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The Surrender: An Erotic Memoir Hardcover – October 12, 2004
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
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From Publishers Weekly
"I am sitting on the threshold. Perhaps this is the final paradox of God's paradoxical machinations: my ass is my very own back door to heaven. The Pearly Gates are closer than you think." Bentley is writing of her rhapsodic experience with sodomy. So some will call this memoir blasphemous, others spiritual; some pornographic, others erotic. What it is, is wonderfully smart and sexy and witty and moving, a tale of unbounded passion that leads to transcendence. The tale is paradoxical in more ways than one: aside from Bentley's ass leading to heaven, she finds that submission leads to freedom—a freedom she had never known as a dancer with the New York City Ballet (about which she wrote her first book, Winter Season), nor in her failed marriage, nor in any of her other polymorphously perverse sexual experiences. While deeply serious, Bentley is also hilarious as she describes the delights of crotchless panties ("they come in many different styles—each with its own je ne sais quoi") and touching in an imagined obituary for her lover, A-Man ("He was the only one who took time to be friends with my cat.... He was the one with whom I couldn't tell whose pleasure gave me more pleasure"). Bentley's honesty about the most intimate of subjects is daring and delightful for those willing to follow her to, so to speak, the end.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“Brave.” (—New York Times Book Review)
“Plucky.” (—The New York Observer)
“Wonderfully smart and sexy and witty and moving.” (—Publishers Weekly starred review)
“A small masterpiece of erotic writing.” (—Leon Wieseltier)
“Revealing and witty.” (—Time Out New York)
“Stylish and amusing.” (—Entertainment Weekly)
Top customer reviews
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-1 star because this book makes 'it' sound totally awesome and kinda easy and stuff, and actually that orgasmic spiritual feeling (for me, at least) was brought on in part by the level of pain I was allowing to affect my body. But hey, no actual damage!
Toni Bentley, the author, intentionally titillates, but gradually leads us to very profound discoveries. This book is at times spiritual, moving, and discusses all of life, through the prism of a taboo sexual act.
For readers with open hearts, possessing a "beginners mind" when it comes to the connection between sexuality and the rest of life, this book will be transcendent. It is hard to imagine for most the levels of emotional and spiritual awakening this type of sexual intimacy can trigger.
On another level, this book is the best "how-to" book I've ever read for men to understand how to live for greatness, to truly move a woman. For example she writes:
"Most men will lick and suck and drink a p---y - and I'm not complaining. But it is the rare man who does so with his whole consciousness poised on his tongue. It is this awareness that will move a woman; when her consciousness - on her clit- encounters his, orgasm marks their meeting. Ultimately, it is here- or rather, down there - that am man will learn how to be a winner or a loser, with women as in life."
This is also something most men probably don't begin to comprehend:
"If a man can possess a woman sexually - really possess - he won't need to control her ideas, her opinions, her clothes, her friends, even her other lovers. He f--ks my a-- for hours with a d--k an inch too big for the job: that is possession. After a round like that he doesn't need to infiltrate my life, my psyche, my time, or my wardrobe, because he has infiltrated the core of my being - the rest is just peripheral decoration. Domination - total and complete domination of my being - that is where I find freedom."
There is more and more here for men to take note of:
"I had admired that - he was not going to compromise himself for p---y, like so many men do. And I didn't want to compromise a man with my p---y, I wanted a man to be true to himself... while desperately wanting my p---y."
She explores and explains so elegantly how submission can actually be empowering:
"As I learned how to stay in the bliss, I found something else. I have become a pure vehicle for (him), no resistance. I can relinquish all power. I never knew how much power I had until I gave it all to him through my a--. My final one coincides with my ability to commit to complete submission, to remain completely open without reserve, without limit. No choice but surrender is surrender. I am his entirely, body, soul, and a--hole. I relish my freedom."
After all the erotically charged chapters, and all the life lessons, she ends on an upbeat note, with her own take on what sexuality is really all about:
"I believe the equation goes like this: sex can only be truly deep, truly life changing, truly transcendent if you are being f----d by God; if you love your man like he was God. I have been to the precipice. I looked over, and fell off the ledge. If you don't f--k with death chasing you, you are mistaken. So long as love, crazy, crazy love, can be survived, there is no excuse. No excuse at all. Slowly, resentfully, I have moved out of slavery, though I cannot forget its freedom."
This isn't porn by any means; you won't want to take a shower after reading Ms. Bentley's book. You will more likely feel that you have read notes from the analysts couch.
You don't have to share Ms. Bentley enthusiasm about sodomy to relate to this tale of infatuation and sexual obsession. Most women (and men) can relate to that. Even though Bentley and A-Man have an understanding that this is nothing more than a sexual relationship, somewhere along the way she falls in love with him or so she claims.
Still, there are are parts of this memoir that drag. Even though this is a supposed to be a memoir, some of it comes across as a little too fantastical to be believable. In particular, how she came to meet A-Man in the first place had me scratching my head and wondering if this was true. Then again, I don't live in NYC.
Also, I wish Bentley would have explained what it was about this man's personality that made her fall in love with him esp. since he sounds like a bit of jerk who doesn't come across as the sharpest tool in the shed. (In fact, I wondered if these pair even had anything to talk about after their sexual encounters were over.) Still, even despite these flaws, it is a sexy, smart memoir.
A personal and detailed exploration of the author's "salvation through anal sex", the book is at its best when the author is describing her experiences and observations about anal sex. Those parts were insightful and well-written. Regarding how this fit into her life at large however, it became somewhat flimsy and rather self-indulgent.
Don't write it off though; it was hilarious. Read this on a short flight or on vacation! It's better written than alot of airport novels, and just the right size.
Most recent customer reviews
I was very disappointed. No storyline. A waste of my money.
Text as entertainment: 4/5 (Entertaining but couldn't wait for it to finish)
Text as artistic or literary artifact: 1.Read more
It was sheer poetry while this one is sheer pornography.Read more
It's a self centered book, but that's the point.Read more