Tag Archives: Edge Play X

The Counting of Words

Stephen King has written that he usually writes 2,000 words a day. He has a routine. He writes in the morning. In the afternoon, he reads.

I am unable to maintain a writing routine.

The most I ever wrote was 4 or 5,000 words in one sitting.

It took me three years to finish a sonnet.

I often write 200 words of fiction and feel rather satisfied.

20,000 words of non-fiction and 20,000 words of fiction are not at all the same.

One might take me four months, the other might take me four years.

I have not found E.B. White’s quote that, “A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper,” to be true in my life.

Sometimes, with my fiction, like with Edge Play X, for example, which is my work most akin to standard fiction, I have pushed through on certain chapters or paragraphs. The technique is different for a standard work of fiction.

For my literary fiction, I wait. I cannot manufacture it. I wait for it to arrive. It makes the back of my neck tingle. I feel light-headed when it comes. Certainly this is one of the reasons my literary fiction is unsuccessful. It is not writing. It is a personal spiritual experience. Doesn’t that sound cheesy. I don’t know how else to describe it. Feel the spirit working through you, the guru says.

It isn’t spiritual. It’s psychological. It’s all these imprints in the subconscious coming forward. It is a representation of unspoken beliefs about society and people and how we love one another. My brother was a schizophrenic and I am a writer.

Afflictions like that tend to run in families.

It wakes me up at night sometimes when it comes.

How long now have I been working on this latest book? Not even 20,000 words long. So close now. Why do I not feel a need to publish my works of literary fiction? I wrote them for myself. It isn’t selfish, it’s cathartic, like popping a boil.

Ha. New writing quote. Writing is like slicing open a boil.

The best writing I have ever read was often smeared with bodily fluids.

I can’t be the only woman who has had sexual fantasies involving Dostoyevsky. Never about Nabokov. 

Fiction word count this week: 0.

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What is Edge Play

What is edge play? Unfortunately, there is not a definition of edge play to be found in the dictionary on the shelf.  If one were to ask participants in the bdsm community what they considered edge play to be, one might get the answers of gun play, rape simulation, knife play, fire play, or erotic asphyxiation. Others might say that it would include “pretend” kidnapping or blackmail scenarios.

A term is not defined by its examples, however. A better definition of edge play would be:

Practices in bdsm that ignore the accepted rule of “safe, sane, and consensual” and pose a risk of death or injury, either physical or psychological.

The most common forms of edge play are practices that are potentially dangerous, or, at the very least, taboo. Gun play, for example, in its most extreme form, uses a loaded gun, a potentially lethal activity if the weapon is mishandled. Rape simulation is a form of consensual non-consent, which is essentially still a form of consent with the stipulation that the participant is agreeing to be “forced.” Knife play either risks or blatantly uses cutting, and fire play has the very serious risk of injury. Erotic asphyxiation is especially dangerous if not performed correctly.

As a writer of a book called Edge Play X, I am occasionally asked if I am involved in the “lifestyle.” I find this to be a funny and entertaining question. Yes, one of the main characters in my book is a dominatrix. The other two main characters are a CIA agent and billionaire, and yet, I am never asked if I am a CIA agent or a billionaire secretly living a modest lifestyle to figure out who my real friends are.

As far as I am concerned, what I do in the bedroom is a private matter, so I will neither confirm nor deny that I have or have not participated in any of these activities. And essentially, as a writer, it doesn’t matter if I have. My primary interest in these activities is related to the relationship of edge play to the sex drive and death drive.

The idea of the sex drive and death drive come from Freud. According to Freud, people have two primary drives—one toward life, survival, and sex, and the other toward destruction, or death.  Freud initially thought that people were motivated primarily by pleasure, but as his career went on, he found many examples of people purposefully creating distressing play scenarios (in the case of children) or found that people who had experienced a traumatic experience were sometimes prone to repeat the trauma. An example of this would be an abused child who later becomes an abuser. He theorized that an urge exists for life to return to its inorganic state. That is the death drive. Freud also associated the death drive with masochism.

The death drive was not simply about the urge for the patient to die, it was an urge that manifested itself in outward destruction or in controlling and destructive behaviors in the outside world. The sex drive and death drives are polar opposites. Freud saw the libido as an antidote to the death drive, writing, “’libido has the task of making the destroying instinct innocuous.”

Freud would be particularly interested in the practice of edge play, as these scenarios quite blatantly mix the sex drive and death drive. Could it be that through edge play that participants are using it in a therapeutic manner (consciously or not), in that it allows them to face dangerous scenarios and their own mortality in an environment where the libido is quite prominently displayed? Could it be that mixing the two drives is not necessarily psychologically unhealthy, because the libido is ultimately overriding the destructive urges? Perhaps edge play is not so extreme after all because ultimately, a neutral psychological affect can be achieved from mixing the drives, in the same way that mixing a base and an acid can neutralize one another. Yes, some reactions can be dangerous or lethal, but in the right environment, such reactions are rather innocuous. Too bad Sigmund isn’t around to give us his opinion.

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In many ways, being a writer is like being an addict. For an addict, it is difficult, if not impossible, to quit. They relapse. When they don’t have their fix it still occupies their mind. And even when they aren’t using they are never really “cured.” Once an addict, always an addict.

Writing, at least, isn’t as destructive as say, heroin abuse, and in rare cases it might even lead to fame and fortune. It might lead to long stretches of being alone or ignoring those around you or obsessive thoughts about particular paragraphs and sentences when a person should be thinking of more practical things like not putting the milk into the pantry.

I have tried to stop writing and have been unsuccessful. I kept going back to it like a smoker hiding in the shed, just a few paragraphs to get them out of my head, even though this piece will probably never be picked up by a publisher, or will maybe  get very far with a very good publisher only to be turned down, like my first work of literary fiction. And two years later all those paragraphs have added up to what I consider to be my best literary work yet, one created for no other reason than that I simply cannot help myself.

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I’m being ripped off. Not for much money, but people are taking something from me that I didn’t say that they could have. My book.

That’s right, I recently found out that my book, Edge Play X, is on a website where people can download it for free. I contacted the site and filled out all their forms, but who knows if it will ever come off of there.

The funny thing is, a couple times a year, I usually do a promotion and give my book away for free anyway, and I don’t have this same feeling when I give the books away as when I realized that my book was free from this site. It’s a control issue. I didn’t say that it was ok for them to do that.

In a strange way, I feel somewhat flattered that my book is good enough to rip off. In every book I write, one of the characters steals a book. So in a way, the people who are downloading my book without permission are like some of the characters I write about.

Once, I stole a book from the library. Actually, I just borrowed it without checking it out and a few months later, I took it back. It was a vintage language book in the special section of the library.  For weeks, every day after school, I would go to the public library and hide in the special editions section. Years later, they closed off that room except by permission. I’m not sure why I was so drawn to the Lenni Lenape dictionary. Maybe it was that their words were so different than English with its Latin roots (the only other thing I ever stole was a pair of bowling shoes). Anyway, with the help of a friend, we smuggled it out of the library, and a few months later I put it back out of guilt.

I guess when my characters are stealing books, maybe they are making a statement about art and ideas and the cost of those ideas. But the book I wrote is not a sculpture in a gallery that is selling for more than what most people earn in the course of a year, (“When you go to an Art gallery you are simply a tourist looking at the trophy cabinet of a few millionaires…” Banksy).

Some of the best art is done without a thought to making money, such as Banksy’s graffiti. I want to have readers, and I didn’t write the book to make money. Some might say that just having my book out there and getting my name known is worth what I would lose monetarily. The Grateful Dead, for example, used to let people listen and trade concert tapes for free and then they made a lot of their money from their tours. I don’t have any illusions that someday I will be a well-known writer. Honestly, I don’t really give a crap how well-known or not well-known I am. I like my privacy and I’m going to write whatever I damn well please, and if that gives me an audience, so be it. If not, I’m not going to bellyache.

Yes, I sell my book. Maybe that makes me a word-whore. Mostly, I think of it as just a little token of acknowledgement that the reader is giving me for all the time and effort that I put into the book. But let’s stop raping writers by taking their books for free without their permission. Writer’s are generally a mal-adjusted bunch and don’t usually make much money from their writing anyway. Show the poor schmucks some respect. Or pity at least.

I don’t think it’s cool for folks to take my book for free without asking. Aside from being illegal, it’s just plain rude.

Edge Play X for free! A word-whore laments.

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