Few books come with warning labels, but this one does: ``Readers should not attempt any of the activities described in these pages.'' Why not? Because the outrÇ sexual practices described by the Brames (she: a former therapist; he: a former archaeologist) and Jacobs (a freelance writer) in this bold report carry psychological and, often, physical risks—though that hasn't stopped the two-hundred-odd practitioners whom the authors interviewed, nor the millions who share their passion for sexual dominance and submission (D&S). All D&S, the authors explain, involves a ``power exchange'' in which one partner ``tops,'' or dominates, and the other ``bottoms,'' or submits—whether through bondage, wrestling, whipping, body-piercing, etc. After running through the history of D&S scholarship—with expected nods at Krafft-Ebbing and Havelock Ellis—the Brames and Jacob present an overview of the practices themselves, which range from infantilism (the bottom often wears a diaper and sucks on a bottle) and depersonalization (the bottom may act like an object, perhaps a footstool, or an animal, most often a pony) to spanking, cross-dressing, foot fetishes, enemas, branding, and so on. The authors discuss the methods, psychological bases, and historical backgrounds of the practices, each of which is illuminated by interviews with practitioners who speak with great seriousness (``Deliberate, ritualized infliction of what we call pain can change the relationship of the body and that which lives in the body,'' says Fakir Musafar, who likes to dangle from trees by way of ``fleshhooks''). And as for the risks, nearly all of these sexual outlaws identify with the ``Scene'' (the vast D&S underground that's highly self-aware: Two thousand infantilists, for example, belong to a ``Diaper Pail Fraternity'') and with its credo of ``Safe, Sane, and Consensual.'' The definitive guide to the sexual styles of those who walk on the wild side.
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