Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Domination Character Study - Edward

I just wanna kiss him...sorry...are we live?

Okay, so those of you who follow my fics know where my loyalties lie. I'm a Jasper girl through and through. And, just so there are no doubts...

(yes, I know that's Jackson, but in my new story that's what he looks like)

So, with that being said...I'm going to now gush over Edward, but not the SM version of Edward. No, I like the down and dirty, tie me up and do whatever you want to me Eddie. As we've mentioned here before, there is a growing trend of BDSM fics popping up in the fandom and some are really good in my opinion. I'll be honest, I'm not exactly sure what it is that draws me to these particular fics, maybe it's the boldness of that lifestyle. At first, it was definitely the unknown. I knew nothing about this world and my early education came from reading several really good stories in the Twilight Fandom.

I don't practice this lifestyle and I'm certainly not an expert. And, these fics that I'll be discussing here today may not even truly represent an accurate D/s relationship, but they are well written, well researched and highly entertaining. They are works of fiction and should be treated as such. For me, it's an escape.

***Post contains fics that aren't appropriate for readers under 18 and there are some adult photos below.

This week, I wanted to analyze Domward and see what makes him tick.

I picked a few of the more popular Dominant Edward fics because I found them to be really well research and captivating. They're not about cruelty, humiliation or forced sexual acts. These are stories about two adults participating in a consensual relationship. Again, not every real life D/s relationship mirrors what we're reading in these fics, but that's what fiction is all about...we can pretend.

I have to start out with the fic that started my obsession. Before reading The Submissive by Tara Sue Me, I had never sat and read a story almost in one sitting. I was so mesmerized by this Edward that I couldn't look away. To think that an individual could be so confident in who he was and have it come through in the writing, blew me away. If you've ever read anything by this author, than you know what I'm talking about. While I truly enjoyed the inner workings of Bella's mind...

I'd seen his picture before. Everyone in Chicago knew Edward Cullen, owner and CEO of Mason Industries.

I'm pleased to say that the pictures I'd seen didn't do the man justice. His skin was pale, but not in an unhealthy way, just pale enough to set off the deep green of his eyes and the breathtaking bronze of his hair. Hair that begged you to run your fingers through it. To grab on and pull those lips to your own. And his fingers tapped methodically on his desk. Long, strong fingers. I felt my knees go weak just thinking about what those fingers could do.

It wasn't until I got to The Dominant (the story told through EPOV) that I really fell in love with this flawed character. While reading The Submissive, I kept thinking that there was something wrong with this man and not because he liked to tie women to his bed. It had more to do with the way he was with Bella. He was falling in love and he didn't know what to do with that.

I think one of the hardest chapters to read, for me, was when Edward had to punish Bella for breaking one of his rules. This shouldn't have been a problem for a seasoned Dom. It should have been all part of it, but something was different for him.

This was his early thought process, before he actually had to do it...

The warm up would be very important in my punishment of Isabella. Her skin was pale, fair, and fine. She bruised easily. I needed to take that into account Friday night, make certain I didn't leave any lasting marks on her. Twenty strokes with the leather strap would bruise her if I didn't properly prepare her backside first. Even with the warm up, I would have to walk a fine line. Friday night would demand my utmost attention to Isabella as I gauged her skin, her reactions, and her emotions. Her emotions...

She would cry.

I was going to fucking make her cry. Could I do it?

I had to if the relationship were to progress. If I couldn't handle the sight of her tears, I had no business keeping her as a sub. That was a cold, hard fact of our relationship.

But, when push actually comes to shove...

One more, I told myself. One more. Surely you can handle one more. And I knew I spoke for myself, because there was no longer any doubt in my mind that Isabella was stronger than I was. That she could handle what I gave her. That she was truly submissive.

I brought the strap down one last time.


Her sobs filled the air.

My God, Cullen. What have you done? Look what you've done to that beautiful creature.

I was sick.

Sick at myself and sick at what I'd done.

I had to get her out of the room. I couldn't look at her. Couldn't look at what I'd done.

I pulled deep for the sternest voice I could manage. "Clean your face and go to your bedroom. You have sleep to catch up on."

She pushed herself off the bench and tripped on the way down.

Fuck. She can't even walk.

I waited until she hobbled from the bedroom and then I fell against the bench, burying my face in my hands.

It was at this point in the story that the human side of Edward came out. He wasn't all business and I think he realized that there might be more to life than what he had originally thought. But, this was only chapter ten of a thirty-seven chapter story. They had a long way to go.

As Edward taught Bella the meaning of being a submissive, I learned right along with her. He was forceful and demanding, but only pushed her as far as he thought she could take. Sometimes, I think, it was harder on Edward than it was for Bella. She was doing everything he had asked of her, but something was haunting Edward. He never felt fully worthy and while he was one fantastic Dominant, life isn't always about control. Sometimes, feelings get in the way...

Her lips formed a perfect 'O' as she slept. I brought my head to where my lips nearly brushed hers, but I stopped myself – I didn't have a right to her lips anymore. Not with what I planned to do in a few short hours. Instead, I lightly kissed her neck. She tasted of sex and sweat – a bittersweet reminder of we had experienced together.

"I'm sorry," I whispered against her skin. "I won't mean a word of it. I only hope . . ."

I stopped.

Hoped what?

That she would understand? I couldn't expect that.

That she would forgive me one day? Perhaps. Perhaps, maybe, years from now.

Did I hope she wouldn't hurt? I wasn't so blind or foolish that I didn't think I would hurt her. I knew she would hurt.

Or did some small part of me hope that she would know I didn't mean it? I was certain she would fight me, but in the end, I knew what it would take to make her leave. I hadn't earned the reputation as a hardass without learning a few things.

I shut my eyes against the onslaught of hot tears threatening to overtake me. How could I bear to do this to myself? How could I do it to her?

How could I do it to us?

Even if you don't normally love Edward, I believe this characterization of him will move you. You can't help but get sucked into what's going on with  him. I love the fact that we got to read The Submissive first because it added to the intrigue of what was going on in Edward's head. By the time we get to The Dominant, we're like, "Oh, now I get it!"  Both stories were incredibly amazing, but for me, The Dominant stands out. This Edward has so many different layers and for as successful and controlled as he appears, there's a good man inside that's just waiting to come out and be loved.

I think once you read The Dominant, you'll see exactly how Edward Cullen came to be.

And, because two stories just weren't enough, this brilliant author gave us another side to this lifestyle. In The Training, Tara Sue Me shows us that not only can a D/s relationship can work, but it can work within a loving relationship. Here we learn that there are different levels of Domination and each couple can do what works for them.

This fic is a continuation into the relationship of Edward and Bella. It's told from both of their POV's. Edward promises to push Bella's limits, but can they be what the other needs? How does this lifestyle work when you're in love?

Again, in this story Edward is swoon worthy. Yes, he's a jerk at times, but he's a man. I love the progression his character makes through this trilogy. He starts out cold and seemingly uncaring, but he's also soft and  loving. He needed Bella to see that he was deserving of love.

You'll get quite the education when reading these stories, I know I did. It was a fabulous journey, one I'm glad I took. So, if you haven't read this series yet, I strongly recommend it. But, it isn't a fluffy piece and if you're not into this scene or don't think you have an open enough mind to handle it, please skip it.

The next fic I'd like to talk about is Master of the Universe by Snowqueens Icedragon. Probably no shock there and if you're wondering why I picked the two most popular D/s stories out there, it's because there is a reason they're so popular. They're not just about smut and sex, but they do contain some really steamy lemons. I found all of my selections today to have a strong plot line and I was able to make an emotional connection to the characters.That's really important to me, especially if I'm going to invest so much time in a story.

These characterizations of Edward are intriguing to read and in both stories, we get to see a complete transformation from where he started.  For me, it's always about redemption and resolution and I find that reading about such a strong man, who isn't perfect and can admit that, is very sexy. Both stories take on a realistic quality, but that the same time they offer us a bit of erotic fantasy.
While Tara Sue Me and Snowqueens Icedragon may appear to have written similar stories, they couldn't be more different. This Edward is much more flawed than The Dominant's Edward. He harbors a deeply troubled past and his dominant tendencies don't always stem from the correct place.

Bella likes Edward and tries to be what he needs, but soon she figures out that she may not be a natural submissive. She's not as obedient as he would like and he certainly isn't used to women telling him no. It's more than a foreign concept to him.

This one is written in BPOV, so anything we learn about Edward is done through her observations and conversations with him. We don't have the benefit of his internal monologue. But, that's okay because through her we start to see a different side of him emerging.

He is a control freak in every sense of the word, he's moody, manipulative and needs to be in the driver's seat at all times. Some of the things he asks of Bella are outrageous, but when you look at him as a whole, it all works within the confines of his character. The relationship eventually works for them because Bella is willing to take a stand and fight for what she wants. In the end, it all turns out so much different than they both expected.

This is a massive story at over eighty chapters, but it's worth the time invested. Trust me, every chapter leaves you wanting more. I spent many late nights reading this one. You won't be disappointed and you'll have a new appreciation for Edward.

I hope you take the time to read these fics. And, if you have any D/s stories that you think I'll be interested in, please let me know.