It’s no secret that I’m a big reader. Part of the BDSM books that I read is meant to improve my submission either through skills, understanding, or self-improvement. Here are three of those books that have helped my submission.
Slavecraft by Guy Baldwin
Originally published anonymously, Slavecraft by Guy Baldwin is a fabulous read for someone wanting to dive deeper into slavehood and submission. Baldwin’s book is set up as essays covering the call to slavery, through four principles of slavery, and dealing with fear. He writes from a gay male Leather perspective but notes that he believes these issues apply to M/s relationships of all orientations.
Baldwin explores the deep subconscious of erotic slavery. He writes about how much of slavery is internal rather than external work. How the call to serve is a deep urge and only fully understood by other slaves. His four principles of slavery – identity, obedience, transparency, and humility – were eye-opening for me, especially in terms of how these things already matter in my life. Being affirmed in my identity as a slave and learning how Baldwin keeps that identity centered and grounded was incredibly helpful. Learning tools that I could utilize in my own submission and slavehood helped me feel more secure in the path I have chosen to walk.
To Obey To Love To Serve by V.M. Johnson
A bit difficult to get your hands on, To Obey, To Love, To Serve is a bit of a classic. If you’re not familiar with Viola Johnson, I recommend checking out the Carter-Johnson library and keeping an eye out for talks hosted by Mama Vi as the community fondly calls her. She is a major figure in the Leather community and strives to preserve our history in tangible ways. Mama Vi is a Black woman who doesn’t hold back in her discussions about community, the lifestyle, and ways we need to change to keep growing.
To Obey is a collection of diary entries covering Johnson’s life as a slave. It’s a pleasure to read her own intimate thoughts about what it’s like to serve different Masters over the course of her life and how it changes through the years. A few parts were difficult to read but are worth sitting with and considering how much the BDSM community has changed in concepts such as safety and consent.
I read this book rather quickly and found it reassuring to see someone that I know as a living historical figure struggle with different aspects of submission and slavery. There are just some things you can feel alone in within the lifestyle so its always reaffirming to see other slaves struggle with the same internal battles.
The Way of the Pleasure Slave by Andrew James
I’ve reviewed this book on the blog but wanted to mention it here. This book helped me define what drives me in a relationship. There is a lot of focus in the M/s community on service and obedience-oriented s-types so reading a book that discusses pleasure-centered s-types was validating. James covers what he calls The Three Core Skills – mindfulness, self-reflection, and communication. He provides actionable steps to help create protocols and rituals to guide a pleasure s-type through these core skills. This has helped me reflect on what I do with my day-to-day life and make adjustments to how I care for myself. The Way of the Pleasure Slave encompasses so much more than just sex and it was wonderful to see myself reflected in a book.
There are more books out there that have helped me with my submission but these were some of my favorites. What books have helped you with your submission or dominance? What are your favorite books to recommend to new s-types? Let me know in the comments!
you can purchase several of these books through my bookshop shop and support Queer Courtesan at no extra cost to you