Archive for retour reviews

All Apologies

As a pornography scholar, it seemed only natural that I would be drawn to erotic works on the topic as I explored BDSM. Sadly, the tales I was picking up left much to be desired.

Though, sometimes, like right now, her beauty startles me. It makes it difficult for me to jump into a scene, to lay into her right away. Pain is what she wants, and what she’ll get. But sometimes the innocence of her naked body gives me pause. It makes me want to climb right on the bed next to her and press my lips to her ear, whispering, “Why do you need it so rough? Why do you need so much darkness?”

But then I look into my own black heart and I try, unsuccessfully, to answer those same questions. And all I ever come up with is: because. I need to inflict pain because it is how I show love. I need it rough because it’s the only way I can feel anything. I need darkness because I am afraid of the light.

From “Beg Me” by A. Tyler

What a bore.

I have yet to find a book that talks about submission the way I feel it. The classic, Story of O never gives a proper description about why O is so ready to submit to the torment of her lover and others at Roissy. And every story since that one has failed largely to address what goes on in a submissive’s heart.

Darkness? Give me a break. You’d think someone who spent as much time thinking and writing about the erotic as Alison Tyler could step out of the socially-imposed notion of BDSM as a “dark” and “dangerous” passion and create a compelling tale of surrender.

Submission is a release, a lightness of being, a transformation, a beautiful, powerful still and pain is the catalyst.

Silly rabbits, don’t you see? Release dispels the darkness.

This particular collection of stories, from which I plucked “Beg Me” to pick on, though I could have easily chosen any other from the looks of things, is lacking force from the beginning. Even the introduction, by seasoned erotica author N. T. Morley, is apologetic at best:

The men in MASTER are not macho stereotypes or muscle-bound action heroes; rather, they are men who have learned that their pleasure comes from giving submissive women what they most desire… In the bedroom, when a woman has whispered her darkest secrets into his ear… when she has admitted to him her most taboo desires and, in so doing, given him the most profound gift a woman can give a man–when she has asked him to become the bastard she so desperately wants him to be–he becomes a kind of god… Whether he’s Daddy, Master, Lord, Sir, or any number of expletives a willingly bound woman may wish to heap upon him as he savages her, he has become more than a man.

These men give women what women desire. These men are given the gift of power by the women. He is the bastard she wants him to be.

There is no denying that this kind of relationship is not a one-sided affair. A God must have His servants, a Saint, His penitents. But these so-called masters are lacking something fundamental in their engagements: they don’t own their women.

A Master must.

This is a civil society; naturally, consent allows the relationship to occur at all. But once it begins, consent becomes irrelevant. It is replaced by the unified Goal of serving Master to the best of a slave’s ability–and beyond, by the grace of His cane, whip, paddle, or cock.