So your mom wants to know if you’re into bondage the way you used to be really into elves

yourmomBoth of my parents read this blog. (My dad follows me on Twitter, and I’m pretty sure he links my mom to anything he finds suitably amusing. Hi Dad!). Which is generally really cool, like when my mom got a massive kick out of the Alex heroine interview. And while no one really blinks at the LGBT romance thing, we did manage to shock my mom with the Conference Sneak Peek a couple of weeks back.

Later that day I got an email from her, very lovingly phrased, and asking, basically, why on earth I was into bondage. I used to be really into elves and dragons when I was a kid. Was this like that?

Well, I’m still into elves and dragons, but after I fell through the floor with the kind of embarrassment that can only come from being asked that question by your mom, I wrote her back. After all, she just wants to know what I’m into, because she likes me and likes to know what I’m up to. So I explained briefly that, first of all, BDSM isn’t just about bondage and isn’t really about sex. It is about — and here lies the appeal for me — structure and communication.

There’s a risk element to a lot of what goes down in the BDSM scene that means, if you’re going to play safe, you’re going to spend A LOT of time talking to your partner about what you want, and what you don’t want. And that expands outwards from stuff involving scary-looking whips to every part of the relationship. It’s a lifestyle that demands being really honest and open about your feelings. It’s also a lifestyle where there is absolutely no shame for wanting, or not wanting anything.

I talked about how writing and being ambitious, especially when you’re a woman, can be incredibly isolating and frustrating. I told her how easy it can be to feel confused about what I’m “supposed” to do in my work-life balance, and how guilty I feel when there aren’t enough hours in the day to make everyone I have responsibilities to, including myself, satisfied and happy.

However, the BDSM subculture tells me desire is good, asking for what you want is necessary, and negotiating (almost) anything is possible. Reading and writing about BDSM on the page has made it easier for me to say “Tell me what you want” and “I want X” in real life, and that’s done a concrete good for me.”

It also, frankly, made answering my mom’s question easier. No matter what the structure of your life looks like, communication can be hard and navigating different desires in relationships, friendships, and the workplace can be incredibly challenging. Negotiating those challenges is also very much the sort of story we like to tell here at Avian30, whether it’s about a couple at a leather conference or an accidental triad navigating the burdens of both public life and forgotten history (you haven’t met that story yet, but we hope you will soon).

What I didn’t think to tell my mom at the time, and maybe I should have, is that it’s too easy to bargain for your life, which is something rarely done from a place of power, or pleasure.  Negotiating, on the other hand, is something very different indeed.

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This entry was posted in BDSM, Conference, genre talk, lgbtq, Writing, Your Mom and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to So your mom wants to know if you’re into bondage the way you used to be really into elves

  1. Mike Moore says:

    I’d never thought of it from that angle before.
    Your parents reading your blog is great! My mom doesn’t even own a computer. I think that showsthey really take an interest in you. Your unique perspective on this was an interesting read.

  2. Pingback: New Novelette Coming: Room 1024 | Avian30

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