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The New Topping Book

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,253 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Tens of thousands learned the emotional and ethical skills of BDSM topping from the first `Topping Book.` Now, in addition to the sage advice and good humor that made the first edition a classic, the authors tackle some of the issues that have come up for tops in the last six years: on-line domination, the challenges and rewards of `lifestyle` relationships, ensuring our o ...more
Paperback, 2nd (revised & updated) Edition, 221 pages
Published July 1st 2003 by Greenery Press (first published March 1st 1996)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  1,253 ratings  ·  80 reviews

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Anya (~on a semi-hiatus~)
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anya (~on a semi-hiatus~) by: The Reddit BDSMcommunity
I'm going to buy a paperback version of this book once I move out of my parents' place and put it on a bookshelf in my and the boyfriend's shared library. :") ...more
Sep 13, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a solid intro book to topping/dom dynamics — accessible writing, encouraging and non-judgemental language, a decent amount of nuance. It feels like Dossie and Janet are your kinky and occasionally problematic white lady aunties loud-whispering secrets to you in a movie theatre while making sure you’re on your shit with safer sex.

There are a lot of things missing in this book, especially re: BDSM with/for BIPOC. It was incredibly irritating to see the blurb mention folks of colour when t
Aenea Jones
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-nonfiction
I really tried to read this with an open mind.

I knew it would be hard, because to me, pain and pleasure are two distinct things. My body has one canal for pleasure, and another one for pain, and they are the exact opposite of each other.
So the idea of submissive people, who actually enjoy to be controlled, hurt and humiliated, and the concept of dominant people who enjoy controlling, hurting and humiliating others, for sexual pleasure on top of that, is downright harmful.
Yes, to me such behaviou
Sep 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
So, I visited my kinky chosen-aunt again, and it was lovely, as always.

Definitely not a "how-to" book but validating, non-judgmental and delving into some important psychological depths. Loved the feminist perspective. It's a classic.
I was very meh on this book. Someone else loaned it to me, so I figured I'd take a shot at it. I wasn't super impressed, to be honest. Granted, none of this was really new information to me, so unless you're an absolute beginner I'd suggest looking elsewhere. To be nit-picky, I found some of the "interludes" to be a little too purple-prosey for my taste. Also, the chapter on spirituality kind of threw me for a curve ball, and not in a good way. The book also seemed rather repetitive at times. Bu ...more
Kim BookJunkie ~ Editor & Proofreader
I am not a member of the BDSM community, just someone who enjoys reading BDSM fiction. Since I enjoy reading BDSM romance and am open to learning about things that might enhance my personal life, I decided to check this book out. I did occasionally skim through the chapters that were not applicable to me or did not interest me yet I was careful to base my star rating solely on the material I did read.

This book was highly recommended by a knowledgeable couple in a 24/7
D/s relationship. It was cr
Mark Stone
Jul 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: tops, bottoms, switches, and anyone else interested in BDSM sexuality.
Shelves: sex
When my girlfriend and I took our questions about our burgeoning interest in BDSM to our more experienced friends in Washington D.C., they recommended that we start with this book, and it's sister The New Bottoming Book. The authors write with wit and compassion, making this a fun, sexy, and comforting read.

It's important to remember, however, that this isn't a 'how-to' manual. It won't tell you how to play BDSM games with your lover - at most, there are a few scenes you might find interesting.
Beverly Diehl
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent resource about topping for beginners that skims the various ways someone might want to top, what their responsibilities are to their bottoms, and a deeper look at the emotions that can be invoked playing this way. I had a lot of fun reading it, making the attached video review (, and expect to be returning to it periodically. Highly recommended for both beginners, and for writers who want to include these kinds of scenes in their own work.

Zuzka Jakubkova
May 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very good guide on navigating the "dominating" part of D/S relationships. Great sections on communication and dealing with your own negative energy. Excellent chapters on toys. Note to self: must buy more blindfolds. ...more
Jun 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
It totally changed my views on BDSM. A journey into the unknown darkness.
Jun 16, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, sexuality
These Easton books taught me absolutely nothing about how to approach topping, bottoming, or a poly lifestyle. All they say is to communicate and sit patiently with whatever your partner has to say unless it cramps your poly style -- hey what a great idea! to talk to your partner! & your "wrong"-headed feelings of jealousy will magically go away if you just talk yourself out of them.

There is very little practical advice about how to find community, multiple approaches to different types of rela
Adam Wiggins
Aug 09, 2013 rated it liked it
A “top” is someone who is dominant in sexual situations, including kink encounters (known as “scenes”). This book is intended as a handbook for learning to top safely, responsibly, and effectively.

Generally good content. I liked that they frequently described how a successful scene should make everyone involved feel.

The downside is that it wasn't very well-organized and felt rambly.

If you're looking for a general intro to kink, I recommend “Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns.” If you've read th
It's not a bad book. It's not. It's got lots of advice for beginner 'tops' in BDSM scenes, as well as useful information that someone new to D/S relationships or scenes might not know. There are stories, recommendations, etc. However, as usual I run into the stereotype that this book was written in a 'one size fits all' manner, and while broad topics were addressed (and, for the most part, healthily), I can't help but feel like this book didn't speak to me as a person. Maybe worth a read if you ...more
Jul 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
BDSM through a very heavy lens focused on the S/M. I appreciate their efforts in writing this, however I found most of the content to be rather repetitive discussion of negotiation, awareness, and aftercare. It would probably be a good start for someone very new to the scene, but I found it to be less than helpful with a writing style that didn't really keep me interested either. This is not useful for people interested in or interested in learning more about D/s. ...more
Nov 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
Really interesting, fairly comprehensive overview of ethics and communication skills for kinky relationships written by two queer (white) women, one of whom is also a therapist. I specify white because they make overtures to talking about race-related power dynamics and POC in the kink community, but don't get much farther than mere acknowledgement. ...more
Jaina Bee
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Everything by this writing pair has been a welcome and often-referenced addition to my sex ed section. This could use another update, as so much continues to evolve in the worlds of sexual diversity, however it still contains fundamentally vital information and encouragement.
BookAddict  ✒ La Crimson Femme
This is an okay book to start out with for new tops. Explains some of the situations which may throw a new Top into a spin.
Eli Poteet
Nov 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kink
Teo 2050


Easton D & Hardy JW (1996) (06:03) New Topping Book, The

• revisioning
• what's changed?
• • the internet
• • D&S
• • more of us
• • language
• • BDSM
• • the interludes
• • we've changed too

Hello Again!
• yes, it's us again
• why we're writing this
• this is not a technical manual
• how we view BDSM
• how do you know you're a top?
• does there always have to be a top and a bottom?

01. What is it about Topping Anyway?
• building your hearth
• is all power the same?
• so what's
Edward Richmond
This was a fairly comprehensive beginners' guide. It was well written, lively, and approachable. All good things. If it has a strength, it is that the authors, Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy, are very concerned with making sure that there is something useful for any new or would-be top who reads this book. The trade-off is that this is an extremely generalist book that is not going to be fully applicable to individual circumstances.

Note well: this is not a how-to manual. There are no guides to kn
Charles Daniel
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An Amazingly Dense Book

I mean "dense" in the sense of being packed with information, concepts, and thought provoking stories and questions. So much so that I found myself highlighting entire paragraphs.

There is an uplifting philosophy of respect for oneself and for others which runs through the book. This promotes empathy towards others and development of self-understanding.

This is a book which will require multiple readings with periods of reflection and exploration between readings from which
Alistair Hawthorne
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
I didn't know what I was expecting. I guess I was just curious.
If you don't know anything about BDSM relationships, then go ahead and knock yourself out. If you are acquainted with the scene or take part in it, don't bother, you likely know everything in the book already.
Pretty much everything in this book is common sense and obvious to me. There are some good insights or well-put thoughts, but an overwhelming majority of the book is filler content and repetition.
My issue is mainly the writers
Christopher Munroe
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
There may come a time in your life where an, in hindsight, obviously abusive relationship leaves you completely disassociated from your body and sexuality.

In times like that, I should think, it is only right and natural to go back to your roots. Reconnect with yourself on a fundamental level, remind yourself who you are and what it is that you like. A person who tore you apart is one thing, allowing their influence to keep you from the fullness of life even after they’re gone is quite another. Y
I read this non-fiction, educational BDSM book along with another one that contrasted greatly. The other was like an encyclopedia with editorial comments. This one is written more like a journey through the thoughts and emtotions of the power exchange. The other was about the facts. This one is about the feels. I enjoyed both books but they do serve distinctly different purposes.

As other reviewers have said, this book is not a how to. There is practical advice but it's more filled with understa
David Sullins
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
After really enjoying The Ethical Slut by Easton and Hardy, I wanted to read more by them so I got this without knowing what exactly was inside. This is not a BDSM how-to, it's more about issues like ethics, safety, and especially what's going on in the heads of tops and bottoms. If you want to learn to tie a dozen different kinds of knots, look elsewhere. But for what the book is, it's excellent.

I thought I was an open minded person who'd have no problems with the topics discussed in the book.
Jun 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
I bought this book recently as an addition to my research/resources library and am not sorry I did so.

While this is not a how to manual on BDSM, it is a very good introductory guide to S/M from the point of view of the Top or Dominant side of a D/s S/M relationship and I found it a quick, easy read and a good refresher for me.

I'd recommend it as a good primer for anyone who is interested in S/M or who is interested in writing about S/M.

The book divides itself between giving some practical advic
Dec 26, 2012 rated it liked it
If you are already a perverted, cruel, bossy, demanding, in control kind of lover . . . perhaps this book will make you feel a little more comfortable about the fact that these are not unwanted attributes, and in fact there are those out there who would want exactly those qualities when receiving your affections. Like most books on BDSM I've read, there is fair coverage of consent, safety, some basic scenarios, history & advice from the writers. Particularly, there are sections on how to tread i ...more
Lui Ramirez
A really good place to start - or refresh your memory, or rediscover yourself or your playing partner(s). I like the tone & style, and how much it covers without feeling overwhelming or "trying too hard". It puts into words things that you may have thought about but didn't have clear enough in your head, and plays with different ideas of what topping and bottoming can mean, giving examples while also stating very clearly that everyone creates their own "Top".

It is also a super quick read, becau
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received this book from a wonderful mentor and found it to be a solid read. The writing style is casual yet highly informative; much like sitting down with an educated friend over a beer chatting over some topic they're passionate about. While this is not a direct how-to guide as far as explicit techniques, etc, it does serve as a great guide for navigating the BDSM community. The focus is, of course, on the top's mindset and how to channel those, but I appreciate how they related that to the ...more
(2.5 stars) A general overview of BDSM combined with life advice, low on technical details and not particularly demanding in tone--rather, playful and hopeful. Given that introductory tone, more concrete 101 info (ex. the anatomy of a scene) or more detail re: types of play (as explored in the Bottoming sibling-book) would be welcome. Some elements are poorly written and/or dated, like the unexamined emphasis on sex and roleplay and light emphasis on power dynamics, and the vaguely bizarre (and ...more
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Also published under pseudonyms Catherine A. Liszt and Lady Green. ...more

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Happy Women's History Month! One of the undisputedly good things about modern scholarship is that women’s history is finally getting its due....
28 likes · 4 comments
“Empathy in BDSM presents a wonderful paradox: as tops in role, we are often called upon to present ourselves as cold, cruel and unfeeling, when in fact we are getting our rocks off on an empathy so profound that it can approach the telepathic. So we believe that, contrary to the opinions of the uninformed, consensual sadism, dominance and topping are primarily empathic activities.” 2 likes
“When we blame, we fail to shoulder our part of the burden; we project the responsibility for whatever is wrong onto another, usually to protect ourselves from feeling terribly guilty or anxious. When we blame, we also disempower ourselves – if it’s all your fault, then I must be impotent.” 0 likes
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