I was very excited this week to have the opportunity to read and give you my thoughts on Dancing Backward by Thomas Lavalle.
I'd been seeing this book pop up on my Amazon feed over and over. It had ten ratings, most of which were four or five stars, which is quite good for a book in the femdom erotica genre; so I was really looking forward to reading it. I had been holding off on purchasing it though, since I already had a pretty good back-log of reading material. However, I saw on Twitter this past week that there was a promotion on the book. It was available for just $0.99, so I jumped on it and added it to my Kindle.
It was a couple of days before I actually had a chance to open this book up and begin reading; I was practically rubbing my hands (and thinking about rubbing some other parts) in anticipation.
Things started out pretty good. Chris (the male protagonist) and Kelley (the female) meet at a ballroom dance class while they are in college. She takes the lead while they are dancing, and eventually explains to him that she wants to take the lead in life with her man. This appeals to Chris and they get together and eventually marry. The story jumps to a couple years later when Chris is a househusband (and a slacker), Kelley is getting tired of his slacking off and decides some changes are needed. As things move forward she begins to push Chris into deeper submission.
All that sounds pretty good, right? It is a bit formulaic I grant, there's even Kelly seeing some other woman dominating a man, and the friend (who it turns out happens to be experienced in the femdom lifestyle) that tells her how to increase the depth of Chris' submission, all things that you see often in femdom erotica; but they work, that's why you see them so often.
My problem with this book is that I soon came to just absolutely despise the characters. Chris is a weak willed, slacking, milquetoast with low self-esteem. Kelly, who is described in the blurb for the book on Amazon as "spoiled and born bossy," is also a narcissistic, mean spirited, bitch. Characters such as these just turn me off. I like dominant women who actually like the men who serve them. I also like submissive men who take pride in their service and themselves. Kelley had "contempt" for Chris, she viewed him with "disdain". She was also a shrill nasty piece of work. Chris was just pathetic.
Mr Lavalle writes a decent story, his ability for setting the scene and drawing the reader in is impressive. However, aside from characters that I didn't care for, the female supremacy tone of this story kind of turned me off. I get that for many readers the female supremacy fantasy is a big turn-on, and I'm sure those readers will enjoy this book. I find female supremacy every bit as ridiculous (and distasteful) as male supremacy, or white supremacy and just really didn't care for that theme in this book.
So, the writing is good, the editing is good. If you are into dominant women who have no regard for, even despise, the men who serve them and sub men who are pathetic grovelling worms; and if you enjoy a female supremacist tone in stories, hurry to Amazon and grab this book right away. If those particular things don't float your boat, I'd recommend avoiding this book. I'm giving Dancing Backward two and one half paddles.