SM101: A Realistic Introduction - book by Greenery Press - review by Kitty Mow!

Crash Course

This book is not, by any means, the Bible of kink. However, it's an amazing place to start your journey. It's amazingly informative, covering a broad variety of topics, including safety, philosophy, technique, and personal histories. It's a terrific textbook for BDSM.
Concise, clear, well-written, passionate, and not preachy in the slightest.
A bit dry, and the resource guide is out of date. Rope section is confusing.
Rating by reviewer:
useful review
Jay Wiseman went way out of his way to write this book. It's not the first edition, either. Each one has been an updated, expanded, and revised little gem. We're just waiting for the next edition.

SM 101 literally covers the entire gamut from safety to philosophy. Yes, Jay Wiseman has a particular passion for seeing people play safety, and he speaks often of personal experiences that lead him to that conclusion, but he also covers a bunch of other things: how to use a flogger, a quickie manual on rope work (another of his personal loves), the philosophy and psychology behind what it is that we do. He's been in the scene for longer than I've been alive, and that knowledge, education, and personal experimentation really shows through.

Interspersed in between passages on safety, consent, theory, and anecdotes from himself and friends of his, he has a ton of really wonderful, insightful, funny, deep, unexpected, or quirky comments made by real scene members, printed on the margins of the pages. You can tell that this isn't just a treatise on how HE thinks BDSM should be done: he looks at things from a bunch of different angles, and has practiced his BDSM from both sides of the flogger.

One thing I will say, on the other side of the coin: his writing is pretty dry. He's a former medic, and now has a law degree, and you can tell. He's witty, yes, and incredibly passionate, but sometimes reading his book is a bit like reading a textbook. It was never intended as erotica, but sometimes it's as dry as a chemistry class. However, he never once falls into the trap of creating a "one true way" philosophy. In fact, he states, more than once, that while this is what he thinks, and has very good reasons for those conclusions he's come to, you're on your own for doing things the way you want. It is not, and I don't think ever will be, his way or the highway.

Another issue. Some of the information in the back of the book's resource guide is out of date. However, and this is important, the internet is a wonderful thing, and you CAN find all of that information through a search engine.

All in all, he writes a strong book, covering a multitude of subjects, taking a very scary practice and making it accessible. Not an easy job, but Jay Wiseman does a great job of it.
When I was 18, my stepmom gave me a gift certificate to a sex toy store for Christmas. I wandered around the store, and kept coming back to SM 101. I read it three times in one weekend, straight in a row, back to back. When it was over, I wanted to do nothing more than to get out there, find a new friend, and try all that interesting, intriguing stuff I'd just read about out. It was the beginning of a new passion of my own, and I haven't looked back. I reread it every year, I've recommended it to countless people, bought people copies of it, and still find it valuable.
Follow-up commentary
As I've gained more experience in BDSM, this book has still stayed at the top of my list of recommended, useful, and needed books on my shelf. I've loaned countless copies to people, and I'm always glad to do it, even though I rarely have them given back.

Jay Wiseman is an author of countless books, in different genres, with a lot of experience in different fields. This book, though, is where he really shines. His genuine passion to educate, enjoy, and entertain comes through clearly, and inspires you to go out and do the same--or at least to try it yourself.
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  • Jimbo Jones
    So, despite some information in the last edition being out of date, the book still merits 5 stars? It's interesting that at 18 your stepmom's gift opened your life to a new passion. Does she know that, or is this part of your life behind closed doors? Thanks for the review.
  • Kitty Mow!
    Because the rest of the book is so overwhelmingly worthwhile, yes, I'd give it that much. Plus, again, the internet is a wonderful thing, so all of the more recent information is really easy to get. I use the resources as more of a jumping off point than a finish line.

    And yes, my stepmonster knows. She is less than pleased. It amuses the hell out of me. I'm out, to pretty much everyone I know. It seemed illogical to hide it from anyone, especially once I really started practicing a great deal.
  • Ghost
    Thanks for the review!
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