Book Review: SM101

December 18th, 09   •   Posted by Mistress Kay   •   8 Comments

Tabutoys, an amazing adult toy store, was nice enough to send me a copy of SM101 to review for them. Since it’s known as one of the BDSM classics, I was actually quite excited about this opportunity to be able to let others know if it lives up to that reputation.

I must say that this book is definitely one that you want to pick up if you’re looking to learn more about technique. However, I probably wouldn’t say it’s a good choice for anyone who is looking to learn about the mental and mind play aspect of BDSM – this book is purely about the physical play part of it all.

Author Jay Wiseman starts off by talking about his experience in BDSM and how he managed to become as involved as he is today. (His name is one almost all serious BDSMers know.) Next begins the chapter on the “Basics”. He covers safewords, safe calls, and what negotiations should be done before every scene. (This is actually one of the best parts of the book – the negotiations section includes pages that he encourages you to photocopy and go through before going into play with a new partner)

The next chapter is all about the different ways to find partners. It’s a good chapter, but I must say that it’s a little out of date. Most of the BDSM world is now conducted online while he still mentions that you should use magazine ads. There’s useful information in this chapter, but I would remember that modern technology now makes the internet one of the best places to go to find new partners.

The next chapter, Bondage 1A, includes information about selecting your rope, learning how to use your rope, safety information and things you should have safety-wise, and basic ties for tying up your partner. The basic ties are quite nicely explained, and there are some diagrams that make it a lot easier to learn. However, if your sole purpose is to learn how to do new ties, I would recommend a different book than this one. If you’re interested in rope and what you could all do with it, this is a good choice.

Bondage 1B, the next chapter, covers a lot of different things about sensory deprivation. (Gags, blindfolds, etc.) It covers the best uses, the best materials to pick, and safety concerns about using them. There is also a great section in here about handcuffs and the danger of using them in a BDSM setting. It’s the most thorough section I’ve ever seen about it, and it’s definitely someone interested in BDSM should look into. This chapter also talks about some of the other materials you could use for bondage (tape, chain) and their advantages and disadvantages.

An example of the inside of the book. Note the little "Quotation" on the right side of the page.

Giving and Receiving Erotic Pain is the next chapter. It doesn’t include too much for the advanced user but does include good starting points and techniques for doing your first scene and learning how much pain you can take.

Flagellation is a good section. It’s great for those interested in the Dominant side of things. It speaks about the safe zones that you can hit and the zones you should never touch. It also talks about (with pictuers) the different impact toys and what their purposes and differences are.

The next chapter is all about Clamps. It talks about the different types of clamps and how you should use your clamps safely. It talks about what time limits should be placed on wearing clamps along with different fun places that you could place the clamps on your partner.

The next chapter is about Lubricants. Even if you’re not into BDSM but do enjoy sex toys, this is a great chapter for anyone to read. It goes indepth about what ingrediants make lubricant good to use and what ones should be avoided. It’s actually the most thought-out lubricant section I’ve ever seen.

The next chapter is about “Erotic Torture”. It includes things like hot and cold play (wax and ice, respectively). It also talks about things not so common like “methol” play and hair blowers as BDSM toys. There’s a small section about traditional sex toys, but he recommends you pick up his other book “Sex Toy Tricks” if you’re more interested in that. Wiseman also goes on to speak about the different types of sensation like play piercing, abrasion, electric play, and knife play. He talks about the advantages, disadvantages, and safety concerns for each. There’s also a fun little section on masturbation games.

There’s a small section on Humiliation for the next chapter. Nothing too extreme, but it covers the basics.

Next there’s a pretty big chapter on “Dominant/Submissive” interactions. He first outlines what’s usually expected out of a Dominant and a submissive. There’s quite a few pages on the “Four Duties of a submissive”. There’s also a good section about position training. If you’re interested in only the Dominant/submissive aspect of it, I suggest a different book. This touches on the basics for someone who is curious about it, but doesn’t do anything too much more advanced than that. After the D/s chapter, there’s a smaller chapter on Master/slave relationships. Nothing too impressive there, but it does outline the basic differences between D/s and M/s.

A DVD in front of the SM101 book to show size. Bonus points if you know what kink-related DVD it is.

One of the best chapters out of this book is this chapter – “SM Organizations”. For someone interested in getting involved with the community, this chapter gives you the basic know-how on finding one. There’s also great sections about how to run your own SM organization along with tips on organizing a play party.

The “General Safety Concerns” is just that – general safety concerns. However, someone it does include is about SM when the female is pregnant. It also talks about the basic objects for safety that you should keep around. After this, there’s also a section on “Safer Sex” as well.

The next chapter is a small chapter on suggestions on how a female dominating a man, but then it goes into the basic things that you should put in a basic BDSM kit. It includes tips on buying the “formal” BDSM toys as well.

The last chapter is about related practices like Age Play and gives information about where to learn more about those practices.

One of the nice things about this book is the fact that he includes quotations from other people involved in BDSM. It definitely adds new flavor to the book and makes it a little more interesting. (Reading about the bare basics for 400 pages can get a little monotanous.) He’s also quite laid-back in speaking about all the different aspects of BDSM and doesn’t talk down to the reader. That having been said, this book is 390 pages with 28 chapters. I’m a fast reader, and this book took me around eight hours to read from front to back. It, however, is also a great book to keep for referencing in the future. (For questions like “What makes a paddle different than a flogger?” or “What are some basic knots I can use to tie up my lover?”)

Maybe it’s just the college student in me, but I expected this book to be college-textbook sized. It’s actually not. It’s only slightly bigger than your average DVD case. It also has a picture of a hand holding the base of a riding crop with “SM101” in large letters in the front, so it’s probably not something you want to read in public. I, however, was reading this at my university in between my finals, and no one noticed because I kept the book flat on the table, and the back-side of the book (with the description of the contents) doesn’t include anything overtly “kinky” to a passerby.

I’d definitely recommend this book to someone who knows they want to do something with kink but doesn’t know anything about where to start. It’s a great source all in one place, and I know I’m going to be referencing it for new players. It’s a great cover-all for all the basics of BDSM play. However, if you know an exact thing that you’re interested in, it’s probably best to seek out a book solely on that, because this book covers the basics of everything – but nothing in depth.

An amazing book all-in-all and one that anyone interested in BDSM should own. Tabutoys carries SM 101 at their website. They also have a great selection of other BDSM toys and other sex books that are always growing. I must say that I’m also amazed by Tabutoy’s customer service. If they don’t have a toy you want, you just have to ask, and they will give you all the options they have of that specific toy. It’s amazing service.

8 Comments on "Book Review: SM101"

December 22nd, 2009

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December 22nd, 2009

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Pleasurists #58 « Jexhibitionism says...
December 22nd, 2009

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December 22nd, 2009

[…] SM 101 by Mistress Kay […]

December 23rd, 2009

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December 24th, 2009

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Seaofneptune says...
January 12th, 2010

What DVD is that? I looks familiar! HA HA!

Mistress Kay says...
January 13th, 2010

Secretary. :)




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