I've been active in the BDSM/kink community for a few years, so I don't fully qualify as a newbie, but I recall what it was like sifting through dozens of guides, trying to break in to the lifestyle. I wish I had had this book then. The information presented in this guide is unique, insightful, instructive, easy for the inexperienced kinkster or curious vanilla to grasp, and extremely useful to anyone interested in the lifestyle. No other guide I have read presents information that is so essential to the new kinkster.
The author avoids focusing on the how's of kink in order to encourage the curious investigator to explore what is a vast, diverse community without limiting themselves to one or two standard 'kinky' practices. He, instead, delves deeply into the psychology of BDSM practitioners, exploring motivation and physiological-psychological connections that make BDSM/kink so enjoyable and beneficial to the practitioner. He stresses safety precautions which are practical and precisely what new kinksters should know. The glossary is a fabulous reference, which serves even the most experienced practitioner.
I'm a leader in my local BDSM community, which puts me in a position of caring for and guiding inexperienced kinksters and curious vanillas. I've never recommended a guide before, but I will certainly be making sure they all get a copy of this book. This guide directly addresses the exploration of an individual, fulfilling, healthy sexuality, not limited to labels or social constructs. I recommend this excellent, enjoyable read to anyone, experienced or inexperienced, vanilla or kinky, who wants a freer, more fulfilling sexuality.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)