Tuesday, 27 April 2010

In Denial?

As a comment for my last blogpost, In the Desert, Lily wrote: 'When I first read this, I immediately wanted to respond that if I were there (or if I were continuing the writing) I would be plotting her rescue'. This made me think. The first thing I want to say is that I react in exactly the same way. I find it hard to write cruel stories because I do want people to be happy. On the other hand, what makes a story or a fantasy interesting is the tension, the excitement and passion.

I want the slavery to be gruesome, the whipping to be painful and the undressing quite shocking. It is not that I strive to create a sensation in the reader (although I don't mind), it is what I want to read myself, what I want to write about. Not that I am always true to this, sometimes I get caught up in some conversation or want to write about sweetness and kindness and then there is not much tension.

Leaving my inconsistencies aside, what I wanted to get to was that I can see that I am in denial when it comes to fantasies, and writing about them. The tension in a scene where you are tied to a whipping post, or kneeling in a room where you are going to be caned, lies in the difference between the gruesomeness and terror that is there and the arousal you still feel.

This is no news for you, I know that, and many of you, I gather, have no problems with this. You know and embrace that thrill, that arousal and perhaps even see it as the main ingredient.

When I think of myself I can see that that I have a quite complicated view on this. On the one hand, I know well that the very reason to write and read about dropped knickers and smacked bottoms is because we find it arousing and exciting. Still I struggle a lot with the gruesomeness of it all. I tend to write about the negative side of it or use neutral terms, maybe to emphasise the tension between the outer harshness and the inner excitement. But this is also an expression of my own ambiguity.

I do feel ashamed of feeling excited about stories where women are treated badly by men, stories that contain abuse and cruelty. Still it is what I want, what I get excited about and want to write.

My point is, and this is a very personal point, that I am so caught up in this tension and the guilt I feel for writing about it, that I miss the very obvious. The truth is that when I stand in front of the guests of the manor house, slipping off my last item of clothing, preparing for a truly vicious horsewhip, I feel excited. I have to hide it but the main sensation is delight, although mixed with fear and dread. And it is damned sexy to be tied naked to some tree, having to be rescued by a hero, feeling completely vulnerable and exposed. What I feel when I climb the stairs to the platform of the slave market, to be displayed naked for all prospective buyers is arousal.

You know this. I know that and maybe you will find me unbelievably naïve to have to blog about it, but there is a difference between understanding something intellectually and even accepting it, and really knowing it in your heart and sometimes it is the most obvious that you do your best to deny.


Manorlord said...

My Dear J --

I would say, in return, that there is something quite intriguing to read -- yes, that which we already know -- your fascination with submission and subjection -- but stated so frankly.

It is as if you are, by your words, truly stripping off your last thin garment. In this sense you do stand before us -- before ME -- naked, vulnerable, exposed, helpless, ready (or not) for searing pain and abject humiliation. Even in your dread, your desire is exposed -- for I can see it (and yes, also ...)

Warmest regards,

Wystan Ephraim

Paul said...

Janice, it took me years to admit to this feeling, even to myself.
There are shadowed corners of our souls, into which we are reluctant to peer.
Wystan says it better than I, those of us into this thing, recognise you, with respect!
Love and warm hugs,

Manorlord said...

Paul -- thanks for the compliment -- but if I said it "better" (whatever that means), you said it more concisely -- which means "better" in my (overlong) book.



Janice said...

Dear Wystan Ephraim, thank you for those encouraging and warm words. I can't just accept that there is a strange desire to submit, it is always in contrast with reason and other, as valid, emotions. I am glad if I manage to convey some of that ambiguity, I don't want to pretend it isn't there.

Dear Paul, the very reason I began blogging was to try to admit to myself this is how I feel. The response from you readers has made it so much easier to be me. Although I am still in denial about some of the emotions, sexual, for example. This is how absurd it can be...but this is what I wanted to express.



Anonymous said...

Janice, this post really speaks to me.

Just as you feel guilty about enjoying it when a man treats you cruelly. So to I feel guilt sometimes for wanting to be cruel to women.

The wrongness is arousing. But it is so powerful and delicious. Its easy to intellectually say we enjoy these things, but what does it mean about us?

The tension is powerful and consent is the flimsy weapon we use to try and maintain the moral high ground. But the truth is... some things we enjoy preciously because we consider them immoral.


Lily said...

Dear Janice - to be fair (to me and to you and to the power throughout your writing), this fragment of my comment was honest but was only part of the whole - and intended to contrast with how "your story and your characters [then] infiltrated and took their own very definite and particular directions during my fantasies" - and they did and can and do.

Obviously I feel very much the way you describe here too - feeling torn between my own sexuality and the eroticism of submission, and the guilt (but of what?) - which is precisely why I contrasted my first reaction (of wanting to protect her) with my strong emotional and sexual reactions.

I also appreciate what both Wystan and Paul said - and it's difficult, and it's a journey which continues - and if we can't acknowledge our honest feelings, how miserable is that to be?

And I think I rationalise this with the importance of consent, too, as Z. says. But there's more to it than that - it's truly not just a flimsy excuse - the **beauty** inherent within the acts which involve consent and trust - maybe this is why consent is such an important element in the BDSM world, and this is what makes the beauty of BDSM very different to abuse ...

Oh - and as Wystan illustrates - in few words and punctuation can also communicate deep understanding indeed _^^_

Lea said...

Further to Lily's - 'guilt over what?' – and why (some) submissives feel so guilty and confused? Well - worried their sexuality will be – misinterpreted? So – a few words -
... domination ... versus aggression ... sexual dimorphism ... domestic violence ...
- speaking only for myself, I think this is the basis of my guilt at least ...
anyway, hope you don't mind just some more thoughts thrown in. Which I ruminate about elsewhere (yes, my blogs are private nowadays). And, as I've said before, Janice, I admire your discussing these trains of thoughts here, very much so ...

Janice said...

Dear Z, Lily and Lea, check my new blogpost (http://strangeimagination.blogspot.com/2010/05/what-is-it-about.html) for replies and thoughts your lovely comments evoked.