A Variety of Chains
Bloodhavens Series, Book 1
Sex as a medium for character development - in fiction
Mind over matter - and why that is impossible in sex and erotic fiction
Sex, or some sex, is a catalyst allowing the human mind to free itself and develop, ripping away the lies we tell ourselves and forcing us to face us and others without avoidances. It can heal, it can harm and it can be simply light hearted fun. All dependent how you choose to do it. It is one of the rawest, most intimate, challenges we face as adults.
Of course not all sex serves this purpose. Many, possibly most people, never want this and are happy to use sex for what it always should be - fun. And that is more than enough. But for others it becomes a conscious choice to let go a little more, to allow your mind to settle into the emotions and let your relationship with your partner, and yourself, be affected. And that is bloody scary. Too scary to even consider on a daily or weekly (possibly yearly) basis.
It is that kind of sex I use to allow my characters to develop. The physical as a catalyst for the emotional. Why? In part because I think relationships, love and friendship, are some of the most terrifying endeavours we can embark on. They leave us bare and open to devastating pain but also give us the grounding to dare to live life to the fullest. And hey, six times out of ten I will chicken out to let go quite that much during sex.
So, why don’t my characters? Well, there are the usual arguments: they are fiction, they are an idealisation of what humans can be (one of the reasons why I write fantasy and not reality), they are created to face these challenges. All true, but also, they often do not have a choice. And I do not only relate here to stories which involve D/s storylines but pretty much all my stories. In one way or another people are forced to face their fear of intimacy and use it to develop.
The reason why my reader’s like this is, I believe, because we all are afraid of intimacy and total commitment. No matter how many partners you have had, or how long you have been with one or more of them, the step to open yourself to another person is hard, sometimes impossible without a little help. Sex as a catalyst, a catharsis, as a symbol is what many of us, in our romantic ideals, strive to have to reach that level of absolute intimacy where we do not have to hide and are certain never be hurt.
And that level is also impossible - because we are human. Outside of fantasy or science fiction, we do not have partner who can read our mind, who are so confident and practiced what they are doing that they will never make a mistake either physically or emotionally in sex. But we can dream. And we can read about it.
So, sex as a medium for intimacy and absolute trust, though it is tempting, will always be out of our reach in its extreme. Outside of books that is. But we can come close in real life if we just work on it.
A Variety of Chains excerpt
Quickly he attached a second cuff on her other thigh and tightened the ankle restraints, leaving her laid out on the bed, restrained and open, her legs parted and bent, entirely helpless and accessible to his touch.
"You have no idea how beautiful you are like this – splayed for my desire, unable to resist the pleasure I can give you." It was his voice that kept the rising panic at bay. She felt the bed dip on her side and knew he had come to kneel beside her, but the first real touch was a soft kiss on her belly, a loving touch more than a seduction. Then his hands began to play over her in gentle caresses and soft massages, touching her everywhere without a pattern that would have forewarned her. One moment his hands were playing along her flank, over her hipbone, the next they circled her wrists above the restraints, reminding her of them, or massaged along her thigh. But he never touched her pussy or let even the gentlest movement play over her breasts. This absence made her skin there hungry and sensitive to him, more so than he could have done with hands or lips. She started to burn, inside out, every cell of her body reorienting itself to him, her mind consumed entirely by the expectation of his touch. Her ears followed his movements, her nose noticing his scent over that of the fire and her own arousal. When his lips engulfed her nipple in wet, hot sensation, a strange sound was torn from her, a sound somewhere between a moan and a cry. His encouragement became a caress of its own on her sensitised skin.
"Sing for me, Kathryn. Let me hear your pleasure.”
He took his time with her breasts, sucking, licking, never pushing her endurance but centring all her attention on his mouth over her nipples and his hands roving over her body. Only when she felt both her breasts swollen and heavy, her nipples taut and engorged, did he let up. Her breath was panting and as he sat up, removing his hands from her, she whimpered from abandonment, not pleasure. Every aspect of her demanded his touch, his scent, his voice – him.
His dark laughter rose to engulf her.
"Shh, now. We have only just started. I am here, always at your side. Remember that to get relief you only have to tell me something intimate, something I cannot guess or reason out for myself. A secret of your heart." As he spoke she heard the sound of a bottle opening, and the smell of peppermint permeated the room. She felt the touch of a cool cloth over nipples, leaving behind a slight wetness, nothing else. She was distracted from the new sensation by the hand gently stroking along her thigh to her vagina, a teasing touch cumulating in a finger stroking along her labia, collecting the moisture at her entrance and spreading it along the length to circle once over her clitoris. Then she felt a second cloth stroking along each side of her engorged clitoris, not touching directly but applying something to the skin around it. And suddenly there was a burn – a warming of her skin first but then heat in ever increasing intensity.
Kathryn McClusky is an ErGer – a rare and highly prized individual in the supernatural world.
She has spent her life running and hiding, but circumstances have changed and the only way to protect her family is to hand herself over to the Vampire Lord of London to face slavery or death.
Lucian Neben runs his London court with a stern but fair hand, but political pressures are building from both the human and fey worlds, and taking possession of an ErGer would cement his position of power.
Kathryn is vulnerable and broken almost beyond repair, but she holds in her hands the one treasure Lucian desperately wants – the possibility of home and family.
Can he teach her to open herself up; to choose to life, and him, before reality forces him to take her freedom?
In "real" life, I am an academic with degrees in Political Science, Economics, Philosophy and Law and an insatiable desire to confound, baffle and disconcert my students. Someone once suggested to me the reason for my stories lay in the desire to offset the tedium and rationality of academic life. He wasn't an academic or he would have known better. It is best to use research against tedium, students to offset the rationality and an unlimited supply of stressballs for the faculty meetings. The stories? Well, they are just for me - like a mental manicure.
I also write a blog on Feminism and Erotica - come talk to me:
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