BDSM – A Guide for Explorers of Extreme Eroticism reviewed by Deviance & Desire

Ayzad's 'BDSM - A Guide for Explorers of Extreme Eroticism' (with gas mask)

By Mastermarc, originally posted on Deviance & Desire

 

A famous bon mot of “America’s sexologist” Ruth Westheimer goes: “The most important sex organ lies between your ears.” This is also where BDSM originates: from the realization that the apex of eroticism doesn’t consist in blindly following your primal instincts of domination and submission, nor in the technical skills involved in handling whips, ropes and all the other exquisit instruments we are going to meet in the following chapters. BDSM is mostly about the mind: it’s about reconnecting our five senses to the brain, teasing it, stimulating it, having sex not only with our skin, but also with our emotions, memories, fears, dreams and every wonder contained therein. All the rest is extra.

Even the best orgasm in your whole life won’t last more than a few seconds and will leave you exhausted. On the contrary, the mind never grows tired: if you know how to play with it, you can endlessly arouse it, allowing it to discover and experience new pleasures in almost everything. Once sex ceases to be just a form of genital gymnastics, it can be freed from the confines of your bedroom and enjoyed at any time of the day, everywhere… without any pauses at all, if you like.

Ayzad

Ayzad’s BDSM – A Guide for Explorers of Extreme Eroticism is a strange and beguiling beast. You might get the impression from the introduction that it is just about BDSM, and it does cover that (comprehensively!), but over an impressive 600+ pages it unfolds to be about that and much more.

At its heart, the focus of this book is pleasure. It’s the pleasure found in exploring deeply embedded desire, flirting with the “forbidden” or finding the yin to your yang. That freedom might be found in BDSM or fetish, but Ayzad never loses sight of the fact that we are all explorers, in the old-fashioned swashbuckling sense of the word. Our journeys are an adventure, and the great treasure is discovering, exploring, and perhaps understanding, our own (and our partner’s) erotic nature.

‘Duende’ is an untranslatable Andalusian term. Its simplest definition is: a primordial magic force that heightens passions, which is rife with darkness… In our case, the duende is the difference between fucking and making love, between the pure mechanics of sex, and eroticism pursued as an art. It has a dark yet not morbid side, and just like all masterpieces it is born out of the union between passion and technical expertise.

Ayzad

This makes BDSM – A Guide for Explorers of Extreme Eroticism an entirely different kind of book to those of early BDSM writers such as Robert Rubel, Jay Wiseman, Guy Baldwin and Race Bannon. It dives just as deep, and probably deeper, than any book you have read on the subject, without ever losing focus on the erotic adventure that it is.

This is the first international (English language) edition of the book, which was published in Italian in 2004 and became an unexpected bestseller. It’s not unknown for books to lose something in translation, but the wicked charm of Ayzad’s writing works perfectly in English. It’s easy to get sucked in to the prose, which carries with it a European grace. As someone fairly well versed in BDSM, I expected to skim most of the book, but found myself reading it cover-to-cover much like a novel.

If that’s enough to get this book on to your reading list, then good, I hope you do and I’m sure you’re going to love it.

If not, then let’s get down to it. What’s inside?

After looking at sensuality and some of foundation stones of BDSM such as SSC, the law, boundaries and safewords and abuse, we start to discover what may happen behind closed doors with roleplay and fetish, which leads to mind games and the ways we connect and couple. Where this pauses and goes indepth and where it breezes lightly through the subject matter may surprise you, but for me it built a rhythm that focused on the erotic without getting bogged down in what are often hot-button issues in the BDSM community (Is SSC or RACK better? What is the difference between a submissive and a slave?). Where I thought Ayzad was going to go deep, he skipped lightly, and where I thought he’d skip lightly we often paused to deliver a lot of fascinating detail.

Ayzad then steers into a fairly large and comprehensive section on bondage, including enough information on techniques to get you started in this area, before looking at various forms of impact play.

This opens the door to talking about the meaty subject of sadomasochism, from the mild to the wild, and there is a wealth of information in this group of chapters about a very wide range of SM practices, from extreme penetration, wax and ice and chemical play to electricity, enemas and needleplay.

Like the rest of the book, it’s charmingly written and easy to read (even if you think you “know this stuff”), but I’d challenge even the most experienced BDSM player to not find some part of it new and interesting.

Again, there’s this surprising rhythm where Ayzad will pause to go into great depth about something such as the correct amount of liquid needed in an enema. It’s peppered with the right amount of safety information, and in some places he goes into the technique in enough detail for you to begin exploring right away, while in other places he gives enough of a taste to send you off on your own for further research if you feel a little tingle in your loins.

The manifestations of extreme eroticism range from the impalpable suggestion of a special gaze to the brutal ferocity of a fire brand. Such diverse acts, and the thousands more that can be experienced inbetween, have only one thing in common: the awareness—for an instant or forever—of being completely alive and present.

Ayzad

It’s only at this point that we really come to the look closely at the subject of BDSM relationships (including professional ones) and the BDSM community. It would be easy to get bogged down here, as the subject often is in internet forums. But Ayzad touches on it (I think deliberately) lightly, leaving it to you to think about what kind of relationships would work best for you.

Which leads to a final chapter looking at BDSM and the Internet, probably the weakest part of the book. It’s obviously been written pre-smartphone/app. But, for most of us, the internet is a subject we’re intimately familiar with, and you’re not likely to learn much from a chapter like this in a BDSM book anyway.

BDSM – A Guide for Explorers of Extreme Eroticism is a fantastic read, and will make a fine addition to your bookshelf or Kindle. It’s a good book for the novice or the more experienced, and I’d even go as far as to say that if I had to recommend one book to someone interested in exploring BDSM, this would be it.

If you want to get a taste for it yourself, you can download a free 40 page sample of the book in various formats. Then I’m sure you’re going to want to head over to Amazon to pick up a copy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

extremeexplorersAyzad is a reformed journalist, a writer and an alternative sexuality educator. You can find information about this book and more of his writing on his website. With over 30 years of experience in the BDSM community, he also leads seminars for professionals, the general public and practicing kinksters, and organises Secret Fetish Party and Sadistique in Italy.

The bestselling Italian version of BDSM – A Guide for Explorers of Extreme Eroticism was first published in 2004 and is listed as suggested reading by the Italian Association for Sexology and Applied Psychology, the Psychology Department of Aquila University and the Institute for the Evolution of Sexuality.

In his forward for the book, Dr Mark Griffiths, Professor of Behavioural Addiction Psychology Division, Nottingham Trent University UK, says: “I’m sure a lot of my colleagues won’t approve, but this book is better than any academic paper I have read on extreme sexual behaviour. Not only is it well written, but it is from the perspective of someone who knows what they are talking about rather than someone like myself who reads others’ work and summarizes… This book highlights an incredibly wide range of BDSM practices that consenting adults can engage in and is a celebration of a much misunderstood human behaviour.”

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