Dark Secret Love: A Story of Submission

Image of Dark Secret Love: A Story of Submission
Release Date: 
October 26, 2018
Cleis Press
Reviewed by: 

“This sometimes unfathomable realm takes place in darkened bedrooms and dimly lit clubs throughout the world.”

“Like magic, he suddenly had some thin little switch in his hand, and before I could breathe, before I could beg, he was using it on me, on the underside of my ass, the tops of my thighs. The pain cut me, cut through me. He worked with finesse, slicing that mean implement to the right or the left before landing a perfect blow that made me cry out.”

At first blush, the above quote from Dark, Secret Love might appear to be a paragraph out of a grisly story about torture and mayhem; however, the reader quickly realizes he/she is being introduced to a world that may be unfamiliar but is practiced by a growing number of people.

This sometimes unfathomable realm takes place in darkened bedrooms and dimly lit clubs throughout the world.

Originally relegated by others to being a pathological pursuit, the BDSM (aka bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism) lifestyle remained underground for centuries. Now in some circles it is viewed as stylish and even avant garde.

As author Alison Tyler explains her perspective she says, “That feeling of being used swallows me up, the soreness, the ache—those sensations consume me.” Welcome to the world of BDSM.

In the introduction, author Tyler states, “I’ve got this desire to confess. To share my cravings.” It becomes abundantly clear that Dark, Secret Love is derived from the personal longings and desires from the author’s colorful palette of sexual experiences. According to Ms. Tyler, “Normal sex was never enough for me.”

Ms. Tyler’s cravings in the sexual arena were not satisfied by gentle touch or soft, romantic settings. Her desires were only quenched by being submissive and allowing the man she was with to totally dominate her.

In this world of BDSM, there are two distinct categories of players, i.e. “Doms” and “Subs” (dominants and submissives) with each person acting out their role in the drama that ultimately satisfies each party. The partners fit together like a hand and glove, and everyone understands the rules of the game. Partners devise a “safe” word that sends a message to stop when things go too far.

Ms. Tyler refers to this book as “autobiographical fiction” and though some of it appears to be fiction, the reader cannot be sure which parts are a memoir and what morsels are fictitious. But this quandary is ultimately unimportant as this dark, underground world of erotic fetishism unfolds.

Though there is definitely an audience for Dark, Secret Love this book will probably not be known for its brilliant plot or complex character development. It is a glimpse into the world of bondage and aficionados of this lifestyle will thoroughly enjoy each scene and relate to those feelings of either dominating or being controlled.

The truth is that unknown by many these desires are more common than most people realize. In fact, the popularity of this type of erotic fiction has risen tremendously. A perfect example is the recent bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey.

Though we all make judgments to some degree, it would behoove a reader of Dark, Secret Love to suspend judgment about the BDSM lifestyle in order to learn more about one of the many predilections that exist within the continuum of human sexuality.

There are several categories of readers that may find the content and practices in Dark, Secret Love to be distasteful. The first group is comprised of people whose moral/religious compass does not allow for the acceptance of alternative lifestyles in this arena. The second group consists of feminists who may object to women occupying what is viewed as a subservient position even if it consists of role playing.

Nevertheless, there is an audience that hungers for this genre that contains sexually explicit dialogue and re-enactment of the actual scenarios within the BDSM community.