[Update: In light of news of Makai’s illegal activities, I no longer support his work. I am leaving the review up with this added disclaimer so anyone looking for information on this book will be have access to the information that he violated state and federal law. This is an excellent post with a recap of the charges/legal proceedings, as well as an essay that said everything I want to and more about trusting people in the community—even leaders. There are much better books out there by people who aren’t execrable human beings.]
Michael Makai is a Dominant with some decades of experience in the lifestyle. This is evident both in the breadth and depth of his knowledge and in his ego.
Domination and Submission: The BDSM Relationship Handbook has a great deal of information on pretty much anything you’d like to know about, at least on the surface. At five hundred pages it’s not slight, but no book could go into specifics on every aspect of the lifestyle without running to thousands of pages. This is a good place to start and the reader could then look for more information on, say, abrasion play, if what they found here piqued their interest.
The biggest problem was the italics. They were everywhere. I wish I were exaggerating when I say every other sentence had at least one word italicized.
Generally, this would have been a deal-breaker for me, but I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to find a book with the same amount of information in so I stuck with it and decided to find it amusing. And, after awhile, it did become rather funny. Some people do speak like that, but I’ve never seen anyone write that way.
That’s beside the point, though. (Sorry. It’s really fun to write like that.)
There are chapters on Dominants, submissives, switches and primals (how to tell if you are one, what the different types are), relationships (finding one, the different types: M/s, D/s, etc), Collars, Gor, Online BDSM, Toys and Safety, BDSM and religion, Polyamory, BDSM Groups and Activities. Really, ego or not, he does cover some topics. And Makai is almost as funny as he thinks he is sometimes.
I’ve been rather arch in this review, but I do recommend this one if you’re able to inoculate yourself against italics and Dom ego. 4/5
Don’t read this book. Read something else.