The following is a guest post from contributor Jim Marcus and part of the Beyond 50 Shades of Grey series. The 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon has everyone talking about kink. This part of a series of articles that take a deeper, more realistic look at elements of BDSM. Get ready to go beyond 50 Shades.
I’m not going to be one more voice in the fetish community knocking 50 Shades of Grey. For what it means to do, there is nothing wrong with it and, honestly, if anyone, anywhere is able to visualize their fantasy life better because of it and have better sex, I’m all for it.
I thought that maybe I could help a little by listing a few books that are also capable of opening people up a little to the fantastical in their sex lives- books that tell stories that expand sex into the deeper places in your brain. Maybe you really enjoyed 50 Shades and you want to know what you could read next. Here are some options. All of these are written to subjectify the female player- to give her life and let her fantasy really guide the book. Even if she is the submissive- the object of affection and intrigue, use and abuse, she is the window through which the story is told.
1. Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille
A classic story about real sexual transgression and the search for liberation beyond traditional morality, both sexual and psychological. This is about religious release, as well and, just like 50 Shades of Grey, can’t be used really as some sort of textbook for how to have relationships. It’s a fantasy- an elaborate and enveloping one.
Read if you are interested in Autoeroticism, Exhibitionism, bloodplay, religious play.
2. Story of O by Pauline Reage
Another brilliant fantasy written under a pseudonym, this book is bout complete submission. It is classic and it takes our heroine from a complete innocent to the point where she is willing to give everything for her owner. Again, not a tutorial, but a deep fantasy that can be used to build your own.
Read if you are into: Male dominance, female submission, the paths to complete submission
3. The Sexual Life of Catherine M. by Catherine Millet
Admittedly, this can get functional and graceless, but it gains points for being the apparently true story of the debauched sex life of a famous literary figure. It has been called the most explicit book about sex ever written by a woman because it, in many ways, is completely sexual. Her fantasies seem to be about giving her body away and having it wanted. She plays them out graphically as almost a sheer numbers game here.
Read if you are into: Orgies, gangbangs, casual sexual encounters, humiliation play
4. The Surrender: An Erotic Memoir by Toni Bentley
The sex is good here but there is sometimes a fluid disconnection- one that some people may find exciting. Her passion builds into an area that becomes a deep fetish for her and it’s interesting to watch the progression. It is a celebration of anal eroticism as a means to completely open up and submit to someone. It’s funny and often charming.
Read if you are into: Sodomy, submission, orgasm play
5. 100 Strokes of the Brush Before Bed by Melissa P.
A classic Italian story of a teenager discovering her own sexuality and building to new plateaus in her exploration of it. The stories told through the mirror of objectification, humiliation and pure sexual release will appeal to people excited by the absolutism offered up by denigration. It’s a different take on submission where Melissa submits not to a single owner but to everyone and her need to destroy herself and her ego.
Read if you are into: Oral sex, humiliation play, submission
6. Carrie’s Story and Safe Word by Molly Weatherfield
Written under a pen name by Pam Rosenthal, these are very smart, edgy and exciting books. Carrie, the main character, is owned by a man she adores who tells her one day he plans to sell her in a slave auction. Where Ana’s self-dialogue in 50 Shades of Grey might be dull and often confused, Carrie’s is smart, insightful, brilliant and full of self referential fun. These books give a really ideal view into the world of fantasy the fetish community works so hard to build.
Read if you are into: submission, BDSM, mild pain play
7. As She’s Told and Owned And Owner by Anneke Jacob
The only real fantasy/sci fi books on here, these are stories of a world of men where women who have committed a crime are made to submit, not just as sexual objects, but nearly as animals, naked, used, owned in every way. It’s powerful and completely alien in an exciting way.
Read if you are into: Pet play, Gorean submission, Role play, humiliation, Sadomasochism
8. Submissive Desires by Carolyn Faulkner
You will see a lot of similarities between this and 50 Shades of Grey, but this is by far the more intense book. The story of an ex navy seal who takes a girl who believes she is submissive and shows her what the path of submission really looks like. It’s intense and powerful and complete
Read if you are into: Orgasm denial, complete submission, spanking, Caning, humiliation play
9. Masters of the Shadowlands by Cherise Sinclair
This is a fun dive into the actual fetish community, with a few fictionalizations, and it showcases the play that is often found in clubs. The connections between people are intense, the characterizations are powerful and the book is overall very exciting. The series goes on from here and is worth the read.
Read if you are into: Submission, BDSM, public play
10. Accidental Slave by Claire Thompson
Focusing on Elizabeth, a successful woman who finds herself sold into sexual slavery and discovers she enjoys it, this book is built as a powerful complete fantasy. It’s not hard to get lost in this and the connection she shares with her new owner.
Read if you are into: Consensual non consent play, submission, BDSM, humiliation play.
There are so many more, but I hope this is a good start for people who may find themselves opened up to this kind of literature and this kind of world.
~ Jim Marcus
Jim Marcus is a musician and member of the Chicago Fetish community. The lead singer of the band Go Fight and, previously, of the defunct band Die Warzau, he has appeared on over 60 albums, singles and compilations worldwide, working with artists such as KMFDM, Pigface, Revenge and Björk. He speaks frequently on Consent and safe sex issues, put together sex education curriculum for schools and groups across the country and spoken on fetish and the goal of building better, more sustainable sex lives.