is by Bo Blaze, a PCC-certified alternative life coach who specializes in alternative sexual relationships and non-traditional lifestyles. He is also well-known nationally as an expert in the BDSM lifestyle who has spoken at numerous events all over the country. With the popularity of the series “Fifty Shades of Grey”, Blaze put together “50 Shades of Curious” to teach those new into the lifestyle how to practice BDSM in a safe, sane, and consensual manner.
Blaze opens up the book by talking about what BDSM is and isn’t, a short glossary of terms that those new to the lifestyle may not be familiar with, how to get involved with local groups, and answering that age-old question on whether you’re a bad person or not for having these kinds of thoughts.
From there, he hits on a lot of major points when it comes to the BDSM lifestyle: communication, consent, identity, pain and punishment, mental aspect, and safety. At the end of the book he also includes a reading list that contains both fiction and nonfiction books.
While for the most part, I full heartedly agree with everything that Blaze has written about and several points that he’s made as well. A few times throughout the book, he has used an example from the Fifty Shades of Grey, which while others may not like this, I do because it shows the right and wrong way of things that were done in the scene. There are also several points in this book that he did cover that didn’t exactly set too well for me.
For starters, when he talks about negotiation, he talks about the importance of doing your homework after a scene, checking in with your partner to see how the scene went, which is fantastic, but not once does he talk about doing homework before a scene, such as safe places to hit, researching whatever activity is going to take place, ect. Considering that this is a book for beginners, to not mention that homework needs to be done before the scene even takes place seems like a huge oversight by the author.
Another point in this book that really rubbed me the wrong way is what he says about BDSM: " You see, BDSM, is really just playing ‘pretend’ in a very adult way."I don’t consider my role as a slave to be pretend. I’m willing to guess that there are others out there who don’t consider what they do pretend. I understand that he maybe saying this as a way to simplify things, but I found this particular line to be rather insulting to how I live my life. Another point similar to this one is he calls 24/7 full-time power exchange relationships are just ‘a fantasy and usually abusive if it’s attempted in real life’. I feel that a 24/7 full-time power exchange relationship can be achieved without being considered abusive.
My last issue that I have with this book comes towards the end where he talks about different levels of play. While talking about high risk activities, he talks about face slapping. He says One way to see if a partner has any interest in being slapped in the face would be to lightly put your hand on their cheek and just tap a little bit and watch for the reaction. Of course, the best way would be to have read their negotiation form or simply ask your partner how they feel about being slapped in the face. I don’t like that he mentions asking your partner how they feel about-face slapping as an afterthought and first suggesting lightly tapping to gauge their reaction. Considering how much he talks about the importance of consent, going about it the first way I know for myself that if a dom were to do that with me rather than talking to me about it, I would have second thoughts about scening with that particular dom.
There is a lot of good information in this book, but I feel there are other books geared towards beginners that are much better than this one and contain the same information.
Tequila R's Rating:
3/10 Paperback: 204 Pages Publisher: 50 Shades of Curious (November 2, 2002) Language: English ISBN-10: 0988500906 ISBN-13: 978-0988500907