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?