I ‘ve finally finished reading Master of O, by Ernest Greene. This is no small commitment since the book is 763 pages long, but I found it well worth the reading time. The story, which resets Pauline Reage’s classic, Story of O, to glitzy contemporary Los Angeles is told from the Dom’s point of view, and Greene, a longtime pornography director and real life husband of porn star, Nita Hartley, based his lead character, Steven Diamond on real life experience. Greene is a skillful storyteller. His natural dialogue and great interplay between Dom and submissive, provides a keen insight into the inner workings of a hard-core BDSM relationship. Not only did his sex scenes sizzle on the page, they’re so well described, I felt I was watching a film inside my head as I read his words.
I love the fact that Steven, is an unapologetic sadist and libertine, who does not in any way blame his penchant for power, punishment, and pain on any disturbing childhood incidents. Instead, Steven, whose ideas of erotic play is not at all for the fainthearted, savors each command given and each stoke of the whip — because, simply stated, that’s what turns him on, makes him hard, and is part and parcel of who he is. All in all, Master of O, makes E.L James hero, Christian Grey seem like nothing more than an uptight, neurotic, wanna be Dom.
Steven’s new slave, O, is a gift to him from his brother, Ray, her current owner, who first proposes that they share her, later surrenders her to Steven when he realizes that her lust for pain and domination are greater than he can satisfy. And, as predicted, Steven finds in O, a talented photographer and heavy-duty masochist — with her acute appreciation of “quality pain”, in exchange for her submission — to be the perfect complement to his no holds barred brand of sadism. Steven and O are authentic characters, who come together form a place of mutual respect and understanding of each other’s needs and requirements. Together they embark on a high intensity, hardcore, BDSM relationship that continues to flourish until the story’s end, when Steven learns that O’s enslavement is not without its limits, after all.
As a kinky reader with an animal rights point of view, I found myself having to struggle a bit with descriptions of certain grossly decadent details of indulgences in the LA party scene — such as the wearing of endangered species shoes or the eating of pate fois gras, since such details unfortunately jerk me right out of the fantasy and into activist mode.
Aside from those discordant elements, I enjoyed reading about the inner workings of a kinky, high fashion magazine quite fascinating. And as one with a with a longterm familiarity with the scene, Master of O, with its quirky cast of desire driven characters reads like the real thing to me. I whole heartedly recommend this book to anyone with a genuine interest in the relationship dynamics of BDSM. Tweet @DorothyFreed1