The Mistress Manual - book by Greenery Press - review by Antipova

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The Mistress Manual

Book by Greenery Press

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Manual for even the Most Reluctant Mistress

While the Mistress Manual may not make a Domme out of a submissive overnight, it offers a clear, thorough look at the mental and physical mechanisms of Domestic Dominance. Though dominance runs opposite to my natural predilection, after finishing this book I found myself looking forward to acting out a light scene. Recommended for women wondering how to dominate their submissive partner who has expressed an interest, or for a submissive partner to gift to his Domme-to-be.
Engaging, thorough primer covering mental and physical aspects of Domestic Dominance.
Takes for granted that being a Domme will be enjoyable.
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review

Content / Style / Audience

The glued spine of this slim cream and pink paperback contains fourteen chapters in three parts, and two appendices. The content was well-chosen, comprehensive, and competently presented. It is not necessarily intended to be read cover-to-cover (though novices will want to read the entire book---I did), and the author gives directions for which chapters to skip to depending on interest in or familiarity with topics. Perhaps because of its non-linear intent, there was not a 'conclusion' to speak of, and I think I would have benefited from a wrap-up. Despite the lack of conclusion, all questions I had were answered (in more or less detail) by Mistress Lorelei.

In a preface, the author lays out the difference between Domestic Discipline (the realm of this work) and the Leather culture. Primarily, she explains, while leatherfolk commonly view their scenes as an aspect of reality, domestic discipline is acknowledged by both participants to be a fantasy acted out. I mention this so that people specifically interested in role play will perk up their ears, because a book focusing on role play seems hard to come by (judging from my search, at least).

The first part, "Becoming a Mistress," is where I expected to find the most useful information for me. Including chapters titled "Why Become a Mistress" and "The reluctant Mistress: Learning to Love Command," Part One details what submissive men are looking for, and why they enjoy it. The author dedicates a few pages to addressing reluctance on the part of the domme-to-be, but not quite as much as I had hoped. She does more reassuring that submission is fun for the man than discussing how the woman should cope with the ordeal that dominance might be. This is probably fine as the author, as well as most women who choose to pick up The Mistress Manual, will have some native interest in dominance. She discusses finding a submissive partner and becoming a part of a support group; while the media she suggests might be a bit outdated, her descriptions of the attitude that should be used, as well as the necessity of a support group, are mature and timeless. She also sagely discusses possible relationship issues that Dominance play might stir up, and recommends appropriate measures for addressing them.

"The Mistress in Action," the second part, discusses the mechanics of scenes. From the pattern that scripts should follow, to an implement-by-implement breakdown of spanking tools, there was information aplenty for a greenhorn to absorb. While experienced players might skip the caning primer (ch.7), I would personally recommend the scripting and anticipation-building sections to every reader. As the author mentions in Chapter One, "The scenario of misbehavior, punishment, and forgiveness is a classic Aristotelian plot that offers both actors their traditional catharsis." Careful consideration ought to be given to how you address play, and the chapters "Establishing your Authority: Ways to Make Him Obey" and "Asserting Your Dominance: Planning and Enacting Your First Session" held valuable wisdom in nearly every line. Setting the scene for catharsis in three acts will help you draw parallels between books and movies you may be familiar with to spark your imagination. She offers tips on separating the role play from your day-to-day lives as well.

The final part, "The Five Archetypal Fantasies," describes five elemental fantasies. She elaborates, "like colors, they are instantly identifiable in their pure forms, but they also take a thousand other forms by blending one with another." The Nursemaid, who dotes upon and disciplines an adult baby; the Governess, who canes an unruly schoolboy; the Queen, who enjoys servitude from her sissy maid and punishes slips in form; the Amazon, who establishes authority through physical or intellectual superiority and puts her slave through an ordeal to re-prove his manhood; and the Goddess, who commands worship as the due right of her Feminine nature all are treated thoroughly in Part Three. For each archetype, the Elements of the Fantasy, the Skills of the Mistress, the Pleasures of the Mistress, the Needs of the submissive, ideas for Enacting the Scene, and Variations on the Fantasy are discussed.
    • Bdsm
    • Fetish
    • Instructional / educational


The book ends abruptly, and I noticed three or four small copy-editing errors, but Mistress Lorelei's writing style is informative and engaging. She was able to give me, in fewer than 200 pages, a very complete picture of where to begin Dominance play, and left me with no questions unanswered. Sometimes, the answer to a question is "seek help from a therapist" or "seek training from an experienced Domme," but I find that to be appropriate. Not all questions can be answered in a beginner's book, and the author's dedication to being thorough within the scope of the The Mistress Manual is appreciated.
    • Small size
    • Soft cover

Personal comments

The subtitle of the Mistress Manual, "the good girl's guide to female dominance," is what drew me in to this book. Unlike some of the other reviewers, I am by nature extremely submissive. Complexly, my current partner is submissive as well, and in the first few months of our relationship we'd often get trapped in "Tell me what you want, baby." "I want whatever you want." "Well I want to make you happy---what do you want?" circles.

Though we may not ever delve into 'sissy maid' territory (one of the author's favorites), I thought that our sex life could benefit if I learned how to say "I want this." And Domestic Dominance, with its defined boundaries between play time and real life, seems like a good place to make a first step.

I was attracted to this book for its thorough attention to the basics, and for its exploration of the psychological aspects of sexual dominance. I had hoped to be enlightened by the second chapter ("The Reluctant Mistress"), and was slightly distraught that, as she described why men enjoy being submissive, all I could do was empathize with the submissives. I had hoped some explanation for the Domme mindset would be offered, but Mistress Lorelei seems to take that desire as a given. She sometimes tosses in things like "demanding hours of oral service from his willing mouth and tongue" with the implied 'because what Lady doesn't love that?' Well, this gentle reader, for one. She does say, at the end of the paragraph where she addresses submissive women who are hoping to try to please their partner by becoming dominant by regaling the wonders of being a switch, that my case might never pull through. "But at least you've tried." Every other reason for reluctance that she outlined had a much sunnier outlook---so what you take from reading this book will very likely be more enlightening than what I took, but at the very least it won't be worse.

This book took me 5.5 hours of straight reading time, though because adopting a dominant role is very foreign to me, I read it over several days, interspersed with introspection and discussion with my boyfriend. I was most distressed after Part One failed to show me anything I hadn't considered before, and even offered things I find distasteful as obvious rewards. After that, though, I cheered up considerably. The descriptions of how to set a scene in three acts, and even how to spank, were exciting to read. The mechanics sound much more approachable than I had expected. I found myself naturally imagining scenes with myself as the submissive, but then would say, "well, if I enjoy this, there's no reason he couldn't", and got better and better at imagining scenes dovetailed with his fantasies. The third part offered even more ideas, and I was especially happy to read the many possible variations of the Amazon fantasy. I could even assert my dominance by trouncing him at a game of Scrabble and demanding that he prove his manhood by bringing me to orgasm, or other scenes completely within the realms of my comfort zone. Baby steps are still steps!

Though by the end of the first chapter I was sweating, the second two chapters of this book really did improve my outlook, and gave me much-needed confidence toward asserting my own authority. The Mistress Manual definitely did not make a Domme of me overnight, but it did give me many valuable thoughts, and a framework in which to move forward.

I present my own personal experience here so that if you are in a similar position, you can know that you're not without hope! The Mistress Manual will likely be helpful for you. This is a followup review I'm really looking forward to writing.


If I could find an equivalent of this book with five archetype fantasies for women, I would give it to my boyfriend in a heartbeat so that we might be able to switch more egalitarianly. I gleaned a lot of information from this book, and I wish he had access to similar information directed toward the opposite gender. While Part Two (on scene-crafting and paddling) can be applied to submissives of either gender, Parts One and Three are focused on the specific needs and fantasies of male submissives.
Follow-up commentary
I will say, The Mistress Manual is still very thorough, direct, and to-the-point. It presents a lot of valuable information that will be of great use to people who are naturally inclined to use it.

When I say "I don't like it anymore," I mean more that it hasn't personally been a great boon for me. I still am glad to have read it, I learned a few neat facts---but it failed to really give this "good girl" a proper education in female dominance, contrary to the tagline's suggestion. From my perspective as a naturally submissive sort of person, it was geared more toward people who already have an innate knack for dominance that they're trying to focus, and not so much for people who were coming from a place of not understanding very much yet. I did learn a fair amount of useful ideas for building a "scene," and what some driving factors of men's desires for submission can be... but in terms of making me feel more comfortable, it didn't do a whole lot. It also did tend to focus a lot on things that I identified as more "humiliation/degradation" than simple S&M, and humiliation is a turn-off for me (both giving and receiving).

It does, however, give a very nice education of five basic "styles" of dominance play, which is interesting knowledge for anyone with an interest in dom/sub play in any capacity.

I don't regret having bought this, and I think it's a great choice for people who already know that dominance appeals to them---but I will not be recommending it to friends who are making their first forays into the realm.
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Do you like this review?
  • Linga
    Awesome review! I have this on the way and I can't wait to read it even more now.
  • Antipova
    I hope you like it, LingaLoo! It definitely broadened my horizons.
  • k3
    Definitely on my wishlist.
  • Antipova
    I hope you like it when you get it, Sightless Angel.
  • mistressg
    Hmmm..I may have to look into this one.
  • Antipova
    It might do you a lot of good, MistressG!
  • sasweetheart89
    I may be adding this one to my wishlist.
  • Antipova
    I hope it'll show you lots of new ideas, sasweetheart!
  • M121212
    Cool. I liked reading about the story arcs that you can give a scene. That makes a lot of sense to me. How interesting that we can get sexual satisfaction out of enacting scenes like that just as much as we get emotional satisfaction from reading a story or watching a movie.

    Fabulous review!
  • Antipova
    I think that's the biggest idea I gained from this book. Even if a lot of the material wasn't super applicable for me, the idea that a story arc is universal was one of those 'aha' moments...
  • toxie m
    I feel pretty much exactly the same as you about this book. I really enjoyed it, especially learning about those archetype fantasies, but as a naturally submissive woman I just couldn't quite make the leap. Thanks for your review, it's nice to hear that someone else felt that the "Reluctant Mistress" section was a bit vague.
  • Antipova
    I'm glad to hear you felt the same way too, txymxy. It kind of makes me wonder---are we really impossible cases? Or would we just need to learn from other submissive women who've made the leap, instead of reading a book by someone for whom dominance is natural?

    I'll keep you posted on other books I read
  • toxie m
    Awesome I would be really interested to read a book on female dominance written by someone who first identified as submissive - I think it definitely would shed a lot more light on how you can make the leap emotionally rather than just intellectually thinking about why dominance *should* be fun. I'll keep an eye out as well.
  • corsetsaurus rex
    Looks like a good read! Thank you for the review!
  • Antipova
    Glad to help, CR!
  • MistressDandelion
    Thanks for reviewing :3
  • Antipova
    Hope I was helpful
  • Aydios
  • geliebt
    Wonderful review
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