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Winners and Losers

2018 (Manus Dare)

Sarah and her husband Pete love one another dearly, have been married for seven years, but something is missing from their sex life. When they have the opportunity to go to San Juan to help look after her stepsister Sally, nine months pregnant, and her brother-in-law Mitch, the couple think this might be the moment to rekindle some of the intimacy and spontaneity they enjoyed from before. But whenever the two are alone on the beach, walking hand and hand, Pete´s phone buzzes, and he has to take it to make sure his tech start-up back in Portland goes all right.

The two husbands are studies in contrasts: while Sarah´s is polite, intellectual, all SuperEgo, Sally´s is rough, brash, utterly Id. When a romantic stroll on the beach with Pete is interrupted by her husband needing to take a call about his tech company back in Portland, Sarah decides to return early to the house. Sounds from upstairs lure her into accidentally seeing her pregnant stepsister being pounded on all fours by her husband. And being unable to think about anything else.

And so begins The Game, a 2018 erotic novella originally published in four parts that takes the reader deep into the kinky world of cuckoldry. This is not only a specific niche of sexual fantasy within pornography and erotica, but also something of a specialty for author Manus Dare, who has written numerous titles in this taboo genre (including combining cuckold erotic stories with other genres, from fantasy and science-fiction).

Within a few filthy days, this quartet of characters embarks on a series of games which escalate into greater stakes and more profound consequences which will ultimately change the dynamics between all of them. The Game is a very filthy book, dealing with some themes of erotic fantasy which may be intense for some readers. A key component of cuckolding Pete is humiliating him, from belittling him with words to forcing him to watch his wife Sarah get fucked by her brother-in-law Mitch. At one point, Sally and Sarah get it on (technically, they´re not blood-siblings, but still) while watching porn. Sarah really wants Mitch to impregnate her with his child. And much more. This novella is not playing around, and is not for the faint of heart.

Full disclosure: cuckolding ain´t my kink. And yet Dare´s writing is strong, as he takes the time with the details. Told from the point of view of Sarah, someone excitedly curious about this new kink, we get to discover and question along the way with her. Dialogue is extensive and realistic, without losing its heat or its momentum. While cuckolding doesn´t inhabit much of my erotic imagination; and though some passages in The Game go a little beyond my comfort zone to the point that it takes me out of it being "erotic" and just becomes "uncomfortable"; nonetheless, Dare is a strong writer whose voice has a clear point of view. If this kind of fantasy is your jam, two words: Manus Dare. His imagination may not be for everybody, and his fantasies may not be what gets you going; but if The Game is any indication, his writing may also open up doors or corridors within the reader that you didn´t know you had.

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