Cover of the new book "Bound to be Dirty"

Bound to be Dirty




In the second Dirty Girls Book Club book, Dare to be Dirty, I needed to decide which of the club members would star in book three, and do a bit of setup. I chose Lily Nyland, the oldest member and the only married one. I was intrigued by the idea of a marriage that started with youth and passion, that’s now into its tenth year and faltering.

So then I needed to figure out what caused the problems in Lily’s marriage to Dax Xavier. For one thing, how about an attraction of opposites? When they meet, she’s the wealthy, well-educated society girl who’s a bit of a workaholic and is determined to be a family practice doctor. He’s totally the guy from the wrong side of the tracks – who redeems himself by joining the armed forces, getting a college degree, serving his country, then becoming a bush helicopter pilot. So, at the ten year point, she’s established her own practice in Vancouver and he’s more comfortable flying in the wilderness and living in remote mining or logging camps.

But don’t you think sometimes it’s spouses’ similarities as much or more than their differences that can cause stresses? How about if they’re both extremely independent people who each want to control their own lives? Sometimes as a marriage develops, it seems that rather than grow together, the spouses are walking parallel or divergent paths. And yes, that’s the case with Lily and Dax.

Really, for them – as for many couples – the bottom line is a failure of communication, sharing, and trust. They’re so independent and have lived such separate lives that they’ve never had much opportunity to develop those things. And neither has good family role models to assist.

So, knowing those were the issues they’d have to confront, what kind of “dirty book” should the book club re reading that might help resolve marital woes?

Well, a lot of married women have said that their sex lives have been spiced up by reading BDSM. But really, a spicy sex life isn’t enough to save a marriage. On the other hand, if a little experimentation in bed raises issues of trust, communication, and sharing . . . See where I’m going with this?

I loved both Lily and Dax (man, is he hot!) and I really wanted the two of them to sort things out and find their happily ever after, so it was great fun writing that part of the book.

But the club’s choice of Bound by Desire, a BDSM novel, also offered me another fascinating opportunity: to explore how different women think about this kind of book and about dominant-submissive relationships. Why are these books so popular now, with women readers? Does BDSM verge on abuse – or can it be liberating for the submissive partner – or does that depend on the nature of the specific relationship? If two consenting adults choose a certain type of sex life because each of them finds it sexually and emotionally fulfilling, does anyone else have the right to criticize? As you can no doubt imagine, the book club have some very thoughtful and often heated discussions!

I learned a lot myself, writing Bound to be Dirty – and also writing the excerpts from Bound by Desire, as I’ve never written that kind of book myself.

So for me, the whole experience was fun and thought-provoking. I hope you find the same when you read it.



Books by Susan/Savanna

Cover of the new book "Champagne Rules" - a black man and a white woman kiss in deep wine-coloured light