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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Welcome Author Dena Celeste- Pushing the Envelope

Pushing the Envelope

Hi there! My name is Dena Celeste, and I’m an author of erotic romance. The genre that I tend to write in is BDSM, though even when it’s not explicitly BDSM my tales tend to have an Alpha male and a strong, yet submissive female somewhere in there. In my life and in my writing, I like to push the envelope on exploration.

In some ways that’s hard for me, and in some ways it comes naturally. I’m the curious sort, so exploring sensations, from feather ticklers to harsh canes, is natural for me. Seeing where pain and pleasure meld, where pain is erotic and where pleasure is painful, is also an interest of mine. It’s fascinating how we can use our bodies to communicate, to create, to go beyond thresholds we never thought we could.

I explore the sensations themselves in my books, but also the ‘whys’ that tend to come up. Some people feel like they’re freaks if they want a little bondage, or some spanking in the bedroom. Or even more than that sometimes! I want to show that there are differences in types of pain, types of pleasure, and how they can be played with to mutual satisfaction. Because my stories definitely explore a variety of kinks. There’s so much out there to try, and I want to see most of it, if I can.

The hard part for me comes with reining myself in. How far is too far for the people I’m writing for? It took me a long while to find a publisher that would accept the F/F/M ménage in Her Master’s Gift. Sexuality is also a fluid sort of thing, and exploring it is fun for me! But for some reason, women together just isn’t preferred. Thankfully, Noble Romance did accept my story and let me take it to the level I wanted to, the level that it deserved!

So, that begs the question, dear readers: how far is too far? That’s up to you of course! But I hope that my books can nudge the curious into action, and maybe even bring a sense of understanding to those on both sides of the line. Because I don’t just write about sex. I write about experiences.

So for the moment, there are limits on what I can write about and get published with a reasonably well-known, royalty paying publisher. Forms of play that have many facets. Watersports. Some people think “Eww!” but there’s something very primal about marking. Primal play, gang bangs, blood play that doesn’t have to involve vampires, hunting, sacred harlots, etc. And then there are other dynamics besides Master/slave or Dom/sub. There’s Owner/pet, Daddy/girl (which, despite popular belief, has nothing to do with Father/daughter), Rider/pony, Owner/toy and many others that some find hard to understand.

I don’t practice all of those dynamics of course, but I like to try to understand them. Too far, in my opinion, would be going beyond the realms of Safe, Sane and Consensual. Anything that would harm someone. I say harm, and not hurt or injure, because sometimes that’s the name of the game. Branding is an injury. So are bruises. And they can hurt. But consenting to those brings them into a different realm. Harming someone would be not respecting their free will in either giving consent or withholding it.

I do tend to dial my writing back a bit because I don’t just write hardcore BDSM, I write about romance and relationships. It’s not just about the play, it’s about what makes the play possible, enjoyable, and fulfilling. I don’t want to alienate the reader with something he or she isn’t ready for. Still, like I said before, I like to explore the boundaries, and push the limits. So I write what’s in my head, and keep my story ideas in a file for those times when I get a spark of inspiration on how to make it relatable to someone.

It sounds very clinical when I put it like that, but when I write it’s a very…visceral experience. I put myself in the character’s headspace. So I go into a place where I may not have been before. And I do the research by either asking my lover to help me experience those things, or talking to those who have experience in a certain dynamic or with certain toys that I don’t have the chance to experience yet.

I write either what I know, or what I want to know. Writing is my path to understanding, and I want to share it and help others learn what I have.

1 comment:

Maree Anderson said...

Wow, great post, Dena! And thanks for putting yourself out there and letting us get to know you a bit better -- I love reading author interviews where the author shares like you have today!

I write erotic romance, too, though mine would be considered pretty vanilla compared with how you're pushing the envelope, LOL. But I agree wholeheartedly with your last statement: write what you know or what you want to know. That makes it a visceral and authentic experience for your reader. And hey, just because a reader might not want to personally experience what she's reading, doesn't mean it won't increase her understanding, open her eyes, and yes, let's be honest, turn her on. Well, that's certainly been my experience, anyway ;-)