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How to Read a Remarkable Work of Erotica: Pam Rosenthal’s Review of “Bending”

As my birthday approaches (tomorrow!) I’m once again struck by how totally Gemini I am: always of two minds, alternatively Pam the swooning romantic and Molly the shy p0rn0gr@ph#r.

Two genres, two ways of shaping a story.

On the romance side I see arcs of redemption, the closure and satisfaction of the HEA always immanent even in the darkest, most hopeless moments of the plot. Whereas the BDSM story — almost by definition– is an ever ascending, never completely satisfied spiral of anxious consent and escalating control, where the ending (pardon the pun) is always up for grabs.

In the wake of the 50 Shades juggernaut, of course, lots of writers have been publishing BDSM romance, and lately I’ve been experimenting with it myself. But I’m also still a sucker for the tough, smart, challenging BDSM story that keeps us guessing where it’ll end up. As a reader I’m like Molly Weatherfield‘s BDSM heroine Carrie: eager and grateful to be pushed and shoved, whacked and prodded through the dangerous thickets of narrative, by a voice and a sensibility tougher and more sure of itself than my own.

Which is why I fell so hard for Greta Christina‘s writing, first almost a decade ago when I heard the author read the story “This Week,” and again when I read the story for myself, this time in the author’s story collection, called Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More, recently published and available as an eBook (find the links below).
And yes, there really is a story about a unicorn. And a couple of others that poke their inquisitive noses into the sexy, scary places where faith and control bump up against each other (without the secular redemption implicit in the romance form). But “This Week” might still be my favorite, for its clarity of diction and purpose, the way its cadenced phrasing get me every time. “It’s the voice,” one of Anne Rice’s erotica characters muses: the careful yet leisurely arrogance of a certain species of narrative voice is all I need to feel mildly scared (in a good way) and totally that I’m in hard, capable hands.

*****

Bending coverTo read the rest of this review by erotica and romance writer Pam Rosenthal, a.k.a. Molly Weatherfield (“Carrie’s Story”), go to How to Read a Remarkable Work of Erotica on Pam’s blog, Passions and Provocations.

Here’s the deal: I’m doing a blog tour for my new erotic fiction collection, “Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More.” Today’s installment in the tour is a smart, thoughtful, very complimentary review, blended with an essay on the reading of erotic fiction, from Pam Rosenthal, a.k.a. Molly Weatherfield, author of Carrie’s Story: An Erotic S/M Novel and Safe Word: An Erotic S/M Novel (IMO two of the best erotica novels around), who can be found on her blog, Passions and Provocations.

And remember — the book is currently available an an ebook on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords. Audiobook and paperback are coming soon!

Previous stops on this blog tour:

6/3:
Ozy Frantz’s Blog: Is Erotic Shame Real Shame? (guest post by me)
Ozy Frantz’s Blog: Christian Domestic Discipline (extended excerpt)

Ozy Frantz has taken down their blog. These posts have now been reprinted on my own blog:
Is Erotic Shame “Real” Shame? (essay)
Excerpt from Christian Domestic Discipline (extended excerpt)

6/4:
Brute Reason: Greta Christina on Writing Dirty Stories (interview with Miri)

6/5:
Lusty Lady, Rachel Kramer Bussell: Excerpt from Craig’s List (extended excerpt)

6/7:
Charlie Glickman’s Blog: “Discover just how far sexy goes” (brief review/ blurb)

6/10:
WWJTD? JT Eberhard’s blog: On Being an Atheist Writing Religious Porn, plus Excerpt from Penitence as a Perpetual Motion Machine (guest post by me, plus extended excerpt)

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