Sunday, September 26, 2010

How Do I Convert My Vanilla Mate?

This question is frequently posted on collarme, a BDSM site I belong to. Asking some strangers on the Internet to provide a road map to kinkify a conventional partner implies there’s a magic bullet. There isn't. It's way hard. Every relationship, be it vanilla or kink, is specific and unique to those particular partners. The answer to the conversion question is as complex as the people involved.

Sometimes I’ll reply to these posts with general suggestions on how to "turn" a partner, because I’ve done it. Here's the difficulty: Success in kinkification takes character attributes nearly as scarce as that mythical magic bullet: patience and empathy and flexibility. And even with those traits, turning may never work. When I offer this advice on collarme, the response is often hostile. Conversion is supposed to be easy.

I also know what not to do. Here are the most common mistakes:

1. Entitlement. (“I want what I want. I’m more important than you.”) Good luck with that approach.

2. Bullying. (“This is what I want. Give it to me”). That’s a sure way to force the end of the relationship, or maybe even get a surprise visit by the cops.

3. Martyrdom. (“If you loved me, you would…”) Manipulation doesn’t work in the long run.

4. Childish tantrums and ultimatums. (“I refuse to live the rest my life as a vanilla.”) Be careful what you wish for.

Initiating "turning" requires small, slow steps. Perhaps your mate is curious about a particular action? Maybe your partner is motivated by your excitement, or the naughty danger? Your mate must be the leader in the first explorations. Offer a multitude of options, be a gentle guide. What fantasies does your partner have? Role-play? Bondage? Indulge them. Make it fun and sexy. And most of all, appreciate his or her efforts.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

News: Management Skills

Publishing My One, my very first BDSM story, was a fabulous experience. The Samhain folk are wonderful. The production was smooth and top-flight. The cover was way cool, and I got to help design it. People even buy my book! I adored my Samhain editor Deb Nemeth. She had a rare combination of courage, open-mindedness, trust and tact.

So when Deb left for another publishing house, right before My One was released, I was scared and insecure. Would I ever be able to publish BDSM again? What if my new editor didn't like my stuff? Many of Deb's authors felt orphaned. We even discussed our worries on the Samhain blog.

I'm happy to say I will be working with Deb Nemeth again at Carina Press (the new e-pub arm of Harlequin) on a "boss" BDSM story. The title of the novella is Management Skills.