Good Morning, Darlings!
Have you heard the news? Oh, oh, oh! I can hardly wait to tell you!
Two of the three books of Anne Rice's erotic trilogy Sleeping Beauty have been re-released - at Target, of all places! And the third shall be released next week.
This is an abso-fucking-lutely BRILLIANT, considering the mass-market pop-culture response to Fifty Shades of Grey... because... well, because it's Beauty! I mean, are you kidding me? Do you think the housewives and mommies basking in their newly discovered states of moistened arousal are ready for Beauty?
Somehow I doubt it. My reservation is partly to do with the fact that, in the end, Christian Grey's kinky was deviant and "bad", and Ana would not stay with him if he didn't change significantly. So even when kinky titillates, in popular culture straying too far from the mainstream = bad.
There could be no benevolent acceptance of Christian's BDSM - you get that, my readers, right?
Yeah, I know you do.
Which means I am looking forward to the Beauty shit-storm. With glee.
(Sleeping Beauty cover images from Anne Rice's Website)
Do I think this is a bad idea? Hell no. I think it is a GREAT idea. I'll say it again - brilliant. Because here's the thing with Anne Rice - even when she's not writing erotica, it's erotic.
Her voice, her attention to detail, her way of spinning a phrase exactly just so - just so you understand perfectly, just so you feel like you are kneeling in the pew beside Lestat, just so you might turn a corner in the Garden District of New Orleans and run smack dab into Lasher, or Mona, or Rowan, or Michael...
Anne is one of the masters. At least in my eyes.
Beauty contains at least a nibble for every deviant palate. Or, in the case of some of us, several large bites and a deceptive feeling of fullness, in places I don't care to mention.
I can't even tell you how many times I've read bits and pieces of the Beauty trilogy over the past twenty years (my favorite coupling is Tristan and Nicholas). The never-ending creativity of the Queen (grapes the size of large marbles, spanking shops, apple collecting, pony grooming, the punishment wheel - oh my!), the unbelievably erotic games ... and all of it described, basically, in simple terms of "the norm."
And "the norm", my friends, is the HUGE difference between 50 Shades and Beauty.
In the Queen's land, kinky is normal. Deviant is delightful. The Master who imagines the naughtiest and most humiliating game wins.
The masters are creative, bright, appreciative, cruel, beautiful, intuitive, loving, and so on and so forth. But never sick. Never deviant.
By the way - there is no pregnancy, disease, or menstrual cycles in the land of the Queen. Yay! I mean, just that sentence right there makes me horny.
Another thing I'm not sure pop culture is ready for is the varied and interesting couplings - girls with girls, girls with boys, boys with boys. The whole gamut is represented, and there typically isn't a blatant designation of sexual orientation - the Queen's land IS sexual, and much sexual pleasure happens there without regard to the gender of the participants.
And while the pleasure slaves - Princes and Princesses from surrounding kingdoms - are expected to "grow up" and leave the Queen's land when their time of servitude is over - they leave this second "childhood" (in the sense of being carefree and not having ruling-class responsibilities) with sorrow and reluctance.
It is shockingly unfamiliar and uncomfortable to put on clothing, but they must, and so the Princes and Princesses return to their families, ready to take up the mantle of adulthood and temper their reign with kindness and compassion.
Although - they might still be a little kinky in the privacy of their castles...
What say you, readers? Is mainstream culture ready for the release of Beauty?