Flogging front cover

Flogging front cover

by Joseph W. Bean
Published in 2000 by Greenery Press

The foreword to Flogging begins, “You cannot learn flogging – Top or bottom – from a book.” While many might find that a curious claim for a book that sets about teaching the art of flogging, that forthright admission is fine evidence of this book’s value.

Covering everything from negotiation, positioning, types of floggers, techniques, managing the scene, aftercare, toy care, and all points in between in detail, Bean offers a comprehensive guide that gives one the tools they need to explore the world of flogging.

My only complaint with this book is the heavy use of narrative scene interludes to emphasize the instructional text.  While a standard format for BDSM technique books, it distracts from a book’s narrative flow.  I wish I knew who was responsible for starting this trend in the genre so I could make them pay dearly for the literary agony their legacy has inflicted on me.  (Actually, I do know who shoulders the blame for this. Though I haven’t read or reviewed that book yet, I will eventually.  While I promise to read that book with an open and unbiased mind, I feel confident I’ll excoriate them appropriately.) Bean’s narratives describe flogging scenes in detail, and he references them frequently in his instructional text.  If these scenes and their references were omitted, the finished work would be a pamphlet and not a book.

While Bean clearly knows his topic, I can’t escape the feeling that using a different format would have allowed him to cover it in greater depth and scope which is a shame. My complaint aside, Flogging is an essential reference that anyone who wishes to explore the erotic possibilities of flagellation will be well served to read.