Not every woman likes to submit. An increasing number, in fact, like to be on top. And their partners love it! D.L. King, editor of 2013's award-winning Under Her Thumb, curates a singularly scintillating collection with The Big Book of Domination: Erotic Fantasies, where only the bossiest of BDSM can be found. Filled with surprises and unexpected twists (yes, that kind, too!) this book of pleasure proves that when lust and desire take control, all bets are off. Take what you want—you won't regret it. Dominance and submission is a dance award-winning editor D. L. King knows well, and The Big Book of Domination will rock your world with all manner of sensuous games and pairings. The heated power exchanges may just overwhelm you, but you’ll be glad to burn.
Hello DL - Welcome to the blog! Tell me, what brought The Big Book of Domination about?
I was hanging out at the Cleis Press booth at Book Expo America, helping out (or taking up space—I suppose it depends on how you look at it) when the publisher asked me how I’d like to edit The Big Book of Domination. I was blown away. Would I? Would I? (That reminds me of a bad joke from gradeschool…) Rachel Kramer Bussel had recently edited The Big Book of Submission and this was to be its companion piece. I was more thrilled than had I actually pitched the idea, myself, and honored that Cleis Press would think of me in relation to this title.
What did you most enjoy about putting this book together? Did you come across any surprises? Did you learn anything new?
I think I enjoyed the variety of stories submitted most. Usually, when I edit an anthology, it’s theme-based and all the submissions comply, more or less, with the stated theme. But with The Big Book of Domination, the call specified clearly that I was looking for everything to do with domination. I wanted fem dom, male dom, straight, gay, and lesbian stories. I wanted romantic stories and pure erotica. I wanted bondage, spanking, pony play—you name it. My idea was to put together a fairly comprehensive book about what it feels like to be the dominant, as well as what it feels like to be the bottom for someone secure in their ability to dominate.
What I got were a lot of powerful stories, several of which made me go altogether weak in the knees. I don’t know that I learned anything, other than finding a few new writers I want to hit up for stories for my next project, but I sure had fun putting this book together.
Is “kinky” a label you apply to yourself? Are there other labels you prefer? (I ask because I enjoy a lot of BDSM-type stuff myself, but I’m not so much into any one thing that I feel it right to define or label myself that way.)
Yes, “kinky” is a label I apply to myself. I also call myself a dominant woman. I suppose I’ve been actively practicing D/S or BDSM for about fifteen years, or so (although I don’t suppose I’ve been all that active lately, but that’s clearly off-topic). I don’t get anything out of bottoming and being submissive is simply not in my nature. I do, on the other hand, get something out of being a domme—quite a lot, actually—especially when I can read the reaction my bottom du jour has from our play. I derive the most pleasure from giving pleasure to others (via pain and the occasional bit of humiliation) so, yeah, I do label myself as a kinky top. Though, I don’t think that’s actually news to anyone.
Have you read/watched Fifty Shades of Grey?
I read all the books from cover to cover. I don’t have much to say about them, other than things I already said about the difference between erotica and erotic romance in Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey. I could talk about the poor writing and editing (which really pisses me off in any book) or the addictive quality of them (yes, I read them like candy, one right after the other, even with the crappy writing and editing). I could talk about the difference between consensual kink and domestic violence—two very different things—and the problem when writers with no personal experience get those things confused. I could talk about the difference between fiction and non-fiction and how an awful lot of folks seem to get those things confused but, truly, it’s all been done to death.
I haven’t seen the movie. The guy who stars in it is such a moron and has said so many truly awful things about kink and people who are wired that way that I can’t justify paying money for it. Don’t worry, I’m sure I will see it once it’s streamed. I may even rent the streamed version if it’s only a couple of bucks. But I didn’t want to pay movie theater prices for it. The ticket prices are bad enough but can you believe what they charge for popcorn?
Are you glad more vanilla people are trying BDSM thanks to 50SoG? Worried? Or do you think it’s just a silly fashion thing that’ll die back to its core interest-group?
Yes, no and yes. I think people should try whatever interests them sexually. It’s always a good idea to expand one’s horizons. Am I worried? About what? Some stranger not liking it? Doing something stupid and getting hurt? Not really. They’re strangers—and hopefully adults—they can be responsible for themselves. They certainly don’t need me to be responsible for them. And I do think it will die back down to its core group because the majority of the population, no matter how titilated they are by the subject, simply aren’t wired that way.
If you had to give up either Writing or Sex, which would you sacrifice?
Remember what I said earlier about not being active just now? Well, there’s that. And, oh, look, here I am writing. Actually, I tend to do more writing when I’m not being sexually active—‘cause I’m too busy when I am.
Do you think the readership for erotica has changed in your time? If so, have you changed what you are writing, in response?
That’s an interesting question. My first response was to say, no, it hasn’t changed, but I don’t think that’s completely true. I think the readership is much more into erotic romance now, than erotica. I write and edit erotica, not erotic romance and I think I’m seeing that trend in a general slow-down in books looking for my specific kinds of stories and certainly in availability of editorial contracts.
What was the first book you ever read that turned you on?
This is a hard one. It might have been The Story of O, but I really don’t like that book. (Hello! Top here!) It might also have been Laura Antoniou’s The Marketplace, but I’m not sure; this is going back a ways. I do remember, however, that Anne Rice’s Beauty books definitely did it for me. They may not have been the first, but they were the most memorable. I think it was the variety of partners and kinks and, of course, the fact that they were beautifully written by a truly excellent writer.
Which fictional character would you most like to have sex with?
Man, that’s a tough one. I can think of a bunch of real people; you know, like stars and musicians. I don’t know. Maybe Remus Lupin. ["Oh - I so get that! Yum!" - Janine] Maybe my character, Ray Reynolds from The Melinoe Project. Yeah, now that I think of it—him. After all, I wrote him for me.
Do you have a Message you are trying to get across in your writing? If there’s one thing you could tell your readers, what would it be?
I don’t think I have a message. If I do, it’s have a good time and make sure other people have a good time. Oh, and don’t take yourself so seriously. (Most of my stories are humorous because, let’s face it, sex can be pretty funny. I’m just sayin’.)
You can only eat one flavor ice-cream for the rest of your life … Which do you pick?
Sorry to disappoint: vanilla. I’m not a fan of chocolate. Yep, I love vanilla in pretty much everything: cake, cookies, ice cream—but I draw the line at sex.LOL! Thank you DL!
Buy The Big Book of Domination at Amazon US : Amazon UK : B&N
D.L. King is the editor of anthologies such as Slave Girls, Under Her Thumb and The Harder She Comes, winner of the Lambda Literary Award and the Independent Publisher Book Award gold medal. Her stories can be found in The Big Book of Bondage, Luscious and No Safewords, among others. She lives in New York, NY.