So Clarisse Thorn suggested that I do this blog hop thing where I talk about a book I'm currently working on and I feel like I'm still at the stage where I'm charting my fertility cycles, but I'm going to write this up as a way of setting my intention for 2013, because I want this to happen and it's past time I got going on it, really.
What is the working title of your book?
The vague title is Safe/Ward: Reflections on Consent Culture and the BDSM Community or something.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
From the workshop Maggie Mayhem and I developed, "Safe/Ward", about combating abuse in the BDSM community. Out of that workshop, we realized we needed to give people an alternative- so we came up with the website Consent Culture with UK supporter Tajasel to talk about these issues and highlight some actual ways to move forward, along with rape and abuse resources that were kink-friendly. This is such a huge and taboo subject for so many people, and it's an incredibly complex issue, far more so than people like to think. So I wanted to put together a bunch of essays- a mix of how-tos and practical essays, personal experiences, and a little bit of smut that centers around consent and negotiation.
What genre does your book fall under?
Hm. Feminist theory, perhaps? Sexuality/relationships, certainly. Ideally it'll fit smoothly in either place.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
In Safe/Ward, Kitty Stryker edits a comprehensive collection of essays, insights and erotica exploring and critiquing the concept of consent within the kinky community while offering sexy and practical ideas on how to make it a safer, more ethical environment for *everyone*. (I don't know if that's the best I can do, but I'm kind of tired so bear with me :) )
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I'm still trying to decide. There's advantages and disadvantages to both. If I go with an agency, I feel like i can spread the word much further and have more of an impact, which is important- but I might have to water down the message and I would make less per book. Self-publishing would be better, and make me somewhat more, but be more work in terms of promotion and I don't know that I'd get it into, say, sex shops and BDSM spaces, which I think is really necessary. So... still up in the air.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I haven't even begun the outline of what sorts of content I want. It's been a stressful few months and originally I had considered a zine format instead. Then I realized I wanted a book first, then a zine version later.
What other books would you compare this to within your genre?
The Revolution Starts at Home, certainly. I think and hope some of the observations will be similarly introspective and self-aware to the tone ethnography of the BDSM scene Playing On the Edge. I want the format to feel a bit like a book I dearly loved, my first introduction to kink, SM Classics. I like the mix of the practical and the fun/erotic, which is especially important, I think, for helping people apply these concepts to the play space/dungeon/bedroom!
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Maggie and I were living together and talking about our experiences in the BDSM community, and realized how we shared a lot of frustration at how entrenched rape culture was within it, and how unquestioned it was for a community that prides itself on being so aware of consent. I personally started to think about experiences that I had called "crossed boundaries," or "lack of negotiation," or "bad communication," and then I stopped making excuses. I realized it was sexual assault. It bothered me a great deal that I had so internalized that those experiences were just normal, that they were part of being a kinky woman in the scene. And the more I wrote about it, and the more other people chimed in, either to agree or to tell me to shut up, that this wasn't the big deal I was making it out to be, the more I realized something needed to be done on a larger scale. I'm hoping a book on this topic will help keep this conversation going and give us a starting place to critique our various positions of privilege, making us all more aware on how to consciously deal with these issues in an ethical manner rather than just dismissing it as "drama".
Thanks Clarisse for inviting me to participate in this!