Enid: The Bottoming Book & The Topping Book by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy

These books were first published in 1994, and then revised in 2001. They’re widely considered to be classics, and for good reason.

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They’re clear and accessible, written from a place of experience. Reading them feels like talking to a community elder. The books are comprehensive in what they cover, for both experienced players and those new to kink, and for people in long term relationships and those looking to find a play partner.

I love the personal anecdotes and memories, and the poems, but I also like the no-nonsense advice. There’s so much in these books about communication, articulating your wants, receiving criticism in a healthy way, delivering helpful criticism, working together as a team, it really highlights that BDSM skills are often the same as relationship skills. I really don’t think you can have the former without the latter.

I’m really glad that we bought them as a set, because I’ve learnt almost as much from the Topping Book as from the Bottoming Book. Some of what I’ve learnt has been about topping (which I am capable of doing!! And enjoy doing from time to time!), but mostly about what life looks like from Cadi’s side of the street! I really enjoy the places where it encourages Tops to look for collaboration from their bottoms, to pay attention to what’s going on in their own bodies, and to expect respect and gratitude from their bottoms.

You can pick up copies from Amazon relatively cheaply, but I’d also guess that your local LGBT+ bookstore would carry them too.

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