Monday, November 8, 2010

Research Geeks UNITE!

When I'm not writing, I work as a librarian. For me, research is as natural as breathing. I attended RT (the Romantic Times Convention) this past April and I had the opportunity to hit two adult/fetish stores in Columbus, Ohio - The Garden and The Chamber. While my companions reviewed some of the leather goods and glass dildos, I was pouring over the books. In fact, at The Chamber alone, I spent about $300 books on research books. (Hmmm - Del - does that mean I have a fetish? grin).

I bought The Topping Book. The Bottoming Book. And a whole lot of other books on BDSM. Books that aren't typically on the shelves at Barnes and Noble or Borders. When I was working on my contribution to the 1-800-DOM-help series, I needed to find books about rope bondage. I don't have any direct experience with rope bondage (except for finding it very hot), so I went to my trusty local adult emporium, Christal's in West Des Moines, Iowa. I love this place, and I knew I'd seen rope bondage books there. I was right.

I picked up some excellent items while I was shopping:

The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage by Midori (photographed by Craig Morey) is truly awesome. The book is published by Greenery Press which bills itself as "reading for the sexually adventurous."

The photography is beautiful. Very evocative and sensual. The description of the bondage techniques are pretty clear. I think if you were a complete novice, it would help to see the techniques via video rather than in a book, but this book really does a good job of getting the concepts across. 

The first thing I used to get a "feel" for rope bondage was a video called How to Perform Rope Bondage produced by the Educational Sex Series. This movie was awesome for watching an experienced top tie up a sub. This is strictly an instructional video, but it served the purpose.

I also picked up two books created by Two Knotty Boys - Showing you the Ropes and Back on the Ropes are published by Green Candy Press. These are awesome books with the express intent of demonstrating rope techniques. Showing you the Ropes is primarily black and white, but Back on the Ropes has plenty of color pics. Either way, there are a lot of images that detail the steps in tying up your lover.

Both books explain rope bondage safety and cover basic knot tying. They progress pretty quickly to complicated techniques. I think I might get lost if I tried to tie some of them, but they are really gorgeous to look at. If the person using the book is more adept at knots than I am, I think they'd progress at a good speed.

BTW - I found Back on the Ropes at...Barnes and Noble. Really. So while these topics may not typically be found at "mainstream" book stores, always check, cause you just never know!

Do you have any favorite research books about BDSM? Any recommendations for books (on ANY topic) that I should check out? I'm always open to more research. Just ask anybody! LOL


  1. LOL I don't think it counts as a fetish because it is supposed to turn you on! I guess unless you're doing something...else...with the books. Ick! I love the topping/bottoming books, and the Knotty Boys! (I have the KBs on my desk right now, actually, because my WIP has shibari and other rope-related delights in it!).

    Another favorite, of course, is "Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns". And because I'm old-school I'd also rec "the Loving Dominant".

    Hehe..."research" is the best. Um, I mean research. It is all purely academic and cerebral, of course! *snort*

  2. Great post, Francesca. I used to buy all those books. Now I just borrow them from my kinky friends. :)

  3. Del - Hmmm - owning the books is a turn on, but not a sexual one. It's more along the lines of "whoever dies with the most books wins". Grin

    I haven't bought "Screw the Roses" yet, but "The Loving Dominant" is one I got on my roadtrip to The Chamber. Gotta love research...

    Arwen - As a librarian, I'm all about borrowing. The problem is that my local friends aren't nearly as kinky as I am. They've borrowed from me, but they don't have any books I need to borrow.

  4. The first books I grabbed from my desk were Sensuous Magic, A Guide to S/M for Adventurous Couples by Patrick Califia, The Art of Sensual Female Dominance by Claudia Varrin, and Jay Wiseman's SM101. Oh, and next to them was The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy, although that's about Polyamory and open relationships, not necessarily D/s. Research is great, but it's even more fun once you put down the books.

  5. Some of the books that I have:
    - Screw the Roses, Send me the Thorns (was recommended to me when we first decided to explore - take with a grain of salt)
    - We have the Knotty Boys books (they also have a website that demonstrates many of their ties)
    - Morpheous has a couple of books on how to be kinky (He's local to me so I have to promote)

    And I don't remember what the others are called. I have to say that when The Mr. and I read these we often agree and disagree with much of the information. Everyone looks at kink/BDSM differently and it's difficult to put that into a book.