Monday Musing

 

I am a big fan of spanking and domestic discipline romance. I was a reader long before I was ever a writer in this genre. Even in the mainstream contemporary romances I read as a teenager, I remember specifically wishing sometimes that the hero would just step in and take the heroine in hand.(I read all sorts of romances now, but back then, all I was aware of was the M/F variety so that’s what these were.) I was ecstatic when I found romances, few and far between as they were, where the hero actually did step up, and I was completely shocked when one of my very good friends stop borrowing books from me because she said all the men in my books were bullies because they did discipline the women. She didn’t understand it as discipline, to her it was treating them like children and was very disrespectful.

I remember being totally flabbergasted by that. To me, that was one of the most manic things about the book was that the hero cared enough to do something about whatever the behavior was that was problematic. Of course, that was in the era before Fifty Shades of Gray. That was before this thing we do became all about sex. I’m not bashing the book or the sexual aspects of this thing we do. I haven’t read the book nor do I plan to. (For reasons that have to do with the writing, the characters and the message I feel like it’s sending not the sex.) Frankly, I couldn’t care less what people do or like sexually. It’s not my business.

What is my business is writing what I call domestic discipline romance. Now, given the nature of marketing, my books are typically marketed as BDSM erotica. It’s simply the category umbrella they fit best. Now, I’m also not one of those people who believes that DD is to be forever separated from BDSM and never the twain shall meet. It’s a continuum. Every one of us who do this has a different dynamic that fits on that continuum somewhere. It’s all relative.

That being said what I write is domestic discipline with occasional erotic spanking also mixed in. Now, there are a lot of people who probably think I repeated myself just now. I didn’t. Discipline is not the same as erotic spanking.

Let me say that again. Discipline is not the same as erotic spanking, at least not for people who are truly into domestic discipline. I’m of the opinion, and it is only my opinion so take it for what it’s worth, that many, many people who write domestic discipline romance don’t understand that.

Okay, let me pause here again and sayI am not looking to get into a big philosophical debate about the nature of DD and spanking. I know that there are people who absolutely believe that people into DD are really just using the rule and punishment structure to get spanked because it turns them on sexually. I know there are just as many people who believe as I do that the structure and rule and punishment part of DD isn’t in the least sexual. It fulfills them emotionally. Here’s my take on that. We are all wired differently as humans – totally and uniquely. What’s sexual for you may not be sexual for me and that’s perfectly okay. That used to be what most of this community believed until spanking is all about sex took over.

My point is that I think a lot of being romance that purports itself to be domestic discipline romance, by that I mean the main character isn’t just spanking his/her/their as part of sex, but also has some sort of you broke the rules, you’re in trouble element (i.e. discipline) doesn’t get that for a great many people who practice DD a punishment spanking is not a turn on. It’s not sexy – at all.  Lainie explains it this way in Learning to Live Again.

When Grant had tucked her into bed last night – on her stomach, as she couldn’t bear even the thought of her behind touching the bed – she had been appallingly sore. Her had eyes hurt; face had been stiff and swollen from crying, and she had felt limp and drained. Sex had never even entered her mind.

That is discipline. It’s not always that severe or gut-wrenching, but it isn’t sexy. It is meant to be a deterrent not a turn on. If it is a turn on, then it’s not a punishment. It’s a reward. That isn’t how discipline works.Now, I understand that books are not reality, and that most people like a little fantasy with their reading. I get that. I’m not suggesting that romance books should be how-to manuals. Nor am I judging books where the discipline is primarily sexual. There’s nothing wrong with that. As a reader, however, I’m really tired of all spankings being a turn on. I have a few friends in it as well, as I have been known to go on rants about this after reading particular books. I’m not trying to say that either is wrong. What I’m saying is that there is another viewpoint out there, and by ignoring it, those of us who write these stories may be ignoring an important audience.