I only wish this book had been around when I first came out to myself as BDSM. Instead I happened upon the Story of O, an iconic story but not one that was at all helpful for my journey.And the edition I came across had a really naff essay at the back about how slaves really loved being slaves which made me throw up. This book by contrast is about taking your own power, knowing yourself and your boundaries, negotiating effectively, and about using power exchange in a way that produces ecstasy and self-realisation. Easton and Hardy write accessibly, with wit and a light touch.We are talking BDSM as extreme tantra here, and for those on a journey of self-realisation along a BDSM path it is essential reading. For those who are fearful of their desires for domination, pain or submission, or fear that once they started on that path they would inevitably end up beaten up in some seedy dungeon-space, it would be very valuable reading. For those who don't really understand what someone might get out of having various extreme stimuli applied to them it would probably prove enlightening. The first person accounts of play sessions which are dotted through the book manage to be factual yet elegant, sometimes hot yet never pornographic which is a balance extremely hard to achieve, hats off to these two women who are both sexual educators, and have been play partners for many years. I would thoroughly recommend all the books by these authors. They are full of common sense, wisdom, compassion, experience; essential reading if you are serious about following this path; advised reading if you have ever read either the Story of O or 50 Shades of Grey and think that either of those is what BDSM is about.
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