SM 101

by Jeff Booth
Review of SM 101 by Jay Wiseman


This is not a new book. It has been around for years and has remained one of the standard texts for people who want to learn about SM, short for Sadism/Masochism. The Kindle edition is more recent, having come out a bit more than two years ago. Not including the digital version, it has sold more than 100,000 copies.

Subtitled “A Realistic Approach”, we found this to be a fairly accurate description. It is quite comprehensive and an excellent resource for a beginner just starting to explore this form of alternative sexuality. Jay covers what SM is and why people get involved. The Basic Basics section covers safewords, negotiation before a scene (the term used for an SM play session), how to set a scene, and what to expect when you visit a professional dominant or submissive. There are some excellent forms to fill out to help determine what both parties can expect from a scene, and these can be very helpful in guiding you through the initial negotiation process of what will take place and what might exceed someone’s personal limits. We have found that using forms with a serious prospective submissive play partner is enormously helpful.

The section on finding partners has very good advice on what to do and where to go, from joining clubs to writing personal ads. Jay points out many of the pitfalls, and offers sound advice on what to realistically expect. He also offers solid advice on introducing SM into an existing relationship.

The section on bondage covers ropes and various forms of tying, blindfolds, ear plugs, hoods, cuffs, suspension, all with exactly what you need to know to play safely. There are also extensive sections on giving and receiving pain, including flagellation, clamps, and erotic torture. The sections on anal play, breath control, electricity, piercing, cutting, and branding do a very good job of explaining the potential dangers and pointing you to resources that will help you to better and more safely explore these more potentially hazardous forms of SM play.

Jay has excellent advice on safety, a topic he well understands from his training as a paramedic. This is one of the most important topics in SM, so having a well educated guide is crucial.

In the interests of full disclosure, we have had the opportunity to hang out with him at some events and my wife Kris has been a demonstration model for him. Having had the opportunity to talk with him and see him lecture, we are even more impressed with his knowledge of the subject.

Jay covers all of the basics you need to know to play well and play safely. Well-written from years of practical experience, it also includes a lot of references to books, clubs, organizations, and other resources to continue you on your way. Anyone wanting to get involved in SM or B&D (Bondage and Discipline) would do well to use this book as a guide.