100/365/10: Pride and Promiscuity

For the sake of blogging and keeping on track with my goal, I had to break from The Bonfire of the Vanities (again) to read this sexy little number.

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Ha ha! Just kidding. Ain’t nobody got time for THAT.

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This was the real deal — Pride and Promiscuity by Arielle Eckstut and Dennis Ashton.

First off, until recently I had no idea erotica was such a hot ticket item in the world of literary interest, and I suspect that pre-E.L. James neither did anyone else. (I have never read her gawdawful series, but I’ve gathered sordid details from other abuse obsessed women. Suffice it to say that I have a special hatred for Christian Grey and his debauchery. But I won’t elaborate on that too much just yet.)

My interest for this particular book regarding Jane Austen’s dirty mind came from a mention in a non-fiction publishing manual written by the same authors, Eckstut and Ashton. I thought I would check it out since they gave it a nod there. And why wouldn’t they? They wrote the damn thing.

Before I begin, let me explain that this book is largely satire. It’s meant to be humorous and it is. So for those of you nasties looking for a sexy millionaire to beat the shit out of an unsuspecting, convenient virgin, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. And not “sorely” like taking a good pounding as payment for a ride in a helicopter, but in a particularly vexed kind of way.

I have to admit, I have never read even one Jane Austen novel in its entirety. I tried to read Pride and Prejudice (who hasn’t) but found it droll and exhaustive. I lasted no more than 100 pages, I assure you. But I have seen the recap of Pride and Prejudice on Thug Notes, so I at least know enough to get the general gist of the thing.

I did a little research on Jane and found that she has a following that would rival the Potterheads in ravenous obsession. They’re called Janeites. They have websites devoted this purpose, societies, cosplay, and lots of other weirdness. You have never seen a more dedicated fan base than those longing to delve into the depths of Darcy’s tailored breeches.

So did Jane pen the sex scenes of this erotic fiction? Nah. But the real question is, could she? Maybe. She was known for her unconventional writing, which was considered quite risqué for its time. She also sent scores of letters to her sister, Cassandra, with sordid mentions of a girlhood flirtation. Cassandra burned most of Jane’s letters, reportedly to destroy her many scandalous mentions of her scathing judgment for various family members and maybe even details of her love affair. From these facts, Jane’s fans have built an elaborate fantasy of her romantic goings-on. Since Jane spent her life as a spinster, her readership can only speculate how she managed to write with such passion for the characters of her novels.

But I digress. Back to the task at hand. Upon reading reviews of this particular promiscuous book, I found its critics to be unfairly harsh. I read from people who said they found the content embarrassing, utterly scandalous, and that they blushed several times at the action. Such drivel could never have come from the likes of “their Jane.” These people are dumb, and I can only assume they’ve never actually had sex. I’ve seen more offending narratives in the recent presidential election than can be found in these pages. There was no pussy grabbing of any kind, or use of any such word. Much of it was no worse than what you’d discover in the more clandestine books of the Bible. Though the story lines point to what would surely be head-shaking perversions to a more prudent group, the actual writing was very, very tame.

It opens with an all girl three-way, of which two thirds are sisters. It sounds worse than it is. Gross, but entirely without the detail that would induce the vomit reaction you would most certainly expect from such an encounter. The scene with Darcy and Elizabeth is by far the most provocative, with at most a mention of a good blowjob and some very corny innuendo. There’s a little S&M for you Anastasia Steele types out there, though it’s not nearly as kinky as to what you’ve grown accustomed, I’m sure. A good masturbatory admission is also included for good measure.

The writing style is cute and clever, holding true to the Austen-ish voice. It’s a bathroom read. Funny at times. Worth nothing more than a roll of the eyes at others. But if you’re into a little sexual humor at the expense of a 19th century literary classic, this is your jam. It at least has the bravery to call itself satire, which is more than can be said for the abortion of a novel millions of women have been masturbating to since 2012. Yep. Still talking ‘bout you, Fifty Shades.

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