Archive for March, 2009

It’s advice time again, and I’ve got some nice juicy questions this week. Spring is struggling into being here in Massachusetts, but I do feel the stirrings…so before my mind races off to the horrible things I’d like to be doing to various people, let’s get right to it.

Dear Delilah,

Any tips on deprogramming a guy from the message “Men must be sweet/nice/polite to women”? I’m female. My boyfriend was mainly vanilla when we started dating, and I’m a seasoned submissive with a lot more sexual experience than him in general. It’s been 2.5 years now, and he’s been quite open-minded and accommodating. He learned to dom me because it turns me on (which in turn, turns him on), has gotten better at it, and even enjoys it for its own sake sometimes. But he keeps getting the “WRONG! BAD!” message from his primitive brain when it comes to causing me pain, calling me names, etc, and he holds back &/or falls out of role. I tell him how much I like this play, and believe me, there’s plenty of other proof, so it’s not a problem at the cognitive level. So I think it’s a combination of societally-imposed PC guilt and the fear that, as he’s told me, he’ll like it too much (and maybe lose some control?). Any ideas?

Besides losing control, what does “liking it too much” mean to him? It sounds like you need to unpack some of his fears. Is he afraid that he’ll like it too much and then not want to do any other kind of sex? That seems unlikely, given his reluctance to do it in the first place. If it really is just about losing control, talk about that. What would losing control mean? Does he know that he’s capable of losing control, or of committing violence? Is there any history to back that up? If you can get to the bottom of his fears, you might be able to go further.

If he does have a tendency to lose his temper or is prone to rage, you probably do want to keep treading carefully. Remind him that hitting doesn’t have to be done in anger. You might want to do scenes that are more ritualized, or add roleplay where you’re “in trouble;” punishment scenarios can be very controlled and very severe at the same time. You also could take the punishment aspect out of it altogether sometimes, and make whatever beating he gives you completely erotic in nature – a reward, rather than a punishment, accompanied by loving words.

Another step might be to practice using a safeword. Set up a scene where his goal is to make you call the safeword. This will hopefully achieve two things: it will let him see how far he can really go without actually harming you, and it will help him see that he can stop if he needs to.

Dear Delilah,

I’ve known for a long time that I am into kink (if we’re going to be honest, probably since I started to be sexual at all). The few experiences I’ve had have made it clear that kink turns my crank in ways that plain ol’ regular sex doesn’t, and recently I’ve been dating a sweet switchy guy with whom I’ve been experimenting a bit. So far, so good, right?

The thing is that I keep reaching personal boundaries very quickly. Simple stuff is ok (say, light bondage and spanking, maybe some gentle breathplay) but anything more serious and I need to stop immediately. I don’t want to force myself to cross boundaries, and my friend is supremely respectful of limits (I wouldn’t be playing with him otherwise). However, I do want to go further than we’ve gone. My fantasies aren’t terribly logistically or anatomically difficult- is it an issue of time, experience and trust? Are there ways of slowly easing into kinky sex?

Thanks for your advice,
Novice Eagerly Wants Booty

There are lots of possible answers to this, NEWB, but your own answer is probably the most truthful: kinky sex requires a huge amount of trust, and if you still don’t know your partner very well, it’s going to take time to go to deeper places. It may be easy to admit you’d like to be tied up and spanked a little – it’s almost a mainstream thing at this point. But some fantasies, though they may not be “logistically or anatomically difficult,” may be emotionally difficult. It requires a lot of vulnerability to let someone take control of you, and it’s a tremendous burden of responsibility to take control of someone else. Without knowing more about what your fantasies are, I can’t tell you how to get into them more deeply, but almost any opening of this type requires, as you say, time, experience, and trust.

And yes, there are ways of slowly easing into kinky sex. If you keep running up against a barrier when you try things, try stopping and dirty talking about what you want to do instead. If that seems too difficult, write letters to each other about it. Try introducing one piece of a fantasy at a time and seeing how each component feels: in a schoolgirl/professor fantasy, for example, you might start just by wearing the outfits, then peeling each other out of them and having sex. If that works, next time add some naughty roleplay. Then a spanking with a ruler. You get the idea. With each successful piece, your bravery will increase.

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My basic informational post about safewords is here.

There are a few notions about safewords, however, that I’ve come across and would like to take a moment to dispel.

Myth #1: Safewords are only for players who don’t know each other well.

While it’s true that in part, the use of safewords is for the purpose of communication when one might not know another’s reactions well enough to judge, it’s not always the best idea to drop safewords even when you’ve been playing together for a long time. There are a number of reasons to keep safewords in place, even in a long term D/s relationship Perhaps the top wants to regularly push the bottom’s boundaries and help him or her to grow. Having a safety net can really help when you’re trying to push past limits together. If there’s no way for the bottom to say no, the risk is much higher that someone will get physically or emotionally harmed. Also remember that people change, and relationships shift. What might be okay one day might not be okay the next, and safewords are excellent shorthand for “oh hey I thought this was okay but right now it’s really not and could you just stop it and hold me?” While in longer-term relationships people are more likely to “feel” or “know” when something is wrong by reading body language, it’s by no means foolproof, and without a safeword option, a bottom – particularly a submissive – can easily go silent and feel trapped, and that’s where a lot of damage can be done. More on this below.

Myth #2: If I don’t use a safeword, I can be pushed farther.

I have had a number of people contact me requesting – nay, demanding – that I do a scene with them without a safeword. Usually these people also want some kind of intense corporal punishment – like paddling, caning, or whipping – or to be severely trampled, or to have some other scene that involves a great deal of pain-endurance. They often have a story of the mistress who did this with them and how it was all fine and dandy.

To these people I say: Good luck with that. I won’t be visiting you at the hospital.

Doing a scene with a total or even relative stranger, that could involve physical harm, without a safeword, is just. plain. stupid. What these people seem to think is that if they have a safeword, they will call it, plain and simple, and thus they won’t be able to get past their own pain limitations.

First of all: fucking weh. I’m not here to risk criminal charges so you can push your limits. But second: you’re wrong.

If you do an intense scene without a safeword, the top, if he or she gives a shit about your safety or his or her own, will hold back. You won’t get the incredible, limits-pushing ball-busting you were looking for if the top doesn’t have an idea of how to know when to stop. And you, the bottom, may also get pushed where you don’t truly want to go, and get harmed in the process.

I did a scene with someone who was insistent about not using a safeword. I told him tough nooggies, and we did it with one. Guess what? He discovered that he was too proud to use the safeword, and so he got the intensity he was looking for, while always knowing that he could stop it if he really needed to. One way to combat the desire to play without safewords is to make the safeword something really stupid-sounding, or difficult to say, which may make the bottom less likely to want to use it. But if push comes to shove and the bottom needs an out – that sub will be screaming “I want a pomegranate enema!”

Myth #3: As long as I use a safeword, I’m totally fine.

This is the caveat to what I’ve said above, and it’s a tricky one.

Safewords are useful, yes. And as I’ve said, I don’t play professionally without them, and I usually don’t play personally without them, either. But it’s worth noting that sometimes, they don’t work.

Having a safeword in place, for example, is no excuse to engage in activities that you don’t know how to do safely. It’s all well and good if the bottom can tell you that the caning you’re delivering is too harsh; it’s rather unfortunate, though, if you’ve already struck him in a major organ at top force.

It’s also worth knowing that, for some submissives, it’s possible or even common to go non-verbal during a good scene. This can also happen during a bad scene, and if the submissive can’t drag herself up out of headspace to utter her safeword, she’s likely to endure something that she never wanted to endure – and that’s where harm gets done. If you top or dominate people, be sure that you develop good people-reading skills, or if you don’t have them, know that about yourself. It’s easy, in these intense emotional and physical spaces, for a scene to go wrong and for a submissive to feel trapped like a patient under surgery whose anesthesia has left them paralyzed but awake and unable to call for help. Safewords are great tools, but they are by no means perfect: keep your eyes open and your other senses alert for when a submissive may be in trouble.

Myth #4: It is never, never okay to not honor a safeword.

I’m probably going to catch a lot of shit for this, but here goes: sometimes, for certain experienced players who know each other well, it may be okay to play with ignoring safewords.

I’ve seen this posted in play party rules before: “If you’re going to be doing a scene where the safeword will be called and ignored, please inform the Dungeon Master beforehand.” Seriously? I thought at first. Somebody would do that?

The answer to that is always, of course, that yes, somebody would. But I want to emphasize here that what I’m talking about and cautiously condoning is a planned scene that contains layers of nonconsent play: probably the top will be doing something that will strongly encourage the bottom to call the safeword, and the players are eroticizing the idea of nonconsent even further by having the safeword be ignored.

My sincere hope (and my strong recommendation) is that those engaging in such scenes would have a “real” safeword underneath the ignorable one, that either party could call in case of real trouble. But I can see the power in enacting the scenario where the bottom calls the safeword and the top just keeps going. It’s terrifying, and thrilling, in the way that all the best BDSM scenes are.

But remember: if you are playing with someone who ignores your safeword, and you haven’t previously agreed to it, that is simple abuse. Mistress Hypatia out of the UK has a great piece on this and on the topic of safewords in general.

It’s a complex thing, this kinky world. It drills right into our psyches and our hearts and our deepest fears and desires. Remember that, revel in it, and play safe.

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Seeing as my most recent advice column mentioned safewords in both answers, I figured it was time for me to do my philosophizing about safewords – mostly for future reference.

Some of you may be familiar with Jay Wiseman; his SM 101 is a great book for those starting out in BDSM, and his near-paranoia about safety in the scene is legendary. I’m a bit less paranoid, but I do have concerns about novices starting out, especially with stories like this and this.

So first things first –

A Primer

For nearly every novice who comes and sees me having fantasized and scoured the Internet for kinky porn but never experienced the real thing, there’s a novice who’s never heard of safewords. It’s always amazing to me, probably because I learned about kink from people and how-to books, not from porn and kinky novels. Not that there’s anything wrong with porn and kinky novels, but in general they don’t provide a realistic view of how BDSM works. In the real world, cruel yet alluring and fantastically wealthy women don’t abduct unsuspecting tourists, feminize them and keep them locked to the floor by a chain around their balls. Except in my own dreams, when hot leather daddies pick up girls pretending to be boys and find out they’re actually girls, they don’t let them move in with them. And in real-life scenes, most of us use safewords.

A safeword is simply a word, usually but not always assigned by the top, that either/any party in a scene can use to make the scene stop. As soon as one of you says Wienerschnitzel, for example, everyone comes out of role, any potentially hazardous bondage is rapidly undone, and we all check in and find out what went wrong and what needs to happen next.

It’s smart not to pick a word that you might say in the course of a scene: “more,” “harder,” and “ouch,” for example, are poor choices. Something as simple as the word “safeword” itself is a popular choice.

Some also like to use what’s called the “traffic light” system for more nuanced communication, particularly between new play partners. “Red” means everything stops. “Yellow” means “slow down” or “let’s check in.” Some people like to choose a word that fits for the roleplay: a spanking client of mine likes to use “red,” not as in the traffic light but as in, “Ohhhh! It’s getting too red!” This lets him stay in role while differentiating between his usual squirming and crying and when I really am spanking him too hard. This is an important point about safewords: they’re especially useful when the bottom may want to play with resistance or non-consent.

That doesn’t mean that they aren’t useful in other places. I, for one, always play with safewords with my professional clients, in part because they are often new to me, and I don’t know what their reactions look like. While there are many common physical signs that help me to know whether someone is enjoying a flogging (low moans/shouts, tensing followed by relaxation of the muscles, deep breathing), it can be tricky to know how far to go with someone you’ve never played with before. Psychology can also be very different for different people: one person may want a sensual flogging; another may want to be made to truly endure, and their shrieks, rapid breath, and protests are all part of the scene for them. If I didn’t give them a safeword, I very likely wouldn’t push as far.

It’s also worthwhile to know that safewords aren’t just for bottoms; tops can use them, too. Tops carry the majority of the responsibility in scene, and it’s key for them to have a means of stopping the scene as well. The causes tend to be different, though: once I called “red” on a client who was a landscaper by trade; when I had him turn his back to me to tie him up, I realized he had a tick in his back. I stopped the scene to take care of it, then continued.

It’s my official recommendation that all players use safewords; even when you get to know someone well, sometimes you can be surprised, and having that safety net in place helps maintain trust. Nonetheless, there are also some myths about safewords, and I’ll address some of them: expect Safewords 201 – Not for the Faint of Heart – tomorrow.

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Hello, all! Today I have two questions from people just starting out; let’s hope that I can give them some good insight and not send them running screaming from all things kink. 🙂

If you’d like to ask me a question, write me at delilah@dommedelilah.com, or if you’re really brave, comment here!

Now: on with your questions!

Dear Delilah,

Let’s say you’re taking your first baby steps into kinky stuff. Let’s say you’re not the kind of person who just throws hirself into new things with outrageous abandon. How would you recommend finding out what it is that you like safely, both physically and emotionally?

-Aroused in Arlington

Dear Aroused,

I’m so glad you asked. There are many ways to go about this task; your job is to figure out which one works best for you.

One of the better ways of getting a sense of what you might like in the kinky world is to take a look at your fantasies. What do you think about when you jack off? What kind of porn turns you on? What things have you wished your partner would do to you – or wished you could do to your partner – when you’re having sex? This information can be invaluable when you’re trying to navigate the waters of BDSM and its offshoots. Start noticing it. Write it down in your journal. Observe trends.

The next step is trying things out. Now, a warning: one of the more interesting phenomena I’ve encountered is that sometimes the fantasy and the reality don’t match. Maybe your fantasy is something that’s simply not possible in our consensual reality: I have a client who has a giantess fetish, and while I am six feet tall, there’s no way I can be sixty. Or sometimes you might try out a fantasy and discover that in reality, it’s actually scary or uninteresting or even repugnant: maybe it’s nice to fantasize about being vomited on, but the smell, ach!

But you never know until you try, and if you’re a cautious person, the thing to do is pick one of your tamer fantasies first. What constitutes “tame,” you might ask? Depends on you. To you, tickling may be extreme edge play (it is for me; I detest being tickled). Having someone run a knife along your body without cutting may be perfectly tame. (For me, it’s extreme: I have a terror of knives.) When you think about making your fantasy into reality, how does it make you feel? Scared? Aroused? Intrigued? If it’s something closer to the latter two, give it a try. If it frightens you, try some tamer things first.

Finally, you need to share the fantasy with a partner and see if they will indulge you. If the person you’re involving is someone close to you and also new to kink, remember to be gentle and ask that they be gentle with you: you’re revealing something vulnerable about yourself, and you’re asking them to participate in something that may be intimidating. Make sure you make it clear that this is something you want to experience together: if it’s something you wind up enjoying, it’s more likely to be repeated if you both enjoy it. If you’re asking them to bottom, don’t forget to talk about safewords: they should have a word they can say that will stop all activity and give you a chance to check in. (Safewords are important for tops, too, in case you feel you need to stop.) If you’re asking them to top, reassure them that you won’t be critical during the experience; having the first experience be less intense but safe and pleasant is a good gateway to having more intense experiences later.

If both of you are new, it’s also important that at least one of you know what you’re doing. This is why it’s probably better to pick something less complicated: perhaps your partner could tie you to the bed with scarves, but you probably don’t want to be suspended from hooks just yet. There are plenty of books, classes and trainings in the Boston area and country-wide on various types of kink; I myself offer trainings for singles and couples if you are interested.

Another way to go about it, particularly if you attend kinky parties, is to approach someone experienced whom you’d like to play with, and ask them if they’d be willing to do “x” activity with you, a novice. Many experienced players are happy to “break in” newbies, and can (but may not always) provide you with valuable feedback. They also will likely already have good skills and boundaries around BDSM play, and will be able to more easily provide you with a safe environment to experience your early scenes.

Happy playing!

Dear Delilah,

As someone who has little practical experience with kink but who has recently started dating a man who is into BDSM, and is a “dominant,” I am unsure about many things: a) how to explain a willingness but a nervousness about participating in such sexual behavior b) what to expect c) where on earth this desire to be dominated came from.

-Unsure Me

Dear Um,

This is a marvelous tangle, isn’t it? It sounds like you’re on the cusp of something big for you. The question is, how do you make the experience exciting and safe and not let your trepidation keep you from going forward?

You ask how to explain a willingness yet a nervousness to engage in kinky-type sex. If this person you’re dating is a good guy (which I hope he is), then it shouldn’t be too difficult, or at least it shouldn’t come as a big surprise to him. You’re new to this, and that he knows, correct? Let him know that the idea of it turns you on, but you have some fears and he’ll need to take it slow. Make sure that you work out safewords: a word that either of you can say that will stop the kinky activity and give you a chance to talk about what happened. If he is dismissive of your nervousness, that’s a big red flag: BDSM is tricky territory, not to be entered into lightly. Make sure you can trust him before engaging in what could be risky behavior.

As far as what to expect: that depends. When I first got into kink, it was a whirlwind of emotions and sensations I never had encountered before. I started as a pure submissive, and among other things, I had some internal bridling about what it meant to be a feminist who wanted to be sexually overpowered by a man. I had some fear about giving over my power to another. But I also had (and continue to have) some of the most fulfilling and exciting sex of my life. As I grew into my kinky identity as a switch, I experienced the rush of power exchange in both directions, the sacredness of trust given and trust received, and the incredible closeness it can engender. But the experience is very individual.

One thing to be careful of is not to think that you have to be forced to endure anything that you don’t like, either to “prove” how kinky you are, or to satisfy your dominant boyfriend. While in some relationships submissives sometimes endure things for love of their dominants, this is not a necessary component of kink, and if something he does causes you suffering without pleasure (as distinguished from the pleasure one may derive from suffering “for” someone), then don’t agree to it.

And where did this desire come from? Boy, did I ask myself the same question years ago. For you, it may be coming from this person in particular, and how his desires affect yours. Or, he could be pushing buttons that you’ve just never had pushed before, that were just there waiting to be pushed. I wouldn’t worry about that part too much: not everybody’s kink comes from some childhood trauma or repressed memory. Some of us just desire a more intense experience than plain vanilla sex can usually provide, and kink is how we go about getting it.

Above all, be safe, trust yourself, remember your safewords – and check in with yourself frequently about your own power in the rest of your life. Giving someone else power over you temporarily can be incredibly erotic, trust-building, and intimate. Giving someone else control over your life, however, rarely works out well.


That’s it for this week. Remember to send me your questions: delilah@dommedelilah.com.

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So I’m planning a total rebuild of my professional website, and I’m starting the process a couple of weeks from now. I’m excited about it for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that I feel that my practice, as I’ve come to call it, is moving in new directions.

When I launched my site back in 2005, I was just a baby domme. I was figuring out who I was to clients, who I wanted to be to them, what image I wanted to project – and for a while, I really wasn’t sure. My process was as follows: I obtained a copy of Dreamweaver. I had a bunch of people take really amazing pictures of me. I wrote some over-the-top, forbidding-sounding copy. I put the whole thing together with some help from some fantastic friends who have greater patience and website-building knowledge than I have. And then I linked it everywhere.

At the time, I was very proud of it – after all, I’d pretty much made it myself! But now when I look at it, it seems slightly childish. While I still dig and believe in the woman in those pictures – she’s still me, or parts of me – I don’t buy the copy anymore. I wrote it, and conceived of the entire feel of the site, when I didn’t really know what kind of domme I wanted to be. I figured so long as I presented a figure of class, and put forth an image that was similar to other dommes, I’d be in business.

And I was, and am. People still love the website. But for a while I wondered why everyone was approaching me with this over-the-top Goddessing attitude. Well, duh. I’d fostered it myself.

My new site, hopefully, will attract more of the people that I like to play with, and also help me diversify the types of sessions I do. I want to educate more people, see more couples and women, help people learn how to do kinky stuff in their own bedrooms. I want more letters asking for advice! I want my site to be listed in places other than free domination directories. I want it to reflect the way I see myself in this work: as a skilled but down-to-earth domina, and as an educator and healer.

I’ll write more about this as things develop, of course. But keep an eye out for my new site in the next few months.

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Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending the day with one of my favorite clients. Bill (names changed to protect the strange) is a marvelous older gentleman who brings a wealth of intelligence, experience, and humor to our time together, not to mention quite a talent for roleplay and an old-fashioned kind of chivalrous attitude that I’m convinced he obtained during his upbringing in England. He’s an international businessman who dabbled in the theatre, has a fetish for female doctors, and used to be a spook for the CIA. Or so he says.

Our visits always follow the same pattern: I pick him up at his hotel. During the car ride, he reads me the latest masterpiece he has written: always a letter detailing, not the scenario he desires, but the rich backstory of said scenario as told to my character by one of the other, imaginary characters involved. The prison psychologist may write to me, the Chief Warden and Disciplinarian of the Home for Boys, about young Bill’s continued sexually predatory behavior and the likelihood that his treatment with us will end in castration. The young tutor may write to me, the Dean of Boys, about the complex initiation necessary for Bill, a new student. Whatever it is, he reads it in his articulate and sonorous voice, with a tinge of humor, and I laugh at the best bits while I plan my scene with him.

When we get to the space, I change into some version of 1950’s authoritarian fantasy: shortish skirt, blouse unbuttoned just al ittle too low, jacket, severe hair, stockings and high heels. He waits in the room until I come for him, at which point he turns very young and very small, with a pathetic, piping voice. We talk a lot. I urge him to confess whatever his latest infraction is: stealing a female student’s panties, looking up someone’s skirt, masturbating without permission or supervision, lying about same. I spank him over my knee for a little while, then let him fall at my feet on his knees, whimpering and thanking me and kissing my hands. After a little while longer of talking, I take him to the suspension frame, bind his hands, and cane him.

At the end, he falls at my feet again, thanks me, usually tells me he loves me, and then, with a few seconds inbetween, says in his regular voice, “Wonderful,” and starts getting dressed. We begin our post-production discussion right there, no aftercare necessary.

Afterward, we drive to a local restaurant and have lunch together, and talk about everything: the scene, what it is that drives people to different fantasies, relationships, children, politics, feminism. At the end of this last meeting, he told me that his conversations with me are the most open and free conversations he has with anyone.

Yesterday, when he walked me to my car, he told me he had to sing a song before leaving me, which is a frequent occurrence: he’s a veteran of the stage as well as the business world, and our knowledge of old show tunes is similar. He started in on “As Time Goes By,” and was delighted to find that I joined in and knew all the words, even the bridge.

It’s a friendship we have, he and I: a man probably close to 70 and a woman in her mid-thirties; the man paying for very specific types of attention but the woman enjoying his company in any case. It’s amazing, the strange types of intimacy that this work can engender: it’s little wonder to me, complex person that he is, that I probably know more about him than almost anyone in his life, including his doctor girlfriend, his mistresses, his two children, his ex-wife, his colleagues, his friends. We argue about the relative merits of honesty and integration about one’s life and compartmentalization, the path he has chosen. I live a polyamorous life where everyone knows about everyone else; he has a serious girlfriend who doesn’t know about his other dalliances, nor certainly about his visits to me and other dommes. Witnessing the richness of his life, who am I to say which path is better?

One of these days I’ll post his marvelous letters here; they’re pieces of extraordinary imagination and wry expressions of fantasy. For now, though, I’ll simply dedicate this post to Bill, whom I hope to see for many years to come.

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Ah…spring finally feels like it’s here. The blood is starting to flow again, and I’m looking forward to having more appointments, doing more shoots, and having more hot sex. But first – your questions!

We start with a nice long complex one. Mmm, juicy!

Dear Delilah,

About a year and a half ago I started dating my boyfriend. About a week later, well before my boyfriend and I became exclusive, I had a very erotic, kinky encounter with a very good friend and her boyfriend. I’d had an inkling that I was into more than just vanilla sex, and this definitely confirmed it.

My boyfriend is a great guy, and we’re living together now. He was made aware fairly early on about my new-found kinky nature, and has tried to play along, but he lacks the intensity to really put me into subspace. He also, in spite of being monogamous-minded, has allowed me to continue having occasional playdates with my friend and her boyfriend. Sounds like a pretty good deal so far, I know. But…

One of the rules my boyfriend has laid out for me is that I am not allowed to have sexual contact in these outside encounters. This would be much more manageable if he would at least be willing to participate more in the dynamic I share with my friend and her boyfriend. But, as it currently stands, I go to their house, get deep into a scene, get entirely turned on, then have to wrap things up before loading into the car and head back home.

I would love it if my boyfriend was willing to participate in these kinky encounters. He knows the couple I play with, and he likes them quite a bit, socially. We always have a great time when the four of us hang out for dinner or to watch a movie.

If he’s unwilling to participate, then I would like him to turn his cheek a bit further away and let me get off when I need it most. I am not asking to have intercourse (although that much would be lovely), but even if I could feel their hands on me, in me, plying me with toys and bringing me over the edge. Ending a scene right now is such an awkward dance of avoiding genitals. I know in my heart that I would still be coming home and ravaging my boyfriend, but I am not able to fully submit to my lovers’ whims, and we all find it frustrating.

Is there hope for resolution to my problem? How can I convince him that what was once a desire is turning into a need that must be met. Maybe I am too greedy, but I want the best in both these worlds.

Frustrated submissive

Dear Frustrated,

This is a complex issue. What I’m hearing you asking is really two things: 1. How can I get my boyfriend to join in on my antics with this other couple? and 2. If I can’t get him to, how can I get some orgasms into the bargain when I’m playing with my friends?

I can’t say for sure without talking to you, but it sounds like your boyfriend has some fear going on around you experiencing pleasure with others. From the little you’ve said, it sounds to me like he truly has no interest in playing with you and the other couple; either he doesn’t want to let his guard down like that in front of these friends, or, even more likely, he’s afraid of seeing you experiencing pleasure with someone besides him. And if he can’t be there to see it…well, he probably doesn’t want to think about it happening without him, either – thus the limit.

If I’m wrong and he does seem like he could be open to joining in, it might help him to think of it as something that he’s doing with you, where the other people happen to be present. It’s possible that if he feels like he’s in control of the situation, or even that he’s “giving” you to the couple as a gift and is still the one getting you off at the end – that might be a solution – and very hot, too.

A thing I see sometimes in poly relationships that aren’t fully comfortable is that one partner (in this case, your boyfriend, if I’m right) is kind of okay with the other partner (you) doing something that he won’t do (like kink) with someone else, but freaks out a little at the thought of you doing something similar to what you do with him (i.e. sex) with someone else. So: spankings and bondage are fine – he’s not into that, and if you are, well okay, do it over there where I can’t see it. But fingers and genitals and orgasms? That’s his department, dammit!

If this is the case, what he needs to understand is that there’s not such a strong separation as he’s making. Kink is part of your sexuality, not something separate from it, so when you engage in kinky activities, you want sex along with it. Is he worried about exposure to STDs? Limit your sex acts to gloved manual stimulation and/or stimulation with toys – or have the couple command you to get yourself off. Or is it more of an emotional closeness thing that your boyfriend’s worried about? If so, you’re already emotionally linked to this couple – it’s too late.

It doesn’t sound like you want to do without these trysts with your lovely couple, and if this need is strong enough in you, and you don’t address it, it will end the relationship with your boyfriend eventually. Try talking with him about his fears. Acknowledge them, and don’t try to dismiss them by “solving” them right away – he needs to know that you’re there for him and that you understand – and in particular, that you won’t leave him just because you get off with someone else. Once you have a sense of what it is that really bothers him about the idea of you getting off from this extracurricular kinky activity, you might be able to renegotiate your arrangement using baby steps and a lot of trust; if he gives you the little bit of freedom you’re asking for and you keep coming back to ravish him afterward, pretty soon he’ll stop being afraid.

Dear Delilah,

OK, this is probably on the vanilla side, but what the heck. Any suggestions on how to attach things for bondage? I mean, you get your nice pair of lovely cuffs attached to your partner, but assuming you don’t have a nice sturdy headboard, then what?

–At Loose Ends

Then what, ALE? Then, oh then…ah, there are many possibilities.

One is attaching the submissive to him- or herself. Get yourself a metal double-clip (available at any hardware store, or from the kinky bastards who sold you the cuffs, but for three times the price, probably) and clip the cuffs together in back, or in front, or overhead. Get two double-clips, and some ankle cuffs, too – presto, instant hogtie! You can do this with rope too, of course, but it’s slower.

But what I think you’re asking is about attaching your partner to things, also a time-honored tradition. You joke about being on the vanilla side, so my guess is that you’d like to spread-eagle your partner, or bind them in some other way to your bed – a popular fantasy for those just getting into kinky stuff.

One of my favorite cheap-o kink solutions is dog leashes. I bought four plain black neoprene dog leashes a few years ago. I have a sturdy headboard, but what I did was wrap the loop handle of the leash around the leg of the bed, then pulled the rest of the leash through it. The clip at the end is standard and can attach to any D-ring. If you want the leashes shorter, just tie them off higher, or wrap them around the legs of the bed more times.

If you have a boxspring, or even a sturdy bed frame, you can also run a rope or leash between the mattress and boxspring – side to side or top to bottom – and attach the ends of that to the cuffs. Or, run a rope in a loop all the way around and tie it off; now you have a thing to clip the cuffs to.

If you’re dealing with someone new to bondage, remember that being attached to something is a bit more advanced than being tied to yourself. You want to make sure that it’s easy to release the person if they panic: double-clips are great for that.

If you want to get spendy about it, I also recommend Sportsheets, which involve a velvety fitted sheet and really strong Velcro. (I’ve tested these myself – they definitely work.) Happy bondage!

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Talk to her

Today I had an appointment all set up ready to go, but when I sent the directions to my playspace, the client said, “Wait a minute…I saw a domme there a few years ago. Was that you?”

A strange moment for sure. If he didn’t return to see me again back then, it’s likely that if the answer is “yes,” he won’t want to see me now. But sorting my inbox by “from” tells me that yes, in fact, I saw him back in ’05. I was just getting started as a domme then, and it turns out that my guess was correct: he didn’t think we were a match, as the previous session hadn’t gone the way he’d hoped, and he wound up canceling.

I was sad to lose a session, but the incident wound up opening a dialogue, not only about how I’ve grown and changed as a domme since then, but also about how potential clients express their interests and desires to me.

He told me back then that his fantasy was “forced domination,” and that he loved being told what to do. In the session I put him through positions drills, then bound him and applied some electrotorture. He’d wanted a more “sensual” session, and was disappointed.

This time, he told me about wanting things to be sensual, expressed himself more thoroughly (though still rather taciturnly and generally), and I had completely different plans: I’d dress more softly, order him to strip, comment on his body in humiliating ways. Make him wear panties. Probably tie and tease him, spank him a little, maybe let him suck a strap-on if I was getting really into it. Talking in my low voice all the time, finding those words that make him blush and wince.

At this point in the game, I can read people well, but I’m still not a mind-reader, particularly if you are shy and holding back the things that really matter to you. How am I going to know how important, say, face-slapping is to you if you don’t tell me? Unless it’s specifically mentioned, it happens to be something I use sparingly because of the baggage that a lot of people have around it. If you tell me that you want to be ordered around, well okay: am I your drill sergeant, your nurse, or your dominating girlfriend?

My hope is that this conversation will open up the possibility of this client and I being able to session together again, more successfully. I know more, now. But you have to tell me what you know, too.

Talk to me, people. I’ll listen. I can’t be anyone and everyone you want me to be, but I do have range.

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People email me all the time with strange requests. One guy wants me to hit him with a huge leather purse. Another wants to be diapered and force-fed yogurt. Some things I say yes to; I say no to as many; I judge none.

But the manner of some of the requests…that’s another story. I spent some time over the last couple of days scouring my email for all the ways in which potential clients – or targeted spammers – vied for my attention in unfortunate ways. No names have been, or ever will be, revealed here. All comments in bold or italics are mine; spelling and grammar has been left in its pristine native state.

1. From someone who claims to be “basically gay”:
Fantasy is for women to dominate me. However, want her to set up 1-6 skinny smooth guys 18-22 who would gang bang me while you discipline and torture me to beg for kink. Will do extreme bottom fantasy if I like all their pics.

Because of course, I’m just rolling in hot young gay boys who want to do gangbang scenes with a strange guy while a dominant woman controls the whole scenario. And the time to round them up and send you pictures for your approval. How much money do you have, exactly?

2. From Craigslist, of course:
m/33 will give you 40 just to jerk off on your stocking feet,very serious,ill cum real fast

Really? Oh thank goodness. I’d hate to be paid less than ten minutes worth of my time if it were going to take you longer than that to ruin a $40 pair of stockings.

3. From the bizarre typos department:
Would you have a problem with making me temporally homeless?

No problem at all. If you’d just step into my flux capacitor…

4. Also from the goldmine that is Craigslist:
can i lick your dirty butthole…..$$$$

Wow, for FOUR WHOLE DOLLAR SIGNS?! Maybe! Oh wait, I just remembered, I have to go dip my genitals in molten lava.

5. From the wtf department:
not into the BD/Sm although i was a dom for a bout 3 years. i make a lot of money , married and live in [swanky town]. Are you always role playing? do you have another side?

So…you were a dom for three years but you’re not into “the BDSM.” You’re rich and married…and what, you want to *date* me or something? Perhaps you’re into “the clueless?”

6. From the charm department:
i’m from Greece and as a greek i know how to distinguish a true Goddess.

As opposed to all those knock-off goddesses you see them selling all the time down in the Plaka…

7. From the online translation program department:
Please when this I ugly am left on the side as a slave of the servant in the under of beautiful Domme Delilah, cannot you get it? When the cock is usually erected by about 8cm, I will enhance it to about 13cm. It wants to be seeing a beautiful woman single-mindedly subordinate, and masochist’s mentally and physically man who keeps wishing sincerely to devote oneself the life.

Um, what?

8. A second response after being told I would not shit on him:
hi hun ok how about just ass smothering not nude or any sex just in like tight black spandex or panties or dildo play spankings and would you watch me go to the bathroom let me know which ones you would do so i know and whats your rates i am a hot looking w m did you get my pic and can you send one to looking foward take care bye thanks

You know what I would do? Hun? Breathe. Then put *down* the meth pipe. Kay? Kay.

9. Random, yet somehow amusing:
I’m a licensed plumber in Massachusetts should you ever find the need to use me.

Oh, cool. Could you help me get some of these guys’ heads out of their asses?

10. Moar unfortunate typos:
i found you the web, are you available?

Oh DUDE I’ve been looking all over for that! Yeah, just come over and drop teh internets off anytime.

11. Uhhh…
I like to smell lady’s feet, when they smell like corn chips. Is this possible with you?

Absolutely. Come over and bathe my feet in Fritos.

12. Just…what?
Explain please what is a crotch rope and how install?

Wait, lemme ask the plumber…

13. Adorable emails from foreigners…
Hello I am a 33 years old man from Norway who has a “secret” fantasy! This fantasy is to be examinated by a dominant female doctor.

The latest in European fetish porn…The EXAMINATOR!

14. Ah, Craigslist, thy bounty is ever-flowing…
do you have long toes? how bout putting them in my face?

How bout not?

15. From the department of internet paranoia:
HELLO ! Before I type you an email letter , I wanted to know if you are out there?

No, but I can assure you that you *definitely* are.

16. From a much longer message, believe it or not…
One of my fantasies is to be roped by a cannibal Mistress riding bareback in red-chaps,oo…She drags me crost a meadow tied to where a dom(also wearing chaps accompanied by a see-throo jock)male of hers waits to rape me repeatedly in front of her) She talks of roasting & devouring me at a din-din with other Mistress friends… if this sounds too extreme for Your tastes, i understand completely in which case we could perhaps only simulate parts of the above?

Yes, perhaps we should only simulate the part where I ROAST AND EAT YOU. The see-through jock may have to be left to the imagination, too. Way too tacky.

17. From the all caps, no brains department:

Okay. How about you take me to your bathroom (that’s your private area, right?), I’ll strap a dildo to the top of your head, and use you to unclog your toilet? (I hear that’s very chic this year. Ask the plumber, he knows.)

18. Someone didn’t do his market research:
If you are interested in having updated aerial photographs of your business or organization, please visit our website for more information.

Sure. I’d love to have pictures of you getting fucked up the ass shot from 3,000 feet.

19. One of the I-want-to-be-your-personal-slave-forever-though-I’ve-never-even-seen-you types:
can i be your fartinhaling, pee drinking, asslicking, sucking, pussy eating 24/7 livein realtime bitch plz?regards a genuine bitch

A billion kinds of no. Even if you were one of those knock-off bitches they sell down in the Plaka.

20. And finally, the department of unselfaware irony::
Although I have engaged in these acivities, the problem is, they were all at my request. My NEED is to be ordered to perform these acts. …I will call, but before I do, I’d like to make sure you will fulfil 100% of my fantasy.


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I had this idea that I would go through all of my old emails and find the weirdest and funniest things that people have sent to me over the years…but it turns out that this is a much longer project than I anticipated. So you’ll get that post tomorrow, methinks.

Today you get a meta-post on the topic.

Going through old emails, as a dominatrix, is a funny thing. I keep all of them, you know. They don’t take up a ton of memory, and it helps if some idiot contacts me for the second time and their email address rings a bell. But what surprised me most about going through them thus far is the warm feeling I have from looking at them. When I really look at it, most people really are respectful and sincere, even if most of them can’t spell. 🙂

Picking out the weirdest and funniest is strange, too, because 1. what constitutes “weird” in this context, and 2. how do I decide what’s funny and what’s making fun of someone unfairly? In this particular business, which exists to cater to weirdos (I count myself in that category, believe me), the bar for “weird” is pretty damn high. What I notice is that I don’t draw the line on the axis of acts: I can’t consider anything anyone would sincerely request as weird. So the quotations you’ll see tomorrow will be measured by a different standard. Yet to be decided, perhaps.

In any case, I hope it will be amusing.

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