I initially presented this at FetFest 2013. That event was, for many of the attendees, their first kink event or their first exposure
to kink outside of what you can consume on the internet. I wanted to give them a primer on what to expect, how to interact and advice
on having a good time. At the conclusion of the presentation I did a demo of a pickup-style negotiation and I had a short scene to provide
a model on how pick up play can work. I decided to put it online because I wanted to encourage others to do the same
with their presentation materials, and I figured someone somewhere might be able to reuse some of this content.
This is not meant to be the end all, be all guide for newcomers to BDSM. I gave this as a presentation because it allowed for an
audience to ask me questions on concepts they were not familiar with. You'll note that there is no glossary, partly because that sounds
boring to write, and partly because I hope it will encourage people to see the value in presenting this material in an arena where
you can ask questions.
Feel free to use whatever you'd like from this page within the terms of the license. I think it's a good
place to start for introducing people to BDSM and kink.
At its core I think BDSM is about erotic expression, participating in BDSM allows you to create erotic experiences for yourself or others using a set of
tools that is within this sphere we call BDSM. At the beginning of what we would recognize as the Leather and BDSM scenes had as a key ingredient being a
radical, viewing and practicing your sexuality in a way many others didn't and disapproved of.
Many people will tell you that their way is the only way to do something. However, what works for you and your partner and is an acceptable level of risk
for you both may be entirely different.
Some techniques and methods involve less risk than others, some are certain to lead to injury [+]
People may do things for a very good reason, a certain type of knot and rope may be the minimum combination required to safely suspend you or your partner.
Before disregarding a certain practice out of cause consider spending the time figure out why it is that person's practice. Their receiving this information
via telepathic link with the Marquis de Sade is different than 'If you don't do it this way you may go splat'
Don't get hung up on technique at the expense of the experience [+]
Another way to say this is not to expect perfection from yourself. If you're flogging someone and you wrap around their ribs on one or two strokes out of a
hundred don't allow it to cloud the scene. If you're creating an engaging experience for you and your partner while staying in the boundaries of
acceptable risk then what you're doing doesn't have to be exactly the same way you saw in class.
I asked Guy Baldwin for some advice he would pass along if he were giving this talk and that's what
he came back with. Another way to put this would be, "If something doesn't feel right to you, don't do it".
You will learn more having a scene or observing a scene (not a demo) than sitting in a class type format. Demos have their place, demos can be very useful.
Classes have their place, discussions can be very useful. Think of it this way: reading or watching porn is to having sex as attending classes or demos are
to having a scene. Get out there and do it.
For many it's as simple as this, some part of BDSM gets them hot and bothered. Maybe it's being spanked or doing the spanking. Maybe rope, chain, collars,
or other restraints. In one respect or another part of BDSM turns them on.
Similar to how a massage can release painful and stiff muscles, a scene can induce an emotional release. Consider this scenario: After the death of a loved
one where you've suddenly inherited many responsibilities, you find yourself unable to express your sadness given all that you must accomplish. Some people
use alcohol to get over this issue (Irish wake style), sometimes the physical experience of a scene and the power dynamic of not being in charge can make
this same release possible.
I have seen people who have been victims of sexual assault and abuse use BDSM as a tool to reclaim their bodies or specific acts back from their attackers.
Because they can have complete control over the scene and what occurs it allows the abused to reframe the action in their mind. Some kinksters may simply
want to regain their agency in a life they feel is somewhat out of their control.
The show Wild Boyz that was on MTV for quite a while did a good job illustrating this point. Why would
you put fire ants on your nipples? You know it's going to hurt.
Personally I like to tell this story: a cane gauntlet is a single file line of 10-20 hitters, each armed with a thin piece of rattan. The person walking the
gauntlet walks to each hitter and allows them one stroke, as hard as the hitter wishes on the walker's body (typically butt or thighs). If the walker falls
the hitters swing at the fallen walker until they are able to rise. Once the walker has completed the line front to back, then then walk the line again back
to front. I walk cane gauntlets because I hate the sensation of being caned and because it's so unpleasent. For me it is a test of will power and my control
over my own body
The BDSM community has developed some unique etiquette that governs behavior you're not likely to see outside of a radical sexuality type environment.
Don't touch what isn't yours (people or gear) without permission [+]
BDSM can be an expensive activity to engage in, as an example good violet wand toys start at $100. A really nice flogger may run $200. Kinksters can
be really paranoid about their gear taking a walk. That latex body suit someone is wearing? Getting it snagged on a piece of your jewlery will ruin it
if it tares.
The idea of person ownership is a relationship dynamic beyond the scope of this talk but it is common in the BDSM world. A submissive or a slave may have
a very strict agreement with their dominant or master about how they can interact with others. In general it is a good rule not to touch someone you don't
know without their consent but it's doubly important here.
A gangbang or group scene is not an open invitation [+]
Many people have a fantasy involving some type of sexual group dynamic, whether group sex or being flogged by several people at once. These types of scenes
are typically carefully negotiated and what may appear to be a free-for-all is usually not. If more participants are desired someone will invite you in or
the free-for-all nature will be made very clear.
A person with a collar or who identifies as a submissive is not community property [+]
A person wearing a collar may not be looking for your leash. It is considered very poor etiquette (and will typically result in you being asked to leave)
should you approach a person you know or believe to be submissive and demand their submission without prior negotation or discussion. This is not to say
that there are not environments where this is expected (i.e. a Goddess worship party) but the rules of that environment will be set out explicitly by the
organizer. Any reasonable public play space will not have rules which force you into something.
In the immortal words of Larry Flynt: "If you don't like Hustler, don't read it" [+]
There may be scenes or activities in BDSM that you do not care to watch for whatever reason, you are always free to not watch.
At the BDSM club in DC that I frequent there was a picture of a gentleman who was in a rope suspension. Attached to his testicles were weights of a few
pounds each having the effect of stretching his testicles past what any one might consider comfortable. From the picture it was clear that this weight was
in motion or swinging when the picture was taken. As the owner of testicles this was not something I would want to watch.
There is a sizeable LGBTQ population within the BDSM community, most of the customs and practices of BDSM social organizations and play spaces can trace their
roots back to the early gay leather and motorcycle clubs. There are some particular etiquette concerns that bare mentioning.
Our alternative approaches to sexuality unify us [+]
At some point most kinky people had a moment of doubt on whether their sexuality was normal or even sane. Be it the disapproval of a parent or the rejection
of a lover it happens. This same thing happens to the LGBTQ community regardless of if they are kinky or not. Our alternative sexualities unify us as we
have had similar struggles for acceptance both from within and outside ourselves.
If someone is telling you how they experience something listen to them, they are the experts on themselves. Some may try to be polite and subtly correct
your pronoun usage. Listening to someone rather than telling them how they feel or how they should feel will work wonders.
If you're not sure what pronoun someone prefers just ask! [+]
He or She are the most common, some prefer the gender neutral Tey/Zey. When in doubt just use their first name and skirt the issue until you can figure
it out or they explicitly say what they prefer. It is unreasonable to expect perfection but it is reasonable to expect effort, correct yourself if you
use the wrong pronoun, accept correction gracefully if you overlook it.
You may be interested in having a scene with someone who identifies as a type that is not compatible with you for purposes of fucking. That doesn't mean
you can't have a fun scene. Almost every BDSM activity can be adapted so that one party doesn't have to take their pants off.
Not every social interaction can be salvaged. Despite you making an honest and sincere effort to be accomodating some people are just down right unreasonable
jerks. This works from both sides, I've met folks who wanted nothing to do with me simply because I was not L, G, B, T or Q. I've also been a jerk to people
who didn't deserve it.
Negotiation can be one of the most important parts of a scene for newcomers, especially if you're unsure of where your boundaries might be
or even if you're interested in a specific activity. Negotiation happens prior to the scene starting and outlines for everyone involved
generally what will and will not happen. As an example: you can give my upper back a good flogging, if I'm crying that's a hard stop.
As a ridiculous example: THE FIRST STROKE OF YOUR FLOGGER MUST HIT ME BETWIXT THE SHOULDER BLADES AT 5% (FIVE) OF YOUR TOTAL POWER OUTPUT FOR THAT
PARTICULAR FLOGGER. THE TOTAL POWER MAY INCREASE BY NO MORE THAN 1% (ONE) FOR EVERY 5 (FIVE) STROKES RECEIVED. AT 35% (THIRTY FIVE) YOU MAY SWITCH TO THE NEXT
FLOGGER THAT I HAVE APPROVED IN THE SEQUENCE. etc.
Own your words, don't be hesitant to tell someone you're not interested [+]
I've seen it happen where person A will approach person B looking for a scene. Instead of saying "No thank you, I'm not interested" person B says something
like "Well, maybe later". With the effect of person A continuing to ask for a scene the rest of the evening. This isn't fair to either party so own up to
your feelings on the matter. If it truly is a "maybe later" type situation provide some context like "after my dinner has settled" or "once my partner gives
the thumbs up".
When playing with someone new you must obtain explicit consent, there's no two ways about it. Rather than work through a laundry list of things like "I'd
like to nibble your ear, is this ok?", "I'd like to nibble your neck, is this ok?", "I'd like to nibble your nipple, is this ok?" Have a conversation with
everyone involved to better understand their boundaries. "I'd like to nibble and kiss you, where is that ok?" "Anywhere on my shoulders or above would be
In most if not all jurisdictions within the US you can not consent if you are not sober. Since negotiation is about determining what you will consent to,
you can not do this while anything but sober. If the legal reasoning is not persuasive consider the simple fact that people are more likely to make bad
decisions while they are intoxicated. Be sober.
Inclusive negotiating: we can do a spanking or flogging [+]
Think of you and your scene play partners inside a large circle, you bring inside everything that you're ok with doing for that scene. Everything outside
the circle is off limits.
Exclusive negotating: no penetrative sex or needle play [+]
Exclusive negotiation works just the opposite, you define only what you don't want to happen in a scene. This is most effective after you've
established trust with this play partner and have had a few scenes. Otherwise you may get peed on.
Be upfront about your relevant mental/physical/emotional limitations [+]
No one needs a complete medical history for you to engage in most BDSM activities. Keep it to the point. Here is an example.
To little: My knee hurts sometimes
To much: I have Osteogenesis Imperfecta Type I which is a genetic bone disorder that makes my bones susceptible to fracture. In my life I have broken around 26
major bones, not counting fingers and toes. My left knee has had two major operations. First in 2001 I had a partial shatter of my patella as a result of
a man-wrestling accident. In 2011 I broke my tibia and fibula and now have a titanium rod running the length of my tibia with 4 screws to anchor it. This
means that when I travel TSA tends to single me out for a freedom fondle unless an xray machine is available, this makes me upset because ...
Relevant: My left knee isn't in the best shape, I can only kneel on padded surfaces and only for about 45m at a stretch.
Endorphins are not the best decision catalysts [+]
You're in the middle of a hot scene, things are going really well and you feel like the two of you are writing a sonnet with the motions of your bodies. You
look upon your play partner and realize that what would really hit the spot right now is if you could fuck this person. The clouds part, trumpets from above
herald your decision and you know, deep in your loins, that this needs to happen.
The endorphins you experience from a good scene are similar to the endorphins you can get from a good run, also known as a "Runner's High". These
neurochemicals can skew your judgement, similar to how someone might look much more attractive 5-6 beers into an evening. This is why it's generally a bad
decision to negotiate for more once your scene has already started. You are always free to negotiate for less during a scene if things are not going
First time partner? Strongly consider playing in a public space. [+]
Similar to why you shouldn't go back to a stranger's apartment after just meeting them. If this is the first time you're playing with someone who you've
just met strongly consider requiring that the scene take place in public so you have the benefit of DMs and other players should something go wrong.
There are a few realities of having a scene in public that people tend to forget, especially if they're used to playing in private. Some of this etiquette
may not be immediately obvious to new comers.
By having a scene in public you accept that you will be (respectfully) observed by others [+]
Respectfully means you're standing far enough away from the scene not to be in it, usually ~15 feet and not directly in front or behind anyone in the scene.
This also means keeping your voice down, not pointing and laughing or doing anything that might reasonably distract whoever is involved in the scene.
This does not diminish your perogative to approach someone and ask them to move along if they are bothing you [+]
Someone may be observing your scene from across the play space which is fine. However, if they are furiously masturbating while watching your scene that may
bother you and you could ask them to at least move out of your line of sight.
This does not mean you can turn a public play space in to a private one because everyone is "bothering you" [+]
Many events have playspaces devoted to people who identify a particular way: gay men, cisgender women, furries, etc. If the main playspace is not to your
liking or comfort you should ask the DM if there are alternatives. If there are no alternatives speak to the event organizer about the possibility of
designating space for the next event.
Triggering has become a common word thanks to the internet, and as with everything on the internet people can use it to troll others. My aim with this section
is to use a practical working definition (gotta do something with this psych degree) that is suitable for this discussion.
To be triggered - Stimulous that reminds some one of, or potentially induces them to relive, previous trauma.
There are realistic examples like: my guardian beat me with a belt when I was small and now I can't watch scenes featuring belts. And ridiculous examples:
I got stung by a bee once and now flowers make me cry
If a play partner has words or actions that may trigger them, you need to know [+]
As with the medical advice in the negotiation section keep it relevant. If being called "Daddy" isn't something you enjoy then bringing that up in a AB/DL
situation is relevant, in a flogging scene probably less so.
What needs to happen for them? What type of care do they need? Are you willing and able to provide that care or do you have to contact someone who is?
If a person is triggered do not count on them to safeword [+]
When someone is triggered it is likely that they are no longer in their right mind and as a result may not think to use their safeword. Having a good
understanding of boundaries and behaviors of your partner is key. Asking questions like "How will I know if you are triggered" or "what if you start crying?"
are good places to start this conversation if you think the scene is likely to trigger you.
Safewords are an unambiguous way to communicate information to a partner. During a scene some people may shout "no!" when in fact they want the action to
continue. We use safewords that are unlikely to be said in the heat of passion to make this communication easier. Note that safewords only come into play
after a scene has been negotiated, consent obtained and the scene started. Outside of a scene, no means no.
There are lots of reasons to use a safeword to communicate to your partner that the action needs to stop. If you are having a muscle cramp or spasm
unrelated to the stimulation being provided. Sometimes we under estimate the intensity of a certain activity and we simply don't wish to continue. Maybe
you have a sudden urge to use the bathroom. Safewords can be used by anyone in the scene top or bottom!
Some prefer to use their English language skills [+]
Many players don't use safewords and instead rely on their language skills to provide direct feedback. Ex: My foot is falling asleep, I need more warmup
before we use the single tail, I have to pee, etc.
Some prefer a method that won't take them out of the moment [+]
BDSM activities can put you in an altered state of mind which can be quite enjoyable. Some feel that safewords are less likely to take them out of that
head space because they're very simple to communicate.
Agree on a word to indicate the action needs to slow down [+]
This is also usually a check in word, a restraint may be too tight or you may have a wedgie and just need to talk with the top. Popular choises are "yellow",
and "slow down".
Agree on a word to indicate the action needs to stop [+]
This word indicates a full stop to the action and a discussion needs to occur if the scene is to continue. Popular choises are "red" and "safeword".
If you're using a gag or other anything that impedes a partner's ability to speak (or the top is hearing impaired) consider giving the bottom colored balls
or hankies to drop as safeword indicators. This can also work if you are both ninjas or have taken a vow of silence.
There are two common frameworks for assessing the suitability of a particular activity in the BDSM world.
You must be 18 years old or older to ride this ride [+]
Know the age of consent in your state. I think that 19
is the absolute youngest you'd want to play with someone regardless of the age of consent. Think of it this way, do you want your partner telling
their High School friends about their experiences? My personal rule is to not play with anyone who isn't in their 20s.
It is highly probable you need to be sober to safely execute your scene [+]
Many play spaces do not allow you to play if you are intoxicated and for good reason, many of the activities involved with BDSM have the potential for
serious or life threatening injury. It is not impossible to construct a scene that you could do safely while buzzed or having done poppers, however as one of
your first scenes this is almost undoubtedly a bad idea.
By virtue of our ability to consent we can choose to accept certain risks. For instance you may decide that unprotected oral sex is an acceptable risk
based on your understanding of STI transmission rates between partners.
You'll note both of these axioms prominently feature the word "consent". This is the most important concept and BDSM afficianados talk about it until we are
blue in the face beacuse it's so important. No scene can occur without the mutual consent of all involved.
You do not need universal approval for your scene [+]
While as two (or more!) consenting adults you can agree to a certain BDSM activity, you do need the approval of the owner of the play space if you are a guest.
There may be rules against fire play for example, RACK is not an excuse to get out of play space rules.
You can only accept the risks you understand, therefore you need to critically examine what you're about to do and have a discussion with your partners
about what you see as the risks before the scene starts.
Interacting with Dungeon Monitors / Dungeon Staff [+]
Whenever playing in a space that is not yours, there will be an owner who imposes a set of rules1. Most safe play spaces or dungeons will have
someone who's job it is to make sure the rules are being followed, to assist with equipment or space related concerns and ensure that the space's accepted
level of risk is being respected by the behavior of the players. Some take an adversarial view of DMs and staff, I think this foolish. A good DM is there to
enable play and they take that responsibility to heart. As a player there are things you can do to make your interactions with DMs effective and respectful.
1 Playing in abandoned warehouses not withstanding
Most problems can be solved prior to scenes even starting! If you think a scene has the potential to cause the DM or other players to feel uncomfortable
simply chatting with the DM before your scene starts to inform them of your intentions will solve 90% of your problems. In my experience DMs are very willing
to work with courteous players and can suggest substitutions or set clear limits. Ideally an informed DM will run interference for you with other players should
the need arise.
An example: At FetFest 2013 I saw a very intense scene with two players using the outside dungeon. It was a cathartic scene of some variety that featured
heavy play with a painful single tail. The goal of the scene was to free the bottom from an emotional burden they were carrying over what they saw
as a previous transgression. It was negotiated between the two parties that she, the bottom, wished to suffer severely; and that she did. The scene culminated with her
screaming that she was sorry and asking forgiveness while in serious agony. I'm no stranger to heavy scenes but had I happened across this without knowing it was pre-negotiated
her screams would have motivated me into action as it did for the other 20 people standing around debating on an appropriate course of action. Because this
couple discussed the scene with the DM staff prior to starting the DM ran interference with the crowd and the scene went on.
If it's not your space then you are a guest, so don't be a jerk [+]
Simple and straight forward enough advice (I hope)
Cops can be hot, cop scenes can be super hot. Actually being arrested is not at all sexy. Legal ramifications are a real concern whether your
dungeon is legal or not. Many private dungeons chose to skirt the law by not declaring what they are, there are various reasons some may do this which
are out of scope of this talk. Legal dungeons will have a certificate of occupancy. In either case the law is a real concern and is the prime motivator
for many decisions about restrictions on play.
Having a clear understanding of what the problem is from the outset is paramount to getting your scene going again. If a DM stops your scene because
a peice of equipment you're using is about to fail, that's no reason to get upset.
Some problems can be quickly an easily resolved, perhaps you need to change the knot you're using for a suspension or place mats beneath the bottom.
Other problems may not be so easily mended. Simply asking the DM "What can we do to resolve this problem" is a good first step.
Whether you agree that stopping the scene was justified or not, starting a heated argument will not get your scene started any quicker and will very
likely put you in the wrong headspace to continue. Maintain your calm, blowing your top2 in this moment
is seldom a good idea. It is much more difficult to salvage an experience if you've gone off on someone than if you've maintained your politeness.
Sometimes egregious errors happen and there may be no legitimate or good reason to have stopped the scene you were involved with. If this is the case
then you can always go to the head DM and event leadership. Give yourself time to calm down if you are agitated, when confronted with an irate guest
it has been my experience that head DMs and leadership will side with the DM who made that call. You should make your case using logic, not emotion.
Personally I find it much more erotic and much stronger of a connection when someone knows and is using my actual name. Objectively speaking is it hotter
to submit to some fantasy character of their creation or who they are? When I top someone it is me doing the topping not a figment of my imagination.
By in large I believe the het community missed the boat with the "out and proud" movement of the LGBT community. What we missed was that "out and proud"
isn't just about being gay, it's a statement about our sexuality. To be "out of the closet" means to confront people with the reality that you are a sexual
being and what you choose to do in your bedroom is as vital to who you are as what you do outside it. For more on this concept:
Guy Baldwin's keynote at MsC 2013 and
Hardy Haberman's Lavender mag interview.
There can be many reasons to be sort of anonymous [+]
I believe it is possible to construct a scenario where use of a scene name is in everyone's best interest. Some people are teachers, going through divorce
and custody issues, may be involved with a particular religion, etc. People in the LGBT community have been in these positions and now it is largely
acceptable to be a gay teacher, not have your kids taken away because you're transgendered, or to be gay clergy (admittedly, only in some religions).
All this is due to people coming out and taking the fear away from it. Ultimately you must do what is authentic for you and right for your situation.
What you and your partners may do or call each other is entirely your business. There is a ridiculous and annoying trend of people insisting that
they be referred to with their honorofic by everyone. Usually this is something like 'Master/Mistress', 'Lord/Lady', "Sir/Syr'. Unless you are
in a power exchange relationship with that person or they have earned the privilege of the honorific with you specifically, I would encourage you to
consider that you are not part of their fantasy or relationship and thus not use the honorific.
Story time: I knew a gentleman once who went by a scene name, we'll say it was "Peaches", and who insisted on being called Dr. Peaches. As it happens
Peaches was in fact a doctor and had an MD but I refused. Simple reason being that I didn't think his Alma Mater would back him on this demand.
And it was silly.
Using your scene name for purposes of anonymity is dubious at best. With the recent Snowden NSA leaks the concept of metadata analysis should be
at least somewhat familiar to everyone. Further, when your data is confined to a few sites (i.e. kinky ones) you don't need the resources of the NSA
to unmask someone. Realize that anyone with a bit of motivation and technical know how can assemble a surprising amount of data and information about
you just using your scene name if you also use that scene name on line.
Playing in public for the first time? Or just getting ready to launch a scene in an unfamiliar dungeon? These are some of the questions I ask myself
before I get started.
Do I have all the toys I'm going to use? Are they clean? [+]
Clean may mean disinfected or sterile, or it could just mean I've given it a wipe down recently. If a toy is going to be coming into contact with more than
just sweat I try to make sure it's disinfected, otherwise I give it a wipe down with a cleaning cloth between partners.
Do I have all the restraints I'm going to use? [+]
A lot depends on what kind of restraints you're using (if any). If you're doing rope, do you have enough and in the right lengths and coiled for quick use?
If you're using leather or metal will your restraints fit correctly on the person?
I prefer restraints that lock because knots are complicated, if you're using locking restraints
have you tested the keys you have on you to work in those restraints?
Do I have a way to cut the person out? If so where is it? [+]
For cloth/frabic/plastic/rubber/latex/etc you're looking for paramedic or medical sheers. For metal you need bolt cutters. Event dungeons will typically
have DMs with these tools. Play spaces / private dungeons may have them in a central safety location.
Is my furniture/equipment clean and in good working order? [+]
Have you wiped everything down? Will the equipment support the weights involved? Do you have a clear idea on how to use the equipment correctly?
When I'm doing a scene I tend to move around quite a bit to get even coverage over whatever area I'm working on. I like to have a good idea of my space
limitations wherever I might stand. To figure this out I usually have the person I'm topping get on the equipment as they will be in the scene and then
walk around to see what my space limitations are.
Many play spaces impose some kind of time limit on how long you can use a piece of furniture. You may want to have a way to tell time or have someone
give you a heads up a set amount of time before you have to end. If you've been on a piece of equipment for 3 hours DMs will stop your scene and no one
will blame them.
This seems trivial but allow me to explain with a story.
There was a scene happening once in the DC/MD/VA area, the couple had finished and the bottom was very deep into subspace and floating. Across the ceiling
were several hardpoints that the bottom was secured to by way of chain to wrist restraints. Since the scene was over the top unshackled the bottom. The top
realized that he had left the aftercare blanket across the home dungeon they were playing in. Hoping the bottom could retain their balance, he scampered
across the dungeon to fetch the blanket. Unfortunately the worst happened, be bottom fell and face planted right onto the concrete floor. This is why
I keep things within easy reach or have the bottom secured to something before I leave them unattended.
Do I have enough condoms/lube/papertowels/chux etc? [+]
Getting messy is super fun, being unprepared for cleanup is not.
Has everyone involved gone to the bathroom recently? [+]
Nothing quite ruins the mood like needing to take an unscheduled bathroom trip, plan ahead. It's a good excuse to wash your damn hands.
As you gain more experience and gain experience with a specific partner scenes can go in directions you had not anticipated, that can be really fun and hot.
But it's built the trust that comes with experience with the other partner. If this is your first scene or your first scene with a partner it helps to have
a concrete idea on what type of scene this is going to be, beyond strictly what will and will not happen.
If so what are the aspects of the fantasy that make it so hot for you and your partner? They may not be the same! Once you know this you can work on ways
to bring these things out and really make the scene click. Maybe you'll need props and personas or even specific words or phrases. Ravishing someone
in distress doesn't always require a puffy shirt and bodice, but maybe it does for you and your partner.
Sometimes not enjoying the experience is enjoyable in and of itself. Consider if you're going to get all the pain out of the way up front or work up to it.
With punishment style scenes it's usually helpful to have a clear idea on what the person is being punished for and that the punishment is appropriate to
the offense (reasonably). Getting scourged because you scuffed Mistress' boots will be excessive for most relationships. When topping someone in a punishment
scene be very careful not to let anger cloud your judgement.
Are you trying to convince someone they like something when they may have reservations about it? That's super hot. Seduction and teasing are typically
games of the mind. Don't fall into the trap of thinking of seduction as only consisting of extended warm up.
If so, pace yourself. If you or your partner are too over stimulated or exhausted after a scene to fuck that doesn't do anyone any good. If you are
planning on incorporating sex, as always make sure you have all the supplies you need rather than scrambling to find them in the heat of the moment.
Sometimes my scenes are very dark and it is an intense emotional experience for everyone. Mostly I enjoy keeping things light and having fun with it.
Not all scenes have to be about pushing someone's boundaries, sometimes you want to chase someone around with a riding crop because it's fun as hell.
There are 'scenes' that are for the purpose of trying out a new toy. How does this make the person receiving feel? What toy would they want this to be paired
with? How does it make you feel? What sort of scene would you both like to involve this in? Are you having fun using it?
Starting with a variety of light sensations and slowly working your partner towards something more intense
Starting with heavy sensation and forcing a high plateau, then increasing the sensation even further
Both methods have their place, much depends on where you want the scene to go and what type of scene you're creating. I always recommend new players start by
getting experienced with the first method before the second.
A typical light spanking progression for me might be: running my bare hands along the ass and thighs, doing the same with bunny fur, then leather, using a
Wartenberg wheel to trace their curves, then starting with
a series of light swats of my bare hand.
A typical heavy spanking progression for me might be: heavy hand, riding crop, cane, then solid paddles.
When playing anywhere I typically want to minimize outside distractions so I start trying to control the senses of the bottom as much as I can. Blindfolds
are a personal favorite but some people are uncomfortable with this, so I have used sheer cloth or horse blinders as a compromise. In some scenes where D/s
is an aspect requiring the bottom to keep their eyes shut can be a powerful tool. I usually like to have light music playing in the background of my scenes
as well, music without lyrics and that isn't demanding of attention, light classical (without a recognizable theme), drum circle or belly dancing music
have all worked well for me in the past. I make sure both of us are washed and not heavily perfumed and the area I'm playing in is clean and the trash has
been taken out. I have some leather scented oil to warm in a brazier if I think the room needs a bit of freshening.
I don't know what kind of aches and pains a person might have but what I want is to focus their attention on their body. When I do spanking demos usually
I say "I want to draw their brain down in to their butt". How their day went or how much their thighs hurt from their workout isn't something I want them
dwelling on. To accomplish this I start applying sensation to the area I'm planning to work on, eventually the sensations will become intense enough as to
totally focus the person's attention on to what you're doing. Once endorphins are going and the person is focused they can appreciate very intense
stimulation they wouldn't be able to otherwise.
At any point in the scene when you're providing some time of stimulous to another person I always advise people to remember frequency and intensity, which
can directly govern how intense the stimulation is. Simply put, frequency translates into how often you're applying the stimulous and how short the gaps
are in between. Intensity translates into how hard you're hitting someone. So I may spank someone very quickly with light taps, or I might give them several
heavy handed swings spaced far apart. When I increase both it becomes a new level of experience for the person.
Warmup has an aspect of reconnaissance to it. Paying attention to how a person's body reacts when they're processing a sensation can show you how to read
them during a scene. This isn't always just visual observation, using your hands to feel when a muscle tenses or listening for a gasp and to their breathing
patterns are all invaluable. Once you've figured out how to read your partner you can control their experience much more adeptly. One single tail whip
afficianado I know pays strict enough attention to his bottoms to observe when the pores of their skin open during a scene.
A scene can be a physical an emotional workout. Treat it like exactly that! I have a blanket for people lie down on or cuddle with. Fluids to replace
any they may have lost. A simple sugar to get their blood sugar back up. And solid protein to prevent another crash once the sugar wares off.
Blanket or towel, gatorade (or water and an orange) and some beef jerky. Usually people will need a while to collect themselves before they're ready to
rejoin the rest of upright society.
If you know that you need to be cuddled for 90 minutes and fed extra dark chocolate after a scene, consider bringing someone who will provide those things
to you! This greatly increases the number of potential play partners you can have if you can help to meet your own needs.
Tend to be underated because they're not about how to throw a whip better or give someone a squirty orgasm. Aftercare is likely to be important in
someone's decision to play with you again, so give it some thought. Aftercare classes are a great way to brain storm and get different perspectives on what
people need and want.
People are really passionate about BDSM, as with anything people are passionate about there's a lot of bullshit floating around. Also a lot of people tend
to learn about BDSM for the first time on the internet, which is made to spread bullshit. There are people who believe that: supposing the
infinite universe theory is true, then there must be a world where fairies are real, and
they are actually a fairy but trapped in this universe. I am exercising my privilege as a thinking person to tell you this is crap. Allow me to innoculate you
against some of the ridiculous bullshit in the BDSM world.
What do a "True Dominant" and a "true submissive" have in common? [+]
Like unicorns, they're both a fucking fantasy. Practically speaking this means that the person proclaiming they are (and usually you are not) a "True"
something, has some very specific ideas and fantasies about these roles. And to them those roles can only look like their rigid set of criteria. Who.
Gives. A. Toss. If you're not trying to sleep with the person espousing this, I would encourage you to ignore it. There are no universal set of standards or
behaviors by which the BDSM world determines if someone fits in a specific role. More on this later.
A typical narrative includes: the house existing for hundreds of years, secret societies, the person was last to be trained by the old masters, kept in
"complete" slavery or bondage, was a "true" submissive (see the cross over?), etc. Usually this is a symptom of being too attached to The Story of O. Here
are some easy bullshit detection questions you can pose to this person: What was the address of where you were kept? What area of the country was it in?
Can you speak the language of that country fluently? Do you have any type of cooborating evidence such as plane tickets, passport stamps, photos?
Some may say "I don't have that evidence because I was kept in confinement". Well, we know what happens when you keep people in involuntary confinement
for years and years, they break as people. They develop severe psycopathologies and/or they lose their ability to be social with other humans.
To be clear, the "Old Guard" did exist but not as any kind of unified group. Generally the term "Old Guard" is used to describe gay men who were involved
in BDSM activities via their motorcycle clubs post World War II and before 1970. It's useful to describe a generation of kinksters rather than
a group with specific goals.
That there was no secret council of elders is difficult to disprove (proving a negative being impossible). Partly this is due to there not being very many
gay men that old, due to old age and AIDS. Though we can say it was highly unlikely because bikers are not typically the organization / secret society
joining type. Joining a biker gang is not about setting up some council to tell other people what to do. Further, no one has produced any compelling
evidence to affirm this claim, secret societies not being the type to take meeting minutes it would seem.
It is true that some clubs had their own traditions, rules and regulations which governed their club. Some of these traditions, rules and
regulations were similar between different clubs because most of these guys were veterans and had a lot of shared experiences. This does not mean that a
unifying ruleset was in place.
People crave tradition and that's ok. Don't be afraid to start your own tradition to meet your needs. Don't invent a fantasy to affirm your actions. For
more on this discussion see the Leatherati Town Hall meeting
on The Leatherman's Protocol Handbook.
The thinking goes that when communicating in writing with those who identify as some part of the power dynamic spectrum you must capitalize all nouns/pronouns
for dominants and use lower case for submissives. As an example:
Mistress Megan and Master Mike went out for brunch, They had a great time. Later they were joined by slave steven and sub suzy who were busy doing chores.
Once the group was together T\they had a wonderful outing by the lake. Where they fed ducks and pondered the meaning of power dynamic relationships.
Anyone who insists on doing this is usually spending too much time on the internet. Likewise if you notice people referring to themselves in the third
person, encouraging their submissives to over use the dominant's honorific ("Master must get what Master wants") and so forth are usually warning signs.
Meaning the submissive is collared on the internet which TRANSCENDS the limitations of your meat centered reality, plebian. Used by people who only engage
in BDSM or M/s on the internet. Which is to say, people who do not engage in BDSM or M/s.