Romance with Discipline

My recent conference presentation…

Lady Smut

by C. Margery Kempe

I gave a paper at the Popular Culture Association Conference last week called, “Knocking from Inside: Forging Strength through Pain in V for Vendetta and The Story of O” and it seemed to go over well in the BDSM/Kink area panel, despite the fact that I was the only panelist who turned up. (O_o) The title comes from a Rumi poem about struggling with your own constrictions:

I have lived on the lip of insanity, wanting to know reasons, knocking on a door. It opens. I have been knocking from the inside!

But at a romance panel the next day I was disturbed to hear a lot of negative attitudes toward the erotic. One speaker described the arc of Fifty Shades‘ narrative as starting out as ‘BDSM’ and then ‘becoming romantic’ — as if it were not possible to have romance in anything but…

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