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The S&M Feminist: Best Of Clarisse Thorn Kindle Edition

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Length: 373 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

Between the World and Me
2015 National Book Awards - Nonfiction Winner
Get your copy of this year's National Book Award winner for nonfiction, "Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Hardcover | Kindle book | See more winners

Product Details

  • File Size: 2181 KB
  • Print Length: 373 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: May 27, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0086QIBEC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,316 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Clarisse Thorn writes and speaks about sex, gender, new media, and communities. Her writing has appeared across the Internet in places like The Guardian, AlterNet, Feministe, Jezebel, Ms. Media, The Good Men Project, The Rumpus, Role/Reboot, and Time Out. She has delivered lectures across the USA, from museums to universities to SXSW-interactive.

In 2009, Clarisse created and curated the four-year-long Sex+++ documentary film series at Chicago's historic feminist site, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. In 2010, she returned to the USA after working on HIV mitigation in southern Africa. She has also volunteered as an archivist, curator and fundraiser for that venerable S&M institution, the Leather Archives & Museum. Clarisse spends most of her time in San Francisco and Chicago.

Find Clarisse's blog at, or follow her on Twitter @ClarisseThorn.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Thirdman on September 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
I recommend this book whether or not you are into aspects of BDSM or gender theory, for Clarisse Thorn might change your mind subtly about both as she has mine.

Although this book deals somewhat actively with BDSM, its sex-positive nature is actually much more encompassing of all types of sexuality than its name implies. Bringing lessons and practices from the BDSM community, such as safewords to increase the level of verbal and non-verbal consent, Clarisse Thorn presents many tools for healthy forms of communication and self-discovery. By drawing upon her own experiences (good and bad), Thorn embues personality into her writing and thereby makes the analytical style both relatable and exciting.

NOTES ON TITLE: The name comes from a central premise that BDSM is not antithetical to feminism, and a bit about the author's coming to grips with this fact. Hidden in this title is her natural inclination towards the sadism and masochism (S&M) of the BDSM community, instead of say dominance and submission or other parts of the 6-in-1 acronym of BDSM. Despite not personally identifying as heavily with the pain/pleasure concept, I never felt put off--but was quite often fascinated--by her writings.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Charlie Glickman on September 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
It's easy to find plenty of folks who write about how to do BDSM play, and many of them know what they're talking about and can explain it well. There are also quite a few bloggers who share their personal stories and experiences of kink, positive or otherwise. And there's no shortage of people (mostly, but not always feminists) who can discuss the ways in which BDSM can reenact and reinforce some of the really screwed up ways in which sexuality and power are shaped by our culture.

But what's often missing is a blend of all of them. It's hard to find someone who can talk about kink from both personal experience, as someone who enjoys it, while also discussing the many problems, challenges, and questions that surround it. So I really enjoy reading Clarisse Thorn's work.

Clarisse isn't afraid to talk about her own experiences with BDSM, relationships, and sexual politics. But she's also not afraid to explore some of the issues around consent, violence, and safety that a lot of the kink cheerleaders would like to sweep under the rug. She brings a refreshing honesty to her writing that is often lacking. Add to that a deep commitment to feminism and sex-positivity, and you have an amazing combination.

The tension between kink and feminism is a tough one to hold onto and most people end up firmly in one camp or the other. What makes Clarisse's writing phenomenal is her steadfast refusal to avoid doing that. The clarity with which she discusses both sides without resorting to caricatures or stereotypes is simultaneously inspiring and challenging. If you're interested in either or both, I can't recommend her enough.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The S&M Feminist: Best Of Clarisse Thorn is an excellent introduction into pro-sex feminism, as well as S&M, polyamory, gender issues and relationships from a feminist point of view. If you're a regular reader of her wonderful blog you will probably recognize a lot of the articles, but this book ties them all together in a new way.

I think this book is incredibly important and relevant for everyone, whether you identify as feminist or not, whether you are interested in BDSM/S&M or not, polyamorous or not, etc. One of the main topics in the book is communication and consent, a topic that is relevant to all of us, and which I think is too often ignored in "normal" relationships, where we often go by assumption, rather than talking and discussing things openly.
I think we need to teach that sex can be incredibly difficult. It can be hard to communicate with your partner. It can be hard to learn and come to terms with your own sexual desires. It can be hard to understand or accept all your partner's sexual desires. And just because it's hard, doesn't mean that you're with the wrong partner -- or that you're missing some vital piece of information that everyone else has -- or that you're doing it wrong.

All my most extraordinary sexual connections have benefited from everyone involved taking ownership of their desire, and talking about it directly at least a little bit.

The fantasy of a sexual relationship that is totally instinctive and perfect without any effort is just that -- a fantasy.

Another important point she makes, is that we, maybe especially as women, need to learn to be okay with what we want - and with what we don't want.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Heidi Marie Crockett on December 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I came across Clarisse Thorn's blog online and immediately bought this book based on its title. From my limited understanding of BDSM and Feminism, I thought that, at the very least, the book would help to educate me on both. The S & M Feminist is an easy read as it's divided into short chapters and Clarisse writes from her own experience. Her writing style is engaging and she remains brutally honest as she reflects on herself and on wider cultural trends.

What I find personally most inspiring about Clarisse is her absolute belief in consent. If anyone is familiar with books such as "The Curse of the Good Girl," books that explain why adult women tend to feel the need to compromise in work and personal life, Clarisse's perspective will knock your socks off! Just by reading her, I feel that I'm more able to always say no, anywhere, any time, on any subject, and more able to speak up. Thanks for being a role model, Clarisse.
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