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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

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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
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #398,495 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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6 of 6 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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By BC2 on October 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought this was a great book. It's written in a way that's accessible to those who know nothing about BDSM without being boring to kinky folks. I loved Thorn's emphasis on consent and communication. I loved her clear and unapologetic views on sexuality and women's empowerment. I agreed with it so much that I bought a copy for one of my best friends, who tries to be kink friendly but admits that she is worried about me every time she sees a bruise on my body, who can't understand any motivation for engaging in BDSM other than sexual gratification and cannot understand how pain can be part of sexual (or nonsexual) gratification. (The book even includes an essay on how an orgasm is not Thorn's favorite part of sex.) Although the primary focus of the book is on how female submission/masochism is not contradictory to feminism, it also includes substantial discussion of how a man can be a sub/bottom/masochist without feeling emasculated and how a man can be a top/dom/sadist without feeling like an abuser. Thorn also talks about her own experiences topping men; the only topics that aren't analyzed in the book are power dynamics in same-sex or trans couples (because Thorn is heterosexual and switches, and the essays are based on her own life experience). She also analyzes polygamy, monogamy, sex work, and other topics from angles I'd never even thought of before. It's available as an e-book as well as in print, so you all should really go buy it today. And if you're not already, you should follow her blog at clarissethorn(dot)com.
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