Interview with Master M. Hatter, author of Virtually Yours
Virtually Yours is a new book written to guide people who are in or starting an online or long-distance BDSM relationship. The book explores how to make the time when physically apart sizzle as much as the time spent together. Online relationships are covered in depth, with plenty of tips and tricks as well as discussions on the psychology of BDSM relationships at a distance.
We have taken a few moments interview the author, Master M. Hatter to find our more about the book and the work involved in writing it.
What made you decide to write a book about long-distance BDSM relationships?
Back in the days of msn chat rooms I was heavily involved in the “chat room scene” and had some short term playful online relationships and a couple of long term ones. Having participated in long-distance BDSM as well as “in the flesh” BDSM for some 15 years now, I was finding that I was seeing the same questions being asked on forums again and again; some people respond to these questions really positively but others mock the person asking. On a forum not too long ago, someone asked the question – “when I have tied up my sub, what do I do with them?” This isn’t as silly a question as it might at first sound. My book aims to answer the question “I have a long-distance sub, what do I do with them?”
Which was the more difficult part, the research or the actual writing?
I love research, but because I was trying to get perspectives from as many people as possible there was always a balancing act – I wanted to make sure that the book didn’t just reflect my personal style of dominance, but rather was a guide that would be of use to everyone. One of the biggest challenges was remembering that primarily, the book is aimed at Dom’s and so it was important not to tell people what to do, but rather offer suggestions and ideas.
Whilst researching, did you learn anything new, and what was your most surprising find.
I am constantly learning, and so pin-pointing specific things that I learnt is tricky. My biggest surprise I think was that there was such a lack of discussion in books on BDSM about the actual psychology of BDSM. When I started writing the book it was my intention to just concentrate on online relationships, but the more I researched and wrote, the clearer it became to me that there was a need to address time spent apart from an “in the flesh” relationship. What I mean by that is that if you are living with someone but are not physically with that person 24/7 as you both have your own jobs, then there is a large proportion of your day during which you are in a distant relationship. Of course, the dynamic in a relationship where you do have physical meetings is different, but many of the same considerations are relevant.
If you had to give just one piece of advice to someone thinking of starting a long-distance BDSM relationship, what would it be.
I think for all BDSM relationships I would strongly advise getting sub’s to journal. Communication is key in any relationship, and within BDSM the picture can look confusing as within a power-play dynamic, a sub may feel it is inappropriate for them to fully express their desires, thoughts, fears and hopes.
Having a daily communication method in which the sub expresses both how their day went and how a particular interaction felt to them, is incredibly useful. It lets you check whether the idea you had was actually received in the way you intended, gives you feed back to build on, and it does this while maintaining the dynamic.
It had to come up at some point – do you think Fifty Shades has had a positive or negative influence on public perception of BDSM.
I think it has had a massively positive “impact” by making it far more acceptable for partners to be in a BDSM relationship, although alongside this I think it paints a picture of people who are involved in BDSM as slightly damaged goods and there are some big issues with consent in the books. This is to be expected, the books are fantasy, not reality, but they have given people a sense that maybe BDSM isn’t so strange that they have to shy away from it.
Virtually Yours is currently published electronically, do you have any plans for a printed edition?
I love holding a real book in my hands but it seemed particularly appropriate to produce a book, which addresses online and distant relationships, as an electronic book. That said I have had a number of requests for it as a printed copy and so it is something I am looking into.
Are you taking a break now, or do you have another book in progress?
Volume 2 is currently being worked on, its called “In the Flesh” and addresses in the flesh BDSM relationships. One of the things I am struggling with in writing this book is that so much of Virtually Yours is relevant to in the flesh relationships too, but I don’t want to just reproduce vast sections of information. To deal with this I am working on sections that relation to things like spanking techniques, BDSM clubs, munches, and how to balance 24/7 with the shopping and washing up.