A femdom book was probably far more scandalous 120 years ago than it would be today.
Very few women are in the professions in 1893. The first female barrister to practice in England is almost 30 years away. Equality with men in voting is 35 years distant.
Yet here is a long pornographic novel (327 pages in print) where women feminize and otherwise completely control a young gentleman of means.
Generally men seem to enjoy porn more than women do. But Victorian ladies could have read this book with glee!
Another striking thing about "Gynecocracy" is the multiplicity of subjects it covers.
Usually a Victorian erotic book has a couple of themes: spanking (they all have that) and something else, perhaps female bisexuality. This novel has nineteen sexual motifs.
The very list could be a turn on. In alphabetical order, they are: age play, ballbusting, bdsm, bisexuality, butt plug, cbt/cock torture, cock ring, cocksucking, crossdressing, dildo, enema, facesitting, female domination, golden shower, incest, rimming, spanking, strap-on, woman on top.
A third way "Gynecocracy" is different from other erotica of the era is the build up of drama. This book at least twice builds that pit of the stomach fear about what’s going to happen. That’s unusual for the genre at that time.
The book has received mention in at least two academic works on crossdressing—Bullough 1993 and Ekins 1996. German physician and sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935) cites it for the psychological insights.
But despite the academic applause, this is hot, stirring porn.
The Victorian period is coming to an end as it is published—it’s 89% through. The Queen will survive another 7 years.
This modern edition contains 115 annotations to translate the French you may have forgotten and other obscurities, plus 15 modern illustrations.