Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Minnie Lahongrais

An awesome Guest Post by Minnie Lahongrais

BDSM: Things People Do For Pleasure

The release of a trilogy of books chronicling the “unconventional” relationship between an ingĂ©nue and a billionaire businessman sparked a cacophony enveloping the BDSM community. I suspect some of that noise could have stemmed from people in the lifestyle who might have previously been closeted for various reasons and now feel a sense of freedom allowing for a bit more openness in the vanilla world about their relationships. Maybe, the din comes from people who are experiencing what Oprah calls “Aha moments” whereby they recognize that there’s nothing wrong with wanting a little spice in their sex lives and are openly taking steps to add this dimension to their encounters. Still others might be curious and the mainstream excitement surrounding this story sort of gives them permission to explore in this arena.

When I began to think about who Adina was at her core, I looked to the BDSM community because she was a woman at ease with her sexuality and I wanted to be respectful to the community when writing scenes for her character. Adina is a dominant personality, but she is also a sociopath. Her sociopathic typology did not turn her into a Domme. Without divulging any spoilers, I will say this: her first lover, Benny, taught her everything she knew about sex and that is where her dominance took root.

BDSM: Bondage/Dominance/Submission/Sadism/Masochism – Yes I added an additional “S” in my acronym. Bondage, Sadism and Masochism are three of the different dynamics found within this community, but today I want to focus on the Dominant/submissive (“sub”) – the other “S” – aspects of this lifestyle where the Dominant (“Dom”) partner is male.

During my research, I learned that there is a misconception with regard to this culture as viewed through the eyes of those not living the lifestyle, myself included. The belief that a sub is weak or has no say in the role they play in their relationships is erroneous. In fact, much of the power is in the hands of the sub for the act of submission is seen as an act of love offered to the Dom as a gift and is much appreciated when given. Many subs are far from submissive in their daily lives. A large number have very demanding “vanilla” lives where they continuously bear the responsibility of keeping things under control. Submitting to a trusted, dominant partner in an intimate setting allows a sub to let go and just be in the moment without worry.

The word “trusted” is in bold font above. This is crucial. Building any relationship – and these are real relationships – takes time; time which is needed to build the trust necessary in order for this dynamic to work. Many of these relationships are extremely loving and enduring and a great number of them are monogamous.

Says something, doesn’t it?

The other thing I learned during my research was that not all Dom/sub relationships involve pain and that in some cases, pain enhances pleasure.

The Sensual Dom/sub dynamic is much more interesting to me than the other types of relationships in this community of intelligent, diverse people. This type of Dom is merely a Dom whose desire is to shape and mold a submissive partner much in the way that Benny molded and shaped Adina. Benny encouraged Adina to study. He coaxed her in building her confidence. He taught her street smarts. He WANTED her to be a successful, independent woman. He was also very protective of her. This is what and who a Dom is.

In this relationship, the Dom’s focus is solely on sensuously pleasing his sub. She comes first. Nothing is left to chance. Often the Dom meticulously plans activities that will bring sensual pleasure to his sub and upon seeing that she is pleased, he is pleased – immensely. Just as he takes steps to enhance his sub’s experience, so too is his experience enhanced.

In “Divergent Lives” Adina easily slips into the Domme role after she is approached by an older, prominent and lonely man whose only desire is to please her – no matter what. Some people are born dominants, some grow into the role. Adina took to this role easily, but after she brutally dismissed her sub, she met the man of her dreams, a “vanilla” man and she struggled with how to incorporate this facet of herself in this new relationship. When she thought she had it all figured out, it was too late.

I am not an expert in the BDSM community but I can see that many of the relationships therein are very much like vanilla relationships. They have ups and downs and communication is key. I see these relationships as “vanilla with a little bit (ok, maybe a lot) of spice”. What’s wrong with that?

Everyone has different tolerance levels for different things. As far as I’m concerned, when two adults jointly decide to participate in activities together, as long as they follow the credo of sane, safe and consensual, who are we to judge?

Not I.

Book Description:

Psych Thriller Adds Deviant Twists to Sociopath Theme

RJ and Adina enter the world as fraternal twins, one raised by old-world, controlling immigrants in El Barrio, the other sold into a religious home filled with lies and scorn. Both are sociopaths.

Turns out, RJ’s got a secret that enrages him with the flip of a switch. Adina uses her sexual power to dominate every man in her life. They are on a mysterious trajectory to cross paths in New York City, where the end of their lives culminates in an apex of horror and carnage.

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About the author:

Native New Yorker, Minnie Lahongrais unwittingly kick-started her second career when she began writing an urban fantasy tale intended to help her cope with the death of her father. November of that year, she set that story aside to immerse herself in the annual madness of NaNoWriMo, meeting the challenge head on. Her first novel, “Sinner’s Ride” was published Spring of 2011. That summer, she found herself obsessed with the story idea for “Divergent Lives.”

Next on her agenda is the urban fantasy she began at the outset of her journey. She now plans to write that story as a trilogy.

Ms. Lahongrais currently lives in New York City. She finds time to write every day and spends her free time with her family.

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