Blood Pact Does 'Sexy Succubus BDSM Game' The Right Way

Screenshot: Callie G

I quite enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey, in the way anyone enjoys trashy novels: secretly and shamefully, with the kind of guilty glee you feel when you eat a whole box of chocolates just because they were there. But its depiction of BDSM in a relationship is incredibly flawed.

NSFW warning: Images of nudity and explicit cartoon sexual scenes.

The novels’ sexy billionaire antihero, Christian Grey, has more of the hallmarks of an abusive partner than one who wants to engage in consensual dom/sub dynamics. Most importantly: There’s never any aftercare. Grey swans around his mansion calling his girlfriend/sex toy a dirty little slut and yelling at her; it’s never clear where the role-play ends and the respectful relationship begins. As a fantasy, it’s fine; as an instruction manual for bored housewives, it’s damaging.

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Screenshot: Ana Valens

Ana Valens’ Blood Pact gets it. Blood Pact, a fiercely queer illustrated porn game made in Twine, tells a short story about accidentally summoning a succubus who seeks out trans women to worship her with their bodies and souls. Unlike Fifty Shades, it’s as gentle as it is brutal; it ebbs and flows as the energy and consent change in each scene. This is far from the first time I’ve found queer fiction that depicts realistic BDSM, the kind that shows the caring side as much as it does the kinky whips-and-chains stuff.

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Other queer BDSM games that I’ve written about previously, like Knife Sisters and Hard Coded, were all about aftercare. It’s hardly surprising that marginalized communities seek to care for, and be cared for by, each other, to roleplay at being in safe, consensual versions of control and dominance. Blood Pact, similarly, tries to strike this balance: It gives equal focus to the player-character, Alexa, being forced to choke down cock as it does to the shy cuddles and hair-stroking afterwards. What could be more attractive than someone who wants to tell you what to do, and then reassure you that you’re a good person afterwards? It’s like having a hot therapist you’re allowed to have sex with.

Screenshot: Callie G
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I’ve read people’s experiences of “subspace”—the moment where the submissive party in a BDSM scene enters a “zen-like mental state”—that sound a lot like meditation. The sub’s relinquishing of control allows them to let go of many of their physical cares, even entering a state where they can let go of their body hang-ups, and trust entirely in the dom who desires them.

Subs are oftn people who want to shrug off the chains of society’s pressure upon, and judgement against, their bodies, and Blood Pact is acutely aware of this. Valens weaves between moments of pure sexuality and raw self-doubt with the expertise of one who’s been there before, one who swims in the waters of self-esteem struggles.

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Screenshot: Callie G

“You don’t even know what it means to be desired,” says Felanya, the succubus, to Alexa. “Sure, you’ve been wanted. But you’ve never had another woman crave your flesh with all her might, have you? You’re desperate for more than just a feminine touch.” Alexa is positive about her body; she is empowered. But empowered on the streets does not necessarily mean confident in the sheets.

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“You think I’m beautiful?” Alexa asks, shyly. She undresses, and asks Felanya what she thinks—seeking approval from her partner, seeking value and validity in someone else’s opinion. Felanya’s role is to teach Alexa that she has earned, and deserves, the desire and respect that Felanya so freely gives her.

“Goddess, do you really want me this badly?” Alexa asks, and the answer—the obvious, yet somehow terrifying answer—is yes. Of course it’s yes. But it’s hard to believe that, isn’t it? Hard to believe that your flawed, beautiful body could be desirable; hard to imagine that you, laid naked and bare, could be enough. Blood Pact is more than just a sexy fantasy: it’s a sexy fantasy where you are wanted. You are loved. You are enough.

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About the author

Kate Gray

Kate Gray is a British games writer based in Montreal. She has worked for Xbox, GameSpot, and Official Nintendo Magazine, before it went to that big newsagents in the sky. RIP.