[REVIEW] The Diary of a Submissive – Sophie Morgan

Sophie Morgan
The Diary of a Submissive
Penguin (UK & AU: 30th August 2012; US & CA: 4th September 2012)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

This is non-fiction, a memoir. The author goes on about how she’s not ashamed of her lifestyle, etc, yet the publisher’s website says “Sophie Morgan” is a pseudonym. If you’re not ashamed, why the pseudonym?

The prologue is effective, putting the reader in the spot of the voyeur. If you happened upon an alley, seeing a man pull a woman’s hair, would you break it up or watch on? Because it looks like assault, I’d break it up. But the author explains it’s a scene of Domination and submission.

So we shouldn’t intervene when we see someone being assaulted, just in case the victim is submissive? Crime doesn’t need another reason for witnesses not to come forward.

Thing is, what happens in the prologue goes against the rest of the text. Sophie Morgan insists that she’s only submissive when it comes to her sex life, only in the privacy of her home, someone else’s, or a hotel. Not out in public, where anyone could see and “misunderstand”. So I doubt the scene actually happened; it’s just an example. Which is a massive cop-out for a memoir.

From her younger years imagining she’s Maid Marion being tied up, Sophie Morgan grows up into submission. In her college years she discovers she likes being spanked. Then she’s friends-with-benefits with Tom, to whom Sophie gifts him a paddle to brand her arse with the word SLUT.

Through her journalist job, she meets James, a stockbroker and dominant with whom she falls in love. When he’s not around to “punish” her, he makes her do it herself – note the chopsticks scene. But it’s after the clothes-pegs-and-wooden-spoon scene that James abruptly breaks off contact, refusing to answer Sophie’s numerous calls, emails, and texts. When he eventually turns up on her doorstep, will she forgive him?

Sophie seems rather contradictory. She claims to have hard limits, then goes on to prove that she doesn’t. She humps someone’s leg, is branded with the word SLUT, tortures herself with chopsticks-as-clamps, and withstands clothes-pegs-as-clamps. Yet the thing that tortures her most is James’ lack of contact – she falls apart when facing the single life.

I like Sophie’s writing, the fact she’s a “grammar fascist”. But I don’t respect her because at times she doesn’t respect herself. She hates her partners for not letting her come, yet in private she doesn’t get herself off. Even alone, she still won’t take back self-control.

Tellingly, Sophie neglects to address the aftermath of “punishment”. Does she use salve on her wounds? Does the pain continue for days? How does she handle sitting down in public, at work? At the end of final chapter, Sophie delivers her ultimatum, and the epilogue shows that James has made his decision, but how did he come to decide that? Perhaps it’s James who needs to write a memoir.

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6 responses to “[REVIEW] The Diary of a Submissive – Sophie Morgan

  1. Great review. I feel the same and can’t seem to grasp the mentality of the submissive. Sophie calls herself a single independent woman but she comes across as so pathetic that I just want to smack her. Only problem is she’d probably like it.

  2. I couldn’t agree more. Add to which ‘Sophie’ is a total sell out. Diary of a Submissive is actually ‘Kate Marley’s’ book ‘Subtext’ with a few tweaks and an even more cliched cover. How can she possibly expect readers to swallow her exploits?! She’s clearly in need of some serious self analysis.

  3. Bonita Morlang

    This review and the subsequent comments here prove why the pseudonym. She clearly explains her thoughts, how she can “hate” what she does or is done to her as a submissive and still be so turned on by it. She’s what you call a masochist. This a real lifestyle and there are many misunderstandings
    about the BDSM lifestyle. Being a submissive, although not to the extent that Sophie is, I can totally understand her thoughts and find it all erotic even though I would definitely say “Hell no” to the hard limits that she is pushed through, but then I’m not a mashochist. When a sub has the perfect dominant to compliment her, one who understands her completely and thoroughly, and who has great instincts, any hard limits disappear over time because of the level of trust that is far beyond any vanilla trust out there. There is an almost spiritual connection between a couple like this no matter what type of D/s activities they partake. Now that is not to discount that there are some subs who are abused because they have issues and think they deserve it and some “doms” who do it to abuse because they also have issues. However, from my own experiences in the lifestyle, I don’t believe that for Sophie’s case this is true. There is nothing wrong with her that needs to be fixed. That’s why I couldn’t stand Fifty Shades of Grey because it was more like the comments posted here…perfect for the vanilla world.

  4. Thank you Bonita. Sophie’s book was a salve on my wounds…of feeling like I am not normal. I was raised to be a strong, independent woman in every possible way and my public life is a shining example of it.
    My Owner is my best friend, whom I have known for 7 years. When we discovered what we could do together, the world turned upside down and nothing was ever the same again.
    People call a D/s scene, “Playing” but …it is not a game. What a safe word really means is that you don’t trust your Dom completely. Without a safe word, a Dom can do anything to his/ her Sub. One motion….one single movement can take a person’s life and when a Sub plays without a safe word….what he/she is is giving the Dom. is the ultimate gift…I trust you with my life. Finding the Dom who truly understands how precious that gift is, is the closest one can ever get to finding a soul mate on this earth.
    One can not truly comprehend what the sentence “I trust you with my life” really means until they have experienced a D/s relationship with the Dom who perfectly complements them.

  5. First off, part of being in a D/s relationship means that when it comes to certain things you don’t get too choose, the Dom does. She didn’t take control of her orgasms or punishments because that’s her Dom’s responsibility. It is other aspects of her life that are hers, like her job and her social life.
    Second, Sophie didn’t end up with James. Hence the comment about him reading things not about him, and the different style of that final blow job. James couldn’t take the pressure, and he never came back after their final talk. Granted, the book was written with an open end so you could decide your preferred ending, but it really wasn’t James.
    And the epilogue could have been with her new Sir, since after all the book was about pushing her boundaries.

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