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For this month’s erotica review, I thought I’d look at submission on the guys’ side, with the women in the driver’s seat.  Dominatrix, Domme, or Femdom as it’s called.  I read four shorts (one was a compilation of stories) and have to say that although intriguing, I didn’t particularly find it a huge turn on.  Because of this, I’m not using my usual star system.  I can still appreciate good erotica, even when it’s not my kink, so here is my take on these selections:

The ABCs of Erotica – D is for Domination – by Malia Mallory

This erotic short starts right in the middle of a sexual scene between Mistress Ven and her unnamed male submissive.  The scene is nicely done, complex with quite a lot of toy usage.  Moderate punishment, clamps and other devices, delayed release, are just a few of the elements.  Mistress Ven distances herself from her submissive, only allowing him some slight glimpses of her cleavage, and rarely touching him, this makes the few touches she does give very meaningful.  They are clearly very experienced and comfortable with each other.  Mistress Ven comes across as attentive, and kind, which is not easily done in a story with this level of distance.  The reader clearly sees the appeal for the male submissive, and his absolute devotion to Mistress Ven.  Very sexy, and well written.

Rebecca’s Way – by Rynna Cress

Rebecca has just about had it with screenwriter Mackenzie Bell.  He’s a brilliant writer, but he’s also a drunken playboy, and a boorish jerk.  She’s avoided his advances since the first time she met him, but when he shows up drunk at her door late on Friday night, she decides to let him have a chance to experience the ‘real’ her.  Discipline and structure are exactly what Mackenzie needs to finally get control of his life, but he didn’t realize that the solution would be found by becoming Rebecca’s submissive slave.  This story includes moderate punishment, pegging, delayed release, and some very interesting remote toy usage. (Yes, there’s an ap for that.) Rebecca is a hands-on domme.  Early on, she allows Mackenzie to touch her, massaging her feet and taking some initiative in that exchange.  She also allows him to see her naked, and ‘taking care of business.’ More than just a sexy scene, this story includes the emotional elements that follow a domme/sub relationship outside the bedroom.  A good choice for a reader unsure about the appeal of this type of erotic fantasy.

His Deep Submission – A Loving Couple Explores BDSM and Female Domination – by Kim Acton

Mike and Vicki’s marriage has grown stale, and she’s thinking of divorce when a friend suggest she try to save the relationship by spicing things up in the bedroom.  Looking for ideas that might appeal to her husband, Vicki checks out his favorite internet porn and is surprised to see every last bit of it has a theme of female domination.  She discusses it with Mike and they agree to explore his fantasies.  Vicki does her research, chats online and in person with a local, experienced domme, and is a bit surprised to find how much she enjoys being in control.  I like how the couple discusses the logistics around when and where, and how far her domination will go in their day to day lives.  I also like how Vicki checks in with Mike to make sure she isn’t going too far, or not going far enough!  I do want to let readers know that Mike is into pain, and a few chapters show some intense punishment and humiliation.  Mike assures Vicki that he really wants things to go this far, and it takes a truly dominant woman to be able to give a man what he needs at this level.  The writing is somewhat flat, dry and stiff (no pun intended), but the set up and details are good.  Not a story for everyone, but for those looking for something beyond light BDSM with a female in control, this might appeal.

Manhandling: Fifteen Tales of Full Time Femdom – by M J Rennie

I went back and forth about reviewing this one because I honestly didn’t like it and I’ve gotten skittish about potential backlash on negative reviews.  I took the time to read it though, so here goes:  As the title states, this book has fifteen short stories, all featuring a variety of relationships with females in the lead.  I did like that there were different scenarios and levels of BDSM in the tales, although several of them seemed to be merely F/F erotica without any element of domination that I could perceive.  One story was so light in control, with no bondage or punishment of even a sexual nature, that I honestly wouldn’t consider the woman a domme.  Some women are harsh disciplinarians, others direct their partners with gentle care.  One woman refuses to give her man oral sex, feeling it is demeaning, another uses it as a frequent reward.  It’s a whole ice cream shop full of flavors, everything but vanilla. My big complaint on this book was the writing style.  It was very flat, more suitable to a newspaper than erotic fiction.  Very sparse on the imagery – lots of ‘telling’ and almost no ‘showing’.  That meant, for me, the stories had about has much erotic appeal as an anatomy textbook.  Several stories also featured characters that were downright unlikable.  In one tale, a first and second lady are exploring their attraction to each other while dissing their husbands and shallowly sniping at human affairs programs.  Maybe this was meant to be a thinly veiled political commentary, but it wasn’t erotic in the least.  Some interesting plot ideas, but it fell far short of its potential due to lackluster writing.

One thing that really surprised me while reading femdom erotica was the deep level of submission and punishment emphasized in almost all the stories.  In erotica featuring women’s submission, there is a huge selection of ‘light’ BDSM, where the woman gives up control and is subjected to restraint, and very light, sexualized (almost teasing) punishment.  I couldn’t find that in the male submission equivalent, and personally that’s what I’d find sexy.  Assuming control of the details, restraining a partner, threatening (in a fun, teasing sort of way) to smack him with a rolled up newspaper because he didn’t clean up his breakfast dishes is HOT, but I just can’t get into the fantasy of male chastity devices,  extended denied release, and punishment that requires a week long recovery.  But hey, Deb don’t judge.  So go ahead and grab that bullwhip if that’s what floats your boat and make an awesome night of it.

Comments(2)

  1. Ms. Dunbar:
    Periodically, I search the web to see if any of my books have been reviewed or commented upon. Yesterday I came across your review of my story collection MANHANDLING and was intrigued.
    The negative review you wrote was less dismaying than you might imagine. You at least tried to be fair, which is a signal accomplishment in the present literary environment, where over-the-top invective passes for discernment. With the bullhorn of the internet so handy for so many, it’s probably safe to say that this will not go down as the Age of Understatement.
    Your chief objection appears to be a stylistic one. I will admit to preferring a certain economy of language that does set my stories apart from the oftentimes florid prose that mars the efforts of others, male and female alike. Nor am I much for the agonized emotional indecision and sexual insecurity that spoils (in my opinion) the readability of many distaff authors in particular. The adventures of Ms. Anastasia Steele, for example, could have been condensed by me into a single slim volume.
    As a matter of fact, my first novel PERMISSION was am Anastasia-type story, though with the roles reversed. It was published by the now-defunct Masquerade imprint in 1999, and didn’t quite reach 30,000 words.
    Another area where I’ve received flak has been with Femdom stories that strike a social or political chord. I’ve been roundly blistered for being disrespectful to the U. S. presidency in my story AFTER THE PHOTO SHOOT.
    That story, if it’s about anything, concerns men who would never expose their precious hides to peril, yet have no problems being brave with other people’s lives. Who better to comment on their weakness and cowardice than their own spouses? The ingredient of sex was added to leaven the dough of conversation.
    Maybe it’s my background that is to blame for the dissonance I’ve frequently encountered. I’ve been at this for a while. The first pieces I wrote appeared in those pocket-sized pulp magazines that men used to buy as jerk off material until the late 1990s. The sex had to begin muy pronto or else you got a rejection instead of a tiny check. And any sure fire story had to include plenty of throbbing, pulsing, and spurting into hot, moist cavities of various sorts.
    Most male readers, it seems, are as interested in what’s under the hood as much as they are in the exterior lines and the suppleness of the upholstery.
    Alas, nowadays, few young men read for pleasure. They play video games instead. A butterfly-aproned priss like E L James has 20 million (overwhelmingly female) readers. By contrast, I have about 5,000 (overwhelmingly male) readers who buy pretty much anything I write. It is upon this small yet deeply perverted masculine following that I lavish my hard-won literary skills.
    Thank you for your time and attention.
    M. J. Rennie

    1. Thanks for your comment! I’m sorry that I didn’t enjoy the book. Best of luck to you in this and your other novels.

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