Women – The Ownership Manual
American Taboo Press
@: buy it online
One of the biggest BDSM boogeyman is ‘Beware of the predators!’, and justly so. Nobody wants to become the victim of a ruthless bastard who only thinks of his (or her) own satisfaction. Predator is code for someone who will do anything, including lying, gaslighting and using violence to get their pleasure, with no care whatsoever for your own good. While they have always existed, they are now an especially common byproduct of our times and you can easily find them among kinksters, where submissiveness and making yourself vulnerable is actually part of the culture, thus making ideal victims readily available to them.
Some predators are plain sociopaths incapable of empathy, a few of them are consciously out to harm other people, most are immature jerks of the “pickup artist” kind, and a whole bunch are just ignorant. That is the problem with evil: not even Hitler got up in the morning thinking «Mwhahaha! What new cruelty will I do today?» Lots of evildoers just aren’t aware (ok, Adolf wasn’t one of them) of their wrong ways, because they were never exposed to sensible, humane reasoning. Think Trumpists.
I like to think that the author of Women: the Ownership Manual belongs to the latter category. A functioning sociopathic man with a delusional self image of supreme wisdom about the ways of the world (he was a 36 years old attorney when he wrote the book, according to his Fetlife profile – totalling all of two connections) who honestly didn’t realize the damage his book would do if followed in earnest by similarly ignorant readers. In fact, he’d probably be amazed by being labelled a predator – hell, at first I didn’t recognize him for one either!
I picked up this book amused by its ballsy title, and I pretty much liked it through its first half. It deals with the proper way to approach women, and I could see how many unrefined men would greatly benefit from its suggestions, ranging from ‘take regular showers’ to ‘listen to what she says’ and up to somewhat more “advanced” tips to understanding female sexuality. Inexplicable as it is, having heard the horror stories told by several female acquaintances I guess such a basic How To Be A Half-Decent Person 101 course might make required reading material for a lot of my fellow penis-carrying colleagues.
I wasn’t especially convinced about the so-called “case studies” where mr. Alexander, strong with his unproved expertise and lack of qualifications, closes each chapter describing the private lives of unknown people. The tone is purportedly that of a counselor or something like that, but I’ve grown to dislike pundits when it comes to serious matters like one’s well-being, and nothing screams ‘red light’ as much as self-styled armchair sexologists. Still, they are tolerable wank fodder if you are so inclined, or you can just skip them anyway.
The troubles start with the second half of the book, where the apparently sensible tone remains the same but the content subtly shifts into rape territory. Brainwashing, calculated abuse, self-esteem undermining, irreversible body modification and other heinous actions are all bunched up with harmless topics such as oral sex, thus kinda sneaking in under the radar. Of course a reckless abuse classic like “consensual nonconsent” is treated like just another funny game, and a chilling paragraph about «yeah, of course I gave him everything I owned including all physical possessions and my bank account because it’s so slavelike and it feels so liberating!» also appears sandwiched between two very romantic and reasonable other statements.
This alternation between Nice Sexy Confidant and Sneaky Abuser is a typical predatory technique. You are lulled into a false sense of trust, even thinking he is anticipating and caring for possible issues you never thought about, and in the meantime the douche is setting up his pieces for a devastating endgame that will leave you broken in more ways you can count.
But again: it is highly probable that the author never even contemplated that fire-branding the word ‘slut’ on your ass (just one example from the book) might pose some problems down the line. After all, by that time he’ll have just long dumped you anyway, so what does it matter in his self-centered view of the world?
The point is that the ignorant, vulnerable 50 Shades crowd is bound to take this book at face value and think, like a Goodreads reviewer did, that slipping a copy to their non-ChristianGreyish partners might be a great idea to man them up. Or that «Yipee-ky-yay! While I take five from making ‘Merica great again I’m gosh darn do like that manly ‘Lexander fella says and slap the ol’ bitch around a bit to let ‘er know who’s the Man in the house, all righty!».
For all the others, brain-enabled people out there, the Books section of my website has a huge list of much better reads waiting for those who love extreme eroticism. The real kind.