Diary of a Subculture Junkie

I am not at all easily offended, which I think is a plus because I’m a person with insatiable curiosity. When you want to know how things work or what makes people tick you generally need to be able to endure things that are not explicitly your experience, and I think I do that pretty well. But recently I’ve realized it’s not just something I happen upon, I often seek it out. I love to read lengthy magazine articles profiling people I had no idea about in my free time, or checking out offbeat non-fiction books from the library. You could even rationalize it’s why I watch reality television (even though we all know it’s not reality) or make time to watch more documentaries than I do blockbusters. I just love that feeling of digging into a person’s story.Heck, it’s probably why I like reading blogs so much!

But whether a person’s story is something I agree with is wholly separate, mostly I just enjoy the sport of trying to understand. If there is a super deep rabbit hole subculture that I can dive into and get more information about I am always game to do so. I like reading about how other people live, learning what informs their decisions, and I almost enjoy it more when they are completely different than mine, even if the entire time I am cringing and thinking “WAIT A MINUTE, WHAT?” Yearning For Zion hair anyone?

Which is exactly why I signed up to read BlogHer Book Club’s new selection Diary of A Submissive by Sophie Morgan.

With all the brouhaha surrounding 50 Shades of Grey, and should women be reading erotica?, and is BDSM a subculture or a psychosis? — when the newest selection was released and it was a memoir of a journalist who was very pro the BDSM subculture, I was intrigued. Until the beginning of this year I didn’t even know that subculture existed, so to read about what makes someone tick who actively participates — I have to admit, I was curious.

I certainly had my assumptions before going into this book, and I get that this type of book isn’t for everyone. Garrett and I talk about the books we read all the time and on this one, he preferred instead to not hear the details — and there are DEFINITELY details. But overall I thought it was a pretty impressive book. It doesn’t just deal with the stereotypcial whips! chains! and “Here is how it works, physically” but rather it illustrates one woman’s emotional experience of figuring out that this was the lifestyle for her, which is far more interesting angle.

It’s funny because just as this campaign launched BlogHer emailed all of us to remind us that we were all “allowed” to say “This book wasn’t for me,” if that was indeed our opinion. (We are *always* allowed to say that, but I think with the sensitive nature of this novel some people had expressed concerns about what to write.) And I am sort of curious to see how the weekly discussion groups go with such a hot-button topic. But from a completely objective perspective, I have to say I really did get a good look into what makes Sophie Morgan tick and why this lifestyle appeals to her. When I got to the end I still felt completely confident that this lifestyle DOES NOT appeal to me. :) But that’s what makes the world interesting, right? And it was fun to take a dive down that rabbit hole.


I read this book as a part of BlogHer Book Club and while I was compensated for my review as well as provided a fee copy of the book, all opinions expressed are my own.

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3 comments to Diary of a Subculture Junkie

  • Linda Sand
    October 18, 2012 at 10:47 am

    We once watched a movie, Secretary, with Maggie Gyllenhaal as a submissive. It was not a whips and chains movie but it was interesting to see how normal she was except for craving interaction with her dominate boss. It takes amazing acting skills to be able to pull off such a role.

  • Linda Sand
    October 18, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Another movie you might like is Better Than Chocolate. I learned a lot about lesbian culture from that one.

  • Jesabes
    October 18, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Excellent review. I also love to read about different viewpoints/lifestyles, especially ones foreign to me. This book would have fascinated me, but I would have had no idea where to even start with a review.





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