Domination & Submission: The BDSM Relationship Handbook (37 page)

BOOK: Domination & Submission: The BDSM Relationship Handbook
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The cages used by those in the BDSM lifestyle are
typically custom-built constructions built as much for their aesthetics as for
their functionality.  They can range in size from
coffee-table-sized
to
bedroom-sized
, and their purposes can run the gamut from
comfort
space
to
punishment place
, and everything in-between.  They
don’t even necessarily have to be constructed in the traditional box-shaped
way, either.  Some cages are built to conform to the size and shape of the
human body, making any movement within in almost impossible, or tall and
narrow, making it impossible to sit or lie down.  Others are built
specifically to be hoisted into the air, and may even expand or contract in
size and shape as they are.  There are cages constructed entirely of
netting, heavy-gage wire or chain mesh and, though it’s technically not a cage,
an
entire room
can be transformed into a
virtual
cage by
installing a jail-cell-type barred door at the entrance.  Some cages are
built to punish, others are built as a comfortable refuge and emotional
happy-place.
 
A cage stokes our emotions and imaginations wonderfully, regardless of whether
you are inside looking out, or outside looking in.  The possibilities are
truly limitless and bound only by your imagination and budget.

The safety issues surrounding cages are typically a
bit
subtler
than they are for other types of BDSM play, but
are
critical,
nevertheless.  Always be sure that cages are secured when not in use and
do not become a temptation for children to play in or around.  If the cage
is
lockable
, be certain to have at least one or more spare keys kept
where they can be located in an emergency or in the event a key is
misplaced.  Avoid leaving someone
unattended
in a cage for long
periods of time and
never
leave the premises, even for very short
periods of time, while someone is locked in a cage.  In the event of fire,
smoke, or a medical emergency the cage can become a
deathtrap.

Ask your bottom about any hint or history of
claustrophobia.  It may also be possible for an individual with absolutely
no history of claustrophobia to suddenly discover a phobia of being enclosed in
small spaces, which is why continuous monitoring of your bottom is always a
good idea, particularly the first few times.  A claustrophobic reaction
can put a person into a state of
shock
or
cause an acute stress
reaction. 
Contrary to popular belief, shock can result in serious
emotional
and
physical problems which can persist for days, months, or
even years after a triggering event.

 

BDSM Toys “R” Us

We’ve covered a lot of ground in this chapter,
discussing a wide assortment of kink toys, fetish equipment, and dungeon
furnishings, and yet we’ve barely scratched the surface.  We could easily
fill
several
books with endlessly fascinating
toy talk
, but that
would probably be counter-productive.  We can sometimes risk doing much
the same sort of thing in our D/s relationships and BDSM
activities.   There’s no doubt that BDSM toys can be
a lot of fun.
 
Sometimes, they can be so
much
fun that we are tempted to forget that
they are supposed to be a means to an end, and not an end in themselves. 
The toys are there to please your partner and give you both a measure of mutual
enjoyment; your partner shouldn’t be there just to give you an excuse to use your
toys.

There was a time in my life, long ago, when I was
all about the toys.  Believe me; I totally understand where your head is
at if that’s where you are right now or if that’s where you’re headed.  I
not only had to have all the latest and finest toys, but I eventually built an
entire business around fetish toys and equipment.  In the final analysis,
however, they were just things.  Perhaps my perspective is a tad
simplistic, but I believe fun is meant to be shared.   I have a really
nice set of skis, but I don’t enjoy skiing alone.   I’ve got an
awesome racquetball racket, but hitting the ball against the wall gets old
fast.  I’ve travelled all over the world - sometimes with, and sometimes
without a partner.  I’m sure I don’t have to tell you which was more
enjoyable.  The BDSM lifestyle is no different.  It’s simply more fun
when you can share it with someone special, and that’s why I’ve written this
book.

 I’m hoping you’ll look beyond the toys and
focus a little more on your
playmates.

My Two Cents
on BDSM Toys

The year was 1980, and I was a young soldier,
stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington as a Forward Observer in the 2/75
th
Infantry (Ranger) Battalion.  I met and became involved with a young lady
in town who enjoyed going to storage unit auctions each week and, eventually, I
was cajoled into attending a few.  To be honest, I was usually far more
interested in
people-watching
and sampling the snack bar’s nachos and
beer than I was in the auction itself.  Sometimes, however, the auctioneer
would auction off the contents of a
sealed cardboard box
just to make
things a little more interesting, and it never failed to stoke my insatiable
curiosity.

On this particular night, the auctioneer pointed to
a large, unopened cardboard box and told us that it had come from the estate of
an elderly doctor.  He claimed to have no idea what was inside, and
started the bidding at $1.  To this day, I have no idea what possessed me
to raise my paddle and start bidding on it, but I did.  I was the highest
bidder at $7, and I left the auction later that night the proud owner of a
medical
mystery box.

When I inventoried the box, I found it full of odds
and ends, worthless office supplies, some deteriorating medical texts, a few
simple medical instruments, and a curious wooden box with a small metal
latch.  I opened it and found it full of strange looking
electrical
equipment
, oddly-shaped glass tubes and thick black wires.  A small
metal data-plate attached to a box-within-the-box identified it as a
“Parco
Super High Frequency Generator - Violet Ray.”
 

As you might imagine, I was very much
intrigued
by
this intimidating looking contraption, which seriously resembled a prop from an
old
Frankenstein movie.
 Since I’d never seen anything quite like
it before and, considering the fact that this was pre-internet, pre-Google, and
pre-Violet Wand
, I decided to delay
plugging it in
until I’d
visited the local library
and had a chance to figure out just
what
the hell it was.

What I learned was
fascinating
, to say the
least.  Violet rays were produced by a dozen or more companies in the
1920s as quack-medical devices marketed to the public as the cure-all for
everything from
Aarskog Syndrome to Zygomycosis.
   Its
high-frequency electrical stimulation and ultra-violet emissions were claimed
to be an effective treatment for psychosis, deafness, corns and callouses,
“brain fag”
(seriously, look it up!)
and would even increase a woman’s
bust
size...
 all for just $7 plus the cost of a draft beer, two chili
dogs, and an order of nachos.
 

I thought to myself, “Mike, you are the
luckiest
son-of-a-bitch
on the planet!  And hopefully, when you plug that baby
in, it won’t explode, electrocute you, or burn your eyebrows off!”

Fortunately, it did
none
of
those
things,
and
I didn’t grow bigger breasts,
either.
  For an
antique piece of equipment that was
sixty years old
, it was in
remarkably good shape and it
worked perfectly!
  There were two
glass
electrode attachments in the box - one roughly the size and shape of a
bratwurst,
and the other shaped like a
hollow glass garden rake. 
When the
device was plugged in and turned on, the attachment would light up like a
purple
neon light
, buzzing and crackling with electricity, following your touch
with an aggressive ticklish sensation, and intimidating the hell out of anyone
with a
healthy fear of electrocution -
which, frankly,
ought
to
be
everyone.
  

My Parco Super High Frequency Generator & Violet
Ray was
truly
a beautiful thing to behold, particularly as it crackled
and glowed menacingly in in low-light conditions.  And what was the very
first thing I thought of when I turned it on? 

I can’t wait to try this thing out on my
girlfriend’s nipples.

“I
refuse to join any club that would have me as a member!”

-
- Grouch Marx

Chapter 10:  BDSM Groups &
Activities

When we first discover that we are
psycho-sexually
different
from most of our friends and neighbors, it usually comes as a bit
of a shock to our psyches.  Whether it occurs in our youth, or much later
in life, the first thought that pops into one’s head is typically something
like,
“What?
Are you telling me
not everyone
likes
spankings?”  This is inevitably followed by
“What am I, some kind of
freak?”
Hence begins our quest to know that we are
not alone
in our
unique perspective on sexuality, relationships, and the universe in general; a
quest that sometimes brings us to D/s lifestyle or BDSM groups. 

Groups and associations that serve the
fetish
community
exist in almost every major metropolitan area in the United
States.  Smaller towns and rural areas can sometimes be problematic when
it comes to finding a group, but you may be surprised to learn that they often
do
exist there; they simply try to stay under the radar and are generally a bit
harder to find.  If you
do
get lucky and find a small-town fetish
group,
do
keep in mind that privacy and discretion are
paramount
in
such communities, where
everyone
knows
everyone else’s
business.

There are many different kinds of fetish groups out
there, and not all of them are necessarily D/s or BDSM related.  For the
purposes of our discussion, we’ll focus here only on those that are, with a
hat-tip to the fact that some groups cast a very
wide net
that includes
pretty much
any
fetish or kink outside of the mainstream.  Some
groups go out of their way to try to be inclusive of every possible kink,
fetish or lifestyle.  These groups often include the words
kink
or
fetish
in their names, to draw attention to this
broad
focus.  Other
groups narrow their focus to specific interests, like
rope bondage
,
daddy’s
girls
, or
impact play
.  Some groups are formally organized,
with strict membership criteria and a rigorous set of rules, while others may
consist simply of a loose association of like-minded individuals who get
together for an occasional coffee. Finding a group that suits you is often as
much about your tastes in
group social dynamics
as it is about your kink
and lifestyle.

In addition to learning what BDSM groups are, and
what they have to offer, it’s just as important to examine
what they are
not.
  They are
not
swingers clubs, dating services, or
brothels.  Their gatherings are
not
orgies, hook-up opportunities,
photo sessions, or spectator events for the general public.  They are
simply groups of like-minded individuals who gather to share their experiences
and knowledge while making kinky friends and enjoying their company in a
welcoming, safe and non-threatening environment. 

As wonderful as all of that probably sounds to many
of you, there may actually be some good reasons why you may
not
want to
seek out your local BDSM lifestyle group.  First of all, if you’re the
sort of person who is exceedingly fearful, prone to anxiety or paralyzed with
shyness in group settings, you may find this to be a path to a bridge too
far.  Even so, many people who are face with these challenges have
discovered that becoming involved with their local fetish group was
exactly
what they needed to help them face, and overcome, many of their fears. 

Another reason why you might actually want to give
some serious thought to whether or not joining a BDSM group is right for you
concerns your
temperament
and
social skills
.  Are you the
sort of person that others might describe as judgmental, abrasive, prone to
drama, lacking tact, or even
just plain creepy?
  Do your
friendships end just as quickly as they begin, as the result of major
disagreements, misunderstandings, or arguments?   Did your elementary
school teachers ever annotate your report cards with,
“Doesn’t play well
with others?”
 Are you are overwhelmed with thoughts of
actual
nonconsensual sex and violence
, obsessed with the idea of doing someone
serious bodily harm, or fascinated with scenarios involving
death?
 
If so, you should probably put any notion of joining your local fetish group completely
out of your head and proceed, instead, to see a good therapist.  Do
not
pass
Go
, do not collect $200.

Even if you consider yourself a
wonderful
person
with a temperament of
gold
, and as much as you may think you
want and
need
to be a part of what goes on at your local fetish group, you
may
just have to face the remote possibility that they don’t quite agree with your
self-assessment.  Most groups have a screening process that helps to
reduce the possibility of a disruptive or dangerous individual showing up at
certain types of events.  The most common mechanism for doing that is the
public
munch
.  A munch (sometimes called a
social, coffee, lunch, dinner,
meet-up, meeting or get-together
) is typically a vanilla-style gathering
which is held in a public venue – usually a restaurant that is willing to set
aside table space for a large group.  Munches may be held monthly, weekly,
or
as-needed
, depending on the level of interest.  For the most
part, a group munch is indistinguishable from any other large gathering of
friends in a restaurant.  Attendees are expected to
dress
vanilla,
act
vanilla, and to be respectful of the other patrons of the establishment,
which often consist of families with children.

One of the other mechanisms for pre-screening attendees
for the group’s more sensitive and private activities is the personal
interview.  Larger, more formerly organized groups are more likely to use
this method than the smaller, more casual groups.  Often, a group leader
or member of a screening committee will be assigned to meet with the prospect
for coffee or a drink in hopes of getting some sort of a
vibe – good or bad

about the person.   The interview may or may not include
questions about the prospect’s preconceptions, intentions, experience, or expectations. 
Generally speaking, if a trusted existing member of the group can personally
vouch for a prospect, such interviews are considered unnecessary.

The customs and protocols that are expected from
group members are, for the most part, the same as those expected throughout the
BDSM lifestyle, with minor variations tailored to the type of event.  The
following list of tips may not be applicable to
every
group or event,
but it is certainly a
good place to start
.

BOOK: Domination & Submission: The BDSM Relationship Handbook
11.41Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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