Writing children into erotica doesn't have to be taboo or erotic - because children are a natural part of life. So if you have people in your book, they might have children. So how do you handle it? +Joelle Casteel
's got some ideas.
I am so thankful for Thianna D. agreeing to host this post for my book Gates of the Garden: Book Two
. In fact, when I was envisioning posts related to "Gates," she was the person I thought of when this topic came to me. I hosted her for a tricky taboo post with her book Took My Breath Away
In erotic romance, characters under the age of majority can be quite an issue. Some publishers don't like them to be present at all. Well with my overarching realism point of view, that can be a bit of a problem. Birth control isn't a perfect thing and as The Queen explained in "Out of the Night: Book One," one night after a session, he and Iona had sex and the condom broke. Do you remember reading that The Queen is multilingual in "Night"? Well he and Iona have agreed to raise their son Erik bilingually, with The Queen being in charge of German. Coming to dinner from a lesson cut short, The Queen, Prisca, Vala, and Adan enter the dining room to find a certain little boy there.
(all excerpts from Gates of the Garden: Book Two. Copyright 2014 Joelle Casteel)
The Queen strode into the dining room. "Please excuse my lateness." He leaned over Erik and hugged him. "Prisca, Vala, Adan, grab a robe," he ordered. He continued to hug Erik.
"Vati!" Erik protested.
"Ich fehlte du." The Queen laughed. "Ich kann du nicht mehr umarmen?" He looked over his shoulder; the girls had robes on. He backed away from Erik.
"Nein." Erik grinned.
The Queen turned to Vala. He embraced her as he murmured, "Vala, follow Adan to one of the little tables. Remember to address me as Sir in front of Erik."
"Yes, Sir," Vala murmured before following Adan away from the main table. Little table? She looked over her shoulder at the dining table for a moment.
Erik could have been a miniature of The Queen. He was very tall for his two years. His hair was jet black and straight, styled in an adorable little bowl cut. However, he had Iona's amethyst eyes and her slender build. They had produced a beautiful child.
Straightening, Vala turned to see two card tables set up near the wall. Ten seats were filled with fourth class slaves—well fourth class slaves and Tommy.
Vala is learning that things are done differently- no eating on the floor for instance- when Erik is present and The Queen is addressed as "Sir" rather than "my Queen." Of course there are the robes- they aren't "clothing optional" in front of the toddler. Adan and Greta kindly explain some things to Vala; this was important for her to learn, to look to her peers for questions she can't or doesn't want to ask The Queen or upper class slaves.
"We can speak with each other when we're at these folding tables, just quietly." Adan's arm brushed against Vala as she reached for a plate of rolls.
Vala blushed. "Thanks. Is this what happens every time that Erik eats here?"
Greta nodded. "When he was a baby, we still ate on the floor as usual, but he's talking too much, understands too much now."
In writing the above snippet, I was reminded of how my Master and I refigured things when I moved in with Him, as my son got to preschool age and older. With the size of The Queen's stable, of course things had to be figured out, like where would the fourth class slaves eat when Erik came to formal meals.
As Brenna and Erik stepped out of sight, The Queen announced, "Robes off, fourth class. Put them away and be grateful to finish the meal at the card tables." He returned to his seat. With a chuckle, he added, "You too, Prisca."
Vala scooted her chair away from the table and rose on trembling legs.
Iona giggled. "I think Vala's body is confused from being allowed to sit in a chair, my Queen."
The Queen grinned at Iona. "I am sure she is enjoying the treat though."
Vala beamed at The Queen. "Very much, thank you, my Queen." She stopped in front of the dresser. She slipped the robe off and folded it before handing it to Adan, who put their robes away.
Of course with Erik taken off for bath and bedtime by his nanny Brenna (after all, some things aren't going to be realistic; the rich parenting pair of The Queen and Iona are going to hire a nanny, no matter how much or how little they chose to use her services.) It is by the character of Brenna that I've been allowed book-by-book through the serial to engage Erik when it made sense based on a few factors. Out of pure curiosity, I calculated what percent of the "Erik scene" the above snippets were taken from made of the whole of Gates of the Garden: Book Two- 3% roughly. It made sense to me that early in Vala's training- "Gates" is only the first week of her training after all- that Brenna's function of "nanny" would be used much more to allow The Queen and Iona to focus on easing Vala into their family, into the BDSM world of The Queen's mansion. Not having "done the math" yet, I confidently say that in different parts of Vala's training- IE in different books in Vala's Story- Erik more or less appears as he needs to, because Vala doesn't get to experience BDSM completely outside of a world where children are born and parents' relationships have to be fitted around a child's needs- although never during sex because obviously (to The Queen, Iona, and the whole of his leather family) a child cannot consent to sexual activity.
Gates of the Garden: Book Two
Author Joelle Casteel
Vala is very comfortable in her new life, her new name. She's hopelessly in love, with The Queen, with Iona, with life. She's learning about BDSM and knows The Queen has many surprises, lessons planned for her. She's looking forward to ceremony day...
The Queen considers, stresses, ponders. Sometimes he goes to Simon for help, especially since Tommy messed up so bad. He's considering things in the long term as he watches Vala blossom into what he wants her to be...
Things are settling down and they aren't for the rest of the stable. Tommy did so mess things up, but at least there's Vala's training to entertain, to occupy the stable as The Queen uses them in the ways he needs. Abrecan, Orlee, and Gaelan struggle to come to terms with what one decision did to their lives in the stable...
Please come along with Joelle on this journey, shared with the readers in serial fashion. A multitude of "Happily-ever-afters" are waiting with the completion of book 9.
Author's Note: This novel is meant for open-minded adults. Activities described include a wide range of BDSM and sexual activities, some of which are male/male, male/female, group sex, consensual slavery, oral/anal/vaginal intercourse, bondage. The story also covers some sensitive topics in characters' backstories, such as drug abuse, childhood abuse, religious abuse.
Joelle Casteel has so many faces, ways of being that no assumption is ever safe. The woman who'll use a child's backpack as a purse is just as likely to describe a graphic sex act. My Master, the dominant in the BDSM relationship that shapes much of my life, jokes that I'm so far from the mainstream that I've forgotten what the mainstream is. This of course shows up in my writing. I regularly blur gender and sexual orientation lines- although I will fight against the misgendering of my characters (between The Queen's legs are a penis and balls and he says he's a MAN.) Whether a short story or a novel, whether erotica or erotic romance, I tend to bring many taboos to the sex/BDSM table alongside crazy plots, over-the-top characters, and romance even in the midst of relationships you may never find in a greeting card store. With BDSM gaining a broader audience with various books- which she will not name because she can't stand them- she feels it's past time to put out her impression of what BDSM can look like in reality.
Labels: changing scenes, children, erotica, Joelle Casteel, writing