Monday, September 17, 2012

Authors Debra and Don Macleod: 50 Ways To Play

We all enjoy books of various genres with probably a few areas that we read we don’t talk about and at one time would never have heard others talking about. But with millions reading and enjoying FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, that has changed. Readers are left with one question: "How do I get started?"

The answer is in 50 WAYS TO PLAY: BDSM FOR NICE PEOPLE,  Tarcher/Penguin's titillating companion piece to the already infamous trilogy, designed to teach readers how to make fiction a reality.
50 WAYS TO PLAY provides all the answers with 50 erotic ways to spice up one’s bedroom activities. This witty, educational entrée into BDSM for nice people with not-so-nice thoughts covers everything from Japanese rope bondage to “The Softer, Soapier Side of BDSM”—and everything in between. The surprising "ways to play” offered up in this book are guaranteed to turn up the heat in your life.

Written by the bestselling husband and wife team  Debra and Don Macleod, who wrote Lube Jobs: A Woman's Guide to Great Maintenance Sex, Lip Service: A His and Hers Guide to the Art of Oral Sex and Seduction, and The French Maid: And 21 More Naughty Sex Fantasies to Surprise and Arouse Your Man. Their books have been covered widely in newspapers across the country including The New York Times and USA Today and been awarded “Best in Bed” by Women’s Health Magazine. In her various capacities as a marriage and divorce mediator, a couples’ communication and conflict resolution specialist, Debra has helped thousands of couples resolve their problems and improve their relationships. For more information, visit her website  

I’m delighted to welcome Debra here today and she has graciously answered some questions for me. In addition, thanks to Debra and the lovely Brianne at Finn Partners, I have 2 copies of 50 WAYS TO PLAY to giveaway. Please see the end of the post for the guidelines. Now for the Q & A.

Mason - Do you find writing this book that it is a subject readers want to read but are a bit reluctant to admit they do?

book coverDebra - Absolutely. And I can’t say that I blame them. People are naturally interested in sexual content; however, the stereotypical image of BDSM doesn’t make it easy for people to admit it. The black latex, whips, floggers and restraint systems of extreme BDSM can be intimidating. Plus, there is an unflattering idea about people who practice BDSM. They’re often portrayed as weird and unattractive. There is also a great deal of judgment about BDSM. If you visit almost any online comment board on the subject, you can enjoy some of the most hateful, self-righteous and condescending comments anywhere on the Internet. For some reason, there is a segment of the population who finds it necessary to condemn the morality, spirituality and lifestyle choices of complete strangers who are in no way harming others or trying to recruit members.  

All of this bad press is unfortunate. It prevents people from exploring aspects of a sexual practice that has some great things to offer mainstream, long-term couples. Some BDSM themes – domination, submission and bondage in particular – can be incorporated into a couple’s love life with surprisingly sexy results, and can help a couple rediscover sexual desire and excitement.

Mason - Reading the title a person might have an image of things to expect, but what will they be surprised to find?

Debra - There are many stereotypes and preconceived ideas about BDSM, and I think many people fail to make the distinction between hard-core BDSM and the soft-core BDSM that I write about in 50 WAYS TO PLAY. The former involves people who embrace BDSM as a lifestyle, and who may practice some of the more edgy elements of it, such as pain and humiliation. The latter is “BDSM lite,” if you will. 50 WAYS TO PLAY focuses on the less-intimidating aspects of BDSM, including power plays, restraint, high-sensory sex and erotic novelty. I think people would be pleasantly surprised to find that the content is intelligent, good-humoured, erotic and relevant to their sex life. I’ve taken care to write a book that discusses BDSM themes in a realistic, respectful way, without “grossing out” or intimidating the average mainstream couple. After reading this book, I also think many couples will be surprised to find that their sex lives had fallen into more of a routine than they had noticed, and that a sexy shake-up was in order.

Mason - For someone who has never read in this genre how would you encourage them to do so and why?

Debra - If you’re looking to read BDSM-themed books, whether fiction or non-fiction, I think it’s a great idea to actually visit a bookstore – a real bookstore, not an online one – and browse the books in stock. Crack a few bindings and flip through the pages. That will give you a real sense of the content, language and writing, so that you can decide for yourself what you like and don’t like. Online book reviews, especially in the BDSM genre, are often more judgmental than informative. Plus, sex is such a subjective thing. What works for someone else might not work for you. Also, keep in mind that it’s okay to pick and choose what kind of BDSM activities you like, as well as the degree to which you engage in them. You can tailor the experience to your preferences as a couple. You don’t have to immerse yourself in the BDSM lifestyle or practices to enjoy its finer points.
Mason - Research for the book is one subject I'm sure you are questioned about often. So how does one go about doing research for this type of book?

Debra - Research for 50 WAYS TO PLAY was a blast. Who wouldn’t want my job? Most of the research was done at a major adult trade show, the Taboo Naughty but Nice Show, where I hosted a “spice it up” couples’ seminar. This gave me a fantastically fun opportunity to learn about BDSM and Kink from “professional” dominants and submissives, as well as from couples who are into the BDSM scene. They were all very keen to teach me about the tools of their trade – from restraint bars to mouth gags and everything in between – and to share their own advice, recommendations and experiences. Also, in my day job as a couples’ mediator, I’ve had clients who practice BDSM. They have been a great resource when it comes to addressing how mainstream, committed couples can use aspects of BDSM to spice-up their sex life and thereby strengthen their long-term relationship. After all, the couple that plays together stays together.
Mason - What can readers look forward to next from you?

Debra - Currently, I’m at work on another relationship guide that is quite lighthearted and a lot of fun. I’m also working on a more serious project – a marriage-saving manual – that complements my couples’ mediation practice, Marriage SOS. I suppose the first project keeps a smile on my face, while the second lets me do the more serious work of saving marriages. Until these are released, I welcome readers to visit my blog at the Huffington Post or my website at

Debra, thanks for joining us today and giving us a better understanding of BDSM. I will say I never knew there were two types having only based my knowledge on what is portrayed in TV shows.

Here’s a brief description of 50 WAYS TO PLAY:
For the millions of readers who have been inspired by the steamy bestseller FIFTY SHADES OF GREY to throw a bit more spice into their sex lives, this simple and highly accessible guide to BDSM (Bondage, Dominance, Sadism, and Masochism) features 50 edgy and erotic adventures to sample. Warning: you should try this at home! 

From turning your ho hum bedroom into a “Red Room of Desire,” to exploring the fine art of Japanese rope bondage—and a few other ideas perhaps better not mentioned in polite company—50 WAYS TO PLAY invites couples who might otherwise think of themselves as “average” or “nice” to walk on the wild side. According to husband-and-wife writers Debra and Don Macleod, sex should pack a punch—it’s meant to catch you off guard. The fifty sexy and surprising “ways to play” offered up in this book are guaranteed to turn up the heat in your sex life.

Now for the giveaway guidelines. To enter, send me an e-mail ( with the subject line, “Win 50 Ways.” Your message should include your name and mailing address. The contest is open to residents of the U.S. only and no post office box addresses can be accepted. And, just so you know, I don’t share this information with anyone other than the publisher nor use it for any other purpose. The deadline to enter this giveaway for a chance at one of 2 copies of 50 WAYS TO PLAY will be 8 p.m. (EST) on Monday, Sept. 24.

Did you find out new information about BDSM from Debra’s interview? Do you think people talk more openly about this subject now than in years past? Thanks so much for stopping by today. Whether for reading pleasure, research or just curious, be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of 50 WAYS TO PLAY.

PERSONAL NOTE: As some of you might already know, I missed posting several guest blogs by wonderful authors this past week. My computer crashed and it was a learning experience having to reinstall programs and such. I learned a very valuable lesson (one we’ll talk about later). I’m slowly getting everything back in running order. I just wanted to say the guest blogs have been rescheduled and I hope you will be sure and visit when they're posted.

1 comment:

  1. Debra, thanks again for guest blogging and answering all my questions. Wishing you much success.


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