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A surprise trip through your fantasies – The ‘On Tour’ review

Madame Ingrid – On tour

Madame Ingrid
Narcissus, 2012
€ 4,99
141 pages
Language: Italian
@: buy it online

It’s been a long while since I reviewed a book on, so let me make amends with an Italian-only (sorry!) pretty original work I contributed to as its editor. TitledMadame Ingrid – On tour, it is available in digital format only and it was written by the titular lady, who you can see pictured on the cover.
She is probably the most famous Italian professional dominatrix. This is not however the umpteenth, cookie-cutter memoir: while the book actually is about her professional history, the format is thankfully original, and takes the shape of a series of travel reports.

As the first pages explain, the sadly scarce BDSM culture of our country in the Eighties didn’t offer very much for a sadist who wanted to learn how to turn her passion into a business. Moved by a meticulous and very serious approach which pops up again and again throughout the story, Ingrid leaves then her nursing job and goes on a series of trips bringing her to visit key locations for extreme eroticism, and she returns home each time with more experience and more importantly with a clearer vision of the deeper meaning of her lifestyle.
The destinations she describes are fourteen, including an introduction set in Brescia where madame has her studio, full of strange torture instruments. The other places range from predictable locales like London and Paris to treats like perestrojka’s Russia, the early sadomasochists’ club in the Netherlands, the scary back alleys of Phuket in Thailand or the now defunct Black City – a BDSM utopia in the Czech Republic where they tried to found a real female domination “queendom”.

The first nice surprise in On tour comes from the backstage description of these places as seen by the privileged position of the author. We discover their surprising sides, both good and bad – and if sometimes they ruin the illusion of the perfect fantasies depicted by specialized websites, more often they remind of the human side of a world composed of people who chose to live outside of “normal” society. The impression is how this amplifies their every emotion, from the joy of realizing their dreams to common fears and insecurities.
The second unexpected side for a book in this genre is the protagonist’s introspection, candidly confessing herself. Of course it is not Kierkegaard-level philosophy – thank god! – but not even talk show drivel: Ingrid does make an effort to identify those episodes which made her grow as a woman and as a dominatrix, baffling anyone who expected Miss World-type inanities.

They say the best trips are not simply geographical but those which bring us to better know ourselves and our fellow humans. In this case I got the impression of a really unmissable trip, at the end of which I got a very different concept of the world of professional domination and, in part, of our relationship with the world of eroticism.

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The terms ‘pedophilia’, ‘pedophile’ and ‘sexual predator’ were practically nonexistent in English language media before 1995.



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