Feb 192015
 

Ok. So hopefully, we’re all over the hype of 50 Shades of WTF. Yes, it is a fictional book written at a 9th grade reading level based on fan fiction of Twilight that does not represent an accurate, well consented kink relationship. It is not a book I personally would ever suggest to someone to “try out” their feelings on kink.

However, what is has done is engaged hundred of thousands, millions even, of folks who never knew they were kinky. Stay at home soccer parents, aging adults reading this book instead of knitting on trains, younger folks wanting *something* more from sex, but not sure what, have now found something that makes their bits tingle in a whole new way. It made it OK to have conversations around being turned on by bondage, power exchange, etc. Heck, even Target carried the 50 Shades of Grey line of kink-ish merch in their stores. It was acceptable, more than ever before, to be interested in kink, and to talk about it. Moreover, we’ve had more conversations about consent (in kinky AND vanilla aka non-kinky relationships alike) than I have ever engaged in through my life. This is good. And now what?

Here is a list of places (books, educators, videos, etc.) where you might want to direct your newly kinky or at least exploring friends, clients, selves, etc. I hope it helps people engage in this world of kink, BDSM, fetishes, etc., in a way that is fun, communicative and consensual. And perhaps well written.

-Shanna

Shanna Katz, Kink Educator

 

Erotica (other naughty books to enjoy):

Laura Antoniou’s Marketplace series (start with Book 1 – The Marketplace)

Becoming Sage and Saving Sunni by Kasi and Reggie Alexander

The Sleeping Beauty Series by Anne Rice

Best Bondage Erotica 2015 edited by Rachel Krammer Bussel

Bound for Trouble: BDSM Erotica for Women edited by Alison Tyler

Best Lesbian Bondage Erotica edited by Tristan Taormino

(side note: any erotica anthology edited by the above folks is bound to be delightful. BOUND. See what I did there?)

 

How to Books to Check Out:

SM 101 by Jay Wiseman

The Ultimate Guide to Kink by Tristan Taormino

As Kinky as You Wanna Be by Shanna Germain (disclaimer: I have a short essay on communication in this book)

Playing Well with Others by Lee Harrington and Mollena Williams

Wild Side Sex: the Book of Kink by Midori

Your Pleasure Map by Shanna Katz (not all about kink but has a section on it…and also a section on health communication and consent – disclaimer: this is by me)

Shibari You Can Use by Lee Harrington

 

Websites with How-To-Videos:

KinkAcademy.com (disclaimer: I have videos on this site)

NewToKink.com (disclaimer: I have videos on this site)

 

Educators to Check Out (other than me, obviously!):

(not exhaustive…also, a lot of kink educators only do in person workshops and do not have websites, so check out FetLife.com, which is a social media site for kinky folks to find kink educational events near you)

Carol Queen

Charlie Glickman

Cleo DuBois

Ducky Doolittle

Eve Minax

Graydancer

Julian Wolf

Laura Antoninou

Lee Harrington

Lolita Wolf

Megan Andelloux

Midori

Mollena William

Nina Hartley

Pucker Up – Tristan Taormino

Reid About Sex

Sarah Sloane

Sinclair Sexsmith

Need New Kinky/Sexy Toys: Body Friendly Toy and Lube Companies

Places to Buy Kinky/Sexy Toys: Feminist/Sex Positive Toy Stores

Jul 192013
 

LTS

Date: July 25, 2013

Time: 7pm

Location: Fascinations,

4111 E Virginia Ave

Glendale, CO 80246

Cost: FREE (must be 18+)

Ever wonder what all those letters stood for? Now you can find out! Learn about the basics of kink play, the difference between a whip, a flogger and a paddle, and what it means to be in a 24-7 relationship. Understand the differences between fantasy (like 50 Shades of Grey) and how to turn those thoughts into your own sexy reality, and how to bring up a little kink action in the bedroom to your partner. Whether you’re looking to join the local scene or just to add some spice into the bedroom, this is a great overview for anyone.

Plus, thanks to the amazing Crystal Delights, I’ll be giving away a glass toy with a Swavorski crystal base to one lucky attendee. Hope to see you there!

-Shanna

 

Jul 052012
 

I’m not going to lie. I was a hold out. I really, truly, based on the feedback of others, didn’t want to read this book. I didn’t. However, after I started to get requests for press snippets based on the book, I figured that I was being pretty ridiculous to not read it. THIS book is the hot subject in sexuality right now; it’s the Rabbit Vibrator of Sex and the City of 2012. I needed to read it.

So I bought Fifty Shades of Grey and brought it with me on our trip to Florida to read over. I had heard that it poorly represented the kink community, that the writing was terrible, that is was boring, etc. I tried to go in with an open mind, but I’ll admit, I had some bias.

My thoughts:

The writing, especially the first few chapters, felt like an 11th grade essay. It was as if someone had told the author that she needed to be more descriptive, so she would use about four or five adjectives every time she tried to describe something. One might call it flowery language. To me, this was kind of annoying. However, as some folks have pointed out, not everyone has the same reading level, and this use of language might make it more accessible to more people. This is a great point, and while I still may grumble about her descriptions of Kate on the first few pages, I get that this allows more people to read. More people reading is awesome, PERIOD, even if I personally don’t mesh with the writing style.

The characters are interesting in that in some ways, they are over developed, in other ways, they aren’t at all. I think it’s nice having a heroine who isn’t blonde and stereotypically thin yet buxom…on the other hand, I think it’s a little sad that she has to get her self confidence (the little she gains) from someone who is not her. I have trouble supporting the idea that we have to rely on partners to love ourselves. Also, I cannot imagine (also noted by Jack Stratton) that someone is ridiculously “old-fashioned” and formal as Mr. Grey would call Ana “baby.” I mean, really? That was not well thought through.

I have some issues with the idea that he wouldn’t even consider playing with her (or anyone else, for that matter) a few times before bringing up the idea of a full time (or full weekend?) slave contract. I feel like if someone did that in our local community (“If you’re interested in me, you must sign a 24/7 contract before we can see if you like this and if we are compatible together”), we would call out that person for predatory behavior (actually, this has happened in our community, and said person was banned from multiple dungeons for poaching on newbies to the scene, and contracting them to his “house” without allowing them to get their footing first).

So yes, I have issues overall. However, I do appreciate that they covered STI testing and safewords (though I would have rather them talked about dams too, and condoms for oral, rather than just penile-vaginal), which are frequently left out of romance style novels and much erotica. I like that they talked about consent. I don’t like that she was banned from discussing things (I think that is a huge part of being kinky is trying new things, discussing your feelings/reactions with others, and tweaking what your like/don’t like), but I get that is was part of his millionaire schtick.

Is it the BEST intro book into kink? Perhaps not. I personally would recommend Becoming sage by Kasi Alexander
(here is a link to my review of Becoming Sage) as a book I feel better fits the reality of the community (and also has a writing style I like better). However, I think this is a good Gateway Book into kink. If people read this, and it gets them hot, and that then inspires them to join FetLife, read kinky erotica, check out local kink events, and to have their desires fulfilled, then it is absolutely successful, whether or not I think it is perfect. So if you or your “friend” (or actual friend) is considering this, remember to take it with a grain of salt (it IS a romance novel), but know that for many folks, this is the book that revolutionized the way they look at sex. And that, my friends, is an excellent thing!
Click here to buy your own copy of Fifty Shades of Grey .