Introduction

The content posted on this site is intended for audiences eighteen (18) years and older. In no way, shape, or form are the stories featured here for minors. This page explains the reasoning behind the inclusion of explicit content and why I offer two different versions of material published here. 

Be advised that included in the text below are examples, which might be considered explicit, but are necessary to help with clarity.

Why Include Explicit Content?

First and foremost, I view editing (as in excising content from a creative piece to meet an external standard) to be a form of censorship over the characters. It filters who they are from the administrative side of things. As the creator of these characters and situations, my main concern is how this censorship impacts authenticity and potentially limits how strongly the material will resonate with readers. 

If every character is restricted from using certain words or terminology or from even discussing a particular topic, there will be a flattening of personality across the board. I can throw words on a page that form a description of a character’s emotional state and mindset. But unless I can get the reader (and myself!) to connect with it, it’s not going to mean anything. It’s forgettable. They are just words in a word count. The connection transmutes those words from being simply a paragraph into much-needed context to breathe life into whatever that character is experiencing in that moment. 

There are characters I hate writing. I hate how they think, how they see the world, the way they treat others. Some characters I love, but I dread writing certain scenes because I wish things had turned out better for them. Just like people, they’re going to make the decisions they make. If I censored or restricted how severe, violent, upsetting, nasty, or traumatic any of that writing was, I would be undermining the purpose and value of those characters’ contributions to the story. I’m wasting my time and that of the reader.

A character who is a member of a white supremacist gang will use hateful language and act disgustingly toward people of color. It’s hard to write and hard to read, but I’m not going to pull punches in my content. The contrast must be there. Will I make that character more than a stereotype by discussing his trauma or showing how he chooses to demonstrate his humanity? I will. But he’s still a hateful, violent, racist asshole. He may be a stay-at-home dad who makes delicious Peanut Butter Fudge Cookies for his kids’ bake sale at school and wants nothing but the best for them. Unfortunately, he bases his concept of what’s best on white supremacist secessionist principles and includes carving out a section of his country to be a white ethnostate. He’s going to say and do some horrendous shit.

On the opposite end of that spectrum could be a character hiding her cancer diagnosis from her husband. She’s worried that because the treatment might render her barren, her husband might leave her as having his own family is a major goal for him. Not only is this woman feeling like her body is at war with her and struggling to get through the upsetting experience of not being able to trust it, but she has to face the possibility of significant life changes. It isn’t just about whether she can have children and how her spouse might handle learning that. She might have to completely rebuild how she defines her identity as a woman and the things that serve as the foundation for her self-worth. The husband feeling betrayed about being kept in the dark and not trusted is another layer to this. In a situation like that, the prognosis is the least of her concerns in her mind. Their arguments are going to cut deep. 

I must give my readers as many sides of these characters as possible to give them the best experience. If it doesn’t resonate, they aren’t going to spend the time deciding how they view these scenarios and judge these characters.

Why Include Sexual Content?

While there is sexual content in nearly everything I write, as sex and/or intimacy are part of the human experience, some story series definitely have more than others. Shadows of Tampa Bay, which is the title of the main story series I write, might have the occasional sex scene between characters. Sometimes, two characters are at the right place at the right (or wrong) time and have sex because they want to. A couple might be struggling to avoid a complete breakdown in their twenty-year relationship and the only way they can see the tenderness is still there is when they get caught up in each other unexpectedly one night. Sex can be spontaneous or rote. It can be all about connection or avoidance. But, it’s communicating something about the characters involved.

The Rabbit and the Scorpion story series, which focuses on Kandy and Miguel’s adventures, has extensive sexual content. It actually started out in the concept stages as a fully adult/Literotica series with BDSM and supernatural themes. But as I started developing these characters (Kandy I had had for quite a while, but Miguel and his family were new from the start), the list of topics and situations I was so hungry to write about kept growing. Deciding their culture, language, spiritual practices, personal history, family roots, and all the rest gave me so much material that I had to expand it beyond just sex. I would say that their BDSM relationship and key issues (consent, sexuality, limits, self-acceptance, etc.) are on equal footing with the material about racism, colorism, indigenous beliefs and culture, religion, spiritual practice, and magic. 

The sexual content in the unedited version of a Kandy and Miguel story episode is very graphic. It’s graphic because it needs to be. I want their journey together as a Dominant and submissive to be as real as possible. There are numerous unhealthy examples of BDSM and specifically D/s relationships both in written media and on screens. I wanted Kandy and Miguel to be a healthy way to show people some of the beginners’ common mistakes, where the pitfalls are, and improvements to practice that can serve as a starting point for a safer dynamic. With that also came the desire to take BDSM back from the highly unrealistic and hardcore aesthetic propagated by the porn industry. Without a doubt, some creators and websites post safe, healthy, accurate, and inclusive BDSM content. Sadly, a majority of what’s produced by the big names and receives much more traffic is rooted in a salacious predatory stereotype of BDSM. 

If there is one message I want readers to take from Kandy and Miguel, it’s that BDSM is not abuse. The love, respect, and trust inherent to a D/s relationship are incredibly powerful. Whether there is a romantic relationship in addition to the D/s relationship between parties, care and consideration are always present. I describe every stroke, every grip, and every groan to try and help take away stigma and shame and show Kandy and Miguel’s relationship as honestly as possible. They don’t hold back in their discussions about sex, fetishes, and limits. Partners in the real world committed to consent and safety strive to be open and comfortable in their communication with each other. Capturing that, as well as the journey of these characters growing together, is paramount.

There are terms and activities discussed (possibly also performed at some point) that some might find extreme or offensive. I ask that readers keep an open mind by remaining fair to the characters. Consider that there is something of value to take from what the characters’ physicality is communicating. It’s very rarely (if ever) solely about the sex. There’s more there.

Why an Edited Version?

I just spent all this time writing about how I’m against censorship of characters through editing content to fit a societal standard but, here I am, offering an edited version of certain story episodes. How hypocritical of me, right?

Like Kandy, I have been diagnosed with PTSD and anxiety. Part of the treatment process for those two things has been learning how triggers work, how to identify them, and how to mitigate their effects in the moment. My triggers may not be the same as the next person who reads this page. I hate the term, by the way, because of the toxic stigma society has attached to it. 

Every person has a trigger though. You don’t have to have a mental health issue to have triggers. If you’re human and experience even the most limited range of emotions, you have a trigger of some kind. If you’re reading this and going on in your head that you don’t have triggers or that they are an invented term used by weak people — surprise! This is triggering you. And that’s okay. Triggers are more about getting us to look at the “why” of things, which we often ignore.

I offer an edited version that trims down descriptions of sex, violence, and certain emotionally upsetting situations out of respect for my readers and where they are in life. The edited version still allows readers to enjoy these characters and get some of the medicine I hope is in these stories while also giving readers space for their emotions and healing. My readers must have the option to decide for themselves whether they are comfortable enough to read the original content.

Full disclosure, there have been occasions where I have had my own anxiety triggered while writing certain scenes (e.g. describing Kandy’s PTSD or anxiety). On one hand, I know the writing is sharp and likely to resonate. On the other, I’m sitting at my desk trying not to hyperventilate and to keep my heart from jackhammering out of my chest by counting and reciting grounding affirmations. The longest delay in finishing an episode lasted over a month and was because I avoided sitting down and writing it. I didn’t want to think about certain things and then visualize them enough to describe them accurately. I wrote and edited around it as much as I could, but then I had to write it. So this isn’t lip-service or some superficial and performative decision. It’s real for me too.

However, specific scenes may still make it into the edited version. This is because the dialogue or action is integral to the story and the rewritten version’s quality is subpar. But, I include a little content warning box in every post I make for both edited and unedited versions of episodes. It’s a short little list of things I think might be upsetting. That, coupled with the synopsis blurb, should be enough to give readers enough information about what might be on the pages without spoiling too much.

What Are the Differences Between Edited and Unedited?

The easiest areas to tackle are sex and violence. While it won’t be a fade-to-black type cut, the descriptions of the acts will be far less detailed in the edited version compared to the original unedited version. There will be enough to understand the mechanics, the intensity, and the outcome. 

As humans, we can (and often do) communicate so much through our physicality, especially when we don’t know how to do so verbally or lack the self-awareness to acknowledge whatever is there in the first place. The description of an act of violence carried out by one character against another can mean so many different things, depending on the details. The tone written into a strangulation scene can completely change things. Is there reluctance or zeal? In what direction are the emotions going? How are those emotions fuelling or quelling the character’s commitment to finishing the action? 

Again, like violence, sex can reveal a lot about the inner workings of a character. It takes a lot in editing to find this balance between making the content accessible to as many readers as possible and ensuring that the much-needed context embedded in the details isn’t left on the cutting room floor. Though I will do my best to avoid ridiculously histrionic alternate phrasing involving flowers or fruit to replace descriptions of characters’ naughty bits, I may have to use the occasional slightly-cringe euphemism. 

But this now brings us to the more complicated (I wanted to use the word “elastic” here) ruleset. Even though I will likely cut scenes and tone down the terminology used in the edited version, the characters will keep their same syntax and vocabulary. They are going to speak how they speak. Undoubtedly, certain characters will use words that some might think don’t belong in an ‘edited version’. 

The racist rant of a militant extremist will be word-for-word the same in both versions, slurs and all. An edited version of one story episode might have “fuck” in it once, while another episode’s edited version might have over a hundred. How many curse words and how much explicit dialogue in the unedited version determine what winds up in the edited version. I’m not counting how many times a character says “cunt” or “fuck” to meet some arbitrary rating system on which to base my editing. Five “fucks” are okay, but one “cunt” is too much? This method infantilizes the readers.

Only one example scenario comes to mind where I might cut dialogue in an edited version. Maybe if a character has to divulge details of something very unpleasant (say giving testimony or being interviewed in some capacity). If it’s an event already sufficiently outlined in prior episodes, I might very quickly mention what’s happening. But again, a scene like that can have essential and previously unknown details that can take readers in a different direction. Removing or minimizing the impact of that information would take too much away from the story. 

Even more subtle than that is when I introduce a new character or dynamic to the reader and there are mannerisms or specific phrasing that help build a certain perception of that situation. I don’t want to lose that uneasiness, tension, or foreboding feeling because I edit out too much. The odd way a character initially slices fruit with her knife for a dessert could be one of those crucial details. If another character, who witnessed a stabbing, recognizes her as the killer because she has the same odd pattern of slicing, then that detail needs to stay.

Why Specific Age Gating?

While I have stated in multiple places that this is not a website for minors, I felt it was necessary to add an Age Gate to certain story episodes. Because the amount of sexual content is not uniform across all episodes, even in their unedited form, Age Gate is only activated on those edits that have significant sexual content. A visitor cannot read or download an Age Gated story episode edit without declaring they are over the age of eighteen (18).