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Sensuous Magic: A Guide for Adventurous Lovers

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  159 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Need help with your riding-crop technique? Wonder how to wrap your husband like a mummy? Or maybe you caught your girlfriend wistfully eyeing a pair of handcuffs in a shop window and simply want to know how to bring up the subject with her. Sensuous Magic has the answers. Writer, therapist, and sex radical Patrick Califia-Rice has updated his classic introduction to S/M an ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Published January 15th 1998 by Masquerade Books (first published 1993)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Dear Patrick Califia:
Marry me.

Okay, not really. (At least not until bigamy is legal.) But in seriousness, I am pretty sure this is the best beginner S&M book I've ever read and anyone who is even THINKING about getting kinky with it should definitely give it a shot.

There are many good BDSM books marketed towards beginners, but I find they all have flaws - either not enough information, or a scope that's so excessive as to be terrifying to a rank novice. I've read "novice" BDSM books that inclu
May 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a review of the updated version. I understand the first version was a lot more focused on het couples. Although this isn't primarily a book about leather scene history in San Francisco, you get to learn a lot about it on the way. Maybe all this great queer stuff wasn't there in the first edition.

A couple of things make this book stand out in a world of sex and BDSM advice books and tech manuals. First, the writing. It's really good! A lot of books about sex, in an attempt to be not sala
A well constructed introduction to BDSM that may be too much for the true novice - I know I certainly got nervous whenever the subject of blood was brought up. Nonetheless, the author makes a strong attempt to quell fears.

An especially nice touch was the addition of short stories describing scenes at the end of each chapter, featuring a variety of activities and gender combination. Probably the only thing bad about this book is that the number of these stories begin to dwindle as the book progre
Jan 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
A decent summary of BDSM culture and practices by Pat Califia (the author was female-identified when my edition was published in the late 90s, though they are now male-identified and go by Patrick). Oddly hetero-oriented, given who the author is, though certainly other sexualities are addressed as well. Very safety-first, for which I give it an A++. Short on fantasy, long on practicality, which I find rather refreshing.
Aug 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sexualities
A very practical, no funnystuff guide aimed primarily at hetero couples interested in first time S/M exploration.
I can't say that it was "instructional" for me (except for the caution against whipping someone along the spine...that really sunk in!) but Pat/rick's style is so enjoyable that I will read almost anything with interest.
Kal Cobalt
Apr 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Out of all the BDSM stuff out there, I really only ever recommend two books to relative newcomers. This is the one I loan out for people who need more information than basic physical stuff -- who want to know more about the "why" of BDSM and how it works in a larger context. I can't imagine a better introduction to the field. ...more
Transgender Bathroom
Jan 12, 2008 marked it as bagrat-topagwa  ·  review of another edition
If you'd like to know what I thought of this book, please contact me directly and I'd be happy to discuss it with you.

All the best,

- TB
Jan 10, 2011 rated it liked it
A bit outdated now, but a good basic guide. To be honest, I mostly skimmed this one as I've read so many "101" books by now! ...more
J Crossley
May 05, 2017 rated it liked it
This book provides ideas and scenarios to spice up your BDSM play.
Jan 02, 2008 marked it as to-read
I bought this when I first was introduced to S/M and Pat Califia. I read it when I get in the mood, and I love it. Very informative and well- its by Pat Califia!
Corinne Natasha
Apr 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sex
Read it for the academic ideas and porn, not for technique.
Mar 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
good read, took my time so i could absorb the info
Jan 19, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sexuality
This is a classic, but I found it very up-and-down. There's a lot of domism in this book. While there are a lot of gay and lesbian examples in this edition, it still doesn't feel like much is being queered. On the other hand, the practical information is solid. I think the audience for this book would be folks who are new to the topic and intrigued but not yet sure of themselves, particularly D-types (there isn't much information for s-types beyond surface level). The author provides practical a ...more
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Pat is fantastic and I totally didn’t have an issue w/ his use of excessively heterosexual couples due to his other works being more geared towards women etc etc etc. Easy to read covertly at the hospital I work at between the hours of 1 and 5am.
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Patrick Califia-Rice, who formerly wrote under the names Pat Califia and Patrick Califia, is a writer of nonfiction (on men, gender, transgender identity, and sexuality) and fiction (erotica, poetry, and short stories). ...more

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