On triggers: mine and everyone else’s.

Today, I went to an erotica-writing workshop; and another girl in the group shared her discomfort with writers who don’t disclose potential triggers1 for readers. And while this isn’t something I’ve thought about in reference to my own writing, she’s completely right – if someone comes to this blog, they deserve to know whether they’ll click on a title and stumble into something that just might ruin their day.

…because I know what that feels like. When someone violates your space, it feels as though they’ve come along and casually dumped a lifetime of garbage onto you that you can never quite scrub off. Some days are better than others, and sometimes you can actually function normally. Until you see a hand gesture, a chuckle, a certain turn of phrase that just feels oily and wrong and undoes all your self-care, and lands you right back in the place where you hurt the most.

So henceforth, I’m going to preface potentially triggering posts with a huge ‘TRIGGER WARNING‘ in big bold red caps, because I’d rather not hurt readers the way other people have hurt me.

Granted, this can get complicated. Some people may be triggered by certain words I use for female genitalia, by my ‘dirty talk’, or anything else. Since different traumas touch across the whole plane of human experience, virtually anything can be triggering; and I’m sympathetic to that. For now, though, I’m going to restrict the trigger warning to specific pieces that involve power exchange, potentially ‘degrading’ dirty talk, and/or pain. If I feel like this isn’t enough or my writing takes a darker turn, though, I may just start putting a trigger warning on all of my erotica here.

I don’t often get comments from people who aren’t already friends with me from elsewhere; but really, don’t be shy – if you read something here that isn’t prefaced with a trigger warning and you feel it should be, feel free to comment or shoot me an e-mail to take me to task for it, and I’ll change things.

1. I’ve seen lots of people use the word ‘trigger’ as a synonym for ‘anything that upsets me’, but I usually use it to describe certain stimuli that make you relive traumatic moments from the past. To use myself as an example: Maybe this makes me a shitty bottom, but I don’t like being hit with foreign objects ever. It always reminds me of being hit as a child, which always terrified me beyond all description.


~ by fistfulofsunshine on October 11, 2009.

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