June 18, 2009

Book Review – Ask the Man Who Owns Him

Ask the Man Who Owns Him: The real lives of gay Masters and slave
By david stein with David Schachter
Published by Perfectbound Press

There have been many books and articles written about master/slave relationships. The fascination with this form of dominance and submission is obvious and writers of varying capabilities have tackled its subject matter. In their new book, Ask the Man Who Owns Him: The real lives of gay Masters and slaves, authors david stein (lack of capitalization his choice) and David Schachter have presented one of the finest works to date.

For me, the brilliance of this book is its sense of reality, not just fantasy. So often writings on the master/slave dynamic are written from a romaticized perspective without the wonders of the reality that this form of relationship can bring to people’s lives should they be so inclined. Through the voices of those interviewed, the authors let the stories be told and what emerges is a robust picture of real-life relationships.

Anyone who knows me knows that I find distasteful any dictatorial positions on what are the right ways and wrong ways to approach sexuality or sexualized relationships. This book thankfully doesn’t do that. Instead, the authors let the interviewees demonstrate clearly that the only “right” master/slave relationship is the one that works for those involved. How refreshing as counterpoint to the more rigid approahces presented elsewhere.

Men and women who might shy away from this book because all of the interview subjects are gay men should reconsider. Its wisdom is generally universal and will apply to dom/sub relationships for men and women of all orientations and persuasions.

As a book with important subject matter, well chosen interview subjects, intelligent questions posed and excellent writing presenting it all, I highly recommend it. If you find this sort of relationship interesting, buy this book. You’ll be glad you did.

You can purchase the book through Amazon (see ad in right sidebar) or through Barnes & Noble’s website.

2 Comments on “Book Review – Ask the Man Who Owns Him

David Schachter
June 20, 2009 at 7:46 pm

Thanks for the kind comments! You “got it” and I hope other people will too. david stein and I took on this project to redress the imbalance between fictional accounts and reality-based accounts. We only talked with gay men because that’s what we know, but as you point out, much or most of the material will translate into other sexual orientations and fetish interests.

We tried especially hard to avoid passing judgement. Some of the people we talked with had points of view or behaved in ways that both of us strongly disagree with. In keeping with our desire to chronicle real life, however, we did our best to avoid editorializing, except in the Introductions. I don’t know of another book like this and that’s precisely why I was interested in working on it.

Perhaps our book will stimulate more interest and inspire people to extend our work. That would be a great outcome. (What are you doing in 2010? 😉

Thanks again for your time and for your great writings on the subject. I’ve enjoyed and learned from them.

Race Bannon
June 21, 2009 at 1:15 pm

David, I hope the book is a huge success for you. It deserves to be.

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