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2006 Authors Insider Tips

Beyond the Basics
With Tulsa Brown
The 30-Second Solution
Backstory vs. Flashback
Intimacy Begins With "I"
Hit the Ground Running
Make the Reader Leap
Meaningful Dialogue
Pulling the String
Central Image
Elegant Smut
Better Plots
Bitch Power


The Write Stuff
From Ashley Lister
Predefined Your Goals
Spell Ink Miss Takes
Plotting & Planning
Character Building
Speech Therapy
Talking Sense


Two Girls Kissing
With Amie M. Evans
Intro to Lesbian Erotica
3-Dimensional Characters
Submitting for Publication
Five Year Writing Plan
Setting Up Your Plan...
The Power of Naming
Language of Lesbian...
Sexual Description
What Can I say?


Hard Business
From Greg Herren
What Are Your Priorities?
How to Edit an Anthology
Follow the Guidelines...
A Cock is Just a Cock
But is it Still a Story?
Who Am I Fucking?
Potential Material
Rejection ...


The Business End
By Kate Dominic
Effective Cover Letters
How to Lose Contracts
Contracts: Agent Issues
Contracts: Read It!
Double Duty Bios
What's Sex?


Literary Streetwalker
By M. Christian
Ground Rules for Writers
No Muse is Good News
Effective Cover Letters
Location, Location
Say Something!
Dirty Words


The Erotic Book Docter
By Susie Bright
Marketing Your Book
Submission Concerns
Promotion Strategies


2006 Smutters Lounge

Pondering Porn
With Ann Regentin
Babes & Hunks of Erotica
Fantasy, Reality & Rape
Selling Ourselves Short
Selling Smut in Motown
The Frankenstein Bride
Frankenstein Revisited
Porn and Perfect Shoes
Porn's Passionate Pull
Instruments of Joy


Get All Worked Up
With J.T. Benjamin
Orwell's Eerie Parallels
Redefining Marriage
The Porn Menace
High-Quality Porn
About Profanity
Dirty Laundry
Big Brother
Sluts


Editorials

Wrong Reasons to do SM
by Midori

Bound
by Sasha White


Review by Lisabet Sarai

 

 

The cover of Sasha White's novel BOUND features an expanse of bare skin, caged by straps of polished black leather. The straps are adorned with shiny buckles and studs. A steel ring presses firmly, perhaps even painfully, into the resilient flesh. The cover, and the title, invite the reader to enter a world of fetishistic pleasure, a domain where masters and slaves enact the timeless rituals of power and surrender.

Don't be fooled.

BOUND is an engaging and often arousing erotic romance featuring an appealing heroine. However, do not expect hardcore BDSM from this tale, or even "BDSM lite". Katie and Joe use the language and occasionally the trappings, of S&M fantasy to turn each other on, and indeed, the sparks fly. Their relationship, though, is fundamentally vanilla. Their encounters are intense and sensual; the chemistry feels right. But there's no real power dynamics: no risks, no boundaries pushed, none of the pure devotion the submissive offers, giving her body and her will totally to her master, none of the seductive arrogance of the master who takes what _he_ wants knowing that this will give his slave the most profound satisfaction.

Katie and Joe are equally proactive in their sexual games, even if they both like to pretend that Katie "belongs" to Joe. In fact, it's Katie who initiates the relationship, teasing Joe, a casino security guard, by getting herself off in front of the surveillance camera when she knows he's watching. Joe responds by cornering her, handcuffing her, and screwing her with a passion and thoroughness that totally overwhelms her. At that point, she tells him that she's his slut:

"Yours. To do with as you please, whenever you please."

It's an intoxicating thought, to give yourself completely to someone else to use and abuse. However, Katie doesn't really follow through, and neither does Joe. She flirts with other men; he pretends to be in charge but in fact he's as much at the mercy of their mutual lust as she is.

Meanwhile, I found her assertion implausible. The trust required for someone to really submit does not spring instantly to life in a first encounter with a near stranger.

I generally enjoyed reading BOUND, although false notes like this partially spoiled the experience for me. Katie thinks of herself as a "good girl", even when all her friends know that she's a risk taker. The discrepancies between Katie's self-image and her actual behavior (drinking herself into a stupor, entering a wet teeshirt contest, competing in a high stakes poker game, visiting an S&M club with a guy met in a bar) are well-drawn. Katie reveals herself through her interactions with her friends and her mother as well as with Joe. She's tough, passionate, sincere, and very young. She's believable.

Joe's more of a cipher but that's probably intentional. He's an ex-soldier with a mysterious past, shadowed by hints of violence. I think that Ms. White wants to make him scary; she only partly succeeds, as he ultimately comes across as a rough teddy bear. There's no question, though, that he's extremely sexy.

When the two come together, the pages heat up. There's no need for the S&M trappings. In my opinion, they only get in the way. For instance, in one scene Joe sends Katie a set of nipple clamps. In a breathless, intense phone conversation, he instructs her to put them on, while he watches her on camera. This is fine, a BDSM staple but no less exciting for having been used before. However, when Joe shows up in a bit later, the clamps are more or less forgotten. He checks them out, then he and Katie are in a clinch and the devices are not mentioned again.

Believe me, when you're wearing nipple clamps, you don't tend to forget about them.

BOUND concludes in typical romance fashion, with strong hints that Katie and Joe are bound by more than just all-consuming lust, and that they may have a future even though Katie has managed to escape from the small town where Joe has made his home. In fact, Katie comes to realize how special Joe is in response to her explorations of BDSM with someone else. This is one aspect of the story that did ring true. Ultimately, the quality of a BDSM experience depends much more on the relationship between the participants than on the activities they engage in.

Who knows, maybe Katie and Joe might end up as slave and master after all? If that's what you're looking for, though, you might find this particular book frustrating. On the other hand, if you're in the mood for a fairly conventional but pleasingly hot piece of romantic erotica, then BOUND is likely to satisfy.

Lisabet Sarai
October 2006


Bound by Sasha White
(Berkeley Publishing Group, 2006; ISBN 0425212745)
Available at: Amazon.com / Amazon UK


_____
© 2006 Lisabet Sarai. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.


About the Author:
Lisabet Sarai has been writing ever since she learned how to hold a pencil. She is the author of three erotic novels, Raw Silk, Incognito, and Ruby's Rules, and the co-editor, with S.F. Mayfair, of the anthology Sacred Exchange  (Blue Moon), which explores the spiritual aspects of BDSM relationships. Read Lisabet Sarai's bio on the Erotica Readers & Writers Association.
Visit her website, Lisabet Sarai's Fantasy Factory for more information and samples of her writing.



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