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Thursday, 20 July 2017


  Ultimately it is more style than substance, not just in what it has to say about anal sex, but also in its depiction of relationships.  Bentley herself, despite revealing such intimate details about her life, seems an alien personality.  We don't learn anything about her friendships or family from the book, or anything about her work, and we learn very little about her, except for her sex life.  Even more troubling, she doesn't leave her readers wanting to know more about her.  It is as if she has anticipated that, having told her readers so much about her anal predilections, they won't want to know learn more about the rest of her life, and she is shutting herself off.

Few women do it and even fewer will admit to it. But in Toni Bentley's daring and intimate memoir, The Surrender, she pulls the sheets back on an erotic experience that's been forbidden since the Bible and celebrates "the joy that lies on the other side of convention, where risk is real and rapture resides." From Story of O to The Kiss to The Sexual Life of Catherine M., readers have been enthralled with sexually subversive memoirs by women. But even those erotic classics didn't navigate the psychosexual terrain that Bentley does when she meets a lover who introduces her to a radical and unexpected pleasure, to the "holy" act that she came to see as her awakening.
The Surrender is a witty, intelligent, and eloquent exploration of one woman's obsession that will be sure to leave readers questioning their own desires.


The first chapters of the book chronicle Bentley's sexual history, including a decade of mostly sexless marriage, before this affair.  After her marriage is over, she starts being bolder sexually and she has numerous encounters and short-lived relationships.  Some of the man gave her good sex, while others were hopeless.  Bentley's idea of good sex sometimes seems to sound like standard pornographic fare -- "big cocks," "erections like steel."  It isn't always better to be big, since one man's penis is so wide that is the size of a corncob, and condoms would not stay rolled down.  She concluded from this part of her experience that she didn't like intercourse, since it didn't make her come, and it was often painful.  But Bentley continued to have sex anyway.  Her most satisfying relationship is with a two people who she met at the gym, and they have a threesome one New Year's Eve.  She calls him the Young Man, and his cock is "hard, big, and beautiful."

She continues to meet him, in the threesome and out of it.  The two of them meet only for sex, and have no relationship outside of the bedroom.  Their meetings are sporadic   Eventually after a string of other men, and one longer relationship, the Young Man phones her himself returning from an extended stay in Europe and he becomes the A-Man, now keen to enter her rectum.  They have long sex sessions often twice a week when he is in town.  By the end of the relationship, they have had anal sex 298 times.  She keeps a record.  Their relationship is non-monogamous, and it is because of another woman that they eventually break up.  She is devastated by the end of the relationship.

Download the book: The Surrender.pdf

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