Elizabeth Wood, a Sociology Professor and Senior Strategist for Woodhull Freedom Foundation, has just begun taking pre-orders for her first book, Bound.
A true, end-of-life story sprinkled with the realities of juggling mortality and sexuality, Wood leads readers through the eventful and surprisingly kinky last years of her mother’s battle with cancer. This end-of-life story takes an interesting turn because Wood’s mother – “a passive-aggressive and needy woman who hasn’t had a lover in decades,” according to the story – has rediscovered herself as an empowered, kinky, Dominatrix, just years before her cancer diagnosis.
Beautifully revealing, humorous and always frank, Bound blends an unlikely grouping of life events – aging and disease; BDSM; the starkly real awkwardness of life; and the transformative power of sexual expression. By Bound’s end, Wood teaches readers that her narrative isn’t so uncommon after all.
“I think it’s so important that we have books that depict sexuality in the context of other transformative life experiences. Illness is one of those experiences. Dying is another,” explains Wood. “Too often we compartmentalize these issues in our own lives as well as in our cultural discourse. The reality is that we are whole people and every part of our experience touches in some way on every other. We can’t afford to ignore sexuality when we’re talking about illness any more than we can afford to ignore aging when we’re talking sexuality.”
Bound is available for consumer purchase through Wood’s website, ElizabethAnneWood.com, and the author encourages retailers and distributors to place wholesale orders through Ingram Publisher Services or any other trade wholesaler.
Penned a year after her mother’s passing, Wood recalls the moment of truth that spawned what would become the story’s backbone. Her 50-something mother had just returned from an editing interview after being handed an assignment to edit Pro-Domme advertisements.
“She came home so excited,” recalls Wood. “Did you know you could get paid to hurt men and you don’t even have to have sex with them?” That’s what she said to me.”
Wood’s mother eventually joined Alt.com, a kink website that allowed her to meet and make arrangements with submissive men, and all while pushing 60. She discovered a sexual release that brought her power and fulfillment while maintaining a safe, sane, and consensual relationship with submissive men.
“As a feminist who studies sexuality,” explains Wood, “I was excited that she was willing to ignore the stigma attached to kink and assert herself in ways that got her erotic needs met. The more she shared her experiences with me the clearer it became that she was finding joy in giving these men something they wanted and needed while meeting her own needs for power and control.”
Wood’s lengthy encounters with medical professionals during her mother’s cancer treatment adds another dimension to the story that highlights a disturbing trend in how the healthcare system often ignores the sexuality of the elderly and dying.
As described by Bound, “the red tape of hospital bureaucracies…and unintentional inhumanity of a health care system that too often fails to see the person behind the medical chart” created a uniquely frustrating backdrop upon which Wood’s mother’s narrative plays out.
“One thing I hope women take from this is that sexuality doesn’t have to fade as you age,” says Wood. “Older women are rendered pretty sexually invisible in this society, but my mom, who was in her late 50s or early 60s when she first started exploring BDSM, was very much in demand on the web sites where she met people, and when she went to Camp Crucible, she was neither the oldest nor the least fit woman there. Lots of kink communities are way more body accepting than the dominant culture is.”
The book is published by She Writes Press and distributed by Ingram Publisher Services. It is available for wholesale orders through Ingram or any other trade wholesaler with a release date of August 13th.
Wholesale and retail customers can place an order directly through Ingram Publisher Services. For more information, create an account with Ingram or contact Brooke Warner at Brooke@SheWritesPress.com.