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An open letter to the Knoxville Literature Interpretation Team on why I write books.
lordmorpheous

I was asked to put down my thoughts as an author for the KLIT group in Knoxville, TN as they have chosen my book for their study group this autumn. I thought that my thoughts and responses warrented a posting here on my profile since I do get this question all the time and I think it is important to share my motivation for writing. Below is an open letter to that group.

I Hope you enjoy it.

Best regards,
Morpheous
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Thank you very much for choosing my book for your discussion group. I am honored. When I was first asked to write an intro book on BDSM my first reaction was “but aren’t there a couple of really great books out there already?” My publisher and I discussed what a book would look like, what it would include and while there have been other books written in the past on the subject, some of them were published almost 20 yrs ago.

The world changes a lot in 20 yrs.

Our information becomes updated and back in the early 90’s the internet was barely in its infancy, blazing into our homes at 14.4 bytes a second down the phone line. My intention was never to compete with some of the great books that have been written in the past, rather to compliment and update the knowledge that we have developed and watched evolve. Particularly with the social networking aspect of the lifestyle. Like it or not, the internet has changed kinky sex and BDSM forever. It pulled it from the shadows of clubs and a “secret” underworld and laid it out in the light of day. Of course it is Pandora’s box – there are those die-hards who started in the older clubs where you needed to know someone before you were ever invited to a BDSM or kink party felt that the internet was cheapening their own growth and experience by suddenly casting all the “secrets” to the general public. I disagree. I started going to fetish parties in 1991. I did the “you have to know someone before you can get in” evolution and what I have observed is that under the guise of “being a secret underground club” much knowledge and education was also underground and a lot of it misinformed. Especially for safe sex kinky practices. By making knowledge and education available to the general public, not only does it potentially reduce the chance of harm (depending on the practitioners) but it gives people a firmer foundation to discuss their desires in an arena that is larger than ever previously imagined. Social networking sites such as Fetlife have given many like minded people a voice to express their desires and to find other people who are supportive of their desires. However what I have noticed in particular over the past 15 yrs since the internet has gained ground is that the more time people spend on the computer, the less they seem to understand how to behave and extend respect to others at the fetish clubs in real life. When did manners go out of style? Is it because the internet gives access to information at the tips of your fingers and a Google search of 1.34 seconds will pop up everything you ever imagined about a topic or subject once considered taboo or worse – deviant that one can masquerade as an “expert”? Have people forgotten that the essence of our lifestyle is that of connecting with people and not flaming or being trolls on a chat thread?

In writing my book, my ultimate goal was to bring people together. To show that the more we are different, the more we remain the same. Everywhere around the world. From Knoxville, Tennessee to Vienna, Austria. From Toronto, Canada to LA. From Dublin Ireland to South America. Kinky folk all want love and acceptance from those close to them, after all who doesn’t? Love and acceptance doesn’t look any different from a classic nuclear family enjoying a picnic down by the park gazebo compared to a 6 way poly gay leather family at a collaring ceremony. Being connected to others is what brings about the best of our humanity. To support your loved ones and learning to love others that may have different desires breeds compassion. Regardless of the activities we enjoy, or where we enjoy them, the heart of kinky sex for me is connecting with others. So in my book and in this age of the internet I concentrated on telling people that if they want to meet people, they need to get offline. But in order to find out where to meet them, they need to go online. Confusing, eh? I tell new kinky people that their internet life is like a flashlight – it helps you find what you are looking for but it isn’t the end goal. This is what I felt other books were lacking, not because they chose to ignore the internet but simply because those books were written with a different social model in mind and during a different time period. Through each chapter I attempt to walk the reader through certain steps that will reassure them that their desires aren’t so different from others and that acceptance of their desires through consensual activities can be a lot of fun and can also be emotionally fulfilling.

When I first started the book, I tried writing it in about 3 different “voices” – Authoritarian and Academic at first but my publisher and I thought that those voices had been done over and over so much that they were losing their power and meaning. If you have ever read an academic paper on kink and BDSM you will understand that a subject as beautiful and varied as the realm of human sexuality can be sucked dry of all emotion and feeling to satisfy the academic thesis supervisors. This approach doesn’t work for my writing. I wanted to convey the joy I have experienced over the past 20 yrs that the lifestyle has brought to me. So I chose to write it in the voice that I use when I present to large and small groups. Safety is my #1 concern during these presentations but just as important is being able to share joy and laughter in a classroom. If we can’t laugh at our own foibles then what happened to “play should be fun”? They call it “play” for a reason. As a formally trained educator it is my personal belief that the use of play in learning styles to absorb information and retain it is second to none. Children learn best this way, why should us as adults forget this simple lesson?

As I watch the lifestyle grow and evolve, the newbies who come out are still as shy and nervous at a “real” event as those of us that first slipped on our leathers 20 yrs ago to find others in the dank basement bars and underground clubs. What I hope my book gives the newbies is a solid foundation of information that they can use so that they can 1: get into the scene safely and respectfully and 2: are less likely to be taken advantage of by the predators that lurk around the edges of the scene. Knowledge is power and I hope I have given them the chance to have something more in their tool box or arsenal to be able to explore and enjoy the scene safely and connect with others and experience the joy of the newness that us older middle aged guard once experienced. I take great delight in introducing topics and techniques that I have been using for a long time, and showing them to newbies and watching their eyes light up and seeing the bounce of delight in their step. Writing a book is never about the money. I think I get about a dollar a book when they are sold in the brick and mortar stores and online. As a matter of fact last year I was able to buy 4 brand new snow tires for my car! So it defiantly isn’t about the money, unless you are the Harry Potter chick. No, where my satisfaction lies in being flattered when someone chooses to spend their hard earned money on my book over all the others, and take my lessons and wisdom to heart so they can connect with others that satisfies their soul and lightens their hearts with joy while up on a cross being beaten with a flogger or learning how to receive foot worship gracefully.

Don’t forget the joy in the lifestyle. It makes everything easier.

Sincerely,
Morpheous



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