Where to begin?: a kink reading list
As promised I’m going to set out a few books I feel are worthwhile and that I’ve personally gained something from reading. This is not an academically based list, on the whole it is more about practical doing and the negotiation there of. With all materials I find it is worthwhile to think about the context of the writing and the writer. What time and place do they come from? What cultural setting influences and informs what they have to say.? You could also apply that to my compilation: this selection speaks volumes about how and when I grew up in kink.
1. SM 101 By Jay Wiseman, this book must be at least 20 years old, but it’s a good basic read, it also contains the now much debated and even spoofed seminal guidance on breathplay.
2. The Leatherman’s Handbook by Larry Townsend, originally published in 1972!! An amazing and culturally nuanced insight into the beginings of the gay mens leather scene in America. A combination of hot erotic scenes x instructional manual and memoir.
3. Public Sex: The Culture of Radical Sex by Pat Califia. I know I said I wasn’t going to post theoretical texts, but this is a book that grips you and drags you through a viceral description of scenes, politcal meanings and radical acts. Patrick Califia, cultural icon of the trans/and kink scene is a writer and educator who has paid their dues again and again. A beautiful read. I also highly recommend all of Patricks considerable back catalogue of erotic writing.
4. Sensuous Magic: A guide for Adventurous Lovers by Pat Califia. Ok I admit I’m a fan. This is another text that follows the half erotic story, half instructional manual format. What I remember clearly is Patricks very graphic account of fisting technique! That’s not all that is contained, but this book is thorough.
5 and 6. The New Topping Book and The New Bottoming Book Both books are co-authored by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy. These books make a great companion pair, I recommend them to anyone just starting out, or who wishes for a compact refresher read. At around 100 pages each they are quick to read. As well as giving instructions on how to negotiate, they also cover some of the more emotional aspects of play. I enjoyed reading both of these as they gave me an insight into how some one who enjoys the other side of the D/s slash might think and feel about asking for what they want. The joys, insecurities and emotional skills needed for safe and satisfying play.
7. Mr Benson by John Preston, not by any means instructional. (unless you are a fan of live re-enactment of leatherman lifestylers in the early 80’s – if you are I’d like to know). This seminal text is an evocative erotic telling of hardcore, high protocol man to man Leather BDSM. Told within a cute crime story.
This is a short list: all American based, all from a particular culture: a more queer BDSM. It is by no means complete!! Feel free to make recommendations for great kink books you have read that have helped you to develop your technical skills or inspired you towards wilder fantasies.