The New Topping Book front cover

The New Topping Book front cover

by Dossie Eastman and Janet W. Hardy
Published in 2003 by Greenery Press

Covering everything from negotiation to aftercare The New Topping Book is a thorough guide to the emotional side of topping.  While the practical advice is expected, it’s the unexpected things that make this book truly worthwhile.

I was particularly heartened to see the “Top’s Bill of Rights.”  Too often, the fact that we tops have needs is overlooked (even by other tops).  I suppose that the general belief that if the top is in charge and not getting his needs met it is his own failure.  This is at best simplistic.  A good scene is like a dance; unless you’re Billy Idol it isn’t much fun to do it by yourself.  Naturally not only do tops have rights but also responsibilities and “The Top’s List of Responsibilities” delineates these well.

Having something go wrong in a scene is inevitable.  Sometimes that wrong thing turns out to be something nice though that obviously isn’t normally the case.  The pages devoted to preparing for this eventuality are of particular interest, and will help give any responsible top the tools he needs to manage a scene.

I can only find one fault with this book: the narrative interludes. Their appearance needlessly jolts the flow of the book.  While learning from other people’s experiences is invaluable, the book would have improved if those experiences were relayed in the same voice that the rest of the text is written in.  This is but a minor complaint and the book is more than strong enough to overcome it.  Highly recommended.