How to Event

This weekend I presented a class I’d never taught before.  Most classes in the BDSM community revolve around either play skills or relationship dynamics.  This one was a bit different, though with just as much utility- It covered techniques on how to thrive at weekend BDSM events, get the most out of them, and walk away not feeling like crap. I’d put the class together after realizing that some newer people were running into things which could be easily avoided, things I’d learned long ago the hard way and now take for granted.  And while I did initially aim these tips at newer people, some more experienced perverts have said they’ve found quite a few useful ideas here.
I broke this class up into things that can be done before, during, and after the event.  Also, since I mention a few supplements, I need to add that my advice is not intended to cure, treat, or prevent any illness.  Consult your doctor before doing anything at all.  Ever.
Before the Event
  • Make sure you’ve requested off work.  Nothing ruins your weekend faster than your boss calling you Saturday morning asking where you are.
  • Buy your ticket early to save money.  Many events raise their prices over time.  This is a form of “pain in the ass tax”- it’s easier to plan the event when you have a solid idea of how many people will be there, and buying a last-minute ticket changes that number.  Getting your ticket early also increases your chances of snagging a room in the host hotel.
  • If possible, take an extra day off work before the event to pre-charge yourself.
  • Make sure your car works.  Kind of a basic thing, but if your check-engine light went on last week, you should take care of that before you get out on the highway and your car decides, “You know what, fuck you.  We’re not going to this event.”
  • Make a packing list and keep it in your suitcase/bag.  If you keep the list, you only have to make it once.  Doing this lessens that nagging feeling of forgetting something as you’re leaving.  It also saves you time since it makes the packing process more efficient.
  • Bring your ID- Most events require it when you check in.  No ID, no event.
  • A multi-tool is handy to have and doesn’t take up much space.  There are a few different brands and dozens of models available.   This little gadget can make you somebody’s hero.  Most contain tools like pliers, a knife, scissors, screwdrivers, or an awl.
  • Pack extra clothes.  Zippers break, stains happen, and the venue may be hotter or colder than you were expecting.  Also, make sure you bring some street clothes for going out for meals.  I’ve seen some people get excited and pack nothing but fetish wear.
  • Extra cash is always handy.  Unforeseen expenses are unforeseen.  If you don’t trust the hotel staff, hide it well- Stash it in your underwear, put it in a sandwich bag and stuff it in the middle of your dirty laundry, or even lock your suitcase/bag when you’re not in the room.
  • Allow yourself extra travel time if possible.  Being rushed can increase your stress levels before you even get to the venue.  Don’t forget to consider rush hour traffic.
  • Check construction on your route and figure out an alternate route if necessary.
  • Update your GPS.  New roads are constantly being built, old ones removed.
  • Scout out what’s in the area- restaurants, attractions, shopping, etc.  If you’re able, you may find it rewarding to do non-BDSM-event things while you’re in the area.  Hit the zoo, stop in at a high-end chocolate shop, go pet a baby goat, or jump into a mosh pit.  I would, however, recommend against taking a goat of any age into a mosh pit.
  • If you’re going without a partner, consider sharing a room vs. rooming alone.  Both have benefits and drawbacks.  Are you a light sleeper?  Do you mind paying for an entire room yourself, or would you rather split the cost?  Are you ok sharing a bed if necessary?  How long do you and your potential roommate spend in the bathroom?  Do they snore?
  • Carpooling is another way to save money.  However, carpooling can sometimes prove problematic if the playspace is not in the hotel you’re staying in.  One person may want to leave for the night, but someone else isn’t ready.  You may be dragging and ready for bed, meanwhile, the driver has just started a long scene.
  • Check the event rules ahead of time.  Some venues don’t allow things like fire play, penetration, or blood play.  No sense in lugging all that equipment there if you can’t use it.  Also be sure to check their policies on cell phones and alcohol.  Some events are strict about these things and will throw you out without a refund.
  • Join the fet group for the event-
  • Many groups will have “looking for play” threads.  These can be a solid way to find play dates.  Make sure you hit “follow” for any threads you may be interested in so they keep showing up in your groups feed every time someone posts.
  • People sometimes post construction alerts in the group that you might not otherwise know about.
  • People also post if they’re looking for ride/room shares.  Hooray for money!  Trust your gut though- If someone strikes you as creepy, has no friends on fet, or sends off any other potential uncomfortable-making signs, it may be best to pass on that person.
  • Any last-minute changes to the schedule or venue will likely be posted there.
  • Ask any questions you may have in that group.  Talking with people who’ve been there can prove helpful.  Alternately, message the event organizer(s) but make sure you give them plenty of time to answer as they’re usually quite busy.
  • Pre-charge- The day before and day of the event, make sure you’ve gotten enough sleep, and try to de-stress as much as possible.  Otherwise, you’re starting the weekend off from a deficit.

 

During the Event

  • Go to orientation.  They’ll give you a run-down on the venue layout, rules, fill you in on any non-official happenings, and maybe even have some drawings/giveaways.
  • Hit the vendors early.  Since they’re traveling, they usually bring only limited stock of each item.  The good stuff goes quickly.
  • Bring cash.  Many vendors have credit card payment options now, but some don’t.  Also, if you visit a bootblack while you’re there, you’ll need to be able to tip in cash.  (If you’ve never had a bootblack work on your leather, just ask them how it works and they’ll be happy to fill you in.  Or ask the internet machine- it contains much knowledge.)
  • Your name badge holder is a handy place to store that cash.  It also serves as storage for your hotel key and raffle tickets.  This proves useful if you’re running around naked all weekend.
  • If you’re going the naked route, bring a towel to sit on.  Do you really want to sit in a chair that had dozens of naked asses on it before?  Then don’t contribute to the problem; cover the chair first and avoid spreading your ass-plague all over the land.
  • Volunteer-
    • You’ll save money since you’ll get a full or partial comp.
    • It’s a terrific way to meet people.
    • Volunteers are the lube that make events run smoothly.  You’ll be contributing to making a fun event.
    • Just remember that it is a responsibility.  Show up on time and focus on your job.
  • Go to classes even if the topic isn’t your thing.  Some presenters are so entertaining that you’ll have a blast even if you’re not interested in experiencing what they’re talking about.  Two I’d recommend checking out are Laura Antoniou and Midori.  I’d listen to them talk about tax law.
  • Take notes in classes.  Most presenters are going green.  They used to give away 2-4 page handouts to every attendee for every class.  Hundreds of pages per event per presenter.  This is because all presenters secretly hate trees.  Take that, rainforest!  Lazy leafy bastards with your fancy “oxygen”.  Personally I’ve never seen oxygen, so I think its existence is a myth.
  • Ask questions during/after the class rather than leave wondering, or ask the presenter privately afterward.
  • If you want a hard copy of the material presented, message the presenter for info/outline or just ask them after the class.
  • If you stayed up late the night before, feel free to skip the first class to sleep in.  Sleep is important.  Likewise, if none of the classes in a certain time slot interest you, skip out and do something else- nap, go grab food, explore the city, etc.
  • Most events don’t allow phones and the staff will kick you out if they see you with one.  But lots of events also don’t put up clocks in the play space, so there’s no way to know what time it is.  A possible solution to this is to go the Flavor Flav route and wear a clock around your neck.  But if only they made a small version of a clock that you could strap to your wrist.  Should you come across such a wondrous invention, put it to good use.  Just make sure it works before you leave for the event.  I’ve taken a watch to an event only to realize the battery was dead once I got there.  Wearing a watch can also be a good conversation starter since a lot of other people might not be wearing one.  If you don’t feel like wearing it, just strap it to the handle of your toy case.
  • On the subject of toy cases, mark yours.  There are so many black bags and silver cases at these events, it’s easy to get yours mixed up with someone else’s.  Especially in a dimly-lit dungeon.
  • Since many play spaces are so dimly lit, hook a flashlight to your toy case.  Digging around inside a dark bag in a dark room when 90% of your toys are black isn’t the most efficient process.
  • Take a break from people, especially if you’re an introvert.  Escape to your room, go sit on a couch somewhere, go for a swim if the hotel has a pool, or go for a walk outside.
  • Consider whether you’ll spend your meal breaks with others or alone.  Keep in mind that if you’re trying to get a semi-large group together, it can be like trying to herd cats.  The more people you add, the more difficult and time-consuming it is.
  • Talk to people you normally wouldn’t.  It’s easy to be comfortable & over-rely on the “anchor people” you already know.  You’ll make new friends, have fantastic play, and open up new doors.
  • Don’t sit in a corner with your head down.  You get out of these events whatever you put in.
  • Business cards are becoming much more common in the BDSM community.  Consider picking some up.  They provide a way of keeping track of any new people you might meet.  Trying to remember all those screen names is hard, so when it comes time to send out some friend request after the event, you’re screwed if you didn’t write them down.
    • You can go the traditional paper/cardboard route for very cheap.  Many printing companies will send you a few hundred cards for under $10, and they have tons of templates to choose from.  If you want to spend some more and go a more memorable route, they also make them out of clear or translucent acrylic, metal, and wood.  Some info worth including on your cards are fet name, any groups you may run, your city, or email.  You could also add a title such as, “Domliest Domly-Dom that ever did Dom.”  Mine say, “Pervert Extraordinaire.”
    • At munch, it’s not uncommon to see people pull out their phones and send out friend requests with whoever they’re talking to right then and there.  At phone-free events, this isn’t an option.  Cards provide an easy alternative.
    • Put some in your badge holder and you won’t have to carry them around.
  • Ask people to play.
    • Watch them play first if you’re able.  That way you’ll know their play style and get a better feel as to whether you’ll be a good match for a scene.
    • Offer instead of asking. That way, you won’t be putting the other person on the spot by pressuring them for a direct answer straight away.  The default answer is no if they don’t get back to you, and it’s much less awkward for both people.
    • Some events use an arm band system.  For example, a bottom looking for play might wear a blue armband.  This doesn’t signal consent; it simply states that you’re open to talking about the possibility of playing.  Wear one, and approach others who are wearing them as well.
  • There is a substance you can take that has a lot of benefits- dihydrogen monoxide.
    • It is cheap and widely available, at least in the US.
    • It has no side effects and does not interact with any medication.
    • It helps to flush waste from your body.
    • It helps to prevent fatigue.
    • It’s even good for your skin.
    • It assists in transporting nutrients to where they’re needed.
    • Let’s break this down a bit further.  Dihydrogen means “two hydrogen”.  Written in chemical form, it’s H2.  Monoxide means “one oxygen”, written as O.  So put together, it’s H2O.  Water.  Drink water.  It’s got a buttload of benefits.
  • Many events don’t allow drinking.  However, what you do once you’re in your hotel room for the night is up to you.  Just keep in mind that you’ll also need to drink more vaguely water-like substances if you’re drinking alcohol.  And don’t go back to the play space if you’re drinking.
  • Eat.  You need fuel for all the pervery you’ll get up to.  You can go out to eat, bring food with you, or have food delivered to the lobby.  Either way, keep nutrients and calories coming into your body.
  • Meal replacement bars come in handy if you’re in a pinch for time.  These are larger bars that contain protein, carbs, and vitamins.  While I wouldn’t recommend replacing all your meals with them, once or twice over a weekend won’t hurt.  There are lots of brands and flavors to choose from.  Some are better than others.
  • Have a stash in the room.  If you get hungry once you’re back in your room for the night, you may not want to go back out to grab something, whether it’s due to convenience, tiredness, or just lack of time.
  • Caffeine helps plenty of people make it through these events.
    • If you wake up 5 minutes before a class you want to catch, you may not have time to make coffee or tea.  Most grocery stores sell individual-serving drink mix that contains caffeine; it’s sold near the other flavored drink mixes.  Just open the little packet, dump it in a bit of water, and down it like a shot.  Then be on your way.  Just read the label to know how much caffeine you’re getting as they vary in content.  These don’t take up much room in your bag and they are very lightweight.
    • Avoid pure caffeine powder.  This stuff is putting people in hospitals.  Some of it is so potent that 1/32 of a teaspoon, a barely perceptible amount, is 100-300mg.  For reference, most sources recommend keeping your intake under 400mg per day.
    • Know the half-life of caffeine for you.  Everyone eliminates caffeine at a slightly different rate, and everyone has a different tolerance.  Some can drink a pot of coffee right before bed, while others will be up all night if they have any after 10am.  Know your body.
  • Sleep.  It’s important.  You may be tempted to not get enough; if you do so, you may run the risk of really dragging later that night.  Sleep also bolsters your immune system.
  • You may be oddly wired when you try to get to bed.  A new couple at a recent event told me, “We both had trouble getting to sleep last night since we were just so wound up, is that normal?”  Yes, yes it is.  Prepare for it.  Some options-
    • melatonin
    • valerian root
    • herbal teas
    • benadryl
    • sleeping pills.  Just be aware that some sleeping pills do cause a hangover.  Others may cause you to sleep until 2pm the next day.  If you have a history of addiction, it may be best to avoid these as they can prove addictive.
    • ZMA is a pill or powder marketed to those who do strength training.  It’s a combination of zinc, magnesium aspartate, and vitamin B6.  The intended purpose is to help the body recover after a brutal workout.  This lends itself well to events like this in which you’re wearing yourself thin, expending lots of energy and constantly being “on”.  That takes a lot out of your body.
    • Wind down before bed.  Don’t expect to walk into your room and immediately conk out.  Give yourself some time in that quiet environment.
    • Minimize light.  Pull the curtains shut, and try to avoid electronics, phones, TV, etc. since that light can trick your brain into thinking you should still be awake.  Put a towel at the bottom of the door to your room.  Otherwise, the hallway light can flood your room and keep you up.
    • Earplugs can really help you out here.  There may be people playing or fucking loudly in the next room.  There will also be noise coming from the hallways as people walk to their rooms, slam doors, and use the ice machine.  At one event, someone in the next room was making goat noises.  I’m still not real sure what that was about.
    • Another option is a white noise machine.  They’re widely available online or in stores for roughly $20.  There are also free white noise apps; just remember to keep your phone plugged in if you’re using one.  Both options provide more than just traditional hissing white noise- There are thunderstorms, purring cats, streams, the ocean, crickets, and a large sweaty man named Pete creepily breathing in your ear.  That usually costs extra though.
  •  Con crud is a real thing.  You’re in close quarters with hundreds of people all weekend, shaking hands, hugging, and touching dirty objects.
    • Hand sanitizer is a popular option.
    • Wash your hands, especially before eating.  This is one of the biggest things you can do to protect yourself and others.  Keep in mind that when you leave the bathroom, your clean hands now have to touch the door handle which was touched by dozens/hundreds of others who didn’t wash their hands.  Grab it with a paper towel.
    • Bring cold meds, immodium, pink bismuth, etc.  Sitting on the toilet all weekend can quickly derail your plans.
    • Some find that starting to take an immune-boosting supplement a week or so prior and continuing use until the week after the event is helpful.

After the Event

  • Your self-care is not done.  What you do after the event can make a huge difference.
  • Have a cover story for when your coworkers ask what you did this weekend.
  • Drop is a common occurrence.  There’s sub drop, top drop, and con drop, among others.  It typically manifests as a generally “down” feeling.  You may be more easily agitated than normal, you may be on the verge of tears for no reason, or you may be really tired all the time.  Once you realize that this is drop happening, it’s much easier to deal with. A few options for dealing with drop-
    • Chocolate
    • Caffeine
    • Introvert time.  Have some tea, take a bath, go for a walk, and just avoid people.
    • Others find that getting together with friends can help.
    • Chocolate
    • Keep up on your sleep.
    • Eat, even if you don’t feel like it.  Food helps you recover.
    • Vitamin D is produced by your body when you’re in the sun.  It can contribute to mental well-being and help combat depression, which is why vitamin D is so popular in places close to the poles where there is little sunlight much of the year.  If you start taking it well before the event and keep taking it afterward, that should help keep your levels up to where they need to be.
    • Chocolate
    • Follow up with friend requests and message those you played with.  Not only can this help with drop, it’s the non-asshole way to go.  It’s just good form to message, text, call, or get together with anyone you played with in the days after an event.
    • Take time off from work after event if you’re able.  Even one day off can give you a huge boost.
    • Chocolate

 

The Gluten-Intolerant Have No Place in the Motherland.

The other night, I engaged in what was probably the strangest scene I’ve ever participated in.  I beat a man using nothing but pasta.  While wearing a Soviet military uniform.

It stemmed from a conversation years ago.  A friend of mine was completely snockered and said to me, “I would let you top me using nothing but pasta.” He said this knowing that I don’t switch at all. But the idea intrigued me, and I saw it as an opportunity to spread the strange. It fermented in my head.

Eventually I realized a problem: His play style is typically very resistance-oriented. Spaghetti bondage won’t hold anybody. It wouldn’t work, and I told him as much. He gnawed on that for a while. His solution: “I won’t resist as long as you’re wearing a Soviet military uniform.”

I looked online, and all I saw were two categories of uniforms: authentic ones there were over a grand total, and cheap flimsy costumes that looked like crap. So this whole scene went on the back burner, and I nearly forgot about it. At one point I started looking again, and I finally found a uniform I could groove with. At a military surplus store in the Ukraine. But it was the real thing, and the price was far more reasonable. Shipping was $40. Thankfully it fit well the first time. Foreign sizes are, um, foreign.

At that point, it was time to walk down the pasta aisle and laugh maniacally at the possibilities. Got a few looks there.

Unfortunately, some things didn’t pan out. The linguine flogger, spaghetti bondage, and pasta collar were all too flimsy, regardless of type of pasta and cooking time used. Grrr. Cheap capitalist pasta. The quality is nowhere near what we had in the Old Country.

I emailed him a picture with the subject line “Soon.” just to taunt him a bit: soon

This scene was to happen at a public party.  When we were about to start, I got in uniform and headed over to the play area.  Plenty of friends knew something worth watching was going to happen, but they had no idea what.

In my fake Russian accent, I had him strip to his underwear and get on a spanking bench.  Walking around in front of him, I rubbed a cooked lasagna noodle on his arm just so he would see what I was about to use.  I walked around behind him and hit his ass with it a few times.  It gave a surprisingly loud whack and actually had some sting to it.  The noodle held up for about half a dozen hits.  Thankfully, I brought reinforcements.  I yelled, “FEEL THE WRATH OF MY SOVIET GLUTEN!”

At this point, people were making a mass entrance to the play area to see what the yelling was about.  Plenty of peoples’ brains got fried.  Knowing I don’t switch, they saw me topping someone.  Using pasta.  In a Soviet uniform.  “Wait, is that… Is he… What???”

After some more lasagna impact, I took another lasagna noodle and stood beside him, facing the same direction he was.  Bringing it down in front of his face with both hands, I went lower to his neck, pulled back, and started choking him with it.  (I barely cooked the lasagna until it was just flexible in order to maintain some level of strength.)  To my surprise, it held up, even when I was using a solid amount of pressure.

After the lasagna strangling, I took a handful of gnocchi and stood in front of him, holding my hand out so he could see what I had.  After a couple seconds, I hollered, “GNOCCHI!” and immediately threw them in his face.  Getting behind him, I started pelting his ass with them individually.  They were rather stingy, which made me happy; I was initially worried he wouldn’t feel much.  One of the gnocchi went squarely down his crack and into his underwear, and everyone cheered.  At that point, I realized the entire party (over 100 people) was there watching.  A barrage of gnocchi ensued.

I once again stood in front of him with another cooked lasagna noodle.  I said, “You are seeing this noodle?  Is not very sturdy.  Does not hold up well.  MUCH LIKE YOUR AMERICAN CAPITALISM!”  Then I backhand-slapped him in the face with the noodle.

Now it was time for some marks.  Going back around in front of him, I took a dry lasagna noodle and broke it into four pieces as he watched.  Making a fist, I put one piece between each finger, effectively making a lasagna claw.  “Freddy Kreuger was sexy bitch.” I said.  I then ran my makeshift knives all over his back.  He reacted pretty intensely at first, so I eased up and kept going.  After just a few minutes of this, he had all sorts of dark lines crossing his back.

Now it was time for the finale.  I told him to get off the spanking bench and kneel.  I then took a dry manicotti and stuck it out of the fly of my pants.  I got in front of him and bellowed, “SUCK MY MANICOTTI!” He looked like he was about to bust out laughing, but he did it.  I then yelled, “AM BRINGING SEXY BACK!  DA!”  Again, the crowd cheered.

Retrieving something from my bag, I had him stand.  No longer yelling, I said, “Glorious comrade, have survive many tribulation.  Motherland is very proud.  Presenting you now with great honor- membership in noble order.  Peoples’ Order Of Pasta (P.O.O.P.)”  With that, I put this around his neck:

Pasta Medal 3

Afterward, my newly re-indoctrinated comrade and I posed for a picture:

aftermath

And yes, that is a banana in my holster.  That way, I have instant aftercare at my hip.

I’m happy with how this all panned out.  While some of the things I had planned didn’t work out, there was still a lot I was able to do.  We had fun and got a ton of compliments afterward.  It was years in the making, but it was very worth it.  Well done, comrade.

Prospering in Pervy Pick-up Play

Setting up scenes at BDSM events can sometimes be tricky.  Whether it’s with someone you already know or a total stranger, people often have trouble with some step of the process.

When it comes to pick-up play with someone you don’t know well (or at all) I’ve found it best to watch them play with someone else first to gauge their play style.  If you have time, checking out their profile on Fet isn’t a bad idea either; that will give you insight into their philosophy on various aspects of BDSM, their interests, and different aspects of their personality.

Getting a little background on someone you don’t know is important.  At one weekend event, I saw someone I found attractive, and she had an armband on that indicated she was a top open to casual play.  It was late in the night, so I decided to approach her the next night.  The next night, her pupils were huge, she was wobbling when she stood, and she was slurring her words.  That was a close call.  Had I played with her, that could’ve ended badly.

Asking is where many people stumble.  One thing I’ve found to work well is to offer rather than ask.  When you ask, it puts the other person on the spot because you’re essentially demanding an answer pretty much immediately.  If they’re interested, that’s not an issue, but if they’re not, then they have to shoot you down.  And that can be awkward.  Plenty of people feel like asses when they shoot someone down too.  By offering, you’re being more courteous to the other person, giving them the opportunity to sidestep that awkwardness.  Here’s how that typically runs in my experience:

“If you’re interested in playing tonight, just come find me.  I’ll be around.”

“I’d like that.”

or:

“If you’re interested in playing tonight, just come find me.  I’ll be around.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

The latter is an easy rejection.  Far less awkward to give than a direct “no”.  Obviously to use this approach you need to be able to read those cues and not pester the other person.

Once you’ve established that you both want to play, negotiating comes next.  If you just say, “Oh, I don’t know, I’m up for whatever you want to do” then you deserve to be smacked in the face with a large mackerel.  You don’t need to put out a detailed list of your interests, but just name a few forms of play you really like.  If the other person is well-known for a certain type of play that you want to experience, say so.  Having no interests or saying you’re into everything is boring.

Be sure you mention your limits, any health issues,  and your aftercare needs.  While unintentionally hitting an unknown landmine can always happen, it’s far less likely if you do these things.

Humiliation Rumination

24 hours ago, I was in another state, having a fun scene with a couple women whose company I found I rather enjoyed.  This was a 2-on-1 scene; I love the energy of those type of scenes.  Prior to this, we did the usual negotiation that you do for casual play.  One of them asked me how I felt about humiliation.  The short answer I gave is that humiliation is hit-or-miss for me and that I may possibly be up for something if it’s a strong interest of theirs.  I generally don’t do much of this type of play with people I haven’t played with before.  Humiliation is so individual that I generally don’t pursue it unless we’ve got a scene or two under our belt together.  Or at least have a really long conversation first.

That simple question made me think on the drive home today.  I still don’t know why certain types of humiliation work or don’t work for me.  I’m not well-read in psychology.  But the first step in finding out the “why” is sorting out what works and what doesn’t.

I already know that the logical side of my brain gets in the way of some things.  For example, small cock humiliation.  I’ve been in enough locker rooms (and around the BDSM community long enough) to know that I’m average size and proportional to my body.  And my brain also blocks all the stereotypical “not a real man” or “worthless” stuff.  That kind of approach makes me think, “If you don’t feel I’m worth your time, there’s the door.  Bye now.”

Other forms of humiliation that I know definitely don’t work for me are what I call “stupid human tricks”.  These are things that are done for the top’s amusement but carry no erotic value, e.g. ridiculous costumes, singing silly songs, or acting the fool at the top’s direction to elicit laughter.  Don’t get me wrong, being laughed at can be über-hot; but sadistic laughter is totally different than “you’re pathetic and I can’t believe you’re doing this” laughter.  Sadistic laughter can get me in to that delectable melty headspace, but the latter completely pulls me out of the scene.

What does work?  Many of the things that work for me are physical in nature and carry some level of social connotation.

Face-spitting is one that hits that button really well.  Forcefully launching a mouthful of saliva right at someone’s face is widely considered insulting, and it also carries that “I just spit in your face- What are you going to do about it?” vibe.  Derogatory, degrading, and very powerful.  Precisely why it appeals to me so much.

Being made to clean the dirt from the soles of the top’s shoes or boots also lands pretty squarely near the humiliation bullseye for me.  It’s just flat-out dirty and disgusting.  It’s literally the lowest point on that person’s being.  I’ve only experienced this a couple times, but based on those experiences, the humiliation factor is fairly strong.

Armpit licking is another I have pretty limited experience with.  Obviously this is best done with no deodorant, as 15-syllable chemicals aren’t the best thing to be ingesting.  Armpits carry that dirty, nasty connotation that I so adore.  Being made to do this involves feeling a certain indignity and powerlessness.  Yow.

Forced feminization (I know, not truly “forced”) is something I’ve touched on before and won’t go into detail in here.  In short, I don’t see femininity as humiliating.  I find this type of play humiliating because it’s playing with all the bullshit crammed down our throats from a young age.  We’re “supposed to” act this way or that because of the way we were born, and anything other than that is cause for social repercussions.  Using this social stigma as a source of humiliation in BDSM is a way of taking life’s BS and making something erotic out of it.  I liken it to women who get off on being called “slut” or “whore”; they’re taught not to be those things by society, and so they take that pressure and turn it into the sexy during a scene.

I imagine the top washing my mouth out with a bar of soap would also carry a strong humiliation groove.  This is pure speculation, but I think since the act carries a certain amount of authoritarian vibe as well as the pure nastiness of it, it would likely have a humiliating effect.

There aren’t any forms of verbal humiliation listed here.  That’s because I haven’t yet found any solid forms of verbal humiliation that consistently have that same kind of effect on me.  To be fair, I haven’t experienced a ton of verbal humiliation, but most of the times I have, it was met on my part with indifference, disbelief, or genuine anger.  We’ve just started to explore cuckolding (as individual scenes, not as a relationship dynamic) and this might possibly provide an effective angle for some verbal.  I’m not real sure what it’d take to hit that verbal humiliation bullseye.  In the meantime, I’m going to keep wandering around this kinky landscape and explore as much as I can.

The Not-So-Great Trigger Debate

Plenty of people in the BDSM community have triggers.  To be clear, I’m not talking about things that make them uncomfortable or squick them out; I’m talking about things that put them in a really bad place, things that may require removing themselves from the situation and/or emotional care.  Heavy things.  Many of these triggers involve a past traumatic experience of some sort.

What baffles me is when people try to place responsibility for avoiding their triggers on other people.  It may not be any fault of your own that you have that trigger, but now that you do have it, it’s yours.  Just like a medical condition, it’s up to you to take care of yourself by whatever means necessary.  If you’re diabetic, it’s up to you to eat right, check your sugar, and take your insulin.

This is one reason I find the call for people to announce trigger warnings at the beginning of every scene preposterous.  I’m sorry that you have that trigger, but I’m not going to tiptoe around you.  You came to a BDSM event knowing that people will be engaging in BDSM there.  If certain types of BDSM trigger you, then you have the decision to either skip the event or risk being triggered.  (Obviously if you’re unaware that you have a certain trigger, that’s different.)  When you willingly walk into an area knowing that people are doing things there that could trigger you, you’re making a choice.

People aren’t going to stop their scenes to announce it every time they’re about to break out a different toy or move on to a different form of play.  And announcing what types of play they may be doing at the beginning of the scene won’t do any good; only those present for that announcement will know.  What about the others who walk into the playspace after that announcement was made?

On top of that, there are so many triggers that it’s impossible to avoid them all.  People may be triggered by knives, littles (especially if it’s sexual in nature) face-slapping, choking, the top raising their voice, resistance play, blood, punching, sex, using certain words, tears, or any number of other things which are incredibly common at BDSM events.  Lots of people have triggers.  Some have more than one.  Now multiply that by all the people at the event, each with their own individual triggers.  How can you avoid them all?

I only have one trigger that I’m aware of.  It doesn’t hit me every time I run into it, but when it does, it can knock me out of action for the night or longer.  My trigger is a fairly common thing at many events, so it would be unrealistic to ask everyone to avoid this one thing while I’m around.  I take the more reasonable approach of taking care of myself.  I avoid certain events.  Other times I may leave early.  Or step outside for a while to remove myself from the situation.  Or grab someone I trust and find someplace private.  My well-being is my responsibility.  Trying to foist it on other people as if it were their problem would be rude.

One reason people come to these events is because they may not be able to engage in these forms of play at home for whatever reason.  Maybe they have kids in the house or are taking care of an elderly parent.  They could have thin walls in their apartment.  They may live in a dorm or barracks.  Requiring them to act as if their Grandma was in the room at an event would only drive them away.  People go to cut loose.  To do all the filthy, pervy BDSMy stuff that we do.

When you walk into a BDSM event, you’re aware that you’re likely to see and hear all sorts of extreme things.  There is no need for a walled-off “trigger zone” since nearly every scene would be required to happen in there.  The entire playspace is that “trigger zone”.  If you’re not ok with that, you don’t have to go in.  (Alternately, setting up a private party of your own with certain types of play being off-limits is an option.)  However, requiring a bunch of random strangers to conform to your requirements at a public event which you choose to attend is not going to be met well.

The Legendary Ultra-Secret Femdom Parties (Shhh…)

Over the years, multiple people have approached me asking my thoughts on having femdom parties in our local community.  While it’s doable, I’m not actively pursuing the idea.  On one hand, it would be a fantastic way for women who are new to dominance (or men new to submission) to become more comfortable with doing things publicly.  It would also provide a ton of ideas for other people to try.  And an environment like that is a terrific place for men to become more comfortable showing this facet of themselves in public without worrying about being seen as “less than” other men.  It’s a place where they’re free from all the societal baggage and chest-beating bullshit we deal with every day.

But there can be a downside as well.  I’ve been to some femdom parties in other cities, as well as talked with quite a few close friends who have gone to these types of parties too.  There are often some commonalities that can’t be ignored.

At many femdom parties, the attendees drift into a female-supremacy mindset.  For the submissive men, there can be a feeling of being looked down on.  Simultaneously, quite a few of the women carry an air of superiority and even spite towards the men in attendance.  Seems a bit counterproductive to me.  (Some parties I’d been to in Columbus were far better in this aspect, as we were treated as actual people by most of those in attendance.)

It’s not uncommon for women at these types of events to expect any sub they choose to fall at their feet and do exactly as they say.  I’ll pass on that.  I don’t play with random people.  On top of that, service is not something I do casually.  I don’t give my submission away to just anyone.  I’m not going to bow to you just because you identify as dominant and are in my proximity.  If my submission didn’t have any value, it wouldn’t mean anything when I do give it to someone.

I also see groupthink come into play at parties like that.  One woman does something, so a few other doms in the room like the idea and feel they need to instantly do the same.  Then the others think they’ll feel out of place if they don’t play along.  One-upmanship can become prevalent as well; The women there want to show off their massive domly skills (whether in play or d/s) and so they do something to flex their dom muscles.  Not to be outdone, someone else goes a step further.  Soon the subs aren’t even treated as if they’re involved anymore, simply tools in some silly competition.  It may or may not be seen as a direct competition as it’s happening; I’m more a fan of doing kink one’s own way rather than competing with others.

Humiliation is frequent at femdom parties.  While I find humiliation both hot and scary, the stupid-human-tricks variety more commonly practiced there isn’t my thing.  It’s actually a limit for me.  In other words, they often do humiliation not for erotic purposes, but more for entertainment or amusement.  The doms make the subs do ridiculous non-kink things just so they can make fun of them.  That feels closer to emotional abuse to me, and I don’t partake.

For all those reasons, I don’t attend a lot of those parties or events, instead choosing more mixed gatherings.  Many of the attendees at femdom parties gave me a bad impression, so much so that I decided to rarely attend, even when I was single.  I feel most of these problems could be bypassed with house rules or a paragraph or two in the event write-up.  It may be a tricky balance though, as it would be easy to make it feel overly restrictive.  We may do a one-off party or event at some point, so avoiding these issues would definitely be a priority.  The difficult part is finding a balance between making people feel comfortable and not making them feel too bogged down by rules.

I’m a Doormat! Wait, Maybe I’m a Rug…

This past weekend, T and I were at an event we really enjoy in a neighboring city.  I’ve been going to this event for roughly six years, and it’s definitely one of my favorites.  Each year, our caravan from Pittsburgh to this event seems to grow larger.

When we got there, T said she thought the room looked familiar.  She was right: We’d stayed in this same room before.  I realized that when I saw this-

cope wall

There were about a dozen of these little paw prints in the wall, and I remember talking with her about them when we last stayed in that room.  I really wanted to call the front desk and tell them we had an infestation of gravity-defying raccoons.

I ended up playing three times over the weekend.  Once with T, once with a friend from Pittsburgh, and once with someone I’d never met prior.  The latter posted before the event that she was looking to do some trampling.  I messaged her and we tentatively set it up.  My experience with trampling had been minimal, with just a little here and there thrown in as part of other scenes.  But this would be my first full-on trampling scene.  It wasn’t a huge, burning curiosity of mine, but more of a back-burner type curiosity.

After meeting face-to-face and negotiating the scene, we agreed to play on the second night of the event.

We met up on the second night and headed into the dungeon.  Her requirements for a play area were outrageous- She wanted a flat surface and something to hang on to.  Such extravagant rarities.  I stripped, and she had me lay on my back next to a sturdy bondage table.  After slipping off her shoes, she put one foot on top of my abdomen and slowly started adding weight.  Then came the other foot.  Her weight on top of me was restricting when it came to breathing, but it definitely wasn’t too much.  Monitoring me the whole time, she slowly kneaded my flesh with her feet and stepped across all parts of my body. The point of view was terrific.  She towered over top of me, looking about fifteen feet tall.  Being a foot fetishist also added some appeal for me.  She’s occasionally flash a big smile, and that helped my headspace a lot as well.  It gets me further into the scene when I know the top is really getting into whatever we’re doing.

After what was probably about five minutes, she put one foot on my throat and started to press down.  Right when my body hit that “ok, that’s enough” point, she went just a little further and held it there for a few seconds.  She was able to read my reactions very accurately considering we’d never played before.  Breath play and choking are very hot to me, and this was just one more way of doing that.  (T had choked me like that a couple times before as well; it’s always a sexiful time.)  Her weight remained constant on my body throughout.  Mentally, it had a bondage-ish feeling to it.  I couldn’t just sit up to lift her off of me.

Then she stepped off of me.  After putting on a pair of heels, she eased back on to my chest.  That was much more intense.  Her weight was concentrated over a smaller surface area with the shoes on.  The heels dug into my flesh as she continued to step all over me.  She left me with some great souvenirs:

trampling1 trampling2

Afterward, she checked in on me and we stayed there talking for a few minutes.  At that point I realized I had gotten a bit floaty, which I wasn’t expecting.  It’s a happy surprise.  She asked me which I preferred- barefoot or with heels.  I answered barefoot.  It just seemed more connected somehow, and the warmth of her feet added to that feeling.  She mentioned that she also felt more tactile feedback from me barefoot.

I enjoy moving things from my “curious about” list to my “into” list.  This was no exception.  I’d like to experience this again.  It’s not moving to the top of my interests anytime soon, but it’s one more thing for the arsenal.  Having a large variety of types of play to draw from keeps things fresh.  It also helps to prevent “dungeon monotony”- walking through a playspace and seeing people doing mostly the same type of play everywhere you look.  Trampling is one more arrow in the quiver of pervitude.