BDSM Bedtime Stories Season Two Episode Eight: SM Johnson

Out of the 
Dungeon (Dungeon #2)Today's episode is with SM Johnson.  Popular m/m BDSM writer gives us an excerpt narrated by Sirly Eric.  After you listen to the excerpt, SM graces us with an author interview.



BookAddict: Welcome, SM!  Thanks for coming.  Wow that is a large bag you have.  *Looks down at the big purse on the floor next to SM.* 

SM Johnson: Thanks!  Don't mind my bag.  How are you doing?

BookAddict: I'm doing well.  Let's start with the interview, I know you are busy as NaNoWriMo is less than a week away.  Are you going to do it again this year?

SM Johnson: I am!  I plan to write the 4th (and possibly final) installment of  my Dungeon series, at the moment titled Dare in the Dungeon. So for those readers who were frustrated that I dropped the Dare and Thomas story line in book three, the truth is I didn't have room for it in that book. It needs a book of its own, and book four will pick the story back up.

BookAddict: Awesome!  So to all the people fussing about Dare, quit your bitchin'! 

SM Johnson: Um, BookAddict, that was you.

BookAddict: *Chagrin*  Moving on, let's get this interview started.  You mention you aren't a romance writer.  How would you categorize yourself?  How are the expectations of a romance writer different?

SM Johnson: *Chortling* Okay then. I write love stories. I mean, who doesn't right? But I'm a naughty, life-is-messy, realism kind of writer, and I don't fit well into a genre box, and I don't even want to. I write vampire and gay and BDSM and stories that end happy and stories that end sad. I write the stories that I want to READ, that I can't find anywhere else. When I make the disclaimer that I am not a romance writer, it's a warning that I'm going to follow wherever my characters lead, and never mind genre expectation.

The romance genre has particular genre "rules" so to speak - the first person the protagonist meets is supposed to be the love match, the story is typically told in two points of view – those of the lovers. And, ultimately, when you call yourself a romance writer, you make a promise to the reader that love conquers all, and the lovers wind up together in the end. 

But I suck at following rules, and I can't promise any of these things. Especially the thing about the happy endings. Some endings to some love stories are incredibly sad, and that's part of what makes them beautiful.

In fact, my current work in progress, which is called Jeremiah Quick (due out February 2014), has one of the saddest endings ever. And the whole book gives me a full-body shiver and a ridiculously happy sigh.

BookAddict: Of all your characters, who is the one which readers seem to be all over?  (It's Roman, isn't?)

SM Johnson: *Laughing* Honestly? Roman made the "asshole Dom" list – so while he might be a favorite among my readers, I suspect he's not a favorite among BDSM readers in general. The complaint seems to be that he doesn't negotiate enough, but if you said that to him, he'd scowl, and then he'd say, "Either you trust me or you don't. And if you don't, then what the hell are you doing in my dungeon?"

BookAddict: *Blinks rapidly* What?  He made the asshole Dom list?  I'll take him!  I don't think he's an asshole.  Then again, I haven't seen what he does in book 3.  I thought his negotiation was just fine.  Huh.  So, who inspired you to create a character like Roman? 

SM Johnson: Aw, man, this is one of the longest stories in the world. But I'll try for a quick recap: When I started exploring BDSM, I wanted to find submissives who trusted despite being afraid, and Dominants who were absolutely worthy of that trust. I wanted to find more actual power exchange, I guess, than seems to exist in RL communities. Oh, the endless negotiation. The rules. So much costuming, and title-bearing. So I'd say... I hoped to create in Roman someone I never found in the community. He's naturally Dominant - it's not something he put on, it's something that he is. Roman views himself as utterly trustworthy. Which doesn't mean he never fucks up, but it means that when he does, he punishes himself more than he'd ever punish a sub.

BookAddict: Yes, I can totally understand what you are saying.  *sighs*  Anyway, back to the interview.  When you are stuck writing a sex scene, what do you do to get you "unstuck"?

SM Johnson: A) masturbate B) figure out why I'm writing a sex scene that's not contributing to the story.

Every scene should move a story forward. Chances are, if I'm bored writing a sex scene, then it's gratuitous. Sex scenes should be begging to flow out of the pen, because they should be showing something important about a character, or a relationship between characters. The writer doesn't have to show the reader in explicit detail every single time the characters have sex. If we try to do that, some of the scenes are going to be "regular" or boring. In real life, some of our sexual encounters have more meaning than others. We have regular/routine sex all the time. We only have transcendent sex every so often. So let's just roll around in the exceptional, 'kay?

BookAddict: Er, masturbate?  I did read that orgasms helps with the creative juices to flow.  *Snicker*  So, for your "me-time", what are your top three favourite sex toys?

SM Johnson: Number one has to be my imagination. *winks and grins* The stuff I think about? Could make a prostitute blush.

Sex toys themselves are sort of relative to situation, and nothing beats a partner who knows your buttons and can get you off every time. But if we must talk actual toys, the one I've found the most gigglesome to use with a partner is called the Tapping Pro. *Reaches into the bag and pulls it out*

Or, as my partner refers to it, the Super Buzzer 5000. It plugs into the WALL and will vibrate your internal organs. And it only costs $25 at Amazon.  *Whispers* Free shipping to Prime members.

*Plugs the toy in, turns it on and grabs BA's wrist.*

BookAddict: Woah!  Wait!  What are you doing?  Where's the negotiation here?

SM Johnson: Aw, you can trust me!  *Wink wink*  It won't hurt.  *Presses the knob onto BA's left forearm*  See what I mean? 

BookAddict: Oh boy!  Only $25 USD and free shipping?  I see another sex toy review coming up.  *Pulls out a smart phone and searches for it on Amazon.*  Ah ha!  http://amzn.com/B0039H65D2.  Anyway, you are distracting me.  Bad author!  Spankings for you!

What character in your books do you resemble most, if any?

SM Johnson: *Rolls eyes*  Right, you ask about sex toys and I'm the bad one.  *Turns off toy and slips it back into bag.* 

As to your question, there are pieces of me in every character I write, which is almost inevitable, I suppose. In the Dungeon series, you'll find more of me in Dare and Vanessa than anywhere else, but overall, I think the most real "me" is found in Emily, a character in my lesser known DeVante vampire series. Emily is cheerful, a little bit sarcastic, funny, isn't afraid to confront DeVante about his autocratic behavior. She'll see the rule, but raise the bar either by outright flouting the rule, or challenging the reason for its existence in the first place. The deaths of her husband and infant daughter threw her into a terrible depression, but outside of death and taxes, she's pretty hard to tamp down.

BookAddict: You write a lot of m/m sex scenes.  How do you research these?  'Fess up.  What m/m porn is your favourite?

SM Johnson: I think I've only seen one actual M/M porn flick, and I was about as impressed with that as I am with het porn. Stilted, formulaic, really lame storylines. So that certainly was no inspiration. I'd been reading alt.sex.stories.gay since somewhere in the mid-90s, but it was the early seasons of Showtime's drama Queer as Folk that slammed the awesomeness of boys together into my psyche and cruised my imagination into overdrive. Brian and Justin rocked my little world. And the fanfic world just kept me spinning.

And, you know, gay boyfriends tell me stuff. Some of them more than others.

I read madly, mostly gay fiction and erotica, so I guess the stuff I can't know (because I'm female) I've learned from other writers. My favorite writer of gay erotica is 19, who I found completely by stumbling accident.  I fell right down a deep and wondrous hole into his book, Schadenfreude, and, I swear after reading it, my 'normal' shifted a little to the left.*whispers* But be warned, some would consider it more horror than porn. *shrugs* Other erotica writers that I adore are Finn Marlowe, Jack L. Pyke, Joey W. Hill, ummm... dang, I know there's more, but names elude me. Anne Rice's Beauty series, was probably the first naughty book I ever read, and it still does it for me.

Overall – my favorite M/M stories to read are those with non-consent, dubious consent, reluctance, and well… heh, kidnapping. *naughty grin*

BookAddict: Is there a kinky scene where you've had to scrap because it was too taboo?  If so, tell us about it.

SM Johnson: I had to scrap a rape scene in DeVante's Children and a piss scene in Above the Dungeon when I was contracted with Torquere Press, but now that I publish independently, I don’t 'have to' anything anymore.

Let's review: I had a gay guy get a straight chick pregnant in a BDSM book. I have a kinky doctor performing gynecological exams. I've had characters who really love each other break up because of prior responsibilities. I have a BDSM scene wherein the lack of aftercare causes trauma. Hell, I have a guy in a Halo neck brace for a whole book AND he gets a semi-hard-on with a catheter in place.

I don’t give two shits about taboo. My characters are adults. Well, nearly. Usually.

I write the scenes I want, exactly how I want them.

What is taboo? Really really extra very bad? I mean, Miley's performance at the VMA's was terrible, but she was, apparently, allowed to do it. Who decides where the bar is, anyway? Society? Your publisher? Amazon? My mother? Trust me, if my mother were in charge, the very existence of gay ANYTHING would be taboo. Including people.

And for the record, as soon as DeVante's Children was picked up by Rebel Satori/QueerMojo Press, the rape scene went right back in because, yes, it actually was important to the story.

BookAddict: *Scribbles down DeVante's Children to be added to TBR pile*  Have you ever thought of writing F/f kinky erotica?  If yes, why haven’t you written it yet? 

SM Johnson: Ooooh, the world of F/f… scary stuff, boys and girls, and fraught with falling into vaginas. I'm just going to say it, even if I might get screamed at: Lesbian fiction tends to be more, umm, literary. Even the erotica. And honestly, I'm just not willing to be that complicated. I do have the humble beginnings to a girl story or two, but for some reason the film just doesn't roll well for girls -  maybe they're more shy. Because, believe me, it's not that I don't like girls…*little grin and faint blush* Licking a girl is one of my favorite bedroom activities...

BookAddict: *eye widen at the little reveal*  Drat!  I love me some F/f.  And one of your favourite bedroom activities is…hmmm.  Let's save that discussion for "later".  Well, thank you for stopping by and sitting for an interview.  Hope people enjoy the excerpt read by Sirly Eric as much as I do!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Chemical Play

Sensual Stapling

Sensual Sadist