Sex with Shakespeare: A Review

How Shakespeare opened my eyes to the kink community.

My roommate suggested I read Sex with Shakespeare: Here’s Much to Do with Pain, but More with Love by Jillian Keenan. I have to admit, I was afraid to read it. I would consider myself a sex-positive person, but I’ve never actually read a book that talks about sex in any way. I don’t even think I’ve read a book with a sex scene, other than Breaking Dawn in junior high. I was afraid to read it because sex is such a taboo subject most of the time. My friend was part of a sex education group in college and he was always very open about sex. So why did it freak me out? I’m an adult and this shouldn’t be a topic that scares me, but I guess the thought of reading it in public made me blush.

It was a beautiful book not only about sex, spanking, and kink, but about actual love. As someone who loves romance dramas (I’m looking at you Pride & Prejudice) I was fascinated by this book. I had never thought about the kink community, and didn’t understand what it was all about. I never judged them, but I didn’t understand how pain could actually feel good. Take Keenan’s story and combine it with Shakespeare and you get an original story.

I’ve always loved Shakespeare and the rhythm of his iambic pentameter. One summer in high school I read Othello on my own. It wasn’t even assigned as a summer reading project. In 8th grade I almost won a Shakespearean “insult-off” in English class. We chose Shakespearean insults from a list and shouted them at each other in British accents. I definitely haven’t read all his work, let alone half of his work, but I’ve always thought of him as a great literary genius. I mean, most people do. His themes are universal and although his writing seems archaic now, the meaning still goes beyond Elizabethan times. Sex with Shakespeare was an interesting read because Keenan always tied something back to a Shakespeare play. She had a unique view on Shakespeare stories, especially in connection to the kink community.

I would recommend this book to anyone who would be even a little embarrassed to read this in public. It was unlike any book I’ve read before, and I mean that in the best way.

My favorite quote from the book:

“I believe in love at first sight, But I also believe in evolution. Love at first sight is real love, but it’s an infant love. As love matures, we meet again and again, and discover new parts of our partners for the first time.”

This book gave me an inside look to a healthy relationship filled with love and trust. I would 100% recommend it to any sex-positive person.

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