Why can’t I take a photo of you and put it up online? Privacy, safety, and personal boundaries as an author of kink and erotic fiction

Many bloggers and authors take steps, some extreme, to protect their privacy. A whole range of occupations and personal situations can spell danger for an adult “caught” practicing consensual kink. These occupations and situations include:

  • Teachers
  • Law enforcement officers
  • Mental health practitioners
  • Religious officials
  • Health practitioners
  • Nannies and daycare providers
  • Drug enforcement officers
  • Employees in jails, courthouses, and correctional institutions
  • Parents involved in child custody cases and/or divorce proceedings
  • Those being prosecuted for a crime (according to a panelist at Rainbow Con, possessing an erotic novel was considered evidence toward proving that someone intended to harm a child)

As an author who writes naughty fiction, including kink and what some have termed erotic work, concerns of privacy are utmost. A year ago, Ohio school teacher Carol Ann Eastman received sanctions for writing erotic fiction (on her own time, her own dime, and in the privacy of her home). When Clint and Chelsea of Learning Domestic Discipline gave an interview describing their marital practices last year, the consequences were far-spread. Domestic discipline bloggers shut down their sites or took them private as news centers called asking for interviews. Commenters questioned whether domestic discipline meant abuse and placing children at risk. (Clarification: domestic discipline never involves spanking children. It happens between two consenting adults, but some commenters wondered whether a couple practicing DD were fit to raise their children.)

The difficulty about protecting one’s safety online is that many people auto-upload photos to their social media sites without thinking of the potential consequences. In the past, I have been harassed (constantly, for weeks) to show a photo of myself to someone I only knew online. The person even went so far as to make jokes about it, completely unaware of the real distress being caused.

In our digital age of constant access to social media, it may be difficult to understand hard personal boundaries. I accept that the lines are different for many people, and some people may feel completely indifferent about protecting their privacy online. Some kink authors display their photos, give out their hometown information, and hand out their phone number to anyone who asks. That’s wonderful, and I applaud them for having the life circumstances that make such openness possible.

For others, being outed would have disastrous consequences. In Freiya’s Stand, my upcoming novella, two teachers at a Catholic K-12 school are slapped with a morality clause as a condition of their employment. They must sign agreements not to engage in pornography, adultery, or homosexuality. To refuse to sign, or to be shown as violating the terms of their covenant, will mean dismissal from their jobs. Without a letter of recommendation, they would never be able to get another teaching position. If being gay/lesbian could mean losing their jobs, imagine what would happen if Freiya or Sabrina were outed as authors of kink!

In my case, people have abused trust regarding photos. I have found my photo advertising causes I found wholly opposite to my personal beliefs. My photo has been displayed publicly (in high-traffic areas, no less).

This isn’t the case for all authors, bloggers, and readers. Some are more open about their naughty secret identity; some use their real names. Some are retired and couldn’t care less who knows their identifying details.

How about you? How do you feel about issues of privacy regarding videos and photos online?

 

Milestones cover reveal!

This Valentine’s Day, enjoy a follow-up to Coming to Terms. Jade Cary, Cara Bristol, Alta Hensley, Sue Lyndon, Renee Rose, Celeste Jones, and I will bring to you seven new DD stories in a brand-new anthology from LazyDay.

Milestones-Final

 

From making it a year cancer-free to adjusting to a spouse home from a tour of duty, seven domestic discipline couples grapple with life’s milestones.

WARNING: This book contains scenes with spanking, Domestic Discipline, and graphic sex.

The First Submission by Anastasia Vitsky
Bred to uphold duty and tradition from the cradle, rising legal scholar Sori shrinks from marriage and assuming the role of disciplinarian. Temper pot Karie longs for freedom as a First Responder and scorns the fusty Sori. In this prequel to Becoming Clissine, Karie and Sori must choose their own happiness. Can they find love in an arranged marriage?
October Something by Jade Cary
As their tenth wedding anniversary approaches, Kate and Jack Barrington are signing divorce papers instead of exchanging tin. Desperate to save their marriage, Jack holds Kate hostage at their mountain retreat, where happiness once reigned supreme. Can they move through the bad times and find love once again?

Major Changes by Cara Bristol
Before her military husband left forAfghanistan, Cadence Simmons depended on Rahm’s love, guidance, and protection. But his service to his country forced her to become more independent and make decisions for herself. He’s home for good now and eager to resume where they left off. But Cadence isn’t quite sure she wants things exactly as they were before. Can a little domestic discipline help this loving couple through some major changes?

The Barn by Alta Hensley
Determined to convert an old barn into the home of her dreams, Paige Holland returns to her small town after twelve years. She finds herself face to face with the man she never forgot. The same man who shattered her heart in a million pieces. The same man she never wanted to see again, yet also the same man she so desperately missed. Connor McNeil…her first true love.

Making It ‘Write’ by Celeste Jones
Jill Carpenter is thrilled when her first spanking fiction novel is accepted for publication and a whole new life as a professional writer opens up for her. The only catch? Complying with her husband’s rules regarding absolute secrecy and privacy.

A Time to Heal by Sue Lyndon
Stephie’s cancer went into remission a year ago, but her husband, Marcus, still treats her like she’s breakable. They resume practicing domestic discipline, but Marcus has a hard time following through with punishments, leaving Stephie frustrated that it’s not the same as before her illness. Can they move past the fears that have built up between them to find the intimacy they lost?

Unmet Desire by Renee Rose

Watching his wife unravel as she faces infertility is as heartbreaking for Luis as it is for Claire, but the more he compassion he shows, the more she drifts away. Deciding to take a firm hand, he whisks her away to their mountain condo for a weekend boot camp to reaffirm their roles and reignite their passion for one another.

 

Stay tuned for a post later today on reading and writing reviews for Tuesdays with Ana!

For love of the game: baseball and DD

This summer, something strange happened: I became a baseball fan.

Intentionally? No.

Willingly? No.

Gladly? Yes.

I grew up whacking wiffle balls, hitting the rubbery T-stand instead of the ball, and occupying a strange nowhere space. On one side were the girls who wore nail polish from birth and color-coordinated their orthodontic elastics with their outfits and Trapper Keepers. On the other side were the “sluggers” who won respect from the boys for their athletic prowess.

Me? I dabbled in nearly every sport, was just good enough to play on the teams, but never reached a level of competence where I’d be respected for my skills. Once I graduated from junior high and teams no longer were obligated to accept every would-be team member, sports-for-fun turned into sports-the-talented-kids-played. I buried myself in my academics, literature, and music. Sports? Whatever!

Fast forward a few years. Okay, more than a few. 😀

On my travels this summer, I pondered souvenirs for my family. It’s tough to buy gifts for people who are picky and don’t really need anything. I tell you, buying gifts is not at all fun when you see them unused year after year! Then, I heard a passerby make a comment about a baseball cap.

Baseball, hm? My dad likes baseball!

In a flash, an internet search presented me with several possibilities for souvenir shops selling sports mementos. The next day, I traveled on the metro to a gigantic sports complex large enough for a dedicated baseball field.

As fate would have it, I entered precisely as hordes of other metro riders swarmed to the ticket entrances. It was a game day! Cheerful, bright-colored flags, caps, jerseys, and various cheering tools dotted the landscape. I stood for a moment, lost in the swirl of energy. I wish I were going to the game, I thought. What? I asked myself. You don’t like sports.

Three days later, I sat in the outfield bleachers past first base to watch my first professional baseball game in years.

I could tell you that the crowd sang, cheered, applauded, and stamped their feet.

I could tell you that I sat close enough to watch the right fielder make an amazing catch.

I could tell you that the evening sun slanted across the dome and made the grass gleam.

I could tell you that the PR system blared with rollicking music and television cameras roamed the stadium for close-up shots of the seventh-inning break where a couple kisses for the camera.

I could tell you that a young couple in front of me clasped hands, each wearing a jersey of a favorite player, and snuggled each other as they cheered for their team.

But even if I told you all of that, I couldn’t explain to you the strange and new experience inside of me.

There’s an elegance about baseball, especially for the right fielder+ who waits patiently throughout the inning. In an ideal game, he’s* never needed because the pitcher strikes out all of the batters or limits hits to small infield. In an average game, perhaps he makes a few catches here and there…but are they ever spectacular!

Or not.

As I made more trips to the baseball stadium and watched games streamed online, I saw right fielders fumble a catch, run too slowly, or fail to respond quickly enough to a ball hurtling toward them.

When the catch did occur, it was magnificent. Arm outstretched, glove snapping closed, legs propelling the body in the right direction, and perhaps a dive or slide to punctuate the winning play. Sometimes it resulted in the end of the inning or even a game. One catch snatched a would-be homerun ball. Have you heard of Ichiro Suzuki and his famous laser beam? This guy can throw a ball from the depths of right field…straight to home plate. If you haven’t seen him, you should watch this video.

As I watched the miraculous catch and later re-watched the moment on instant replay, I was struck at the similarity between a right fielder and a HoH in a domestic discipline relationship.

A great right fielder watches, without interfering, while play occurs. A great right fielder doesn’t necessarily expect to be involved in every play–that’s the responsibility of the infielders, especially the pitcher and catcher.

Instead, a great right fielder waits, always ready, to respond to the situation at hand. No one ever announces, “I’m going to hit a ball to right field!” Instead, within a nanosecond, a bat goes flying and a ball rushes straight toward (or not even close) to the right fielder on whom all eyes now rest. A pitcher, usually the focus of the game (no one ever says “starting right fielder” or credits an entire game as a “save” by the right fielder), wipes his brow in relief as the right fielder leaps or dives for the catch.

A right fielder doesn’t do the job for the pitcher or basemen, and he doesn’t strip them of independence. Instead, he is in the background and waiting to be needed. Then he steps in, identifies the problem, and takes swift action.

In the meantime, he does calisthenics, drills, and other preparation to be ready for the moment.

As I swoon over my favorite right fielder, I think to myself, Isn’t that what we all want? Someone to catch us before we fall?

DD. Catching us before we fall.

.

.

*In this post, I say “he” when referring to baseball players because I fell in love with men’s professional baseball. Of course women can play baseball, and of course women can be HoHs.

+Center fielders and left fielders are also beloved and worthy members of the team, but I sat next to the right fielder. Therefore, right fielders are sexy. 😀