Kink in exile

Notes from a kinky nomad

Book review: The New Topping Book

Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy do it again. Easton and Hardy revised the Topping book originally published in 1994, updating it to include a wealth of information about the BDSM community which has truly come out of its shell in the internet age.

I’m a huge fan of this pair. They bring decades of experience together with common sense, humor, spirituality, and a passion for what they do to create one of the best introductions to BDSM that I have ever read. To be sure, the Topping Book is not a technical manual, nor does it set out to be. Instead, it tackles the emotional and phycological issues involved in BDSM from a top’s perspective.

The New Topping Book provides an overview of everything from ethics in BDSM, to toys, to meeting others all peppered with stories of scenes from Easton and Hardy’s past. Again and again I found myself wishing that some of their pearls of wisdom could be printed in 42pt font and posted on the dungeon wall. They even address my biggest pet peeve: real tops, true bottoms, and kinkier than thou egos saying, “…the only criterion for good play is: did everyone get what they wanted from it?”

Easton and Hardy commit to a politically correct use of pronouns switching from “he” to “she” if not in mid-paragraph than certainly in mid-page. Though this is a definit imporvement over the earlier he/she, I expected it to make the language cluttered and hard to follow. However, I found that I didn’t notice the switchy pronouns nearly as much as I expected to, and I think most readers will mentally insert whatever is appropriate to them anyway. The pronoun issue is a hard one, and I applaud Easton an Hardy for seeking a solution that is as elegant as it is socially progressive.

In short, this is a great book and I would highly recommend it (as well as its companion: the New Bottoming Book) to anyone entering the scene. And with more advanced sections on the topics such as shadow play, public play, and long term d/s, I think Easton and Hardy’s work would be applicable even to more advanced players.

As always, please feel free to check out the sex toys store. You can also find BDSM and Fetish products, or go directly to The New Topping Book

Written by kinkinexile

January 16, 2009 at 12:02 pm

One Response

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  1. I found another of their titles very informative, albeit a bit pedantic; The Ethical Slut. Dossie and Janet mentioned they wanted to stray from this for their other titles, so I was willing to give them another chance. Coincidentally i picked up this title from my shrink and am looking forward to giver ‘er a go. We’ll need to discuss some of the finer points, if not directly put them into practice. 😉


    January 24, 2009 at 10:43 am

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