#Pitmad was quite a good one for me back in June (for anyone who doesn’t know it’s a twitter pitch party where you pitch your novel in 140 characters or less to agents and publishers) I got a good few ❤ and I was feeling positive. Out went my novel full of hope and excitement, again.
Then in come the rejections, (okay 2/8, all is not lost yet lol), and it got me thinking. I would be inclined to think my writing just isn’t good enough, but that 85k words of torture were critted to hell and back by the best critiquers Scribophile has to offer (I recommend that site wholly to any one wanting to publish). I’ve been told over and over again that its good, the story arc is strong, characters strong and writing eventually after more edits than I can count strong. Yet constantly the rejection emails bounce back, true to form. Now sure a novel based heavily on some quite intense BDSM scenes is not to everyone’s taste, but on a 3 chapter sample, no agent has actually read them. Is the synopsis of the storyline what could be holding me back?
Is the fact my leading lady is strong, independent, powerful and submissive too much for people to deal with? I have to wonder if I’d made her a weak little sapling would it have drawn more interest. The fact my Dominant male is actually quite meek and mild-mannered not sitting right with people who have an “ideal” image of BDSM in their heads?
Now ignoring again the fact it could just be my writing, could it be the world just isn’t ready to have its stereotypical goalpost moved? Is it possible that the fact people have an image of what a Dom and sub are is what makes them feel safe and secure in the knowledge they are “normal”?
Accepting the truth of the fact a woman can be strong and submissive, a man gentle and Dominant would mean re-evaluating everything they think they know about kink. It would mean they would have to consider that in actual fact we are “normal” too. That anyone can have a kinky side. Is it just too scary to imagine their teacher, best friend, mechanic might actually be depraved creatures they fear?
Is the stereotype created simply so people can sit comfortably knowing none of their friends and acquaintances are odd, or engaging in disgusting acts. Or is it because maybe, if we challenge the stereotype, they have to challenge their own desires?
When we go into new relationships, no one ever questions if their prospective new partner likes sex. Yet if they like kinky sex is not only a question many would think twice about asking, it’s also one that could see the check being called for before you’ve finished your appetisers.
For years people have argued the most homophobic of people may be gay themselves, the most racist ignorant of peoples backgrounds, cultures and believes, is it the same for kink? Do people fear they too may be submissive, sadist, Dominant, and only by convincing themselves submissives are weak, Dominants cruel that they can reassure themselves they are “normal”.
Does normal even exist, or is that too a myth we invent so we can neatly catagorise ourselves with the rest of society through fear of being ostracised for being different.