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'07 Authors Insider Tips

FictionCraft
by Louisa Burton
Formatting Your Manuscript
Scams / Choosing an Agent
Pitching Your Novel...
From The Call to Published...


Hard Business
From Greg Herren
Who Is Telling This Story?
It’s Work, Not A Hobby
Where Ideas Come From


Sexy on the Page
With Shanna Germain
Plotting Erotic Fiction
Seducing Your Muse
Creating Characters...
Description, Action & Dialogue
Fucking on Paper
Ten No-Nos of Erotic Fiction
Climactic Moments: First Draft
Critique Groups
Revising Your Erotic Story
Finding the Perfect Markets...
Just Submit Already
Rejections and Acceptances


Two Girls Kissing
With Amie M. Evans
Verb Tense Confusion
Coming Up with Story Ideas
Attend a Writers’ Conference
The Fundamentals of POV
Should I Sign That?
Etiquette for Authors
Erotica is Serious Work
No Body Writes for Free...
Shameless Self Promotions
The Myth of Writer's Block


The Write Stuff
From Ashley Lister
The Time is Write
The Beautiful People
A Book by Any Other...
Synopsis: the Necessary Evil
Erotica or Porn?
Feedback Whine


2007 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister
What's it like being a writer?
Blog
An Apology to Salespeople


Get All Worked Up
With J.T. Benjamin
About Secrets
The Perfect Fuck
About Choices
The Age of Consent
The Kingmaker
Kids and Sex
M.Y.O.B.
The Price of Beauty
The G.O.P.
All Worked Up About Hate
Real Men


Pondering Porn
With Ann Regentin
Good Sex: A Physics Lesson
Meet Frankenstein
Thoughts on the Orgasm Gap
The Very Bloody Marys
The Doomsday Erection
Online Threesome Porn

Equal Opportunities
by Mathilde Madden


Review by Lisabet Sarai



Mary Taylor doesn't try to hide the fact that she's kinky. An ex-PR manager turned doctoral student and waitress, Mary has a toy chest filled with restraints, dildos and paddles, and the imagination to go with it. Nevertheless, there's one kink that even Mary doesn't advertise; she gets turned on by guys in wheelchairs.

When she spies beautiful, buff David wheeling himself around the library finding books for his mom, she just can't help following him home for a night of wild and definitely non-vanilla sex. Not that David complains; since his auto accident the year before, his sex life has consisted primarily of chats with anonymous cyber-sluts. Mary's reaction to his disability is lust rather than pity or disgust, and it's a welcome change. Meanwhile, David discovers that being helpless is surprisingly arousing, when he is in Mary's capable hands.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES is an original, competently written novel that breaks the Black Lace stereotypes. Ms. Madden alternates between Mary's and David's points of view, showing how what begins as a purely physical relationship becomes something more fundamental and complex. The first person narratives help to make both characters real. The minor characters are also skillfully drawn, especially Doctor Mercury, Mary's boozy, voyeuristic dissertation advisor.

Ms. Madden explores the misunderstandings, crossed signals, half truths and hidden guilts that occur in every real relationship, while highlighting the physical and psychological connection that binds Mary and David together. Their mutual obsession rings true.

David's disability and Mary's secret kink are a special obstacle, though, that most couples do not have to overcome. When a hospital staff member suggests that David may in fact recover and leave his wheelchair behind, Mary is forced to consider whether it's David she loves, or his helplessness. And David must deal with the crushing suspicion that he's merely a toy for satisfying Mary's freakish desires.

There is one way that EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES is consistent with the Black Lace formula; it offers many and varied sex scenes. Mary gets it on not only with David, but also with her co-worker Thomas, while David ends up shagging his physiotherapist in the handicapped bathroom. Much of the sex involves moderately intense D/s play. The penultimate scene is a lusciously decadent MMF three-some climaxing (so to speak) with Thomas sodomizing David.

As anyone who has read my own fiction would probably guess, these sexual scenarios are among my personal favorites. Somehow, though, I did not find EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES very arousing. I've tried to analyze why this was true. The sex scenes are reasonably well-written, imaginative, appealingly transgressive. Yet for the most part they left me cold.

My tentative conclusion is that Mary is too selfish and self-involved to be sympathetic. She is predatory in a way that makes me uncomfortable. She enjoys seeing David aroused, not for his sake, but because it makes her hot. In the sex scenes we see through her eyes, she is always slightly detached, planning her next move, setting up the scenes that turn her on. We never see her helpless in the face of lust, losing control, forgetting her schemes and strategies as she is swept away by passion.

In addition, she does not really demonstrate the empathy of a true dominant. She doesn't understand, in any depth, what David is thinking and feeling as she binds, teases and punishes him. My impression is that she doesn't really care.

Paradoxically, of course, this explanation testifies to Ms. Madden's skill in creating the character of Mary. Mary seems very real to me, and I don't like her very much.

Despite this criticism, I enjoyed reading EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES for its insight into relationships and the courage of its premise. Not many erotica writers would dare to create a protagonist who is flawed in the way David is. Most people tend to think of paraplegics and other severely disabled individuals as sexless, not only incapable of sexual activity but also uninterested in it. EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES challenges us to reconsider this assumption, to broaden our definition of what is or could be erotic. Personally, I find this admirable.

Lisabet Sarai
December/January 2007


Equal Opportunities by Mathilde Madden
(Virgin Black Lace; November 28, 2006; ISBN: 0352340703)
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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'07 Book Reviews

Anthologies

A for Amour / B for Bondage
Review by Ashley Lister

Best Women's Erotica '07
Review by Ashley Lister

The Butcher, The Baker...
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C is for Coeds
Review by Ashley Lister

Cream: The Best of ERWA
Review by Ashley Lister

Cream: The Best of ERWA
Perceptions by Cervo

Coming Together for the Cure
Review by Lisabet

Cross-Dressing
Review by Ashley Lister

F is for Fetish
Review by Ashley Lister

Got a Minute?
Review by Ashley Lister

He's on Top
Review by Ashley Lister

Love on the Dark Side
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Lust: ...Fantasies for Women
Review by Ashley Lister

The Mammoth Book Vol 6
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Naughty Spanking Stories
Review by Ashley Lister

Quickies 1
Review by Angelika Devlyn

She's on Top
Review by Ashley Lister

Sixteen of the Best
Review by Ashley Lister

Novels

Amorous Woman
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Boss
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Burning Bright
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Call Me By Your Name
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Cockhold
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Continuum
Review by Ashley Lister

Dark Designs
Review by Ashley Lister

Equal Opportunities
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Enthralled
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Flood
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Gothic Blue
Review by Ashley Lister

Hotbed
Review by Ashley Liste

The Lords of Satyr: Nicholas
Review by Helen E. H. Madden

Love Song of the Dominatrix
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Ménage
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Riding the Storm
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Silver Collar
Review by Ashley Lister

Split
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Suite Seventeen
Review by Ashley Lister

Sweet as Sin
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Tiffany Twisted
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Top of Her Game
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Whalebone Strict
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Wife Swap
Review by Gary Russell

Wings of Madness
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Gay Erotica

Historical Obsessions
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Homosex: 60 Years of Gay...
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Mammoth Book of New Gay...
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Standish
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Lesbian Erotica

Iridescence:...Lesbian Erotica
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Sex Guides

The Path of Service
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Secrets of Porn Star Sex
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Touch Me There
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Non-Fiction

Concertina: An Erotic Memoir...
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Daddy's Girl
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Dirt for Art's Sake
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Entangled Lives
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Impotence: A Cultural History
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I, Goldstein: My Screwed...
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In Praise of the Whip
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Insatiable: ...Porn Star
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Letters of a Portuguese Nun
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Mississippi Sissy
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Ron Jeremy
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Virgin: The Untouched...
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The Year of Yes
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