Friday, November 16, 2012

Frisky Friday - Going where very few want to go

Read with caution, you may not want to go here...

"A Dom's Dilemma" recently received a rather negative review primarily due to differences in personal taste.  The reviewer was perfectly justified to give her opinions, and I'm glad she left the comments she did because they will help forewarn other readers about some possibly offensive material in my book.

What was missed in the review, however, were the reasons my Dom, Jim, did the things the reviewer disliked so much.  He did them, not for a vicarious thrill, or because he has a scatological fixation, but because he wanted his sub, Kelly, to accept that nothing she did, or they did together, would disgust him, so she had no reason to be embarrassed in front of him--no matter what.

Despite his reasons, some readers are going to be put off by an activity they view as too personal, private or even sordid to share.  Bathroom functions are not romantic, as Kelly acerbically points out.  She's right, they're not, and Jim agrees with her.  But that's not the point he's trying to make.  The need for privacy is taught to us at a very young age, and when that privacy is encroached upon, we get embarrassed or angry.  We feel violated.  However, there is no room for embarrassment or artificial barriers between a Dom and his sub.  Jim knows this, just as he knows by remaining with Kelly when she seeks privacy, he is forcing her to face, and ultimately traverse, a barrier she will balk at crossing.  Does that mean he will never allow her any privacy?  No.  He does--eventually, but by then he believes Kelly has finally accepted that he alone determines what is acceptable between them and what is not.  She doesn't get a vote.

Are there other ways Jim could have taught this lesson?  Sure, limitless ones.  So, why did I have Jim use that particular method for proving his point?  Because for me, having a man I found sexually attractive insist on remaining with me during what I consider a very private time, would mortify me.  That would be scaling a private bastion I would do almost anything to keep him from climbing and for the very reasons Kelly gave.  It is gross, not romantic.  In fact, it is the antithesis of romantic.  Few other activities could embarrass me as much as that would.  So, even though I would hate it, Jim's lesson would work with me.

Despite those two scenes, I believe I have loads of romance, love and discipline in the novel, but my disappointed reviewer is also right about the lack of sex scenes.  Due to plot and length constraints, the story doesn't allow Jim and Kelly much time for sexual hi-jinks and that shows in the book.

I would have written the reviewer and thanked her for giving her honest opinion, if I'd known how to contact her.  So, instead I'm telling anyone who reads this article why I wrote what I did, so they can decide for themselves if they're willing to follow a character into places they may not want to go, either.  I know what I write is not to everyone's taste, and I do encourage readers to e-mail me.  We all have private bastions we don't want scaled, and now you are privy to one of mine.

The link to the review, if you're interested, is listed below:


  1. This sounds like a good book. I just added it to my TBR list.

    And I understand where the reviewer was coming from but as a former reviewer, I always tried to separate the review of book quality vs. controversial themes. While I pointed them out as potential triggers to readers, I never rated a book lower because of them. Reviews should be about the quality of the book.

    Regardless, glad for this post because I may have missed reading your book! Happy Friday! ;)

  2. There are so many taboos in Western culture. Bathroom matters are just one. And, as you point out, that particular taboo isn't for everyone to explore. But your book is well written, deals with some important D/s concepts, and yet keeps love present on every page, either through a burgeoning romance or as part of their final knowledge that they care deeply.

    You intentionally went to a place you found difficult for yourself, sharing that part of your own feelings with readers. That's courageous. Most authors--myself included--wouldn't have the guts to go where you've gone. I guess the review tells you that while some people don't "get it," you've hit that taboo squarely on the head. You should be proud of your work. It might be controversial, but it makes people think.

  3. Paloma and Trish, thanks so much for your supportive comments. I have to say that I was nervous to even post this article for fear of a backlash. I took a lot of risks with "A Dom's Dilemma." Some readers will like it, others will not. One reviewer commented that she almost couldn't finish it, she was so embarrassed and humiliated for the heroine at times, and boy do I understand where she's coming from. Thanks for posting.

  4. though i've not read the review, nor have i read the book, i find your reasoning to be sound for the topic under discussion. i think the potential for encountering some element in something written which goes against the grain for us is ever present when we read material which is mainstream or not mainstream. i would think taking into consideration the bigger picture can make surmounting these bumps in the terrain a bit easier so one can enjoy the larger portion of the writing.

  5. Grinelda, you're right in that we take a risk of finding something we don't like in every book we pick up. I'm sorry to disappoint a reader, of course, but I knew some of my content had the potential to offend readers, so I'd asked my publisher to print a warning. Unfortunately, they still haven't done that, so I'm glad this reviewer posted her honest thoughts. Cloud with silver lining and all that. Thanks for taking the time to comment.


I love hearing from readers, so thank you for making my day! Writers with any thoughts at all (Naughty or otherwise) love comments, and I'm no exception.