From: SE Michigan
I have to say, one of the fiction books you listed, started my love affair with S&M.
20+ odd years ago, as I was starting what I considered serious dating.... ok as serious as a 18 year old could, I went through a series of failed attempts at relationships, the whole 3 date syndrome... after 3 dates I was bored, mind you this was still on the cusp of that time far off in the past when females were expected to land a good husband, and mothers said things like you will marry well. So there I was away at college, had finally gotten past my ugly duckling youth, and I was searching for Mr. Right.... along comes a guy who I became great pals with, he was a bit older (30) recently out of the military, and going back to school, he was a sweet dear gay man. He told me months along, my problem was I was trying to be something I was not.....huh? He said I was trying to conform to worlds idea of what a woman was.... sweet, subserviant, ect. I told him he was full of crap, and went on in my bliss. He asked me if I wanted to go to a party with him, I said sure..... he took me to the scariest place I had ever been in my then short life ( what I now know as a private or house play party) There were freaks every where, doing horrible things to each other, they were hurting people and leading them on leashes, men slapping other men..... people being used as sexual objects...... holy shit!!! I was out of there in a heartbeat..... I told my pal he was a freak and never come near me again.... how dare he think I was like that!!!
The next day he dropped a book off at my dorm room for me, in the cover he wrote a short note basicly "call me when your ready to explore" that book was Venus in Furs.
I threw it in the trash....... got it back out again...... threw it in a box...... let it sit there for weeks....took it out...... read the first page, and the next and the next I stayed up all night reading it, feeling things I had never thought of before.... it took me a few more weeks of rereading it, masterbating, and rereading it to get up the guts to call him..... he became my mentor, he helped me explore and helped teach me so many things, but it all started with me reading that damn book. :)
~~ And I will show you something different from either your shadow at morning striding behind you Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you; I will show you fear in a handful of dust..... T.S. Elliot ~~