Book Review: Edge Play by Stoya
Jane Boon's finance/domination mash-up.
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I must disclose: the author, Jane Boon, reached out to me via email and sent a complimentary copy of Edge Play—digital, as I requested—and that disclosure is important to state before we dig into the book.
Described by the author as The Big Short meets 50 Shades of Grey by way of Billions, Jane Boon’s debut novel Edge Play delves into the worlds of finance and sexual submission. The book was published by Regan Arts in 2020, with the hardcopy releasing July 21st.
The book follows Amy from her high-powered job at an investment firm through the 2008 financial crisis and—with the help of her university friend Erika—into the field of professional domination. Along the way, Boon drops bluntly efficient takes on the place of women in today’s society, describing the wife of Amy’s boss as going “from being the lead actress in her own drama to being a supporting actress in Jon’s.” Amy’s inner monologue continues with “Susan and I were each tasked with different aspects of his care and upkeep, so we weren’t rivals in competition, but Jon enacted barriers to how close we could become.”
Boon isn’t done, though. A page later, Amy thinks “I liked her, and having to pretend that Jon was a good husband rankled me. I was the woman on Jon’s day shift while Susan worked nights and weekends, and though we both dedicated ourselves to serving Jon’s needs, only one of us had to be dishonest while doing so.” Oh, the tangled webs we weave when we’re striving to keep women weak and on their knees.
And before Amy leaves finance, she reminisces about mentoring newer women through situations like discovering a dildo in their desk. Man… men.
In a flashback, we meet quintessential goth dominatrix Erika. She’s everything an outsider fantasizes about—long, dark hair. Extremely pale skin accented with eyeliner and a red lip. She leads Amy into her first sex-work-adjacent interaction—flirting at the bar to find a pair of guys willing to pick up dinner—with confidence, foreshadowing what’s to come.
Chapter three’s flashback involves a violation of consent on Amy’s part. Her first kiss takes place under questionable conditions and I’m not entirely sure that she regrets the experience. The moment does set us up to understand part of the appeal that professional domination holds for her.
Erika says something very interesting while educating Amy about BDSM. Amy summarizes fetishization of Shibari as “From prisoners to play?” Erika responds, “That’s a pretty typical trajectory. We’re drawn to the things that terrify us. Kink offers a carefully calibrated dose of terror. In the dungeon, my clients get just enough terror to thrill, but not enough to harm.” This is the moment where I began wondering just where Jane Boon got her insight into BDSM and professional domination from. Later Erika says “…the audience is also part of the performance. It’s a unique art form.” In the afterward, Boon reveals that she is adulthood-long friends with a pro domme.
I won’t spoil the story, but I will say it was refreshing to read about a woman consensually entering the world of professional sex and choosing her own path over a man. It’s as sexual and delightful as it sounds.
Again, I must disclose that Jane Boon sent me a review copy of this book. We’ll be discussing it at Sex Lit in 2021.