Toybag Guide to Dungeon Emergencies and Supplies front cover

Front cover for Toybag Guide to Dungeon Emergencies and Supplies

By Jay Wiseman
Published in 2004 by Greenery Press

One thing about BDSM books that often frustrates me is that they often present a pamphlet-length topic in book-length form.  The result is books that are bloated with asides, awful fiction, wordy prose, and the like that are not only annoying to read, they are also unnecessarily expensive.

In some ways, it is easy to understand why publishers would contribute to this situation given based on their not wholly unreasonable belief that book buyers are more likely to shell out the extra money for an entire book than purchase what might appear to be a flimsy pamphlet. I also think that the book length format appeals to the egos of BDSM authors given that, not only does a book seem a more impressive accomplishment than a pamphlet, but also a book writer is more likely to receive perks such as invitations to speak at BDSM events.  I know for a fact that “so-and-so wrote a book” carries considerable cachet in someone’s stature within the larger BDSM community.  Unfortunately, whether said book is any good is given scant attention.

In my view this is all very backwards.  I would much rather spend $10 on a smaller pamphlet that contains only meaningful pragmatic information than shell out $16 for four times the verbiage and one-eighth of the utility.  Also, why on earth would I be excited to hear an author speak when his book is meandering and self-important?

All of which is why I enjoy Greenery Press’ Toybag Guide books so much.  Not only are do they distill a topic to the parts that are important to learn, they do away with much of the awfulness that all too often plagues BDSM-related books.

Despite the fact that I was annoyed and distracted by his excessive safety admonitions in SM 101, it is hard to imagine any author who is more suited to write a BDSM safety guide than Jay Wiseman.  Here, Wiseman presents most everything a person needs to consider before, during, and after play in a concise easy to read manner.  Not only is this is an enjoyable read before an accident, it remains a handy reference to have on hand after a situation arises that requires attention (though not every emergency situation lends itself to “wait let me read this book for  five minutes before I act).

In fact this is so enjoyable, I have only one complaint which is that one of the folios, pages 27-58, where inserted into my copy upside down.  But this printing error is a minor annoyance that can easily be overlooked.