There are a lot of us in the lifestyle who deal with mental illness or a type of neurological dysfunction. There are numerous groups on Fetlife and articles on the Internet dealing with being in a power exchange relationship when having a mental illness. Unfortunately, there aren’t that many sources about being in a power exchange relationship having a neurological dysfunction. I stumbled across Raven Kaldera and Del Tashlin’s Broken Toys: Submissives and Mental Illness and Neurological Dysfunction, I had to get it. By now you know how much I love and Raven Kaldera’s work and Del Tashlin has given a lot of presentations on kink/BDSM as well as polyamory and several other topics. Another reason I got this book, other than Kaldera being involved is because I suffer from a mental illness. I am bipolar. I know I’m not the only bipolar slave out there, but like most things, people who suffer from a mental illness or a neurological disorder, feel alone, isolated, like they’re the only ones out there who are dealing with whatever illness they have. This book is a great source of essays by both s-types and dominants of s-types who suffer from either mental illness, neurological disorders, or both.

In the forward written by Kaldera, he explains about the struggles he and his slave Joshua had while trying to deal with Joshua’s depression and Asperger’s Syndrome. At first, Kaldera’s slave was embarrassed to talk about his issues with depression during classes they were giving. Then afterwards they would have people coming up to them afterwards asking how to deal with their partner’s depression. That is when both Kaldera and his slave realized they could no longer stay silent and by staying silent, they were doing more harm than good.

He also said that he chose the title Broken Toys in honor of the website by the same name, their first shy attempt to create resources for masters who had s-types who suffer from mental illness and neurological disorders. Kaldera also says that this book is no way comprehensive as they couldn’t find people to write on every topic and that the advice that is given is no way a substitute for seeking professional attention.

The book is divided up into four sections; Slave in the Pit: Mood Disorders, Trial by Fire: Trauma, On the Borderline: Borderline Personality Disorders, and Head Glitches: Neurological Dysfunction. Most of the essays are written by the s-type themselves and a few of them are written by both the dominant and the s-type together. This is a book that is really worth reading if you suffer from mental illness or a neurological disorder. Reading this book really helps with curing that “you’re all alone in the world” feeling and see that there are others out there who struggle with the same issues you do and despite those issues, are able to find themselves happy in stable power exchange relationships with their partners. The contributors talk about the bumps in the road and the occasional setbacks, as well as all the trial and errors with finding the correct medication and how they’ve had to adjust their relationships to make things work the best for them.

I did read all the essays in the book even though the first section really pertains to me, I still found every essay and interview extremely educating and insightful. While what works for one relationship, doesn’t always work for another, it doesn’t hurt to try and there are a lot of great ideas that may work in your dynamic if the s-type suffers from a mental or neurological disorder that have worked for the authors of these essays. While this book is about s-types(Kaldera and Tashlin have a companion book Mastering Minds: Dominants with Mental Illness and Neurological Dysfunction), it’s a valuable book for both dominants and s-types both to read and it also is a great way to start a discussion about these topics.

My favorite essay in the entire book is one of the introductory essays by Del Tashlin. In his essay “When You’re the Broken Toy”, he states what responsibilities s-types have to their dominants and potential dominants when it comes to dealing with whatever mental or neurological disorder you’re suffering from. Important points such as your dominant is not responsible for treatment of your illness, that it’s your responsibility to be open about possible triggers and disclosing information of your illness with your partner.

If you are a s-type who suffers from a mental or neurological disorder, or both, I can’t recommend this book enough. It truly is one of a kind and full of great information and perspectives. You can buy a copy of Broken Toys: Submissives with Mental Illness and Neurological Dysfunction on Amazon and at Alfred Press.


Book Information: 

Tequila R's Rating:



256 Pages


Alfred Press (September 5, 2014)