Please welcome fellow Author H.B. Pattskyn to my virtual soapbox! As you know, Under the Covers is a place where authors can rant about or discuss rationally (if any of us can!) issues that have come up with feedback about their books. This is a place where they can address misinterpretations, or just offer an inside view into why they wrote what they did.
This NOT a forum to bash the author or start arguments with them and anyone doing so will be publicly shamed by me on Facebook. And you *know* I'll do it!
And now...please enjoy!
Thanks for the friendly place to have a rant! There’s something that’s been bugging the snot out of me for ages—or at least since the third or fourth review of my second novel Bound: Forget Me Knot came out last year.
I expected to get a few dings for Jason’s infidelity. It’s not exactly cheating, he and Henry aren’t solidly together at that point (in fact, Henry keeps telling Jason they’re not a couple, because Henry, bless his sweet heart, is an idiot). What I never expected to have happen was for readers to call Henry out for being unfaithful—because he isn’t! Not once. Not even a little.
The problem is two-fold. First off, Bound: Forget Me Knot is told exclusively from Jason’s point of view. Readers know what’s going on in his head, but they have only Henry’s word about what he’s doing or not doing when he and Jason are apart. Apparently, some readers don’t believe Henry when he says he hasn’t had sex with anyone since he and Jason met.
The other problem, and possibly the larger one, is that not all readers understand the dynamic of a BDSM relationship—and really, while there’s no such thing as a single “norm” most people who are involved in BDSM understand that “playing” doesn’t necessarily mean “sex.” There are people who are married to one person but owned/collared by another. (Usually that happens when one spouse has no interest in BDSM but the other one does.) Sometimes a person wants to try out something new that their Dom/sub has never done before or maybe isn’t interested in, and find someone who is. After all, not everyone is good at or interested in suspension bondage, fire flogging, or edge play. Just because you want someone to try these things on you (or you want to try them on someone else) doesn’t mean you want to have sex with that person.
And maybe the other problem is that I define “sex” as…well, sex. At least one reviewer seemed to think that when Henry said he would play but not have sex that he would still receive blowjobs. Um. No. No, he definitely will not. I can say this with absolute certainty since Henry lives in my head. Henry’s cock follows his heart and his heart has belonged to Jason since that first weekend they spent together.
What Henry means when he says that he will continue to play with whomever he chooses is that he will continue to flog, cane, tie up, tie down, whip, shackle, handcuff, and otherwise engage in BDSM play with anyone he wants to, largely because he does a lot of public demonstrations. (Sometimes with a female play partner, even though he has no sexual interest in women—but you don’t have to be sexually attracted to a sub, especially for the purpose of a class on rope safety).
Henry and Jason live about 6 hours’ drive apart—and even if they didn’t, Jason is a bit new (he’s so wet behind the ears, he practically squeaks when he walks) and would totally freak out if Henry said “Hey, I’m supposed to do a sounding demo next week and you’re going to help me.” Yikes. No. That’s beyond Jason’s comfort level and Henry knows it.
Jason, on the other hand, will not play with anyone because by the time they sign a contract, Jason has already proven he doesn’t always act in his own best interest (okay, even Henry admits it was at least partially his fault for sending mixed signals) . As much as Henry wants Jason to get out and experience other situations, he doesn’t want Jason to get himself into trouble (again).
Henry is truly 100% devoted to Jason—even though it takes him a while to admit it to himself and even longer to admit it to Jason.
And my, that’s good to get off my chest! Thanks again for the safe place to vent.