Lehigh Valley Live
By day, Kathy Kulig is a photo technologist who looks for cancer under a microscope.
At night, she’s an author. But not just any author.
Her characters fly to another planet to engage in a ménage a trois with a shape-shifting dragon. In "Emerald Dungeon," erotic escapades take place in the nether regions of an Irish castle.
For the past nine years, this Easton woman has written erotic fiction about the BDSM lifestyle -- bondage, discipline and sado-masochism.
Her career and the careers of other erotic authors have gotten a boost from the success of E.L. James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
The three-part series has brought erotic fiction into the mainstream, Kulig said. James’ series of Grey books sold 70 million copies worldwide and the first installment is being made into a feature film.
“A lot of authors have to thank her for opening up this genre to a lot of people who didn’t know this was out there,” Kulig said.
Kulig’s latest e-book, “Summer Sins,” came out Nov. 15 through publisher Ellora’s Cave.
About the research
For Kulig, the lifestyle is about sensuality and getting out of your comfort zone.
“It’s just a deeper level of the emotional connection between the characters,” she said. “It’s much more intensified than your traditional romance.”
She wrote sensual poetry and romance stories before BDSM fiction piqued her interest.
“I was really tempted to write it but I wanted to do some hard-core research to get it right,” she said.
Her interest in the lifestyle is more as a voyeur than a participant. She doesn’t actively engage in BDSM practices, although she admits she has dabbled to better understand her subject matter.
“Let’s just put it that we have experimented,” said her husband, Joe Kulig. “It’s all part of the research.”
She regularly attends conferences for BDSM writers. In the name of research, she joined other writers during a conference last summer to visit Paddles, a BDSM club in New York City. Nudity is permitted in the club but intercourse and alcohol aren’t.
She was worried she and the writers would be seen as outsiders invading the BDSM inner sanctum, but that didn’t happen.
“They wanted to ask us questions,” she said. “Everybody was very warm and very open to talk.”
Confidentiality is important at Paddles. She discovered this for herself while watching a dungeon master wrap a submissive woman in sheets of blue cellophane and then hanging her from the ceiling. Kulig was tapped on the shoulder by someone wearing what looked like a fluorescent crossing guard vest.
She wondered what she had done wrong, but realized the crossing guard was warning her that a photo was about to be snapped and her image was reflected in a mirror. If she wanted to protect her identity, she needed to move. ...