Title: Sex in C Major
Author: Matthew J. Metzger
Release Date: May 27th 2017
Genre: GLBT, BDSM, Interracial Romance
Stefan has … fantasies.
He knows chasing those fantasies is only going to end in disaster, but he can’t seem to stop his self-destructive spiral. He’s a transgender man struggling to come to terms with the intersection of his identity and his sexual fantasies as a submissive. He needs someone to take control before he loses it completely.
Daz can take control. He can teach Stefan everything there is to know about sex and submission, but for some reason, he can’t get inside Stefan’s head. Daz can stop Stefan’s self-destruction but not the fear that fuels it.
Stefan needs to know who he is before he can accept what he is. And it’s Yannis — Daz’s aromantic, asexual, stern, and sarcastic partner — who has the answer.
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Should versus Would
My latest novel is dark.
I write all over the shop, really. I have super-sweet young adult romances, kinky and dramatic adult romances, silly little stories in funny voices, serious explorations of heavy topics, the works. I’ve had readers adore a book and then pick up the next release only to go, “What the hell! This is nothing like the last one!”
(Which to me is a huge compliment, but I digress.)
Sex in C Major is very dark. It’s intense, it’s sometimes scary, it’s brutal, and it’s not for the faint of heart. At all. It’s not a love story, because it isn’t about love.
It’s about kink.
Kink in fiction tends to err on the light-hearted side of things. A couple of nipple clamps, a collection of plugs, and the hilariously awkward moment your three-year-old nephew finds your fluffy handcuffs. After all, these are stories. These are our little escapes from real life, when we can curl up with a book and dip into something sweet and sexy and play in someone else’s world for a while.
Except…that’s never the kink that’s done it for me.
Kink is a massive spectrum. At one end sits your fluffy handcuffs, and at the other, instruments that make the Spanish Inquisition look cute. And there’s people all over that spectrum, enjoying every minute of it, and getting something valuable from it.
Stefan wants to belong to someone. Not romantically, but sexually. He wants to be owned. And he wants to be made to yield. His escape is in having control stripped away from him, and his choices narrowed down to one thing: struggle, or submit. Either way, the same thing is going to happen.
That’s his escape.
For many submissives, there is liberation in servitude. Their master is in control. Their dominant makes the decisions. All they have to do, is do as they’re told.
But that’s not what makes this book really dark.
It’s that Stefan is desperate. Desperate people will do anything—no matter how stupid—to get what they need. And that’s exactly what Stefan is doing. He’s walking into a car crash situation, knowing full well he’s likely to get burned, but has been pushed so close to the edge that he feels like he has no other choice.
He’s been struggling. Now he just wants to submit.
And this is where the conventions of fiction make things tricky. When is a character allowed to be that desperate? When are they acting like they would, versus how they should? Because nobody should do the things that Stefan does—but a lot of people would.
To me, this is where most dark fiction comes from. It’s not that there is something spectacularly gory, or outlandish, or psychologically terrifying about dark fiction—it’s that it veers away from the safe, the should, into the would.
And people will do very dark things when they’re desperate.
Other people wanted vanilla sex and dating out of a hookup in a gay bar. But Stefan wanted— this. He wanted to jump from nothing to Daz bending him over the end of the bed and fucking him like he was nothing but a sex doll.
What was he doing?
And yet he kept walking, step by step by step towards the house. A jogger had to go around him; a car hooted angrily as he walked out in front of it. He didn’t care. The house was calling. The man inside was calling. The promise of his fantasies becoming real was calling.
And it was terrifying and stupid and utterly crazy… but Stefan just couldn’t say no.
At exactly eight fifteen, the terror enough to make him throw up and the arousal so intense he could barely walk, Stefan knocked on the door.
A key in a lock.
Then the door was jerked open, and a hand fisted in Stefan’s coat and hauled him inside.
“Upstairs,” Daz said, slamming the door. “Now. Nobody sees you.”
Stefan scrambled to obey, almost running up the stairs, still in his coat and shoes. He was shoved back into the small bedroom from the night before, and the door slammed behind them.
“Strip,” Daz said.
GIVEAWAY: Win ebook copies of Sex in C Major and What It Looks Like
Matthew J. Metzger is a twenty-something British author of queer novels, primarily focusing on relationships, be they familial, platonic, sexual or romantic. He was dragged up in London, but currently lives in West Yorkshire, where he carves out a living in an office crunching numbers before going home to write books at night. Matthew particularly writes working-class queer life, and queer people who exist outside of the standard M/M romance fare written by and for well-educated, middle-class sensibilities. There be nasty words ahead, children. Better buckle up.
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