Kristina Lloyd

Erotic Fiction Author

The Big Book of Bondage: Eye Contact review

Big Book of BondageAlison Tyler’s Big Book of Bondage was released earlier this year, and AT asked authors in the anthology to review each other, in a sort of literary equivalent of a mass orgy. Kiki DeLovely did me a couple of weeks ago with her fabulous review of The Bondage Pig. Now I’m taking my turn and doing Derek McDaniel. I’ve been thinking about writing technique lately, more so than I usually do because I’ve had a couple of teaching gigs, so my review is possibly on the nerdy side!

When I dip into a new anthology, I tend to go straight to the stories penned by my favourite authors, knowing I can trust them to deliver, and eager to see where their wonderfully warped imaginations have led them this time.

Derek McDaniel is a new name to me. His story, Eye Contact, caught my, erm, eye with its snappy opening and use of second person narrative, a story-telling device that usually has me wincing. Most editors won’t touch fiction written in the second person (although I notice AT has a call out for exactly that but then Alison’s always been a little crazy). It’s a tricky approach to get right but seems to appeal to eroticists, perhaps because creating a fictional realm of “you” and “I” or “we” (but not so much “he/she/they”) can feel intimate to the writer.

As a reader, however, I often feel distanced from such scenes with the narrator (I) and narratee (you) failing to emerge from the text as characters or people. The action floats alone. We seldom get to see who is doing what and where they are. Worse, desire often disappears. There’s no one to own the wanting, the ache. The device can create passivity, the narrator using the “you” as a puppet to express their own lust. “You” is doing what the recipient of the action implicitly wants them to do (“Your tongue dives between my thighs” etc) without showing us the driving lunacy of their own erotic need. On top of all that, the technique seems to encourage a langorous, pseudo-poetic writing style that leaves me feeling tired rather than turned on.

From line one of Eye Contact, McDaniel makes it clear he’s not going to fall into any of those traps: “When you give yourself to me, the first thing you’ll do is suck my cock, and you’ll do it exactly the way I taught you.” Woah, this guy’s bossy! The story depicts a BJ between a couple sharing a strong D/S dynamic. They’ve had webcam sex aplenty but this is their first in-the-flesh encounter. The piece is low on plot but high on desire (and drool). The woman on her knees is lavishly described, her appearance a result of her dom’s insistence that she tan, grow impractically long fingernails, wear trashy clothes and present herself as “some dumb bimbo slut”.

officemenztumblrMcDaniel keeps a tight focus on the sex while skillfully weaving in the couple’s backstory and dropping hints about their character. We know the woman isn’t dumb; she’s initially loath to dress to please but complies because she evidently wants this hook up as much as he does. And she’s not the only one paying attention to sartorial detail. He tells us, “I’m wearing a suit because I do that sort of thing. And this is our first date, right?”

Those two lines neatly portray something about the guy or, at least, the guy in the sexual role he’s adopting here. He’s breezily confident, a little arrogant; too cool to suggest he’s put any effort into his clothes yet we get the sense he cares how he looks. (His trousers are “pricey”.) He’s witty and ironic; it’s their first “real-life” encounter but this is no conventional first date.

Eye Contact is a super, sexy piece. The choice of second person works in part, no doubt, because there’s a reason for employing it; this isn’t about arbitrary stylistics. The story opening reads as a series of instructions he gives her when anticipating how things will be when they meet. When they get together, the same narrative POV is used, creating continuity, immediacy, and reminding us of how their relationship began. We feel as if we’re watching in on them while gaining an insight into his desire to dominate. The BJ is rough, cruel and messy, and the narrator’s relish for nasty detail – “You smear tears and mascara everywhere, even into your hair; sticky precum and spit form strings between your chin and my cockhead” – makes for a deliciously hot, dirty read.

I’m always pleased to see men writing as men in a genre where female writers predominate (and I grouch when I see male writers creating false identities and masquerading as women because, dude, we really don’t need your help in creating “authentic” representations of female sexuality, thanks all the same!).

I’m very much looking forward to more from Derek McDaniel.

Amazon UK :: Amazon US

Advertisements

February 16, 2013 - Posted by | Kristina Lloyd | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] Last time we did this, I found myself drawn towards a piece penned in the second person, even though I’m usually less than keen on this narrative perspective. And I’ve done it again, pouncing on Maria See’s One Sleep. […]

    Pingback by Sudden Sex: One Sleep « Kristina Lloyd | March 1, 2013 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: