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Ultimate Guide to Kink, The [Paperback]

Tristan Taormino
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

19 April 2012
The Ultimate Guide to Kink is the definitive guide A-Z of BDSM. This long-awaited kink bible includes tips and tricks for novices and experienced players alike. Featuring how-to tutorials, sprinkled with lots of creative ideas and examples this is a unique guide to sexual experimentation and exploration of fantasy. Includes thoughtful essays that probe the psychology and politics of submission, dominance, masochism and sadism. The Ultimate Guide to Kink is hotly-tipped to define the category for the next decade.

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Ultimate Guide to Kink, The + Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns: The Romance and Sexual Sorcery of Sadomasochism + SM 101: A Realistic Introduction
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Product details

  • Paperback: 475 pages
  • Publisher: CLEIS PRESS (19 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157344779X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573447799
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 15.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 82,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Rather than try to mimic previous guides to BDSM such as S/M 101, Tristan Taormino has taken a different approach to the 'kink manual' and it pays off well. Divided into essays by respected kink educators such as Midori, Mollena Williams and Pat Califia, the book looks at pretty much everything the curious kinkster could want to know - bondage, impact play, rough sex, race play, fisting, CBT, sadism, masochism...I could go on but you may get excited! Dealing with both the practical skills and philosophies involved in kink, Taormino shows that kink is about both mind and body and that there's something in the mix for everyone. Clearly written, honest and often intriguing, this is the book for anyone who's ever wanted to be kinky but felt afraid to ask.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opener to a newbie 20 Feb 2013
By Ruth
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very helpful in looking at various aspects of kink for a newcomer. I thought it was well written and edited.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book 22 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
this was a very easy read....and full of useful information which can only make a Dom type feel more confidence about what she is doing. Deffo recommended
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  55 reviews
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptionally good 10 May 2012
By Fangtasia - Published on
Whenever I read a book edited by Tristan Taormino, I look forward to her introductions just as much - and sometimes more - than to the stories. This is no exception. She starts out by giving us readers some heartening news about how kink has become more and more "mainstream" in recent years, thanks to the internet. It's about time, right? Then she proceeds to explain how and why this guide is relevant at this point in time. Let's just say that, if I'd been highlighting interesting and well-crafted sentences in her writing, the whole introduction would have been highlighted. For instance, the following sentence defining what kinksters do when they get together in public events:

"We learn skills that we can translate into every part of our life: how to claim our desires, negotiate for what we want and need, set boundaries, communicate limits, acknowledge power dynamics, celebrate sexuality, and accept each other's differences."

This is not fiction, people. This is a comprehensive collection of clear, concise, and expert advice on kink. The concept of kink itself is open and all-inclusive. The definition of the term, according to Ms. Taormino is: "an intimate experience, an exchange of power between people who can be physical, erotic, sexual, psychological, spiritual, or, most often, some combination. It's the people, practices, and communities that move beyond traditional ideas about sex to explore the edges of eroticism."

To me, that sounds like enlightenment.

The book is divided into two main parts:

* "Skills and Techniques" which includes a glossary of terms, and sections on spanking, bondage, fisting, rough sex, and other kinks. This section is a simple to understand and easy to read "how-to" manual for those topics. It is beautifully illustrated to show some of the concepts, rather than going into cryptic and impossible to visualize Kama Sutra-like descriptions.

* "Fantasies and Philosophies" goes deeper into the darker aspects of kink, like Domination, submission, masochism, sadism, and the taboo practices in role play. These types of play have always been a part of the kink scene, but have been kept quiet and "in the closet" precisely because they show the dark side of the human psyche.

Overall, there are several themes repeated over and over by all the contributors:

* Safe, sane, and consensual; risk-aware consensual kink - Effective communication and consent are threads consistently present in every single chapter of this book. It seems to me that kinksters are way ahead of the rest of us in that department.

* Safer-sex - there is no safe sex, but you can take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your partner(s). It doesn't have to stop the fun, though.

* There is nothing wrong with being sexually kinky. Discard all those messages that society imposes as the rules and regulations you must follow. In the intimacy of your sexual life, between consenting, risk-aware adults, anything goes.

Even if you have never thought of rope as anything but a good tool for hanging clothes to dry, there's lots of good stuff in this book. For example, the chapter on erotic role play gave me an "aha" moment. I've always had a problem mentally bridging the awkward distance I feel between me and the fictional characters I create for my writing. The solution is to go back to my all-time favorite pastime of childhood, playing "let's pretend..." When I get "into" my character's skin, the distance is gone and I can relate what I see, hear, and feel much better. My reader will then be able to experience the story much more vividly, too.

For all of you who might be curious about BDSM and edgy erotic play. For those who jumped in feet first but without much research, wanting to experience the thrill of giving or receiving pleasurable pain or control. For those into the scene already, who want to continue to learn and grow. For anyone who wants to read a good, no-nonsense guide to kink. This is the book for you. Enjoy!
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I love love love Tristan Taormino, but... 23 Jan 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book just seems like it hasn't nailed down what its audience actually is. For example, the two sections of the book both begin assuming you're a rank novice who doesn't know what S&M is an abbreviation of, and who has never played dirty-cop with a sex partner. And that's great - I'm always on the hunt for beginner-friendly books, things I can pass along to my friends for education or entertainment.

But then it moves onto essays on animal roleplay, or age play, or Mollena Williams' piece on edge play that includes scenes of rape, incest, gay-bashing, and a bit where a handicapped person gets thrown out of their wheelchair and beaten, and I go "oh thank god I didn't lend this to anyone yet." Don't get me wrong - these essays are brilliantly written, informative, and interesting, and definitely worth reading, but they are probably not necessary or useful in a book that *seems* to be aimed at beginners.

So, in short, even though it seems (to me) like a book for newbies, I would NOT recommend it for beginners or novices unless they're unflappable or you're trying to scare the pants off them, or they're reading it in conjunction with many other books on the subject.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Belongs on every kinky bookshelf everywhere! 18 July 2012
By Madeline Elayne - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you are kinky, or think you may be kinky, or you hope to possibly find out that you're kinky, I can't recommend this book enough. I don't care how long you've been in the scene, or how many pins are on your bar vest, you should have a copy of this book! I guarantee that there will be something in it that you didn't know, or haven't tried, or haven't looked at in quite that way before. And chances are very, very good that there will be something among those new areas that will make you curious, if not tempted. The ultimate guide to kink is a fantastic variety of essays on so many different ways to express our kinky sides, all written by people who really know their stuff in the area they're writing about.

While I didn't recognize all of the names in the list of authors, I recognized enough for it to read like a Who's Who of the BDSM education circuit, all grouped together in one convenient tome to tell you all about the areas about which they're most passionate. While the voices differ (understandably) they are all thoughtful, insightful, passionate, well-written, well-edited and arranged with a flow that makes you want to read the whole thing in one sitting, cover-to-cover. And sexy! This book is put together in such a way that even for the things that might not be "my kink" I couldn't help but feel the erotic charge that was brought to the table by those who love it. This is one seriously hawt book.

The book is definitely more geared toward letting their voices of its contributors shine than on bombarding you with pretty pictures and illustrations (which suits me just fine,) but there are enough diagrams in certain sections, particularly bondage and fisting, that if you choose to pick up the ebook copy instead of the paper one I suggest you install it on a computer or larger tablet as well. I found the labelling on the diagrams illegible on my 6" kindle screen.

The book also does an excellent job of reminding us about what's important about all that kinky stuff that we so love: we do it because we love it, and it only works when everyone involved is getting something (positive) out of it. Consent, negotiation, and safer sex practices are critical, and I'm grateful that all the contributors to this book can't stress that fact enough. Bah, I can just hear some of you muttering, that stuff's for sissy amateurs, real kinksters can't be bothered with those things! To those hypothetical detractors I say: Take another look at the list of contributors to this book, really look at that list of names, and I double-dog-dare you to tell me that that list of kinky superstarts aren't "real" knksters. Go on. I triple-dog dare you.

My rating: 5/5 caged and red-cheeked puppy-boys.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than I'd hoped for! 27 April 2012
By Kinky, Sexy, Geeky - Published on
It has been quite a few years since we have had a new BDSM 101 book, leaving us with books that were generally written in the mid to late 90s - perfectly good and useful books but dated nonetheless. Tristan Taormino's latest book, The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play and the Erotic Edge is a excellent way to break that long dry spell!

I was hooked with the introduction, but to be fair I'm generally a huge fan of Tristan's writing. Beyond that though, The Ultimate Guide to Kink deviates from the norm for books on BDSM in that each chapter is written by someone who has extensive experience with the given topic. When I first heard about it, I was disappointed that the whole thing hadn't been written by Tristan, but after reading a few chapters I was convinced this is a far better idea. Rather than one author trying to cover all the bases, this gives you not only the information but also the passion these people feel for their topics. These include plenty of the standards, some upper level topics and some things you'll only find at the edgier conferences. I found a good solid handful of new ideas, which is rare seeing as I've read most of the BDSM 101+ books on the market.

This book left me itching to go play which is what a good BDSM book should do, right?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kinky Grad School 28 Aug 2012
By T.R. Moss - Published on
Kinky grad school: that was my recurring, delighted thought as I read the Ultimate Guide to Kink. This carefully curated selection, with essays from luminaries of the leather community offering their most famous workshops, offers quick and useful guides to the basics of BDSM, and then delves much further. Readers new to BDSM will be fascinated and eager to explore.

For readers who have been in the leather community and taking workshops for eons - as part of what Tristan Taormino calls "kinky people as lifelong learners", constantly polishing techniques and learning new ways to navigate leather and/or D/s - this book offers expert observations from established players, with nuances and suggestions that will guarantee everyone, even the most senior player, will sit back and smile, finding something new to try.

Instead of the traditional workshop demonstrations, the essays include erotica vignettes or sidebars with helpful "recipes" recommending a combination of chapters to navigate your desired scene. Collaborative kink!

The book's first section, with essays on technique like Lolita Wolf's excellent "Making an Impact: Spanking, Caning, and Flogging", offers basic foundations for absolute beginners and useful tweaks for the most advanced player. That said, the book is thorough enough to cover a play party's worth of activities. Not only caning and flogging but piercing, fisting, CBT, rough body play - all of the most popular subjects for workshops condensed into one book, with playful, beautifully drawn illustrations by cartoonist KD Diamond.

Patrick Califia's essay on anal fisting stands out as a marvelous example of how to "run a scene" as a top, with great wisdom in how to listen to your partner's responses and communicate in any scene while attending to your own needs and desires. It's an elegant framing of the complexities inherent in topping while navigating each person's desires and projections - what it means to engage in topping as an outward-facing activity while attending to the active partner's inner desires.

The second section, Fantasies and Philosophies, features essays about the inner workings of established educators and players writing about their most cherished kinky identities. Essays ranging from a submissive's manifesto to various aspects of erotic roleplaying and and feminine dominance will interest beginners and prove useful to experienced players as a means to enhance play and go deeper.

The last few essays on advanced topics aren't necessarily a good choice for absolute beginners; readers who are survivors of related abuse should also approach this section with caution. But I believe that even those more sensitive readers will gain quite a lot from the majority of the book. Each of the essays is concise, beautifully written, interesting. It will all prove useful, part of the lifelong learning of leather, and readers all along the spectrum of the huge and varied kink and fetish identities will find essays that speak to their fantasies, desires, and lifestyles.
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