December 2005

Melissa Fischer

features

Judging a Book by Its Cover: A Blue, Blue, Blue Christmas

Chances are, you or someone in your holiday gift-giving periphery is a total perv (or Compleat Spanker; more to follow), so it’s just your luck that San Francisco’s Greenery Press offers a selection of titles capable of satisfying even the perviest names on your “naughty” checklist. At the helm of this micropublishing concern is one Janet Hardy, proud perv, “high-flying kink specialist,” and author of more than a generous handful of the press’ titles. Since 1992, Hardy has been fulfilling a niche in the literary market that aims to provide intelligent sexual education for the sensually subversive. If you’re hoping to have a blue, blue, blue Christmas that doesn’t involve the kind Elvis sings, Greenery Press may help nudge you a hue further toward the color that can be achieved only through a proper bruising.

Photography for Perverts by Charles Gatewood
Cover photo by Charles Gatewood
Cover design by Johnny Ink
Greenery Press
ISBN: 1890159530

Probably the best result of gifting this book is that, once received, the recipient will have no doubt as to your opinion about them. Charles Gatewood’s offering is aimed at an all-inclusive audience of “straight, gay, bi, male, female and ‘other'” pervy would-be photographers; he assumes his readership’s fascination with bondage, role playing, fetish dress-up, nudity, and voyeurism. With easy instructions on everything from overcoming shyness to respecting the sensitive etiquette of the SM scene, this large-format, coffee table-worthy guide is peppered with both black-and-white and color pictures that provide ample evidence of its author’s know how. Steering the amateur through making the best choices of film, lighting situations, and equipment investments, Photography for Perverts is a thorough guide relevant to beginners and more established photographers alike.

The cover image for Photography for Perverts, while thoroughly tame in comparison with the somewhat rabid and frequently pudding-slathered photos within, is never going to be used in the “got milk?” campaign, and this is a great compliment to the artist. This image alone could be blown up to poster size and retain its visual elegance and intrigue; kindly, composition friendly font-size and style were chosen to accent the starkly contrasting color scheme and angular qualities of Gatewood’s work. Notably, long-time Greenery Press collaborators Johnny Ink are responsible for this cover’s design; see Johnnyink.com to witness the majesty of John Brenner et al.’s graphic wizardry.

The toybag guide to Foot and Shoe Worship by Midori
ISBN 1890159646

The toybag guide to Canes and Caning by Janet W. Hardy
ISBN: 1890159565

The toybag guide to Clips and Clamps by Jack Rinella
ISBN: 1890156557

The toybag guide to High-Tech Toys by John Warren
ISBN: 1890159654

The toybag guide to Hot Wax and Temperature Play by Spectrum
ISBN: 1890159573

The toybag guide to Dungeon Emergencies and Supplies by Jay Wiseman
ISBN: 1890159549
All titles, Greenery Press
All covers, designed by Johnny Ink

The toybag guides are the perfect size for stocking-stuffing, subway-ride perusing, and overnight bag packing. Practical and informative, this series provides simple instructions accessible in even the most unconscionable of scenarios: Dungeon Emergencies and Supplies includes an alphabetically ordered list of possible emergencies, including “Hot Cream Overdose,” “Overly Tight Bondage,” and “Police at the Door,” as well as straight forward suggestions for their remedy. Especially useful is the “Rectal Foreign Body” section, which urges that the afflicted rectum be spared of “enemas, laxatives, suppositories, and similar measures.”

The toybag guides all feature covers with similar design formats: a tealishly colored background sets off simple white titular and author information, and a similarly simple graphic depicts the information within; for example, Clips and Clamps features a clothespin, Dungeon Emergencies and Supplies a pair of scissors, and Hot Wax and Temperature Play a trio of candles. Notably, that last title will guide you through the potentially… hairy complications of wax play with the furry-backed.

Intimate Invasions: The Erotic Ins & Outs of Enema Play by M.R. Strict
Greenery Press
ISBN: 1890159514

Maybe your in-laws aren’t as uptight as they seem, and instead their stick-in-ass demeanors are due to some festive enema play the night before. In that case, M.R. Strict’s informative guide is the perfect thing to insert under their Christmas tree; perhaps a gift basket with various lubricants and other anal accoutrements could be arranged for this purpose.

Let M.R. Strict bring new and enlightening phrases into your daily vocabulary, such as “sodomy stool” and “milking stool,” not to mention “the enema bandit,” and you’ll never again be at a loss for words when the conversation devolves to klismaphiliac discussions. With thorough instructions about the best practices in butt bag administration, Strict’s treatise ensures the arrival of a whole fleet of arousing sensations for the enema enthusiast in your life.

Greenery Press’ cover design beats around no bush to clearly announce the tone of its book’s content. The profile of a pepto-pink enema bag stands out nicely on a simple white ground, and the play of fonts in the bag’s periphery is as clinical as it is disciplinarian. As in the following title, a striped band runs down the book’s spine and spills over onto the leftmost border of the cover’s composition.

The Compleat Spanker by Lady Green
Greenery Press
ISBN: 189015900X

Yet another convenient phrase enters the fray with Lady Green’s The Compleat Spanker; let it be known that I plan to use this designation to describe a potential love interest. Where bar-stooled Stuff devotees may announce a hottie by remarking, “Look at that total babe,” I’ll be peeping the semi-nerdy bookish guy and remarking that, “he looks like a Compleat Spanker.”
When Lady Green says Compleat, she really means it. This spanking guide not only includes a full list of potential implements for bum bruising, but also provides anatomical illustrations and user-friendly gluteal information that aims to show you the most pleasurable spanking spots. Additionally, Lady Green tells you how to locate the tailbone, which “tapers off approximately one-fourth to one-third of the way down the crack of the butt.”

In a fashion similar to that of Intimate Invasions, The Compleat Spanker’s cover focuses on a central image transposed on a white ground, and includes a spinal side stripe action for the perfect measure of spice. Where Intimate Invasions shows a pink enema bag, Spanker uses a fully erect hairbrush to bring home its contents’ message.

Big Big Love: A Sourcebook On Sex For People of Size And Those Who Love Them by Hanne Blank
Greenery Press
ISBN: 1890159166

At first glance, the background of Big Big’s cover appears to be a textured red drapery; closer inspection proves that this is actually the fabric of love in the form of big love’s fleshy rolls of romance. Small, small lovers may not realize that there are indeed specialized techniques required for the proper sexing-up of a particularly curvaceous couple. Hanne Blank’s no-nonsense approach is surprisingly sensitive, and she devotes much of her content to the sociocultural and emotional ramifications of big lovery as opposed to reducing the text to any voyeur-attractive exposé. Intelligent, thorough, and insightful, Blank’s book is an important library addition for the “people of size and those who love them” as its title designates.

Of all the Greenery Press titles included in this review, the cover design of Big Big Love is by far my favorite. Somehow, the perfect balance of simplicity and visual interest is achieved; as shameful as it is to admit that a typeface treatment can excite me, I must confess that this one does.

Sex Disasters and How To Survive Them by Charles Moser, Ph.D., M.D., and Janet W. Hardy
Greenery Press
Cover design by Johnny Ink
ISBN: 1890159441

Moser and Hardy’s book certainly address a wide variety of common sex disasters; however, equally valuable is their incorporation of a number of practical how-to’s for basic sexual tasks such as condom donning, genital shaving, and sex-toy cleansing. Topics range from the pitiful: “She was the best-looking woman at the nightclub… until I got her home. Then it turned out she wasn’t a woman at all” to the painful: “I was fisting my partner… and now she won’t give my fist back!” (If this disaster does occur, how might one go about locating and then reading Sex Disasters while capable of only one-handedness and while suffering from limited mobility? OK, read the book, then experiment with fisting).

Another Johnny Ink design, Sex Disasters boasts a cover suggesting the age-old “caught with your pants down” malady. The colors of puce and chartreuse suggest not only that being caught wearing either of these (pants down or not) may be a disaster but also that a semi-somber seriousness permeates the quasi-comical content of the book. Playful font action further illustrates the petit catastrophe potential inherent to the human sex act.

So there you have it, kids: a bevy of micropublished titles worthy of gifting for Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Groundhog Day, Tu B’Shvat, and what have you. Don’t forget the gift basket readiness of these books, many of which demand the accompaniment of lubricant (or a hairbrush) at the very least.