Who is she?
Why not take a moment, see if you can conjure her in your mind. What’s her name, what’s her story?
Creating characters is a fundamental task for every story-teller. Memorable, well-drawn characters are evocative, they help build stories readers care about, populated by individuals they want to imagine. In short, they help bring stories to life.
But being able to dream up engaging characters isn’t just a useful skill for writers, it’s also something that can enrich our play in the bedroom (and for the adventurous, play outside the bedroom too).
Take, for instance, the lady painted by van Honthorst above. Smiling, vivacious, elegantly dressed. Who is she? Our fascination builds. Our minds seeking clues, as we attempt to render this 400 year-old image, seeking to turn paint into personality. How long did it take you to notice what she was holding? Did it surprise you? Does its presence change your own mental portrait of this young woman?
As it happens, this is the portrait of a prostitute. The image she holds has the inscription, “Wie kent mijn naers van afteren” or “Who can tell my backside from behind?”. It was not unusual for upmarket sex workers to have likenesses painted of themselves, so they could advertise their availability.
Great art challenges us, it surprises and delights us.
And so we cherish stories that can create something unexpected in our minds. The best feel like they’re introducing us to newcomers, each with their own secrets and hidden depths.
But how do you create new characters? Where do these make-believe individuals spring from?
A while back, I posted a story entitled Cosmopolitan, at the heart of which was an erotic roleplaying weekend. Later, I decided to ask you, my readers, a provocative question:
If you attended a roleplaying weekend, what character would you choose to play?
The schoolgirl fantasy is one of the most popular amongst spanking aficionados, but I wanted respondents to be more specific. What kind of schoolgirl would they play? Would they choose a naughty character or an angelic one? Would they seek to dominate others or hide in the shadows?
In short, what were the archetypal characters? And how to go about choosing them?
I decided to use two belief spectra, attitudes that vary between individuals. The first will be familiar to those of a kinky disposition: Dominance and Submission. Put crudely, dominant individuals enjoy exerting their power, whilst submissive individuals enjoy following rules and having their boundaries challenged.
The second spectrum was Order and Chaos: where believers in order would respect and uphold social conventions and the expected rules of behaviour, whilst those who advocated chaos would get a thrill from acts of mischief, outrage and subversion.
This application of personality types is actually a useful tip for writers. In my stories I often plot different beliefs, traits and their opposites to help generate contrasting and varied characters. Putting the combinations together, we get 4 different categories, as shown in the quadrants below:
I subsequently refined each of these categories further, to create two or three characters for each, (I could easily have imagined more). This stage involved interpreting what each grouping actually represented. For instance, who might a seducer actually be? It might be a young woman who was attracted to her classmates, or boys, or even older authority figures.
Now we have a whole cast of different characters. Let’s meet them, shall we?
The Seducers are dominant, self-confident individuals who enjoy disrupting social conventions.
One of these, The Siren, was to prove the most popular choice, with over a quarter of all votes cast. It seems many readers identify with the sassy, precocious nymphet. Perhaps this is not surprising, after all, who wouldn’t want to don a mask that bestowed allure and limitless sexual confidence? Especially one that stopped you caring about what others thought of your sexual self.
A similar character, The Seductress, also proved very popular. Unlike the Siren, her erotic interest is in her peers rather than authority figures. If you were so inclined, I imagine one could make quite a lot of intimate acquaintances during a long roleplaying weekend.
This group represents those who want to wilfully break the rules and have fun, the mavericks many secretly wish they could be.
The Minx proved a popular choice for many. For her, being at school is opportunity to play pranks and get up to mischief. She knows getting caught means a sore bottom, but she secretly quite likes having her panties pulled down, so it’s a price she’s happy to pay.
A subtly different character is The Thief, agile and quick-witted, her chaos is more considered: she loves to plan and pull off daring heists. It’s even better if she can pin the blame on some poor innocent victim, and watch their bottom being warmed instead of hers.
The third kind of trouble-maker is The Provocateur. She loves everything about spankings, and relishes getting herself and others into trouble. It’s even better when her mischief results in everyone having their bottom whacked.
This category comprises discreet individuals those who aren’t quite bold enough to seduce or subvert.
Many readers identified with the Wallflower, whose preference is to sit back and watch the punishments of others. What if you could do that in real-life rather than vicariously through the internet? Many of you would like to watch it seems.
Another character who likes to observe is the Teacher’s Pet, but her observations are motivated more by a sense of duty, a desire to curry favour with those in authority, and see that good order is maintained. Many said they’d like to be Teacher’s eyes and ears, perhaps because you were always such good little girls at school, or maybe because the reward for telling tales is getting to witness the naughty getting their bottoms smacked.
I used Royalty to refer to two kinds of dominant individuals, those at the top of the social tree, who expect to be respected.
One of these is the Princess, who likes to use her femininity and grace to get away with some rather bratty behaviour. A Princess considers herself above spankings, but she may well find during a weekend away that she finally gets her long overdue lesson in humility, one delivered with her skirt up and panties down.
The Domina is a quite different individual. She uses her authority more proactively, to ensure the obedience of others. Around her, others do what they’re told, often erotic, humiliating things, all for her personal satisfaction. Perhaps reflecting that more readers of this blog have a submissive rather than dominant preference, only 4% of respondents said they’d play a domme.
Hopefully these examples have demonstrated that the next time you’re writing (or roleplaying) a teacher-student scene, your characters can be much subtler than just the clichéd ‘naughty’ schoolgirl. Think of their personalities, elaborate their motivations, and your stories (and playtimes) will be much richer experiences.
Finally, back to the original question. With these nine characters as the choices, I asked my readers which they’d choose if they could go away on a roleplaying weekend. More than 120 replied, and here are the results…
So, if you did go away and become a schoolgirl for a weekend, what might you expect? Applying the results to a representative classroom of 20 ladies, you’d enter an atmosphere of smouldering sexual tension, with 5 sirens and 3 seductresses. There would also be considerable mischief in the air, with 4 minxes, a thief and a provocateur lurking, each just waiting for the right opportunity to sow chaos and suspicion.
Not everyone is intent on causing trouble though, sitting quietly at the back of the class will be 3 wallflowers, and at the front, someone who wants to be the Teacher’s Pet. There’d also be a single princess, already considering herself to be the top girl of the class, and a domina, who knows she’s top girl. You could have a lot of fun being the only domme in a dormitory of submissive and adventurous girls.
And all this might leave you with one more question… how come no-one runs weekends like this?