You know how it is when you’ve got a day off from work or other obligations and you find yourself with an entire day to yourself? Yay! you mentally cheer. You can get an enormous laundry list of things accomplished – including the laundry itself! – and you’re imbued with a sense of purpose. But then…well, remember that saying about the best laid plans? Without warning your motivation dries up, you realize you’re exhausted, the weather outside is crap, and nothing seems better than watching a movie or three and deciding the chores can stuff it.
I found myself in just that situation last Sunday. I was going to do laundry but every machine in my building was in use. I could have gone for a walk but the clouds looked ominous. I could have read a book – my tbr pile is scraping the sky – but a sense of drowsiness warned me that my eyes would start drooping after about page 2. So instead I plopped down on the couch and rented a juicy little French flick called Alice, ou les désirs. A teaser photo for the main character showed her dressed up in a tight, black leather number complete with studs and a collar. Awesome! I was hooked (just like she was!).
As it turned out, Alice was a sexual awakening film focused on the main character’s introduction to, and exploration of, a lifestyle of kink. Well, sign me up! It all started with Alice confronting her loser husband at a dinner party hosted by Alice’s cousin, Léa. Alice decides she’s had enough of him and informs him she’s leaving. Problem: she has no place to go. Cousin Léa to the rescue. Subsequent scenes reveal Léa letting Alice know that she’s really, really into kink. Wide-eyed Alice is at first stunned, then intrigued, then, as the film goes on, part of the scene. Léa dresses Alice in sexy unmentionables and takes hot photos of her, both inside the apartment and then eventually – as Alice becomes bolder – outside on the street. So far, so good.
Alice takes her burgeoning interest to an online chatroom where she meets a Dom who insists she call him Master. Being a good little submissive, Alice is quick to obey. There’s a pretty hot scene with Master telling Alice to spread her legs, touch herself, and imagine that he’s whipping her. This really gets her going, and she loves him telling her what to do, eventually bringing herself to orgasm and telling Master all about it. Nice.
Eventually Léa lets Alice know that a younger guy, Rémy – a student of Alice’s, as it turns out (she’s a math teacher) – is also into the kink lifestyle and wants to get it on with Alice. She’s initially outraged since she could lose her job over sex with a student (anyone’s thoughts going to Mary Kay Letourneau at this point? Yeah, me too). But Léa poo-poos Alice’s outrage and convinces her it’ll be fun. Alice relents and a long sexy scene follows in which Rémy and Léa dress up Alice in a tight black dress with a collar and leash and parade her in the street. Then they take her to a classroom, and (this next scene’s my favorite) here’s where the ultimate hotness takes place. Alice has to fully undress, stand in front of the blackboard and solve a complex math equation while Rémy is behind her, touching and kissing her everywhere. Her mind’s getting blown and it’s impossible to focus, but Rémy’s in full Dom mode and firmly insists that she keep at the math equation. This, my friends, was awesome. I loved the contrast between fully dressed, bossy Dom and naked, submissive, highly aroused Alice.
An interesting focus of this particular BDSM journey was the emphasis on whipping. There were several whipping scenes yet nary a paddle to be found. Even spanking was a rare commodity. So what’s writer Cécile Calvet doing getting us all whipped into a frenzy? I did a bit of research to see what peeps in the know are saying about whipping vs paddling. A detailed book, In Praise of the Whip by Niklaus Largier, offers a comparison between religious and erotic whipping, but that wasn’t quite what I was after. Ultimately I found someone in a kink chatroom who offers up this perspective: whipping, flaggelation, and paddling are all a hot turnon, it just depends on if you’re into the sting or the thud.
What say you, dear readers? To sting or to thud – that is the question. Or does it even matter? For those into kink, let us know what you think.
Elizabeth Shore writes both contemporary and historical erotic romance. Her newest book is an erotic historical novella, Desire Rising, from The Wild Rose Press. Other releases include Hot Bayou Nights and The Lady Smut Book of Dark Desires.