Lee Savino: Readers, you are in for a wild ride…dark erotica author Jennifer Bene talks about her real life kink and super sexy dom!
Lee Savino: How is writing BDSM different than living it?
Jennifer Bene: You can do ANYTHING in a book! Real life BDSM is limited by space, and equipment, and time (like day jobs and family and responsibilities) but when I’m writing BDSM none of that matters. If I want my character to have a fully outfitted dungeon basement, I can just *poof* make it happen. It’s so much easier than the real world. Also, in real life it takes FOREVER to get into rope. In a book it takes a few lines of text. How I wish it were that easy when playing with rope in real life, because I love it!
Lee Savino: What is your literary pet peeve? Something you read about in erotica that’s totally different from real life? Maybe even dangerous or incorrect.
Jennifer Bene: My real literary pet peeve that will make me give a major eye roll is when a sub takes something like a spanking, by hand, and “can’t sit down the next day”. It drives me nuts! Now, I know I’m a painslut and a masochist, but I’ve taken a ton of cane strikes in a session, had a black and blue ass, and while it wasn’t comfortable sitting down, I absolutely could. I’m not talking about someone flinching or wincing when they sit down, (that’s totally normal), but being “unable” to sit down? Collapsing to the floor because they can’t sit? Come on, authors, be real!
As far as dangerous or incorrect? I’m not a big fan of people using serious implements for the first time ever without the author even referencing an education of some sort. BDSM is risky, and I don’t like furthering the idea that anyone can just pick up something like a whip and use it properly. That kind of thing makes me more angry than anything, because your health is so important! Don’t risk it for kink!
Lee Savino: Your plots are often quite dark and blur the lines of consent. What role do you think consent plays in real life versus a book?
Jennifer Bene: Consent is EVERYTHING in real life. My rule is I don’t judge anyone’s kink as long as everyone participating is an adult, safety is taken into consideration, and everyone is consenting. SSC = safe, sane, consensual, the motto of every good member of the BDSM community. The best part of fiction to me is that we can explore the things we could never and would never want to do in real life. For some people that’s a spanking with a hot cowboy on the western front, or taking a caning in a dungeon, or complete power exchange with a billionaire Dom, or breath play with the boy next door – to me it’s the dark, dubcon/noncon side of things. Fun to read? Yes. Real life? Never. But that’s what erotica is meant for, it lets us play with our darkest fantasies in a world where the good guys win and everything turns out alright. I do write a lot of dark, and I do a little more than just blur the lines of consent sometimes, but it’s all just a fantasy and based on the number of readers who write me saying ‘thank you’ for the Thalia series and other books like it, I’m not alone in my dark, devious little corner of the genre! lol
Lee Savino: What are some of your favorite experiences? (And where can we read about them?)
Jennifer Bene: Oooooo, I really love being tied up so it shows up in a LOT of my books. One of my favorites has to be the wax play scene in ‘Reunited’ where Megan is tied down to a workbench and has wax dripped on her while one of the guys goes down on her. I’ve done the tied down/wax thing before (with just one Dom, *sigh*) and it was a blast. Another is probably the spanking bench scene in ‘Lethal Sin’. It was actually inspired by my Dom’s spanking bench, because he likes to tie me down to that and use all kinds of implements. The week before I wrote that scene he’d tied me down and used a crop (and a cane and a flogger) and I was so turned on and so deep into sub-space afterwards, I knew I had to use it in a book!
Lee Savino: What’s your favorite implement? What is your least favorite? (And where can we read about them?)
Jennifer Bene: Favorite implement? The belt. The sound of the buckle coming undone, the whisper of it leaving their pants, the sound it makes cutting through the air and the sound / feel / weight / strength of it when it impacts? Fucking heaven. It shows up randomly, definitely in the Thalia series.
My least favorite implement is a dragon tail, but I despise it so much I haven’t put it in a book (sorry!). Least favorite kink is probably breath play, I cannot control my panic when I can’t breathe (still haven’t been able to work through it despite years of trying!) and there’s a few scenes of breathplay around. ‘Taken by the Enemy’ has one I really like where Emmie just tries to walk out of Lucian’s camp like it’s no big deal, and he chases her down. He actually ends up saving her from walking off a cliff (literally) but she drives him nuts and he ends up choking her because he’s so mad. In fiction? So hot. Real life? It’s one area I’m a total pansy.
Lee Savino: What’s your advice to readers who want to explore their fantasies beyond a BDSM novel?
Jennifer Bene: Join Fetlife.com and go to a munch. A “munch” is a community event that is usually not kinky (meaning normal clothes, and a lot of times they’re even in public places). Meeting other kinksters who live near you is the best way to start to A) learn about the world of BDSM, and B) make friends you can actually ask questions to. Once you know people it’s not as scary to go to private events or a club, because you have back-up and people who know you. The best part? You can do this whether you’re single or in a relationship. It lets you learn, get educated, and figure out things to try. Then, always remember to COMMUNICATE. Be honest about what you like, or don’t like, and let your partner be honest too. Doms get limits too! If anyone wants to ask more detailed questions, this is something I could talk about FOREVER, so feel free to message me on facebook or email me at email@example.com – I’m always happy to help and answer questions!
Lee Savino: Describe your perfect Dom. How does a real life Dom differ from the fantasy?
Jennifer Bene: Okay, Lee, do I get to be super fantastical with this fantasy? Because I’m about to. I like the serious alpha Doms who have that brooding/growly voice that sends shivers down your spine when they get all dominant. Can he be super hot? Yes please! At least 6 ft so I feel short (I’m 5′ 8″!). And I’d want him to be a sadist, because I need someone who will get off on making me scream and cry, because that’s what I like to do (painslut + masochist = need it). Great in bed and obsessed with making me orgasm would be a plus. And, let’s be honest, I’d also love him to be the kind of wealthy that means neither of us have to worry about going to a real-life day job, or worry about money (because money sucks). With all that dominance and aggression though, I’d still want him to be someone who respects my independence too. The kind of guy that will let me write books while we’re skiing in Vail or sailing down the French Riviera – hey, don’t look at me like that Lee, you said PERFECT.
Lee Savino: Now, how does that differ from real life Doms?
Jennifer Bene: Well, the real life part. I’ve got a kiddo, I’m a single mom, and I have a day job, and an author career to manage. I also have family, and friends, and therefore some semblance of a social life to maintain – which doesn’t leave near as much time as I’d like for kink. I see my Dom once (sometimes twice) a week, and even that stresses me to the max sometimes, even when he’s often my stress RELIEF too. The real world isn’t friendly for fantasy life, because bills have to be paid, the dishes have to be washed, clothes have to be folded, and my boss would get a little irritated if I never showed up at work, and, unfortunately, “sorry, tied to a St. Andrew’s Cross getting whipped” is not an acceptable reason to ditch the day job. Am I incredibly lucky to have the Dom I have? Yes. I joke with him that he’s a fictional fucking character (he’s from a European country, ex-military, owns his own business, 6′ 4″ and gorgeous who boxes in his free time and is a total alpha Dom who is sadistic and kinky as fuck – oh, and he hand built his own playroom. Seriously, if he didn’t take great joy in pinching/biting me, I’d still question whether or not I was awake or not.) But, we don’t get a ton of time together, and that means I miss community events way more than I want to, I miss play time with him, and there’s zero chance of running away into the sunset to be wild and carefree. Honestly? Real life sucks sometimes! That’s why I write books!
Lee Savino: How does your life imitate art or vice versa?
Jennifer Bene: I’m pretty adventurous when it comes to BDSM, and it helps that I enjoy pain, so when it’s reasonable (SSC) I usually ask the Dom to do something with me before I write it. I like to write from experience where it’s possible, and so a lot of the things I write I’ve actually done. The other way around, sometimes I’ll write a specific scene and then the Dom will read it (he likes to read my books, which is fun) and then he’ll surprise me one night by recreating it in his own way and then taunting me by saying I gave him the idea! Devious, but it’s hot as fuck. ^_^
Lee Savino: Now it’s time to run “The Gauntlet”: which do you prefer and why:
Spanking or flogging? Flogging because I always hit the most beautiful subspace with it, and a flogger can kiss like angel feathers or sting like a fucking demon’s tail. LOVE IT.
Whipping or caning? Caning! Any day of the week. It hurts like a bitch, but so does a whip, and for some reason the cane eventually dumps me into painslut subspace (Livia Grant writes about that beautifully in her Passion series, which is actually how we became friends! Me fangirling all over her). There’s just something about the meter of a caning that is so much more enjoyable (in a twisted way) than a whipping.
Bondage or crawling? Bondage. Oh hell, I just love being tied up. Instant, full blown submission. Then the Dom can do whatever he wants with me, AND I get to really struggle! Yum!
Oral or anal? Oral. I love to give blow jobs, seriously. Every guy I’ve ever been with has found it hilarious eventually that I actually whine if they don’t let me finish because they want to fuck me instead. I just have so much fun with it, there’s a thousand different things you can do to elicit a thousand different reactions, and I love to swallow. It just turns me on! And while anal is fun in a submission way, there’s nothing quite like being on your knees in front of a Dom with his hand in your hair.
Vanilla or chocolate? Chocolate. Vanilla stuff is always overly sweet to me, and chocolate can have depth. I’m not a big sweets person though! Give me a mountain of french fries any day!
Beer or wine? Lee, did you really need to ask me this? I probably talk about wine more often than I do my own books. Sheesh! *bathes in red wine*
Batman or Superman? BATMAN. Seriously, I am such a geek about this, but Batman is the perfect superhero. He’s damaged, he’s made mistakes, but he wants to protect people, he wants to do GOOD and he’s completely HUMAN. One of my absolute favorite story lines in the Justice League is (just hang on as I nerd out) is the one where all of the superheroes start getting attacked and taken out. Superman is shot with a kryptonite bullet in that one, and all the other Justice League members are taken out one by one. Bruce Wayne realizes it’s HIS PLANS being used because someone hacked him, and he goes around and saves everyone. At the end of the story line everyone is up in the Watchtower (space station) and they’re all yelling at Bruce, and he’s sitting there stone cold, listening, and then he stands up and basically tells them to shut up and then talks over them in his sexy low voice. He says something along the lines of, “I am the only human here. None of you are human, you are not a part of the human race. Every one of you has the capacity to kill us, to destroy us, and if one day you went crazy – you would be glad that I was there to stop you.” Then he walks the fuck out like a gangster, gets in his Bat-spaceship and fucking leaves. No apologies whatsoever. Superman is totally speechless, the rest of the Justice League are like “oh snap!”… and it’s just EPIC. How can you NOT LOVE THAT GUY?!
Lee Savino: Any last words about living your kink?
Jennifer Bene: Yeah, I have one more thing. I think I’ve always known what I wanted, even before I didn’t have the language for it. I’m bisexual, I’m not monogamous (Dom and I have an open relationship), and I’m not someone who loves in the traditional way people think of it (although I do like writing and reading about love)! I like to play rough, I love submission, and BDSM is my happy little niche in the world.
But there was a time where I tried to “be normal” and “play vanilla” to save a relationship and it made me so. incredibly. unhappy. I didn’t just dislike the relationship, I disliked my life, him, the world, and myself – and it was miserable. There was an article I saw on Facebook a few days ago about the moment when you realize that you’re not in the right place. They called it the “NOT THIS” moment. You may not know what you want instead (a new job, a new relationship, etc) but you know what you want is NOT THIS. Whatever that “not this” is, if you’re feeling it, I encourage you to act on it. Ending that relationship was messy, and it was not easy, but I finally felt like myself again after I got out. I’m foul-mouthed, kinky, way too honest, love sex, and I’m probably a little off in the head – but I am me, and I finally love me again, and I wish that for everyone else too.
Lee Savino: Thanks for reading Between The Sheets! I think it’s time to fan girl over Jennifer Bene. For more of her incredibly kinky self, check out her amazing books!