Reviewed by Jaycee for BOOKS 'N COZY SPOTS BOOK REVIEWS, www.Talon-ps.com
~ 3.5 Stars ~
I have been on the look out for some time now, for a non-fiction, “here’s what you might want to look for” BDSM primer (for lack of a better word), authored by a submissive. There is a plethora of books out there written by Dominants, most dealing with recognizing Dominance and how to be a Dominant. There are even books about a Dominant’s perspective on submission and submissives, but ever the recalcitrant reader with zero inclination to Dominant outlook or tendencies, that was never satisfactory for me. Even asking from within the lifestyle, most recommended reference material was from a Dominant’s perspective, or at the very least a co-perspective.
I didn't want to know what a Dominant thought a submissive should think, dammit, I wanted to know what a submissive thought, felt and discovered. I wanted a relatable frame of reference for what was “okay” for a submissive to think and feel and want and do. Even though, intellectually I already knew the answers, I wanted to hear it from the horse’s mouth so to speak; to feel it from the submissive’s heart.
I got that here. There were no great revelations, and as I said, I don’t think I really expected any. But that in itself is a confirmation and a comfort. Ms. Kinsey is a strong, aware and no-nonsense woman who happens to be firmly comfortable with both her journey and her destination. Her sometimes humorous accounts and her words-of-wisdom-to-live-and-submit-by were reinforcement. Yet at the same time she exhibits a sage and understanding look at the interactions of, and with the world around the world in which she lives. So this book itself, while not revelatory, gave me the inputs I was looking for from an insider who remembers what it was like to be an outsider. The truth is, many are and will always be outsiders, but the need for even those people to understand if not embrace the lifestyle is, in a way, almost as important today as for those who do seek to enter in.
As an observation, it has been surprisingly difficult to ask and get answers, particularly when you aren’t even really sure what the questions are. Statements such as those in the Amazon blurb above (“This is not fiction, but reality. Kate Kinsey has the experience to tell it like it is, not the way some vanilla writer imagines it to be” or “enjoying an intimacy and satisfaction in their relationships that vanilla folk only dream of”) are actually barriers to understanding, or more importantly to seeking understanding, at a time when understanding is critical to both those questioning their own orientation and to positively influencing the tide of public opinion for those who are not. As a reader and reviewer of the aforementioned (I’d say ‘aforemaligned’ but its not a word) romantic fiction, I’d like to come to well-informed conclusions as to the merits of the work I review. Nothing is less productive or in fact, more offensive, than uninformed opinion. To imply in commentary that “vanilla folk” are somehow less fulfilled, is to simply apply reverse barriers, and is ineffective in the quest for progress.
Fortunatley, Ms. Kinsey herself has filled my personal bill and has relatably illustrated how fundamental both her journey as a submissive has been for her, has provided a sage and sane guide to others so inclined, and has imparted what I hope is seen as one of many wonderful tools of enlightenment for those outside who simply need/want to understand, if not adopt.