Hello, Fellow Readers! Please join me in welcoming Sophie Morgan, author of Diary of a Submissive: A Modern True Tale of Sexual Awakening to the blog. Today, she’ll let us in on why she wrote her new novel, Diary of a Submissive.
In Diary of a Submissive, Sophie Morgan candidly explains what exactly an independent, 21st century woman gets out of relinquishing her power and personal freedom in a submissive relationship with a dominant man for their mutual sexual pleasure.
In the wake of Fifty Shades of Grey, here is a memoir that offers the real story of what is means to be a submissive and follows Sophie’s story as she progresses from her early erotic experiences through to experimenting with her newfound awakened sexuality. From the endorphin rush of her first spanking right through to being collared, she explains in frank and explicit fashion her sexual explorations..
But it isn’t until she meets James, a real life ‘Christian Grey,’ that her boundaries and sexual fetishism are really pushed. As her relationship with James travels into darker and darker places, the question becomes: Where will it end? Can Sophie reconcile her sexuality with the rest of her life, and is it possible for the perfect man to be perfectly cruel?
Daring, controversial, and sensual, Diary of a Submissive is filled with a captivating warmth and astounding honesty such that no one— man or woman—will be able to put Sophie's story down.
Why I wrote Diary of a Submissive
I’ve done a fair few interviews now relating to my book, The Diary of a Submissive. It’s been an interesting experience, partly because as I’m a journalist by trade myself I’m more used to asking questions than answering them, and partly because of the variety of questions posed and the way they’ve been framed.
I had a long discussion with a radio interviewer from Ireland (incredibly sexy voice, as you’d expect) about what I get up to in bed where instead of naming the kinkier acts we described them as ‘x’ and ‘y’, like some kind of erotic algebra equation, while an Italian interview took a turn for the surreal when the interviewer started asking me intensive questions on the legality of sex contracts (it turned out there was a divorce case there hitting the headlines which centered on such a document).
There are lots of similar questions that come up, but one of the key ones (that doesn’t involve that OTHER book all about the BDSM, which I’ll come to later) is actually one of the simplest ones. Why?
Why write the book in the first place? It’s a massive anachronism. On one level I’m busy saying I’m as conventional as everyone else, the woman sat at the table next to yours in Starbucks with her nose in a book, or bickering with her boyfriend over who’s hogging the Tivo with unwatched TV shows. But on the other side of things, I’ve just written a 300-page book detailing the intricacies of my sex life. And not just in vague terms you might share with friends over a glass of wine, but in the kind of terms that at points made me blush proof-editing it.
Trust me, it feels a bit strange to me too.
Initially it was very much about writing about my own experiences as I had them. I’m very into BDSM, particularly the dominance and submission elements - it’s the whole premise of the book really. Particularly early on when I was first getting into it, I found myself thinking a lot about what I’d done in the day or two after each new experience – usually in that dead time when your mind wanders while waiting for the coffee machine at work to do its thing. In a lot of ways, my earliest writing (on a now long-defunct blog) was about trying to explain to myself exactly what I got out of submission and why and how it was hot even while a voice in the back of my head was going, ‘why are you letting him do THAT?!’ From my first spanking, through to ever more intense scenes, I detailed lots of them – trying to explain what I got out of it, why it was hot, what made me enjoy what we were doing on one level even while at points I could quite happily of smothered my dominant with a pillow, how my mind took a while to catch up with what my body was incontrovertibly telling me was hot.
It wasn’t something I was promoting to get readers, although over time I did get a few regulars, but more about having a space where I could (if it doesn’t sound too lame) work these things through in my head, untangling the feelings and confusion of on one level being a feminist devoted to ideas of gender equality and on another finding it incredibly erotic when for a little while I surrendered my equality in sexual situations (ha, way to go Sophie, could anything sound a less exciting read?!). People liked it though, some people found it hot, others debated it with me, and in time I began to realise that, you know, I was doing what loads of other people were doing and there was no harm to it at all.
Eventually I ended up with a chronology of a lot of my early kink adventures. They needed filling out, contextualising within a wider explanation of my life and adding to with the things that I hadn’t got around to writing about – mostly because they happened within a shorter space of time and during a time I was too caught up living my life to sit down and write about it. It took a while, but I got there in the end!
I didn't write the book as a response to Fifty Shades of Grey (not least because most of the book pre-dates it), although in light of the popularity of the trilogy, I'm even happier it's out there as another viewpoint of BDSM for people to read and make their minds up about. I figure if you like Fifty Shades, you'll find the subject matter interesting, but it was important to me that this wasn't just jumping on a bandwagon.
Whether you enjoyed reading it or not though, Fifty Shades of Grey being such a literary phenomenon is a great thing for erotica and its associated genres, especially if – as so many pieces in the media seem to suggest – it’s encouraging women to be open in their sexual fantasies and do loads of new and exciting things in bed. What’s lovely about the increasing openness about female sexuality that these books (and the fantastic writing getting more space on booksellers’ shelves in the aftermath) are encouraging is that, slowly but surely the tide is turning and things that were considered taboo are being considered fun, healthy parts of any sexual relationship. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before when people ask ‘why’ I’m writing about D/s the answer can be: “Why not?”
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