This may be TMI, but here it is: I like vanilla sex. No, love. I love vanilla sex. I don’t need you to tie me up, attach clamps to my naughty bits or whip me with anything. With a partner to whom I feel connected in the head and (sometimes) heart, I’m apt to enjoy and enthusiastically participate, even with no accessories required.
But don’t get me wrong, I’m all for consenting adults doing whatever they want to get their rocks off. And ever the adventurous one, I’ll try just about anything at least once given the right kind of persuasion. But having said that, I don’t get particularly hot and bothered at the idea of restraints, submitting to anything or anyone, or watching others get it on.
So when The Black told me about his new book, ‘Black Satin’ a compilation of BDSM shorts, I very politely expressed my interest but didn’t immediately put it on my TBR (“to be read”) list. Still, having become well-acquainted with his writing style even to the point of enjoying a novella he wrote called ‘The Axe’ (yeah, the thing you use to chop things . . . or people, with) I decided to see what he would do with this still somewhat taboo, though increasingly mainstreamed content.
The result? I read ‘Black Satin’ in one sitting.
To limit this book to the now trendy BDSM genre-fiction is to do it an injustice. For one thing, there’s not a whole lot of B,D, S or M, at least not in the way that purists and practitioners of that lifestyle would see it. Instead, The Black takes us on a journey with several couples experimenting with physical and emotional limits in their relationships.
My favorite story by far in the compilation is the very first one, ‘OPP’ (and if you don’t know what that means you better ask somebody). In ‘OPP’, we see Baron, a character who appears in ‘With Benefits’ and ‘What Becomes of the Brokenhearted’ engage in a sexy power-struggle with his neighbor that is a scarily accurate portrayal of how some women wield their sexuality as a weapon and how men may respond to that show of force. Someone reaches the point of submission for sure in this story, though not in the way you might expect given the BDSM label. In fact, if you’re not nearly as adventurous as some people, and believe that BDSM is code for cringe-worthy, risktaking bedroom behavior, there is nothing to fear in this book — almost all of the bondage, domination, submission, etc. is to be found in the psychological rather than the sexual elements of these stories.
My second favorite story in the compilation would be very difficult to pick, honestly, because they each had something that piqued and kept my interest. And for lovers of romance, there’s plenty for you to sink your teeth into as well. But on the whole, here’s what I loved about this book. It was not a cobbled-together series of overblown sexual situations masquerading as fiction. As is always the case with The Black’s work, the characterization was thorough, the situations believable, the stories engaging, and most were vaguely reminiscent of some situation in our own life or those of people we know.
What I liked most about ‘Black Satin’ was that in almost every story, there was a full, detailed back-story that made the sexual situations make perfect sense. At no point while reading these shorts did I roll my eyes and say, ‘Yeah, like that would happen in real life.’ It was sexy, it was arousing but it was intelligent erotica. So if like me, you like realism with your fantasy and believe that the biggest aphrodisiac is what you have between your ears and not between your legs, ‘Black Satin’ is one you’re sure to enjoy.