A recent comment triggered the need for this article- I was not only shocked and deeply disturbed by what I read, but over seventy emails reflected the same. I got tired of explaining the noxious poison which is IGNORANCE in this industry, and promised to do my best to enlighten those who sincerely wish to learn.
As for those who don’t- we can’t force the blind to see, or the deaf to hear. I will also emphasize that any relationship that I refer/support in the article is one involving consensual adults.
I wrote the Game Plan© series back in 2012 to introduce the literary community to the truth about the age-play dynamic. The desire was to show those who falsely believed AP to be pedophilia and abuse, that it was beautiful and, when conducted with pure intent, had the potential to bring healing. Unfortunately, because of the Game Plan’s (and Skylar’s Guardians) incredible success in contemporary and sci-fi AP literature, everybody and his brother started throwing the title ‘Daddy’ into their books, and Teddy Bears on the cover, and called it age-play.
There’s a simple solution; Just call it what it is!
May I offer an extreme, but equally destructive, example of the impact misrepresentation does to a community? First, ask yourself if it would be appropriate for a writer(s) to portray all gay men as always wearing make-up and dressed in pink tutus in every story they wrote? What if such a horrible portrayal meant it would sell books?
Even though that’s the farthest thing from an honest representation of the gay/LGBQT community that exists, the ignorance associated with human nature will hang onto that false imagery.
What’s the harm? Misconceptions are validated and spread, and suddenly we find ourself being labeled as pedophiles and in need of therapy. Prejudice grows, along with being ostracized. Incidentally, I’ve already come face-to-face with one such ‘AP/Spanking’ author who said that exact thing–and the situation escalated to the commitment of a hate crime. I’m strong enough to disregard Author Amy letters demanding to kill myself- but others in my community might not be. Living this lifestyle is difficult, even for the most experienced. Why introduce more hatred and disgust through unresearched stories written by those who don’t care? Ignorance kills. Already, there’s been too many injuries, physical, mental and emotional, that have occurred between untrained ‘shaders’ playing at BDSM. Some authors might disagree with me, but I believe when we write about a particular lifestyle or vocation- whether it be BDSM, Christian, selling diamonds, etc, we have the responsibility to put SOME time into study so that we can communicate it accurately. But, alas, why bother when throwing a title of Daddy on a cover, along with the image of a bare-chested man or a woman in a short-skirt, makes money? Who cares, anyway?
Sorry, but these type of attitudes fry my anchovies.
The absolute lack of integrity of that aforementioned writer and her supporting community confirmed the pathetic existence of ignorance and lack of compassion. In contrast, it also welcomed the show of my readers’ intelligence, morals and ethics. Everyday, I receive emails sharing life choices and positive changes, or questions and desires for a live improved- and it thrills the death out of me!
It’s because of these readers, that I give the very best I have to offer-including taking the time to research, and convey, any subject I bring forth on paper.
With the onset of interest in ‘reverse harems’ (describing poly relationships of one woman to multiple men), I decided it was time to expand beyond the menage/threesomes seen in the Game Plan©, Little Lake Bridgeport©, and Little Heart© Series, and introduce the next level of the BDSM/AP lifestyle through Billion Dollar Daddies© and the upcoming Northern Lights©. Thousands of readers adore these books, and are demanding more- (patience, my darlings!) BUT- because I believe in being responsible to my readers by educating and eliminating ignorance, the upsetting public comment necessitated the need for insight into a part of the alternative lifestyle and where it fits in the world of BDSM.
In the real world, the dynamic extends beyond the confines of a story book, and involves different, and committed, pairings that include extended families and multiple partners of any combination or gender. To the monogamous ‘believers,’ it might be a foreign (and even shocking) concept- but the consensual poly-lifestyle has been around forever. Go check out King David, a man after God’s own heart, and see how many wives he had. So, if one finds it personally distasteful, or unsettling, please remember that no person, not even the highest and mightiest among us, has the right to judge another’s life choices.
That brings about the discussion of the modern interpretation of the term ‘harem.’ No, we aren’t referring to the Arabian Prince and his concubines, the Star Lord and a space ship of human slaves, or even a group of California sea lions.
I’m also not addressing (or EVER condoning) forced polygamy by religious zealots (like those in Justice for Liberty). I’m examining the chosen polyamory relationship that involves four (or more) committed partners. It’s the step beyond the ménage-a-trois, and isn’t limited to multiple women to one man (polygyny), nor does it imply a female-dominated dynamic (although, they do exist). Incidentally, the majority of polyamorous families loathe the term ‘harem’, so I respectfully limit it to the use of literature as an easy-to-locate reference to poly-love, and will never use the terminology in the stories themselves.
I’m also not going to defend my right to produce a series that I enjoy writing for my readers. My hope is, by educating the readers of this article (some who might also be authors), the step toward thoughtfulness and respect will take precedence over passing judgement on those who live alternative lifestyles.
This being said, allow me to inform you that strong, loyal, and lifelong relationships involving multiple MEN to one women (polyandry) DO exist in healthy commitments. More so, their dynamics are as varied as personalities. NEVER should one make the ill-informed mistake in believing that a polyamory relationship in which the woman is the center of a 3+ Manwich (AKA reverse harem), means she’s the dominant/mistress. Assumptions such as these only prove ignorance to the myriad of lifestyle dynamics. Anyone, writer or not, who claims to be in a BDSM relationship and vocalizes such viewpoints, illustrates one, of three, primary issues:
- The individual hasn’t taken the time to learn about others in their community.
- The individual doesn’t care to learn, or is insensitive, about others in their community.
- The individual isn’t part of this community.
This is our LIFE-
NOT a game or the target of some bewildered fantasy
Permit me to give some real-life examples of NON-SEXUAL ‘reverse harems’
NON-BDSM: When I served in the USMC, there were very few women in my platoon, and Intel and recon commands were primarily male occupied. As the Intel specialist for HQ battalion, I was responsible for distributing instructions and logistics for training exercises. My field team consisted of a six to eight band of brothers, the majority whom were overtly alpha (okay, let’s call it what it is- bossy). I held the map and compass in my grubby little hands and steered the unit, but the boys determined when, and how, we would succeed in our mission. I both loved, and hated these assignments-they had my back and guarded my safety, but also harassed and teased me every chance they got. It didn’t help that they also snitched on me to General G.
BDSM IN SERVICE: As a Whip Mistress, I’d go to San Diego when the Leatherboys hung out at the cigar bars or lounge in puppy piles. After a play night, I put away my Florentines and the boys waited on me hand and foot. That particular ‘harem’ was of a Master/slave dynamic, and led by their alpha. I was the guest (with boobs) and treated like a queen. There was no relationship beyond being friends who engaged in occasional impact play.
LIFESTYLE: Finally, as an age-player and FT sub, my particular needs tend to require a ‘village.’ I wrote this primer in 2016 to share with readers, and educate authors, what a typical AP day looks like.
John and I have an extended family of Doms who love me dearly, and help him keep sane. (I tend to be a handful).
I also ‘play’ with a gay poly family with one Little and three older Daddies. And, you know what? It’s AWESOME. It’s also NON-SEXUAL. The ‘adults’ are long-term and committed friends who love each other dearly, and that love is passed down to every Little/Middle who enters their home. They’re all also dominants (different degrees) and there is never any ‘adult’ activities when their sub is submerged in his regression. Their little boy receives more love and care than any one person could hope for.
Who wouldn’t want that?
Can you see where my inspiration for the Billion Dollar Daddies© and Northern Lights© series comes from?
REAL LIFE!! GASP!!
The question arises-
Why should a writer of BDSM/spanking fiction demonstrate, at least, some respect to the real-life community who inspires them? More so, does he/she feel a responsibility to their readers to produce stories that lift up and honor the community they use as a model?
A responsible writer goes beyond plucking down fantasy imaginings. Over the years, I’ve watched, sadly, so many who have tried to copy/mimic my success as an AP writer, and have seen them fail miserably due to a lack of basic knowledge, interest, and humility. In a contemporary/historical romance setting, fantasy-based and misconstrued interpretations of the dynamic radiate through the stories, and leave readers angry, hurt and confused. One such example is a piece I read years ago in ‘contemporary romance’ in which the ‘littles’ were injected with a chemical to tighten their vaginas so that sex with their ‘daddies’ always hurt. It forced them into a constant state of losing their virginity.
I don’t know about you- but I interpreted that scene to be nothing less than premeditated rape and sexual abuse. That is NOT AP, nor would any responsible Dom, Daddy or otherwise, want his sub to suffer/dread every time they had sex. Needless to say, scenes such as this leave disillusioned readers who share their distasteful experiences and stop purchasing books within the genre as it’s determined we are ‘not their cup of tea.’
To be a responsible, earth-bound BDSM/AP writer requires learning the truth- not by watching a movie or talking to a blog-buddy (who might not really be what they claim). Talk, and even better, visit those who live it. A journalist doesn’t write an article based on hearsay- she investigates, seeks the truth and writes from that. Science Fiction allows for bending
of the truth, but the element of AP is still a constant, along with the guidelines of the practice. Again, I emphasize that the use of titles ‘daddy, papa, auntie, etc’ do NOT make it an age-play work, rather the actions, and interactions, between the characters.
I live the BDSM lifestyle with my husband, John. We’re in a monogamous relationship, practice DD (domestic discipline), DS (dominance and submission), and AP (age-play). Both of us have always been active in our community as educators, counselors and support for those involved, or interested , in the plethora of dynamics. I’ve had dozens of people in our home who can testify first-hand about our lifestyle. I conduct therapy groups at the VA for alternative lifestyle relationships, sexual dysfunction, and domestic violence. Several of my books (i.e. Chastity’s Belt) are used to help patients work through emotional pain and fear. There’s never been any question that I am who I say I am- nor am I afraid to prove it. Are you?
It’s understood that some need to maintain anonymity for various reasons- but there’s a difference between being a writer with a pen name vs the public claim to be living in the dynamic. If you’re forced to keep the truth of your life a secret to the outside world, consider the reason behind deciding to publicly post and the risk you take when, not if, you’re discovered by the very ones you hide from.
The sad fact is that, in this industry, there will always be someone to expose the truth no matter how hard you try to silence them. Ask those who have lost everything because of another’s jealously, pride, or childishness.
You don’t think it would happen to you? I didn’t either until I rewrote an entire book for an individual and allowed her to sell it under her name. She broke the sacred law of anonymity and told my haters (the aforementioned author and her cronies) one of my secret pen names. She was promised fame and, instead of becoming a decent writer, she took the easy route. Sure enough- they went on the attack. It was fortunate for me that the pseudonym was new and experimental and she didn’t have access to any of my successful ones. The recourse? Everyone knows she can’t be trusted, that she lies, and that anyone involved with her is at risk for her next selfish move. I’ve also had an anonymous hater call the nursing board to report my ‘morality’ violations. FYI- California doesn’t have such a thing. They called (laughing) to tell me. Since I don’t hide my lifestyle, and am a certified sexologist, I had nothing to explain and ended up with the BON reading my books!
My point is that people have lost their jobs, marriages and reputations by pretending to be something they’re not or by paracistically piggybacking on false claims to gain sales. That’s not marketing- that’s foolishness.
So, I ask- for those who insist they are lifestylers- what’s the purpose for the public announcement when no one outside your bubble is aware? Do you think it gives you credibility to increase sales? Privacy is understood, but if you’re going to identify as a lifestyler and refuse to extend yourself to people, or your words/stories fail to support the entirety of our community, are you really what you profess?
Incidentally- copying photos of our implements, and then posting them on your blog and FB page as your own is not only deceptive- but illegal. Yep- the individual was busted.
Safe, Sane, Consensual goes in the direction of not just doing, but in learning. There isn’t one of us in the lifestyle who is so good or careful, etc., that we don’t require accountability. Accountability is part of the lifestyle community– and that includes how we represent it in our books.
How long has the gay community stood against naysayers and begged people to get to know them before passing judgement? Likewise, the poly lifestylers- many families are judged and misunderstood because books are being written by those who have no freaking idea WHO they are- nor show any interest in learning. The same goes for AP. Prejudice and untruths are embraced and spread by the naive, and tear away the fabric of trust in our community.
Without research, and compassion, how can one justify writing books about how another person conducts their life behind closed doors or in the privacy of a party? Further, if that same person claims to be in the lifestyle, or that a certain part (aka AP) is precious to them, how can they not accept and respect the rest of those who live it? Who should be judged? The one making a mockery of something to line their pockets, or those who’ve fought years for their right for freedom from prejudice and hatred? It seems to be imbalanced, doesn’t it? But then, when it comes to truth vs money, it usually is.
There’s a saying- Your Kink Is Not My Kink, And That’s Okay.
BDSM is NOT a kink- it’s a way of life. And in that life, many people engage in countless expressions of personal and, sometimes, sexual freedom. Heterosexual, homosexual, LGBQT, pansexual, poly, AP, Furries… every subsection of the lifestyle is precious and important. It also represents our freedom. If one is taken away by the ignorant comments of prejudice, what will be taken next?
The only one who puts Baby in the corner is her Dom. Not you- not me- not anyone. Respect is only difficult to give if one lacks respect for themselves.
If one must judge- do so with education and understanding, not through foolishness. Accept, and HONOR, people who are different and, if tolerance and love isn’t something in your vocabulary, PUT IT THERE. Better yet, keep your mouth closed (especially in public) if you have nothing uplifting to say about a lifestyle!
This request is targeted toward writers:
If you’ve already offended, disrespected, or misrepresented our community, a specific group of people, or even one person- PLEASE show yourself to be a caring and responsible adult. Apologize to those you’ve hurt with your words. You’d be surprised how many more readers will respect you for your honesty and show of humility. They know you’re human-
They’re just waiting for you to show that you’re also humane.
With all Luv,
Breanna L. Hayse,
DABFN, DABCE, MS, CertST
(This article contains excerpts from Hayse, B.L., ‘Models of Alternative Lifestyle in Societal Affirmation: BDSM’ presentation to BOD of Veteran’s Affairs, Dept of Psychiatry and Lifestyle Development, Dec 2018)