As She's Told by Anneke Jacob
Winner of the National Leather Association's 2008 Pauline Reage Novel Award.
The toughest love and the deepest intimacy, rendered in language that's consistently surehanded and deeply alive. I read it in a fever of engagement, arousal, and continuing fertile dialogue. When it comes to BDSM for smart girls, put this fantasia of unrelenting surrender at the top of your list.
Molly Weatherfield, author of Carrie's Story and Safe Word
Take two caring, thoughtful individuals with some highly unusual sexuality, let their paths cross, and watch how far their obsession takes them. That's the essence of this story about an intense bdsm relationship: extreme, loving, creative, steeped in imagination, embedded in the real world. What emerges is a passionate, private sexual reality, in which the balance of power tips only one way.
Maia and Anders want nothing less than total consensual power exchange, without games, negotiations or safewords. Any pretence is out of the question; for both of them the power relationship has to be as genuine as it is absolute, but Anders is more than aware of the risks to inexperienced Maia if she should be wrong about what she can handle. Early on, he steers a careful line between games and gobbling her up. His ownership is established step by step through conditioning, rough consequences and constant bondage. Before long, Maia finds walking away has become inconceivable. Anders keeps his slave increasingly 'on a very short tether' something to which she struggles to adjust, in a continuous state of terror and joy. His love of technology takes some interesting turns, particularly around orgasm control, teasing and denial.
The intensification of Maia's chosen enslavement is balanced by the pair's affection, sense of humour and intelligent conversation, and by the real world of work and friends. Some of these friends become integrated into the menage one way and another, and help Anders create the setting in which Maia's uttermost submission can flower. Consensual BDSM erotica.
Posted by Jurgen von Stuka on 9th Sep 2014
My first reading of this work was cursory. I scanned and thus failed to dig into Jacob's intense build of a love story such as this. The details of feelings, emotions, physical sensitivities and mutual trust are very carefully wrapped up in a tale that will probably put off the reader seeking instant gratification. I say this because, as one other review points out, there is a long wind up to the pitch in this game of will she or won't she, does he or doesn't he, will they or won't they?
Still, compared to other books in this category, I found it to be beautifully structured with tiny bits of detail that I wish I could build into my own work. It is great to find some of our BDSM works that are more than whip and whack, bind and gag. I enjoyed this book immensely and recommend it to anyone who searchs for more than just a physically stimulating read.
Posted by ZZZ on 20th Mar 2011
Well, this story has received a lot of press. I read it and got the feeling that the author, Jacob, was writing a book about a teen age gang and decided to pepper it with B&D scenes. This work has been compared to Carey's Story. It is not. To save you time, the good parts are in Chapters 22 and 31. It is a well written book if you want to wade through all the meaningless conversations. As for me, better reads are Chris Bellow's two books: Ship of Remorse and Suspension Bondage, available through Pink Flamingo.
Posted by Unknown on 28th Jul 2010
this book profoundly changed how and what I want to read in erotic fiction. It is now my touchstone of what I want to read and so far nothing has come up to the impact As She's Told has had on me. For that Ms Jacob must be commended.
But, then of course no other story holds my interest and I have become jaded as a reader. Who knew!
Posted by Unknown on 23rd Apr 2010
As She’s Told by Anneke Jacob
Reviewed by Ashley Lister for the Erotic Readers and Writer's Assoc.
Appropriately enough, for the Valentine’s month of February, As She’s Told is a love story. Set in contemporary Toronto, Canada, Anders and Maia meet briefly through an internet chatroom and then make their first face-to-face contact during a convenient munch. They both feel a strong connection when they meet. That connection grows more powerful very swiftly. It isn’t long before the casual reader discovers that this is a couple who deserve to be together.
However the course of true love never does run smooth and every love story needs a complicating action. In Gone With the Wind, Rhett and Scarlet are kept apart by the American Civil War. In Romeo and Juliet the title characters are separated by the senseless feuding of their embittered families. In King Kong, the eponymous hero never gets to be with his girl because his penis is the same size as the bus she rides to work. In As She’s Told, Anders and Maia struggle to develop their relationship because they’re both into BDSM.
Anneke Jacob’s story is rich and powerful. Anders and Maia are a couple who are described with loving and delicious detail. Their relationship is hardcore but never unbelievable and it is always grounded in a well-crafted reality. The Toronto they inhabit is a three-dimensional world that is deftly envisioned and perfectly realised. I’ve never been to Toronto however, after reading As She’s Told, I believe I could find my way around the city blindfolded.
Maia has a natural tendency to submission. Perhaps this is understating the situation – or perhaps Maia is just too honest about her own needs for me to make that distinction. You’ll have to read the book and work that one out for yourself.
Anders is a very capable dom. He has an instinctive ability to know what Maia needs, but enough humanity to doubt himself. Those inner doubts make him appear vulnerable, humane and loveable.
The fact that both these characters are not native Canadians – Anders is descended from Danish stock and Maia’s heritage has taken a circuitous route around the world – provides another clue to the complicating action of this story. Even though this couple have managed to find each other in Toronto, and even though they are accepted by a wide social circle of family and friends: they remain outsiders throughout the story.
It would be difficult for any BDSM enthusiast not to enjoy this story. The characters leap off the first page and develop into rounded individuals for whom the reader knows, loves and cares. Their situation is in turns frustrating, amusing, passionate and complex – the same as every conventional well-told love story.
If your appetites stretch to well-written BDSM, and you love to immerse yourself in tales of believable people, then As She’s Told is this spring’s must-have read.
Reviewed by JG-Leathers
I’ve seldom had the pleasure of reading such a wonderfully intense book as the one Anneke Jacob has just released. Her story, AS SHE’S TOLD, in my view easily surpasses the work of Pauline Reage (Story of O) and it is my belief and hope that this story will become an erotic classic in every sense of the word.
AS SHE’S TOLD is the best kind of love story ... a tale of two people from widely disparate backgrounds, who find in each other, the perfect match to their deepest fantasies and needs, then move slowly and carefully to make their mutual dreams come true. That these are so widely at variance with what society normally considers ‘love’ matters not to them, for they are deeply-committed to bringing their fantasies to life and it IS a love story in the truest sense, despite some of the darker passions that are slowly unleashed.
Maia and Anders initially meet in an internet chat room and at a safe electronic distance describe what they seek, but each with an eye to the fact that the other may not be what they profess. Soon though, they come to meet in person and that is when the story begins in earnest. Over the course of the following weeks and months Maia slowly and willingly becomes immersed in the life she has always wanted ... that of being a fully-controlled slave, possession, and eventually, an animal, doing only as she has been commanded. Maia moves into Anders house and not only does she become his possession physically, but mentally as well, while his control of her physical person and her mind and awareness is constantly increased. This situation though, is not a ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ occurrence, but one of deep commitment to each other.
The story is told from two points of view: Maia’s and Anders’, and as such is a fascinating look into both personalities, clearly showing why they are who and what they are, and react as they do to the life they are creating for themselves. Ms Jacob’s other characters and the locale’s they function in are as finely and exactingly drawn, and so the story is fleshed out in the most believable way.
Ms Jacob has obviously spent a great deal of time and effort to polish her descriptions of her characters: their dress, appearance, emotions, sensations and how they react to each other and the world around them. All of her characters are beautifully and crisply drawn and Maia and Anders are most certainly not cardboard cut-outs, but living, breathing people that you and I could meet on the street or at work and really like. The locales and equipment are beautifully described and a reader can quite literally see the places and feel all of her equipment being fitted. Her plot line is of intricate interest and flows smoothly to a logical and lovely conclusion and I sincerely hope there is a sequel to this wonderful story.
As She’s Told is such a good story that other readers have thought that it is actually a memoire, rather than fiction.
I cannot but envy this tour de force display of Ms. Jacob’s skill with words, for she has crafted her story to the precision of a Swiss time piece. All in all, this story is a classic piece of erotic fiction and not just jerk off porn.
I recommend it MOST highly to anyone who wishes to read a story of love, lust and kink. You’ll not be disappointed with this gem of a book.
Reviewed by Tobias Tanner
“If you were mine, Maia…I’d take care of you, but…there would be beatings, constant control, humiliation…I’d treat you like an animal and worse. If that’s beyond what you can take, we might as well know it now.”
“It’s not beyond what I can take.”
“Then we may have something here…if we’re lucky.”
Have you ever had a conversation like that? Anders and Maia do, and it sets the stage for changes they can neither predict nor prepare for. Anneke Jacob has done a masterful job of blending life and lifestyle, and you know which lifestyle I mean. In the wordsmith trade, there is character and characterization; the former describes, the latter defines. Ms. Jacob has done both. These people are multi-dimensional, thoughtful and interesting. You can’t help but care about them.
It is a big story, told in detail, but well worth the time. This novel follows the path of a man and a woman along the rocky road to…well, you know where. Not perdition, certainly, although some might see it that way; unless you can take first class seats on the A-train to hell, that is, AND hell is where you wanted to go in the first place, AND you are ready, willing and able to take a hell of a ride to hell in the process.
This is not about kidnapped slaves tortured into submission and eventual compliance. It isn’t about Stockholm Syndrome, or wifely compliance. It’s about a learning curve. Take a willing submissive with a yen to be a total slave, mix well with an intelligent sadist with the will and mental acuity to take over someone’s life, mix well with real lives, with real questions and puzzles to solve, bake in the crucible of a masochist’s pain, and voilá, you have a plausible and well crafted novel.
Ms. Jacob treats us to minor doses of philosophy, music, conservation, green living and left-handed politics; all stewed in with straps and whips and gags and chastity belts and electrical training devices (think dog collar and dildo in the same sentence). Her characters are full-bodied. Their lifestyle is extreme but, in context, believable. And I was left with the distinct impression that I would like these people. You could sit down and have coffee with them, talk about things, have a few laughs.
See if you don’t agree.