Review by Mike Gleason
Kink Magic Sex Beyond Vanilla by Taylor Ellwood & Lupa © 2007
I am obligated to admit that my love life is decidedly vanilla, and hence I have no personal familiarity with the kink scene. In a way, that makes me an ideal individual to review this book. If the information can be conveyed in a clear, non-threatening manner to a complete novice, that is the mark of a well-written book. This is such a book.
There will be those individuals who will be put off by the mere title of this book. Either the word “kink” or the phrase “sex magic” will convince them that this is a pornographic book. It most assuredly is no. It is not concerned with what goes where. It is concerned with how to use non-traditional energy sources to achieve magical ends. If you want pornography, graphic illustrations and that style of thing, fire up your web browser and net surf your brains out. If you want to explore the potentials in the use of sex for magical purposes, this is an important book for you.
Like all of the works I have seen from this publisher, this is a book aimed at a specific audience with limited appeal to the general population. For this reason their works often get overlooked, and that is too bad. They produce thought-provoking, well-written books which deserve to be better known.
If you have an interest in some of the more esoteric aspects of magick and related topics (Og(h)am, Otherkin, etc.) you would be doing yourself a favor by checking out their website and supporting this company by purchasing some of their books. The quality is far superior to what I have come to expect from small publishers; the topics are thought-provoking; and the prices are reasonable. If you need more incentive to purchase their work I can’t help you, but those are more than enough for me.
A lot of time and space is dedicated to the safety aspects of both magic and kink – a subject which is all too often neglected in books on either topic. This is NOT a “101” book, in spites of its insistence on covering the basics. This is simply a matter of making sure that everyone is on the same page.
Although I, personally, am not a fan of the gender neutral pronoun “hir” I can understand its use in this case to offset the common misperceptions about dominance/submission in a kink setting. Every time I saw it, it reminded me that all is not necessarily as my early cultural conditioning may have led me to expect. It kept me on my toes, and that was a good thing.
If either of these topics (magic or kink) interests you (especially if both do) this book is a wonderful addition to your library. It accomplishes what it sets out to do, which is to show how kink can be used to enhance magical workings. Is it necessary to combine them? No, but for some individuals it can enhance their experiences.