I’ve always been a visual and a multiple choice person. So it it quite logical that my reviews are not one note only…
My rating scale will start with faces for the categories such “characters”, “sex heat”, “romance”, “plot”, “credibility”, “originality” and use the little buddies on top here. Instead of 12345, I will use faces. Love it! will still be 5, Great will be 4 and so on. But I thought it shows better the emotion versus numbers.
Characters: how I relate, connect, understand and love them
Plot: no need of villain especially, just how the story is easy to follow and also keep me on my toes. This also include: humor, intensity, etc
Sex Heat: originality, description, hot
Romance: how the mutually react to each other, romantic, sweet
Equality: in sex scenes but also in the relationship
Credibility: if I can relate to the characters and the story. If the story and characters are believable
Originality: if the story is not another copycat of what I read already
BDSM: level of BDSM. What is labeled and what I find are sometimes very different (*)
Humor: it does not be a comedy but if I smiles or even laughs, that needs to be mentioned – optional if I find some
Editing (poor): I will add this only if I find too many typos that bothered me – optional if it is really bad
Cover: I will add this only if I find some inconsistencies between character’s physical description or if it is plain ugly – optional if it is beautiful or ugly
Overall Review: it is of course my general opinion… this will get a 1-5 poly star. The reason is because people are used to this kind of rating.
I also decided to add some button to rate the BDSM level:
I could not resist the little spanking animation even if D/s will have some spankings, I consider mild because a spanking is associated with disciplinary and pain (leading or not to an orgasm). As you can notice, for me there is no “light” BDSM but D/s. Again, I made a concession because my meaning is more Top/Bottom (see under). But readers are more familiar with D/s so I will go with it.
Here is how I will rate the BDSM level:
- No BDSM: Vanilla sex. Sex toys and a spanking, a butt plug and a “you will not come unless I tell you”, do not justify a BDSM or D/s label. Vanilla includes DP, kinky situations and of course threesome etc.
- Top/Bottom: Heroes have a dominant attitude in the bedroom but are not Doms. Possible play with spanking or binding but not mandatory. The author may call heroes Doms but in a “dominant macho” way. No BDSM reference. Heroine can be bratty and rebellous outside the bedroom.
- D/s relationship: Doms & sub. BDSM references & experienced Doms. Play is generally in the bedroom only or among other pairs. Heroine can be bratty but submit easily.
- Mild: Heroes are Doms but will not play sex scenes in a BDSM club, no exhibitionism, no fetish. D/s relationship. Punishments are generally private. D/s is generally in the bedroom and Doms accept a bratty attitude.
- Heavy: Heroes are Doms 24/7 and extremely dominant inside and outside the bedroom. D/s relationship as sub/pet/slave. Lifestyle contract, safeword, Exhibitionism. Punishment. Fetishism. etc.
- BDSM: Heroes are living the lifestyle with a specific sexual orientation. Attached with D/s relationship logo means that the relationship has a heavy dominance and submission in & outside the bedroom. Experienced Dom and a submissive or slave in the relationship.
NOTE: I do not care if the tags mention BDSM or if the publishers mention BDSM or if the author is totally convinced that her story is BDSM. I will rate the BDSM level from my perspective. You have the details above.
One of my pet peeves is caveman heroes with sex toy heroines… Some readers love them and there is nothing wrong with that. I don’t. I honestly believe that portraying the heroes and heroines that way is somehow insulting to the equality rights between men and women we fought so hard to obtain. I do not see anything sexy in it, just extremely annoying. So I created this logo as a “fair warning”.
However, everyone is familiar with the 1-5 scale rating. I will keep it. It is still a general note and will just give you the way I felt at the end of the story.
So here is my rating scale 🙂