Shades other than the 50

According to the dear readers of this blog, Fifty Shades of Grey sucks. Here’s my question then: If you could choose the work of erotic literature with which to introduce the unsuspecting masses to the world of BDSM, what would it be? As I said in my other post, I’ve never read Fifty Shades but I’ve also not read much else other than a large number of pornographic ditties.

So let’s have it. What deserves the attention Fifty Shades is getting? What’s a better choice?

19 thoughts on “Shades other than the 50

    1. Anything that Megan Hart has written is wonderful…she knows how to write erotic fiction, but more importantly, she knows how to write! I second Dirty. Switch is also good, as well as her collaboration with Lauren Dane-No Reservations and Taking Care of Business.

  1. I’ve read it and in my opinion is a bridge between vanilla and BDSM, it doesn’t belong to any of the two worlds, that’s why it’s so criticized by ‘pure’ vanilla (calling it anti-feminist, pro-abuse against women etc) and BDSM (non consensual regardless contracts and display of ‘toys’). The sex scenes aren’t brilliant, but they do the job well enough, women are not so complicated, simple raw descriptions from their pov work as well as a porno magazine.

    Forget about her being a naive 21 years old middle class virgin, forget about him being a striking good locking self-made billionaire with a traumatic childhood, these are the additives to make BDSM introduction more digestible (it wouldn’t work presenting BDSM as a ‘healthy way of life’ to people who don’t have a clue what that is). And the key is just that, approaching BDSM from a totally ‘ignorant’ who dreams about romance and literature (isn’t romanticism as good as BDSM to escape real life?). Introducing new ways of enjoying sex. And is not only from a Male Dom and female sub, in the book there are some allusions to Female Dominance too, the female character evolves and start contemplating other possibilities such as tying her lover up.

    The worst about all the fuss is just judging the book as rubbish just because are middle aged women who like it. I guess if it were a middle aged men favourite it would have a more sensible reception…

  2. The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty / Beauty’s Punishment / Beauty’s Release by Anne Rice/ A.N Roquelaure would get my vote.

  3. Bared to You by Slyvia Day was an interesting read to say the least. And just recently I wrote a post on a few books with similar themes to Fifty Shades if anyone’s interested. I’m guessing my blog link will show in this comment.

  4. Maybe I’m going out on a limb here…

    But I think if the ‘unsuspecting masses’ were to be introduced to ‘the world of BDSM’ by reading about the hard-core seamy undersides in the lifestyle, many people would run screaming into the night.

    Stories that include BDSM as an *element* of a *relationship* might be more palatable to the general population than tales of pain sluts reveling in the welts left by a cat and nine tails. A little romance wouldn’t be a bad touch either. Especially between equal partners.

    There are a spectacular number of facets to the BDSM community and the *relationships* within that community (D/s doesn’t have to include pain, B&D doesn’t have to include S&M, DD may or may not include elements of humiliation, etc.), so when it comes to literature that includes BDSM elements, we have to consider both *who* is reading and *why*.

    As for the WHO: Is the reader straight/gay/bi/other? Monogamous or polyamorous? Interested in domination or submission? Neither? Both? Bondage? Cuckolding? Are they into pain? If so, what kind? Is the reader a participant in a relationship that already has defined parameters or are they a free agent?

    WHY: Is the *who* reading for entertainment? Education? Exploration? Arousal? Curiosity? Critique? Blog fodder?

    The list of possibilities goes on and on.

    With that in mind, it’s nearly impossible to recommend only ONE book (or author) who, all alone, could be the lighthouse on the stormy sea that is BDSM. (Or perhaps the siren on the rocks is a more apt analogy.)

    I’m sorry to take up so much space here. I’m not trying to write a dissertation. LOL. It’s just that sometimes I feel like there’s so much that’s not only NOT being talked about… But there’s so much that’s not even being considered.


    All those caveats aside…

    For straight(ish) female readers who are 25(ish) to 40(ish) who (1) think they *might* like to try some kink but (2) aren’t too sure about ‘all that pain stuff’ and (3) would prefer to read a little bit of romance with (4) a side of suspense…

    (Insert deep breath here)

    I’d recommend “Tie Me Down” by Tracy Wolff.

  5. I actually enjoyed 50 Shades…..but hated the A. Rice Sleeping Beauty trilogy. I am currently reading Bared to You. Yes, 50 Shades is a little cheesy, but it wasn’t written for people who practice BDSM. It was to give the general vanilla population a little window into the life that many of us practice.

  6. So, I have to admit, I’ve given this some thought, though from a F/m pov rather than the M/f that 50 shades is.

    For me, the best BDSM book I’ve read, no competition, is Natural Law by Joey Hill. For something less intense (BDSM wise anyhow), I would second the vote for Megan Hart generally, as well as with Lauren Dane in Taking Care of Business.

    Also, ‘Hi!’ – I’ve been silently rss stalking you for a while. The Thumper/Belle dynamic is compulsive reading. 🙂

  7. Know what you’re reading.

    Of course Fifty Shades isn’t high brow literature. It’s not the best written, and there are surely faults. I found some. But then, I rarely read a book and get to the end and say “Everything about this was perfect!” My biggest disappointment from Fifty was that the kinkster had to have a traumatic background. Not the best message to send to the masses, but overall – the book has accomplished good things. In my opinion.

    In my life personally? I recommended it to my best friends. And you know what? They loved it. Told me they liked their sex a little rougher than they’d ever hinted to me before. They even said, quite salaciously, *they liked to be spanked*. Wide-eyed but delighted by this information, I got brave and took the plunge. I told them I was kinky. That’s right! I told my best friends I was kinky, and it was all facilitated by this book. So maybe the way Fifty was written did some harm to the BDSM community’s image. But it surely also did a bit of good, even if we’d rather it were better.

    As for recommendations, I think Cherise Sinclair (M/f), Guy New York (all varieties of sex and kink), and Chris Owen (M/m – the Deviations series) are good reads.

  8. From the gay male community, I agree with the Sleeping Beauty trilogy, and add 9 1/2 weeks by Elizabeth McNeill (book only, not the film.).

    Also from the gay side, add the Power Pay trilogy, the Hammer Club seris, By His Own Rules, and Deliver Us. All at the Kindle Store for downloading.

  9. I think if people like it, then any book is a good bridge. I don’t think you can really fully understand any lifestyle from a book but you can catch glimpses. The books are fantasy after all and are meant to entertain and titillate, so I don’t put too much pressure on them to educate. If they open the door, people who are interested can find out more.

    1. Agreed. It’s not unlike how many of us were introduced to the concept that there were other people in the world who liked the same things we did sexually. Some of it was good, some bad. No one thing can be the standard bearer of the entire thing especially when the thing itself is so damned diverse. Fifty Shades makes it OK for “normal” people to talk about kink and I’m quite sure it’s led to further exploration of the field by many.

  10. I’d recommend the Vampire Queen series from Joey W. Hill. She’s an amazing writer. It’s all about love, longing and D/s. The fantasy part might be not everyone’s cake, and i admit i haven’t read much else D/s wise, but damn.. it resonated so well within me.

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