By Madeline Iva
This is my first report on our Lady Smut Read Hotter Challenge (2016)
I read three Charlotte Stein ménage stories that I haven’t read before: Make Me, Power Play, and All Other Things. Let’s compare and contrast, shall we?
So far I’ve loved reading Stein’s books where the hero is based on Armie Hammer. The fun of reading these new stories is imagining Armie Hammer joined by Michael Fassbender.
Which is great–because Fassy rules.
Meanwhile, the true Stein fan understands that we would not have her ouvre without Sexually Repressed Guy.
I love SEXUALLY REPRESSED GUY. He is too nice to say what he wants, but he has a totally hot body. He is adorable because he is so afraid of being disgusting.
Yet he wants sex very badly with the heroine. And pretty much only her. Which is why we lurvs him so.
In this situation, the heroine or *someone* has just got to pry those sexual feelings out of Sexually Repressed Guy, because he deserves it because he’s so good and feminist and considerate.
Once the heroine pries him open, he’s earnestly uninhibited. All his repressed filthy desires are unleashed upon the heroine, and readers rejoice. Or at least—he’s worried about the heroine. The sexually repressed guy isn’t sure they should be doing these terribly naughty things that they end up doing. Is she being sexually exploited? Is she being disrespected? Is she able to voice what she wants? Yes, he not only wants to be good, he wants to be a considerate feminist as well. I read about this character and–I die.
MAKE ME is a story about Sexually Repressed Guy and his wife.
She’s all like: Why won’t he have sex with me?
Her male friend at work is like: Well, what’s he fantasizing about when he’s masturbating?
She’s all like: masturbate? Him. No way.
Then her male friend just laughs and laughs.
Anyway, she rolls out of bed late at night to discover, doh! hubby has an online friend—a kind of sexual Svengali, nudging him towards opening up about all his filthy fantasies to his wife. She goes back to her hot male friend at work—and he is typical of another kind of character Stein writes:
THE KNOWINGLY FILTHY ONE: This guy has been there and back, sexually speaking. He intuits what they secretly want to do. He says what they cannot say. He commands them to do what they would neeeeeever ever do on their own. He leads them by the hand towards sexual shamelessness. He’s a bad boy with a heart of filthy, lewd gold.
And if you’re picturing Michael Fassbender in this role–ding! ding! ding!
POWER PLAY, meanwhile, is for anyone who liked the movie SECRETARY. It’s like Stein’s Telling Tales with some BDSM thrown in. In this story we get…
SEXUALLY REPRESSED GUY PLUS: Once this guy has been pried open he’ll do anything submissive, anything. If it’s humiliating, then he’s hard. He’ll even suck off another guy off or letting another guy mount him.
And in Powerplay, SRGP meets up with SWITCHY WOMAN.
Yes, in her heart of hearts she wants to be some guy’s filthy slut, but if she needs to pry open Mr. Repressed Guy Plus by getting all dominatrix-y on his ass, then that’s what she’ll do to make him happy.
I again have to bow down to Stein’s writer’s chops. She can write about a couple in which the woman is sexually dominant but emotionally insecure, while the male sub is completely on edge sexually yet socially relaxed and optimistic. He winds up more in charge of the relationship emotionally as time goes on, guiding it along, not letting it falter on the rocky shoals of her uncertainty.
ALL OTHER THINGS: If you love Fassy and you enjoy reading menage about two guys who are so helplessly horny over a girl that they end up getting it on with each other just from thinking about doing her–then you will love this book.
Ultimately, the dynamics of this story are really good. Wants are fulfilled, needs are met. Horny sex is unleashed. No one is judge-y in a Stein ménage. People are worried that others feel loved, feel respected.
BUT LET’S TALK ABOUT SEMEN FOR A BIT, SHALL WE? This was definitely the part of the #ReadHotter challenge where I was pushing my boundaries.
We are all familiar with Charlotte Stein’s semen conventions. Each heroine eagerly swallows at the end of every bj, coveting semen “across the tongue” like I covet chocolate ganache cupcakes. I accept this because it’s a pretty standard in erotic romance, just like the men all have massive cocks and the women all having tiny, tight va-jay-jays. It’s standard erom fantasy.
Meanwhile, a Stein hero almost always has tracks of pre-come drizzing all over his dick. He shoots his load like a fire hydrant, spewing forth copious amounts of jiz. Your typical Stein heroine gushes like the nile between her legs. All this is a little porn-y, I guess, but I’m down with it. People are excited, their bodies are excited, everyone is maximally turned on. Go Charlotte!
But in these particular ménage stories, our Stein heroines also want the heroes to come on her face.
Let me pause for a second to collect myself.
I’m okay with that. But am I? Actually, well, I guess I’m surprised Stein would go there.
There’s a part of me that’s not *quite* cringing. A part of me that wants to be open minded. So as I’m reading these moments in her books I’m saying to myself: Okay, well if the heroine is enjoying it that much, and the repressed guy plus is also lapping it up–erm, literally–then…well…okaaaaaaay.
But another part of me is standing behind Amy Schumer when it comes to as she so elequently puts it “jizzing all over a woman’s face.”
Ultimately, I could have done without it. Yet I liked all three of these reads. I’m glad I read them. I’ve even started re-reading one. Sometimes, ladies, nothing but Charlotte Stein will do. But for all you semen-sensitive readers out there, you’ve been warned. ; >
Madeline Iva writes fantasy, paranormal, and contemporary romance. Her novella ‘Sexsomnia’ is available in our LadySmut anthology HERE, and her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, will be out Spring, 2016.