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Apr 11 2017

BDSM by Ayzad (Extended Review)

The Italian cover of the book. (source)

This is the text version of the review from episode 48. With a bonus section at the end that wasn’t in the show.

First, the part from the episode:

The book this episode is BDSM: A Guide for Explorers of Extreme Eroticism by Ayzad.

I received this book for free, but that isn’t going to affect my review because this book was a mixed bag if ever there was one.

If you’re a regular listener you know how much I love judgmental people. If you’re new: I’m allergic to judgmental people. I’m baffled by how anyone who wants to have their kinks accepted can be judgmental towards other kinksters.

Oh, the judgment.

The author has twenty-five years of experience in the scene and is around fifty, I believe, which means he’s seen a great number of kinks, but that didn’t stop him from calling people into certain types of activities ‘freaks’, being derogatory about men into cross-dressing and saying that people into scarification were mentally ill.

I started out making a list of all the people on the List of Judgment, but eventually I gave up. [This appears in the bonus section at the end now.]

And it was entirely unintuitive what would be okay. For example, coprophilia—or shit eating—was just fine. He gave tips on how to do it as safely as possible.

I don’t care if you want to eat shit. I also don’t think people into cutting or scarification need psychotherapy. And cisgender guys who want to be pretty princesses can be a pretty princess. Heraclitus on a cloud, leave people alone.

So there’s the chapter on effluvia—people who are the receptacle for everything that is produced by their D-type. Nail-clippings, phlegm, everything else.

Then he says something like, ‘And if you think that’s extreme, wait until I tell you about this next group of people.’

I think, Great Sophocles, what can be next? Cannibals?

It was 24/7 D/s.

Now, maybe because 24/7 makes sense to me or maybe I need therapy, but consuming everything that comes off or out of another person seems a little more extreme than 24/7 power exchange.

In the 24/7 section he offers some sage advice for how to handle kids while in a power exchange:

I’d love to be able to offer a good solution on how to bring the needs of children and those of a Master/slave couple together, but the truth is that none exists.

Yes, all of you power exchange couples who’ve successfully raised children—your experiences are invalid.

Your experiences are probably invalid, anyway. The author describes what he calls:

the typical profile of a couple committed to a full-time domination regime: no kids, above-average education, well-off, 35 or older, where the Dom is generally slightly older and often a self-employed professional.

There were other moments where I laughed out loud, too like this one:

Far be it from me to promote any form of less than totally disinterested BDSM.

Now would be a good time to point out that the author is from Italy and I have no idea what kink is like there. When I met up with Eros [a listener] for books and tea, I was telling him about this book and he pointed out that I had one person to speak for an entire country (in terms of their kink scene), which is a good point.

I’m starting near the end of the book, though, which builds from the gentler arts to the more extreme, complicated side of things. The author recommends reading it from start to finish rather than choosing sections at random. As a way of easing the reader into the activities on offer.

This book is 600 pages long—it has a massive amount of information. There are also a couple hundred photos—many pertain to the subject being discussed, some that don’t.

Now I shall talk about some of the positives for a bit, then go back to some other things that don’t recommend it. I’m not saying don’t buy it, by the way—it could be quite useful for some people. I’m trying to provide enough information for you to figure out if it will be of use to you.

One of the positives is the practical information. There’s info on how to do a lot of things to a lot of body parts with a variety of implements both store bought, pervertible and handmade. In the shibari section he doesn’t provide a map of nerves, but does cover how to be careful of nerve damage and in general is safety-conscious.

It’s basically a torturer’s handbook. In a good way. This is where his twenty-five years of experience is obvious.

There’s also ideas for role-plays and other non-physical funtimes.

Now for the section of things that made me crazy but may or may not bother you.

This was originally written in Italian and the English translation leaves a little to be desired. There are words…that aren’t words. They sound like English, but aren’t. Like ‘sensoriality’ rather than sensually or ‘inexistent’ rather than ‘nonexistent’. And others. And there were a few paragraphs here and there that hadn’t been translated at all. I don’t know if that was just the digital version I had or if it’s that way in the physical version, as well.

[It turns out ‘sensoriality’ is a word, though my computer doesn’t recognise it as such. It’s so uncommon that the general reader wouldn’t recognise it, either.]

I have never in my life wanted to edit a book so badly. The intended audience wasn’t obvious. On the one hand, there was precise, quite excellent instructions on how to safely do things like infusions, needle play, rope work, genital torture, the list goes on, but much of it was also written like it was introducing a third party—vanilla people—to kinkdom and reassuring them we weren’t a bunch of serial killers. Perhaps that’s where all his judgment came from.

The way the author went about reassuring the gentle reader kinksters weren’t out to eat their faces was by using the phrases, ‘In fact’ and ‘As a matter of fact’ A LOT. Which winds up sounding condescending.

‘BDSM may seem dark and scary when, in fact, it’s people who negotiate clear boundaries. As a matter of fact, no one ever does anything they don’t want to do. In fact, anyone who did something bad to someone by accident would kill themselves out of guilt.’

Not really that bad, but it’s not far off. I wanted to control f and delete all of those, which would make those sentences stronger.

This is a quote:

‘The truth is, nothing especially worrying normally happens during BDSM sessions and there are hardly ever any problems.’

Which is the polar opposite of what I’ve heard from … everyone else who say, ‘Something is going to go wrong at some point. You just have to be as prepared as possible. Everyone makes mistakes.’

I had to wonder if some of his attitudes—some of which were rather sexist—were down to his coming from a conservative country. Something he referenced himself on more than one occasion.

One of my favourite assertions was that North American men don’t enjoy going down on women. Maybe he meant Mexico or Canada—I don’t know how men in those countries feel about it, but guys from the U.S. tend to be down with going downtown, if you know what I mean.

He eschewed doctors’ advice on not caning female breast tissue, as it can cause health problems later on because he’d never seen that happen.

The likelihood of breast cancer increases with age, so unless you’re hanging around until those women are in their 50s, 60s, 70s, then you wouldn’t see it happen. ‘Boobs are fun to play with though!’ Ignoring the people who study something for a living is never recommended.

There were some other, ‘Ah, people worry about sickness and death too much,’ statements that made me wonder if I’m just a safety-conscious American or if he’s a lackadaisical European. For example, the author thought the extent Americans go to to be safe when meeting people in the scene was laughable. Well, we’re women and we don’t want to die. Silly women.

One other thing—it’s all about sex. There’s no place in this book where BDSM isn’t about sex. Kink doesn’t have to be about sex. His recommendations for most play also revolved around humiliation and degradation, as well. There wasn’t mention of how to use various types of torture for fun or laughing or gentle play. You’d have to figure out how to use these methods in those ways yourself—not that that’s impossible, you just have to use your imagination.

I will say this—his website is quite good. It’s ayzad.com

So. Should you buy this book? If you don’t have a firm sense of self—no. Dude may not approve of your kink. Or he might! There’s truly no way to know.

He does have some interesting insights. I’d be grinding my back teeth into a fine powder over something or other and then he’d come out with some new idea or piece of information from kinky history that was educational—I do like my historical trivia. And, as I said before, there’s a wealth of practical information on just about everything one person can do to another. It would be a useful reference book on practices.

One thing he talked about was how, in non-English-speaking countries, safe, sane and consensual is translated as safe, healthy and consensual. Which is curious. Why? Do they think no sane person would do kink?

He dismisses RACK—Risk Aware Consensual Kink—as he thinks it’s dangerous. Kink is risky, though. You have to be aware of the risks. Not being aware of them is asking for trouble.

Oh yes. He also says you shouldn’t pay for your porn. For two reasons. One, it’s probably out there for free somewhere. Two, not paying for ethically-made, professional porn will incentivise amateurs to make porn for the fun of it.

That’s not how it works. You give your money to the ethical people so they can make more of the porn you like. Give them lots of money.

I give this one a 3/5 and leave you with this nugget of wisdom that I know absolutely sums up my submission in no way whatsoever:

The truth is that subs are driven by the urge to experience the sensations they so dearly love, and—at least in the early stages of the relationship—they are merely looking for someone capable of giving them what they want. In many cases their actions are guided by simple masochistic narcissism, that is the search for pain and trials to overcome, thus proving their worth to themselves or atoning for their perceived guilt.

BONUS!

This bonus section is brought to you by the email I received from the author, who wrote to me a few hours after the podcast went live.

He felt I had been unfair to him in the episode, going so far as to intimate I had skimmed the book and was intentionally choosing quotes to hurt a struggling, self-funded project. He also pointed to the legions of people around the world who’d loved his book and wondered why I was different.

Nearly every person involved in kink (what the Eroticon people would call ‘erotic creatives’) are struggling and self-funded; including myself. I would never intentionally hurt someone because I’m not a terrible person and also don’t want to destroy my career.

Book reviewers (reviewers of any kind) consume media differently than the average person. It’s why a book or film can be a critical hit and flop with audiences or vice versa. Individuals like media based on whether or not it resonates with them personally. Reviewers take a broader view. We have to look at a work from many angles.

If I had been reading the book for myself alone, the review would have been quite different.

Another note from the author included emotional manipulation and a wall of text listing all of his experience and accomplishments. 1. Not cool. In the years I’ve been reviewing various media this is a first. So points for that. 2. I know. I said in the review more than once the author’s copious experience was obvious. However, all of the experience in the world doesn’t preclude badly needing an editor, nor does it keep a person from developing biases.

Now that I’m no longer constrained to a time (or word) limit, let’s do quotes. I will provide evidence for my assertions from the episode and include some extra points I didn’t have the time to get to.

The Judgement Zone

The author felt I had unfairly categorised him as judgmental.

I refer you back to the phrase about promoting totally disinterested BDSM.

Also, I did stop highlighting sections at one point so this list won’t be complete. Here we go.

I should have known we’d be in trouble when the foreword was by someone who often writes about sex addiction, which isn’t a real thing.

In a section called ‘The wrong kind of BDSM’ there’s a bit about the incorrect ways to get into kink and includes:

Other non-recommended paths to the world of extreme eroticism are those linked with challenging oneself or the world, which are more common than you’d believe…Finally we have the completely clueless characters: stray clubbers, swinging couples, goths, self-styled occultists and kooks aplenty.

There are very, very specific ways to get into kink. Do it right.

Then there’s this:

BDSM has nothing to do with cults, angels, demons, past and present deities, magic, wizardry, exorcisms, demonic possessions, evocations or any paranormal event. Whoever tells you otherwise, including references to an imaginary ‘sex magick’, is trying to take advantage of you or is deluded in good faith.

It’s funny that’s brought up, because I’m looking forward to reviewing Lee Harrington’s Sacred Kink: The Eightfold Paths of BDSM and Beyond later this year.

It’s also funny about saying it’s nothing to do with anything woo-woo when two kindle pages before it says:

As we are going to see in the following chapters [BDSM] is also closely related with more noble and respected activities as meditation, autogenic training, asceticism and the spiritually elevated forms of religion.

But not past or present deities. Okay.

He gives some information about Gor, then says:

If you’re interested, on the internet you can find way too much information.

A disinterested version of that sentence would be: ‘There isn’t space enough to cover the complexities of the Gorean lifestyle, but here is a link for more information.’

He talks about humiliation at one point and says:

Let me take a moment to clarify the term. Humiliating only means creating situations that through actions or words prove to both partners who is in charge and who must obey. Insults, violence or degradation have nothing to do with it and are not part of healthy eroticism.

Lots of people are into insults and degradation with their humiliation. It’s a whole kink.

A bit later under the same section:

It is also wise to refrain from obvious absurdities like calling a thin woman a ‘fat slag’ or a well-endowed man ‘dickless’.

Again, that’s actually something some people are into. It needs to be negotiated, but…that’s a thing.

I referenced this earlier but the actual quote is excellent:

One should also take into account any cultural differences, which may be the result of different regional or family customs. This is particularly true when dealing with foreigners: North American men from certain regions find the idea of licking a vagina repulsive.

Cultural differences are important. More important is knowing what the actual differences are. You can also simply negotiate beforehand with each individual person about their sexual preferences and not assume what anyone is into based on the country they’re from.

Still in the section on humiliation, we’re on to sissification, where the author says:

It goes without saying however that the majority of men look terribly awkward and grotesque in women’s clothes…

Shame is a funny thing, because if I were a man who was into cross-dressing because it felt natural and made me feel pretty, but I thought I wasn’t supposed to be and I read that line, it wouldn’t matter to me that it was in a section about the ways Mistresses humiliate men who want to be humiliated; I would remember it forever. This line could be cut quite easily—it’s clearly an opinion (if it goes without saying then it doesn’t need to be said) without harming the rest of the section.

Then there’s a bit about people being forced to be animals and how humiliating that is, but… some people are puppies…I’ve met them. They’re great. They’re happy as hell—no one’s humiliating them. Maybe they don’t have happy puppies in Europe.

Then we’re on to shaming the people into Mindfucks.

The main problem is that kink is based on mutual trust, whereas mindfucking depends on destroying it… My advice is therefore to just give up on these sorts of pastimes, but if you really want to try them, here are a few classic scenarios.

Big of him to be okay with grown ups making their own decisions. The scenarios include rape play (fun fact, rape fantasies are incredibly common amongst women!), the serial killer, and takedown scenes. Give up on consensually living out that hot rape fantasy, ladies, gentlemen or other fancy people.

When we get to breath play he describes myriad ways people perform breath play then ends the sentence with:

…which, in my opinion, are disturbing evidence of repressed violence.

The phrase ‘in my opinion’ doesn’t belong in anything claiming to be disinterested. The neutral way of putting it would be to list the ways it’s performed, as well as a list of what can go wrong (there is more information in the chapter here and the line about people into it having repressed violent tendencies is superfluous.)

(Gloria Brame’s Different Loving is an excellent example of a book written for a general audience that takes a disinterested tone about a wide array of kinks. Podcast review here, written review here.)

He calls a few people ‘fanatics’ but that word can mean people who are very enthusiastic about something or unhealthily enthusiastic about a thing. This post is becoming long enough so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Some people are fond of the idea of consensual nonconsent—also known by the German name of ‘tunnelspiel’—which consists in authorising the Dom to continue playing without restraint, beyond any set limit and in spite of any resistance physical or otherwise—disregarding even safewords. Although this may sound like an intriguing fantasy (perhaps, and I’m not so sure about that), indulging in such behavior is a criminal and irresponsible idiocy.

I’m not rewriting this entire book. But this isn’t disinterested. Describe what a thing is and why people are into it. Say it’s edgy and requires negotiation. No opinion required.

Some diabolical ladies even force their slaveboys into preemptive masturbation for guaranteed ultimate vulnerability—I don’t approve, but to each their own.

YOU DON’T APPROVE OF SOMETHING?! GET THE FUCK OUT.

Up next in JudgementTown, medical play.

This is the clinical games genre, also called ‘white art’ in German-speaking countries. These terms refer to situations inspired by the medical sector, just like the classic doctor and patient role play. … These practices aren’t terribly common—for every fan there are at least another ten who consider them to be in bad taste—but a niche of enthusiasts see them as the ultimate in extreme eroticism.

I wasn’t aware it was all that rare, being that most dungeons have medical play rooms. But it was good of him to let everyone know most people think it’s in bad taste. So if a newbie into it is reading this book they’ll be aware. (You’re not alone, newbie—it’s not at all rare.)

On Cutting and Scarification:

I must stress that this practice is not normally considered part of BDSM and is generally even rarer than fire branding: I am only mentioning it for the sake of thoroughness and to avoid misunderstandings. Outside of the artistic context of body decoration, attacking the skin with blades or scratches, feeling the urge to disfigure it or to draw blood must be seen as indicators of a potentially dangerous mental illness, which has no place in the world of eroticism.

Must it? It must, apparently. I know some mentally ill people. They seem so nice and productive, too.

It was somewhere around in here I stopped highlighting The Judgements, but I happened to remember one and went to find the quote. It was about FinDoms. It only caught my eye because I recently met one, who was a lovely person and explained what it was like. She was basically on call all the time so she hadn’t done it in awhile because it was exhausting.

FinDom is short for financial domination. The author explains what this is over a long paragraph, his disdain apparent, then ends with this:

I will refrain from making unpublishable comments.

But that lets us know what he thinks anyway. So much for disinterested. Maybe the word he was looking for was a different word.

People into cybersex and webcams:

Apparently it is the sport of choice for unhappy spouses, immature people of all ages and —in perhaps the only remotely understandable case—couples who are temporarily separated by long distances. The perversion lies in how the people who love this type of activity often refuse to meet their online partners in person, which frankly sounds a bit unhealthy to me.

I bet people reading this can say how to re-write this to make it unbiased. Go on, try it yourself at home.

Amongst all of this, he gave advice on how to practice some highly extreme and complex kinks. As I mentioned before–he was cool with people consuming other people faeces. The man isn’t a prude. But it doesn’t matter if you accept 98% of the group if you make the other 2% feel like crap about who they are. That actually alienates that 2% even further.

‘Oh, you’re okay with people who [insert extreme fetish here], but my interest means I need professional help.’

That was one of the more confusing aspects–the reader would truly never know what he would be okay with.

It was the kink version of ‘I’m not racist because I have a black friend.’

‘I’m not biased against extreme kinks, see? I’m totally cool with people doing this one! And that one. And those over there. But you know, those bad kinks… they’re the problem… Those are the ones you have to look out for.’

How To Do Kink Right:

…it is also true that unless you explore your presumed limits and attempt to overcome them, albeit slightly, you will never experience that magnificent ecstasy which for the sub is achieved through total loss of control, and for the Dom by savouring this condition in his partner.

Never. Be sure to do it right.

Another important note for all you D-types out there:

In this regard the dominant is also responsible for ensuring that his affection for the person in his hands doesn’t lead to treating them too tenderly.

No comment.

Other quotes of note.

Taking control of a sub’s most intimate physical dimension—especially in the case of anal penetration—is tantamount to possessing their mind, in a lesson on domination you both will never forget. While during the first few minutes even the slightest attempt to resist causes discomfort or pain that leads to unconditional and voluntary submission, soon thereafter instinctual reactions kick in and make the sub lose control of their body, which becomes a puppet in the hands of the dominant.

Is…is there some sort of internal ‘sub’ switch in the anus I didn’t see in my anatomy 101 book? Or is this kink jargon? You can possess someone’s mind through their butt now. No wonder straight dudes are so jumpy about the backdoor.

According to some frescos dating back to ancient Greece, ladies have been using objects tied to their pelvis to penetrate their play partners as if they were men for a few thousand years.

‘As if they were men.’ Or, as if their play partners enjoys being penetrated and they enjoyed penetrating someone. Lowkey homophobia and sexism for the win. Men don’t tie things to their pelvis in order to penetrate people. That’d be like saying, ‘That guy went down on that woman until she came—just like a lesbian!’ People who have sex with people who have vaginas do that.

In the ‘where to meet people’ section he talks about ‘Fake Parties’, which are fetish parties held at clubs that aren’t dedicated BDSM dungeons. The derision in this section is palpable. Everyone doesn’t have access to a nearby dungeon or munch. Sometimes being able to be around other kinksters during a fetish event for one night is the best they’re going to get. Don’t make people feel bad they don’t live in a metropolis.

‘Fake parties’… It’s like kinky Mean Girls…

Among the many alternative styles of bondage, Japanese kinbaku—also improperly known as shibari…

Well, excuse me and everyone else.

While we’re on incorrect language, though, I mentioned inexistent and sensoriality. Others misused in the book were ‘contraindication’, which is a medical term and was being used to mean something like ‘there is no reason not to’. Also ‘deresponsibilization’, which isn’t a word at all, but was supposed to mean something like being in subspace or being removed from all sense of responsibility.

Then there was a particular use of the word ‘organism’ you see with people who speak English as a second language. It’s used to mean the person’s entire body. English speakers never say, ‘I need to rest my organism,’ but there are a few instances of sentences like:

Having multiple partners, a weak organism or bad hygiene increases the risk of contracting the disease…

Which sounds—to a native English speaker—like you have a little, single-cell amoeba in a dish who isn’t feeling so well. Which is kind of adorable.

I only bring this up because when I mentioned English issues to our good author he didn’t get how his two English readers could have missed the problems.

Maybe they skimmed it.

Sex Sex Sex

The author didn’t like that I said his version of BDSM was all about sex—he felt he represented non-sexual BDSM well, I suppose.

To that I have some quotes:

For our purposes however there is only one aspect to keep in mind: sexual arousal. In simple terms, the more aroused you are, the easier it is to bear the suffering.

And:

Relationships founded purely on domination without sexual contact, do exist and may well be very thrilling, but they cannot completely replace a normal adult relationship and its carnal components without transforming into a pathology.

There are many, many people who have non-sexual M/s or D/s relationships. Some people are asexual, some people can’t have sex, some people choose not to introduce sex in order not to cloud the purity of the power exchange. Some people have sex with their vanilla partner and a power exchange with someone else.

The phrase ‘normal adult relationship’ is remarkably condescending, as though relationships are only valid if sex is involved. I do enjoy ‘may well be very thrilling’, though. You can hear the chuckle. ‘I’m sure that’s fun for you amateurs, but us grown ups who are doing the real kink are having sex.’

Another questionable assertion about sex:

So at the bottom of all this is sex, done right: committing to BDSM before having explored the range of possibilities offered by vanilla eroticism would be a pity to say the least.

Sex is the point. This is a myth of BDSM. It doesn’t have to be about sex at all. The idea that a person has to get their bachelor’s in vanilla sex before going on to get a master’s or PhD in kink leaves people out who’ve never been interested in vanilla sex. Or are asexual. That’s like saying ‘Going on to gay sex without trying straight sex first is a pity.’

How is it a pity? What’s pitiful about not having something you don’t want?

More sex:

[Sex is] the greatest pleasure life allows us.

Wow. I’m missing out. For every single person on Earth it’s the greatest pleasure? What does that mean for people who can’t have sex?

Sex again:

Regardless or not a persona is used, this is the essence of BDSM: one directs the action, the other follows in the oldest game in the world: that of arousal and pleasure.

It doesn’t have to be about that. It can be about control, trust, creativity. The author is big on people exploring every type of physical sensation but seems to forget the range of emotions involved.

Incorrect Information Ahoy!

He asserts that all STDs can be treated or at least kept at bay. This is not true when it comes to HPV—people with cervixes can find out by pap smear if they have the cancer-causing type after they’ve developed abnormal cell growth, but they will have had it for quite some time (years, even) before then and can have been passing it around. There is no test for people with penises. People with penises can pass it around, though, and get all sorts of delightful cancers from it.

The only way to prevent getting it in the first place is to have children vaccinated and using latex or other barriers.

Fun fact: HPV is the most prevalent STI in the U.S. A quick search says 50% of people in Europe with get HPV in some form in their lives. But go ahead—bathe in other people’s bodily fluids. Your body will probably kick the disease easily, and if not, cervical, anal, penile, vaginal and mouth and throat cancer are no biggie.

Under lubricants, he recommends KY Jelly. This is a bad idea, as it can cause infertility and yeast infections.

I covered the whole ‘I haven’t seen anyone get breast cancer so it’s fine’ thing already.

Who This Book Was For and Why That’s a Problem

While I’m giving you quotes… The author answered my question about who the intended audience was—it was for a general audience. Average Vanilla-Person.

This is hugely problematic.

If it were for kinky people, then some people reading the book would know this guy didn’t speak for everyone, but since this was for people who know nothing about kink they’ll take his word as gospel. If this person is calling certain people freaks and saying other people are mentally ill and taking the tone of ‘wait until you see what’s behind this curtain’ then it’s okay for them to, as well.

Perhaps all those great reviews were from people who had their fears confirmed.

Early on, the author says this book isn’t his way of saying his way is the only way of doing things, but he doesn’t offer other philosophies when it counts. For example, when he’s discussing how D/s works, it starts with the quote from above:

The truth is that subs are driven by the urge to experience the sensations they so dearly love, and—at least in the early stages of the relationship—they are merely looking for someone capable of giving them what they want. In many cases their actions are guided by simple masochistic narcissism, that is the search for pain and trials to overcome, thus proving their worth to themselves or atoning for their perceived guilt.

Not all bottoms are masochists. People in the scene are supposed to know themselves and what they want and negotiate… I’m getting ahead of my rant.

Here’s the next part:

[The Dom’s] starting point must be the ridiculous concession of ‘do everything I want to me’ to gradually suggest new situations, introduce unexpected delights, inch their way closer to their own desires. If they manage to do this, the subs themselves will want to renegotiate the original terms in order to enjoy new pleasures. The game consists in softening limitations, doing away with embarrassment and entertaining the will to experiment—turning egotism into openness, and provocation into possession. This way, step by step, what was initially a mere illusion of submission is transformed into something real and tangible.

Subs are narcissistic masochists who want to experience pain and need an all-knowing Dom to manipulate them into being good submissives. Do I have that right?

The next section is called ‘The Contract’ and includes this:

For this, all you need to know is how to seduce your partner until they stop resisting, which may take some time but shouldn’t really be a problem for any sensualist worthy of their name.

Oh, I do have it right. Manipulate your sub.

(There’s no other description of how two people might approach this sort of relationship—nothing about two people actually being self-aware adults who intentionally build a power exchange together.)

When talking about negotiation he says this:

…agreement is as annoying as it is essential.

Which may explain the manipulation part. If you find negotiation annoying (rather than an interesting way to learn about your partner) you agree to whatever and then manipulate—I mean seduce—them around to what you actually want.

Not only is this enormously problematic in terms of non-kinky people thinking this is how all kinky people work, but if someone is new to the scene or considering joining and this is their first information from an authority there are some questionable assertions here.

If I read this before anything else and seriously thought the first Domme I was with was going to try to ‘seduce’ me to her way of thinking or out of what I wanted to do or that sex was the entire point… I wouldn’t trust one single D-type I met, for one, and for two I’d think I’d never be able to do kink ‘right’ as a nonsexual person.

Which, if there’s one thing I absolutely know, it’s that there is no one right way. There’s no one way that is going to be perfect and correct for every single person. People come to kink by all sorts of paths in order to achieve all sorts of ends. The point of kink is to grow and learn about yourself and as long as everyone is aware and consenting then other people need to shut up.

No one else can know how profound your own experiences are. Never let anyone tell you your experiences or your kinks are invalid.

[This was only about 1/3 of the quotes and notes I had. I don’t skim. I take a selection of what works and what doesn’t and compress for time on the show. I am 100% done with this book now, as I’ve spent far more time on it than I ever intended to and have much more important things to be getting on with.]

2 comments

  1. Joanna Tripp

    I can’t thank you enough for giving a real, honest, and informative review. It allows those of us that read your reviews to place our trust in them.

    1. thepageist

      I dislike being overly negative, but I dislike more being bullied by an author. Not going to lie, I’m a little nervous over his reaction.

      But lying about the merits of a book accomplishes nothing, for the reasons you gave. My listeners wouldn’t be able to trust me.

      Most of the books I review I do genuinely love as much as I say (which should be obvious now), but all books should find their audiences.

      The last few days have been stressful over this situation so thank you, from the bottom of my rather anxious heart, for saying something.

      <3

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