Other books by N.T. Morley with Tusk's comments: The Circle. Gina is a working girl who gets picked up by a mysterious woman who captivates her with whips and chains. Gina of course finds she loves this new form of intense activity. There is intrigue and a plot twist at the end which makes it all the more fun. The Office. Suzette gets a job at a fetish catalogue company - need I say more? great fun. She gets into lots of trouble. The Contract. Complicated slave training, with a twist. some great scenes and even some character development. Done with an occasional sense of humor. The Limosine. I liked this one a lot, even if it wasn't very intense. A story of two roommates learning about each other and Ds. Mostly Ds, not very SM.
These are books I've read recently that don't really fit in elsewhere but that I got so much out of that I can't resist recommending them! I'm not going to claim these books relate in any obvious way to BDSM, but those who find BDSM interesting in ways that I do may also find that they have similar literary and science tastes to mine. Everything I put here is highly recommended and fascinating, even if the BDSM connections you draw from it are up to you.
Did you know that the supposedly endemic matriarchal society on which some modern paganism (for example, the concept of a Goddess preceding the concept of a "male" God) is based is premised on frighteningly scanty evidence (primarily one small, ambiguous sculpture and some house interiors you are going to laugh at when you realize the feminist stretches they have been used to defend even if you are devoutly feminist) with other credible interpretations? Did you know that art depictions of obviously Tantric yoga (yogaic positions and theory fostering reverie that uses sexual feelings along with references to one-ness with animals) go back at least as far as 2000 B.C., and may have been the source of horned depictions of the (sexually enticing) devil in Christianity?
Do you know that the properly-prepared seeds of the weed Queen Anne's Lace, which I have always understood was brought to the U.S. on the Mayflower, demonstrably can (and was widely historically known to) induce early miscarriage (implying that it may have been brought not for the carrot-like root as backup food, but for available birth control or possible response to rape by natives)? Interested in the clever token-price system for prostitutes during the Roman expansion, and why rear-entry cost more than fellatio?
The number of things I've learned from this book, which is credibly researched, argued, and supported beyond my casual suggestions here, is amazing to me. The author has a fascinating theme and carries it through in chapter after chapter. I have to caution that the author's PC liberal and occasionally Marxist politics show through a bit too often for my tastes. The author is so clearly smitten by these concepts that his notions of pre-farming (and hence, pre-land-owning) humans being also laudably pro-environmental, non-violent, and potentially pansexually egalitarian makes it hard for an objective reader to believe given his biases.
But, to his credit, Taylor is absolutely right that No One Knows about most things sexual beyond the limited archeological evidence in hand, and almost none of that evidence has been DNA-checked or subjected to open-minded scrutiny in the thousands of cases archeologists have often taken for granted to date. Consequently, his occasionally beyond-common-sense suggestions in fact have been enjoyable and eye-opening intellectual exercises for me in just how little the existing evidence actually tells us. And his taking some strong stances that are not in accord with standard PC feminism furthers my willingness to listen to his wide-ranging suggestions.
This is a really neat book, light reading with excellent drawings and photos.
Two other books along these lines that I have not yet had a chance to check out but that a grad student in the field recommends are: Sexual Practices and the Medieval Church, by James Brundage and Vern L. Bullough, and Eros and the Jews: From Biblical Israel to Contemporary America, by David Biale.
Oh, and if you have never read The Selfish Gene, by Richard Dawkins, you probably should start with that. Not only is this slender book a classic in this kind of literature, but it is a highly readable, clear explanation of how to think about genes, which behave as if they choose to propagate even though, of course, they have no brains.
Reviews of these books are in progress, but feel free to help yourself in the interim. Most of the books listed here are research works in the psychology of pathological sadomasochism. (Note that according to the DSM-IV, BDSM is not automatically classified as indicating psychological problems. That there is a pathological expression of sadomasochism, though, is obvious and behooves no one to ignore.) Some books listed below are discussions in recent feminist debates concerning issues about BDSM and abuse of women. A few are books I just have not had a chance to write reviews of yet.
Anyone reading this page probably has the smarts to put anything here in perspective and read these materials with an eye toward understanding that semantics, content, and communication all have a long way to go. I recommend that you do not shy away from controversy. If you have read any of these books and want to contribute, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in the Form. I do promise that I will report with equal concern both positive and negative reviews. I hope that reviews and readings of these books do in fact enhance dialog and communication.
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