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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Of love and pain
Concertina is not a celebration of BDSM. It is instead, unexpectedly, a love story -- a beautiful, erotic, haunting, aching account of passion and of desolation, which reaches a seemingly inevitable (and welcome) conclusion.

As advertised, the book is also an insider's account of the world of domination. Winemaker describes in detail sessions in which men...
Published on 18 Aug 2007 by Mark Studdock

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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit dark and gloomy!
As a professional dominatrix myself I live in hope of somebody writing a full and fair account of the occupation when the sensationalist word 'Dominatrix' is used in the title. No luck so far!

Where was the fun and the laughs.. the joy..the epiphanies...the deep personal connection and the passion it evokes? Where was the intelligence, closeness and trust...
Published on 21 Mar 2007 by avid reader


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Of love and pain, 18 Aug 2007
This review is from: Concertina: The Life and Loves of a Dominatrix (Hardcover)
Concertina is not a celebration of BDSM. It is instead, unexpectedly, a love story -- a beautiful, erotic, haunting, aching account of passion and of desolation, which reaches a seemingly inevitable (and welcome) conclusion.

As advertised, the book is also an insider's account of the world of domination. Winemaker describes in detail sessions in which men paid her to subject them to suffucation, bondage, torture, feminization, and many other abuses. She enables the reader to emphathize both with her and with the men who feel compelled to seek out such treatment.

But Winemaker is not a true believer. She entered the world of domination as an open-minded apprentice, and grew into a conscientious and skilled professional. For a time her professional life merged with her private life. Still, she never seemed to hunger for, or need, or particularly relish the power exchange which is the heart of domination.

It is when Adam walks into Winemaker's life that the book truly begins: "On the questionnaire under physical description it said: tall, slender, fit, handsome, mid-thirties, dark hair, green eyes. But let's be accurate here: his eyes are sometimes glacial blue, sometimes aquamarine, and sometimes like the white foam off a breaking wave. They were the most aquatic, tempestuous, supernatural eyes I'd ever seen. I was instantly shaken, instantly in trouble."

The full explication of that trouble is an adventure which is both arresting and entrancing. Susan Winemaker has given us all a gift in providing a window upon her heart.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a succulent read, 10 May 2007
This review is from: Concertina: The Life and Loves of a Dominatrix (Hardcover)
Concertina is a lovely book ; cool, clear eyed, serene, delicious. It deals with food, fetishes, London, love, how to relish all your senses and how to make the total gift of your self to another person.

We follow the professional, romantic, cultural, culinary and sexual adventures of an intelligent and searching woman without ever being told what to think. The writing is sometimes so beautiful you want to read the words aloud and savour them like fruit ; whether she's describing the Scottish Highlands or the dungeons of suburbia, pomegranate seeds with feta cheese or the pain of waiting for your perfect lover to say something resonant.

I know from experience that people with sexual fetishes are neither strange nor perverted, they are as varied in character and type as anyone else and can be warm, witty and tender people who just happen to have a particular sexuality. It's refreshing to see this acknowledged in a book that doesn't judge, but conveys the simplicity and compassion needed for true sexual fulfilment in whatever form it takes.

The relationship between Susan and Adam particularly fascinated me ; it contains such intense psychological exploration and generosity of spirit, and the lovers have such an awe-inspiring ability to submit to each other, I envied them.

The author comes across as vulnerable, powerful, alive, blessed with a subtler palate than most of us and an intransigent need for the extremes of truth. Domination is about kindness too, a gift given and received like home-made food [`a psychosexual feast' as she says], and this book makes that clear.

Like a good film, this book mostly shows rather than tells, with powerful images and sensations but no need for added syrup.

I would recommend it to anyone.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit dark and gloomy!, 21 Mar 2007
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This review is from: Concertina: The Life and Loves of a Dominatrix (Hardcover)
As a professional dominatrix myself I live in hope of somebody writing a full and fair account of the occupation when the sensationalist word 'Dominatrix' is used in the title. No luck so far!

Where was the fun and the laughs.. the joy..the epiphanies...the deep personal connection and the passion it evokes? Where was the intelligence, closeness and trust! The cameraderie! Was it all intentionally avoided for some purpose pertaining to the plot or was it all aspects of the profession that the author couldn't appreciate for some reason... hard to say.

This element of the book (without which the book would make for a pretty torturous read) was laced with such an irritating bias towards the bleak and the superficial that I found it increasingly more difficult to read as I went on. It became positively depressing!

If one must use the inclusion of such material to boost the sale prospects of a narrative then the least that could be done would be to give the subject a more balanced.... less subjective airing. I found the book disturbingly cheerless.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No idea why anyone finds this exciting or beautifully written, 22 July 2012
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Having worked in this environment and worked with many women who are dominatrixes I found this book ridiculous to the point of being laughable. It intersperses dreary tales of sessions with clients with recipes for food. I think I'd rather read a cookbook to be honest!! More delicious. The mistress in the book isn't very mistress-like, not in the least professional and the relationship she embarks on with a client - whilst presumably real - isn't titillating or exciting, just downright foolish and not in the least thought through.

As a book it's not a great portrayl of the domination scene
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book about ugly things, 10 Feb 2007
This review is from: Concertina: The Life and Loves of a Dominatrix (Hardcover)
Staged in three parts which are in distinct keys, like a symphony, this is a beautifully written book about ugly themes. It's scarcely about sex, partly about physical pain, but mostly about unusual kinds of love and entirely about power and people and their hearts and minds. It is wonderful on the subject of food and there's not enough of that; and there are some laugh-out-loud anecdotes and brilliant capsule portraits of people met but briefly by the reader. There is much that is illuminating about mental power and mental pain and the reasons why people - sometimes the same people - enjoy them. All this and a wealth of detail about life in the dungeon which for most will be just as much of an eye-opener as a teeth-clencher.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A little disappointing, 19 Jun 2014
By 
D. O. Smith (Dudley, West Midlands) - See all my reviews
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I didn't feel that this book lived up to the promises that the title implied. Yes, it satisfied the title, but not in a way that really draws the reader in and keeps them turning 'pages'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars dominates, 9 Nov 2011
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first of all this is not the usual erotic attempting to titilate / badly written memoirs. This is an extremely well crafted story of a woman working as a dom and falling in love . There is great attention to detail and I loved the descriptions of the various men that she encounters . She is not attempting to turn on either herself or the readers and that is why this ,for me works so well.This is no news of the world expose of the life of a dominant, but all the better for that> Obviously this is a woman who does all that she attempts to do in a quality way .
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3.0 out of 5 stars It's a good story, 18 Sep 2010
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Tubal Cain (Reading Berks UK) - See all my reviews
It's a good story. It's a bit unusual, but then what would one expect?
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3.0 out of 5 stars A bit involved and not that exciting, 15 May 2009
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This review is from: Concertina: The Life and Loves of a Dominatrix (Hardcover)
I was disappointed that this did not grab me more. I was interested in the subject matter but felt it was at the same time overinvolved yet barely scratched the surface of why this is of interest to the people who partake in it. I think it cetainly did not achieve its potential.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, 11 Sep 2014
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Concertina: The Life and Loves of a Dominatrix
Concertina: The Life and Loves of a Dominatrix by Susan Winemaker (Hardcover - 5 Feb 2007)
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