A while back someone asked me how I keep my characters, my boys, henceforth, ‘manly’ while they get spanked. In all actuality, I never considered this. See, I write male/male erotic romance. I always think my boys are sexy, and readers tend to agree. But, let’s be honest here, writing about gay men is never going to fit the ‘traditional’ model of masculinity. I’m not much for traditions. For the sake of clarity, this is the definition of a strong man (which is the generally accepted definition of a masculine man) that I use:
“A strong man is one with a solid sense of himself and his purpose in the world, thinks through his decisions, and takes care of those he loves, and allows them to take care of him when need be.”
Submission endangers none of these qualities. Let’s use my boys for an example. Zack is the sub in his relationship with Steve. His role was a choice based on the feeling of comfort and safety he had while with Steve. Zack responded to Steve’s dominance, due in part to going through a rough place in his life and needing the structure and discipline the other man provided. The specifics of his role were thoroughly negotiated in Casting. He and Steve went through every expectation, rule, and possible consequence. After deciding together how much power Steve would have, and how Zack could get it back, they signed a contract. A few scenes later, Steve gives Zack his first spanking, which led to their first time together, to level his anxiety. He made the choice to trust Steve, and it paid off. Less erotic, but just as necessary was the punishment spanking in the first chapter of Action. Zack had been well-aware that one would not be enjoyable, and yet he submitted to it because he knew he needed it. I don’t see anything weak about a man who can accept, or even ask for, what he truly needs.
Remember, I also said strong men took care of those they loved. In Cutaway, Steve is in a car accident that breaks his ankle badly enough to make him unable to walk for more than a week, leaving him entirely dependent on Zack. For his part, Zack showed his devotion and maturity by tirelessly caring for his Dom through it all. He made sure to remind Steve that he loved him and needed his dominance. Through self-reflection, and a deeper connection with Zack, Steve realizes in That’s a Wrap he wants a taste of submission with the man he loves. So, the couple begins to explore switching roles occasionally in the bedroom.
Back to the first question, how do I keep my boys strong while incorporating submission and spanking? I start with strong men who know what they want, and often that’s for their partner to give them what they need, whether they think they want it or not.
Mine series Vol. 1 blurb: From the moment Steve Michaels met actor Zack Greene in the men’s room of a press conference, the director knew his snarkiness mixed with angelic features, excited him. What he wasn’t prepared for was the vulnerability underneath the hardened exterior. And he really wasn’t prepared to fall in love.
But they did.
Zack needed some positive press and a second chance after getting out of rehab. He found the director of Ben’s Life, the series he planned to audition for. Steve helped him within a loving structured relationship.
Follow Zack and Steve as they face the challenges of work, family, injuries, and pasts together as they redefine family. Mine Series Vol. 1 includes Casting, Action, Cutaway, and That’s a Wrap, and is available here: Amazon !
Casting: Steve Michaels had one goal for the evening: drink just enough to get through the press conference in promotion of Ben’s Life, the new television series he’s directing. Plans change for him when the seedy producer of the show zeroes in his seduction efforts on Zack Greene, the bad boy of the moment. Now, Steve has to make sure Zack doesn’t sue.
Instead of finding the hardened bad boy he expected, Steve finds a vulnerable man whom life has beaten down. Can Steve help build him back up with a loving structured relationship? Find out how being cast in right roles enriches their careers and lives. Smashwords
Action: When the bright lights and flashing cameras of Hollywood capture your every move, how can you fulfill your deepest desires? For Zack Greene, a formerly out-of-control actor, and Steve Michaels, the director who unearthed the heart of the man beneath the ego, it’s a constant struggle.
In public, Steve and Zack are the picture of professional partners. However, behind closed doors, their partnership is taken to a new level. They engage in a carefully constructed Dom/sub relationship that not only brings them pleasure, but keeps Zack from slipping back into his wild ways.
Their delicate balance is thrown askew when a producer on the show threatens to expose their lifestyle, while taking advantage of Zack in a moment of vulnerability. Will Steve be able to ease the pain and save the love they share? Or will they come apart when they need each other most? Amazon
Cutaway: Two years after Steve Michaels called, “Action!” on a new phase in his career as co-producer on the television show Ben’s Life, the lights go up again on his Dom/sub relationship with actor Zack Greene, but Hollywood cameras don’t always capture the truth.
A mention of Steve’s past in the BDSM scene has Zack craving new ways for them to connect. All of the couple’s concerns fall away when Steve and his ex, Peter, are in a car accident. The last ones to know, Zack and Josh, Peter’s slave, rush to the hospital. The injuries from the accident force the dominant man to set aside his pride and accept help from Zack. Will the couple get to explore new boundaries in their relationship or will the dependency Cutaway the structure holding their relationship in place? Amazon
That’s a Wrap: As the bright lights of Hollywood dim, futures, relationships, and identities are thrown into question. The once successful television show, Ben’s Life, is in big trouble. For Steve Michaels, the director, in a long-term Dom/sub relationship with Zack Greene, the lead actor, this means impending unemployment.
Through training Josh as their domestic slave, coupled with the care he received during recovery from a debilitating car accident, Steve opens himself up to role reversal in his relationship with Zack. The occasional release of control on Steve’s part, and Zack’s adeptness at taking it, grants them freedom and stability to meet challenges as a unit.
But when the life they had planned is put in jeopardy by one phone call, Steve and Zack will need to expand the safe haven they’ve created together to include one more. Priorities shift and a different light shines the way to new beginnings. Amazon
Liz Borino lives behind her computer in an irrelevant town in Pennsylvania, about an hour away from the irrelevant town where she grew up. She may have big dreams, and the confidence to pull most of them off, but Liz writes about being the two things she will never be: Male and Gay. And that’s okay. She will, however, fight those struggling for civil rights.
When Liz isn’t writing stories about hot men loving each other, or editing for other people, she’s pursuing her Master’s Degree in English. On her very occasional ‘off-day,’ Liz enjoys exploring cities, particularly NYC, and eating cupcakes from Magnolia’s Bakery.