Intermission: key words in bdsm writing

The next episode in the tawse saga will be the meeting with Gemma.

But before I write about that I should explain who Gemma is, and that’ll be a saga in itself. Let’s have a few short stand-alone posts first, as an intermission. This one’s about key words in bdsm writing.

As a child, I’d look through books that looked as if they might possibly contain a bdsm scene. I’d skim books under the shopkeeper’s eye, so I had to scan each book quickly. Given that bdsm scenes in mainstream books exist but are rare, my strike rate was surprisingly good. So good that I used to wonder how I was doing it.

I realised that was using certain words as my indicators. If you see one of these words, check the page on which they appear. I hadn’t consciously made a list of key words, but I’d created one anyway. The central list of bdsm indicator words was something like this:

quiver, thighs, damp, plump, bare, moist, sir, strap, smack, mistress, girl [as form of address], sobbed, quavered, kneel, bend, firm, reddened, buttocks, proud, humbled, stripe, swish, schoolgirl, plimsol, upturned, presented, disobedient, lowered, raised, serve, tied, wrists, cords, cuffs, sorry, rosy, master, cane.

It’s amazing how good the eye and brain is at detecting words in a blur of skimmed text. It’s like that effect where you can hear your own name mentioned at a party, where you didn’t think you could make out a word anyone was saying. All you have to do is be interested. 

3 thoughts on “Intermission: key words in bdsm writing

  1. Yes the keywords thing made me nod and smile. we used to do when hunting for titllating passages in books (that hardly ever had any and we had to make do with Lady Chatterly when we really wanted A Man With A Maid) in boarding school.

  2. “A Man with a Maid” is possibly the sexiest book ever written.

    As for Lady Chatterly, did you boarding school girls (I do like typing those words) spot the buggery scene towards the end? I read it twice before I noticed that Mellors had taken Connie, but not up her cunny. Mellors does a lot of taking off his thick leather belt, too, with Lawrence always sure to mention the belt. But Mellors never does anything with it.

    But there are some men who prance about doing a lot of hyper-masculine display in their writing, and you just _know_ that they were actually submissive. Nietzsche was one. David Lawrence was another.

    • I have mixed experience with kink comnumities. And it really also depends on what country you’re in and what sorts of disability legislation is in place to support variously accessible spaces. If a space is already accessible to me, great, there doesn’t tend to be a lot of back and forth. If it isn’t, or if there are other access issues, trying to get that changed is one uphill battle after another. It has taken years and years of constant and varied approaches to info sharing, letter writing, resource gathering, and doing the grunt work as individual disabled people etc to get anything done in this city around accessible kink spaces. And for me it has never, not once, come without a price to both my physical and emotional health, as well as costs to friendships. The same conversations over and over and over. The same predictable responses. And don’t even get me started on some of the positively heinous discussions in kink comnumities regarding scent-reduced space. What a fricken trainwreck.No matter the positive changes that have happened in some local kink organizations, it has never, not once, been a simple matter of saying this isn’t accessible and this is why and here are some options for fixing that based on what resources this group has or could have available and then just go ahead and make it happen. It is always about forging relationships so that people can show on a personal level why it is important. I would very much love for this to change. I don’t want to keep having the same discussions. It’s so draining, and all I want to do is play! Kink comnumities in my experience are as ableist as any other. It’s the degree to which individuals within those comnumities are open to taking the information you are offering and doing something with it that varies.

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