Best LGBT TV Shows

Pride Season is upon us once again, but as we prepare to drown ourselves in rainbow underwear, cocktails and facepaint, here is our round-up of the best LGBT TV shows - both current classics and some old favourites - to get us in the celebratory mood.

 

Queer As Folk

It's the original gay serial - three men looking for connection and acceptance in and around Manchester's Canal Street in the revelrous nineties. It's hard to conceive of the impact this Channel 4 series had when it first came out, and just how revolutionary it felt at time when equal marriage was still but a twinkle in the Conservative Government's eye. But the notion that three gay characters could have fully-fleshed out lives represented on screen, in a joyful but complex way beyond the stereotypes was radical at the time. What's brilliant is this exuberant drama complete with nineties gold standard soundtrack has stood the test of time.  The moment Stuart discovers hook-up Nathan wears a school uniform on a day to day basis (and not in an ironic way) is still TV gold.

 

Gentleman Jack

The Tale of Yorkshire's 'First Lesbian' Annie Lester has been one of the LGBTQI community's best-kept secrets.  But this stunning BBC show starring Suranne Jones in the titular role captures the story of this seductive maverick with aplomb. Whether it's her dexterous finger skills, or her code-making way of recording her exploits in her diary, this deliciously presenting period drama is all-round luscious.

 

Queer Eye

Whether it's stylish cushions or good karma, Queer Eye is all about the straighten-up. Between them, the five-strong cast of Queer Eye cover interiors, dressing, grooming and emotional well-being and help everyday men and women put their inner and outer houses in order. Ignore those that tell you Queer Eye is all about the wallpaper - it's actually a celebration of love, friendship and being unapologetically kind and understanding - to yourself and to others.

 

via GIPHY

 

Pose

Pose is a simultaneously delicate and deep portrayal of the 80s' New York drag scene, with tales of ball culture, privileged cis sugar daddies and, of course, the Aids tragedy woven in to its raucous plot. Pose also features the most transgender actors in its cast of any show ever. The ball scenes are amazing - and bristle with bitchiness and courage and superb costumes, but it's the everyday reality of the heartbreaking little prejudices - and the incredible acting of the cast that really mark this out at as a unique and ground-breaking drama.

 

The Assassination of Gianni Versace

Any good queer trip to Miami requires a pilgrimage to Gianni Versace's house. But if you can't make it to South Beach, this in memorium mega-drama will help you pay your respects. It tells the story of murder Andrew Cunanan, and his lavish plot to fell Versace, with all Versace's friends and lovers falling into the fray. The pace is taut, and the set and styling as lavish as you would expect. And who could be better cast as doting sister Donatella than Penelope Cruz?

 

Butterfly

When this three part ITV series was aired during prime time back in October 2018, the tabloids went mad for it, in all senses of the word. Butterfly is the story of a desperate mother, Vicky, played by Anna Friel, estranged from her husband who think she's indulging her 11-year-old trans daughter Maxine's feminine whims. Vicky makes the ultimate sacrifice for Maxine by stealing money from her own mother and taking her for hormone treatment in America, at the risk of arrest. It's a pacey and remarkably moving tale that captures in parochial detail the torturous family dynamic that evolves when the parents find their loyalties split - and their beliefs fall on either side of the trans debate.

 

Ru Paul's Drag Race

If you need evidence this show is a cult phenomenon, the fact Drag Race is now happily in its eleventh series should help. The costumes, the culture, the phrases - there's nothing about this camp kaleidoscope that we don't love. And if you ever wondered whether your walk, style or attitude was gay enough, you could do a lot worse than taking tips from The Maestra herself.

How to Talk to Teenagers About Porn

Porn: it’s a conversation no parent looks forward to having with their child. Even if you’re a liberal, free wheelin’ kind of person comfortable in your own sexuality, most of us face a dilemma when talking to our kids about porn. How do you ensure that you strike a balance between being a good caretaker concerned with your child’s mental and physical well-being, while also acknowledging that your child may simply be exploring their sexuality? How do you stop yourself from becoming embarrassed, flustered or judgmental?

It doesn’t need to be a traumatic experience. With a bit of preparation, you’ll be able to handle the conversation coolly and calmly and do the right thing by your child in guiding them.

With an estimated 90 per cent of boys and 60 per cent of girls viewing adult content by the age of 18, what is clear is that talking to your children about porn is as teaching them to cross the road. In fact, you could argue that not talking to them is a form of negligence, considering just how much time we now all spend online.

Why do I watch porn?

Firstly, you need to wise up. With luck, you can plan when you talk to your children about porn, before they see it in the first place. But oftentimes, the topic comes up because the child has viewed the content and the conversation has to be had unexpectedly. In either case, figuring out ahead of time what YOU think and feel about porn will help you considerably when it comes to handling ‘The Talk’.

Maybe you enjoy watching porn with a partner and feel comfortable navigating tube sites, perhaps you’re one of the 1 in 3 women that watches it for solo pleasure, or maybe you’ve never been interested and find it all a bit seedy. In any case, you need to understand that your attitude to it will influence theirs. So equally, if you don’t know what you think because you feel out of your depth, that anxiety and feeling of confusion will transmit to your kids. Do you think it’s wrong if you’re single but right if shared with a partner? Do you see it as something that can aid a monogamous relationship? Or do you feel that if you were only ‘enough’ for a partner, they would never look at porn? Or maybe you think porn viewing is a private matter? There are multiple view on pornography so we can’t tell you what to think. But think carefully about what you believe and what you want to impress to your child before it gets to that stage.

The truth about porn

Mainstream pornography is a multi-dollar global business. 20 per cent of all mobile device searches are for porn, while 90 per cent of boys and 60 per cent of girls are exposed to internet porn by the age of 18. Solo cammers (web-cam performers) or independent productions including ethical, feminist and queer porn make up a tiny chunk of adult content online (around 2 per cent).

Mainstream pornography is a legal business, provided the acts depicted in the content are legal to engage in with another consenting adult. Porn becomes illegal when the participants are under age, performing illegal sex acts (which differ according to the country in which you doing and / or viewing them) and when performers are coerced (something that’s nearly impossible to know when you are viewing).

Porn becomes ethically complicated when the acts depicted are legal but the context in which they appear suggest violence, coercion, or assault, something which is often related to the captions that go with the videos (‘watch blonde teen get slammed by three cocks’, for example). This is the tricky bit for children and young people – how do you know that they have understood that porn is meant to be performative, the acts done to entertain and elicit a reaction, rather than to suggest that violence or acts that cause someone to cry out in discomfort is the norm?

In order to successfully navigate the conversation with your child, you’re going to need to have processed this difference and be ready to explain it. The difference between right and wrong might be something you are confident your child knows. But there’s a core difference when it comes to being able to filter between right and wrong porn acts compared with what we see in  a Hollywood action movie. That difference is the open cultural conversation we have around what goes on in action movies. Nobody talks publicly and consistently about what the right and wrong porn-inspired sex acts are. Besides, if you’re confident your child has never had sex, they have little to no context for understanding pornography.

How to start talking to your child about porn

Before you have The Chat, you need to ascertain just exactly what your child already knows. This is likely to differ depending on their age.

At school in the UK, under 11s are taught about what bodies do, the correct name for body parts, and an explanation of the difference between a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ touch (e the basics of consent). They aren’t generally taught about porn but they are encouraged to ask questions between the ages of 9 and 11 which will be answered if they are about adult content or imagery.  

11 to 16 year-olds are taught more extensively about sexual intercourse and attraction to other people, consent, sexting, making explicit images of themselves, and pornography although

the exact details and quality of this varies wildly between schools, what staff they have to help them deliver the information, and what religious ethos the school takes (currently secondary schools can opt out of teaching pupils about homosexuality and certain kinds of contraception, for example).

You may or may not have had a conversation with your kids about their bodies or sex, preferring to leave it up to their school, so if you haven’t done that, start there first. What are you sure they understand? This is really important to ascertain before you go onto the next stage.

Of course, if your kids are digital natives, there’s every chance they’ve already accessed adult content, either by searching themselves, or as a result of a peer sharing it with them.

Referencing back to what they were taught in a lesson at school is a good starting point, it gives you something to hook the conversation onto.

So start with an impartial open question. ‘How was the PSE lesson today?’ Their initial response – whether they meet the question with reticence, embarrassment or a desire to engage will help you judge how to continue the conversation. If you think they’re going to find the P Word difficult to use, you can bring it up with something like, ‘I think they were going to talk about something like porn on the internet, weren’t they?’ then ‘did they teach the class anything they didn’t know?’

If it’s a tricky conversation for both of you, ask open questions that can be about the class and participants generally rather than your child directly. As you both start to warm up and get more comfortable with the topic, move to personally-related questions or remarks – ‘was there anything else you wanted to know that wasn’t talked about?’

Remember – how you start talking to them about this now will affect every subsequent conversation you have with them. Your aim is to create an ongoing open dialogue where they feel comfortable coming to you, should they have a serious problem later on. That means no passing judgment, no shame, and no interrogation.

What to do if you catch your child watching porn

Scenario – you come home, turn on a device your child or young person has access to, and find they’ve been browsing adult content.  What do you do?

There are several possible responses. Firstly, decide what you want out of a confrontation. Is it to reassure them that what they’ve been doing is ok? Is it to question the nature of what they’ve been looking at? Is it to steer them away from adult content if they are pre-teen/pre-adolescent? Starting a conversation with, ‘I’ve seen what you’ve been looking at,’ with no real purpose isn’t that helpful or healthy.

How to Talk to Your Children About Porn

Next, ask yourself how you’re going to address the fact you’ve been monitoring their internet use without them feeling as though you’re snooping on them. With younger children used to be supervised it’s less of an issue, but with older children and teens, unless you are severely worried about what they’ve been looking at, it might be easier to have a hypothetical conversation linked to a news story you’ve read about porn. Of course, if you think they’ve been looking at something particularly violent, or illegal, you will need to tell them the truth and deal with accordingly, pointing out how much trouble they could get into for browsing that (if you’re not sure what’s illegal, you can check out the Government’s guidelines here). It may also be important to say, ‘I’ve never looked before, but today..’ to reassure them their privacy has not been routinely breached.

Whatever your intention with the conversation, it’s important that you stress you understand that they are curious – and that it’s human nature to be curious. Don’t blame them for their curiosity and bear in mind that any shame they feel as a result of this conversation is likely to stay with them for life. But do steer them towards more positive forms of information, such as Bish’s website (where you can also download your own resources to talk through the issues with them) or if you think what they’ve been looking at is unhelpful or damaging, and in order to give them a really good grounding in what good sex looks and feels like. If they are an older child or teen that you feel certain will want to keep accessing porn and you have an ethical issue with mainstream pornography, you might want to direct them towards more ethical porn sites such as Erika Lust or Anna Richard’s Frolic Me, or Joybear, and to explain that it’s hard to know on tube sites whether the performers have been paid fairly or treated well to make the content.

The most important thing is to stay calm, open and non-judgmental, even if you are internally panicking. Your child is far more likely to open up to you about what they are viewing and how frequently if you maintain this state.

Whatever your personal view of porn, it’s important to remember that there has not yet been any proven causal link between watching porn and committing violent acts or engaging in violent sex, or being unable to maintain an adult connection and relationship. It’s true that some people with emotional problems or trouble connecting to others watch porn and that watching porn exacerbates those problems for them. It’s also true that some men (and women) suffer physiological arousal issues as a result of over-exposure to porn. But it’s not an inevitable consequence of porn-viewing. What has been found, however, is that a liberal, educated and open attitude to sex and sexuality at home is the biggest determiner of a child’s sexual and emotional maturity later in life. So do the best thing by your child and prepare to talk to them about porn. Their future partners will thank you for it.

Why Make Your Perineum Massage Before Birth Pleasurable?

Perineum massage before birth will not only aid you in labour, but can also provide some pleasure and sensual connection to your own body as it changes through gestation.

So here you are, preparing to bring a watermelon sized human into the world. Out of a non-watermelon sized opening. For first time mothers and pregnant-people this can seem like an impossible task, that people have somehow been doing for “just” a few hundred thousand years…

During your pregnancy, it is essential to learn how to relax and contract your pelvic floor muscles, as well as take the time to massage the perineal area between the vagina and anus. We wanted to find out why and how introducing pleasure into this process is important.

Why Is Perineum Massage Before Birth Important?

“Massage is not just a luxury in pregnancy; it’s a necessity. There is so much change happening both physically and emotionally at this time.” – Pregnancy massage expert Suzanne Yates

Health

Most midwives will recommend antenatal perineal massage in reducing perineal trauma, the effectiveness of which seen in this study. Most doctors will give out medical handouts to explain the benefits of perineal massage and some of the risks when giving birth.

“40% to 85% of all women who give birth vaginally will tear.” Some of these tears are totally minute, but “about two thirds of these women will need stitches.”

Perineal massage before birth can also reduce the need for an episiotomy, which is a surgical cut to the perineum during birth, especially for first time births. Even if you have had a child previously, perineal massage can help increase the “stretchiness” of the skin and reduce some of the oncoming discomfort that you will feel.

“Women having their first baby, women 30 years or older, and women who have had episiotomies before have fewer tears and less severe tears when perineal massage is done during the last weeks of pregnancy.” – American College of Nurse-Midwives

Pleasure

What isn’t divulged by the midwife or doctor is how this process doesn’t have to be purely a medical one – it can be a potentially sensual experience too. We spoke to Sexological Bodyworker, Jessica Parker, to find out more about the ability to connect with your sensual self during perineum massage before birth.

She told us that it’s so important to connect with that area. It’s a spot that you don’t normally focus on but will undergo a lot of strain during pregnancy and birth. You need to learn how to relax, contract and manipulate your body with the baby. “You’ll have the actual bio feedback of that area”, rather than pushing against the unknown and leaving it as a painful mystery the doctors will solve.

This physical connection to yourself will also help you to reconnect with yourself postpartum. Sex after giving birth can be a whole new experience, especially coming accustomed to your new body.

Whether you are alone or with a partner, this area doesn’t have to be reduced to a baby machine, because you already know of the pleasurable potentials. The perineum can also be an erogenous zone if you stimulate it as one.

How Do You Do a Perineal Massage?

Medically

It is advised by midwives that you begin your perineal massage 6 weeks before the due date. With washed hands, and trimmed fingernails, relax with bent knees. Lubricant for the perineal tissue and your hands will ease the process.

“Vitamin E oil or almond oil, or any vegetable oil used for cooking—like olive oil. You may also try a water-soluble jelly, such as K-Y jelly, or your body’s natural vaginal lubricant. Do not use baby oil, mineral oil, or petroleum jelly.” – American College of Nurse-Midwives

The idea is to gently stretch the fourchette (the skin connecting the vagina to the perineum). Insert the thumbs into the vagina about an inch and a half. Press down toward the anus. Here you hold for up to 2 minutes. Then massage the inside of the vagina and the perineum whilst relaxing your pelvic floor muscles for around 10 minutes.

The perineal massage should be done once daily, and you will notice more stretchiness and less discomfort after a couple of weeks.

Aside from preparing the actual tissue for birth, focusing on this area with pelvic floor exercises and perineal massage makes it healthy. It can also help to heal from previous episiotomies, haemorrhoids or scar tissue. Like with any massage, perineal massage helps remove muscle tension.

Sensually

In a typical health system, the best you get regarding the perineum is the standard medical hand out sheet. However, it is important to note that everyone is different and you, like many others, may have never explored your perineum previously at all.

Though some women may find this area really sensitive to light touch, others can find it totally numbed. Sometimes it’s not the most comfortable thing as there can be a lot of tension there. These are all okay and are a process of self-discovery, of getting used to the touch or awakening the nerve endings.

Jessica explains that you want to associate as much pleasure as possible within this process, as this helps the body to relax into it, preparing you for the birth but also connecting you to your body. Some people go as far as having “orgasmic births” to not only counter the pain of contraction with the rush of oxytocin love hormone, but also to relax the muscles around.

Jessica facilitates pregnancy massages, and in her sessions…

“I like to give a practical demonstration of where I do it. They can either film it or use a mirror. Then, if they can reach, they learn how do it themselves. If they can’t do it with own hands, then I recommend incorporating a female vibrator, and if they have a partner there I can facilitate how they can do it on them. I go through different pressures and techniques and create a pleasurable experience for them.”

Using lubrication can make for a lubriciously erotic time just as it adds to your sex life. So why not give it a go and make your sexual health care routine a pleasurable one. It also means you’ll be getting your daily dose of happy endorphins – especially if an orgasm is involved.

To add: don’t pressure yourself into making this a pleasurable experience if you aren’t feeling especially aroused. Remember, it is your journey, so treat it right – with love and care.

Dr. Harmony’s Recommended Ethical Non-Monogamy Reading for Professionals

Dr. Harmony’s Recommended Ethical Non-Monogamy Reading for Professionals


ETHICAL NON-MONOGAMY

Ethical Slut, Dossie Easton and Cathrine A. Liszt (Greenery Press, 2004). This book is a philosophical and practical handbook for those who are interested in exploring theca non- monogamy.

 

 

 

 


Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships, Tristan Taormino (Cleis Press, 2008). This book is an introduction to the concept of open relationships discussed the difficulties and benefits of this exploration for couples.

 

 

 

 

 


Polyamory and Pregnancy, Jessica Burde (2013). A guide for bringing a new life into a polycule.

 

 

 

 

 


The Polyamory Handbook: A User’s Guide, Peter J. Benson (Authorhouse, 2008). This is a practical and philosophical guide to engaging in polyamorous relationships.

 

 

 

 

 


Power Circuits: Polyamory in a Power Dynamic, Raven Kaldera (Alfred Press, 2010). This book is a practical guide in how to maneuver both polyamory and power exchange relationships.

 

 

 

 


Swinging for Beginners: An Introduction to the Lifestyle, Kaye Bellemeade (New Tradition Books, 2008). This book is a fantastic introduction for anyone interested in trying out swinging.

 

 

 

 


What Does Polyamory Look Like?: Polydiverse Patterns of Loving and Living in Modern Polyamorous Relationships, Mim Chapman (iUniverse.com, 2012). This book is an examination of polyamory culture, polyamory movement, and the modern views of open relationships.

 

 

 

 


COMMUNICATION IN RELATIONSHIPS

Difficult Conversations, Doug Stone (Penguin Books, 2000). The book is one of the best resources for combatting anxiety-provoking conversations. It provides tools and strategies for individuals who struggle with having emotional conversations.

 

 

 

 


 

Getting to Yes, Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton (Penguin, 1991). This book is an excellent negotiation resource. It gives the fundamentals and tactics for negotiation and introduces the concepts of need vs. Principle.

 

 

 


The Jealousy Workbook: Exercises and Insights for Managing Open Relationships Kathy Labriola (Greenery Press, 2013). This is a good practical resource for couples and individuals who are struggling with jealousy.

 

 

 

 


The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships, John Gottman and Joan DeClaire (Harmony, 2002). This book is an introduction to the research, science and practical understand of what makes relationships successful and how to better communicate.

Dr. Harmony’s Recommended Power Exchange Reading for Professionals

Dr. Harmony’s Recommended Power Exchange Reading for Professionals Power Exchange After her seemingly perfect world came crashing down Chloe Donnovan was faced with a crisis of identity. In a bold attempt to start life over in a more authentic way, she confessed her darkest secret, a desire to submit to her husband Leo. The two …

Read moreDr. Harmony’s Recommended Power Exchange Reading for Professionals

Introduction to Kink for Professionals

Dr. Harmony’s Recommended Reading for an Introduction to Kink for Professionals


Fundamentals

Working with Kinky Clients: A Clinicians’ Manual

With the advent of the Internet, those who participate in alternative forms of relationship, gender, and sexual expression have come together as a community and have created a new sexual minority subculture.

The clinical needs of this community are different than the traditional mental health client and it is important for all mental health clinicians and healthcare providers to be familiar with the standard of care that may be different in the varied populations that make up this community. This document is the accompanying manual for a pilot Kink Aware Therapy Certification educational program, and it offers a fundamental working knowledge and important clinical considerations and interventions in the treatment of this population based upon one clinician’s experiences, the current research, and community literature.

This companion text also reinforces the growing need for an educational program for mental health and medical providers and further clinical research with this population.

50 Shades of Kink, Tristan Taormino (Cleis Press, 2014). This book is a helpful handbook and beginner’s guide to Kinky play and for those who are into impact play but are nervous about safety and protocol.

 

 

 

 


As Kinky as You Wanna Be: Your Guide to Safe, Sane and Smart BDSM, Shanna Germain (Cleis Press, 2014). This book is a good KINK 10 to BDSM play with the emphasis in safety and consent.

 

 

 

 

 

Playing Around: A Short Introduction to Kink for the Curious, Charlie Hale (Charlie Hale, 2014). Available for free at http://playingaround.charliehale.net, this book is an easy Kink 101 book for couples interested in just getting the basics down.

 

 

 

 


Sadomasochism: Powerful Pleasures, Peggy J. Kleinplatz and Charles Moser (Harrington Park Press, 2006). A collection of essays by researches in a variety of fields helps to dispel the myths surround SM and those who engage in it. A great read for those interested in BDSM personally as well as mental health professionals, students, and researchers.

 

 

 


The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play and The Erotic Edge, Tristan Taormino (Cleis Press, 2012). This book is an anthology from Kink educators around the world that covers everything from fantasy play to BDSM play. This is an excellent read for those just starting out because it has a diverse flavor of activities from mild to intense and offers a good exploration of Kinky play and fantasy options.

 

 

 


Our Dark Side: A History of Perversion, Élisabeth Roudinesco (Polity Press, 2009). A historical look at how societies have handle sexuality since the Middle Ages.

 

 

 

 

 


KINK COMMUNITIES AND CULTURE

Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The History of a Lesbian Community, Elizabeth Kennedy and Madeline D. Davis (Penguin Books, 1993). This in depth history and examination of the lesbian community of Buffalo, NY between 1930’2-1960’s combines 13 years of research.

 

 

 

 


Leatherfolk: Radical Sex, People, Politics, and Practice, Mark Thompson (Daedalus Publishing, 2004). This book is an excellent historical collection of papers and essays on the history of the leather subculture.

 

 

 

 


Life by Association: Getting Furry, Joseph Santiago and Lina Clark (Santiago, Inc. 2012). This book is a memoir of self-discovery and exploration of the furry community.

 

 

 

 

 


Life, Leather and The Pursuit of Happiness: Life, History and Culture in The Leather/Bdsm/Fetish Community, Steve Lenius (Nelson\Borhek#press, 2010). This book is an anthology of selections from Steve Lenius’s 15 years as the writer of “Leather Life” for Lavender Magazine as well other writings which give readers a fun inside exploration into the leather community

 

 

 


Furries: A Guide to Anthropomorphism, C.D. Overstreet (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015). This book is an excellent handbook for professionals, furries and the furry curious which explores the mysticism, the psychology, sexuality, and the science behind it all.

 

 

 

 


Playing Well with Others: Your Field Guide to Discovering, Exploring and Navigating the Kink, Leather and BDSM Communities, Lee Harrington and Mollena Williams (Greenery Press, 2012). This book is an ethnographic study and exploration of the Kink community itself rather than a how-to.

 

 

 

 


Sexual Outsiders: Understanding BDSM Sexualities and Communities, David Ortman and Richard A. Sprott (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2012). The book serves as an educational resource for those whose partners, friends, and family members are involved in BDSM play and the Kink community. It explores the struggles and dispels myths that are perpetuated by popular culture and the media.

 

 

 


Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality, Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá (Harper, 2010). This book is an analysis of ethnographic and scientific research of mono-sexuality and poly-sexuality in the field of sexual anthropology

 

 

 

 

KTCI Reading List

Dr. Harmony’s Recommended Reading for CKATs


Fundamentals

Working with Kinky Clients: A Clinicians’ Manual

With the advent of the Internet, those who participate in alternative forms of relationship, gender, and sexual expression have come together as a community and have created a new sexual minority subculture.

The clinical needs of this community are different than the traditional mental health client and it is important for all mental health clinicians and healthcare providers to be familiar with the standard of care that may be different in the varied populations that make up this community. This document is the accompanying manual for a pilot Kink Aware Therapy Certification educational program, and it offers a fundamental working knowledge and important clinical considerations and interventions in the treatment of this population based upon one clinician’s experiences, the current research, and community literature.

This companion text also reinforces the growing need for an educational program for mental health and medical providers and further clinical research with this population.

50 Shades of Kink, Tristan Taormino (Cleis Press, 2014). This book is a helpful handbook and beginner’s guide to Kinky play and for those who are into impact play but are nervous about safety and protocol.

 

 

 

 


As Kinky as You Wanna Be: Your Guide to Safe, Sane and Smart BDSM, Shanna Germain (Cleis Press, 2014). This book is a good KINK 10 to BDSM play with the emphasis in safety and consent.

 

 

 

 


Playing Around: A Short Introduction to Kink for the Curious, Charlie Hale (Charlie Hale, 2014). Available for free at http://playingaround.charliehale.net, this book is an easy Kink 101 book for couples interested in just getting the basics down.

 

 

 

 

 


Sadomasochism: Powerful Pleasures, Peggy J. Kleinplatz and Charles Moser (Harrington Park Press, 2006). A collection of essays by researches in a variety of fields helps to dispel the myths surround SM and those who engage in it. A great read for those interested in BDSM personally as well as mental health professionals, students, and researchers.

 

 

 

 


The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play and The Erotic Edge, Tristan Taormino (Cleis Press, 2012). This book is an anthology from Kink educators around the world that covers everything from fantasy play to BDSM play. This is an excellent read for those just starting out because it has a diverse flavor of activities from mild to intense and offers a good exploration of Kinky play and fantasy options.

 

 

 


Our Dark Side: A History of Perversion, Élisabeth Roudinesco (Polity Press, 2009). A historical look at how societies have handle sexuality since the Middle Ages.

 

 

 

 

 


KINK COMMUNITIES AND CULTURE

Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The History of a Lesbian Community, Elizabeth Kennedy and Madeline D. Davis (Penguin Books, 1993). This in depth history and examination of the lesbian community of Buffalo, NY between 1930’2-1960’s combines 13 years of research.

 

 

 

 

 


Leatherfolk: Radical Sex, People, Politics, and Practice, Mark Thompson (Daedalus Publishing, 2004). This book is an excellent historical collection of papers and essays on the history of the leather subculture.

 

 

 

 


Life by Association: Getting Furry, Joseph Santiago and Lina Clark (Santiago, Inc. 2012). This book is a memoir of self-discovery and exploration of the furry community.

 

 

 

 

 


Life, Leather and The Pursuit of Happiness: Life, History and Culture in The Leather/Bdsm/Fetish Community, Steve Lenius (Nelson\Borhek#press, 2010). This book is an anthology of selections from Steve Lenius’s 15 years as the writer of “Leather Life” for Lavender Magazine as well other writings which give readers a fun inside exploration into the leather community

 

 

 


Furries: A Guide to Anthropomorphism, C.D. Overstreet (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015). This book is an excellent handbook for professionals, furries and the furry curious which explores the mysticism, the psychology, sexuality, and the science behind it all.

 

 

 

 


Playing Well with Others: Your Field Guide to Discovering, Exploring and Navigating the Kink, Leather and BDSM Communities, Lee Harrington and Mollena Williams (Greenery Press, 2012). This book is an ethnographic study and exploration of the Kink community itself rather than a how-to.

 

 

 

 


Sexual Outsiders: Understanding BDSM Sexualities and Communities, David Ortman and Richard A. Sprott (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2012). The book serves as an educational resource for those whose partners, friends, and family members are involved in BDSM play and the Kink community. It explores the struggles and dispels myths that are perpetuated by popular culture and the media.

 

 

 


Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality, Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá (Harper, 2010). This book is an analysis of ethnographic and scientific research of mono-sexuality and poly-sexuality in the field of sexual anthropology

 

 

 

 


SEXUALITY AND GENDER

The Adventures of Tina and Jordan Jessica Lam (Xlibris, 2013). A children’s book that celebrates gender non-conforming children.

 

 

 

 

 


The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality, Julie Sondra Decker (Carrel Books, 2014). In this book Decker dispels common misconceptions and provides invaluable resources for people who identify as or want to better understand asexuality.

 

 

 

 


Understanding Asexuality, Anthony F. Bogaert (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2012). This book is a resource includes first-hand account of asexuality to discuss the historical, biological, and social aspects of asexuality.

 

 

 

 


Asexuality. Asexuality Guide. Asexuality book about understanding the sexual orientation, tips, myths and misconceptions.

 

 

 

 

 


Power Exchange

After her seemingly perfect world came crashing down Chloe Donnovan was faced with a crisis of identity. In a bold attempt to start life over in a more authentic way, she confessed her darkest secret, a desire to submit to her husband Leo. The two set off on a year of information, exploration, and sexual experimentation that will either breathe new life into the relationship or lead to their final demise. Darling Discovered: A True Story of Submission explores issues of trust, self-acceptance, and healing, set amongst the sandy beaches of Florida in an emotional and pleasurable read. Winner of 2015 BDSM Writer’s Con in Non-Fiction Category.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Assimilation: Tales of Transformation and Surrender, Bootbush (Nazca Plains Corporation, 2012). A collection of stories that discus a variety of BDSM play including water sports and puppy play.

 

 

 

 


BDSM Mastery – Basics: Your Guide to Play, Parties, and Scene Protocols, Robert Rubel and M. Jen Fairfield (2014). This is an excellent book for BDSM beginners on navigating the social and play aspects of the BDSM lifestyle.

 

 

 

 


Bootblacking 101: A Handbook, Andrew Diarmid (Nazca Plains Corporation, 2007). This book is an excellent introduction and resource to understanding the practice and protocols of bootblacking in the fetish and Kink community.

 

 

 

 


Consensual Sadomasochism: How to Talk About It and Do It Safely, Bill Henkin (Daedalus Publishing Company, 1996). This introduction focuses on defining the language of Kink in an accessible manner.

 

 

 

 


The Age Play and Diaper Fetish Handbook. Penny Barber (Lulu.com, 2011). This book is an excellent handbook for those individuals who are interested in exploring age play and diaper fetishes.

 

 

 

 


Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns: The Romance and Sexual Sorcery of Sadomasochism, Philip Miller and Molly Devon (Mystic Rose Books 1995). This book is an excellent introduction to BDSM and covers a variety of topics including safety and basic skills.

 

 

 

 


Shibari You Can Use: Japanese Rope Bondage and Erotic Macramé, Lee Harrington (Mystic Productions Press, 2015). . . This book is a great Japanese beginner’s guide to rope play.

 

 

 

 


Skin Tight: Rubbermen, Macho Fetish and Fantasy, Tim Brough (Nazca Plains Corporation, 2007). This book is an excellent exploration to the world of rubber and rubber fetish.

 

 

 

 

 


The Toybag Guide to Dungeon Emergencies and Supplies, Jay Wiseman (Greenery Press, 2004). A quick reference guide for handling emergencies both big and small.

 

 

 

 

 


BDSM Mastery-Relationships: A Guide for Creating Mindful Relationships for Dominants and Submissive, Robert Rubel and M. Jen Fairfield (Red Eight Ball Press, 2015). This handbook is a good resource for the development and nurturing of the power exchange relationship.

 

 

 

 


Care and Nurture for the Submissive – A Must Read for Any Woman in a BDSM Relationship (Women’s Guide to BDSM), Elizabeth Cramer (Amazon Kindle, 2013). This book is an excellent resource for those who identify as an s-type and are looking for a way to articulate and understand what expectations they may need to negotiate in their power exchange relationships.

 

 

 


Dom’s Guide to Submissive Training Volume 2: 25 Things You Must Know Before Doing Anything Else, Elisabeth Cramer (2013). This 2nd volume by Cramer to help new D-types grow in their relationships.

 

 

 

 


Dom’s Guide to Submissive Training Volume 3: How to Use These 31 Everyday Objects to Train Your New Sub for Ultimate Pleasure & Excitement, Elizabeth Cramer (2013). The 3rd book by Cramer which guides new D-types in the use of pervertables in play and training.

 

 

 

 


Dom’s Guide to Submissive Training: Step-By-Step Blueprint on How to Train Your New Sub. A Must Read for Any Dom/Master in a BDSM Relationship, Elizabeth Cramer (2013). . . This is an excellent resource guide for new D-types in a power exchange relationship who are looking for a guide on mentoring an s-type.

 

 

 

 


Domination & Submission: The BDSM Relationship Handbook, Michael Makai (Createspace, 2013). This book is an excellent resource in discussing the exploration, trails, and rewards of the power exchange relationship.

 

 

 

 


Extreme Space: The Domination and Submission Handbook, F.R.R. Mallory (Unbound Books, 2013). A guide for those who are interested in exploring and owning their sexuality in terms of BDSM and alternative relationships.

 

 

 

 


Living M/s: A Book for Masters, slaves, and Their Relationships, Dan and Dawn Williams (Nazca Plains Corporation, 2011). This book provides a real life account of living a TPE relationship.

 

 

 

 


The Loving Dominant, John Warren (Greenery Press, 2000). This book is an excellent resource for those who identify as a D-type in a power exchange relationship but do not hold high sadistic tendencies. This is especially important for those who desire a loving and nurturing D/s.

 

 

 

 


Manual Creation: Defining the Structure of an M/s Household, Machele Kindle (Nazca Plains Corporation, 2011). A detailed explanation of establishing M/s households including sample contracts.

 

 

 

 


Master and Submissive or Slave Contract, Phil G. (Smashwords Edition, 2014). . . This book is an excellent resource for those individuals who are wanting an outline for a BDSM contract.

 

 

 

 


Master/Slave Relations: Handbook of Theory and Practice, Robert J Rubel and Jay Wiseman (Nazca Plains Corporation, 2006). This book offers a good 101 to the power exchange relationship.

 

 

 

 


Miss Abernathy’s Concise Slave Training Manual, Christina Abernathy (Greenery Press, 1998). . . This is an excellent resource guide for new individuals who identify as the d type in a d/s relationship and are looking for a guide on mentoring an s type.

 

 

 


The Mistress Manual: The Good Girl’s Guide to Female Dominance, Mistress Lorelei (Greenery Press, 2000). . . This book is for any women who wants to explore the D-type role within their relationships.

 

 

 

 


Protocols: Handbook for the Female Slave, Robert Rubel (Nazca Plains Corporation, 2010). This book is an excellent resource for those s-types to deepen their understanding of protocols and rituals in their power exchange dynamics.

 

 

 

 


The Submissive Activity Book: Building Blocks to Better Service, Shannon Reilly (Createspace, 2008). A workbook dedication to the growth and learning of s-types who are part of the Leather and BDSM community.

 

 

 

 

 


ETHICAL NON-MONOGAMY

Ethical Slut, Dossie Easton and Cathrine A. Liszt (Greenery Press, 2004). This book is a philosophical and practical handbook for those who are interested in exploring theca non- monogamy.

 

 

 

 


Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships, Tristan Taormino (Cleis Press, 2008). This book is an introduction to the concept of open relationships discussed the difficulties and benefits of this exploration for couples.

 

 

 

 

 


Polyamory and Pregnancy, Jessica Burde (2013). A guide for bringing a new life into a polycule.

 

 

 

 

 


The Polyamory Handbook: A User’s Guide, Peter J. Benson (Authorhouse, 2008). This is a practical and philosophical guide to engaging in polyamorous relationships.

 

 

 

 

 


Power Circuits: Polyamory in a Power Dynamic, Raven Kaldera (Alfred Press, 2010). This book is a practical guide in how to maneuver both polyamory and power exchange relationships.

 

 

 

 


Swinging for Beginners: An Introduction to the Lifestyle, Kaye Bellemeade (New Tradition Books, 2008). This book is a fantastic introduction for anyone interested in trying out swinging.

 

 

 

 

 

What Does Polyamory Look Like?: Polydiverse Patterns of Loving and Living in Modern Polyamorous Relationships, Mim Chapman (iUniverse.com, 2012). This book is an examination of polyamory culture, polyamory movement, and the modern views of open relationships.

 

 

 

 


COMMUNICATION IN RELATIONSHIPS

Difficult Conversations, Doug Stone (Penguin Books, 2000). The book is one of the best resources for combatting anxiety-provoking conversations. It provides tools and strategies for individuals who struggle with having emotional conversations.

 

 

 

 


Getting to Yes, Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton (Penguin, 1991). This book is an excellent negotiation resource. It gives the fundamentals and tactics for negotiation and introduces the concepts of need vs. Principle.

 

 

 

 


The Jealousy Workbook: Exercises and Insights for Managing Open Relationships Kathy Labriola (Greenery Press, 2013). This is a good practical resource for couples and individuals who are struggling with jealousy.

 

 

 

 


The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships, John Gottman and Joan DeClaire (Harmony, 2002). This book is an introduction to the research, science and practical understand of what makes relationships successful and how to better communicate.

 

 

 

 


MEDICAL and LEGAL

Forensic and Medico-Legal Aspects of Sexual Crimes and Unusual Sexual Practices, Anil Aggrawal (CRC Press, 2008). This book presents a detailed exploration of alterative sexuality through the lenses of medical and legal case study. . .

 

 

 

 


Health Care Without Shame: A Handbook for the Sexuality Diverse and Their Caregivers, Charles Moser (Greenery Press, 1999). An in-depth guide for patients and doctors alike to help open the dialogue and allow for higher standard of care.

 

 

 

 

 


Recommended Reading for KCATs

Dr. Harmony’s Sample Relationship Contract

Sample Monogamous Relationship Contract

The purpose of this contract is for the documentation of negotiated expectations between both parties and by singing this contract, both parties are agreeing to the commitment to these expectations. This is not a legally binding contract. With this are negotiated expectations that will be named below. The Parties will be known as ________ and ________.

Either party, only in the event of breach of contract, may terminate this agreement at any time before the below named date. On the below named date this agreement will be reviewed, renegotiated and rewritten, or terminated.

I __________________, do of my own free will, and being of sound mind and body, do hereby offer myself in consensual partnership to __________________, hereinafter referred to as Partner A for the period beginning ___________________ and ending ____________________.

 

I __________________, do of my own free will, and being of sound mind and body, do hereby offer myself in consensual partnership to __________________, hereinafter referred to as Partner B for the period beginning ___________________ and ending ____________________.

Section 1: Contract Definitions

1.1. Requests

A request is for one partner to do something for the other partner. There is no obligation for a request; it is simply a desire of one partner from the other.

1.2. Bid

A bid is an action, behavior, overture, request, etc. for connection from one partner to another.

1.3. Rules

A rule is a set of explicit or understood regulations or principles governing conduct within this contract.

1.4. Boundaries

Boundaries are negotiated hard limits in this relationship.

1.5. Ritual of Connection

A ritual of connection is a ceremony, consisting of a series of actions, performed according to an instructed order, that are geared towards connection between partners.

1.6. Protocol

A protocol is a system of rules that explain the correct conduct and procedures to be followed in this formal contract.

1.7 Repair

The act of reconnection and apology following conflict.

1.8 Love Mapping

The act of connection through learning new things about one another and truly understanding who your partner(s) is.

Section 2: Basic Commitment Agreement

2.1. The partners commit to taking responsibility for one another within healthy boundaries. This includes but is not limited the partners’ survival, financial needs, health, and physical and mental well-being.

2.2. Both partners will do everything within their power to facilitate and support growth, education, and making life dreams come true. Partners agree to connect annually in order to discuss this particular topic and establish goals together.

2.3. Both partners agree to a sexually monogamous relationship.

2.4. Both partners agree that there are no secrets in their relationship and that difficult conversations may be addressed in counseling or with one another.

2.5. Both partners agree that they will share their true feelings even if they know it may hurt the other partner. This is under the expectation that both partners agree that they are committed at this time to work through any and all issues.

2.6. Whereas both partners believe that family is important, neither will keep the other from staying in touch with their family, nor will unreasonably withhold trips for each other to visit their family. This expectation covers both chosen and biological family. Should either partner be concerned that a friend or family member may be toxic to the other partner or the relationship, they agree that they will discuss this, and if unable to come to an agreement, will reach out to a neutral party (counselor or elder in community) for arbitration.

2.7. Whereas the partners believe that friends and a social support system is important, neither partner will keep the property from staying in touch with their friends and family support system and will not unreasonably withhold trips or social time for either partner to visit their friends and support system. Should either partner be concerned that a friend may be toxic to the other partner or the relationship, they agree that they will discuss this, and if unable to come to an agreement, with reach out to a neutral party (counselor or elder in community) for arbitration.

2.8. The basic foundation of the contract is trust and commitment. The rituals and protocols are designed to help nurture our mutual trust and commitment.

Section 3: General Expectations of Partners

3.1. Both partners agree that at public events, they will check in with one another to make sure that they are both doing okay.

3.2. The partners accept full responsibility for informing each other of any real or perceived dangers or safety concerns. This can include interference from family or friends, work issues, legal, etc. Both parties agree to voice concerns to one another and accept one another’s influence on these matters.

3.3. Both partners agree that they will make mistakes and will be kind to one another when communicating these errors.

3.4. Whereas both parties will be working outside the home, the partners agree to distribute household tasks through a negotiated role system. Please attach the system to contract.

3.5. If a partner is ill, it is the responsibility of the other partner to care for them. The ill partner will be clear on what those care expectations look like. If unsure, defer to making sure that they are able to 1) access medical care and 2) have all the items they need for self-care.

Section 4: Build Love Maps

4.1. Both parties agree that they will strive to learn new information about each other on a regular basis. This is done through daily dialog and unplugging at least 30 minutes per day for partner focused connection.

4.2. Recreational intimacy is important for connection, thus both parties agree to plan two dates nights each per month and will establish a regular schedule for date nights.

 Section 5: Share Fondness and Admiration

5.1. Both partners agree that nurturing commitment and love require an active process thus; both parties agree to mindfully express gratitude regularly for their partner’s behaviors, seek outside professional help during challenging times, and commit to working towards repair during difficult times.

5.2. Everything both partners say and do is a reflection of one another. In a larger scale, it also represents the family as a whole. This means that the partners must be mindful of their behaviors and sharing of personal information or relationship conflict to others. This includes, but is not limited to, participation of disrespectful talk about one another to friends or on social media, participation in gossip, and inappropriate behaviors while intoxicated in public.

5.3. Both parties agree to share with one another their admiration for one another weekly through verbalization, text, email, love letters, social media etc.

Section 6: Turn Towards Bids Instead of Away

6.1. Both parties agree to learn how one another makes bids for connection and to let each other know when the other partner misses a bid.

6.2. Both parties will work hard to turn towards as many bids as possible.

Section 7: Building Positive Perspective

7.1. Both partners agree that they have each other’s interest at heart and will give one another the benefit of the doubt when there are communication errors and mistakes. However, should there be a question of poor intent, they agree to ask one another for clarification prior to assuming poor intent.

Section 8: Managing Conflict

8.1. Both partners understand that they will get flooded and upset when they are triggered. The color code system of Green, Yellow and Red will be respected and used when either partner suspects that they or their partner is flooding. However, the topic must be readdressed within 24 hours or with the therapist. It is the responsibility of the partner who called red to follow up on the topic. The follow up may be in writing if it is more comfortable or face-to-face.

8.2. Both partners agree not to start difficult conversations in front of others; past 9 pm at night or while the other partner is ill or hungry.

8.3. Both parties agree to listen to the other’s opinion and accept their partner’s influence on matters, even when it is difficult.

8.4. Both parties agree to not call each other names and avoid contempt, defensiveness, criticism, and stonewalling.

8.5. Both parties agree to attempt a soft start up when having difficult conversations.

Section 9: Repair

9.1. Following conflict, both parties agree to attempt to turn towards repair attempts.

9.2. Repair will vary based on the conflict and needs of each partner and may include:

  • Special date
  • Alone time
  • Letter of apology

Section 10: Create Shared Meaning

10.1. Both parties agree to check in at least quarterly and discuss life goals, needs and plans.

  Section 11: Make Life Dreams Come True

11.1. Both parties agree to support one another in their life dreams and work as a team to make them come true.

11.2. Both parties agree to share life dreams with one another and discuss meaning behind them as they come up.

Section 12: Signatures

Partner A_____________________________________

Partner B_____________________________________

 

 

Sample Monogamous Relationship Contract