Friday, March 23, 2012

Frisky Friday - Erotica and the National Media

I tuned into Blog Talk Radio last night (Thursday) because Verity Ant was supposed to be on, but due to technical errors (way beyond her control) the show went off the air an hour earlier than it was scheduled to.  Verity, along with her husband Derek, write hardcore BDSM fiction under D.V. Ant.  If you're looking for "soft and fluffy," these books are not for you.  Her novel "Breaking Toys" fascinates me, but I have yet to gather enough courage to read it.  Certain things "squick" me out, and Verity is a master of them.  However, the discussion on last night's Blog Talk Radio show was to be centered around Fifty Shades and why it has gained sudden national media attention with a movie deal on the table for the trilogy.

All I can say is, "Way to go, E.L. James."  Even though some readers (Verity and Derek included) think her book portrays BDSM as an illness that can be "fixed" through a person finding his or her own "one true love," I didn't get that impression.  Probably because I viewed the book as pure fantasy, and definitely not as the marriage primer I've heard some readers consider it, nor as a factual representation of BDSM.

The more I listen to those who criticize Fifty Shades as doing a great disservice to BDSM, I'm convinced they are individuals who have "real life" knowledge or experience in the lifestyle (if you haven't read the trilogy, you might want to wait until the movie comes out...only kidding).  For me, that perspective is similar to what some police officers have of ABC's "Castle" (check out Lee Lofland's blog on the reality of the show's police procedures as an example).

However, for viewers who aren't watching "Castle" to gain a better understanding of police procedures, or watching "Body of Proof" to understand what a medical examiner does, or "Grey's Anatomy" to learn how to be a doctor, those shows are entertainment.  They are interesting to watch, nothing more.  Most of the finer points go right over the majority of viewers' heads.  But some individuals, who actually practice in those professions, believe those shows are actually doing a disservice to their profession.

The other critical perception I'm seeing for Fifty Shades is coming from authors who react to manuscript or grammatical errors the same way I react to fingers trailing down a blackboard.  And even though their list of problems may differ from the issues listed by the individuals who have an intimate knowledge of BDSM, the majority of readers appear to gloss over those errors, too.

Sherri Hayes, author of "Slave," was also on the show last night.  Sherri has done some very serious research for her "Finding Anna" series through interviewing Doms and subs, who actually live a BDSM lifestyle, and getting their perspective on what is and isn't realistic.  She read a portion of Fifty Shades when it was still "Masters of the Universe" (a Twilight fanfic) but couldn't finish the series due to the total lack of realism in the story.  I totally understand her viewpoint, and even agree with her.  Fifty Shades isn't realistic BDSM.  It isn't realistic anything.  It is a modern day Beauty and the Beast where the innocent virgin meets the jaded rich billionaire who possesses a secret dark side. If you want anything deeper than that, you'll most likely be disappointed.

So, even though I didn't get to hear Verity talk Thursday night, I did get to hear Sherri along with an interesting discussion where I took note of several new authors I'm going to check out.  If you'd like to hear a recording of the show (that unless they can do some major editing, you'll need to ignore an obnoxiously loud puppy dog barking and snuffling at times, some occasional, but very irritating, beeps, as well as a slow and rocky start loaded with technical difficulties, but if that isn't enough to scare you off....) click Blog Talk Radio

And have a very Frisky Friday.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Kathryn. Your interest in last night's aborted radio appearance is extremely gratifying. Both Derek and I appreciate it very much. And thank you for your plug for Breaking Toys. It's not a book for everybody, but people interested in BDSM with a Happily Ever After ending and a different perspective will find it refreshing, I think. Our website has an excerpt and blurb. Thank you so much.


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