• Books

    1402906187
    Mox Ruby [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Colonel
    • Posts: 42
    • Joined: 22 Apr 2014

    This is going to be a pretty long one, sorry. I've been reading some novels lately and a few things have been on my mind.

    A trusted recommendation led me to start reading Joey Hill's Naughty Bits series. It was supposed to portray a BDSM relationship in a realistic manner, as opposed to FSOG, Crossfire, or various other series. I like the premise, but I'm having some issues with it. The main character's sister dies and leaves her sex and lingerie shop to her. The thing is, she also 'gives' (her words) her sister to the guy next door, who happens to be a local dom. Who has a secret wood shop full of St. Andrew's Crosses and cages. And who has decided that the main character should try being his sub. From the first time they talk, he's already telling her about being a dom and how his employee is a sub that he's training, inviting her to come to a training session. He doesn't know this woman except through what her sister has told him, never met her before because she lived and worked a good eight hours away, until she uprooted herself to take care of her late sister's store. Madison, the main character, is interested in BDSM, but it seems like the decision to actually take the plunge and work on realizing her fantasy has been taken out of her hands and given to someone else, *by* someone else. Not only does this seem unrealistic, it seems dangerous. Logan, the male 'hero', really knows nothing about Madison besides what's told to him by someone else. One very positive thing bout this series, and I do see it, is that they spend a huge amount of time on communication, something that other more fantasy-oriented series just ignore. But rather than the sub having the power, it seems to be tipped in favor of the dom, who is only ever a dom.

    I have been interested in bondage and in reading about it, as I find it pretty sexy. OH is willing but doesn't have the same level of interest that I do, so reading is my way of indulging.

    But here's what bothers me: 99% of the books I've seen that feature couples, no matter their orientation, have a very strict idea of D/s and one person fits one role, all the time. The ones that feature hetero couples have an alpha (or 'alphole', a term I quite like, for an alpha guy who is also an asshole) male and a submissive woman who doesn't even always know what she's doing or what she wants. The woman is usually vulnerable and not often actively interested in exploring BDSM- it's usually coincidental to something else or just based on her SUPERLUST at first sight. Lust which leads her to completely abandon her personality or allow herself to be 'owned' because she's told she is a sub- I'm particularly calling out FSOG here.

    Are there *any* books out there that DON'T have a professional dom and have two people who are actually on equal footing switching up the power dynamic without designating one D/s? I don't want to read about some alpha male (alphas are a HUGE turn-off for me) dominating a shrinking violet because he decides he wants it and she goes along with it. I also don't find the 'you want that, don't you?' or 'you've been a bad girl, haven't you?' kind of talk at all sexy. Communication is sexy- 'what do you want' or 'do you want me to ____', even 'what if I _____, would you like that?' all have a much, much better ring to them. And I'm not judging D/s relationships- I'm just saying the strict power dynamic is not for me. I am not turned on by a woman calling a man 'Master,' I am actively turned off. Vice versa is also true- femdom literature is not for me.

    Like I said, I'm curious about bondage and possibly even pain but just because I might want to submit now and then, that does not make me a submissive. And this is an attitude that I've never really seen in any kind of erotica- everyone is immediately pigeonholed. I just can't get into the head of a woman who falls so easily into that role, not in a piece of fiction, and never asks questions or communicates because the alpha man is so overbearing. What would truly make me weak in the knees to read would be a couple who love and trust each other, having been together for a long time, deciding to try something new and playing with sensory deprivation, pain, bondage- without making it into a lifestyle that colors all of their actions outside sex. Like I said, more power to people who are into that, but I'm not- a full-on D/s relationship is not my kink, and I don't particularly enjoy reading about kinks that aren't mine. I've found one series of novellas that's pretty good- Seductive Nights by Lauren Blakely, which has 'equal-opportunity bondage' in it, and which I found immensely sexy. There is absolutely no fear in this relationship, not a hint of anything unhealthy, not imbalance, just two people enjoying experimenting and then switching roles.

    Consider this a springing-off point for discussion as well as asking for book recs. Sorry that was so long! I think, since I'm not into the full spectrum of BDSM, that I have certain presumptions that are probably wrong, but I still get annoyed by things that seem unrealistic in books, even if those books are meant to be a fantasy. The best fantasies are the ones you can imagine yourself in, and if the character reacts in a way you would, that's what makes it so enthralling.

    1402931607
    Frankie21 [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Brigadier
    • Posts: 67
    • Joined: 24 Apr 2014

    I too struggle to find erotic literature that reflects my own desires.

    I don't particularly enjoy things that don't feature at least some degree of a loving relationship between the participants so the idea of reading about a dom with a plethora of submissives is less than exciting.

    I've reviewed the short story collection Yes, sir here on lovehoney - find it here

    http://www.lovehoney.co.uk/product.cfm?p=18556

    I found this book really useful - it helps to crystallise your own interests, to discover exactly what works for you and what doesn't, as there are a wide variety of stories, moods and scenarios written by a wide variety of authors. Anything that particulrly appeals could lead to you exploring work by that particular author

    1402934398
    Scorpius12 [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Field Marshall
    • Posts: 6260
    • Joined: 18 Dec 2007

    Hi there, from what you have written here, I think you would enjoy the 'Diary of a Submissive' by Sophie Morgan.

    http://www.lovehoney.co.uk/product.cfm?p=25910

    It is not for the feint hearted, but it is a very good read. I also really enjoyed her follow up novel, 'No Ordinary Love Story', and actually enjoyed it slightly more than the first one, as it was more about mind play, which I really love. The great thing about these books, is that it is real life and Sophie is a very strong independent woman who knows exactly what she wants. You may also enjoy Alison Tyler's books, as they have a similar theme and again are based on real life experiences.

    You may also want to check out LadyS's erotic fiction. She really captures the D/s dynamic and I really love her writing. You will find her blog site here :) xx

    http://www.eroticreflections.co.uk

    1402970972
    smoothies. [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Officer Cadet
    • Posts: 8
    • Joined: 18 Jul 2012

    Have you tried looking at Literotica.com?
    There's a huge collection of stories, poems etc which are grouped into different categories and searchable for key words. They range from a few pages to novel size and there is something for everyone.
    This is a great resource, unless you are specifically looking for printed media.
    We are just dipping our toes into a bit of S&M and we are far from full blown Dom and Sub too. Most of our play is mild pain, restraint and mind games.
    The OH is quite a strong women normally, but is starting to find her sexually submissive side.
    Good luck with your quest.

    1402990987
    Mox Ruby [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Colonel
    • Posts: 42
    • Joined: 22 Apr 2014

    Scorpius12 wrote:

    Hi there, from what you have written here, I think you would enjoy the 'Diary of a Submissive' by Sophie Morgan.

    http://www.lovehoney.co.uk/product.cfm?p=25910

    It is not for the feint hearted, but it is a very good read. I also really enjoyed her follow up novel, 'No Ordinary Love Story', and actually enjoyed it slightly more than the first one, as it was more about mind play, which I really love. The great thing about these books, is that it is real life and Sophie is a very strong independent woman who knows exactly what she wants. You may also enjoy Alison Tyler's books, as they have a similar theme and again are based on real life experiences.

    You may also want to check out LadyS's erotic fiction. She really captures the D/s dynamic and I really love her writing. You will find her blog site here :) xx

    http://www.eroticreflections.co.uk

    I will definitely check these out, thanks!

    1403001394
    rose hip [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: General
    • Posts: 1166
    • Joined: 19 Aug 2010

    On the discussion side of things, I think the elements you've commented on are cliches of some genres of romance novels, chick lit and rom com, most of which aren't the healthiest basis for relationships. Not great in any genre, but all the more so in BDSM.

    With those sorts of novels being the entry point into BDSM for so many people, I think it's really important for people who are already involved to do everything they can to get the word out on how to stay safe and to use the books as examples of what NOT to do.

    1403011576
    Mox Ruby [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Colonel
    • Posts: 42
    • Joined: 22 Apr 2014

    rose hip wrote:

    On the discussion side of things, I think the elements you've commented on are cliches of some genres of romance novels, chick lit and rom com, most of which aren't the healthiest basis for relationships. Not great in any genre, but all the more so in BDSM.

    With those sorts of novels being the entry point into BDSM for so many people, I think it's really important for people who are already involved to do everything they can to get the word out on how to stay safe and to use the books as examples of what NOT to do.

    See, I'm not even into BDSM yet besides an interest in bondage (and purely bondage- I don't really like the mind games or it extending to anything outside the bedroom) but I've read enough reviews of both good and bad books from sources I trust to get an idea of what *isn't* good. I think I might even be more interested in deeper power play if it weren't for the bad rep it's gotten from the stuff I've read. There is so much wrong with FSOG (or at least the version of it I'm familiar with, back when it was a fan fiction) that I can't even begin, and since it was so successful, the copycats have turned it into a parade of 'billionaire alpha dominates upper-middle-class white woman'. I don't find dubious consent sexy, and these stories have a ton of cajoling of the 'heroine' into things she isn't sure she wants to do.

    Julia Kent's 'Shopping for a Billionaire' has taken me by surprise. I have been very careful to stay away from billionaire stories, but this one is so funny and so up-to-the-minute with cultural references that it's really charmed me. It even has a sort-of love triangle and I don't even care because the writing is so witty. Shannon is a full-figured character, too, but confident in herself and not at all fetishized. There is an element of superlust to it but once again, it's so funny and quick that I haven't wanted to read too much of it at once. I think things are still going to get fairly steamy, but they haven't really yet, giving a fair amount of time for character development. I originally got this as part of the Sweet Life box set, which is more typical romance fare, not erotica, and fairly hit-or-miss. It also doesn't hurt that I'm a fan of Arrested Development and have cast Lucille Bluth as Shannon's mother in my head.

    Are you familiar with Cracked.com? They were originally a rival to MAD Magazine but have turned into a very funny and surprisingly social-justice-oriented humor site. Their After Hours video series has a discussion about rom-com tropes that are dangerous and inaccurate, and they really hit the nail on the head.

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