Posts Tagged ‘Emerald’

Kinky Krav maga and erotic power exchange: Interview with Please, Sir author Emerald

March 26, 2010

This is the first in a series of interviews with contributors to the anthology Please, Sir: Erotic Stories of Female Submission (Cleis Press), forthcoming in April 2010.

Name: Emerald

How did you come up with the idea for your story in Please, Sir?

I have taken Krav Maga classes before, and in a city where I used to live, I had an instructor on whom the character Dominic is based. I found it mesmerizing to watch him, and indeed I had a crush on him.

The autobiography in the story stops at the point when Jackie agrees to train with Dominic aloneæI did show up for a Saturday class one time and was the only one there. The quote from Dominic in the story, “If you want to stay, I’ll work you,” is verbatim from my instructor that day, and I remember feeling quite affected by that phrasing…

However, I declined since I was the only student there and left that day. But it has crossed my consciousness since what might have happened (or what I wanted to happen!) that day had I stayed. This story is that carried out in fictional form.

Was it a challenging story or did the writing come easily?

What I found challenging was capturing the intensity of the attraction I personally feltænot only did I remember feeling it, but I felt it again as I wrote the story. While the events of “Power over Power” are not autobiographical, the attraction and intensity were. Feeling this so forthrightly as I was in the process of writing the story seemed daunting sometimes, as I wasn’t sure if it was being translated effectively via the writing.

There was an aspect of ease, however, in that there wasn’t very much research involved since I have taken Krav Maga myself, and many of the things Dominic says in the story are things I heard my aforementioned instructor say. I enjoyed incorporating some of the ones that have particularly stayed with me into this story.

Do you have a favorite sentence or paragraph from your story?

Actually the paragraph excerpted in the book’s introduction is one of my favorites. In addition to that one, I would say this:

Despite the subject matter, there was no bravado or machismo in his countenance. I had seen from the pictures and accompanying labels hanging in the lobby that Dominic instructed traditional martial arts as well as Krav Maga. While I had never taken any myself, I sensed in him the understated confidence I had observed before in martial artist–an exquisite self-possession and understanding of their capabilities, the assurance as such that there was no need to prove anything to anyone. It was like they had power over their own power. It served them rather than the other way around. There was no compulsion to use it, to put it on display; it was just there, second nature, if it was ever needed.

I decided that “Risk and Reward” is an applicable theme for Please, Sir. Does this theme resonate with you for your story?

Indeed. My story doesn’t contain very much actual bondage, hardcore sadism/masochism, etc. But there is not only the risk of rejection in Jacqueline’s sexually approaching Dominic, there is also one she doesn’t even realize in Dominic’s consistent demand of authenticityæof what is really there, not settling for resisting what is uncomfortable in us, of the understanding that really, power is turning toward that and becoming aware of it and seeing what it really is or where it really comes from.

So in approaching Dominic as she does, Jackie is, without being consciously aware of it, risking the comfort of allowing that unconsciousness to remain unseen and inviting through Dominic’s guidance the discomfort of facing what is in her that she doesn’t want or like to face. Ironically, what she thinks she is going to get is just a more intense experience of avoiding it as she has done. While she is not consciously aware of that particular risk, it seems to me that a subconscious or intuitive awareness of what awaits her may account for the intensity of the attraction she feels for Dominic. Something inside her may know that that uncovering and demand is what she needs, even if consciously she wouldn’t have recognized it.

Is this story similar to or different from the other erotica you’ve written?

I think while of course the subject matter and perhaps the emphasis on the power connection and interplay between characters may contrast with many other things I’ve written, I see a similarity to some of my other work in the touching on or examination of self-awareness. To me the import of self-awareness may hardly be overestimated, and how it may connect with/relate to sexuality is something I find fascinating. (I’d guess that’s one of the reasons I’ve so loved to writing erotica.) In this story I felt like I really got to expose that, which I much enjoyed.

What do you think makes an erotica story successful?

The same thing that makes anything successful, if one wants to use that word: authenticity.

There is a quote from Eckhart Tolle that resonates with me so much that I have restated it frequently: “[O]ur level of consciousness is primary, all else secondary.” (A New Earth p. 266.) To me that means the place where something comes from inside or through us, the energy with which it is created, is what holds its aliveness as an offering. The level of consciousness or sincerity used in the creation of the story (or any offering) is that which it tends to touch in others. It doesn’t matter what the subject or offering is.

Do you have any advice for budding erotica writers?

I don’t necessarily feel in a position to be dispensing advice on the subject, but what resonates with me about writing (and creating, and living in general) reflects the answer I gave to the previous question.

Practically speaking, I highly recommend the Erotica Readers and Writers Association website ( For information about publishing calls, promoting one’s work, technical aspects of writing, and more, I have consistently found ERWA a wealth of information for the erotica writer.

What are you working on now?

I have a new story coming soon at The Erotic Woman and am slated to be a guest blogger at Oh Get A Grip on May 1 (my birthday). I’m also excited to be scheduled to read at In The Flesh in New York on April 15!

Beyond that I am, as usual, in the midst of about half a dozen short stories at various levels of completeness. Also as usual, a few of them have submission deadlines, which I appreciate as they help keep me on track!

Pre-order Please, Sir from:




Cleis Press

Kindle version

Please, Sir: Erotic Stories of Female Submission table of contents and introduction

September 29, 2009

Please, Sir: Erotic Stories of Female Submission will be published by Cleis Press in May 2010. For now, here’s a taste of what the book will offer. It is available for pre-order from If you are interested in BDSM erotica with a female submission twist, please see also He’s on Top: Erotic Stories of Male Dominance and Female Submission and Yes, Sir: Erotic Stories of Male Dominance (click here to read the table of contents and introduction).

Introduction: Risk and Reward

Anticipation Shanna Germain
Because He Can Elizabeth Coldwell
Avery Says Sommer Marsden
The Sub Fairy Mercy Loomis
I Breathe Your Name Tess Danesi
Long Time Gone Heidi Champa
Power over Power Emerald
Knot Here! Yolanda West
Veronica’s Body Isabelle Gray
The Negotiation Remittance Girl
A Night at the Opera Evan Mora
Mommy’s Boy Doug Harrison
No Good Deed Alison Tyler
Masochist on Vacation Aimee Pearl
Lil’ Pet Brat, aka Lily Guangli Kissa Starling
Pleasure Keeper Charlotte Stein
Welcome to the World Ariel Graham
Stroke Lisabet Sarai
Sunday in the Study Justine Elyot
Walking the Sub Salome Wilde
Just What She Needs Donna George Storey
Your Hand on My Neck Rachel Kramer Bussel

Introduction: Risk and Reward

If you ask me, submission is an art form. It requires dedication, focus, commitment and desireæand there’s no single way of doing it. It’s about unlocking something within yourself so you can reach beyond your normal limits, exposing your body and soul in order to go somewhere you cannot get to alone.

I had a lover who always told me that the key to life is “High risk, high reward.” The same is true about kink, and this is evident throughout the stories in Please, Sir, which explores female submission and male dominance from the sub’s point of view. When these characters take risks, they are rewarded…even when those rewards look like “punishment.” They are rewarded in all kinds of ways, from being bound to being praised to being choked, spanked or put on display. They are rewarded by being tested again and again.

The women in these stories approach submission in different ways. Some, like Tess Danesi’s protagonist in “I Breathe Your Name,” live on the edge of fear and get off on pushing the limits with their masters, though they don’t always know where their boldness will take them. Some of these women are drawn to the charisma of a born leader, one like Krav Maga instructor, Dominic, in Emerald’s “Power over Power.” Jackie, his student, has been watching and fantasizing about him, but when he finally acknowledges her sexually, she is caught off guard:

I trembled, wanting to touch him but feeling frozen. Still looking at the ground, I nodded.

With characteristic efficiency of motion, he reached with one finger and pulled my chin up. A shudder ran through me as I felt his poweræthe power I saw in every move he made, that he exuded at the front of the class, that he spoke when he told us what we were capable of, that coiled and expelled from him whenever he slammed any part of his body into the punching bag. This was the power that lived unquestioned within him, so seamlessly that it was as though it wouldn’t exist without him.

Others don’t expect to be getting kinky at all, like the “Mommy’s Boy” in Doug Harrison’s story, where tables get turned in a most delightful way. In Lisabet Sarai’s “Stroke,” a woman risks getting kinky at work in order to realize her dream:

I just stood there, petrified by mingled fear and excitement. If anyone discovered us, I’d lose my job. I’d never work as a nurse again. Five years of education down the drain. But this might be my only chance. The chance to make my fantasies real.

The lesson there, and in all of these stories, is that there is risk involved in submission. I don’t mean the physical risks, but the emotional ones, the ones that require a leap of faith, a knowledge that what you are doing may unnerve you, confuse you and scare you, even while it makes you wet and eager and ready for more. As we see in Shanna Germain’s opening story, “Anticipation,” merely thinking about what he might do next, playing with power in one’s own mind, can yield profound results:

I can no longer breathe, much less make a noise of want. This is what he does to me, every day: whips me into a frenzy of words that makes me miss him more than I have the power to say, that makes me so wet that if he were here, I’d fuck him right now, bent over this table, with all these people watching, groaning his name with every thrust. I’d be begging him to fuck me, beat me, make me come with the kind of orgasm that makes everything else disappear.

I have to go, back to the work that calls, the work that keeps me here in this foreign and fuckless place, but I don’t want to.

Some, like Kissa Starling’s heroine, are brats, and enjoy pushing their masters to the limit. Some don’t deliberately provoke anyone, but wind up bent over anyway. However they come to their submission (and come from their submission), their journey is one charged with the spark of passing power between two people, of welcoming the risk of submission and all it entails.

I like the women in this collection, and not just because they remind me of me when I’m reveling in being slapped across the face, forced to the ground, utterly at my chosen lover’s (or master’s, or partner’s or top’s) mercy. It’s not just the actions here that are familiar, but the reasoning, the way they crave and cringe in the face of the power they are claiming, and the power they are giving up. They are smart enough to know that kink is not about simply embracing one’s fears, but grappling with them, battling with them, taking risks and seeing if, in fact, they yield very sexy rewards.

Rachel Kramer Bussel
New York City