Extracts from Tristan Taormino's 'Ultimate Guide to Kink'

Here are some extracts that particularly resonated with me from 'The Ultimate Guide to Kink' by Tristan Taormino, which I recommend unreservedly. All of the following words are direct extracts.


'Kink'... describes the people, practices, and communities that move beyond traditional ideas about sex to explore the edges of eroticism.

We learn skills that we can translate into every part of our life: how to claim our desires, negotiate for what we want and need, set boundaries, celebrate sexuality, and accept each other's difference... an opportunity for self-reflection, challenge and personal growth.

Where many people are content to just sit back and let life happen, we're not: we constantly engage our identities, sexualities, and relationships.

Kink is a crucible for creativity, vulnerability, perseverance, control, catharsis, and connection.


Pain... When people experience pain, adrenaline, endorphins, and natural painkillers flood their nervous system. People get off on this chemical rush, which many describe as feeling energised, high, or transcendent.

Many tops are dominant - their needs and wishes come first - and many bottoms are submissive - their desire is to please and serve their top. However, that is not always the case.

"Subspace"... a trancelike state some bottoms can achieve, especially in a heavy scene, that often leaves them feeling incoherent. In these situations, eye contact and non-verbal communication are critical. As a top, your ability to read your bottom's body language is essential. Pay attention to the bottom's breathing rate, facial expressions, how his body reacts to sensation, and whether the reaction changes. Use your judgment...

Bottom drop... is a common experience where, after the high of a scene wears off, a bottom suddenly feels sad, depressed, anxious, lonely or confused.

Do not forget that tops also need safewords, have limits, and want aftercare.


If you are playing with a submissive rather than a pure masochist, you can use service-oriented psychology to build tolerance for pain... The submissive wants to be possessed and yield to another person...

...We talk very little, regrettably, about how much the top needs to be able to trust the bottom. Buyer's remorse can ruin another player's life.

Rough sex

The opportunity for someone who respects you, likes you, or loves you to come in and "relieve you" of your power by running the show for a few hours is liberating.