"I set out to live erotica," Lauren Wissot says, "not write it." But on August 1, Wissot officially becomes an author, when Nexus Enthusiast, Virgin Books' fetish subimprint, rolls out her maiden title, Under My Master's Wings.

Wissot's personal story, recreated in the book, begins in 1999, with David, a generously endowed French-Canadian stripper who performed at a now-defunct Times Square gay club. Wissot, 36, had moved to New York City from Canyon City, Colo., in 1988 to study acting at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. By the time she graduated in 1992, she had become a goth club fixture. In 1995 she "fell in love with S&M" and soon found work as a receptionist at a dungeon.

A typical weekend at the time included David doing his show and booking private sessions with clients, after which he and Wissot would meet at a hotel or a friend's apartment, where she dutifully submitted to him.

There are variations on this theme in the book—one night involves two threesomes—and there are brief shopping interludes, but plot and character development take a deep back seat to what Wissot calls "sex journalism." The relentless pacing is also due to the way the book evolved: after each weekend, Wissot e-mailed her friends "pornomails" recounting her latest adventures. She began to think there might be a book in these e-mails that could "encourage [people] to accept themselves." She collected and stitched them together into five volumes—each tackling a year of her relationship with David. After a few no-go rounds with small American publishers, she came across U.K.-based Nexus by perusing bookstores and Googling, and she was impressed by Nexus's marketing to men.

"Though I'd love for women to read my work," Wissot says, "I don't think it will speak to them in the same way it does to men."

U.K.-based Nexus editor Adam Nevill picked up the manuscript after it had "languished in the slush pile for nearly a year" and was taken with the "vivid, uncompromising details" of Wissot's experience. Its appeal, he imagines, will largely be to men, whom his gut tells him are "the largest consumers of the female erotic memoir."

"Female submission has been done to death since the Story of O, but I liked Lauren's story because it contained an authentic experience," Nevill says. "It didn't hold back or attempt to philosophize about sex, either. And, for once, this wasn't another fictional account written by a man about his compliant slave girl."

Wissot did do minor edits—and clarified cultural references for U.K. readers—but the memoir remains viscerally descriptive, grittier than the cover art suggests.

The book will be stocked in Borders's erotica section, and Barnes & Noble has committed to selling it online. (It's also available at Amazon.com and other online booksellers.)

Nevill and Wissot both refer to Under My Master's Wings as a memoir (the first memoir published by Nexus Enthusiast), but the first page carries a disclaimer: "This book is a work of fiction. In real life, make sure you practice safe, sane and consensual sex."

"If it was listed as biography, it might have ended up in the back of beyond inside a shop," Nevill explains. "An adult title would die there."

Another four installments of Wissot's Wings series are in the can, though their publishing future is uncertain. Nevill says he'd like to read them, but Enthusiast features different subjects for each book. "We've covered legs and feet, bottoms, busts, transvestism, male submission, rubber and wife swapping thus far," he says. "There are six Enthusiast books coming out a year, so I could only stretch one slot for female submission."

Wissot, meanwhile, is working part time as a dominatrix at the dungeon Pandora's Box, where she says she's earned more money in one weekend than she did on her advance. She's also writing a dominatrix coming-of-age comedy screenplay called Obeying Lola, but she doubts she'll turn to writing erotic fiction.

"I don't know how they do it," she says of erotic fiction writers. "Do they just sit there and make up this stuff? I just write from real life."