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I spent a delicious part of an afternoon last week (Independence Day, in fact; nice way to celebrate…) being sort-of practice-topped, sort of actually-dominated by a new, switchy lover. He is about to have the opportunity to play with someone he’s had his eye on for five years now, and I always like to help a brother out.

(Insert inappropriate incest fantasy remarks here…)

It turns out that he’s not lacking much at all in the hard skills department; while I have yet to show him how to work my four-foot singletail, I received a very delicious flogging. What I found myself dipping in and out of subspace to do was to give him ideas about what might be called soft skills.

Now naturally, I was working from a place of what I was wanting in the moment, what was going to make me feel more desired, sink me deeper into trance, bring me more under control. And yes, it was a very interesting and fun dance – working from my experience to instruct, while simultaneously letting myself surrender to the experience itself. When we were planning it, I joked that he’d know he was doing well if he could keep me from instructing him.

But some of the things that came up seemed to me to be fairly generalizable for newer tops or doms, especially those playing with new partners. Here’s what I came up with:

1. Keep in control. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to this and aren’t really sure what you’re doing. Faking it – in the confidence sense – can really go far. I’m not saying you should do something that you don’t know how to do – please don’t suspend someone, or cane them, or poke them with needles, if you don’t know what you’re doing! – but rather that assuming an air of control and confidence can go a long way toward making the submissive partner’s experience more fulfilling. In my case, I have a much easier time letting go if I sense that the person topping me has the situation in-hand.

Some ways of doing this, practically speaking: use occasional sudden, sharp movements (push me down, slap me harder than I expect after lulling me with sensuality, grab me by the hair); inspect/appraise me; tell me what to do without too many words; restrict my choices; correct my mistakes with calm harshness.

There are going to be moments of hesitation and doubt, of course. The trick is to have the mini-panic-attack inside your head, then find a way to either change the activity that’s causing you stress, or express your doubt in a dominant way. Which brings me to:

2. Keep in touch. The corollary to the above is that, especially with new partners, checking in frequently is important. Some subs go non-verbal (hello!), and many don’t respond well to questions in the moment, unless the answers are a simple yes or no. Even then, sometimes the sub will be in a space where he doesn’t know what he wants; some subs go into a kind of thrall in scene and get deeply into surrendering their will.

Especially for people like this, keeping in touch is key. I mean this in two ways:

-Physical. Touch them with your hand. Check the temperature of their extremities. Press your body into them, feel their reaction, then pull away again. It all performs the triple function of teasing, cherishing, and checking on them. Watch their breathing. Is it slow and deep and trancey? You’re probably okay. Is it rapid and shallow? This could mean several things – panic, extreme excitement, about to faint. This is where the second way comes in:

-Verbal. It’s sad, but true, that the last thing a sub wants to hear during a scene is “Are you okay?” But maintaining the illusion of dominance, non-consent, or whatever you’re playing with doesn’t mean there’s no way to find out what’s going on if you’re confused. Say you’ve been hitting them for a while, and it’s escalating, but you reach a point where you’re not sure if their reactions mean they’re near their limits and might safeword, or that they’re about to have an orgasm. Stop. Put your hand on them. Make them look you in the eyes, or loop your arm around their chest and growl/whisper in their ear. “You had enough? Or do I need to beat you some more?” There are a thousand variations of this, of course. Generally, you’ll know pretty quickly. If they’re in a “wanting more” space, you might even get some begging out of it. (I love both saying and hearing “please, PLEASE…”) If you’ve hit their limit, this will be a good chance for them to breathe, collect themselves, come back to earth a little, and receive some tenderness. They may still be non-verbal, but if you’re unsure, wait for an answer. Consent is a continuous process.

3. Close the scene clearly. Not knowing whether a scene is over or not, or whether the dominant’s attention is still on me, or whether I did okay, or whatever is one of the most demoralizing things that can happen to a sub. I know I’m not alone in being extra-sensitive when I’m in subspace: everything is magnified, everything the dominant does has meaning, and very small slights can make me feel completely abandoned. All of these skills I’m talking about are about maintaining clarity, but this might be the most important one. When you feel the scene is over, let the sub know. This can be done in many ways. One thing I recognized the other day is that I really like praise and tenderness afterward, especially if I endured something difficult. “Good girl,” “It’s okay, it’s over, you did soooo well,” “You pleased me very much,” and so on. Petting along with this also helps. Some subs aren’t like this at all – some prefer to be abandoned as part of their kink; some want some alone-time to process their feelings, but many will want some kind of aftercare. And regardless of aftercare needs – which you can talk about in advance of the scene – making it clear that the scene is ending is critical. Take the collar off, start untying ropes, tell the sub how well they did, that it’s time to come down, or whatever. The clearer you make it, the easier it is for the sub to return to normal headspace.

*
What do you think? How generalizable are these? Can you think of others?

Seeking.

All right folks, so here’s the deal:

As you know Bob, I stopped doing professional domination work some time back. I’m mostly on to other things.

However. Lately I’ve been having 1. a hankering, and 2. a bit of a financial squeeze. So I’m looking to potentially start seeing some people again.

Here’s the catch: Because this is no longer my primary source of income, I’m going to be limiting my practice to people I really want to see, who want to do the things I want to do. The flip side of this is that I’ll be lowering my tribute to well below the usual market.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know a bit about who and how I am: I’m basically a smart, sensual, empathic top who likes to play with responsive people. Which is to say: I’m less interested in your stoic ability to take a hard beating than I am in hearing you gasp, moan and squeal as you take it. I like men with easy subspace triggers, but I also like a bit of a power struggle.

I like my feet worshipped well, and my boots also.
I like using floggers, singletails, canes and crops, and other hitty things.
I use rope, but I’m not a huge rope top. I’m more interested in functional bondage.
I like contact: slapping, punching, pinching, squeezing, kicking, and some smothering.
I like menacing you with knives.
I like authentic interaction, like, a whole lot.

I don’t care for piss, enemas, or anything else that potentially makes a big smelly mess.
I still don’t want to do forced feminization scenes.
However, all gender presentations are welcome, and if you want to play with gender in a respectful way, that definitely turns my crank.

There’s plenty more, of course, but it all depends on who you are and what you bring. If you have interests I didn’t mention here, please, let me know, and it’s possible I’ll be into it.

Email me directly if this is of interest to you!

I know this has been pointed to from all over the place, but I myself have just stumbled across it, and feel it deserves yet another signal boost.

Please read, if you have ever had concerns about the types that The Scene can nurture, and if you’ve ever wanted to further uncouple BDSM from abuse.

A Field Guide To Creepy Dom.

Maymay has asked me to pass this along – the press release for the upcoming KinkForAll in Denver, CO.  Please spread the word!

***

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact:

Rebecca Crane
KinkForAll Denver unorganizer
(303) 817-6530
rebeccacrane@gmail.com
http://kinkforall.org/?author=27

Community unites through peer-based sex education, teach-ins at Tivoli Student Union

Denver, CO – February 2, 2012 – A full day conference featuring teach-ins, presentations, and discussions about sexuality and its intersection with the rest of life will be hosted on February 25 at the Tivoli Student Union. Organizers cite the peer-based education format as a key method to empowering individuals, helping participants learn on their own and share their knowledge with interested neighbors. The conference, called KinkForAll Denver, is a collaboration with a growing group of sexual freedom and education advocates spanning the nation.

“What excites me most about KinkForAll is the idea that everyone has valuable skills and ideas to share. We’re all experts on our own experiences,” said conference organizer Rebecca Crane. Past KinkForAll events featured sessions led by professionals and accredited sex educators, but also by students, amateur craft-makers, and even teens. Youth explained challenges in setting up Gay-Straight Alliances at schools, and other participants discussed topics ranging fromgender identity to religion, personal coming out stories, writing about sex,sexuality and technology, and more. Many sessions are video recorded and made available online for free, helping to reform sex and relationships education with a grass-roots, citizen-driven movement. “Denver’s communities have a lot of unique knowledge to contribute to the growing national conversation about sexual freedom and relationship choice,” Crane said.

The innovative conference format gives each participant 20 minutes in which to facilitate a discussion, give a presentation, or lead a session on any topic related to sexuality. Everyone who attends is encouraged to present in whatever form they find most inspiring or comfortable. Anyone interested can learn more at http://wiki.KinkForAll.org/KinkForAll and sign up to participate at http://wiki.kinkforall.org/KinkForAllDenver.

Contact:

Rebecca Crane
KinkForAll Denver unorganizer
(303) 817-6530
rebeccacrane@gmail.com
http://kinkforall.org/?author=27

For additional information, contact:

Meitar “maymay” Moscovitz
KinkForAll founder
(323) 963-4827
bitetheappleback+kinkforall@gmail.com”
http://kinkforall.org/?author=2

An innovative conference to empower a citizen-driven reform of sexuality education, KinkForAll Denver, will be held on the Auraria Campus at the Tivoli Student Union on February 25, 2012. The event is free, open to the public, and strongly stresses education and sexual freedom over eroticization. Anyone with the desire to learn or with something to contribute is welcome and invited to participate.

About KinkForAll

KinkForAll is an ad-hoc unconference about sexuality for anyone and everyone, drawing participants from an astounding range of both sexuality-related and other communities. Anyone with the desire to learn in an open environment or with something to contribute is welcome and invited to participate. KinkForAll is a 100% free event that is open to the public.

KinkForAll is a fast-paced event with discussions, presentations, and interaction from all participants. There are no spectators, only participants. To attend, you must give a presentation or otherwise help out. KinkForAll events aim to support participants face-to-face and to create shared knowledge with lasting benefit to humanity. KinkForAll is inspired by and based upon the BarCamp community and unconference model.

http://wiki.KinkForAll.org

Folks, my computer was stolen last week and I hadn’t done a recent enough backup.  If you tried to contact me via email in the last little while, give it another shot:

Click here to do it, baby.

Ta!

One of the questions Sarah asked me in my interview for Good Vibrations is why I don’t do forced fem anymore.

I gave a rather politic answer:

I find it deeply problematic that there is such a rash of men who want to be turned into women because being a woman is somehow humiliating, less-than, shameful. It’s one thing to want to experiment with gender; it’s another to do it in a way that implies that doing “girly” things makes you ridiculous, stupid, or unworthy. It bothers me, and always has. I don’t want to deny anyone their kinks, but I don’t have to participate in them.

I also note that you never hear about women being forced to be dressed up like men and then made fun of. Somehow being female or feminine has gotten linked up with being submissive, and so a lot of men think that the most submissive thing you can possibly do is put on a bra and panties and get fucked with a strap-on. I’m okay with that in some cases, but I want to do it in a loving way, not a shaming one. A man giving himself to me wholeheartedly is a beautiful thing, and I have no interest in making it ugly.

I know how powerful humiliation can be, and how many taboos there are in our culture that you can tap into if you want to make someone feel that way. Women in our culture get a lot less flack for dressing in men’s clothes than men get for dressing in women’s; thus the power of that taboo. But I personally don’t enjoy perpetuating or eroticizing that taboo. Besides, I’ve never been strongly into humiliation; I think it’s one of the more heavy-duty tools in the kink arsenal, and I reserve that kind of play for people I’m very close to.

Source: magazine.goodvibes.com (http://s.tt/131Fx)

I was looking around Bitchy’s site last night for some reason (I still refer to it a lot), and found the best explanation yet for why she thinks forced fem is completely fucked up. As usual, she has slightly stronger opinions than I have. /understatement.

But in this particular post, she really put her finger on it for me. Some commenters were apparently comparing forced fem to race play or other “edgy” play where, say, a black person enacts fantasies of being a slave, or a Jewish person enacts fantasies involving Nazis. And here’s where she nails it:

Who has the power outside the bedroom is relevant. Taking something that oppresses you in daily life and making it your sexual power source is a valid and often useful thing to do. And hot. Taking something you use to oppress other people and then making some parody of it to stroke off some ideas you have that wouldn’t it be dirty to be a slutty woman, ain’t the same thing.

I could just leave it at that and be happy, but I must add this:

And that’s not even getting started on forced fem’s prevalence in femdom enforcing shitty little ideas about femininity and submission being, like, what, fucking interchangeable, or something. Just stop. Really. If everything we do in femdom equates the ideas that femininity is what submission really is and dominance requires a cock and no emotional engagement, femdom will never stop being a joke, a sickness, a wrong, wrong thing. You can come and ask me why I don’t like gender bending if you like, but the reason I complain about this stuff is because femdom just can’t stay away from it. Like the dominant paradigm of cock wins over cunt is so seductive that we, who think we are so fucking subversive, can’t unthink that shit even as we enact the opposite.

My own opinions on gender-bending in general are quite different, of course; a post is brewing for me on what it’s like when I boy up and go to a party that way. But I definitely find Bitchy’s points on this very, very relevant.

Now go read the whole thing.

I got interviewed!

Sarah Whedon over at Good Vibes interviewed me for her shiny new column, “Screwing With Our Minds.”

Check it out – it’s pretty awesome.

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