These are books, available through, that I think are good reading for those interested in bdsm. I get a small percentage of any sales through Amazon, so purchasing one of these books is a way to help support this blog, as well as to educate yourself.

Jay Wiseman, SM 101: A Realistic Introduction
This is probably the single-best thing someone could read by getting into bdsm. Wiseman is one of the respected elders of the straight kink community, and he writes about kink intelligently, with an eye toward safety and realistic ideas about kink. His writings influenced me enormously.

Jay Wiseman, The Erotic Bondage Handbook

This is a good introduction to bondage and rope work. Bondage is the form of bdsm play that is most likely to cause injury, so if you want to tie people up, you ought to read this book.

John and Libby Warren, The Loving Dominant

Written by a dom/sub couple, this book is primarily for dominants who need to learn their craft. It does a good job exploding the myth of the asshole dominant and replacing it with the idea of a dominant who genuinely cares for their subs. It has chapters on a wide range of issues, including rope work and mindfucks.

Philip Miller and Molly Devon, Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns

Another good introduction to bdsm, with a lot of illustrations and photos

Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy, The New Topping Book

A short work that focuses specifically on things doms need to know. It’s not so much about how-to as why-to. There’s a strong emphasis on the emotional issues around kink.

Dossie Easton and Janey Hardy, The New Bottoming Book

This is the companion to the New Topping Book, focused on things subs needs to know.

William Brame, Gloria Brame, and Jon Jacobs, Different Loving: A Complete Exploration of the World of Sexual Dominance and Submission

This was the first book I read when I began exploring kink in an active way, and it was a revelation for me. The book has chapters on a wide range of specific fetishes such as whipping, age play, corseting, and water sports. It’s less about how to do these things and more about what these practices mean to those who engage in them.

ed. Peter Tupper, Our Lives, Our Histories: Consensual Master/slave relationships from ancient times to the 21st century

A series of essays that charts the history of consensual slavery. As with many minorities, the history of consensual Masters and slaves is largely hidden, and this book is step toward excavating that lost past.

Specifically for Gay Men

Everything above is of value to both men and women, gay, straight, and otherwise. But gay men aren’t just like straight people in the ways they practice kink. So here are a few books that may be of particular value to gay and bisexual men.

david stein with David Schachter, Ask the Man Who Owns Him

david stein was an enormously important figure in the world of gay bdsm. I was privileged to know him for a few years before his death. Among other things, he coined the term “safe, sane, and consensual”. He also wrote this book, the first close-up look at Master/slave couples. It presents 16 slave owners and their property and seeks to understand how these men live their lives. Because consensual slavery is not modeled in our society, this book is vitally important to anyone interested in pursuing a Master/slave relationship.

Joseph Bean, Leathersex: A Guide for the Curious Outsider and the Serious Player

Bean is an important author in the field of radical sex, and this book is a good introduction to the way gay kinkster have sex

Guy Baldwin, Ties that Bind

Baldwin, like Bean and stein, is one of the respected elders of the gay community, one of the first mental health professionals who began addressing the needs of gay and bisexual men. This book includes many of his short writings on kink relationships, the leather community, and the personal transformations that kink can enable.

A grateful slave and Guy Baldwin, Slavecraft

A series of short essays by a gay slave that explores the experience of power exchange from the slave’s perspective.

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