Go East, young man

I’m going to be taking a few days vacation in New York. Blogging may therefore become a bit hit and miss until early next week. Apologies in advance for that.

My timing was very fortunate, as I’ve managed to arrange some time with Troy Orleans before she begins her sabbatical / extended break.  This wasn’t entirely down to happenstance. I had some friends dithering about taking a NYC trip around this time, and then when I saw MTO’s post, I decided a firm nudge was needed and got them to commit. So I’m now looking forward to doing some great restaurants and bars with them, and indulging in some kinky fun with Miss Orleans. Other than the horribly early flight I have to catch, I’m looking forward to every minute of it.

Troy Orleans shot by Natasha Gornik

This great bondage shot is of Miss Orleans as taken by the talented Natasha Gornik. I found it in this post on her blog.

Random datapoints

The relative proportions of dominants to submissives, and the splits along the gender lines, are a well debated topic. Not only are the ratios for active kinksters up for question, but there’s also the issue of how many potential kinky people there are, or even what the percentages would look like if society was less screwed up. It’s a topic I’ve commented on in the past.

It’s also a topic that’s horribly lacking in hard data, and I’m afraid I’m not about to fix that problem. However, I did do a small experiment recently that’s related and I thought kind of interesting. The methodology was pretty simple. I went to the CollarMe site, randomly looked at profiles (with the widest possible selection criteria), and counted the proportions I saw. It actually started as some random browing over a coffee, but after a few minutes I got curious about what I was seeing, and started a tally chart. To keep it simple I just counted straight singles who didn’t switch.

The end results, before I got bored counting, were: Male Dominants = 40. Female Submissives = 22. Male Submissives = 23. Female Dominants = 7. Of those 7 female dominants, the number who were pro-dommes = 6. Leaving me with a grand total of 1 non-professional female dominant.

Now that doesn’t tell us anything about the ratios in the real world. It’s just a small sample of the people who choose to advertise on a particular site. But I was interested in how accurately it matched my intuition of what the numbers would be. I expected male dominants to be the largest group, submissives to be fairly evenly split along gender lines, and female dominants to be rare. I just wasn’t expecting them to be that rare. The contrast of 40:1 across the gender divide is striking.

I have to admit it wasn’t always easy to differentiate the professionals from the lifestyle ads. A couple of what I classified as professional ads didn’t mention payment. However, when I see numerous well lit/composed photographs of an attractive lady modelling several different exciting leather outfits, the cynic in me tends to assume she’s a pro. The non-professional dominants are normally dealing with enough dick pic shots as it is, they don’t need to encourage the hairy knuckle brigade.

While I’m on the subject of exciting leather outfits modeled by professionals – and as an aside let’s just admit I’m a genius at subtle segues to my post images – here’s Dominatrix Ella Kros in a rather striking black ensemble.

Ella Kros

If you’re in either Tel-Aviv or London and would like to session with Ella Kros then her contact page is here.

The common man’s guide to bad books

The growing mainstream visibility of BDSM has led to a burst of kinky novels, guides and memoirs. A particularly active niche within this growing category has been the pro-domme autobiography and how-to guide. In theory this should have led to a lot of exciting reading. Anyone who has chatted to an experienced pro-domme will know they have many great stories to go along with their technical skills and insight into the complexities of human sexuality. In reality the results have been pretty mixed, with most books being, shall we say, less-than-great.

The latest contender is The Posh Girls Guide to Play by Alexis Lass aka Domme Dietrich, as featured in this NY Post article and this MF thread. It’s a kind of guide and memoir combo deal. The good news is that it’s not in that less-than-great category. The bad news is that it’s much worse than that. Admittedly I haven’t read the whole thing, but the look inside feature on the Amazon site told me all I needed to know.

I could probably deal with the juvenile writing style that reads like a cross between a teenager’s diary and a Cosmo article. The frequent mentions of her posh upbringing is weird, but I don’t think that would ruin it for me. I could even cope with her crass attempts to tie the whole things into the awful 50 shades trilogy. But some other things are just too annoying to ignore.

You might think that a book by a pro-domme would feature some positive thoughts on female domination. Even if the book covered a variety of gender and D/s combinations, surely the F/m one should be there somewhere, right? Yet no. As far as I can tell (both from the book and her interviews) it automatically defaults to the conventional submissive female role. The only submissive males are laughable clients in the commercial dungeon. Write about female submission by all means, but don’t act like it’s the goddam natural order of the world.

Next on the list of the “You’ve got to be kidding me…” was this gem.

S&M is archaic and rusty term that does not represent all or most popular dominant and submissive roleplay …. [We’ll have] nothing plucked from the psycho torture toy chest. This guide is intended for adventurous, whole and healthy women…

Well fuck you very much lady. A lot of us like a little S and a touch of M. And we don’t appreciate the implication that we’re not whole or healthy because of it. You’re drawing a bunch of arbitrary lines between what’s kinky and cool and what’s weird and deviant. I think I must have missed your nomination as ultimate ruler of acceptable kink. Is it to late for me to vote?

The final gem that almost made me laugh out loud was the guide to who the book is for. Apparently if you answer yes to just one of these questions, then BDSM is for you…

6. My lover and I are fighting too much, and it’s taxing our relationship.
7. I would love to tone down the stress in my life.
8. I am a dominant female and I’m wondering how it would feel to be relieved of control and play a submissive role in a ‘tryout’ play experience.

Yes, that’s right – if your relationship isn’t working out, and you’re fighting a lot, then clearly the best thing to do is to get ropes, gags and whips involved. That applies even if neither of you have any interest in BDSM. Just go ahead and get your kinky freak on. There’s absolutely nothing that could possibly go wrong in that situation. As for (8), I refer you to my earlier comments. Obviously if you’re a dominant female who brought a book by an ex pro-domme expecting some suggestions on female dominance, well more fool you. You probably deserve a good spanking.

Domme Dietrich

The image is the author in question – Domme Dietrich. I might not appreciate her writing, but I have to admit she does look fabulous in a black corset.

Inadvisable advice

Today’s post features an advice column and an inquiry about becoming a dominatrix. It’s kind of an odd letter, with what sounds like a sudden jump from BDSM newbie to professional domination, but I’m going to give the writer the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s been heavily edited. I’m feeling less forgiving about the advice which has two particularly bad statements in it.

…you won’t be good at dominating another person unless you know what it feels like to be on the receiving end. Have you ever been a partner’s true submissive, consenting to bondage, gagging, whipping and verbal abuse? …. You will understand why they do it if you’ve experienced the scope of it.

I would have thought it obvious that BDSM isn’t symmetric. Unless a person is wired to be submissive or masochistic they’re not going to get anything from being on the receiving end. If you’re not into pain and corporal play, then getting whipped isn’t going to be instructive, it’s just going to hurt. That’s not to say a top can’t experiment with sensations and try out some toys, but that’s about understanding the physics and biology of the situation. Not being someone’s ‘true submissive’ (whatever the hell that means). Oddly nobody ever tells submissives that they need to try dominating someone before they can really understand how to play.

You’re effectively creating a complete power exchange. You are stripping a human being of their autonomy, dignity and free will — and physically abusing them on top of it.

This comment annoyed me even more than the first. I certainly do not lose my autonomy or free will when I play. I might temporarily cede control and give up some power, but I always the retain the ability to make my own informed decisions. Submitting does not make someone less than human. And while some types of play deliberately mess with dignity, a lot do not. Personally I’m pretty proud of my scenes and how they’re conducted.

What I think the columnist should have said is – go learn from pro-dommes already out there. Read their blogs. Scan their forums. Go to their conferences. See if you can apprentice with one in your area. By all accounts it’s a tricky job with many pitfalls. Better to learn those from someone else than repeat them all yourself.

Mistress Absolute

The image is of Mistress Absolute, a London based pro-domme. According to this article she shares my thoughts on starting out as a submissive.

There’s a school of thought that says you should start out submissive before you become dominant,” the dominatrix says as students begin to arrive. “That if you don’t know what it feels like, how can you do it to someone else? I don’t follow that thought. I don’t have a set of balls, but I torture balls.”

More shortness of breath

I’m continuing the breathplay theme. This image features Lady Sophia Black and I stumbled across it on Mistress Eleise de Lacy’s twitter feed.

The hands to the face lack the drama and psychological impact of those to the throat, but they still manage to push my buttons. Particularly in these kind of situations where I can look up at a smiling sadist. You can’t see much of this gentleman’s expression, but that one eye does communicate quite a lot of how he’s feeling.

The black leather gloves are also a nice touch. I talked about the impression they can create in one of my very early posts. I’m not a leather fetishist, but the feel and the smell of them when they’re used like this is very emotive. The fact that they’re functional rather than decorative, workmanlike for the business at hand, makes them a lot more exciting.

Breathplay

Are you verified?

The Sliax site recently rolled out a verification scheme for professional BDSM and Tantra providers. I was at first hopefully that this meant that they were hiring submissives be professional BDSM reviewers. Sort of like the Michelin inspectors, but with one to three whips rather than stars. I’m not saying I would have instantly quit my job to tour the world having crazy kinky fun with fabulously skilled women for money, but if I thought it’d be a positive contribution to the community, I could have been talked into it. What can I say? I’m just the kind of guy who wants to help others.

Unfortunately the scheme turned out to be based more on community involvement and history rather than scratching my kinky itches. Once I’d gotten over my disappointment, it struck me that the idea of ‘BDSM verification’ was problematic in itself. After all how do you verify someone’s BDSM skills? It’s not like checking that your accountant has passed their CPA exam. There’s no single set of skills, or common training courses, or guild of professional dominants. Who defines the standards? Would verified mean someone was safe? Or skilled? Or simply that they owned a whip and hadn’t stolen their photographs from Vogue?

Fortunately, while I was puzzling over this, someone with real experience and knowledge got involved in the discussion – Mistress Matisse. You can follow her progress via tweets here, here, here and here. The end result is that they’re going to change it to simply a ‘BDSM professional’ badge rather than one that says ‘Verified’, which sounds a better idea. From my perspective, I doubt it’ll make any difference to who I session with. I’ll still prefer to do my own research. But I can imagine it being useful for people who don’t spend quite as much time on kinky web sites as I do (i.e. the other 99% of pro-domme clients).

The image below is of Mistress Shae, taken during her class entitled “The Hard Fuck- Embracing and mastering the art of the mind fuck.” Perhaps she should issue a scout style merit badge for it – “Verified Mind Fucker.” That’d certainly be an eye catching thing to sew to the side of a domme’s peaked leather cap.

Mistress Shae - "mommy dearest MF"

Gulliver’s Travels

Last week I mentioned a piercing session I’d done with Lydia featuring a fair number of needles. This week I bring you a few photographs from the session. If you’re at all squeamish about piercings or naked gentleman bits, then I’d suggest not clicking on the image links. Both elements feature heavily. On the plus side, there is a sexy picture to finish.

The original plan A for the session was to do a butterfly boarding. We’d done this before, back in 2011, in one of the first sessions I documented. Unfortunately, Lydia couldn’t track down any foam board at short notice. Ever creative, she moved onto a plan B of using my body as the board. Specifically my thighs and stomach. The idea was to pierce through the genitals and then through the torso skin, stitching everything into place with needles. That sounded good in theory, but several painful minutes demonstrated it didn’t work well in practice. The needles tended to pull out too easily. Fortunately, it was a case of third time lucky, as plan C was a striking success. This stuck to using my body as the board, but combined pairs of needles acting as anchor points with cords to stretch everything into place.

This top shot and this side shot show the arrangement pretty clearly. It led to a fascinating headspace, as every small movement pulled at different needles and communicated sensation across my body. Piercing always makes me floaty and the bondage elements of this approach pushed me deeper into that subspace. It also created an interesting feedback loop. Arousal pulled at the needles and, masochist that I am, that made me more aroused, which pulled the needles even more painfully. Lydia always likes to layer sensation, so the nipples also got involved, with cord running from them down via a belly piercing to the top of the cock. You can see the nipple piercing here and a torso view here. That connection across the body brought my breathing into the picture, each breath pulling at the taut cord and signalling down to the needles in their sensitive homes. Very intense but equally stimulating.

I’m always happy and laughing at the end of a scene, but in this case I was particularly amused when it came time to take everything out and I could examine the arrangement more closely. It put me in mind of the famous scene in Gulliver’s travels when he visits Lilliput and gets tied down on the beach. Except instead of Gulliver and ropes there’s my cock and a lot of frayed cords. It’s not really how Swift first imagined it, but possibly my genitals might pull off the role better than Jack Black did.

Given all the naked me in the image links, it feels only fair to finish with someone who’s not only far more photogenic but also responsible for conceiving and executing the scene. This is the wonderful Lydia, taken from her new and excitingly revamped website.

Lady Lydia

A lack of forethought

Today I learned that drinking a lot of rum cocktails is not a wise way to prepare for a scene the next day, no matter how delicious said drinks are. Being hungover and feeling extra delicate really adds an edge to nipple piercing and ball spanking. On the plus side, the rush of endorphins those activities provoke do help ease the symptoms of over indulgence. I can’t sell them as a hangover cure, but they certainly helped take my mind off my aching head.

Fortunately I was playing with Mistress Ai-Li who, expert that she is, worked well around my planning failure. She managed to push me, without provoking any unpleasant reactions, which I’m sure was a result we both desired.

Domina Ai-Li

The image is from Mistress Ai-Li’s website. She’s based in the Bay area should you wish to experience her session skills for yourself.

Understated uniform

Apologies for the lack of posts this weekend. Once again I had plans for stuff to write and, once again, life got in the way. I hate it when that happens.

To start the new week, here’s a nicely composed example of a well worked theme – a dominant lady in a military uniform. This is Lady Stella of Studio Avalon. There are a million shots in this genre floating around, but I like this particular example because it’s quite understated. It’s not a crazy over the top uniform. The camera isn’t shooting from the worms eye viewpoint. And she’s standing on what appears to be a military parade ground. It looks like a great starting point for a serious and intense roleplay.

Lady Stella

So it has come to this…

Shameless attention whoring ahoy! I figure if Ferns can get away with it, why not me?

Rori is once again taking nominations for the best sex bloggers. Last year I was nominated and ended up on the list, as I blogged about at the time. Now obviously as a serious and dedicated sex blog blogger, I’m above such petty popularity contests. It matters to me not one whit should I be nominated or not. My only concern is to bring you, my dear readers, the best femdom based material I can. But it strikes me that getting nominated would encourage more readers to visit. And that would mean more readers to write witty and insightful comments. And that in turn would create a better quality blog for everyone. So I’m really doing it for all of you out there.

Anyone buying that unimpeachable logic, and wanting to help me help you, can do so by leaving a suitable nomination comment on Rori’s site. It’d make me, I mean you, as happy as a Deviant Kade being tied up by a Simone Kross.

Deviant Kade with Simone Kross

The image is originally from the CBT and Ballbusting site. I found it via the Happy BDSM tumblr.