Master Tim Coaching

Posts Tagged ‘BDSM’

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.

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: #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!

Page 1 of 3123