Master Tim Coaching

Archive for the ‘The Master’s Voice’ Category

The Master’s Voice #35: Topping from the Bottom

10849879_751172164938494_1102566014208657054_nIf you’ve explored the online BDSM world at all, you’ll most likely have encountered the phrase ‘topping from the bottom’. Depending on the context, this may have been presented as a bad thing (i.e. ‘Try to avoid topping from the bottom’). Most likely you won’t have received an explanation for what this actually means, since it’s one of those concepts that experienced BDSM practitioners seem to assume are universally understood.

Put simply, topping from the bottom is exactly what it sounds like: a sub, slave or other ‘bottom’ controlling what happens during a session, a responsibility which is at least nominally supposed to rest with a dominant.

On one hand, this may seem counter-intuitive. Why would the submissive subject in a scene be the one in control? Isn’t that a contradiction in terms? Looked at another way, however, topping from the bottom is perfectly natural. After all, the bottom is the one who is acted upon during a session – if not an entirely passive participant, they are at the very least the ones who things are done to rather than the one doing things to others. Doms of course have their limits and preferences, but it is unlikely that any typical session will play out in a way where those limits could unexpectedly be violated. A bottom, on the other hand, must always be aware of how close the top is bringing them to their personal line in the sand.

But ‘topping from the bottom’ doesn’t just involve the observance of limits. It carries an implication of control, of manipulating the direction and tone of a session to such a degree that the bottom is essentially calling the shots.

There are certainly cases where this might be irritating – for example, if it had been decided beforehand that the Dom would  control what happens and when, only to find that his or her Sub constantly interjects with last-second requests or alterations to the plan. This could certainly kill the mood for the Dom, particularly if the Sub is asking for things that they aren’t particularly interested in. One of the challenges presented by older or more experienced subs is that they may have developed a shopping list of their favourite activities and will present this to the Dom as a list of Things-to-Do. This often leads little room for the skill, desires or creativity of the Dom and can severely cramp their style.

But imagine the following scenario: a couple, Alice and Bob10358743_10205007187530864_55922349093193382_n (or Andrew and Bob, or Alice and Claire, or…) have been together for ten happy years. Lately, however, Alice has started to realise that she has unfulfilled desires involving submitting to a strong, dominant man – namely, her husband. Bob doesn’t exactly share these fantasies with her, but he’s happy to try out some exploratory BDSM sessions to see where it leads. Spot the potential problem!

Obviously, Bob’s inexperience here is going to be a bigger problem than Alice’s. If she was single, she might seek out an experienced Dom who could guide her through her initial forays into the BDSM world. Even if her broad minded partner were to agree to this, many female submissives feel way too vulnerable about giving themselves to a strange male Dominant. However, in this case, neither Alice nor Bob are interested in an open relationship; if they’re going to do this, it has to be with each other. That means that Bob has suddenly found himself responsible for guiding a BDSM session, something that he has no experience with. If he screws it up, Alice will feel unfulfilled – or, worse, he could accidentally violate her limits, creating a traumatic experience for both of them.

That’s a lot of pressure for an inexperienced Dom! The obvious solution is to have Alice be the one calling the shots during their first few sessions. A healthy amount of role-play will be necessary here, more so than might be the case if Bob was a seasoned veteran. His dominance over Alice will essentially be an act that he plays out for mutual satisfaction; in reality, she’ll be the one controlling what happens, and not just in the sense that she has the power to stop things immediately by using a safe word.

How exactly this will work will depend on how important it is to Alice that they maintain their roles consistently. They may arrange everything in advance down to the smallest detail and agree not to deviate from the plan. Alternatively, they may break character at certain points in the session, with Bob checking in to ensure that things are going smoothly and asking what Alice would like him to do next.

I say that this is ‘role play’ because, in this scenario at least, Alice and Bob are not ‘naturally’ submissive or dominant, respectively. Their relationship will not fundamentally change in any way. Contrast this with a full-time Master/slave or Dom/sub relationship, where the power dynamic is permanent and ‘real’ – that is, not a role that the participants slip into, but rather a natural background state that determines the parameters of their relationship as a whole.

Needless to say, there are hardcore BDSM practitioners who will turn their nose up at Alice and Bob’s arrangement. Bob isn’t really a dominant, they’ll say, and Alice isn’t really submissive. They’re only pretending.

I wouldn’t let this kind of snootiness bother you. For one thing, there will always be people more hardcore than you. If you ‘merely’ roleplay, there’ll be someone who considers their dominant or submissive side to be their real self. If you see a Dom every second week, there’ll be someone who sees one every week. If you mix a BDSM relationship with a vanilla one, there’ll be someone who does it 24 x 7, and so on.

10426202_10203883815079630_2830258561098620362_nThere is no one proper way to do BDSM. Topping from the bottom is not inherently a bad thing, and in fact it may be exactly right for you – it all depends on what kind of relationship you’re in and what kind of desires you want to have fulfilled. Where both parties are complete novices but willing to learn for each other, it may prove useful to seek out an experienced facilitator to act as a mentor in early sessions. You would both set the rules before hand and be there to look out for each other.

If you are in Alice’s situation, or if you’re afraid of the idea of handing over control to a stranger, consider topping from the bottom. It might be exactly what you need to get started.

The Master’s Voice #34: Topping and Hugging

Aftercare following BDSM scenes.

10384729_751981768216021_6251731460965254894_nA great BDSM scene can create intense intense mental, physical and emotional feelings and reactions. We’ve previously looked at the notion of sub-space and how the submissive partner can become detached from reality during a scene. It’s not just the sub who is affected, though. When both the Dom and sub have committed fully to the scene, there will be consequences and these may exhibit as varying levels of physical and/or mental exhaustion. Some on the scene refer to this as the ‘drop’ or ‘sub-drop’. For this reason aftercare is essential in some form. It is my experience that heterosexual couples in general seem to understand this better than gay couples do and of course some of the latter will brush aside the need for aftercare  as a matter of masculine pride but there are real dangers in such behaviour.

Every partner has different needs and they may also vary from one scene to another but it is the responsibility of the Dom to elicit those needs and act on them. Depending on the novelty or intensity of a scene, the sub may end up either exhilarated or traumatised, or more likely somewhere in between. Aftercare also covers a whole range of options from understanding the desire of the sub to be left alone, to a ‘debriefing’ of the scene or mostly just some kind of physical care and comfort.

Some subs do like to be left alone to rest and recover or even to flee the scene. As a gay male Dom I’ve had a lot of experience with straight male subs and some of these find physical aftercare uncomfortable. It should never be forced and indeed as your relationship develops that situation often changes too. Other men have no such hangups and will abandon all conditioning and have no inhibitions about climbing into the arms of a man for a restorative hug. Whichever route the sub chooses it is essential to make sure that they are warm. Body temperature can drop away rapidly after intense play leaving the sub feeling chilly or even shivering after the scene ends.

Some subs simply prefer to be left alone to rest or even to sleep. No ladies it’s not just your husbands who fall asleep straight after sex!

I will use the example of one particular straight bondage sub here. This guy is happy to indulge in very intense rope bondage scenes and his arousal is absolute. As soon as the session ends he will happily lean against me for a few moments vocalising his gratitude. As soon as he starts to stabilise however, his awareness of being naked and vulnerable with another man kicks in and he needs to dress quickly and leave.

For those who do accept aftercare, that can take many forms.10176069_228134444046529_1792754402441162258_n For most people, simple physical contact is  all that’s needed. Hugging, hand holding, stroking, kissing, hair stroking, cuddling, spooning and caressing all have great restorative power. Soothing words may or may not be added. Gentle praise or expressions of gratitude are often enough but if there is a strong emotional bond between both parties, then quiet affirmations of love and affection work well too.

Do not be at all surprised if gentle, considerate and intimate aftercare leads into some kind of vanilla sex. In my experience it is not unusual and even if one or other partner is too exhausted to complete, enjoy it for what it is, a powerful expression of your close bond with each other.

It is another common mistake to think that it is only the sub who needs any aftercare. As the person who has planned and executed the scene, the Dom may be be less mentally drained, though not always. The Dom however may be the one who has expended the most physical energy and may be exhausted at the end of an intense scene. Many are surprised to learn that empathetic Doms can often be hit with ‘Dom drop’ after a session and it may occur hours after or even the next day. This may even manifest itself as a form of guilt for what you did to your sub, even if it was fully consensual. Again, this may be overcome with a simple check in with the sub to reassure yourself that they are still talking to you. Their expression of desire for the next session will go a long way towards reassuring you.

Many Doms advocate a ‘debrief’ as part of the aftercare. I personally am not a fan of this unless the stunned sub has any questions of the “How did you do that?” variety. I find that for most people, discussing the mechanics of the scene in the immediate aftermath is a bit of a passion killer. For me it is similar to the old “How as it for you?” question. I’ve always thought that if you need to ask the question, then you’ve not been paying attention during the scene.

The debrief can take place later, even days later and this brings me to continuing aftercare. Even that sub that flees the scene at the end should not be ignored and I for one always like them to at least send a text to let me know that they’ve got home safely. Follow up can then continue for indefinite periods using your usual methods of communication. One important responsibility for the Dom is to make sure that you never allow a sub to drive themselves home unless they are completely recovered and capable of driving safely. I like to make sure that subs always know how to contact me and that they should contact me whenever they need to.

I have said this many times but every person is different and everyone has different needs. There is no fixed set of rules only guidelines to be adapted to each situation.

Once the hugs and kind words have been delivered I find that most subs respond well to the offer of a hot shower and then that most English of all restoratives, a cup of tea and a biscuit.

The Master’s Voice #33: Time Wasters pt.2 -How To Spot Them and How Not To Be One

After writing the previous post I asked my Alpha slave to add his insights on the subject of time wasters.

I’ve written before about the importance of large online sites like Recon to the gay BDSM scene. I grew up with the internet, so it’s hard for me to imagine a time when finding like-minded practitioners (or, indeed, newbie-friendly information) was more difficult than creating an account on one of the big sites and immediately connecting with any of the hundreds of people online at a given time. I have to imagine that things were a lot more difficult, though.

1378650_445165942256513_2041940144_nBut the convenience of the online world brings its own unique problems. It’s easy for someone to create a profile (or many profiles) which completely misrepresent who they are and what they’re looking for; and no, in the age of Google Image Search, requiring a profile picture does nothing to combat the problem. I was only active on Recon for a short time before meeting Master Tim, but that was long enough for me to run into several people who I suspected of being ‘time wasters’ – that is, people who were more interested in creating an online fantasy than meeting someone and engaging in real-world activity.

The phrase ‘time waster’ is one that you normally see Doms using to describe would-be subs. There’s probably a good reason for that; I suspect that the number of time-wasting subs is probably much higher than the number of time-wasting doms, if only because gaining any sort of reputation as a Dom in the first place requires you to actually do things in the real world. In my admittedly fairly limited experience, I didn’t run across any Doms who I believed to be disingenuous when they said that they wanted to meet.

I suspect that Alpha may have been lucky in his encounters because the feeling I get from other subs is that there are also a good many time wasting Masters out there too! – Mr.T.

The one exception was people who told me that they wanted to meet immediately, when we had exchanged perhaps a handful of messages. Now, I don’t know about you, but in general I don’t rush to meet someone from the internet before I know anything substantial about them. It’s possible that the Doms I’m thinking of were just very enthusiastic, but when someone was ridiculously quick to suggest a meeting it made me think that it probably wouldn’t have happened even if I had agreed to it.

Of course, there’s also a darker possibility, which is that someone who suggests meeting straight away is doing so because they have less than noble intentions. I never met anyone who I thought was up to something shady, but it’s a possibility.

Now to an area where I can speak with more confidence. In browsing the profiles of my fellow subs I began to spot a certain pattern of traits that made me think someone was probably a time-waster. If you’re reading this and are planning on dipping your toe into the world of BDSM, these are things to avoid.

First of all, include a decent amount of information. You see countless profiles along the lines of ‘Hey, just looking for whatever, send me a message’, which isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of your enthusiasm. If you’re trying to catch a Dom’s attention, you need to give the impression that you’re genuinely interested in having them contact you.

I also don’t think it’s a good idea to just include a list of fetishes that you’re interested in, since it says nothing about you or the context in which you might enjoy those things. (Are you looking for a one-off meeting with some, one or all of the items on the list, or are you a slave looking for a long-term Master who also enjoys those things? Are you exclusively a sub? Do you care whether your Dom is exclusively a Dom?)

Speaking of lists, it would probably be a good idea to limit it to things you’ve actually done, or else make it clear if you’re talking about things you’ve done and enjoy versus things you think you’ll enjoy. I lost count of the number of times I saw a profile with a gigantic list of ‘Fetishes I like’, followed by a disclaimer that the person has never done any of them in real life. I get that you like the idea of those fetishes, but any Dom will tell you that fantasy and reality are two different things. (I believe we may have touched on this subject once or twice during this blog series.) Make it clear how much experience you have – and please, don’t lie about it. That will only end badly.

Some sites, like Recon, attempt to make it easy to differentiate between Dom and sub profiles by letting their users specify, with a numerical value, how much they prefer to play each role. If you make use of a system like this, please keep it consistent with what’s in your profile. In other words, don’t say that you’re a dedicated slave looking for a Master and then put ‘80% Dom’ in your profile settings. (Yes, people really do this. No, I don’t understand it either.)

Finally, I’ll give the same advice here about offering to meet as I did for Doms. If a Dom messages you, don’t offer to meet (or, worse, demand that they meet) five minutes later. Rather than making them think you’re enthusiastic, it will just come off as false or rude – or both.

Next time  in Topping and Hugging, I want to explore the the challenges of sub-drop and yes, Dom-drop too!

The Master’s Voice #32: Time wasters and Fantasists

923156_190361927783660_1153390768_nI am in the very fortunate position of not actively looking for new subs but I am regularly contacted by guys online and I will happily engage with them and help or advise when I can. Experience has taught me when someone is worth devoting some time to or not because there are a great many time wasters out there. From a Dom’s point of view time wasters are all too many and I believe, are on the increase.

I am old enough to remember a time before the internet and certainly, pre contact-sites. Contacts then were face-to- face and so there was less opportunity to waste anyone’s time. Online contact now provides way too many opportunities to hide behind a profile and mislead people in all kinds of ways.

In my experience most time wasters fall into one of three types. The first are the people who I think of as fantasists. This can appear as an umbrella group and the fantasies can lend weight to those in the other two groups or they can stand alone. Those other two groups are either the malicious or the non malicious time wasters.

Fantasists 

These can either be Dom or sub. The internet actually fuels fantasy and some people are drawn into what I would call fantasy interactions with people with who they will never meet for real. I have previously discussed some of the outcomes where young/newbie subs create an online profile and ten minutes later they are ‘owned’ by  a Dom they have never met and probably never will meet. This new Dom may live on the other side of the country or even the other side of the world. Hardly a realistic foundation for learning relationship.

To give one example of the fantasy nature of this type of scenario, I was contacted online recently by a Dom based in San Antonio, Texas. I’d had no previous contact with this guy but he knew me by reputation (flattered). He’d recently ‘met’ a sexy sub on a contact site and taken ownership of him. He proposed (not asked!) that I should train the guy for him simply because we lived in the same country. In fact the sub lived in the north east of England, some hundreds of miles away from me. I was then expected to report back to the Texan Dom about the progress of the sub. I soon established that said Dom had never travelled outside his own state and certainly knew nothing of the size or geography of the UK. Further to this he had not read my profile and was surprised when I refused his suggestion. I should point out that this was not an isolated example of this kind of thing.

For many fantasists, contact sites provide them with a kind of personalised porn. They can and do create their own personal stimulation through the contacts they make and develop. Where both parties are there for the same reasons no harm is done. Newbies, however can be very naive about all this and are easily drawn into online interactions which are destined to go nowhere.

Whether fantasist or realist we now need to look at the differences between the malicious and non-malicious time wasters.

Non-malicious

Those I label as non-malicious are those who are often new at the whole thing. Fumbling through the scene and nervous about their interactions, they may give the appearance of leading you on. They may even be drawn into making commitments to meet which they simply do not yet have the confidence to see through. I see Doms in particular, becoming very irate with novice subs who will either procrastinate or simply fail to turn up. Perhaps it is the Dom who needs to recall their own early days or at least to learn from their own experiences and manage their expectations.

In my experience, the application of a little tolerance and patience pays off in the long run. The added bonus is that a novice sub will be eternally grateful to the Dom who gives them space and stays with them patiently through the confidence building stage.

Malicious

Then we come to the malicious time wasters. Unfortunately there are lots of them out there. Be wary, especially with online interactions and commitments.

I have known subs who have established strong online relationships. They will make promises of commitment to serve and tell you that you are the best Dom in the world. Just when you are convinced that you have a great potential sub on your hands, you discover that they’ve made the same commitment to half a dozen other guys too. Of course to add insult to injury, they actually have no intention of meeting anyone.

A couple of years ago I was contacted by a Dom to ask if I knew anything about a particular Canadian sub who had a popular online profile spotlighting pictures of his stunning body. I’d actually been approached by the sub before but had dismissed him as fantasy eye candy. The other Dom however had been taken in by they guy’s promises and bought a plane ticket to Toronto where the sub was to meet him and act as host for a week of BDSM induction. Of course the Dom was left standing at the airport with no sub, no accommodation and completely false contact details.

Yes, this is an extreme case but it was a real one. As for the Dom, it had been an expensive learning experience and as he said himself “there is no fool like an old fool”.

There is no one-size-fit-all answer to dealing with time wasters. It takes time, patience and experience to develop both a thick skin and a sixth sense. It would be all too easy to get so suspicious of everyone that you become paranoid and see nobody at all. Be careful not to close yourself off to great opportunities.

There is a lot to be said for common sense and gut feelings. Ask questions and verify facts. If you have any doubts at all then walk away. For every time waster out there you will find many many eager and genuine people to share fun times with.

The Master’s Voice #31: Public Submission

We’ve looked previously at some of the different ways for a sub to express their submission. One important aspect of  this is how to behave when you are both out in public. Since this is an area which my Aapha slave excels in and we do spend a lot of time out together, I have asked him to contribute the bulk of this post.

On one hand, this is obviously something that will vary from person to person, and what works for you may not work for someone else. In general, however, I think it’s possible to divide submissives into two groups: those for whom submission is a mental state that they enter into for a fixed period of time (usually during a BDSM session of some kind) and those for whom the submissive state is constant – or, at the very least, permanent whenever they are around their Master.

The latter scenario presents one obvious problem: how do you express your submission in public? In the privacy of your or your Master’s home it’s easy to do things like wear a collar, but it isn’t socially acceptable to do such things in public. (Unfortunately!)

Thankfully, all is not lost. There are a myriad ways to subtly express your submission, things that will have meaning for you but will not draw any undue attention from those not in the know. And I think the ‘for you’ is a key point here. There’s no list of submissive expressions approved by the High Council of BDSM. You don’t need to justify your own private code of conduct to anyone else. If it has meaning for you and your Master, then go for it, even if others in the community might scoff at it.

Below I’ll describe some of the ways that I express my submission towards Master Tim when we’re out in public, along with my rationale for each. These might be something you want to emulate, or they might not resonate with you at all. And that’s fine! At the very least, I hope they’ll inspire you to think about public submission and what it means for you.

1) Always walk slightly behind your Master

This is a pretty simple one, but it’s also very easy to observe. Whenever I’m out in public with Master Tim I always try to stay one or two paces behind him and walk to his left. What I like about this is that it’s very subtle, but at the same time is something that you really have to constantly pay attention to if you want to observe it continuously. Because of this, it’s a good way to stay constantly mindful of the submissive dynamic in your relationship.

Obviously, this isn’t something you can do absolutely all the time. (Attempting to keep this up in a busy London train station can be a bit of a logistical nightmare, let me tell you.) How strictly you’re expected to adhere to it (or any of these suggestions) will be something for you to decide with your Master.

Master T. This is something which he does automatically but when in a crowded situation I love watching him self-correct as we keep moving. Also, my husband likes to walk on my left. When the three of us are out together, I sometimes have to stifle a giggle when, out of the corner of my eye, I observe them both good naturedly jostling for that position!

2) Opening doors first

A good exception to the above rule, if you’re following it, would be to step forward to open doors for your Master. Again, it’s something that’s very easy to do, but if you try to do it all the time you’ll realise that it takes quite a bit of vigilance to get right.

3) Carrying things for your Master

This one is a bit of a no-brainer. If you’re out in public with your slave, why should you carry something yourself when they can do it for you? If I’m out with Master Tim and he has something to carry (shopping, a coffee cup at a cafe, a jacket) I’ll always offer to carry it for him.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should grab something out of your Master’s hands as soon as he takes hold of it! Always offer your services to your Master rather than assuming that he wants them. Sometimes he might prefer to carry it himself, or simply not want to load you down with too many things at once. Don’t be pushy!

4) Wear a ‘public’ collar

This one requires a bit more forethought, but has the advantage of being something you can do even if you’re not with your Master. As I said above, wearing a collar in public tends to attract unwanted attention (at the very least, people will think you’re some kind of hipster who’s trying way too hard to be ‘different’), but you can wear something else that stands in for a collar. Traditionally people have used a chain kept in place with a small padlock, but that’s also a bit conspicuous if not worn under your clothing (and could be a bit uncomfortable as well).

Really, you can use anything here – a necklace, a bracelet, even your wedding ring on a chain if your Master also happens to be your husband (or your Mistress your wife, as the case may be). Anything that holds significance for you will work. The main point is that it’s something you should be able to wear all the time. When you put it on in the morning, reflect on what it means to you as a submissive. You’ll know it’s ‘working’ if it helps you do that.

Master Tim’s Footnote.

As alpha has mentioned there are so many ways to discretely show your subservience and with a little ingenuity it is easy to find little ways to respect your Master. A couple which he did not mention but which he still does include waiting until I sit down before he sits or not getting into the car before I do. Also, what I call the Coffee Shop scenario is when we go for a coffee etc. it is his place to do the ordering/collecting even if I am paying. It is important to point out that in just the same way as he takes great pride in these little things, I never take them for granted. If for example we emerge from a crowd or get off a train etc. I am always aware of him moving as quickly as he can to take up his habitual position and that makes me very proud of him too.

The Master’s Voice #29 – Protect Yourself.

BDSM – The Dark Side, Part 2

In the last blog post I described a BDSM world which was apparently10173627_311683172356130_4008303024363836939_n fraught with risk and danger. As with any hazardous endeavor, the right precautions can help you to reduce the risk as close to zero as possible. Let’s take a look at some of the principles and practices which will allow you to construct your very own BDSM hazmat kit.

I have previously mentioned several elements of safe practice. The catch phrase which has been used for some forty years in the BDSM world is Safe, Sane, Consensual (SSC). This remains a good catch-all although in the last five years or so many have started to question the subjective nature of what was considered ‘Safe’. Out of this has grown the use of a new phrase ‘Risk Aware Consensual Kink’ (RACK). Yes, this is possibly more accurate, but since I had always considered ‘Risk Aware’ to be part of what was ‘Safe’ and ‘Sane’ I do not see the need for a big either-or debate here. I sometimes think that the term ‘Happy Sex’ would do me just fine, but I’m being flippant. My point is that the words we use are less important than the actions we take.

As a novice you may not have much experience to call on, but you do have a couple of hard-wired items in your personal armory. First is the ‘gut feeling’. This is not some imaginary thing, but it is a part of your genetic make-up. Our primitive ancestors evolved a part of their brains specifically devoted to survival and which elicits what we call the ‘fight or flight’ response. When your gut tells you something is not right, it is your primitive brain protecting you,  so listen to it. The second level of protection is your own list of values and beliefs. These dictate your personal standards and should be seen as the base line against which you measure the evidence of your senses. Now with your ‘gut’ at the ready and your checklist of personal standards in place, lets go find a sane partner to play with.

You would never make a major purchase like a car or a house without careful research, so why would you put your life in the hands of another without researching them too. These days , most BDSM connections take place online. Just as with online shopping we need a cooling off period and a returns policy, so when we have made a connection we should start the negotiating process. If your potential partner claims to be experienced then ask for references from others whom they have played with.

Most important of all you should have a pre-session meeting in a neutral public place to assess each other in person. During this meeting you should discuss and agree your limits and your safe word.

If anyone refuses any of these steps it should be taken as a red flag and you should walk away without hesitation. With the meeting in particular, be very wary of any last minute changes of plan or venue. Simply cancel the meeting and rearrange it if possible.

So you have met your play mate and you are ready to move on to your first play date. You can still put solid levels of protection in place to ensure your ongoing safety. To my mind, safe-calls are the easiest to arrange and the hardest to get around. Safe-calls can be used in various ways but they need to be set up in advance and they depend on you having in place a reliable friend. Here are a few options:

1. Leave details of your intended play mate and location with your ‘phone-a-friend’.

2. Arrange to call/text when you arrive safely.

3. Arrange to call-text at a given time or after a given period of time.

4. Agree trigger words to be included in any call or text e.g. “he’s interesting” meaning “He’s a complete freak, call the police!” etc.

Telling your play partner that you have taken these steps will lower any risk level considerably.

You should now be ready to have some fun. You’ve done your research, met your playmate, agreed limits and safe words. You will have discussed other warning systems such as traffic light codes, intensity codes and you may even have drawn up a contract. Your gut is calm, the red flags are folded away and your personal standards are upheld.

The ultimate arbiter of the first”S” should be the safe word. Keep it simple. When you are about to pass out, you do not want to be trying to remember if it was “pineapple” or “porcupine” so I suggest you go with your own first name, or even just the word “fire”!

Having mentally arrived at the point where you are ready to play, the next level of safety is the more practical one of safe practices during your various BDSM activities. This is a lengthy topic so I will come back to much of it another time. There is, however, one risk about which very little is said and there can be much surprise and great confusion when it happens. Positional asphyxia can be a scary thing when an apparently healthy sub passes out mid scene. The usual cause is lack of blood flow or of oxygen but although the effects are scary they need not be dangerous once a little education is in place.

I have previously stated that a good Dominant should be fully informed and constantly aware of both the physical and mental well-being of their submissive. If there are any health concerns such as asthma, hypertension, anxiety, circulation or weight problems then tread very carefully when doing any activity involving prolonged restraint. Some activities are more prone to this effect than others and they include:

10426220_1541898796083477_7315032786763590444_n1. Inverted (upside-down) positions or suspensions.

2. Hogtie positions.

3. Upright spread eagle or crucifixion positions.

4. Any positions where  arms are held above shoulder height.

5. Prolonged pressure on torso or rib cage.

6. Prolonged stress on shoulders or torso eg face down with hands tied behind back

Any or all of these can put a great strain on breathing and can leave the body too exhausted to breath effectively. I am a big guy and I am well aware that if my arms were tied behind my back, the strain on my shoulders would prevent my chest from expanding to breath properly.

Some of these positions restrict blood flow and can also lead to fainting.

Rapid reaction to these problems means that they should never escalate to danger levels but I must add one clear work of warning. MONITORING. Even the least risky bondage or restraint can become deadly when left unsupervised. I cannot emphasise this enough. Never leave a restrained sub unsupervised. Never put a sub into any form of restraint without the having knowledge and appropriate tools to get them out of it.

Next time, in the third and final part of our trip to the dark side, I will take a brief look at safety in a whole range of activities and also consider the notion of “pushing limits”.

The Master’s Voice #28: BDSM- The Dark Side.

Over the many months that I’ve been posting these blogs I’ve painted a picture of BDSM as a healthy, stimulating and fun activity. It has been very much my intention to promote the positive side of things. So am I now going to spoil that view? I do hope not, but there is a dark side to BDSM and it would be irresponsible of me not to talk about it. I have also had several questions from readers about what happens when things go wrong and it is time that I replied to them. I will discuss potential risks and then look at how best you can protect yourself from abuse or danger. I will also give some consideration to safe practice both before and during BDSM sessions.

Is BDSM dangerous? My short answer to that is no. Why do I say that?B7dcQffIQAAOCos There is no evidence to indicate that BDSM as a pastime is any more dangerous than any other leisure activity. It is measurably less dangerous than many sporting activities. As in most things it is not the activity itself which is dangerous but more usually the people doing it. The dangerous people are of two very distinct types. First we have the abusers who pose a danger simply because their world is a completely selfish one where they have no respect for their partner’s physical or mental well being. As such, their behaviour may appear more arrogant than assertive, but it is quite likely to manifest itself somewhere along a line from sociopath to psychopath.

Secondly, we have the ignorant. These may simply lack experience but it is with these people that accidents are more likely to occur through lack of knowledge, experience or understanding. This problem can be cured by education and experience but that needs an open mind and a desire to learn. I’ve been a practitioner for forty-five years but I’m still learning. In the early years it’s easy to think that you have become an expert after a few good experiences. Believe me the biggest misunderstanding is that you don’t know what you don’t know.

In the past I’ve been accused of scaremongering over my attitude to safety, usually by arrogant Doms who say that I am making a fuss over nothing because things never go wrong. Well I have news for them. Things can go wrong. Things do go wrong. Yes you should be afraid because like any risky activity undertaken, unless you educate yourself you are putting yourself and your partner in potential danger. What now follows, is an account of some of the things which have gone wrong for real people in real situations. Often the consequences are merely frustrating or embarrassing, sometimes they are painful and just occasionally they are tragic.

In my experience, the most common problems occur during hard cp sessions. I’ve known several subs who have taken severe beatings, canings or floggings far beyond anything they had agreed to. Occasionally this is the result of an over enthusiastic Dominant, but once in a while the Dom administering the beating either loses control or intentionally ignores the agreed safe word. I’ve know subs who have learned a painful lesson and had to walk (slowly!)away from a reckless Dom. Others however have been either physically or mentally scarred by the experience taking months to recover. Some have been so damaged by the betrayal of trust that they choose never again to submit to any Dom.

Possibly the least damaging scenario but apparently no less common complaint is the no-show. This may simply be a case of either a Dom or sub not showing up. It’s not uncommon for fake Doms to lead a sub on with online promises. Worst of all are those who arrange to meet and cause the victim to travel to an incorrect or even non-existent address. The most extreme example that I’ve come across was a Canadian sub who ‘groomed’ a dom who then flew from London to Toronto to spend two weeks with him. Of course on arrival there was nobody to meet him and all the contact details proved to be false. Hard and expensive lesson learned.

10441152_425732350917067_2963202687548291152_nOf course when the address is real that may also be a problem. I have had accounts from two subs in the past who have had to escape from houses where they arrived and felt trapped or threatened. Another young guy arrived at a Dom’s house for a session one Friday night. He was then restrained, drugged and both mentally and sexually abused for forty eight hours before he was released. Luckily he suffered no lasting physical damage but he has never submitted to another man again.

I could recount tails of drug misuse, hot wax burns, severe rope burns, inserted foreign objects, immovable cock rings and pin wheel misuse. There was also the Dom who insisted that he only practiced safe sex but changed his mind once his subs where tightly restrained. Another so called Master on two separate occasions that I know of, left subs to take themselves to hospital with broken arms!

There are just two more activities which I want to mention before completing this sad litany. I suppose they carry some weight with me because both have caused the deaths of subs who were known personally to me.

Bondage and restraint can provide the best of experiences in the hands of a skilled Dom. There are a few simple safety rules which will ensure an absence of risk. I will deal with these in more detail next time. Some years ago however, a well known gay sub on the London scene died when these rules were ignored. First he traveled to America to visit a couple of dominant men but left no details with anyone about where he was going or who he was meeting. It appears that this sub was left in restrictive bondage unattended, overnight. Some time during the night the poor guy choked and was found dead the following morning. The couple panicked and took the body to a remote area and buried it. Cutting a long story short, the guys were eventually caught and charged with the death.

My final warning involves breath play. I will also look in future at the dangers involved with this one but sometime ago I lost a good friend to the activity. The sub was a young guy who choose to experiment alone with nitrous oxide and auto-asphyxiation. The combination was lethal and sadly he also died alone.

That is more than enough doom and gloom for now. I do still maintain as an activity, BDSM is perfectly safe when an ecology of common sense prevails.

Next time, I will go through a list of suggestions for self preservation. I will also look at the really important but seldom considered topic of Positional Asphyxiation. There are many other danger points for the uninitiated and before anyone jumps up and down about these I have not mentioned everything here. I will come back to such things as safe sex, needle play, impact play, scarification, sounding, fisting etc.

Stay safe, share thoughts and above all, have fun!

The Master’s Voice #27: The Benefits of BDSM

Back in February I wrote a blog post on why BDSM might be (or probably is) good for you (Master’s Voice #15). I included a lot of references to academic resources for those curious about the scientific evidence behind the effects of BDSM on mental and physical well-being, so I thought ask my Alpha slave talk a little bit about his own purely anecdotal experience with the benefits of BDSM. What follows are his own words.

If there’s one thing I’ve found myself repeating over and over again throughout this series, it’s that being a slave in a Master/slave relationship is something that I wanted for many years before it became a reality – ever since I was a young teenager, in fact. There are two ways to look at this. One is that I was suffering from some form of psychosexual malady which should have been cured by, I don’t know, a trip to a psychologist. The other is that I was experiencing a relatively normal – if statistically unusual – form of sexual desire, the indulgence of which would be no more harmful than any other set of fantasies involving consenting adults that you care to name.

I suspect that people who argue for the first interpretation would do so on the grounds of the supposed rarity of interest in BDSM. If it was ‘normal’, the argument goes, wouldn’t it be more common?

My first rebuttal to that line of reasoning would be to point out that it confuses normality with frequency. Certain genetic mutations are extremely common, but we don’t say that they represent normal biological functioning because even a casual examination reveals that they are caused by a clear breakdown in normal genetic processes. If you can make the same argument about BDSM, you must have an understanding of human psychology far beyond the rest of the scientific establishment and should probably see about getting yourself a generous grant from a research body.

But I would contend that interest in BDSM is actually far more common than most people think. Sites like Recon have thousand upon thousands of members from all over the world and from all walks of life, meaning that the BDSM illness must be a mental pandemic of the worst kind.

In fact, you can find traces of BDSM in all sorts of unexpected places. Have you ever been in the middle of a TV series, film or novel and suddenly become aware that a part of the story was included only because the author was, er, particularly interested in it? For some reason this used to happen to me constantly with fantasy novels, which tend to include generous (and often out-of-place) examples of bondage, corporal punishment, Master/slave dynamics and many other fetishes, often described in curiously lurid detail. Either these authors are being paid off by Big BDSM, or there’s a widespread enough interest in this kind of thing that major publishers are willing to let it slide because they know that a certain percentage of their readership likes it.

So, interest in BDSM might common, but is it healthy? To answer that question I can only point to my own experience. As I’ve said before, I never had any particular interest in a ‘normal’ relationship. The appeal just wasn’t there for me. I knew for a long time that I would find a Master/slave relationship deeply fulfilling. Should I have just ignored that feeling? Or, worse, should I have gone through the motions with a regular vanilla relationship, knowing all the while that I was essentially faking it?

As a society, we tend to cast indulgence in a certain negative light, particularly if the feeling or desire to be indulged is somehow different to what is practised in ‘normal’ society. It seems to me, however, that absent any reason not to indulge ourselves – in other words, without any clear harmful effect of indulgence – why shouldn’t we do what we want? Certainly, it’s useful to have scientific data suggesting that BDSM has either a neutral or positive effect on its practitioners, but I’m not sure that justification is even needed if the only counter-argument available is ‘I think it’s weird’.

While I’m sure there are people who will argue against BDSM in good faith, in the majority of cases I firmly believe that the negative arguments are based on nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction from people who are uncomfortable imagining a lifestyle that differs too radically from their own. By all means, present a rebuttal if you feel like it, but don’t dignify simplistic prejudice with your time or effort; let them present a compelling reason for why you should defend yourself first. My guess is that you’ll be waiting for a long time.

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.

Page 1 of 41234