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Beauty Series

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Book and Magazine Reviews.

Books and Magazines are essential tools for promoting any cause and enhancing ones knowledge. They also serve to dispel myths and and educate the ignorant.

Our resident bookworm Mike Beck has been hard at it this week, sending in no less than 3 reviews in 2 days. A big hug to Mike!!

We are always on the look out for reviews so please send them to

Marquis (Issues 8 & 10)
A review by Mike Beck

Cost per issue - 10.00
Annual Subscription Cost 55.00 (6 issues)
Mini subscription (3 issues) 28.00
Contact by phone 01749 831397, fax 01749 831380
Review based on Issue 8 and Issue 10, which is currently on sale.

This magazine comes out every two months and although lacking the Skin Two directories I believe is a more rounded and informative scene magazine. The level of information and general quality clearly continues from issue to issue unlike some magazines in the scene.

Marquis has a far more continental flavour about it, bringing a lot more information about what is going on across the channel in a manner that is easy to follow. The information is far more wide ranging than that of Skin Two. There are a lot of lovely glossy photos, but also some excellent artwork too which is definitely easy on your eye, no matter what your persuasion. You will also see a better range of what kind of fetish clothing real people wear.

I think the interview and reporting styles are better for the reader. They aren't added as an afterthought which is an impression I sometimes get from other magazines. The interviews are very comprehensive and informative for the reader.

In these issues interviews covered one about Tuppy Owens (Issue 8), Paradiso Electrical Stimulation Toys (Issue 8), Torture Garden (Issue 10).

The first with Tuppy Owens as the subject (apparently she is normally the interviewer) which gave a good run down on the UK sex scene, not just BDSM, over the last 20 years or so. Tuppy Owens, for those unfamiliar with her, is the organiser of The Sex Maniacs Ball (which also raises money for good charitable causes) and the originator of the Sex Maniacs Diary, she also is an organiser for Outsiders (an excellent organisation which helps those with disabilities with their sexuality and problems brought about through their disabilities).

The second with the creator of the Paradiso Electrical Stimulation Toys ( This is the only complete information I have ever read about the PES toys. At the moment they are a bit pricey in the UK, but that may be changing according to rumours. From all accounts, having chatted to users via the internet, these are truly mind blowing toys - someone described them as "the ultimate fuck". No wonder I'm so curious.

The information supplied in this issue (Issue 8) for scene events and venues was a bit sparse, but I am willing to bet it has improved a lot since earlier this year. Maybe the sparsity was also down to the incredible range of coverage. Maybe this is also due to the sheer quantity of information Marquis puts across in each issue as well as organisers not looking for a regular advertising?

There is so much to this magazine it is hard to do it justice. I definitely have to say this magazine is a must buy. Especially so if you are keen to know what is happening not just in the UK but also Europe and also if you want a better idea of what people where to such events.

Marquis also make their own fetish gear with a catalogue available for 10.00. This range of clothing is much broader than most suppliers, making it, in my opinion, one of the superior better buy catalogues.

Circulation as of Issue 8 (and note France before the French language version became available) broke down as follows - Germany 11,000, France 10,000, USA 8,500, UK 6,000 the rest (Austria, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium and Denmark) 4,500. Total circulation 40,000. Given the huge numbers of fetish shops and number of clubs in the UK - I think the UK circulation could be better.

Mike Beck

Magazine roundup to help you decide.
A set of short reviews to give you some idea as to the content of the various scene mags that you can lay your hands on (if you are lucky!)

Reviews by SM Elves

Ritual Magazine - No.9 Cover price 10
Number of Pages: 124
Content breakdown:
Pictures (full page):31
84 pages of stuff and 40 pages of ads. But the ads are useful sources of information, the articles are well written and informative. The gallery pictures are superb and the "comic" strip is entertaining. Good clubs reviews and a superb article on the bullwhip.

Secret Magazine - No.12 usually pay 10 if you can find a copy in the UK.
Number of Pages: 96
Content breakdown:
Pictures (full page):27
74 pages of mag and only 12 ad pages. One thing we can say about this mag is QUALITY. The images are superb, the articles well written and very informative and the whole presentation is welcoming from the pictures to its black and white style to its no nonsense approach to the whole thing. BUY IT NOW!

Skin Two - No.24 Cover price 10
Number of Pages:114
Content breakdown:
Pictures (full page):8
The ultimate "glossy" magazine, covers the whole scene, sort of an A to Z with pictures, a superb resource for clothes, style and events but a but light on other content. The directory listing at the back is superb though.

Fetish Times - No.14 Cover price 8
Number of Pages:65
Content breakdown:
Pictures (full page):9
An intersting one this, nice photography, a down to earth approach and almost entirely UK and some european information. The directory focuses on the UK and there is a superb article by Thingfish.

Marquis - No.10 Cover price 10
Number of Pages:134
Content breakdown:
Pictures (full page):33
This magazine has a very good layout, low on ads and high on style with the emphasis placed on touching on areas of interest to capture the viewer and leaving the further information to the reader to discover. The artwork is very very nice and they also like photosets of the morely "amply endowed" female members of the fetish community.

SM Elves

Skin Two - The Magazine
A quarterly magazine which is supposed to be for those in both BDSM and fetish communities.
Price: 10.00 per issue in most shops, if you hunt around maybe as low as 7.50
The glossy magazine can be subscribed to for 35.00 for a year (gaining 4 issues) or if you're well off subscribe to the e-zine (50.00) which is another story. Phone enquiries to 0171 498 5533

A review by Mike Beck

It is supposed to be quarterly..........

This is a very glossy magazine with lots of adverts from retailers and suppliers to the fetish/bdsm scene. The most reliable part of it, from my point of view, is the index for nightlife, clothing shops, societies and services. Associated with which is a nightlife hotline for what's happening and when - this line is a premium rate number and is not organised in any helpful way, just a list of what's on where starting in London and working outwards, so if you're looking for a club away from London just have a deep wallet. The list is not aimed at solely the UK. It is a truly international magazine and covers the USA and Europe quite comprehensively.

My one moan is that the content regarding scene goings on varies dramatically from issue to issue. Call me greedy but I expect more for my money.

If you seek to know what people wear (or not as the case maybe ) then the pictures of which there are so many that they outweigh the few written words at the front will help a lot. The pictures in this respect are quite helpful for those aiming to go to a club for the first time. Sage advice - don't go overboard with the fancy stuff you see, ask in the shop and normally you will be told what you can get away with on a limited budget.

Sometimes there will be a cover shot of a celebrity you will not realise..... Such as in Issue 22 with Julie Graham of Peugeot car advert fame.

Content for reading or browsing. Normally you will find a gallery of photos from various clubs both in the UK and overseas. Then there are a few interviews or articles on specific subjects. At the start is the Update section, brief and, I think, could be much better.

I am puzzled by this magazine, I had the impression like I stated at the start that this was aimed at those in the fetish/BDSM scene but I normally have the impression that it is just a very fancy fashion magazine for vendors to market their product to those of us out there. Apart from the adverts and information at the back, I see little point in buying this magazine more than once a year. If you get into the public club scene then yes, buy it more regularly, as you will be guaranteed to recognise others from the clubs.

I think the magazine could do more. It could also make a better effort to be more readily available throughout the UK. North of Birmingham and I believe it is a problem. Many people looking to get into fetishes more, or coming out, have never heard of Skin Two which is a shame because of the wealth of information in that directory at the back.

Being a user of both certain newsgroups and IRC, I repeatedly come up against the same questions from people starting out. Where are the clubs? Where can I buy the gear? What magazines are out there? Skin Two, if you're reading this, please help them out - be more public!

Mike Beck

Free Wealin
A Hitch-hiker's Guide To 'The Scene' by Ishmael Skyes
Available from Ishmael Sykes, PO Box 135, Hereford, HR2. Price 6.00

A quick review by Mike Beck

Having recently met Ishmael for the first time and discovered just what a character is behind the name, I treated myself to "Free Wealin" as we were both agreed that many are not aware of the pitfalls out there in areas they may not ever truly consider.

"Free Wealin" is written in a light hearted, humourous style which makes it very easy to enjoy, follow and absorb the lessons hidden within it. I think there is a little humour and advice for everyone no matter where they've got to in the scene. A timely reminder is always worthwhile.

There are several real life personal experiences used as warning to those not wary of the 'vanilla' behaviour of both the police and public. They are definitely put across in a light-hearted manner but quite obviously, from reading between the lines, not much fun at all at the time.

There are useful tips on attending clubs, arranging private parties and even the best and worst way to meet your ideal BDSM partner. I'm sure there will be some commercial concerns which would beg to differ on his views but I, for one, totally agree with what he has to say.

There a some useful appendices at the end of the book which cover such things as a list shops for your scene gear, some scene groups, magazines and clubs. The best list, which I am positive nobody will take to heart because of the "it won't happen to me" attitude is that of the various scenen organisations which can help when problems arise - believe me this part is very important. The list is not exhaustive, nor should it be due to the changing nature of what happens in our great little community.

Ishmael has other little publications floating around, I hope to find some soon. He has a knack, at least with this one, of passing relevant and important information without going overboard so causing the reader to miss the message he is sending.

In my view well worth getting hold of a copy.

Mike Beck

The Beauty series
By Anne Rice as A.N. Roquelaure.
The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty ISBN 0-7088-2743-8
Beauty's Punishment ISBN 0-7088-3567-8
Beauty's Release ISBN 0-7088-3663-1
Published by Warner Books available in the UK via Little, Brown & Company (UK), PO Box 11, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR10 9EN. Phone - 01326 372400, Fax - -1326 317444, E-mail

A quick review by Mike Beck

I have heard so much about this series of books by our American cousins that when I stumbled upon the full set in a local bookshop I decided to seize the opportunity to satisfy my hungry curiousity.

The series is based upon the waking of Sleeping Beauty of fairy tale fame and what happens in the year after her awakening in a manner that certainly grabs the imagination. Given that start do not expect just to read about female submission. There is a lot of male/male fem/fem submission and domination too as well as the male/fem which many seem to prefer.

The books were written before the heavier styles of the 1990s and as such have a better impact than if they were written today for the market as it now is. There is an innocence which goes well with the theme and leaves just enough for the imagination to play to.

What I like is the how the author describes a way of life and weaves it into the fairy tale. Very compelling and fits in extremely well.

The books flow well together and wistfully I wish that there had been a fourth to finish off the series in full. But then again as you know in fairy tales you never get the full ending..... just the sunset finish.

There are actually one or two ideas and methods of slave use in these books which I have not seen described elsewhere, nor in fact some of the pony use either.

I think these books are worth buying to share fantasies with a partner and maybe even use for initial exploration as long as it is sensible. Especially so is you compare them with the more graphic and sadistic books readily available on the top shelves of most book shops.

A fun read which combines fairy tale with BDSM in a manner which I think many will find pleasurable and also acceptable even if they are not normally into BDSM.

Mike Beck

Different Loving
The World Of Sexual Dominance And Submission
By Gloria G. Brame, William D. Brame, Jon Jacobs.
ISBN 0-7126-7792-5 Published in the UK by Century Books.

A detailed review by Mike Beck

I would have to say this is a complex book. If you are not a book reader by nature this may be a hard book to read, but do persevere. I also suspect this is aimed primarily at the USA market.

The language at times is quite heavy and technical, almost medical in the first section. That said it is quite clear a lot of detailed research has gone into the preparation of this book and once you get used to the style of writing I believe any reader will appreciate this.

I am not a professional reviewer, just someone in the UK scene. So when I started this review at a specific request, I was alarmed by the introduction - for me it almost made me think that the last sixteen or so years of my life were wrong. Then I thought wait a minute, there must be a reason for this introduction - unfortunately I still do not understand why it exists in that manner.

The book covers a lot of various types of play which may or not be similar to your individual preference(s). I suggest you read all of it anyway. We all understand our own particular pleasures and interests in the BDSM scene but sometimes at club you can see things which, well, can defy description or understanding which is why this book helps out.

The various areas of interest such as Age Play, various types of Corporal Punishment, Power Exchange, Role-playing, Bondage, Tattooing etc. Are covered in a clever manner. They are complemented by excellent personal interviews and comments while at the same time giving an explanation of what the particular part of the scene is about.

This book, allowing for the complex language which keeps turning up, is a good explanation of what goes on. It helps, I hope, outsiders understand that what goes on is not as bad as they think and may help soften some of the prejudices out there. The authors have managed to put together a collection of interviews which can only help and reassure those out there who may not have realised they are not alone and that their feelings are quite acceptable.

Playboy describes "Different Loving" as a detailed, eye opening account of the real sexual underground.

Detailed - yes, almost too much in the wrong way, eye opening to outsiders and those who have been alone in their interests yes. Most of all I would say reassuring and helpful to those seeking to know more of what the sexual lifestyle can be about.

Mike Beck

Screw The Roses, Send Me The Thorns
The Romance and Sexual Sorcery of SadoMasochism
By Philip Miller and Molly Devon
ISBN 0-9645960-0-8 Published By Mystic Rose Books

Another review of STRSMTT, this time by Shaz

I am very very new to this scene, having met a man by chance on the puter in an area nothing to do with this, we got on well and talked many times, gradually it transpired that he is a dom of many years experience.

We talked about it openly, and I was very curious indeed, before long I was his online slave, and loving it, but after a couple of weeks and much discussion we decided to meet r/l, whereupon he arrived brandishing a copy of screw the roses and suggested I read it, to help me understand, and to learn more of what goes on etc, and so began my tentative first steps into this world.

In 3 days I had read it cover to cover, this is what I feel about it.

I think it is a brilliant book, I had never really understood how the concept of bdsm can be a loving thing, and even spiritual thing , but this book enlightened me there. I had little understanding also of how sensual as well as overtly sexual the whole thing can be. It is an excellent book, especially for absolute novices such as myself , as it is informative , open but very responsible the whole way through, emphasizing safety, consent and negotiation of limits etc. It is written very tongue in cheek at times, and even had me laughing out aloud.

All in all I feel it is the best book I have read on the subject, but then again, its the only one !!!

Screw The Roses, Send Me The Thorns
The Romance and Sexual Sorcery of SadoMasochism
By Philip Miller and Molly Devon
ISBN 0-9645960-0-8 Published By Mystic Rose Books

A Quick Review by Mike Beck aimed at letting others know this books exists.

This has to be probably the only book about BDSM which caters for all levels of those in the scene or wanting to try it out. Be warned that this book is written from personal knowledge and experience from the Male Master and female submissive perspective - although I think it has something for all sexual styles.

The style of writing is light and easy to follow and at times quite amusing. It also covers actual scene experiences, which are in themselves quite illuminating even for those who think they now know everything.

The book is well set out and I suggest anyone purchasing this book read the first four chapters as a must regardless of how experienced or not they are. It covers what BDSM is (or referred to as SM by the authors) what a Master and submissive are along with the trust and need to communicate between them. Safe play including sensible anal advice which I am sure some may not be aware of.

There is an explanation of the tools used and their effect, how best to use them to avoid unnecessary marking or injury and also how to preserve the submissive's skin for sensitivity against avoidable wear and tear. Also there are some simple plans for making certain punishment tools and descriptions of dungeons.

The area on negotiation and meeting is extremely good and in other books not covered or even ignored, in my opinion. Some have said to me "I have no limits....." "What need to discuss what I want?" or even "What's the point in talking let's get doing it...." I think this book explains exactly why such talk is necessary for both people in the scene relationship.

The appendix on what is available in various countries was a pleasant surprise - UK came second for quantity and quality after the USA. Do remember the '1' missing from the UK phone numbers if you choose to contact from the list supplied.

A further appendix supplies a list of sensible furhter reading for those wanting to fine tune their knowledge and improve upon their experiences.

Why have I written this quick review? Several reasons spring to mind - I have recently started mixing in the public scene after about 10 years, I have met many "want tos" who have no real rasp of what BDSM is really about and I meet occasionally people who do things they just do not realise are quite as dangerous as they are.

What has the book done for me? It has explained that TENS units and PES gear are not only good to use but also easy to use safely. I have been curious about such equipment but never met anyone else who had.

Skin Two describes this book as "a little gem" I quite agree.

This is not a professional review, just a personal one. I hope it encourages some of you to try it.

Control FreakCome Inside - It's Warmer