Reading can spur a lot of erotic emotions, thoughts, and actions. Write about the books, magazines, or other reading materials that have shaped your sexuality.
The first book to shape my sexuality was Nancy Friday’s ‘Forbidden Flowers’. I had masturbated before, and had even orgasmed before I knew what it was, but friends I spoke to listened carefully and then denied they did anything themselves. I read that book and I knew that I wasn’t alone. It opened my eyes to a world where girls could think bad stuff that turned them on. These were women who knew what they wanted and could admit it. Suddenly I didn’t feel alone anymore. I read their fantasies and I thought about my own. Some of them did nothing for me apart from pique my interest, but others turned me on and I would go back to them over and over again, using them as fuel for my own dirty thoughts.
I bought a couple of her other books and read them too, but they didn’t have the impact that the initial one did on me. I suppose it also paved the way for some of my kinkier thoughts. I didn’t think of it as kink back then though, and I knew nothing about BDSM or Dominance and submission. I think I knew about S&M but it wasn’t something that I thought much about; it didn’t seem to get me going the same way as thinking about the things that I saw as a bit deviant, a bit wrong, a bit dirty and a bit dark. Knowing that I was not the only person who thought of that weird stuff gave me confidence. But when I asked others, they still thought I was crazy. The incredulous look was preferrable to the disgusted expression but they both confirmed my thoughts that my thoughts must stay hidden.
It was some time later that I read ‘Story of O’ by Pauline Reage. From the point in the car when he told her to remove her panties, pull up her skirt and slip, and sit in the cold leather seat without anything in between, I was hooked and horny. I found the book challenging in parts as there was a lot there which masked my feelings. It was very heavily S and M and while the thought of a bit of pain was quite exciting, the limits she endured for her submission didn’t light a fire for me. What I did like was the alterations to her body. The way that she was displayed for others and the humiliation which went along with the events which took place behind the doors of the mansion house. Again, I found myself reading parts of it over and over, and letting my imagination run away with me.
For some reason, the penny still didn’t drop, and I feel pretty naive about that now. How could I read a book about Dominance and submission, and remain in the dark about what it was, or what it could mean for me? By this time I knew my tastes were the wrong side of normal but, despite having my eyes opened by a sexual relationship which had a real D/s flavour, I still did not join the dots. I wonder now if it was partly my lack of ability to admit what I wanted that led me to make choices which meant that I wouldn’t get it. Whatever the reason I married more for cerebral reasons than for sexual ones, and my husband made it clear what his feelings about my desires were.
I continued to dip into the books from my past, but mostly it hurt to explore that part of me. I kept it contained, within the covers of the texts, and hid my fantasies away in the bedside table for safekeeping. When I met HL all of that changed and I was awoken once more. I began to explore again and, as he enjoyed the same sorts of things, I was high on the twist that my sexuality was taking. We wrote a bit for each other, and as the details poured out, we began to bring our latent desires to life. It wasn’t until a holiday away together, that I picked up the books he mum had leant me. I still wonder if she knew something then that we didn’t, but who is to say? I am more than a little ashamed that the terrible writing of ‘Fifty Shades’, actually shaped my sexuality.
I cannot recommend that book as it is so poorly written, but it did give me the vocabulary to set me straight as to what had been missing thus far. Despite the much documented criticisms about the content, it let me see what I had not seen for so long. In the way that the well structured, grammatically correct writing of Reage, Sacher-Masoch and Marquis de Sade had managed to shroud, the fact I was a sexual submissive hit me over the head like a cheesy metaphor. Although not a good example of a D/s relationship, there was enough there to let me understand that what I felt, and what I wanted, and what turned me on, was ‘a thing’. It was a thing that others also felt, and it had a name.
Having established that I was naturally sexually submissive, and feeling that it was a lifestyle that could work for us in other areas too, I used my love of literature to find something that might be more helpful than the world of Christian and Ana. What followed was a sort of frenzy of reading which left me a little wiser but probably no more realistic about what to do, and how to make D/s work for us. I had asked HL to be my Dominant. He had agreed, but also wanted to know what that meant for us. I tried to use the bits and pieces that I read to get it straight in my own head and share it with him, but the dearth of appropriate material, fiction and non, made it a challenge.
Basically we felt our way along for a couple of years while we tried to make sense of it all. In the end, we moved things our of the bedroom and made a formal commitment to each other to live in a power exchange dynamic. We agreed the parameters, taking inspiration from some of what we had read, but essentially we made it up as we went along. Meeting other D/s couples helped us to get the basics set in a way that we could build upon. I continued to read a lot of erotic fiction and enjoyed the ‘Brie’ books by Red Phoenix, as they revealed more to me about what being submissive might mean. I also enjoyed the humiliation aspect of ‘The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy’ by Anne Rice, and it helped me to understand more about my desire for humiliation and for CnC.
Alas, I transpired not to be that type of submissive. I wasn’t able to give all without question. I wasn’t able to be demure and not push back. I needed to be taken, to be Dominated, but feel like I still had a voice. A book which made a lot of sense to me was ‘The Warrior Princess Submissive’, but although I had a lightbulb moment while reading it, I later discovered it was written by a man who was convicted of sexual offences so I feel that, despite the sense of the relevance of the content to me, it is not a book I can recommend. I also enjoyed the Tiffany Reiz ‘Original Sinners’ series as, again, the characters allowed me to learn more about my own desires.
Since discovering the world of blogging, I prefer reading about real people living the dynamic than I do the characters of the world of erotic fiction. I suppose it has replaced the need for that sort of exploration and escape, and I am happy to read and write the material here. These days I am much more influenced by what I learn from other couples, doing the thing that we do. Unless I am on holiday, I find that I don’t have a lot of time to get lost in the world contained between the covers of a good book. I hope to change this in the future, of course. I studied literature at university and it has always been a love of mine. I look forward to getting back to reading more, and who knows what will be discovered next.