Thursday, 18 November 2010
As She’s Told.
Contains long excerpts and possible typos as typed in front of a tv at 11pm.
So this one of those books that I am intrigued by. It’s been a slow read for me, I bought it months ago and every now and then I read a little. Again, I don’t think I can relate that much to the characters and after reading hundreds of books and spending five years and money on Erotica, I’m excited, inspired but I can just never relate to someone in the way someone else says, that’s me and so I feel a bit isolated, especially when I read a book it’s when I’m away from my Dominant.
Maia is a woman who wants and needs to be owned. She’s isolated from the world, it’s all just surfaces and she doesn’t seem to want to control her body, like she wants and needs someone to do that for her, not just someone, someone to OWN her, to tell her what to do, to make her his so that he’s controlling her body. You know, it takes the strongest submissive to give control of their body to their Dominant like that. It’s not laziness, especially as we go on in the book it’s absolutely the opposite of laziness.
There’s something about writing a heroine that makes me want to keep her as real to me as possible, appearance wise also. However, sometimes I think like when people make virtual images of themselves, part of it’s about a change from their usual selves and partly it’s about their idea of “bettering” themselves. I know no one looks in the mirror and high fives pimples but it’s human and the image of beauty has become so robotic. Victoria’s Secret models have tumbling waves but so much processing has gone on there, their waves are bigger than their faces. Anyway, Maia basically reads as though she has a short, slender body and an exotic beauty which is non processed and more to do with a wide variety of ethnicity.
There’s an instant attraction between Anders the hero and Maia’s soon to be Dominant and herself. They have initially met online and the other was the only person they could relate to.
And then Maia and Anders talk about needs. She talks about helplessness and imprisonment and he talks about violence in the world and pain with consent.
He says he wants a “real human chattel.”
He tells her he’s not into a scene, he wants a woman to own, all the time, a slave, not vanilla with some kinks, she has no need to be used as a human toilet, she doesn’t even care for being kidnapped. Anders says he will treat like an animal or worse, beatings, control, humiliation but he’d take the greatest care not to damage her. This I have quoted from the book because I think the way it’s written and the way Maia responds, it’s like all she has been looking for her whole life just came true, I think it’s beautiful. She’s had slave fantasies since she was young.
She says she wants to give her control to him. To me, that’s like saying here it is, this is my path, this is me. I love it.
Anders has big hands and is a foot and a half taller than Maia. This adds an eroticism to the deep intensity of what they have just confided in each other.
And they sleep together very soon. Of course the sex is like some poetry (I was always a messy, clumsy sex kind of girl) but I will forgive the sentiment because he describes her as the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen and it’s nice to read a mixture of traditional old school romance and what is going to become the biggest ascent into slavery I have read so far.
“I can’t imagine I’d be very good at – well, at equality, you
see. With you.” Says Maia to Anders. I don’t care much for political correctness in the bedroom, in fact in some dynamics it has no place. And from their agreement over dinner, starts Maia’s journey.
As she’s sitting mostly naked at his feet he has her tell him everything about her past and sexual experiences. By page 21,as she’s taken like a slave, like Chattel, fucked, he tells her “you’re mine.”
Something that I love about As She’s Told is Maia and Ander’s beliefs about the world. They both have views, an education, experience, they talk about feminism, political science, parents, blending in with the crowd, not blending in with the crowd.
Maia’s early submission is full throttle on Anders demand but it’s realistic with her and his feelings and thoughts clear to the reader. I could relate to trying to get a grip on the situation. This situation is new for Maia and it’s very intense.
In addition to sex, Anders also controls Maia in her studies, setting her tasks. At the same time, Anders tells her it’s too soon to call him Master and takes her through it all step by step, like he says to her at the start, in addition to giving her the push she needs. And punishment. Punishment which she remembers and is going to better her, she was disorganised and lazy she admits in the past when it came to her work and now she won’t forget to type her notes on time and Anders thinks, soon he will work more on her posture.
As a reader you get an insight into Ander’s psyche as well, when Maia obeys him, when she does as she’s told, Anneke Jacobs, I have to say brilliant author of this book, writes, “The pure beauty of it made an intensely pleasurable ache in Anders, like a surpassingly perfect chord, or the most gorgeous of sunsets. This woman slipped into obedience like a seal into water. He watched from the doorway, watched the body inside the dress, the submissive being inside the body.There were fibres within his own body shaking loose,unfolding and reaching out for places not yet explored. As if all his life he had been confined to one small space inside his body, and was only now stretching himself to fit the full extent of his frame.”
They both, Anders and Maia get to be.
Maia also gets to be a “Hunhund.” A female dog, not in the bitch sense but an animal. “Up on the bed, hands and knees. We’re going to find out just what makes you come, my little hunhund. And what doesn’t.”
And in case we need reminding this book is called As She’s Told. Her need is to do as she’s told. So it’s actually her needs as well as his that are being met when the focus changes from what makes her cum, to her serving her Sir and this means also mistakes but learning from them, sometimes a gradual process.
“You know,” he said, “if you look at all this from some kind of normal perspective, what the hell am I doing? Look at me. I need to know her every move, don’t trust her for a minute, don’t let her use her own body as she likes. I want to know who she’s with and where she goes. That kind of thing’s usually the unlovely lead-up to a restraining order. How would anyone know I’m not some crazy stalker?”
And he hadn’t even included holding her down and beating her.
“Oh, bullshit,” said Val.
“I was like this with Janice. Sometimes. It was what broke us up in the long run. I never could be satisfied with the level of control she was willing to give me.”
“Maia’s not Janice. As you are perfectly aware.”
Anders went on as if he hadn’t heard her. “And you know, most other doms seem to behappy with power that’s basically psychological. Promises, negotiations, a dominant/submissivequid pro quo. Some blow jobs and a St. Andrew’s cross whipping on Saturday night. That feels like nothing but games to me, but is it?”
Val rolled her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest. “Don’t go by me, I love games.”
Evidently his question had been rhetorical. “Or am I missing something? Am I just lacking the – the what? The subtlety and sophistication, to appreciate dominance by force of will,hardware optional?”
“For fuck’s sake, Thygesen. Whatever turns your crank. If you want to chain your woman to the wall, do it.”
“Thanks, I probably will.” Anders edged the truck around a corner onto Queen and sworeagain, finding himself in traffic that was at a complete standstill. He threw up his hands in resignation, folded long arms over the steering wheel and stared through the windshield for a while before he spoke again. “I have to admit, it’s been fun controlling Maia without restraints.
More fun than I expected. It’s challenging, seeing how far I can go that way, watching the pattern develop.”
“Oh. So you might have a bit of class after all? Not just a simple-minded thug?”
“Nah, I’m simple enough. Lately I keep flashing on hardware, nothing but hardware, and her in it. I play with the possibilities whenever I’m doing something routine; you know, driving, laying tiles, waiting in line to pay for something. And Home Depot’s a killer, all that stuff usable in ways it wasn’t intended for.”
Val cracked up. “We spend half our lives in hardware stores! You’re obviously in the right line of work.” She laughed at him until his face fell back into its preoccupied lines, and then she
stopped. “You’re not a stalker, you know. You’re not abusing her.”
“You’ve got the girl’s consent. More than consent. She’s begging to be taken over.”
He was silent for a while. “You know what I used to do? Read about real abusers in the paper. Books, too. So I could watch for the edge. So I could be sure I wasn’t one of them.”
The book goes between discussions like this sometimes from Anders to friends to Anders and Maia and the sex and submission. On the next page, Maia is wanking her cunt on the gear stick of Ander’s car because he wants her to come like the bad girl she was the night before, coming because he knows she really needs to, Maia I have a feeling is like a dog in heat when she has the need, but Anders and herself know she isn’t deserving of a proper wank.
Although Maia is Anders to do with he will, she’s got to overcome conditioning, all those years, so it’s going to take time. You’d think Maia, you’d have learned not do your laundry two days late and make another excuse to Anders for skipping class by now…
I can feel the moment where she realises she’s basically in deep dog shit.
(Don‘t take that too literally).
And I can feel her humiliation and sadness through her punishment. And also the relief that comes from him not being angry at her anymore, simply because she doesn’t want him to feel angry.
“She turned her face away. “What I need – sir, all I need is to know is – are you
still angry at me?”
He reached out and took her gently by the ear. “No, I’m not angry any more.” She turned her head to touch her cheek to his hand. “But that doesn’t mean everything goes back to the way it was. I’ve learned more about how your naughty little mind works. I’m going to move faster to restrict what you do, since I trust you less.”
She hung her head. “I’m sorry,” she whispered.
He took her face in both hands and kissed away its distress, kissed and licked the delicate, salty skin beneath her eyes. Then he gave her some orders for the next day, and sent her inside.”
“I lay in bed that night on my stomach, hugging the pillow, with sleep as distant and
theoretical as an alien lifeform. It wasn’t the physical result of the punishment that kept meawake; well, hardly at all. It was the fear still possessing me: the mounting, searing pain, my helplessness to avoid the blows. Anders’ angry, implacable voice still resounded in my head,making me cringe against the pillow. I actually held the pillow over my ears to shut it out, uselessly of course. And those long periods in corners, humiliating me down to nothing. My guilt was only barely assuaged by the punishment. I had to keep reminding myself that Anders wasn’t angry with me any more. And he was already stepping up restrictions, which was probably a
good thing; less chance for me to get into trouble.
I identified one feeling braiding through my subconscious: a thread of relief. He’d tied me down and beaten me, and I had survived it. More important, my desire had survived it; after that experience I wanted more than ever to belong to him. Fantasy is one thing, reality something else, as JulieB had said during that first conversation (the weblog of which I had saved and repeatedly read). Despite my early assurances, I hadn’t known for sure that I really could take it.
Or even, after the first blow, almost welcome it. Now it seemed to me that I did know.
I forced myself to be honest; there was no “almost’ about it. I had welcomed it, had in fact needed it. I was finding out what a fear junky I was. Fear, pain, humiliation: you name it, my body took it in through every pore and nerve and orifice and begged for more.
The beating had been one more giant step toward being owned, choiceless. A state I still wanted passionately, more than any specific piece of bondage or discipline.
Though I certainly wanted those, waited with breathless impatience for whatever he would do to me next. Still, the actions and the hardware were only the outward manifestation – intensely arousing, cunt swimming window dressing – for the underlying relationship, in which the seesaw of power tipped only one way.
There was another thread, thin and fragile-seeming, but still unbroken: the freedom to walk away. Here I was all by myself, with nothing but a waist chain and a sore ass to keep me in line. It felt a bit like standing at the edge of a precipice and reminding yourself that you really don’t want to jump. In that situation a guard rail is good, a chain link fence is even better.”
“I oscillated between longing urgently for more restrictions and chafing against the ones I had. It was frustrating not being able to goof off sometimes, browse in shops, read a book. I liked buying things on impulse – books I’d read that I’d always wanted to own, clothes I admired but could do without. But I wasn’t allowed. I chafed, and had sneaky teenaged rebellious thoughts. But less and less as time went by. I remembered that it was Anders who didn’t allow it. And what he wanted had become the central pin upon which I turned. I began to curl up within his boundaries, like a child in loving arms.”
I know of women who are submissive who want a Master, who want 24/7 and say they want it, determined they want this. I wonder if they know just how under His thumb they are going to be. Anders has to be sure of Maia and of what they have. “I really will control you, Maia,” he said at last. “I’m not talking metaphorically. I’m talking micromanagement. What’s happened so far is nothing compared to living with me 24/7.”
She pulled herself closer to him. “Sir, what should I – what do you expect me –”
He shook her slightly. “You should stick to the subject. Wicked girl.” He kissed her head.
“I’ll expect you to do what I tell you to do, of course. Learn to serve me, exactly as I want.
Accept what I inflict on you. Be what I make you.”
“Please, sir, I do want to move in.”
“Wait. I appreciate that you want to make the decision without needing to know the
details. But I’m not consulting you, I’m warning you. Do you understand?”
“Maia, if you move in with me, I’m going to keep you like an animal on a very short tether. You’ll have no autonomy at all in that house.
Not much outside of it. Remember, there’ll be constant restraints, rules, humiliations,
punishments. All the time, do you understand? You’re not going to draw a free breath.”
She was trembling beneath his arm. He held her more firmly and kept her moving.
“Following rules doesn’t mean you’ll know what’s coming, either. I’ll be arbitrary, and
sometimes I’ll be cruel.” He could hear her breathing. “I’ll still look after you, Maia.
That won’t change. I’ll still take great care, not to damage you. But you have to understand. This is for real.
You’ll be a belonging, a piece of property. I’ll do whatever I like with you. We agreed to play no games, and I won’t play them.”
She stumbled to a stop, and he faced her, holding her by the arms. He could almost see the heat radiating from her. Her head hung, and her body heaved with each breath. Slowly she raised her head, and looked at him with unfocused eyes, in the grip of profound, helpless arousal.
“Please…,” she breathed.
“Oh, sweetheart,” he said, and he sat down and pulled her into his lap. Loving her, and his luck.
They sat there in silence for several minutes, rocking a little while she calmed down.
Then he boosted her off his lap, pulled off his knapsack and found a good spot beneath a tree. Laying out a little lunch, grilled vegetables and cheese on thick bread, he said, “That wasn’t the final decision, you know. I expect you to go home and think about this. When you’re not blinded by lust.”
Maia moves in. she’s now allowed to wear clothes as he tells her in his house, she is now to call him Master. There are rules about tv, even a stereo, she is dressed up so her waist is smaller than ever before, Maia is not good in the kitchen but Anders introduces her to tasks slowly, and although he likes to cook, I know that he is easy on Maia when it comes to that because he has to be. So many decisions for Dominants, aww.
And also when Maia moves in, she is told to pee in the chamber pot.
“I need to pee.”
“Then you can use the chamber pot. There.” He pointed at a squat white covered enamel bowl by the wall, in the shadow of a small table. On the table was a tissue box.
Oh, god. I’d seen the thing but it hadn’t entered in. The tray was lifted off my hands. I
could feel my face burning at the thought of squatting over that pot in plain view. The word “but…” was at my lips, but I bit it off; a conditioned reflex by now. By this time I knew that there was absolutely no percentage in questioning his orders, or in anything at all other than instant obedience. My hands went to the floor and I crept slowly up to the thing. Positioning myself over it was an agony of awkwardness, the ankle chain helping not at all. And then I couldn’t let it go for ages. I was almost in tears by the time I finally managed it.
I covered the pot and crept back to him, head down, unable to meet his eye. He gently pulled my head against his side. “It’ll get easier, girl. You’ll see.” I buried my face in his shirt, but I could hear the amusement in his voice. “Before long you’ll be completely housetrained.”
As a reader, I’m not complaining, oh my God she is just like his pet, I don’t even ask if this is humiliation or what. Because, I knew from the start, it was made very clear that this is what they both want and need.
And then Anders has Maia eating out of a dish on the floor. Like a dog. Like a female dog. A hunhund. I have nothing but admiration for Maia and Anders for going after what they want. I would put in the excerpt, clearly I’m fond of those but I’ll leave it as a gem for if you buy this book. It’s a testament to how Annek Jacobs writes, her characters and words very human and her circumstances ordinary and the emotions and articulation of them extraordinary.
This is how far I have got to. I intend to come back one day and edit this. I know what happens in the end and out of sheer curiosity I read that part and a little before, but I’m still working my way through the journey. It’s a 300 page book almost, if I had to choose a book to take away with me on holiday, it would be this and Story of O. I’m on a mini vacation of sorts writing this, now I’m back to business but I’ll have Maia with me regardless of my own journey.
The further a book wants to take things, I’ll go with it if it speaks to me and is a good a book. As She’s Told is what I need and want from a book.