Posts Tagged ‘toys’

Okay, admittedly, I’ve often heard questions about how to do play without marks. But I’ve rarely received the reverse. But there’s a first time for everything.

Dear Delilah,

I really like it when my partner leaves marks on me that last a few days, so that I can look at them as they fade and reminisce about the fun we had making them. However, my pain threshold isn’t terribly high and often it hurts too much before we get to the point of bruising. Can you recommend hitting equipment that would be more likely to leave marks? So far we’ve been improvising with hands and belts.

Thanks for your help,

Hey, N. Marks are kind of awesome, aren’t they? A lot of us seem to spend a lot of time and energy avoiding getting them for one reason or another: our partners might get upset, the cashier at the grocery story might think we’re getting abused at home; there’s this doctor’s appointment…but the truth is, for some people, marks are exceedingly powerful and enhance and extend the life of our scenes.

But marks are often also a sign we’ve been through some serious pain; I had some cane marks on my thighs from two weekends ago that spread into huge, purply bruises that lasted nearly two weeks, and let me tell you, earning those HURT.

There are ways, though, to get bruises and other marks without enduring too much.

1. Be in a heightened state of arousal. Often, when I’m done with a certain someone, I have these mysterious bruises on my inner thighs, and sometimes a couple of smaller ones on my outer thighs, too. With a bit of thought, I realized that these were coming from my partner holding, pulling and squeezing my thighs while he’s fucking me. Thighs are pretty easily bruised in general, and yet also have a lot of fatty tissue to protect them; they’re also a good place to get bruised if you want to hide your marks from the everyday world. It’s worth noting that I never notice these injuries as I’m receiving them, only the bruises afterward, which make me smile. Other marks may be possible in the throes of passion: you may find you can take harder bites and harder squeezes (the upper arms are a great place for this) when you’re really turned on and in the moment.

2. Biting. Biting can really really hurt, but it can also be one of the easiest ways to leave a mark. If your partner sucks while biting, or squeezes the flesh between the teeth rather than pressing down with the jaw (a good way to bite hard without leaving marks, btw), you can get a nice mark from it without too much pain. If you don’t want to take biting pain at all, hickeys are another great option: just have your partner clamp on and lamprey away.

3. Brief moments of extreme pain. You’re not going to have a lot of luck leaving marks with bare hand slapping: you have to get really really going before bruising or other lasting marks can happen, and by then you’re probably tapped. Here’s some general rules about marks: 1) you’re more likely to get bruises from thuddy things than from stingy things; 2) the thinner the object, the more likely you’ll get surface welts. So if you want marks but find your pain tolerance lacking for a long session, another option is to put up with a lot of pain just once. A hard cane strike hurts like hell but stops hurting in about 30 seconds. You get a beautiful welt that may or may not bruise. A hard punch (in the buttocks, thighs, upper chest or upper back, please), particularly a dirty one with the knuckle out, will probably raise a bruise and will hurt for a similar amount of time, then have a yummy soreness when you press it for a few days.

Hopefully this helps. Let us know! Send pictures!

To ask a question, email me or comment here!

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Sometimes I get the tough questions. Sometimes I get the easy ones. I’ll be grateful and consider today a vacation in honor of Thanksgiving week.

Dear Delilah,

Not sure if you’ve answered this or not but someone asked me the other day what kind of kinky things he can do with his gf without leaving marks (it’s a poly thing; her primary doesn’t want to see marks). Spanking is a favorite, but she bruises very easily…

Your “friend” (I’m kidding; I’m sure it’s actually your friend and not you. Really. And you’re not the girlfriend either. I mean it!) can do pah-LEN-ty of kinky things without leaving marks. You can tie someone up, down or sideways without leaving marks, though if you’re using rope, you might get some rope marks if you’re not careful. (I’m hesitant to call these “ligature marks” as some are fond of doing, since a cursory Intarwebs search indicates that that terminology refers only to strangulation.) You can interrogate someone all you want and leave no marks at all. You can collar someone, have them kneel at your feet, have them serve or service you in all kinds of ways. Hypnotizing people doesn’t leave marks, nor does peeing on them, trampling them with bare feet, dressing them up like a schoolgirl and fucking them senseless…Some of the most fun kinky stuff there is only leaves marks on the soul. 🙂

But spanking? That’s an easy one, too.

First off, if she bruises very easily, as you say, she may want to get some levels checked – vitamins B12, C, or K, or folic acid seem to be the most frequent culprits. She should also make sure (again, only if there’s a real concern) that she doesn’t have a clotting disorder like von Willebrand’s disease or something more serious. Most of the time, though, easy bruising is just a characteristic, nothing harmful.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about how your friend can get a spanking with minimal marking.

The things that tend to cause marks most easily are 1) heavy items like batons, metal toys, and fists, which can cause deep bruising, and 2) thin, light items like canes and singletails, which invariably leave red welts if you strike with any force at all and bruise awfully if used with a lot of force. The best way, then, to avoid marks is to use lighter items with a larger surface area: open palm, light paddles, and softer floggers.

Unless you are freakishly strong (like some Daddys I know whom I won’t name here, ahem), it’s difficult to get marks that last for more than a few minutes with a bare hand – it just hurts the hand too much. So sticking to hand-spanking is one way to go. Build up slowly to bring the blood to the surface of the skin (it looks great when it’s all pink anyway, doesn’t it?), and you can keep better track of how much damage you’re doing.

If you use paddles, again, start lightly. Flexible leather paddles are good for this, as are wooden paddles without too much heft – particularly round ones. Avoid straps and fraternity style paddles that have squared-off edges.

Spanking scenes can have a very high mental component, too, so your friend might try using a lot of verbal play in addition to the strikes, to intensify the experience.

With floggers, make sure the tails aren’t braided, and go for something softer like deerskin or conditioned suede (be aware that suede can be really rough!). Again, build up slowly. I bruise very easily myself, but the marks I’ve gotten from my hardest floggings went away within a couple hours.

After a spanking, ice her bum. You can do this with her still across your lap, which has a sweet aftercareish thing about it, or you can have her sit on a bowl of ice, which can be humiliating in that good way. Icing will help reduce the incidence of bruising.

Some people like to use arnica cream to heal bruises more quickly. I have heard only anecdotal evidence of its effectiveness; Miss Calico’s description of her experiment is entertaining but isn’t much of a vote of confidence for the stuff.

Most important, though, is that she Not Panic. If she ends up with a bruise or two, well, she bruises easily, right? I have bruises with some frequency where I have no idea where they came from. I currently have a bite-shaped bruise on my thigh that I remember vividly, but sometimes I get bruises – usually on my hips, or butt, or thigh – that are inexplicable except that perhaps I ran lightly into the wall when I was stumbling to the bathroom at 3 am. Point is, there are steps you can take to avoid marks, but if you’re playing with striking, there’s no guarantees. If she doesn’t get panicky over some marks and doesn’t flaunt them to her partner, either, hopefully she won’t run into trouble. If her partner’s going to freak out about it regardless, then they may want to consider that there’s some other control issue going on aside from whether she’s allowed to have marks or not.

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Hey, Delilah,

So, just wanted to follow up and say that I’ve moved, and now I’m in my new place unpacking and it’s just so much more awesome than packing was.

So what can you tell me about the process?

Sees Evidence of Light, Finally

Dear SELF,

Nice to hear from you again. Here’s the story of my last few weeks, in a top 10 list.

The Top Ten Things You Hoped You’d Never Have to Do When You Were Already Undergoing the Stress of Moving

10. Having your friends come over with circular saws and cut your good bedroom furniture into bits so that nobody would take it from the curb and spread bedbugs.

9. Spraying the component parts of a Violet Wand with 91% isopropyl alcohol.

8. Driving an hour each way to rent a vapor steamer.

7. Cooking your leather corset and most of your shoe collection in a 200 degree oven for half an hour per item. Again.

6. Finally tossing out your old vinyl ballgown, which you ruined anyway during the first wave of the infestation by spraying it with Steri-Fab.

5. Spending at least $100 in quarters to put your entire wardrobe through the dryer in your basement.

4. Ruining your perfectly good Merrell sandals by baking them in your new oven (which is too hot) after wearing them at the old place.

3. Worrying absently that any of the hundreds of books, which were not in the infested room but You Never Know, might be infested, not to mention that they’re all standing in cardboard boxes in the living room, where one bug or egg might have gotten, and and and…

2. Putting your Bose alarm clock/radio/CD player in the oven.

1. Invoking Kali in a pagan ritual in an attempt to get her to eat some of her beloved children and send them back to potentiality.

So, the worst is over. The new place is awesome. And Monday Advice will be back next Monday, 9/14. Comment here or email me with your kinky questions!

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After several Mondays of post-travel logistics-fail, holidays, and outright laziness, I finally present to you yet another Monday Advice column on – who would have guessed it – Monday.

This week’s question is a little confusing to me.

My would-be girlfriend likes to put people in boxes; I want to buy her a whip, a present, but I am not sure how to shop for this kind of gift for someone else. i.e. How to choose between a riding crop or a cat o’nine tails? and other such taste issues…

Okay, where to start. “Would-be girlfriend”? What does that even mean? Like, would be if she weren’t married to that seven-foot bodybuilder Zed? Would be, if she only knew you existed (but she will, ohhhh she will)? Or would be if she didn’t like putting people in boxes? And if she likes to put people in boxes, why not get her a refrigerator carton rather than a whip? Seems much more thoughtful. It’s tough to whip people once they’re in a box. Cages are maybe a little easier, but the leather tends to get wrapped around the bars, and then there’s all the clanking…

Anyway, bizarreness of phrasing aside, I assume what this person is trying to ask is: how do you know what kind of kinky gift to get someone you know would enjoy a kinky gift? Which is a different question from how do you know whether someone would like a kinky gift. Though given the whole would-be girlfriend thing, I’m suspecting some of this as well. “Heh-heh. Uh, hi. I got you this iron maiden. For a present. Heh-heh.” Eesh. Maybe you should try flowers first.

In any case.

If the object of your affection (friend, would-be girlfriend, potential victim) is already into kink and has shared this fact with you, the trick is just to slip it into conversation. Some possibilities: “Hey, have you been to The Fetish Fair Fleamarket/Beyond Leather/Insert Kink Convention Name here? Do any shopping?” “So you’re kinky. What kinds of things do you like to play with? I like paddles/singletails/live pythons myself.” Or, if you’re really being flirty, “So if you were gonna beat me up, what would be your ideal tools to do it with?” If this kind of thing gets her going, and she’s interested in beating you up, this has the double advantage of warming her up to the idea and getting you some valuable information.

Questions of taste are always difficult, whether you’re dealing with a kink-related gift or any other gift. One question is: what are you getting her this gift for? Is it a testament to your friendship? A symbol of how you feel about her? Is it something for her to actually use on people, or just a keepsake? If it’s for use on someone, are you hoping that someone will be you? If so, it’d probably behoove you to get something you think you’d enjoy being hit with.

A good friend of mine, who traveled in the same kink communities as I did, once got me a wonderfully hilarious purple glittery riding crop when she’d learned that I was going pro. It was incredibly thoughtful, not because of what it did but because of what it symbolized: the riding crop was all about honoring a typical symbol of the work of a pro domme; the purple glitter was all her particular shiny aesthetic. I’ve never forgotten it, though I’ve never used it in a session, either. It’s more of a thing I keep around to make me smile and think of her. On the other hand, clients have sometimes bought me gifts (I now have many riding crops) that I have found beautiful and useful, but which have very little sentimental value for me. It all depends what you’re trying to achieve with this gift – and how much money you have to spend.

Whatever you do, if you’re looking to have this person use the gift, don’t get something cheaply made. Many sex novelty shops carry crops and whips and floggers that are of abysmal quality; these are fine as gag gifts, but if you friend is serious, you want to get her something nice. As nice hitty things go, riding crops are probably the cheapest; you can find high-quality ones at any equestrian shop. Canes are generally inexpensive as well, but neither may be what she’s looking for. Some places carry small floggers that are under $100, and floggers are generally a safe bet. But you won’t find a good singletail at that price, and anyway, singletails require a pretty specific skill set and a lot of practice. Gifting somebody with one seems like more of a directive than you might want to communicate here.

Finally, if this person is just a friend and you’re not on a basis for talking about these things, then…I can only recommend that you do not get her a kinky present. Because that would be weird and imposing, I think. Just maybe. Though I wish it were otherwise, many people are very closeted about their kink, and with good reason. If she hasn’t been entirely forthcoming with you, a kinky present might come across as creepy and threatening.

So here’s the low-down: If you know she wants such a thing, draw her out about what she likes. If you get her something, make sure it’s good quality. And make your questions more specific, mmm-kay?

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Apologies for missing the usual Monday advice column; I hope I can make it up to you by posting it late today. Remember – send me questions at delilah@dommedelilah.com, or comment here on the blog!

I had a question long ago that went simply like this:

I would love to hear your recommendations on the best dildos to use in a harness – double-ended or one-sided, either way.

First of all, definitely see my previous advice on getting the right harness. Much of your success in using a dildo in a harness is going to be about the harness itself.

But picking out the dildoes is the fun part, right?

The thing is, though, different dildoes are going to work differently for different people, depending on what you’re trying to achieve. What size cock do you want to have? Are you identifying with that cock as your own, or are you just using it as a toy? Are you able to come or at least get a good amount of stimulation just by wielding the strap-on, or do you need the double-ended action to keep things interesting for yourself?

I happen to be one of those lucky ladies who has enough guy in her that when I strap one on, it becomes part of my body, and I have incredible, outward-reaching, masculine-feeling orgasms when I use one on someone. Much of this has to do with how I am able to use my mind and my energy bodies during sex, I think, and little to do with physiological factors. If you’re like me, though, you might find using a double-ended dildo to be too much, or even to be distracting from the sort of masculine nature of the act.

If you’re not like me, you may or may not want to use a double-ended dildo.

As I don’t use them myself, I will pass along reviews I’ve heard from others. The favorites seem to be the Feeldoe and the Share, but how well either of these is going to work for you is largely dependent on your body shape and what kind of angle you like during penetration. Some folks I know love a dildo that you can only get custom made by Whipspider Rubberworks:

This one looks great in the sense that it has a long piece that separates the penetrating end from the penetrative end, allowing for good positioning for thrusting even when the other end is inside.

Some of these say they can be used without a harness, but I can only imagine that controlling the dildo during serious fucking would be problematic without it. If you like double-ended dildos, make sure that you get a harness whose hole goes all the way through, rather than a ring attached to a closed front panel.

For myself, I love single-ended dildos. My main criterion is that it be made of silicone (which is fully sterilizable and has a good level of hardness while still being somewhat yielding), and that it look at least somewhat realistic. That is, I’m fine with a dick-shaped dildo that’s purple with sparkly swirls, but I’m not going for the dolphins and diving Virgin Marys.

My favorite go-to dildo is Vixen’s Woody, which is a goodly size without being huge, has an upward curve, and a nicely ridged head. I also own a Mistress – not for the name, of course, but because it’s a nice slender one for folks who need a little working up. Vixen’s a great company in general, and makes toys of many shapes and sizes for any taste. (They’re not paying me to say this.)

So, the short answer? Get something in silicone, that you can sterilize. Make sure the insertable end is the right size for your partner, and if you’re getting a double, make sure the end that’s inside you is a good shape and angle, and at the right distance from the thrusting end for you to be able to thrust well. Because, I mean, yikes:

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Last week was a slow one on the business front. I wasn’t feeling especially well, I had a lot of flaky callers who steadfastly refused to leave messages, and I think that the Monday snow-dump that took a crap on our fair city early in the week squelched any spring stirrings that might have been beginning.

Then this weekend came with its springing-forward and 60-degree temperatures and all of that wonderfulness.

But today it’s in the 30s again, with sleety slushy shit again, and everyone’s back in their hidey-holes until the weather warms up and the girls start wearing their sandals again.

So while you’re all huddled in front of your fires with your computers on your laps, here’s some answers to your questions!

Dear Delilah,

I’ve been exploring kink lately, and I’m a little worried that once I jump full-on into the kinky, I’ll start to find non-kinky sexual relationships less fulfilling. What has been your experience with this, and should I be concerned?

Curious And Really Excited, Fearing Uninspired Lovemaking

In my experience, CAREFUL, the answer to this question depends on a lot of factors. Do you have more than one partner? Do you have a steady partner, with whom you’re accustomed to having vanilla sex? Is that partner open to kinky sex, and if not, do you have another acceptable outlet for it? Do you actually enjoy the vanilla sex you’re having now? And what is vanilla, anyway?

I have a number of lovers. One of them hardly ever uses toys with me, and yet the sex we have – which is mostly “standard” heterosexual sex acts – is almost always kinky. Why? Because our mental relationship to each other has that content: it’s all about the type of dirty talk we choose, the ways we hold each other, the power dynamic that emerges when we fuck.

Another lover and I share an intense energetic connection. Our sex is incredibly hot, but I’d call it vanilla in the sense that we don’t engage in power dynamics, nor do we do a lot of sex acts that might be considered kinky.

Sometimes I play with people using rope and whips and clamps and all kinds of things, and we don’t have actual sex at all.

I like all kinds of things. After all, so-called “plain vanilla,” done well, is one of the most exquisite and complex ice cream flavors there is. If you already have a fulfilling vanilla sex life, I wouldn’t be too concerned about losing interest in it.

On the other hand, if you have been feeling for a long time that your vanilla sex life has been missing something, and your drive toward kinky activities is really strong, you might find that once you start adding such activities into your sex, you might not be too interested in going back. If you and your partner are both into the kinky stuff, this might not be such a bad thing – it’s not like you have to do a full rope suspension every night. Remember, kink isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition: what was vanilla sex one minute becomes kinky the next when one of you suddenly holds the other’s wrists down to the bed.

And if you have more than one partner – I’m guessing from the plural in the “non-kinky sexual relationships” part of your question that you do – the important thing is to let each relationship find its own groove. Try things out together. Find out what you like together. Sex is a kind of alchemy, and doesn’t just involve a certain set of acts or only one person’s desires. The best partner sex happens when the two of you are exploring (or in time, repeating!) the kinds of things that turn both of your cranks. For some, that might be vanilla: when my vanilla lover and I try plugging into D/s, it just feels silly and we go back to what works. For others, that might be hanging upside down from the ceiling and poking their privates with a rubber chicken.

The short version (too late) is that I wouldn’t worry about losing interest in non-kinky relationships unless you have already lost interest in those relationships. And if that’s the case, then it’s time to re-evaluate those relationships anyway.

Dear Delilah,

Strap-ons. Have you found a particular harness style that actually holds the damn thing on securely enough that you can have decent thrust control and have both hands free?

-Damn, It’s Loose! Do-Over?

I’m so glad you asked, DILDO. I have a favorite harness that I heartily recommend, and at this point (it was given to me as a gift nearly six years ago, now), there are probably others that emulate its perfect style. The original and my favorite, though, is the Venus Envy, available at Toys of Eros in Provincetown, MA, and through their online store. It’s made of buttery leather, is in a jock-strap style so you’re not dealing with butt-floss while you’re trying to fuck, has plastic climbing-type closures for easy in and out (heh), and is incredibly adjustable. They actually carry a number of great styles, including ones made especially for larger women.

I think that there are some general qualities in a harness, though, that can contribute to a nice solid fit so you can really get your hips behind your action without worrying that your cock is going to go flying across the room:

1. Material. Leather is my favorite, because it molds to the body over time, has a gentle stretch without too much give, gets more beautiful with age, and doesn’t cut into the skin like neoprene or other synthetics. Those who are against leather or who want something a bit cheaper will have to compromise on this, but I really do think it’s the best choice.

2. Adjustability. The harness I have adjusts on all of its axes; that is, each strap adjusts individually to accommodate differences in body proportions as well as size. If you’re going to pound someone vigorously, it’s important that your harness be well-secured to your body.

The other major factor is vanity. When you see the pictures of the harnesses on the models, they look all nice and sleek and smooth against their bodies. But most of us have some body fat, unlike most models. In order to make the harness secure, you may have to tighten it enough so that your fat bulges around the straps a little, which may not look especially flattering. Don’t sweat it: I guarantee you that whomever you’re fucking will be much too happy and busy getting the relentless pounding that you’ll be able to give with a harness that fits well to notice that you have a little pooching going on.

Well, that’s it for this week. Remember to email me at delilah@dommedelilah.com with your questions, or comment here on the blog. Look for the next Advice Edition on Monday the 16th!

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