If you don’t know what you think of SM ethically, don’t look at SM 101 for answers; this is a training manual. However, if you’ve come to terms with your torture fantasies, this book will help you pick up 20 feet of rope and a riding stirrup for confident experimentation. Much of the mystique is removed from practices like flogging and going to SM clubs, as the book lives up to its title, taking on the feel of a college 101 course. Weisman writes from the position of a dominant, so I would second his suggestion that submissives pick up a copy of The New Bottoming Book by Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton to make up for Weisman’s inability to fairly portray that end of the experience. Despite the author’s encouragement to stay in the closet with your interests in SM, I made a point of reading his book in public. He generally takes the overly cautious stance with everything from placing personal ads to the risks involved in suspension, but for good reason. We don’t want to inflate the egos of any novices. This is tricky territory. As a novice myself, I was a little put off to see suggestions like lengthy written agreements before engaging in SM play. However, as I started to fool around with a more experienced partner, I found some of the caution very useful in creating a sense of safety and protecting myself. —Caitlin Benedetto