Spanking androids, wooden spoons, rebels and more!

Today we welcome back a crowd favorite, Jessica E. Subject! She has a new series out, The Complete Underground, and I invited her to drop by for a chat. Of course, things got a bit out of hand…as they tend to do when she is involved! Hope you enjoy getting to visit with her.

Anastasia Vitsky: Hello and welcome back to Governing Ana, Jess! Seems like we just had you over for the tasting party at Love Spanks. Speaking of Love Spanks, where can I get an amazing spanking android? It’s my birthday this weekend, you know. *pointed wistful pleading gaze*

Jessica E. Subject: LOL It’s great to be back, Ana! Thank you for having me! I’m on the lookout for your android. I know for you, she has to be just perfect, so I can’t send over just any android. I’ll find her some day though. 😉

Anastasia Vitsky: What has that naughty android been up to since we saw her last? Will she have a full-length story of her own?

Jessica E. Subject: Yes, I do plan on writing more of Sophie’s story. It was a fun world to write in, but I have a few other worlds to visit beforehand, including the space academy where the two heroines from the story I’m working on now attend.

Anastasia Vitsky: I actually don’t write a lot of sci-fi, mainly because I’m not too knowledgeable about the “sci” part of sci-fi. If someone is new to sci-fi and new to your work, how could I best explain it in lay terms? Do you consider yourself Star Trek-ish, or Doctor Who-ish, or in the tradition of another popular sci fi brand?

Jessica E. Subject: Oh, I absolutely love Star Trek, but I wouldn’t exactly class what I write under any of those brands. While there is a scientific aspect of my stories, the romance plays a much larger role. I always tell people that my stories are romance, with a tiny bit of sci-fi. It could be aliens, clones, androids, or they could take place on another planet, or in a futuristic, and possibly dystopian world. I do like my dystopian worlds.

Anastasia Vitsky: So if I’m new to your books and want to read, it’s okay that I hated chemistry in high school?

Jessica E. Subject: Totally. I never took chemistry, only biology and physics in high school. LOL You don’t need to be good at science to understand anything in my stories. You just have to be able to suspend disbelief, and be willing to travels to other worlds.

Anastasia Vitsky: Physics. Great. Way to make me feel inadequate. I barely passed geometry.

Seriously, I have two questions for you. First, what are your ground rules for creating the world in each of your stories? Second, what does writing in a sci-fi playground do for you that, say, contemporary romance could not? Besides aliens and spanking androids, of course. 🙂

Jessica E. Subject: Hmm, to answer the first question, I don’t make stuff (I would say sh*t, but I don’t know if you’ll allow that) up. Hey, that wasn’t what I said! I believe there was an “i” in the word I used. Anyway, if I haven’t seen the technology on television or in movies, or read it in a book, I don’t use it.

Anastasia Vitsky: I, I, I. It’s not all about you, Jess. 😀

Jessica E. Subject:  LOL Yes, I know. There’s no “i” in team, but there is an “i” in the word I used. 😛 To answer the second question, sci-fi is an escape for me. I know what the real world is like. I’ve seen a lot, and while I may not have experienced everything, I usually know someone who has. I don’t need to write about that. I like to use my stories as a metaphor for real life. My aliens, whether green or blue-skinned are anyone who is considered different from the norm. My worlds are any place different than what we are used to. And it’s all about acceptance in the end.

Anastasia Vitsky: There is no “i” in wooden spoon or spanking either, my dear. Behave, or I might have a little private chat with you after the interview.

As to the metaphor part, that is what attracts me to speculative fiction as well. It’s difficult to write racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, national, sexual, and other “differences” without either messing it up spectacularly (and alienating the very people we hope to speak to) or getting dismissed.

What do you hope your readers will carry away from your stories? Obviously, as authors we want people to read and enjoy. What is your goal?

Jessica E. Subject: Okay, smarty-pants, I do see an “i” in spanking. Hehe.

Anastasia Vitsky: Well, crap. So our private post-chat might be about my need to practice spelling. 😛

Jessica E. Subject: LOL

Anastasia Vitsky: Can it be with your android? Please?

Jessica E. Subject: Sure, I’ll have Sophie come over and give you a spelling lesson. Maybe she can give you a smack for every mistake you make.

Anastasia Vitsky: Oh, dear. With that incentive, how will I ever learn to spell properly? And “spank.” That’s what I meant to say earlier. There’s no “i” in spank. That’s it. Excuse me, I need a private moment with my wooden spoons. Carry on, please.

Jessica E. Subject: Wait. What was the question again? Oh yeah, I want readers feel satisfied with the happily-ever-afters. The characters have to struggle to get there, but their fight is worth it in the end. Plus, I want readers to be pleased that in my worlds, everyone in the universe gets their happy ending.

Anastasia Vitsky: Wouldn’t that be nice! In my happy ending, wooden spoons wouldn’t break or crack or get lost. 🙂

I hear you have a new set of books out, all in one volume. I’m going to be honest here. Even though I read your excerpts and description of the book, I’m not sure I have a clear idea of the setup. I know that there are rebels and a struggle, and that there is some F/F. Could you explain in simple terms what this world is about? Also, are there wooden spoons?

Jessica E. Subject: Or, they wouldn’t get forgotten about when you try to hide them from others… Oops, was that out loud?

Anastasia Vitsky: I don’t hide them! They’re MINE, and I don’t have to share.

Jessica E. Subject: I was talking about my house, but not wooden spoons. 😉

Anastasia Vitsky: Ha, I see! We both had a guilty conscience. But back to your series…

Jessica E. Subject: LOL Yes, The Complete Underground Series just released. It takes place in a futuristic world, after an apocalyptic event. Cities have been reestablished, and the city where the series takes place is run by a corporation called Planet Core. The corporation restricts who is allowed to marry, and how many children are allowed to be born.

Anastasia Vitsky: Wow, that sounds pretty political! Why is there such a strict setup?

Jessica E. Subject: Food is a limited resource, often grown in labs rather than outside in fields. The land does not have the nutrients it once did. And that is one of the reasons the first story in the series takes place on another planet. They are trying to find a place where inhabitants can survive. They have the technology to get there, but their land is pretty much dead. That is why relationships and children outside of what has been granted are punished by death. The corporation feels the need to restrict the population and relationships outside of that simply get in the way of what Planet Core is trying to accomplish.

Anastasia Vitsky: So…are you saying there aren’t any wooden spoons?

Jessica E. Subject: Not according to Planet Core, but the rebels may have wooden spoons…They are all old school.

Anastasia Vitsky: I want to join the rebels! AND you have F/F, right? How does that fit into your world?

Jessica E. Subject: Yes, only M/F relationships are allowed by Planet Core, and only for the purpose of procreation. But, if you belong to the rebels, anything goes. Although there are other characters mentioned, Melina and Brook are the main characters of the series. Each story is about a different couple, but their story starts in Never Gonna Let You Go. You find out the most about them in Never Gonna Desert You, where Brook learns “Daddy Dearest” is far from a perfect father, and they get their ultimate happy ending in Never Gonna Say Goodbye.

Anastasia Vitsky: What is the rebels’ objective? Are they trying to overthrow the government, or set up a separate society where they can live in peace?

Jessica E. Subject: Yes, that’s exactly what they are trying to do. They know they have to take the corporation down from the inside by eliminating the key people and destroying the compound. All they want is the ability to live peacefully and to love freely.

Anastasia Vitsky: Do you consider writing this book as a form of social activism?

Jessica E. Subject: Yes, in a way. I believe that people should be able to love freely, not told who they can and can’t fall in love with by religion or politics. Of course, I do believe in age of consent, but that’s a different issue altogether. I’m very happy to be from Canada where same-sex marriage is allowed.

Anastasia Vitsky: And also where it’s about -40 degrees at the moment, right? 🙂

Jessica E. Subject: Um, yes, but it’s supposed to get warmer tomorrow. I hope. *begs Mother Nature for warmer weather*

Anastasia Vitsky: I think Mother Nature prefers for you to beg on your knees.

Jessica E. Subject: LOL Or you do. 😉

Anastasia Vitsky: Obviously! I’m excited for your series and hope it will do well. Thank you so much for coming to chat with us today! Links to purchase The Complete Underground Series are at the end of this post.

Also, will readers get to see you for Sci Spanks this June?

Jessica E. Subject: Thank you so much for having me over! And I didn’t get a spanking. At least, not yet. Yes, I do plan on being a part of Sci Spanks. I want to write another story in the world I’m writing in now. There will be spanking at the Thanh Academy. 😉

Anastasia Vitsky: Yay!! And now, to my office for a little chat about appropriate language on Governing Ana. My dear.

Jessica E. Subject: *puts head down and follows Ana out of the room*

Anastasia Vitsky:  *picks up my wooden spoon on the way out*

Blurb

In the future…

The corporation Planet Core holds all of the power. They place restrictions on the lives of those living within their boundaries, including who they can love. And there is no escape.

Deception runs deep…

The rebel group, calling themselves The Underground, is disputing the corporation’s leadership. With the desire for freedom, they will fight.

And betrayal can come from anyone…

Will the rebels defeat Planet Core, or end up fighting for their lives?

Includes: Never Gonna Let You Go, Never Gonna Desert You, and Never Gonna Say Goodbye

Buy Links

Author Bio

Jessica E. Subject is the author of contemporary and science fiction romance, ranging from sweet to erotic. In her stories, you could meet clones, or a sexy alien or two. You may even be transported to another planet for a romantic rendezvous.

When Jessica isn’t reading, writing, or doing dreaded housework, she likes to get out and walk with her giant, hairy dog her family adopted from the local animal shelter.

Jessica lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and two energetic children. And she loves to hear from her readers. You can find her at jessicasubject.com and on twitter @jsubject.

Social Media Links

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DD, Equality, and F/Feminism

For more posts on this topic, click here.

This is my first time joining the Spanking Round Table discussions, and I’m glad Casey suggested this topic. I’d like to offer a brief overview of feminism followed by my thoughts on why F/F is an especially potent site to demonstrate feminism.

I tend to cringe when feminism is mentioned within the context of domestic discipline, largely because these types of discussions tend to rely on oversimplified or outdated ideas of feminism.

Examples of “feminists” depicted in popular culture:

  • a shrill, overbearing woman who browbeats her husband and male colleagues
  • a bra-burning radical who rejects shaving
  • an angry woman who hasn’t met the right man yet
  • a lonely, insecure, unstable woman who needs a man to calm her down (preferably with sex, marriage, and a baby)
  • a tired, overburdened career woman who longs for a man to sweep her off her feet and tell her that things are all right

A typical setup of feminism in a DD story goes something like this:

Accomplished, intelligent career woman is single, formidable, and hostile to male overtures. Knight in shining armor arrives, disarms our heroine, and bends her to his will. Our heroine struggles with her conscience before realizing that “true” feminism means making the choice to submit to her man. Everyone lives happily ever after.

Here is what is great about this setup:

  • Many women do feel burdened by the expectations placed on us by society. We may feel that we have to be breadwinner, sex kitten, and arm decoration all in one.

Here’s what is also great about this setup:

  • Feminism does not preclude relationships. One of the battle cries of middle feminism (also called second wave feminism, which focused on proving that women were equal to men and therefore entitled to work, go to school, and otherwise participate in what had previously been considered a man’s world) was that women could love men and still fight for equality.

Here’s what is not so great about this setup:

  • Heterosexual romance is not a sine qua non of the condition of womanhood. A woman can be a fully developed and mature individual even if she remains single, does not or can not bear a child, and/or loves a woman.

Equality.

Yep. That’s the topic of today’s post, ladies and gentlemen. Feminism, in its various forms, argues that women should receive equal opportunities and treatment. One of my favorite sayings about feminism is this slogan:

Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.

 

Can we say that women have achieved equality? Many would say yes. Girls can play soccer, hockey, go to college, and continue working after marriage and pregnancy.

First wave feminism argued for legal changes such as the right to vote and own property. The general response to this was ridicule and demeaning comments such as telling women to go back into the kitchen, have a baby, or find a man if they didn’t already have one. (I’m oversimplifying, of course, because I’m only allowed 2000 words for this post.)

Second wave feminism, what most people today consider to be feminism, argued for equality in schools, workplaces, health care, and so on. For example, a woman cannot (legally) be fired for becoming pregnant. Does it still happen covertly? Absolutely.

Third wave feminism, or what we experience today, argues that white, privileged US and European figures such as Helene Cixous, Julia Kristeva, and Gloria Steinem represent only one small segment of feminism. Instead, we also need to look at class, nationality, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and all kinds of factors. For women of color and women outside these areas, feminism can have different goals and appearances. Unfortunately, some white US feminists have wanted to “rescue” other women who live in these countries and cultures, particularly from the men who do not follow white feminist ideals. This places women of color between choosing “feminism” and their men. Gayatri Chakrovorty Spivak, one of the most prominent of the third wave feminists, argued that feminism should be more than white women saving brown women from brown men.

Contrary to popular opinion, feminism is not outdated or no longer relevant. Domestic abuse, rape, harassment, and gender bias are still prevalent in many societies. Many heterosexual women who embrace DD resent the restrictions feminism has placed on their men’s willingness to spank, or as their husbands view it, “hit” or “hurt” them. These women say that they are free to choose, feminism means having a choice, and they want men who are no longer afraid to be men.

There will always be those who long for a nostalgic time when everything seemed to be better, but nostalgia is just that—a memory. We still live in a society in which legally elected officials claim that “legitimate” rape cannot result in a pregnancy. We still live in a society in which young women are warned not to go out alone after dark. We still live in a society in which little boys are told not to cry.

As for me, I am grateful to men who hesitate to raise a hand to a woman. I thank the acculturation that has taught men that violence is not the answer. By engaging in conversations about the nature of DD and how it differs from abuse, we re-affirm the gains feminism has given us.

A man should not strike a woman.

 

Unless she wants it. Unless she asks for it. I mean literally asks it, not “asks for it” by wearing a too-short skirt or flirting without giving sexual favors.

But how do I reconcile DD and feminism?

F/F.

Yes, you read that correctly. All of the best qualities of DD—loving, leading, nurturing, protecting, caring, and the wonderful spontaneous play—come to light when gender dynamics are removed.

Natalie asserts her right over Kat, not because a different set of genitals entitles her to such, but because something about her personality and background fit her for a protector role.

Carene asserts her right over Leila, not because biological characteristics define Carene as  natural in this role, but because she loves to spank and guide, and Leila needs it.

Within the sisterhood of female friendship, we find stories of love and leadership. In my personal life, it has been women who have taught me, nurtured me, and guided me.

Loving women has nothing to do with hating men, just as loving men has nothing to do with renouncing feminism. Instead of pitting one against the other, I propose a new solution.

Accept that love comes in many forms.

 

Equality.

A dance lesson from Renee Rose

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Thank you, Renee Rose! She sent this contribution to Kat’s birthday bash. Mm! I am quite angry with Renee for making it too short…and stopping at the best part! Please join me in protesting. Go over to her blog and demand that she finish this scene. 🙂

I grab Natalie’s arm and attempt to slow her down. “This is stupid,” I hiss.

“No, it’s not. You said you wanted to try dance lessons, and Renee Rose offered to give you one to see if you like it. It’s your birthday present, now come on.” She pushes the door to the studio open and holds it, lifting her eyebrows expectantly.

I huff, but walk through the door, the scent of resin tickling my nose before I have a chance to take in the expanse of hardwood floor, wall-to-wall mirrors and wall-mounted barres that sag in the middle.

Renee Rose turns her head and grins at me while she futzes with her Ipod, selecting a Michael Frante and the Spearheads song. She’s wearing a short, flippy black skirt, with black thigh-high stockings and pink high heels. I look down at my clothes—the leotard and tights Natalie bought me for my Halloween costume last year.

“Uh…”

“Don’t worry!” she says, kicking off the heels. “I don’t really wear these. I just put them on so you would recognize me from my avatar. I’m actually more of a barefoot kind of gal.” She peels off her stockings and pads over to me, holding out her hand. “You must be Kat? I’ve read a lot about you. And you’re Natalie?”

Natalie nudges me forward to shake her hand, then gives her own handshake.

“Natalie, are you taking class, too?”

“No,” she says in a too-chipper voice. “Just Kat today!”

“All right, well, we’ll start at the barre. Natalie, you can sit and wait on the couch outside the studio. The two-way mirror will allow you to watch.”

Two-way mirror? Oh, God. This was getting worse by the minute.

Renee smiles reassuringly and points to the barre.

She walks over and starts speaking in gibberish, as far as I’m concerned. “We’re going to start in first position, facing the barre. We’ll take eight heel lifts, right and left. Then heel press, demi-point and lower, four times each side. Then tendu, flex, point and close, four times, right and left…”

I don’t even hear the rest, as I just struggle to copy what she’s doing with her feet.

“Did you get all that?”

I bite my lip and look up at her, my cheeks growing warm.

She leans forward and says close to my ear, “I hope so, because if not, I have a cane and I could invite Natalie in to use it.”

“What?” The needle slides off the record as my mind reels. She knows about us. And spanking.

I can’t seem to pick my jaw back up off the floor. She grins and gives me a wink. “I’m usually a very sweet dance teacher, but spanking is my favorite thing.”

Like what you see here? Read more about Kat and Natalie in The Way Home, Coming to Terms, and Lighting the Way!