Bound by Elise

Elise Graves was shooting for House of Gord in Seattle this week, and I was lucky enough to have the chance to session with her before she returned to the Bay area. Rope bondage, electricity, clamps and tickling were all the agenda, and much fun was had by all.

One of the great things about playing with different dommes is getting to observe many different styles of play. For the majority of dommes I play with, bondage is a complement to the main activity rather than a focus in itself. They want to make sure I’m not going to wriggle away, but once that’s achieved the emphasis shifts to hitting, poking and prodding. Elise tends to switch that up, where the bondage is the main focus, and the additional activities used to emphasize and highlight the restraint. Often in sessions I can almost forget I’m  bound, but there’s zero danger of that happening when Elise in charge. I’m always very aware of my own body and its interaction with the space around it.

Personally I find these kind of sessions very challenging but also very rewarding. It’s easy to lie back in a comfortable position and simply soak up intense sensations. In contrast, when bondage is used to stress and control the body, it forces me to think a lot more and to be very aware of how my body is reacting to it. I recently wrote about in session communication (post one and two), and I think bondage focused sessions really lean on that skill set for the submissive, even for the relatively easy positions I was put into. Awareness of your physical limits and tolerances becomes particularly important.

This is from Elise’s twitter feed and taken from a shoot for her excellent Bondage Liberation site. Elise is typically very gleeful and happy when topping and I think this image really captures that. The male model is @for_heavy. If you’d like to play with Elise in person, then her professional site is here.

Love of the Visual

There’s an old stereotype that men respond far more strongly to sexual imagery than women do. It’s an idea I’ve always been skeptical of. Partly because as a man I’ve always enjoyed the written word just as much as the visual image. Partly because it has a suspiciously neat fit with an old fashioned view of sexuality, where men are decadent pleasure seekers and women the gatekeepers of pleasure, rather than active participants. Mostly because women’s magazines are packed with sexual imagery via their advertisements. I’m pretty certain those ads don’t exist just for men in waiting rooms browsing old copies of Cosmo and Vogue.

According to this article in the Guardian I’m right to be suspicious. A study of studies has shown that men and women’s brains respond in the same way to pornography. Basically the same bits of circuitry light up, whatever your gender. The studies authors go on to say that it’s more likely social pressures and stigma are the reason for the stereotype, rather than fundamental biological differences.

Hopefully all my readers, whatever their gender, can enjoy this image. It’s by Mistress Iris, creator of a great deal of sexy imagery.

Speaking Up (Continued)

This is a continuation of yesterday’s post on the challenge for submissives to speak up while playing. I’m certainly no expert, but I thought I’d share a couple of pieces of advice I’ve found useful.

Firstly, don’t assume that just because you’re doing a familiar activity, with someone you’ve played with before, you won’t need to speak up. Mental and physical states are always changing. I was caught out in this way one time while being single tailed by Mistress Mara Mayhem in Chicago. We’d played together several before and this certainly wasn’t a new activity for me. Unfortunately on the way to her space, my uber driver’s radio had been describing the gruesome details of the killing of Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudi government. It was a disturbing story and for some reason, as we were playing, I couldn’t get it out of my head. My thoughts were racing and I began to feel faint. It seemed stupid. The physical sensations weren’t that intense and my position wasn’t uncomfortable. Yet somehow the combination of the session stress and my messed up thoughts almost pushed me into passing out. Luckily Mistress Mara is an expert and picked up something was going on, giving me a cue to communicate and temporarily stop the scene. I was relying on my history of play to guide me, rather than listening to what my body was telling me at that moment.

The other piece of advice I’d give to submissives is to try and be transparent and informational with your communication, rather than directive. The submissive’s role isn’t to control scene, but to give the domme the information she needs to make the scene work. For example, consider the situation of being put into an uncomfortable bondage position that you’re not sure about. Can you tolerate it? You might not want to immediately say you can’t handle it, but you also don’t want to wait until all the ropes in place and then have to stop everything. Giving informative but neutral feedback like “I can handle this, but probably not for a long period” can help the domme adjust if necessary. Maybe a short period is all she was aiming for. Maybe she’ll dig for more details so she can tweak the position.

Being transparent in feedback doesn’t have to involve words. I always try and make the volume of my cries and moans reflect the intensity of the sensation I feel. If you grit your teeth right up until you’re forced to yell ‘Red!’ then you’ve given the domme nothing to work with and then a command to stop. Giving honest feedback via my yelps helps her fine tune the scene while keeping a natural D/s flow.

Here’s an example of clear communication in the other direction from Yumine Guo. I don’t think the domme has left much doubt about her opinions.

Speaking Up

I like twitter, but I’m not very good at it. I struggle to condense my thoughts to tweet sized chunks. Take for example this thread started by Lady Pim on submissives speaking up mid-scene. I think it’s an interesting topic, but I got fed up trying to write a response in short snippets. I figured I’d just write a post, and so here we are.

The first thing to acknowledge is that it’s genuinely difficult for submissives to know how and when to speak up. Most don’t want to be accused of topping from the bottom or second guessing their domme. Part of the joy of D/s is relaxing into the moment and telling your inner monologue to take a break. So making judgement calls about how and when to communicate an issue can be a hard mental gear change to make. Submissives shouldn’t beat themselves up for finding that difficult. As the old joke goes, that’s her job.

The other thing to internalize is that doing a scene always involves a degree of risk on both sides. If you stop and talk about every potential issue, no matter how minor, you’ll never get anywhere. If you let things play out, then there’s always a chance of going past a point of comfort before you can do anything. Both domme and submissive have to accept and deal with that risk. Obviously nobody should deliberately violate boundaries, but if you’re exploring new territory then occasionally you’re going to inadvertently wander across one or two.

Experience and practice are obviously one answer here. Playing with the same person repeatedly is another. I’d also say that chemistry is a big factor. When your respective styles and approach to kink aligns, then it makes it a lot easier to communicate. The better you understand each other the more communication becomes about the shared task (of her beating your ass) and less about presentation and parsing motives. I’ve played with super talented world class dommes who I just didn’t click with, and it made in scene communication so much harder, as I just couldn’t read their intentions easily.

I’ve some further thoughts, but I’ll save them for a follow-up post. Apparently I can’t shrink my verbiage to a single post, let alone a single tweet. I’ll finish this post with a picture I particularly like from Lady Pim’s twitter feed. Once the gag goes in you better practice your grunting and hand signals if you want to speak up.

Lady Pim is a pro-domme based at the Ritual Chamber in Toronto. You can see her professional page here.

A New Angle

This unusual shot from Mistress Chiaki is all kinds of fun. It takes a moment to orientate yourself to what’s going on. There’s a slave kneeling on the floor by the bed and then two toy bags either side of the bed. I think there’s also a mirror on the right wall, so there’s reflections of reflections.

I’ve played in hotel rooms many times, but I’ve never played in one with a mirrored ceiling. I feel I should add it to my ‘to do’ list, although they seem to be pretty rare in the US these days, even in spots like Las Vegas. Dungeons typically have a lot of mirrors, but I’ve never yet encountered one with a ceiling installation. It seems an odd omission.

You can see more photographs from this particular session at Mistress Chiaki’s blog.

Revisiting an Old Friend

Last night I was lucky enough to revisit an enjoyable but somewhat neglected activity – butterfly boarding. Looking back over my past posts I think the last time I did this was almost eight years ago. I’ve done a lot of play piercing since then, but never in that particular way. I know Ms Savannah Sly is always a fan of sharp pointy things, particularly when they’re going into my delicate bits, so it felt like a perfect opportunity to revisit it with her. Much fun was had by all.

For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, butterfly boarding is a type of CBT where the cock and balls get pinned around their edge to a board. It’s psychologically pretty intense and can create a lot of interesting physical sensations. As the cock expands or contracts then it pulls again the needles, setting up one of those awful/wonderful masochistic feedback loops of pain -> arousal -> more pain. Of course Savannah was also happy to add her own variation on that loop by gently pulling the boards or rocking the needles. Add in electrical stimulus via conducting loops at the base of the cock and I was pretty quickly deep into subspace and flying high. I was a good boy, Savannah was all around me and the rest of the world simply didn’t exist.

For anyone interested in the technique then we did snap some photographs. Obviously, these are close-up shots of pierced genitals, so don’t click the links if you’d rather not see that. Here’s a top shot, front shot, back shot and head shot. In hindsight, I should have shaved beforehand. The random stray pubes don’t really add much to the visual composition. The black cords visible around the base of the cock are for the electrostim device.

I really don’t want to see my viewing numbers plummet to zero, so I’ll not finish the post with a full on shot of my dick. Instead let me share something a lot more visually appealing – this is a shot from Savannah’s twitter feed. You can see more shots like this at her Only Fans Site.

Beautiful Button Pusher

I blogged a few months back that my primary kink wasn’t a specific BDSM activity or look, but a contrast in dynamics. This image from Mistress An Li is one of the best examples I’ve seen of capturing contrasts. There’s his exposed white flesh against the black restraints and her dark outfit. The tenderness of the embrace against the severity of the humbler. The comfort of the bed against the tightness of the single arm. I picture him twisting and quivering while she strokes him gently. His moans against her murmured encouragement. It’s one of the hottest images I’ve stumbled on in a good long while.

This was from Daddy An Li’s twitter feed.

The lure of the ankle

There’s an old myth that women in Victorian Britain were so uptight that they’d dress the legs of their furniture in small skirts to save them from the lascivious gaze of men. It is of course bullshit. Unless you’ve got a very unusual kink for carved wooden furniture, nobody is getting off on piano or table legs.

I’ve also heard it said that Victorian men were inordinately attracted to the lower legs and feet of ladies, because being covered by long skirts made them all the more enticing. It’s true that something being forbidden or taboo can be a natural for kinks, but this view seems equally unlikely to me. Almost nobody wears very long skirts these days, with feet, ankles and lower legs regularly on full display. Yet despite that, foot and shoe fetishism is still a huge kinky niche. Femdom porn is packed with it. Clearly it’s just a common kink that some people have. So while I’m sure there were plenty of Victorian men who enjoyed admiring a shapely ankle, it wasn’t a function of their fashion and prudish social values, but just kinky people being kinky.

I’m not sure when or where this image was originally shot. In the original tweet I sourced it from (by @mrunderheel), it’s labelled as coming from the 1920’s (about 20 years after the Victorian era). Personally I’d suspect a scene from an early movie, but a reverse image search doesn’t give me anything to go on.

Never Fails

One constant of any trip I arrange is that I’ll always just miss somebody that I’d really like to have intersected with. It doesn’t matter when or where, I’m guaranteed to buy tickets, arrange hotels and then realize I should have picked slightly different dates. It’s one of those immutable rules of life, like toast landing butter side down and USB plugs never going in the first way round you try them.

For my upcoming UK trip in August, my big miss will be Mistress Natsukiss who is going to be in London doing a Club Pedestal show in September. I’ve featured Mistress Natsukiss in past posts (for example here and here). She’s someone whose style and approach to femdom has always caught my eye, but I never thought I’d ever be lucky enough to watch her in action. It turns out I was actually right about that, but only just. For anyone lucky enough to actually be in London in September, then I think it’d be a show well worth attending.

These two beautiful shots are both from the twitter feed of Mistress Natsukiss. Her main web site is here. Check out the Club Pedestal site or follow their twitter feed for event tickets.