One of my 101 things in 1001 days was to read the erotic Beauty trilogy by A. N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice). Yesterday afternoon I finished the first in the series, The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty. And I decided to take last night and think about this first piece before I jumped right into the second part of the story.
I know, I know. It’s a fantasy, another world; with different rules and customs. I am working on it. I got the fact that she was only 16 out of my head pretty quick and moved on. But the description by one character of how he was repeatedly gang raped by the kitchen staff took away all my warm fuzzies again.
I think that one of the biggest issues I have with BDSM in literature generally is the consent issue. I was having this discussion this morning on twitter. I don’t see Fifty Shades of Grey as necessarily BDSM. She ‘submits’ because she wants him, not because she needs to be dominated. And as @waitinggirl13 and I discussed, that willing submission is the possibly the most powerful part of these relationships. I’m not trying to downplay a dominant’s role, but without my willing submission, they are just abusing me for kicks.
Which brings me back Beauty. The lack of consent keeps coming back to pull me from the supposed erotic nature of the book. I want the spanking scenes and games (that makes Sir want to go to Twisted Tryst tomorrow) to turn me on, but every time her inner-monologue kicks in I loose my lady-boner. She isn’t partaking willingly. And yes, these slaves get turned on, but that is like saying that male rape victims erections means they are consenting. It just doesn’t sit right with me.
So we’ll see how the next books go. I am always looking for good representations of BDSM in literature in film. Even if this doesn’t meet all my hopes and dreams, this book does look at a lot of dominant and submissive themes. And I am eager to see how Beauty deals with the trials of the next steps of her life. Hopefully she will get the chance to submit willingly, making this series, for me at least, as hot as it’s advertised.