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When I first started writing erotica, nearly twenty years ago, I liked to aim my books at a female audience which at that time was extremely unusual. It was assumed by most publishers that it was men who read sexually explicit material. Slowly and gradually, however, things have changed and now women are genuinely interested in exploring areas of their sexuality which were previously taboo, and are much more open and liberated about expressing their own needs. It is not so long ago that female orgasms and female pleasure in literature were in themselves subjects that would incur the wrath of the Obscene Publications Act. Now, thankfully, a full repertoire of female sexual experience can be openly written about.
I have always been interested in what is commonly abbreviated to BDSM. In the letters I receive and the interviews I have done I am often asked if this interest comes from personal experience, and the answer has to be yes and no. I don’t think it is possible to write accurately and truthfully as a woman about sexual experience unless you have actually been there. Just as it would be impossible for a woman to describe an orgasm without actually having one, it would be equally impossible to capture the extraordinary feelings of being bound and powerless in front of a man, or having a virile, horny man bound and powerless in front of you, without actually experiencing it for yourself. Similarly the unique set of feelings associated with being spanked or whipped by a man, or spanking and whipping a man, have to be experienced before being able to convey to a reader exactly what it's like. And that is to say nothing about adding bisexuality to the mix. Where a writer’s imagination plays its part is in the settings and characters surrounding these experiences, which I have very definitely not encountered.
To me the fact that women are now liberated from the ideas of sexuality that went back to Victorian times and were imposed on them by men is exciting. It would appear that female submission is yet another male fantasy, but it is really necessary to look deeper. In these areas we are not talking about any sort of reality. We are not really talking about women who are tied up, used as sex slaves and made to endure real violence. What is going on here is sophisticated game-playing and, as is often said, it takes two to tango. As a woman allowing a man to tie and tease you should be as satisfying for you as it is for him. Being bound, gagged and blindfolded, or any variation of these elements, is a uniquely exciting experience because it allows a woman to concentrate solely on her own pleasure. What's more, at the same time it is giving her partner pleasure too!
The reverse is also true. Female domination of the male goes against all the cultural stereotypes engendered by centuries of male domination. But it is equally thrilling for a woman to find that she can express dominant tendencies, can overpower and command a man to do her bidding, as it is for a man to allow himself to be submissive and discover new pleasures in not having to be the motive force in a sexual encounter. Submission and domination, dressed with bondage and punishment are powerful aphrodisiacs and, like any game, can be played with different degrees of style and commitment.
In my books I have tried to explore these themes and illustrate how a woman can basically have her cake and eat it too! Most couples experience an initial burst of sexual enthusiasm at the beginning of their relationship which can tail off quite quickly. This is usually because their sex becomes a routine, the same actions and reactions repeated over and over again. But with a little imagination and a little role play even the most staid couple can find that spark again, and I hope that spark might well be ignited by something in one of my books.