Mina Button's blog

kink and feminism and stuff…formerly known as Absinthe Cocktail.

Archive for January, 2015

What I’ve Been Reading Lately…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 6, 2015 by

I’ve been doing, like, a ridiculous amount of reading lately.  I want to be the kind of blogger who writes thoughtful reviews of every relevant book that I read, but…well…I find it really daunting to write full-length book reviews.  I worry that I’ll either end up just gushing or being super negative.  So here, in brief, is what I’ve been reading lately:

The Ex by Abigail BarnetteI never got around to writing about The Girlfriend or The Bride, but I did post about how much I loved The Boss a while back.  The Ex is similarly really, really good.  This series is the best possible response to the Fifty Shades craze–Neil and Sophie are so charming, and very real.  There’s a lot of fantasy wish fulfillment (Neil is still a multi-billionaire), but the story is still told well, and the characters are likeable.  The “bad guy” (not that this series really has villains as such, but this guy is pretty terrible) is also creepily well written.  I can’t recommend it enough.

The Killer Wore Leather by Laura AntoniouIt’s no secret to anyone who talks to me in person about kink for more than 30 seconds that Laura Antoniou is my favorite author of BDSM erotica.  I am a huge nerd for the Marketplace series.  Since I also devour murder mysteries like popcorn, I had to read this.  And I’m so glad I did.  It’s hilarious, especially if you’ve ever been to any large kinky convention (or probably any large, special-interest-specific convention, really).  The plot is intensely satisfying, and twisty and exciting.  At one point I actually, literally gasped out loud at a plot twist.  I am kind of hoping there will be more of these, though I don’t know how many murder mysteries can reasonably be set in the BDSM scene…

The Compleat Spanker by Lady GreenI tend to be a really big fan of short, practical guides like this.  I feel like they are often way more useful than the big, comprehensive type books that try to cover every single kinky activity one could possibly do.  Though more on that in a minute.  This is just a really good, comprehensive guide to impact play.  It takes youthroughbothpracticalinformationaboutimplements, technique, anatomy, and first aid as well as the brain and feelings components of a spanking scene.  Really, super useful.  I wish books like this were more available and recommended more often to beginners.

Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns: The Romance and Sexual Sorcery of Sadomasochism by Phillip Miller and Molly DevonThis is one of those books that’s been around for a while and gets recommended a lot to folks who are just starting to explore kink.  It has a lot of the same issues that most of these books published in the mid to late 90s have, like hilariously dated information about meeting potential partners via the internet.  It’s also pretty common for books from this time to use some fairly dated information about gender and gender identity issues–even some of my favorite informational books use language that is pretty cringe-worthy by current standards.  Unfortunately, this takes it a little further by including a section about how the majority of “the gender community” aren’t into BDSM.  Which, even if it was maybe true in 1995 (which I’m reasonably sure it wasn’t, based on other reading) it’s definitely not remotely true today.  In other gender-related issues, because it was written by a male dom/female sub couple, it is written using entirely she/her/hers pronouns to refer tosubmissives and he/him/his pronouns for dominants.  Ugh.  There’s also a lot of icky genderessentialism presented as advice (women do x,men doy, women have sex like this…etc.) which is pretty uncomfortable.  Frustratingly, there’s also a lot of good information.  I learned tons about things like enema play and how to use asingletail that Ihaven’t really read in any other book.  But mostly, I feel like this book tries to take on way too much, and thegendered language and “fun” writing style end up being really alienating.

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So that’s what I’ve been reading.  I’m going to try to make this a regular feature on the blog, and also write about some books I’ve been meaning to post about for a while.  I hope this is informative and maybe also entertaining.