A practitioner of BSDM for more than 30 years gives advice and safety tips for the beginner in this erotic how-to manual.
Cascia (I Am Adam I Am Eve, 2015) answers the question “Where do I begin?” for novices exploring the world of bondage-discipline and dominance-submission. The first word pairing does not necessarily incorporate the second one, and the author also stresses that neither has anything to do with sex. Rather, they are emotional/psychological/physical outlets that have more to do with relationships, trust, and boundaries. Since BSDM is so often confused with outright abuse or mislabeled as “sick,” he takes pains to describe the difference between mutually agreed upon limits and safe words in a pairing that explores intimacy and the uncaring and exploitative nature of partner abuse. Partner abuse, he asserts, is fueled by narcissism and a fear of intimacy. Consent is, of course, stressed, but Cascia emphasizes several times the importance of informed consent—neither party can proceed without a clear, mutual understanding of what is going to happen. Of course the amount of details will vary with the participants, but the author insists on a baseline of expectations. For example, never leave a partner bound alone in a room (a nanny cam must be employed if being “alone” is part of the fantasy) and adequately support the submissive’s head if face slapping will occur. The level of preparation, education, and trust needed deftly comes across here. The author also warns that the novice should be aware of the border between consensual role playing and true mind games. The manual’s content is intriguing and illuminating, written in a straightforward, if clumsy, style, more like a pamphlet than a book. But the many misspellings and syntax errors are unfortunate (“Needs to be thought-out and studied on an induvial basis”; “Communication is EXTREAMLEY INPORTANT!”; “collard” for collared; “INMFORMED CONSENT”). The mistakes are quite distracting, and the odd line breaks, sometimes in midsentence, do not help. But the text offers a helpful questionnaire and glossary and provides valuable insights and maturity in this portrayal of human relationships.
A messy but enlightening guide to a growing lifestyle.