Review of Come Hither

By continuing to browse this web site you are certifying your agreement to its terms of use; please read them if you have not done so already.

review by Vamp

Come Hither: A Commonsense Guide to Kinky Sex
by Gloria G. Brame
Fireside Press, 2000

"Use my insights as jumping-off points, not terminal destinations. While I have written the truth as I know it, based upon both my own experiences and all the research I could gather, I did not try to represent all points of view."
-Dr. Gloria G. Brame

I wish I had the good sense to put that statement in everything I've written about kink over the last few years!

She is right, her new book Come Hither: A Commonsense Guide to Kinky Sex definitely feels like it was written by a heterosexual female dominant that is into a sensual kind of D/s with a focus on fetish and light sadomasochism and bondage. I have no clue whether that describes the real woman and her play style since I don't know Dr. Gloria Brame on a personal basis, that is simply the impression the book left me with. That said, the value of her book is that she wrote it. If she hadn't expressed her own viewpoint then it would read like stereo instructions rather than the thought provoking and frequently lighthearted quick tour of kink that it is. This book doesn't have a lot of information that will shock anyone who has been around the scene for years, but it does give a quick and sex positive tour of the gigantic spectrum of kinky sex while inspiring either a giggle or a growl depending on your personal philosophies. I think it is a great book to start your exploration of kink with, and I'll be giving my copy to my lover to read.

This isn't the book to learn how to use a violet wand properly or to tell you the finer points of how to use a crop. It IS the book to tell you what a violet wand and crop are, what they might feel like, and who might use them and why. It is the book to assure you that you haven't lost your mind if you have thought about using them and how you might move forward and find a safe partner to experience them with if you are ready. It is even the book to read if you have a partner you are trying to tell your fantasies but you don't know how, or when you find yourself wondering how you will reconcile your feelings with your faith. It tackles a lot of topics I really haven't seen handled very clearly in the past, and although I didn't always agree with the author, I thought she did a wonderful job of bringing the topics up. I found that by having the topic brought up through my reading I sought out my partner to discuss it. Frequently we had discussed things before but her perspective brought new questions, arguments, and a fresh perspective to things. In honesty, my partner frequently got to hear rather long winded rants about my personal disagreements with some statements made in the book and answered with long rants of his own. As an example, the fact that breath play (a type of asphyxiation play) and feeding (the practice of encouraging a partner to gain weight) were the only things described as edge play within their definitions in the glossary led to a rant the size of which has not been seen before. That said, what a wonderful thing that it inspired so much talk between people who have been playing with each other for awhile and found a whole new reason to discuss what edge play is to us, what qualifies it to be such, and how we feel about it! Aside from a good book for lovers or play partners, I think this would be an excellent discussion book for a mailing list, munch, or workshop.

One thing I really love about this book is how she creates short lists of things to think about or do when considering different situations in kink. For example, I really wish I had a copy of her "Ten Rules to Remember" when I had first started to explore kink. Here are a few of her rules and how I personally felt about them and would have benefited from them:

These are just three of the points that are brought up in this particular list. I believe that more information from this book is available free on her website

So, whom would I recommend this book to? I think this book would be good for anyone who is kinky or has curiosity about what kink is and what we do. I think that people who are at the early stage in their self-discovery would benefit from it most, but it will be interesting to anyone regardless of their level of knowledge. For those that think they know everything, there is a very fun section called "The Twisted Torturous Trivia Questions." A sample question from the quiz is, "What signer of the Declaration of Independence was a member of England's notoriously kinky 'Hellfire Club'?" Do you want to know the answer? See, you don't know everything yet smarty pants. Buy the book! (Okay, if you write to me at I'll give you the answer. I'm not THAT cruel!) I won't tell you which trivia question she got wrong in that quiz, but if you catch it you deserve a gold star.

Who would I tell not to bother with this book? Well, the obvious groups that wouldn't like it at all are those that reject kink as a valid form of sexual expression! Other groups that may find this book a bit annoying are some of the gay/het/bi/trans community members that get annoyed by constant het references or assumptions about gender. This book kind of assumes a female het dominant and male het submissive type of relationship throughout and that might grate on not only the non-het communities but also on the non-D/s focused people. I think if you can relax about those things and simply read it for what it is, you can learn a lot though. This book talks about serious matters but it does not have a very serious tone, it is easy to forget that the intention of the writer is to be somewhat light hearted and to give a general overview rather than write a thesis on a subject. My own hackles were raised at some points because I take some issues very seriously and I felt they were dealt with so light hearted that they weren't done justice. At that point I had to remember that what I was all concerned about would have bogged down a general overview of kink with too much detail and hard reading. I think the author made a judgement call about how much info to include, and I think she made good calls. She includes a bibliography of kink books to supplement a person's education and I think that was a wonderful addition!

This book will be passed to my partner and then go up on my shelf well read. It is now dog eared and highlighted as many of the other books I have reviewed are. The difference with this book is that the points I've marked seem to be less "inspirational quotes" or "important technique" and much more focused on things I need to talk over with my partner. The highlighted bits are things that I disagreed with so much that I want to write about it or discuss it. I think this book is a great SUCCESS because of this. It will generate a lot of talk, help a lot of people navigate kink easier, and cause a lot of thinking. Hat's off to Gloria Brame, she's done it again.


This document is in the following section of this site: Main Documents > Contributing Authors > Vamp

If you're new to this site, we recommend you visit its home page for a better sense of all it has to offer.