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I Once Had a Master

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  82 ratings  ·  9 reviews
John Preston brings it back to the basics: a hand on a neck, a boot that needs a spit shine, a trick who leaves with bruises and sweet memories. In books such as the S/M classic Mr. Benson, Preston explored power exchange in all its battered beauty. The sex stories in I Once Had a Master combine a hard-core sensibility with rare psychological insight.

In "Authenticity," a t
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 4th 2005 by Cleis Press (first published 1984)
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Submission by Chris OwenDomination by Chris OwenRough Canvas by Joey W. HillDiscipline by Chris OwenBondage by Chris Owen
Best Gay BDSM
981 books — 1,213 voters
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Average rating 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  82 ratings  ·  9 reviews

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A.B. Gayle
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
John Preston, for me, was once all about Mr. Benson: A Novel It was the book everyone spoke about and referred to, and I enjoyed it (mostly) when I finally laid my hands on it.

Yes, it was hot, but it was fantasy.

This book should be required reading for everyone who wants to understand the dynamic between Dom and sub, simply because the author shows the different ways it can vary.

In his review, Jason Huffman-Black refers to the clinical detached style of writing, and after reading angsty emotiona
Jason Bradley
Mar 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
At first, these stories were very clinical and came off with no emotion or deep detail. Just the facts, ma'am. But even that is awesome stuff when the book is about the history of the leather community. As the book continued, he added more emotion, or maybe I just fell into his style and added my own. Either way, it worked and I loved it! ...more
Mar 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
When I reviewed the uber popular Mr. Benson, I was struck by the author’s writing and voice more than anything. So my next foray is into I Once Had a Master, a collection of short stories set in the same bald BDSM world. This collection is a stunning glimpse into the author’s mind and personal life. The writing is unembellished and in some ways clinical yet there is a wealth of subtle emotion available to the right reader. The focus is graphic sex, the beginning of gay erotica genre and incredib ...more
Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m-general
Beautifully written short stories from that period in the 1970/80's when western gay subculture was really starting to take off, and just before it was abruptly decimated by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

There is no real foreshadowing of the disease in the stories, as far as I can tell. But the setting, place and time, are so distinctive, and the sexual practices are so... un-safe, that every present day reader will know what is to come. And most readers will also know that author John Preston, who appa
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I adore John Preston, the only reason I bought this audio version was a failure to cancel my Audible account on time--I had the credit, might as well make it work by getting something I wanted. So I would have preferred to read his words instead of hearing them. Darren Douglas's narration works most of the time, but I found myself longing for someone with more of a New England sound, I don't even know if Preston spoke like a yankee, but it is what I expect.

Preston explains in the epilogue, that
Feb 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kinked, m-m, anthologies
AMAZING! Another must read from John Preston
Joey Diamond
Jul 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Damn, it's over already. Why am I so greedy?!

The guys a master, the headspace stuff is so achingly perfect. Sigh.
Travis W
May 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very few books of erotica capture the reality of BDSM. The longing, the power dynamics, and the intensity. Mr. Preston captured that here. The stories are good, not because they arouse you but because they remind you of your own life, the break your heart, they make you once more. A fantastic series of short stories. RIP Master Preston.
Michael Joseph
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
You can find a complete review of this BDSM classic on my blog ...more
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John Preston wrote and edited gay erotica, fiction, and nonfiction.
He grew up in Medfield, Massachusetts, later living in a number of major American cities before settling in Portland, Maine in 1979. A writer of fiction and nonfiction, dealing mostly with issues in gay life, he was a pioneer in the early gay rights movement in Minneapolis. He helped found one of the earliest gay community centers

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