Today was a beautiful day. I’ve been working so hard these last few weeks with pretty much no rest, so I took a self-care day today and it was wonderful. Of course, by self-care day I mean taking two naps and working on my publishing company, but these are both things I quite enjoy.
When I started SinCyr Publishing, my focus was to get good content to people around sexuality and BDSM. To show healthy sexual encounters, healing through sexuality, clear consent, and more. My intent is to “Shift rape culture one sexy story at a time.”
I’ve recently opened to romance as well, but with the requirement that there be healthy communication in relationships, characters with agency, and healthy boundaries. And of course, sex scenes must still include consent even if the relationship is established.
This has been the most rewarding job I’ve done so far. While writing enables me to share my thoughts, reading all the submissions has been amazing–and hot. It’s also shown me how differently we all see consent and how it works. And of course, there are different ways of showing consent. With sex, for example, there can be a conversation about what the characters want, for BDSM, there can be the same talk but also the talk of safewords.
One thing that I’ve found with reading all of the submissions is that not only do people see consent differently, and sometimes drastically different, but some people that knew that was a requirement still didn’t include it. And not on purpose. People are so used to consent being implied by a coy smile or blush or giggle, that they neglect the talking portion. This is reflective of real life too, which is why I’m working to shift how we see consent, especially around sex.
As a twist, most submissions have included safewords during BDSM scenes. Which makes me very happy!
The reason why safewords are so important is that they are not instinct type words, so the use of one illustrates conscious awareness for both sub and Dom/Domme/Top of what’s transpiring. Unicorn doesn’t equate in the brain to stop or no. So having that negotiation where this safeword is discussed, then having the submissive repeat it back and what it means, and even better, a sub using it and being rewarded for it, is what I want to show readers. Because if a submissive can use a safeword to stop an action, that shows that person is conscious and rewarding the character for their agency is icing on the cake!
Now that I’ve read so many submissions, I’m beginning to see an interesting pattern unfold (which touches a lot, not just the submissions but movies and television shows as well), sex seems to include a lot more implied consent, while BDSM includes a lot more conscious consent. I have to wonder if some of this discrepancy is coming from the fact that societally, spouses are expected to have sex with their partner. Couples, in general, are expected to do that too. And when there’s expectation, it’s harder to have that conscious level of consent. It’s harder to have enthusiastic consent.
Couples are not expected to bend over a bench and get spanked before a decent fucking, so to explore that there has to be a much more conscious level of awareness and permission given. And with D/s couples, even if they are not engaging in a BDSM scene, there is still a level of expected agency and awareness in sexual areas too that seems to be coming through in the submissions.
The inconsistency between sexual consent and BDSM consent has shown me that having a small press with the intent of shifting rape culture is exactly the right move. I’m so thankful for the authors submitting their work and allowing me to publish them. I’ve gotten email after email about people passionate about this same topic and I know that together, we will shift rape culture one sexy story at a time.
Shifting something so massive is a tall order. But I’m not alone. The amazingly talented authors and editors working with me, the readers, and all those helping to promote sex-positive, body-positive stories with clear consent and healthy sexual relationships are making a difference. Thank you. ❤
We are the lightning before the thunder…
Who knew work could be so damn fun?
For those that can’t see the video above, the song is Thunder by Imagine Dragons. The important lyrics are these:
I was dreaming of bigger things
And wanna leave my own life behind
Not a yes sir, not a follower
Fit the box, fit the mold
Have a seat in the foyer, take a number
I was lightning before the thunder