Katie Porter's Vegas Top Guns — a group of trained U.S. Air Force pilots — are certainly a kinky bunch. From exhibitionism to breathplay, intricate role playing and more, the writing duo are tackling the gamut of fetishes in this fun, sexy series. Their latest release, Hard Way, definitely pushes the erotic romance envelope when married couple Dash and Sunny decide rough, forced sex is the key to rekindling their lost flame. Today Lorelie Brown, one half of the Katie Porter team, shares the difficulties in writing taboo sex and why this kink suits this specific couple.
Many of the inquiries Carrie Lofty and I have received about Hard Way regard the sexual relationship between Dash and Sunny. That's understandable: it's forced sex role play. From the outside, it reads as … intense. But with rigidly respected safe words, their fully consensual fantasies make sense within their troubled marriage.
Yet here’s a secret: I found it more difficult to write the emotional portions of Dash and Sunny's story. Theirs is a marriage reconciliation romance while, as we wrote Hard Way, my own marriage crumbled. To say this journey struck painful nerves is an understatement.
The sex, however ... that's a taboo kink. It works for Dash and Sunny, in part because Sunny craves something real and raw from her jester of a husband. We built these characters from the inside out, knowing that no matter how desperate Dash felt at a crossroads in his life, he would never truly hurt his beloved Sunny. He needs to feel protected too, which includes trusting his wife with parts of him that aren't all jokes and laughter.
In fact, we knew Dash and Sunny so well that we almost fell into a trap. In the first draft of Hard Way, they established safe words — but never used them. As authors, we knew they were secure with each other. That didn’t mean readers would trust that their “forced consent” was actually consensual. Unacceptable! So we pushed them farther, to let the audience read what happens when Sunny calls a time out.
There's a saying running around the Internet: "Your kink is not my kink, but it's still okay." I tap into that phrase when writing our Katie Porter books. Carrie and I intentionally encompass a wide range of sexual variation in our romances. It keeps our stories fresh and exciting. I’ve always been open-minded when it comes to private lives, having been raised in California by untraditional parents. “What people do is their own business and their own choice,” is a line I heard many, many times. It obviously sunk in. There are people who don’t want to make love; they want to fight their way to sexual satisfaction, still caring for one another throughout.
That didn’t mean Carrie and I were oblivious to the responsibility we had when creating a story that touches on a very sensitive topic. Hard Way is escapist fantasy. We are certainly not ignorant of the real world. Rape is real. Rape is awful. What Dash and Sunny enjoy is not rape. The heart of their violent sex is role playing. They yearn for a place of trust and release — together. We were careful to walk within boundaries that reinforced their equal participation and pleasure, as they struggled to rekindle their love.
More than that, we wrote our heroine as a fully actualized, rounded character. While immersed in Sunny’s point of view, readers will fully understand the enjoyment she gets from pushing the envelope. As a lawyer trained in martial arts, she’s no dishrag or pushover.
No matter that she likes to get off that way.
- Lorelie Brown