The New Topping Book
I read a lot of non-fiction books on sexuality and have read my fair bit on BDSM from Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns [my review] and Different Loving to The Mistress Manual [my review] and The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage [my review]. After reading Essin’ Em’s glowing review of The New Bottoming Book [here], I had to get myself a copy of The New Topping Book by the same authors: Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy.
The New Topping Book is an amazing little paperback guide for Tops on all aspects of BDSM. Originally published in 1994, the new 2003 version contains 17 Chapters including 4 erotic interludes that illustrate various scenes, as well as plenty of personal anecdotes from the writers and their kinkster friends. Rather than a technical guide, this book undertakes the emotional and psychological issues that a Top encounters in BDSM. The chapters are filled with useful suggestions on how to get started, finding your top space, ethics, scene and play suggestions, performance anxiety, what to do when things go wrong, and many other encouraging tips to get you on your way to be a tip top Top! The last chapters delve into the dark and shadow side of play, psychological elements and BDSM as a spiritual “quest”.
The book is written in a very inclusive language including all genders, sexual orientations, “switching” up pronouns throughout the book. The writing style is warm, conversational and passionate, not at all condescending or judgmental, like some books I’ve read on the topic and some, ahem, Tops (and bottoms) I’ve met. Both writers have many years of experience and it shows in their practical and friendly advice.
I have been reading this book for the past few months and keep rereading key elements over and over again as I find it so enlightening and encouraging. I will have to start sticky noting my favorite passages for future reference as this is a book I will come back to again and again.
The New Topping Book is simply the BEST book I have ever read on the subject of BDSM and has information that would appeal to all kinksters including bottoms. I think even seasoned individuals could learn a lot reading this book, and open themselves to new ideas. I can’t wait to read the New Bottoming Book now as I’m sure I will be just as enlightened from that perspective.