Reviewed by Jim Lyon
D.M. Dewey’s Dandyland Diaries chronicles the journey of a newly divorced middle-aged woman as she relocates from the Midwest to Los Angeles and begins dabbling in the sort of BDSM that exists at the periphery of the leather community. Upon her arrival in southern California, an eagerness to get back in circulation prompts her to join a dating website. Before long this foray leads to her becoming an online dominatrix, despite not having any real life experience as such and having only a superficial idea of what being a mistress entails. As it happens, her lack of experience does not prove to be a hindrance since posturing and fantasy is the coin of the realm in the wannabe BDSM netherworld in which she finds herself.
Intentionally or not, this book portrays a comical adventure through the unsophisticated fantasy world of newbie subs and dominants trying to come to terms with their dark and sexual needs in the Information Age. The narrative is told in a manner that blends self-deprecation and snarkiness, which takes the edge off some of the pathetic and sordid scenarios depicted. Readers unfamiliar with BDSM could possibly mistake the glimpses of it here as how BDSM really is, when in fact they merely show a fragment of that subculture. Hopefully BDSM lifestylers won’t be put off by this well-written and amusing book that seeks only to entertain and not to judge.