Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Book Review: Diary of a Submissive

I went to WH Smith's in Manchester the other day to buy a Kobo e-book reader, and I saw that the entrance to the shop was pretty much stuffed with erotica. Sophie Morgan's Diary of a Submissive caught my eye and I began to flip through it. The rather sweet blonde girl who was selling me the Kobo offered to let me have The Diary of a Submissive for £3.00 or so, and on impulse I let her load it onto my new toy.

Sophie Morgan's book is advertised as the words of a genuine submissive, but I have my doubts about that. In fact, I have my doubts that the writer is even a woman, and for two reasons:

Firstly, she fills the book with references to her "arse" and her "slit." Those are very masculine nouns and women tend to avoid using such vulgarities. It is not proof positive that the writer is a man, but as I read through the book, the heavy emphasis on vulgar euphemisms made me suspect that it might be.

Secondly, women are good at describing emotions, and men shine when it comes to descriptions of actions. This book is excellent in the descriptive category, but lacks an awful lot of the emotion that women just excel at writing. Speaking as a writer of erotica myself, I could have written this book, but there is no way on earth that I could ever have turned out Fifty Shades of Grey. It is the difference between a female writing style and a male.

Being of a curious bent, I began to investigate this authoress and her work further. It turns out that the book was first issued by Xcite Books in 2010 as Subtext: A Modern Day Tale Of Female Submission, by Kate Marley. By all accounts the earlier version was marketed as a new Story of O, with no claims being made that it was a memoir.

Aside from the change of title and name of the authoress, there are some other changes to the two versions. The main dominant in Subtext is called Josh and for some reason he becomes James in the Diary of a Submissive. He also becomes very rich and Sophie Morgan starts to blush a lot as well as roll her eyes, thus earning more discipline. A cynic would argue that Penguin bought the rights to this work of fiction and the writer added those Fifty Shades of Grey details, before the whole thing was then punted out as a memoir, rather than a novel.

It could very well be that my fears are groundless and what we have here is a genuine submissive who writes like a man, chose to change her pen name and add some details to her manuscript that seem to have been lifted from Fifty Shades.

On the other hand this book could just be a novel...

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