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!

The Beginning


It’s the intimacy of a D/s relationship that really compels me. It’s just such a personal and raw exploration between loving people. It can even operate without the fun that is BDSM because this is two people exploring their darker natures and embracing it. It’s quite beautiful.

But how did I start to come to realise that I was Dominant? It’s a complex tale, one that – don’t worry I’m not going too deep into. I am, however, going to talk about it a little, with the hopes that people who stumble across this might feel more comfortable about opening themselves to what may be their true selves. Because, lets face it, this may be your true nature and don’t freak out – that’s alright. There’s nothing wrong with it. You’re not sick, you’re not deluded – you are YOU and hey, isn’t that beautiful?

I spent my early twenties trying to get the notion out of my head that I was Dominant – and you don’t want that because that’s not healthy. I had begun experimenting with the persona when I was eighteen, maybe seventeen. It was something that started off as just in the bedroom but the more I experimented, the more it became something deeper. Like I was scratching the window and looking in on paradise. It took till my mid twenties to realise just how strong my longing was. But I ignored it, even though it ate away at me. And that’s denial — It’s not healthy and worse, it moves to the back of your mind and festers, soon manifesting in negative ways.  It was detrimental to a past relationship, purely because I was struggling without that particular aspect in my life.
I also struggled because I was raised to see that that kind of gratification was wrong. “Sick” is the word that was thrown around. But living in the shadows — that was where I thrived.

But when I was having strong urges, not just to control my submissive in ways but also to take care of her mind, body and soul, I realised there may have been something deeper there that I need to confront. To come to this fact took the better part of my twenties so please, don’t make my mistakes, yeah?

In my experience, there’s two types of submissive people, just as there are two types of Dominant people. You have the people who employ these features into the bedroom on occasion and then you have the people that feel that surge and drive to slip into their roles much more, some even going into their roles 24/7. To what extent this comes to, only you can really say. Needless to say, if you want this more than just during the bedroom, you can’t fight that drive, believe me I know.

So which type are you? Well, that’s tricky and something only you can come to realise. There’s so many different stances one can take that it’s mind boggling. Me? I’m living the lifestyle. I’m not 24/7 but this is only because I want the other parts go my life, the non dark persona to breathe and enjoy the sunshine as well. Just like sometimes I might want to slip into the  role of my pet’s Master because I feel those cravings.

The thing that you have to focus on is exploration. Research, research, research. That doesn’t mean go out to a bar and seduce someone, it means:

– read books on the subject – SM 101: A Realistic Introduction helped me, just as it might help you. There are loads others though..

-Log a journal of your thoughts. Don’t be afraid to explore the dark.

-Watch porn – seriously, it might ignite the mind and introduce you to something you may want to experiment with.

This is just the beginning. Don’t feel afraid to open yourself up to new ways of thinking.

A D/s relationship is so much more to me than just issuing commands and getting my way. The lady comes first, her needs come before my wants. Every D/s relationship is different, this is true, but for me, its a deep and loving experience where I guide the submissive into growing.