By Alexa Day
During our celebration of kink a little while ago, I saw one of my favorite books mentioned: SM 101. Jay Wiseman’s book has been out there making the ways of kink clear and accessible for vanilla readers for a very long time. I don’t often get the chance to recommend it since I’m generally either writing for kink-aware people who already know about it or for people who are intensely kink-averse and don’t want to hear any more about it. But for folks who are curious about BDSM and its practical ins and outs, I don’t think there’s a better, more sensible book around.
My week off got me thinking, though. What other nonfiction books would I suggest for the kink-curious reader? I checked out the secret shelves of my library to see what I could come up with. Here are a couple of my favorites.
The New Bottoming Book by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy is a very different book from SM 101, but its approach includes elements of spirituality and just a bit more sensual detail. The book focuses on readers curious about submission, and it’s loaded with lots of anecdotes to help answer questions about what various forms of submission might feel like. It’s a short read and not one to be missed.
Finally, I suggest Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns by Philip Miller and Molly Devon. In many ways, it’s what would happen if SM 101 and The New Bottoming Book had a baby. It’s a fun, in-depth examination of BDSM for curious readers who really might not know anything at all about it. Miller and Devon keep the subject matter light and easy to digest, and this book has a bit more detail for those interested in dominance. In addition to Miller and Devon’s easy conversation with each other, which smoothly expands to include us readers, Screw the Roses offers lots and lots of illustrations. When you’re done, you’ll be able to look at a consensually obtained bruise and know what implement brought it into being.
Even if you never turn this nonfiction knowledge into practical experience, checking out a real-life BDSM read can add a new dimension to your favorite fictional fantasies. That’s worth looking into, right?
I always love to hear about what other folks are reading, so if you’ve got other suggestions and recommendations, I can’t wait to hear about them in the comments. And if you’re not following Lady Smut, this is the perfect time to start. The reading list is sexy as hell, and not a pop quiz in sight.