”A great obstacle to good education is the inordinate passion prevalent for novels, and the time lost in that reading which should be instructively employed. When this poison infects the mind, it destroys its tone and revolts it against wholesome reading.”
— Thomas Jefferson, “On the Dangers of Reading Fiction”
Jefferson may well have been right, but it’s too late for me. The poison of novel reading affected my mind at too early an age and wrought too much destruction. I remain hooked to this day. I not only read the stuff by the barrel, I write it as well (under another name).
Occasionally I even recommend fiction on this blog, beginning with some woman-worshipping citations from both Dickens and Stevenson. And I am about to do so again, having just finished two highly enjoyable FLR-themed novellas by a friend to this blog, William Gaius.
Both titles—The Ancestors of Star and Lessons at the Edge--are available from Lulu.com. Both are provocative and engrossing tales full of compelling conflict and indelible characters.
To be sure, “femdom fiction” (often traced to Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s Venus in Furs) is cropping up all over the Internet, and I can’t even pretend to survey it. I just don’t read that much these days. (A couple years back, however, I did feature an excerpt from a femdom fictioneer cybernamed Eosuchus, citing some interesting parallels with a passage from a short suspense novel by the late John D. MacDonald.)
Otherwise, in this blog I’ve steered clear of the genre, as it tends toward the kinkier end of the FLR spectrum, to put it mildly. The emphasis here (though I’ve strayed of late) has been toward the romantic aspects of the courtship marriage—ways of empowering and empedestaling the wife, with the husband paying various kinds of daily homage.
But, like many husbands in wife-led marriages, I still have my erotic fantasies, most of which I dare not confess, for fear my wife would find them bizarre, even incomprehensible. I don’t necessarily crave their enactment—well, sometimes I do. But I visit them vicariously, from time to time, in literary fantasyland.
In the same way I enjoy the Amazonian adventures available in Elise Sutton’s “Real Life Stories.” And, yes, it has been pointed out (even by Ms. Sutton herself) that some of these letters may, indeed, be fictional, despite her attempts to weed out wholesale invention. The same can be said of a certain percentage of postings on FLR message boards, and of wife-worshipful quotes used in my book and blog.
Not all, by any means, but some.
Decades ago, in fact, I concocted a few prurient tales myself, which were published in the Letters sections of Penthouse Variations. In those days, the digest-size magazine was listed as an adult fiction market in writer’s magazines, and the rates weren’t bad. The editors I dealt with never pretended that the great majority of published Letters were anything other than short fiction.
But cynicism can go too far. I have read occasional know-it-all commentators insisting that Ms. Sutton herself was a fiction, foisted on a gullible public by a man, no less. (I think not.) And I recall on the old Spousechat message board a poster casting doubt on an erotically charged D/s pre-wedding ceremony created by Ms. Lynda, Spousechat’s most redoubtable contributor.
Ms. Lynda had described a “Fastening Ceremony” recreated from in the novel Ritual of Proof, in which six male attendants in Chippendale’s outfits bore her aloft into the private hall in a sedan chair where her husband-to-be knelt before her, ready to take her name. Attendance was limited to a select few "in the know." Here's the exchange in part:
I was really enjoying your posts to the board, and believed them for the most part, but now it has segued into overt fantasy. That’s really sad to me though, because I would love to believe there are those who accept women as the head of the household, but it appears that, on the Internet anyway, it must always be in the realm of wishful thought and BDSM-esque fantasy scripts. If I'm wrong please tell me but as for now I'll just say I enjoy your posts and wish they were real.
Of course, you do not have to believe what I have written, and there is no way I can prove it to you… We did the ceremony from memory so he could say, "love, honor, and obey." We had decided to have us announced as Woman and Husband, [and] the priest announced us as Ms. and Mr. Lynda BJ… In the end, I do not care if you believe or not. That is your right. I just know that our family will be different, but special… There are too many people who will not acknowledge a woman's ability to lead and a man's ability and willingness to follow.
In fact, I am convinced that there are more actual FLR activities going on these days, in and out of the bedroom, than have been dreamed up by the fevered imaginations of us repressed scribblers, or by an infinite number of sex-crazed monkeys with keyboards.
For instance, I am assured by the very able Mr. Gaius that all the scenes he describes in his novels in such libidinous detail are reality-based and bedroom-tested. By the way, if you enjoy his Lessons at the Edge half as much as I did, you’ll be especially happy to learn that there’s a sequel in the works.