Beyond Fifty Shades: 6 Tips for the Beginning Dominant Exploring BD/SM

You’ve just read Fifty Shades of Grey, or maybe your partner has, and now your curiosity about BD/SM play has seriously piqued.  Taking the fantasy inspired by books, and bringing it into fruition in the bedroom may seem a little daunting at first, especially to a beginning Dom/me.  Here are five key ingredients that every Dom/me should remember when beginning their new adventure into the world of BD/SM play.

1) Communication

Communication is lubrication, I always say!  What better way to get the erotic juices flowing than to talk about your fantasies with each other!  Communication is an extremely important part of any relationship, but even more important in the realm of BD/SM play.  Whether you and your partner have been together for awhile, or are new to one another, ask your partner what their fantasies are, what new experiences they would like to try and explore, as well as what things they are not into, and do not wish to do.  This will give an erotic map of sorts, and makes a fantastic starting point for exploring this new journey into kink together.

You can also fill out what is known in the community as the “Play Partner Checklist“.  If you’re just starting out this list can seem a bit overwhelming and scary, but it too will provide both you and your partner with a starting point for more advanced exploration, as well as a list of negotiable and hard limits.  Knowledge is power!

2) Mutual Satisfaction

Domination is not simply about ordering your submissive around, and having your own desires met.  It’s about mutual satisfaction and fulfillment.  A lot of people new to D/s exploration assume that, as the Dominant in the relationship, it’s all about meeting their own fantasies and desires, when that is simply not the case.

Your submissive has fantasies and desires too, as well as needs to be met just as you have.  Finding out what those are, and blending them with your own in a harmonious way, will bring a symphony of erotic pleasure and fulfillment for the both of you.  D/s is a dynamic in which we exchange power, and that power flows from the bottom, up to the Top.  Remember, your submissive is giving you a gift in their submission to you.  Respect it, and use it wisely.

3) It’s All In Your Head – Imagination Is Key

Leather pants and a flogger does not, a Dominant, make!  It’s very easy as a new Dom/me to get caught in the trappings of toys like floggers and riding crops, and forget about the mental and emotional aspects of Dominance and submission.  Flex your mental muscles and use your imagination.  Create an aura of Dominance using just the way you move, speak (or don’t speak), and act.

Look to characters in books and movies to inspire you.  What is it about them that makes them a good example of Dominance in your eyes?  For me, it was always a cross between Linda Carter as Wonder Woman and Diana, the leader of the alien invasion in the mini-series “V”.  Find what inspires those feelings in you,  and make it your own.

4) Ingenuity

Again, it’s easy to get caught up in all of the new gear that the world of BD/SM play has to offer.  While nothing beats the smell of a new suede flogger, having one from the start is not a necessity.  You don’t need to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on toys to start having a good time playing!  A little ingenuity goes a long way!

That handy silicone spatula from your kitchen makes a great spanking tool, as does the flat back of a hairbrush!  The aisles at your local pet store will be most useful as you choose which pretty colored nylon collar and leash to use with your new submissive. Or have fun repurposing that cat toy, the plastic wand with a feather on the end, as a caning/sensation toy on your new submissive!  One of my favorite toys is a battery operated electric fly swatter; a paddle with the added bonus of an electric “zap”!

You would be surprised just what kind of toys you can come up with with just a little stretch of the imagination, and little stretch on the budget.  Have fun with it!

5) Safety – Physical and Emotional

Safety is an important part of good play.  Remember, one of your most important roles as a Dominant is caretaker of your submissive.  Make sure you know what you’re doing, and be prepared in case of an emergency.  A pair of EMT sheers is great, and I think a must, to have in your play bag.  They will cut through rope, leather, or clothing in a hurry, without risking cutting your submissive in the process.  It’s better to lose that expensive leather than it is to lose, or endanger, the life of your submissive.  If you get a new toy and are unsure how it may feel, the best way to find out is to test it on yourself first.  This way you not only know how it feels, but what the effect would be with varied application, or on various areas of the body.

Also, remember that beyond the physical aspect, you are also in care of your submissive’s emotional well-being, too.  Designate a safe word; a word that when spoken, will mean that all play must cease immediately.  A safe word should not be words like “No” or “Stop”, as these are sometimes fun to say in scene play.  Instead, it should be something that is totally unrelated and wouldn’t be something that you would unconsciously utter in the course of play, like “Banana” or “Trumpet”.

6) Aftercare

Lastly remember that it takes a lot of vulnerability, emotionally as well as physically,  to submit to another, so respect that your submissive will need some “after care” beyond the scene itself.  The adrenaline and endorphins heightened during a scene often cause drastic changes in mood afterwards.  This is sometimes refereed to as  “Sub Drop”.  Be aware of this, and make sure to check in with your parter even a day or so after the scene has ended to make sure they are feeling emotionally secure.

With these tips in mind, you are well on your way to some exciting and delicious D/s play.   Remember, in this age of readily available instant information research is your friend.  Learn as much as you can, to be the best that you can.  Have fun, and play safe!  Want more advice on how to be a better Dominant? Contact Portia!

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A Foray Into Fetish

Having been immersed in the BD/SM community for the entire span of my 20’s, it wasn’t long into my journey before I learned there was a whole rainbow of “kinkdom” out there, and my area of it was only scratching the surface.  During that time I was constantly meeting people who had all sorts of different fetishes; Crossdressing, Foot Worship, Humiliation, Sissification (Forced feminization), Infantilism, Electrosex, Kinbaku (Japanese Rope Bondage), and even clothing fetishes like Latex and Corseting.  Yes, there is a fetish for just about everything from soup to nuts, well, more like even nuts in soup: Sploshing (I admit, the thought of having an erotic food fight, or a food play scenario like the one in the film 9 1/2 Weeks, turns me on).


Naka Akira, one of Japan’s leading kinbakushi, performing at Toubaku, international shibari festival, in Tokyo 2011. Source: Esinem

I can’t claim to like all of those fetishes even as a concept, let alone understand them all, but I do feel that we’re all entitled to explore our sexuality in whatever way we choose, and joyously so, as long as everyone involved is a consenting adult.  After all, we all have something that turns us on that maybe, just maybe, might not be quite someone else’s cup of tea, so its best not to be too harsh a critic of your fellow sexplorer’s bedtime fun.

The BD/SM world seems to be this marvelous crossover playground where a lot of fetishes overlap and mingle.  This certainly doesn’t mean that every person into D/s and BD/SM is into any, or all, of these fetishes, but a lot of these fetishes fall under the umbrella of play that are often labeled “D/s” (Dominance and submission).  Picture those cool Venn diagrams where the circles have both separate and overlapping areas illustrating the relationships between things, and there you have fetishes and the kink world.

My first personal experience with Foot Worship came a few years before I delved into the BD/SM world.  I used to be a regular at showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show on 8th St. in Manhattan when I first went to college in the early 90’s, and one of my fellow regulars, part of the group that took me in and quickly made me a part of their crew, loved feet.  And when I say he loved feet, I mean he LOVED feet!  He loved watching me wiggle my toes, he got doe-eyed watching me arch my foot to stretch and point my toes, and as soon as I became aware of this through keen observation, I would do them more obviously in his presence.  The not quite matured Dominant aspect of my nature thoroughly enjoyed this.  I reveled in the thought that it was erotically torturous for him to watch me, and I took advantage of this whenever I could.   It helped that I had an interest in him sexually, as sexuality ties heavily into D/s for me.  In short, they are inextricably linked for me.  Well, maybe not in all cases, but usually 95% of the time anyway.

The object of his affection: my feet

Soon, as he became comfortable with me, and aware that we shared a mutual attraction, I allowed this aspect of our relationship to grow.  I remember one night where he literally massaged and rubbed my stocking feet for what seemed like an hour before one show.  I was somewhat repulsed by it at first, as I knew my tired, stocking-clad tootsies were definitely not the most pleasant smelling.  Oh, but that was just like icing on the cake for him, as he totally got off on stinky feet, and the more it smelled like you had been walking around all day, the better!  I wouldn’t even want to be near my feet after that, but to each his own.  Good on ya, mate!

Another night I even allowed him to suck my toes and lick my feet.  I know some women actually find this feeling erotic, no fetish included, but then, to me, it just felt weird.  It certainly did nothing for me sexually, but he really enjoyed it, and so I acquiesced to his desire, as it certainly wasn’t a deal breaker.  I suppose I should’ve looked at it like getting a foot massage with a mouth. LOL  I had another experience with my toes being sucked by a lover just a year or so ago, and um, let’s just say under the right circumstances, I think my toes have tiny clits on them, but I digress. =)

A few years later as I forayed into my experience with BD/SM, I began to learn that this form of fetish had it roots in submission, and I as a Dominant Female, or Mistress if you please, became well aware that my stiletto-sporting feet, and the nylon-wearing legs they were attached to, were in high demand by submissive men with foot fetishes.  I intended to milk this fetish for all it was worth.  And when I say worth people, I mean I saw dollar signs.

I was not alone in my ingenuity either!  My partner in crime and best friend, Domina Blue, saw the monumental eBay potential to be gleamed.  She was not only a Domina like me, but shared my eBay obsession as well.  Blue encouraged me to list my well-worn stockings, socks, high heels, and even busted-out old sneakers for auction.  Alas, eBay didn’t like such auctions, and quickly cancelled them despite overwhelmingly rapid bidding response!  Apparently the selling of erotically marketed used clothing did not jive with their policies.  Foiled again.  I’d expect a little more from a company from California, land of the “out there”!

Ah, thank you, eBanned!  eBanned is the cleverly created “adult only” auction site for all things fetish that are not allowed on eBay.  Smelly socks?  Worn panties?  Trashed out high heels?  You name it, you can sell, or buy it, on eBanned.  Honestly, you’re just going to throw out your old socks, so why do that when you can sell them to some foot-sniffing, sock lover for $20, who will love them in his own special way?  And please don’t think me callus in that statement, as those loving footboys understand what a true pleasure it is that I allowed them.

It’s not only a no-brainer as far as the profit margins go, but it’s also the most cleverly concealed form of recycling ever devised!  And who doesn’t care about the environment these days, right?  I was such an innovator in the realm of “repurposing” back then, and I didn’t even realize it.  And hey, it’s like getting your shoes for free, because once you have worn them enough that you need new ones, you can end up selling your beat up heels for anywhere from half, up to what they originally cost you, or more!  I sold a pair of 6″ red patent, ankle strap, stilettos that I had worn out for $85+ to a guy from Germany!  They cost me less than half that.

Of course it’s not just the object itself, but the symbolism behind it, as well as the scent infused in it.  To smell your feet, see the wear and imagine your perfect feet carving a path across a crowded room as all eyes fell on you, and imagine the life you lived in them as they worship every aspect of your Goddesshood; that, it’s that those footboys desire.  It could be a high heel, a sneaker, a cute cotton athletic sock, or the sexiest pair of silk stockings.  It’s whatever their proclivity is, whatever fantasy you choose to weave, and whatever piece of your world you deem them fit to enjoy the morsel of.

I call that a win/win, don’t you?

It’s been years since I employed such craftiness in both the realm of fetish, and of the more creative marketplace.  My early 30’s have been about the more “swirly” aspects of vanilla sexual expression, and that is fine with me.  I go where my desire leads me.  I haven’t taken part in this area of e-commerce for a good long time.  That is, until recently.  Of course, that is a story for another day.

Do you have any fetishes?  Care to share with me?