I had a reader email me with some questions about Ties That Bind. I’m going to answer them below. If you have questions–feel free to leave them on this post. I will add them to post and answer them as I have time. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment you can email OR just put “private comment” in your comment and it won’t be posted on the site.
Q) What power do the Pleasure Houses have to be able to bind the high political authorities ?
A) Pleasure Houses do not have official power — they do have, however, a social power that makes each individual house a powerful force when it comes to social morals (like ownership laws) and discipline of an abusive Dom. The President of the US in this series was trained exclusively at La Petite Mort. So obviously, if Neal Peyton requested something from him—he would have little difficulty in receiving it. It is a world built on loyalty among Doms. Earning the displeasure of an entire house—like de Sade would be bad for a politician.
Q) When Gerard de Sade has trained his disciples to be doms, how did he do it?
A) Gerard trained one Dom for every year that he was House Master of de Sade. Think of it like an apprenticeship—the Dom in training with him would spend every waking hour in Gerard’s presence learning the ins and outs of pleasure and discipline through example.
Q) At what age did the doms trained?
A) There is no set age. Gerard began training at 14 years old within de Sade. He was groomed from a very early age to take his place as the de facto Marquis de Sade.
Q) What criterias did Gerard use to select them?
A) As with his Courtesan, Gerard only trained Doms he found attractive in some way—whether it be mentally, physically, or the depth of their sadism in regards to his own. Gerard is a self-indulgent and pampered man from a wealthy family. He’s rarely been denied anything in his life. Which probably makes John’s marked lack of interest in him all the more delicious for its rarity.
Q) If Gerard is in his mid forties, and I am under the impression that Blake, Jamieson , Rampart are in their fifties, how could a younger man , even a de Sade , train them?
A) Each of Gerard’s Doms have trained at more than one House.
Rampart’s first house was Lotus. He fell in love with a Courtesan from de Sade but she was snotty and would have nothing to do with a man who had never bothered to train at her house. So he wrangled himself an invitation through his Lotus Master and earned the attention of Gerard de Sade.
Sydney started his pleasure training later in life after achieving his doctorate and earned Gerard’s attention during his second session. Not only did he do very well during training—he went on to teach and train at de Sade. So he was there when Mason Blake was honored with training due his service with the Air Force. He fell in love with Mason during that time and encouraged de Sade to take the man as a special student. Gerard agreed. While Mason finished his training at de Sade—Sydney trained his own Courtesan to fulfill his teaching obligation at the institute. The two would eventually take sessions from La Petite Mort together.
Q) Is anybody accepted in training in a pleasure house? Is it a question of richness? Or are there minor pleasure houses for ordinary people like soldiers?
A) Attendance at de Sade is arranged through invitation OR inheritance. Rodney and Jeannie both were given one session at de Sade due to the inheritance of their mother. Rodney was invited back for other sessions at the house’s leisure.
It is also a matter of wealth—Rodney paid 150,000 dollars for the training that would eventually label him a Courtesan. Patrick Sheppard spent nearly a million to have John and David trained by Dato’ Raja—both of them were evaluated for training at Raja’s pleasure house and even after the initial fee was paid—they could’ve been turned away.
La Petite Mort is different. The money is still an issue of course but they allow people to apply for training within their house. If you have the money and can pass a mental evaluation based on their own internal standards—you will be placed on a waiting list for training.
Q) How goes the hierarchy for de Sade House? If Gerard retired, who is the dominant person?
A) The current Master of de Sade is Kyle Napier whom has not appeared in the series so far. Gerard picked him as his successor. That being said Gerard is the head of the de Sade family and for all intents and purposes—the Marquis de Sade. There is no Dom at de Sade, Napier included, who would not kneel at his feet if it were asked of them. Under Kyle—each branch of the Institute (there are four) has an ‘onsite Master & Mistress’ who answer both to Kyle on matters of curriculum, safety, etc within their branch.
Q) I actually have a question about where you got the inspiration for creating the pleasure houses and your universe. I know Xanthe pretty much made the genre of a BDSM verse and lot’s of people have written their own versions, but your world is so unique I was wondering about your writing process. Did you come up with the idea of how your world would be set up before embarking on this wonderful journey or is it mainly spontaneity?
A) Actually the pleasure houses started with McKay’s character development. I knew that if I put him down in this world– in a world were physical and mental pleasure is such an important part of society that he wouldn’t be the McKay of canon– he couldn’t be. The fact is that none of the canon characters could remain the same in such an environment. It just didn’t make sense as we are, as people, the sum of our experiences. The McKay in this AU had a very different experience than say his counter part in WMHB or in series canon.
Once I started thinking about Rodney in this BDSM themed world–I knew that he would demand as much training for his dynamic as he would his mind. It made sense to me that McKay would seek out a Master to teach him so I created a school for him. Since I knew McKay was going to be an extreme masochist– the historical figure of the Marquis de Sade immediately popped into my head. The de Sade Institute and Gerard came from that. After that– I realized there couldn’t be just one pleasure house–there had to be many and I started to look around at other countries. Japan and the Geisha made too much sense–they had to have a house named Lotus but it occured to me that a submissive with needs like Rodney couldn’t be a Lotus Geisha, which is where the Dragon Geisha emerged from.
I wanted to give John a different training experience– originally I created La Petite Mort for him but when I started writing and I realized how important caning would be to John’s character I looked around and realized that he had to train somewhere else as well– Dato’ Raja and Kesakitan Pembawa. It turned out to be a very organic process and as I introduced characters I figured out where they trained. Carson proved to be tricky because I really couldn’t see him training with any kind of sadism in play.
Q) How many pleasure houses are there, and where are they all located at?
A) I’ve only created seven currently but I didn’t spend a great deal of time on Earth. I could easily picture there being fifty or more pleasure houses around the world. It would be a very profitable business to be in. The ones I’ve created are: La Petite Mort, de Sade Institute, Lotus House, Heian House, Kesakitan Pembawa, Amores Breve Mort and Lleu House.
Q) What are the Pleasure House affiliations (i.e. de Sade is sadism, Lotus is Geisha, etc)?
A) The de Sade Institute was founded in France but left and resituated themselves in Canada due to France’s policy on submissive slavery at the time. At that point, they also broke their “sister” relationship with La Petite Mort. They’ve only begun to mend fences in the last fifty years. de Sade is Top heavy—in that they train more Doms than they do submissives. The submissives they do train, therefore, are considered special and more valuable. It’s a supply and demand kind of thing. They mark their subs with a star burst of various points depending on the number of sessions they receive. Nine points being a Courtesan.
La Petite Mort is the most prominent house in Europe and the Americas due to its admissions policies. It’s kind like kink college—you can get in if you have the money and you aren’t crazy. La Petite Mort was founded in France as a sister house to the de Sade Institute. La Petite Mort trains more submissives than they do Doms and they focus on masochism. This house would eventually spread over most of the world due to their financial wealth. They mark their Doms with a “war bracelet” tattoo like most houses. The design of each tattoo is specific to both their house and their Dom. La Petite Mort marks their Doms in black ink. Consorts receive the fleur-des-lis while other submissives from their house will be tattooed with a single lily in bloom. The color of the lily bloom is the submissives choice. Allison Porter’s is sky blue for instance.
Lotus and Heian are exclusively in Japan. They train the majority of their population but only a few are allowed the path of Geisha in either house. They mark their Geisha with either a Lotus Blossom (white or red depending on blood status) or a Dragon (green or red—also depending on blood status). There hasn’t been a red dragon marked in a hundred years in Japan. Their Doms are marked with swords—this is a tradition that extends from Samurai. While de Sade is the oldest formal house currently active on the planet—it isn’t the first pleasure house. They were many in the past that fell away from favor due to the passage of time. The oldest known formal pleasure houses would have been in China I think. Non Geisha subs are marked with Japanese characters that represent both their house and their Mistress/Master.
Kesakitan Pembawa, located in Malaysia, is the pleasure house of Asia but it draws students from around the world. Dato’ Raja has been the House Master since he was nineteen—groomed for the position by his Grandfather. He is the son of a red petal Geisha. Kesakitan Pembawa is situated on a heavily fortified and guarded island fifty miles off the coast. Their Doms are marked heavily with tattoos over their shoulders, neck, and sometimes as with John—over most of their shoulders down their sides to their groin. Their subs are marked with a tiger. Usually on their neck or on their abdomen. Pleasure Houses must mark masochists carefully—so that their artwork isn’t potentially damaged in play when it comes to caning or say a bullwhip. Andre is a Consort but he did train for one year with Raja to get de Sade’s attention. He was not marked by Kesakitan Pembawa.
Q) Is the time spent in training different for each house?
A) Yes. Lotus will accept those for training as young as 14 and keep them within their house until they are 18 or 19 years old. That does not mean they are touched sexually or exposed to sex acts—all training would begin with classes in physiology, biology, psychology, etc.
First and second sessions at de Sade for submissives are 3 months long each after a submissive or domninant reaches the age of 16. The third session for a Courtesan can last as long as it is required. Rodney spent six months in complete isolation with Gerard during his Courtesan training.
John did three sessions at La Petite Mort—each three months long over a period of several years. He did one session at Lotus which lasted just two months but he had to earn his release which he explains to Rodney at some point in the series. He spent 4 years at Kesakitan Pembawa before Raja marked and released him.
Q) How can one tell if someone needs another type of training after they join a house? IF they need another type of training, does that give them a free pass to another institute?
A) Entrance into a pleasure house—even La Petite Mort—isn’t something that happens over night. There are evaluations, physical and mental tests before a trial period begins. The trial can last anywhere from one day to several weeks depending on the house. It is the responsibility of the training Master/Mistress to determine what the student needs from them and if they are capable of meeting that educational need. If they are not—and if they are uncertain that their house is the right fit they are obligated socially to find a Master/Mistress for their student. Cross training between houses often results from this but there is no such thing as a ‘free pass’. They could still be rejected from the trail process.
Q) How old are your main characters? For the brothers, I know it goes Dave, John, Matthew, Ethan, but I don’t know their ages. And what about Rodney, Lorne, Patrick Sheppard, and Jonah?
A) John is 35. I established that pretty early on but I avoided giving the others definite ages so I wouldn’t mess it up since the project got so big AND I have a habit of flubbing ages on that front. Dave is older than John by 18 months. Matthew is a year younger than John. Ethan is 2 years younger than Matthew. Jonah is younger than Patrick but older than all of his sons. Geez—see this is why you don’t want me to give you ages—I’ll just fuck with your mind later by total accident. Rodney is younger than John by a few months, I would think but they are close in age.
Q) Rodney is a masochist, and John is a sadist, but neither of their parents or siblings posses those traits. Why did you decide to give them both extreme dynamics but only the more common dynamics to their relatives? (I’m going off the assumption that hardcore sadists and masochist are less common, and the fact that John and Rodney seem to be the only ones in their families that placed that far on either end of the spectrum.)
A) Mostly? I did that out for the pure sake of character diversity. If everyone was the same–it would be boring as hell to write and I think to read. I do think extreme dynamics would be very rare and to have it show more than once or twice in a generation in the same family would feel ODD to me. That being said– Lorne did describe his half-brothers as ‘extreme sadists’ but I think that might boil down to his perception of them as undisciplined, badly trained and spoiled rotten.
Q) What will happen to Sam? Will she be forced to go into rehabilitation for what she did to Rodney? Because it’s obvious that she’s a switch (even though she is probably more Submissive than an equal mix)…. and one with severe “control” issues at that.
A) You’re not going to enjoy my answer to this question. Nothing will happen to her more than it already has. She could suffer professionally because Mason Blake won’t ever forgive her for her behavior but she is a valuable military asset and he can separate personal dislike from professional need. He’s a political animal by necessity and Carter is integral to the safety of Earth.
The main reason nothing will ever be done about her is pretty simple—Rodney has made it clear he won’t ever file charges against her or sign off on a complaint. She was his wife and in some ways (though he hasn’t said it aloud) he blames himself for most of the problems in their relationship. He was trained and she wasn’t—he believes he should have taken her to de Sade for training (which he could have done) but he didn’t.
O’Neill will certainly watch her and any relationships she might engage in the future—and he might even arrange for someone to offer her training at certain point but it is doubtful.
Any serious repercussions from the fall out of her marriage could only happen if McKay complained—and he won’t. I would say mostly because he’s embarrassed and hurt by his own perceived failure. This is a victimology that is very common in the real world and I wanted to show it some degree of honesty. It’s not fair and it’s not cool—but it definitely happens quite regularly.
Q) What exactly is the Ownership Bill? What will happen if it passes and becomes law? Will it affect only the submissives born in the United States like Matthew, or will it also effect non-US born submissives like Claire and Rodney?
A) The Ownership Act within the narrative of this series started off in my mind as a minor plot device for background purposes. I never intended for it to be a big issue and I wouldn’t have it “pass” and become a law in this ‘verse.
In my mind it would be a government managed sexual slavery – uncollared subs born in the US would become the ‘property’ of the government to be auctioned off. They wouldn’t be held hostage or anything but they would be compelled to participate in auctions or face legal ramifications. Collared submissives would become the legal property of the Dom who currently has them collared. That Dom would be able to sell them in private auction.
It’s pretty heinous to think about actually. I couldn’t write something like that without giving myself nightmares.
Q) I’m still a little confused about the Ownership Act. Glad you don’t seem to plan on actually use it. If sub and doms are a sexual Dynamic, not a genectic thing. How can it be enforced or proven? Wouldn’t you have every sub in the country tossing off their collars and flipping everybody off, saying “I’m a Dom, asshole” if they try to own them on the day it takes effect? Like with Madison, they were still wondering whether she would be a domme or sub. How could they take her from birth and sell her under the act if they couldn’t tell?
A) I really don’t like thinking about this–but–I would say that deciding on submissive qualities versus dominant qualities would be determined by a government official which could lead to people being miscategorized and therefore abused more often than not. Someone as attractive as John could have faced a pretty harsh circumstance. Madison is in Canada– this would be a US Law. The people that would want this law aren’t at all concerned about the civil liberties.
Q) How are switches trained and what marking would they receive since the markings are Dom/sub specific?
A) I would envision that switches are trained both as submissives and Dominants—then at one point they would be asked to chose which part of their dynamic they identify with most. I believe considering the politics and social dynamics of this world most switches would chose to be marked as a Dominant.
Q) Would a switch consider taking a collar from a Dom or do they always collar a submissive?
A) I think it would be an individual thing. There are some submissives who would never accept a collar and who would be content to be a ‘stray’ there entire life. Collaring is a very individual thing within BDSM. Just like the roles of submissive, slave, or pet.
Q) Do you think you’ll finish the Jack and Daniel prequel you mentioned you had on the backburner? I know Jack/Daniel is not a couple you write and that it would be emotionally hard to write so I can always use my imagination. Thank you for all the time and effort you put into your website.
A) I’ve started it four times but I never like where I go with it so I delete it. I know that I would want to start with a prologue of Daniel ascending and then jump ahead a year later—to maybe a week or two before he comes back so readers can see how Jack is doing. Maybe do that episode were Ball has O’Neill and Jackson keeps coming to him trying to get him to Ascend. Then of course—I’d have to decide if the Oma would give Daniel back to Jack directly or strand him naked on a world somewhere like she did in canon.
Q) I can see where the de Sade and Japanese pleasure houses might’ve stemmed from, but what made you choose Malaysia as THE pleasure house? Was it historical precedent or just personal preference?
A) Well it’s THE pleasure house in Asia. The top of the dog pile so it speak in that part of the world. I did think it was sexy so I guess we’ll go with personal preference. I did want a country in Asia because of the caning laws in some of the countries there—I figured if anyone knew how to cane it would be people who do it for government punishment regularly. I considered Singapore and the Philippines but I settled on Malaysia because the Malay language looked pretty cool in the translator and again was kind of sexy to me. I already knew at that point that John would bear the title “Blood Heir” which looks awesome in Malay.
Q) Also, what if someone had a phobia of needles or just didn’t want a tattoo? Is there another alternative? How does that work?
A) Any phobia that submissive might have coming into a training facility would be ‘trained’ out of them. They would be taught to master and conquers their fears or they’d never get marked at all. Training in a pleasure house is not for the light hearted. Rodney feared he would anal sex when he first went to de Sade—something they cured him of first thing. Plenty of people fail to meet the expectations of their house and are not marked for one reason or another. Jeannie thought Rodney hadn’t been marked because he failed in some way. Being marked is a privilege most submissives wouldn’t turn it down. It would be crazy to go through all of that training and then refuse to be marked.
Q) I could be missing something obvious here, everyone seems to have a very definite sado- or masochistic attitude. Is this biologically unique to this ‘verse, that everyone be one or the other? What about the folks who like there sex vanilla? Or do they exist, but tend not to be interesting so you don’t write about them?
A) You are missing something ;-). Evan Lorne, Carson Beckett, and Elizabeth Weir are Dominants but they are not sadists. Lorne and Weir were trained for it and can indulge in it if the submissive in their care wants it but it isn’t a kink for either of them. Neither Matthew or Miko are masochistic at all. There is more to BDSM then just those 2 sexual kinks. John, Declan Frost, Anne Teldy, David Sheppard, and Ethan Marsh are sadists—John and Declan are the most extreme on that front between those listed. All of Gerard’s Doms are sadists at some level or another but both Gerard and Mason Black are sadomasochists.
What is true for this ‘verse is that almost everyone has a “dynamic”. They are Dominant, submissive, or a switch predominantly. There are those who are non-dynamic and they are considered asexual. They aren’t discriminated against in the ‘verse and aren’t boring to me. I just really haven’t found a character I thought could work in that respect. In one of the parts of the series—John admits to someone that he’s surprised that McKay didn’t go non-dynamic due to his mistreatment during his marriage to Carter which blends nicely into the next question!
Q) At some point, John expresses surprise to another character that Rodney didn’t go “non-dynamic” as a result of his Domme’s abuse. How common is that in this world, and who would have standing to take an abusive Dom/me to task if the sub had no house affiliation such as Rodney’s? Here I’m thinking of all those Marines who got no formal training beyond what the Corps offered. Do all subs have legal guardians of some sort?
A) It would depend entirely on whether or not a submissive filed charges against the Dominant in question. Just like in reality—if you are mistreated and/or assaulted by someone and you refuse to press charges against that individual—there is little the authorities can do.
On guardianship—after the age of 18 subs do not have “legal guardians”. John accepted “social guardianship” over Matthew and Miko as long as they are uncollared as an extra layer of protection—it’s more like an honor guard than anything else. In some pleasure houses like Lotus it is both an extreme honor and HUGE responsibility.
Q) You had Rodney say that as a de Sade Courtesan, he had the write to blacklist anyone he felt he had a need to. Does this go for any Courtesan of the de Sade institute or is it simply because he is “the” de Sade Courtesan of his generation?
A) All Courtesans have the power to declare someone ‘persona non grata’ but there aren’t many at all. All subs within the house can report poor behavior or abuse by a Dom for House investigation which could and often does result in a house marking the Dom as unsafe and essentially blacklisting them. Courtesans are unique in that when they do this—the house doesn’t question them and doesn’t investigate. Once Rodney put Carter’s name on that list it was a done deal and no one would dare ask him why. It is a matter of hierarchy and respect but all claims of mistreatment and/or abuse lodged by a de Sade submissive is taken VERY seriously.
Q) Does Gerard have any family at all left, or are there any de Sade Courtesans from previous generations wandering about?
A) Gerard has two full brothers through his Father that are both submissive and several half-siblings from his biological mother none of whom have the de Sade name. His Father is dead and the de facto title of “Marquis” was passed onto him through right of succession. Like his father before him—he chooses not to claim the title out of respect for his ancestor. This is also the reason the family started using the last name of de Sade instead of François in my ‘verse. (Side note—the family of Donatien Alphonse Françoisin reality refuse to claim the title of Marquis de Sade because they don’t wish to be associated with him. LOL)
Rodney is the last de Sade Courtesan of his generation to be marked but Gerard has cousins on his Father’s side who have trained and marked Courtesans as well. He is one of two male de Sade Courtesan currently alive which makes him special—considering the story he relates at dinner during The Lovely Agony about the first Courtesan to ever be marked—a male submissive. NOTE: This pertains only to Courtesans trained by the de Sade family personally — not for the entire pleasure house. 🙂
Q) The two Geisha houses are independent and yet they don’t seem to be. I was wondering how upset would another Geisha or Geisha house be if they witnessed someone breaking protocol and or abusing a Geisha from the opposite house. Would the step in to protect said person, or would they simply alert the appropriate house?
A) As I explained in A Lovely Agony—Lotus and Heian are ‘sister houses’ and it is a relationship they take very seriously. They are protective of each other and often present a united front to their own government and to the world at large when it comes to the treatment of Geisha. Matthew would definitely interfere if he saw a dragon Geisha being mistreated—Miko would get immediate help but she wouldn’t be foolish enough to physically interfere. She is aware of her limitations. Matt would swing first (he’s a Sheppard after all).
Q) I like your ” making of ” snippets and I wish you would continue with how you think and write this particular universe. For example, the exhibitions John and Rodney do.
A) When it comes to writing exhibitions—the first one was organic and mostly unplanned. I didn’t even think about it. BUT with each exhibition that I do in the series I strive to make it exciting and different so it has gotten more involved as the series as progressed. For the scene that I wrote in Lovely Agony—I spent several hours trying to figure out what I’d do with it and reread all of the other exhibitions to see what I’d done and what I hadn’t. I knew John’s exhibition in front of his house had to be intimate and stronger than anything I’d written so far for the series. I hope I succeeded on that front.
Q) It sounds like most people would not be able to afford training at a Pleasure House, or would not have the social ties necessary to obtain an invitation, or both. What sort of training options are available for the general population & working poor? Is this something that would be briefly covered as part of a high school education? Or is it strictly self-education and observation? Do the various Pleasure Houses offer free or low-cost compressed informational courses (heavy on information, light on sexual play) as a Public Service? Or the Government?
A) Actually, I’m really glad you asked this. I mentioned in an earlier story in the series that La Petite Mort had a training center and ‘play room’ area at the mall that Rodney took John to where people could sign up for mini-sessions and take classes.
This is also a world full of sex clubs where people could theoretically go and meet up with people for training in private outside of a pleasure house. Just like there are private tutors in the real world—there would be private pleasure Masters in this world.
Additionally, I believe that there would be classes in dynamic psychology and basic pleasure practices in colleges and universities which would be much more economical than say a full session at a large, formal pleasure house.
I also want to believe that parents wouldn’t leave their children completely stupid in this world and would provide them with some kind of basic structure concerning the principles of: Safe, Sane, Consensual
Q) How important is training at a Pleasure House, socially? Is it the sort of thing one can take out a loan to finance, or receive government grants or subsidies for (basically, could I receive Financial Aid for it, as I do for regular college)? Is not having received training at a Pleasure House a barrier to advancement in politics or the workplace, either officially or unofficially?
A) Rodney points out in one of the stories and I’m not sure which that he is encouraged to donate some of his income annually to a scholarship fund at de Sade. I can see both government grants and loans available for pleasure house training for those who qualified.
As far as social standing—it’s kind of like going to Yale or Harvard in the real world. Sam Carter received no formal pleasure training of any kind and it didn’t hurt her career. She isn’t ‘damaged goods’ because she isn’t trained—she’s damaged because she was abusive.
Now having said that—obviously the connections you make and the incestuous nature of pleasure houses cause a form of nepotism to take place. Like Gerard’s Disciples. He didn’t train them because they were successful—they are successful because he trained them with the exception of the two that are actually titled nobles. All of them—including Mason Blake have banked, you might say, on the social power that Gerard wields.
Q) What do you see happening to proven pedophiles in your world? Or serial killers/rapists?
A) I see this world has very black and white. I think there is definitely a prison system for those who do not learn through physical punishment. Considering the social climate—there is definitely a death penalty and those guilty of sexually damaging or sexually motivated crimes would be executed.
Q) You have within your story two tops who fell in love with each other and are orbitting each other, likely to stay with each other for life. Can you see the same thing happening to two subs? And if so, could the two subs collar each other to show their committment to each other?
A) Yes I can definitely see it. You can’t help you fall in love with—not really. Love is just this uncontrollable and beautiful force in the universe. You can, of course, control how you ACT on those feelings contrary to what some people tend to believe. They could get married but would probably forgo collars as that implies “ownership” by a Dom. However, it has to be said that one of the reasons why Sydney and Mason haven’t gone that route is that they don’t have a “true” dynamic mesh. They love one another—but that love is stymmied by sexual needs that they can only fulfill with a submissive.
Q) I *really* love this world you’ve created and would love to know more about any historical background of this type of society. Anything you can share at this point?
A) This is an ARTICLE all by itself you know. I can picture dynamics being embraced very early on in the history of man. I also see situations were the ownership of a submissive was something to “challenged” for. As I stated in the series– the US was one of the last countries on Earth to abolish slavery for submissives and that was just FIFTY years ago. I can see there being a heavy sex slave market in the past and wars being fought over such rights but I haven’t created any kind of historical time line. It did cross my mind last night when I was reading some Holmes/Watson slash that Queen Victoria was probably a PRUDE in my Ties universe too and probably tried to outlaw “dynamics” in Victorian England during her reign. Also, I think sexual rights would have always been a big deal in the past and that organized religions might have had a big impact on social approval and maybe even spawned the first pleasure houses. No society is free of strife or prudes. 😉
Q) I know that you’ve already covered this in one of your notes, but I’d thought that an earlier story line had stated that Rodney was one of the few [maybe 5] male Courtesans. Did you change canon or did I [more likely] misread canon?
A) The answer is neither actually—yes there are more male Courtesans but the above question was specifically about Courtesans within the de Sade family itself—not the entire pleasure house. Rodney is currently the only male Courtesan trained and marked by a member of the de Sade family proper. Every single Dom that teaches at the Institute is called upon (eventually) to train and mark a Courtesan—the representation of their life’s work for the Institute. I’ll put a little note up there on that to clarify as well.
Q) What do you think would go into creating a fledgling House [and yes, this is a leading question, I may email you something on that later]?
A) A fledingly house would require sponsorship or sisterhood offer from another house to be truly successful as well as a powerful, well known, and universally liked House Master to start.
Q) I apologies for my question ahead of time, but I’m an artist and this question has been bugging me for a while. I loved your answer about the various houses marks, but I was wonder if you give a description of John’s tattoos? Are they thin lined, thick, swirls, curves? Are they like aboriginal tattoos or more like modern day abstracts?
A) I picture them as swirling circles some thin and some think with curves connecting it all together – very tribal in my mind. In his new art work—especially around his cock—I picture the lines being delicate and intricate. Though I do adore the art work that Issaro did for the Blood Heir manip which is definitely more abstract and just really cool looking.
Q) Patrick’s dynamic in anyway similar to John’s? I found it very interesting that Patrick, after having female subs, ended up having a male Geisha. I figured Patrick to be totally bad ass, but in my mind (and based on what John said to his father when they met up in the airport hangar) he’s totally besotted and then the dynamic gets confused to me.
A) Patrick Sheppard is not a sadist and he trained Lleu House and Lotus House (I’m not sure if I ever really discussed his training in detail but he went to Lotus in order to win Jonah). He has a Lotus Geisha as his submissive and they are never masochist. The truth is the only one of his sons he even begins to really understand on the dynamic front is Matthew. David and John have stymmied him since BIRTH and knowing that he couldn’t handle their dynamics at all–he sought out the meanest Dom on Earth to set them on the right path in life. Patrick collared female submissives in the past trying to find a “mother” for his sons. He is truly and completely bisexual– and he fell in love with Jonah at first sight.
Q) Mason and Sydney and their relationship: can they take it any further since they are both doms or does the social roles only allow dominant and submissive couples?
A) They could absolutely get married to each other and then marry a sub together if they chose to.
Q) Ooh, ooh, I have a question. Say someone isn’t a sadist but has a talent/need for handing out discipline. Would they learn how to discipline at a pleasure house or are there special schools just for learning how to discipline?
A) Carson isn’t a sadist but is one of the civilian Doms on the city that handles discipline. He is certified by his government and the US government to do so. He was taught in his pleasure house. All trained Doms are trained to discipline even if they aren’t trained to do it for pleasure purposes. Government disciplinarians would be trained and certified by a pleasure house—they would be a contracted, specialized service.
Q) It’s the Aussie in me but…Australia was collanised by the English solely due to the over croweding of british prisons. They quite litteraly needed a new ‘prison’. In a world like TTB (where corpral punishment is used instead of prison time) how do you imagine Australia became a country?
A) I think you’re confusing my world with Xanthe’s–she didn’t have prisons in hers. But I firmly believe that my ‘verse has a prison system in place because some people just don’t learn and some people need to be in jail and some people need killing. I know there are people who might disgree with me but that’s my opinion.
All of that being said– I would say that Austrialia was made a British Colony in much the same way.
Q) Monosexuality. John only lets his family tease him about this, and they don’t actually do very much. How much of a societal nose-wrinkle does a clear preference for one gender or the other trigger? Is it as harsh as our reality gets about homosexuality? Do parents protest monosexual teachers, or send their kids to camps to be healed of this deviance? If people outside John’s family took a notion to comment on his preferences, could that have hurt his career before his stellar record had time to happen?
A) It’s not a harsh situation in this ‘verse. One of the basic things I wanted in this AU was to do away with all of that. Patrick Sheppard isn’t concerned at all about John’s monosexuality—it’s a joke between them. It was acknowledged during his training and Dato’ Raja made sure he knew the ins and outs of a woman’s pleasure as well as males despite his marked preference for male submissives. It’s no secret to anyone around him that he consistently Tops only males.
He also prefers masochists and has rarely Topped anyone during training or otherwise who didn’t have some kind of pain kink. The thing is to find fault with anyone part of his dynamic would mean the people in this verse have what they consider a “norm” and anyone who falls out of it—such as someone monosexual, asexual, non-dynamic, or just someone like Matthew has no pain kinks all would be considered “abnormal”. All of these differences must be embraced equally if most are to be considered “normal”.
The only exception would be for what is currently considered amoral such as pediophilia. But let’s be real, in reality there was a time when taking children to bed was done quitely openly and without shame or legal ramifications. Even a hundred years ago a grown man could marry a twelve year old girl. I think in some states in the US he still could with parental permission. (eww and gross but you get the point)
The real area for room for inequality in this ‘verse is between submissives and Dominants in my mind.
Q) Switches. Someone (I think it was John) made what I took to be a very tactful statement about Ford that some switches have a hard time mastering their dynamic, which immediately led me to think about something I read in our reality claiming there were no true bisexuals, just people in denial about their homosexuality, about which I have no opinion that does not include foul language, but I digress. While switches are definitely recognized in TTB, is there an element among well-defined doms and subs that secretly feel switches should grow pair and own their “real” dynamic?
A) I think you can’t help you are attracted to—period. Sexual attraction is something you are BORN with. It’s not taught—what is taught is someone’s ability to accept themselves and own their individual sexual desires. That’s a product of environment and societal pressures which is sad to me. Since I firmly believe that people can be bisexual and no one will ever convince me otherwise—so in that respect when I created this AU I went into it with the idea that people who are switches are just as natural as people who are either Dominant or submissive. Period.
Q) Non-dynamic. No abuse ever occurred; these are the folks who simply do not indulge. You won’t see them at clubs where the staff is painted red nor at exhibitions nor at training houses. I see in a previous note you said they’re considered asexual, but what if they became known for seeking out very vanilla sex with both doms and subs? Would that be a squick for the dynamic population or perhaps show up in the DSM as a mental illness?
A) No—actually I consider ‘non-dynamic’ and ‘asexual’ to be two separate and very different things. They can exist in the same person but they don’t have to. Sexuality is accepted in all of its various forms in this ‘verse as long as it is consensual between adults. It would not show up in the DSM IV as a mental disease. Someone who is asexual has no interest in sex at all but someone can by non-dynamic and just want as you put it ‘vanilla sex’. They wouldn’t be considered deviant or mentally ill. They might get a few good natured smirks for the “pervertedness” but it would be like if you found out your friend like to be spanked or whatever—you might call them a “freak” laughingly but you wouldn’t mean it in a cruel way.
Q) Is there a line in the TTBverse that a dominant can cross where the sub no longer needs to file charges? If for example Sam hadn’t been successful in playing off her attempt to harm Rodney, could the neighbor who put a stop to the castration have filed them against her?
A) Well, sure—murder immediately pops into my mind. But crimes like rape, criminal assault, even mutilation would only “stick” if the victim files charges—just like in reality. As for the neighbor, he could have called the police and embarrassed her badly but no he couldn’t file charges on Rodney’s behalf—if she struck him for interfering and then he could have filed assault charges against her for hitting him. It’s just like if you hear your neighbor kicking his wife’s ass—you can call the cops but you certainly wouldn’t be able to file charges against him for the assault on his wife.
Q) John spent 4 years at Kesakitan Pembawa before Raja “marked and released him” – did he do it all at once? Did he put his whole life on hold for this training? I realise that it was very important to him as an extreme sadist, but still, it’s a long time. Or maybe it was done in steps and spread over more years?
A) In other houses it can be done in “steps” like with La Petite Mort and de Sade but John basically went to ‘high school’ on the island and was trained at the same time. Dato’ Raja educated him on all front from fifteen to nineteen—then he was marked and released on the same day. On the day he was marked—he gave an exhibition as a marked Dom within his house and this father came and got him.
Q) Oh, I have another question: someone said something about ”making of” snippets” – what “making of snippets”? Am I missing something? Or is it just about what you say in the comments?
A) The “making of snippets” is about the bits of scene commentary I gave as I answered questions—like when described how the de Sade Institute was “born” in my process or when I explained how I wrote the exhibition in Lovely Agony.
Q) It is a great idea that parents would teach their children basics. I mean, look how well parents teach our children in our society. I know that was a little sarcastic, but I want your world to be real. Not everyone is of high moral fibre. Your own ‘ownership act’ is an example of that. The question I wished to ask… both Rodney and John are extremes. In BDSM, I believe they would be considered edge players. Edge players often do no use SSC because it is limiting in its scope. Safe and Sane are often questioned as exactly WHAT is safe? What is sane? Is it safe to be whipped or flogged until the skin is cherry read and the marks will not go away for several days? Is it sane to want to take a cane to a body until blood rises to the surface and welts cover the skin. Many edge players actually us RACK- Risk Aware Consensual Kink. Does RACK exist in your world?
A) What I would say is that this world is a complete fantasy. Sexual sadism is actually a mental disorder in reality but within the confines of this fantasy situation yes there are people who are risky and create situations that can lead to an extreme. I don’t consider John or Rodney seriously extreme players within the standards of this world as far as I’ve demonstrated. The guy who castrated his sub and put him on display in the club–he’s an extreme player within this ‘verse. There has to be a wide variety of players within the encompass of the entire world and you have to consider the scope of players when determining what the “edge” is. Because it is AU and is a fantasy it’s important to set aside your own views of what is “normal” or within what you’d consider “sane”. At least, that is now I see it when I write it.
Of course there are bad parents out within the world– how else can you explain an asshat like Jordan? LOL. I just like to think the best of most parents in this world. Most don’t want their kid to grow up to be an embarrassment and trust me–Jordan’s family is mortified by his behavior or more importantly that he was caught and permanently scarred– even if they never know the full circumstances of the situation.
Q) Public bathrooms — divided by sub and dom, or still by men and women, or no division or…
A) I admit I giggled at this question. I don’t even KNOW. It has never crossed my mind. Let’s go with unisex bathrooms just for the sheer fun that could be had with that concept.
Q) What if someone’s kinks are fairly mild — for example, what if they are only a foot fetishist? That probably makes them a sub, I’d guess, but it’s a far cry from enjoying being tied up and blindfolded for hours. Would they have a hard time finding a good dynamic mesh with someone? Would they learn to tolerate (at least) being tied up, etc., in order to find a good Dom?
A) Okay– a fetish is not the same thing has a sexual dynamic. While a Dominant or a submissive could have a fetish this would not be an indication of their dynamic. This world isn’t built on indivual kinks it is built almost entirely on the dynamics of submission and Dominance which transcends a simple fetish — it’s bone deep and often represents more than a something so simple as enjoying feet OR even enjoying wearing women’s panties if you’re a guy.
Dominance and submission is about the giving and taking of power in a relationship– it doesn’t even have to be sexual but in this ‘verse it most often is. Like in the scene were Rodney asked to be leashed by John’s desk while he worked–that wasn’t sexual. It was about him surrendering his power to John and trusting his Dom to take care of him during the time period he was leashed. It allowed him to release his burdens.
Q) You told us that most of the world’s that the teams have encountered in Pegasus are non-dynamic, which appears to be unusual since everyone they encountered in our Galaxy have been dynamic. Are they non-dynamic like you mentioned the Athosians to be? Where the individuals are definitely one or the other but it is just not acknowledged or formally maintained in their society?
A) Well– I figure the dynamic situation has been apart of Earth society for a long time and the original canon of Stargate– the Gou’ald took humans from Earth and populated other worlds so I think dynamic spread that way in the Milky Way Galaxy. Since this dynamic system is pretty hedonistic I kind of figured it didn’t come from the Ancients. Therefore it wouldn’t be common in Pegasus– but I did want to give a couple of worlds to the expedition so they could find “like minded” people in Pegasus.
Q) So far, you’ve only shown switches who were ignoring half of their dynamic. Do you have any plans for a character to identify as a switch and have a mastery of both their dynamics?
A) Actually, there is a character who was mentioned in passing in “Under Pressure” who is a healthy, flirty switch who offered to help Matt dry off ;-). I haven’t made a switch a major character–but the idea of it is interesting.
Q) I have read in another ‘verse what that writer considers to be the difference between submissives, slaves and pets and was wondering how you differentiated them.
A) Actually, the terms: submissive, slave, and pet have real world different definitions within the BDSM scene. Mentally, I use the “traditional” definitions of these roles. You can read an article on that here.
Q) John and Rodney are exhibitionists right? Is this only for s/m stuff or at some point is John going to have Rodney in submission all day long and naked and (okay well that part is my little fantasy) but I know John can do whatever he wants to Rodney and no one would care. Right?
A) John/Rodney are exhibitionist but they both draw a line on public exposure outside of that circumstance if you’ll remember from the stories already posted. McKay only appears naked in public during exhibitions—wears a robe to and from the stage. McKay actively blocked someone from seeing his Dom naked on the Daedalus when they were in their private quarters.
When John leashed McKay to his desk (at his request)—McKay kept his clothes on and at one point John pointedly told someone they weren’t allowed to look at Rodney. John doesn’t allow Rodney to kneel for any Dom but him—because he believes that McKay’s submission is his privilege. John also doesn’t engage in anal penetration in public. My point behind all of this when I was writing those scenes was to illustrate their relunctance to share what they consider to be “intimate”. What they share in exhibition is more about their power exchange than their emotional exchange as Dom/sub. I hope that makes sense.
Rodney in submission ALL DAY would be a serious amount of intimacy and it would not be done in public. That being said—no one would interfere or even comment on it—if John did leash McKay naked to him for an entire day.
Q) So, a question that’s been bugging me a bit – everyone in TTb is extremely physically fit – as is appropriate in a military setting. I was wondering if ‘big’ people and ‘chubby chasers’ face the same societal challenges – like prejudice regarding their characters, trouble finding clothes (and in TTB, harnesses and gear), being openly mocked, being derided as perverts, and so on – that we face in this one?
A) Absolutely not—the whole point of this world that I created is that people are accepted for who and what they are regardless of their kinks, fetish, sexuality, or dynamic (unless it’s illegal). This a ‘don’t judge me and I won’t judge you’ kind of society in full practice. The only equalty they’ve really endured in the last one hundred years is the imbalance of power between subs and Doms in political/legal areas. Something that some are working to make even more equal while others are working hard against it. That is the issue in this ‘verse.
Q) Don’t know if you’re still taking questions, but I’m curious about how marriage affects precedence within a household. For example, Patrick promised Jonah’s Geisha Master that he’d always have highest status in his household, which is why he wouldn’t collar a female submissive even if he wanted more children. But if Patrick married Jonah, would that automatically make sure he had higher status than someone who was collared, but not married?
A) Not if the female had children. A breeding submissive female (wretched term) would have higher status in the house even if Patrick married Jonah unless a court removed her parental rights which is what happened with John and Matthew’s mother because she abandoned her children. This is a protective measure really—to insure parental rights. For instance, Rodney’s father was the submissive in his relationship but once he fathered children with his Domme she was required by Canadian law to allow him to remain with his children until they were adults. She could have removed his collar and collared someone else—but she since she had children with him she was required to allow him to remain in their household unless there was a court decision due to one of them being judged ‘unfit’. He would have had a higher legal status in her household as long as he had minor children with her.
Q) Lleu House – you mentioned that it was Carson’s house, and that it was known for its decadence. In what way? Are we going to be introduced to any of the masters in charge of the House, the way we were for de Sade, Lotus, etc.? How is Lleu’s training going to affect Carson’s courtship of Miko? Miko’s house requires that she be treated a certain way (with damn good reason), but how does Lleu House expect the general public to treat its Doms and Subs?
A) Lleu House is situated in Ireland. It is as exclusive as de Sade and trains almost entirely for pleasure without pain. Tantric sex principles, pleasure bondage, etc. In many ways it is a great deal like Lotus—not as old perhaps but it is steeped in strong traditions. They don’t have the political clout of Lotus but then most Houses don’t. All Houses expect their trained submissives and Doms to be treated with respect and honor. It is just that some are in a better position to punish abusers than others. Jonah wasn’t kidding when he suggested that Patrick should cut off Jordan’s head. It is the punishment that Lotus would have preferred and would have dealt if they’d been the prominent complaining House in the matter.
In many ways, Carson is the perfect Dom for Miko—trained to pleasure for hours with the patience of Job and the stamina of a Spartan.
Q) Do you see John and Rodney meeting up with a culture on a Pegasus world in which things like manhood quests, coming of age ceremonies, dances, vision quests, etc. are an essential part of what they learn from their worlds pleasure houses?
A) One of the main plots points is that there are only a precious few societies in Pegasus that are dynamic. The only one they’ve really established a relationship doesn’t have “pleasure houses” and barely trains their Doms from John’s point of view.
One thing I do think is interesting is that the writers of the show never really showed the rituals of the people in the Milky Way or Pegasus. We know next to little about the Jaffa as a nation. We had one episode with the Nox which was glossed over. The Athosians from all appearances have a rich tribal life that we barely ever get a glimpse of in canon (ie the funeral scene where Teyla sings).
Q) Lorne expresses, somewhere in the stories that he was worried John wouldn’t want him due to him not having colared a sub. Is it a commonly held belief in TTB that soldiers, especially if they are in command, are more efficient if they are paired up?
A) A Dom with a collared submissive is less likely to cause problems within the ranks by topping a great many of the submissive officers in the command. I tried to hit at that with the situation between John and Ford. Sumner was just as furious with John as he was with Ford for what happened.
Q) Lastly, will we be meeting Ronon eventually?
A) Yes. I can’t really add to that without revealing major plot points for the next 2 parts.
Questions and Answers session is closed now– I need writing time–LOL. I’ll do another in the future for this series if necessary.