Anyway, with rather extensive cleanup duties on tap, (and I'm not talking about the tyoe of duties that Tammy over at All Mine is required to perform) it was very fortunate for me that Donna stepped to the plate once again with some probing commentary....
So, this morning I was reading erotica. It’s what I do. After early retirement, I became bored and started looking around to see what I might do in service to mankind. Basic requirements were that it needed to be something I could do from home, something I would enjoy and something that would keep my brain cells firing.
I carefully considered my favorite hobbies. They include sex, BDSM, making love in the great outdoors, playing with sex toys, and encouraging people (and politicians) to be less judgmental about the sexual preferences of others. I quickly ruled out the only job that came to mind associated with my hobbies primarily because it’s illegal in the state where I live and because I only have three sets of sheets for my bed.
Instead, I ended up working for a company that reviews books. While the company reviews books of all genres, they were specifically in need of someone willing to read and review the rapidly growing market of erotica, BDSM, and gay and lesbian fiction. Talk about right up my alley! In exchange for summarizing and giving my opinion about books and writing styles, I receive copies of books, some hardbacks, some paperbacks but mostly e-books. For those of you who don’t think receiving books is true payment, either you aren’t a bibliophile or you haven’t checked out the price of books lately.
Some of my reviews have led to terrific personal friendships. The first that comes to mind is Master R from La Domaine in New York. His book is entitled Master: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Master R. I was blown away by this factual and historically relevant recounting of the experiences of Master R’s life in the world of S&M and how he came to run the world’s oldest training chateau for Masters, Mistresses and slaves. Mistress Collette, Master’s partner, is an amazing Dominatrix and is about to be featured in a documentary.
The book is available through their website: http://www.ladomaine.com/. It is definitely a not Safe for Work site. At La Domaine, not only do they offer training classes for Masters, Mistresses and all permutation of BDSM folks, they also do couples training, assisting with communication, timing, precision and all the lovely and naughty things that keep our lives so exciting. And, yes, they have been instrumental in assisting my Dom and me when we hit a wall. I can’t imagine not having read that book, not having become friends with Master R and Mistress Collette.
I have also met many authors who are part of the BDSM world in their private lives and have taken that personal experience and used it as the backdrop or foreground for their fiction. A couple of the greats in my opinion are Claire Thompson and Annabel Joseph. Both offer well written, hard hitting and thought provoking novels about the BDSM world and the variety of people and situations that make it interesting, wonderful and also dangerous.
In the world of m/m sex coupled with BDSM, The Deviations Series by Jodi Payne and Chris Owen is a mainstay for me. Two more of my favorite authors in that genre are Sean Michael and Kim Dare. Sean writes everything from short stories to series and from humor to tragedy. While I have some favorites, I have never read a Sean Michael story I didn’t enjoy. His books are deeply rooted in the physical and emotional relationships between and among gay men who simply want to be free to love who they love and lead their lives without judgment or fear. Kim Dare is a young writer from Wales who writes primarily shorter m/m BDSM fiction. Kim’s stories and series often show the convoluted paths we walk in finding and accepting fully those we love.
You may wonder about the importance I place on all this, and I would say that I think our species, when not mired down in judgment, name calling and/or religious ridiculousness, has sexuality as a primary need. It isn’t just a want, not a ‘wouldn't it be nice’ sort of thing, but a need. To try to deny or demonize an activity or a group of people for attempting to fulfill that need is, to me, cruel and inhumane. As long as the sex is among those over 18, willing and able to realize and offer full consent for what is happening and as long as all parties respect a word or gesture that has the power to bring everything to a stop, the manner of expression is private. That doesn’t mean I, personally, want to experience all of it, it means that you have the right to experience what you want without my interference.
The books I review aren’t on par with Ulysses or Moby Dick, although there certainly are a number of references to dicks. These are books and stories written for personal enjoyment. Those who buy and read them come in all ages, sexes, and sexual orientations and I think that’s a great thing. For many people, the first step toward accepting new ideas or differences in others is to read or view things in a non-threatening environment.
I absolutely love it when Bill reads sexy stories aloud to me. I melt when he drops into his Dom voice while reading, and we have started many wonderful times together with reading. On one occasion it became important for another reason. I am claustrophobic so MRIs are very, very difficult for me. During one very long series of MRIs, Bill arranged ahead of time to be permitted to stay in the room with me as much as possible. Unbeknownst to me, he had brought a favorite sexy book of mine and after the technician went into the control area Bill began reading it to me in quite a loud voice so that I could hear him over the distance he was required to keep as well as over the noises of the machine. It was less what he read than the sound of his voice that kept me calm. As we were leaving the technician gave us the usual follow-up information and then quietly asked whether he could have the name of that book; he thought his wife might like it. Ah, the power of love and the power of books!