I consider myself a card-carrying romantic; my taste in MC stories, therefore, tends strongly toward gentle MC used within the context of a loving MF relationship (or in the formation thereof). That's not to say that I don't enjoy the occasional flirtation with the darker side, but I don't get turned on by a story where someone is humiliated, enslaved, raped, etc. by someone with an all-powerful mind control device or ability. Where's the sport in that?
I'm also a stickler for good mechanics. Nobody expects perfection, but I will stop reading if the author's grammar, usage, and/or spelling is so bad as to be a distraction.
Finally, I like to see quality. Strongly drawn characters, original ideas or twists on the familiar, clever plotting, good dialog, well-maintained suspense ... any of these will keep me reading even if the subject matter of the story itself doesn't push my hot buttons.
This piece has all of the elements that resonate for me in a story: strong characters; great sex between passionate, loving people; pathos; realism; honor; mutual respect. Artie does all of these things better than anyone, and I could have picked pretty much any of his stories to put here, but Contest Weekend is my favorite.
This story is a good example of ambiguous consent, if you will. The narrator can see where things are leading, might have stopped it, but chooses not to. Trey has a smooth style and has created a pair of interesting characters to play with here.
He could have taken the easy road and made this a simple exploitation story, but MC Writer avoids the cliches and puts a unique twist on things. This is as much a story about a relationship as it is about mind control, which is why I like it so much.
Others have already noted how well written this one is; what attracted me to it is the way that Del slowly allows Sindy to seduce herself into more and more submissive acts. I don't see this as a humiliation story because Del takes pains to make sure it is all kept in private.
Daphne's tongue-in-cheek style comes through strongly in this pseudo-medieval piece which is full of sly satire as well as the only human-dragon coupling I've ever read about. Reading Daphne is a great way to "lighten up" after a series of dark or serious stories.
Speaking of dark ... this is a seriously spooky piece, almost an erotic psychological thriller. This one also gets great mileage out of the heroine's conflicting desires to submit and to resist. In theory this story goes against everything I said at the top of the page I like, but it's so well written I like it anyway.
I like it when a dominant partner is so secure in his/her power that they are willing to reverse roles for a short time. Turnabout is a well-written piece with a pair of strongly drawn characters who do just that ... but one of them doesn't realize it's happening that way.
My favorite Eye story, probably because she sets aside the supernatural for some good old-fashioned head games. Dani's slow submission to the hypnotic robot, and the results, are delicious.
A little stronger in the D/S way than I usually like, the major plot device here -- candy hearts with X-rated sayings on them, which our narrator is hypnotically compelled to obey -- is just so cool that I fell in love with the story anyway.
Submissive Fantasies and Consquences (F. Diriger)
If I was going to try a D/S relationship in real life, this is the way I'd want it done. Here the dominant man uses a series of very creative hypnotic tricks to determine exactly what the girl really wants and gives it to her, making sure that things never go too far out of the safety zone. It's a long, slow-developing tale with plenty of good character development.
This one hits me right where I live: Mark hypnotizes Julie to help her survive a hellish time in college, and she pays him back with a clever, erotic trick of her own. There's a slightly naughty, I'm-gonna-get-you-for-this flavor but it's all in fun because at bottom they trust and respect each other. I really, really like this story.
Don't let the synopsis mislead you -- Amateur Night is a top-notch thriller. The cat and mouse game between Decker and his enemies is as good as any commercial suspense novel, and the resolution is absolutely poetic. You'll be surprised by the ending, but then you'll realize that anything else would have been an injustice to the story.
This story is thoroughly silly, wickedly irreverent, and entertaining as all get-out. Even if you don't normally go for FF, I promise you will like this one.
Lucky Guy delivers some highly interesting and varied scenarios here from his real-life experiences. The encounters in this piece are both highly erotic and satisfying because everyone comes out of them having gained something.
artie's magnum opus revolves around the idea of healing, and erotic hypnosis plays a pivotal role in that healing. There's plenty of sex here, casual and otherwise, but it's the characters themselves that really make this work. These characters got so deeply under my skin that by the time artie finished writing the story I was addressing comments directly to Andy.
Aerosol Kid has a really neat concept here and plays it out skillfully. The mixture is just right -- a little uncertainty, a little playfulness, a lot of hot sex.
This passes for a stroke story for me: short, intense, powerful. That it practically embodies a personal fantasy of mine doesn't hurt, either.
I had my doubts about this one at first; there are so many evil-guy-at-college-seduces-helpless-coed stories out there, after all. But this one is different. It's very well-written, for one thing, with well-drawn characters, very realistic dialog, and lifelike interactions that get stronger and more intense as the story develops. It's also a very romantic story, which hits me where I live. This Guy gets a gold star from me.
Another in DB's Mark and Julie series, this one is extra hot but still retains the loving playfulness that I so love in a story. The shifting viewpoint device doesn't usually work, but DB puts it to excellent use here to let us see both sides of the game as it unfolds. A must read for the romantics out there.
Speaking of loving playfulness, Some Guy's debut story has plenty of that. It paints a lovely picture of hypnoerotic sexual play with a competitive edge, but even the "loser" has a great time in the process.
As a long-time married guy, tales of wedded lust have a lot of appeal for me. Take Her's work, still in progress, gives us a good look at how a loving married-with-children couple might use a little temporary MC to liven up the relationship. So far we've only seen the MD side, but I have great hopes for the creativity of the wife when her turn comes.
In this tale, the Domme uses her control to soothe and comfort rather than simply as an exercise in power. That sets it apart from most D/s stories in a way that a romantic like me can appreciate. I'll be looking forward to this new author's next pieces.
This is nice. Two people exploring the limits, trusting in one another. And smoking hot from start to finish.
Another tale derived from his real life play, this one has everything I could ask for: anticipation, playfulness, love, respect. Mix well and you get an extremely erotic story.
If you believe, as I do, that the essence of romance is emotion rather than simple fornication, then this is an extremely romantic story. br0adband paints two striking characters here and, like artie in Growing Up With Beth, puts them each through a personal hell. This is a story that will stay with you for days after reading it.
Those who think a story can't be hot if the control is by consent need to read this. Dreamweaver walks that deliciously fine line between coercion and consent with a husband and wife who've discovered the perfect answer to a partner who is "too tired" for some hot lovin'. The action is both smoking hot and very realistic; I love the way various interruptions are dealt with so they can get back to the matter at hand (or tongue). Most of all, I love the way Dreamweaver writes. The style is so smooth that it's impossible not to get drawn in to the flow of the story.
This story is a long, hot soak in a tub full of delicious satire. It's got sex, too, but the narrative style and the characters are so entertaining that I honestly wouldn't care if it didn't. For once I'm looking forward to future installments.
Dang, I like this story! BB Zed doesn't know how to write a bad story (and please don't take that as a challenge, BB!), but this one pushed so many of my buttons at once that I had to put it here. There's trust, there's caring, there's great sex, and a heartwarming twist at the end. A must read.
How do you combine a love story and a revenge story? Well, if you're Michelle, you write 'Lie Berries'. Michelle is an artist at defining characters. Jeff and Alyssa are a fascinating pair, both individually and in the context of their evolving (or is it devolving?) relationship. Even Gina, an incidental character, has more depth than a lot of stories' protagonists. That and her gift for wickedly clever phrasing are what make Michelle such a pleasure to read.