Book Review: The Little Vanilla Book, S&M Wisdom to Improve Your Everyday Life

Image description: The book cover is white with black text and a bold, black illustration of an hour-glass shaped corset. The book rests on a black and white patchwork quilt.

“The Little Vanilla Book: S&M Wisdom to Improve Your Everyday Life” by Lux Alani is quintessential self-care material.


I mean, look at it. It’s adorable. A cute 5×7 trim size, canvas cover, and simple but bold black and white illustrations at the beginning of each chapter. This is a book that feels good in your hands.


And though it is short—100 pages exactly before notes and glossary—this book packs in a ton of motivation and information.


The premise of this book is taking philosophies from the BDSM world and applying them to life situations such as working through body image issues, being assertive, or working through vulnerable situations.


The interesting thing about this book, in my opinion, is that the author identifies as vanilla—not kinky. Though she is not kinky, the author writes about a time in her life when she explored BDSM and became a Domme, a female top in BDSM scenes, and gleaned a lot of great life advice from the BDSM scene.


The author also touches on her experience as a professional model, crises counselor, and roller derby girl. This is obviously a person who values exploration, self-reflection, and challenging herself to become a better and more experienced person. This attitude shines through in the narration.


This book is much, much more about life empowerment, confidence, and courage than it is about BDSM. But there is information and insights into the BDSM lifestyle present in the book. I think the author does a good job of giving solid information while gently peeling away the taboos of sexual expression and BDSM. She accomplishes her goal of introducing S&M philosophies to those who have not explored the lifestyle.


Coming from a more kinky perspective, I have to admit her fun titling of motivational encouragements as “life spanks” and some of her metaphors were kind of out there, but ultimately I feel the author has a genuine respect for BDSM and the various activities therein. She shared several very personal experiences that bring a sense of authenticity and intimacy to the book.


Ultimately, though, this is a book that brings together tidbits of psychology and sociology to motivate you to become a better person. There are numerous empowering quotes and the author referenced some books I’ve read as well as a few I’ve now added to my wish list.


There are entire chapters on Authenticity, Confidence, Body Image, Resiliency, and many others. Since I’ve done a lot of work personally in the areas of body image and confidence, these chapters didn’t stick out to me. But the chapters on resiliency and courage were extremely helpful. It was almost as if the universe sent me this book, because I was going through something in my life and the advice and information in these chapters were perfectly applicable. I don’t underline my books, but I wrote down several excerpts from the book in a notebook to help cement the lessons.

I think even if you know or have worked through some of the concepts of this book, little reminders are always nice to have.


Overall, this book is packed with helpful advice without being overwhelming. I would classify this book as motivational and tailored toward a feminine reader.

This book is not just a sweet, feel good chocolate type self-care… it’s more like a super nourishing hot bowl of soup on a cold day. Comforting and healthy, too. But, you know… also with corsets, whips, and thigh-high boots, oh my!


Though not a new release, I still love this book. It’s currently less than $6 on Amazon. So if you need a little motivation, a little sexy self-care read, I encourage you to check it out!

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