It Only Takes a Second

Three women have written to me about their bad experiences at BDSM play parties.  The last time I got that sort of off-the-record feedback (via email, not comments) from complete strangers was when I wrote about The Worst Session Ever. I decided that I had a few more thoughts on the issue.

The Awful Truth about molestation is that it only takes a second to happen.   This makes it impossible to prevent and difficult to respond to.  The element of surprise is a tremendous advantage to the abuser.   A common reaction is to do nothing, especially if the violation only lasts a second or two.  What do you do?  Tell him to stop, when he’s already stopped?  Tell him he’s a disgusting pig?  By all means, dress him down, but the fact is he’s already done it, and now you have to deal with that.   It can’t be undone.  This asshole has just earned a permanent memory in the data bank.

I’ll give you an example: once I was in session with a domme friend of mine, let’s call her “Mistress Lisa.”  The client was a high maintenance crossdresser (god those guys are a lot of work) who was established in the Studio–he’d been coming in for a long time.

I was going through the lingerie drawers, trying to find something appropriate for him to wear, and I saw what happened reflected in a mirror.  Lisa turned her back on him to pick something up off the dresser, and when she did, the client darted forward and touched her between the legs.   It only took a second.

Now: what do you do?  Do you kick him out and not refund his money (possibly the only thing that might have taught him a lesson)?  Management is not going to support that; he’s not being aggressive or crazy.  Do you do the next best thing and punch him in the eye?  The moment has passed.

We both screamed at him and then Lisa made him give her all the money in his wallet, which was about $160.  She could give a shit about the money, but the fact that he paid was at least an acknowledgement that he’d done something wrong.  She was still upset about it later.  It’s humiliating to be touched without consent like that.

The last time I was molested at a play party was in New York, a few years ago.  I don’t remember the asshole’s name, but I’m recognize him in a heartbeat if I saw him again.  He was about forty, white guy.  He was doing some rope demos–that was the theme of the party.  He was very good.   He could do shibari, suspensions, things like that.

Well, I asked him if he’d tie me up.  I wanted to experience what it felt like (even working at the Studio, I didn’t get many opportunities to experience advanced rope bondage.  It is an uncommon skill).

He tied me to a post with some hemp rope and when he was done, I wasn’t going anywhere–he’d made a sort of corset belt over my clothes and fastened me to the post at six different points, including my knees and my ankles and around my forehead.  He’d asked if he could blindfold me and I said yes.  Normally I’d never agree to be blindfolded around someone I don’t know, but in this case,  I didn’t see the harm: I was there with friends, we were in public, heck, we were only a few feet away from a sofa full of people and the bar area, I was wearing all my clothes (and so was he, and everyone else, for that matter), and this was definitely not a sex party.  Did I negotiate anything?  No.  I didn’t think to.  Tying people up in various configurations was the extent of what was happening around me that evening.

So, what does the man do, when I’m tied up so tightly I can barely move a millimeter?

Unbuttons my blouse and takes my breasts out of my bra.

It only takes a second.  By the time that I realized that he actually had his hand inside my bra, it was already done.

I was completely surprised, as it hadn’t occurred to me that such a thing could happen.  I don’t know, maybe I was naive.  The public nudity didn’t particularly bother me (thank God I didn’t have the shame of violated modesty on top of the other bad feelings), but I did become very concerned that the he was going to put his mouth on my tits (gross!).   And then on the heels of that came the fear that someone was going to put clamps on my nipples, which is a sensation that I absolutely cannot handle.

“Don’t put clamps on me, I’m sensitive!” I said, and now I felt like I’d said the wrong thing.  The first words out of my mouth weren’t Button my shirt back up.  Does the fact that I hadn’t thrown a fit and complained signal that I was somehow okay with this happening?

“You look really hot,” said the guy, with his hands on my breasts.

And what do you do?  I don’t know, but I can tell you what you don’t do:  you don’t start a confrontation with a man when you’re tied up or undressed, and I was one and a half out of two.

I said sweetly that I was ready to be let down, and lied and said that I thought I was developing a cramp in my thigh.

He let me down and I put my boobs back in my shirt, buttoned up, and left the room as quickly as possible.  Did I complain to his face…?  No, I didn’t.  So he completely got away with it, without even a reprimand.  I didn’t even mention it to my friends until after the party, because they were having fun and I didn’t want to affect the mood.  And anyway, what was there to complain about?  It wasn’t like he hurt me, or stuck his fingers in me, or refused to let me go when I asked him to (that’s happened to me once before, and it’s as awful and distressing as you can imagine).   It was a minor incident.

A minor incident, but here I am, writing about it years later.   A minor incident, but I felt angry about it afterward, and I resent that I should have to second-guess myself.    I let a stranger tie me up at a fetish party.   What did I think was going to happen?

The first time I was molested as a play party was a little more severe–it was a spanking scene and the asshole got his hand into my underwear.  I stopped him and confronted him.  But, it still happened.   He did not apologize.  To some of these guys, your just being there means that you consented.  To others, I don’t think that issues like consent or getting permission even enters their minds: it’s irrelevant, a non-issue.  The only thing that matters to them is what they want.  And they are opportunistic.  It’s impossible to distinguish them from non-predators/non-molesters on casual acquaintance.

I have one more story about this.  Maybe I’ll tell it next time.

(11) Suspension

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         Suspension is a BDSM activity that I expected to love, but didn’t. 

         I thought it would be fun.  I knew it would be challenging…but in a fun way.   It certainly photographs well–I think images of suspended models look amazing.  Suspension seemed like it would be a mind-trip, one of those things that would get you in touch with your body right away, while you went on an interesting tour of painful sensations that changed on a minute-to-minute basis.  I knew that I liked rope bondage fine, and I always felt comfortable with tight, restricting clothing, like corsets.  I was convinced that suspension and I would be made for each other!   Awwww, a perv and her jute rope, happy together at last!  How romantic! 

          I learned very quickly that I couldn’t hang (pun most certainly intended).  Whatever it takes to make a bona fide rope slut, I don’t have it.  

          I was expecting it to hurt.  A lot.  I was also expecting the pain to change, from one sensation to another, according to the pressure on the rope and how I directed my concentration.  I expected my mind to have more control over it.  I expected it to be, I don’t know, interesting.   Why not?  A good beating can be very interesting.  You can learn a lot about yourself, or someone else, over the course of a beating.   Why should suspension be any different?

         Well, it is.  At least it is for me.

         The minute your body weight is supported exclusively by the rope, the countdown starts.  Time is running out.  To the point where the pain is going to become absolutely unbearable.  Breathing in the rope harness feels difficult and there is the illusion of suffocation.  The heartbeat hurts and you can feel the throb in your extremities.  Every place the rope bites in hurts and burns, and it’s impossible to shift and get comfortable.  I’ve found that I can last longer if I imagine that my body is a bean bag and I collapse into the rope without clenching up or resisting, but in the end, it becomes unbearable. Suspension is an endurance test designed by a sadist.   I’ve read online that shibari was developed as a method of torture.  I have no idea if that’s historically accurate, but I certainly believe it’s possible.  Tie someone in the right position and leave them for a few hours, and they’d do or say whatever you wanted.  You wouldn’t have to cut them or smash up their bodies or any of the other messy alternatives.  

            The only thing that can distract from the pain of suspension is different pain.  Pain is the only thing.  Pleasure is out of the question; some people claim to be able to have orgasms in suspension, but I sure as hell can’t.  Nor can I have a thoughtful dialogue.  Getting single-tailed, or a cattle prod on the soles of my feet, well, that takes my mind off the pressure in my chest for a minute (but only for a minute).  

           Heinrich has an O-ring in his ceiling.  A thing he’s been known to do is tie my chest in a harness, and then tie and lift a leg behind me, much like this (there’s always an additional support above the knee of the tied leg, too):

Thank GOD you have a leg to stand on, huh?!


          The weight is now partially supported by balancing on the ball of the foot.  The only thing that is keeping all that rope from biting in and becoming excruciating, unbearable, is the foot you are using for support.

          It gets better!  Instead of balancing on the floor, like this young lady in the picture, you are standing on a very unstable 3-legged stool.  

         How long can you perch there….?  And what will you endure to hang on…?  To keep that stool under your foot…?

         The answer is: a lot, because almost anything is better than dangling in space by your chest.  

         It gets positively ridiculous, especially in retrospect, because there’s no way to “win.”  You’re just playing little games and enduring different sorts of pain in order to avoid falling off the stool.  Not falling off the stool becomes the sole focus of your life’s ambition.  Things in the world become very simple.  In fact, the world ceases to exist beyond the room.  Sometimes he likes to talk, but pain and endorphins clog your brain, and you can’t follow very well.  Sometimes he has to repeat himself, and that doesn’t work out too well for you either.  

          In the end, you always fall.   The ending was never in doubt.

                                *                                *                          * 

Here are some cool images I found while searching for the one I used in the blog post.   Enjoy em while you can; Blogger is making all its bloggers (including ME!) take down all “adult content” March 23.  I’d call them assholes, but it’s a free platform, and they can do whatever they want.  

     This would be a great image if it wasn’t for the douche on his computer!  I’ve seen wooden frames like that set up in people’s houses and garages.


         This one’s been blogged to hell and back, but it’s never been posted on my blog before.  Great model, great rigging, great photograph.  Very interesting.  I’ve never seen anything like it. 



Photographer: Heiner Weichert
Modell: Mode-Yo

(10) Restraint and Sensory Deprivation: Why?

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      I’m legitimately sick today for some reason, so I cancelled two appointments and Heinrich gave me the night off. 

      I’d like to post this, though.  It’s something that I’ve been thinking about for a long time. 

       Sensory deprivation and restraint (bondage) really calms some people down.  Why do you think that is?

        I’ve seen in a million times, with clients and with boyfriends.  The first thing that I do when I have a client who is highly strung and too nervous to express himself coherently is slap a blindfold on him (usually I don’t use blindfolds at work unless it’s a specific request, because the guys want to look at the eye candy).  It works.  If he can’t see me, it takes all the pressure off (of both parties, I might add).  They can talk and concentrate again.

         Same thing goes for bondage.  There are large numbers of people who enjoy bondage, and it’s the only kinky thing they’re interested in. The people who like mummification or full-body restraint are fanatical about it.  They use it to relax, or to get into a special frame of mind.  I’ve met people who came to the Studio just to hang out in their special little body cocoons (one was a successful musician who’d use the sensory deprivation to get creative.  He’d ask the mistress to help him snort his cocaine as he lay in his sack).  Then there are the rope and shibari people who invest considerable effort in studying it, practicing it, and experiencing it.  

        Some people find it very sexually uninhibiting, also.  That goes both ways–the people who experience this from being tied up, and the people who experience it from tying someone up.  I can’t speak about the women, because I have no experience there, but the men who fetishize tying women up are a special breed.  They change as they do it; derive intense satisfaction from it.  The Mathematician was one such man, and that is how we met.  

        Now, what I’m wondering is: is there a name, a scientific name, for the phenomenon of finding sensory deprivation/bondage soothing or arousing?  Have researchers studied this?  Is there a physiological explanation for why it feels good to some people?

         Because it’s not just kinky people doing this to get their rocks off.  Veterinarians put some animals into “squeeze boxes” to calm them down for examination.  Temple Gradin, the well-known autistic animal scientist, constructed a “hug machine” to relieve anxiety.  

         Look at this: Body Pod Sensory Sock, on Amazon:   


          Parents rave about this thing in the reviews.  I have no idea if it’s quack woo therapy.  I think it could be legit.  This is fundamentally the same thing as a fullbody bag at the Studio, yes?  Why do the kids find the experience of being in the sensory sock soothing?

         (I’m intensely curious about these things and would like to buy one for myself to experiment with, even though I don’t consider myself to be a true bondage enthusiast.   But until I’m living alone again, it would be impossible to explain.  But look at all the bright pretty colors you can get it in!  Maybe I should ask for it for my birthday.  Doesn’t it LOOK LIKE FUN?  Don’t lie!)

         And look at this thing: Thundershirt Dog Anxiety Solution

Therapudic bondage for dogs?

          This is a snug, weighted coat.  Why does this calm some dogs down when they’re frightened?  It has to be the same reason the animals calm down in the squeeze machine, right?

           Does anyone have any ideas about this?  Is there a bondage aficionado among by 8 readers willing to offer an opinion?

          The blog post lacks a coherent hypothesis because I don’t have one.  

          Here are some owls, just because:



Now You Can Feel My Boots

  Last year, I went to a party at a bar in the Flatiron district to see a few friendly acquaintances.


    Once I arrived and made the rounds, one of the hostesses asked me if I’d like to keep company with her boyish date while she performed on stage.  She was an excellent and established sadist.  Her date was young, hazel-eyed, and obedient.  


     I instructed him to sit on the floor by my feet while we watched the show.  After a few minutes, he relaxed, and stopped paying attention.  He leaned his body against my leg and put both his hands on my boots.  


     I turned on him whip quick, stepping away from his body and grabbing a fistful of his hair.  I kicked him in the thigh.  


     “Did I give you permission to touch my boots?” I snarled at him, turning his head up so that I could see his face.  I remember that he did not resist–not one whit.  It was nice, impressive.  I thought: this one is well trained.   


       He said he was sorry.  


      “You want to touch my boots?” I asked.  I pulled him, by his hair, back and then down to the floor.  It had to have hurt him.  I appreciated the way that he moved his body where I was  pulling.  No resistance.  That delicious complicity, compliance.  Makes me want to do more of it to you.


       I had him pressed down on his belly, with his cheek against the filthy floor of the bar.  The people around us had gathered to watch.  Hungry.  I am not inclined towards exhibitionism, but I found the attention exciting.  


      I pressed the sole of my boot onto his face.  Told him to keep the palms of his hands flat on the floor.


      Here, now you can feel my boots.  

Instant Intimacy

        One of the surest and fastest ways to get to know a person is to slap them across the face.  The way they react will reveal a great deal about their personality.  Whatever emotions the slap elicits—and there are usually at least two or three, either simultaneously or in rapid succession—are strong and invariably authentic.  It’s the psychological equivalent of snatching back the covers.  A VIP all-access backstage pass to the psyche, as it were. It is one of the most intimate things you can do with someone.  And make no mistake—you are doing it with them, rather than to them.  The exposure runs both ways; you will reveal part of yourself in your violence.  They will remember the look in your eyes long after the fact.  It creates a bond.  Instant intimacy.  The only experience remotely comparable is sex, and that is why the thrill you get from slapping someone lends itself so readily to arousal (and why sports like boxing and wrestling are so erotically charged—and so universally popular).
        
        The last time I got a shot was when I tried to touch Heinrich without his permission. He belted me a good one right upside the head; with his leather glove on, it made quite a noise.  It was a complete surprise—I never saw it coming.
        Interestingly, it ended up making access to his touch—his body—that much more desirable.