Thursday, 5 August 2010


What is it that we want from an erotic story? What do I want from an erotic story?

I want to be allured, spellbound, challenged. It’s the same that I want from any story. I want to be lulled; drawn into a different, strange new world. Doesn’t matter whether the storyteller sets it in the past, the present or the future; or even if it’s a different world, with strange, unrecognisable characters. I want a story, a yarn, a carefully, well crafted tale.

The strange made normal. The normal made strange.

Vladimir Nabokov’s LOLITA, is one of the best stories I’ve ever read. It’s narrated by the very weird, Humbert Humbert. Is he a liar? Is he just manipulating the story to suit his own sinister purpose? Shifting blame?

It’s left up to the reader to decide. And I like that.

I like being able to choose the ending that I think suit’s the story best in Charles Dickens’ GREAT EXPECTATIONS and in John Fowles’ FRENCH LIEUTENANT’S WOMAN.

Or if the writer gives me an ending, I want to wonder about the characters. Where do they go? What happens to them after I close the book?

That sort of stuff satisfies me, as a reader.

But what I don’t like in any story, is when at the end, the characters have no hope. For that reason I don’t get along with Thomas Hardy. I can’t bear the lack of hope in TESS OF THE D’URBERVILLES. And I just knew that Bathsheba sending that Valentine’s card to Farmer Boldwood, in FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD, would end in tears. And as for JUDE THE OBSCURE…well! So Thomas Hardy isn’t on my list of favourite writers. Yes, Hardy writes wonderful poetic prose; but I want more.

I don’t believe that in life there is no hope -- or perhaps I’m using the wrong phrase. I believe that there’s always a “what happens next”. And that’s what I want in fiction; what happens next. What happens to Lolita?

Giselle Lorimer is a new writer, who already is getting a cult following. Her first book, sets a standard hard to follow, both in truly erotic content and in the originality and sensitivity of the writing.

She is the author of several BDSM novels published by Silver Moon Books. Her works include ENSLAVING ANNA, BOUND TO PLEASE and OWNING LAURA. Generally they are the story of an inexperienced, virginal woman forced into becoming a sex-slave and subjected to great sexual abuse, pain and humiliation. They are similar to (and probably inspired by) STORY OF O. They are very explicit works and not for the squeamish.

I’ve read all of Giselle Lorimer’s trilogy. Erotic, sexy, pornographic and I enjoyed them.
Yes, I enjoyed the fantasy of total submission, humiliation, degradation. Just as I enjoyed STORY OF O and O’s decline and fall.

There’s no doubt that Lorimer is a sophisticated writer. She knows how to draw the reader in and hold attention. She’s great at atmosphere and at weaving a story.

So while I enjoyed Lorimer’s trilogy, I was left feeling dissatisfied because she leaves her characters without any sort of hope. If the characters “are on a quest for meaningful human contact,” as one reviewer suggests, they, and the reader, are bitterly disappointed. There is no love; not even adoration for their masters. Just control and manipulation. In the end I found the stories bleak; there’s a sadness about these girls. Even within the framework of total submission their only goal is the orgasm. There isn’t “a what happens next.” There is no next; the girls are sex slaves and that’s it.

In ENSLAVING ANNA, Anna is continually plundered by her masters. She is unable to put up any sort of resistance to them, because of the wild intensity of her orgasms. She is a walking, talking blow up doll. Indeed, in the final pages of the book, she is “modified”. Her beautiful, voluptuous breasts are enlarged to the extent that they are “comedy” breasts. She also has an implant so that her masters can force her to orgasm by remote control.

In BOUND TO PLEASE, Charlotte is defiled by her masters. She is used, abused, degraded, forced into their depraved games; yet she is unable to help herself. She loves it, and does not have the will to walk away. In the second half of the novel she is given injections by her master, to induce lactation. She is in the hands of dominant and cruel men, and Charlotte is catapulted into a series of trials and tribulations which have only one thing in common: each one involves more humiliation than the last. And each time she is convinced that she has reached rock bottom, her masters dream up something else, until she at last comes to realise that her destiny really does lie in being Bound to Please

In OWNING LAURA, , Laura lives in a world where women's destinies are rigidly controlled by the state -- they can be either chaste "untouchables" or merely dumb instruments for men's pleasure -- Laura's fantasies are dangerous. Born into a family of wealth and power, she seems condemned to a life as one of the pure untouchables -- married off to any wealthy old man her father chooses for her. But her desires lead her to play perilous games.

This is the only book of Lorimer’s, where I got the idea that Laura was searching for something meaningful. Of course her sexual appetite is as rapacious as that of Lorimer’s other heroines, and that is her downfall, but, still there is a sense that she desires a sort of fulfilment. She briefly finds a sort of happiness. But still, the only “what happens next” is for Laura to live her life as a sex slave.

I try to give a “what happens next” slant to my own erotic fiction. Even men and women who have embraced the life of sexual slavery; they celebrate their orientation. Sometimes through their tears; but they are reconciled within themselves.

I’m romantic enough to believe that a total giving of the self, whatever form it takes, is about loving.

I remember an erotic story I read a while ago by Janine Ashbless. THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL. It’s in her CRUEL ENCHANTMENT collection. I read it again last night. It’s about two women, set in long, long ago. Draughty castles, hard, stone floors covered in rushes. Splendid feasts; much wine, “roast and gilded pigeon” to dine upon.

A stepmother and her stepdaughter. The two embrace their newly discovered roles as Dominant and submissive.

The point I am making is that I left the story with a sense of curiosity. What happens afterwards? I am free to wonder; indeed wander.

The same with Jude Mason’s characters. They have a future that I can think about beyond the ending of the novel. And M.Christian’s novel, RUNNING DRY. What does happen to Shelly after the confrontation in the desert? Where does she go?

Yes “shit happens” in life, and in fiction. Often there seems to be no resolution. I don’t mind the shit happening, but I do want to contemplate what the shit is that’s happening next.


  1. Thought provoking as ever , Billie!! If we are thinking around erotic fiction, then most of all I want to be able to identify with the central male lead, imagine I can be, indeed really am him.....obviously I want to be sexually aroused at every level but so many stories seem to be a bit routine, you know, throw in a thin plot, stereotypical characters, a standard set of sex sceens and hey presto, an erotic classic.Well no not for me!!! Stories of domination and submission are my main interest and much of my own writng reflects that but having said that I want to identify with male lead - what about stories without a man in them, as for so many straight men I am very turned on by explicit lesbian writing? I enjoy these maybe thinking I am the voyeur, or my fantasy can come true and I will be involved in a threesome!! I haven't read any Giselle Lorimer but if central theme is submission probably would relish it although have to admit, I am more aroused by FemDom- find it more thrilling really......... BDSM is my favourite overall genre with male submission the absolute ultimate turn on..I have read a fair bit of Jude Mason, I think she is teriffic, now there's a writer who has so much talent, creative, wild and truly erotic.Perfect example of me wanting to climb inside the story and be that man, this man, feel as she makes me want to feel. Jude is pure class!!Agree that Story of O is a real erotic classic, fimm is excellent too I think. never thought about the future of the characters in the way you describe but will now I think!!! I see the point about 'bleakness ' and risk of an almost dispairng mechanical feel but in the best erotica and certainly domination and submission, perhaps because its so right for me, happiness and fulfillment is assured if the submission is handled right. Must say though Billie, your own work is stunningly well written, combining true erotic desires and images with a gift of story teling and, again, dragging your reader, not always willingly, into the world you create!! The Joseph and Ulena stories are fabulous in ever detail, Retribution also gripping raw and passionate..... I was completely hooked!!!! All I have read of your work confirms you are gifted to an extraordinary degree, I admire all your work and love to read your fascinating incites on your blog. Thanks Alex XX

  2. Wonderful as always, sweetie! As a reader I don't like happy endings (they always feel like a bit of a cop-out) so I rarely put them in my own stuff. I prefer to have the story hang a bit to lead the reader into thinking about "what happens next?"

  3. Very interesting and nifty perspective: the ending as unclosed door. I never thought of it that way!

  4. Many writing websites will tell you almost all stories are simply variations on 7 basic plotlines. I think the figure 7 comes from Christopher Booker and other sources have 6, or 9, or whatever.

    But the types of plot endings might include a protagonist acquiring (often at some pain) a deeper understanding of him/herself or the world, overcoming some obstacle or monster (which might be happy ever after or happy for now), resolution of contradictions (often the basis of comedies/farces, but again may be mixed in terms of the personal cost of resolution), or tragedies in which the gods pass judgement, everyone dies and the reader is warned about the futility of... well, whatever it was the protagonists were doing.

    I'm sure this isn't anything like a complete list. Some novels end with the protagonist being spat out of the story at the end still thinking 'what the hell was all that about?'.

    But the underlying point is, I guess, that erotic stories aren't structurally different to any other kind of storytelling and are unlikely to have endings distinctly different to 'mainstream' ones.

    Personally, I think my stories tend to vary between 'happy for now' endings and ones where everyone rides off into the sunset with a changed sense of themselves, their relationships, etc. At least the erotic stuff does. I wouldn't say the same for my horror writing...

    My 2p worth!