Today I’m delighted to have Lisabet Sarai over on my blog discuss her latest novel and a rather great way of describing a common trope in BDSM erotica. Over to you Lisabet!
Although I write in many genres, BDSM erotica and erotic romance may be my favorites. Indeed, I first began writing erotica, nearly twenty years ago, in order to explore my own craving for erotic surrender. In my kinky stories, I try to communicate the emotional intensity and sense of communion that have characterized my personal experience with dominance and submission.
Given the above confession, you won’t be surprised to hear that I also read a lot of BDSM fiction. Some stories push my buttons—others don’t. I like tales with submissives who are brave enough to admit what they want, and dominants who are nurturing and trustworthy as well as strict. I also enjoy stories about Doms who have weaknesses or blind spots, or who are occasionally afflicted by self-doubt.
All too often, BDSM fiction features “Teflon Doms”. These Masters are flawless and hard as diamonds. They’re experts in wielding every sort of instrument and toy, to maximum effect. They never miss a stroke. They can inflict a beating or a spanking without tiring, no matter how long it takes. They can read every nuance of the sub’s reactions. They know exactly what the sub is thinking, what she wants, what her limits are. When you’re submitting to a Teflon Dom, safe words are irrelevant.
Teflon Doms tend to be tall and muscular, confident to the point of being arrogant. They’re often taciturn and distant as well, though in BDSM romance, that’s usually a facade which the heroine will eventually penetrate.
I’ve come to seriously dislike Teflon Doms (though given their frequent appearance in fiction, I surmise that many readers must feel differently). I know from experience that real world kink involves awkwardness, mistakes and crossed signals. Most importantly, real world dominants are not perfectly functioning machines. The Dom is as human as the sub. He has his own needs, which may or may not be fulfilled depending on the submissive’s behavior and courage, and his own worries. Are the ropes too tight? Is he flogging her too hard? Can he trust her to use her safeword if the scene gets too intense?
Theo Moore, the hero of my new novel The Gazillionaire and the Virgin, epitomizes the sort of Dom who turns me on. He’s relatively inexperienced. Most of what he knows about kink, at least at the start of the book, derives from Internet research and pornography. And he’s ashamed of his lurid, sadistic fantasies, until Rachel, the submissive heroine, encourages him to act on his desires. When he does let his inner demons out to play, he discovers the joy and the magic of power exchange. Dominance comes naturally to Theo, but he never becomes so confident that he loses his emotional connection to Rachel.
I love Theo. I think readers will, too. He’s such a welcome relief from the robotic hunks that characterize so much BDSM erotic romance.
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This post is part of my Gazillionaire and Virgin blog tour, running from February 1st to 15th. Leave me a comment on this post, including your email address, and I’ll enter you to win a $50 bookstore gift certificate (first prize) or an autographed print copy of the new book (second prize). Visit all the stops for more chances to win. You’ll find the full list by clicking on the image below:
LISABET SARAI occasionally tackles other genres, but BDSM will always be her first love. Every one of her nine novels includes some element of power exchange, while her D/s short stories range from mildly kinky to intensely perverse.
You’ll find information and excerpts from all Lisabet’s books on her website (http://www.lisabetsarai.com/books.html), along with more than fifty free stories and lots more. At her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com), she shares her philosophy and her news and hosts lots of other great authors. She’s also on Goodreads and finally, on Twitter.
Silicon Valley entrepreneur Rachel Zelinsky is not a woman who lets pleasure interfere with business, but when she meets reclusive genius Theo Moore, she can’t resist his geeky appeal. Though Theo’s knowledge about sex derives from extensive research and a stash of kinky porn rather than real-world experience, he is Rachel’s first true Master—and the first man to truly touch her heart.
I decide to drive myself, and choose the BMW for its aura of unobtrusive luxury. One look at my red Lamborghini, I suspect, and Theo Moore would run away screaming. Cruising up to his attractive but unremarkable building at exactly six, I pull into one of the parking spots labeled “Visitors”. My pulse, I’m annoyed to notice, is elevated, and my cheeks feel hot. Do I look as flustered as I feel?
A quick check in the rear-view mirror reassures me. My understated make-up enlarges my eyes and shrinks my rather prominent nose. Gold-plated combs sweep my unruly curls away from my temples into a semi-elegant cascade. Matching gold earrings dangle from my earlobes almost to my bare shoulders. My strapless gown of teal satin hugs my bust and hips like it was made for me—which of course it was. I practice a confident but non-threatening smile. Good evening, Theo. I’m so glad you decided to come.
The minutes tick by, but there’s no sign of him. Should I climb up to his door and ring? Or wait for him to work up the courage to come out by himself? Does he realize I’ve arrived? Is he watching out his window? Or cowering in his room?
I get more annoyed by the second. I am considering honking the horn, which I know will embarrass him, when he appears on the second floor landing. I recognize him by his height and bulk. Otherwise, he’s transformed.
In the custom tailored tuxedo, he’s distinguished and elegant. The sleek black trousers cling to what are obviously powerful, muscular legs. The jacket highlights his broad shoulders and trim waist. Not fat, oh no! He moves with unexpected grace, as if the formal clothing bestowed a sort of gravitas to subdue his usual gawkiness. With his dark hair slicked back from his forehead, he looks like some international man of mystery. The spectacles just heighten the impression of intelligence and sophistication.
Holding the rail of the gallery that runs along the second floor, he scans the parking area.
“Over here, Theo,” I call out of the open window.
He jumps at the sound of my voice. I think he’s about to bolt, to flee back into his condo and slam the door. I can practically see the struggle going on in his body. I hold my breath, waiting for the outcome. Finally he raises his hand in a feeble wave, and fumbles his way down the stairs. The strong, self-assured man of a few moments earlier has vanished. But I remember him. That’s the Theo Moore I need to cultivate.
He makes it to the car. I press the auto-release and the door swings open. “Hi, Theo. Come on, get in. We’re running somewhat late.”
He ducks his head, folds his long limbs and maneuvers his massive body onto the leather upholstery. After fastening his seat belt, he focuses his attention on the blinking, teak-inlaid instrument panel. He neither greets me nor apologizes.
With a shrug, I trigger the ignition and back out onto the road. “You look fantastic, by the way.”
“I feel ridiculous. Like some performer in a circus. Or maybe a trained seal.”
“I’m sorry you’re uncomfortable.” I swing the car out of his complex onto El Camino Real. “In a way, I guess this is a kind of performance. The tux really looks great on you, though. You’re going to impress the donors. And that’s what’s important, isn’t it?”
“I suppose so.” He slumps into the bucket seat, sulking.
With a sigh, I address myself to the task of driving. It’s not far from Palo Alto to Mountain View, but the Saturday evening traffic is insane. Is it any wonder I prefer Santa Cruz? If Theo doesn’t feel like making conversation, that’s fine. I won’t be distracted.
A traffic light turns red just as I’m about to slide through. “Oh, damn!” I glance over at my passenger, embarrassed by my lack of patience. “Sorry. But I wanted to get there early enough to greet the first guests.”
I’m surprised to discover that Theo’s staring at me.
“You look beautiful,” he says, his voice low and earnest.
“Um—what?” I gun the engine as the light flashes green, bolting ahead of the other vehicles.
“Your hair. Your dress. The color suits you. It makes your skin look like polished ivory.”
Huh? “Ah—thank you, Theo. I guess we’ll make an attractive couple. Never hurts when you’re pitching to the beautiful people, right?” I force out a chuckle.
He does not respond. Theo Moore really doesn’t really understand the dynamics of polite conversation.
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