Master Tim Coaching

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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 #8: Tie Me. Tease Me.

The main body of today’s post will take the form of an interview with a sexy guy who has served me as a bondage sub for many years now. This allows me to introduce two new topics to the series and I will be expanding on both of them in the future. First is the fun to be had with bondage and bondage subs. The second is the hot topic of straight (heterosexual) subs giving themselves to gay Doms. The lead character in today’s blog post is an enthusiastic bondage sub who is a fully paid-up straight male with no interest at all in m/m sex.

Rope Sub (RS) has visited regularly for several years and is a highly intelligent and articulate guy who lives with his long term girlfriend who knows of his kinky desires but who has no interest in them at all. As far as I am aware she has no idea what he does with me and so discretion was one of the most important factors in our meetings from the start. For that reason I never contact him directly, nor do I know his name or address. This adds to the whole scenario for him and our confidence in each other after so many years, renders such details irrelevant. Rope Sub was happy to be interviewed for this blog and so I posed a few simple questions and here is the result.

Mr T: What makes you submit to a gay bondage Master?

R.S:  For as long as I can remember the idea of being tied up and helpless excited me, long before I knew that these urges were sexual. For many years I believed that I wanted bondage with women, and to a great extent that remains true, but only with myself as the dominant party. However, I found it unsatisfying to be tied by women, and once I started researching the issue online I discovered that all the male bondage imagery that really excited me was by gay bondage tops. My early experiences with male tops, who were all gay, were under the strict condition that there not be a sexual element to the play. This seems odd, as bondage play for me is inherently sexual. However, I remain straight (in that I am not attracted to men) and did not want the play to go too far. Gradually I relaxed my strict limits and was tied naked, and then one day a top began teasing my cock while I was tied. This was scary but felt good, and I realised bondage with men could contain a sexual element without it going too far. Of course, I then met you. Before you I had only met other tops once or twice before they moved, I moved, or they wanted to push my limits further than I was comfortable with. Regular sessions with you enabled me to build up trust and enjoy the sessions more. For me, submission is only possible through the exacting application of effective ropes and gags, which you are able to provide. And of course, you make teasing my cock into an art form, so I’m always begging for more! Consequently it has been a long and complicated road to get to the point where I willingly submit regularly to a gay master, but I’m so glad I have arrived now! The key point I guess is that I can only submit through strict bondage and merciless cock teasing, which you provide!

Mr. T: What’s going through your mind on the way to a session?

R.S: The journey to a session is always a strange period. It takes at least 45 mins to drive to you, and during all of that time I am excited at the thought of what the session may involve, what your plans for me are. On the other hand, the mundane details of driving to you also intrude. In my regular life the idea of allowing another man to strip, bind and gag me would be totally incongruous, so it is important I try to block the mundane details out so I can stay in ‘bondage mode’. For this reason, I often play with my cock in the car to keep myself hard, and never have the radio on. I am focussing, or trying to focus, on getting to you as fast as possible so you can put me in bondage. After that, my nerves and normal life will fall away and be replaced only by a love of the ropes, and of being bound in them by you. The 5% of me which needs to be kept roped up and gagged is a very important part of me, and you keep it well and truly satisfied. Really looking forward to making more sexy pics and videos with you too (anonymous of course), really go to town on me with the ropes, as always I shall be trying to escape.

Mr. T: Does it bother you that when others see those pics they question whether you are really ‘straight’?

R.S: Hehe I love that some people doubt that I am straight, I guess that is inevitable! In the early days I met some bondage tops who didn’t want to believe it either and tried to push my limits or even force me to have sex with them. Right from the start you have never questioned that or tried to change it. Knowing that you could take advantage of me is part of the thrill. Knowing that you won’t is what lets me completely submit to you. In fact sometimes I feel guilty after our sessions that I am being unfair not allowing you to use me fully!

Mr.T: You know I disagree with that! The fun goes both ways and I get as much out of tying up a struggling, good looking, straight sub as you do being on the receiving end.

What are your thoughts during a session?

R.S: During a session my nerves (Yes I still have nerves!) fall away and the overwhelming feeling is of being excited and aroused. Two things are uppermost in my mind. (1) Imagining how I look (the aesthetics of restraint are very important to me) and (2) the physical sensations I am experiencing. Obviously this includes the feel of the restraints, gag and hood/blindfold, but also the feel of your hands on me. The things that arouse me the most are rope bondage and gags, so real highlights of the session and feeling the rope being applied, and the times when you gag me, especially when I try and resist and you force the gag in. Despite being straight I have a big oral fixation and love having a gag rammed into my mouth and buckled tight, the bigger the better! As the session continues I am quickly reduced to total submission by your bondage, your teasing of my body and your words. I like that you are physically strong and can force me into the bondage, as this adds to the feeling that choice and free will have been taken from me. Also, being straight it adds to the feeling that I have been taken prisoner by a predatory gay man for his nefarious wishes, which is a very compelling scenario for me! By the end, when you have me rock hard and begging through my gag for release, you have broken my will completely and I am yours. My cock felt like it was going to explode last time.

(It’s hard to concentrate at work now when all I want is to be roped up on your bed….)

Mr.T: HeHe I seem to remember it pretty much did explode! How do you feel when you leave or later on at home?

R.S: Once you let me come my mind becomes very peaceful as I savour the pleasure I have just experienced and I remain very calm while you begin the (often lengthy!) process of untying me. Once I come my need for bondage evaporates but I still feel under your control until the gag is removed, which for me marks the real end to the session. Thereafter my everyday life comes crowding back into my mind and I seek to head off as quickly as possible. This is not because I do not want to be with you but because the other 95% of my mind, seemingly aghast at what the 5% has just done, demands I get back to normality very quickly. However, I am always keen to see the pictures/video of the session, which allow me to relive the session in my mind until we can meet again. I like being one of your boys, even if not as committed as some!

Mr.T: Just as well since I like having you as one of my boys and as I have said before I do not see your limits as a handicap.

R.S: Hehe I meant more that I only make fleeting visits unlike some of your other boys. I wonder if I will ever meet them!

Mr.T: Would you like to?

R.S: I’m not sure really. As I say the one time I was tied up with another guy it was a bit strange, plus I might want your attention all to myself!

Mr.T Greedy boy! Lol

R.S: When it feels so good I feel justified in my greed!

I should say that RS is a very good looking young guy with the most incredible baby blue eyes which I imagine could get him into all kinds of trouble! His love of the ropes and the aesthetics of the tying gives me the opportunity to practice my rope skills particularly the art of Shibari. As you see by his comments, he worries that I will be left unfulfilled but that really is not the case. If anything I enjoy working on him knowing that the ropework is so satisfying for it’s own sake but also that my efforts can get a straight guy so turned on that I can have him begging for sexual release. BDSM can be, and often is enough on its own and sexual release is not essential. It is all about the consensual power exchange.

The Master’s Voice 05 – Limits and Negotiations

Before we get into a discussion of limits, I want to make it clear that I am in no way attempting to spoil your fun here. In fact, the opposite is true and I hope to arm you with the tools to ensure you the best possible experiences.

At some point during your travels through the online BDSM world, you will no doubt have come across the term ‘limits’. People have limits, you will have been told. Doms and Masters must respect your limits, which means that you must make them aware of what they are. Limits are important!

You should be able to enter a BDSM relationship or interaction knowing that the experience will be a wholly consensual one. Any Dom who ventures into the realms of non-consensual behaviour is an abuser or even a rapist and should be treated as such.

‘Limits’ are pretty much what they sound like: things you’re unwilling to do. This might be because they don’t interest you, because you don’t want to do them with that particular person, or because they’re an extreme turn-off for you. Regardless of the reasons (and you shouldn’t ever need to justify them), your limits represent a firm no-go area for your Dom or Master. They shouldn’t ever cross them, regardless of the circumstances. Any good Dom will agree with this.

Of course, in order for someone to respect your limits, they first have to be aware of what they are. This is where negotiation comes into the picture.

On one hand, I’m almost hesitant to use the term ‘negotiation’ in relation to limits, because that makes it sound like they’re something you can or should be talked out of. You shouldn’t, obviously. At the same time, though, everything up to  your limits might be subject to negotiation, and it’s at this stage when you’re likely to discover how much your tastes and preferences align with those of a particular Dominant.

For example, let’s say you’re into bondage. That encompasses an extremely wide array of activities, and it’s unlikely that you enjoy all of them equally. Perhaps you’d prefer if a session involved more or less of a particular variety of bondage. If so, the negotiation phase is when you should speak up about it, otherwise you may end up coming away disappointed with the experience.

At the same time, your Dominant might enjoy a completely different kind of bondage, and may feel that a session wouldn’t be complete without it. Do you agree to doing it in the interests of mutual satisfaction even though it’s not something you particularly enjoy? Or do you insist on limiting all activities to things you’re both going to like equally, even if that means foregoing certain activities altogether? This is why it’s called ‘negotiation’ – there’s likely to be some level of compromise.

I should reiterate, however, that ‘compromise’ should never be about whether or not a Dom violates your limits! If the discussion starts to go in that direction you should immediately be on your guard, because it could indicate that the person you’re talking to isn’t respecting your limits as much as they should.

At this point you may be asking yourself if it’s possible that these negotiations might come to a standstill. That’s always a possibility, of course, and it goes back to what I’ve said in previous posts. A BDSM relationship is exactly that – a relationship. If you’re not compatible with someone, then you shouldn’t expect that a relationship with them – however limited or short-lived it is – will be successful. And that’s okay! It’s better to find out that you and a dominant are fundamentally incompatible at the negotiation stage than in the middle of a session.

I think it’s also worth talking about two very common fantasies: the submissive with no limits and the dominant who is so skilled or authoritative that they can encourage a submissive into pushing themselves beyond their limits.

If you’re someone who thinks that they ‘have no limits’, ask yourself this: how do you know? If a Dominant had you completely at his mercy, with the ability to do literally anything to you, would you feel safe? What if it turns out the Dominant is violent or dangerous? Would you still be having a good time? But wait, you might say, that’s not what you meant! When you said you had no limits, you meant that you’re into heavy bondage or ‘extreme’ fetishes. You don’t want to do anything dangerous.

Unfortunately, there are people out there who hear ‘I have no limits’ and take it as an invitation to let loose on you. They might end up seriously hurting you, either intentionally or by accident. This is why no responsible Dominant will take someone seriously when they say that they have no limits, particularly if that person is inexperienced. Everyone has limits. If you think you don’t, it just means you haven’t discovered what they are yet.

It is true, however, that some Dominants can help you explore the boundaries of your limits – and, in some cases, push past them. This is something that requires a great deal of trust, and should only be done if you want to do it. And of course, it goes without saying that a safe word is just as important in this situation than it is in any other context. Always make sure you have a safe word in place, and don’t even think of ‘pushing your limits’ with a Dom who you don’t trust to respect it!

Limits aren’t the same as limitations, and they aren’t something that you should ever feel required to ‘overcome’. If a Dominant immediately launches into a monologue about how he’s going to help you go beyond your limits before he’s even met you, it might be time to end things before they move past the negotiation stage.