For this week’s segment of my BDSM author interview series, it is my pleasure to share with you the interview of bestselling author Bo Blaze. Bo is a certified “Alternative” life coach, specializing in Kink, BDSM and Polyamory. He is the author of the bestselling book “50 Shades of Curious: BDSM for Beginners” and has taught and lectured at hundreds of universities, conferences and various alternative events. He is also a featured author at the 2015 BDSM Writers Con.
Bo is the winner of the 2011 Pantheon of Leather President’s Award and has helped thousands of people learn to practice Safe, Sane & Consensual BDSM over the last 13 years as Novice Group Facilitator & Board Member Emeritus, for The Eulenspiegel Society (TES), the oldest BDSM support and education group in the USA.
What is an “alternative” life coach and what made you decide to become one?
I'm a ICF certified Life Coach who just happens to specialize in Alternative lifestyles. Specifically Kink, Polyamory, BDSM and the entertainment business. I decided to pursue coaching after teaching and counseling people for years within the alternative sexuality world.
Does BDSM have to include sex?
“Sometimes, a person’s interest in BDSM is not of a sexual nature, so their BDSM play will be strictly power and pain catharsis based. For others, it is very sexual…For some people, BDSM is purely masochistic and sadistic. It is about giving and receiving pain in a cathartic way, and is not really sexual….However, for the majority, BDSM is usually at least sensual if not sexual.”
Why is BDSM so appealing?
There are a multitude of reasons, everyone is unique, but “it’s about CONNECTION with other human beings and honestly exploring your sexuality in whatever way you choose….Whatever path you choose, there is something truly magical about the world of kinky sex and BDSM. It’s about growth and acceptance. It’s about letting go of your fears and demons and not letting anyone tell you what SHOULD or should not make you sexually or mentally excited.”
Why is there so much social stigma toward BDSM?
“Humans are complicated animals and our sexuality is tied in with all kinds of strange things in our psyche. There is only a problem when we allow repressed and frightened members of society to feed us fear, guilt, and dogma and make us feel bad about ourselves for having nothing more than a sexual fantasy!”
Does BDSM have to involve pain?
Not always…Some people like it, others don’t…“One of the things about pain play is that it can bring catharsis. Catharsis can be defined as a purification or purge. This is another very popular reason people enjoy pain play. For some people, intense pain will cause catharsis, where huge amounts of stress and negative energy will leave the body during this time. Many people feel pain can be a purification and bring about healing. People have used pain to reach catharsis and transcend since the dawn of time…”
What is the difference between pain and abuse?
“If your partner is interested purely in hurting you with absolutely no dynamic of pleasure or any type of connections, then you probably want to seriously consider if this is the relationship for you. The keyword is connection….Remember, BDSM cannot exist without consent. If there is no consent, then there is no BDSM. Rather, there is abuse.”
What writers have inspired you the most, and why?
As far as the BDSM genre, my mentor was Philip Miller the author of “Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns: The Romance and Sexual Sorcery of Sadomasochism”. So I obviously have a big soft spot for that book.
Where did you get the idea for “50 Shades Of Curious: BDSM For Beginners” and what made you decide to write the book?
I have been the Novice group facilitator for TES/The Eulenspiegel Society, the oldest BDSM education group in the USA, since 2002. Working with new people in the community and helping them find their way is a big passion of mine. As you can imagine, over the years I've accumulated quite a lot to say on the subject of BDSM and a very strong paternal concern for all people new to the scene. After FSOG came out and sold 100 million copies I knew there would be a tremendous amount of people who would want to start participating in BDSM but their only info on the subject came from the book. This was very frightening to me as, although the book does talk about consent and several positive things, the consent is coerced and many other things were definitely NOT good examples of safe, sane, consensual BDSM.
What types of subject matters are covered in “50 Shades Of Curious: BDSM For Beginners” and how is it organized?
The core chapters in the book are: Communication, Consent, Relationships, Your Identity, Pain & Punishment, Toys & Activities, The Mental Side, Safety,
You have a whole chapter dedicated to communication, can you sum up some basic advice to help us be better communicators?
“Be honest. Let it all out. You might be amazed by the responses and reactions you get. Remind your partner that nothing they fantasize about is wrong, its just a fantasy. Be prepared to hear some things you may have never expected. You need to create a judgment free zone. A safe place where you can say whatever you want…Communication is the most important thing in any relationship, be it a vanilla (non-BDSM) relationship or a kinky one.”
What type of research, if any, did you do for “50 Shades Of Curious: BDSM For Beginners”
I did read FSOG and took copious notes. Although I only refer to it a few times in the book, it was good to know what the book did and did not say about BDSM.
What do you hope people take away from your book?
I always say in every novice class I teach, “There is no right way to do BDSM. There are no rules to BDSM other than consent. So although there are many existing ways to do this that you might admire and want to emulate, and lots of good advice you may want to want to take, at the end of the day all that's important is that you do what works best for you and your partner(s). That and the mantra “Communication, Communication, Communication”. Communication is the key to every relationship, not just kinky ones.
Do you plan to write any more books? What are you working on now?
I am considering a book on relationships called “Getting on the same side of the fence”. The book would talk about how unfortunately, too often we seem to be coming from a “me against you” model in relationships. Relationships are much more successful when you can get on the same side of the fence and be on the same team.
Bo's book: “50 Shades of Curious: BDSM for Beginners” is available on Amazon.
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