Diary of a Submissive: A Modern True Tale of Sexual Awakening by Sohpie Morgan is billed as “the real thing” compared to Fifty Shades of Grey. Where Fifty Shades was fiction, Diary of a Submissive claims to be true. Where Fifty Shades was a poor example of responsible BDSM, Diary is supposed to contain respectable practitioners. Where Fifty Shades showed abysmal writing skills, Diary is written by someone with the ability to construct a competent sentence.
Oh yeah. And where Fifty Shades of Grey turned me on and had me squirming in my seat, Diary of a Submissive was so boring I had trouble even finishing it.
The biggest problem for me was the diary-like, journalistic style. The story was very much “this happened, then this other thing happened, then that happened”. Not enough show, way too much tell. I couldn’t get into the characters, fall into the scenes, or care what happened next. There was no plot, no arch, no motion.
The subtitle contains “tale of sexual awakening”, but there wasn’t anything as dramatic as an awakening. The author found out some turn ons, then found out some more. That’s not the same thing as an awakening.
Morgan makes an effort to assure us that there’s nothing damaging lurking in her childhood, and maybe that’s the problem. Not every person or character is interesting enough to justify a book. Some characters are whole and wholesome, and that makes for a happy life but not necessarily an interesting book.
For many people, the constant graphic BDSM scenes are enough to carry them through the book. For them, that’s the interesting part. But, as a person with some BDSM experience I need some more drama. That you like to be caned on the weekend and called a slut doesn’t do it for me. I know enough to know that caning isn’t really my thing and slut is practically an endearment in my crowd.
The one thing I appreciated was that the author wasn’t constantly defining terms. I felt trusted as a reader to figure out what things meant for myself or google them if I needed some help. Constant definition would have taken the book into cheesier 101 territory, and I was glad that it didn’t go there.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be participating in some discussions inspired by this book over at BlogHer where you’re welcome to jump in if you like.
And of course, find your copy of the book here!