In Which a Blog About Consent Turns into a Book Review!

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Last year, something terrible happened in Tennessee. I didn’t hear anything about it until some days later, researching on FetLife as I do. Someone, quite possibly the author herself–this was a year ago, so I can’t recall—posted an amazing blog on the subject. It was the first I’d read about it. A submissive named Shirley Beck was killed by those she trusted. Few fitting words do justice to what she went through. Kate Kinsey found those words, in her brilliant piece “The Last Four Hours of Shirley Beck’s Life“. I’m not sure anyone could have said it better.

Of course, I wanted to respond, as a member of the Kink Community, as an author of BDSM erotica, and as a freaking human being. I was so upset, I forgot how to word. Incoherent moans and sobbing seemed more appropriate. I cried, a lot.

In the end, I wrote another piece entirely, due to a censorship situation in which I knew the players, and it did speak on consent, but only peripherally. I was petrified to allow my brain to stray near the original subject. I kept meaning to come back to it, but publishing Switch It ON, and writing and publishing Switch It UP consumed my life. Well, and three trips to visit The Muse, who restoreth my soul, so to speak.

Finally, the work was done, and when I contemplated a real blog post for y’all, neither sharing nor selling, consent seemed the obvious choice. Although this incident had opened a conversation, we just reheated the same stale meal: There is no such thing as “rape culture”, and even if there was, WE don’t participate. Consent is built into our guidelines, after all. None of us would ever violate anyone’s boundaries! The safe-word is sacred!

Obviously, this is no more true for us than it is for the vanilla community. In fact, WIITWD leaves abusers with even more excuses! Consent needs to be addressed, and readdressed, and then sent to the P. O. Box and readdressed again, until the vanilla world truly believes that “no” means “NO!”, and until everyone in the fetish community will stop at “red” (or pistachio, or whatever y’all agree on. I don’t judge that either.)

In the immortal words of Arlo Guthrie, “That’s not what I came here to tell you about.” When I began preparing for this entry, I wanted to read the original piece that inspired it, that I have linked above. I did so, and cried and failed again. However, whenever I read something particularly brilliant, I like to go and see what else that person is doing.

This has led to something I haven’t done on this blog, a book review! (Cue announcer voice and dramatic music!)

Red, in the author’s own words is: “Truly, madly. . .deadly

Detective Tom Hanson has a string of grotesquely mutilated bodies on his hands and no answers–aside from the fact that the victims were members of an underground sex club catering to singular erotic tastes. Tastes the long, lean detective has sampled himself in the arms of his former lover, a fiery redhead who offered the most erotic, irresistible sex he’d ever encountered. Until the night she’d begged for the one thing he couldn’t give, and he lost her forever.

Gina Larsen is the only one who can guide Hanson through the fringe world of dark fantasy and desire that lies hidden deep beneath the Bible Belt. Lured into her lair by a quest for justice, Hanson discovers his hunger for Gina has only grown stronger and deeper. . .beyond the edge of control. Soon he’s shedding his last inhibitions in the search for answers, but the more she draws him into her erotic web, the less he can distinguish between passion and duty, pleasure and pain. . .good and evil.”

I know, right? How could I possibly resist? Before the Muse inspired me to embark upon this journey, thrillers were the mainstay of my library, and here, it seemed, all my best beloved worlds would collide. Red is that brilliant explosion.

Authenticity is only where we begin. Ms. Kinsey tells all, with honesty and love, that anyone might want to know about BDSM; more, in fact, than might be comfortable for some. She unflinchingly shines the light into some of the darker areas of the scene.

Her probing glow also invades the psychology of Kink, and of people in general, allowing her to create some vivid and memorable characters. Her use of language is expert, her descriptive powers evoking erotic images and horrific crime scenes with equal skill. With all this, she includes the twists and surprises thrillers need to thrill.

As book reviews haven’t really been my thing, I have no rating system here. Whatever it would be, Red would get the highest honors, 5 stars, 2 thumbs up, and a standing ovation.

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