FlibBityFLooB's Reviews > As She's Told

As She's Told by Anneke Jacob
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's review
Jul 11, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: kink-bdsm, tsk-tsk-tsk, read-in-2011, witty-i-am-not, will-never-read-again, taboo
Read from July 10 to 11, 2011

This book made me decidely uncomfortable and sad, but I have to give it credit for teaching me more about my own personal limits. The characters in this book were an exercise of frustration for me to read about. I am not personally in a bdsm relationship, though I have a bit of personal history and a feeling of understanding or at least empathy for submissives wanting to give up control. The depressing part of this novel to me wasn't necessairly the acts that the two characters were going through, but it was mostly that the acts did not seem grounded in any sort of love or affection the way most of the bdsm relationships I read about are.

For example, the hero makes the heroine eat out of a dog bowl without the use of her hands. This was not done as a punishment, but just because the hero felt like it. I long for other stories where a Dom who doesn't want his sub to sit at the table instead has the sub kneel by the table and he/she is hand-fed by the Dom. Seems much more intimate and loving.

I understand the heroine wanting to give up everything - finances, responsibilities, control... I wouldn't mind her Dom choosing her clothes for her, micro-managing her life, denying sexual gratification, that sort of thing. However, forcing her to wear cinching bits day-in and day-out, use of tobassco sauce as punishment, and having the heroine use a kitty-box/sleep in a barn was just cruel and sad to me. Depressing, even.

In other books I've read, even where the Dom/sub live 24/7 together in a crazy-intense relationship, the sub still retains some semblence of his/herself. Frequently, the sub has friends that are also into the lifestyle that he/she hangs out with, sharing stories. This was sadly lacking in the heroine's life in this book. Her entire life was 100% focused on living like an animal. I didn't feel reality in the story.

Another thing that really bugged me was the collaring scene in the novel. Again, I'm not speaking from personal experience, but so many other stories I have read stress how important the collaring of a sub can be in the relationship between Dom/sub. It always seemed like it was a very intense step in a relationship, frequently involving a ton of emotion and build-up. In this story, I felt like it was extremely trivial and I missed the deep significance.

I guess there was just so much in the relationship taht I would have adjusted to be coming from a place of love, as opposed to a place of human slavery. If I could have adjusted several scenes, I probably would have understood this story more and even enjoyed it. Instead, this story's characters just left me feeling sorry for them.

I am still giving the book 2 stars, not because I condone the actions of the characters, but because it seemed like the book gave me a lot to think about and it certainly got me thinking more about what my hard-limits are in terms of reading kink.
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