The New Topping Book by Greenery Press - review by bzzingbee

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Top-Shelf Book on Topping

The New Topping Book is a comprehensive book that provides good information on how to be a top, improve at being a top, and help you understand your bottom. It's easy to read and has some great real life stories that provide great examples while also giving you some erotic entertainment.
Published:
Pros:
Comprehensive information, easy to read, discreet cover
Cons:
None that I can think of.
Rating by reviewer:
5
extremely useful review

About author

The authors of The New Topping Book are Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy, who wrote the predecessor to this book: The Topping Book. They are both active in the BDSM scene and have experience in being both a top and a bottom. A lot of the information presented in this book the authors have learned from personal experience. With their wide involvement in the BDSM community, they have access to many other experienced players who also provided useful information on how to handle different situations. These ladies know what they are talking about and are a great resource for anyone wanting to learn more.
    • Engaging
    • Multiple contributoring authors
    • Very personal approach

Content / Style / Audience

The New Topping Book is 207 pages of comprehensive information on what you need to know when entering into the role of a top. This book is more focused on how you reach the head space place you need to be to become a top and how to take care of your bottom. Techniques for use of toys and discipline items such as riding crops and whips are not the focus of this book, so if that is what you are looking for, this is not for you. This book assumes that the people reading are at least vaguely familiar with the S&M world, but clearly explains everything so that there is no confusion. This makes The New Topping Book appropriate for both beginners and advanced players. There is something to learn from this book for everyone. For advanced readers, you can skip to chapters that are of more interest, but reading all the way through may provide unexpected tidbits or revelations.

The book has 17 different sections which are broken up by Interludes of actual scenes that relate to information being related in the surrounding sections.

Section 1: Hello Again!- a greeting from the authors who give you a little background on themselves, explain why they are writing the book, their view on BDSM, what a top is, and how to tell if you might be a top.

Section 2: What Is It About Topping, Anyway?- This section talks about power exchange. The authors tell you some of the benefits to becoming a top and also the role of bottoms in the dynamic relationship.

Section 3: What Do Tops Do?- The title of this section is pretty self-explanatory. Section 3 discusses how to find what kind of top you are, i.e. sadistically vicious interrogator or a sweetly sorrowful parent (only two examples of many) or no role at all. Also covered in this section are setting boundaries, safewords and how to make sure your bottom is using safewords when they need to.

Section 4: Rights and Responsibilities- Section four is all about what you have the right to expect from a scene, but also what you are responsible for. The key part of topping is that the bottom is surrendering power to you with the expectation that you will keep your end of the deal to keep them safe by doing what you can to observe their behavior and actions and respond accordingly. This includes everything from emergency preparedness like having something to cut restraints if necessary to keeping both you and your bottom emotionally safe.

Section 5: How Do You Learn to Do This Stuff?- Section five suggests ways to learn techniques like trying things on yourself, using things at home to practice (such as using straps/whips/floggers on pillows), or starting slow with a bottom.

Section 6: Soaring Higher- This section is about taking it to the next level. The authors offer tips on how to get there like staying open, paying attention to your bottom's body language about where to go next, and using intuition.

Section 7: BDSM Ethics- This is a good section that covers some important basics that you should implement with your bottom. First and foremost is consent. Everyone involved should be willingly participating. Also included are limits, confidentiality, boundaries, and blaming.

Section 8: On Your Mark... Get Set..- This section is all about communication. It covers communication to plan a scene, to get what you need, to make sure your bottom is getting what they need.

Section 9: Go!- Section 9 covers how you actually get a scene started, how to build it up and how to keep it going until you've reached the (hopefully) planned conclusion.

Section 10: And If It Doesn't Go the Way You Planned?- Naturally, everyone will probably experience problems at some point during their scene playing life. This section gives suggestions on what to do if you have a problem or find a scene is going the way it was planned. They cover unforeseen emotional reactions, physical problems, outside world emergencies, and aftershocks in this section.

Section 11: Toys for Tops- This chapter contains sections for beginners and advanced tops as well as a section on maintaining toys.

Section 12: Finding Others- The authors provide tips on how to find others interested in the BDSM scene.

Section 13: Special Cases- This section is dedicated to the different special situations that may involve tops and bottoms. This includes novices, professional dominatrixes, and public play.

Section 14: Full Time D/S- Section 14 explains what it means to practice D/S full time and provides tips on how to do so successfully.

Section 15: Shadow Play: Darkside S/M- This section explains what shadow play is and how to do it. Shadow play, as a very basic explanation, is D/S scenes that explore extremely deep psychological territory that may include playing roles that wouldn't normally be considered acceptable.

Section 16: S/M: Spirituality From the Top- This section explores the use of the roles of S/M in a spiritual sense for the parties involved.

Section 17: The Light That Shines in the Darkness- A brief conclusion section from the authors about S/M and how it is used for self-exploration.

The last section is followed by a resource guide that lists other books that may be of interest, periodicals, websites, and organizations.
  • Who / How / What
    [ ? ]
    Who might this product be best for? How is it best used? What are the best circumstances or situations for using this product?
    • Advanced
    • Beginners
  • Where
    [ ? ]
    Where / what types of places can this product be used?
    • Anywhere
  • General
    [ ? ]
    Other tags that are useful and descriptive for this product.
    • Bdsm
    • Instructional / educational
    • Non-fiction

Design

This book is bound in a thin but sturdy bright green cardboard type material. The pages seem to be of good quality paper. The binding seems pretty solid, but I have only had my copy for a couple of months. This book is bright green, but there are no obvious pictures or anything on the outside, so it would be possible to take this book out in public. Unless the person looking at it is familiar with topping and bottoming, it is unlikely that they will know what the book is about. And if they do? Well, they probably won't say anything, as they know that confidentiality is an important aspect of that world. There are no diagrams or pictures in this book, but there are 4 interludes which are real life stories of tops and bottoms experiences.
    • Discreet cover
    • Soft cover

Experience

I really enjoyed reading this book. Each section was long enough to give good information but not so long as to make you lose interest. I often found that I would read one section and see mention of something that was in a later section that would spur me on to read further and faster. The interludes were educational as well as entertaining and arousing. The authors really seemed to think of everything. They covered things that, as a beginner, I haven't even considered. For example, they mention one friend of theirs who was in the middle of a scene that included bondage when an earthquake hit and the lights went out. Instances like that are why you need to know to have paramedic's scissors to cut through bonds in a hurry as well as flashlights with batteries nearby or some type of kit for such emergencies. I also really like that they included safety tips about safewords (usage, non-verbal situations, how to cope if your partner safewords before you're ready). The authors are also big proponents of making BDSM more common, acceptable or mainstream, however you prefer to refer to it, so their section on finding others is an excellent inclusion. Overall, it was a great read, and I recommend it to anyone with even the mildest interest in the BDSM world. I definitely plan to read The New Bottoming Book at some point as well.
Follow-up commentary
I would still recommend this book to anyone who is new to the world of dominance and submission. Experienced people may find some of the information redundant to their own knowledge and experience. With that said, I still have this book and definitely refer to it from time to time. It is not the be all end all bok on Topping, but it does have some great reference info. I also still want to get The New Bottoming Book and see how they fit together, since sometimes I'm top and sometimes I'm bottom. It's an easy read that doesn't leave a beginner lost and confused. If this interests you at all, check it out!
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Comments
  • Owl Identified
    This is a really great review! Very thorough.
  • gone77
    You've piqued my interest in this book, bzzingbee, with your well-written and thorough review. Thanks!
  • ~LaUr3n~
    Awesome review!
  • bzzingbee
    Thanks everyone!
  • Kynky Kytty
    I really like that you gave a description of the sections, thanks.
  • SexyySarah
    Great review!
  • Jenn (aka kissmykitty)
    This book sounds very interesting. While BDSM and the like isn't a part of our sex life, I think I still might want to read this book. Great review!
  • Taylor
    Thanks for the review! It was very helpful
  • Zapples
    Nice review!
  • tiname25
    nice
  • yatinp30
    good
  • arewehavingfun?
    I think I would like this
  • teachmetouchme
    Just not for us.
  • thisisadeletedaccount
    Thanks for the review! Good rundown of all the chapters.
  • novanilla
    Love the synopsis of the chapters...very good review.
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