No more bdsm for him?

Am trying to decide if I’m too focused on a throw away line of dialogue in Josh Lanyon’s The Dark Tide.

Spoilerish background follows, so if you are planning on reading the series, proceed with caution.

One of the characters was closeted. And a cop. And active in the BDSM community, or at least recognizable there. His sort of partner? Not involved, not interested. He appeared to remain active in the community while they dated (their own DADT); when they broke up and he married a woman, he remained active. But now that he’s out, he doesn’t need that any longer, he says. He’s had the sexual smorgasbord and is ready to settle down.

Okay, on one hand, this parallels the rake in historicals deciding that his One True Love is all he needs, that the sexcapades aren’t doing it for him any longer.

On the other hand, combining the coming out with this decision implies (to me, ymmv) that his BDSM life was a function of his unhappiness with his (homo)sexuality. And that once he was out and happy, he no longer needed BDSM. I dunno, that seems (again, to me) to equate BDSM with the depression, alcoholism and other negatives that are often experienced by closeted people.

None of the reviews I’ve read have commented on it, so I’m wondering if I’m hung up on a throw away line of dialogue (entirely possible).

And what do I know? Since that’s not my personal kink and I’m not a gay man, this is all readerly speculation. Opinions?

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “No more bdsm for him?

  1. Oh, god, I hate this. I HATE this. Emma Holly does this. Oh, we’re HEA now, so we don’t need that kinky shit anymore, it’s served its purpose. That might be true for some, but not if it’s not presented that way from the start. IMO, it’s a sexual identity as much as being gay is. It’s no more easy to give up than it is for someone gay to be with the opposite sex. But like you say, YMMV. And you might be sensitized to this type of thing b/c of your association with me (she says modestly). Other people think that’s a perfectly reasonable thing to say/think. But argh!

    • On a personal level, I never thought BDSM or any kind of fetish or other consensual sexual behavior needed to be “fixed”. But I never paid much attention to the implicit or explicit message that true love cures kink until you pointed it out. (Well, you and Dan Savage, maybe.)
      In this case, long before the book was published, I was wondering how the author was going to handle the relationship if it was going to be permanent or long term. Early in the series, it was clear that Adrien was just not interested in BDSM and did not understand the appeal: he wasn’t offended or repulsed by the thought, just not into it. And the other question in my mind was whether Jake was capable of fidelity, assuming they could negotiate some sort of balance, since it didn’t seem like a high priority earlier on as he led a double life. I guess what I’m trying to get at is a sense of disappointment that this is how it was handled. Of course, since it is part of a mystery series, I should maybe expect less relationship and more plot. Even if it was published by Loose Id and labeled romantic suspense.
      Er, I really enjoyed the book otherwise. A lot. This has been niggling at me though.

  2. My feeling is if it floats your boat, it floats your boat. And 20 years from now? It’ll float your boat 😉
    cindyS

  3. Anonymous

    If you find out, let me know, I’ve been deleting/screening like mad this past week and it’s really beginning to tick me off.

  4. Anonymous

    I loved the first bullet point also but could totally see me saying something stupid like that.
    And YES to the professional aspects. I get it if it’s a historical but in today’s world when a 10 second snippet of Youtubia can destroy you I’m guessing not a light bulb moment.
    And the less I know about an author’s personal life, the better. The one that blew me away was the mystery writer who murdered a friends mothers when she was a teenager. As you can see I have completely forgotten her name which is good for all involved as I figure those who don’t know can continue to enjoy the work without me ruining it for them.
    And discovering that Harrison Ford was probably a real ass as a young man taught me to love the character (Han Solo) forget the actor. Another reason why I don’t need to know much about an actor’s real life. If I know too much and they don’t do their job (act well) then I can’t get past it.
    CindyS

  5. Anonymous

    jmcbks there, because jmc_bks was already taken. I know, so original. And yours?

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