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The Pleasure's All Mine: Memoir of a Professional Submissive Paperback – February 14, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (February 14, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786716487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786716487
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,106,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The sweet-natured daughter of a teacher and school principal, Kelly is initially an unlikely player in the sadomasochism realm, more like a journalist reporting on an underground scene. But in relaying her love of paddling, spanking and caning, Kelly emerges as a true submissive, not just an observer. Her journey—and it's a fascinating one—begins when she takes a weekend job as a professional submissive in a "private dungeon." Pent-up with sexual frustration after a breakup with her first master, she's by turns ravenous for punishment and nervous from inexperience. Eventually, she decides to work independently, a rare strategy for a submissive, more common for a dominatrix. With wit and enthrallment, Kelly details encounters that involve various kinky preferences by both her clients and herself, and balances questions of self-worth with scenes of being tied up and whipped. Although the book is predominantly a memoir of Kelly's foray into the kink world, it's also a manifesto about one woman's joy in sex work. Some clients do provoke a creeping dread, but nothing untoward happens to dampen the "pro sub's" enthusiasm, and ultimately Kelly provides a compelling tale of letting go, finding pleasure and getting paid for it. (Feb. 14)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Joan Kelly grew up in a middle-class Southern California neighborhood, the daughter of a teacher and a school principal. Her writing has been published in Ben is Dead, BUST, Kitchen Sink Magazine, and a 2006 anthology about women and horses. Currently a fourth-year undergraduate student at Antioch University in Los Angeles, she is a member of the writer’s group Women at Work. Joan lives in Southern California and, in addition to being semi-obsessed with feminism, she enjoys spending time with her friends and her pets.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By girldiver on August 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
When does a person go from asking why to why not? In a way, that is what Joan Kelly asks through out this memoir of her professional submission. At first, I wasn't so sure I liked Joan Kelly; she came across as aloof and subdued but then she is a submissive. Of course, you realize that she does have a strong will and certainly many personal opinions. I still don't know if I like her but I am most certainly intrigued by her.

"The Memoir of a Professional Submissive" begins with Joan's search to fulfill her desire to submit by attending a BDSM club demonstration. Unlike some, Joan already knows she needs to pursue a submissive role to gain sexual gratification. She's seeking out her fulfillment unsure how to go about it. After stumbling through a few awkward situations she finally ends up at a commercial dungeon for BDSM as a professional submissive. Joan Kelly grants us the privilege of sharing in her journey as a professional submissive. You might not like the journey she takes or the situations she puts herself in but you will certainly be compelled to read each page with pensive interest.

Joan Kelly writes of her journey with wonderful ease and a tempered pace that lends itself nicely to the gradual penetration in to the lifestyle of a professional submissive. This is not some pumped up porn fantasy but a small opening into an alternative lifestyle one woman takes to feel gratification and pay the rent. You can't help feel that this woman was no victim of circumstance but an explorer of self, which brings us back to the question of why or why not. Some of the actions in this book goes beyond what is accepted by the majority and at the same time you read it and societies morality isn't all that important to the discovery of self.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Sandy Park on March 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
I don't know if there are other books out there describing the journey of a professional submissive, but I enjoyed reading WHY Joan made the choices she did, her difficulties along the way and her courage to find what she needed. One of the main things this book does is show that "submissive" does not equal "doormat."

Her story is bound (pun intended) to strike a chord with many submissives who are NOT professional but who are also searching for that special connection. And it provides a highly personal view into the desires, fears, highs and lows that can accompany a dominant/submissive exchange.

Beyond the sexual nature of the subject matter, it is at heart a story of finding and accepting one's self.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J. O'Hara on January 14, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A well written book and it was a fast read. Here is the the problem I had with this book... she presents herself as a submissive for hire/professional submissive in the summery and in the book it reads more like a woman in search of a husband/Master. She lacks the objectivity to do the job, falling in love with her clients, feeling depressed when they don't stay longer than what they have contracted her for. As disappointing a story as The Puppy Papers but better written.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. David on April 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
A page turner. I couldn't put it down. If you are looking for a graphic description of etreem sex this book isn't for you. The author does, however, skillfully reveal to the reader her hopes, fears and vulnerablilities as she pursues her career as a professional sub. Erotic enough to keep my attention, and then some. A great book for a nervous partner to read.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Chris o on March 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
I was a little sceptical about this book. But even with her unusual job, Joan is still a girl just like you and me. The humor she uses to portray her workday, and her life in general will warm your heart.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steve Dietrich VINE VOICE on July 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a really well written story of her path from UC Santa Cruz nerd/sexually awakening young woman, to dungeons from Hollywood to New York. Although the story circles back a few times, it is written and edited well enough to eliminate confusion. And what a path..... years between school and a menial office job, much of which time she was on hard drugs. A dead end administrative job during the day and nights filled with pain and passion.

What distinguishes the book is the passion and intensity with which she takes the reader from her casual sub role with a boyfriend who can't really fill the dom role, into the job of apprentice professional sub in a commercial dungeon. Her words bring clarity and intensity to the loss of control she experiences in the sub role. A loss of control that turns pain into erotic pleasure and leads to a too close relationship with some of the customers.

She's soon an independent sub and bi-coastal. Again she takes the reader not only into the dom session but almost insider her body and mind to share the intense experiences, both good and bad. The handcuffs, the crack of the whips and paddles, the weird customers.

Overall its a great read, time passes quickly when someone's having fun. At the end I'm left wondering how much the stories were sanitized and the disgusting left in the author's wastebasket. My guess is that her life on the edge was slightly scrubbed for the book.

Within the stories there's a lot of introspection devoted to her body and mind's reaction to pain and loss of control and the passion it generates within her.
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