For this month’s edition of Kinked Ink, I’ve invited San Francisco writer of erotica Dorothy Freed to tell us about her favorite and most influential erotic literature.
Dorothy is a fascinating lady. At age seventy-one, she is writing and publishing some incredibly hot and kinky stories, largely based on her own life experiences. Fortunately for us, she is also writing her memoir, PERFECT STRANGERS : One Woman’s Journey Through The Swinging Seventies, and will possibly write a sequel recounting her far more kinky experiences in the ’80’s (which I am really hoping for). For a great introduction, I recommend this discussion/interview on Rose Caraway’s Sexy Librarian’s Erotic Blog-Cast.
Here is Dorothy’s response to my invitation to discuss her favorite erotica:
First, let me thank LN Bey, the originator of Kinked Ink, a unique forum for erotica writers. What a lovely opportunity to discuss works of fine writing combined with high sexual content that stand out as hot, strong, and significant in my life, and has influence my writing as well.
I am a seventy-one-year old writer who claims the tongue-in-cheek distinction of being the oldest practicing writer of erotica in the SF Bay Area. While this may or may not be so, in 1983, while in my late thirties, I recognized my erotic nature for what it was by the nature of my fantasies and came out as a submissive into BDSM, known at that time as SM. During that year I joined the Janus Society — an organization dedicated to the promotion of safe, sane, and consensual erotic play. As a member, I attended educational demonstrations and social events, and dated a handful of Dominant men. I met my husband and Sir in late 1983, through a relationship ad I’d placed in a Bay Area newspaper. Our first date was so dynamic it continued on all night. We are still partnered and sexually active today.
The first erotic book to capture my attention was Nine and A Half Weeks: A Memoir of A Love Affair, by Elizabeth McNeill. Although the book was published in 1978, I initially read it in 1984, during the first year of my relationship with my Sir — a year during which I couldn’t stop smiling, and the very air I breathed was charged with sexual excitement.
This memoir was written in a spare, unemotional, no word wasted writing style, and is the story of an unusual, passionate, and extreme affair. Elizabeth McGraw, an art gallery employee, and John Gray, a businessman, meet and begin a D/s relationship. The story opens with Elizabeth’s statement that during their first time in bed together he held her hands pinned down above her head and she liked it. The second time he blindfolded her with a scarf, which she liked as well. The third time he brought her repeatedly to the brink of orgasm before stopping, continuing only when she begged for release. The fourth time he used the scarf to bind her wrists together, rewarding her compliance with a dozen red roses delivered ro her office.
As their affair progressed, the couple played out variations on this theme, with escalating levels of pain and humiliation, including sex with strangers, until Elizabeth has relinquished all control over her mind and body to John. The relationship comes to an end when during their final night together, he whipped her until he drew blood, and expressed how arousing it was to imagine how far they might actually go. The next morning Elizabeth realized that her lover will eventually kill her — and that she will let him. She began sobbing and was unable to stop until given sedation at a hospital. She began a period of treatment, and never saw John again. But the next time she slept with a man she realized that her “sensation thermostat” was out of whack. Years passed and she wondered if her body would ever again register above lukewarm.
A cautionary tale to be sure, this book engendered considerable discussion within the kinky community — particularly among those of us newly out into this form of erotic expression. One woman I knew, with a top who pushed her far beyond her limits, spiraled out of control into a danger zone and ended their relationship on a dark and bitter note. But my feeling is that the truth lies in the nature of the erotic fantasy itself. In the same way as pot is not a gateway drug to heroin, a non-violent fantasy will not yield a violent result. And in light of thirty-three years of safe, sane, and consensual BDSM play between me and my Sir, I believe this to be true.
A second book that captivated me during the same time period was Mister Benson, a novel by John Preston published in 1983 after becoming a serialized legend in Drummer Magazine. This is the strong, well written tale of a leather Daddy and the submissive who becomes slave, lover, and personal possession.
The narrator, Jaime, a cute, cocky twenty-five-year old, describes his journey from clueless cruiser to well-trained slave when he meets the no-holds-barred Master of his dreams, Mister Aristotle Benson. This story transports readers back to a pre-AIDS, gay fantasy world that includes multiple fetishes, including some that are now considered taboo.The protagonists are involved in a relationship dynamic in which the slave obeys the wishes of his Master without question — whether or not he wishes to — with the clear understanding that the Master is always the Master, otherwise the relationship must end.
The transformation of both Master and slave is expressed in a powerful epilogue by Mister Benson, in which his Dominant mind-set shines through like a beacon, spotlighting a tantalizing look at a hard-core BDSM love story.
Dorothy’s website is http://dorothyfreedwrites.com/ which contains her blog,
Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/dorothyfreedwrites/