Be The Light…

I’m sure I’m confusing people on twitter with my moderate’s disdain for the political extremes running amok there.  I’m grateful that some people seem to get it though.

My “No Politics” post didn’t make things as clear as I’d have liked.  I have TWO big problems with politics and the way people talk to others:

 

1) Issues are NEVER as simple as the extremists and demagogues on either side make them out to be.  For example, gangs are just one good reason for a border wall, BUT we have to overhaul our immigration system as well and allow good people a chance at the American Dream, take an honest look at what we may be doing to contribute to problems in Latin America, and see if we can do things to help them help themselves.

2) These extremists not only shut down thinking and discussion, they spread hate and poison.  There’s a principle of metaphysics that says hate only attracts more hate and conflict.  It doesn’t matter how righteous you THINK your cause is, if your answer is trashing and threatening violence against those you disagree with, you are part of the PROBLEM, not the solution.  You are also actively working to make the world a DARKER place.

I keep saying be more like Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Theresa, Jesus, Buddha, etc…  I have a perfect story that illustrates the point also.  The Christmas Eve service is the one time this heathen is guaranteed to turn up at church.  The closing part of the services; the same every year, are exactly why:

The Pastor talks about the need to carry the Christmas Spirit into and through the new year, and how the world is a dark place if everybody withholds their love, compassion and caring from the world.  To illustrate the point, the lights are turned off in the chapel.

Now, everybody is given a candle entering the service.  They’re all being lit as the Pastor speaks.  He tells everyone to keep the candles low at first also; withhold their light from the world metaphorically.  Then he starts talking about how people can be the light, and make the world a better place.  Then all 3000 people (It’s a big church) hold up their candles.  It’s beautiful and amazing the difference it makes

Bayside Church Candle Lighting & Silent Night

Afterwards everyone sings Silent Night and the service are over.

Watch the YouTube video through to the end and see if it doesn’t have the same impact on you as it did me.  It’s alot of light, and it’s people wanting said light to better the world, NOT burn it down.  THINK about that. Remember the people you disagree with are human beings with legitimate reasons for feeling and thinking the way they do.  If you actually talk to them like human beings, you will PROBABLY find out that you have more in common than you realize once you get past artificial labels.

Think win-win and you can probably also find a solution that’s not perfect, but works for both of you.

BE THE LIGHT

My Thoughts on BDSM

Since my half dozen (thus far) non fan fiction erotica pieces all have at least a slight element of domination and submission to them (Amy’s Seduction being the only real exception), AND I’m picking up followers on Twitter into that lifestyle, I felt I’d take a couple of minutes to spell out my thoughts on the subject.

Plain and simple, my view is that as long as it’s safe, sane and above all mutually consensual, it’s all good.  All of that requires a great deal of communication and self awareness by both parties.

I have one huge gripe with elements of the community.  That being the “if you’re not doing it MY way, it’s not really domination!” crowd.  To be blunt, that’s not only utter crap, it also tells me the Dom or Domme uttering it has no idea what they’re talking about, quite likely little or no respect for submissives, and / or massive insecurity issues.  A real dominant is going to want to talk, make sure the other person is more than just titillated, and has compatible ideas about what BDSM is.  If their ideas later drift apart on the subject, they will set the submissive free instead of trying to force them past hard limits also.

I’m fairly passionate on the issue because I used to have a virtual part-time job counseling women who were responding to ads looking for submissives on a certain free site that no longer runs personals.  Horrified by some of the “dom” ads I saw I posted my own telling submissives that their submission was a gift given, it had to be earned, that a dom should listen to your wants and needs when establishing relationship boundaries, and that it was just as much about their orgasm as his.

It was amazing and scary how many “thank you” replies I got from women with strong curiosity but who were confused and scared after ‘talking’ to abusers who told them that if they were submissive at all, they’d immediately do anything and everything the “dom” said, no questions asked, right from the moment they met.  A few of them even told me they were made to feel like they were crazy until they read my post.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m anything but a saint.  I’m proud to say I saved a few women from abusive relationships though.

It Happened Again!

For those who missed my last post, the day before yesterday, Twitter made a follow recommendation that was completely unrelated to anything I’d tweeted or searched (anywhere online), or even been near in almost a year.  It was a place I’d just been talking about however.  Since there was NO way to know otherwise, the only conclusion I can come to is that the recent conspiracy theory about various social media outlets tapping phones and computer microphones is true.

Of course there’s pure coincidence.  That’s unlikely, but people win the lottery all the time despite there being a ten times better chance of being hit by lightning, right?

Well, it happened again last night.  The TV was on and the local news was talking about a serial predator getting state paid legal representation.  I commented aloud that it sucks, but that I believe that guarantee is an important part of our legal rights.  A few minutes later I log back into Twitter and the top of my recommended follow list is the Federalist Society.

Again, they have NOTHING to base that recommendation on.  I don’t surf or search political sites, and I keep my writing completely free of politics also.  The rhetoric is just too heated and unthinking on all sides, and I do NOT want it poisoning my writing or alienating followers.  With that being the case, the only thing they have to base that recommendation on is verbal comments picked up by a PC or cellphone microphone, and almost right after said comments were made.

Facebook, Google, Twitter…  They’re all eavesdropping I guess.

OK, This is Just Creepy…

For those NOT in the know, there’s a conspiracy theory going around that social media, especially Facebook, actively taps your smart phone mic and camera to eavesdrop and target advertising to a scary level.  I saw an article the other day that explained how it was all actually done via phone GPS and merchants selling your transaction data… supposedly.  It seemed a reasonable explanation, albeit still a massive invasion of privacy.

The “SUPPOSEDLY” comes in because I just had an Orwellian moment about a half hour ago…  I logged into Twitter on my laptop, and at the very top of my suggested follows list is a place I hadn’t been within miles of in a year and had done NO online searches, etc… about.  I had just gotten done discussing the place face to face verbally with somebody else though.

And then it just magically pops up at the TOP of my list on Twitter?!?  Like hell somebody isn’t listening.  The odds otherwise of that place popping up are astronomical, especially when you factor in it’s one of the last places you’d expect to see an erotica author!

Why Superheros and Superheroines?

A Twitter post by Ava Sterling, (link to her blog “What I Write” is to the right) who follows this blog and is an amazing erotica writer, inspired me to write this.

Much of the public today doesn’t understand the attraction that superheroes hold for others.  This is my attempt at explaining that, and why a good portion of this blog has stories focusing on them.

In the bigger picture, we live in a world where everything seems upside down and out of control.  Everything is exaggerated and distorted by special interests and the media.  This is on both sides of every issue in my opinion.  Real world heroes are human and have flaws which are exposed and they’re torn down.  People love their heroes though.  They want role models and to believe there are people out there who can make a difference.  Superheroes have taken the place of knights in shining armor in the eyes of some of the public.  Others gravitate towards Jason Bourne type characters, but the general pattern holds true.

Marvel movies are so popular because they give people heroes who stand up for their beliefs and go the distance to do what’s right.  Then there’s the fact that everything superheroes do is on a grandiose scale which makes for great modern special effects movies.  Sadly the comic companies themselves are losing money like mad on their actual books.  There are multiple reasons, but the biggest one is that they’ve just forgot their audiences and try to make the characters and world as muddied as the real world.

Metahumans can be just as three dimension and suited for grown ups as any characters though.  They simply need intelligent story telling.

On a personal level, I’m doing fan fiction so I don’t burn through story ideas for my own erotica of all flavors.  I need to improve a bit before I’m on Ava’s level (And thus ready to try getting published), and this is my personal training regimen.  Taking something like the objectified and stereotyped characters of Danger Babe Central and turning them into more three dimensional characters with unique personalities and motivations is a major exercise in creativity and writing also.  All the more so if I want to keep some of the exaggerated sexual vulnerabilities these characters have while making them human beings.

I’ll be the first to admit that the vast majority of fan fiction is complete drivel.  If I write a Star Wars story, it may not be on the level of Alan Dean Foster also.  I can promise you it’ll be better than a lot of blogged writing though.  So, if you’ve only read my “normal” stories, I hope you’ll give the other stuff a look also.

Rant: Writing Consent

I ran across an article recommendation on my browser yesterday, and it’s had me annoyed ever since.  I intended to stay away from anything remotely political or controversial here.  I also intend to continue to do so beyond this little rant.

The article in question was in The Atlantic recently and was titled “How to Write Consent in Romance Novels”.  The article is essentially an interview of a feminist writer, and starts with an example from one of her latest books where the protagonist is taken to a Dodgers baseball game on a date.  Her boyfriend is briefly described as essentially a clueless boor but good looking and an actor.  They’ve been dating for a few months.  He pops the question on the jumbo-tron and is supposedly so clueless after dating her for months that he can’t even spell her name correctly while doing so.

Quite understandably, given the short time of their relationship and the very public way the proposal was handled, she feels shocked, embarrassed and cornered.  I think most people would if they’d only been dating a short time.  She says no, he goes on a tirade yelling at her, and the stadium crowd turns on her also.

Long story short, this excerpt from her book was supposed to show how more traditional relationship roles are backwards and oppressive, society supports oppressing women, etc…  I just want to bang my head against the wall when I see stuff like this.

Let’s be clear here: The protagonist had every right to say no.  I would have in her shoes.  What I object to is the broad brush strokes that the author and The Atlantic use to paint anyone who thinks differently about relationships and erotica as either a monster or a brainwashed clueless woman needing enlightenment from them.  The author’s books sell, so more power to her for finding an audience.  That does NOT mean hers is the only valid approach or opinion however.

First of all, there’s a huge difference between being clueless and over-eager as the boyfriend was in the story, and deliberately trying to oppress and devalue a partner and women in general.  There’s also nothing wrong with a public proposal, so long as marriage has been previously talked about and it’s pretty clear that’s what both people want.

Much of what’s written as erotica is also pure fantasy.  Just about everything I write here falls into that category.  That meaning it’s something that you might imagine or role play with a partner for kinky fun, but it may very well be something you’d never want to happen in real life.  Big difference between fantasizing about the boss calling you into his office and bending you over his desk, and actually having it pushed on you in real life.  YES, contrary to extremist opinion, people ARE smart enough to know the difference also.

There’s also nothing wrong with men and women having more traditional relationship roles in terms of pursuing and being pursued.  It can and IS done while still respecting the woman all the time, both in the real world and in fiction.  I think my Power Girl’s Power Date story is a good example there.  Marc pursues her strongly while engaging her on an intellectual level, giving her an out at the couple of times she feels uncertain, and never outright forces himself on her or coerces sex from her.

That kind of relationship is every bit as valid as the type the author who was written about in The Atlantic seems to prefer, which as best I can tell is just short of a cuckold one where the man must ask permission to do anything, and can’t even pull out a chair or hold a door for a woman lest it be seen as devaluing her as inferior somehow.  No doubt that analysis is almost as off as the way more traditional roles are portrayed in the article.  It’s sadly what happens when people get frustrated by that kind of lack of tolerance and perceived self righteousness from people who believe they know better than everyone else.

The reality of relationships in general SHOULD be that if it works for both people involved, and is mutually consensual then it’s valid.  That goes for everything from traditional relationships to the ones pushed by the Atlantic to BDSM and other alternative relationships.

Oh and if somebody comes along and tries to negate all I said because of my Witchfire heroine peril stories…  They’re an attempt to humanize stereotyped characters and the situations they’re put in, and it’s used as a way to push my growth as a writer.  Everything there is pure fantasy and sometimes done to show the character’s strength as a survivor as opposed to glorifying what happened to them.

I encourage anyone reading who agrees to reblog or retweet this also.