Writing BDSM – Flogging ~ Outside the Margins with JP Barnaby

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JP Barnaby OTM

I’m going to start this post with a disclaimer – my personal belief in writing BDSM is that if you don’t have first-hand experience or an interview source with first-hand experience, it’s not something you should be writing. You can research it on the internet all day along, because everything on the internet is true, right? You don’t know if the information you’re reading is reliable. Get it from the source, otherwise you’re just writing 50 Shades all over again. By the way, the source is not another author’s BDSM book. Just because someone wrote it into a romance novel, doesn’t make it true.

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Friday night, I went to the Atlanta Eagle for kick-off night of SEBB (South East Black and Blue – a BDSM workshop). It was jock strap night, so the scenery was pretty impressive. Barking Leather, the guys who make all of my gear, were selling their impressive wares on the lower deck right next to a large red St Andrew’s Cross. And me? I was on the cross. I’d asked Sir John, a regular to the Eagle, if he would flog me to give me real, intimate experience with the implement. It wasn’t something I asked for specifically to help me write better, but I was genuinely interested in the sensation. He agreed. The first thing he did was establish my safety. This is very important in any BDSM scene. It didn’t matter that we were outside, or that we weren’t going to have sex, or even that it was something he’d done before. He asked me baseline questions about my health (asthma, heart conditions, STDs, infections, etc) and about any medications that he needed to know about. Then we started something commonly known as negotiations. Now, unlike what you’ll read, it doesn’t have anything to do with contracts or ticking checkboxes on a piece of paper. He simply asked me what my pain tolerance was. I told him I didn’t know. We talked for a few more minutes about how to proceed and then I pulled my shirt over my head so that my bare back was to him, and we began.

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So, to write a flogging scene, now I know how to make it authentic. I know how the flogger feels with different types of throws against my back. I know where he struck me, and how hard. I can describe the difference between one flogger being used, and two. I know exactly what the marks look like. I know how long they last. I know what the pain feels like in the days that follow. I know what it feels like to shower with my back bruised the way it is. I know how the bruising pattern builds. And that’s just the physical. I know how it feels to tap out when I need that break, and then renew my stance knowing what’s coming. I know how it feels to have that Sir wrap his arms around me in to feel the heat of my skin. I can describe the sound of his voice in my ear asking if I’m still with him, or the pride in his voice at how well I did. I know what subspace means, not because I’ve read about it, but because I’ve been there. I know what it means to come down from it and shake with the adrenaline. I know how it feels to unclench your fists from around the wooden arms of the cross and have someone pull up a chair for you because you’re not sure your legs will support you.

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You won’t get that detail from the internet.

If you’re going to write about crime, talk to a cop. If you’re going to write about disease, talk to a doctor. And if you’re going to write about getting your ass beat, talk to real players on both sides of the paddle. You’ll get a different perspective and a different dynamic for details that put your readers in the experience. And you’ll do justice to the people about whom you are writing.

~JP Barnaby

 

About JP Barnaby

Award winning romance novelist, J. P. Barnaby has penned over a dozen books including the Working Boys series, the Little Boy Lost series, In the Absence of Monsters, and Aaron. As a bisexual woman, J.P. is a proud member of the GLBT community both online and in her small town on the outskirts of Chicago. A member of Mensa, she is described as brilliant but troubled, sweet but introverted, and talented but deviant. She spends her days writing software and her nights writing erotica, which is, of course, far more interesting. The spare time that she carves out between her career and her novels is spent reading about the concept of love, which, like some of her characters, she has never quite figured out for herself.
Web site: http://www.JPBarnaby.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JPBarnaby

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JPBarnaby

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3240453.J_P_Barnaby

Tumblr: http://jpbarnaby.tumblr.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/J.P.-Barnaby/e/B003ZL3J9A/
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Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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Prism Book Alliance® assumes no liability for the ownership of photos or content used in guest posts and interviews.  The post author assumes all responsibility and liability for this content.

4 thoughts on “Writing BDSM – Flogging ~ Outside the Margins with JP Barnaby

  1. All I can think of to say is Wow. From other comments you have made I guess just being on display would be a big issue for you to conquer as well as the actual flogging.
    Your point about research is a good one and you have taken it that extra mile, let alone extra step!

  2. thank you so much for sharing what must’ve been a really personal experience. I’m in awe of you – both for doing it at all and for talking about it.

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