The S&M Feminist: A Book Review


It’s hard to find good writing about kink.

Let me rephrase- it’s easy to find plenty of folks who write about how to do BDSM play, and many of them know what they’re talking about and can explain it well. There are also quite a few bloggers who share their personal stories and experiences of kink, positive or otherwise. And there’s no shortage of people (mostly, but not always feminists) who can discuss the ways in which BDSM can reenact and reinforce some of the really screwed up ways in which sexuality and power are shaped by our culture.

But what’s often missing is a blend of all of them. It’s hard to find someone who can talk about kink from both personal experience, as someone who enjoys it, while also discussing the many problems, challenges, and questions that surround it. So I really enjoy reading Clarisse Thorn’s work.

Clarisse isn’t afraid to talk about her own experiences with BDSM, relationships, and sexual politics. But she’s also not afraid to explore some of the issues around consent, violence, and safety that a lot of the kink cheerleaders would like to sweep under the rug. She brings a refreshing honesty to her writing that is often lacking. Add to that a deep commitment to feminism and sex-positivity, and you have an amazing combination.

The tension between kink and feminism is a tough one to hold onto and most people end up firmly in one camp or the other. What makes Clarisse’s writing phenomenal is her steadfast refusal to avoid doing that. The clarity with which she discusses both sides without resorting to caricatures or stereotypes is simultaneously inspiring and challenging. If you’re interested in either or both, I can’t recommend her enough.

Clarisse has recently collected almost 50 of her best posts, along with commentary and reading guides, and published them as The S&M Feminist. It’s available as an ebook, a paperback, and on Kindle, so no matter what your favorite format is, she’s got you covered. Pick up a copy & enjoy!

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One Response so far.

  1. Thanks, Charlie!

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