What do you like best about BDSM stories you’ve read? What do you like least?
What I love most about the BDSM stories that I’ve read is their depiction of the relationship and the romance and struggles the characters endure. Just as with any “vanilla” romance, without a real heartfelt connection and respect between the hero and heroine of the novel, the book isn’t worth reading.
Unfortunately, I’ve come across too many books which claim they are BDSM novels and aren’t. They depict the Dominant as an uncaring jerk and the submissive as a doormat; or the book has a spanking scene with no real D/s interaction. Dominance and submission is like a dance. You take your partner in hand and help them through the steps knowing that they’ll fumble or step on your toes now and then (or you theirs). However, through it all, you’re holding each other and moving within the boundaries you’ve set to make it through the song and hopefully want to continue dancing for as long as you can.
What’s the most common misconception about BDSM practitioners and why do you think that misconception exists?
All too often, BDSM is portrayed as abusive and individuals being whipped and hurt against their will by those they love. Men and women who engage in the Dominance and submission lifestyle are portrayed as sexual deviants who suffer from past traumas. With the 50 Shades crazy, we’re also now portrayed as stalkers; and if we’d just meet our “true love” we would give up all this “nonsense” and be “normal”.
Unfortunately, the misconceptions which exist can be traced back to authors and the media. Individuals who did not conduct their research of D/s or did so from a peripheral and bias opinion. Often, these individuals merely took what they’d read from other misinformed writers or socially PREFERRED norms and continued to perpetuate the misconceptions.
As with gays and lesbians, the BDSM community is all too often misrepresented and seen as a behavior one should overcome or be cured from. Although granted, over the past 20-30 years gays and lesbians are now accepted and have governmental safeguards in place against their discrimination; whereas BDSM practitioners do not.
The most important thing an author needs to understand when writing about Dominance and submission is that they become the judge and jury to their readers. Through their words and depictions of the D/s relationship, readers who are curious about BDSM or identify with these desires will judge themselves as deviant or normal. My hope is that authors will give the D/s community their writing about the same respect they would give any other.
Why did you decide to create BDSM Writers Con?
I’ve been teaching and advocating for sexual freedom and education for almost twenty years. In the past ten years, BDSM has made its way out of the leather closet and become a topic of movies, books, and bloggers. The majority portray BDSM as abuse. All too often novels portray the submissive heroines as women who couldn’t control their own lives and men who are overbearing or like to injury their partners. Dominant women are portrayed as barely more than prostitutes who own clubs that tailored to the desires of men who merely wanted to have sex and get off with a little kink. It was (and still is) rare to find books that portrayed a true representation of the BDSM lifestyle which shows the love and respect the partners share. Sadly, I’ve been approached by several authors who justify their lack of research by saying, “they’re just writing fiction and therefore can make-up what they wish” overlooking the fact that the BDSM lifestyle isn’t make belief and is a true lifestyle and community of men and women who life, love and have families of their own.
I created BDSM Writers Con to teach authors how to write about this lifestyle and to help them understand the fundamental dynamics between Dominants and submissives. We started out as a 3-Day Intensive geared toward authors; however, readers made it clear they also wanted to attend and be part of the valuable education we offer. The 3-Day Intensive quickly morphed into a 4-Day Conference with BDSM Experts providing live demonstrations on various aspects of the lifestyle and sharing their experiences and expertise with our attendees.
BDSM Writers Conis the only conference to educate both writers and readers of Dominance and submission and help individuals understand what it’s truly like to step into the world of D/s. It is literally a “soft step” into the lifestyle with a few thrills and edges thrown in. We specifically structure our conference to allow participants to discover D/s from the basic fundamentals to the Edgy parameters of more advanced play and BDMS interactions. We host several Mix & Mingles with authors and readers to let them have fun together. Plus, we host a BDSM Club Night where all our participants are able to give free reign to their curiosity or merely watch the various play scenes which lifestyle participants engage in.
We provide an author’s track to help novice and experienced authors learn how to better promote themselves, market their books, and connect with publishers. We provide publisher/agent appointments and conduct a BDSM Book Contest where winners receive a book contract from an actual publisher. Plus stating 2015, we’re hosting our Golden Flogger Award for the Best BDSM Book of the Year acknowledging excellence in various book categories including non-fiction. We encourage fans to nominate their favorite book/author.
What is the most unexpected thing attendees get out of the conference? (Unexpected to them.)
Whether you’re an author or reader, attending BDSM Writers Con will provide you with a new insight into yourself and your desires whether they’re vanilla or kinky. I had several readers approach me at BDSM Writers Con 2014 and share their experience. One reader tearfully stated that “she finally found where she belonged after thirty years of searching.” She’s returning for next year’s conference with her husband.
BDSM Writers Con (BWC) not only provides education about the lifestyle, it provides a gateway into your own heart and psyche making it okay to open the door to your desires and improve your self-acceptance. It allows readers and writers to see for themselves that participating in these activities in a loving and respectful manner is acceptable and may be something you’ve craved but were afraid to try because of fear or the bad publicity BDSM has always received. The conference also lets individuals understand that D/s is a matter of degrees and finding what’s acceptable for you and your partner whether that’s staying on the soft fluffy side with an occasional spanking thrown in for fun, learning how to create a Domestic Discipline relationship, or embracing various aspects of BDSM is acceptable and healthy!
Plus authors and readers will discover that regardless of their desires or level of interaction, they will be accepted for who they are, period!
I invite everyone to join us for BDSM Writers Con August 20-23, 2015 in New York City. It’s the only conference where you’ll laugh, cry, have fun exploring, and be able to hob nob with your favorite authors and discover new ones and you open the door to exploring a new aspect of yourself and your sensuality, even if you decided to keep it all in your mind reading the kinky books we all love.
Thank you for having me on your website and thanks to all who read this interview. I invite you all to sign up for our conference newsletter and receive a FREE Gift. You can also follow us on Twitter.
Dr. Charley Ferrer is a world-renowned Clinical Sexologist and BDSM Educator. She is the host and founder of BDSM Writers Con. She is the award winning author of BDSM The Naked Truth and thirteen other books on sexuality and self-empowerment. Dr. Charley hosts workshops throughout the US and Latin America. Visit her at www.BDSMwriterscon.com or www.DoctorCharley.com