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Different Loving: An Exploration of the World of Sexual Dominance and Submission Hardcover – June 1, 1993

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When the best option is to let go of the life you planned for yourself and find a new path, a world of possibilities can surprisingly open up.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 539 pages
  • Publisher: Villard; 1 edition (June 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679408738
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679408734
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 6.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Although the authors insist this tome "is not an apologia for sadomasochism," it often reads like one. Rejecting theories that explain S&M in terms of low self-esteem or regressed sexuality, they portray sexual dominants, submissives and fetishists "as they see themselves: loving and compassionate individuals" for whom pain is pleasure and physical bondage is psychologically liberating. However, it is hard to reconcile this formula with the interviewees' graphic accounts of whipping, spanking, "golden showers" (urination), the use of hot wax and clothespins, depersonalization fantasies (being treated like an animal or a chair) and so forth. The wife-husband Brames (she is a poet, he a novelist) and freelance writer Jacobs also devote sections to genital piercing, scarification (cutting one's body with a knife), tattooing, female wrestling and transvestites and transsexuals who engage in S&M. Author tour.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

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 outr‚ 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. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Customer Reviews

This book is very informative.
Beth Payne
I highly recommend this book to anyone who does not understand what BDSM is, or wants to know more about it, or, if they think it's only for 'weird people'.
Salix Alba
It's very insightful and educational in regards to the world of Dominance and submission.
Cathleen M. Brock

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

143 of 148 people found the following review helpful By "mistress_pamela" on March 26, 2002
Format: Paperback
I been involved in a true 24/7 BDSM Lifestyle for the past 25 years. Most of the books written on the subject were either pornographic in nature and/or lacking in the true understanding of the proper dynamics in a healthy consensual BDSM Lifestyle. This book is WONDERFUL. I completely agree with every aspect of this book. It is so well written and so informative and accurate.
I usually do not read BDSM books because so many books are filled with fantasy/nonsense. This book was refreshing. My slave and I read a chapter at a time and discussed the topics. I enjoyed the authors interviewing REAL people in the Life. You may not like/enjoy all the activities in each chapter (who does!) but it is worth reading about and expanding your mind. I give this book an extremely high rating and feel that the novice out there would do her/him self a service to take the time to read this book. Even for those weekend warriors out there.......you can learn from this book. Pleased in Texas
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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book was my first introduction into D/s. I had always felt I was somewhat submissive..and this book confirmed it for me. The authors use real-life couples and D/s-ers at every level to paint a vivid picture of what THE LIFE is all about on so many different levels. You will find yourself identifying with many of the things said in this book. If you have ever wanted to satisfy your curiousity concerning BDSM or D/s, this book is a great place to start....a very easy read, and a great reference for the future.
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60 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Master Acolyte on February 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is excellent for those who are new to O/our lifestyle and are looking for an overview of what its all about. There may be those that might like it for the odd chuckle or idea for a new scene. Those really serious or experienced in the lifestyle may find it dry at times and elongated, but it does contain many insights. I personaly found the book a worthy read and representative of generalities.. however I do have the strong belief that love MUST be a large part of the equation and this is something the authors TOTALLY overlooked... BDSM without love is like trying to swim on dry land.. its possible but hadly gratifying... enjoy the book F/friends. Be well. MA
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Luce Brown on December 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
Human sexuality has a much wider spectrum than we've been taught by the propaganda we're force-fed all our lives. I learned that once, when I came out a dyke at age 19, and I learned it yet again when I came out into BDSM last year at age 40, never before having put two and two together between BDSM and the fantasies I've had my whole life long. I kept them secret because I was ashamed of them. If there's one thing this book did for me, it was to help me realize I wasn't so unusual, wasn't a sicko after all and had no cause for shame. (Yeah, yeah, I know some readers of this review will disagree -- so what, get a life.) Many of the kinks discussed in this book aren't my kink, but the lesson is there: we are vast in our expression and in our needs. I wish the understanding contained in this book had been made available to me, and to everybody else, a long time ago. It would have prevented much needless suffering, especially that horrible suffering of feeling forced to hide oneself from one's loved ones. Besides that, it's a good and informative book about BDSM and the BDSM scene, though if you're looking for "how-tos", that's not this book's purpose.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Lucas on May 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
As a switch, I was looking for a couple of good books on BDSM. I purchased Different Loving and Female Domination. Different Loving is without doubt the superior written book. Not only is this book written in an intelligent, engaging style that conveys the truly multifariate components of this lifestyle, but presents the vibrant people involved in these practices as genuinely real and with respect. In contrast, Female Domination casts people into two sharp worlds of the dominant and submissive. All men are submissives and all women are dominant according to Suttons ridiculously erroneous worldview. People are presented as paper cut outs, stamped out and forced into Sutton's preconceived notions of gender and sex. It is genuinely laughable how Sutton attempts to explain the blairing anomalies of her thinking or conviently ignores what is commond practice and desire among men and women.

In startling contrast, Different Loving presents to the reader real human beings first and foremost and treats the reader as an intelligent audience member. It addresses the full gamut of this lifestyle and also brings an awareness of abuse issues, which is courageous I think and does not shy away from these topics. In short, it puts BDSM in its rightful context as being part of a person and not the defining thing in their life.

From being technically written well and engagingly so, full of informative information, and also presenting the context in an entertaining fasshion and cover just about ever sexual permutation--straight or gay, dominant, submissive, or swtich. It recongizes that life is much larger than any one thing or any one author's personal expectations or delusions of what the world at large should be.

I highly recommend this book.
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