The classic guide to sadomasochism by two experienced players. This unabashed, entertaining book strips away myth, shame and fear, revealing the truth about an intense form of eroticism too long misunderstood and condemned. It is fully indexed and includes over 225 photos and illustrations, a 250-plus word glossary, appendices with over 650 contacts for SM related clubs, stores, craftspeople and literature.
by Philip Miller & Molly Devon, 1995, 277 pages (softcover)
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Whether you are new to kink or an old pro in need of a reference book, Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns is an invaluable resource. I recommend it to everyone seeking a solid, all purpose book on BDSM.
It’s part straight-up reference with easy to understand, how-to step-by-step guides for almost everything. In that regard I compare it to The Joy of Cooking. Need to know what temperature to cook a turkey? How long to boil an egg? Flip to that section and find your answer in 30 seconds. With this book you may be looking up how to tie a rope chest harness or select the proper hood for your needs, but you’ll still have your answer in a jiffy.
Screw the Roses isn’t just a cold, clinical list of how-to’s, however. This book has personality and a touch of humor. It also dives deep into psychology, relationship dynamics, and easily digestible BDSM theory. Many consider this book to be the “BDSM Bible” and for good reason; it’s excellent.
One caveat– you know how the stories in the bible are set in ancient times? So is Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns. 1995 really doesn’t seem that far back in history until you get to a section like this one about kinky dating:
“Personal computering now allows even vaguely computer literate people to access public bulletin board systems. Public BBSs, InterNet, CompuServe, America On-Line (AOL), Prodigy, and GEnie, have “open chat” areas of the network where one can “talk” via keyboard to hundreds of people at one time. People type to each other to share technical information or just to socialize.”
Yes, some parts are a little dated, however, this book is still full of amazing information. Simply apply some of the principles in the book to more modern settings and the underlying message is still the same. For instance, online etiquette (i.e. how not to come off creepy) wasn’t too different back on CompuServe than it is on Fetlife.com today.
If you’re new, curious, and don’t know where to start with kink, I can’t recommend Screw the Roses enough. If you’re an experienced player and simply need to re-cement your foundation a little bit, it’s wonderful for that too. Every kinky person should have a copy of Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns on their bookshelf. You never know when you might have to look up the proper way to fry an egg . . . I mean, ahem . . . tie a leg.
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