Sub Journal 011: What We Need to Be

We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are. –Max De Pre

When I first learned what a submissive was—and particularly service-oriented submissives—thought, ‘My whole life makes sense now! I’m going to be the best submissive ever! This is who I’ve always been! This is going to be a piece of cake. So easy. All I have to do is show up.’

Boy, was I in for a surprise.

Natural vs Learned

Then I learned about natural vs learned submissives. I didn’t think one was superior to the other, but I thought learned submissives had a much harder road to go, since us natural submissives just were the way we were.

Now I look at Natural vs Learned as being right-handed vs being left-handed. Anyone can learn to write with either hand. To play Virginia Woolf in The Hours, Nicole Kidman learned to write with her left hand, as well as learned Woolf’s handwriting, while using pen and ink, for example. Practise and determination is all that’s required.
If Kidman had already been left-handed, that task, while still formidable, would have been significantly less so.
Being naturally submissive (when that’s what you want to be) is like being right-handed. The world is already working in your favour. It doesn’t mean you’re going to be a world-class guitarist the first time you pick up a guitar, but you won’t have to either learn to play right-handed or buy a specially-made left-handed guitar. You’re working from an invisible advantage from the start.

Antoniou on Naturals

There’s a quote from Laura Antoniou’s The Marketplace, which goes:

‘Even the most gifted of naturals, those individuals whose wrists are naked without restraints and whose souls are bleak without guidance, need to be trained.’

The more I read after I first got out there, the more I realised I had a whole lot of work to do. At first I thought I shouldn’t do any work on myself, because my first Domme would want to ‘fix’ me to be just how she wanted. And if I was perfect then she wouldn’t have anything to fix.

Now I side-eye my previous self.

No, honey. Just no. (source)

A submissive or slave’s position is to make life run more smoothly for their D-type (though I suppose there could be some who enjoy looking after a wreck of a person).

I realised I needed to make myself into a person who was worthy of being owned. It didn’t mean I wasn’t allowed to have bad days or be human—it meant being honest about my failings and improve myself to suit the sort of D-type I wanted to serve.

The sort of D-type I wanted was the type who would want to help me be my best so I’d need to prove that I was committed to being my best and improving myself before we met so I’d have something to offer in the first place.

What was I going to say, ‘I waited for you to arrive before working on myself, but now I’m going to develop discipline out of nowhere’?

Sure, self. That’s right.

The sort of Dominant I wanted wasn’t an idiot, so she wasn’t going to buy that, either. I realised I needed to start tidying up the place myself. I was going to have to start being my own D-type until someone else could blessedly take over.

It’s not as though I was going to attain perfection prior to meeting a Dominant and would wind up saying, ‘Sorry, you just missed having someone to improve.’

I even put it on a business card.

What I Need to Be

What I need to be is useful to my Dominant.

I can be that by learning what I need and want (and how to differentiate between the two).

By taking care of my body, with adequate sleep, exercise and nutrition.

By constantly learning about kink, my submission and the wider world.

By communicating (the good and the bad) even when it’s hard & unpoetic.

By recognising that I’m already good enough but that training is eternal.

By being kind to myself when I fail to live up to my own high standards.

 

[This prompt comes from submissiveguide, which I’ve reviewed on this site]

The Reunion by Laura Antoniou

(source)

[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:

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.
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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 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.
  • Things you can do to the Pageist:
  • Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads
  • You can also subscribe to this website through the email form in the sidebar
  • Subscribe and rate on iTunes here.
  • All episodes are listed and playable from this page.

The First Episode

pageist_network

The first episode is live. A week early. Start 2016 with some audible kinkage.

I am proud and excited to be a part of the Erotic Awakening Podcast Network and look forward to reading and sharing lots of books with listeners.

I’ll be posting the text of The Marketplace review in a couple days. If you have questions or comments about the show I’m happy to hear (constructive) criticism.

Episode 001 The Marketplace

Episode the First: Wherein The Pageist begins sharing her love of books with the whole wide, English-understanding-world.

The Pageist is a podcast about books on BDSM and other forms of non-traditional sexual expression and relationships. Including fiction, non-fiction and graphic novels; from the classics to contemporary works and featuring topics from ethical non-monogamy to sex work to gender issues to kink to the science of sex. If you’re not supposed to listen to those sorts of things for legal reasons then you really shouldn’t listen to this. The Pageist is proud to be a member of the Erotic Awakening Podcast Network.

00.58 Intro:

In this episode:

  • I’ll give a brief introduction to how the show will work
  • Explain how I first discovered my kinky self in a book
  • Then review The Marketplace by Laura Antoniou
  • Read a saucy section from it
  • Share a selection from Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations that is useful for submissives

1.47 Diary Pages:

  • How I landed myself a podcast a few months after hearing a podcast for the first time.
  • My love of books–everything about them–and sharing what I’m reading with anyone who’ll listen.
  • I first learned I was kinky from a book. Richard von Krafft-Ebing’s Psychopathia Sexualis.
  • The kind of kinky I turned out to be was a pageist and I explain exactly what that is. It has nothing to do with Jimmy Page.

As part of this section I describe the four types of books I’ll be reviewing:

Paige Catches Up: Contemporary Classics Everyone’s Read: Revisit old favorites, learn about books you might have missed. Fiction or non-fiction. (Examples: The Marketplace, The Story of O, The New Topping Book, etc)

Paige is on Top (for Once): Current Releases: These can be fiction or non-fiction. To my mind, books never expire and I’ll read/review anything I feel is pertinent.

Paige Likes ’em Old: Classics: These can be kinky or sexy—the types of books that pushed boundaries and gave our ancestors the vapors. (Examples: Lady Chatterley’s Lover, anything by de Sade, Fanny Hill)

Paige Gets Graphic: Comics and Graphic Novels: Because sexy pictures are sexy. Both kinky and vanilla (Tijuana Bibles, The Lost Girls Trilogy, Sunstone).

  • I have amassed a small library of physical and digital books already, but if you’d like me to review yours you can email digital copies to thepageist[at]gmail[dot]com. Or send physical copies to:
    Paige La Marchand
    ADDRESS REDACTED
  • I can’t promise I’ll be able to review everything I receive (time is the difficulty), but all reviews will be fair.

6.37 Book Review:

I decided to review Laura Antoniou’s contemporary erotic classic The Marketplace after hearing her interview with Dan and dawn on Erotic Awakening.

The Marketplace is the first book in a series also called The Marketplace, which is about an international organization that caters to people who want to own slaves and those who wish to give up all autonomy.

This book in the series is concerned with four slaves who are at a house that specializes in training slaves for auction. The four people represent stereotypes of the kink scene.

16.55 Sexy Section:

This was a difficult decision, let me tell you. I chose a scene featuring two of my favorite people–the slave who is very, very obedient and the female Mistress/trainer.

23.20 Meditations for submissives

  • Explanation of what this segment is about
  • A little history about Marcus Aurelius, co-emperor of Rome
  • The edition I use is the Penguin Great Ideas version
  • The first selection centers on how to maintain focus on the task at hand in order to be your best self
  • This is the companion post with the text

28.12 Closing Remarks: