S, O, and I did a massage et troi recently, taking turns lying on the massage table while the other two worked them over. Particularly when S was on the table, there was a fair bit of playing with pain. I would find a particularly sore point on her body, a muscle knotted tight, or a pressure point loaded with tension, and gradually lean into it. S’s moan slowly grew in volume and morphed into a groan, into a cry, and then into a keening wail. (This shouldn’t need to be said, but all very consensual and welcome. S has a safe word and uses it as needed.)

Whilst I was experimenting with inflicting pain on S, O looked for ways to contribute and assist. One of the things O did was hold S down as the pain escalated. Hands on shoulders, hands on upper arms… and eventually hands holding S’s wrists. Whereupon we made an unexpected discovery! As soon as O clamped her hands on S’s wrists, S’s reaction to the pain changed dramatically. She turned kittenish and submissive, and her wails of pain settled down into purring groans. Her hips twisted and she writhed under the intensity of the experience, but her face showed pure enjoyment instead of torture.

Now that the three of us are playing in bed together more often, we are experimenting rather more with having O hold and restrain S while I do evil things. Enormous fun! I am profoundly grateful that I have the kind of sex life and sex partners where we (collectively) are still exploring, learning new things, finding new ways of getting off. Fuck, yes!

I am an avid bicyclist. I ride for pleasure, I ride for transportation, I ride for recreation. In the town where I live and ride, bicycle theft is a serious problem. In 2009, I had purchased a beautiful, new, chrome Gary Fisher cross bike as my daily ride to and from class at the local state college. That bike was so well suited to my body and riding style, and I loved it dearly.

I still remember the day I came out of class to the bike rack and couldn’t find my ride. In rapid order I went through the clichéd ordered list of emotions of grief and loss. That was a very hard and trying week for me.

It wasn’t my fault that my bike was stolen; the responsibility for that laid entirely in the lap of the asshat who cut the cable lock and rode away with my bike. At the same time, I came to learn my actions had made the malfeasance significantly easier. I had exercised some lousy judgement; I had used a cable lock to “secure” something valuable to me, and some cretin acted fast to take advantage of my ignorance and naiveté. I firmly resolved that my next bike would be protected by a sturdy U-lock. I knew that was no guarantee against a repeat theft, but I knew it would greatly reduce the odds of it happening again. I wasn’t to blame, but I could help lower the chance of a repeat occurrence.

This is everything I have to say about the topic of victim blaming.

I was talking with a friend recently about triads I had been a part of in the past. She asked me if it was something I was looking for. My off-the-cuff answer was that I was open to it, but I wasn’t actively looking for it. Since then, the topic has been bouncing around in the back of my head, so I’m writing about it to try to bring some order to the random thoughts.

There are things about being in a triad that I deeply miss. I miss the energy of having three people in a household. Something about that just makes the household more festive, more like a party. Someone was always doing something, cooking or working on a project or bouncing about listening to music. Even if everyone was feeling low key and wanted to stay in and nest, we still seemed to end up at the table together, getting stoned, playing cards, playing a board game, watching videos together. Somehow, three people felt like a family more so than a couple living “alone”.

On the flip side, being part of a triad was often fraught with challenges. All of my past triads (four of them) were vees, with me as the hinge in the middle. I had a bad habit of assuming it was my job to try to make everyone happy, finding the ideal compromise that satisfied both partners. In hindsight, it felt like such solutions only made each partner half-happy. Worse yet, I tended to push my needs or desires to the side in the interest of making everyone else happy. Ugh. If I were to do a triad again, this is something I would really be on guard about. I think I am a much more self-possessed person now than I was then, but old habits have a way of pulling me back into repeating past mistakes. If the opportunity presented itself in the future, I would be more enthusiastic about balanced triad (rather than a vee), or even a vee with my partner as the hinge instead of myself.

That said, the prospect of finding a third partner with which to build a triad feels daunting to the point of deeply unlikely. Satyridae and I are crazy close, in a way that I think any third partner would find incredibly daunting. We have a long history together, and communicate very deeply and very honestly about issues as they arise. We also both have extraordinarily high libidos, which has been a challenge in past threesomes (short-term play, as opposed to a triad); after an hour one partner is ready to be done for the night while S and I are just getting warmed up and ready to shift into high gear. We either stop when the first person wants to (leaving me and S less than satisfied), or S and I continue which leaves the other person feeling sad and excluded. Additionally, my relationship with S is fairly kinky and has a considerable amount of (consensual, negotiated) power exchange. In past triads and threesomes, this has been extraordinarily uncomfortable for some past partners to be around. So, either S and I curtail certain activities in front of those people (sad), or we “let our freak flag fly” and again risk leaving the third person feeling sad, excluded, and perhaps squicked.

So sure, I would be enthusiastic about a triad in the future. If we could find a partner who was strong enough to enter an existing, very close partnership. If we could find a partner who was enthusiastic about a real, balanced triad. If we could find a partner with an enormous libido. If we could find a partner who was comfortable (even enthusiastic) about kink and power exchange.

Annnnnd -that’s- why they are called unicorns.

Am I making artisan dental floss? Nope, just teasing flash cotton into a thread for some fire play. Technical notes: Twisting flash cotton into a tight thread makes it lie flat on the flesh, and burn more slowly, increasing the burning pain and the likelihood of blisters. Pulling the flash cotton into a loose, fluffy line leaves you with something that doesn’t lie nearly as flat, and burns much faster, less painfully.

And here’s a slo-mo video of a burn, using a fluffier line instead of the spun thread, as modeled by the inimitable Mademoiselle S.

Slo-mo fireplay with the inimitable Ms S.

Last night I went to a “Sensation Play Party”!

The party’s event hosts and multiple guests brought a variety of toys and tools for delivering a wide variety of sensations. There were very gentle things like fur gloves, feathers, silk, one of those spidery wire toys for stimulating the scalp. There were rougher toys like paddles, floggers, Wartenberg wheels, fingertip claws. There were electrical stim toys, including violet wands, TENS units, and Stinger wands. It wasn’t all about touch either; there were small slices of fruit, bits of dark chocolate, scented oils.

About one third of the group took a couple of minutes to write brief notes that described their hard limits, for instance, “No foods!” or “No pain, gentle only!” or “Avoid my injured foot!”, arranged themselves comfortably on cushions scattered about the large room, placed their notes prominently next to them, and donned blindfolds. The remaining two-thirds of the group then had thirty minutes to wander about the room, trying different touch or toys on the blindfolded receivers. In a matter of minutes, the temperature in the room rose ten degrees as purrs of pleasure and groans of welcome pain filled the space. Thirty minutes passed in no time at all and the receivers slowly removed their blindfolds and tried to return to “normal”. Serotonin is a hell of a drug! After a brief break, the next one-third of the group took their turn as receivers, and then the last third had a turn.

I got to experience and see and do some amazing things!

When I was a receiver I experienced (in no particular order) feathery strokes down my arms and legs, a pair of lips that passed a piece of chocolate to me in a delicious kiss, flogging, hard paddling, hot wax dribbled on my chest, and a generous splash of icy water splashed on my chest and neck. At one point someone used a Wartenberg wheel on me while someone else dragged sharp fingertip claws across my back while I roared with release into a pillow. When my turn as a receiver ended, I was drunk on endorphins and my entire body tingled with lingering sensations.

During the other two sessions when I was in the role of giver, I did some paddling and flogging, zapped a few of the braver souls with a Stinger wand, dragged ice cubes down arms and legs, used a delightfully subtle “pleasure air” sex toy on nipples, used a more intense vacuum pump on nipples, and arranged a row of clothes pins down a person’s torso and ripped them off with a dramatic flourish

It was a thoroughly wonderful experience in a number of ways. The main draw is simply the delight in giving and receiving such welcome stimulation. Of course, what made that possible was the thoughtful and caring intentions of the people in the room. No one was teased or shamed about stating their boundaries, and everyone I interacted with seemed enthusiastic about meeting an individual receiver at whatever level they needed. I saw some receivers who asked for and got epic amounts of gentle cuddling, and other receivers who asked for and received very solid paddling, flogging, and electrical zapping. It felt like a very safe and welcoming space for me to experiment and push my own personal boundaries.

Analyzing my own experience just a bit deeper, by nature I’m much more of a “giver”. I adore introducing people to new experiences and sensations and making their minds melt (in a consensual fashion). It takes a bit of intentional effort for me to lie back and be entirely passive, accepting the sensations that are brought to me (aside from my one stated hard limit, “No tickling!”), with no responsibilities except to experience it all, take it all in. In the right circumstances (and last night was one), I can be a sensation junkie who appreciates some fairly intense stimuli. Once upon a time, someone delivered my birthday spanking with a wooden hairbrush with such vigor that the bush snapped in half! However, I don’t at all identify as “submissive”. I’m not there to accept whatever someone else wants to dish out, nor am I giving my endurance to someone else as a gift; I’m there to see what those intense sensations feel like and to see what I can take before I have to say “too much”.

There were other people at the event who did identify as submissive, and many of them reveled in many of the same treatments and sensations that I experienced. As I thought about the event after the fact, it occurred to me that to some objective observer, there may not be a visible difference between a receiver who identifies as “sensation junkie” and one who identifies as “submissive”. If there’s no apparent external difference, that would suggest that the fundamental difference is in the mind of the receiver. So I meditated on that for a while, and tried to think about the aspects that two such people would have in common, rather than what separates them. I think, and I’m still trying this on for size so don’t hold me to it, that for me as a (sometimes) “sensation junkie”, I’m being submissive. I am exerting my will to hold myself in check, to remain passive, and allow the sensations to wash over me. But I’m not being submissive to someone else, I’m being submissive to myself. I am not offering my submission as a gift to someone else. I am giving my submission as a gift to myself, to allow me to experience various and intense sensations, to find my limits and perhaps expand them a bit. That’s a way of framing the experience that I seems to resonate with me.

Navel gazing aside, it was a hell of an experience and I’m very much looking forward to the next one!

At Burning Man 2017, my partner and I attended a demonstration called “Dinner and an Interrogation”, hosted at the theme camp Brûlée.

Two BM contributors (names withheld until/unless I get their blessing) allowed an audience to watch one of their “rough body play” BDSM scenes. The general scenario was that S had a four-digit number that M had thirty minutes to “interrogate” out of them.

Before the scene began, there was some lengthy description of what was going to ensue, so that anyone in the audience had ample opportunity to decide this was not their cup of tea (and potentially triggering) and excuse themselves.

There was an explicit discussion of consent and the absolutely essential role it plays in ethical BDSM.

M displayed a table of tools that might be used during the interrogation, and S had the opportunity to review the table and remove three items that they didn’t consent to that evening. No argument, no wheedling, no debate; bam they were off the table.

The actual scene was incredibly intense to watch, even hard to watch at times, but I was mesmerized for the entire event. There was punching, wrestling, dragging across the dusty playa ground, pressure points, paddling, tying to a chair, and even waterboarding! Somewhere around the 20-minute mark, M got the final digit from S and the scene ended and the pair immediately departed for aftercare.

There was a lot in the scene that didn’t work for me. Not that I’m being at all judgmental about someone else doing it, but a lot of it wasn’t my particular kink. For example, I have a tough time figuring how I could conduct waterboarding in a way that felt arousing. However, I was absolutely fascinated by the rapport between the two participants, their commitment to explicit and enthusiastic consent. It was a thing of beauty.

So when I saw the pair was returning for Burning Man 2018, their events were circled in red in my “What, Where, When” book. First we attended a “Rough Body Play” workshop where the same pair talked through a lot of the thinking and planning that goes into that sort of scene. As they talked through and demonstrated punching, kicking, grappling, judo throws, they spoke at length about some of the risks involved, steps to minimize those risks, alternatives for people with physical challenges. I was absolutely delighted to see the same (or even higher) level of emphasis on consent. There was also a fascinating blend of professional and serious presentation with the playful affection and obvious respect between the two of them.

Two days later we saw the “Dinner and Interrogation” scene again, this time with M and another partner, P. I was astounded to see P last the entire thirty minutes, yielding only two of the four digits to M. The difference between how S participated in the scene in 2017 and P in 2018 was night and day, and it was educational seeing the range of experiences. Once again, the entire scene was breathtaking to watch.

The very next day there was a “Fetish Friday” party at the same camp where M and S were chatting with people one-on-one and tutoring them through some specific moves. Melody and I approached them, gushed in a hugely fanboy fashion for a while, then started asking for some pointers on grappling and punching. Both M and S were enormously gracious and generous with their time, and the next thing you know we were piecing together foam grappling mats on the playa dust and stripping down for business. Melody learned a couple of ways to throw me, as well as a position where she could almost completely immobilize me. We got some pointers on how to punch more safely and then… we started talking about breath play and choking. I got some essential pointers on what to avoid, the proper places to apply pressure, different positions to try, and safeguards to follow. In the process, I admitted that I had never been choked out and and was curious about it. My rationale is that I don’t want to do something to anyone else that I hadn’t experienced myself. Asking if I really meant it and wanted to experience being choked out, M offered to oblige me.

I dropped to my knees in the dust (*ahem*) and M stood behind me with one arm wrapped around my neck, my throat in the crook of his elbow. He applied gentle pressure on the back of my head and … we stayed there for several seconds. I waved to someone in the crowd watching (I was later told we had an enormous audience), and then began to think it wasn’t going to work and even felt a small bit of sadness for M. “Aww, it’s gonna be embarrassing when the big ole dommie top can’t choke me out.” Then… something happened… and the next thing I knew my brain was rebooting. I was on all fours. It was dusty as all fuck. Flashing lights. Noisy thudding bass. I looked up and made eye contact with a human it took me several seconds to identify. Melody said it was quite disturbing to look in my eyes and not see any glint of recognition for several seconds. My first rational thought was “What happened? Did… did I just pass out?” Then I glanced to the side and saw M and recalled that I had asked him to choke me and… it all kinda popped into place. It was incredibly bizarre feeling all my systems slowly come back on line and to reconstruct what happened based on such disjointed data. It was an amazing rush!

Melody and I left for a while after that so that I could collect myself and integrate the experience. Every thirty minutes or so I would exclaim aloud with shock and wonder, “Holy crap, M choked me the fuck out!” Mind. Blown.

Oh, and I want to point out; the entire hour we spent with M and S getting tips and techniques and demonstrations, every single time either M or S was going to lay a hand on either me or Melody (to demonstrate something), they asked for consent. Every. Single. Time. Melody tells me that when M choked me and I finally blacked out, M cradled my head with great tenderness and very carefully lowered me to the ground.

Those interactions were the highlight of a really amazing burn! When you admire someone from a distance (as we did after watching last year’s scene), there’s a little apprehension about getting closer to them and finding out the reality doesn’t match the expectations. Instead, our expectations were exceeded. M and S were kind, gracious, generous, incredibly thoughtful, and I cannot thank them enough. If you at at the Burn next year (and this is your kind of kink), I strongly encourage you to look for future events with the names I listed below.

I’ve gotten involved in a local sex positive community, attending workshops, classes, socials, and events. At a class about consent and boundaries, I learned a technique for when you make a request of someone and they say “No”, you reply with “Thank you for taking care of yourself.” The idea is to help assure the recipient that their boundaries have been heard and respected, with no recriminations, no bargaining, no pleading.

When I first heard the phrase, it sounded artificial and forced and I had a hard time imagining using the expression “in real life”. Trying to be a good sport and give it a fair shake, I made a solid effort at using it a few times. Gradually it felt less weird, and eventually it became something that my girlfriend and I would say to each other in a mundane day-to-day context, often with a wry smile, but still sincerely.

“I’m going to the grocery; want to come with me?”
“No thanks, I’m gonna finish this chore.”
“Okay. Thank you for taking care of yourself.”

Lately, I’ve begun to feel like this expression was also fulfilling a different need, and I’ve spent some time meditating on what that’s about.

If I’m feeling an attraction to someone, it can take some effort and nerve to get around to asking the person if they would like to act on that attraction, whether it’s “Would you like to get coffee?”, or “After the party, feel like coming back to my place?” or “May I give you a hug?”

If the response is a flat “No”, that can be rough to hear. It’s obviously not the response I hope for, and tends to leave me feeling awkward and deflated. I’ve heard a lot of people attempt to handle that challenging moment, often with a lack of grace and decency. “Aww, c’mon, you’ll have a great time! You know you want to!” or “Oh. Well, fuck.” (slink away) or “Fine. I wouldn’t want to fool around with your fat ass anyway.” (stomp away)

In that awkward and vulnerable moment, I am finding great comfort in having a scripted response immediately at the ready. It’s a response that acknowledges that the “No” is more about the other person than it is about me, it’s a response that respects the person’s boundaries, and I leave the encounter on a positive (or at least not negative) note. It has become an expression I enjoy using for my own emotional state, as much or more than for the recipient’s benefit. For me, that’s a significant win.

A brief coda: I was talking about this with two female friends last night and they both expressed surprise at my new perspective on the phrase. It hadn’t occurred to them at all, and we discussed it a bit. It turned out they simply had far less experience with asking and being told “No” than I had. Their experience was that they were much more often in the position of being propositioned, not making a proposition themselves. On the occasions when they did extend an offer, “No” was an infrequent enough response that they didn’t see it as being a significant issue. So it’s possible my new-found appreciation for this phrase will resonate with some genders more than others.

16. May 2018 · Write a comment · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags:

For a couple of years now, my lube of choice has been coconut oil. I tend to have small pots of coconut oil in various bedrooms, one in my travel toiletries, etc. Back in December, a partner of mine (then partner, now ex-) gave me a sizable gallon tub of coconut oil.

Last night, the last dollop of creamy oil was taken from the huge bucket. This means I have something like a two-gallon-per-year coconut oil habit. As far as I’m concerned, this means I’m winning!

I’m quite fond of the njoy line of steel sex toys, but they are certainly not cheap; $120 for a butt plug.

If you’re looking for a less expensive option, Williams Sonoma has you covered; $29.95, including an optional “BDSM mode”.

“Tenderizer” indeed.

For a number of years now, the video porn site Pornhub has released an annual “Year in Review” page that is positively frothy with creamy data-mining sauce.

One of the factoids that splattered my attention: In the US, the average Pornhub visitor stayed on the website for 10 minutes and 33 seconds. Oregon was third from the “briefest visitors” at 9 min and 55 seconds. I’m gonna attribute that to more efficient porn search terms for some Oregonians. #FreeRangeArtisanLumbersexual

If you haven’t checked it out, you totally oughta: