Women need a reason to have sex, men just need a place. – Billy Crystal
And now… the naughty bits…
George Michael once sang the praises of sex: it’s natural, it’s fun, and it’s best when it’s one-on-one. I’m going to propose that Mr. George Michael hadn’t read The Rise of Alec Caldwell when he wrote that line. If he had, “I Want Your Sex” probably would’ve ended up glorifying the complete and total fuck-o-rama that is this book. The Rise of Alec Caldwell is a fucktacular tour-de-force, a celebration of the liberation of the soul through sexploration, when the body is offered freely to and for a Master. This is unapologetic porn, people. It’s provocative and evocative erotica with a heaping side of kink. It’s not at all about the plot; no, this is the character study of a man’s rise through the complex stations of his own sexual and emotional desires: from virgin, to sub-in-training, to offering, to Master of his own boy, to the questioning of who he is and whether what he has is enough. Alec belongs to Hamilton, Sebastian belongs to Alec, Hamilton fucks any- and everyone at will, but Alec’s ass is for Hamilton’s pleasure only.
Funny thing, this, though. For some people, this is merely called life.
At the age of twenty-four, Alec Caldwell was as pure as the driven snow. At the age of twenty-four, Alec Caldwell, in a matter of days, experiences a personal sexual evolution, becomes “office boy” and sub to his boss, becomes the man’s lover and partner, submits to the urges of his raging hard-ons and manic libido. In other words, Alec fully embraces his need to subjugate himself to the man he had, as of then, only worshiped with his eyes and lusted after with everything he was. Rick Hamilton is that man, the Master and a member in the hierarchy of the Order of Gentlemen, an exclusive club that caters to a well-heeled clientele, offering a veritable smorgasbord of sex with the boys who live to serve.
Alec’s complete transformation is not one of contemplation and the slow exploration of his desires. Alec’s on-going transformation is one of a man who’s been waiting and searching for something his entire life but didn’t know what it was he was looking for until he found it. Once he finds the means to embrace those wants and needs, it fits him like a religion custom tailored to his very soul, and this is where the book lured me in with the temptation of exploring my own boundaries and definitions of love.
One of my favorite quotes is:
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. – Neale Donald Walsch
Honestly, I’d never know whether that’s true or not, because I’m not really one to push boundaries. Let’s face it, I’m hardwired to be a serial monogamist. But, here’s the thing, I’ve also come to learn that as I’ve pushed against my beliefs of what love and commitment and relationships are, and they’ve pushed right back, I’ve found that the capacity for completion and fulfillment just doesn’t fit into a neat little striation of right and wrong, good and bad, or, for lack of a better word, the ever-ambiguous normal. That’s what drew me into this book: the concept that love isn’t necessarily defined by the willingness to be monogamous till death do you part. For Alec Caldwell, love is about loyalty and the desire to give entirely of himself for the sake of another’s happiness—whether he’s being sub or Master or merely a good friend at the time. Love is about being taken care of and protected, and of taking care of and protecting others. It’s about the total and unashamed surrender of one’s body for the fulfillment of pleasure, not only for oneself but for others, as well. It is about the complete abandonment of the Self and the growth of the Self, at the same time. But that doesn’t mean Alec, in the broadest definition of his subjugation, is incapable of feeling the sting of jealousy and betrayal.
If you prefer traditional romance and your fictional sex to be one-on-one, do NOT read this book; you won’t like it at all, that I can promise. This may, in fact, be one of the most nontraditional books I’ve ever read. There is one and only one plot device in The Rise of Alec Caldwell: SEX. Lots and lots of unadulterated sex with multiple partners, in public, as punishment, as proof of servitude. Sex is power, sex is threatening, sex is virtue, sex is vice, sex is completion, sex is instinct, sex is deliverance, sex is healing, sex is reward, sex is discipline, and in the end, for Alec and his beautiful slave boy Sebastian, sex becomes the exploration of a different sort of freedom. How the relationship between Hamilton and Alec will be defined going forward is now the unknown variable for me, and I can’t wait to see where these two men are headed.