Please, Sir - bdsm toy by Cleis Press Inc. - review by Jenny Swallows

Please, Sir

Book by Cleis Press Inc.

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Whippings and apologies

Recommended more for the fan of hot erotic writing than for anyone searching for a true glimpse into the lifestyle. At the same time, and I don't mean to sound bitchy, this is not recommended to those readers who are able to detect rape and degradation in any sexual activity that they personally don't approve of.
Definitely an alluring cover pic, and a lot of the stories will keep you steaming, too
A little too much cliche, and a few tales miss the boat altogether
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review
Five or six years ago, the guy I was seeing at the time decided to re-invent himself as a sexual dominant. I’m not sure which website he took the idea from (the source of way too many male fantasies these days), and he never got around to telling me what was happening, either. A few slaps on the ass in public clued me into the fact that something was going on, and a mumbled “yeah, you like that, don’t you bitch” when he tweaked my nipple in the shower one day prompted me to ask him, “what the f---...?” And that was the end of that. Apparently a good submissive will never ask awkward questions. She will just accept her Master’s will as her own.

I’m sorry, but I disagree. I disagreed with it before, I disagreed with it at the time and, having read the twenty-two short stories that comprise “Please, Sir,” I disagree with it even more now.

Dominance (and, indeed, submission) is not simply a matter of him demanding “suck my dick” and her replying “how deep shall I take it?”

It is the wordless knowledge and acceptance of one another’s desires--and while yes, such a relationship can involve spanking and whip cracks, humiliation and pain--not only are those elements not perquisites, they are better described as cliched distractions. In other words, the sex is no more or less integral to a full D/s relationship than it is to a so-called vanilla one--and there are vanillas out there whose predilections and tastes could make the most seasoned dominant wince at the thought.

Not, however, the dominants in “Please, Sir.” Almost without exception, they queue up to visit all manner of pain and humiliation upon their simpering submissives; and almost without exception, the subs smile and say “thank you,” as though they all fell from the same cookie cutter mould. That is depressing, but not in the way you are probably thinking.

This is an excellent book, with more than half of its bodyweight comprised of excellent stories. The problem arises (and we saw this with another thematic collection, the Mile High Club collection of aviation hijinks) when the author then tries to shoehorn the original idea into a submissive high-heel.

Heidi Champa’s "Long Time Gone,” with its so vivid reimagining of forgotten teenaged passions, might align its protagonists as a traditional top and bottom, but it does so without laboring the point, without any suggestion of self-consciousness on the part of the players. Until it does.

Likewise, Elizabeth Coldwell’s “Because He Can,” in which the female narrator is so obviously the willing instigator of all that will occur that you doubt she has a submissive bone in her body. Manipulative, yes. Cock-hungry, for sure. But submissive? No.

Lisabet Sarai's "Stroke," on the other hand, takes you deeply into the world that the subtitle suggests, and does so with a creeping passion that is as secretly alluring as some readers might find it outwardly alarming. And remaining well clear of the Sunday drivers, Charlotte Stein’s “Pleasure Keeper” is another that does exactly what it says on the tin, by keeping its pleasures so tightly controlled that you can almost taste the narrator’s hunger - one instance where the collection’s overall title does move in to match the magic. And, as expected, there is the usual handful of stories that are straight out of DeSade... or at least, an AN Roquelaire-shaped approximation of his primal prototypes... with Kissa Starling’s “Lil Pet Brat” certainly the pick of the litter. Brattishness is not a pleasant quality in erotica or elsewhere, but the sheer absurd humor of the story leaps out like a beacon of glorious madness within a sea of otherwise relentless seriousness.

Because that’s the other thing about Dominance and submission that really isn’t captured by too many of the stories here. It’s fun, yes, but it’s also funny. It has the capacity to make your laugh fit to bust not only a gut, but several whalebone corsets and your gas-mask lining too.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what happened to the guy I was remembering at the start of the review? One night, he ordered me to choke on his cock. So I tried, just to see what would happen. I gagged and bit him so unintentionally hard that... well, let’s just say there were tears and accusations, recriminations and loud, slamming doors, and I don’t think we ever really spoke again.

Oh well, maybe I’m just not the submissive type.
This product was provided at a discounted price in exchange for an unbiased review. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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  • ksparkles16
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    Thanks for your perspective
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