great perspective you gave!

Best,
Kate
www.katedeveaux.com

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