We’re proud to present our Keynote Speaker for 2015 BDSM Writers Con the fabulous and erotically naughty, Cecilia Tan
We are thrilled Cecilia Tan is joining us as Keynote Speaker for BDSM Writers Con 2015. If you don’t know Cecilia, you will. She’s an amazing woman, erotic author, and BDSM Advocate. We had a few questions for her to help you get to know this BDSM author and advocate better. You’re also welcome to ask her a few questions of your own as well.
Here’s what Cecilia had to say about being selected as our Second Annual BDSM Writers Con Keynote Speaker of 2015:
“It’s a thrill to be selected as the Keynote Speaker for BDSM Writers Con 2015. With the way BDSM is exploding all over, it’s been a real thrill to suddenly find the wave I’ve been riding for over 20 years now coming onto shore.”
Below are a few more questions we had for Cecilia. Feel free to ask a few of your own.
Cecilia Tan: Meeting more writers! These are the folks whose voices will carry the message about BDSM to the most people. I’ve spent my entire career as a BDSM activist trying to educate people that BDSM is not abuse. I’ve done that both through community organizations like the NELA (New England Leather Alliance) where I previously served as Director of Programming and Director of Communications, and through building community institutions like the Fetish Fair Fleamarket (I created it and directed it for 20 years), as well as through my life in book publishing. I founded Circlet Press in 1992 to publish my first book, Telepaths Don’t Need Safewords, because no one else at the time would touch it.
Since that time Circlet has published many many authors, and we’ve always had a BDSM-positive and sex-positive message. That wasn’t true of most “erotic publishing” in 1992. I’m still running Circlet today, but it’s fantastic that nowadays writers can choose to publish stories with BDSM themes at hundreds of other places. That’s the world I’ve fought to create: now it’s here!
BDSM Writers Con: What workshops will you be teaching at the conference?
Cecilia Tan: I’m going to do two that are based on workshops that I normally teach to folks in the BDSM community about communication and relationships, but which I realized adapt really wonderfully into writers workshops. The first one is Doms are from Mars, Subs are from Venus. Sometimes it can be a total mystery to a Dom what a sub is thinking, and vice versa. They approach from such different places and needs, of course they are. Learning how each other thinks is crucial. I figure seeing these insights will not only help a lot of writers understand what’s going on in their characters’ heads, it’ll give them plenty of fodder for conflict between their main characters in the future. Authors won’t be the only ones to benefits from this workshop. Readers and those interested in exploring Dominance and submission will find many valuable tidbits to help in their relationships as well.
BDSM Writers Con: That’s one of the beautiful things about BDSM Writers Con, the fact that individuals can attend any workshop we’re hosting and the information provided by the presenters will be applicable to them whether they’re writers or readers. What’s the other workshop you have planned for us, Cecilia?
Cecilia Tan: In the other workshop, I’m going to take aim at romance hero archetypes: A Dom Is Not Just an Alpha Stalker in Leather. Romance novels are often put down for being anti-feminist by people who don’t comprehend why women (even modern, empowered feminist women) might want to fantasize about being kidnapped into a sheik’s harem, destined to mate with a werewolf, or even be stalked by a billionaire who won’t take no for an answer.
I’ll talk about how these fantasy objects are “safe” fantasies for women and how, when we get into the realm of real-life BDSM, how those fantasies are played out in role-play activities in the dungeon, but NOT in relationships. Doms who come across as pushy assholes or stalkers are not considered good play partners!
BDSM Writers Con: Is there anything else you want to tell folks attending the convention?
Cecilia Tan: Yes. Please come prepared to change the world. Because that’s what we’re doing! The huge success of 50 Shades of Grey didn’t prove the world liked billionaires; it proved the world was waiting and ready for something to break out of the underground where BDSM fiction and the BDSM community have been thriving for decades.
We now have a chance to take the lessons we’ve been learning for the past 20 years and pass them on to others. The leather community has always been about mentoring and teaching those who arrive after you. As writers in the age of the Internet, we have even more power than any previous generation to do that, to pass on the word. BDSM Writers Con is a huge link in that chain and every author who attends becomes another.
BDSM Writers Con: That’s such a wonderful compliment. Thank you. We’re thrilled to have you join us and look forward to all the fabulous information you’ll provide our participants.
Susie Bright says Cecilia Tan is “simply one of the most important writers, editors, and innovators in contemporary American erotic literature.” Her BDSM romance novel Slow Surrender (Hachette/Forever, 2013) won the RT Reviewers Choice Award in Erotic Romance. Her books often explores sex, sensuality, and sexuality, among them: Black Feathers (HarperCollins), White Flames (Running Press), and Edge Plays (Circlet Press), The Prince’s Boy (Circlet Press), and The Hot Streak (Riverdale Avenue Books). Her short stories have appeared in Ms. Magazine, Nerve, Best American Erotica, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and tons of other places. Tan was inducted into the Saints & Sinners Hall of Fame for GLBT writers in 2010, was a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Leather Association in 2004.