Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Topping from the Bottom--an explanation

You might have read about this term in one of the many 1-800-DOM-help novels of our series. I know I've used it in many of my stories.

Topping from the bottom is a phenomenon where the submissive or bottom is actually running the D/s show to get their own needs met, exclusive of the dominant's needs. The choice of activities by the dominant is used to meet the sub's particular kink or fetish and is treated as an on-demand service by the sub. Going to professional Dom or Domme and paying for their kinky services is a straightforward way for a bottom or sub to get their particular groove on. But in a non-pro relationship, it's not cool for the top to be expected to succumb to demands of the bottom just because. And it's not considered particularly healthy. It works well if the kinks of the two individuals overlap to perfection, but still the sub's needs should be met through fulfilling the dominant's needs. And in a good relationship, both parties find fulfillment this way. has a nice little article on the subject if you care to read.

I've read many a complaint on loops for dominant women about men who approach them to "serve" but are really just looking to get their rocks off to a particular fantasy of theirs. Now there's nothing wrong with having your own preferences and fantasies. They are unique to our wiring and can be lovely. I'm all for individuals having a particular thing for rope bondage or humiliation or even tickling. But the power exchange of a BDSM relationship is not about catering to a bottom's fetish, but about serving whatever the desires and needs are of the top. It is also true that in a good relationship a top will pay attention and find ways to meet the needs of their bottoms while preserving the primacy of their own needs. With great power comes great responsibility. You can take your pick whether that quote is attributed to Stan Lee of Spider man fame or to FDR in the speech that never was.

In the end, whatever arrangement a dominant works out with a submissive to both of their satisfaction is copacetic in my book. And perhaps a brand new dominant can benefit from the submissive showing them the ropes and in some ways topping from the bottom. Still, the best mentoring for a new Dom(me) will come from another Dom(me). This does not preclude switching between partners. That's a seperate issue. But even switches must explicitly state their role in any one D/s interaction (whether it be top or bottom). And the power exchange rules should apply during that encounter.

What do you think about this issue? And do you find this term comes up in many of the BDSM erotic romances you read or write? It usually arises in a negative context in my stories, but have you found it used otherwise?

Safe, sane and consensual,


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Watching Me Watching You

Exhibitionism has been around since the 5th Century, and Voyeurism probably just as long. Have you ever done one or considered the other? So many women (American women, anyway) have “issues” with their own bodies – they’re very reluctant to show them unclothed to anyone. Some, however, have no problem stripping down and showing the world what they’ve got! There are probably those who fall in-between as well – not so excited about taking it all off, but under the right circumstances, willing to show themselves in all their naked glory.

Voyeurism isn’t something that’s talked about for the most part, but without those exhibitionists, what would voyeurs do? Having sex in a public setting isn’t just for those who want that extra added thrill of possibly getting caught. People having sex in public must know there is the very real possibility that voyeurs are around and paying attention.

Perhaps that’s why there’s at least one voyeuristic scene in most porn movies. Voyeurism is titillation in more than one way. It’s not just the people being spied upon who are aroused by the actions involved. Frequently, however, those being spied on don’t know they’re being watched. That’s the thrill for the voyeur.

Personally? Don’t know that I would have sex in public – participating in a scene in a private club is one thing, having sex in public or in front of a group of people is entirely another. Voyeurism? The idea of that doesn’t bother me as much.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Gleeful Friday

God I miss Ann Richards...
This post comes from a lot of places for me. Geographically, it comes from the general vicinity of Houston, Texas. Sad to say I'm a bit disappointed in my state for this week which brought us such gems as the cheerleader now stuck with legal fees for having the nerve to sue the school that kicked her from the squad because she wouldn't cheer for her rapist, and the Houston Fox affiliate presenting a "discussion" about the latest Glee episode with such a decidedly anti-gay bias that GLAAD is demanding an apology. Oh, and let's not forget this lovely piece of intolerance, also in the Houston area.

The comments to stories like these inevitably include at least one "Why doesn't Texas secede already? Good riddance!" But y'all, there are tolerant people here too, and some of us thought that Glee episode (which also dealt with a character finally acknowledging a serious mental illness) was awesome. Glib, sure, and too tidy. Because it's TV, and TV is like that. But the theme for the week, and for the show in general, was still valid. Own your givens, the things you didn't ask for but were just handed in life. If you try to conceal them, whether from yourself or others, at some point they will come to own you; acknowledge them, and you can deal openly with them.
Not new information, but still awesome to see

The closing scene, a rousing rendition of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way", also features each Glee member wearing a self-made t-shirt with their unasked-for given/flaw/worst feature/challenge/etc. written on it. Kurt's says, in big bold letters, LIKES BOYS. Emma's, at long last, says OCD (the best t-shirts are Brittney and Santana's, but I digress).

In the real world, and as grownups, we would probably all need more than one shirt to do that sort of labeling job. But I know mine right now would be a toss-up between KINKY, READS AND WRITES TRASHY ROMANCE NOVELS, and CLINICAL DEPRESSION, I HAZ IT :-( . Okay, also SHORT but that's pretty much self-evident if you've ever met me. Only one of those is within my power to stop, in my opinion, and it's not "kinky". Which brings me to my question(s):

This is funny but not always true, by the way
Do you think kink is born or made? If you're into it, were your earliest sexual fantasies bound up in kink or D/s in some way (mine were)? Me, I think it's the wiring. Sometimes it can be changed, but for the most part you get what you get, and I wonder if there aren't a lot of unhappy folks out there who'll never quite know what the problem is, because they'll never admit to themselves that their shirt should read KINKY. Or because they never even realize that's an option available to them.

Okay, and also - what's on your shirt?

And while you're thinking about all that, watch this: Isn't Chris Colfer the most adorable thing ever?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Spanking implements: The Basics

by Marianne LaCroix

I went to my first local BDSM community meeting this week to watch a whip demo by a whip maker and master. I never realized there were so many people in the area who were into the lifestyle. I mingled and met all kinds of new people who were serious about their kinky passions. It was awesome.

In thinking about my blog post today, I searched for a picture to put up of a whip. Did you know floggers and crops all come up in that search? Why? They are definitely different implements. Ah, but they are all used for a similar purpose--spanking. Yep, they are all types of spanking implements.

Why in the world would anyone want to be spanked as an adult? Well, it is a form of erotic foreplay in the leather world. There's erotic roleplay (like the schoolgirl fantasy I wrote about in Rosy Cheeks), domestic discipline (punishment from a HOH--head of household), and everything in between like spanking fetishists. The spanking is between consenting adults where a dominant spanks his or her submissive partner. Usually for the "spankee", the spanking is cathartic and/or the pain jump starts their arousal. (Pain is very close to pleasure.) After all, a red bottom gets the blood flowing to that portion of the body, thus enhancing sexual sensitivity. Keep in mind there are those people who crave the spanking without the sexual contact. They crave the endorphin rush, plain and simple.

So there are all kinds of ways to spank a nice bottom offered up to the dominant. (And spankees like a good spanking...they crave it.) What would a dominant use? A bare hand is always handy. (Pun intended. What, did you moan?) A hair brush is good if it is a nice wood one. A wood paddle (with or without holes like the one to the right). And then there are floggers, whips, riding crops, and canes.

All implements, including the hand, need some practice before using on a partner, no matter how willing they may be. Without practice, someone can get hurt.

And as for the whip demo... I got a single tail black leather whip (below).

You can bet my 1-800-DOM-help book will have a whip wielding FemDomme....

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Clamps: A Primer

Clamps are an old BDSM standby; one of the most commonly used play toys after whips. And so of course they appear in many BDSM erotic romance stories. They are low effort on a Dom(me)'s part once they are placed on a submissive's body. They can be as inexpensive as the ordinary spring clothespins most commonly used, though many other items can be hijacked for the same purpose: paper clips, mousetraps, tubing clamps, small vise grip pliers. Ouch! I know I always feature a selection of clamps in my stories. Many clamps have a somewhat flat surface to prevent damage. Alligator clamps (saw-tooth) are more likely to do damage as they cut into skin.

It's wonderful to be able to adjust the tightness of a clamp if you can purchase or rig ones with this ability. Different submissives vary in the amount of tightness they find erotic. Although if yours are not adjustable, you can always stock a variety that have different degrees of tightness. In addition, if you are using them on male nipples you will have an added challenge if the man has particularly small nubs. Smaller clothespins will be a must, although they also sell nipple clamps that take this problem into consideration.

Popular spots to try your clamps? Nipples, genitals, ear lobes, lips, folds of skin on your neck, belly button, and your perineum. Trying them out on yourself is always a good idea to gain understanding of what a sub will be experiencing. Don't forget that clamps hurt continuously. Most folks, according to Jay Wiseman's classic SM101: A Realistic Introduction, can take about four clamps for up to a half-hour. Since they hurt non-stop, a good dominant with NEVER forget that they are on their submissive and let too much time pass. Clamps cut off circulation to the pinched area. The very longest to leave on a clamp in one area is an hour, although I am sure this point can be debated.

Another important point--only apply clamps if a submissive is feeling aroused. The more turned on someone is, the more pain they can take. This is also important to remember when you are removing the clamps. Don't let too much time pass after orgasm, or simply remove them before orgasm, to ensure sexual excitement is still balancing out the pain. Clamps hurt like a son of a bitch coming off because the blood is rushing back to the tissue and re-expanding it. This is particularly true of clamped nipples. They should be removed gradually and since clamped tissue is sensitive to movement, you should keep the area still during removal. And don't rub freshly unclamped skin. It hurts more.

So why clamps? If you provide a lot of sexual stimulation after you have pinched on those lovelies, then you are providing a delightful contrast between sexual pleasure and erotic pain. Mixing that pain with prolonged sexual pleasure makes a deep impression in a submissive's mind.

Want some other tidbits on clamp types, placement, and safety? Check out that Jay Wiseman text I mentioned. SM 101: A Realistic Introduction. It's a classic.

Safe, sane and consensual,

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

It's The Shoes!

Whenever I look for interesting photos of BDSM elements, I see a pattern emerge. Red shoes, black shoes. Black shoes with red flames. Black boots, red boots. No offense to the dear man, but it begins to sound like a Dr. Suess book! One shoe, two shoes, red shoes, black shoes.

What do these shoes and boots have to do with the scene? I'd have to say it's the way they make us feel. Even if all you are doing tonight is dressing up as a naughty maid, think about it. How naughty would you feel in a pair of sneakers, versus stilettos? Flip flops versus thigh-hugging boots?

As a Domme, you want the appearance of sexy power. Assuming you can stand in them without wobbling, killer heels gives you that feeling, and if you feel sexy, you can throw off sexy vibes.

We have so many classes of shoe in our daily lives: comfy, sensible, work, exercise, heel, flat. And in my case, lime green. (Yes, I have more than a dozen pairs of lime shoes. I took to heart the selling point "it's the new black"!) When you plan your outfit, for the boardroom or the bedroom, don't forget to choose the perfect shoe. It can make or break your day.