Title: Submission: Erotica for Women
Editor: Alex Algren
Submitting to a partner, surrendering control to my partner has long been a fantasy of mine. I was excited to review this collection of submission-themed stories, especially since it features well-known erotica authors like Alison Tyler and Rachel Kramer Bussel.
Each story in this anthology features a male-female couple in which the male is dominant. The stories within range from the relatively tame (light bondage, blindfolds) to the more extreme (breath play, caning). There’s likely something here for everyone who enjoys the idea of submission, but the appeal of each particular story depends heavily on the tastes and experience level of the reader. I would say my own preferences in BDSM erotica are generally near the middle of the road, and this definitely influenced my opinion of the collection.
My favorite story by far was “Reclaiming” by Teresa Noelle Roberts. The scene involves a powerful female executive’s return from a business trip, and her lover reasserting his dominance over her. The scene is written from the male perspective, and I enjoyed the peek inside the mind of a dom. The story also struck a chord with me, as I share the heroine’s kick butt by day/surrender by night personality. Here’s an excerpt from the beginning of the story that really drew me in:
Sure, I have a mental image of a perfect slave, one who never slips up, never rebels, never is anything except 100 percent submissive. But what gets me going, gets me hard, is taking a girl to that point, training her, breaking her in ways we both enjoy, then putting her back together so she’s both stronger and softer than before. Repeatedly. Because perfection doesn’t happen in the real world, and it would be pretty boring anyway.
The problem, if you want to call it that, is that my Deirdre’s a true Type A personality. She strives for excellence in everything she does, which is why she was chosen to go to Singapore to straighten out a multimillion-dollar potential disaster. She applies that perfectionism to being a slave, as well.
And that leaves me well served, well fucked, and well loved, but without a lot to do.
But after three weeks of having to be Ms. Kicker-of-International-Corporate-Butt, she was understandably finding it challenging to slip back into her slave role.
And I was glad.
As is sometimes the case in BDSM erotica, the lines of consent may appear to be blurred within these stories. In most of the scenes, it rapidly becomes clear that this is a couple has a caring relationship and that the submissive female is a very willing participant in the action. The one notable exception to me was the second story (“The Art of Darkness” by Alison Tyler) in which the main character has a phobia of darkness, and her partner pushes her to wear a blindfold. Some of the comments he made to her leading up to the scene, and the implication that Killian gagged Greer to prevent her from using her safe word seemed off to me, despite her eventual acceptance and enjoyment.
The other stories in the book cover a variety of submissive scenarios. “Truss Issues” (Lux Zakari) focuses on a couple’s first experiment with bondage, and is a fairly gentle way to introduce readers to the anthology. Ms. Zakari captures the conflict between the heroine’s fears and desires, with desire winning out in the end. “I Breathe Your Name” (Tess Danesi), as you might expect, deals with breath play. While this isn’t something that appeals to me, the writing is polished and highly erotically charged. “The Weight” (Rachel Kramer Bussel) is told from the perspective of a small woman who loves the heavy, almost crushing weight of her boyfriend lying on top of her. The final story, “A Necessary Correction” (Debra Hyde), is the most intense. There is heavier bondage, caning and a BDSM party scene where the heroine is flogged. Personally, I prefer my impact play a little lighter, but I still very much enjoyed reading this vividly written story.
I’d recommend this book to those looking to explore submissive erotica, as well as to those who enjoy variety in their reading. You can buy Submission: Erotica for Women as an eBook from Cleis Press or purchase the Kindle version from Amazon.
Submission: Erotica for Women was provided to me free of charge in exchange for an honest review.