Review: Master: The Sexuality, Politics, Life, and Philosophy of a Master by Master R

Master: The Sexuality, Politics, Life, and Philosophy of a Master

  • By Master R
  • Editions: paperback
  • Published: January 29th 2013 by Riverdale Avenue Books
  • Genre: Adult Autobiography
  • Source: NetGalley
  • For the past 20 years Master R has been proprietor of La Domaine Esemar, a BDSM training chateau in upstate NY, where he is Master Dominant. He and his Head Mistress offer couples the opportunity to explore their sexuality as well as practice their skills and fantasies in a melting pot of sexual politics, freedom and creativity.

    Master R relates real-life experiences and stories as he gives the reader an eye-witness account of his complex world. He discloses where the people who practice BDSM come from and how they got there.

    Readers will discover “….the brilliant people I have encountered, the exquisite sex I have had and the depths of love I have been privileged to share…” says Master R. “If you are looking for the true story of one man’s path to dominance….his life and loves, then you are certainly home, sweet home.”
    ~ blurb source

  • Bomy’s Flutter: interest concept but not a too exciting read for me

  • I didn’t pick this up expecting it to be yet another ripoff of Fifty Shades. I was overjoyed when it began letting me know it wasn’t. A brave statement like that was a good beginning, and I immediately got high hopes about this read.

    I did expect it to be an autobiography. It didn’t turn out to be quite that, either. Instead it was a melange of articles, some more interesting then others. The ones clearly talking about politics I skipped over entirely. I’m sorry, it’s not lack of respect for the author’s work or thoughts, just gross disgust with politics. To each their own (and I entirely agree with Master R’s views on that phrase).

    There was a lot of this book that I enjoyed and plenty that I agreed with. Had I read the greater part of those articles in some other shape, this would have been a different rating. But in this shape it felt too much like bits pushed together to seem a whole. It didn’t feel as a whole, I’m sorry to say. The writing style was somewhat constant but not all the way. There were these, let’s say lyrical prose parts (that I do appreciate in that sense of beauty derived from aristocratic culture), then there were these really fun articles and those felt like the best parts of the book. Those, worked together, woud have been a 4-ish butterflies rating for me. Some articles were about life in this actual place, talking about some People and people and I guess that’s the part I enjoyed the least. I have issues with capitalizing ‘God’, and I have a sound belief system going on though it isn’t any one particular religion. See a pattern there?
    There was a lot about myself that was challenged as I read this; and especially the parts I thought would interest me the most ended up interesting me the least. Which is quite ironic since what made me curious about this book was exactly the fact it approached BDSM.
    Maybe I discovered something about myself that I wouldn’t have without reading this book, and for that, Master R, I thank you. You made me realize how insignificant so many things are to me, and I might not have had such a clear epiphany without reading this work.

    I guess if we’d be talking from a scientific point of view, this would be a nice collection of materials on the subject Master R. But it didn’t feel like a thesis or a work based on all the info, just like the info put together more like. You know what I mean? For instance there were interesting scenes from the author’s childhood and what you could call his discovery period, interesting moments about his family life and how it evolved. Those felt like they could have tied together beautifully into an autobiography I would have most likely enjoyed a lot. They were written in a voice slightly different then the ones that really didn’t speak to me at all – the La Chateau related part. These other articles that made sense together felt like they had so much potential, but I had to pick them apart from the rest of them for that sense of homogeneity to emerge.

    Whenever Master R wrote about La Chateau and such aspects he took on this voice that felt just… detached to the point of extreme. This may be odd or whatever, but to me it felt chilling in fact, and not in that good way I love villains and antagonists in stories. The irony of that is I love intelligent, educated, complex characters – and the character Master R was all that. They’re always my favorites in all books, stories of whatever kind and real life too. The character Master R in his master-mode or D-mode or however you want to call it, he elicited zero emotional response from me. None whatsoever. I don’t think that ever happened to me before. I may not have liked a character much, or it felt sort of ‘meh’ but this was an absolute zero on my emotional scale. As if an object was talking me, a robot maybe but not the anthropomorphic kind, all complex and interesting on a technical level but… inanimate somehow. I was shocked at my own response or lack thereof and at how he came through to me. Because I guess I expected him to shine, to be charismatic – even intensely so. And yet there was nothing.

    That is a deal-breaker in anything for me. I simply had no response at all to the D-mode Master R while in his kid-mode or family-guy-mode I did. I’m sure he’d see some deep meaning in that, there is one most likely. And since this facet of the character Master R came up a lot and at random moments whatever emotional connection I’d developed with other facets of him got demolished along the way. At some point they just stopped getting built.
    Maybe if I’d had a sense of a story there, of something with a beginning, middle and some sort of end I would have sailed the odd waters better. As it was I didn’t get a sense of porpoise; what I felt was there were all these parts of a person that were put together with the intent of speaking to its readers. And advertising La Chateau. But the parts don’t make the whole, it’s that higher sense of self that encompasses it all that makes the whole. I didn’t feel that higher sense of self. I could be mean and say it wasn’t there because this D-mode was too busy being ‘all of that’ for so many players, it was focused on the roles more then anything else. Roles make me think of acting, and thinking of acting doesn’t ring as true. I love movies and plays when actors make me think of people, not of acting. The overall here was I thought of roles, not of a whole person for some reason. Am I making sense?

    As it stands though, this is a collection of some very interesting thoughts and scenes, some not-interestintg (to me!) ones, and some that just inspire me no feeling. I didn’t feel entertained, intrigued, amused, emotionally involved, thrilled or excited in any way. At the end of this read I felt sad, because to me there was so much potential in all that material that it broke my heart to see it came to no real conclusion.


    2 thoughts on “Review: Master: The Sexuality, Politics, Life, and Philosophy of a Master by Master R

    1. Lauren Mackesy

      I’m so glad I’m not the only one that got this book from Netgalley. I haven’t read it yet though. I was hoping it came in audio because my husband was interested in it. I wrote the publisher but it is only available in hardback.


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