“How to get your Fifty Shades on…
For anyone who’s felt…inspired…after reading Fifty Shades of Grey, The Book of Kink both entertains and enlightens, showing you the who, what, where, why, and how of kink.
People everywhere are into kinky sex. For some, it’s a way to spice up a withered sex life; for others, it’s a way of life. No matter how or why we do it, kinky sex is as old as Adam and Eve and as commonplace as your next-door neighbor. For example, did you know:
- Japan organized the largest orgy ever caught on tape, featuring 500 participants?
- A Berlin hotel offers different rooms dedicated to kinky sex, including one with a coffin?
- Those who are into having sex with an armpit have a fetish called axillism?
- There is a university dedicated entirely to love and sex called the Loveology University?The Book of Kink is an entertaining and enlightening look into all things beyond the pale when it comes to sex. Exploring everything from equipment, sex classes, sex parties, and porn to the who, what, where, when, why, and how of kink, it delves into fetishes, turn-ons, role-playing, and how the Internet has put a new spin on kinkiness. It is an X-rated romp through cultural and social history and contemporary mores.
Whether you’re appalled to learn that people actually do this or are relieved to find out that you’re not the only one, you’ll never see sex the same way again.”
My focus in college for both research and study was sexuality and gender. BDSM was a huge interest of mine and I read and studied this on my free time as well as writing papers and interviewing people in the community. I was really excited when one of my girlfriends in college gave me this book. I didn’t read it until now. So you now get the pleasure of seeing where this author went wrong page by page, because this author clearly knows NOTHING about BDSM or sexuality that is not monogamous, cisgender, and straight.
Chapter 1: Kink Gone Mainstream
So this was a chapter that was sensationalized BS. The author quotes celebrities talking about doing “kinky” things. She talks about sex shops like Babeland (actually one of the best sex shops out there, along with Good Vibrations). However the author also mentions Loveology which is not an accredited school of sexology like John Hopkins University. The author continues to quote the creator of Loveology through the rest of the book though the woman has no credentials.
There is a lot of talk of porn magazines, but no talk of the rammifications of this. There is also only talk of the mostly generic starter magazines like Hustler. There is no talk of the Suicide Girls or any of the actual fetish models (it would have been super cool to see one of my friends mentioned, who just happens to be a fetish model in Boston).
The author even touches on pole dancing as exercise, which to be fair is pretty “kinky”, but when my grandmother threatens to buy my aunt a pole to help her get into shape I am not sure it is considered kinky any more or that much of a taboo the way the author tries to make it.
The author mentions tattoos as only a fetish when it is on someone’s pubic area, but there are hundreds of events every year where people get tattoos or give tattoos as part of a huge subculture. There are people like me that are more attracted to people because they have good tattoos, but there is also the fetish for branding, cutting, burning, tattooing, and being tattooed that are not mentioned. Why not? I feel like they were too hardcore for the author or she just doesn’t know they exist.
Chapter 2: The Basics of Kink
The author takes statistics throughout the book and recites them like a Psychology Today article. These statistics don’t mean what the author is trying to make them mean, but instead uses them to sensationalize what she is saying.
The vampire fetish stops at seeing them as dangerous bad boys for this author. Yet most vampire fetishists and people who identify with vampires have a thing for blood. Playing with blood, seeing blood, drinking blood, drawing blood, you get the idea. Yet somehow it is because of Twilight and True Blood that people have these fetishes? Sorry people who have read Dracula and that have been kicked out of kink groups because blood play is often an unacceptable fetish because of the dangers associated with blood. Which brings me to another point that this author fails to make: Some kinks are more “mainstream” or ok than others. Not every kink is considered acceptable or is treated with respect. More on this soon.
Swinging ins’t always a fetish. Instead it is a dating style, same as polyamory. Swinging is often considered a type of poly relationships. This author treats them as fetishes, when they actually aren’t. Many poly people do not have group sex and many don’t ever meet their partner’s partner. Yet according to the author the relationships only open up after someone else is found, but if you actually talk to poly people they start their relationships open more times than not.
Solo suck is a totally over sensationalized fetish that is used to show how weird kink is. People laugh at videos of people and start rumors about celebrities that are seen as freaks like Marilyn Manson.
S&M vs SM? Is that really a thing? Many of my friends are into S&M or SM depending on how lazy they are when they are typing, but there has been no explicit difference made between the two. In my years of research in the kinky community, both readings and interviews there has never been a distinction between the two.
Dominants (often written as a capital word) are people who are the ones who appear to be in control. They are people who are into a power exchange. They are not necessarily tops or aggressive. Dominants have many different ways of being from Master, Owner, Sir, Ma’am, Mistress, etc. There is a different from a dom and a master. A Master is someone who has experience with the power exchange and can create that power dynamic.
A submissive (often written with lowercase letters) is someone who is submissive and gives the power to their Dom. A sub is not always a bottom as the author suggests. Subs can be anyone, but when talked about in the mainstream there is a huge focus on businessmen to sensationalize that powerful men are subs. A slave is a sub that has given up a lot of their freedoms to submit to their Master or Owner. They often need permission to use the bathroom, make decisions, or to get dressed. This is a deeper level of submission than a sub typically gives. A human pet gives up even more rights that can include eating, drinking, bathroom habits, and more. This requires a great deal of trust and communication.
Chapter 3: A History of Debauchery
The author has a very Western view of sex. She does not mention that masturbation is actually a criminal offense in many parts of the world. Kissing is seen as disgusting in others. What is considered kinky is different in each area. There are areas that parents will have sex within feet of their children and it is seen as normal. In America the parents could be called into question over their ability to parent children for exposing themselves to the children and exposing them to sexuality in general. Kink is something that is can be highly illegal: forced imprisonment, attack with a deadly weapon, assault, rape, sexual assault, etc. Consent is often not seen as an “excuse” for engaging in these practices. People that are openly kinky can and do lose their children.
Why is homosexuality considered a kink in this chapter? Being gay is not inherently kinky and should not be seen as something taboo at all, but the author grasping for anything kinky to discuss mentions how emperors and kings had male lovers.
Prostitution being seen as kinky. That is not the way that I would want to start the conversation on sex work. It is a really dangerous job, with very little rights or protections for the people who willingly engage. There is also little to no escape from the life for those who are unwillingly engaging in it. It is a super complicated issue that can’t come down to “prostitution is kinky lol” like this author did.
Oral sex is so darn kinky that is is scary, of course. Oral sex isn’t considered kinky in the current time. It is considered illegal in many states because of the anti-sodomy laws though. What is still considered kinky is rimming, but that is not mentioned here. Rimming is the act of using the mouth, tongue, and teeth on the anus of another person.
Piercings are mentioned in this chapter as being a historically use. But there is little to no mention of play piercings. Play piercings are even kinkier than getting them done in a professional studio, yet the author doesn’t mention having piercing parties or people doing temporary piercings during a scene.
Chapter 4: Let’s Reach Around the World
A really basic look at statistics that mean little to nothing from different continent. Each continent she mentions get only a few pages. There is little to no mention of different sexual taboos like kissing being dirty, the different views of virginity, and more. This chapter is completely fluff.
Chapter 5: Destination Sex
Talking about kinky destinations which is a very classist view of kink. Only those that have money can engage in these kinks. It was fascinating to read, but the majority of kinksters are not upper class people that can afford to go on vacation and pay thousands of dollars a night to have kinky sex with toys you are unsure of the sterility of.
The Mile High Club? Really? There are jokes about it in kids movies. Is this considered kinky anymore? This was just such a waste of space when the author could talk about how porn has tried to market sex in public by creating fake public scenes, it can talk about play parties, it could talk about sex conventions.
Aphrodisiacs are mentioned in this chapter in detail. There are no mention of chicken noodle soup which was one of the first aphrodisiacs in recorded history. Instead it focuses mostly on romantic foods like chocolate and honey. Though I was glad that there was actually some discussion of the science behind why these can be viewed as sexual.
Chapter 6: Equip and Brace Yourself
The author talks about lube briefly but doesn’t mention that some lubes can break down toys or that other lubes can cause yeast infections. This could have been a great moment, but the author talks about spit, but doesn’t even touch on the pro and cons of using it vs lube.
This is where I started to get angry in the book: the sex dolls. There are a lot of things that are just awful in this section. There is the issue that the author only mentions the human shaped ones when the most seen sex doll in the mainstream is a goat. Then the issues of the real doll that the creator swears doesn’t objectify women. The creator doesn’t give them a voice because the users don’t want them to talk. How is that not objectifying? Then he goes as far to say that saying his dolls are objectifying would mean that we would have to say that dildos are objectifying men. There is the issue that real objectification requires a power over the person or body part that is objectified. So men aren’t objectified, Women and trans people are.
Chastity belts aren’t used only in D/s relationships. They are also used as a part of orgasm denial that can be a fetish all on its own. They can also be used as a sort of secret fetish wear that no one else knows you are wearing. There is a huge issue saying that anything in the fetish world is ONLY something.
There are different kinds of collars. There are collars used only in a play setting, there are collars that are used to train, and there are collars that are used in a collaring. Mind you that collaring collars may or may not be actual collars. Instead these can also be rings, necklaces, bracelets. The author doesn’t see the gravity of a collar ceremony, it feels just derogatory the way that the author discusses collarings.
This is also the chapter that discusses SSC (safe, sane, and consentual), which in 2011 when the book was published was not the primary model in the BDSM community. Instead RACK (risk aware consensual kink) has been the primary model since around 2007/2008 when I had just started my research into the BDSM world.
Chapter 7: Fetishes
The second sentence of this chapter made me want to throw this book. Instead of valuing the transgender (NOTICE HOW THAT IS NOT TRANSGENDERED) people they are treated solely as a fetish and that is not seen as skeevy at all.
Paraphilia and fetishe are actually different words just a FYI. Paraphilia is seen as not as strong as a fetish in the research community. Not all fetishes can be traced back to childhood, Freud JR. This view of fetishes is not the sole view, but this author very much likes that all fetishes are formed based on experiences in childhood. This would then suggest that if I liked being spanked (the example in the book) it was because I was spanked often as a child. Yet there are many people into impact play who were good children.
The fetish that takes up the most space in this chapter is surprise, the foot fetish. This is the most commonly made fun of fetish in TV shows. So I am not surprised that the author would think that this needed a great deal of attention. Add in that the author also thinks that giving the scientific name makes the fetishes more interesting. Though how many people that do that fetish label themselves with that name? That is just used as a distancing technique and as a way to further push the fetishes to look strange and weird since they sound like diseases now instead of approachable.
Vampire fetishism comes up again but with no mention of blood! REALLY?
Vor comes up, but the author fails to realize that there are ways to act out every fetish there is, even when it comes to being consumed. Have you heard of the man who invented the suit that meant he could be eaten by an anaconda and survive? Totally into vor, with little regard to the snake.
Pedophilia is not considered a fetish. It is something that is considered a crime and not allowed in fetish circles, yet the author brings it up as a fetish. This is one of those things that is not accepted. Same as bestiality. However zoophilia and bestiality are drastically different. Zoophilia is the love of animals like going on dates and taking care of them. Bestiality is having sex with animals with no regard for their safety. I would trust someone with zoophilia with my dog because they would take care of her the same way you would with your human partner. There is a drastic difference. Bestiality is another thing that is not allowed at fetish circles. They are kept away and there are clear lines drawn when it comes to animals that animals are never sexually touched.
Frotting is also the name for rubbing two or more sets of genitals against each other and is very common in gay male sex. Yet this author stops at the idea that is is sexually harassing people in public with your hard on.
The author also adds in technosexuality and OS, which are SEXUAL ORIENTATIONS NOT FETISHES. There are people that fall in love and want relationships with who and/or what they love. This is not a fetish. This is a basic human desire.
The author only mentioned pony play. There was no mention of animal play or otherkin. There are more animals out there than just ponies. There are dog parks in SF that are for human dogs only. There is a lot of action that isn’t the pony.
Chapter 8: Porn and Sex Tapes
There is no mention of the queer porn scene in Oakland, which is really out in the open. There is no mention of kink.com or any of the other huge kinky porn sites. Instead it is a focus on home made sex tapes of celebrities. WHY DOES THIS MATTER?
Chapter 9: Kink Lingo
This is literally a list of sex terms that the author defines.
Bear: A big hairy gay man. That is all. There is no need to smoke cigars.
Body Worship: Attention that is paid to worship the body. Does not need to be oral.
boy: Doesn’t have to be gay.
Butch: doesn’t have to be dominant.
Cream pie: Doesn’t have to be in a woman and doesn’t require watching the semen drop out either.
Doggy Style: doesn’t have to be a woman.
DP: can also include the mouth and can happen to men too.
Felching: Another attempt by the author to talk about the a taboo.
Flag/Flagging: Actually called the hanky code and has dozens of colors that can symbolize a lot of things from fisting to holding an orgy.
Flying: Actually called subspace. Really? Did the author not manage to get one of the very, very basic things right?
Gender Fuck: this is actually a gender identity and not a sexual fetish. A woman wearing a strap-on is not a gender fuck, they could just be into strap-ons or pegging. Have I mentioned how cis the author reads yet?
Glass Bottom Boat: Actually called Belgian chocolate.
Pansexuality: I need to quote this so you can see how wrong this is: “When kinky people from all sexual orientations -heterosexual, homosexual, transgender, and so on- hang out together”. So first off pansexuality is a sexual orientation that is similar to bisexuality but allows for the person who identifies as pansexual to have feelings for people of more than two sexes and/or genders. Pansexual possibly started as a political statement about bisexuality creating a gender and sex binary that doesn’t really exist. Also transgender is not a sexual orientation, it is a gender identity WHICH IS A DIFFERENT THING.
Percussion Play: Actually called impact play.
Ponyboy/Ponygirl: doesn’t have to be a submissive to be a pony. Many people who are into animal play are not into D/s.
Tranny Chaser: The author doesn’t see transgender, transsexual, and cross-dressing as different things. The author uses the derogatory term for cross-dressing when there is no need. A tranny chaser is someone who chases transsexuals and fetishizes transsexual people. This can also include transgender people, but historically refers to transsexuals.
Transgendered: first off, transgendered is bad English. The term is transgender unless you also say “boyed” or “girled”. The definition given by the author is for transsexual. The true definition is much different as transgender is a super broad term that explains gender expression and identity variances across a large spectrum.
Transvestite: actually cross-dresser
Transsexual: the author uses horrible word choices that belittles transsexual people and makes it seem like a game instead of a real thing.
Verbal Abuse: not something that is supposed to happen to everyone. If someone gives permission then it is not abuse. Please don’t mistake BDSM and abuse.
Yiffing: No. You are so wrong. Have you even googled yiff? Go ahead, I’ll wait. It is not having sex in the virtual world. It is something much furrier.
0.5 out of 5 stars. I would not recommend this book. If you are want more information email me instead or Google things. Urban Dictionary is more accurate than this book.
You can buy this book here. Save yourself the money and don’t.