Our latest release from Daedalus Publishing, Master of O by Ernest Greene, came out at one of the most interesting and appropriate times for a book about a D/s relationship. Thanks to the book and movie of Fifty Shades of Grey, there has been more discussion of BDSM in the mainstream media than in years.
Master of O may bear some superficial similarity to Fifty Shades of Grey in that they both depict relationships between dominant men and submissive women. But one of the big differences between the two is that Ernest Greene gets the details of BDSM right. Most importantly, he gets the role of consent right.
Consent is the linchpin of kinky sex. Scratch that; it’s the linchpin of all sex. It’s what makes the difference between one scene that is pleasurable and intimate for all involved and another that is abusive and traumatic. Daedalus is proud to stand behind Master of O because the relationship depicted by Ernest Greene is a strong example of a D/s relationship built on enthusiastic consent. In Greene’s novel, BDSM is something that people do for mutual pleasure, not because they’ve been warped by bad childhoods or inner decadence.
“The stalking and spying and bickering that occurs in Fifty Shades in no way represents the process of negotiation by which legitimate consent is formulated,” Greene says. “No matter what roles people may choose to adopt for purposes of mutual enjoyment, for consent to be meaningful it must be an expression of mutual desire between equals. In Master of O I went out of my way to portray O’s pleasure in the acts in which she partook and the extent to which she and her master are otherwise very much equals. Both are experienced players with well-defined interests and clear boundaries. Both have, and exercise, the right to refuse those opportunities that don’t suit their tastes. Though their physical play is intense, it’s focused on shared pleasure and mutual respect.”
Unfortunately, this kind of careful thought about consent and mutual pleasure has been rare in the mainstream media’s coverage of BDSM lately. It’s especially unfortunate because it’s the first thing that anyone should think about when they start to explore kinky sex.
Both Daedalus and Stockroom see getting the facts right about kink as the most essential part of our mission. We think that BDSM should not only be hot, but healthy. Master of O depicts some lush, glamorous fantasies; the new illustrated edition, which contains over forty full-color illustrations, gives them even more dimension and depth.
But whether inspired by Greene’s words or Fernando’s images, bringing those fantasies into the real world requires caution, respect, and a safe environment. It calls for an understanding of limits and mutual pleasure. Part of the beauty of Master of O is that it weaves those things into the fantasy.
For more reading on kink in the real world, we recommend checking out Midori’s Wild Side Sex, also available from Daedalus. Midori is one of the best educators in the field, knowledgeable and well-spoken both on technique and the ethics of kink. Wild Side Sex is a collection of essays that chronicle her own personal explorations in kink and give solid advice to people who are making their own journeys.
Buy all of these titles from Stockroom: