What Fifty Shades Doesn’t Tell You
The Local Dungeon – If there is a local dungeon where you live, don’t expect to be invited there until people get to know you at a munch or class. For many of us our kink life is a huge secret, one that would cause havoc in our lives if exposed. Some places have a more public play space where you have to sign up to be a member, or an event where you just have to buy a ticket and register, but these aren’t an everyday thing nor are they located for the most part in smaller cities. If you want in to the private parties, go to munches and make friends so people grow to trust you. No one sets foot in my house until I feel they are safe.
The D/s Factor – When you venture into the kink community whether it’s to a safe and laid back munch or to the local dungeon. The people there will not all be domly doms and obvious submissives. If you are of the D variety, no one there is your submissive. I don’t care if they identify as the lowest of slaves, they are not YOUR slave, and they are not there to serve you. Same for the dominants at a gathering. I am mistress to my kink family. I am not going to be your fantasy domme, I am not going to drop everything and order you about, and I am not going to appreciate being called mistress by you if I am not your mistress. It’s annoying.
Subspace Danger – Everyone writes about that lovely floaty fabulous feeling that is subspace. You are sent there by a talented Dom or Mistress through a deeply subservient mindset brought about by the release of endorphins while playing. Subspace is a very vulnerable place. You are basically high. You must have a good long while to come down from subspace before you drive, make important decisions, agree to play with someone else and negotiate anything more than was originally agreed on. There are unethical dominants or tops who will take advantage of your floaty ‘this is a wonderful state of mind’ so choose your partner wisely. Always remember, driving while in subspace is akin to driving drunk. Seriously, it is. My wife hit a bus after playing with her previous dominant who shooed her out the door after they played. Negotiate your aftercare needs to include care required during your return to ‘normal’.
Corset Issues – We’ve all seen them, the lovely corseted ladies with the plumped up breasts and the tiny waists. I love corsets; they do things for my body that shapewear cannot, but corsets come with their own issues. Beauty is not free people. Things you should know about wearing a corset include the following:
- Put your shoes on before you don your corset. You won’t be able to bend properly afterward.
- Going to the bathroom while wearing a corset is tricky. Take a friend if you can to get everything back in place, and other garments tucked in.
- Put your corset on last. It is a real bitch to try and put on your skirt, leggings, pants or whatever once you are laced in.
- If you eat a big dinner, you are going to get gas. You may get gas anyway because your stomach and intestines are squished.
- Your can crack a rib by pulling a high quality steel boned corset too tight.
- Driving is hard in a corset.
- Trying to get it back on after you play isn’t worth the trouble. Take a sexy robe, more comfortable clothes, or even a Snuggie with you down to the dungeon. Seriously, you may be all floaty in subspace, and you don’t want to wreck that feeling by trying to get your corset back on.
- If you are the top in a play scene and are wearing a corset you will have trouble bending to unpack your bag, you will get overheated more easily, and your ability to move about will be somewhat restricted.
Don’t get me wrong, I love wearing corsets, but they come with unique problems.
Gas – If you are going to play it’s best to skip foods that give you gas. I don’t care if you are on top or the bottom. Your body goes through a lot of different things during play on both sides. Gas happens, and corsets add to the problem. Also, basic hygiene is really something you need to practice. Onion breath as I whisper sweet sinister words in your ear is not a great mix. Body odor is a no no too. I know, people think well of course it is, but think about the fact that you will probably sweat if you are topping, and that someone is going to be touching, caressing, beating, and kissing you if you’re bottoming. A gassy stinky partner with bad breath really spoils the mood.
Playing in Heels – We’ve all seen them. Those incredibly sexy spiked heels that look fabulous with that new leather outfit or PVC dress. They make your legs look great, and are stereotypical Domme wear. I call them ‘come fuck me shoes’ or sit down shoes, and you may be able to walk around in them for a little while, but they suck during play. They mess up my balance; they make my feet hurt, and they make my back hurt. If you are going to wear spiked heels, you should bring a pair of slippers in your bag. Those little slip on ones will have your feet doing the jig of joy, and anyone who has been around will know exactly why you have changed. Put these up there with a corset for after play pains in the ass. When you’re feeling all yummy, a Snuggie and slippers will make you feel much better than trying to put your sexy outfit back on.
Topping is Hard Work – Being the dominant or top is hard work. Yes, the bottom goes through a lot. Possibly a great deal of pain, but they aren’t the only ones affected by the scene. You see those people doing Florentine with the floggers? They worked hard to learn how to do that, and flogging, paddling, caning or any other type of play a top engages in is a real workout. I expend a huge amount of energy when I play. This is both physical and personal energy. When I am doing a canning or electrical play session, my personal energy is transferred to my play partner. I am not just hitting or zapping them, I am choreographing a scene, controlling the flow, using all my muscles to spank, flog, whip, cane, zap, paddle the person on the receiving end. It is more than just beating someone. It is a transference of my aura and part of my soul.
That sounds weird, but I am having a hard time explaining what two people experience and exchange in a well played scene. Remember, you are 100% responsible for the person on the receiving end. Stick to the negotiated plan. Never push past a limit you have not been given permission to pass. When playing, you get a rush from the power exchange and the ‘dance’ of your creation. It is a heady experience, but you must never lose sight of taking care of your bottom. Check in often. How is their circulation? Are their hands cold and possibly numb? Do they need water? Are they coherent? They are your responsibility during the scene, and needed while aftercare is taking place.
- Know your implement. Do you really know how to use a flogger? There are areas of the body to avoid for safety.
- Keep a small first aid kit in your bag.
- Make sure you have water on hand for during the scene.
- Carry chocolates or candies for afterwards. Blood sugar can drop during play.
- Always check in. If a partner is new to me, I will say “Color” every 5 – 10 minutes. It’s an easy check in to make sure you are reading their body language right. Green= great. Yellow = I’m reaching my limit. Red = Stop. Stop right now. Stop the scene and tend to your partner. Triggers can be tripped (I have an article on triggers in the archives); dizziness can occur due to changes in the body from endorphins, adrenaline, or as said, blood sugar.
- When you take your person down from the cross or bench, what then? I always have a blanket for Beauty to lay on if we are at an event. The first time we played I took her down from the cross, and she started to crawl on the yucky hotel ballroom carpet. I had things set to wrap her up and cuddle with her against the wall behind us, but she was out of it, and she’s a crawler. Now I know. At home, I make a nest on the floor with cushions and heated blankets. In public, it’s a smaller nest for us and right there.
- You have to do a lot and be in charge of many things when you are on the top end of play. It gives me a rush but is physically and emotionally exhausting. I give of my whole self. Topping is hard work.
- Some dungeons have rule about nudity and penetration. All dungeons have other kinds of rules. Know them before you enter. You may have to sign something. Read it. That paper will tell you things like no cell phones. In many dungeons, they will take your cell phone if it is out. Our privacy is too important.
- Spectators are responsible for their own safety. If you want to watch me play, that is fine, but I am not interested in your safety. See that dragon tail, flogger, cord for the wand, or cane I am using. Stay out of the way. My focus is my play partner. You are not part of my world.
- Shut up! Do not screw with our headspace. Keep a respectful distance and speak quietly.
- Do you have a question or concern? Wait until we are done or go talk to a dungeon monitor. Do not interrupt our scene. You have no idea what has been negotiated.
- If my scene bothers you, leave. I have seen things that are not in my general comfort zone. I usually watch and learn, at least for a bit, but then I move on if what is going on bothers me. If you are watching and my scene freaks you out, leave. Do not comment. My scene is not about you. Yes, you may question me later, but do it politely.
- Tell the dungeon monitor ahead of time if your scene is going to be heavy or appear to be over the edge. They are the ONLY people who may stop a scene.
- If you want to play with someone or experience something, ask. This goes for both sides of the scene. If I am at a big event, it is best to ask early, even as early as before the event. My dance card fills up, and even at home during our play parties I don’t want to fill every minute with play, but you should ask. I might say no. The no may be for that night, or it may be a no, I don’t wish to play with you, but you won’t know until you ask.
What you shouldn’t do is:
- Beg, badger, or try to get me to change my mind. That is annoying. No means no. You have no idea if I am saving my physical and mental energy or if I have already expended it.
- Expect me to play with you without knowing you or having time for negotiation.
- Expect me to play with you if we are alone. I only do that with my wife and my play partner Jud.
- Pout or act like a child if you are told no.
Two more things:
- Don’t touch without asking. That goes for toys and people. You may hug my wife if she is okay with it, but if your hands wander, you will have them smacked. Remember that some of the people in a public dungeon belong to or are considered owned by a dominant. They are not yours to touch.
- Don’t disrespect someone else’s kink. Just because you would never dress up like Cruella Deville and have your partner dress like a Dalmatian doesn’t give you the right to criticize. Yes, Beauty and I giggle when we get back to our room or are alone, but never, ever put down someone for their kink.
It’s Not All Erotic – Not everything is erotic, and not all play is sexual. It depends on who I am playing with. Jud and I are completely non sexual. My wife and I always end our scene with orgasms. Play with Beauty gets me wet and sexually excited, but the rush I get from the energy exchange of others I play with is completely different. And the whole “He had me so wet just from his dominant demeanor, or wished to possess me that I came the second he touched me”. Really? No. Beauty gets primed up as I ready the scene, putting on her cuffs and play collar and such, but even when we were having sex like rabid bunnies it took the foreplay of kinky play before she reached her climax. That really is what our play is, foreplay.
Scenes Go Bad – Sooner or later a scene you are orchestrating will go wrong. Not everything flows a scripted. Sometimes this can be hysterical, and it’s okay to laugh. BDSM doesn’t have to be all serious, but scenes can go bad in a dangerous way as well. Be prepared. Have that first aid kit, piece of candy, blanket, safety scissors with the dayglow handle. Things happen.
It Isn’t Living to Please 24/7: – Yes, Beauty sees to my needs. She does as asked, follows the rules, does her chores. That does not mean she waits for my slightest command with her every breath. 24/7 includes real life things, and that submissive you think you want isn’t going to want to be naked and at your feel around the clock. Beauty has a strong desire to serve me, she also gets sick, has mood swings and PMS, has to deal with life’s emotional ups and downs, and sometimes doesn’t want to have to get the laundry, cook dinner, or whatever. She does do it, but she isn’t grateful and overjoyed to serve me every second of the day.
It’s not fun to make all the decisions all of the time. – Sometimes having to make all the decisions sucks. Really it does. Sometimes I just want to scream “Make a fucking choice or decision.” Yes I love to be in charge and yes, my little world get off kilter if things aren’t done to my specifications, but being in command, making every decision, never having peace from everyone looking to you for the answer can be daunting. I’ve said this before, being a dominant doesn’t mean get me a beer and give me a blowjob. That can be a side perk, but with dominance comes responsibility, ALL THE TIME.
Glamourous – The world of BDSM isn’t all glamourous. Dominants are people; that sexy Pro Domme is a person, that sexy attentive submissive is a person. I play in my jammies sometimes. We have our ups and downs. Sometimes I don’t feel kinky at all. Sometimes Beauty and I are just your basic married couple. We watch TV, spend the day being slugs in our pajamas, be anything but the stereotypical BDSM dominant or submissive. I’m not always up to cracking that whip or swinging that paddle, and Beauty doesn’t always want to play. It’s okay, and I don’t make her, just because I feel like it and I can.
Not all of us are damaged, but predators are very real. – Our kink community population most likely has the same ratio of people who had terrible childhoods, were victims of abuse, have depression or other mental illness as any other slice of society. We are not broken people seeking therapy through the giving or receiving of pain. That said, we also have predators among us like any other slice of society. It is very easy to take advantage of a new submissive. Once you hook them and they launch into sub frenzy you can have them eating out of your hand, and in your twisted version of a D/s relationship before they come up for air. Be careful people. There are great big old lines that aren’t fine in the least between a healthy D/s relationship, and an abusive relationship be it kinky or vanilla.
That’s about it. Some of this stuff no one tells you about when you are new. People make mistakes, people cross boundaries they don’t know exist, scenes go bad which can be funny or very bad, kinky people are just people, but we do have rules and expectations for conduct, and we tend to be pickier about manners and protocol. Come on in, the water is fine, but even though there is a lifeguard at some pools, it’s best to learn how to swim, and to stay in the shallow areas before you try out life at the deep end.