I have been enjoying David Stein’s writing for a long time, and I’m delighted that a collection of it will now be available under one cover, a treasure long overdue.
My first encounter with David’s work was his incredible novel Carried Away: An S/M Romance. The saga of a Master and slave coming together and creating their relationship from the ground up was a real eyeopener for me in the sense that it read like reality, not fantasy. As a young leatherman in a relationship with a dominant Master, I found much I recognized in the story of Matt and Terry.
Tim Brough spoke of the compelling realism in David’s work in his Foreword, so I won’t belabor it here. Suffice it to say that his work is special and — if I may be so bold — unique in the leathersex canon.
I had the pleasure of including his story “Becoming Real” in my first solo anthology, Men on the Edge: Dangerous Erotica (StarBooks). The story takes what could be seen as a fantasy scenario and explores how it might actually play out in real life. It’s a tour de force, beautifully constructed and artfully told.
I love “Positions,” included previously in Joseph W. Bean’s seminal HorseMen: Leathersex Short Fiction (Leyland). It’s an exploration of the postures and poses a submissive should practice and commit to memory. One of the great things about this story is that the Master who is teaching the positions to the new slave describes the purpose and mindset of each pose in detail, thereby contextualizing them as well as making them easier to remember.
A new David Stein story is always a delight, and I was excited to find much in Boots, Bondage, and Beatings that I had not read before.
“In Service,” which was previously published in Laura Antoniou’s The Academy: Tales of the Marketplace (Mystic Rose) but new to me, shows a young man offering himself to a formidable trainer at his first interview/audition. This story is so hot, so loaded with detail and insight, that it left me begging for more. It reads like the first chapter of an amazing novel, one that I would very much like to read. I lifted the title of this foreword from this story — it’s the best description I have ever encountered of a true slaveboy.
“Second Skin: A Leather Fetish Porn Scenario” is a script for a video I would love to see, full of bondage and boot worship and real power dynamics between a masculine top and his willing bottom.
“Games” is an “outtake” from Carried Away, like the deleted scenes sometimes available for DVD movies. But unlike many deleted scenes, this one is definitely worth enjoying. It’s the story of two hungry, inventive bottoms who have figured out what to do with each other when there are no tops around.
“Bondage Recruit” is fantasy with a realistic grounding, a dream come true for a man who always wanted a Master but didn’t know how to make it work in real life. The Master is a dream himself: young, hot, strong, just out of the military, with a hankering for tying up and using other men. When the slave finally gives up worrying about how to make their life work together, he finds that his Master has everything planned already. All he needs to do is submit and be the best slaveboy he can be.
“Political/Personal” is a slice of life, a perfect record of a specific time and place and all its joys and frustrations.
It was a delight to revisit the characters of David’s novel in “Still Carried Away.” This epilogue to Carried Away is so exciting and satisfying, it begs to be included in future printings of the novel.
So, whether you’re already a fan or new to David’s work, top or bottom, Master or slave, prepare yourself for a hot, hunky, horny read by one of the finest craftsmen and artists we gay leathermen can call our own.
Enjoy the stories!
Christopher Pierce is one of the most widely anthologized writers in the field, with stories in more than two dozen collections, including Leathermen edited by Simon Sheppard (Cleis). He’s also the author of the novel Rogue:slave (StarBooks), with a sequel in the works, and editor or co-editor of several anthologies, including Men on the Edge and Secret Slaves: Erotic Stories of Bondage (both StarBooks).
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