Family Ties

Growing up in a Kink Household

Presented by: Alex McGeorge for Debauchery NC, June/2016

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Nerd Licenses


This is not some weird non-consensual Gestalt therapy trap
Take a hard look at what worked and did not work
Encourage discussion between kinky parents about parenting
Provide you food for thought


  • I am not a lawyer
  • I am not a developmental psychologist
  • I am not a social worker
  • I use a lot of classic art in this; don't read too much into it
  • Leaving a lot of important people and events out due to time. This is not intended as a slight

Ground Rules

  • This is an intensely personal topic, feel free to ask whatever questions you want but understand I may choose not to answer at all or in public
  • If I leave someone's name out of this presentation or use a pseudonym that choice was intentional
  • Do not internet detective any of these people

Main Characters


  • Alive and kicking, now retired
  • From a different part of the alt-sex world
  • Happily remarried as of 2002
  • We have a great relationship and see each other once or twice per month
  • She's not a focus of discussion for this talk



Black Rose

  • DC based BDSM Educational and Social organization: website
  • Organization Dad help to found in 1987, still around today!
  • Held almost every board and officer position
  • Was active with the organization through the year of his death


The Particulars

  • Met in summer of 1978 through a mutual friend
  • Started long distance relationship NJ/VA, moved in together Nov/78
  • Married January 1981
  • I was born in 1982

The Divorce

  • Complex set of reasons: business, differing sexualities
  • Separated in summer of 1988
  • Formally divorced Feb/1990
  • Mother retained primary custody, alternating weekends, weekly dinner with Dad

Things that were good

  • Recognition of alt lifestyle choices going forward
  • Commitment to work as a team
  • Open discussion about raising me

Things that were not good

  • Divorce almost always sucks
  • Nothing specifically relevant to this talk

The Coming Out Talk Part 1



  • Dad was doing WHAT in the garage?
  • So much nudism
  • 'Age appropriate' is hard to nail down

The Dungeon

  • What once was just a basement
  • A bit of DC leather/kink history
  • The dresser drawer accord

Multiple Partners

  • Late elementary / early middle school era
  • Lolita / Woody / Andrea
  • See section 11 for bios

The good stuff

  • I've never been ashamed of my sexuality
  • Introduced to LGBTQIA issues from a very young age
  • Introduced to the idea of alternative relationship dynamics early

The less good stuff

  • More detailed answers to questions than perhaps was required
  • Started introducing some very adult consequences

The Coming Out Talk Part 2

What's going on down there anyway?

(Dad was not a Rabbi)

The Talk

To Grandma's house we go
  • Let's talk about consent!
  • Began by building a case for free will
  • A lighthearted romp through the nervous system and biology
  • Strong foundation in Libertarianism

What are the facts

  • What do you think, why do you think it
  • "We will sit in this car until we're done talking"

What worked

  • Consent was a concept introduced early and reinforced often
  • Lots of the corner cases for where consent gets murky were common topics
  • Learned some lessons about YKINMKBYKIO really early

What Didn't

  • This is a complex topic for anyone, especially a early teenager
  • Some of these topics were really dancing on the edge

Captain Overshare Reporting for Duty

NRE with the Scene

  • Some people who have struggled with their interest in BDSM fall rapidly in love with the scene
  • They are so happy to have found a place that finally accepts this part of who they are they tend to obsess on it
  • Similar to: SCA/RenFest, Cosplay

Things Get Weird

  • It became normal to talk a lot about his sex life
  • Very few good things have ever come about by saying a teenager is "super mature" for their age when it comes to sexuality
  • Chicago Hellfire story

Too many secrets

  • Generally it's understood that asking kids to keep secrets is bad
  • Kids need other kids to talk about life with

What worked

  • The world has always kind of been a big strange place
  • Being "that guy" who knew a lot about sex wasn't all bad

What didn't

  • Holding on to a lot of secrets about your parent's sex life is super shitty
  • A story about a polite but firm rebuke
  • Some things about the scene I have to revisit and think through as an adult

I Shall Sing You a Song of My People

A Common Behavior

  • A story about a kinky family BBQ
  • Howlin' forever
  • It's common to view kids as tiny-adults

A First Brush with Death

  • Good slaves bring resources to a problem, we had an abudance of good slaves waiting at my Dad's house
  • Masters are for more than just providing direction
  • Every conceivable type of support was provided


  • Connecting with scene people as an adult has been incredibly rewarding
  • Of the 10 most important people in my life, most are involved in BDSM

What worked

  • There are a lot of truly good people in the scene
  • Having a group of empathetic and task oriented people is beyond useful

What didn't

  • There are boundary and intimacy issues interpreting kids behavior through the lense of BDSM

Happiness in Slavery

The Order for Discipline and Service

The Particulars

  • Started down the MS path in early 2000s with Slave S.
  • Original ODS members: Jack, Woody, Justin, Elizabeth, Raven
  • 1/4 of the basement was converted into living quarters
  • Some lived at the house, others not, all had jobs outside the house

Involved but Apart

  • If BDSM impacts your life more than in your bedroom it will have an inescapable effect on those close to you
  • It is an odd feeling to be so affected by something you are not a part of yet you are very intimate with
  • A story: Please don't call me Sir

On Death

  • A story: Harry Truman euphamisms
  • Good slaves bring a lot of resources to a problem
  • There are some unique needs for people in that lifestyle

What worked

  • The M/s community as a whole was incredibly supportive after his death
  • The slaves he had were all incredibly intelligent and thoughtful people

What didn't

  • Some of the practices expressed in the handbook were very hard for me to deal with
  • Those relationships required a lot of care and feeding from a depleted resource pool

Lessons Learned

Educating your kids about sex is great!

  • You want things to be better for your kids and you know more than the average human about sex
  • It's totally great to share your knowledge, but be sure you understand the question they're asking
  • And most importantly how much of an answer they're looking for

What's Normal Anyway?

  • Everyone in this room likely identifies as 'weird'
  • You could come up with a list of things right now that would be 'wrong' to talk to your kids about
  • What is and is not appropriate within your relationship?

NRE is a Powerful Force

  • That energy and excitement drives a lot of the best parts of this community
  • Guy Baldwin once told me:
Anything that is truly powerful can create in exactly equal proportion to which it can destroy.
  • Very easy to move the goal posts of normal without noticing

Sometimes a Cigar is just a Cigar

  • It's very easy to interpret your child's behavior through the lense of BDSM
  • It's also super easy to interpret the world around you that way
  • Don't get lost in the woods of the scene

Supporting Cast


  • Legend of the NYC leather scene


  • Joined the house fresh out of college
  • Worked with special needs children, is now a medical professional
  • Once tested the limits of the Marlyand Renaissance Faire by wearing just a burlap sack

The Order for Discipline and Service

Elizabeth "Lisa"/"Woody" Furniss

  • 10/13/1962 - 9/4/2014
  • Joined the house in her early 30s
  • BFA from SUNY Buffalo State
  • Founding or early member of many Baltimore and DC leather organizations

Slave Justin

  • Ivy league education, holds Doctorate of Divinity, working on Ph.D
  • Happily married as of 2015 and living on the west coast with his husband Henry

Slave Elizabeth

(Not actually Elizabeth)
  • Educated at one of the Seven Sisters
  • One daughter who is a good friend
  • Negotiations began: March/2003
  • Under formal consideration as a slave: May/2003
  • Collared: Nov/2003

Slave Raven

  • Background in Law Enforcement
  • Currently working in Vetrinary Medicine
  • Very active in the M/s world