Book Review: The Ultimate Guide to Kink – Edited by Tristan Taormino

Imagine gathering many of the greatest minds in BDSM and alternative sexuality, and then getting the opportunity to hear their philosophies, experiences and instruction on every broad kinky topic.  That’s the premise behind The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play and the Erotic Edge edited by Tristan Taormino, and spoiler alert – it delivers.

Weighing in at 462 pages of mostly text, this is a tome of solid information.  The book is arranged so that multiple experts take a chapter and explore different aspects of the kink world.  Would you be excited to read what The Marketplace author Laura Antoniou has to say about training a sex slave?  How about reading what dominatrix icon Midori has to say about female dominance?  The Ultimate Guide to Kink is filled with one great chapter after another with that level of expertise.

The level of instruction in the chapters ranges from mere philosophy to detailed application.  In the chapter on spanking here’s an example of the advice on dealing with bruising from Lolita Wolf,

“Apply cold during the first 48 hours; after that, apply heat.  Keep the skin moisturized with some nice lotion.  Arnica from the health food store also heals bruising.”

While subjects like impact play could easily be covered in an entire book (Lolita Wolf has written a book on spanking), each chapter of The Ultimate Guide to Kink gives an excellent overview of the subject.  Some subjects I’ve never seen covered elsewhere.

The book is organized into two sections.  The first section, Skills and Techniques, covers things like bondage, impact play, rough sex and anal play.  The chapter on all the basic definitions that we use, including the definition of BDSM itself, is the best article I’ve read on the subject. Tristan Taormino presents a fistful of great history and information in that inaugural chapter alone.

The second part of the book, Fantasies and Philosophies, explores role playing, human animal scenes, expanding limits, sadism, mindfucks and much more.  The article on submission, by Madison Young, goes behind the mind of a submissive and discusses how to balance service with the rest of your life.  She shares some exceptionally hot personal stories to illustrate her points.  I like how she refers to kinky people as “Sexual Outlaws”… that’s a phrase that I’ll use from now on.

The Ultimate Guide to Kink lives up to the lofty name on the cover.  The book broadly covers nearly every aspect of the “Sexual Outlaw” experience.  The writers are legitimate thought leaders in the community and speak with both education and experience.  I think whether you are completely new to the scene or someone who has walked this path for a long time that you will find a wealth of information in this book. The Ultimate Guide to Kink is published by Cleis Press and has moved to my short list of books I would suggest to someone who wants to know more about BDSM.

Dirk Hooper is an award-winning international fetish photographer, award-winning professional writer, journalist for the fetish community and expert on personal branding. Email Dirk Hooper Dirk Hooper on Twitter

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