BDSM interviews: Claire Thompson

The Compound Trilogy Box-3

“In the end, we are all humans, with similar emotions and feelings, searching for intensity of experience and, ultimately, love.”

Claire Thompson has published over 70 BDSM novels. Some of them are romantic, some are dark, so you can choose a book to your liking 😉

What prompted you to write BDSM stories? What do you find most appealing about them?

I first started writing as an outlet for my own secret sexual fantasies. This was way back in the dark ages (the 90s) before BDSM was widely accepted or even acknowledged by the mainstream (it was still classified as a “perversion” by the psychiatric community). I started to share my short fantasies of D/s with others of like mind that I found on the internet at chat rooms (remember those, anyone over 45?) and folks were very receptive and suggested maybe I try to get them published. I sent a few around to the BDSM magazines then in circulation, sold a few, and started to pen my first novel (Sarah’s Awakening). I sent three chapters to an erotica publisher in NYC (way before ebooks) and someone called and said, “Where’s the rest? We want this!” That was in 1996, and 70+ novels later, I’m still going strong.

You write both M/F and M/M novels. Is there a difference in writing M/F and M/M BDSM and in the reactions of your readers? It seems to me that your M/F stories are generally darker than your M/M ones. If so, why?

Interesting question. There is a difference, in that I’m in less of a comfort zone with M/M stories, but I love the challenge of delving into the gay masculine mind. Men interact differently with each other than a man and a woman do, and I try to stay mindful of that (rather than just writing the “female” character as a guy).
When I first dipped my toe into the M/M waters at the behest of an editor at (now defunct) Ellora’s Cave, I wanted to add my BDSM stamp to the story. I wrote Golden Boy and Golden Man, and they were fairly intense BDSM tales, at least in terms of the action. I think you’ll find my m/m BDSM stories are fairly intense. But I have also written a number of vanilla M/M stories, which may account for your perception that my M/M stories are softer/sweeter. Also, the dark abduction tales I have written (check out Dark Obsessions – Volumes I & II) have all involved women being abducted and forced into erotic slavery, and those stories can be very dark indeed.
My goal, whether the characters are straight or gay, is to really get into the heads of the characters I write, making them so real to both myself and the reader that it doesn’t matter if they are male or female. In the end, we are all humans, with similar emotions and feelings, searching for intensity of experience and, ultimately, love.

Do you prefer to tell your stories from a sub’s or a Dom’s point of view? Why?

I generally write from both POVs, switching out between chapters. That’s one of my ways of really taking the reader inside the story. It’s more of a challenge for me to write from the dominant point of view, since my personal leaning is submissive. But I’ve been around a lot of Doms (I’m married to one!) and talked to a lot of them and done research to understand what it is that drives the Dom/sadist – what it is about BDSM that is so thrilling for them. Ultimately, it’s about power and the giving and controlling of pleasure and erotic pain to another person. It meets a deep basic need in them, just as the need to be dominated and sexually controlled thrills so many subs. Truly, a wonderful and symbiotic connection – a circle of give and take that is incredibly powerful and satisfying.

In your novel Switch, the main character, Dane, thinks of himself as an Alpha Dom. When he finds out that he enjoys submission as well, it freaks him out at first because it contradicts his macho type self-image. And in Dare to Dominate, the main hero is ashamed of his dark dreams about controlling and enslaving women. What would you recommend to those who are craving to submit or dominate, but are afraid of it for some reason?

The novel Dare to Dominate has been revised and reissued, by the way, with the title Master of Submission, in case anyone goes looking. And that’s another excellent question. I have come at that theme in many of my novels – the fear/shame of admitting these less than mainstream feelings, or not what others expect of one. I grew up with a lot of shame about my own submissive/masochistic feelings, and writing was a way to explore that for myself. It made me think that it would be even harder for some men, raised to respect and be gentle with women, to entertain dark fantasies of tying them down, raping them, making them into sex slaves. Doesn’t that make him a monster? So my books on those themes try to deal with coming to terms with our sexuality, rather than trying to cram it into societal boxes that don’t fit who we really are inside. Gloria Steinem really summed it up well for me, back when I was trying to reconcile my own feelings with what the mainstream was telling me I “should” feel. She said that “true liberation” is the freedom to be yourself – to be who you really are. When I first heard that, it was like water to a parched flower in the desert. It’s okay to feel what you feel, and to act on it in a responsible (safe, sane, consensual) manner. If it floats your and your partner’s boat, go for it!

What was the most difficult BDSM scene for you to write? And what is your favorite one?

They are all difficult to write, and also very easy to write. The easy part is that I have a fertile imagination and I love to write about deeply sensual/sexual experiences. The hard part is keeping it fresh – keeping it vital and interesting. How many times can you describe the same thing, and not bore the poor reader to death? So, it’s the characters and the surrounding story that keep my work from just being how-to manuals on BDSM. I think my favorite scenes to write are my favorite scenes to experience – i.e. something very intense and difficult (like being caned while tightly bound), and how the sub gets through the experience – how (s)he processes it, embraces it, becomes it and then soars in that amazing head space called flying. I try very hard to capture that feeling, and to bring the Dom in the story along for the process. Hopefully, from time to time, I succeed.

Claire has a new trilogy out  – The Compound Trilogy

Claire Thompson has created a multifaceted BDSM utopia, a place where it’s safe and secure, a place where both men and women, dominants and subs, inexperienced and highly experienced, can share their lives.

Book 1 – The Compound – No safeword… No control… No turning back…

Book 2 – Beyond The Compound – Perfect submissive. Imperfect Dom. That’s only half the challenge…

Book 3 – Coming Home – All Doms expect submission. This Master demands more…

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