House Boy: Initiation by Amelia C. Gormley – Wow. I am kinda stunned speechless at this one. And that’s a wonderful thing because it hit a bunch of my buttons, both good and bad. This, in my opinion, is how to tell a good story, especially one dealing with BDSM. The timing and pacing fit for the characters and ages. It was an excellently told and fantastically rendered Old Guard tale. That said, humiliation isn’t one of my things, but I get it here. It works in context with the story. I really liked how the situation was updated to incorporate some of the newer trends of the Lifestyle while still giving the feeling of the attitudes of the Old Guard way of BDSM. I also loved how the Bryce stood up for himself in his desires and that Vale was man enough to at least warn him that the reality probably wouldn’t match the fantasy.
I saw that review and a big smile spread across my face because I didn’t actually expect anyone to ever get the Old Guard connection there.
About, oh, 18 or so years ago, when I was first beginning to explore the BDSM lifestyle, there was no such thing as Fetlife or any of the other sites kinksters use now to connect with one another. Connecting with people in the scene here in Portland was pretty much restricted to munches, a mailing list called PDX-ASB (an offshoot of the alt.sex.bondage newsgroup) and things like a now-defunct meeting known as the Rose City Discussion Club.
I went to an RCDC meeting with the man who would one day become my husband one night when they were having a panel about the Old Guard, and even though this was years before I would develop my interest in same-sex erotica and romance, I remember being particularly interested in the middle-aged leatherman who described the way the gay biker clubs used to work, and his description of their initiations. About how a lot of Old Guard gay BDSM culture was started by military men who settled in the port cities (like San Francisco) after they got off the boats following World War II and Vietnam. About how primal and so not-sanitized it was, unlike the much cleaner and politer way BDSM is practiced today.
It was that experience that informed my writing The Houseboy: Initiation. I wanted to write about that difference between Old Guard and New Guard sensibilities, and how someone who is uninformed about BDSM might respond to his first exposure being more of the Old Guard variety. I wanted it to have that raw, gritty, unsanitized feel that I got from the leatherman’s descriptions of the gay biker club initiations. I just honestly didn’t expect anyone to pick up on what I was doing. I’m so geeked that someone did!