Nothing says “I love you” like a damn good thrashing!

Heart and hands

What makes the perfect dominant? Going by some BDSM erotica, you get the impression that to be dominant means being stern, inflexible, cruel, sadistic and demanding. These were certainly the kind of fictional dominants I first encountered as a teenager reading mucky books under the bed sheets: cruel sheiks who raped and branded the women they’d kidnapped for their harem or insane Roman generals with a whole household of oppressed slaves under their iron thumb.

I’m glad to say that I’ve found a much better class of dominant in my fiction over the last few years, but when I set about researching for Screwing the System, I wanted some input from real life dominants. Not knowing any in my day to day life, I turned to the BDSM “how to” literature, mostly written by male dominants and addressing other dominants.

What surprised me initially was just how sane, well-adjusted and wise these men were. Far from being bossy and autocratic (although I’m sure they could be in a scene if they felt the submissive would benefit from that), these are people who take their time to observe and study others, and who ultimately hold the responsibility for whether a scene goes well. They are the ones who have to plan and make sure they have everything they need, who have to test bindings to make sure they’re not cutting off blood supply, and who keep an eye on the clock. It brings to mind a strange combination of a teacher with their lesson plan and a pedantic health and safety officer (now there’s an idea for another novel!)

All of this planning and safeguarding takes a great deal of patience, and while the outsider’s perspective might be that the dominant is getting everything they want and the submissive is most likely to be the one denied pleasure, I’d argue that it’s often the other way around. A good dominant will make sure their submissive is lost in pleasure, but they have to restrain themselves from doing anything the submissive might be angry about when he or she returns from their trip to subspace.

When I had the privilege to witness a BDSM demonstration at Eroticon last year, another thing struck me about the Dom in question: he was caring and tender. Yes, he was spanking, paddling, flogging and caning his submissive (which she clearly enjoyed a great deal), but the pain was mingled with plenty of caresses, kisses, and moments when he verbally checked in with her to make sure she was all right.

So, what really makes the perfect dominant? I think it’s someone who’s observant, patient, responsible, caring and tender… even when they are in the middle of dealing out painful and/or humiliating treatment. Sounds like a contradiction? Maybe, but that’s precisely why I enjoyed the challenge of writing a dominant hero so much. I hope you enjoy the results.


What qualities do you think are essential in a dominant? Can you recommend any fictional ones as being good examples of what I’m talking about?

Comment to win! Jo is offering a choice of a book from her backlist to one lucky commenter on this post, and all commenters throughout the blog tour will also be entered into a draw for the grand prize of a handmade suede flogger, to be announced on 25th February.

Also, watch out for the Valentine’s follow-up short story, Screw the Fags. To be available as a free download from Smashwords and All Romance eBooks on Thursday 14th February!

Screwing the System

Screwing the System coverHe’s nobody’s bitch. Until he gets a ride on the bitch seat.

Forced to apply for a job he doesn’t want, Cosmo Rawlins has only one aim in mind: fail the interview and get back to making music. Except his attempt to shock the older, sharp-suited Alasdair Grant doesn’t have the desired effect.

Instead of getting thrown out of the office by flaunting an interest in BDSM, Cosmo finds himself on his knees, apologizing to the sexy, good-looking Top.

Alasdair has more important things on his mind than training a novice sub, especially a rebellious bad boy like Cosmo. But there’s something beneath the younger man’s defiant attitude that’s too intriguing to ignore.

As Alasdair takes Cosmo in hand—and for a wild ride on his Harley—he becomes obsessed with bending the young rocker to his will, both in and out of bed. Until he goes one demand too far, and Cosmo is gone in a cloud of dust. Forcing Alasdair to admit that earning Cosmo’s loyalty—and love—will involve the toughest challenge he’s ever faced.

Warning: This title contains an overbearing Top with a less-than-glamorous job, a rebellious brat who refuses to call him sir, and a total lack of high-end BDSM clubs or playrooms. Expect floggings over the kitchen table instead.

Screwing the System on

About the Author

English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.

For more information about Jo’s published stories, regular blog posts and saucy free reads, visit

Photo credit: Chris Blakeley via photopin cc

FILED UNDER: Giveaway, Guest Post
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