Owning Regina:Diary of My Unexpected Passion for Another Woman by Lorelei Elstrom is a woman-loving-woman’s answer to E. L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey. Written in diary format, Meg Curtis gives us an up close and personal taste of exploring bondage, discipline, and sadomasochism (BDSM) for the first time. Describing her intense erotic inclination towards the world of dominance and submission, we learn that for Meg, her sexuality is very complex. When realizing she has developed a sincere interest for a woman, having always been with men, she is forced to rethink her sexual orientation. Meg initially struggles with the idea she may be something other than heterosexual, often in conflict with her perception of her future self and her newfound lust. Eventually disregarding the pressure to label herself, Meg is extremely satisfied to indulge in kinky behaviors with another person.
Meg Curtis, 26, meets Regina Baker, 38, at a local yoga class in San Francisco, California and instantly a connection sparks. The two women bond over Meg’s boot fetish and shortly thereafter, Regina senses there may be something worth trying with one another. Elstrom does a thorough job at introducing BDSM and establishing clear boundaries for the role-playing games shared between Meg and Regina. The women often check in with one another outside of the realm of the game to ensure they are on the same page. Adding more rules to maintain a distinction between emotions felt in real life and the harsh dialogue used in the game helps their relationship stay clear of confusion and reinforces consent.
Often BDSM is perceived by society as dirty, abusive, weird, and/or perverted, with a very narrow selection of stereotypical images, such as a woman wearing a latex or leather suit whipping a man’s behind. There is absolutely nothing wrong with BDSM if all of the acts between two (or more) partners are consensual, rooted in trust, and boundaries are respected. Anyone can be attracted to S&M regardless of their experiences. Further, engaging in such behavior allows agreeing adults to explore curiosities and taboo manners in a safe environment. Generally speaking, those who are attracted to BDSM would never intentionally hurt someone outside of the game mode; only in character would they think about participating in such seemingly torturous acts.
All in all, Owning Regina is a strikingly sexy book that I recommend to anyone curious about BDSM. Owning Regina can easily be devoured in one sitting —as the days in Meg’s life go on, there is an urgency for more and Elstrom does not hold back with her delivery. Having taken my first bite into a BDSM fiction featuring two female lovers has opened my mind to endless possibilities outside the lines of a vanilla romance. Aside from the swift declaration of love in a short passage of time (I often find these storylines unrealistic and stereotypical), I found Owning Regina to be a very fun read!