Monday, September 29, 2014

The Strong Uke and Why He is Right Kind of Uke

It was a meme posted by a talented soul who lives the BDSM Lifestyle 24/7. On the meme was a picture of a powerfully built man kneeling with his hands behind his back. I'll not post it here as such memes on my personal page causes me no end of problems with Facebook. The caption on the meme was about how much strength it took to kneel and submit to personal desires. That struck me about my root problem with many if not most Seme/uke relationships I see. They are often compared to D/s relationships, but they ate not really like them. These pairs are a hybrid of that Lifestyle built mainly on provocative images than on the actual tenets of the Lifestyle. Anyone whose been in my panels have heard that I have run across actual proof while editing Yaoi manga that is should not be a given mangaka are well versed with how male sex organs worklet alone how kinky practices actually work. As writers, they are doing what they need to do to get the characters from point a to point z, plot wise. They are also, unfortunately, correct that most fans don't give a damn about reality as long as the bodies look hot together. I find this irksome as a writer. As a practitioner of the Lifestyle, it is an alarming thing, because fans do not sometimes do not confine themselves to reading about these relationships. They are sometimes roleplaying them in person. What could go wrong allowing myself to be tied up and flogged by someone roleplaying a sadistic bastard who thinks rape is the way to handle an uke's first time?
What is missing in these pairings is that the uke should be at the very least as strong a personality as the Seme. And even with that, there should be some form of consent happening before things get heavy. The power exchange is at the heart of a BDSM relationship. Thus, for me to enjoy a hardcore Yaoi relationship, the uke has to have power to exchange. This the point where someone huffs at me 'Well, what ukes DO you like?' My favorite uke was created by the same mangaka who wrote my least favorite Seme. That would be Ranmaru of Ikoku Irokoi Romantan by Ayano Yamane. It is clear in the anime that drunk or drugged, Ranmaru knows how to fight off advances if he doesn't want them. I particularly loved their foreplay by fistfight. The next would be Naoki from Tightrope by Natsume Isaku. He is also an uke that would not be doing anything that he didn't really want. The comedies don't seem to have this much of a problem as the ukes typically have really willful personalities to further the humor between the couple.

I'm certain there are more strong ukes out there, and I would adore meeting them. Meanwhile, I write my own. The Ensnared universe had a hardoce Yaoi relationship that is Master/salve. It also has a considerable power exchange. In Ensnared Volume One , readers meets Lord Darius Galetea, a gorgeous, arrogant beast who runs a solar system of civilizations. During an outing with his closest advisor, Darius has a chance encounter with a beautiful though insolent young man that – it turns out – already worked for him finding antiquities from a past civilization. Darius has plans from the start to seduce Andreas into giving himself into service as his pleasure slave, or Dami. However, those are all upended when it is discovered a hit has been put out on Andreas. He accepts the role to protect himself while the plot is unraveled. The rest is full of spoilers. I can only say that Andreas' past and Darius life become more complicated than anyone could imagine. Here is a bit of what passed between them initially as recalled in Ensnared Volume 2

The alarm sounded just as the convoy cleared Octavius checkpoint into Amara. Minutes
later the streets were filled with frantic drivers. The Cosi's heavy transports had lights and sirens like the police, but people moved faster for these sounds and the girth of the massive vehicle. Andreas was in his building faster than he ever had been during the day. He was surprised when the guards took him to his apartment instead of the Penthouse. Odigos went with them to the barracks on the roof. Fortunately, Andreas found Lexo right away.
“Why did Darius send me here?” Andreas asked. “Does he not want to see me?”
“Oh, that's not the case, milord,” Lexo replied. “His Lordship thought you'd prefer to await his return here.”
“He isn't here?!” Andreas exclaimed. “The alarm has sounded. The streets are mobbed!”
“Milord, there is no need for worry,” Lexo said in his most assuring tone. “His Lordship is en route. There is much for one in his position to settle before communications go down.”
“How will he get through those streets in time?” Andreas demanded. Panic had grasped his heart with a cold, painful grip.
Lexo guided him to a seat at the dining room table. He gave him a small glass of whiskey then sat close to him.
“The Calix are trained to move at the sound of the Cosi's convoy even if they must drive on top of each other,” Lexo said. “He will get through in time. Drink that slowly and try to calm down. Shall I tell you about Chiron?”
Andreas sipped the dark amber liquor then nodded. He needed to keep his pounding heart from shattering his ribs.
“I managed to speak to him just after you talked to Lady Santorini,” Lexo said. “She had told him that she needed him to help secure her home and look after her and her Major Domo. He was most pleased that you and she trusted him thus. He swore he would take no risks.”
“I worried that he might think we didn't care if he returned,” Andreas said. “I didn't want him to risk the trip, and I knew the Lady needed the help.”
“I thought as much,” Lexo said. “I called to make sure he knew that. The driver will make sure they are all safe.”
“Good,” Andreas said as he continued to sip the drink. “Lexo, are the men safe on the roof?”
“Very much so,” he replied. “The building is lined with a very durable material that protects the building and it's systems. The shutters on all the windows and the balcony doors are made of the same material. They are all safe and well supplied, and they can reach us easily if there is a need.”
“Okay...that's good...”
The warm, sweet liquid soothed Andreas a bit, but he was still wound tight. Lexo kept talking to him quietly about household matters until the back door opened. Darius was suddenly in the room. Andreas was on his feet before he could think. Then, he was in the Cosi's arms.
“Andreas, you're trembling,” Darius said quietly. “You're heart is pounding. What's wrong?”
“I was freaking the hell out,” Andreas replied tightly. “You weren't here...the roads were mobbed...and the storm...”
Darius held him closer. He kissed his temple.
“Darius...were you punishing me?” Andreas asked. He hated how small his voice sounded. The sad thing was that there wasn't anything he could do if Darius were tormenting him. He couldn't leave the Cosi even if he wanted to...and he didn't want to.
Darius pulled back to look Andreas in the eyes. His expression was concerned. His eyes were warm.
“Never, Andreas, never would I deliberately cause you a moment's anguish,” he replied. His voice was soft but the tone was intense.
Andreas swallowed hard around the lump in his throat as he nodded at the Cosi. He found he couldn't speak. His eyes welled up with unshed tears. Darius lowered his head. Andreas tilted his chin up. The kiss was what he needed – possessive but tender. Andreas had heard the truth in the Cosi's words, but he felt something else in that kiss. He yielded to it, wrapping his arms around Darius' neck and reveling being crushed against him.
“Thank you for looking after Andreas,” Darius said to Lexo as he swept Andreas into his arms. “Excuse us.”
Andreas was surprised that he was taken to his own bedroom instead of the Penthouse. Once there, he was deposited on the center of the bed. The room was bathed in a golden light from the many fat, tall candles placed about the room and the fire burning in the hearth. The light made Darius look more beautiful.
“Don't move,” Darius said as he began to undress. “I want to look at you.”
“Yes, Darius.”
“This is the second time I thought I would have to fight you to have you,” he said mildly as he removed his clothing.
“When did you ever think I'd fight you?”
“Our first night together,” Darius replied. “You hadn't had time to think when you offered to serve naked. By that evening, you were rested and fed. I knew the weight of your pledge was heavy on your shoulders.”
“But I wanted you,” Andreas said as he hungrily watched Darius bare his skin. “And I had sworn to give myself to you.”
“I gave you no quarter when you were vulnerable,” Darius countered as he dropped his garments onto a chair. “I thought you may fight me for sake of your pride.”
“My pride was in keeping my vow. I was nervous about pleasing you,” Andreas said as he watched Darius climb onto the bed to straddle him. Those talented hands were unbuttoning his shirt. “You could have the best in the world...”
“I do, exquisite one,” Darius said as he deftly began to undress him. “And I have never taken anything about you for granted.”
Andreas finally understood what Darius was saying. There were things he wanted to say as well, but that big, warm body was covering him. That sinfully hot mouth was taking his. Everything could wait. They kissed for a long while without hurry. Darius seemed to be savoring them as he would a tasty treat. If Andreas could get his suddenly heavy eyelids to open, he would have peeked to see if the Cosi had the same expression as he did when he ate. But he was too lost in the moment, enjoying the sensations too much. Darius was very hard but he wasn't making any moves to take him. Andreas was certain he was still trying to calm him. The plan was working. All the panic of the morning seeped away under the warm weight of the Cosi. The grip in Andreas' embrace relaxed. His hands roamed through the soft, cool hair and along the broad, strong shoulders and well formed arms.
When Darius finally began to make love to Andreas, he was gentle and slow. He was still overwhelming physically and emotionally,the Darius was much softer in how he took him. He didn't hold him down or reduce him to the point he couldn't move. Andreas was able to hold Darius as well and caress him as they made love. It seemed that the more Andreas gave, the more open Darius became. He wasn't sure if it a Dami was allowed to hold his Master, but Andreas hoped this wouldn't be the only time for him. It was incredible to feel the tremors in Darius as he came.

Ensnared Volume 3 is in the works and there are short stories based on this pair in YGG Magazine.

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Rare and Elusive Cuddly Seme

There has been some debate among writers of how touchy-feely a Seme/Dom would or should be in a story. I am reminded of a term for it in Trek fandom that was viewed derisively from many corners. Tupper was coined from Tupperware . It meant that one of the pair was extremely feminized and domesticated and prone to wear frilly aprons. The word cuddly conjures these sorts of images. One imagines that the dialog during cuddling would be sickeningly sweet baby talk. This is especially jarring when the pair act nothing like that anywhere else.

Character is Character

Whether running a criminal underworld gang or a corporation or at home having a glass of wine, a character should be the same multi-faceted being. If that character is compelling, a reader should be keenly interested in seeing him do anything including have sex. And they want to see him being that compelling character while in bed. They want to see him being that compelling character in a bare knuckled fight or cooking pasta. These Seme should always be interesting and compelling. In fact, the way they make love and the way they fight should be telling a reader a lot about their personalities and how they think as well as what they may be feeling at a given moment.

The Sneaky Possessive Cuddler

Sketch by DL Warner
Okay, so how can a writer have an arrogant, uber-Seme being cuddly with his lover and remain that same scary sexy bastard that was just causing all manner of sometimes violent mayhem? In the case of this author's Seme, it's in the reasons for the cuddly demeanor. For Rik Heron from The Soldier's books, the cuddling of Vincent comes from his possessiveness. He has an overwhelming need to be as close to Vincent as he can to exert ownership as much as show affection. Vincent is a beautiful young man inside and out. Even those who have run afoul of his temper can attest to his beauty. He has many people flitting around him wanting his attention for reasons that are wholesome and not. Rik literally wants to keep Vincent close to his body whenever they aren't working. The closeness is really pleasant. Rik loves how Vincent feels against his body. He enjoys the scent of his skin and his hair. And he knows that Vincent is his. Fortunately for them both, Vincent loves being held for many of the same reasons. Their friends and loved ones are accustomed to them being attached to each other on the sofa or on a lounge chair in the yard or in the office or wherever. None of those people would ever be so foolish as to come between them in any fashion.

Secret Cuddles Between the Classes

For Lord Darius Galetea, cuddling with Andreas Hesper is more difficult to explain. There are many aspects
Sketch by DL Warner
of his life that would not make him a candidate for a cuddly Seme. The social rules that bound every cast of the civilizations in their worlds are the first problem. In a way, Darius is even more constricted in his behavior than the lowest pauper. Any weakness or peculiarity in his behavior could call into question his fitness for leadership. Being challenged by his fellows could result not just a loss of a position but it could end in the loss of his life. Those beneath him, should always be treated that way. Darius always side-stepped that social edict, claiming that giving everyone respect helped make his job easier. His need to keep Andreas close, however, came from somewhere else. Just as Andreas was compelled to make Darius notice him, this Seme is compelled to keep his lover close. It began the first time they made love. Darius held Andreas in his lap to keep him still while they kissed. But it was when he woke the morning after that first time that Darius experienced holding a lover and being held by him. It was a gesture of deep affection that he ha never experienced. He couldn't do without that feeling. Darius also found that keeping Andreas close while lounging on the sofa was a way of exerting possession. It often keeps Andreas flustered and a little off balance. He likes seeing the confident Crew leader that way.

The other advantage of keeping Andreas close is that Darius knows who has been near his lover and if they were too close. But he also enjoys the way the man feels in his arms. Holding Andreas calms him on his craziest days. That is a fact that no one other than Andreas knows. This pair would never have a true power exchange. Darius could never allow it, and Andreas does not want it. But those quiet moments in each other's arms or with Andreas resting against Darius on the sofa under the protection of his most loyal staff, he is allowed some measure of release from all his responsibilities. While being held by Andreas in bed, Darius allows himself to truly let go and sleep deeply. Lastly, Darius is not one for great declarations of affection. His enjoyment of such close contact with Andreas speaks of a deep affection for him. Andreas is aware of that. He was not keen on cuddling at first, but he grows to love it because it brings him closer to his enigmatic Seme.

Thus, both Rik and Darius are the same characters when they are cuddling as they are kicking ass in their day to day lives. They are far from Tupper. And that makes even those quiet, loving scenes compelling to watch.

Next Time – Conjuring worlds that make sense but aren't a nerdtastic overload.