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The online diary of an ethical pervert.

Monday, 31 January 2011

Pairing people

I had my first "official" (in as much as these things are measured, I suppose) club outing with Dandy and Mannequin as a working threesome. The hierarchy we've been flirting with, in quite a casual sense because we're still feeling each other out is myself on top, Mannequin on the bottom and Dandy in the middle. For Pedestal I kept the pair of them on leashes as my submissives and then tried to keep the smug grin off my face for the entire evening whilst also suppressing a small note of nervousness - performance anxiety twinges.

Putting the collar on is something of a ritual for me, and most people I suppose. It's something I need to do before anything else physical can happen. There's a spark when it happens, snapping the buckle shut and feeling the skin of their neck under my fingers. Both of them reacted, heads bowing, slowing down slightly and becoming still. A change. The collar is a sign that play is going to happen, and also a kind of social contract of control and ownership (however temporary). During the time that the collar is on, they are mine to use how I want. It's important to me, even though I know that collars are only objects, and the ones I used were neither special nor particular to me, both submissives had in fact brought collars of their own at my request. I am not yet at the stage where I want to buy collars to give to people, but I do want them to use in play, especially in public where I want to signal to others.

It's also a flag from a starting pistol, and my nerves subsided to be replaced by a different kind of energy. The dom space is sometimes a little like a HUD I can see the elements of play and how I might interact with them: my kit bag, the two submissives, the furniture in the room. Waiting for me to make my move. I was concerned with finding the best ways to get them to interact: having two people means making sure that neither feels left out or ignored (except in ways that you want them to be so) and it also means controlling their relationship with each other as well as with you.

I started by getting Dandy to put Mannequin on a St Andrews Cross, then alternating between putting him in front or on the cross behind her. I blindfolded one and gagged the other, the see no evil, speak no evil appealed to me. I like the look of them together, especially when snug tight. I'm still exploring both of their bodies and reactions, although I know his better than hers. Some flogging and general tweaks and taps, particularly with a pair of silver chopsticks which remain my favourite bit of kit. All the time I was watching and checking on them to see what was working and what wasn't. The club was busy so it was hard to get the space to build up to a decent flogging so I had to cut short, which was a bit annoying.

I moved them over to the sofa, enjoying being strong enough to bodily lift Mannequin (although she is small) and haul her over by putting one hand under her cunt and the other arm around her shoulders. I sent Dandy to the bar for water and also to put on a cock ring with multiple gates - I like chastity in all its forms and knew he hadn't had an orgasm that day so wanted to remind him of this and keep him keen. Meanwhile, I bent her over my knee to deliver some spanking. I'm surprising myself by how much I enjoy doing this. There's the pleasure in giving blows by hand, so I can feel the exact reaction on their skin, plus the satisfaction of touching wherever I want. I like the skin on skin connection, the warmth generated on the bottom as well as my hand and being able to feel how the impact is building up - my hand starts to smart so they are probably stinging a little as well. I also like the face-down impersonal nature of it, being able to press her face into the sofa, or pull on her cute plaits. When the boy brought the cold water back I rolled it over her now quite pink skin. I alternated with straddling one of them on top of the other, facing each other so they could kiss were it not for the gag. I cuffed their hands around each other and flogged whichever back was exposed, playing on the fact that whichever one of them was underneath was being "protected" by the other.

By that point I wanted to take a break and socialise a little, plus I needed to marshall my thoughts based on their reactions thus far. Mannequin was obviously calmer and more willing to submit than Dandy who was clearly out of sorts, fiddling unhappily with the collar and the cock ring, eventually and with a lot of sad looks asking to remove it. His body twitches were a little strange to me as well, the usual buttons were giving only partial responses. At this point I had a decision to make concerning ongoing behaviour management: he wasn't giving me what I wanted, but on the other hand he was obviously upset with himself and wasn't bratting or withholding. There was no point in delivering a punishment, especially given that the kind of set up we have isn't about formal training. I could either just leave him be, in which case he would probably feel more upset due to being excluded and therefore "disappointing" or I could try a different tack.

I took them both over to a horse with a frame above it, and sat them facing each other, clipping their collars together, letting them kiss. I tied their arms outstretched, then put a squeaky bone shaped dog toy in their mouths which they duly fought over. That made me smile, and gathered something of a crowd as well as a photographer. I had a strange moment of pleasure watching the pair of them interact. Something akin to benevolent warmth: a pride at having orchestrated the moment and also a fondness for the pair of them as "mine". There's an abstraction involved in this sort of scenario because I was physically removed, delivering the sensation rather than being a direct part of it.

Their position meant I could move around both of them, though again space was an issue - in another context doing this harder and for longer would be ideal, and also including more cruel methods of forced interaction. After a while, I felt like we were all getting tired and decided to take them both home. Until that point I hadn't really considered how the night was going to end up, usually I would go home by myself, but I wanted to fuck them and it was a non-fucking club. I also wanted to be close to them and had an almost animalistic alpha sense of pride and place.

We went home for cups of tea, blankets and a threesome. Perfect.

Sunday, 30 January 2011


I have this to say. If you are a woman, and you are feeling a little bit down, then get yourself to Pedestal. I cannot believe that I have been in London this long and not been there, or rather I know why. Practical reasons were that it used to be on a Thursday and I used to be the submissive in a Mf relationship. Now that both of those have evaporated I only had my misconceptions to face. Which were that neither the people nor the type of club was "for me". I imagined - I'm not sure why now, having been there - that it would be a bit vanilla-kink with no good play or play kit and that it would be a bit swinger-esque, full of haughty hatchet faced femmes or poor women pretending to be dominant to satisfy partners who were shuffling Igors (a hideous stereotype that exists in my nasty, body-fascist brain: "yeth mithtreth" lisping unattractive male submissives that are grabby over unrequired foot massages).

I was wrong. I'd allowed myself to be blinded by bad scene beliefs about what femdom looks like. And never have I been quite so glad to be so wrong.

Arriving at the club with Dandy and a large group of friends, I was prepared for the worst. The boy was under instructions to keep any over-keen pushy men away from me. I had a lot of pre-arranged play so knew I'd be busy: Mannequin was arriving shortly and I intended to have a pretty boy and girl on a leash all evening. I walked up the stairs and was greeted by a good looking semi-naked and sculpted male submissive on his knees with white roses for all the ladies. I then went through to a busy, well kitted play room with plenty of comfy sofas to sit on. We placed our (many, many) kit bags on the floor and set about having fun.

I amused myself by writing "property of electronic doll" on the legs of my boy and girl, then took them for a walk so we could inspect the place. I was taken by a couple of lovely little touches - the house slaves held doors open, canapes came around during the evening and there was some nice kit including a grope box and an envy-inducing spherical iron wrought cage which a friend of mine put two boys inside. There was a dance area which we ignored, and beyond that there were specific and well advertised sections for certain sorts of protocol: an area where men had to be on their knees, another for where men could only speak when spoken to. My one issue was that the focus was on male submissives (all signage and suchlike was about men serving women) and whilst the female submissives in our group were accepted and no-one batted an eyelid at our Ff arrangements the club tended towards a hetero flavour.

The place was well attended, and there was a good amount of male submissive eye candy (there was also men who didn't do it for me, but until cloning Brad Pitt is allowable, that will happen). I remember being particularly taken with a doe eyed house submissive who was fluttering his eyelashes at me.
The only offer of a foot massage that was actually given to me was by a nice looking shaven headed chap in reference to Mannequin who was face down in my lap and her feet were right on his leg. Everyone I met or chatted to was pleasant, chillled out and very polite. I had absolutely no unwanted attention, which makes a change from every other club I've attended, no-one attempted to touch me or do that irritating "shuffle close to someone whilst they are playing" behaviour that makes me want to thump them.

So, in summary. Pedestal. I'm sorry I ever thought you were anything other than awesome. When's the next one?

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Better bondage bunny-ing

One of the reasons I help run Peer Rope London (apart from the fact that I don't do nearly enough rope and require more riggers in my life) is that I wanted to encourage more people to take an active interest in the "being tied up" side of things so as well as meeting and greeting on the doors I'm also a sort of Bunny Mummy. I did a talk - with some other ropey people - on how to be tied up. I'm fairly passionate about this, because I think it's something that is often undersold or misrepresented.The talk went down really well and I got a lot of comments afterwards so thought it might be worthwhile writing up the things we said and discussed before they fall out of my brain.

Before you engage with any kinky activity you should have a good idea of your physical and emotional state, rope is no different. Physical first: run down a checklist of your body. How does it feel, are you generally in good health, do you have any injuries or illnesses that might be affected by being tied up? Have you had anything to eat or drink, especially any alcohol or drugs? Some people are happy playing whilst high or after a quick gin, but its probably not a good idea to do it whilst wasted.

Doing some basic stretching is a really good idea - this will also help you do a spot check on your body, whether you have any aches, pains or strains. Other things to consider include known ways in which your body reacts, for example my fingers are often cold. Someone who has never tied me up before might assume that indicated a problem, when in fact I just have crappy circulation. Next, think a bit about you - how do you feel today: are you happy or a bit down? Are there psychological factors that might come into play during a rope session, such as claustrophobia, nausea or do you have any triggers about being touched or played with in a certain way.

Once you've sorted yourself out, then you need to locate a rigger. They come in all shapes, sexes and sizes, perhaps you have already brought one with you who you know well, or you might be on the prowl for one in a club. Once you've found one you need to talk with them before they tie you up and tell them the things discussed in the paragraph above. It might also be good to let them know if you've been tied up before, and if so, what kind of ties and how it felt. Once you feel like you are both on the same page about where you want to go with rope then there can be actual tying.

Then check out the place you are going to be tied with your rigger. Maybe hold their hand if you like. Remember that you are as responsible for your safety as much as the rigger. Before you are tied up make sure that the area is safe, that the rig is secure if you're being tied to something. Check that there's no objects you might fall onto - glass for example. Think about what you are wearing - is it comfortable, do you have free movement? I like being tied naked, with heels to pivot around on. Other people might not. Remember to take off your jewellery or precious things that might fall out of your pockets. Perhaps give them to the rigger to look after - if you don't trust them to hold your stuff, you probably shouldn't let them tie you up.

There's also a point worth making about sexual consent - agreeing to be tied up does not mean you've automatically agreed to strip naked, be groped, or spanked or played with. You might want these things - and if you do then speak up and I'm sure people will be more than happy to oblige, but if you really don't then say so. Riggers are not psychic and what one person thinks is a light casual spanking is possibly out of bounds for someone else.

There is a bit of a myth (more on rope myths later) that rope bunnies should be nice, quiet compliant things like ragdolls in riggers arms. This is bunk. You can be like that if you want - and sometimes it's very nice to let go and be an absent submissive, but there's no law against speaking up. If there's a problem remember that your rigger is still not psychic. You need to say how the rope feels, especially if there is a problem for instance if it's pinching too tight or there's too much pressure (sometimes pain or constriction is good - but it might be unintentional). Feedback is really important. Finally, you should feel confident in approaching riggers, rather than waiting like a wallflower to be asked to dance.

I was talking about rope tying speed with someone on my Twitter and we discussed rope as a dance, which is a great metaphor. In a lot of ballroom or similar danceforms one person is the lead (the rope top) but both are dancing and both are responsible for what goes on and how good it looks and feels. As a bunny, you are part of what is happening - and that means that you get to input into it. There are different styles of bunny-ing. Some people like to struggle, others want to relax into the ropes. You might find that you react differently to different riggers, or on different days of the week. That's fine. Rope is a participatory activity, you are a partner in this. Like dance, the more you do it with one particular person the more you will come to know the way they move and you will get better together.

Finally, whilst we're at it I'm going to do some more myth busting.

Suspension / Shibari is the Gold Standard of rope. No. They are nice and I really like both of them but whatever rope you like is the right sort for you. It's not a competition to be "the best" at rope, it's about enjoying yourself.

You are too fat / tall / big / western to be suspended. Lies. Lies. Lies and lazy riggers or riggers who only want to suspend that tiny pretty Japanese girl over there in the vain hope that she will fuck them (she won't). Anyone can be suspended. You just need more rope. Size doesn't come into it, neither of the bunny nor the rigger. The awesome Ms Tytania can lift a rhino using the power of her rope and cunning use of pulleys.

If you tie on a nerve / if your fingers go cold your arms will drop off and you will die. We had a physio in the group and did quiz him on this and he assured us all that actually it's pretty damn hard to cause a serious injury by just tying on a nerve. It might hurt and you might have a sore or numb arm for a bit, but you should be fine. This isn't an excuse to not speak up if the rope is uncomfortable, however there is no need to panic.

If you are suspended upside down for longer than five minutes your head will drop off you will have a heart attack and die. I have no idea where this came from. Naturally there is an inherent risk in everything that we do, like crossing the road. You can be upside down for longer than this, different people will react in different ways. Your general well being, or even how much you have had for dinner, will affect this. Communicate to your rigger and let them know if you are starting to feel uncomfortable. Go by you and how you feel, not the time on a watch.

Happy bunny-ing!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Learning curve

Things do not always come naturally. Sometimes you have to work at them, but I'm a believer in the idea that anything (and anyone) worth doing is worth doing properly. Over the past few months I've been more and more dominant in my play and that's something I haven't done much of outside of switching during my relationship with The Photographer or complete adhoc one-offs in clubs with borrowed bits of kit. I have strong ideas about the sort of dominant I want to be, and the kinds of things I'm interested in doing, but that's not the same as being able to do them. Domination isn't all lying on chaise longues being fed peeled grapes - to quote Flagg it's "work, work, work".

But it's also fun work. I enjoy new experiences and broadening my knowledge. I'm learning a lot about how to dominate different people, people who I like and care about but I'm not in love with. The emotional connection has a huge impact, and one I'm only really starting to get to grips with. I'm going to park the "let's talk about our feelings" side for now and share the four important things I am actively doing in order to make me a better dominant:

Ask an expert: I'm really fortunate to have lots of friends who are really good at BDSM, a case in point is The Ladies Who. I spent a happy Friday night learning how to stick needles into someone. Generally people are pretty happy to teach the things that they know, and I know I get a kick out of being able to pass along advice or skills.

Breadth and depth I'm trying to both play with a range of people and also play extensively with one or two people. This way I can explore and understand a variety of bodies as well as really getting to grips with the nuts and bolts of submissive psyches. The former is probably going to give me more experience of topping, also of learning how to manage bodies and deliver impromptu play, the latter will give me a better knowledge of emotional and psychological domination as well as working out the sort of D/s relationship I'm interested in conducting. Things like protocol, chastity play, master/slave and suchlike are - to my mind - better done within the confines of a more invested situation, they rely on knowing someone quite well in order for both parties to enjoy and be comfortable with that kind of control.

Listen I talk a lot about BDSM. I need to listen more. Obviously listening (and generally paying attention) to the bottom during play is vital, but there's lots of handy hints and signals that can be picked up before and after, especially for psychological play. Things said and not said can give clues to the sort of play that people are interested in. Then there's the direct route - just ask. I'm getting very fond of email feedback, especially because I can refer to the text later if I need to refresh myself. I also listen to other people when they talk about their experiences of domination (and submission) mentally filing it away to try later when I've got someone to hand.

Practice, practice, practice: Learn by doing is a good mantra. I am a theory bitch at heart and love to read kinky books and blogs but they are no substitute for muscle memory and JFDI. Of course, in the beginning getting hands-on means accepting that you won't be amazing first time, so a friendly bunny who is able to provide good, clear feedback will be worth their weight in gold. Naturally, the offer of repaying the favour by turning tables is always a possibility and allows you to experience receiving - understanding the impact and effect can help improve your abilities, to a point...

Which brings me neatly onto the one thing that I need to do less of:

Project: Because I'm a switch I've got a good idea of what different sensations and kinky activities feel like. I know where the edges of pleasure and pain lie, fluctuations of brain states and subspaces, what certain pieces of kit do. It's a useful insight but I need to remember that it only gives me a very rough and general idea of what it might be like for someone else to experience those things. Just because I like (or hate, or fear, or want to be made to endure) a certain thing doesn't mean that everyone does, nor do they like it for the same reasons or to the same level. If I only deliver the sort of BDSM I want to have done to me out of a kind of misplaced empathy I'm not really satisfying either of us. I still wince every now and then when I deliver a hard blow, but I'm finding that is rather overwhelmed by the rush of adrenaline, power and pleasure in doing so.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Match, game, set.

Following on from thoughts about how to attract submissives, comes naturally a discussion on who I'm interested in. For me, BDSM is sexual, which means that sexual attraction generally consummates in something kinky. I do enjoy "rough and tumble" with my friends, and more experimental practice - the best way to learn something is to try it out on a willing compatriot, especially given they are more likely to offer clearer feedback than anyone entangled in a romantic liaison. Generally, however, it's about getting a sniff of the "right" sort of person - the kind I want to play with and have sex with. If I fancy someone and want to fuck them it will be because they flick my switch and I will want to top, bottom, dominate or submit to them - at the moment i am generally more toppy and dominant, but I'm still very much exploring and understanding what that means.

Like anyone else on the prowl for a lover, I look for what takes my interest. Perhaps this is similar in vanilla land, but for me different people will ping on my kinkdar (like gaydar, but for perverts) in specific ways. The down turned face of a high-cheek boned pale young waif on the tube will make me think of face slapping, grovelling and tears. The sweating back of a muscle-boy in the gym will make me fantasise about chase and capture, long, hard floggings or stress position bondage.

But that's me projecting onto these strangers. Deciding what I might like to do to them based on my own opinion from perhaps only a fleeting glance. In reality, before I play with someone I will know more about them than how the muscles in their arms flex when they bend to tie their shoelaces. I will have chatted to them, flirted a little and tried to understand what makes them tick. If I met them in a vanilla context I'll have not-very-subtly determined whether they are kinky or not (possibly subtlety appeals to some people but I like to know whether it's game on or if we're just going to be friends). Generally though, I tend to date via kinky circles, so at least that part of compatibility is sorted beforehand - the rest though, is still to play with.

It is unlikely, from any
particular pool of perverts that submissive X will automatically match with dominant Y - we can have checklists and I can see that we might be interested in the same activities but that doesn't mean we will want to do them together. Not all submissives are interested in the kind of things I want to do, similarly, I'm not interested in all submissives. The labels are only briefly of use. My desire to dominate meshes only generally and broadly with any given person's stated desire for submission: the trick is in how it's done, with what and to what effect, that's where the fun is

Physicality is only skin deep - bodies don't always provide the best indicator of what a person is into, but physicality is important because like all superficial and vain people I want my partners to look good. Yet it isn't the only thing, thought there is a strong overlap, fortunately, those people who I consider to be attractive are those with whom I have a kink connection must be there. I'm not sure which comes first in terms of catching my eye, nor how it works precisely, but the tingle is a good guide of whether or not I want them. I also like them smart and a bit "stand out" but perhaps everyone has the same opinion it's just that different people stand out to others. I do a lot of discussion before play, trying to decide on hooks and kinks that make me prick up my ears and I'm finding there's little consistency, except that I like to surprise people, to take them on a journey through things they have never done before, never done in that way or never thought they could do. There's a personal pride in being the first. Like when submitting, I want to be special: I suppose that feeling of individuality is what we always want from our lovers, whether kinky or vanilla.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Seduction Club

I had a discussion with Spirit on seduction. What we were really talking about was how to attract submissives, but my reaction to the word was quite strong - I was both drawn to and repelled by the idea of seduction. My first thoughts were rather romantic (don't tell anyone, but I do have a terribly old fashioned romantic streak). When feeling toppy, dominant or masculine - interesting how those terms all interlink - I enjoy being able to offer the drinks, lead the conversation and control the situation, to a point.

There's a darker side of seduction, the weight of social mores hangs upon it. Whether it's the blame game of women seducing men for their money or power, or the disgusting antics of pickup artists whose members prey upon those with low self-worth in order to score a fuck. Underscoring both of these is the idea that seduction is a trick, something that is played upon the unwitting - or worse, unwilling - in order to con them.

Part of dominance is about controlling and managing the desire of others, but you can't build that from nothing and whilst I sometimes enjoy the chase I have no intention of banging my head against a proverbial brick wall nor taking anything from someone who hasn't consented, on some level.
Those submissives who go on dates with me when I'm either in drag mode or dominant / top mode want to be seduced. By agreeing to go on the date, I have been granted a "permission to seduce" and in many instances, I've already played with them, the date is almost a follow-up.

Which leaves me with the decision of who to direct my attentions towards and what form this seduction might take.
I'll be egotistical for a moment and say that I haven't really had any problem in finding people to play with. The test will be whether I am able to develop any longer term relationships, which is currently dependent more on my own availability - emotional and time related. My inbox is pleasingly full with offers - mostly from women, which is interesting and not what I'd initially expected. I suppose it makes sense given that my wider kinky social group is bi-female heavy. Plus I do like to dress as a boy. I'm not sure I've ever actually seduced anyone, at least, not on purpose. I'm considering that maybe I should start, if only to see how it goes. I am certainly going to "wine, dine then tie up and make scream" a number of people in the hopefully-not-to-distant-future. Does that count as seduction?

I suppose that the pre-meditated social interaction with someone in order to make them want to fuck you is as good a definition as any, and certainly I've done that, but to me seduction implies a longer, more drawn out game. Perhaps Spirit and I are trying to seduce each other, we're certainly still trying to decide who is going to be on top, as it were. Last night we continued our dance, which included a small amount of physical fighting and much more mental jousting. As it turned out, she used a strap on to fuck me, and I have a large bite mark on my back, but I feel that the game is far from over.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Carrot and stick

Following on from discussions of dominance as a kind of gambling, it's worth talking about bluffing. Dominance relies a lot on the assurance of action. More than anything else, the other party must be certain that you will carry through on what you have said. That puts the dominant in something of a quandary regarding bluffing. Bluffing can be great, if you know you are going to win. But if you are revealed to have offered something you can't carry out then dominance goes out the window like a squeaky balloon popped with a pin.

The threat of something can often be bigger, scarier and more terrifying than the actual ordeal itself - how many times have we worked ourselves up over a perceived future confrontation at work, a dentists appointment or a difficult conversation only to find it much easier in the doing than the thinking. That's the essence of anxiety - the mind can be relied upon to blow things out of proportion because the best person to scare yourself is you.

But threats never carried out will loose all their weight. If all I do is bluff I will become known for doing so and I will no longer be threatening. What this means is that my word must become my bond, essentially. This isn't just for negative punishments:it works for pain and reward, in my experience a combination of the two is the best way of getting what you want out of someone. There's a lot of talk about trust in BDSM and this is part of that trust - they must know that you will do what you say.

Nothing is weaker than an empty threat. I'm learning that if I threaten or promise something I must be prepared to carry it out so very careful with what I say, even casually. At the same time, I'm also learning that I'm prepared to carry out an awful lot.

The girl was complaining about how she looked, and I could look at the girl and know those things weren't true. So I made a plan. Then told it to her:

"I'll strip you naked at the next Peer Rope London and you will recite five minutes on your beauty to myself and an audience. Then you'll see how pretty they think you are."

At first she didn't believe me, and there were hurried, jokey comments back and forth. I stuck to my guns. I knew she was getting anxious because other people interceded, and I quietly brought them into the fold. There was no secret about the plan. It was made public via my twitter feed - this was one situation where the threat did not need to be vague, it was terrifying because of its clarity.

I knew I had her hooked when she began to twist. It wasn't "never do this to me!" it was "not like this" or "not like that" requests to do it in private, at a different event, to only be stripped down to pants and bra. She wanted it, but she was scared. And I liked that. I liked it a lot. It made me powerful - the control I could exert, right down to the minutiae, the power from helping someone do something they wanted to do but could not manage on their own. Pulling someone through their fear.

In the background, I made plans,
first in my head, then on paper in bullet form. There were a lot of variables and I wanted to be clear on what needed to happen so that I could work out the possible pitfalls. Playing with someone's self image is challenging and can be dangerous. My goal was to make her see herself as other's did - as a pretty young woman, to give her the rush and thrill of public exposure and public appreciation. I really didn't want to make a bad body image worse. I checked in on those who knew her first, for a sounding board. I'd seen her play in public, though mostly clothed, and finally I offered her a full and complete get out. But it was a controlled get-out, and one on my terms. She could say no, but that would mean nothing, no play, ever. We'd still remain friendly, but we wouldn't play.

She said yes. Then she emailed across the text she was going to read out.

I had her. She still twisted, and I smiled and teased and kept telling her that no, she wasn't in charge and it would happen my way.

Then it was the day itself. The venue was busy so I had to wait for a while until it was quiet enough for something to happen without causing a massive disturbance, there's a difference between attracting wanted attention to fuel latent exhibitionist desires and being the annoying bastard getting in people's way. Plus I knew that the longer I waited the more she might begin to hope that perhaps I had forgotten or decided not to do it. In fact, the reverse was true, I was actually somewhat anxious that it was too busy to do it and I knew I had to follow through.

Finally, there was a gap in the crowd and she was standing near me, so I grabbed her. I had her occasional play-partner who'd been playing good cop to my bad cop over email, but now was very much bad cop, delivering a blow to her stomach that I winced at. She went down. We dragged her over to the stairs and began hauling her to the second level. Everyone stopped and watched us briefly, weighing up in a moment or so whether this was something that should or shouldn't happen. We appeared to have passed some sort of silent approval and they carried on. Spirit found us half way up the stairs - I'd talked to her about what was going in, and she helped us carry the girl the rest of the way. She wriggled, not screaming the house down as I thought she might - in fact her stoic silence reassured me that some part of her, beneath the fear, was ready. that this was what she wanted. We were fighting a battle of nerves - mine against hers. Could I steady mine against her obvious distress in order to take her through it and out the other side?

Once at the top, I started to strip her. Shouting orders to scare her, between the three of us we forced her clothes off in between wrenching her this way and that around her struggling form. A crowd gathered and I drew her attention to them. Once down to just her knickers, she began to clam up, going silent and wrapping arms around legs. The change in her body and tempo made me alter my movements. There had been enough stick. Now was time for some carrot. I stroked and soothed her, talking in a soft low voice about how I wanted her to make me proud, about how this was going to happen and it was up to her how it played out. I let her get her breath back and counted down from sixty before getting her hauled to her feet.

She had her poem and was trying to hide her breasts and cunt with her hands. We finally peeled them back and, through shouting, some small violence and whispers of encouragements plus threats to keep her there overnight, or longer if needs be. She began to speak in the tiniest of voices, so I ushered the audience closer. After a few false starts, something clicked and she read through the whole piece. Perhaps she realised that this was happening, or that she could end it quicker if she just started to talk.

I smiled as she spoke. Listening to what she'd written. A rhyming set of verse, well put together, funny and depreciating, but with the required acknowledgements that yes, her body was pretty. I reached in my pocket for the magic marker I had bought in preparation, to write her own words on herself as a memento but it had clearly been lost in the struggle. A shame, but the battle itself was well won. Once done, there was applause, which threw her, then a pile of hugs from the three of us and friends. My head felt like it was going to explode with the rush from what I'd just done.

Not only was I committed to hurting her if she didn't do what I wanted I was also prepared to give treats and praise when she did come up with the goods. Sitting next to her, naked and shaking like a leaf, with a heavy blanket draped over her and eating the chocolate eclairs (I'd checked in on her favourite sugary treat) I'd saved for the occasion. I was shaking too. Buzzing with adrenaline I wrapped my arms around her, feeling genuine pride and a huge amount of energy - I was grinning from ear to ear and still am today. Domspace is shiny, and full of stars.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Service tops and gambling

I recently mentioned in an email that I'm not a "service top", and that's true.

"Service" to me implies submission, certainly I enjoyed doing things for my partner when I was submitting and I desire the same in people I'm playing with now. One of my long term goals is to create the perfect servant to make my life more pleasant, more easy and more fun. I'm not interested in the traditional household service but more roles such as butler, bodyguard or pet. Things that lift up beyond the dailiness of hoovering the floor and into the kind of attention and attentiveness that you never provide for yourself or don't normally.

I don't base my play on lists of things that a submissive wants to have done to them. I'm not interested in filling that sort of need. I will certainly ask about what they do and don't like - especially if it makes them squirm. I will always meet to discuss what they've done, enjoyed or hated not to create a remit based on delivering, but because things that are of interest to the submissive are a hook into their emotions, intellect, body and sense of self.

The body is a relatively easy thing to take. The brain is much harder, and the person harder still. Fortunately, I like games of ownership, command. I like "winning" in effect. I dominate to be strong, to be powerful, to feel adored, beautiful and the centre of someone's universe. Having a checklist that they know about and are entirely comfortable with doesn't deliver the excitement or intensity I want to create. You need to know the person, to react to what they are doing rather than saying. And to not be frightened of pushing buttons. Which means gambling.

I'm effectively betting my ability,
skill and knowledge to be able do whatever I want to someone. That sense of ownership and droit de seigneur is important to me. Yes, there is consent in the sense that they have offered themselves to me, but there is not consent to each and every specific act as they happen - that would make for a very strange play session!

The ultimate goal is control.
The pain, the sensation, the restriction are only there because they are tools to get it, they are the cards I play when we lay my bets on other people's desire. Sometimes the odds are better than others, but in all instances, there's a risk. And I'm aware of that risk. It hasn't happened yet, but someone might freak out, panic, collapse or have a serious problem. I've been in situations where I've been aware that they weren't responding as I'd like - too quiet, not seeming "into it" and I've adapted, but thus far (touch wood) no-one has decided I'm bad to play with. Merely a little cruel and whimsical.

Get wet Part 2

Dominance is decisiveness. Whether it's actual control or the illusion of control (not that realistically that makes much difference in how it comes across), you need to translate thought into action. I remember frequent moments of anxiety or inability to move or speak when submitting, the pleasure and release in not having to do things. Now the boot is on the other foot: the pleasure is in the process of want-take-have: that I give orders and they are obeyed, that people look to me for those orders.

"Come along then"

One on either side, holding my hands like a balanced pair. Dandy and Marionette. They look good together, one masculine, broad and strong, the other delicate, petite and feminine. They follow quietly, a little meekly too, which makes me feel protective of them, "bigger" in contrast to them.

I hadn't played with Marionette in any depth before, so her body was still new to me and I was starting to explore the limits of what I could do, which meant that each touch, each decision was an experiment, a gamble, in effect. I was betting my knowledge of how pain, pleasure and control works against the uncertain realm of her her own physicality and experiences.
Earlier, holding her head in my hands I'd lightly tapped her cheeks with my hands. My first gamble, I expect there will be more. In this case it paid off: her eyes widened in shock then lazily closed, mouth open in a classic slack-muscle submissive response. Perfect.

There wasn't a lot of time or space for intimate D/s or particularly psychological play,
especially with the distractions of friends watching (in some cases holding up fingers to indicate scores). Kinky sex. Emphasis on the fucking. A preliminary, exploratory, threesome by the side of the pool. I used Dandy as my "spare pair of hands" casting him in the henchmen role that suits me well and looks good on him. The control is therefore two-fold. I use him to use her; I use both their bodies to satisfy me.

Although the scene was sexy and I was enjoying myself, it was a dominant enjoyment. The control I had over the pair of them that turned me on. I liked the ownership of their responses and actions. It was a more intellectual instead of a direct physical enjoyment (although I did enjoy the feel of their skin, kissing, licking and the echoes of her pain responses). There was also a visual enjoyment - the look on their faces, the shapes of their bodies. Finally, there was an emotional component from the power trip. Rather than the blank, experiential subspace, I had a more abstracted domspace, one in which I was concentrating fiercely, focusing on noise, shivers and movements. If subspace is an empty blackness that feels like free fall, then this sensation was more like a deliberate trajectory, a line I was drawing or the act of writing.

We ran through a litany of brief sexual positions: her in-between us either sucking his cock or my cunt, the other fucking her with a glass dildo or bullet vibe on the clit. Then I moved into voyeur / director mode and let Dandy place clamps with bells on her nipples to jingle and make noise for me. The sex had become foreplay for S&M, a natural warm up. I joined in to test her reactions as he bent her over the banister to administer a spanking, light CP alongside some tweaking and stroking of her flesh. Because we were all new to each other there was a difficulty in finding orgasm, which is an accustomed "scene ending" device. This meant that I called closure when I felt we were done. It still felt somewhat incomplete, to my mind, but perhaps that is a mark of my own relative inexperience with her.

I know that I will be able to push for more next time. And I know she will take it.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Get wet Part 1

Turns out that context really is key to how people will play. On Saturday I was at a party at The Dead Pool which is a lovely, private swimming pool and lounge. By midway through the evening mostly everyone was naked. As such, there's a comparison to by made between that night and the night of my previous post on the subject.

The working hypotheses for why men find states of sexualised undress challenging in kinky environments seem to revolve around body consciousness and fear of being "that guy". Let's discuss how these two anxieties were bypassed in this situation in order to perhaps provide guidelines for situations in which male submissive sexual nudity can be encouraged.

Environments, situations and settings can gives rise to certain ambient level of body consciousness. Any time when you are reminded of you body, how it looks and that other people are looking is likely to increase you level of nervousness about your physicality, especially if you are already nervous. Conversely, some places can actually reduce that nervousness. A swimming pool both provides the expectation and requirement to reveal your body - in order to keep clothed you need to abdicate yourself from the main activity. This is also a "socially acceptable naked" context in which the pursuit of other, non-sexual activities are "disguising" your nakedness: the reason for being nearly naked is to swim, not to reveal your flesh, that is just a side effect. A swimming pool also has rules of behaviour which are well known to us from childhood, swimming costumes are not unusual items and the connection between the mode of dress and the activity makes getting undressed feels safe.

Normalisation removes a lot of anxieties.
Now, I would argue that a kinky party is also a situation in which nudity is normalised, however the key difference in that scenario is that lack of clothing is not required in order to participate in play - and removing clothing sends out particular signals about sexual availability as well as opening oneself up to physical critique. Normalisation also helps remove the fear of being "that guy" - realistically you become the odd one out in this situation by remaining clothed. There is no sexual creepiness inherent in being scantily clad in a swimming pool, it is what is expected.

I think that the fact it was a privately hired venue rather than someone's house - which is our usual venue for private parties - made a difference. There is a liberation in new places and also in places that are intended for these kinds of activities and behaviours, and no other. Equally because it was an area that none of us had been to before we were able to imprint upon it the rules of behaviour without any expectation or memory of what had gone before. There was no disjunct between reminders of sitting having "vanilla" dinners or any other mementos that might throw a barrier up to stripping down.

The other element that is important is the group dynamic. People, as well as place, create environment. Here, we had about fifteen people who all knew each other and were all comfortable in each other's presence.
The gendered power balance was mixed. We had two clearly defined female dominants, one clearly defined male submissive but basically a large bunch of switches, and majoritively bisexual switches at that. As usual, there were slightly more women than men, and as usual the women were the first to get completely naked. However, some the men followed suit soon after, with Dandy in the lead. I wonder if part of the key to men being naked is the need to have one or two men start an almost domino effect?

Finally, protocol. The event did have rules, even though they were unspoken. "permission to play" was already well enshrined: as a group we knew who was able to play with who and how. There was little nervousness in asking or taking. I knew who was willing to play and who wasn't because of where they were sitting in relation to me and how much they were flirting. We were also very comfortable with very short form negotiations - at one point I'm sure I used a raised eyebrow to indicate "I would like to kick your submissive very hard now, is that ok?" and a shrug and smile was given in return. Conversely, there were some moments where protocol was broken, I got annoyed when I was spanked in a circumstance that is traditionally expected (I'd spent far too long leaning over to get something off the floor). The reason I was annoyed had nothing to do with the action or the person delivering it: I'd just arrived and was cold and flustered. However, I had broken protocol and needed to make my apologies later.

These are all benefits that come with having a group of people with whom you have a long standing connection. From this, you get the trust. You also get the ability to fix problems when they arise (such as my breach of protocol) without worrying whether you will be able to continue to interact. All of this gives you the ability to appear naked, to play and to ask for play. I imagine that a lot of anxiety about presenting sexually must come from feelings of uncertainty - after all, stripping off and making oneself available then to be refused is a horrific idea, so knowing that the desire and willingness already exists must give confidence, and that is clearly the key to why people feel able (and unable) to play.

If we want to create a scene in which submissive men feel able to strip down and present themselves sexually then we need to encourage and inspire confidence in them. From what I've observed, this is the list of tools to enable this:
  • Small groups of known friendly players
  • Who are willing and keen to play
  • A mix of men, women, dominants and submissives
  • In a safe, "neutral", private play space
  • With well-understood and accepted rules of engagement
  • Plus Dress (and undress) codes
  • Where submissive men are already semi-clothed or naked and playing
I realise that the latter is something of a chicken and egg situation, but I don't want to downplay the importance of how normalisation and "acceptable circumstances" can be created by the shorthand of other people doing it first.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Scene from the top

One of the things about dominant activity rather than submissive is that there is more requirement to perform activities. Certainly there are times when one can lie back and enjoying the attentions of someone's (correctly instructed) mouth but for the most part, effort and input is required. I'm currently interested in the differences between what I do when I'm being dominant as opposed to submissive, and one of those differences is about preparing for and constructing scenes.

I think it's worthwhile to take a moment and actually define what a scene is. There's a useful one here, but in this context I wanted to be more specific. I'm using the term to mean a designated length of time during which the dominant controls or performs actions upon the submissive in order to achieve a desired result. One of the key elements here are the fixed start and end points to a scene. This differentiates it from training, ongoing D/s rules or general submissive acts performed as part of an agreed relationship or "just because". Because of this, and because of the fact that scenes are generally physical in nature there is an element of performance and staging to them.

The theatrical metaphor isn't far wrong really, especially when we are talking about scenes that rely on elements such as fear play or mindfucks. The dominant can be seen as the writer, director and producer (often stage manager if a lot of kit is required) and the submissive is the actor. Like creating theatre, sometimes scene construction can be collaborative, and roles are fluid, but I'm going to stick to a breakdown of how I tackle the more "traditional" sort of scene: the pre-planned, dominant controlled activity.

The first stage is knowing specifically what I want from a scene. After all, being dominant is all about getting my way, isn't it? This can be a difficult thing, sometimes. Naturally there are broad categories: hurt people, make people cry, have orgasms, tie people up, make someone pass out, make someone unable to speak coherently for half an hour, humiliate someone. These are all outcomes or objectives, not necessarily independent - I might want to do all of these things. Some more specific than others. Although it is quite goal orientated, rather than process, I find that having an end point in mind helps me think about how to get there.

Oftentimes, who I want goes hand in hand with the what. Although there are certain themes that run through my desire different people will inspire me to do different things, then there are package deals such as being approached by a couple to play with one or the other of them. Usually a particular form of play will be the lynch pin for the activity, which then gives a framework for the scene. Other times, it's less clear, I might know who I want but not what I want to do with them, other times the reverse is true - I have a specific activity in mind but no-one to put in the gap, although this is much less common with than when I was looking for submission: I'm finding that my dominant side focuses more on the person, who they are and what makes them tick, whereas my submissive side sought particular experiences and situations. A good illustration is pet play. As a submissive, I searched for particular people who had the skills to deliver pony play whereas now I look at someone and go "ah, puppy!"

Once I know roughly what I want to achieve and who I'm doing it with I can gather the information required to plan the scene itself. I operate a pincer movement of meeting in person and exchanging notes. I like email, because I can refer to it later, but I also make sure to meet up with them in person at least once. I like asking people about themselves and watching how they react, especially if they are shy, or squirm at certain points. It's a good indicator of how they really feel. Text can sometimes let people be more forthcoming, and gives them time to think which is also good as it helps with anticipation.

Then to the plan. I am a natural planner. I like to have the reassurance of knowing what I'm going to do beforehand. This gives me a roadmap if I suddenly have a mental (or physical) block and it also allows me to enjoy the scene more because I'm not thinking about what to do next. I quite enjoy the planning process, of preparing a scene that is just right for someone. I don't usually go into great detail, I can have a picture of what the scene looks like in my mind or some words, or even just a gut feeling of what might work in order to deliver the physical and emotional response I want to achieve. I do jot ideas down though, and have recently purchased a "little red book" in which to put my nasty little scribbles. It's a good way to amuse myself on a tube journey, especially if I suspect other commuters of peeking.

Being well-prepared gives me confidence in the delivery and confidence is key to my experience of dominance. To be in charge, you need to be sure of yourself and the person under your control. This links into the final, and important factor in doing a scene: delivering the goods. This is probably extremely obvious but one of the major differences in being dominant as opposed to submissive is that you actually need to know how to do things. All kinds of things, as it turns out. You need the knowledge and physical ability. Rope does not magically tie people up, electricity requires common sense and psychological tricks need an understanding of how people think and behave. First aid and suchlike is always useful.

Here, it's important to underline the difference between dominant desire and toppy desire, I'm finding more and more than labels fluctuate and are only useful as the starting point of a conversation however I am generally more interested in domination than topping - to me it's about control and power exchange rather than a thrill from physical activity. I like both, just to be clear, but I like domination more. The activities and "tricks of the trade" are sometimes enjoyable in and of themselves - I find dripping candlewax on bare skin rather entertaining, for example, but they are more enjoyable because of the way they make people feel and think.

There are clearly multiple ways to deliver certain desired outcomes, depending on the situation and person in question - I can hurt someone in many different ways but fundamentally, what I know how to do will impact on what I am able to deliver. Certainly what I enjoy doing will determine the sort of scenes I do, additionally what the submissive enjoys (or hates) will be a factor: if spanking for example really turns them on then that can be something that in turn stimulates my desire, if only because I can use it to control them in a carrot and stick fashion.

Submission was very much a process of learning about myself, my body and my own reactions, I think that dominance will be more about learning how to do things to other people's bodies and controlling their reactions.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Boys (not) playing

At a private house party recently my (uncomfortable) high heels gave me much opportunity to sit down and watch the assembled company and how they interacted. What interested me especially was how quickly and keen the women were to get involved in BDSM play compared to the men. The women were by far being the most tactile, the most obviously available and actively interested in playing - at one point I had two very good looking women kneeling at my feet and another in my lap wriggling happily underneath my teeth. There were boys there who I would have happily played with and who I am sure would have liked to play, but they were clothed, in another room, talking to another boy about football (OK, I made the last bit up, but you get the picture).

The most obvious signifier of this "women only" situation was that the only naked people I witnessed were women. The men for the most part, were fully clothed, often talking to each other at the sidelines, except for those who, also fully clothed, were playing with their female partners.

Now, because I know that there were submissive men present who were interested in playing and didn't; I am intrigued as to why they were uncomfortable, unwilling or unable to express their desire as clearly as the women. This got me thinking. What is it about our group, our society or our gendered ideas about presenting sexuality that makes it easy for submissive women to make themselves available for play and hard for submissive men? For the record I'm specifically focusing on submissives for the moment because I was able to draw direct comparisons between the sexes that evening. There is a massive difference in expectations of presentation, and difficulties in attracting casual play partners for male and female dominants, but I'll just have to blog about that later, so watch this space.

Taking the most obvious point first: we are much more used to seeing representations of unclothed women than we are men. We (I'm talking about western culture here) are fairly well conditioned into being comfortable with the sight of female flesh, especially as meaning "sexually available". The connection between naked or provocatively clad women and consumption is, sadly, a much ingrained trope. Naked men are often viewed as dangerous or threatening, rather than attractive sexual offerings - unless they are gay. In which case they can be perceived as dangerous in quite another way. When considering the classic heterosexual "attractive" male they are almost always rich, powerful and clothed.

Naked men are a rarity: their naked torsos do not grace the third page of the country's best selling red top and their legs don't flash up in adverts for cereal. On a night out in any town centre, the average woman will be wearing less than the average man.
Women find it easier to be naked and semi-clothed, or to wear revealing or provocative clothing - corsets, tight latex etc. They feel safe as well as sexy. Men are not used to doing this and are rarely seen semi-clothed or naked except in certain specific and often purely "men only" contexts. Spaces where society has stipulated an acceptable male nakedness: sports changing rooms, saunas, the beach and certain clubs.

Of course, there are exceptions, and we all know about the naked (often unattractive) man who wanders around the sex club, probably casually masturbating despite the notices on the wall. Perhaps it is fear of being that guy that stops men taking their tops off.

Another element of the "available for play" sign is demonstrated physical contact. In the situation I was in, women were
touching each other and being obviously sexually open. The men were drinking beer, talking and taking sidelong looks at the girls. In my experience of BDSM I have witnessed vastly more girl-on-girl play than boy on boy.

I can only conclude that some form of socially contracted homophobia (it's a disease...) prevents them from touching each other, or of exploring each others' bodies. How many more men than women proclaim themselves straight and feign horror at the sight of another naked body similar to theirs? We live in a sexual culture that considers girls kissing girls as a normal, natural and indeed, it is an almost expected erotic staple. Yet we would not instantly think of those women as lesbians. It is viewed instead as a display piece for the attraction of men. The reverse does not happen nearly enough. Sadly. Although I am doing my best to try and turn the tide.

Summary: men just don't advertise the goods.

I realised I needed a boy's eye view. A quick IM with Dandy (my go-to-guy for chaps who take their tops off) sheds a bit of light on the subject. We chatted about how men have clothing that is generally comfortable, non-tight and does not reveal how they look, which means that on a day-to-day basis - unlike women - how their bodies look is not an issue for them. Something compounded by the fact that their worth is rarely judged on their attractiveness alone:

"Taking their clothes off suddenly means they have to acknowledge they have physiques at which point the man is subject to the most common male physical expectation which is an awesome six pack surrounded by small to large muscles. Dressed means no expectations. Naked means huge expectations."

So far, so scary. But it's a fear I can recognise, because I, and all other women are also surrounded by challenging body image expectations all the time, far more than men. Yet I do not have the same inhibitions. Why?

I think that women are perhaps more used to those body image expectations and have overcome them, either by ignoring them and/or by working damn hard to look good, to dress well and are therefore much more body conscious and ready to reveal. On a wider social level, it can be argued that women are following convention by shedding clothing, men are having to go against the grain.

In a play party scenario, men find themselves suddenly on the spot and having to be physically attractive. This is something that women have had all their lives to practice at and live under the requirement of being sexually attractive first and foremost. So they tend to be better at it - if not happier people because of it (I'd be the first to say that the focus on looks does enormous harm to women and young girls), but neither are men gaining anything in particular by totally shying away from the idea that their bodies might be conduits for desire within certain situations. Both genders have something to learn from the other.

Myself and a few ladies of my acquaintance are considering setting up a support group to help young men become comfortable with being more obviously sexually available. A doll project for boys, perhaps?

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Double dolly

For a long time I have been planning a doll present for Rossetti, and finally managed to organise it at her New Year's Eve party. Spirit and I decided to double up and both present as femme dollies for her delectation. We both wore little "cutesy" dresses, knee high socks and high heels, curled hair for her and pastel hair grips for me with perfect pink circles on our cheeks. We had a brief chat with Ringmaster and waited, limbs folded over limbs, back to back and on the floor.

Sitting in silence, broken only by a couple of whispered exchanges on how to behave and act: there are many types of dolls and therefore many types of doll behaviour, our dollies were silent and mobile but stiff - limbs can be posed and will hold in place. I shared the trick of slow breathing and blinking in time to keep the cool, robotic sense of pace and pause. I like the point of waiting. The anticipation of what will happen next. I can feel my body calming down as my breathing slows, my mouth salivating slightly as my lips part and remain slack. I can feel Spirit's back against mine, warm, strong and reassuring.

"Aaah! Dollies!"

The perfect response, a delighted exclamation. Inside I smile, outside, I remind myself to be porcelain and perfect. Remote, abstracted and empty. Breathe in and out. They walk in slowly, Rossetti comes over to the pair of us and Ringmaster settles down in the background to watch.

She plays with her nails and hands. Pinching, pulling, nipping and punching. "Girls know how to hurt girls", she says later and she's right. Like myself, she takes pleasure in the intimacy of cruel touches. My legs are soon covered in a mess of red lines but I try not to be drawn in to watching her play - which is something I enjoy doing - but instead keeping my gaze glassy, focusing on the door, a point on the carpet, a screw in the wall. The pain is sharp, fresh and makes me want to gasp, but I try not to. I internalise the quick, hot rushes of slices and scratches that spark along my skin.

She alternates between the pair of us, moving us this way and that, my limbs are light and without power when she moves them, I keep them airy in her grasp, freezing them in situ when she lets go, at one point I fall over and land awkwardly, holding my arm up, fingers clawlike, grabbing at the air without motion, noise or control. I can feel her play with Spirit through the points at which our bodies connect. The twitches and resonated impacts. Without sound, it is eerie, the only vocalisation are the gasps and murmurs of delight uttered by Rossetti.

Eventually, I cave. There is only so long I can take pain without making noise, especially intermittent, sharp pain. I groan as her knuckles press hard and grate down my ribs, a sensation curious, unusual and very sore - even now a couple of days later my torso feels bruised, although it is not, sadly.

"Broken" A sad little noise, but underneath it is a note of achievement. Yes, I gave in to the feelings and went with them, hatching from my doll skin and into the vulnerable flesh beneath, but that in and of itself is part of the point of doll play, the moment where the pain becomes too much and you need to react. Spirit confided later, as we were sipping our sugary drinks and enjoying post-play hugs, that the pain actually helped her feel more submissive and enjoy the experience. She noted that the expectation of reaction, to show the top that you appreciate what is being done, can actually make the play less good - rather than relaxing and absorbing the scene, you have to leave part of your brain switched on in order to moan and groan every now and then. With dolls, the need to stay mute and in certain circumstances still, actually requires you to inhabit your body more, and the pain helps by focusing the mind and pushing you further down into yourself.

Until you break. Which you will. But that has it's pleasure too.