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Random Question Of The Day…

Sunday, November 30, 2008
Posted in: random musings

Why are slave fantasy books so damn popular? Seriously, why?



  • Rebecca
    November 30
    4:31 pm

    This sexual kink is so not my thing…. But my guess would be that in today’s world, when so many of us are stressed out from being in charge in our careers and homelife, that the fantasy of giving it all up and handing the ownership and responsibility over to another is very attractive and takes a sexual aspect. The punishment and humiliation aspects reflect what people that have this kink feel they deserve or need in order to finally give up control. And that release is really what this kink revolves around.

    Personally, I would rather something Tall, Dark and Smoldering take me away from it all and indulge my every whim (while remaining equal to me). I’m picturing lavish vacations, plenty of chocolate and of course lots of time with said Mr. Tall, Dark and Smoldering.

    To each their own.

    But I do wish that slave fantasy books had a special warning on them. There is nothing more unappealing than sitting down to read what looks to be a good book (to my tastes anyway) then finding out that it turns out to be another suprise BDSM/slave fantasy book in disguise. Ick!


  • West
    November 30
    5:04 pm

    Karen, are you talking about just the sex scenes, or the whole relationship? Personally,I don’t mind a little BDSM in the bedroom scenes (although anytime I read a book where someone is called “master”, I want to burn my eyes out with tequila), but what really bothers me is when it leaves the bedroom and becomes part of the relationship. I understand the point of Dom/Sub sex is that the sub is the one with the power (safe words, limitations, pleasing the Dom is part of what gets them off), but when it leaves the bedroom, it just doesn’t feel like it. I like my characters to be equal, and I just don’t see that.

    I read this series by Carol Lynne, “Campus Cravings”, which by and large was pretty good (much better than her Men In Love series, of which you reviewed Ben’s Wildflower, and I have to agree, it was bad), but the second book in the series involved this very story line. By the middle of the book it was turning my stomach. I just don’t see how being ordered around, put on a schedule, following orders, and sitting at your lover’s feet (yes, he literally sits at his master’s feet) is supposed to be sexy. Where’s the equal footing? Maybe it’s because I’m so strongwilled I could never be in that position, but it nauseates me.

    Also, I think for me, what I really hate is the whole “forcing them out of their comfort zone” plotline that tends to come with the master/slave thing. Most of the time it feels-to me-more like humiliation. I’m not down with that.


  • West, I’m talking about the relationships. I’m not that fond of BDSM scenes, but as long as it’s a scene rather than a way of life for the h/h, I can deal.


  • You know, I’m showing my age here, grin. My first thoughts when reading this were of the harem stories by Bertrice Small! 🙂

    As for BDSM I have a pretty negative reaction to it, too; collars, master, doing what the dom knows is ‘best’ for the sub, forced sex with many other men because the dom just knows it’s what is needed to set the sub ‘free’, etc. makes me put a book down so fast you can’t say boo. I’ve gotten physically ill when I came across it in a book that wasn’t advertised as such. I, personally, cannot see the appeal at all, but I guess it’s live and let live.

    What bothers me a lot is that they are starting to label a lot of things BDSM that aren’t BDSM at all. I like a bit of rough play, spankings, etc. which is most definitely not BDSM, but it seems it gets labeled as such because the label sells. I’m missing out because I don’t touch anything with that label, and that irks the hell out of me.


  • Heh, if I wanted to indulge in a “give up the stress and aggravation of life’s responsibilities” fantasy, I’ll fantasize about a menage that includes me, a gorgeous man who loves to wash dishes, look after the kids and give footrubs, and a sweet-natured yet independent woman who makes 500 grand a year.


  • West
    November 30
    11:32 pm

    Karen, I figured that was what you meant, but thought I’d better ask just to be sure. And I’m right there with you. Have you seen the discussion over on Dear Author about “Unlaced” and the one story in it? It’s fascinating.

    @GrowlyCub- I agree that they are slapping the BDSM label on books I personally wouldn’t consider part of the genre, but I’ve got a pretty high tolerance on what I can handle. Some people don’t, and even the slightest amount of spanking or restraint-play upsets them, so the label is a good thing. Yes, most of the time it’s just leading to higher sales, but if it keeps even one person from reading something that would upset them, then it’s good enough for me (I personally wish books containing rape were labelled so I never accidentally buy them).


  • West,

    I hear what you are saying, but the particular publisher I’m thinking about does mention spanking/bondage as well as use the BDSM label.

    I figure folks who are in the scene can’t be very happy that it’s being appropriated for all kinds of things that have nothing to do with BDSM.


  • West
    December 1
    12:27 am

    I asked my friends who are in the scene what they thought of it, and they both agreed is it BDSM, just a really mild form. They said books like that would never have an effect on couples like them, but for the more squeamish it’s an appropriate warning, and asked what else it should be labelled under. I had to admit, I couldn’t think of another established category that would cover it.


  • Guess I’m kinkier than I realized then, grin.

    I always thought mentioning that a story has mild bondage/spanking in it was enough, but I bow to the folks in the know. 🙂


  • West
    December 1
    1:06 am

    You really want to test your kink level? Befriend a couple in the scene, go over for dinner, follow their instructions to let yourself in, and see what you walk in on when they’ve forgotten they had plans with you

    That is how I found out my friends were in the scene. And trust me, there are some things you *never* want to see your friends doing (and no, I’ve never again just let myself in, no matter what my friends say). 🙂


  • Emmy
    December 1
    7:44 am

    No idea. I’m black. Slavery wasn’t and isn’t a cute and happy ‘oh look at me, I’m a snarky subbie’ fantasy for anyone in my family, past or present. No, siree, Massa. Not a fantasy. At. All.

    That said, I don’t mind a little slap and tickle in the bedroom…as long as I’m the one doing the slapping.


  • Julia Sullivan
    December 2
    7:30 pm

    It’s partly that there are people whose kink that is, and it’s partly the insistence of publishers that nobody will buy books about other kinks (for instance, femdomme).

    Just as there’s complete insistence that all menages must be MMF, never FFM; I just don’t believe that there aren’t an equal number of folks in the world who are turned on by FFM and not MMF.

    But the thing is that the mindset is so rigid, and publishers are so unaware of it. They’ll back it up by saying “But we did focus groups and our readers don’t want femdomme!” Well, duh–obviously the people who buy books from an outfit completely set on maledom-only erotica are likely to be people to whose kink that appeals. It’s like the Jif company saying “We took a survey of our buyers, and they all prefer peanut butter sandwiches to roast beef sandwiches! Roast beef sandwiches would never sell!”


  • Jen
    December 3
    10:57 pm

    I think it has to do with the accompanying master. In a slave fantasy, the master knows each and every little trigger for the slave, and also knows that every push out of the slave’s comfort zone will definitely result in the slave having an intense and pleasurable experience.

    Other appeals of the slave fantasy seem to be that there’s security and comfort in a clearly defined set of instructions and responsibilities that come with a corresponding security in a definite external source that is responsible for the safety, security, care, and comfort of the slave. In other words, a slave may be asked to do demeaning things, but that slave knows that there will be a payoff eventually–an orgasm at the end of the scenario, f’r’ex, and that the slave’s needs will be provided for.

    Slave fantasy is inappropriate and not very politically correct. Much like coerced fantasy (I don’t favor the term “rape fantasy” because rape is about power rather than sex, and the coerced fantasy is about the abdication of control in the fantasizer), it doesn’t have a big place in our society. But it’s still there as part of the scope of human fantasy, hence erotica writers will write about it.

    I’m mostly okay with it, as long as the book’s tone makes it obvious that it’s a fantasy–it’s hard to articulate, but in the books that squick me, the actual actions and behaviors may not be all that far from vanilla, but the attitude and general tone of the book carries some kind of vibe that sets my teeth on edge.


  • If I’m honest, I think it’s this kinda thing, that freaks me out. The girl is a real life slave, and her master made her wear a diaper as a form of punishment.

    It takes all sorts I guess.


  • West
    December 4
    12:13 am

    Coercion vs. rape- same thing.

    coercion- “the act of coercing; use of force or intimidation to obtain compliance”.

    rape- “any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person”

    Same damn thing, even according to the dictionary. Even if coercion is generally considered mental, it’s still just as bad (in fact, often times more damaging). I hate it when in books the Doms push the subs into situations they don’t like, and then it’s all supposed to be better because the sub ultimately gets pleasure out of it. Maybe my view is colored as a rape survivor, but if someone tried to push me into a situation I don’t like, I’m sure as hell not going to enjoy it. And yeah, this is where I freely admit I have control issues, and no way in hell is anyone ever going to be tying me up, blindfolding me, or gagging me.

    According to my friends who are in the lifestyle, the reason the Dom/sub relationships work is because the sub is up for anything, and ultimately holds the power. I’ve read too many of these books where that is not the case. There are some accurate ones out there, but I’ve read a lot of ones where the Doms are in control, they’re pushing, they’re deciding what’s best for the sub, and there’s not even a safe word.

    Again, not very sexy, in my mind.


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