Story of O written by Pauline Réage

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From what I've heard of this French tale, it was a masterpiece, one of the greatest BDSM works of literature of all time. I took my time with Histoire d'O, allowed its pages to dissolve on my tongue before saying that it tasted of women who had not bathed in months. But after a couple of days, I got fed up with swallowing the disgusting lines, paragraphs all mushed together to make this one long, dull book. No, dull is not the correct word...more of horridly written, annoying, and aggravating.

O is the main character of the book, the submissive little tramp who is sent to a training home, "Roissy," because her manners are bad and she loves to show herself off to the world. Her original lover, René, leaves her there so that she can come out a changed woman, or a changed "slave." He gives her a taste of poison as they take a taxi there, telling her to lift her skirt and sit her bottom bare on the seat, and roll down her thigh-highs so that access will be easier.

In Roissy, O undergoes a number of trials and tribulations, seeing René from time to time, as she learns how to be a "slave" and a "proper submissive." The entire time, she says to herself "Oh, this is what René wants, so I must, blah blah blah," and it truly made me want to not only shoot her, but René too. It seems as if she's saying that René forced her, when he did not; they had agreed to this.

If you cannot tell by now, I really do not like O's character. She does not know her place in life. She does not understand life. She never once enjoys any of the domination that she receives, and it's understandable why she doesn't—none of the partners that she engaged with did anything to pleasure her, and I do not believe honestly that she wanted to be pleasured at all. When her lover René turns her over to Sir Stephen, she goes willingly and naively, but then complains yet again that René is not paying attention to her and sleeping with her at night.

Her entire stay at Roissy lasts a couple of weeks. Then she lives as a full-time slave to Sir Stephen, bowing to his will and getting whipped when disobedient. She eventually learns that she has submitted not only her body to Sir Stephen, but her soul and her entire being. The image is lovely (shame that the book is written so badly). The end part is apparently supposed to be some "big bang," but I thought it to be stupid and really unattractive. I am not going to spoil it if you're interested in reading the book, but if you have read it or do read it, you'll know what I'm talking about.

How were the sex scenes? Well, there were many. Every few pages were some badly written, polyamorous sex scenes that I honestly could not tell what was going on. They refer to O's vaginal opening as her "belly," and there are other terms used for penises that make no sense. Like "cords." Now, thankfully, I was not reading it to get myself up, I was reading it because of all of the praise it had gotten. If I had read it to be pleasured, I would have left it even more unsatisfied than I am at even writing this review, two or three months after finishing it. The addition of BDSM and consensual abuse in the scenes was really just unattractive, and poorly done.

Let me give you a quote, to show you how badly written and incomprehensible this book really is:
"René would arrive, he would be there, nothing was changed, he loved her but had been held up by a staff meeting or some extra work, he had not had time to let her know; in a flash, O emerged from her airless chamber, and yet each of these attacks of terror would leave behind, somewhere deep inside her, a dull premonition, a warning of woe: for there were also times when René neglected to let her know when the reason for the delay was a game of golf or a hand of bridge, or perhaps another face, for he loved O but he was free, sure of her and fickle, so fickle."
Quite a bit long for a sentence. Now, I have nothing wrong with long sentences, but this is just one example of the many throughout the book. And here's a little secret...this isn't even the worst! I will say, however, that there were some lines of Story of O that I enjoyed, but there were few. And with a book of 200 pages, having only a couple of lines that I actually enjoyed is sad. Very, very sad.

I've heard the story of why this book was written, and I've heard the story of how long ago it was written, so I excuse it for its poor BDSM knowledge and poor understanding of how real life actually is. But I do not excuse it for being a crappy read and a waste of time. I have read books that were written during that time period, and they were at least good reads; they were not horridly written books that had only a few well-constructed sentences.

Perhaps some of the book was "lost in translation," so to speak. If it was, then I apologize sincerely. But I also deserve an apology for having wasted my time on the English version.

I honestly would not recommend this to anyone. I've heard some people talk about recommending it to BDSM beginners, which as I read, I always thought, "NO!" because this is not something that someone new to that realm should be reading. It is not something realistic; it is a fantasy book, and only people who are experienced in the BDSM world should read it. Of course, if you are not easily swayed, by all means, read it; but do not assume that this is what really happens in a person's dungeon, or that that's how you have to act to be a submissive.

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Book by Pauline Reage
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Ballantine Books

Better Than Chocolate by Nomi Tang

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I don't know about you, but to me, nothing can be better than chocolate. No orgasm, flogger, crop or—well, maybe a crop could be better than chocolate. But truly, when I saw this little vibrator's name, I was very skeptical. Can a clitoral vibrator really be better than chocolate? Can anything be better than chocolate? Now I'm reminding myself of the Geico commercials. To answer the question, I say...

You'll just have to read the entire review to get the answer to that one! (Or scroll down, sneaky.)

Nomi Tang's vibrator is a cute little thing, shaped like a sort of like a vagina, that cups the user's pubic mound to give extreme stimulation on the clitoris. It's almost like a boomerang, its center folding out to two little wings where it will actually sit on the sensitive part of the body. It's 5" in total length, about 2½" at its widest part, and 1" at the tip. I received the purple Better Than Chocolate, which is almost a magenta shade of purple. Better Than Chocolate also comes in a deep blue, a lovely choice as well.


I enjoyed the packaging to this vibrator; it's very sleek, clean, and nice for storage. The Better Than Chocolate comes in a white cardboard box, with cardboard wrapping around it that has a picture of the vibrator, and it sits in a little bed made just for it. Inside of the box is also a well-made drawstring bag, great for traveling, and two booklets about the Better Than Chocolate. It's a presentation that's very pleasing to the eye.


The vibrator is made of nonporous TPE-coated plastic, TEP standing for thermoplastic elastomer and polycarbonate. The booklet says that this is a skin-friendly material and it's used in "many medical applications." This makes the vibrator hard, firm, but velvety. In comparison to velvety plastics, like those from Evolved, it has a more scratchy texture, giving it a lot of drag in use. It's definitely not a texture that's good for people who prefer their vibrators to slide against their skin, as this one will stay firmly in place. The Better Than Chocolate vibrator can be used with silicone- and water-based lubricants.

Obviously, before using a vibrator, it either needs to be charged or have batteries placed. So I tried to open the battery compartment. And I tried to open the battery compartment. And I kept trying to open the battery compartment. It really gave me a difficult time! It was stuck on there like nothing I've ever felt. When I finally got it off, it flew across my room and I had to go searching for it. Then it came time, after inserting two AAAs, to put the cap back on the Better Than Chocolate. This was even more difficult that taking it off! I had to twist and turn it, and finally, it snapped into place. (The directions that come with the vibrator give instructions on how to take the cap off, but I found that they really were not helpful at all.)


When you turn the vibrator on by pressing the little button on the battery case, the touch pad has a dot that lights up in blue, telling you "I'm on, now!" I found that controlling the Better Than Chocolate was a hit-and-miss sort of thing; it would sometimes give me a hard time, other times it was easier. I read the directions thoroughly before using this vibrator, as just looking at it made me a bit confused. The Better Than Chocolate has this new, "innovative" control system that works by use of a touch pad; you swipe your finger across it to make the vibrations higher, and swipe it the other way to make them lower. There are also pulsations, two, that you can flip through by holding your finger over the red dot on the touch pad.

The vibrations resonate throughout the entire vibrator, but are strongest in the tip, the part that really matters. They range from a low rumble to a high buzz, which is actually a bit annoying in my opinion. The pulsations are interesting, and I actually like the customization that's possible with them. One is an escalating buzz, and the other is a regular pulsation. Both, with the touch pad, can be either made faster or slower, meaning that the escalating buzz will escalate faster, and the pulsation can also go faster, or slower, depending on your mood.

There is a lock feature to lock what pattern you're using. You remember how the light turns blue when you turn it on? Well, if you hold your finger on the opposite end for a few seconds, the vibrator's light will turn red, telling you that it's locked in that one setting. To change the setting, hold your finger over the opposite end for another three seconds, and change to whatever setting you like.

When you're done using the toy, what do you use to clean it? With the material that this is made out of, you should take a warm, soapy cloth and clean it well, making sure that there are no batteries in the vibrator when you're cleaning it and that the battery compartment itself is closed securely. I do not recommend sharing this between partners, as it cannot be sanitized properly.

Let's talk about whether this vibrator is travel-friendly or not. In my opinion, yes, it is. But you cannot take it out and use it without fumbling around; there is no lock feature on this vibrator. None whatsoever. The only way to keep it from buzzing around your purse or your briefcase is to take the batteries out and, when you're ready to use the vibrator, put them back in.

So, Sir, you've kept us waiting long enough. Is it really better than chocolate?! I, sadly, have to say no. This little vibrator really is not better than chocolate. But what it is better than is many other clitoral vibrators on the market. I did expect better, however, from a vibrator that is priced at $80. It should be rechargeable. The touch pad could be better. Overall, I feel that there could be a lot of improvements made on this little vibrator. I wish that I loved it, but I really just do not.

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Clitoral vibrator by Nomi Tang
Material: TPE
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Rating:
Vroom:
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This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer.
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