Thursday, October 18, 2012

Comfort Food: A Read Along Chapter 1

Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas
Purchased by the reviewers.
Blurb: Emily Vargas has been taken captive. As part of his conditioning methods, her captor refuses to speak to her, knowing how much she craves human contact. He's far too beautiful to be a monster. Combined with his lack of violence toward her, this has her walking a fine line at the edge of sanity. Told in the first person from Emily's perspective, Comfort Food explores what happens when all expectations of pleasure and pain are turned upside down, as whips become comfort and chicken soup becomes punishmentDISCLAIMER:
This is not a story about consensual BDSM. This is a story about "actual" slavery. If reading an erotic story without safewords makes you uncomfortable, this is not the book for you. This is a work of fiction, and the author does not endorse or condone any behavior done to another human being without their consent.
This is a chapter by chapter read along of this book. Kitten and I will be bringing you our uncensored thoughts on this book. As always, this is an erotica book and you are on an erotica blog. Not intended for anyone under the age of 18.

The book opens with Emily's first day of captivity.  It's a stark and scary opening scene and me being the freak I am was instantly sucked in but the description we are given of her first moments.

I was blindfolded, sitting in a hard metal chair, with each of my legs bound to a chair leg and my arms tied up behind me. The sharpest bit of sensory input I had was the silence. It was a suffocating blanket from which there was no escape. Unless I started talking just to hear my own voice, a desperation I refused to display in the first five minutes of consciousness. 
She sits in the dark thinking about the why's and the how's of how she came to be tied up in and blindfolded in this silent place.

Rape. Death. Dismemberment. Maybe in that order, maybe not. Though that order would be preferable to Dismemberment. Rape. Death. Or Rape. Dismemberment. Death. You always want your dismemberment to happen after death. 

Her silence is broken by footsteps. She is spoon fed chicken noodle soup making her wonder if her captor has been studying her. As he touches her breast, the memory of a previous sexual assault is brought up.
Her first serious relationship when she was 17. She has spent years being confused and feeling guilty about this assault.

I said no. I'd meant no. 
He'd ignored me, spreading my legs wide for his perusal, gripping my wrists tightly against my thighs as he held me down. "You'll like this, I promise."
I struggled, but he was too strong, and I didn't have the proper leverage to shove him away. He  buried his head between my legs..."
Her terror is replaced by something different. Creating guilt that she has lived with for years.
In his mind, I'm sure he believed he hadn't done anything wrong, since he'd successfully turned my body against me. In the end I liked it. The entire sordid event from start to finish.
The juxtapostion of fear and helplesness, set up next to complete pleasure and eventual surrender. I'd masturbated for months afterward to the memory of the event.  
 Over time I developed an intense shame about it, not because I'd be violated, but because I wasn't properly traumatized by what had been done to me. Because I sometimes still touched myself thinking about it. 
She soon learns that if she wants to eat she must allow the stranger to touch her. She knows now that it's a game. Let him touch her and she eats. If not she goes hungry.
The chapter closes with her captor taking of her bindings and uncovering her eyes. She sees a beautiful man with something less than human in his eyes.

This opening chapter is just so complex. She know. She really knows what is happening to her. She knows she can't fight it physically or mentally. It is a very intense ride from the get go. I literally felt her anxiety at being in that room with her.

Kitten's thoughts on Chapter 1:

I second Lola's comments regarding the complexity of this chapter.

There is so much going on mentally within Emily while the unthinkable is happening to her on the outside... it's harrowing to read this first person narrative.

Tied to a chair blindfolded, Emily begins to reflect about how women approach life:

Women go through their lives a bit differently than men.  We're always cautious.  It's not that we live in abject terror twenty-four hours a day thinking some random man is going to come along and rape or kill us.

Those sentences really struck a chord with me because it's true.  At least for me.  No, I don't walk around thinking that some random man is going to attack me... but the possibility is always there.  That's why women carry pepper spray, take self-defense classes, warn our daughters not to talk to strangers, warn our female friends about certain "vibes" we get around a guy.  (Guys, if you are reading this think about what you just read.  Do you ever feel a bit anxious when you see a group of women walking down the street towards you? Of course, not.  A group of women is not going to be violent with you without cause.)

Shortly after, she talks about the logical safety measures she took:

Me, who is always so careful.  Locks her doors, doesn't walk or jog with ear buds in her ears, doesnt't take candy from strangers in vans.  You know the drill.
Yes, we do know the drill.  We do take those safety measures.  We do what law enforcement and women's groups tell us to do, but in end...  If someone wants to get you, they're going to do it.  Too much scary truth?  Now imagine Emily's terror.  Like Lola quoted above "Dismemberment, Rape, Death".

But no, there is more to this...  Her captor isn't violent with her.  He doesn't rip her clothes off, tie her to the four corners of a bed and rape her.  Oh no.. he's gentle with her, but makes it explicitly clear from the start (without a saying a word) that she would either agree to what he wanted from her or pay the consequences.  "Agree to be violated for food?" you may be asking.  If you are in survival mode, that's exactly what you do.  You agree become compliant and tell yourself that you will do what you have to do until you see your chance to escape.

Once her captor feeds her, he removes everything not attached to the floor and leaves.  Now, without her blindfold, she can see with 100% certainty, there is no escape.  This is not the movies where she can jimmy the lock, escape into the night and flag down a passing police car.

She will be his prisoner as long as he wants her.

I wonder how many of us would be so quick to realize the situation. I am not sure that I have the strength that Emily has to move along and adapt that quickly. In the end what choice would any of use have. Her captor gives her a choice that isn't a choice. Eat and give me permission to violate you, or choose not to be touched and I will leave you alone in every sense of the word. -Lola.

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