Author: Daryl Fletcher
As its title indicates, Mother in Chains is a story of sexual
masochism, degradation and bondage. Many years ago Freud and his
disciples described in theoretical terms the inter-relationship between
sex and pain: sex is pain and pain is sex. Since that time the
connection between sex and pain has been clinically proven in numerous
experiments, the most brutal instance being the Nazi concentration
camps where tortured victims often fell in love with their tormentors.
Although the connection between sex and pain has long been understood
by students of the subject and sexual sophisticates, it was the Sexual
Revolution of the sixties that brought the sexual aspects of
sadomasochism to the attention of the general public. As a result,
there has been a growing interest in the subject, and today numerous
couples, both married and unmarried, indulge in various sadomasochistic
activities for the purpose of sexual stimulation and gratification.
Numerous photos, movies, booklets and other products dealing with
sadomasochism are currently available, including an almost bewildering
variety of devices to be used in bondage and discipline activities. In
addition, professional discipline mistresses advertise for new clients
in a wide variety of publications.
Traditionally, masochism has been treated as largely a female
phenomenon, and that is not surprising. After all, the desire to
subdue, to possess, and to conquer has been the traditional masculine
role in courtship activities. And at the same time, the traditional
female role has been submissive, even in situations where she must be
physically subdued by her suitor. The spanking scene in the musical
“Kiss Me Kate” provides a perfect example of sadomasochism in the
context of a normal courtship.
In Mother in Chains, the subject of female masochism is
approached from two directions. In one case we see the effects of a
forcible introduction to sadomasochism on a fully mature woman without
previous experience with the subject. In the second case, we observe
the effects of a similar introduction on a teenage girl. The victims,
if that is the proper word for them, are mother and daughter: Barbara
Lanier, aged thirty-seven, and her attractive teenage daughter, Lila,
twenty years her junior.
The two of them are trapped in a bizarre kidnapping while on a
vacation trip, and are subjected to various ordeals by their captors.
The story, based upon a true life story, is set in the early sixties
when the Sexual Revolution was dawning, and the two principal
characters are typical products of the era. Barbara, the mother, is
relatively innocent and a little on the prudish side, and her
extra-marital activities consist entirely of idle daydreams involving
her daughter's boyfriends and other young men she encounters. At the
same time, she is bored and restless and suspects that she had missed
out on something as far as sex is concerned, although she would never
consider taking the initiative to rectify that omission.
At the same time her daughter Lila, while somewhat inexperienced,
considers herself rather sophisticated at least when compared to her
old-fashioned mother. Lila at least knows what fellatio means although
she has never gotten up enough nerve to actually try it. Most males
would consider her something of a prickteaser, but her own self-image
is such that an accusation to that effect would shock and irritate her.
We believe that Mother in Chains is particularly timely for
more than one reason. In the first place, the author has dealt in
considerable detail with the various connotations and degrees of
sadomasochism and female submissiveness, which as we have noted are
subjects of growing interest. In addition, the work is set against the
background of the dawning Sexual Revolution of the early sixties, and
explores the basic sexual attitudes and conflicts of modern society.
Moreover, the work is a study of the generational gap between the young
women of today and their mothers, most of whom grew up in the Dark Ages
as far as sex is concerned. For all of these reasons, we seriously
recommend Mother in Chains to readers of all age groups.