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Becoming a Slave Paperback – October 1, 2005
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From the Inside Flap
o his 24/7 live-in slave Patrick, and five years in service to Master Lynn, Jack Rinella is pre-eminently qualified to write the first book that fully describes the process of realizing and creating a master/slave relationship. Going well beyond the myth of fiction and the impracticality of cyber-advice, Becoming a Slave is a complete, authoritative, and well-documented book on the process of finding and submitting to the dominant of your hearts desire. Beginning with a description of terms and the characteristics to be found in a master and in a slave, the book continues with how one realizes and understands their own desire to submit and serve, proceeds to the process of advertising, searching, meeting, and interviewing prospective partners, and ends with a great deal of practical advice on submitting, serving, and satisfying a dominant in a healthy and practical way. While recognizing the unique characteristics of individuals relationships, Jack gives down-to-earth advice that will lead the reader from theory to preparation and practice and into the real relationship that they seek. Though written with the slave-to-be in mind, dominants, too, will find a wealth of information to guide them in their search and selection of their sought-for submissive. Becoming a Slave is based on Jacks intimate experience of seeking a slave, of having been a slave, and of being Patricks master for nearly ten years. Also included is the wisdom and practice of more than a dozen men and women active and experienced in mastery and slavery whom Jack interviewed for this book, thereby assuring guidance that fits all genders, orientations, and desires. A valuable addition to the library of both submissives and dominants, this book debunks the myths that make an M/s relationship seem impossible with a myriad of examples that illustrate exactly how and why M/s relationships can and do work. No topic is left untouched: personality traits, advertising, arranging meetings, negotiations, sadism, masochism, and sex, living in either a 24/7 or a part-time situation, finances, health issues, the meaning of service, surrender, authority, and commitment, employment, safer sex, and much more. Each chapter of the book is enhanced by heart-felt personal reflections on slavery written by slave Patrick and workbook activities that will prepare a submissive to seek and serve his or her master.
About the Author
The acclaimed author of the best-selling book, The Master's Manual, as well as The Compleat Slave and Partners in Power, Jack Rinella is a free-lance writer, college instructor, and sought-after lecturer. He has been active in the Leather scene since 1983, is a founding member of MAsT-Chicago, an associate member of the Chicago Hellfire Club, and has written extensively about our lifestyle as a weekly columnist.
Top customer reviews
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Much time is spent in listservs and Compuserv groups. Thanks. 1993 happened already. Does anyone REALLY use PO boxes now for double blind newspaper personals???? Do we need 15 pages about the postal service and the general history of personal ads?
Thing is, even the personal tidbits are really awash in a whole lot of bland and not really worthwhile fluffy non-informative transitional writing stuff. It feels rambly. Its a LOT of words to read to get to the few morsels of meaningful content.
I really wanted to know about the personal transformation and quest of a slave or candidate. But SOOOO much of what I read was just useless and didn't speak to EITHER the functional 'how to' or the personal 'my journey' genre that I expected from the sales pitch.
I read about 20-30 kink and sexuality books over the last year or so. I hate to say it, but this book missed the bus in many ways.
I DID appreciate the information relating to practical advice and can see that many 'wannabees' could use that- I get petitioned by them all the time- but overall the headspace of the sub, the emotional process, it just felt like a lot of hand holding and ego stroking of one author for the other author, and left me wanting something more.
I felt the title might be more: Doms got it rough, slaves aren't serious and we gotta slog thru so many disappointments / gee my master is awesome. Thanks for letting me publicly say how great you are. The mutual admiration society is fine but the title hints at transformation that just isn't really laid out in the book.
thr trick is that there's no trick--despite the particular erotic power exchange that defines the relationship, it would seem that the most important fundamentals are things like communication, compatability, honesty and both parties being finacially secure and so forth. having 'spark' and an easy sexual rapport, being good kissers, these things all help. so much of the book is devoted to these sorts of considerations that any reader more interested in the distinctive erotic core of a master/slave relationship might be a bit bored for long stretches.
that, too, is in here though i really felt like i was gleaning scraps after awhile. often the most interesting parts would be about the specifics of the authors relationship with his slave, Patrick. in fact some of the most interesting bits come from Patrick who, naturally, can speak from first hand experience what he likes and doesn't about being a slave. for instance, he contributes a diary excerpt in which he discusses what it's like to be whipped and beaten so hard that the usual feeling of pleasure and connection with his master was temporarily replaced with hatred, a feeling he didn't think he should have.
the big problem with the book, and why i knocked a couple stars off my review, is that its incredibly longwinded, tedious and repititious. Jack Rinella is evidently better at enthralling slaves than readers. a good copyeditor could have whittled this book down to a third its size and to good effect. it's too bad, there really are some good insights and details here, it just needed to be a readable book.
One has only to look at the chapter titles to understand Rinella's thorough treatment of his subject: "Finding a Partner," "Negotiating the Relationship," "Committing Yourself," "The Training Process," "The Role of Punishment," "Sexual Service," "The Place of Kink," "Polyamorous M/s," to list a few. In an authoritative yet conversational voice that will leave you thinking of him as an old friend, Rinella discusses not only the practical aspects of the process of finding and submitting to a Master, but the emotions involved, as well as such abstract but crucial concepts as will, ego, and pride. Although he uses his own experiences to illustrate the points he makes, he never loses sight of the fact that every relationship is the unique product of the individuals involved, giving the book a genuinely inclusive feel. (How refreshing to read a happily promiscuous [his word] writer who believes that some folks are just monogamous by nature and shouldn't try to force themselves to be any other way, admits that "the decision to attempt anything beyond a monogamous relationship must not be made lightly," and insists that "wishing to maintain a monogamous relationship must not be seen as a sign of weakness"!) Each chapter ends with a reflection by Patrick, Rinella's slave of nearly a decade (at the time of writing), in which he discusses some aspect of the issue(s) raised in that chapter from his own perspective. The attentive reader will enjoy looking at the relationship from both sides and seeing how these two men have created a mutually satisfying dynamic. Readers expecting Patrick to mindlessly echo his Master's opinions will be in for a surprise: "I've never been quite comfortable with phrases like 'call to slavery or service,'" Patrick opens his reflection at the end of the chapter titled "The Call to Serve."
I've read literally thousands of pages (the paper kind and the web kind) on BDSM relationships in general and D/s relationships in particular, so it's rare - and gratifying - to come across a writer discussing a topic I've never seen covered before. "How do we live 24/7 in a real world?" Rinella asks. "There's usually no problem with being kinky in the bedroom with the door closed, but how do you stay in that state at work, in front of your children or parents, or when the vanilla world is watching you?" Sure, other books may touch upon the subject, but Rinella's is the first I've read that had more to offer by way of an answer than centering rituals and symbolic jewelry. "The trick," he tells us, "is to stay in the headspace, while we appear to be physically in another space. We look like businessmen, sales clerks, teachers, mothers, or sons to our eighty-year-old parents, while we know that we are kinky sadists or groveling subs." It's not easy, he admits - it requires discretion, mindfulness, and the maturity to anticipate and accept the consequences of one's actions - and yet his advice is grounded in reality and so eminently sensible you'll be surprised you hadn't thought the exact same thing yourself. In another chapter, he discusses the concept of worship. "The slave's worship of the master," he writes, is perhaps "the most secret aspect of the M/s relationship. Because of the religious controversy that certainly would accompany the acknowledgement of the master as god, we tend to hide the fact that such feelings often reside in the slave and to some extent, are encouraged by the master." While Rinella doesn't even pretend a simple, universal answer exists to the questions this raises (beyond the basic fact that "religious beliefs and taboos need to be understood and accepted or rejected according to your personal and mutual faith"), I'm just relieved to know I'm not the only one asking.
As the title implies, "Becoming a Slave" is addressed primarily to readers who (ideally) have some BDSM experience and believe they would like to enter a relationship of full-time servitude, but haven't yet found a Master. For such readers, this book is simply indispensable. It would be unfortunate, however, if these were its ONLY audience, as this book has much to offer would-be Masters and Mistresses, as well as Masters and slaves in established relationships. Obviously some chapters will be more applicable than others ("Finding a Partner" isn't something my husband/Master and I have to concern ourselves with, but "The Healthy D/s Relationship" most certainly is!), but Rinella's treatment of such topics as punishment, training, and maintaining the relationship is so thoughtful and thorough as to be worthwhile reading for anyone interested in the theory and practice of Master/slave relationships. Every chapter ends with several suggested "After Reading Activities"; aspiring slaves who do them with care will find themselves at the end of the book extraordinarily well-prepared to begin or continue the search for a Master, while I used those that applied to me as wonderfully fruitful journal prompts.
Rinella's style can be a bit repetitive at times, especially in the beginning, and his prose can be awkward. (His publishing enterprise, "Rinella Editorial Services," could really benefit from the services of an editor.) Rinella REALLY likes to quote the American Heritage Dictionary, and not always to particularly valuable effect. Still, these concerns are minor. "Becoming a Slave" is, quite simply, a must-read for those interested in exploring, pursuing, or enriching a life centered upon a consensual Master/slave relationship. You need look no further: this is the real thing.