Guest Blogger: Cat Grant

triadHi, I’m Cat Grant. I’m an author of erotic romance, and I have also been involved in the San Francisco Bay Area leather scene off and on for the past decade.

BDSM’s become a popular subgenre in erotic fiction, especially since the advent of e-publishing. I can usually tell within the first few pages of a BDSM story if the author is in the lifestyle. This isn’t to say that non-kinky people can’t write good BDSM fiction, but more often than not, some small error will give them away. Most commonly, they don’t grasp the distinction between submission and masochism.

Submissives get off on the power exchange between themselves and their Dominants. Handing over all responsibility, all decisions to someone else can be an extremely deep and heady experience. It’s the ultimate demonstration of trust – and for some submissives, the only way they can truly let go. 

I identified as a submissive for my first few years in the scene, until I realized that, outside of the dungeon, I’m not all that submissive. I’m not into kneeling at a Dominant’s feet (which I couldn’t do anymore even if I wanted to, thanks to my arthritic knees!), and I’m definitely not into service-oriented submission (ie., doing housework). All I really want is to get the crap beaten out of me. So, a couple of years ago, I finally admitted to myself that I’m a masochist. 

Masochists tend to be people with jobs requiring a lot of brain power – writers, architects, engineers, high-powered executives, doctors, lawyers. We spend so much time inside our own heads, we need something to pull us out, help us reconnect with our physical being. The kiss of a flogger or a single-tailed whip releases us from the confines of our mundane daily lives, lets loose the endorphins and sends us soaring.

Unfortunately, this is the part about masochism that most non-kinky authors don’t understand. They see what appears to be a rather brutal infliction of pain, but the beauty – and yes, even the spirituality – of it flies right over their heads. Pain can be an incredible natural high, a doorway to a place in one’s consciousness where time simply stops. I’ve had scenes that went on for over two hours, but felt like five minutes. When you’re in that headspace, the rest of the world falls away.

Pain has proven an amazingly therapeutic tool for me. It’s helped me become more aware of my body, and, as a woman of size, helped me rid myself of some of society’s ridiculous hang-ups regarding my weight. When I soar, I feel like the most beautiful person on earth.

Pain also helps me break down my emotional barriers. It’s allowed me to access the types of feelings we’ve all been taught to keep under a tight rein – anger, grief, fear, etc. I’d been on prescription anti-depressants since I was twenty, but once I embraced my masochism, I discovered I no longer needed the drugs. For me, it has been not only a journey of self-discovery, but also a liberating and empowering experience.

Authors in the lifestyle understand this dynamic. I’ll admit, it was one of the most difficult things for me to come to terms with when I first realized I was a masochist. We’ve been programmed from childhood to view the infliction of pain as a punishment. What often appears to the uninitiated as an act of violence is, in actuality, an expression of tenderness, even love.

bychance 1Cat Grant has been scribbling dirty stories since she was knee-high to a bug. TRIAD, the fifth book in her Courtland Chronicles series of bisexual romances, will be published on December 21, 2009 by Lyrical Press.

7 thoughts on “Guest Blogger: Cat Grant

  1. Thank You Cat. I have been reading BDSM for a while now. I agree when an author knows what they are talking about you can tell. One of my favorite authors brings you deeply into that world. I thought about being a submissive but, I would have to agree I dont’t think I would enjoy kneeling at anyones feet or licking anyones boots. just not in my personal make-up. and house work forget it I hate it now!!! The masochism I would like very much to try. All your reasons for liking it,( being of large body, Thinking to much inside my head, and suffering for years with mood disorders)You could not have come closer to talking about me. Again the reason for my comment is to thank you for bringing to light that masochism is not violence but actually sounds quite loving to me if put into the loving hands of a trusted partner. Someday. I hope to make that experience mine.

  2. I’m with Angie all the way. Unfortunately, I don’t think the fad of “All Subs Wanna Get Their Asses Beaten Bloody” will die for a long while. If ever.

    Let’s face it – masochists and the very existence of masochism throws people off. The pre-programming of “pain is bad” as Cat says. So there will always be people who shriek that it and the people who like it/participate in it are “not-right” and “not-sane”.

    And that’s how they’ll write it. However, I think the more people who talk and write about it – and when I say people I mean people in the life or with knowledge of it – and point out the glaring wrongs, the tide might turn.

    Worth a shot, right? Good post, Cat.

  3. Yes, that’s a huge barrier that too many people who try to write BDSM fiction can’t get past. [nod] Sometimes it looks like they’re not even trying, not even making the minimal effort to research and learn what’s what that they’d have done if they were writing, say, a historical, or a cowboy story. I’ll be very happy when the kink fad passes and the folks who are just trying to jump on the bandwagon — a wagon they clearly find icky and distasteful, and would just as soon not dirty their clothes by sitting down in — flee to the next Big Thing. :/


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