Dear listeners and readers of all things kinky, it’s Misty here with a book review.
The book being reviewed is the MDLG Bedtime Stories Bundle, written by Tina Moore. This bundle contains several short stories, featuring lots of mommy dommes and their little girls. I listened to it through Audible and had high hopes...which were quickly dashed.
Before I tear this book page by agonizing page, I will be fair and say that it does have a few good points:
The sex is sexy and makes your heart race.
There are not many grammatical mistakes (which is a hallmark of this genre).
It gets you in the mood to be seriously babied by a loving mommy (yum).
It get's you all hot and bothered in almost every way, except in the right way: safely, sanely, and with consent (or whichever acronym you subscribe to so you can keep BDSM healthy and pleasurable for all involved).
These stories got plenty wrong. Honestly, I wasn't even sure where to start this review, I even rang Lace while driving home to rant about what I'd just heard. After being able to organize my thoughts my disclaimer is thus: buckle in and beware. There are several trigger warnings, just plain bad examples of power exchange, and the vanilla lifestyle is shat on repeatedly (which is absolutely not okay).
1. There's little to no negotiation. Seriously. In every single story there is no explicit negotiation, and the author doesn't even try to allude to previous dynamic discussions. In many of the stories, the couple have met the day they jump into a dynamic. There is no vetting. We know that this happens in real life and ends up with one person, or both people, being seriously hurt. The message seems clear: you don't need to negotiate if your dream caregiver or little shows up. This is a completely irresponsible message for anyone in BDSM, let alone littles and caregivers.
2. There is a horrible lack of consent. This ties in with the first point; if there’s no negotiation prior to play how can you know what you have and haven't consent to when playing?
In one scene the mommy and her little arrive at a party for other caregivers and littles. The dom hosting the party introduces himself, and then promptly touches the little under (or over - it's unclear) her diaper front. The little has to ask her mommy if she has to “let” the other caregivers touch her. Aside from the obvious issues, the negotiation that should have happened before the event is happening at the time and after someone has already (in my opinion) violated the little.
In addition, the mommy tells the little that she has to allow this strange man to touch her privately, knowing that the she can’t say no because one of mommy's rules is that the she may never say no to mommy otherwise she'll be punished. The mommy also says that she could tell that her little didn’t want to, but she would allow it anyway so she could be a good girl.
How many times have we seen people coming to ask for advice, because their dominant said they weren’t a good or true submissive for daring to speak up for themselves and have boundaries? Artemis, help us all.
3. An inappropriate (in my humble opinion) handling of sensitive topics, and the realistic aftermath of some seriously traumatic situations. For example, it's revealed in the back story of one of the characters that they spent their childhood in foster care, and when she turned 18 she ended up in a cult. As any sensible person would she tries to escape this cult and consequently found herself tied up, naked, in the woods, in the dead of winter. My faith began to be restored when the dashing mommy domme saves her, and takes her to the police to report what had happened. Finally, a good example was found in this book.
Except, for some ungodly plot moving reason the police are fine with releasing the girl despite this attempt on her life by people who have not been caught for their blatant attempted murder. The police are like, yeah that’s cool, see you. There’s also the fact that she has no identification, whatsoever. This girl doesn’t even know when her birthday is, ya’ll, but she thinks she’s 21 and the mommy domme simply accepts that. She then moves in with the mommy domme and becomes almost completely dependent on her, with the exception of a job. She’s just gone from one situation with minimal means to escape if things turn sour straight into another one.
4. Plainly unsafe behavior. One little jumps into a random person’s truck! Another just goes to a complete stranger’s house, and no one knows where they are or who they are with (hello? safety call?). They also display minimal concern for their own safety besides paltry mentions of being a bit nervous.
5. No one seems to care about how they can stop a scene. There is one mention of safe-words (sort of) in the parts of the books I read (it is worth mentioning that I was able to stomach about 8 of the stories before I gave up). In one scene, the mommy gags her little on their first night of meeting. Right. That’s just. I have no words.
6. There's an unhealthy amount of manipulative behavior which is never remedied, or used as character development. I'm going to use the same example as in point two: the little who “isn’t allowed” to say no or she will be punished. The mommy intentionally puts her in situations where she may be forced to say no just so she can punish her, and “make her cheeks pretty and red.” Has she never heard of funishment? Or just plain old impact play? The message seems to be it’s okay for your dominant to set you up for failure so they can get their rocks off. Yikes.
7. Rape is explicitly included, and goes unaddressed. This is a MDLG book, yet there is a scene where the little is raped by her abusive boyfriend. It is described graphically but the act is continuously downplayed so that the mommy can be the rescuer and, once again, the little is thrown into a situation where she has very little power. That aside - and I don't know about you, but - when I'm in the mood for MDLG I don't want there to be men involved let alone rape.
I could go on and on. Fortunately for you, dear reader, for my own sanity I couldn’t finish the bundle. In short, I am very unlikely to purchase another book written by Tina Moore in the near future, seeing as this was released only this year and I highly doubt Moore has learned from her egregious mistakes. If you are an experienced kinkster able to suspend belief simply so you can enjoy MDLG fiction, of which there is so little of, I don’t blame you and I applaud your dedication. However, this book does a disservice to new, inexperienced, and vulnerable kinksters in its quest to be the ultimate MDLG fantasy. It fails very deeply in its quest because it isn’t a shining example of delicious MDLG fantasy: it’s abusive and manipulative behavior dressed up to look like MDLG.
If a vanilla person were to pick up this book, they would go away with the wrong idea about our community and that is upsetting and frustrating. I also definitely believe it could have potentially damaging consequences for anyone who reads this, and thinks that it's how BDSM is supposed to be done: since it’s so blasé about consent, negotiation, and safe power exchange (not to mention sexual assault and abuse).
This is not the first dodgy fic I have read. My credentials include reading just about every Drarry fan-fic on the planet, and feeling nothing but lust and desire, okay; I can suspend belief like nothing else. However, this book is just plain dangerous and irresponsible and gets zero out of five pacis from Misty.
Have you read any books by Tina Moore? What did you think? Leave us a comment below!