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Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns: The Romance and Sexual Sorcery of Sadomasochism
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Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns: The Romance and Sexual Sorcery of Sadomasochism

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  1,341 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns will tell you all about sadomasochism. We made it light-hearted and fun to read because SM is fun to do. That's why we do it. But fun is only SM's overture; for those who grasp its message, SM is sexual magic. The right blend of trust, fantasy, and sensuality creates an intensely erotic and deeply intimate stew. We take away our lovers' ...more
Paperback, 277 pages
Published July 1st 1995 by Mystic Rose Books (first published July 1st 1988)
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  1,341 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Dr. Ruth Neustifter
May 31, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sex-nerdery
This book chaps my ass in a bad way. Considering the subject of the text, I felt I had to specify that. It receives rave reviews everywhere I go, yet I have never recommended it to a single client or friend. True, it offers solid beginner's information in an upbeat way, but it does a poor job at the effort. Not only is the humor tedious and sometimes even offensive, but the images are also cheaply done. Worse yet, it seems to assume that every reader is interested in a power-exchange relationshi ...more
Aug 21, 2010 rated it it was ok
The illustrations are crappy, there's a major heterosexual bias (written by a couple: man is dominant, woman is submissive) which can be a bit uncomfortable & some of the jokes in this text are so bad (Phil's Phlogging?). But those things aside, it's a good book to read, if not buy, for an intro to the mechanics/emotions of BDSM. ...more
Sep 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a really great book for those seeking an introduction to SM. That’s not to say that a more experienced practitioner will not glean some useful information from this book, but the book is most definitely written with newcomers in mind. In particular, the book’s frequent stabs at humor feel like they are meant to put a possibly nervous person curious about SM at ease, while their effect on non-newbies would probably not be as effective. Some people seem upset about the fact that the book o ...more
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kyle Wendy Skultety (
Funny, entertaining and educational! Anyone curious about BDSM should read this first, to get an insight into the psychological mindset of its practitioners. Good diagrams of the body, showing where pressure points are and where NOT to smack your sub. From previous reviews, it seems like you either love this book or hate this book. I'm a member of the former--I loved it!
Kathy Orr
Apr 29, 2012 rated it liked it
It might not seem like it but back in '95 people who actually had real experience in D/s or S&M were just starting to write books that people not in the scene could understand. If Phillip had lived, I'm sure there would have been updated versions as well. ...more
Dee's Reading Zone
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
nontraditional at it's best
Oct 07, 2020 rated it did not like it
Not sure what to say. I wouldn't exactly call this a 'guide' to SM like I saw people saying in the reviews , becuse to me it looked like the couple who wrote this talked about their experience, their view and their preferences with BDSM (for most of the book, but i cannot really blame them because it was written '95).
So from my point of view they just stated their opinions, not actual facts.
Although, I have to say that there is some useful advice here regarding body preparations (bondage, whips
Shawna Hunter
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Note based on some of the other reviews: This is written by a couple that happens to be male dom and female sub. They may not be you. If it bothers you that they are not exactly you then don't read the book, write your own.

Aside from that this is a great beginner guide. The illustrations aren't great (but that's what google is for) and the authors make a few dad-jokes but they present the information in a simple, informative manner and they emphasize that these things are meant to be FUN. They
Kate Smith
May 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Kate by: Amazon
Shelves: favorites
This is one of the few non-fiction books that have made it to my favorites list. It is a complete overview of sadomasochism.

It reads a lot like someone is talking to you about their favorite topic - diary/journal writing style. It's co-written by a man and woman who give you their different viewpoints on why they are into sadomasochism and the specifics of what they like.

It looks at the psychology behind such desires and even has a section on tips on how to be a good Sub and/or Dom. It covers
Jan 18, 2009 rated it liked it

Anyone who raises their brows on hearing S&M should read this for their edification and broadening of the mind. It pretty much tells you everything you need to get started and enjoy the deeply paradoxical and yet tremendously enjoyable experience of sadomasochism: tools, toys, techniques of spanking, whipping, paddling, bonding, torturing, and other wonderful activities, and a method of introducing your partner into it.

Whether you like to dominate or be dominated, this book will teach you h
Jul 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book to someone new to the scene, or experienced. It goes over the psychology, history, and practice of Sadomasochism, as well as how to practice safely on your own. It offers advice on how to set up a good scene, what to watch out for (in terms of safety), and what to look for in good equipment. Even better, it shows how to make your own equipment! At the back is a resource guide, with addresses of established stores and centers for the kinky soul. An amazing resource.
Hope McCormick
Aug 25, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: relationships
Surprisingly easy to read. It's conversational, funny and informative. Does a good job of explaining something very foreign to me in ways I can understand (mostly). I enjoyed the discussion of the psychology behind this lifestyle, the dominance and submission part in particular. And I like that the authors go to great lengths to stress physical and mental safety. Excellent crash course on the subject if you're curious.
Jul 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in S&M
If your even the slightest bit interested in S&M this is the perfect book. It explains the different types of fetishes, how to do most of the acts properly, the psychological effects of S&M on your partners and yourself, and what and the types of people to watch out for. It is overall one of my favorite books. ...more
A Meneses
Feb 19, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is outdated but is one of the classics, some chapters were really interesting and I really enjoyed the emphasis in safety and the well being of both the submissive and dominant, but other parts were kind of meh or sometimes I wanted more depth. A nice introductory book, if you are interested in BDSM I recommend you just skim trough the bits that peak your interest.
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5. So basically this book explains what is Sado/Maso is and how it was 'created'. Some illustrations were badly drawn and supposed to be kinky but most of them were making me laugh uncomfortably... Anyway, texts were compiled to be understandable and interesting but yet some parts seemed like a weird sex propaganda to me.
Jan 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
For those in the Lifestyle or just interested in an accurate representation of what it's about, this makes for a good read. At times titillating, this book takes you by the hand for a serious (and not so serious) walk thru the world of S&M. ...more
Kristina Kopnisky
Jul 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
A good primer for those interested in exploring BDSM. Laid out very well. Not too wordy. More like a manual than any other power exchange guide I have read. Hilarious in parts. This book uses humor to drive home some very valid points about "the lifestyle".
May 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: sex
I was fortunate to know the author before he passed away. This book is much loved by its own niche demographic, encouraging responsible and compassionate sado-masochistic relationships. My copy is signed: "To Molly: our eternal innocent, with love, Philip Miller"
Autumn Darling
Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic MUST HAVE book on BDSM. If you're curious about the lifestyle AT ALL, this is a book you will want to OWN. Ours is dogeared and loved and read more often than any book I've ever had the pleasure of enjoying :)
Liz DeMarco
Sep 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Although a rehash for me...still liked the information in this.
Jo * Smut-Dickted *
Jan 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Still the best, hands down, on the subject. Lively conversational style. Non threatening. Great info. A REALLY great book!
Ironman Ninetytwo
Mar 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sexuality
Somewhat goofy tone, but plenty of good information. A few erotic passages for good measure.
May 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Not what I was looking for. Mildly cringey with at times questionable content.
Sep 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
Excellent resource for anyone--those interested in doing, writing about, reading about, or simply imagining!

I liked their inclusive, open-minded words, despite being disappointed that the majority of the book is written from a male-dom female-sub position. Which, as the writers' state, is what they know best, so I understand why they chose that method. It was just slightly alienating. Their generous, inclusive words certainly let me set my personal disappointment aside and allowed for
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It was funny, the material was easy to understand. It's very good for people who are beginning or are thinking about dipping their toes into the BDSM pool. It did take me several months to finish reading it, but that's only because I was also reading other books at the same time. I find that while helpful, a lot of the information is more for Dominants than for submissives. With that being said, it's very important for submissives to know what a good, responsible Domi ...more
Jun 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a great book for beginners...mostly.

The only thing I didn't care for as I learned about the lifestyle, is that a lot of what is said seemed absolute. I will have to go back and re-read to give specifics because there may have been things that were read differently in the mind of a then novice.

My recollection is of it being BDSM-lite and seeming to say that it was just the way things really are.

It is a good addition to a Lifestyle library as long as it's read with an open mind.
B.B. Blaque
Jun 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a great book for beginners...mostly.

The only thing I didn't care for as I learned about the lifestyle, is that a lot of what is said seemed absolute. I will have to go back and re-read to give specifics because there may have been things that were read differently in the mind of a then novice.

My recollection is of it being BDSM-lite and seeming to say that it was just the way things really are.

It is a good addition to a Lifestyle library as long as it's read with an open mind.
Excellent book to read. Wanted to learn more about the things I was reading in the erotica/bdsm books I have been reading.

The book is very informative and words everything plan and simple about Doms. Subs, Bondage, anal play, and more . . . very good book.

I would recommend to others interested in the BDSM. The book is written by a man and a woman.

Von Simeon
Nov 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Overall it's a helpful guide for those new or curious about the lifestyle. Someone like me, who's in the scene, searching for a reliable source to reference academically, will not feel satisfied with its content. However I will vouch it's authenticity and even for it's age, I would recommend this to a vanilla or curious. It will not be sourced for my research.
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