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Outlander

November 13, 2010

“Takes a bit of effort to make you properly submissive, doesn’t it?” The bed creaked with a shifting of weight and I felt my knees being nudged further apart.

“Not as dead as you look, I hope?” said the voice, coming nearer. I arched upward with an inarticulate sound as exquisitely sensitive tissues were firmly parted in a fresh assault.

“Jesus Christ,” I said. There was a faint chuckle near my ear.

“I only said I felt like God,” he murmured, “I never said I was.”

Recently, I have taken up reading a series I started years ago but never quite finished. It had been a few years, so I started from the very beginning. I generally don’t enjoy rereading books, but for the last two weeks I’ve found myself entranced all over again. You see, the book in question happens to be the first erotic novel I ever read.

When I found myself reading it at 16, I didn’t know it was anything more than a historical love story. Very much a bookworm, I became accustom to getting suggested reading from my grandmother and step-mother because I often worked my way through my school’s reading lists before the school year even started. At about the same time, I was in the midst of my historical fiction/Gothic heroine kick. It was right on par when my step-mother handed me Outlander, the first book to her favorite series, a love story based in the Scottish Highlands circa 1740. I was used to romantic tension in books, especially since I’d been reading beyond my age bracket since about 10 years old. And while I was no stranger to porn by this time, I had never encountered sexual imagery that evoked feelings this deep within me the way Claire and Jaime’s story did as it unfolded…

I’ve always known that the book was one of my early sexual experiences but it wasn’t until I came across the excerpt above that I wondered how much of an impact it has had on my sexuality. Their story is littered with sexual dominance and submission, corporal punishment, humiliation, and degradation. Ownership and rape are hazy shades of grey as social norms for the given time lead to a sense that Jaime owns Claire physically. He doesn’t take charge of her mind or heart, but her body belongs to him. The further into the novel I get, I can’t help but wonder- Has my sexuality and sense of submission been formed by Outlander, or rather did the novel simply help me better define something that lurked beneath?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2010 3:44 pm

    Aha! I knew someone told me to read “Outlander,” I just couldn’t remember who! I often question the nature vs nurture argument…but most days I end up abandoning my search for the answer in favor of dildos and/or ice cream.

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