BDSM in Science Fiction: Why it matters…..

Dark Past

There’s been a lot of discussion about the science fiction genre and women who write in it. The best run down was by Anne Aguirre on her news page here. I don’t think I need to add anything to what she’s said or say that her horrific experiences are wrong, wrong, wrong.
Okay, if you don’t like erotic science fiction, look away. I’m going to talk about why I think it’s important to feature BDSM in Sci Fi.
Many of you know that all my Jennifer Leeland titles feature an element of BDSM. Sometimes, it’s heavy and intense. Other times, it’s a subtle, but the same psychology is present. My science fiction is focused on this aspect of human psychology for two reasons. Firstly, I believe that human beings always seek a better way to experience sensation, whether that be in sexual matters or other matters. My science fiction characters are human (well, mostly) and they want intimacy just as much as contemporary humans. I imagine a future where the desire for intimacy leads to a better understanding of the power exchange we all practice in one form or another. Even if someone is vanilla, there is an aspect of give and take in their relationship with others. Safe and consensual BDSM just takes that concept to a whole new level, structuring it, and shining light in places we kept dark.
Secondly, I believe in a future where men and women are more free, where there is less judgment and where a person’s sexual orientation/practices are not viewed with the same gasping shock they seem to be today. In other words, I have faith that humanity will grow up. That sexual encounters will become less about rebelling against mommy and more about seeking to find a connection.
In “Dark Past”, both Bud and Julianna have found relief in the BDSM experience. But neither fools themselves into believing that those sexual congresses equaled intimacy. It’s only in their connection to each other that they find that elusive “click” that ties them to another. In many ways, Bud and Julianna represent what’s best and worst about our human condition. They are wounded, even obsessed with the responsibilities that their society demands from them. They are committed one hundred percent to the survival and happiness of their people. Yet, it’s their human fear and pride that create conflict for them. And no amount of dildos, floggers or handcuffs can reach the human heart mired in fear and pride. Both of them must surrender.
Showing a free sexual society and characters who are products of that society means that conflict can be stripped down to its basic level.
It’s about fear of intimacy.
It’s about the fear of being unloved.
What I have always loved about the BDSM community is that the practices they enact open the door to deal with those conflicts directly. To me, the vanilla world seems to avoid, deflect, cover up the fear of intimacy or of being unloved with big, twenty dollar words. The BDSM practice is to get there in a whole different way, cutting out the cerebral machinations that keep us separated from others.
No one who has ever experienced that intense surrender to the power exchange would ever forget it. It isn’t about the physical sensation, though that’s the vehicle. Think of BDSM practice like a trip to your favorite spot, the place you feel the safest, the most spiritual, the most connected. The physical sensation is the car that gets you there. The sexual response is the journey. But once you’ve “arrived” you feel safe, spiritual, connected.
I want to believe in a future where that journey is part of the human experience. So, I write about kinky people in the future. I don’t do it for sensationalism and I sure as hell don’t do it for the money. I don’t do it to piss my mother off either (though that’s interesting).
I do it because I love science fiction and creating new experiences for humanity. I do it because I love to indulge the fantasy that our future holds hope and love in new and better ways.
There’s many who would point to Erotic Science Fiction Romance as the reason “romance” doesn’t get respect in the science fiction community. That could be true. I’ve had many scorn my genre as “porn” and “plotless”. I’ve seen campaigns to take down BDSM Facebook pages because some group decided it was “abusive to women”.
My characters are kinky. In fiction, they can be kinky without facing judgment. Of course, they face other conflict and often face death, but they are free to be kinky.
I’d rather hope for that future than believe in a world filled with death and destruction.

5 Comments

Filed under Being Philisophical, Life Stuff, Writing

5 responses to “BDSM in Science Fiction: Why it matters…..

  1. Sue

    Preach it, sistah! You know I love your books and you, but I had to pop in here and remind you. Keep on it! Or the characters will never stop waking you up at night. ;)

  2. Jen

    LOL! Back at ya’ honey. My characters bug me in the shower. I guess they like me naked. LOL!

  3. natashamoore

    Great post! I’ve decided to start working again on the erotic (BDSM) science fiction romance series I had planned, for many of the reasons you mention here. BTW, loved Dark Past & Dark Revenge.

  4. Brilliant post, Jen :)

  5. very good written, ilke your post thanks………….

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