Here are some survey results from previous readers. The first two questions are about the ending of the story and the emotional realism of the characters.
Two thirds of women readers feel the ending comes too quickly, and they also feel that the characters’ emotions are very compelling. Men are split 50/50 on both these questions. It may be that women have a deeper emotional connection to the story and want it to go on longer.
Many readers have grown attached to the characters and want to know more about them. There are some interesting differences, however, in how different groups of readers feel about the secondary characters.
Serena, Mistress Amy, and Kelley are the favorite secondary characters, but each of these three women have distinct fan bases. For instance, Serena does not appeal to submissive women. Perhaps switching back and forth between submissive and dominant is not attractive to female subs.
On the other hand, almost all of the readers who are actively involved in the BDSM lifestyle want to know more about Mistress Amy. Readers who are not part of the BDSM community have a much lower level of interest in her. The conflict that Mistress Amy faces may have more meaning to readers who are deeper into that world.
Kelley, from the tournament chapter, clearly captured the hearts of the vast majority of male readers. When it comes to female readers, however, she doesn’t get much love. Kelley’s gleeful embrace of being a sex toy for others to use seems far more attractive to men than women, which probably shouldn’t be a surprise.
Deborah’s story seems to primarily appeal to submissive women who are active in BDSM. The challenges facing Deborah seem to resonate for these women. Other readers are not as drawn to her. It may also be the case for many readers that Deborah’s love of urine-play makes her story less attractive.
When it comes to sexuality, readers have some clear likes and dislikes.
In general, readers love the wide variety of sexual activities in the story. There are only three activities with more negative reactions than positive reactions: urine play, same sex between men, and pony play. Of these, urine-play clearly has the greatest “yuk” factor.
There are also some interesting differences between groups of readers in their enjoyment of some activities.
As might be expected, readers who participate in the BDSM lifestyle greatly enjoy some of the harsher scenes in Summer Hire, such as spanking, caning, and whipping. Other readers are a bit less enthusiastic about the joys of corporal punishment.
Even among readers with BDSM experience, there are differences of opinion about some activities. The most dramatic example is public sex, which all of the female submissives enjoy, but none of the male dominants list as a favorite activity. Perhaps the men are more self-conscious.
When it comes to same-sex activity, Summer Hire is very accepting and positive about same-sex activity for both men and women. The depiction and frequency of same-sex scenes between men is muted, however, compared to the scenes between women. This split follows the general inclinations of readers. Almost 90% of readers love Summer Hire’s depiction of sexuality between women, but only 15% have the same enthusiasm for reading about sexuality between men. Interestingly, the one group that really enjoys reading about two men together are women who are not part of the BDSM lifestyle.
Another fascinating difference between groups is with lactation play. Half of the male readers love the scene of Mistress Amy milking Yvette, who is the serving woman in the chapter “On Display”. It may not come as a complete surprise that women reading this scene do not share the same level of enthusiasm.
In general, women readers who are submissives enjoy a much wider variety of sexual activity than other groups. Female subs love over 80% of the BDSM activities listed above. In comparison, the other readers say they only enjoy about half of those activities.
The final question in the survey is about whether readers want me to write more stories and if so, whether or not they are willing to pay for the stories. The answer is that everyone wants to read more of my stories, but only men who are not part of BDSM are actually willing to pay for them. Two thirds of these men would pay Amazon’s $2.99 minimum price for an e-book. Everyone else says that even though they’d like me to write another story, they aren’t willing to pay for it.