This is our truth, tell us yours
In which Jemima gets ever so navel gazey about writing to make a point about censorship
This blog, as some of you know was a response to having to close another, which in itself grew from writing in another place. Writing has been an integral feature of our relationship as Master and sub from the very beginning . Carter is the best writer of erotic BDSM short stories I have ever come across, and is a master of using them to seduce and attract those women who wish to explore submission. Reading his stories prompted my first tentative attempts to use words myself, to explore in the imagination those things I desired but had not yet attempted.
Those first stories were public, and I also got my first introduction into how popular submissive women are to a certain type of man. I was sent stories in reply, ones which cast me as a muse, and which had as much reality to them as an episode of Hollyoaks. Whilst my correspondents claimed the stories were written for me I was in fact unnecessary except as the cipher to hang their fantasies on.There was very little sense that they wanted to move beyond the fantasy however, creating it was enough. Carter’s stories were very different, a world of back street pubs and middle management. None was written specifically for me but each spoke to me far more than any story supposedly about me.
I still remember sending my first creative attempt to him, wondering if he would get the message, wondering if he would understand I wanted to be that woman, even though I had never even been spanked. When he replied with a story of his own, about a man, a woman, a belt and a travellodge I knew I had been understood.
Thus a pattern was formed, communicating through stories and exploring even my most dark fantasies and desires. It was natural, or seemed it at the time, for our writing to sometimes move from the erotic into the real, into journal entries or explorations of what BDSM means to us. It is very rare for me to write erotica now, although I often come up with story ideas, and share them with Carter. If he is writing it is not shared with me. We have both mused on this change, and it seems to me as much as result of making the fantasy reality as the practical constraints of time and life waiting for no man (or sub)
Which poses a question to me, about erotica in all its forms, from O to redtube. How much, if at all, is it a replacement for something we either do not or cannot have in the real world? I do not say this as a criticism, in fact I think it is a very important release, and one we are in danger of censoring. The argument of those opposed to pornography (and in my opinion porn is simply an honest word for erotica) is that it acts as some kind of gateway drug to abuse. They particually use this argument about things such as extreme pornography, rape porn and so forth. Apparently if you watch actors portraying certain events on-screen it removes any moral or ethical qualms about doing them consensually yourself. Just as video nasties were blamed in the 80s so people could avoid personal responsibility, so in the 21st century some would have us blame porn for the actions of rapists or abusers.
The idea of a gateway drug is quite rightly dismissed by those who know how substance use works, reefer madness is not a documentary, why then do we allow this argument about porn? If a person attempts to copy something they have seen with an unwilling partner why is their refusal to gain consent ignored and the excuse of porn allowed?
These are important questions, and I think I know the answer. It is nothing to do with making people, and especially the women groups like Stop Porn Culture claim to care about, safer, and all about controlling expressions of sexuality in a patriarchal and slut shaming way. Pornography allows people a release, a place to explore things that they may never do, a window onto fantasies they know they can never attempt. That freedom is one those who would censor fear and want to remove.
As i read back a postscript on the subject I opened with, the way writing changes. At one point this would have been a polemic against censorship, the problem with polemic is it a one note tune. I find a new development is happening in my writing, longer pieces were there is less anger, and more personal musings. In some ways a return to personal thoughts, feeling, that experience which Carter once described as akin to watching two people fuck through a window. The difference perhaps is that the watcher is known and expected and part of the experience of writing for me now