Book Review: ‘SM 101’ by Jay Wiseman


Jay Wiseman’s SM101 is a useful and comprehensive guide to the world of BDSM and D/s relationships anyway you slice it.

It is useful for beginners because it details terminology, it details kneeling positions, differences between pet and slave – everything you were curious about, there’s probably a chapter in this generous 908 page book.

Yup, that’s a hefty tome — and it rewards. It details anything from the basics to humiliation and how to keep it rewarding without offending. Jay Wiseman’s been in the lifestyle for a good number of years, having works that were published in such magazines as Playboy. Wiseman details everything you’d ever want to know and throws in personal experiences to add weight to what he is talking about it.

He writes with a welcoming tone that beginners will find relaxing and useful but I do have a problem with some of his ideals and this boils down to personal taste. I think he writes in a manner that dictates HIS opinion is the correct observation when dealing with certain things within the lifestyle.

Observe this line:

Non-locking Collars do not, to my way of thinking, qualify as real slave collars. Some people disagree with me on this point. That’s all right. They can go on being wrong if they wish. (Wiseman, 1998, pg 611)

It’s sentences like these that rub me the wrong way. To me, this is a sentence that displays a certain snobbish attitude, a certain superiority that is misguided. I think if you are going to be writing a book for people, let alone wanting people to read it or buy it, I think maybe you should be a less biting in your delivery. But again, this is personal taste. I’m more forgiving, more flexible I think. I digress – let’s move on.

SM101 features 21 chapters, complete with a glossary that beginners will find handy and then appendixes that go into such topics as SM and the Internet.

Should you read it? It can’t hurt to give it a try, but to me, it kind of goes against my own personal feelings so I am left with an odd taste in my mouth. To me, it lacks the warmth of other books I have read – such as Dominance & Submission: The BDSM relationship Handbook by Michael Makai or The Loving Dominant by John and Libby Warren. SM101 is informative and certainly helped me but at the same time, it’s prose left me distanced.

☆ ☆ ☆

If you’d like to hear more book reviews, do feel free to comment below. I have more that I’d like to talk about, if there is interest!