If you haven’t checked out Fascinations.net‘s Books and DVD’s section, what are you waiting for? They have all sorts of books from fetish, to instructional books, to erotica. Books are a bit of an addiction for me, and I’ve made it my goal to collect every kinky how-to book that exists. So, lucky me, having the opportunity to review the popular SM 101, I just had to.
SM 101 is a detailed book, written by the very well respected Jay Wiseman. I own one other of his books, the Erotic Bondage Handbook, and I enjoyed his writing style immensely and thought this would be an enjoyable ride. While I think it is a decent book, if you are not an absolute beginner, this book is just not likely to suit you. If you’ve never done any SM ever, this would be a great place to start. Intermediate through advanced players? Don’t bother.
Here is a basic rundown of the chapters:
Chapter 1: “Basic Basics”
This chapter discusses things such as safewords, silent alarms, how to negotiate a scene, how to come up with a safety signal in the event that your submissive happens to be gagged, etc.
Chapter 2: “Finding Partners”
This chapter, as the name implies, discusses how and where to look for either a dominant or a submissive partner, as well as how to place ads both online and off. It tells you things which should be obvious (for example, why you should never put your full phone number in either an online or offline ad).
Chapter 3: “Bondage 1A”
This chapter discusses some very basic rope techniques. How to store rope, the types of rope, how to wash rope, and how to mark the ends of your rope. It also gives you a couple of ideas for ties which involve the arms, wrists, ankles, legs, genitals, breasts and more.
Chapter 4: “Bondage 1B”
This chapter discusses blindfolds, gags, hoods, handcuffs, types of bondage which do not involve ties (for example, cuffs), suspension, tape, chains, and plastic wrap.
Chapter 5: “Giving and receiving erotic pain”
This chapter discusses many techniques for working with a submissive who you have never played with before. It also discusses how different submissives react to pain, and the importance of “down time” after a session.
Chapter 6: “Flagellation”
This chapter talks about impact play of all varieties. It talks about safety protocols when doing impact play, and how to work with someone who has never experienced it before. It discusses crops, paddles, whips, spanking, canes, how to make your own mini whips, etc.
Chapter 7: “Clamps”
Here you will learn how to use clamps; how to put them on, take them off, safety protocol involving clamps, and more.
Chapter 8: “Lubricants”
This section discusses the many advantages and disadvantages of using different types of lubricants. You’ll also find some information on hand job and fingering techniques.
Chapter 9: “Humiliation”
This chapter is relatively short and will explain the basics of humiliation, and even give you some basic humiliation ideas.
Chapter 10: “Dominant/Submission Interactions
This is a lengthy chapter which will give you some very in depth ideas on the basics of being in both the dominant and submissive roles. It talks about how responsible people in each role behaves, as well as collars, punishment, positions and more.
Chapter 11: “SM Organizations”
This chapter talks about how to find your local community, what to do if there is no local community, how to throw your own “parties” and more.
Chapter 12: “General Safety Considerations”
Here you will find a run down of some basic safety protocols. You will also find information on playing with pregnant submissives, what to do if the dominant should faint, what to do if the submissive faints, a checklist of safety things you should keep with you at all times, safety with impact play, and more.
Chapter 13: “SM and Safer Sex”
How to share toys properly, basics of STDs and STIs, and what to do if a condom fails.
Chapter 14: “A Novice Woman’s Quick Reference Guide To Erotically Dominating A Submissive man.”
This chapter discusses how to penetrate, tie up, tease, deny him orgasms, and more.
Chapter 15: “Constructing An SM Starter Set”
Here the author discusses some things which you may or may not want to have in your toybag to start with. He also talks about some things around your house which you can easily use as pervertables. It also talks about safety items to include as well as buying your first “formal” gear.
Chapter 16: “SM Sayings”
This isn’t really a chapter, but more of a couple bullet points to remember about the book.
As you can see, there is quite a bit in this book for the absolute novice to go through. If you do not own any SM or BDSM related books, this would be a great one to keep on hand for reference. It is clear though, reading through this book, that the author is nervous about whoose hands this book may fall into. I find that he is overly cautious in many areas, and that he is incredibly (and obviously on purpose) repetative. His repetition would be great for a novice. It is wonderful for someone who has little experience to read the same safety protocols over and over again, but I found it to be a bit tedious to read through at times. (As an advanced user, I really don’t feel like I need to be constantly reminded to keep scisors or a first aid book near by, but I really do see the purpose of this for a beginner).
Reading through certain parts of the book also made me feel as though the author was trying to put a lot of weight on certain things which are really not very dangerous. It felt as though he was trying to scare you into being nervous about certain activities. All in all though, this would be an invaluable resource for someone with absolutely no SM experience. Advanced or intermediate users, beware: you probably already know everything or almost everything presented here. 5 paws for beginners. Everyone else will want to stay away.
Thanks so much, Fascinations, for allowing me the chance to try out this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.