- Paperback: 216 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; 1 edition (September 1, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0826410472
- ISBN-13: 978-0826410474
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,070,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Bound to be Free: The SM Experience 1st Edition
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"Perhaps the first intelligent, fully informed, fact-based discussion of what SM is ... a perspective that is uniquely accurate, sensitive, and fair in its description and interpretation of erotic sadomasochism."
- Library Journal
Of the vast array of human sexual behaviors and practices, sadomasochism (SM) is probably the least understood and, thus, the most feared among the general public. Moser and Madeson here provide perhaps the first intelligent, fully informed, fact-based discussion of what SM is, what it means to its practitioners, how it is practiced, and the structure of its subculture in contemporary American society. Moser, a practicing psychotherapist and counselor, provides the clinical approach taken in the first few chapters. Madeson, a 15-year participant in the SM subculture, provides the practical viewpoint taken in the remaining three quarters of the book. Together, they provide a perspective that is uniquely accurate, sensitive, and fair in its depiction and interpretation of erotic sadomasochism. Highly recommended for academic and special human sexuality collections; small and medium-size public libraries should consider if they have strong popular sex collections (David R. Johnson Library Journal)
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What I found most enjoyable about this book were the excerpts and quotes from people within the lifestyle. It IS important, when dealing with something that remains so far removed from and misunderstood by the mainstream, to know that one is not alone.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone considering an exploration of SM with their partner. I would also recommend it to anyone who is simply curious about the lifestyle. The authors effectively address many myths about the lifestyle, revealing it for what it can be...a deeply loving, liberating, emotionally enriching and intensely spiritual experience.
That's how well this book is written.
That said, the most important thing you need to know is that the book is co-authored by a sexologist (technically a psychologist, actually), and a long-time SM practitioner. The first part of the book is filled with history, reports of research studies, and other relatively dry medical information that some readers may find boring but which give the rest of the book deserved license to speak with its voice of wisdom and experience. (Then again, if you're reading this book in the first place, you probably want to learn all you can about S&M anyway. I did, so the academia lesson was much appreciated.) This first part was written mainly by the Docto. His efforts to be objective and accurate come through in his writing very successfully.
After this, the book is turned over to JJ Madeson, who spends some time speaking about herself before she ventures into discussions of others. This not only gives you an immediate sense of being able to relate to the writing but also gives you an incredibly personal sense of who S&M players really are.
The book is general, covering the more basic parts of the "who," "what," "where," "why" and "when" questions than any specific information on the "how." Throughout each section, interspersed within the text, are short quotes, stories, and experiences related by fellow S&M practitioners -- both those in the public scene and those who play with a boyfriend, a wife, or a play partner, etc, in private.
Above all else, this book gives you a real sense of what S&M is at its physical and emotional core, what it can do for you and to you, and can help give you a little nudge in whatever direction you seek to go. It is full of encouragement, reassurance, and care.
I highly recommend this book to anybody who is interested in learning more about the S&M experience, whether or not they are "into it" themselves. In addition, it may provide a wonderful way to introduce a vanilla ("not-kinky") friend or loved one to your once-secret desires. Newbies will find this book exciting, though may be disappointed to learn of its lack of practical information apart from basic safety information. (You should pick up a book like Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns soon after this one and before you begin to play.)
I came away from reading this book with a sense of gratitude for the authors, excitement about my possibilities, and eager to learn more. I bet you will too.