BDSM interviews: Jack L. Pyke

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Are you in the mood for something dark? While writing her Don’t series, Jack L. Pyke worked with both a BDSM trainer and a psychologist, so be prepared for twisted mind games and hot kinky scenes!

What do you want readers to know about your series Don’t?

It’s dark, as in very dark. My usual warnings are: it’s dark romance and will always follow HEA/HFN romance safety lines, but it’s core base is a psychological thriller with BDSM themes. And with that, the Don’t series does touch on some very hard subject matter and mind games that really do test the romance genre.

One of your characters, Gray, trains other men in the art of domination… and interrogation techniques. How are these things similar and/or different?

Oooh, good question! Gray is a counterterrorism interrogation’s operative for the UK’s MI5, and the place where he trains Doms (the MC) is also used to train MI5 operatives. Both differ very widely but have some crossover lines too. The MC are government funded and run by MI5, the army, and the Metropolitan police. They provide a transition for retiring men and women coming out of field work, but also going into it, like Gray’s interrogation training with new MI5 operatives.

How he trains a Dom is entirely different to how he trains an interrogation operative. For example, a Dom would be taught a collar is a sign of everything good about the BDSM lifestyle, but with training an MI5 interrogation’s operative, the likes of a Heretics Fork collar is something you’d use on someone after you’d gotten all you need to know from the interrogation and you want him silent as you, well, in Gray’s MI5 world — play with them some more. So both collars, but both showing vastly different outlooks in life and different insights into Gray himself and how he tailors his sadistic lifestyle to two different worlds. Fortunately he has a Master sub with him who loves both sides!

Do you prefer writing about BDSM mind games or the technical side of BDSM—whips, chains, etc?

I think for me it has to be foremost the mind games. I’ll write about hardcore BDSM, but like with Jack Harrison and the mind-play surrounding the word “Don’t”, the psychological build-up and insight into why he loves his BDSM world is paramount. It’s not about going into why he enjoys feeling a whip, but more what different scenes he can step into with Gray and where Gray takes him. Gray is MI5, interrogations, and his imagination and control between being a Dom and having this darker side will always draw Jack into a more dangerous BDSM playground where imagination between both worlds professionally mixes and plays creatively with the mind. And this unusual BDSM playing field is where we first meet Jack Harrison in Don’t

Another character of yours, Jack, uses BDSM as a coping strategy. Can BDSM be beneficial for solving psychological problems?

Ah, now that’s the thing. Jack has Conduct Disorder, which is where the kickback against saying ‘Don’t’ around him is always dangerous. But Jack’s part of the MC, where they have a psychology department who treats the likes of PTSD when operatives come out of the field. Jack is also treated for his Conduct Disorder and his OCD, so the MC also provide psychological evaluation for anyone who works within the MC, no matter their role.

This means Jack foremost has a care plan set in place by professional psychologists who know he’s a Master sub. Gray, as his Dom, will consider that care plan first and their recommendations before even contemplating a BDSM contract for Jack with trainee Doms. So care plan first, BDSM contract second. For example, one of Jack’s OCD coping strategies is to toss a photograph on a unit and leave it out of synch with life for as long as possible before feeling he has to straighten it. The longer he leaves it alone, the more it shows how well he’s coping with life in general. This is an actual coping strategy for someone with OCD that some psychologist will use! Gray then takes that into a BDSM contract, making it clear that if Jack has to stop a scene because life crashes and he needs to ‘straighten’ life (his photo), then the scene is stopped. Period. So when it says BDSM coping strategies, it means taking a care plan into BDSM to make sure he copes.

But can BDSM be beneficial for solving psychological problems? You can have the two working alongside each other so no psychological damage is done, which means seeing a psychologist for disorders and the likes and seeing how, if at all, BDSM could help in some way under a care plan. But you would also need a good Dom who knows you have a care plan with a psychologist and who is then happy to implement a BDSM scene with that care plan in mind. SSC guidelines go both ways, and if you aren’t upfront with a Dom, then it compromises them too.

It’s why I’ve worked with both a BDSM trainer and a psychologist when it comes to the Don’t series. Their different insights into handling someone like Jack Harrison have been invaluable.

Is it more interesting for you to write about BDSM done right or BDSM done wrong, when it’s not entirely safe, sane and consensual or when something unexpected happens and spoils a session?

Antidote, the second novel in the Don’t series, goes in depth into how BDSM can be twisted on its head completely to damage a sub. For example, someone takes Jack’s photo, ties him up, but deliberately doesn’t allow him to be untied and to straighten that photo when his world starts to crash. The psychological impact is severe, both on Jack’s BDSM world and for his disorders. So I’ll look at both sides to the coin. There’s always a clear distinction, though: when it’s done right, it’s BDSM, when it’s done wrong deliberately, it’s nothing to do with the BDSM lifestyle — it’s abuse by someone who shouldn’t be anywhere near the BDSM lifestyle. Mistakes happen, yes, which is why I use the training facility to show how mistakes are handled and Doms/sub are trained properly and shown how to handle things when they go wrong as well as right. But there’s always someone there (a security team) to ensure a scene is stopped if either a sub or Dom show they’re not in any way cut out for the lifestyle.

I have every respect for anyone in the lifestyle, and I love portraying all the good about BDSM, but when it moves to going against SSC and the likes, than it has to be made clear it’s not the lifestyle, but the person behind it who’s not portraying the guidelines.

Is there something you find difficult about writing BDSM-themed stories? What was the most challenging scene to write?

I’m vanilla through and through, so that’s always going to bring up its complication when writing about something that you’re only looking in at through a window. So when I went into the Don’t series, I got in touch with a Dom trainer, and whatever conceptual guidance into the BDSM lifestyle I needed, each scene would be read by that Dom trainer and advice given. It helped that one of my main characters in the Don’t series, Jan Richards, is a vanilla stepping into Jack and Gray’s world, and I love that I’ve been able to play with my own stereotypes and screw ups as a vanilla coming into the lifestyle for the first time. So where Jan is seen to stumble and fall, those are parts where I’ve stumbled and fallen too and been given advice.

Over the years I’ve grown with Jan, and where I retain Jan’s love for being vanilla, I also share his deep love and respect for people in the lifestyle. Jack and Gray’s hard lesson to Jan is that SSC guidelines apply to everyone, where a vanilla has as much right to say something isn’t for him, and to be comfortable admitting that he’s happy as a vanilla not wanting in on the lifestyle, but keeping all respect and love for all those who are.

As for the most challenging scene…. Oh lord, that will always be Antidote, and how I twist Jack’s perception of his BDSM lifestyle, taking all the good about BDSM techniques and care, then putting it in the hands of people who know how to tear at someone’s mind and body to psychologically recondition them. There are parts to this novel I hated writing and always will. If you’d like to see BDSM used by the wrong people and the damage it does to those both in and outside of the lifestyle, then the Don’t series is for you.

Thank you for having me here today, Katerina! Your questions were fantastic!

Antidote (2019 re-edited version) Blurb:

“Us. We’re okay, aren’t we, mukka?” ~ Jack Harrison

Video footage of Jack sleeping with Cutter, a man who mutilated teenagers for his own sadistic streak, should have stayed dead and buried with the man who had filmed it. Yet when footage of Jack’s past starts appearing on internet porn sites, Jack’s whole world is again turned on its head. At first the porn links are done to unsettle, to disrupt Jack’s fire-and-ice world: all the sexed-up adrenaline of being caught between the pleasure of Gray Raoul’s BDSM kink and the gentleness of Jan Richards’ vanilla touch. But when the content of the porn sites force even Gray to turn his back on Jack, leaving Jack isolated and away from the full protection of the Masters’ Circle, Jack is left at the mercy of a group of men who are out to alter Jack’s whole perception on his BDSM lifestyle and the reality of being Jack Harrison.

As brutally as possible, Jack’s sex life is now a live webcam feed for a whole new audience.

Coming April 28th. KDP and KU only.

Buy links to the 1st novel in the Don’t series: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NTZPBCN/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1

Bio

Jack blames her dark writing influences on living close to one of England’s finest forests. Having grown up hearing a history of kidnappings, murders, strange sightings, and sexual exploits her neck of the woods is renowned for, Jack takes that into her writing, having also learned that human coping strategies for intense situations can sometimes make the best of people have disastrously bad moments. Redeeming those flaws is a drive, and if that drive just happens to lead to sexual tension between two or more guys, Jack’s the first to let nature take its course.

Two of Jack’s works, Don’t… and Antidote (Don’t… book 2) picked up Honorable Mention Awards at the 2013 (Don’t…) and 2014 (Antidote) Rainbow Awards. Antidote was also a finalist (Rainbow Awards 2014).

Jack’s also a contract editor with Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink, and DSP Publications, which basically means she’s very happy with not only writing MM, but also editing it too. She’s also edited talented authors like Adrienne Wilder, Joseph Lance Tonlet, and Bey Deckard.

 

Author Website: https://www.jacklpyke.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007776739131
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6691397.Jack_L_Pyke
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jackl_pyke?lang=en-gb

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