KD: Thanks so much for joining me today, Patricia. This is a subject that is very personal to me. The subject of fantasy vs. reality – holding a real spouse to a fictitious standard. And since we are both in DD relationships, I thought it would be fun to talk about some real life experiences as well.
PG: It’s great being here with you, Katherine. Thank you for inviting me to join you.
KD: Ok, I’m just going to jump in with one of my biggest issues. My biggest problem early in DD, was that I was comparing (and resenting) my husband to the expert HOHS in the books I read. I realize now this is unhealthy for me, and is very disrespectful to him.
But it’s so easy to do. The characters, even when flawed, seem to always be almost perfect HOH’s.
PG: Yes, I find that there are a growing number of women who resent their spouses because they’re not like the heroes they read about. This is not only true for spanking fiction, but also very true for romance in general. The issues with romance as a genre have been around for a long time. But, whether you’re talking DD or Regencies, there has to be a separation between fantasy and reality. Some people let the lines blur. I think this might be truer for an empathic person like yourself, Katherine.
KD: That’s why I sometimes shift to paranormal if I’m not in a safe mind set. It’s far easier to remember that a spanking vampire, is in fact, fantasy.
I’m serious about this. Sometimes, I can differentiate between the contemporary hero and real life hero (AKA hubby) easily. But occasionally, it becomes hard to separate, so I find it easier to jump into a regency or old time western story. To be perfectly honest, science fiction and fantasy are still my favorites. (I really wish someone would do a Star Trek or Battle Star Galactica themed spanking romance.)
PG: The fact is, the women (almost exclusively) who write this stuff are building fantasies. They take what they think is the “perfect hero” and put him on the page. Have they ever met the “perfect hero” in person? Not a chance. There is no such person. Everyone has flaws. And, let’s face it, none of us wives are perfect either. Do we have a legitimate right to demand it from our HoH’s?
KD: That’s a very good point. In real life, I despise what age is doing to my body. But it would be so hurtful and wrong of my husband to demand that I remain as my “thirty something” self. It wouldn’t be fair to either of us to hold on to that image. It’s fantasy.
KD: I understand that you are in a DD relationship as well. Did you have any struggles with resentment, or HOH images? How did you get into this relationship?
PG: The first DD relationship I was in was when I was 19. The man I was involved with was 42. I think it would be safe to say that I was looking for a stern father-figure, something I didn’t have growing up. Although I went on to a vanilla relationship after that, I wasn’t as happy in that situation. I divorced my vanilla husband, not because there was anything wrong with him — he was and is a very good guy and a great dad to our daughters. It was more a discontentment within me. I believe that’s the kind of discontentment that eats at a relationship like a cancer. There are a few things that can be done about it. A woman can decide that the other parts of her relationship are more important than her DD desires (I know more than a few women who have done this, and it works for them), or she can ask her husband to try to work with her on migrating the relationship to a DD one.
KD: That’s what I did. I brought DD to my husband, and asked him to take charge of our marriage. It was pretty scary, but thankfully, he didn’t laugh or make fun of my request. But it felt like a last resort for me. We were both unhappy, and I wanted the structure.
We have been doing DD for over a year and a half. And even though it isn’t strictly DD, it’s a decision that we both agree has been the best decision for us. Spanking helped save our marriage.
PG: Well, what is “strict DD,” or are you comparing book-based DD against real life DD? Because in real life, every couple has a different way of dealing with incompatibilities. DD couples are no different from vanilla couples in that regard. Your version of DD is not, and should not, be the same as any other couple’s. There is no rule or cannon for you to cling to; you have to make it up as you go along.
KD: Great point! I can already see our next blog topic.
KD: How did you learn about DD? Was it from an online source or a book?
PG: DD books weren’t around at that time, or not sold where “nice girls” shopped, so the only measuring sticks I had were that early relationship and my own desire for discipline. I knew I needed discipline imposed upon me externally, so that’s what I sought. I had no words for it at the time, DD wasn’t part of my vocabulary.
KD: That’s how I felt before I learned about DD. So you didn’t have anyone to compare your new HOH to, (no fictitious super spankos) probably making it a lot easier, right?
PG: Actually, you don’t have to read about the uber-DD-hero. You can dream him up all the same, and that dream guy can have the same effect on you. No one else is good enough.
KD: I loved how you related it to just every day coveting. It’s such a good point. We don’t always need characters to compare and create something in our mind, better. The grass is always greener, right?
PG: It’s just like having a daydream of a mansion on a hill, when your budget is more an apartment in the suburbs. It’s something to admire, but you disrespect what you have if you’re not careful.
KD: Well said. Ok, so back to fantasy. Who is your favorite fictitious HOH?
PG: My favorite fictitious HOH is Ace Journey, from Ace-High Flush. It might be rather apparent as I keep coming back to him in the books, even for small segments of the story. He’s strong, masculine, mature, dominant, but very loving and romantic. He spanks for discipline and for eroticism. Ace is crazy in love with his young wife, Gabby, and that love translates into lots of care, concern and passion.
KD: I loved Ace and Gabby. My husband and I also use spanking for discipline and eroticism.
What’s one of your favorite behaviors from Ace? I loved their story, and appreciated the fact that he doesn’t look down on or disrespect Gabby, even though she is over 15 years younger than him.
PG: Favorite behavior… Ace reasons with Gabby, but he doesn’t take any wheedling. My husband is the same way. He can spot manipulation a mile away and takes a very dim view of it.
KD: My husband is starting to figure out my manipulative tendencies too. 🙂 Alas.
KD: So how does one, especially an empathetic person like me, safely read these wonderful stories without resenting our imperfect spouses?
PG: You know, there’s an old saying about “good fences make good neighbors.” In many respects, the same can be said for fiction and reality. You have to keep your fences intact. Maintain them carefully. Don’t neglect them or forget they’re there. Remember that you need them in order to keep your real life from deteriorating because you’re lost in make-believe worlds. The heroes in fiction are deceptive. If a writer is good, the story will seem like a home-movie of a couple living their real life. But that’s not the case. No relationship has a planned trajectory that ends in a happily ever after. Real relationships aren’t planned, plotted out, or outlined, they’re organic. That’s what makes them so special, and something no meddling writer can ever really bring to you. Enjoy what you have, make your own happy ending, and don’t pine for make-believe worlds. None of us really has a fairy godmother.
KD: That was so brilliantly stated. I have read some fantastic authors who do such a great job of building the characters and relationships, that I can’t help, but pine for what they have.
But I can continue to read and enjoy these awesome stories, if I just remember that they are fiction. Beautifully written, “want to get lost in it”, 5 star stories… but still, fiction.
Is that right?
PG: Absolutely. Remember that your husband is a lot more than type on a page. He’s got true emotions, needs and goals. He won’t be predictable like the usual romance plot. That makes him a lot more satisfying. Why would you want to exchange him for a cardboard hero? You wouldn’t. Keep that in mind.
KD: Thank you so much for agreeing to talk with me about DD, your personal life, your characters, and the boundaries between fantasy and real life. And thank you for creating such great characters and fun worlds for me to escape into. At least for a little while. 🙂
PG: Real life has a way of testing our character. If I can help you deal with that, give you a break from a difficult problem, I’m honored to do it. My thanks for relying on my books to help you cope a teensy bit better. There’s nothing wrong with escapism, so long as your whole life isn’t an escape.
KD: Thanks again. I can’t wait to see what you come up with next.
Ace and Gabby’s book is Ace-High Flush, book 2 of the Journey Family series. The blurb goes like this:
Gabriella Appleby is a struggling young, large-size model who can’t quite behave. She tries, but sometimes telling the truth just doesn’t seem like the right thing to do. Not thinking things through also seems to be high on her list of to-do items.
Ace Journey is interested in Gabby, and cares about her enough to want to make an indelible impression on her. No one has taught her to behave, and he figures he’s the man to do it. Although their New York/New Jersey rendezvous takes him out of his natural element, don’t let his Texas drawl fool you. He’s smart and capable, and more than a match for the city streets.
Gabby wants Ace, and Ace wants Gabby. Unfortunately, her errors in judgment lead them to a fork in the road where they must part. Miserable about it, they find that an unlikely matchmaker—billionaire Jonny Chow—steps in to show them just how much they mean to each other.
There’s also an extended excerpt and character profiles on Patricia Green’s website.:)