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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

You want me to read WHAT?

Earlier this week, Beth posted about seeing the Anne Rice "Sleeping Beauty" trilogy on the bookshelves at Target, here. It was on display right next to that other trilogy. She expressed her shock and surprise (and I agree with her) that the Beauty series would be so casually displayed in a family store. For those who aren't familiar with it, it's not wannabe stuff. It is hardcore BDSM, very dark. Not "BDSM For Dummies" like that other trilogy.

Reading Beth's post reminded me of my own experience with the Beauty series, many years ago. In my book, I talked about how John took me to my very first scene party in October, 1996. There, we met a man named Patrick, who gave me my first public party spanking. We chatted him up quite a bit at that party, and he ended up inviting us to his house about a month later.

During our evening there, Patrick asked me if I'd read the Anne Rice Beauty trilogy. Honestly, I'd never even heard of it; pretty much all I'd read up to that point, as far as scene material was concerned, was a few spanking stories and Shadow Lane's "Stand Corrected" magazine. Clearly, in his mind, this omission was unacceptable. "Oh, that is a must!" he exclaimed. And without any further ado, he marched into his bedroom and re-emerged with three books. "This is your reading assignment," he announced.

I was a bit taken aback. Assignment? What was I, in grade school? But remember, I was a novice. Brand-new in the scene, just a few months. I was intimidated and thought, well, if he thinks I should read these, then I guess I should.

Oh, man. I knew I was in trouble from practically the first page. I hated it. There was very little spanking in it, as I was to discover. But there were plenty of harsh beatings, whippings, humiliations, torture scenes, ponyplay, and more. Metaphorically speaking, in my scene reading I was currently at the "Dick and Jane" level, and he'd just assigned me "War and Peace." Plus, although there was a bit of M/F, there was also F/F, F/M and M/M, none of which resonated with me. So I winced and cringed and squirmed my way through the first book, "The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty," not enjoying one bit of it.

Then I started the second book, "Beauty's Punishment." If possible, it was even worse, even more graphic. I got through about 1/4 of it, and then I slammed the book shut.

Why the hell am I subjecting myself to this? Because someone I barely know told me to? Screw that! He can take his assignment and... give it to someone else. I'll read what I damn well please.

Yes, folks. My scene personality developed early. :-)

The next time we saw Patrick, I brought him back his books, and politely but firmly told him I didn't like them and wasn't going to finish. I seem to recall he was a bit miffed at that, surprised that some still-wet-behind-the-ears subbie would defy his orders. I don't think we saw him again after that.

So cut to 16 years later, and I still haven't read the rest of the series. Nor do I intend to. And you know what? If, today, a man were to try to order me to read the 50 Sheds of Hay trilogy, I'd punch him right in the bazingas.


  1. Thank you for this review.Never read it but heard about it.Thank to you I will read all the other books waiting and maybe when Im old,grey and bored I read both trilogies or maybe not:-)

  2. For me the Sleeping Beauty series by Anne Rice was boring. I only read the last two of the trilogy and was bored. Beauty was an airhead with no depth at all. And sorry, Erica. If you felt that was hardcore BDSM then I would hate to show you the version of Sleeping Beauty that I love. I may post the cover of issue two of it on my Fetpage because it was my favorite shot.

    Now the series that I recommend is the Kushiel's Legacy series, by Jacqueline Carey. Kushiel's Dart, Chosen and Avatar. A great story-line with an incredible female lead, who would back slap Beauty for being so simple.

    And she has your hair color too, Erica :-)

    Though it is a long read. Jacqueline does add a lot of detail and she writes in a 'roller coaster' fashion. But the details are not wasted. Everything in the tale has a place and sometimes a part is referenced in another book down the series line.

  3. I'm going to disagree but that's okay. You like that. I didn't discover AR's Beauty series in books. I somehow fell upon Elizabeth Montgomery (yes, from Bewitched) on tape reading the second two books. She didn't do the first one. Are they great books? I don't think I care. Was it the most compelling erotic performance by an actor on tape I've ever heard? Yes it was.

    It wil always have a special place in my heart.

  4. Totally with you, Erica. Also agree that when something turns you off you should shut that book and move on. I also loathe being told what to read and what I should like. I am a vociferous reader and love erotic fiction but I decide what I read.
    I love this post- 100% agree. :)

  5. I read the Sleeping Beauty series while in college during the mid 90s. Funny thing is I remember so little about them mostly because I am either indifferent or disinterested in many extra non spanking "kinky" activities. I do admit I can lean towards wanting to receive an occasional severe spanking.

  6. Margita -- as with everything I say, your mileage may vary. Meaning, who knows, you might like the Beauty series. Or not. But I know it definitely wasn't for me. :-)

    Loki -- I'm pretty wimpy and squeamish, truth be told. So yeah, the Beauty series was very hardcore for me. Different strokes, as they say.

    Emen -- absolutely, I do like it when people feel comfortable enough to disagree with me. Clearly, the series has many fans. I loved Elizabeth Montgomery; such a beauty herself, who died far too young.

    Poppy -- yeah, it's that "ordered to" thing that gets my back up. The quickest way to make me resist something is to push it on me. :-)

    Kelly -- I can too, as some of my blogs will attest. And it's funny how relative it all is. I feel like a wimp next to some of those heavy scenes I've read about, but others will look at MY scenes and think they're pretty severe.

  7. I have the Beauty series. And I'm shocked that it is for sale in Target! I predict a lot of returns when people find out it is not the fluff that 50 is. Either that, or the sales of equestrian gear will go up. I read the books, and found myself skimming a lot of the more intense scenes that are way beyond the level of my little kink world. Didn't skim them all, mind you - even though I don't want to do some of those things, it was a little bit of voyeuristic fun to read some of them! But now I'm intrigued - Elizabeth Montgomery read them on the audio version?! Now that, I may have to look for.....................

  8. The arrogance of being assigned something from someone who may not be "worthy" of assigning shit.... it's obnoxious. End of story!


  9. Karyn -- wonder if she was into any of it? :-D

    SC -- yeah! It WAS rather presumptuous, wasn't it?

  10. Hi Erica -- I Love how your scene personality developed early :-)I wouldn't want someone to tell me what to read either, I am not into BDSM it is boring and too severe.I just like book's about spanking they are fun and interesting to read :-)But of course getting a good hard OTK spanking for real is better than reading any book at all :-)Much Love and hug's from your naughty girl Jade

  11. Jade -- well, I wouldn't say it's boring; it's just not a good fit for us. :-) And you're right; the real thing is better than ANY book.

  12. Elizabeth Montgomery 'into' any of it? Hmmmm........... might have made for some interesting episodes of Bewitched! Beswitched?

  13. "Dick and Jane" level... LOL!!! I was the same way when it came to kink and was only able to handle seeing Spot run. I think we basically read the books the same way because I would skip over whole chapters.

    I heard from someone that Anne Rice had a gay co-author which would explain the M/M scenes... but I could be wrong.

  14. Karyn -- HAR!

    Beth -- do they still have Dick and Jane and Spot books in schools? I mean, I would figure in today's PC environment, the kid would be renamed Richard. :-)

  15. I agree with you about the Beauty series. None of it turned me on. It was all brutal and harsh and just too weird. After enjoying Exit to Eden I was quite disappointed in the trilogy. I struggled through the first two books but tossed the third aside after skimming a quarter of it.

    Kushiel's Dart was also a disappointment. No spanking, just innuendo, and far too much convoluted detail for my liking. I'll never read any more in the series.

    Back to the point of your post. That guy had some nerve!


  16. So "50 Shades" (spankometer at about 10) sits next to the "Beauty" trilogy (spankometer at about 95) at Target. I can't wait for the fallout and pushback. Here's the irony. In between these two extremes there are 100's if not 1000's of spanking romances sold on Amazon, Lulu, Allromance, etc. that are much better than either one. Not to mention the blogs and the granddaddy website of them all, The Kilahara Library of Spanking Fiction ( of which I am pleased to say, I am a member/author.

  17. If you hear Elizabeth Montgomery read Beauty I think you'll feel sure she was into it. I don't know if they're on CD but whatever medium you find don't listen to it in the car if you're driving.

    Yes and yes, Erica. What a tragedy to lose that Beauty so young.

  18. Hermione -- I think I'll stick with spanking stories. Innuendo is annoying; I want action, dammit!

    Rollin -- very good point. That's what kills me about all the attention to 50 Shades; there are so, so many other books way more deserving of that attention. And I'm a member of the LSF too. :-)

  19. I had exactly the same reaction to the Anne Rice books that you did, Erica, especially when I read, in the psuedo-scholarly examination of it that my Ex bought with the other three books, that her descriptions of the BDSM stuff was derived from research.

    I don't think I actually finished the first book, but maybe I did. I only skimmed through the last two. I did examine the end of the third book to see the point about it she was reaching for.

    The Ex had brought those home along with "Lady Chatterly's Lover" and some other erotic literature during a Phase, so it was an interesting time in my married life. :-D

    I'm hoping to see "Late Bloomer" up on store shelves where it should be, too. Admittedly I'm a bit prejudiced, but that tale is much more involving and much better written, sexier, and for Cornsakes, TRUE!

  20. I've never read the Beauty books but from what I've heard about them, I don't plan to. I'd be more than a little annoyed as well if someone told me what to read and like!

  21. I have this terrible habit. When I start a book in a series, I MUST FINISH ALL OF THE BOOKS. It happened with "Twilight". (Shoot me.) The Fifty Shades series. And, yes, this Anne Rice series, too, although like you, I found them to be too harsh from Book One.

    For years I kept them on my bookshelf, in plain view. Their only benefit to me was that I discovered a distant relative knew of the series, had read the series, and gave me a little *nod, nod, shove, shove* in recognition of our potentially kindred ways.

    I didn't like that distant relative, so I promptly sold the books on eBay.

    But one thing in which the Beauty series does excel -- it is well-written. I at least did not feel dumber for having read it -- like I did with Fifty Shades.

    I can't believe it's at Target, though. Just ten years ago, I had to hunt for those books.

  22. Lea -- suggestions for books are fine. Orders? @#$% that. :-)

    Pink -- good point. I don't remember finding fault with the writing at all. I just didn't care for the content. Cringeworthy vs. utterly stupefying. :-D

  23. I'm finding this Elizabeth Montgomery thing pretty intriguing. I mean, even if Darren was sort of a bumbler (I mean the character) on Bewitched, he did very much want to be "in charge" of the relationship and her behavior (like forbidding magic, etc.) I mean, having a party for her because she hadn't used magic in a month? :P

    I think ordering to read a book is like ordering to do pretty much anything. You better have a really good, pressing reason and a really good, clear understanding of the needs of the person you're giving the order to.

    Sorry to hear about the recent change in your life. Glad that at least you could have a nice good-bye for now.

  24. Enjoyed those books up to a point I must admit. But not as much as your Sheldon Cooper reference.


  25. Ana -- that was very much the theme for TV in the 50s and 60s. The husbands (Ricky Ricardo, Darren, Major Nelson, etc.) blustered and pontificated, thinking they were in charge, but the audience knew that Lucy, Samantha, Jeannie et al. were really the ones in control! LOL

    Jon -- HA! You're the first person to comment on that. I was hoping someone would notice. :-D

  26. Kudos to me!!!!


  27. I'm somewhat ashamed to admit that I read several scenes from those "Beauty" books in a Barnes & Noble way back when. Too ashamed to buy them, or maybe I wanted to set them down and get out of there before I became aroused reading it, or maybe it was the turn off of a scene where she was pooping gold doubloons out of her bottom. Had no idea about the Elizabeth Montgomery version. Fascinating post and comments.

  28. SS -- I guess I quit before that scene came up. Sorry for sounding narrow-minded, but EWWWWWWWW. I have a feeling a lot of people sat around in the stores reading those books and others like them; just too embarrassing taking them to the register!

  29. hahahahhaaha! That was priceless! Yeah.. your scene persona had just emerged!

    (I've not read those Sleeping (yawn) Beauty and THE BEAST books either.. anything to do with humiliation.. makes my stomach turn upside down -- when I'd much prefer my booty be upside down) LOL