Episode 066: Scary Stories to Tingle Your Butt

Episode the sixty-sixth; wherein the Pageist learns about all the things she’s not interested in, becomes increasingly weary over censorship and catches up on a few weeks of announcements. The book reviewed is Scary Stories to Tingle Your Butt: 7 Tales of Gay Terror by Chuck Tingle.

.44 Intro and Announcements:

  • Thank you to everyone who’s reached out and asked after Walter’s health! It means a lot and we both thank you.
  • Thank you so much to JT, for our first PayPal donation! It brightened my month, let me tell you.
  • Big thank yous to my Patreon supporters and welcome to the newest supporter.
  • The show how now been heard in Zimbabwe.
  • One survey response–thank you! You can take the survey here (it’s anonymous and makes my day).
  • Someone rated the show on iTunes!! WOW! Thank you!
  • The show will be in the next update of the SwingsetFM Podcast Network app for Android (available through GooglePlay)

5.53 My Submissive Life:

16.21 Book Review:

(source)

  • This episode’s book is Scary Stories to Tingle Your Butt: 7 Tales of Gay Terror by Chuck Tingle. It’s… something else. In a genre of its own. A mix of comedy, meta-fiction, erotica, all in a universe where unicorns, dinosaurs and Bigfeet (that’s the plural of Bigfoot) live amongst the rest of us. Oh yeah, there are also sentient buses. Like, the ones you ride around. Anything can happen. Anything. States can stalk people. The state of California, for example. And it makes sense in the context of the story.
  • Hilarious, utterly unique, filthy, with the occasional cutting social commentary, no one else writes like Chuck Tingle.
  • And the dialogue! Everything about it is singular.

29.08 Closing Remarks:

Episode 063: Witches, Princesses and Women at Arms

Episode the sixty-third; wherein the Pageist has an update about Walter’s diagnosis, announces a new way to support the show, and laments why we can’t have nice things. The book reviewed is Witches, Princesses, and Women at Arms edited by Sacchi Green.

.45 Intro and Announcements:

  • Thank you to all of my patrons for making the show possible and welcome to the newest patron, Alice!
  • Two new Facebook follows: howdy doo to Becca and Tawnya.
  • The newest country to hear the show is Angola.
  • Several responses to the survey, with some useful comments. Thank you!
  • Walter’s brain tumour is playing silly buggers and I don’t know how it will effect the schedule for the rest of the month.
  • The show and site finally has PayPal capabilities!!

8.32 My Submissive Life:

  • Everything is disappointing and it’s disappointing. How hard is it to not be a kink-shaming, homophobic, racist, transphobic, etc jerk?
  • Apparently, very, very hard.
  • Nie on impossible.
  • Ugh.

13.31 Book Review:

(source)

  • This episode’s book is Witches, Princesses, and Women at Arms: Erotic Lesbian Fairy Tales edited by Sacchi Green and published by Cleis Press.
  • The book is a collection of thirteen stories–some retellings of classic tales, some new stories with an aura of fantasy–with a feminine slant. The titular roles are represented most frequently, but there are also trolls and dryads and even a particular Wicked Stepmother we all know and (possibly) love.
  • If you’re looking for a more pansexual, kinky version of fairy tales, I highly recommend Leather Ever After. The text of the book review is here.
  • The Red Light Library: A sex-positive podcast for reviewing the best/weirdest/worst erotica up for sale. We celebrate kink and shame manipulative hack writers every Wednesday. Their Patreon. Their Twitter.
  • The Sexy Section is from ‘Trollwise’ by Sacchi Green.

22.36 Closing Remarks:

  • Thank you for tuning in!
  • In the next episode I’ll be interviewing show favourite AliceinBondageland about chastity.
  • Support the show and site on Patreon!
  • Like The Pageist on Facebook, follow on Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads, Quora, Medium, and Instagram and join the Fetlife group.
  • You can also subscribe to the website through the email form in the sidebar.
  • Subscribe to the iTunes feed here. You can also rate the show in iTunes, which would be much appreciated!
  • The libsyn feed is here and can be used in your favourite podcast feed reader.
  • All episodes can be heard in an embedded player on this page.

Episode 61: Sweet and Rough

Episode the sixty-first; wherein the Pageist marvels at the wonders of hormones and 3D model clitorises. The book reviewed is Sweet and Rough: Queer Smut by Sinclair Sexsmith.

.44 Intro and Announcements:

  • Thank you to all of my patrons–you make the show happen! Mwah!
  • Big, huge hugs to the newest supporter, Dedria!
  • Two new Facebook likes, from Kitty and E, welcome to the group!
  • The show is now in Bahrain, Belarus and Ecuador.
  • Someone took the survey and had very kind things to say–if you’d like to fill in the survey, the link is here.
  • If you haven’t checked out the BDSM community The Cage–it’s growing. Give it a look.

4.09 My Submissive Life:

  • My 3D model of a clitoris from Lumberjill a.k.a. Shoulda Wooda arrived and I love it! Check out the Etsy shop here. See more of his work on his Instagram. Below are photos of mine.

A post shared by Paige La Marchand (@thepageist) on

  • For an incredibly informative slide show on how genitals are formed in the womb click this link. Thank you to Sinclair Sexsmith for that link!

9.48 Book Review:

  • (source)

    This episode’s book is Sweet and Rough: Queer Smut by Sinclair Sexsmith, which is a collection of short, very sexy, very well-written pieces of erotic fiction featuring butch/femme relations and packing scenarios.

  • ‘Packing’ is when a female-bodied person wears a dildo–either soft or hard–in a harness as they go about their day. This collection explores gender and celebrates the female form.
  • Sinclair did a bonus interview for my Patreon subscribers about packing–what it is, why people are into it and so forth. It’s available here.
  • Sinclair’s Patreon is here. Their blog is sugarbutch.net and has some great writing. Fiction and non-fiction.
  • You can get the book from here. Or by supporting Sinclair’s Patreon.

16.35 Sexy Section:

  • The section this episode is about a strap on blow job. It’s the short, short piece from this week’s book ‘Her Mouth on My Cock’.

19.45 Closing Remarks:

  • Thank you for tuning in!
  • In the next episode I’ll be interviewing the author of today’s book, Sinclair Sexsmith!
  • Support the show and site on Patreon!
  • Like The Pageist on Facebook, follow on Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads, Quora, Medium, and Instagram and join the Fetlife group.
  • You can also subscribe to the website through the email form in the sidebar.
  • Subscribe to the iTunes feed here. You can also rate the show in iTunes, which would be much appreciated!
  • The libsyn feed is here and can be used in your favourite podcast feed reader.
  • All episodes can be heard in an embedded player on this page.

Bonjour Tristesse and A Certain Smile by Francoise Sagan

 

This is the text of the book reviews from episode fifty-eight.

This episode’s book reviews are two novels by Francoise Sagan. Bonjour Tristesse and A Certain Smile. The versions I read were both in one edition by Penguin Modern Classics, translated by Heather Lloyd in 2013. These are the unexpurgated versions of the books. Certain passages had been cut when initially issued in the fifties, though reading it now I couldn’t figure out which ones they’d be without the help of the notes in the book. It’s not exactly scandalous.

I’ll start with Bonjour Tristesse. Which means ‘Hello Sadness’ in French. This is the opening paragraph.

This strange new feeling of mine, obsessing me by its sweet languor, is such that I am reluctant to dignify it with the fine, solemn name of ‘sadness’. It is a feeling so self-indulgent and complete in itself that I am almost ashamed of it, whereas I had always looked upon sadness as being a worthy emotion. Before, I did not know what sadness was, though I knew what it was to be languorous, to have regrets and, more rarely, to feel remorse. Today it is as if I am enfolded in some silken thing, soft and enervating, that sets me apart from others.

It’s about a carefree young woman, Cecile, and her equally carefree widower father, Raymond. They’re spending the summer on the Riviera with her father’s girlfriend-ish sort of person, Elsa, and an old friend arrives. Anne. Anne is the Dominant who would straighten out their lives if they’d let her. Neither of them are very responsible human beings.

This is how the narrator protagonist describes her very early on:

Anne was a fine person. To my mind there was nothing mean-spirited about her. She would guide me, she would take responsibility for my life, in every circumstance she would show me which path to follow.

A Dominant by any other name would still run your life.

Then there’s this:

‘My poor little girl,’ Anne’s voice went on quietly. ‘My poor little Cecile. It’s my fault in a way. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been so strict. Do you believe me when I say that I didn’t wish to cause you distress?’

She was gently stroking my hair and the back of my neck. I didn’t move. I had the same impression as I did when, on the beach, the sand disappeared from beneath my feet, sucked away by a receding wave. A longing for defeat and gentleness had overcome me and no other feeling, not anger, not desire, had ever swept me up as this one did. I wanted to abandon the play-acting, to entrust my life to her, to put myself in her hands for the rest of my days. I had never before experienced such an intense and overwhelming sense of helplessness. I closed my eyes. It seemed to me as if my heart were ceasing to beat.

Cecile is supposed to be studying for exams and she’s only seventeen but spending time with an older boy and that’s only going to get her into trouble with a capital baby.

Of course, as she’s so different from what they’re accustomed to, they’re both attracted to her—she offers a sort of stability and structure that’s foreign and therefore intriguing.

But she’s also, ultimately, radically different from who either the girl or her father is on a fundamental level.

Cecile, the little manipulative minx she is, concocts a plan to break up her father and this woman—though she also still wants her in her life (she’s quite indecisive) by getting the guy she likes, Cyril, to pretend to be romancing Elsa, the woman her father threw over for Anne. Raymond is the sort of man who’ll be wildly jealous and will cheat with Elsa, thereby ruining the prospective marriage with Anne.

It’s very French.

Sagan published this when she was eighteen, which is remarkable for multiple reasons—one of which is the self-awareness. It was originally published in 1954.

This book came up as recommended when I was looking at Georges Bataille books and the blurb said, ‘Funny, immoral and thoroughly French.’ I thought, ‘Check, check and yes, please!’

Both books are amusing in a dry sort of way, and they are very French. ‘Immorality’ is, however, subjective. I kept waiting for the immorality to kick off and… it turned out to be people having extra-marital affairs. Which I suppose was immoral in the mid-50s, but I thought was par for the course in France.

Really, the characters in both novels could have benefited greatly from some ethical non-monogamy workshops, as the woman in the committed couple and the ‘other woman’ always have a sympathetic relationship. I kept hoping they’d get it together and be a happy menage.

It’s like when you’re watching a film from the 80s and think, ‘All of this would be over in five minutes if even one person had a mobile phone. Or the internet.’

On to the second book.

A Certain Smile was published in 1956 when Sagan was twenty. It’s similarly self-aware and angsty. But the first novel’s protagonist was quite flighty and carefree and the second one was more cynical. They seemed to be polar opposites.

The general plot is young woman-has-affair-with-married-man-while-admiring-his-wife. The plot is the affair—from start to end. This time the ‘other woman’ is a university student, Dominique—the author would have been twenty when the novel was published. It’s written from the point of view of the student.

Something the author writes about in A Certain Smile on more than one occasion is what it’s like not being allowed to be yourself—having to perform a version of yourself. Something those of us with low affect can identify with. Here’s an example, she’s talking about going to visit the man she’s having an affair with:

My visit to her depressed me. I went to Luc’s without much enthusiasm and even with some trepidation: I was going to have to chat, be friendly and project an image of myself to them. I would have preferred to have lunch on my own, twirl a jar of mustard round between my fingers, and be vague, vague, completely vague.

It’s interesting that in both books the young, female protagonist greatly admires an older, more sophisticated woman and likes being doted on by that woman, but also does things that makes that woman’s life difficult. Not intentionally—not, ‘I’m going to wreck this woman’s life because I like her,’ but, ‘Boy, I really like so-and-so; she’s great! It’s too bad this other thing I want means I have to make her miserable.’

Stop wrecking these women’s lives over men. Screw the men. They don’t care about you! The women do! The women think you’re great!

Here’s one of the passages from A Certain Smile that was swoon-worthy for me. Francoise is the wife.

Francoise took me into her bedroom to try on one of her coats, which was more stylish than mine. She got me to put on one or two, made me turn round, stood the collars up. At one moment, while doing so, she held my face between the two lapels of the collar and I thought, stifling the same laughter: ‘I’m at her mercy. Perhaps she is going to suffocate me or bite me.’ But she merely smiled.

‘You’re drowning a bit in this.’

‘That’s true,’ I said, not thinking of the coat.

‘I really must see you when you come back.’

‘That’s it,’ I thought. ‘Is she going to ask me to stop seeing Luc? Will I be able to?’ And the answer came to me straight away: ‘No. I couldn’t do it.’

‘Because I’ve decided to take you in hand and dress you suitably and introduce you to things that are more fun than those students and libraries.’

‘Oh, goodness,’ I thought, ‘this is not the moment, it’s not the moment to be saying that to me.’

‘Should I not?’ She went on, in response to my silence. ‘I rather felt I had a daughter in you.’ (She laughed as she said that, but in a kindly way.) ‘If that daughter is going to be rebellious and purely interested in intellectual things…’

‘You are too kind,’ I said, stressing the word ‘too’. ‘I don’t know what to do.’

‘Just let yourself be done to,’ she said, laughing again.

Neither book was what you’d call explicit. As it was recommended for people who enjoyed Georges Bataille I was expecting a sadomasochistic, or as least sexually explicit, good time.

Alas, these are more delicate and poetic, which is nice some times.

Here are two passages from Bonjour Tristesse.

And then began love’s merry dance, where fear goes hand in hand with desire and where, too, there is tenderness and rage and then that brutal hurt giving way to the triumph of pleasure. With Cyril’s gentleness playing its part, I had the good fortune to discover it that day.

 

My body responded to him, became fully itself and blossomed when close to his. I kissed him passionately, I wanted to hurt him, to leave my mark on him so that he would not be able to forget me for one instant that evening and would dream of me that night. For the night would be endless without him, without him close to me, without his lover’s skill, his sudden passion and his long caresses.

I do recommend the edition I read—the Penguin Modern Classics Edition—the particular translation and with both novels, as they compliment one another beautifully and highlight the parallels as well as differences between the protagonists and stories.

If you’d like to really experience the mercurial moods of a teenage girl, these are the books for you—they’re exceedingly well-written—Sagan is far more eloquent than many authors twice her age—but they were an accurate representation of a certain period of my life that I do not miss.

I could also see how reading about a person who doesn’t seem to know her own mind could feel like an experiment in self-torture. So, pick these up accordingly.

I give both books 4/5.

Episode 058: Two Novels by Francoise Sagan

Episode the fifty-eighth; Wherein the Pageist returns from an unplanned break with a revolutionary idea about what to do with all the unsolicited peen going around and remembers that morality is highly subjective. The books reviewed this episode are Bonjour Tristesse and A Certain Smile by Francoise Sagan.

Intro and Announcements:

  • Thank you, everyone for the kind words regarding Walter’s brain tumour. His treatment is going well.
  • Especially thank you to Naiia.
  • Thank you to the Patreon patrons who stuck with me even though I didn’t post anything last month and didn’t get rewards out until the end of the month. You’re all rock stars.
  • Hello and welcome to the show’s newest supporters, ItGoesto11, who also sent one of the loveliest notes, and M and Keith.
  • Huge thank yous to Beau Gest for the Kindle paperwhite and the permission to return it since it was the second one–the return will fund most of a new microphone, which will be enormously helpful. Also in that shipment was a copy of Jay Wiseman’s SM 101, which I’m very much looking forward to.
  • New Facebook likes include Kasia and Eleanor.
  • New countries include Slovenia, Armenia, Uganda and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • There were six survey responses! Oh boy! If you’d like to respond to the survey (it is quick and anonymous), you may do so here.
  • Later this month I’ll be interviewing Mike Merrill, the publicly traded individual. His website is KMikeyM.com.

My Submissive Life:

  • It feels like a million years ago, but it was episode 56 where I talked about Sarah Benincasa.
  • This is her Instagram. This is the photo that kicked off the entire WikiDicks conversation.

Book Reviews:

Bonjour Tristesse and A Certain Smile book cover

(source)

  • This episode’s books are two novels by Francoise Sagan, both of which were in one volume by Penguin Modern Classics. The first is Bonjour Tristesse, which is about a mercurial young woman who plots to break up her widower father from his new relationship, even though she’s quite taken with the woman.
  • The second was A Certain Smile, which follows the affair from start to finish between a young woman and older man, while the younger woman is quite fond of the wife of the man she’s involved with.
  • Both were delicate, well-written, must less explicit than what I usually review on the show, explorations of the inner world of a young woman. The first book was published when the author was eighteen (in 1954), the second when the author was twenty (in 1956). Both are a reminder that what is considered immoral and scandalous at one time hardly raises an eyebrow in another.

Closing Remarks:

  • Thank you for tuning in!
  • In the next episode I’ll be interviewing … someone. A few options are possible.
  • Support the show and site on Patreon!
  • Like The Pageist on Facebook, follow on Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads, Quora, Medium, and Instagram and join the Fetlife group.
  • You can also subscribe to the website through the email form in the sidebar.
  • Subscribe to the iTunes feed here. You can also rate the show in iTunes, which would be much appreciated!
  • The libsyn feed is here and can be used in your favourite podcast feed reader.
  • All episodes can be heard in an embedded player on this page.

Approaching the Swingularity by Cooper S. Beckett

(source)

[This is the text of the book review from episode 54, which includes a reading of one of the steamy scenes.]

This episode’s book review is Approaching the Swingularity: Tales of Swinging and Polyamory in Paradise by Cooper S. Beckett.

I received this book for free and Coop runs swingset.fm, but I auditioned to read the part of Paige in the audio version of this and didn’t get the part. So, fuck this guy. This book is a piece of shit.

I’m kidding. Cooper is the sort of author who would want an honest review anyway and he can take criticism. With that as a preface, I don’t have a great deal of negative to say except, like in A Life Less Monogamous, the first book in the series, everyone appears to be drinking, all the time.

But I’ll get to that in a minute.

I was going to review this on the show long before there was any plan to join the network, because I loved the characters of Paige and Bruce from A Life Less Monogamous, which I reviewed in episode 5.

To recap that book—Ryan and Jennifer are a youngish couple in a lacklustre, monogamous marriage. They meet vibrant, older couple Bruce and Paige and zoom into swinging. And they all drink a whole bunch and almost never seem to get drunk unless they need to be for the plot.

That was one of my quibbles with the last book. I said you shouldn’t read that one if you struggle with alcohol because I don’t usually have a problem saying no and I wanted a drink.

This book takes place some time after that one—not years, but it doesn’t pick up the next day, either—and all four of them have gone off to a swingers’ resort in Mexico, Xanadu X, along with one hundred and eleven other couples.

That’s a lot of genitals to possibly interact with.

That’s also many characters to juggle. Which the author does admirably.

The book is broken down by day—the holiday lasts a week—then, within each day there are chapters, each are told from the point of view of various characters.

Some chapters are by Ryan, Jennifer (who now goes by Jenn), Bruce and Paige, then we have new people, including the person who has run the get away for ten years, Raymond and whose partner has recently left him. He’s not exactly in an orgy-mood, as you can imagine, but has to put on his party face for the benefit of the other attendees. There are chapters by Alejandra and Crista, Xanadu’s first lesbian couple and all I have to say is Coop seriously knows some lesbians, because he’s nailed what lady relationships are like.

Crista also has a reactive libido, rather than proactive, meaning that it’s a special flower that needs careful nurturing. He uses the book to educate on many subjects including things like reactive vs proactive sex drives, but also things pertaining to poly and swinging and has his characters demonstrate safer sex and kink negotiations as well as STI and STD conversations. And the conversations come across as quite natural. It’s obvious this was written by a person who actually does these things.

In terms of ‘doing these things’—people did a lot of things. There were many sexual activities experienced including a gang bang and an orgy and pegging and a lesbian foursome and a standing sixty-nine and… just… so many things.

But the book isn’t just one scene of debauchery after another—each of the characters are going through their own woes because obviously your week-long orgy isn’t going to happen when life is going perfectly, is it? At first I was thinking, ‘Jeez, is anyone’s life going well?’ but then I realised that of course life is going to happen to you when you just want to get your junk out on a Mexican beach.

There are some profound moments and some heart-wrenching ones, as well.

There were a few laugh-out-loud moments, too. Someone gets stung by a jellyfish at one point and a Mr Helpful type comes running up the beach to pee on the poor bastard in a scene that had me cackling… That’s an urban legend, by the way. Don’t pee on someone who’s been stung by a jellyfish. It doesn’t help. No one’s in the mood for watersports just then.

The people narrating the story aren’t the only ones around, either. The author isn’t enough of a masochist to attempt to introduce us to all one hundred seven other couples, but some other people are regular players.

There’s Strom and Kitten—the podcasters—who start out obnoxious and … well. They’re fun.

Then there’s Will and Madison. We’ve all met a Will. He’s that guy you want to shoot into the sun. We’ve also all met a Madison. Where you think, ‘Why, girl? Why him?’

There’s James and Debra—the much older couple who’ve been to every Xanadu since its inception. I loved James and Debra. They appeared to be the only couple who weren’t having some sort of relationship or personal crisis. That reminds me—fuck you, Coop. I know you’re reading this.

Xanadu had its first triad—in the form of a gay guy, bi guy and straight woman—Rory, Terrence and Marley.

And finally, perhaps my favourite character, Lydia. The person Ryan has his first thuper kinky experience with. (It’s the steamy scene I chose to read at the end of the episode.)

There were a few others who appeared by name, but those were the big ones—the ones with plotlines.

As a writer—respect to juggling all of that. I was mentally keeping up with how all of the 500 plotlines were going at any one point and whether they would or would not be resolved and how believable those resolutions would be.
Well-fucking-done, man. I’ve been going over various subplots in the days after finishing it and just wind up being impressed all over again.

Ryan is curious about exploring his bisexuality and his thoughts on this were really well expressed, as were Crista’s experiences as someone with a less-than-naturally-enthusiastic sex drive.

We learn more about Bruce and Paige—who, in the first book—seem to have this whole Swinging Open Poly thing down. We learn no one is perfect and people are just trying to make it work as best they can. And that even people who know swinging or poly is right for them can still have fears and doubts.

We also get to see how the foursome’s relationships have grown and changed in the time between books. It made me happy. That’s all I’m going to say. Dear god, a lot happened in this book. Not until writing this did I realise just how much. It didn’t feel like a Russian novel.

I highlighted lots of bits and pieces, but I really liked this one:

‘when does time ever truly allow for our desires in full? Instead, it keeps us humble, parceling out moments, making them precious.’

Yeah well, time’s a jerk. I desire more time to read and write. So, you know. Who wants to be humble.

Quibbles:

I read the final, pre-editorial draft, so there were more than the usual typos, but because I didn’t read the final draft I’m going to give Coop and his editor the benefit of the doubt—they both probably caught a lot. I’m just covering my bee-hind with this note.

As mentioned before, everyone drinks, all the time. Which may simply reflect the swingers’ resort culture, but, again, if you struggle with that sort of thing—wave off, wave off. I really want an espresso martini, though, and I can’t have either of those things without regretting my entire life.

That’s it. Which is a fairly short list of quibbles.

Overall: The author’s writing improves with each book—this is his best yet. Character, pacing and plot are all on point. This one is sexy, hilarious and full of heart and you might learn a few things, too. You don’t have to start with A Life Less Monogamous, but you might as well, as it’s a good one, as well.

5/5

Episode 054: Approaching the Swingularity

Episode the fifty-fourth; Wherein the Pageist gets another year older, makes her case for why kink is indeed an orientation for some people, explains what nonsexual kink is about and is finally well enough to read the sexy section from the last Antoniou book reviewed a hundred years ago. The book reviewed is Approaching the Swingularity: Tales of Swinging and Polyamory in Paradise by Cooper S. Beckett.

.44 Intro and Announcements:

  • TWO new Patrons! Welcome, welcome to Gray and James and bless your little cotton socks! You can support the show on Patreon by going to patreon.com/thepageist
  • My birthday post, with my wishlist and free ways to support the site and podcast.
  • Very very soon I’ll be firmly ensconced on lifeontheswingset.com. Oh boy!
  • One new Facebook like.

3.13 My Submissive Life:

18.55 Book Review:

(source)

  • This episode’s book is Approaching the Swingularity: Tales of Swinging and Polyamory in Paradise by Cooper S. Beckett.
    It’s the sequel to A Life Less Monogamous, which I reviewed in episode 5, and this picks up the stories of the two main couples in that novel Ryan and Jennifer (now Jenn) and Bruce and Paige, as they go to a Swingers’ resort in Mexico for a week.
    The novel is broken up into the days of the week-long holiday, with each chapter being told from the point of view of a core group of guests. The four mentioned previously and new characters–each dealing with their own relationship or professional struggles.
    A variety of genders, play styles and orientations are presented intelligently and compassionately and the author’s writing ability continues to improve with each book. This one was a sexy, surprising treat.
  • Coop was on the show for an interview in episode 8.
  • I also reviewed the author’s collection of autobiographical essays: My Life on the Swingset: Adventures in Swinging and Polyamory in episode 30.
  • You can follow Coop on Twitter: @CooperSBeckett
  • He’s the host of the podcast Life on the Swingset amongst others, which can be found on his website CooperSBeckett.com.

29.26 Sexy Segment One:

  • From Approaching the Swingularity. There were so many to choose from it was difficult. I opted for a scene involving kink. Because why not.

42.20 Sexy Segment Two:

  • From The Reunion, which I reviewed in episode 47 but was coughing far too much to even attempt to read erotica. This scene was between a character from a previous book and the ubiquitous Chris Parker and Lordy. Just… Lordy. If rough anal does it for you, then here you go.

49.36 Closing Remarks:

  • Thank you for tuning in!
  • In the next episode I’ll be reviewing Small Favors: Definitive Girl Porno Collection by Colleen Coover
  • Support the show and site on Patreon!
  • Like The Pageist on Facebook, follow on Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads, Quora, Medium, and Instagram and join the Fetlife group.
  • You can also subscribe to the website through the email form in the sidebar.
  • Subscribe to the iTunes feed here. You can also rate the show in iTunes, which would be much appreciated!
  • The libsyn feed is here and can be used in your favourite podcast feed reader.
  • All episodes can be heard in an embedded player on this page.

Story of the Eye and L’Abbe C by Georges Bataille

(source)

[This is the text of the book review from episode fifty.] [This text corrects my statement in the podcast that Sartre wrote The Stranger–it was Camus.]

The books being reviewed this week are two by Georges Bataille, who has not one, but two French names I can’t pronounce easily. I picked these up when I met up with Eros a few weeks back and all I knew was that the author was well-respected and the first book today—Story of the Eye—regularly makes must-read lists.

Not knowing what it was about, I flipped the book over and saw the words ‘explicit pornographic fantasy’ and ‘sexual quest involving sadism, torture, orgies, madness and defilement’.

Right. Oh, and look, they have another of his books. Let’s have that then, as well.

I haven’t fallen so profoundly for an author’s words since reading Nabokov for the first time. This was when I had a credit card and no sense of financial self preservation and I went out and bought all of his novels and started reading them in chronological order.

Some writers do things with words that make me want to absorb everything they’ve written.

In Harry Potter there’s this thing called a Pensieve, where memories are rendered into a liquid and another person can immerse their face into another person’s thoughts, basically, and see what they experienced.

Some authors make me want to do that. I want to smoosh my face into the crotch of the book (really called the gutter, but I like crotch) and absorb the words that way. Just let them wash over me.

Luckily, Bataille doesn’t have a large number of books.

Before I get too much more moony-eyed over this guy—there are people who probably shouldn’t read this one. So I’ll do the, ‘You might be traumatised for life’ warning now then tell you about the book. The author gets really graphic about some things so it’s not like he merely mentions something and I think my listeners are delicate flowers.

If you have a horror of eye wounds or things being done to eyes… stay away. There’s a reason the book is called Story of the Eye.

There’s a very graphic… well, everything is graphic… one of the graphic scenes is of a bull-fight. If you’re put off by scenes of rampaging animal cruelty then there’s an entire section you’ll want to skip.

Finally, if you’re offended by sacrilegious acts, then woo boy, there’s a whole scene that’s key to the plot that will send your pulse racing in a bad way.

On the other hand, if you’re into sacrilegious acts—no skipping ahead!

If you’re neither here nor there on those, but you’re into pee play, boy, do I have a recommendation for you. Urine is wildly popular with the two main characters and seems to be an intrinsic and uncontrolled part of their play, much like how the protagonist in The Piano Teacher simply had to urinate whenever she became aroused.

This is the opening of the book:

I grew up very much alone, and as far back as I recall I was frightened of anything sexual. I was nearly sixteen when I met Simone, a girl my own age, at a beach in X. Our families being distantly related, we quickly grew intimate. Three days after our first meeting, Simone and I were aline in her villa. She was wearing a black pinafore with a starched white collar. I began to realize that she shared my anxiety at seeing her, and I felt even more anxious that day because I hoped she would be stark naked under the pinafore.

She had black silk stockings on covering her knees, but I was unable to see as far up as the cunt (this name, which I always used with Simone, is, I think, by far the loveliest of the names for the vagina). It merely sturck me that by slightly lifting the pinafore from behind, I might see her private parts unveiled.

Now in the corner of a hallway there was a saucer of milk for the cat. “Milk is for the pussy, isn’t it?” said Simone. “Do you dare me to sit in the saucer?”

“I dare you,” I answered, almost breathless.

The day was extremely hot. Simone put the saucer on a small bench, planted herself before me, and, with her eyes fixed on me, she sat down without my being able to see her burning buttocks under the skirt, dipping into the cool milk. The blood shot to my head, and I stood before her awhile, immobile and trembling, as she eyed my stiff cock bulging in my trousers. Then I lay down at her feet without her stirring, and for the first time, I saw her “pink and dark” flesh cooling in the white milk. We remained motionless, both of us equally overwhelmed…

Suddenly, she got up, and I saw the milk dripping down her thighs to the stockings. She wiped herself evenly with a handkerchief as she stood over my head with one foot on the small bench, and I vigorously rubbed my cock through the trousers while writhing amorously on the floor. We reached orgasm at almost the same instant without even touching one another. But when her mother came home, I was sitting in a low armchair, and I took advantage of the moment when the girl tenderly snuggled in her mother’s arms: I lifted the back of her pinafore, unseen, and thrust my hand under her cunt between her two burning legs.

I dashed home, eager to masturbate again. The next day there were such dark rings around my eyes that Simone, after peering at me for a while, buried her head in my shoulder and said earnestly: “I don’t want you to toss off any more without me.”

My note after after was: Literature!

So that’s how our narrator meets and begins his debauchery with Simone.

He and Simone are outside one day doing dirty things with one another and are seen by another person, Marcelle. (Marcelle is a woman—it’s one of those French names that sounds the same for either sex but is spelled differently depending on the sex.)

She is a delicate, conservative creature, but is swept up into a threeway. Of course, with these two—it’s not an ordinary threeway. It’s a crazed-fucking-in-a-violent-thunder-storm-menage.

Marcelle is later horrified by having participated and tries to avoid them, but is eventually coaxed to a small gathering.

What takes place at the gathering isn’t all entirely spelled out—surprisingly—but what is given to us… Well, it sounds like Caligula would have had a great time.

This sends pious Marcelle round the bend and she’s packed off to the asylum, which is in a castle some distance away. Because France.

Our intrepid debauchees, however, are now obsessed with the girl and are determined to break her out. But! They’re teenagers and only have bikes. Still, sexual obsession is what it is, so off they go and nearly die. As you do.

That’s only the beginning, though. One unpredictable thing after another happens and they wind up wandering over various parts of Europe doing a variety of morally questionable things.

Tonally, it reminds me of Camus’ The Stranger—it’s not long before the narrator is contemplating some Existentialist concepts. But he’s also on the brink of physical and mental collapse at the time and that will make anyone question the point of life.

It’s very French. Besides the Camus thing there is a touch of de Sade’s libertine philosophy, as well. None of the characters are sympathetic and it’s rather literary. If you’ve read any French lit and didn’t care for it I don’t know if you’ll like this one.

If you’ve not read any before, well, this would be a hell of a place to start.

This book had really detailed, unusual fantasies on behalf of the characters. Portnoy ain’t got nothing on these people. I was impressed.

For example, five pages into the story we have this:

That was the period when Simone developed a mania for breaking eggs with her behind. She would be a headstand on an armchair in the parlour, her back against the chair’s back, her legs bent towards me, while I jerked off in order to come in her face. I would put the egg right in the hole in her arse, and she would skillfully amuse herself by shaking it in the deep crack of her buttocks. The moment my come shot out and trickled down her eyes, her buttocks would squeeze together and she would come while I smeared my face abundantly in her ass.

Wow.

There’s an obsession with eggs that I thought must be based on an actual kink the author had witnessed it was so unusual. Luckily, this was the Penguin Modern Classics version and included extra bits and pieces including a writing by the author about where the imagery came from.

It was so much worse/fascinating than I would have ever guessed. I’ll put in spoiler tags on the text of the book review next week for those of you who don’t intend to read the book for whatever reason, but great day in the morning.

As promised: Spoiler tags! It had to do with his father, who had severe health problems, including blindness. He couldn’t relieve himself on his own so a young Bataille watched his father urinate a lot and was intrigued by the glazed over, half-expression on the man’s blind eyes when eliminating. Eyes and eggs and, later, bull testicles are all a similar metaphor and are used in similar, perverse ways for sexual enjoyment.

In terms of writing the author is masterful at conveying much with little. The novel itself is more a novella—it’s 65 pages long—but a lot happens.

If you opt to read this one—and I can absolutely understand why a person both would and would not—I highly recommend getting the Penguin Modern Classics edition. Besides the extra piece by Bataille, it also includes an outline for a sequel that sounds…bracing, and an essay about pornography by Susan Sontag that was mind-blowing.

There was also a short piece by Roland Barthes explaining the metaphor of the eye, which was useful because I thought I was missing something.

Rating this one is nigh on impossible. Some people wouldn’t make it fifteen pages before barfing and throwing the book across the room.

Other people would be like me and say, ‘More? More books by this person?’

Basically, you’ve heard the review—hopefully you can work out if it’s for you based on this.

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The second book in this episode is L’Abbe C.

It’s less blatantly profane as well as less straightforward with what’s happening. If you need everything to be spelled out and resolved this is not the book for you. If you’re comfortable with ambiguity in your fiction then here’s some ambiguity for you.

There’s a framing story where a man named Charles gives a manuscript to a narrator—the manuscript is about the events leading up to Charles’ brother’s death. This is right at the beginning—it’s not a spoiler.

Then we read the manuscript, written from Charles C’s point of view, which is the bulk of the novel.

Charles is something of a libertine and he’s been involved with a woman named Eponine since they were very young. So has his identical twin brother, Robert, who is a priest.

They’ve all been friends since childhood, and, later, Charles and Eponine became lovers. The woman eventually became a prostitute, which has never bothered the author of the manuscript, but it greatly disturbed the priest—even before he became a member of the clergy.

She was a bit too licentious for his taste and it was what sent him down the path of being a giant stick in the mud.

He started ignoring her and avoiding her in the small town they lived in, until he moved away.

Once he became a priest, she taunted him by calling him facetiously ‘L’Abbe’ as though he were supposed to be above the lesser mortals.

Eventually, due to various circumstances, Robert winds up moving back to where they live—it’s never named—and Eponine is determined to have him. To sort of corrupt him for his judgment of her all of those years.

I thought I knew what was going to happen, but I was wrong. Bataille didn’t take the obvious route, I’ll give him that.

It’s a story about two people obsessed with one another (Eponine and Robert) and the person trapped between them.

It’s also about people who don’t fucking communicate.

The twins have a…strained relationship where they don’t express what they think or feel well and at one point Robert explains something then his solution to the problem is: ‘We just shouldn’t talk anymore.’

What?! There are other options than just not speaking anymore. It’s not like you’ve been going gangbusters on that front, as it is…

The end of the book is a few pages written by Robert then a some more pages by the original person who had been given the entire manuscript and that allowed a few more bits and pieces to fall into place, but I still had many questions. Books like that can have a dream-like quality that’s not entirely unpleasant to give yourself over to, even if, at the time, you want to strap the characters down and do whatever you have to to extract a straight sentence out of them.

Though this one wasn’t as explicitly explicit, it had its moments. There was a particular quote I wanted to share with you.

She bit my lip so fiercely and savoured her fear so intensely that I was strongly aroused myself. Moving with calculated violence, I changed my position, and my body became as taut as it could be. There is no pleasure more voluptuous than that which attends such deliberate anger. I felt as if I were being rent by lightning which continued to strike, as if prolonged by the immensity of the sky.

L’Abbe C is more of a very intense character study than traditional novel. If you’re going to give Bataille a try I’d recommend Story of the Eye first (unless you think that one would give you the yurks).

I’ll be reviewing other books of his in upcoming episodes. If you’ve read any of his, please leave a comment or email or note in the FetLife Group—I’d love to have a conversation about it.

Episode 050: Two Novels by Georges Bataille

Episode the fiftieth; Wherein the Pageist ponders the meaning of work, tells her mother of her job and falls in love with a French author. The books reviewed in this episode are Story of the Eye and L’Abbe C by Georges Bataille.

.53 Intro and Announcements:

3.22 My Submissive Life:

13.45 Book Reviews:

  • Two novels by Georges Bataille this episode. Book one is Story of the Eye. Bataille’s first novel, this is about a menage that goes very wrong, leading to the characters going on the run across Europe. Sadism, torture, orgies, sacreligious acts and urine play galore. Quite visceral and explicit, and not for the faint of heart, this is an incredible work of transgressive fiction.
  • L’Abbe C. A story of two people obsessed with one another–Eponine, a prostitute, and Robert, a priest who’s known her since childhood–and the person caught between them–Charles, Robert’s identical twin. For people with a high capacity for ambiguity in fiction, who don’t need every question answered.

33.14 Closing Remarks:

  • Thank you for tuning in!
  • In the next episode I’ll be interviewing Auntie Social from Stereo-typed. We’ll be discussing whether or not people are too swept up in fantasy (both kinky and in general) and uninterested in the warts of reality.
  • Support the show and site on Patreon!
  • Like The Pageist on Facebook, follow on Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads, Quora, Medium, and Instagram and join the Fetlife group.
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  • Subscribe to the iTunes feed here. You can also rate the show in iTunes, which would be much appreciated!
  • All episodes can be heard in an embedded player on this page.

The Reunion by Laura Antoniou

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[This is the text of the book review from episode 47.]

This episode’s book review is The Reunion by Laura Antoniou. As mentioned in the previous episode, this book is 640 pages long, by far the longest book in The Marketplace series. Thus far. I will be checking book length from now on so I know what I’m getting myself into.

The Marketplace is a world-wide, international organisation that helps people fulfil their dreams of total slavehood by training them then auctioning them off to serve owners—people who also get to live out their desires of owning a human being, but consensually. There are spotters, slave trainers, people who train the trainers, I believe there are people who train owners and, of course, the slaves themselves.

And, oh, are there a variety of types of slaves. Chambermaids, pleasure slaves, slaves who are nannies, butlers, slaves who are in place to train the other slaves in a house. Oh, the slaves you’ll know.

Each book examines a different aspect of the Marketplace.

So, we’re up to the fifth book in the series—this review will not contain spoilers.

Reunions are yearly gatherings for slaves and former slaves of the Marketplace held in five star resorts all over the world.

This particular year, the reunion is being held at Kayleigh Castle, in Ireland. At its name would suggest—it’s a castle. Massive thing it is, too. On sprawling grounds with a lake, golf course, stables—the works.

Attendees are not confined to the grounds, though. A van is at their disposal to visit other castles—for trips to the local village for shopping, meals or whatever else they’d like to do.

During reunions, resorts are given over entirely to Marketplace guests so no one has to worry about people not in-the-know overhearing a conversation or… screaming, as the castle and its staff is prepared to provide implements and supplies for a variety of uses at any time of the day or night. Some members are prepared to provide themselves for use, as well.

For Kayleigh is staffed by Marketplace slaves—Chris Parker trained there very early in his career, in fact—as well as soft world people. ‘Soft world’ is what non-Marketplace people are called in the universe of the books.

It’s an intriguing prospect—regular humans who know how a human consensual slave trade works and who work alongside it, but who don’t say anything.

Funny you should bring it up!

While our guests are relaxing and reminiscing about the good ol’ days—and I’ll get to that herd of people in a moment—a pond scum journalist named Nigel Pepper is doing his level best to break the story of the sex slave trade.

Someone on the inside claims to have information—they’ve been sending him dribs and drabs—enough to help him get some photographs of what appears to be one motley assortment of humanity, but nothing really concrete. What he needs to do is get inside that castle.

You can imagine what kind of security this sort of function has, though. These people aren’t idiots.

On to the motley assortment of humanity.

The reason this book is so long is because it has a cast of thousands. And it’s written in first person omniscient, which means you can hear everyone’s thoughts. I give Antoniou credit for being able to capture an incredible array of voices. Her command of human psychology is masterful.

I didn’t make notes on the characters involved so let’s see how many I can recall…

The story starts with everyone getting on the plane to go to Ireland or arriving at the airport or some such thing. The Reunion itself lasts a week and the book is broken into days.

There’s the ever-present Chris Parker. He says his age this time—he’s thirty-eight! Oh! I thought he was older than I am, but he seems so mature. Per usual, we learn more about him and his story. How the hell old is he in the first book? This makes me want to make a wiki of the Marketplace world, because I have all the time to do this. I found a wiki, but it hasn’t been updated in awhile and isn’t very complete.

Anyway, also present is Robin—the protagonist from book two—The Slave. She’s got some heavy things on her mind since spoilery things have happened in her contract.

A new character, who quickly became one of my all-time favourites is Billy-Ray—a red-headed, Southerner who isn’t the most refined human being but wants to help everyone he meets. He has a thing for black guys. This is important. Antoniou nails his accent. Billy-Ray is a kind of slave that hasn’t been mentioned in any of the previous books—there’s always something new to learn.

Desmond is being forced to take a holiday by his owners and he’s not happy about it. Mister Mopey-Pants gripes, complains and pouts for days. He’s an angry guy over his situation back home. Billy-Ray likes him, though, and is determined to help him out. He’s also very keen to have sex with the guy.

There’s Lisa and Richard. They’ve brought their children along (this is a families-allowed reunion). The kids spend a great deal of the time off with the other children in the Druid’s club, playing games and going on adventures and being none-the-wiser what their parents are up to.

Richard is an ex-slave who served for one contract and Lisa runs a group for spouses of slaves. Desmond isn’t the only person with a less-than-rosy view of the Marketplace and slavedom. As the week wears on, the reader (and everyone there) begins to wonder why the ever-loving hell Richard decided to come on this vacation. His wife is equally baffled, as his behaviour is unusual.

Their daughter, Amy, is eleven and Antoniou gets the mercurial whims of an eleven year old girl who has no one her exact age to talk to so pitch perfect it made me laugh while also making me want to strangle the girl. Sakes alive.

Tequila! Tequila is a former LAPD cop who is now a slave who works as a security guard. She’s black, she’s butch, she’s not taking any shit from anyone. Lord almighty do I love Tequila.

Oh god. The scroll of other guests has just unfurled in my mind… I don’t have the strength. There are fewer characters in Middle Earth. And they all have their own motivations and voices.

Lucretia… I can’t say anything without spoiling a lot, but Lucretia is memorable. Chandra—a pleasure slave here to fix to world… and would probably succeed. Gladys. I like Gladys. Al and Lloyd. One is a former slave, the other is soft world, but they were both in the leather scene and look back on those days fondly. And more.

And we haven’t done downstairs—the people who work at Kayleigh and the Marketplace slaves in training. There’s about a dozen of those, as well.

Mr Blake—who trained Chris and is responsible for the newest crop.

Azziz—the staff (non-Marketplace) who’s around all the time even though he certainly doesn’t have to be. Makes one wonder if he really wants to be a slave or what.

Mackenzie—the female butler assigned to Chris during his stay (Azziz is assigned to Chandra, the pleasure slave). Upright and a perfectionist—I hope to see more of Mackenzie in future instalments.

Rosie—she feels she’s in competition with MacKenzie (though that’s not how it works) and finds herself wanting. She’s been sent to Kayleigh for specific instruction in certain areas by her trainers, Lord and Lady Southerby.

And now we’re on to those two.

Phillip and Angelique Southerby are young but outstanding London-based trainers. They are being courted by the Regents (something I can’t recall being mentioned in previous books). The Regents are sort of an exclusive club of trainers. In order to be in the group a person has to be trained for a couple years or more by someone already in the club.

There are no regents in Britain and it would be quite the coup to bring these two on board. So that’s one of Chris’s jobs while he’s there. Because the man is incapable of completely relaxing for an entire week.

To tie things up a little—that Nigel Pepper guy has stalked the Southerby’s on other occasions—getting photos of Lady Southerby (an American, the horror!) topless—she has a nipple ring! Scandal!

So he’s extra intrigued by seeing Phil chatting to Chris. It only makes him more determined to get his story.

That’s the basics. Really—there’s much more to say.

There’s one rather extended—several pages long—section that covers something we don’t talk about as a culture. When I was reading the section I thought, ‘What the fuck are you doing, Antoniou?’ But then, when she revealed the last card, as it were, I thought, ‘You clever bitch. That is going to get some people.’ Some people reading that section are going to have to confront some hard truths about themselves and how they view the world.

Antoniou doesn’t shy away from difficult topics or complex issues that people in the kink community deal with—what turns people on isn’t always politically correct and that stirs up some heavy emotions. This book is not purely wank fodder—though there is certainly something for everyone to get their knickers off for. Or to. Except maybe furries—I don’t think she’s covered that yet.

This book isn’t just about hot, kinky sex. It also examines race, feminism, gender identity, ageing, probably other things I can’t recall because I wasn’t expecting all that in erotica and didn’t make notes.

The Reunion is definitely the most thought-provoking of the Marketplace books and possibly the most intellectually-stimulating erotica you’ll read.

It’s certainly the most well-written I’ve read thus far.

You could probably read this one out of order of the series, but I wouldn’t recommend it. There are things that happen in the other books that set up events in this one (and the other books are excellent, as well).

An enthusiastic 5/5.

Episode 047: The Reunion

Episode the Forty-Seventh; Wherein the Pageist gets to grips with new technology of all sorts, deals with the end of a cold, and is happy to be home. The book reviewed is The Reunion by Laura Antoniou.

TPOK Radio is brought to you by The Church of Sinvention. Use TPOK10 to get 10% off!

0.555 Intro & Announcments:

  • The podcast is brought to you by The Church of Sinvention. Use TPOK10 to get 10% off.
  • Ross and Dedria–hello to you on the Facebook!
  • There will be an adult colouring book giveaway soon–stay tuned for more information.

3.55 My Submissive Life:

  • Eroticon was great. London can take a leap. Friends are the best.
  • Macs are elitist, but they’re better than laptops that shut down for no reason and stop recording when you’re trying to make a podcast. I’ll adjust.
  • Create a podcast episode with Garageband for Mac

12.45 Book Review:

  • The book this episode is The Reunion by Laura Antoniou. Reunions are gatherings for slaves and ex-slaves to relax in five-star establishments around the world, which are also staffed by Marketplace slaves. This particular reunion takes place in a castle in Ireland and sees previous characters mingling with new, very memorable, characters. They talk about the good (and not-so-good) old days, and the reader learns that not all former slaves look back on their time in service fondly.
    Meanwhile, a journalist is doing his level best to crack onto a sex slave ring he’s heard about–the Marketplace. He has an informant inside the castle they’re all supposed to be staying in for the week, but security is tight. It hasn’t been kept a secret for hundreds of years for nothing.
  • Other books in the series I’ve reviewed on the show: The Marketplace, The Slave, The Trainer, and The Academy.
  • Marketplace Wikia. ALL THE SPOILERS.

27.15 Closing Remarks:

Books You May Have Missed

[This is the text of the book reviews from episode 36, which was a recap of books I’d reviewed prior to having the podcast, grouped by genre. Some books didn’t make it onto the website so this is the first time some have been mentioned, while I’ve rethought my opinions on others.]

Fiction

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The first book that came to mind after I had my Realisation was The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty—the first book in the Sleeping Beauty trilogy by Anne Rice. It’s now a quartet, as Rice added a fourth book in 2015. The books had been introduced to me when I was sixteen or so by a friend of mine who was both a fan of the author and also wildly horny. I can’t recall if I even finished the first book, but certain scenes stuck with me.

After realising a few things about myself I thought I’d give it another go. Yeah… I’m not a masochist and forced submission does nothing for me. Even in fantasy. The constant crying, humiliation and forced public nudity is a huge turn off. It’s written extremely well, though, and I recommend it to people who are looking for a specific sort of erotica. It’s just not for me, which was kind of a shame because there were three other books and it’s always nice to have your reading list set for awhile. I didn’t make it as far this time as I did as a teen—there are scenes I remember that I didn’t get to—now that I know about how consent works in BDSM I really need it. My fantasy life includes contract negotiation.

Then we have Something Leather by Alasdair Gray. This was an odd one. Quotes from my written review:

The stories felt very different from one another, which, at first, I thought was because the characters each came from different class backgrounds and had different personalities. Then it turned out Gray had reworked several of his plays to use as short fiction. One story was from one play, another was from another, etc.

Something Leather is an odd little book. If you’re only looking for the sexy/naughty bits read Chapter 12: Class Party and maybe Chapter 13: New June. The Epilogue also had some interesting insights into what Gray considered doing with some of the characters and plots at different points.

It’s more of a character study than about plot, though some weird occurrences…occur. To some weird people. Who live in Glasgow, which if probably part of their problem. (Kidding.)

I gave it a 3/5.

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Next on the fiction list was Mary Gaitskill’s story collection Bad Behavior. I had high hopes here because it includes the short story the film Secretary is based on, which is one of the very few times the film was a vast improvement on the source material. I did a piece of writing comparing the story to the film (they’re both called Secretary)—the link will be in the show notes—if you’re curious about similarities, differences and so on. It’s a scene-by-scene, sometimes line-by-line comparison so, you know, here’s your spoiler warning.

Anyway, the book—the stories are about a bunch of people you’d never want to know. They’re interesting enough to read about, though. Several of whom are into sadomasochism, but not in a good way. In a—let’s not discuss boundaries—sort of way. A story called ‘Romantic Weekend’ was an excellent example of this.

From the original review:

Mary Gaitskill’s Bad Behavior is a collection of stories about some truly unlikable people. Really. I wouldn’t want to have lunch with one of them. Reading about them was engaging, though–Gaitskill captures the grimy, complicated reality of life, but this isn’t feel-good material. It isn’t redemptive reading, either–where someone triumphs over adversity. It’s a collection of people who live odd little lives and interact with others living odd little lives.

I gave it a 4/5.

Gaitskill herself had some questionable things to say about sadists and masochists and then I had some things to say about that—you know, in my shrinking violet way—in a writing that will be linked to in the show notes.

The final fiction book was The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek. It’s the novel the film of the same name is based on. I’d seen the film first and loved it and the book is even better. The film is so well-made, though, that the book only enhances re-watches. If you’re unfamiliar with either, it’s about a repressed piano teacher, Erika, who works at a conservatory in Vienna. She focuses entirely on her students and art, with the plan/dream of becoming a great star one day. She has many kinks, though they have never been explored or expressed, as she lives with her suffocating mother.

Eventually she meets a student, Walter Klemmer, who is everything she’s wanted to submit to. But he’s a vanilla guy and she doesn’t have the correct language to ask for what she needs. If you’ve seen the film—the book is written from several characters’ points of views and you get more background on Erika when she was very young and how she became the paragon of sexual freedom and expression she was as an adult.

I gave it a 5/5 and said it was a ‘must for any sadomasochistic bookshelf’.

Moving on to

Memoirs

Of which I have read two—both by Sophie Morgan. I’m looking for more memoirs, though, so please recommend good ones.

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Morgan’s first was The Diary of a Submissive and was followed up by No Ordinary Love Story. Morgan is a journalist and so her writing is a bit detached—even though it’s about her own life. The first book covers the realisation of her kinkiness and first experiences with various boyfriends. One of whom isn’t the most communicative of human beings to walk the planet.

The follow up—No Ordinary Love Story. Ugh. This title. It sounds like what every teenager would call their first relationship. There’s a marked improvement in the writing—it feels more personal and less journalistic (the writing is quite good overall—it is what she does for a living—but capturing the intimacy of memoir and the subjectivity of journalism are two different talents.)

The second book picks up right where the first one left off and we get to spend more time with Sophie and her friends and her boyfriend (who’s also her Dominant.) One of my favourite parts is when she and her very inventive boyfriend go to a kinky cottage for a weekend. And they played Scrabble the whole time. Weird.

I gave Diary of a Submissive 4/5 and had this to say in the original review:

It was interesting to read about a person whose submission expresses itself in such different ways to my own. And to see what other people find a step too far, just too degrading. She’d happily do things I’d safeword on but other things I wouldn’t think twice about she found the utter end of humiliation street. That sort of thing is fascinating to me.

Morgan is very headstrong and has some brattish qualities. Then again, she will choose some cocky bastards to spend time with. Such a masochist, this one. Naturally submissive she is not, blanching at bog standard Dom requests. But that just goes back to everyone’s submission being a bit different.

No Ordinary Love Story received a 5/5 and I said:

If you’re looking for new ideas for some fun play—or just want to read about two people with an obvious connection having a great, kinky time—this is a good one for it. It gives an inside look at a relationship that’s heavy on the D/s, even if it’s not 24/7.

The next genre on the list is

Classics

(source)

The first one doesn’t really qualify as kinky, but let me tell you about it, because it was on the site—It was by Mark Twain and was called: 1601: Conversation as it was by the Social Fireside in the Time of the Tudors. Catchy. It was originally published anonymously in 1880 and Twain didn’t claim it for twenty-six years. I read it because it was included in a kindle collection of smut. It’s not really about anything kinky—it’s just ribald and has Queen Elizabeth (the first one) making fart jokes and talking about the plural of the word ‘bollocks’ with Ben Jonson, Sir Walter Raleigh, Francis Bacon and William Shakespeare while some other Elizabethans loll about. It’s a short read—less than half an hour—and is available at Project Gutenberg for free.

From the original review:

I’ve always enjoyed finding risque and out-right pornographic pieces by people who are considered ‘classic’ writers. Part of the fun of this one is that it’s written by the person who wrote Tom Sawyer. You know. Wholesome Mark Twain! We read him at school! Ahem.

I gave this a 4/5

On to Fanny Hill or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure by John Cleland, which is billed as the ‘first’ pornographic novel in the English language. It was published in 1748 and 1749. From the review:

The plot is one of innocent young thang (IYT), orphaned at the tender age of fifteen, who makes her way to the big city of London to live with a friend. Said friend dumps her quickly and Innocent Young Thang shelters under the wing of kind woman who turns out to be a madam of multiple prostitutes quelle surprise!

Then again, this is the first book to use that plot device so it’s every other book that’s the cliche. Perhaps it was an actual surprise to readers at the time. Trying to image that breaks my brain a little.

There is very much, a lot of sex—some of which is kinky. Here is one non-kinky scene:

Then the turtle-billing kisses, and the poignant painless love-bites, which they both exchang’d in a rage of delight, all conspiring towards the melting point; it soon came on, when Louisa, in the ravings of her pleasure-frensy, impotent of all restraint, cry’d out: ‘Oh Sir!–Good Sir!–pray do not spare me! ah! ah–I can no more.’ And all her accents now faltering into heart-fetch’d sighs, she clos’d her eyes in the sweet death, in the instant of which she was deliciously embalm’d by an injection, of which we could easily see the signs, in the quiet, dying, languid posture of her late so furious driver, who was stopp’d of a sudden, breathing short, panting; and for that time, giving up the spirit of pleasure.

This is the first pornographic novel. We started here. That’s a high bar. And now… Well…

I gave this a 5/5 and will be reading it for patrons who support at a certain level on Patreon after I finish the current book, which is the Victorian smut-fest Romance of Lust.

Classics-wise, I have read Venus in Furs a couple of times, but haven’t reviewed it on the site and it’s been quite some time since my last read so I’ll give it a proper review on the show once I read it again.

The film was terrible. Avoid. (Source)

The next genre is non-fiction and a book I’d like to talk about overlaps between classics and non-fiction. It’s Psychopathia Sexualis by Richard von Krafft-Ebing. I read it fourteen years ago and, had I been paying closer attention, I could have joined the BDSM scene then.

Anyway. I’ll probably read it again for funsies, but won’t devote an entire podcast episode to it because it’s quite niche. It was the first catalogue of sexual deviancies based on case studies that was to be used, ostensibly, for medical and legal purposes. The more scandalous parts were in Latin.

Yeah, that didn’t stop people, the general public ran out and bought the thing like it was the last book in the Harry Potter series. ‘Ooohh, what are the neighbours doing with the other neighbour’s floppy bits? Those nasty buggers! Turn the page!’

It’s definitely a product of its time—masturbation makes men weak and nearsighted—and people often came from families with a history of neurasthenia, which could be headache, anxiety, depressed mood, high blood pressure, heart palpitations or fatigue. There was all sorts of Victorian goodness like that. That’s just how I feel watching the news now, though. 2016, the year of neurasthenia.

But, Krafft-Ebing thought being gay was just who you were—it wasn’t changeable or necessarily awful. He didn’t think it was entirely healthy, either, but one step at a time. This was 1886—it’d be nearly a hundred years before they’d remove homosexuality as a mental illness from the DSM and the VP-elect currently believes you can torture the gayness out of people. So… This dead Austro-German dude was ahead of that guy.

The book is interesting in some ways—it shows how fetishes are shaped by our culture. Men often fetishized womens handkerchiefs and gloves—because that’s one of the first items related to women they were allowed near. The same is true of listening to women urinate into chamber pots.

The edition I read was unexpurgated with previously removed case files re-inserted and the Latin was translated into English so you can see what they thought was just too much for sensitive readers back in the day. Here is a link to that specific edition. It’s hard to rate this one because you’ll either find it interesting for historical/scientific/psychological purposes or it’ll bore you to death. Make your decision based on the review.

On to

Nonfiction

The first two are by Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton. They’re The New Topping Book and The New Bottoming Book. They’re two separate books, but I think they should be read together. No matter which side you fall on it’s useful to know what the other side is thinking, doing or feeling. And if you’re a bottom then it’s very useful to know what ethical tops will be like so you can identify non-ethical tops.

There was an episode of this show about these books—episode seven—where the Multiamory crew came on and reviewed the books. Their show is about polyamory but they were interested in exploring kink and wanted to know what I’d recommend. I said both of these books and all three hosts read both books. They did a great job.

I think everyone coming into the scene should read these—it should be part of Kink 101.

Both authors are bisexual switches with decades of experience and they include personal stories to demonstrate specific techniques between chapters starting with the basics up to a bit more complex play towards the end.

There are more personal stories in the Topping book than the Bottoming book—it would have been nice to have more stories in the second book, but that’s a quibble.

If you read both books there will be some repetition because most people aren’t going to be so thorough as to read both and some information is applicable to either side of the situation. I read a review where someone was complaining because they’d read both and were upset about some of the same material being in both books. They called it lazy writing and thought they did that to take up space.

Um…no. Most people are only going to read the book geared toward their interest and knowing how to communicate properly is important. The skills are the same. And the majority of the two books are different.

The penultimate book on the list is Living M/s: A Book for Masters, slaves and Their Relationships by Dan and dawn Williams. Dan and dawn have the Erotic Awakening podcast and they put together this set of writings around ten years into their power exchange. I wanted to read it because I’d been listening to their show and they seemed like such a happy couple—really down to Earth and articulate about what they got out of power exchange. I read this when I was really new to the scene and connected with it on a profound level—Dan’s writings are excellent examples of what a good D-type can be and dawn’s writings… Wow.

From the original review:

Multiple times I found myself thinking that this was a person who absolutely ‘got’ me—or at least an aspect of me that others wouldn’t. It’s one thing to be accepted and loved by your friends (and I’m not denigrating that for a second), but it’s another thing entirely to see someone else’s words and realize they completely understand you. They get it.

At the time I gave it a 5/5 and recommended it to everyone, but now that I’ve read more widely—I’d probably say this is a good one for beginners.

If you listen to Erotic Awakening (and you should give it a listen! It’s great!) You’d probably like it, too. They write the way they speak so it’s like getting to know them a bit better.

(source [Internet Archive of dead link])

And finally, The Pleasure’s All Mine: A History of Perverse Sex by Julie Peakman. From the ancient Greeks up to the present, from one country to the next, what has been considered ‘moral’ and ‘normal’ in terms of sexual activity and interests has varied wildly. This book looks at an impressive list of desires, fetishes and activities and compares how they’ve been viewed in various parts of the world during various periods of history.

Hey, did you know male masturbation used to be punishable by death? It was considered murder so it was a capital offence. This book was full of ‘You know…when people say everyone was nicer in the olden days, they were really hardcore dickweasels.’

Some of the topics covered:
Heterosexuals
Masturbation
Gays
Lesbians
Transvestites
Transsexuals
Bestiality
Sadomasochism
Necrophilia
Incest
Paedophilia
Exhibitionism
Voyeurism
Coprophilia and Urolagnia (Scat and Piss)
Flogging and Spanking
Fellatio/Cunniligus
Fetishists
Apotemnophilia (self-demand amputation)
Objectum sexuals (people attracted to inanimate objects)
Sexual cannibalism
Infibulations (male, as in piercing the foreskin)
Fisting
(and more!)

One of my favourite pieces of information (and there was much to love) was that the term ‘heterosexual’ was originally used in 1892 by Dr James G. Kierman to mean ‘abnormal manifestations of the sexual appetite’; this included desire for both sexes.

This means that bisexuals are really heterosexuals and heterosexuals are really homosexuals. Because they only like one sex. Homosexuals are also homosexuals, too. Tell your most homophobic relatives today!

There were some problematic, challenging areas covered—like the discussion of how do you decide the age of consent for people? It’s completely arbitrary from one country (or state) to another and always has been. And what’s wrong with necrophilia? (I mean, if we’re going to tell living women what to do with their bodies why can’t we tell dead people what to do with theirs. They’re dead—they won’t know, right? Why do the dead have more rights than the living?)

There were a few sections that force the reader to think about some uncomfortable topics, but that wasn’t a negative, necessarily. Unless you don’t like thinking. In which case, I’m not entirely sure why you’re listening to this show.

It’s available in hardback, paperback and Kindle. I got it in hardback because as soon as I heard about it I was: GIMMEE IT. And that is a heavy, well-made book with high-quality paper—that glossy kind. It has 180 images, sixty-eight of which are in colour. As an object it’s beautiful—it’s also a little spendy, but it’s worth it. The images are sculptures, paintings, illustrations from literature and history and that sort of thing.

For that reason I would recommend a physical copy—even if it’s the paperback, though I don’t know if they’ll have colour pages or if it will still be the heavy, glossy paper that I may or may not have kept shoving my face into the take a big whiff.

More from the original review:

The weakest point of the book is Peakman’s writing, which isn’t the strongest. It felt like a highly readable dissertation except for some repetitive word choices. That’s a minor quibble, though. Overall, The Pleasure’s All Mine was interesting and thought-provoking. I learned a lot about the history of lots of sexy things and some things kinky. And some things a little blerg. But I believe all information is useful information. Even blerg information.

I gave this a 4/5.

Episode 036: The Pageist Talks Pre-Show Books

Episode the thirty-sixth; wherein the Pageist celebrates a year of doing the podcast and shares thoughts on the books reviewed prior to having the show. Books reviewed… quite a few.

0.48 Intro and Announcements:

  • Two surveys! Thank you, survey-takers! If you’d like to fill in the anonymous survey and make my day, the link is here.
  • Someone has listened to the show using a satellite. Welcome to the ISS, Antarctica or secret government bunker.

5.31 My Submissive Life:

  • I’m going to leave the house and attend an actual munch. This is not a drill. (Thank you, Muse. mwah!)
  • It’s the show’s 1 year anniversary. I don’t know how that happened, but here we are. Here’s to another year or two. Or more.
  • Did an interview with Lee Harrington for his show Passion and Soul. More info on that when that goes up.

12.20 Book Reviews:

40.58 Closing Remarks:

  • Thank you for tuning in!
  • In the next episode I’ll be reviewing Real Service by Joshua Tenpenny and Raven Kaldera
  • Support the show and site on Patreon!
  • Like The Pageist on Facebook, follow on Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads, Quora, Medium, and Instagram and join the Fetlife group.
  • You can also subscribe to this website through the email form in the sidebar.
  • Subscribe to the iTunes feed here. You can also rate the show in iTunes, which would be much appreciated!
  • All episodes are listed and playable from this page.

The Academy by Laura Antoniou

(source)

[This is the text of the book review from episode 35.]

The book this episode is The Academy: Stories from The Marketplace, which is the fourth book in The Marketplace series by Laura Antoniou. –I’ve learned how to pronounce her name properly.

I reviewed the first book in episode one, which introduces the reader to the world of The Marketplace and is called The Marketplace. It’s an international organization that facilitates the deep-seated need some people have to be owned or for some to own other humans. Everything’s consensual. It’s a well-thought-out, complex organization. Each book focuses on one particular aspect of how the Marketplace works and also gives us more information about the enigmatic and charismatic Chris Parker.

The second book was The Slave, which was reviewed in episode six.

The third was The Trainer and was the subject of episode twenty-five.

In this installment we follow the ever-present Chris Parker to The Academy—the once yearly meeting of Marketplace trainers from around the world. Chris has brought along Michael, who is himself in training to become a trainer—his story continues from the previous book.

This novel differs from the others in that it isn’t entirely written by Antoniou. The framing story of the Academy is, but as the various characters tell stories about people they know, those stories are provided by guest authors. The first is by Karen Taylor and it features my favourite character from the first book, Claudia.

Claudia had been sent to a training house in upstate New York where Chris Parker was majorduomo by her mistress in order to become better in all ways. Her mistress knew she could be in charge of the household, as well as a good slave, but little Claudia had no confidence. After Michael sees her in action he can’t believe the stories he hears of what she supposedly used to be like.

We also catch up with another character from the first novel.

Other stories are about trainers who went wrong—sometimes badly, in stories that were, frankly, triggery. I look for sexyness to read at the end of the episode and several of these stories were: NOPE! Nopers with a nopenope on top.

Michael has finally learned his place and is beginning to see just how difficult it is to be a slave and what goes into being the best trainer. Which is good because at first I was: The character I like least of them all and I have to put up with him for another book?

Meanwhile, politics and intrigue are afoot in the Marketplace and it can be difficult to know who’s on whose side. The quality of material that’s been coming in has been decreasing and just how to handle that is up for debate. As in, literal debate, which is what they will be discussing at this gathering.

I love this sort of thing. Give me some minutes to take and some papers to file and I’m happy, but I could see how this could bore some people. For those—the variety of stories that happen between the framing story of politics should make up for it. I enjoyed both so was extra happy.

The Academy took place in Japan that year—I’ve not been to Japan, and I don’t know if Antoniou has, either, but the descriptions of everything from nature to furnishings was lovely. (I would guess she has been.)

As with all of the Marketplace books, there are moments where someone explains what draws people to service.

There are meals, there is entertainment, there are human horsies and a human dog-race, which sounded AMAZING. Of course there’s sex—just a little.

The Academy brings together trainers from around the world—the Marketplace is international, after all, so the guest-written stories span the globe, which was really enjoyable. Each one was well-written and blended seamlessly, though the characters weren’t ‘regular cast members’ so to speak. Contributing authors included Cecilia Tan, Karen Taylor, Michael Hernandez, david stein and Christian Muncy. Some authors wrote more than one story.

We also get to see how Chris came into the Marketplace. Chris is the sort of person who seems born to be there so the idea that he had to find his way in and train is a little discombobulating, but there’s an extended (and very satisfying) section on how that came about.

I don’t know how anyone can’t be a little in awe of Chris Parker.

Chris Parker for President.

4/5 if you find fictional politics boring. 5/5 if you don’t. Read it anyway. There’s lots of Chris.

Episode 035: The Academy

Episode the thirty-fifth; wherein the Pageist takes some time to schedule in some self care, gets excited about kind fans and lesbian porno comics and returns to the Marketplace…again. The book this episode is The Academy by Laura Antoniou.

.48 Intro and Announcements:

  • The show is now in Cape Verde, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Djibouti.
  • FOUR survey responses! Christmas is here! If you’d like to fill in the survey (it’s quick and anonymous) the link is here.
  • Many, many thank yous to the kind gentleman who sent me Sex with Shakespeare by Jillian Keenan. Mwah!
  • Tina Horn’s interview with Jillian Keenan on Why Are People into That?!
  • Kinkly.com: Looking for a website about sex of one sort or another? Well, here you go! The site is now listed there. Maybe in a couple years I’ll crack the top 100.
  • Colleen Coover’s Small Favors is coming out in a deluxe edition! I AM A HAPPY PERSON ABOUT THIS.

4.04 My Submissive Life:

  • Avoidance Behaviour: a piece I wrote about using service as a way of avoiding scary things like human interaction.

9.46 Book Review:

  • This episode’s book is The Academy: Stories from The Marketplace, which is the fourth novel in the Marketplace series.
  • If you’d like signed versions (or for more money to go to the author–this is Laura’s shop–if not, this is Amazon (she doesn’t care where you get the books, just so you actually pay for them).
  • The Academy is a yearly meeting of Marketplace trainers. This year a new proposal has been put forward that will affect everyone and has ruffled some feathers. Between debates and meetings, trainers share stories of trainers, spotters and slaves they’ve known–these stories are written by guest authors and showcase an array of kinks in a variety of countries.
  • Book one: The Marketplace, reviewed in episode one.
  • Book two: The Slave, reviewed in episode six.
  • Book three: The Trainer, reviewed in episode twenty-five.

16.31 Section of Sexyness:

  • Michael gets more than he bargained for. 🙂

23.40 Closing Remarks:

  • Thank you for tuning in!
  • In the next episode I’ll be talking about the books about BDSM I read/reviewed prior to having the show.
  • Support the show and site on Patreon!
  • Like The Pageist on Facebook, follow on Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads, Quora, Medium, and Instagram and join the Fetlife group.
  • You can also subscribe to this website through the email form in the sidebar.
  • Subscribe to the iTunes feed here. You can also rate the show in iTunes, which would be much appreciated!
  • All episodes are listed and playable from this page.

My Dad Wrote a Porno (the Book)

It's a physical book now. Like actual literature. (source)

It’s a physical book now. Like actual literature. (source)

 

[This is the text of the book review from episode 29 of the podcast.]

This episode’s book is My Dad Wrote a Porno: The Fully Annotated Edition of Belinda Blinked 1 by Jamie Morton, James Cooper, Alice Levine & Rocky Flintstone.

It’s a book based on a podcast that was started because Jamie Morton’s sixty-year-old father, upon retiring, decided to take up writing erotica. (My review of the podcast is here.)

Jamie opted to read this erotic literature around his kitchen table—one chapter at a time—with two of his closest friends (James Cooper and Alice Levine) who provide commentary and comic relief.

Because it reads like someone who took up writing for the first time at sixty.

It’s. Hilarious.

But. The book isn’t just their commentary transcribed—it has some of that, which is great, because I can hear their voices in my head and they were a riot. Belinda Blinked is on the right side of the page and the commentary, as well as notes about literary allusions, definitions, talking points and cultural context are on the left side.

Like So.

Like So.

The book also includes book club questions, a porn name generator, a drinking game and a quiz. And, oh, so much more.

I received a 37 on the quiz. Which I am quite pleased with. If you get 40 or above it says: Genius. Belinda would shag you to congratulate you.

And I don’t want that. It’s also not really saying much, as she shags everyone.

One of the reading group discussion points is:

Has anyone ever got your name wrong in the same way that Flintstone mistakes Bella for ‘Donna’? How did it make you feel?

There’s a character named Bella for the entirety of the book, except for about two lines, where she suddenly becomes Donna for some reason. To that question I say yes—Rocky Flintstone himself called me Julie for who knows why when thanking me for my review of the podcast. It made me feel like a star. You’re not a real person until Flintstone has called you by the wrong name.

Reviewing the book Belinda Blinked 1 is… impossible, as it’s not really a book. It’s a loose idea of a reason to have a woman having sex with a variety of people. She has sex with five people in one day at one point and in the physical book I’m reviewing for you now they asked Flintstone about it and he said:

When you’re an author it’s great to be lost in your own web of intrigue, plot development and unique simile assessment. So you can see how simple it is to lose track of time and sexual activity. I hadn’t actually realized I’d written that Belinda had had sex with five people in a day by the end of this chapter.

You know who I love? Rocky Flintstone.

Another one of his priceless bits of advice is:

Creating a great sex scene is all about the words: without the right words, such as ‘cervix’ and ‘vulva’, a good erotic writer would be nowhere.

I could not agree more with…most of that sentence. The correct words are so incredibly important. Otherwise… nothing doing.

They’ve just finished airing the second season with Belinda Blinked 2—it’s on iTunes—and they said that by the time they’d finished recording the first one he’d already written four books. They only record one chapter a week and at thirteen chapters for the first book… Well. Stephen King would be impressed.

But, Stephen King is Rocky’s favourite author. So there you go.

One of the additions are party game suggestions or things like asking people in groups to try to make ‘quiet gasps of admiration’ like a character did at the sight of someone’s cleavage.

So give that a go–it’s more difficult than you think.

Rocky, apparently, has four children. Three daughters and a son. He, however, has a very tenuous understanding of the female reproductive system and regularly has people either grabbing or flexing or penetrating a cervix. At one point—I think it was in the first series, Alice pulled the podcast over and had a brief conversation about how things are laid out in there. In the second series they had an actual doctor on to explain a thing or two. We’ll see if that makes any difference.

Perhaps Alice finally had enough after a character used a dildo to hit another character’s ovaries during sex.

The comment was:

No. It. Didn’t. You’re going left and right, you’re turning corners. Suddenly she’s just one big pinball machine.

There’s a line diagram of the reproductive system where babies incubate that show exactly why you can’t just grab a cervix. And… most of the other nonsense going on.

NO. NAY. NEIN. NYET.

NO. NAY. NEIN. NYET.

Some of the book is even more amusing in print due to Rocky’s idiosyncratic use of punctuation. The man does love a semicolon.

The man can create characters, though. I will give him that. Plot is overrated, right? But these characters. Thus far—in the two books—he’s had a Duchess and a Countess. I have a thing for older women so these are right off going to be the most interesting to me. Even the male characters, though… Where does he get these people from?

In the first book we have the Duchess. I pictured her as Helen Mirren, though she’s older than the character is described. Rocky is obsessed with nipples. Here’s a short passage of Belinda with the Duchess for your enlightenment:

Belinda bent over and pulled the plastic handcuffs off the Duchesses ankles. The Duchess stood up and stretched her cramped body. Her nipples hardened with the feeling of freedom and they were now as large as the three inch rivets which had held the hull of the fateful Titanic together. Belinda was drawn to them like a magnet, she needed to touch them, caress them and finally suck them. The Duchess stood still as Belinda fulfilled her desires.

Okay. One. All of the handcuffs in this book are plastic. What. Two. Three inch rivets are 7.5 centimeters. Also, there’s a to-scale diagram of a typical breast-to-nipple ratio and a Titanic rivet, which made my entire day.

Day. Made.

Day. Made.

Three. The phrase, ‘Belinda was drawn to them like a magnet’ was accompanied by the comment: ‘I’m imaging Belinda slamming into her nipples with force’ which is kinda how I feel about a lovely nipple, it’s one of the few things I understand about the woman. Four. In the book, one of the comments added by the authors ‘improved’ the text thusly:

Belinda was drawn to them like a magnet, she needed to touch them, caress them, tighten them with a spanner.

Five. And this is the key one. That final sentence: The Duchess stood still as Belinda fulfilled her desires.

That’s actually hot. Something sexy happened in this book. I don’t know how. But an older woman standing still while a younger woman has a go on her breasts… Damn you, Rocky.

The Duchess also made Belinda use the handle of her riding crop as a dildo. That was… you know… all right.

That character reminded me a bit of Anna Chancellor’s character in Tipping the Velvet, which, if you haven’t seen it, you so should. Anna Chancellor described her character as a ‘dominatrix sex bitch’. Which pretty much sums it up.

Moving on.

A few of the comments from our intrepid authors of the meta book lead me to think they are a bit vanilla. Yet they don’t view handcuffs as being kinky. The riding crop the Duchess uses, though, that’s kinky. And Rocky certainly explores other fetishes like voyeurism. Our man enjoys leather things. So. Methinks he’s kinkier than the meta-book authors.

For example, there’s a phrase that’s been circled by the gang, which is ‘a happy sex servant to you!’ with the comment scribbled beneath: This is a beautiful greetings card. Not. And I think: I know many people who’d like this card, actually. Expand your minds, guys.

My only criticism—more advice for a, perhaps, deluxe version, would be to have Alice saying ‘Why are we here?’ when opening the book, like the start of the early episodes of the show, which I still maintain is the best opening to any show ever.

I don’t know if I would recommend this to someone who hasn’t listened to the show, as I feel like you’d be missing a lot—it’d still be funny, I’m sure. Now I want to give it to someone who hasn’t heard the podcast and see what they think. If you’re a fan of the show it’s definitely worth it. It’s a 5/5 for fans.

The Trainer by Laura Antoniou

(source)

(source)

[This is the text of the book review from episode 25 of the podcast.]

In this episode I’ll be talking about The Trainer by Laura Antoniou, which is the third book in The Marketplace series. I reviewed the first book in episode one of the show and the second book in episode six.

The Marketplace, in case you’re unfamiliar, is a secret, international organization that trains people who wish to be 24/7 slaves in the truest sense of the word. Once each person is trained, they are auctioned off to the highest bidder, who could live anywhere in the world. That’s the very short version—it’s much more complex than that. And much sexier. Each book focuses on a different aspect of the organization.

The first book, The Marketplace, introduced the reader to the world of the novels through the eyes of four slaves—each of whom represents a particular archetype of slavehood—who’ve been sent to a training house in New York state.

The second book, The Slave, focuses on one person in particular and what it’s like to go from desiring to be a full-time slave to being trained to being placed and any successes or failures that result.

This time out the subject is on how trainers become trainers. Which is probably why it’s called The Trainer. It follows the story of Michael, who is similar to the Sharon character in the first book, but from the other side of the line—he thinks it’s all about sex, basically. He has no idea what he’s getting himself into. If he were a fragrance it would be Naivete No. 5.

A hallmark of the books is learning the life stories of the characters—seeing how they came to realize they were Marketplace material, whatever their position. The Marketplace is a massive international organization—besides the obvious slaves and trainers there are also spotters and trainers of trainers and who knows what else (I’ve only read three books, but I can’t wait to find out what else people do.)

And everyone involved has to be Marketplace approved.

So, sweet, deluded Michael. He’s from California. Well, there’s part of his problem right there—the person he’s been training under to be a trainer, a man named Geoff Negel, has a very loose philosophy of slave training. He views his job more as match-making slaves with the perfect owners and moving people around to find the best fit. Then advising owners not to go too hard on their property when it comes to making them do things they don’t want to do.

I could hear the pan-pipes playing in the background when his name was mentioned.

Michael accompanies Geoff to a Marketplace-run meet-up just for trainers and discovers the person he thinks of as revolutionary isn’t necessarily considered so by their British counterparts.

He also gets a taste of what properly trained slaves are like. And learns of a person referred to as Master Trainer Anderson. She trains trainers. She trained Chris Parker.

Ah, Chris. I do love him. He’s right at the start of the book, being his awesome self.

Chris Parker is the thread that runs through all of the books. He’s not the protagonist (nor an antagonist) but he plays a different role in each book. His story develops in each novel. The character is amazing. Bless Laura Antoniou for giving the world this character. Back to this novel, though.

I mentioned previously that Michael was sort of the trainer version of Sharon, who was my least favorite character in the first book. So having an entire book with an oblivious Isn’t-My-Radiant-Presence-Enough-type was …painful at times.

For example, Anderson has a massive library full of books on slave training, which includes her own notes and other notes by famous trainers around the world on various techniques. He’s given full access to this library. Does he use it? No, because he’s an idiot I wanted to strangle.

Every time Chris showed up I hoped he’d strangle him for me.

But, with characters of that nature I look at it like the author got it right. That’s exactly what some people are like.

It did make the sex scenes difficult to bear because I so profoundly disliked the guy I didn’t want him to enjoy himself. Ever.

As the novel progresses, we learn how on Earth Michael wound up with the best trainer in the Marketplace. We also find out just how unaware of his own stupidity he was. The depths, they are remarkable.

He’s the human embodiment of the phrase, ‘We don’t know what we don’t know.’

We learn some new (very interesting) things about Chris and about characters from previous books. A highlight for me was seeing an episode from the previous book, The Slave, from a different point of view.

Good old Mike has some growing pains and learns approximately 900 things about life, slavery and himself and makes a pretty big decision.

Though the protagonist is, thus far, the Marketplace character I like least of them all, this novel was still compelling. I started the fourth one immediately afterwards. He’s in that one, too. Joy illimited. I want to punch him less now. That’s progress.

Something I enjoyed about this one was ‘watching’ Chris train the people coming through the house. He was staying with Anderson for a period due to personal circumstances I’m not spoiling for you, but holy moly wow. And while there he was polishing up a few slaves. Michael was to learn how to train and we got to watch this. Seeing the philosophy behind training and proper slave care, so to speak, was interesting. Antoniou has fully fleshed out the world of the Marketplace. It’s clear she’s an actual kinky person who understands 24/7 total power exchange.

I wouldn’t recommend reading this one first if you haven’t read other books in the series. Definitely start with The Marketplace. Or at the very least The Slave or else something that happens at one point will make less sense.

Otherwise, I couldn’t put it down—it’s sexy, funny, creative, well-written—you know, all those things Antoniou does so well. It’s 5/5 easy.

Episode 025 The Trainer

Episode the twenty-fifth; wherein the Pageist returns to the Marketplace for the third time to learn how trainers become trainers. Also, a note from a fan and show developments.

.50 Intro & Announcements:

  • Welcome to new listeners in Venezuela! And the new Facebook friend Lexi!
  • Thank you to the person who contacted me through Tumblr. To answer your question, there are several ways to help the show, including:
  • Spreading the word to people at your local munch/dungeon or online,
  • Leaving a positive review on iTunes
  • Sponsoring the show (or sending someone my way who might be interested in doing so)
  • Supporting the upcoming Patreon or Zazzle shop.
  • The Cage is a social networking site that includes blogs, a magazine, a podcast section, forums and all sorts of other things. Registration is open and free. Check out the link here.
  • I happened across Consensual Dominance this week–it’s a blog written by someone who clearly knows a thing or two. The posts are well-written and covers a variety of kink-related topics. Check that out here.
  • I don’t know when the next episode of the show will be due to moving craziness. Definitely not next week. Perhaps the week after? Or the week after that? Hopefully it won’t be a month from now, but I am not leaving you for good just until I have a place I can sit and talk naughty things in peace.

5.52 Book Review:

  • This episode’s review is of The Trainer, the third book in the Marketplace series by Laura Antoniou.
  • I reviewed the first book, The Marketplace, in episode one, here.
  • The second book, The Slave, was in episode six, here.
  • The Marketplace is a secret, international organization that trains people who wish to be 24/7 slaves in the truest sense and then sells them to the highest bidder. That’s the short version–it’s much more complex than that. And sexy. Each book focuses on a different aspect of the organization. The third book is about how trainers (the people who teach slaves how to be proper slaves worthy of the Marketplace) become trainers. And it ain’t easy.

Excerpt:

  • Normally I would read a sexy excerpt from the book, but there’s no time. I’m saving it for another episode. I promise–you’ll get your smut.

13.36 Closing Remarks:

  • Thank you for tuning in!
  • In the next episode I’ll be talking about… I don’t know. Either: kink in films: the good, the bad and the sexy; a review of Life, Leather and the Pursuit of Happiness; a review of two Toybag Guides or something else entirely.
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  • All episodes are listed and playable from this page.

The Slave by Laura Antoniou

(image source is Amazon, though Laura's site has a great deal on the digital copies)

(image source is Amazon, though Laura’s site has a great deal on the digital copies)

This is the text of the book review from episode 006, which you can listen to by clicking:.

The Slave is the second book in The Marketplace series. I reviewed the first book in episode 001, which you can listen to here:.

Since I had previously reviewed a book in the series I was excited to be able to do that ‘Previously, on the Marketplace,’ thing they do in television shows, but there’s not a great deal you need to know from one book to the next. You could start with this one if you wanted to and I think you’d be fine. We do learn a little more about the enigmatic Chris Parker in this one and rather a bit more about how the Marketplace works.

Plot. You gots to have a plot. Well, usually. Unless you’re doing the literary fiction thing.

This time we have Robin—someone who does not have prior service like either of the good slaves in the first Marketplace novel, but is also ready to learn and doesn’t think it’s going to be an easy ride because she’s gorgeous like the two difficult slaves. Because she isn’t gorgeous—she’s just sorta plain. It’s a nice change from what you get in many erotica fantasy novels.

At the start of the novel Chris Parker has opted to use his vacation time to go into Manhattan to do some scouting and, based on a tip from a spotter named Ken Mandarin, picks up Robin and tests her. The biggest auction of the year is coming up and Chris has to decide if he can prepare her (and she has what it takes) for that auction. The title is The Slave so I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say he chooses to take her on and train her.

The book tells the story of Robin’s present life in the Marketplace, whether it’s her training or her placement and her past life—how she got to the point of knowing she was a slave in the first place. It starts when she’s quite young and takes the reader through the ‘fun’ that must have been being a feminist lesbian and also kinky during the … 1980s? I’m never quite sure about time frame in these books.

Either way, our protagonist is at University during the era of kink party lines—when people would pay to call (on a land line) a number where several people could share their fantasies.

She gets into (and out of relationships) with various levels of power exchange and BDSM, but of course, there’s never enough—partners simply don’t take it seriously. Well, there wouldn’t be for someone who was suited for The Marketplace, would there?

She meets Ken Mandarin who puts her in touch with Chris Parker and then she goes up on the block and is placed and she couldn’t have imagined what she’d be in for.

I saw some reviews where people said this wasn’t their favorite book in the series but I really enjoyed it. It showed how prospective slaves were allowed to handle real world (or soft world, as they call it) lives when preparing to enter the Marketplace. We also get to see the alliances and hierarchies between slaves established at houses. It’s an adult version of Upstairs/Downstairs.

Also Robin had a similar position to what I would have enjoyed so maybe I was a little prejudiced. I don’t want to say what sort of slave she was due to spoilers, but Chris Parker—he seems like the sort of person who you’d always say his full name, right?–explains a certain type of slave certain owners want early on in the book and then that’s the type she turns out to be brought on for. I thought I was a Claudia, but it turned out I was a Robin.

We do learn what became of the slaves from the first book, in case you’re curious about them—I know I was, though I was a little disappointed not to see Miss Selador because elegant Dominant women are my thing, but I’ll pull a Gloria Gaynor and survive.

Ms Antoniou is rather dry—the novel has her trademark wit. Robin hails from the East Coast, as does the author. She is relocated to L.A. by her new owners and, after some time there, she’s asked about her adjustment to this by a visiting slave.

‘So tell me what it’s like in California. How the hell do you know when the seasons change?’
‘I haven’t quite figured that out,’ she said out loud. ‘I think it has something to do with the arrival of the Neiman Marcus catalog.’

I’m from the East Coast. I would die, people. Seasons are supposed to change. That’s normal.

I give this a 5 of 5. It was sexy and interesting to see the evolution of the way kinksters met, even if the politics were boring as hell at times.

Episode 006 The Slave

Episode the Sixth; in which The Pageist celebrates her first year being kinky, visits her first dungeon and almost envies *the* slave.

1.05 Intro & Announcements:

  • Power Exchange Summit–Early Bird tickets are still available. If you’re into the power exchange thang, then you should go to it.
  • The place I’m getting my sweet player–PodTrac–also has survey functions available and I love me some demographic info. If you wouldn’t mind, I would super appreciate some information about you. It’s anonymous and only takes a few minutes.
  • Clicka this button to get started:

Podtrac survey image

2.30 My Submissive Life:

  • (Diary Pages has a new name) This episode’s personal segment was about my first year being kinky–my kinkiversary. What I did and what I learned and how I’d grown. I called out the Perverted Podcast crew, amongst my EAPN friends for helping me along my journey.
  • To celebrate I went to my first dungeon for an electricity play educational and learned some very important things about myself and my husband. (He’s not as vanilla as he thought.)

14.20 Book Review

  • This episode’s book review is The Slave by Laura Antoniou, which is the second book in The Marketplace series. I reviewed the first book in the first episode of the show and wooboy, this was a good one, too.
  • Robin is a successful art buyer who has always been kinky and has always wanted more from her power exchanges than her partner could offer. A trainer for the Marketplace has mere weeks to get her ready for the biggest sale of the year. Does having a slave heart mean she has what it takes to be in the Marketplace?
  • I would have realized I was kinky much sooner if I’d found these books years ago.
  • To get your own copies of The Marketplace books with bonus stories, go to Laura’s own shop. She has an incredible deal on that is definitely worth it.

21.00 Sexy Section

  • Nothing like some solo kinky time, eh?

26.55 Closing Remarks

  • Thank you for tuning in!
  • Several shows on the Erotic Awakening Podcast Network will be hosting an episode for another show. I’ll be hosting an upcoming episode of The People of Kink and the Multiamory gang will be hosting an episode of The Pageist. I can’t wait to hear about whatever they read.
  • The next episode (with my voice–if it’s not the Multiamory people) will be Stjepan Sejic’s Sunstone comic about kinky lesbians.
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