After finding out I write the hot stuff, one of the first questions is usually what kinds of things I do for research.

When I started writing BDSM rather than just regular erotic romances, that opened up an entirely different body of research for me. I had read quite a bit of it but wasn’t sure where to start to get some behind-the-scenes, hands-on knowledge, so to speak.

I was surprised at how many people in my circle of friends and acquaintances are into the BDSM and fetish lifestyle. 

Upon hearing that I now needed to gain that knowledge, my husband, who is very supportive of my writing, but not a reader, kissed me and said, “I love you, I’m proud of you, but I will not go visit a dungeon with you for research. Ask The Butterscotch Martini Girls.”

The BMG’s are my long-time critique and promotions group, and they would’ve happily gone with me, but all of us have been writing like crazy for deadlines the last few years. But we are planning a trip soon!

So what did I end up doing? It will sound very pedestrian, but I asked around. I was surprised at how many people in my circle of friends and acquaintances are into the BDSM and fetish lifestyle.

From there they turned me onto Fetlife, which is like Facebook for the fetish crowd. I also got to interview some committed dominant/submissive couples, which gave me some terrific insight into their ‘alternate life’, as one couple described it.

Believe it or not, talking about things like leather fetishes, nipple clamps, and flogging over lattes in the lobby of your local Starbucks won’t cause many raised eyebrows these days considering all the other conversations that were going on around us!

What a tough job, being married to a romance writer, right?

And no research jaunt would’ve been complete without some internet surfing and trips to the local adult shops to actually look at and touch things like cuffs, floggers, plugs and hoods. Alas, I couldn’t find any shops that had St. Andrew’s Crosses or spanking benches displayed on the sales floor, but I’m still going to get the BMG’s to go on that dungeon trip with me!

And any time we travel, my husband just sighs and gives me a small smile because he knows I’m going to look for any local adult shops or try to convince him to duck into any dungeons I find with me. I haven’t been successful on the dungeons yet, but I have gotten him into quite an array of adult shops so far! Poor guy.

What a tough job, being married to a romance writer, right? Yeah, he can’t convince his friends it’s really that tough either. Although they do try to tease him about it all the time without much success.

So what do I do for research? Really, whatever I can. No, I don’t plan to be flogged anytime soon, but I’ve interviewed people who have been so my scenes and characters are realistic. And an adventurous group of friends willing to go on research field trips with you is always a plus too!


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Cassie's Books

Cassie Ryan

Cassie Ryan started her published writing career writing steamy paranormal romance under another pen name. However, when one of her critique partners suggested she try her hand at erotic romance, she gave it a shot! After all, shes not a girl to turn down a challenge of any type. So, she pulled out all the stops and hasn't looked back!

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