from the Submissive Guide Newsletter 7/9/16

When I started exploring BDSM and D/s relationships in 2003 there weren't a lot of resources available. Those that were available were considered bibles of BDSM, essential reading for those who wanted books to read. (Which seems self-serving since they were the only resources, of  course people suggested reading them.) But now, the world of books and ebooks on BDSM and D/s topics is growing.  I love books. They don't disappear like websites and you can refer to them frequently. And that's why I made this list. These are books that I've pulled off the shelf time and again because the information was great, the author spoke to me or I've used it to learn about things I haven't much experience with.

Check out this list and see if there are any books you'd like to add to your own resource library.

1. Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns by Philip Miller and Molly Devon

The classic guide to sadomasochism by two experienced players. This unabashed, entertaining book strips away myth, shame and fear, revealing the truth about an intense form of eroticism too long misunderstood and condemned. It is fully indexed and includes over 225 photos and illustrations, a 250-plus word glossary, appendices with over 650 contacts for SM related clubs, stores, craftspeople and literature. -- from Amazon.com

This was the first book I purchased when I was looking for knowledge that I couldn't find on the internet (still in its infancy). It was a revelation for me to connect with something that I had sensed was different about me, but couldn't put into words. It was the one of the major turning points in my D/s and BDSM life, to have something staring me in the face with the terminology that I longed to know and understand.

While the book is older and in need of an update, it has wonderful illustrations and basic technique that will never go out of style. Just don't rely on the appendices for contact information. Much of that is long defunct. I still think it's a great book to read and reference, especially if you are new to BDSM and want to get the gist of things before exploring on your own.

Check out more of my opinion on the book in my review and then check out the Amazon listing for more reviews and to purchase it for yourself.

2. The Ritual of Dominance & Submission: A Guide to High Protocol Dominance & Submission by David English

Within these pages lay the elusive secrets to defining structure and ritual to alternative dominant/submissive and master/slave lifestyle dynamics within your personal life or your community. You will find a definitive resource for building, practicing and maintaining rituals and protocols within your relationship or group, without having to go join a secret society, or convincing someone to mentor you on their private secrets for success. --from Amazon.com

I have just picked this book back up again to read it through, this time taking notes because I forget some of the gems this book has. I love the author's thoughts on establishing any sort of protocol and the examples of what it could look like make it a special book on my shelf. KnyghtMare and I are always looking for ways to add more protocol and ritual to our dynamic and this book has been a fantastic resource to refer to time and again as we build the relationship that fulfills us and brings us joy.

I realize this book might not suit everyone's tastes, as establishing any sort of protocol can be a kink in itself, it does give you some great insight into why people who do have protocol enjoy it and how to relate to people you might meet that are a protocol couple.  If you are looking to understand the many different relationship styles you won't want to miss this book. It covers an often covert niche of D/s dynamics that I find fascinating!

Curious? Read more of my review of this book on the site and then pick up your copy at Amazon.com!

3. Playing Well with Others: Your Field Guide to Discovering, Exploring and Navigating the Kink, Leather and BDSM Communities by Lee Harrington and Mollena Williams

Whether you're a trembling novice or a jaded expert, there's always something new to be discovered in the endlessly changing, complex and titillating world of kink. While there are plenty of other books out there that explain how to give a spanking or tie a half-hitch, Playing Well With Others is the first book that explains kink *culture* -- the munches, parties, leather bars, conferences, workshops, fetish nights, exploratoriums and all the other gatherings of kinksters that turn BDSM and leather from a bedroom predilection to a lifestyle and a community. -- from Amazon.com

When I first heard this book was being written and a Kickstarter campaign was up for getting it published I chipped in. First, it's written by 2 of my favorite BDSM educators and second its on a topic that I feel needs to be out there and handled well. The authors did an amazing job.

This is a book that I have raved over time and again because it's an excellent guide for people wishing to leave their homes and meet the community.  So much of what we already know about munches and conventions is through first-hand accounts. None of it really lays down common sense guidelines that a newcomer could use. It helps you learn how to interact with the people in the community - something a lot of people could learn.

If you want to explore the local and regional communities, check out my review and then pick up your own copy on Amazon.com.

4. Enough To Make You Blush: Exploring Erotic Humiliation by Princess Kali

Erotic humiliation goes far beyond the “Lick my boots!” stereotype. Princess Kali, a famous former Dominatrix and world-renowned Humiliatrix, throws open the dungeon doors to explore the complex desires that fuel this kind of psychological play for both dominants and submissives. Using both personal experience and extensive interviews she shares advice and detailed ideas for a broad range of embarrassing, humiliating, and degrading ways to enjoy consensual kinky fun. Also covered are important concepts such as communication, negotiation, consent, triggers, aftercare, and so much more.

I know I've talked about this book a lot since it came out and I admit to being a Ms Kali fan-girl, but the content in this book is amazing and very helpful for anyone exploring humiliation play.

Humiliation play is a challenging thing to get into because of the potential for disaster but when you learn how to do it safely it can be a fantastic way to play and for those that aren't interested in pain or impact play you might consider adding a bit of humiliation play into your repertoire.

Wondering about all the ways humiliation can be added to your play? Check out my review and then head over the Amazon.com.

5. BDSM Mastery-Relationships:: a guide for creating mindful relationships for Dominants and submissives by Robert Rubel PhD and Jen Fairfield

This is the second book in the BDSM Mastery series. While the first book oriented readers to play, parties, and scene protocols, this book addresses Dominant/submissive relationships. What, you might ask, are "BDSM Relationships?" These are "adventuresome" relationships. Relationships that are not exactly like vanilla relationships. BDSM relationships differ in two specific ways from your typical vanilla relationship: first, they usually involve a power-imbalanced structure (one person is clearly in charge and the other person is clearly following); second, the kind of sex that adventuresome folks practice is, well, not vanilla. I wrote this book to help you better to understand the power dynamics that get involved with what are called power-imbalanced relationships (usually referred to as Dominant/submissive or D/s relationships).

Learning how to set up and nurture a D/s relationship is the core of this book and I highly suggest everyone who is new-to or changing their relationship to D/s to pick up a copy and refer to it while building your personal dynamic. Clearly the D/s relationship style is the same as vanilla but different, right? Wrong. With this book you'll begin to see how to mold your identities and make the best of your relationship.  I've read through this book twice and keep it on the shelf for reference.

I've yet to write a review of this book, but you can pick up your own copy at Amazon.com.

6. Leading and Supportive Love by Chris M. Lyon

Have you felt 'left out' of the traditional relationship self-help books because you derive great pleasure from following your partner's requests and direction on many things in your life? Or do you respond to the natural inclination to guide, direct and protect your partner? Are your friends and family having difficulty understanding that your relationship works more like a captain and first mate on a boat? If so, this innovative book, Leading and Supportive Love, the Truth about Dominant and Submissive Relationships, can help with new and clearer understanding of yourself, your relationship and acceptance with those that you love and care for. 

The book omits all references to D/s or BDSM so if your partner is a bit freaked out by those terms, try this book. It's also a FANTASTIC book for counselors so understand your relationship without muddying up the conversation with BDSM terms. I've used this book numerous times to talk about how my relationship is different than others and helping my friends understand why I defer to KnyghtMare for decision making and whatnot.

I've got a review on this site and you can grab your own copy at Amazon.com

7. Where I am Led: A Service Exploration Workbook by Christina Parker

This book is for the use of slaves who wish to perfect their life by daily, weekly and monthly written exercises. The assignments are thoughtful and provoking and lead the novice into a higher understanding of the slave culture. This is a revised and expanded second edition of Parker's "The Path of Service".

I am very impressed with this workbook because of the personal growth I felt as I worked through "The Path to Service". I'm a sucker for journal prompts and activities that can better myself and my submission and this book does what it says. It helps you explore service submission. A lot of what I learned here I have been able to pay it forward and write about here on the site for you to learn from. This is definitely a valuable workbook to have in your collection.

Read my review

and then go get your own at Amazon.com

8. 

Living M/s; A Book for Masters, slaves, and Their Relationships by Dan and Dawn Williams

This book is a valuable resource for those interested in real-time Total Power Exchange Relationships. Dan and dawn share the reality behind the lifestyle that so many only fantasize about. This is a book based on the experience of a couple, who has been living together as Master and slave for well over a decade and covers such topics as: challenges of living as a M/s couple; building your own M/s dynamic; changing terminology; the communities of M/s and BDSM and how they dance together (and apart); styles of D/s and M/s; Ms and polyamory; leather; orchestrating situations with multiple slaves, as well as many other topics.

When I first read this book, I was just embracing my new label as slave and felt inadequate at times. As I slipped through the pages, I learned so much of what I thought was "right" was actually a simple misunderstanding of my own definitions. Yes, we were leading an M/s life long before I called myself slave and this book reaffirmed what I thought of M/s relationships. If you've wanted a glimpse into the world of 24/7 TPE then this is your best first book to pick up.

Submissive Guide hosted a book club event on this book and I've reviewed it too. Pick up your own copy at Amazon.com.

9. The New Bottoming Book by Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton

Almost a decade ago, the first Bottoming Book taught tens of thousands of people that bottoming - being a submissive, masochist, slave, 'boy' or 'girl, ' or other BDSM recipient -- is as much an art as topping. Since then, the growing popularity of BDSM, and the blossoming of the Internet as a source of information and connection, have created a whole new universe of possibilities for players. Now, the completely updated revised New Bottoming Book gives even more insights and ideas, updated for a new millennium, about how to be a successful, popular bottom!

When a book gets updated, you never know if it's going to be as great as the first edition, but Janet Hardy and Dossie Easton deliver! This book focuses more on the play aspects of a relationship, about casual play at parties and the bottom's role in many other situations.  If the whole 24/7 outside the bedroom submission isn't for you, then this book is the one you want. It's prefect for bedroom players and BDSM aficionados of all kinds. It makes this list because it's one of those books that works no matter where you find yourself in your discovery.

Read my review here

, and grab yourself one at Amazon.com.

 

Ultimately, I hope you use this as a guide to finding your next learning experience.  Do you have a book or two that you've read numerous times and highly recommend?