Most helpful critical review
38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
good general info - newcomers handle with care
on 14 December 2000
I bought this book after about a year into BDSM. It manages to be pretty encyclopaedic on the important areas and makes some good points on safe play. It's also useful as a general 'how do you do that?' guide ... but there's something missing.
For a book with the subtitle 'the romance and sexual sorcery of sadomasochism', this manages to convey very little of the 'wow' factor of good BDSM. Maybe the fact that I've never been into group scenes is colouring my judgement, but at times, the tone gets a bit - dare I say - 'worthy but dull'. It's certainly difficult to convey on paper how much fun one can have, but it's also not easy to make something as exciting as BDSM seem mundane and uninteresting, and these two come close at times, particularly with the over-emphasis on planning a scene beforehand (if I'm tied up and helpless, part of the thrill comes in NOT knowing exactly what's coming next).
If I had read this when I was just starting out, I might have been quite discouraged. Furthermore, the section on 'doms/slaves to avoid' would definitely have put me off - the tone is very 'this is our gang and you can't be in it if you're like this'.
Fair's fair - Molly and Philip do point out near the beginning that these are their personal views, not a 'gold standard'. As such, they are only approaching this from a Male Dom/Female Sub angle, and can be forgiven for skating over some areas (Ponies are barely touched).
Also on a value-for-money note, the quality of the paper and printing was pretty medicore. Don't get me wrong, as a sourcebook STRSMTT is invaluable - just make sure it's not the only book you read.