I'm doing a 31-day (May) virtual book tour for Please, Sir: Erotic Stories of Female Submission. Want to be part of it? We have 30 spots left! Email pleaseantho at gmail.com with your URL and any preferred dates. Bloggers get a free copy of the book (if they're in the US, sorry, can't afford to send overseas) and are asked to post the cover and link to Amazon and the Please, Sir blog and can either review the book, post an excerpt, interview me or whatever else you'd like. Books will be mailed out in mid-April so I know that may not give the earlier bloggers much time to read it but I'll get them out as soon as I can.
Everyone else: I'm getting postcards for this book very soon and buttons and you can get a FREE copy at my signings (autographing area and in booth) at BEA if you're attending. If not, I should have copies hopefully as early as Nerd Sex Night (April 15th) at In The Flesh. Will post as soon as it's for sale! I'm shooting the book trailer April 3rd/4th and really doing a big push, so if you know someone who might like it, please let them know.
Introduction: Risk and Reward
Anticipation Shanna Germain
Because He Can Elizabeth Coldwell
Avery Says Sommer Marsden
The Sub Fairy Mercy Loomis
I Breathe Your Name Tess Danesi
Long Time Gone Heidi Champa
Power over Power Emerald
Knot Here! Yolanda West
Veronica’s Body Isabelle Gray
The Negotiation Remittance Girl
A Night at the Opera Evan Mora
Mommy’s Boy Doug Harrison
No Good Deed Alison Tyler
Masochist on Vacation Aimee Pearl
Lil’ Pet Brat, aka Lily Guangli Kissa Starling
Pleasure Keeper Charlotte Stein
Welcome to the World Ariel Graham
Stroke Lisabet Sarai
Sunday in the Study Justine Elyot
Walking the Sub Salome Wilde
Just What She Needs Donna George Storey
Your Hand on My Neck Rachel Kramer Bussel
Introduction: Risk and Reward
If you ask me, submission is an art form. It requires dedication, focus, commitment and desire--and there’s no single way of doing it. It’s about unlocking something within yourself so you can reach beyond your normal limits, exposing your body and soul in order to go somewhere you cannot get to alone.
I had a lover who always told me that the key to life is “High risk, high reward.” The same is true about kink, and this is evident throughout the stories in Please, Sir, which explores female submission and male dominance from the sub’s point of view. When these characters take risks, they are rewarded…even when those rewards look like “punishment.” They are rewarded in all kinds of ways, from being bound to being praised to being choked, spanked or put on display. They are rewarded by being tested again and again.
The women in these stories approach submission in different ways. Some, like Tess Danesi’s protagonist in “I Breathe Your Name,” live on the edge of fear and get off on pushing the limits with their masters, though they don’t always know where their boldness will take them. Some of these women are drawn to the charisma of a born leader, one like Krav Maga instructor, Dominic, in Emerald’s “Power over Power.” Jackie, his student, has been watching and fantasizing about him, but when he finally acknowledges her sexually, she is caught off guard:
I trembled, wanting to touch him but feeling frozen. Still looking at the ground, I nodded.
With characteristic efficiency of motion, he reached with one finger and pulled my chin up. A shudder ran through me as I felt his poweræthe power I saw in every move he made, that he exuded at the front of the class, that he spoke when he told us what we were capable of, that coiled and expelled from him whenever he slammed any part of his body into the punching bag. This was the power that lived unquestioned within him, so seamlessly that it was as though it wouldn’t exist without him.
Others don’t expect to be getting kinky at all, like the “Mommy’s Boy” in Doug Harrison’s story, where tables get turned in a most delightful way. In Lisabet Sarai’s “Stroke,” a woman risks getting kinky at work in order to realize her dream:
I just stood there, petrified by mingled fear and excitement. If anyone discovered us, I’d lose my job. I’d never work as a nurse again. Five years of education down the drain. But this might be my only chance. The chance to make my fantasies real.
The lesson there, and in all of these stories, is that there is risk involved in submission. I don’t mean the physical risks, but the emotional ones, the ones that require a leap of faith, a knowledge that what you are doing may unnerve you, confuse you and scare you, even while it makes you wet and eager and ready for more. As we see in Shanna Germain’s opening story, “Anticipation,” merely thinking about what he might do next, playing with power in one’s own mind, can yield profound results:
I can no longer breathe, much less make a noise of want. This is what he does to me, every day: whips me into a frenzy of words that makes me miss him more than I have the power to say, that makes me so wet that if he were here, I’d fuck him right now, bent over this table, with all these people watching, groaning his name with every thrust. I’d be begging him to fuck me, beat me, make me come with the kind of orgasm that makes everything else disappear.
I have to go, back to the work that calls, the work that keeps me here in this foreign and fuckless place, but I don’t want to.
Some, like Kissa Starling’s heroine, are brats, and enjoy pushing their masters to the limit. Some don’t deliberately provoke anyone, but wind up bent over anyway. However they come to their submission (and come from their submission), their journey is one charged with the spark of passing power between two people, of welcoming the risk of submission and all it entails.
I like the women in this collection, and not just because they remind me of me when I’m reveling in being slapped across the face, forced to the ground, utterly at my chosen lover’s (or master’s, or partner’s or top’s) mercy. It’s not just the actions here that are familiar, but the reasoning, the way they crave and cringe in the face of the power they are claiming, and the power they are giving up. They are smart enough to know that kink is not about simply embracing one’s fears, but grappling with them, battling with them, taking risks and seeing if, in fact, they yield very sexy rewards.
Rachel Kramer Bussel
New York City