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Guest Blogger

Guest Post: Let’s Give EL James a Break

How did I not know Al Daltrey of Erotica BDSM existed until a few weeks ago? Shame on me! When he reached out and we began communicating, I was curious. When I read his guest post for today, I was blown away. Keep reading and decide for yourself.

Over the past couple of years I have been asked at least a dozen times whether I think ’50 Shades’ is an accurate portrayal of the (bdsm) lifestyle. I always found that to be a rather strange question. I don’t think it was ever intended to be an accurate portrayal of the lifestyle. It was intended to be fiction. A story. Clearly, a very enjoyable story to a great number of readers (and consequently, movie goers). I don’t think EL James wrote the book with any intention of educating society about an alternative lifestyle. I think she was simply trying to write a book that female readers would buy and enjoy. Nothing more.

People don’t watch ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ to get a realistic portrayal of what it’s like to be a Doctor. People don’t watch ‘The Good Wife’ to better understand what it’s like to be a lawyer. We don’t watch CSI to see how real police officers live. So, why would anyone expect ’50 Shades’ to be a real portrayal of the bdsm lifestyle? It was meant to be entertainment – not education.

Therefore, I think it’s completely unfair for anyone to criticize EL James for misrepresenting the lifestyle. You might love her writing. You might hate her writing. Either way is okay by me. I’m not saying she’s either a good or bad writer. To be honest, I have never read any of her novels. But my point is still valid. I’m just saying it’s not her job to dispel myths about the lifestyle or portray it as it really is.

I’m a small Indie author myself, and I have also been asked the same question. “Al, is your book what the lifestyle is really like?” My answer? “Heck, no!” My novels are laced with group sex, whippings, public exhibition and degradation. They are meant to be pure fantasy. Theater of the mind. I want my readers to be entertained and intrigued. I want to take them on a ride. When I invent a male Dom for one of my novels, I’m not asking myself if he will be a good role model for real life male Doms. I’m asking myself if the character will be interesting and compelling. Will he want to make people keep reading?

If readers want to understand the bdsm lifestyle, I suggest they search the internet for educational resource websites, not fictional novels. I suggest they reach out to members in the local bdsm community. Find credible individuals that are known and trustworthy, and ask them questions.

At the very least, let’s stop blaming EL James. She wasn’t trying to do anything other than write a book.

About Al Daltrey

Al’s day job requires a fair amount of writing. Therefore, he had no intentions or aspirations to write a novel. However, one day he picked up his laptop and started writing a kinky story, simply for fun. Soon it was 20K in length, and then 40K. That story became his first novel, ‘Testing the Submissive’.

His interest in kinky sex began in his college years when he dabbled with bdsm for the first time. During his lifetime, Al was lucky enough to meet his fair share of submissive women. He sincerely believes that submissive women are anything but weak. Outside the bedroom they are confident, opinionated, gregarious and self-assured. However, inside the bedroom (so to speak), they enjoy feeling the strong firm hand of a dominant man taking complete control. Mutual pleasure.

Eventually Al found the perfect partner, and is happily married to Jaycee Daltrey.

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About the author

Kayla Lords

I am a sex blogger, podcaster, freelance writer, international speaker, kink educator, and all-around kinky woman. You can find me online sharing my innermost sexual thoughts and experiences, teaching other bloggers how to make money writing about sex, and helping kinksters have happy healthy BDSM relationships. I'm also a masochistic babygirl submissive with an amazing and sadistic Daddy Dom and business partner, John Brownstone. Welcome to my kinky corner of the internet!

9 Comments

  • I’ve said that right along and kudos for someone with clout to say it. I do tweak the novel sometimes in my own stories — because it is fiction! But yes! IT maybe horrible or wonderful writing –and that depends on the reader themselves.

    Bravo for a wonderful piece!

    nilla

    • There’s got to be a reason 100 million copies and at least one movie has been made from it…even if some of us who know better don’t love the story. It tapped into something in our collective unconscious. 🙂

  • Ok, sure, but by god as an indie writer she could’ve at least hired an editor, it would’ve made reading it less appalling.

  • This article hits it spot on! Enjoy a novel for what it is… Fiction! Relax and let it take you on the ride. Submerse yourself in the possibilities but don’t get hung up on the details. We get enough of that in real life. The escape is part of the appeal! I for one love a good ride on the imagination. -wink-

    • I can understand why writers (myself included) would have a hard time with her books but ultimately it’s not about the writers, it’s about the readers, and they clearly wanted what she was selling. 🙂

  • I wholeheartedly agree with Al. It’s fiction. It’s a story. It captured readers and opened up new ideas to those who previously had not read other works (including classics and many S&M and BDSM books from decades ago) in this genre. I admit, I read them too. Were they the best written books? Not for me, I completely agree she could use and editor. Then again, she’s the one laughing all the way to the bank! They were enjoyable, and I understand why people get a kick out of them.

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