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Tag Archives: friends

07.06.2012

A book you might like

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Hello, everyone!

I know it’s still a while until Technically Dead is out (two weeks, to be exact), so I thought I’d give you guys another recommendation meanwhile. :)

A friend of mine, a fellow author Anna Martin has her book Tattoos & Teacups out today! It’s such a lovely book, that despite reading it twice already (I was one of her betas for this), I just bought it and am reading it right now!

If you like my stories, I’m pretty sure you’ll like this one too. :)

So go ahead and check T&T; out here: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3080

Oh, and isn’t the cover gorgeous? :)

05.02.2012

My only comment about Fif…

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Today I’m reblogging a post. This is from a good friend of mine and she put my thoughts into words better than I ever could.

Fifty Shades & The “Philadelphia Incident” (as originally posted by hidingfromsome1)
I’m not really sure if this is the best place to voice these opinions and concerns. And I’m not really sure if it’s my place to be voicing them at all. This whole topic isn’t easy for me to discuss (it’s very personal) but I’ve never been very good at keeping my mouth shut when I think I have a point to make. 
So – I’ve found over recent weeks two different hot topics that I’ve been paying attention to have apparently dovetailed.
I’m talking about the Fifty Shades of Grey series, an adapted Twilight- fan fiction which has been published and hit the New York Times Bestsellers list, and what people in the BDSM community have been calling the “Philadelphia Incident”.
To briefly bring those not familiar with either topic up to date; Fifty Shades of Grey is a story that deals with a young, naive virgin who enters into a domination and submission relationship with an older, powerful, controlling man. Eventually she manages to bring out his softer side and the two fall in love.
The “Philadelphia Incident” concerns a younger, inexperienced female submissive who entered into a domination and submission relationship with an older dominant man. Her limits were violated and she was forced to enter into oral sex with the man against her will. Some people in the BDSM community are calling this rape. Some people have suggested that the submissive woman consented. Others have criticised the submissive woman for not fully understanding what she was getting herself into. The young woman has now been run out of her home due to the criticism, publicity and notoriety she has faced.
Hopefully my point is already becoming clear.
In her novels E L James romanticizes the BDSM community, takes elements of ‘play’ out of context and dramatises what many would consider to be extremely unsafe D/s practice. The female in the story enters into ‘scenes’ which she is unsure about, where limits have not been pre-discussed or agreed, and where she is abandoned post-scene on more than one occasion with no after care or conversation about what had happened during the session.
The novel completely ignores elements of safe play that those familiar with the BDSM community would immediately recognise. RACK stands for Risk Aware Consensual Kink. SSC stands for Safe, Sane and Consensual. (Note the repeated word in both anagrams). This topic is completely ignored or glossed over in James’ novels and, considering the reaction they have amassed, this is a concern.
Safe BDSM play can be amazing. I can say this as someone who has both dominated others and submitted to others in a range of situations. It is something that I rarely discuss other than with those in the community for fear of repercussions – BDSM is fairly misunderstood by the wider public. In the right circumstances, with the right forethought, planning, and discussion then there are still hundreds of ways a session can go wrong. I have been mid-session with someone who I love very much, in a safe place, when we were both fully aware of each other’s limits. And I panicked. And ended up vomiting into the toilet and crying into his chest. This was an isolated incident, and we weren’t doing anything particularly risky at the time. But I still panicked. Fortunately my partner was fantastic at releasing me quickly and soothing me afterwards. Even with the best of intentions things can still go very wrong.
Although I have not followed reaction to James’ novel closely, one article I recently read criticising the BDSM elements in the story was met with comments from a reader expressing that the story is fantasy, not unlike the Harry Potter stories or Twilight, and not as a how-to guide of BDSM.
Firstly, thank God this isn’t a how-to guide of BDSM because James clearly has little, if any experience of D/s relationships. Secondly, this point in particular scared me more than any other I read.
If one was to dress in a cloak and wand and pretend to be a wizard, short of poking an eye out there is a limited amount of danger that could occur.
If a young woman with no experience of BDSM was to make her way into the community and play with an older man when she herself was unaware of her own limits, very terrible things can happen, as demonstrated recently in Philadelphia. Comparing Fifty Shades to Harry Potter is simply ludicrous, on many levels. There are many different layers and elements to BDSM, starting at fluffy handcuffs and ending in blood, tears and rape. Someone pretending to be a wizard will not experience these things.
The second point made by the same commenter was that James never intended for the novel to be so popular, it was released for a very small audience only and she was surprised at the reaction it has received. I don’t think this argument holds much weight either. I’m writing this article for the consumption of a very small audience too. I do not expect many people to read or react to it. Does that excuse me from factual accuracy? Not at all. If my article goes viral and thousands of people read it then I am still responsible for the words that I have put out there.
Finally, I want to reiterate that a huge majority of people in the BDSM community recognise our vulnerability (BDSM is actually illegal in the United States – yes, illegal – I’m fortunate to live in the UK) and as such, instances such as the “Philadelphia Incident” are rare. Most people play by the rules of RACK. Most people are responsible for themselves, for their partners, and there is a strong sense of ‘mentoring’ to ensure that newbies to the community are watched and are able to learn from those with more experience. Despite all this, it’s too easy for things to be taken just that one step too far with disastrous results.
I feel like it is my responsibility as one of the people who bridges the gap between the BDSM community and the Fifty Shades readership to speak out against the practices shown in the series. Please, please – if you are a single woman who has read these stories and wants to explore the topics contained therein, do everything you can to not follow in the footsteps of both E L James’ characters and the young girl in Philadelphia. Take your time. Find someone you can trust. Be safe. 

(Please feel free to re-blog, re-post, re-tweet, link, copy, plagiarize, do whatever the hell you want with the above. It would be nice if you credited it back to me but in truth, if you want to stick this somewhere else where it might be seen by more people, please, do it. I’m not precious. Spread the word.)

02.16.2012

This was a long time comi…

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This is just something I had to get off my chest a long time ago (but only got to it today), so feel free to skip it if ranting about personal issues is something you’re not interested in. Thanks. :)


A few years back I met a nice girl online. She became a good friend in just a couple of short months. We clicked like I rarely click with anyone. It was something that awed me, because it literally almost never happens to me like that. Usually I get attached to online friends (and people in general) over time.

Some time later (it all happened in a few months, I think) people had begun to associate us with each other, probably because it’s just one of these usual online communities-things. People see two people interact or mention each other and they make assumptions. Kind of like I did, I think.

One day another person I considered an online friend asked me if I’d seen this friend of ours lately. I said no, not since the previous day. Now you need to understand my timezone is European, these people mentioned are mostly in the US. This person told me that my friend had “disappeared”.

The first thing was total and utter shock. Wouldn’t I know if my friend was going to pull a disappearance-act? Apparently not. The friend had deleted all her accounts everywhere and her email-address wasn’t working anymore. I panicked. A dozen other people from the same circles panicked. Everyone panicked.

The person who was missing was a mother of small kids, a married woman. The collective thoughts in the little community were “What happened to her? Are her kids okay? How about her husband? Something bad must have happened for her to just up and leave EVERYTHING behind without a word to anyone.”

In the next week, about a dozen people, some I had never heard of before, contacted me in several social media and other sites and by e-mail, asking what had happened to my friend. They assumed I’d know.

Maybe it was the day after or the day of her “disappearance”, that I realized one thing: on one site, she had just wiped her account clean, but the account itself was there. So I sent her a private, probably frantic, message. We loved her, we were worried, we hoped everything was fine.

She answered to it. Told me what was wrong in some detail and promised everything was fine, she just needed to have a clear break from everything. She said she never thought she’d make so many people worry with her actions. She asked me to keep the details private, between us, because there were some personal issues in play that she didn’t want people to spread around.

That same day I was contacted through my then Twitter-account (not the one I have now) at least three or four times, questions about what was going on etc. I tweeted out a general message that basically said that my friend was fine but needed a clean break. That people should stop worrying, she was fine, her family was fine. It was all okay.

I also sent a short e-mail to the closest friends we shared, about a handful of people who “needed to know”. There was nothing revealing in that message. Nothing at all. Basically the same content that was in my tweets.

Then the shit storm hit me like a tidal wave.

Another friend of hers tweeted me. It felt like an attack. She told me to keep my mouth shut, not to spread our friend’s private matters like that, the tweet or tweets—I can’t remember how many there were—were very hostile. I felt taken aback, to say the least. I felt like someone had slapped me in the face.

I hadn’t given any information to anyone. My tweets and the e-mail were to reassure people. I didn’t give any details out. None. Yet still this person I didn’t even know personally (I’d literally seen her Twitter-handle a few times, never spoken to her at all) decided it was okay to scold me like I was a bratty kid.

The funniest (most tragicomical) thing was that a couple of days later, the person who disappeared had already re-filled the profile she’d emptied before with all the details she gave me privately. She gave out all the reasons for her disappearance act, some very private things.

I felt cheated. Not only had I lost a friend, but I had been told off by someone I didn’t know. I felt so fucking betrayed it wasn’t even funny. I got punished by something I didn’t do, that was then done by someone else anyway.

Slowly, in a course of months, I came to the conclusion I thought more of our friendship than my “friend” ever did.

It’s been a couple of years now, but for the first year and a half people popped up here and there, asking me if I knew what was going on in my ex-friend’s life. I always told them to ask someone else, to contact anyone but me.

Over a year ago I made a radical decision to cut ties to the community we were both part of. I divided people into two groups. The few people I knew I could be in contact with and not get angry every day, and those I could live without. Some of those cuts were the hardest ones in my online life. Some people I still miss every now and then.

After this whole thing happened, I’ve been more careful. I keep my emotions in check, I don’t trust people, I appear friendly but I’m scared all the time. Scared to lose someone else I hold dear or get attacked by someone else.

Now, I know it sounds stupid when you look at all this objectively. Losing an online friend, so what? Being told off by someone online, so fucking what?

You have to understand that I tend to think people know how to behave. I tend to hope for the best and think that people respect others and their feelings. When I was already shaken by being worried sick about someone I thought as a good friend, and then got viciously told off by a total stranger, I was shocked to the core.

Even to this day, every time I see my ex-friend’s name anywhere, I get a jolt of shame, grief, anger and just pure panic. The worst thing is that now she’s an author too and we share a publisher. That means I see her name because of what I love to do. She is part of my life whether I want it or not.

She came back, by the way, to the orignal circle of friends and the online community she left back then. She was welcomed with open arms, I’ve heard. People are happy that she’s back.

On the outside everything seems to be fine. I’m not reminded too often, but we have common friends. Social circles overlap. Shit happens.

Feeling like I can’t trust people anymore hurts more than anything else. I still miss her quirky sense of humor and the fun times we had, but was it worth feeling this crappy for years? Would I do something differently now?

Well….

- Tia

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