Trouble in the tubes

My previous post talked about common search terms on PornHub in 2016, and the rarity of kink in them. One possible explanation for that is that kinky people don’t use PornHub. If that unlikely situation were to be true, it would reflect with credit on kinky porn consumers. PornHub, and more particularly its parent company MindGeek, are not healthy positive contributors to the internet’s adult ecosystem.

If you’re interested in some background to that claim then consider checking out this Slate article and this Economist one. Essentially MindGeek holds a monopoly on the free streaming sites (like PornHub, redtube, youporn, etc.), has purchased a bunch of commercial sites (like brazzers, reality kings, etc.) and uses its financial clout to host a lot of pirated content from anyone outside its control. If you’ve ever wondered why I never link to videos hosted by any of the free streaming sites, that would be why. They’re the 800 lb Gorilla that acts destructively but is too big and scary to oppose. I’d suggest avoiding all their sites is both a good and positive thing to do.

Of course there’s always money to be made in the niches. Some people get off on financial blackmail, bullying and predatory tactics. For anyone wired that way, people like Mistress Arella are here to help. She has all sorts of ways to consensually take your hard earned cash.

Mistress Arella

Chicago Fun

Whenever I visit a city my first thought isn’t usually about where to stay or what to do, it’s about who I can play with. For places I visit regularly that’s an easy call. I always like to play with people I know and I’ve built a rapport up with. For new cities it’s a more challenging problem. Even when spoiled for choice in major metropolitan areas, it can be a tricky decision to find someone I think I can gel with in a short period of time. For my recent Chicago trip I picked out Ms Mara Mayhem as someone I thought would be interesting to play with, and it turned out to be a very wise decision.

We did a couple of sessions of two hours each. You can see some of the toys from the first session in this photograph. That green spiky ball on the right was perhaps the weirdest toy I’ve ever experienced in a session. It’s motorized, so bounces and buzzes, creating a distinctly odd sensation when you’re blindfolded and it’s dangled on your genitals. Not particularly painful, but definitely strange. This image shows a close-up of some CBT I enjoyed. The material on the top left is part of a very realistic straitjacket capable of restraining the most insane of inmates. We finished with some liquid refreshment courtesy of Ms Mara and this apparatus.

The second session featured bondage and corporal play, as well as some more CBT and piercing. We only got one shot from that, shown here. The combination of plastic wrap and rope was a really good one. The plastic is quick and effective, while the rope has a great visual and tactile effect. I think my ass is already looking a little marked up in that shot. By the time I got home it had bruised up nicely.

Overall, given we only had four hours to get to know one another, it was a great pair of sessions. If you’re in Chicago then I’d definitely recommend trying to schedule time with Ms Mara Mayhem. She’s smart, talented and definitely fun to play with.

maramayhemThis image of Ms Mara is from her instagram feed.

Both hands on the keyboard

Mistress T has written a good guide on how to email a pro-domme. These kind of posts are depressingly common online. I say ‘depressingly’ not because they’re bad, but because of the need to write them at all. Over the years I’ve seen numerous similar posts from other pro-dommes, which suggests the level of bad communication remains constant and high. I therefore feel compelled to point people at these posts when they pop-up on my radar.

I think a key point to keep in mind when writing these emails is the professional part of the job description, rather than the dominant bit. Imagine emailing a lawyer or a doctor. The goal is to convey the pertinent information in a concise and readable form. If you can get the professional bit taken care of in a efficient but friendly fashion, it leads to the far more interesting and in person dominant bit.

The only part of Mistress T’s write-up I’d qualify or comment on further is around the idea of sending a tribute or gift as part of the initial discussion. I personally have two approaches on this. If the domme is the kind who does a lot of different things – clips, modelling, custom videos, sessions, etc. – then I think that makes sense. She has lot of possible ways to invest her time and effort that you need to compete with. A gift give you an advantage in that prioritization decision. I think Mistress T herself falls into that category of professionals. On the other hand, if the domme has a more traditional and singular focus on in person sessions, then I’m not sure that’s necessary. I prefer in that case to tip on top of the regular session fee after we’ve played. That is still a gift, but it feels more like a more natural thank you for the time and effort you just invested in our time together.

I’ll finish with a nice shot of Mistress T looking professional in a femme fatale kind of way. She must have had ‘big gun’ as an item on her wish list…

mistresst

Real estate woes

I was sad to read – via this post – that Vinyl Queen was closing her San Francisco studio. I’ve never played with Vinyl Queen herself (a failure on my part), but I have played in her space with Domina Yuki on several occasions. For example, this session took place there. It was a well equipped and well designed studio, located in walking distance of SF’s Union Square / SOMA / Financial district. There aren’t many (any?) of those left, so losing it is a great shame. Strangely, in the last couple of years, I was actually barred from playing there during business hours. Apparently the tech start-up next door didn’t appreciated the screams of noisy masochists. No doubt it interrupted them slapping together the latest random open source software in between foosball sessions.

On the plus side, I was happy to read this part of VQ’s post:

I also want to publicly thank Mistress Yuki for being the best renter a dungeon proprietor could ever ask for.

I’ve always found Mistress Yuki to be an amazing professional to deal with, and I’m happy to see I wasn’t the only one. If you’re in SF then you really can’t go wrong with Vinyl Queen (now playing out of the Black Thorn space) or Domina Yuki.

VQThis is Vinyl Queen with some of the tools of her trade.

Lending a helping hand

This news article on a Hull based dominatrix helping to feed the homeless om Christmas day put a smile on my face for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s obviously a very very nice thing for Hull’s Mistress Dita to have done. From reading the article it’s also not her first efforts in this area, so she’s clearly someone to be applauded. The second thing I like was the way the article itself was written. The word dominatrix was used in much the same way you might say ‘local business owner’ or ‘entrepreneur’. It’s rare for the press to resit the urge to make stupid comments about kink or BDSM or sex work whenever the chance arises. To see it treated with such a neutral tone makes a pleasant change.

Mistress DitaIf you’re looking for a pro-domme in the Hull area of the UK, then Mistres Dita certainly seems like a great person to connect with. Her site isn’t responding to me right now, but her twitter feed is very active and has contact info in it.

Observational bias

Jezebel has a fairly silly article on the increase in young tech workers visiting pro-dommes. Like a lot of similar articles it suffers from the problem of observational bias.

Pro-dommes are often the face of kink, as they’re easy to find and (in some cases) happy to advertise. Unfortunately they’re also expensive to visit. On the West coast that means $200 to $300 per hour, which is a lot for the average household. That means the clientele skews to the well off. And since well off men tend to be older, we end up with the cliche of the middle aged banker or lawyer who needs to blow off steam between doing million dollar deals. Now the booming tech economy in some parts of the US has landed a bunch of cash on a small number of software developers, and we get stories about them visiting pro-dommes. The key issue here isn’t kink or sexuality, it’s opportunity. I’m pretty certain if all pro-dommes universally reduced prices to $10 per hour, we’d be seeing articles on the incredibly variety of different people who visit them.

On the plus side, the article does give me an excuse to feature a photograph of one of the dommes interviewed – the lovely Mistress Morgana of San Francisco.

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Harmonic Oscillation

I’ve a small triangular bruise on my cock. I’m not exactly sure who put it there. It showed up sometime during my weekend in San Francisco, and so was the work of either Domina Yuki or Domina Ai-Li. Whoever created it, the end result is the same, it makes me smile. Most people probably wouldn’t react that way to genital bruising, but I always like to see a temporary reminder of my recent activities.

It was fun to play again. Getting together with two familiar dommes was definitely the right move. My body seemed to mark up more than it usually does, and I had a few pre-session butterflies in my stomach that I don’t normally get, but emotionally I was in a good space. No lengthy negotiation necessary. No chemistry to figure out. Just a sense of a happy place to return to.

I also got to try something new – a suspended bed with a pendulum weight attached to the genitals. You can see the general set-up below and a close-up of the weight arrangement here. It might not be clear from the shots, but that frame that I’m lying down on is hanging on chains and can therefore easily swing. This meant that my entire body would move as Yuki hit me, and that would cause the pendulum below to swing.  The two systems would then interact with each other as they moved, going in and out of phase and pulling me in painful but interesting ways. It felt like being part of a kinky science experiment, although I’m not strictly sure what hypothesis was being tested.

Pendulum1You can see another top down show here which shows some mild red marks from the beating. They would receive some significant additions a few days later from Domina Ai-Li’s whip. We also did some zipper play, which can be seen here. I’ve a video of this, which I may share, just as soon as I can overdub the embarrassing screaming and whimpering noises which somehow seem to have turned up on the audio track. Can’t imagine where they came from.

Slipping on the shackles once more

Regular and observant readers may have spotted that I haven’t written about my own play sessions for a while. I haven’t been hiding anything. Since Lydia retired I haven’t played at all. It’s the longest I’ve gone without getting my kinky itch scratched for many years.

I suspect part of the reason for that is that I’m still partially in denial about Lydia. While I played with other dommes when I traveled, I only ever played with Lydia in my home town. She was always my reference point. Going through the process of finding someone else and seeing them regularly to build that new relationship will be a very clear statement about moving on. At some level I’m still trying to come to terms with that. On an intellectual level that seems pretty crazy, but I’m OK with being a little crazy.

Fortunately, this coming week gives me a chance to dip a toe back into kinky waters, as I’m going to be down in San Francisco. That means a chance to visit Domina Yuki and Domina Ai-Li. I’ve played many times in the past with these two talented dommes (for example see here, here and here) and I’m really looking forward to seeing them again. It’ll give me a chance to relax and play without having to deal with a lot of extra baggage. For doing my first couple of sessions since Lydia, this seemed a great way to go. Hopefully when I return I’ll have my kinky fires lit and will start exploring the Seattle scene more.

I should have the time to keep blogging when I’m on vacation, but posts may be a little more erratic than usual. Apologies in advance for that. In the meantime I’ll leave you with a shot of Domina Yuki and Ai-Li in action

Yuki-AiLi

Negotiating directions

If you’ve never visited a pro-domme you might expect that setting up a first visit involves discussion around interests, activities and compatibility. You’d probably expect basic instructions on cost and session etiquette. And with a good pro-domme all those things do happen. However, what you might be surprised by is the level of detailed instruction you’ll receive on finding the play space. Often it’s a multi-step process like some sort of complicated blackmail pickup scheme. You have to go to a particular street corner, then call a particular number and await further instructions. Alternatively you’ll get a lengthy email detailing exactly where to park, how to approach the building, what to say if questioned and which doors you should and absolutely should not knock on. There’s one SF playspace that had several pages worth of instructions just on how to get in, and apparently I got the cut down version of it!

Although I’m poking fun here, I absolutely get why people do this. I’m sure most pro-dommes live in dread of idiotic clients pissing off their neighbors and attracting the attention of the law. Nobody needs a horny guy in a gimp suit wandering around the alley behind their house clutching a fistful of hundreds and prostrating themselves on random doorsteps.

If you want to know what can happen when neighbors take an unwelcome interest, just take a look at this story featuring Mistress Evilyne. By all accounts she’d done absolutely nothing wrong. The fact people are quoted as “concerned the children might be exposed to something that they shouldn’t see at their age” makes me instantly hate them. There’s nothing that denotes petty small mindedness more than an appeal to think of the children. However, whatever the rights or wrongs, that didn’t stop the press featuring her whiny neighbors in numerous stories, including one from a national paper I hate too much to link to. Happily most of the comments to this instance of the story, including one from Mistress Evilyne herself, suggest a generally unconcerned and broadminded British public.

Mistress EvilyneThe happy image above is taken from Mistress Evilyne’s site. She’s actually featured in a previous post of mine, at a particularly distinctive London location. If you’re in the Orpington region and would like to see her in person, then her site contains all you need to know. Just try not to slam your car door too loudly when you arrive or accidentally corrupt any of the local children.

Just hanging out

While browsing tumblr for a good strap-on picture for yesterday’s post I stumbled on the image below. It’s one of those shots that I love while being baffled by it.

There’s a very attractive lady, but she seems to be relaxing in a urban wasteland. There’s a big black strap-on, but nobody to fuck. There’s high heels and lingerie, next to a barbed wire fence and graffiti clad concrete.

Don’t get me wrong – I like the photograph. I just can’t help thinking about the 10 minutes before the shutter was pressed. How did they get here? And what was the conversation leading up to it? Did they originally set out to capture this particular shot? Did someone stumble across this setting and think to themselves – “Interesting gritty urban space. What would really work here is a half naked blonde lady sporting an enormous black strap-on.” ?

HangingOutThe attractive lady in question here is Mistress Adrienne. As you might guess from the skyline, she’s a NYC based pro-domme. If you’re interested in experience her large strap-on for yourself, you can find her session information here.