Review: My Body-His
My Body-His by Blakely Bennett
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
A friend of my mine requested that I read this book to validate her thoughts. To see if she were crazy. She gave the book a 4.5 star. Another friend gave this book a 4 star. I guess I'm the first to give a 1 star. I hated this book. I hated the characters. I found this book to be completely BDSM hostile. I am disappointed in the book especially since the author took such great lengths to thank all the people who helped her with the BDSM lifestyle questions.
If this was a BDSM fantasy book, I could kind of let it slip by with the reprehensible things that happened here. The fact that this is presented as a BDSM contemporary book with romance, I found this book despicable.
Let's run down the good parts first. Ms. Bennett is a good writer. Her story was focused and there were no gaping holes or hanging threads. The editing was done just fine. There were no spelling or grammar issues to pull a reader out of the story.
Second, Ms. Bennett spent a good amount of the book showing rather than telling. This is very good as many authors experience difficult with this part of writing. The reader can easily visualize the beach, apartment, beach house and office in this book.
Third, Ms. Bennett's character building was fine. Each character was different than the other an easily remembered. The downside is that there aren't any characters other than maybe Parker in this book who is a likeable character. I'll save the character issue for the parts I didn't like.
Fourth, Ms. Bennett's BDSM wedding was hot. Very hot. I liked the wedding but the intent behind it I couldn't agree with so it's also a fail for me. Some authors may write with "the ends justifies the means" mentality. In some cases this works great. Some may call me a hypocrite because there are times I agree with the ends justifies the means method. What people are missing is that there is a second variable for me. The second variable is intent. What is the intent and how are people on board with this intent? For me, the intent in this book is negative and not everyone is on board so I can neither agree nor condone this outcome.
What bothered me is the fucked main character - Luke. His double standards is a very prevalent misconception from those outside of the lifestyle. Luke is designed to be exactly what people think BDSM Doms are like. While I can agree there are probably Doms who are like this, this isn't how the Doms I know behave and they would have been horrified by this mockery of a D/s relationship. Let me give a good comparison. Let's take the wife beater. Let's use him as the model of what all husbands. Since he's a married man and he beats the shit out of his wife and kids perhaps we should just accept this as requirements to a husband, right? This type of behaviour is is acceptable and expected from a husband/father if we are using the same thought process as how Luke is designed. In reality, or at least the world I live in -- sure there are husbands out there that abuse their wives and beat their kids, but we don't call these men good husbands nor do we want to have anything to do with them. Yet they still hold the title of husband until they kill their wife/children. Then we just call that man a murderer.
In this case, Ms. Bennett's Dom is a predator whom we warn "new to BDSM" people away from. He doesn't negotiate, lacks communication skills and doesn't engender trust. What's even funnier is Luke's accusation of Jane's lack of trust between them. Show me where he has done something that would encourage trust. And his "get out of jail" card for Jane? His supposed "safeword" was an ultimatum. If Jane ever used it, they would be done. The relationship is immediately over. What the fuck? That had me seeing red immediately. If that isn't a warning alarm then I don't know what else would be for someone in a D/s relationship. Jane is completely inexperienced and doesn't know any better. She possess a one way ticket to death with Luke. He's forced her to give up her job, sell her home and get rid of her own transportation. She's now completely dependent on him.
Now, one can argue this happens in a TPE relationship. Yes, that is correct. It can happen. And in that type of relationship, it's a total power exchange. It's an exchange because the submissive wants to give the power to the Dominant. They want to do all this and are totally on board. Plus the Dom/me demonstrates they are fair and will cherish/share their life with the sub. Since the story is written from Jane's point of view. We know otherwise. Jane is not happy with this loss of control. She's being emotionally blackmailed into this situation. Do this or else I'll leave you. Do this or I'll have sex with other women. Do this or the marriage is off. What the hell is this? This a total power coercion which is a complete slap in the face of a healthy and loving D/s relationship. And this is why, the rating of the book is a 1 star for me.
If at each step of the way, Luke explained what he wanted and Jane realized it was what she wanted and she gave the control to him, I would have LOVED this book. Since this book did not pan out in this manner, I'm left feeling emotionally violated. This book is an excellent example of what to avoid in a BDSM D/s relationship. Ms. Bennett captured a dysfunctional and predatory Dom perfectly.
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