Tag: Kink

My First Earned Leather

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In 2013 I attended Beyond Leather and had my first experience with people who identified as “leather. With the structure, etiquette, and sense of community I wanted to learn more. So I started to talk to people who identified as leather and reading up on any sources I could. I attended a number of events, large and small, to gain a broader sense of what “being leather” could mean.

After about 6 months of investigating what a leather path may look like I knew it was a journey I wanted to take. I appreciated the emphasis on community. Of sharing the knowledge you have been given with those that are seeking. Dedication to service to your partners, family, and community. Commitment to personal growth. The way families and leather houses were structured. The process of earning of leather as one progressed.

Vested at BL
A quick shot of my new vest.

The next year and a half saw a lot of major events for me. Some were exciting (finishing my Master’s degree) and some were rough (the end of my relationship and service to my Sir). Throughout the ups and downs though I tried to stick with my path. I continued to give back when ever I could through educational opportunities and volunteering.

Last weekend at Beyond Leather 2015 a small group of people, whom consider family and dear friends, honored me with my first earned leather: a vest. It was their way of  recognizing my perseverance and dedication to my leather journey regardless of what life has thrown my way. I was overwhelmed by the gesture and hope that this will be one of many steps along my journey where those I respect and admire will be proud of me.

 

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Better than the book: Things 50 Shades the movie did well.

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We know the negatives of the 50 shades books. The writing is atrocious. The author doesn’t represent the “real” BDSM lifestyle. They don’t warn about the extra dark side. We could go on. Honestly though, the fact the series has become so popular isn’t entirely bad! Here are some reasons the 50 Shades movie isn’t as terrible as you’d expect.

Let’s Talk

If nothing else 50 Shades absolutely got people talking. Most of us in the BDSM community did not stumble upon a billionaire with a dark side but some of us did stumble into “red rooms of pain” whether in the privacy of a home or in more public dungeon. The books got people thinking about what got them wet. In turn it got people talking to EACH OTHER about what got them wet. Suddenly we’ve got couples exploring new ways to please each other, book clubs talking about getting their kink on, BDSM communities doing outreach events, & public libraries talking about the rights of patrons to read what they want and have the privacy to do so. The movie continues this conversation. For a lot of people it’s easier to talk a partner into watching a movie for two hours than reading an entire book (or listen to the horrible audiobook!) This means that the movie gives people who may have been hesitant to bring up the subject a new jumping point for the conversation.

Consent!

I have to say thank you to the screenwriters on this one for actually doing a bit of research while writing the script. Through out the movie the concepts of consent are repeatedly and expressly discussed. When the pair sit down and negotiate the contract Christian might raise an eye brow at Ana removing fisting from the list but he doesn’t force her to leave anything in. He also gives some too in offering the one non D/s date a week which she mentions earlier in the story. Give and take between the individuals to reach to an agreement they are both comfortable with. Sounds like a pretty reasonable representation of D/s contract negotiations to me. When it came to play again Christian very much requires consent, not just a head shake but in words, even without the contract being signed. Prior to all BDSM play he asks her for verbal consent and goes over the safe words. Even in the infamous ending he asks her at least twice “are you sure” and explains EXACTLY what the punishment will be. She insists, consents, and doesn’t call red. She might not have liked what he did but there wasn’t any abusive behavior or manipulation in it.

We’re not all traumatized abuse victims!

This was a BIG problem for a lot of BDSM communities members when the book came out. Christian has a pretty dark and questionably abusive history. Due to this many outside of the kink community came to the conclusion that only abused and traumatized individuals are drawn to our deplorable desires. While mental illness does occur in the kink community many studies are putting this assumption to rest. The movie handles this fact much better than the book. “Mrs. Robinson” is brought up a few times but only one scene has the really negative undertone regarding that relationship. Christian handles it well and the focus doesn’t immediately become “oh, he was sexually abused as a teenager and that’s why he’s just so fucking broken.” Additionally, more then once Christian tells her that BDSM is just a part of who he is not because he’s broken or damaged. Kink is in his blood.

Kinda Hot

For a mainstream hollywood movie there were some potentially steamy scenes particularly for those mostly in the vanilla world. It is really tame, light sensation play for the most part but for a wide audience even that is racy! They try to show passion and connection between the two characters both in and out of the red room of pain. Christian isn’t just merciless beating Ana but providing aftercare and checking in with her. That’s a good thing. That’s how scenes should work within the negotiations of the Top and bottom.

 

So yes, for those of us who live kinky lives more fully this is rubbish but we have to remember where it came from: Twilight fan fiction from someone who may never have been erotically spanked in her life! However horribly written and edited the books were the movie addressed a lot of the blatantly inaccurate information.

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Taking care of yourself: Aftercare and drop

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Private scenes, public parties, or kinky cons can give us a fantastic rush of happy emotions, new friends, and new experiences. It creates a natural high of endorphines, your bodies natural anti stress hormones, that can feel amazing physically, emotionally, and mentally. With the ups comes though the downs and some people experience “drop.” “Drop” stems from the sudden lack of endorphins within your body leaving you in a state of crash/withdrawal. Though many consider drop primarily a submissive/bottom experience this isn’t the case with many tops and con attendees both experiencing drop at some point.

You know that feeling after a long exciting event when you’re all around done and exhausted? You may have found yourself being irritable or mopey the next day for no apparent reason? Yeah, that could have been drop! Drop can set in anywhere from right after a scene to a few days later and can range dramatically from mild to severe in it’s effects. Scene drop specifically is more common between committed play partners due to the emotional openness these relationships can create. Even within an individual every drop will be a little different with symptoms to anxiety or depression. These can include emotional instability, feelings of guilt or doubt, fatigue, and changes in appetite and sleeping patterns. Generally these symptoms go away fairly quickly as your body balances itself back out. By being aware of the possibilities of drop and taking a few proactive steps you can make the experience less draining and pass smoother.

Disclaimer: If symptoms persist or you experience desires for self harm or are suicidal seek professional assistance immediately.

Hydration

Hydration is a really important part of your bodies ability to regulate itself. Make sure you’ve drank some water before playing and have a bottle ready for when you’re done. You don’t want to chug it but sip it slowly to help your body come back to the happy middle. Also, something with simple sugars such as orange juice can do wonders at preventing/recovering from drop.

Aftercare

“Aftercare” is the combination of things you need to do or have after a scene to help you come back down from the space. Some people need alone time, some need their favorite stuffie, a piece of chocolate, or cuddles. It’s important to be open during negotiations so that everyones needs can be meet without issues. The worse thing is when one person expects an hour (or more) of post scene cuddles and the other party wants to be left alone but they didn’t talk about it before hand. This can lead to uncomfortable, possibly hurtful, situations from the parties involved. If the pair had talked openly about what they needed and/or could provide a surrogate cuddler could have been identified so everyone gets what then need. I also generally recommend participants check in with one another a few days later. This checkin allows for all parties to communicate anything thats come up in the days following a scene such as marks, injuries (they do happen and you need to communicate them), drop, ect.

Self Aftercare

Part of the puzzle that often gets left off in the aftercare discussion is self aftercare. Sometimes we drop harder then expected or our drop is delayed and our play partner can’t be with us if drop occurs a few days after the scene. Being able to take steps on your own to cope and work through drop is crucial. One important tool to have prepped is your “Drop Box.” The Drop Box should include things that can be used for both physical and emotional comfort and will differ person to person based on personality, likes, and kinks.

Suggestions:

  • Bath melts, bubbles, or salts
  • Scented Candles
  • Books
  • Journal
  • Favorite drinks or snacks
  • Coloring books
  • Gift card to your favorite store or restaurant
  • Favorite movie
  • Favorite stuffed animal
  • Blankets
  • Mini first aid kit

These are just a few examples of what you might keep handy for if/when you experience drop. You’ll also want to have partners or friends you can reach out too. The lonely feeling that comes with drop can be one of the hardest to handle but having someone to connect with even over the phone can do wonders. Getting out of the house can also help particularly if your drop is stemming from a major event like a con. Physical exercise and the outdoors can also help your body get it’s hormones back in balance.

Overall know that you aren’t alone in these feelings. Drop happens to people no matter what their role or dynamic is tops, bottoms, doms, subs, switches, all go through it. With some prep ahead of time you can dramatically reduce your recovery time.


 

Do you have kinky questions you’d like to see answered or explored? Send your questions to questions@runningaemok.com.

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Hitchin’ Bitches Tampa Intensive with DespoenaCalypso

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Last weekend the Tampa Chapter of Hitchin’ Bitches had the opportunity to host DespoenaCalypso (DC) for a two-day intensive. Across the seven couples the class had a mixed range of abilities coming into the weekend. The group was across the skill spectrum and honestly this made me a bit nervous. I’ve been to other intensives and the instructors either flew through leaving people in the dust or took so long helping the beginners along that the rest almost fell asleep. DC was able to find a great balance to her teaching though making sure that EVERYONE brought something home with them.

Day One

The first day we took a bit of time to see where everyone was with some simple but critical ties. Once DC felt comfortable that we were all at a safe place to learn the curriculum for the weekend we jumped right in with TKs and variations. The bottoms were all awesome and patient as the tops worked through the ties. We also worked through hip harnesses and talked about energy through rope play, and Ichinawa vs. Muganawa. The night ended with a trip to the monthly party, Circuit, in Ybor.

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Day Two

Day two we started with a class focused on bottoming and prepping our bodies. Rarely do we get time to talk about this kind of thing so I was really happy to start the day out this way. It was also a great way to get everyone’s bodies awake and moving after a long first day/night out. We spent the rest of the day working through partials,  suspensions and again ended with a fantastically hot scene between DC and Optical pulling all the skills from the weekend together.

DCandOptical

The ties we were working through were ones that I’m familiar with so for me it was the little things, variations and the precise details, I got to focus on. Things like adjusting the tension on my wraps and making my frictions hard like “little pebbles”*  The fact that I never got bored/distracted was due to DC’s approach in teaching. Everyone got a little one on one throughout the day blended in with our class time allowing her to make personalized suggestions and notes.

 

There were so many great moments during our two days together and I was happy to see so many Hitchin’ Bitches, new and old, make leaps and bounds in their rope work. A HUGE thank you to both DC and Optical for sharing your time, knowledge, and passion for rope. We’re already planning next years event!

 

*DC contributes this phrase to Gorgone when she gave an intensive earlier this summer and it absolutely stuck with me too.

**Disclaimer: I’ve known DC for a several years and have had the opportunity to work with her over the last two. She’s influenced and helped form my personal rope style and philosophy.

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Morpheous’ Bondage Extravaganza

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Like Bondage? Like Rope? Want to see 12 hours of amazingly talented rope artist come together in the worlds LARGEST public display of rope bondage? Join us October 4th in Toronto, Orlando, and on the web for Morpheous’ Bondage Extravaganza! Additionally performances from the San Francisco event held at The Armory Upper Floor will be broadcast during the webstream.

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*PS: It’s Free to come!

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