50 Shades of Kink: An Introduction to BDSM by Tristan Taormino

Pleasure Panel Review by Angel R Rivera / gypsylibrarian

Many thanks to regular Cara Sutra reviewer Angel R. Rivera / gypsylibrarian (follow on Twitter) for this guest review of 50 Shades of Kink : An Introduction to BDSM, written by Tristan Taormino and published by Cleis Press.

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You can also buy 50 Shades of Kink: An Introduction to BDSM here at Amazon UK and for the equivalent at Amazon.com here.

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guest review 50 shades of kink by Tristan Taormino

This is definitely a very good book for beginners. Taormino writes in a friendly and accessible way that feels welcoming rather than alienating. To many on the outside, BDSM may see strange, foreign, dangerous even. Taormino does a great job of introducing readers to this form of erotic exploration. A strength of the book is that Taormino defines almost everything. Major and minor terms are defined and explained throughout the book. The language is simple and easy to understand. I did appreciate that things are explained plainly. If you have read some erotic BDSM fiction be it a classic like The Story of O or something more contemporary, and you want to try out some of the ideas you read but need a little help, then Taormino’s book is for you.

The book contains a foreword by prominent writer and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel that serves to set up the book and observes how the BDSM experience can be a journey of many paths, paths that you can decide to follow or not. This is followed by Taormino’s introduction that describes what the book will offer; according to the author, this is a book designed to help readers ask the right questions, get some answers, and obtain some good information. The book also works to dispel myths and falsehoods.

guest review 50 shades of kink by Tristan Taormino

After the foreword and the introduction, the book includes 11 chapters plus a small epilogue (“50 Items for your toy bag.” No, it is not all sex toys and whips) and an appendix (a further reading list). The 11 chapters are short and get to the point with good and reassuring advice. Communication is a big theme in the book, and Taormino provides essential advice to get communication going.

This is a book I definitely recommend. For beginners, it is an excellent starting point written in plain language and with care. For those who already know the ropes, it could be a nice refresher; it could also be a gift they may wish to give to someone new to the scenes. For a little, compact volume, you do get a lot of good information and advice. Overall, whatever your level in the world of BDSM, this book should be on your shelf.

– Angel Rivera

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