Review: Be Careful What You Wish For August 31, 2010Posted by Dev in Reviews.
Tags: book review, male chastity, Sarah Jameson
Title: Be Careful What You Wish For
Author: Sarah Jameson
Length: 277 pages
Format: PDF (ebook); MP3 for audio
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
If you are considering male chastity or thinking about bringing it up with a loved one, this is certainly a fortuitous time, considering that Be Careful What You Wish For just hit the streets. The subtitle, “The ultimate guide to male chastity” certainly tells you all you need to know about what this book covers. Even the most casual Internet search will bring up Sarah Jameson, her blog (The Male Chastity Blog), her newsletter, and now, this book. She provides lots of useful information for free in the blog and newsletter; the book is worth purchasing because she compiles it all together in one place, adds new info, and presents it all in a neat, tidy, an organized package that is very easy to read.
If you are familiar with Sarah’s blog (and if you’re not, you should be), you know she has a friendly, open, and welcoming writing style that makes readers feel like they talking to Sarah one-on-one over a cup of tea. For the woman who is freaking out because her husband just said to her, “Honey, I want you to lock up my cock in a plastic or steel device for weeks, months…maybe years…,” Sarah provides a reassuring, “Don’t worry, dear…he’s not crazy and if you actually consider what he is asking, you may find your life changes dramatically…and for the better!”
The book is nicely organized with chapters, sub-chapters, and appendices that introduce the concept of male chastity, provide useful useful definitions, discuss the details such as “who is right for chastity?”, “how to introduce the idea” (and have the resulting conversation) and practicalities of living a chaste life on a day-to-day basis. The appendices (which I think are the weakest part of the book) delve into issues that go beyond chastity (slaves, cuckholding, BDSM); provide a sample contract and include resources on where to buy devices, fitness, and three (not particularly) titillating stories. The appendices are only about one-third of the book—what you are paying for, and the value that you get comes in the content proper where Sarah very clearly details—using her own experience and information gleaned from other resources—what living a male chastity lifestyle really means, for the man and woman (or man and man) who are interested in experiencing it. (As an aside, Sarah notes that she has not encountered female couples who are interested in chastity; I know that there are stone butch lesbians who live a sort of chaste life but their experience, from what I have read, is so far removed from a male chastity lifestyle that Sarah’s guide and its information would be of absolutely no use to that audience.)
Sarah identifies three potential audiences: 1) men who are interested in a chaste lifestyle and want to introduce the idea to their wife/partner; 2) women who have a man who has brought up the topic and want more information; and 3) women who want have their husband/man participate in chastity. Sarah and her husband John fall into group number one (which by her reckoning, is the largest); my husband and I are members of group number three (which according to Sarah, is a very rare group indeed! Oh well, I was never a conformist…LOL). While the book is written from her particular perspective and it is clear that that is what she knows, I still found lots of useful information that pertained to me and helped me understand the exploration that I am currently going through with my husband.
There is no empirical research on male chastity and a lot of what is out there is anecdotal, at best. I appreciated Sarah’s down-to-earth, honest and straightforward approach. Statements such as, “Chastity is a gateway kink,” (how very liberating to read that!) and the idea to approach chastity as a game—granted, a game that might go on for years or the rest of your lives but at the end of the day, it is just a game—work very well to defusing and de-weirding the whole concept of male chastity.
If you are a man who has been agonizing over the idea of chastity and how to bring it up to your partner, you would be wise to buy this book and read it from cover to cover (or listen to the MP3). Sarah very clearly details what chastity can and cannot do. If your marriage (or relationship) is a wreck and you cannot talk to your partner—or worse, the sight of you makes her skin crawl—bringing in chastity as a solution is not going to work. On the other hand, if your self-analysis after reading the book makes it seem that chastity is a viable and reasonable option, then Sarah provides details on how to have the conversation and move forward in exploring chastity. “Having the conversation” might be as simple as handing over the book and asking your loved one to read it. Like I said, the easy, conversational writing style will go a long way to defusing a potentially volatile conversation.
I am not the exact target audience that Sarah is writing to, but then, I don’t know if anybody is. We all come at our sexuality and sexual lives with all sorts of past experiences, traumas, dreams, and future hopes. The strength of the book is that it is written broadly enough—and in a non-judgmental, neutral way—to allow the majority of readers to find useful information that makes it well worth the purchase price of $30-$40.