Tip Your Bootblack!!! A review of “Playing Well With Others”

If you are looking for a book along the lines of  ”S&M 101″ or a technique book, this book is not for you.  However, if you are new to S&M or are an experienced player that is looking to reach out and stroke someone in the greater community, then this is book is a must read and definitely something to add to your Yule list!

The authors, Lee Harrington and Mollena Williams, both of whom have recently wrapped up a book tour to promote this book, are well-respected in the BDSM community and have 30 years combined experience as players, purveyors, and educators.  To find out more about Lee and Mollena, check out their profiles: http://www.playingwellwithothers.org/mo/  www.playingwellwithothers.org/lee/

Playing Well With Others, is available both electronically and in work book format.  The book is written in a very approachable style that is easy to read either cover to cover or one section at a time as the mood strikes you.  The prose is broken up with cute side bars featuring cartoon Lees and Mollenas that often given personal anecdotes about the topic at hand.  The topics in the book range from how to act and find your first munch all the way through the many permeations of BDSM society that end at the big, bad expensive convention.  In fact, cons are covered quite a bit in this book, and it’s obvious that the authors enjoy and attend conventions often.  Some of the information in the book is repeated in several different spots, presumably because the authors think that it’s important and a point you need to commit to memory.

In addition to all the wonderful information contained within the main part of the book itself, Playing Well With Others also contains several appendices at the end that folks new to the scene will find extremely helpful.

The overall themes of the book–remembering your manners, taking time to learn new etiquette, and learning when it’s appropriate to ask questions (which is something you’re strongly encouraged to do)–are applicable not only to folks who are looking to start playing in the BDSM community, but also to people looking to join the Pagan or Heathen communities after being solitary practitioners or to anyone who is going to be joining a new community soon.  And if you’re going to have to attend a convention in the near future, whether it’s for fun or for business, the sections on conventions are extremely helpful.

For more information on the book or to purchase the book, click here (Do it!  You know you want to!):   http://www.playingwellwithothers.org/

These folks know the importance of tipping your bootblack:

Passion And Soul: http://passionandsoul.com/

Knotjokin Rope Floggers: http://www.knotjokin.etsy.com

Tonia Brown www.thebackseatwriter.com

Just Smack Me!: http://barbedpentacle.com/just-smack-me-a-wooden-spoon-decorating-contest/

 

 

Sadomasochism, Pain, and Wicca/Paganism

Beardsley’s Frontispiece to “A Full and True Account….”
If you’re reading this blog, then I assume that you at least know what S&M or BDSM is.  If you are looking for a how-to in terms of technique, some of the following books may be helpful:
Sensuous Magic 2 Ed: A Guide to S/M for Adventurous Couples by Patrick Califia
SM 101: A Realistic Introduction by Jay Wiseman
Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns: The Romance and Sexual Sorcery of Sadomasochism   by Philip Miller and Molly Devon
There are tons of books out there on the topic of basic S&M and S&M from all angles, but just like books on Paganism, some are good and some are fluff. 

 When the idea for this blog originally came to me, I, of course like most folks, felt sure that my ideas were fresh and original.  Well, there are few fresh and original ideas out there.  As I come across other people’s take on my “fresh and original” ideas, I’ll post and review them.

            S&M and the pain that is its intended purpose and by product can be related to Pagan/Wiccan practices, ideas, and motifs in many different ways:

·        Sadomasochism as a mystery tradition

·        Pain as an initiatory ordeal

·        Pain as sacrifice

·        Pain as meditation

·        Pain as a drug

·        Sadomasochism as “all acts of love and pleasure”

·        Sadomasochism as ritual

·        Sadomasochism as a vehicle for enacting the drama of myths

·        Sadomasochism as a healing vehicle

·        Sadomasochism as sympathetic magic

·        Pain as a purifier

All of these things, of course, bring us closer to our deities and our understanding of them.  I believe that when we orgasm we may be the closest to the pure energy force of the divine that we can experience here on Earth.  Using S&M in conjunction with sex and magic can enhance that feeling.

 

 

The grittier side of Paganism, or what this blog is about

While I practice with several different groups, I classify myself as Wiccan.  Wicca is a religion of balance, which often takes the form of opposites.  For every light, there is a dark, and so forth.  For some people, though, the light is all they want to see in Wicca and other Pagan religions.  They want to forget that many of the deities that they worship have light and dark sides to them.  And dark, by the way, doesn’t equate to evil.  On the contrary, the dark is often very necessary for the light to exist and is simply a sterner side of a deity or the world.  The nature that so many Pagans profess to enjoy and love is very dark.  The Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” is a prime example of this.


With that being said, in this blog I will strive to explore some of the grittier (or perhaps dark) sides and practices of Wicca and Paganism.  Just because I write about something doesn’t make it true; just because I write about something doesn’t mean that a majority of believers practice it; just because I write about something doesn’t mean that I necessarily practice or condone it.  This blog will be part editorial, part research project, and part informative site.

Over the course of the next several months I hope to delve into such subjects as S&M and Wicca/Paganism, blood sacrifice, the Great Rite (in its original form), hunting and the Wild Hunt, and avatars/deity possession.

Please note:  If you are at a ritual and any thing takes place that you are not comfortable with, you always have the option of leaving.  You should also tell somebody about your misgivings.  If anything vaguely sexual takes place in a ritual that involves someone under the age of 18, you should contact the police.