Master Tim Coaching

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The Master’s Voice #26: The Art of Spanking Part 3

So, your eager subject is carefully positioned and warmed up. Agreeing to assume the position was the primary act of submission in this process of build-up; now they have relinquished control and you have seduced them into presenting a sexy target for you to exert your authority over.

What exactly do you do next?

Photo Guide to SpankingLocation

In part 1 I talked about which areas of the rear should be avoided for safety reasons. Now we need to consider areas we should be striking.

The warm-up steps should include areas which you intend to use for the main event. Yes, this may focus on the butt cheeks, but be sure to consider both upper and lower cheeks as well as the thighs. The backs of the thighs are very sensitive, but much better (louder) results will come from slaps to the inner thighs. It is both effective and important that you vary the location as well as the intensity throughout the session.

Delivery

Spanking should begin with a few initial slaps with the hand held rigidly flat to act like a paddle. Then relax your wrist to deliver a slightly different sensation. There is a surprising variety of slaps you can perform, all producing slightly different outcomes on different bottoms.

For example, if you cup your hand slightly you ensure that the entire surface makes contact with the sub’s curved bottom and you will achieve a very loud smack. If your aim is to achieve maximum sting, then try just using your fingers. This delivers a sharper, more instantaneous shock to the blushing bottom and you only need to use a few of these to elicit a great response.

To add further to the intensity, try using an open palm with fingers spread. This has the effect of reducing air resistance between your hand and the target, but it also increases the area of impact.

Of course, you need to pace your delivery with any of these styles. The finger-slapping in particular will leave the spanker in more pain than the spankee after an extended period of time. Speaking of which…

Pace and Intensity

My general advice about pace is to keep it steady, 0e66bc86ca99f2e02cc537182e3b7981with some rhythm to it, but also keep it unpredictable. Less is more, and intensity is not about force.

Begin with slow, steady slaps through the warm-up and early stage. Take care not to extend the period of soft slaps for too long or boredom will set in. As you move into the heavy spanking, you need to break it up with some medium slaps or even massaging or the session will become unsustainable for one or both of you.

I find that a good tactic is to build up and maintain a steady pace for a while and then to suddenly stop. This leaves the subject wondering what you are up to just before you start again with a series of harder slaps. Another approach to the mind-games is to suddenly focus on one butt cheek and then the other. You are asserting your control and dominance by taking away the sub’s ability to predict your actions.

Communication

It is essential to maintain good communication throughout the spanking session. Don’t limit this to two-way communication either. Your eyes and ears should be fully employed listening to the reactions of your subject and watching their body language.

Don’t forget to have a safe word in place, but also use a check-in of some kind, especially if one or both of you are newbies at this. The traffic light method works for many, but I have also employed a more graduated scale of numbers going from 1-10. Here, 1 is hardly felt while 10 is the worst pain ever. This also allows for some measurement of the intense portion of the session, where I would aim to keep within the range of 5-8.

This numbering is quite different from the counting of slaps. Some spankers like to have the spankee count each slap. This can be fun in a ritualised punishment session, but it is more suited to formal CP situations (e.g. caning) and should not be treated as the default for a more fluid spanking session.

Good communication will allow the session to be extended for as long as possible for both participants.

f2e343d9-4fd4-487d-bcbb-9f15c120f063Aftercare

My readers will know that I am a great advocate of good aftercare in all BDSM activities. Spanking sessions are no exception to this, and you need to have your exit strategy in place.

If this has been a formal spanking session which ends with the final slap, then you need to move straight to aftercare. this may begin with comforting strokes or even the application of some cooling lotion to the skin. Some will want to take their bruises away with them as a badge of merit; others may be fitness fanatics who don’t want to display a bruised bum at the gym. Here it may be helpful to rub in some Arnica, which can be a very effective herbal anti-bruising cream.

Hugs and cuddles are important, as is praise for a good session. I prefer to leave any discussion or analysis of the session itself for another time. Offer your sub water to drink as well! If the session was for the delivery of a punishment, now is the time for forgiveness to be gently given.

For many, a spanking session may be part of a longer BDSM session with an expectation of sex to follow. The level of arousal during a spanking session can be extreme. Toward the end of the spanking, the arousal can be intensified with well-placed stroking and/or fingering. At some point late in the session, the spanker may find it useful to keep some lubrication to hand in order to aid the process.

This has been a long three-part series, but I hope it delivers enough detail to give you the confidence to go out and try it for yourself. If you’re an old hand, then I hope it has been a good review of the basics.

Nothing develops skill or improved satisfaction like continued practice, so get out there and start connecting your hand to some bottoms! Let me know how it goes, and I hope you have a spanking good time.

The Master’s Voice #25: The Art of Spanking. Part 2

In part 1 we looked at the background to spanking as anc40f1188c02516aa0a64b41978b6b83a erotic BDSM activity. Now it’s time to deal with some of the practicalities. I’ve identified six stages of any spanking session,  so we’ll go  through each of them in some detail. The choreography of each session means that some of these stages may be quite fluid. Although you need to arrange positions at the start, I prefer to describe the warm up first.

Warm Up

This sets the pace of the session and is essential if you want the most amount of fun with the least amount of damage. A good master is never a bully and can deliver a far greater sense of authority by appearing patient. For me the warm up begins long before you position your subject or deliver the first slap.

The physical part of the warm up builds on what you have achieved with your voice and demeanor. Start by massaging the bottom and then spank it gently until it begins to glow. Pause and massage some more while using your voice to subdue, chastise, or relax the spankee. I sometimes like to combine this with the almost ritualistic disrobing of the sub e.g. massage, spank, remove outerwear, massage, spank, remove underwear, massage, spank, proceed.

The pace and delivery of the warm up has two main objectives. The slow methodical build up combined with the use of your voice will build anticipation in your subject. The second objective is the physical one. The initial gentle spanking increases blood flow to the area you are beating. This serves to cushion the blows so allowing you to spank for longer before discomfort terminates the session. It also serves to reduce the bruising.

Of course a great many of the feelings we generate are the result of changes in body chemistry. The warm up serves to increase the flow of endorphin’s which are the body’s own pain/pleasure hormones. This will increase the arousal felt by the subject.

Posture & Positioning

One of the factors which defines spanking is the almost ritual, sometimes ceremonial positioning of both participants. That’s not to say that you can’t indulge in the occasional spontaneous spanking but the ritualised scenes will bring out the best responses. The position adopted by the spankee can greatly enhance the spanking and amplify the feelings for both participants.

6b8eea61ce87dc21ba893af102f9dfc4Over The Knee

OTK spanking as it is known, is the most commonly employed position for most people. The spanker sits upright on an arm less chair or on the edge of the bed. The spankee is laid face down across the spanker’s lap with their head angled down and away from the spanking arm. The knees should be dropped and tucked under the spanker’s thigh with the bottom angled up towards the spanking arm.

The non spanking arm should be pressed against the back of the head or shoulders and taps from the spanking hand can be used to position the legs as required.

Feet should rest on the floor but the full weight of the spankee should be on the spanker’s lap. Hands can rest on the floor or grip the chair or bed.

I like to reach across and hold the spankees right hip and place my elbow on their back to stop them wriggling off. If their right arm comes up in defense it can be grabbed by the wrist and pulled across the lower back to keep the spankee in place.

Purist will differentiate this over-the-lap style from true OTK spanking. Here a right handed spanker will hold the spankee bent over their left knee while using the right leg to restrain the spankees legs.

Grab Your Ankles8937e2ec32830263036e28909e29e4ba

This style is often used in fantasy sessions such as school-style punishments. For this reason it is quiet likely to be used for paddling or caning sessions so I will deal with it in more detail in a CP blog.

Grab Your Knees

Similar to grab your ankles but better for those who may not be so flexible. The bottom is also better presented and the back can be arched to enhance this. Feet should be shoulder width apart with hands placed on knees or thighs. The ceremonial position should be enforced with the spankee made to lift their head to look at a spot on the wall in front of them. This underlines the feeling of submission whilst serving to arch the back to better present the bottom.

Over The Desk/Table

For school or office-style fantasy play. The subject bends over a desk or table with their chest pressed on to it. Hands reach overhead if possible to grip the opposite edge. The height of the spankee or the length of their legs will determine the position of the bottom for paddling or spanking.

Over Pommel Horse or Bar Stool.

Similar to desk but better presentation of a relaxed bottom since the subjects legs may be hanging loose with their hands gripping the legs of the stool.

Kneeling On A Chair

One of the best positions for presenting a well turned up rump. The spankee kneels on the seat pad and leans over the back of the chair with their thighs in a vertical position. Now the upper body is mostly unsupported and so the back can and should be arched to raise the bottom.

1299a16f43ae569b89d18a8cd4ec50a7Laying on The Bed

This can be a great position offering comfort to the subject who is to receive a lengthy spanking but you need to be aware of its short comings. First of course is that the spanker may not find spanking so easy if they have to lean over the bed. Secondly, in order to present the bottom, it needs to be raised up by placing three or four pillows under the midriff. Another reason for this propping up is the need to prevent clenching. When the body is straight as in standing upright or laying flat and face down, the subject will be able to clench their cheeks together and this will considerably reduce the effects of your slaps. The body of the spankee needs to be bent to some degree to ensure a relaxed and bouncing target.

So now, we have warmed up our subject and positioned them for our pleasure. It is time for the main event. In the third and final part, I will describe the delivery of the spanking and how to pace it for the best effect.

The Master’s Voice #24: The Art of Spanking. Part 1

10954545_756191501128381_8779770636079284321_nWarm Hands, Rosy Cheeks.

Time to start the practicals and get on with the hands-on (sorry!) stuff. Since I started the BDSM journals on here, we’ve posted 23 blogs. Much of the content could be described as general advice for BDSM practitioners and writers. There is still more of that to come, but today with post number 24 I want to start looking at the first of the practical activities. Whether you want to do it, have it done unto you, or to write about it, this is intended to be your KISS guide: Keep It Safe and Simple.

Why do we spank and/or get spanked?

Spanking is probably the single most popular BDSM activity, especially if we extend it to include paddling and flogging. Spanking is also the first and for some the only kinky activity that most people experiment with. Spanking can be used for fun or as a punishment tool and of course those two things are not mutually exclusive. We could talk about the power play and the strong feelings of dominance and submission present in the spanking activity. We could talk about how control and humiliation are powerful aphrodisiacs. Let’s be clear however, whether you are laying your trembling sub across your knee or bending them over the end of the bed or pommel horse, it is hard to ignore the attraction of an upturned arse. I don’t care if you are the hardest leather dom, Master of the Universe – a sexy bum will elicit responses which few can deny.

Much as I want to focus on the fun, you will know by now that I take this stuff seriously and will try to give you the best information to use both as a practitioner or as a writer about to compose a sexy spanking scene. If you are going to start using spanking as part of your BDSM play, there are several points to consider. Once you have mastered the basics, the rest comes with practice – and what fun that is!

First, the anatomy lesson. Yes, you do need this because you want to have the most fun with the least amount of lasting damage. You won’t need a map of body parts since you can learn all you need just by using your eyes and your hands. No-go areas for spanking include the lower back, the coccyx (tail bone), backs of knees and hip bones. Striking any of these areas could cause lasting damage and your sub’s play hate will quickly turn to genuine rage. Finding the tail bone does not have to be a clinical process and can be built into the warm up. If I am about to administer an over-the-knee (OTK) spanking, as a right handed dom, I will run my left hand down the spine until I run out of bone. Every arse is really different but for most people the tip of the coccyx will be at the start of the crack between the sub’s cheeks. I would suggest that novice spankers should then keep their fingers in place on that tail bone as they start to administer the slaps.

You may wonder why, when I’m talking butt stuff, that I now mention genitals. In future I will visit the whole subject of CBT ( cock and ball torture) in some depth, but for now just be careful. When spanking the lower butt or upper thighs, be aware that your sub boy’s balls may be caught and his reaction may be very different from what you intended. If you have a sub girl over your knee you can actually take advantage of her different anatomy. The clitoris being mostly an internal organ is well protected but its position allows you to indulge in a neat trick. If you spank the crease between the arse cheeks and her upper thighs, and you angle the slaps upwards from below, the blows will be felt as vibrations to the clitoris. In the right sensual context some lucky girls can actually orgasm purely from this action.

Before we move to hands-on, there are a couple of other things to consider.

Pain is a very subjective thing. Spanking differs from most other forms of pain play in that it is an impact pain rather than a stress pain. You may be surprised how much of a turn off this may be for some people. I have elsewhere mentioned my big strapping rugby playing sub lad. He can take levels of pain and bodily injury (on the rugby field) that would terrify the average sub. Spanking however is definitely not his thing and tempting though it is to lay into his meaty arse, any attempt to do so instantly reveals his inner wimp.

Of course a dislike of being spanked may have a strong mental element to it. Any master worthy of the label will always keep the mental, emotional and spiritual ecology of his sub in mind and will apply these things before applying his hand. For me, whether using spanking for fun or chastisement, a big part of the thrill is using my voice and actions to build the anticipation to the point where the sub is almost ready to beg for the feel of my hand.

A final word of warning. Even if you are using the spanking10905984_317596745100298_6371709683276573103_n as punishment, NEVER spank in anger. If you do this you are no longer in control and you may not know when enough is enough. To be honest I rarely use spanking as punishment. If a sub is well trained, they will rarely, if ever, need chastising and I would get really frustrated waiting for a chance to spank them. As in many BDSM activities, the participants often need to employ their acting skills. I spank a sub because I can, not because I need to. Even the most intense spankings can still be extremely sensual.

I used the title The Art Of Spanking for this post because there is real skill involved in administering a sound, erotic sensual spanking Like all art forms spanking needs a little knowledge and and a lot of practice. It is only with practical experience that a dom will develop their own style and techniques.

All the best sessions will move through a set of stages and each situation will dictate the importance and choreography of those stages. In Part II I will guide you through each stage in detail starting with positioning and warm up before looking at pace, delivery, intensity and aftercare.

Until then if your hands need warming up or you need a rosy glow to bring some colour to your day, you know what to do.

The Master’s Voice #23: Anticipating Your Master’s Needs.

For this post I am still looking at some of the background to what makes a good slave. I have asked my alpha slave to give his point of view on something which we both think important. This is however an area of the Dom/sub dynamic which many practitioners fail to develop and which many BDSM authors ignore. Let’s see what he has to say:

I think it’s easy to mistake the Master/slave relationship as one rooted in an action/reaction framework – the Master gives an order, the slave responds. Isn’t that what comes to most people’s minds when they consider, fundamentally, what any kind of Dom or sub do that differentiates them from an ordinary couple?

To a certain extent, that is accurate. In a Master/slave relationship, the balance of power rests with the Master, and the easiest way for him to exercise that power is to give orders to the slave. But there comes a point where, ideally, the Master shouldn’t have to give explicit orders to his slave. In fact, the slave should consider it his duty to anticipate what the order would be if given, and react accordingly.

To give a simple example from my own experience, I’ve learned to tell when Master Tim would like me to make him coffee and serve it to him. I would say that I’m right about 90% of the time, to the extent that I could just go and make it without asking him if he’d like it, although I still ask before I do it just to be sure (more on that in a minute).

Considering it from his point of view, isn’t it better to have a slave who can tell intuitively when he wants something like this done for him, rather than having to specifically ask for it each time? It’s both more convenient for him, and is also evidence of a certain level of devotion; it takes time and dedicated effort to get to that stage of accurately predicting what he’ll need before he asks for it.

Of course, it’s also possible to become presumptuous, which is something a slave should never be. That’s why, in the example above, I said that I always ask before making coffee. What if he wants something else instead? Or, as happens occasionally, what if I misjudged what he might want at a particular moment in time? I would consider it a personal failing on my part if I presented him with a fresh mug of coffee, only to be told that he would prefer tea!

I have said in a previous post, that a slave should strive to improve his Master’s life in any way possible. Anticipating your Master’s needs and reacting to them pre-emptively is a great way to do that, and might be another major differentiator between a Dom/sub and Master/slave relationship, but it’s something that takes a lot of time and effort to get right. This is, once again, why it’s so important that a Master and slave are compatible on a personal level before they attempt to jump into an involved relationship. If you find yourself constantly unable to predict what someone wants or needs because you can’t work out how they think, then it’s going to be very difficult for you to be a good slave for them.

I often see fictitious depictions of Master/slave relationships in which the slave gets a thrill out of following his Master’s orders. That’s true to life as well, obviously, but don’t neglect the quiet satisfaction that comes with effectively obeying an unspoken order as well. It might not be quite as exciting to depict as a heavy-handed Master ordering his slave to kneel at his feet, but it will add an extra dimension to the relationship which writers often overlook.

The Master’s Voice #22: The Age Thing.

Few relationship topics polarise personal opinions like ‘the age thing’. In BDSM relationships one often finds large age differentials, and this exposes the same prejudices as any vanilla ‘May to December’ coupling does. For me, the biggest gap is not measured in the years between the individuals, but in the gulf of misunderstanding between the couple and their peers. It is a touchy subject and I (63) was not surprised when I told my Alpha slave (31) what the blog topic would be and he responded with, “I wondered when we would get to that one”.

Stephen-Fry-3There has been much debate in both the hetero and homosexual worlds about loving relationships where there is a significant age differential between the individuals. We have had some very public pairings in recent years and witnessed the mix of hate speech and support which followed. The first Rugby Union player to come out as gay was the very young Sam Spencer (now 27). When he then revealed his much older partner, now fiance Laurence Hicks, both were vilified and labelled. Sam was apparently a gold digger and Lawrence a pervert! We have seen the varied response to the marriage between Stephen Fry (61) and his partner Elliot Spencer (31). I was not surprised to see so many of their detractors focusing on the assumed negative reasons for the choices of both men. For those embarking on such relationships, the age thing is rarely a factor. For those on the outside however, it will bring the most unseemly prejudices bubbling to the surface. Even the stereotypical labels used to describe those individuals go from barely neutral to downright offensive; Cougar, chaser, trophy wife, jail bait and paedo are all examples.

For those couples who ignore the prejudice they find great happiness and riches in their choice but they are well aware of the challenges too.

In the BDSM world such couplings are no less common, and perhaps even more so. Here, alongside all the emotional considerations are some purely practical ones. I still meet prejudice about this and although much of it is the same as in the non-BDSM world, it is very clear that some of it is grounded firmly in that age old human feeling – envy.

The very worst responses to my preference for younger subs has come from young Doms. Most of these come in the form, “I can’t get any decent subs because old guys like you steal them all”. I have had those very words used against me more than once. Of course the answer has to be “Why do you think that is?”

First of all, of course, I do not steal anyone. It is the sub who chooses who they wish to serve. Many will choose Doms close to their own age because they use physical attraction as a primary factor. Most however, in my experience, will choose an older Dom for much more pragmatic reasons. First is that if they are going to submit, they may seek out an older Dom who has the most real experience and the most to teach. Secondly, an older Dom may be seen as generally more settled in his life and more emotionally stable. Finally, BDSM can be an expensive hobby and older Doms are more likely to have a better toy box or at least the means to resource one. Most just say that they feel safer with an older man.

The most crucial failure in understanding is that most people apply the same thinking to BDSM relationships as they do to more vanilla emotional ones. The young sub is usually looking for a Master to serve and a mentor to learn from, not a boyfriend. If they were seeking a life partner they would probably apply a completely different set of criteria and seek out a mate closer to their own age and style.

I have spoken previously about the sense of loss that a Dom can feel when a sub that he has trained, ‘used’, and loved leaves him. In my experience this has usually been because they have met a ‘mate’ and when that happens allegiances change. Then I can only wish for them all the same happiness that I have experienced with my husband, who, as it happens, is slightly older than me.

So why do I prefer to take on younger subs? The explanation is simple. Young subs may be inexperienced but they will be eager, enthusiastic, open to new experiences and, importantly for me, they bring little baggage with them. By this I mean that they will not have picked up too many bad habits either from another’s training, or simply from too much freelancing.

Older, experienced subs can be great but often the they come with their own agenda. They will have their own menu of things that they expect to happen in a session. What should happen, where, how and when are all dictated while they attempt to ‘lead from the bottom’. For me their minds are now closed to true service or submission and of no use to a creative Dom.

Do I go for younger subs because I only find young men attractive? Many around me like to joke about it but when they look closer they soon see the truth of it. Yes I like to take on young good looking guys, but now some of my most loyal and long serving subs are now well into their forties . They are still good looking but we have aged together. Some have been regular visitors for the last fifteen years or more and they are the most amazing subs. There are no secrets and they can now anticipate my needs as readily as I can fulfill theirs. I get huge satisfaction from those who go off to start new episodes in their lives; lovers, wives, children, careers, only to find them on my doorstep again years later because they have missed their Master.

To those young Doms out there who hate me because they think that the sexy young subs should be serving them rather than me, just hang in there. My advice would be not to give up but maybe to apprentice yourself to an older Master. That way you get the best of all worlds because you can learn from his experience, you also get access to his toy box and probably his sexy subs too!

I could probably write a whole book on this topic but that’s not what a blog post is meant to be. Instead I am going to leave you with a set of points for further thought and discussion. Don’t be surprised if they contradict because of course the only rule is that there are no rules.

  • Being a young Dom is frustrating. You need credibility but it is hard to get experience. Don’t give up, it really 5685c47488dcd639f1f62b2bfb49c6d5does get better.
  • Age is a fluid thing. Young subs become old subs.
  • Old subs invariably can end up with fewer choices.
  • Culture can play a big part in how the age thing is viewed. Go look up hypergamy.
  • The biological imperative. I have mentioned this before. Younger women traditionally seek men who can provide the resources necessary for the survival of the family. Men seek younger women who will give birth to the healthiest babies.
  • In Ancient Greece young boys often partnered older men as lovers and pupils and yet long term homosexual relationships were frowned upon.
  • There are many varieties of BDSM/Kink where the age thing is important e.g. Daddy/boy, Bear/cub, AB (adult baby), handler/pup etc.
  • Young Doms can be real naturals.
  • Some young Doms like older subs.
  • An older sub can teach a young Dom.
  • Some older subs like to serve young Doms.
  • Some people are hot and sexy at any age.
  • Age really is just a number.
  • There is somebody out there for everyone.
  • The term boi often replaces the word boy in BDSM play.
  • Your values and beliefs are yours. Do not assume that they are the same for others.
  • Love is ageless.
  • Arrogance cannot replace experience.
  • Learn from the best that you can find.
  • Be the best that you can be.

I will leave the final word to Grandma Alice in my novel Bear Among the Books. Upon meeting her grandsons much older boyfriend, she reminds him that when it comes to love “The heart shows no wrinkles”

The Master’s Voice: #21 The View from the Top, Pt. 2

Domination and Submission, the Paradox.

IMG_9443I was tempted to write a quite academic blog post describing the findings of various studies into the whole BDSM scene. A good friend then pointed out that although this would be of interest to one or two of my readers, the remainder would be running for the hills at the first sign of an academic citation! I shall compromise. Part two of my look at ‘The View From the Top’ will be a visit to the findings of those researchers without the need for citations. If anyone is interested I will be happy to provide details of relevant source materials.

In part one we looked at the ideas and variations around the concept of ‘tops’ and ‘bottoms’. There are paradoxes within the perceived wisdom. Why is the sub or bottom, often thought of as the strong one? Why does a bottom submit and allow themselves to be humiliated or even emasculated? Surely the flight/fight response should engage but true bottoms will actually seek this out rather than flee from it. Finally,why is it that so many subs are in “real life” highly intelligent, responsible and even controlling people? This would appear to be at odds with their chosen sexual/BDSM role.

The reason and explanation for most of these paradoxical behaviors will come as no surprise to most practitioners. The very best BDSM behaviors may be a big turn on sexually, but they are not really sexual activities. They are in fact psychological interactions.

The most basic explanation for this is down to the way our brains are wired. We are one of several mammal species which appear to be pre-wired with sub-cortical circuits for both sexual dominance and for submission. Crucially, both circuits are also wired into the pleasure/reward centers of the brain. Many studies have catalogued such behaviors in primates, especially Bonobo chimps. We may more readily see every day manifestations  in dogs. Just think of the apparently perverse and futile behaviour of female dogs mounting other females, or even human legs! Its all down to the sexual dominance circuitry.

Men are generally  assumed to programmed with both biologically and socially dominant sexual firmware. Why then is there so much evidence from the world of online porn which appears to contradict these desires. Many gay men seem to get off on viewing submissive porn where the subject is being humiliated, degraded and “abused”. It could be argued that the dominant men are simply watching things that they would like to be doing to a sexy sub. How then do we explain the fact that heterosexual men are also viewing sites where it is female doms who are abusing submissive men? In fact the evidence suggests that sites depicting straight male submissives are slightly more popular with men than sites focusing on male dominance.

Of course such sites feed our fantasies. It may simply be that what we watch is a million miles away from anything we would actually do and that in itself is sufficient reason.

Some researchers however, have an answer based in neuroscience. They believe that these viewers are tapping into their female submissive firmware circuits which are also wired to their brain’s pleasure/reward centers.

Once we start to examine actual participation in BDSM activities the paradox can be no less confusing. To the outside world, the terms can seem to describe a strange, harsh, or even violent sexual activity. It is often assumed that the scene is all about torture and the giving and receiving of pain resulting from the assertive or aggressive use of power by one person over another. Of course if you believe that, it would be a very short hop to accepting sex of a non-consensual or even dubiously consensual nature.

In reality nothing could be further form the truth. In practice, most BDSM activity is in fact a cooperative and wholly consensual behaviour. Not only is it usually a mutually gratifying experience but it is one on which the submissive willing transfers power over them to a dom whom they trust and respect. For this reason the power exchange is often referred to as “the gift”.

Another surprise for most outsiders is that although many still think of BDSM as a sexual activity, it is not all about the orgasm. Yes, for many, a scene ends with the orgasm. For others that may happen after the scene has ended. I have previously considered the possibility of aftercare sex. For most players however it is the scene itself which generates the erotic psychological high.

For me the strongest evidence for this is the number of straight men who submit to gay Doms for BDSM play. They will seek out Doms who understand the psychological desire and among the limits they set may be a ‘no sex’ rule. Trust is essential for this to work and once that is established the sub maintains ultimate control by way of the safe word. When experienced Doms and subs play together the sub may still display some nervousness but because they still retain control over the scene they should never need to become anxious about the activity.

Anyone who thinks that the Dom has an easy time of it just letting themselves loose on some willing submissive, really does not understand the dynamic. In any good play scene, the Dom is under considerable pressure. First of all the sub needs to be assessed and activities agreed before the scene. Then the Dom must constantly monitor the sub and endeavor to satisfy both parties. Of course you may wish to explore and over time, push limits, but that is always done with an eye on the state of the sub. Only a combination of learning and experience can produce a Dom who will achieve all this and recognise when the sub is approaching their limits.

All this can lead you to think that the sub is the one with ultimate control.IMG_9325 You might wonder what the Dom gets out of it. I like to use an analogy from the world of music. The Dom is the musician and the sub is the instrument. The best music making occurs when the player knows his instrument and his craft intimately. He then pushes the instrument to its limits without breaking it. For me if the sub has to use the safe word then I have failed. If my sub ends up elated, sated, exhausted, but willing to come back for more, then I have maintained control and the View From the Top is supremely satisfying.

The Master’s Voice #20: A view from the top Pt.1

Although there are still quite a few new topics waiting in the wings for this blog series, it has always been my intention to interact with my readers and to respond to their needs. Each posting seems to generate a good deal of feedback and many very good questions. Recent postings have led to some great comments and questions about the sexual dynamics of so called ‘tops’ and ‘bottoms’ so now seems to be a good time to address the issue.

First of all comes my usual disclaimer that there are no rules. Every person is different. Every couple has their own dynamic and yet, within that context, there are a lot of assumptions made. There is however a perceived wisdom and a set of generalisations that most people accept as true:

  • Being Dom usually means being ‘top’.
  • Being sub usually means being ‘bottom’.
  • Top and bottom usually refer to a persons role in penetrative sex.
  • In gay male sex the top is usually referred to as ‘active’
  • In gay male sex the bottom is usually referred to as ‘passive’.
  • Switching between roles is often referred to as being ‘versatile’.
  • Versatile players are often referred to as ‘switches’.
  • Some switches measure their versatility in terms of a percentage top or bottom.
  • e.g. 90% Top means mostly top but will “bottom for the right partner”.
  • Completely versatile switches use the term ’50/50′
  • Not all couples like or engage in penetrative sex
  • Terms such as ‘domination’, ‘control’ and ‘power exchange’ are also used in this context.
  • In gay BDSM scenes the Dom/Master is usually top/active.
  • In gay BDSM scenes the sub/slave is usually bottom/submissive.
  • In heterosexual BDSM scenes, Male doms are almost always top/active.
  • In heterosexual BDSM scenes, Female doms (dominatrixes) are often bottoms sexually.
  • In heterosexual BDSM scenes, Female doms will often use sex toys including strap-on dildos to allow them to take on the top/active role in penetrative sex.

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list but there should now be enough options for your fertile minds to start filling in any gaps. Just make sure that you also factor in other gender options such as lesbian and transexual or non-binary couplings and also group dynamics such as bi-sexual threesomes (m/m/m, f/f/f, m/m/f or f/f/m). Nor should you forget that BDSM can be an asexual activity too. Possibly the newest classification to cross my radar is MSM/NGI. Any ideas? Well it’s one which I will personally confirm as very much on the increase – Men having Sex with Men/Not Gay Identified.

For those of you who are BDSM practitioners, much of this list will have little relevance where it strays beyond your own needs, experience or curiosity. For my writing colleagues however, I’ve just delivered a whole menu of potential new fictional interactions with endless possibilities for fun and/or drama.

For some people these choices and options can be difficult to comprehend. As an example, let me quote from one dear reader who wrote a well thought out response to a recent blog post:

I guess I am slightly confused because whether you read fact or fiction about the BDSM lifestyle you are “taught” that submissives/slaves are to be respected because they are so strong and giving and trusting etc. Point being they are the strong ones but if that is so isn’t it like Master Tim said, throwing stones while in a glass house, to saying that Dominant men don’t bottom because it is considered weak/less male/not done because men in control don’t get a dick shoved up their butt?

Actually I thought this particular reader was less confused than they claimed to be. It is true that subs are strong. It is also true that most male doms refuse to bottom because they think it somehow weaker or less masculine.

A good friend of mine was once being teased by his straight workmates along the lines that he was less of a man they were because he admitted to being a bottom. They all got very uncomfortable however, when he suggested that very few of them would be strong enough or man enough to “take one up the bum” without running to their mothers in tears.

There are cultural differences involved here too. In the UK for example, it is my experience that British men are much more polarised about their sexual preferences. Others, such as Americans, tend to be far more flexible and versatile without challenging their masculinity. For those of you who are writing about these things, it often leads to transatlantic confusion. One big difference for example is that European doms see the activity known as ‘rimming’ (look it up) as being something being done by the sub or bottom as a sign of submission to the dom. Many American tops however see rimming as something that they do to the bottom prior to penetrating him.

Many subs prefer to engage only with doms who are 100% top. For them it is essential to be able to think of their dom as an exclusively dominant, top, active, sexual partner.

Attitude, self confidence and even arrogance all have a part to play in these choices. Before I leave you, lets look at one more set of options.

Some guys do change sides for various reasons and tops may become bottoms or vice versa as a life choice. This also leads to the thorny question of experience. We often see or hear it said that the best doms or tops, have at least spent some time experiencing the role of a sub or a bottom. This is where many doms get very flustered and defensive claiming that it is not true. This premise appears damaging to their status and should be denied at all costs. It is true that many great doms have never experienced life as a sub or bottom. Of those who have at some point broaden their experience however, I have yet to meet one who denies that it made them a better dom.

Next time : Today has been all about sweeping generalisations and it would be foolish of me to put them out there as pure opinion. In Part 2, I will explore some of the studies which have been done around ideas of power exchange and the roles of dominance and submission.

The Master’s Voice: #19 Some Thoughts on BDSM in Fiction

I have previously touched on a point that many readers of my stories have made; that, for obvious reasons, my characters and scenarios tend to depict a more accurate representation of the BDSM lifestyle than you generally see in works of fiction. (Actually, before I go any further I should say that this isn’t a knock against people who write about BDSM without having ‘lived’ it; only that someone with decades of experience is obvious going to be able to write about it more truthfully than someone with none.) My Alpha slave and I have discussed this at some length and so I asked him to write about it here:

I think it’s safe to say that most examples of BDSM in novels, TV shows and films come from an outsiders perspective. I’m sure you’ve seen a scenario like this a dozen times in crime dramas: the detective digs into a victim’s past, only to discover that – gasp – they were into being tied up on Friday nights. Cue a scene in which the bewildered main characters, the audience surrogates, nervously entered a darkened BDSM club – or, if the writers are feeling particularly titillating, a ‘sex dungeon’. (What exactly is the difference between a ‘BDSM dungeon’ and a ‘sex dungeon’, anyway? Discuss in the comments!)

Clearly the intent here is to shock, although real-life BDSM gatherings are probably a bit too explicit to feature on daytime TV. The writers of these shows assume that the mere fact of some kind of kinky sex will be enough to surprise their audiences. They’re not writing a documentary, so why bother doing any research?

But unfamiliarity with real-life BDSM practices can create other problems than just shallow representation. I’ve noticed a trend in fiction about BDSM for Dom/sub relationships to evolve in one of three scenarios, none of which are entirely accurate. Because I’m mildly obsessed with over-analyzing creative works, I thought I’d briefly go through each of them on this blog. This is not meant to the definitive guide to fictional BDSM, but rather some random thoughts that I’ve been wanting to put some structure on for a while now. Feel free to suggest additions if you have any.

1. The Surprise Fetish

This one comes up a lot in BDSM erotica. Character A is coasting through life having decent-but-unsatisfying vanilla sex, when suddenly they run into Character B, a Dom of some description. One things leads to another, and pretty soon Character A is incapable of having an orgasm without being tied upside-down and blindfolded.

You might argue that this kind of thing can happen in real life, and you’d be right! I’m sure lots of people only discover that they have a particular fetish after stumbling across it (or someone who’s into it) an realizing that it turns them on. Where this scenario loses me, however, is when Character A goes from having no interest in BDSM whatsoever (or, in many cases, even knowing it exists) to enthusiastically engaging in a full-blown, 24×7 Master/slave relationship with Character B.

The reason why I’m always incredulous when this comes up is that people who desire that kind of relationship have almost always known it for a long time. It’s not at all uncommon to hear people say that they had fantasized about submitting to a Master (or Mastering a slave) since they were far too young to know that there was necessarily anything sexual about it. It was a strong interest, that’s all, and over time it grew into something more.

Is it possible that someone could desire a Master/slave relationship without realizing it? Certainly, but I suspect that most people who write stories this way do it out of expediency or because they don’t know anyone who has done it in real life.

2. “That’s okay, I’ll turn you into a sub!”

This one is closely related to the previous trope, except instead of realizing that they’re into BDSM, Character A is more-or-less coerced into engaging in it by Character B. Common methods used to skirt the obvious consent red flags this raises usually involve giving Character B psychic powers, of the ‘I can tell you’re really into this even though you’re not’ variety.

There’s a scene in Fifty Shades of Grey (you didn’t think we’d get through this series without mentioning it at least once, did you?) where Mr. Grey tells the main character that he wants to show her his ‘play room’. She naively assumes that he’s talking about a room where he plays his XBox. Instead of telling her that he’s doing to bring her into his BDSM dungeon (or sex dungeon, I forget which), he just leads her downstairs and more-or-less orders her to walk into a mysterious room whose function he won’t elaborate upon.

Even if you don’t think it’s a bit skeevy to bring someone into a playroom even though they have no idea what a playroom is, it’s worth keeping in mind that this is his way of starting what’s-her-name down the path of becoming his full-time submissive. Does he ask her outright if she’s ever been interested in BDSM? Does he say ‘I’m super into bondage, want to see?’ Of course not, because he can divine the inner workings of her mind, which means that he knows exactly how she’ll react to seeing his leather bed and whips and whatever else E.L. James found on Google Image Search when she typed in ‘BDSM toys’.

(You may have gathered by now that I’m not a huge fan of that book.)

The point I’m making here is that you can’t turn someone into a submissive against their will, and attempting to do so in real life would count as sexual harassment at the very least. By all means, write about character awakening to their previously-unknown interest in BDSM; just try to do so in a way that doesn’t make Character B look ten different kinds of creepy.

3. Glorious BDSM Utopia

In real life the chances of a mysterious billionaire funding the creation of a private society built around Master/slave relationships is vanishingly small, but that doesn’t stop writers from using it as a setting.

All right, so this one clearly isn’t meant to be taken seriously, and the appeal is obvious: since it isn’t possible to live out a Master/slave relationship ‘full time’ in the real world, why not create a separate, isolated society where everyone is in on the secret? I think this speaks to the fact that everyone who lives the BDSM lifestyle has to hide it to a certain extent. Fiction is a place to depict your idealised world, so why not go all-out with it?

Master Tim writes: That final paragraph made me chuckle since Alpha and I are currently co-writing a novel in which some very rich and powerful men do indeed fund a private global organisation based on D/s members. Watch out for ‘Trust and Devotion’ coming soon!

The Master’s Voice #18: Munches, Fairs and Discovery Nights

In the last post my alpha slave introduced the idea of some options for meeting offline. Today I’m going to expand on that and discuss some important points of etiquette relating to these events.

For many novices, even though spending hours online ‘researching BDSM’ is well within their comfort zones, the idea of actually going that one step further and arranging to meet a real Dom can be terrifying. There are lots of easy alternatives and among the most widespread and popular of these are the informal social gatherings known as munches. There are believed to be in excess of 100 of these throughout the UK alone. Often they are social gatherings in pubs, wine bars or coffee shops and are usually advertised through social media. These are truly welcoming affairs and even those which take place in gay pubs and clubs will set aside a room to welcome attendees of all genders and sexualities. Most of the UK munches are trans tolerant, but some are aimed at specific groups – e.g. men only, women only, under 30’s etc. so it is wise to check in advance. A more recent development is the greater awareness and acceptance of polyamory so be prepared to find multiple partnered groups well represented here.

Most munches discourage overt BDSM behaviours because they meet in public, although depending on the venue, many attendees will dress-up for the occasion even if only to wear a leather collar or locked chain. For more background information do look up the Wikipedia article on munches.

Another development over the past 15-16 years in the UK has been the Fetish Fair. Aside from occasional one-off fairs there are three large regular monthly fairs starting with the London Alternative fair on the first Sunday of every month, the London Fetish Fair on the second Sunday monthly; possibly the largest is Birmingham’s Bizarre Bazaar on the third Sunday of the month. These events have bars and cafes and there are many fetish suppliers and trades stands as well as workshops and demonstrations throughout the day. These are of course very sociable events but they are also about educating and informing BDSM novices in a safe informal setting – especially with regard to safety and best practice.

More specific to the gay community there are both regular and less regular BDSM, leather and fetish nights all over the place including the now regular London Fetish week every summer. None are as fixed in the diary as the monthly ‘Discovery Nights’ organised by SMGays for the last 33 years and hosted at the Bloc South club in London on the third Thursday of every month. The aim of SMGays is to encourage safe and lawful SM practices through sharing of information among people with similar interests. The atmosphere is friendly and informal with a team of skilled volunteers running workshops or demonstrations relevant to each of the monthly themes. Attendees can watch or participate safely to get a taste of what they want. I have personally been a regular demonstrator at these events and would certainly recommend it for novices wanting to gain both knowledge and experience in a wide variety of BDSM activities. Incidentally, I’m also fortunate enough to be the Dungeon Master of SMGays, so my recommendation is based on considerable experience with them!

(A note here to my fellow authors. At the start of my novel ‘Taking The Gardener’ I wrote a scene in which my principle character goes to a Discovery Night and takes a shine to a sexy lad in a bondage demo. He meets an eager young sub who he then goes home with for a night of horny fun. My very first negative review chose to focus on that scene and pointed out that since such places could not possibly exist and that I was clearly a fantasist. I was taken aback not so much by the ignorance, but the arrogance of of the reviewer. Not only had I described an actual SMGays bondage night but even the sub (Kevin) was real. I agreed to meet him at the club for the first time and brought him home afterwards. Of course, I did not respond to the reviewer but I did enjoy a moment of righteous indignation over it.)

It is important here to consider some points of etiquette regarding these ‘public’ events. Many places and events will have their own rules listed clearly but most follow an accepted etiquette based on common sense, good manners, discretion and safety.

1. No Photography. As a general rule this ensures discretion for those participating. Occasionally a sub in a demo might ask the Dom to take a picture as a memento but that is between them only.

2. Do not touch: Never touch people or toys without permission. Remember that the submissive in any scene may be ‘owned’ by the Dom and is therefore not yours to touch without permission. Alternatively they may be a complete novice who has taken a huge step in submitting for the first time. Being groped by a complete stranger during the scene may put them off completely. Of course if humiliation is part of the activity, the Dom may allow or even encourage touching, but he must always have the last word.

3. Respect diversity: If we cannot respect each others various kinks  then how can we expect wider acceptance?  Never disrespect others or criticise them. If you want to have a giggle about the big butch construction worker dressed in work boots, hard hat, utility belt and pink lace panties, then do it in the car on the way home. While he is standing in front of you at the bar be sure to manage your eyebrows!

4. Never interfere with a scene: If you don’t like what you see then move on to something else. If you have any concerns, ask an event organiser or monitor. Remember everything I’ve previously mentioned about negotiations and respecting limits. Stop words still apply here and NO always means NO!

For a good guide to best practice do take a look at the London Munch website. That and other links are listed below. Go and explore, visit and have fun.

www.londonmunch.co.uk

www.manchestermunch.com

www.findamunch.com

www.londonalternativemarket.com

www.londonfetishfair.co.uk

www.brumbazaar.co.uk

www.smgays.org

My thanks to GymHarry again for the sexy image.

The Master’s Voice #17: The wider BDSM World

It’s time to look at BDSM in the context of the big wide world out there. This post is a two-parter and I asked my alpha slave to give us his thoughts for this first part and next time I will explore some of the other options out there for all you seekers of knowledge, skills and fun.

So far every post in this series has focused either on abstract concepts (the meaning of submission/slavery, what to look for in a dominant) or else accounts of my life as a slave with Master Tim. Today I want to widen the scope a bit by talking about the wider BDSM world, both offline and on the internet.

It’s entirely possible that you’ve begun to explore the world of submission without ever encountering some of the standard online meeting places. For the most part, they’re just dating profile sites geared specifically towards people looking for some kind of dominant-submissive relationship. Recon, probably the best-known site for this kind of thing, lets you set whether you’re more dominant or submissive (‘active’ or ‘passive’ in the site’s lingo) in your profile settings, something you’re unlikely to see on OKCupid.

Needless to say, the images people put on their profiles tend to be a bit different to what you see on ‘normal’ dating sites. Expect depictions of the full range of BDSM fetishes, some of them quite explicit, as well as a lot of partial nudity. This is very much a NSFW site we’re dealing with here!

Having said all that, I’d like to dispel the notion that the online BDSM world is wall-to-wall porn and, for lack of a better term, ‘perversion’. There’s a tendency for the media to treat kink-related gathering places as vortexes of weirdness into which innocent people might become accidentally drawn, never to return to the safe world of straight vanilla sex. In reality, a lot of interactions on Recon boil down to requests for meet-ups or fantasy-fueling discussion of specific fetishes. I’ve never actually been on a traditional dating site, but I imagine they’re not too different to Recon.

If Recon is the (gay) BDSM equivalent of a dating site, then SMGays is probably analogous to a club where most of the clientele are there to hook up with someone for the night. SMGays is a London based organisation which seeks to educate people about the world of BDSM. The organizers run themed ‘Discovery Nights’  focussing on different aspects of BDSM and cater primarily to people with little or no previous experience in a particular fetish or subculture. As a newbie-friendly environment, they tend to be very welcoming. You can show up to take part in a demonstration or just stand on the sidelines and watch, which I would probably advise doing if it’s your first time.

Having been to SMGays a few times now, I’d say the media’s depiction of a real-life BDSM gathering is actually too tame, probably because you can’t show explicit sex acts on TV. Here, in no particular order, is a list of things I saw or experienced during my first trip to a gay BDSM club:

  • People dressed in everything from full leather gear to almost nothing at all.
  • A sex sling (which was in use at the time).
  • A St. Andrew’s Cross (also in use – Google it at home if you don’t know what that is).
  • A guy in a vacuum bed (again, Google it at home if you don’t know what that is).
  • Doms leading collared submissives around with leashes, one of whom decided to feel me up from behind even though I was clearly there with Master Tim. I politely rebuffed him!
  • Spanking (heard rather than seen, but the sound is fairly hard to mistake).

And so on. If anything, many fiction writers actually don’t go far enough when they decide to depict BDSM gatherings with no real-life experience. If you can imagine it happening between consenting adults, chances are it’s going on somewhere in a city near you!

There is one thing I want to stress, though, which is that the people you’ll meet at an event like SMGays are, for the most part, perfectly ordinary. There isn’t a separate class of weird people who engage in kinky behavior 24/7; rather, there are normal people who just happen to be interested in unusual things. BDSM is a huge leveller of class and almost every other type of differential you might think of. For all you know, the bland office worker behind you in the line in Starbucks might have been enjoying all kinds of fetish activities the night before!

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