Fantasy vs. reality: spanking round table discussion

Today, as part of the spanking round table discussion, a few authors and I are presenting our thoughts on fantasy versus reality. What do we mean by that? I left the discussion open, but I’ll define what I mean in my post. Click here for a list of others participating today.

Fantasy vs. Reality: Spanking Round Table

When I proposed the topic of fantasy versus reality, I deliberately left the prompt open. Do I mean fiction, or real life, or techniques? Do I mean DD or BDSM or any of the other letters of the alphabet?

We can talk about the collision between fantasy and reality in many different ways, but because I am an author I craft stories to tell truths about real life. For that reason, the line between fiction and real life is not always meaningful.

A basic discussion of fiction versus reality might refer to the fantasies people have when first learning about adult spanking. “Reality” might mean finding out that spankings hurt (who knew?) or that OTK sounds great but actually can be sweaty, awkward, and uncomfortable. “Fantasy” might mean burying yourself in fictional stories, watching videos, or absorbing blogs written by people who get and give spankings.

In actual practice, though, this line is also not as clear. I might be a new DD wife, talk to other DD wives, and only read blogs from real people in DD relationships. Does that mean fantasy isn’t present? Absolutely not. Wishful thinking finds its way into every human relationship, no matter how we might deceive ourselves. Whether it’s something trivial (pretending your partner likes pepperoni pizza) or more significant (convincing yourself that your partner needs to lose weight for his or her own good, for example, rather than for your visual pleasure), we all fantasize about our relationships.

What about fiction? When I read a well-crafted story, I often find truths far truer than anything I find in real life. The best fiction carries me to a place where I sigh and weep with the characters, love them as friends, and return to my own life better equipped to deal with challenges. We all need stories to inspire us, and sometimes we find out more about ourselves by journeying into a fictional land.

However, and I have spoken about this topic often, the doors to fiction open a bit more easily for some people than others. If I am a white heterosexual woman who wants to be spanked by a white heterosexual man, my world of spanking fiction lies wide open. I can pick up nearly any spanking book and imagine myself into the story. If I am a woman who wants to be spanked by a woman, however, or any of the other possible combinations, my options are much more limited.

That brings me to a central (and I’m afraid, for my regular readers, a repeated) point: Stories are political. Narratives, identities, and narrative identities are political. Who determines who gets to be the heroine? Which stories are most often represented? Who gets to lose him or herself most easily into a story?

After I announced that Love Spanks 2014 would focus on F/F fiction, I received some responses wondering what it might be like to only read F/F fiction. Some readers felt nervous or uncomfortable, wondering what it might be like to read stories featuring two women as main characters. I appreciate this honesty. I also feel that the best fiction takes us outside of ourselves. How can we say that “only love matters” if we only read stories that echo mainstream narratives? Who gets to be a “love story,” and who is relegated to the role of special-interest fiction that should only be read by those with the special interest?

For example, a man spanking a woman is “a spanking story.” A woman spanking a woman is “lesbian fiction” or “F/F fiction” or somehow marked as different, not universal, and only pertaining to a certain audience.

I wonder how many M/F authors and readers have read F/F fiction? Yet every F/F author I know has read—if not written—M/F fiction. The knowledge only seems to go one way, in which the “majority” is not expected to think about other views.

Why am I getting on my soap box, you might ask? Certainly not to preach at you, my wonderful, supportive, and faithful readers. You are the best readers an author could ever ask for. But rather than talk about a clear-cut dichotomy of fiction and reality, I’d like to pose this question today:

Whose reality gets to be whose fiction?

And, vice versa:

Whose fiction gets to be whose reality?

 

Advertisements

32 thoughts on “Fantasy vs. reality: spanking round table discussion

  1. Joelle Casteel says:

    I love your questions, Ana. Yes, good question. Whose reality. It makes me think of a T-shirt I’ve been meaning to make up- “I only look like a straight monogamously married woman.” It struck me very clearly at a gaming store with my Master when one friend started going on about “the gay lifestyle” and such- I mean, how did he not know that his comments were upsetting to me? Of course, he’s only seen me with my Master; in his understanding, I’m not anything that his religion says is wrong.

    I was also thinking about how we use the words fantasy and reality, about trying to draw a line. I kinda wandered around it and not sure I actually touched on it in my post- I was talking with my BR as I was reading… I told her about how you and I have talked about f/f and a woman preparing a woman for a man (ie when we talked about Alice Lidell’s “Childebride Island”). For some reason, I found it important to me to point out that the relationships in my Vala’s Story are not like that, not like that preparation idea that you expressed discomfort with. Amusingly enough, that’s part of what lead me to what I picked for Seductive Studs and Sirens hop- three of my women characters with nary a man in sight 😀

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Not everyone shares our reality, and perhaps that’s a good thing. I’d rather not share a reality with a murderer, for example. 🙂

      I love to see love for its own sake, no matter which love or whose. There is something so distasteful, in opinion, about the voyeur. But I know other people feel differently.

      Like

      • Joelle Casteel says:

        lol yes, not sharing reality of a murder

        bt yes, in a way I see what you’re thinking on voyeurism. For me, it’s about the intent of the voyeur, if that makes any sense. Like the straight guy who wants to watch two women “doing it,” even if said women aren’t actually other than straight and are only acting for a pornographic movie- that I can’t stand either. But when it comes to a BDSM situation and the dom wants to enjoy watching his/her/hir submissive with a woman (my Master takes particular enjoyment of that because as He jokes, I’m a lesbian except for Him) feels different and acceptable to me, because it’s coming from a different place

        Like

  2. Casey McKay says:

    I find it’s pretty rare that I find a book that is my exact fantasy, the way I would want something. Even if it is right up my alley, I am always changing something in my head.

    Non-spanking romance books? I add in spankings. Sometimes I don’t like the characters and I will changed them in my head to make them more appealing. Or I don’t like the setting, so that gets changed too.

    So someone’s reality is my fiction, and then it gets changed to live up to my fantasies.

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Absolutely. I think we pick books that are mostly or somewhat in our area, and then we modify in our head. I wonder if everyone does that, or if it’s mostly writers.

      I love the fantasy of imagining a story the way I wish it would have happened. The best books leave some parts to the reader’s imagination so we can make it how we wanted.

      Like

  3. terpsichore says:

    great questions to ponder, Ana. thank-you for the interesting post. I am afraid I am not feeling very verbose this morning…but wanted you to know I was here… 🙂 hugs

    Like

  4. Maren Smith says:

    I love this post. You hit avenues of this I didn’t even think of. I’ve found fantasies in books I never knew I wanted in real life. Occasionally, I’ve even ventured out to experience those things and to be honest, if it weren’t for the fantasies I’ve read about in books, I doubt I’d ever have become a writer. You chose a wonderful topic for this Round, Ana!

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      I surprised myself halfway through writing the post. I’d meant to write about the damage fantasies can do to our real lives, and then I found out it wasn’t that simple. I love all of the perspectives we’re getting in this discussion, especially from various places in life.

      Wow, you wouldn’t have been a writer without the fantasies from books? Now I’m trying to think whether I wanted to be a writer before I read books. That’s a great point.

      So glad you joined us!

      Like

  5. Ami says:

    Did I read somewhere that you would prefer if we didn’t use more than 500 words in our comments? Oh Ana, you do make me giggle – you are talking to an Ami, you know.

    Fantasy v reality? Sometimes I worry my alternative name is Walter Mitty. Mostly I live out there in a star studded universe where the alternatives are numerous.

    I read copiously – all types of fiction – and if I don’t like the story, or the style of writing, I don’t finish a book. You already know (and of course, being a ‘normal’ person) are horrified that I always read the last couple of pages before I make a decision to even start a book. I am happy to forge on through the first few chapters, even if it is like wading through mud, so long as the action builds, the characters strengthen and the story ultimately ends on a high note. Otherwise you have lost me.

    Re spanking fiction, this rule still applies. I personally find it easier to identify with m/f and f/f fiction than m/m. Sorry if I offend anyone, but I am being honest – and I know and am close friends with several gay couples. I think this is because women are mostly naturally loving and nurturing. However, all of these three types of fiction are further broken down into “types” and some of them I prefer not to read as not only do they make me uncomfortable, but they do nothing for me. The magic and enjoyment factor is lacking for me.

    The other point I have to make is that if a fantasy is based in a reality, the story is often much easier to believe. Descriptions come easier, characters can become stronger, events may be more believable. If you root your fantasy in fact, the lines become blurred and the story more convincing, because you are constantly wondering “if?” and “whether?” Your mind can focus on endless possibilities whilst putting you, as a reader, inside the story.

    Politics? No. I had never even thought about it. But surely one’s creativity and stories, as a writer, are only limited by one’s experience and the amount of research one might be expected to undertake? Perhaps people who haven’t read f/f fiction are nervous of what they might read – or discover? Perhaps they don’t like to be outside of their comfort zones? Perhaps the more you read, you discover that we are all just “people” at the end of the day and it’s the content of the story that counts.

    Perhaps all writers should, just once in their lives, have a go at writing something that is out of their comfort zones, that they would not normally write? Maybe that will lead to a greater understanding? Even if, like me, you make a hash of it and make people’s toes curl?

    Golly, Ana, I hope you understand what I am trying to discuss here!

    Many hugs
    Ami

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Oh Ami, what will I do with you? This post was supposed to go on your own blog. The limit was 2000 words, not 500. *shakes my head* I’m thinking someone will have a meeting with her own jam spoon very soon!

      I’ll wait to comment until you get up the post on your own site. Meanwhile, I won’t laugh at you. Too hard. 😀

      Like

  6. otkipling says:

    You bring up a great point. There is another elephant in the room which you skimmed over; ethnicity. Why should white people be the only ones involved in spanking literature? If you write a story involving the spanking with a black heterosexual couple, it gets labeled as “minority” literature rather than a spanking story, if you are lucky. American Hip-hop music clearly states erotic spanking is far from an activity enjoyed by white suburban couples.
    I wonder what the reception would be for writing only “non-tradtional” spanking literature, ie no white M/F stuff.

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      otkipling, where have you been my entire blogging career?? Please come back! We need people like you bringing up these points.

      I shied away from discussing ethnicity because I’ve done so in the past, and I try not to get up on multiple soap boxes at once. When someone like you brings it up, I cheer.

      Thank you. Please come back and add your thoughts any time.

      Like

      • otkipling says:

        I suspect you are viewing your soapbox from the wrong side. If you view it from the other side, as a mainstream versus counter-culture argument (abet within the spanking community), ethnicity is part of the same soapbox in diversity of participants. Therefore you’d just be on one soapbox the entire time. All perspective.

        And thanks.

        Like

  7. quiet sara says:

    But what is your reality Ana? Are you the spanker or the spankee? Or is it all fiction for you? Hmmm 🙂

    Also, regarding what Otkpling said, I have wondered what the ratio was for ethnicity in spanking too. Do other ethnicities practice DD, TTWD, and spanking in general? I don’t know but I would love to.

    I know for me, I am a white female spanked by a male who practices DD with me. That’s all I know. If I wrote a story, actually I have but only for my husband to read, then it would be about that because I don’t know anything else.

    love
    sara 🙂

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Inquiring minds want to know! 😀

      Of course we tell stories from where we come from. That’s natural. But who gets a chance to tell stories? Which stories get proclaimed as universal?

      I’d love to see a story you wrote!

      Like

  8. Penelope says:

    A truly thought-provoking post, Ana, with insights and perspectives that offer fresh avenues of thought and raise important questions. What unconscious prejudices do we bring to things, be they stories or relationships or anything else? To what extent have each of us internalised the labels and categorisations that are applied to people for ideological reasons?

    Questioning why things ‘are the way they are’ (and in so doing revealing the constructed and impermanent nature of the ideologies that underpin them) is a vital step towards transcending the sort of limiting and divisive worldviews and assumptions that you touch upon in your post.

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      What a great comment, Penny. I love when people are willing to allow things to be complicated rather than trying to force things into simple boxes. Sure, spanking might be fantasy, but it’s still not simple.

      And that’s it…it’s unconscious. We’re not aware of our prejudices, so we assure ourselves that there’s nothing political about our choices or the choices that are available. I do wish more people would be willing to question what seems obvious. 🙂

      Like

  9. angel says:

    You have a great point and I have a question…… why do some writters use one name for M/f and then use a diffrent name to write F/f wouldn’t that just be adding to the problem Why not use the same name for the stories that have spanking in them…Just asking not judging so please no biting

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      That’s a great question! The answer is typically about marketing. Some authors want to be known for writing only one kind of book. They might do that for ageplay, F/F, M/F, “darker” stories, young adult, etc. In fact, when I wrote Mira’s Miracle I briefly considered using a different name for the ageplay. I decided not to, but many people do. Some people use two (or more) names because they’re afraid readers will get angry at books that are too different from what the author is usually known for.

      Like

  10. Leah says:

    I’m trying to think of something profound to say here but am at a loss. I’ll just say that I’m glad you’re bringing up issues of diversity. This is such an accepting community that I hope it would become even more so.

    Like

  11. Michael says:

    Very thought provoking, Ana. I agree how unfair it is where F/F is so limited and M/F is wide open and is almost the default setting for spanking stories. I enjoy F/F stories and that is what attracted me to your site. I never thought how lucky I would be meeting you and all these other wonderful people.

    I asked Tara Finnegan this question and would like to ask you, Ana, and all the others: Do you think a male writer can write F/F in a convincing manner?

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      I’m so glad people like you enjoy F/F stories. 🙂 I wish more people did!

      As to men writing F/F, that’s a *long* answer. In brief: Yes, but it’s very difficult. The typical perspective in most stories/films/TV shows/books (even written by women) is male-dominated (i.e. assumes male as default), so women become familiar with a “neutral” perspective that’s influenced by male deemed as default. Very few men have a similar experience of being placed in a society where the default is female, so there is less familiarity with a female gaze.

      Can men write good F/F? Of course, but few do.

      Like

  12. minellesbreath says:

    I love your perspective Ana. I agree that it is rather an elitist attitude about what is accepted as the norm. Even though I began with M/F because again that is what I knew, you have opened my eyes to F/F..M/M…or F/M. For me the connection now becomes the driving force compelling my interest.

    BTW I read the end like Ami! LOLOLOL

    Like

  13. Roz says:

    Hi Ana, this is such a great topic. Thank you for hosting.

    Very thought provoking post and those are great questions! Stories are political. What does that therefore do to the premise that they are fantasy … if there is pressure to follow the ‘accepted norm’?

    Hugs,
    Roz

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Fantasies are political, too. 🙂 When one fantasy gets marketed as universal while another is marginalized as special interest, that’s political. At least we get to have our own private fantasies, eh?

      Like

Thank you so much for joining the discussion! Please play nicely or you may be asked to stand in the corner. ;)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s