Over the years, numerous articles have been gathered and contributed to the APeX website.  From relationship advice to BDSM techniques, safety, and the history of our community, these pages contain a wealth of knowledge from numerous sources.


  • The BDSM Emblem - The BDSM emblem has no “obvious” symbolism because it was created to be enigmatic. To the vanilla observer who would be put off by BDSM, it is merely an attractive piece of jewelry. Thus, we can wear it freely as a friendly salute, nod, and wink to other BDSMers we should happen to pass on […]
  • History of Leather Communities -  HISTORY OF OUR LEATHER-S/M-FETISH SUBCULTURE AND COMMUNITIES  towards a bibliography  Compiled by *protected email* for the panel on “History of Our Community” at the Leather Leadership Conference II, New York City, 4/19/98; revised 5/3/98. Copyright is hereby waived, and the contents may be freely reposted or reprinted, as long as this heading remains intact so […]
  • Safe Sane Consensual -  Origins of “SAFE SANE CONSENSUAL” by slave david stein under the Guardianship of Master Steve of Butchmann’s taken from the Leather History Group The following essay is the core of a larger work that is still in progress. Comments may be sent to the author via e-mail, *protected email* Copyright 2000 by david stein; all […]
  • Origins of “Sadomasochism” - Origins of the term “sadomasochism” The word sadomasochism was coined in 1922 by combining the words sadism and masochism. It means: the derivation of pleasure from the infliction of physical or mental pain either on others or on oneself. Marquis de Sade  The word sadism is derived from de Sade’s name.  Born in Paris on June […]
  • The Oral History Project - The Oral History Project The Oral History project involves the taping, transcribing, indexing and filing of interviews with long time participants or important individuals in the leather community. The transcribed histories form one of the most important information sources in the LA&M’s developing collections. Identifying oral history subjects, arranging the interviews, typing them out and […]
  • The Black Leather Community - From Dark Connections The leather community, created for the most part by gay men and soldiers returning home after World War ll, was a society steeped in secrecy. It’s members shared a love of motorcycles and leather accoutrements and longed for the familiar military principles and discipline they endured during the war. The term “Old […]
  • Pre/Post-WWII -   Pre-WWII SM Leather By Gayle S. Rubin From the LeatherHistory E-Group On Sat, 13 Apr 2002, dogg_starr1 wrote: Their newest claim is that the old guard invented WIITWD and specificly the “leather lifestyle”. I have been challenged to find  documentation that there was a “leather lifestyle” before WWII.  Normally I pretty much ignore […]
  • Old Guard…or not… - (Dogmatism) Old Guard…or not… By BullDawg66  (post from the LeatherHistory Yahoo! Group) If anyone finds this offensive…sorry in advance but it is something that eats at me from time to time. Okay, enough about “Old Guard” vs. “New Guard” stuff. Let’s be realistic about things. Those who care to sit down and make a name for  […]
  • The Myth of the Old Guard - by *protected email*, author of The Master’s Manual A recent question on one of the newslists had to do with smoking cigarettes at dungeon parties. The writer began her question with a reference to the Old Guard/New Guard dilemma. Things have changed in fifty years, that’s for sure, but I’m not sure that things have […]
  • History of Leather Traditions - The Old Guard The History of Leather Traditions By Guy Baldwin, M.S., author of The Ties That Bind         While reading a recent interview with  Brian Dawson, I came across some of his comments about that ‘Old Guard’ In the  leather lifestyle. Although  I used that label in a piece I wrote almost three years  ago, […]


  • Gags and Urban Legends - An entire book could be written about gags and mouth stuff.  BDSM and the mouth is not just about gags and even if it was, there is so much to write about – and do with gags. Much photographed, hardly ever used properly and to their full potential and surrounded by thousands of urban legends. […]
  • BDSM Basic Principles - TEN BASIC BDSM PRINCIPLES 1) BDSM play should be safe, sane and consensual. 2) Know your SM player(s). Do not have BDSM play with strangers. 3) Always inform a friend that you are having BDSM play: where, when and with whom.  Use safecalls. 4) Always use safewords, i.e., 911 or red (STOP), yellow (slow down) […]
  • First Contact Safety - These rules may vary, according to what you have to work with, or are able to reveal, or decide to use….but whateveryou do, don’t ignore the basic safety you will require, as a submissive meeting a new dom for the first time. There are people out there who are simply predators, and your new dom […]
  • Red Flags -  What is a “Red Flag”? Author Unknown Cross-posted to the Albany Power eXchange message board 9/06. A “Red Flag” is any indication that you should steer clear of a particular person, either Dom/me or sub. These can pop up at any time, though most often in the beginning of a potential relationship. They can be […]
  • BDSM is NOT Abuse -  BDSM is NOT Abuse! Abuse checklist  (Does or has) your partner… _____ Embarrass or make fun of you in front of your friends or family? _____ Slowly isolated you from your family and friends? _____ Put down your accomplishments or goals? _____ Make you feel like you are unable to make decisions? _____ Threaten to […]


  • Basics of Flogging - The Basics of Flogging or How to Flog Someone So They’ll Come Back for More By *protected email* To the novice flogging may look easy, and actually it’s not that difficult, but it does require concentration and physical exertion along with some practice. However, knowledge of some basic guidelines can greatly enhance the learning curve […]
  • Hair Bondage - techniques and tricks for doing it right  from Incorporating the hair in your bondage is appealing to many and for many different reasons. It dramatically increases the feeling of being restrained, it’s incredibly intimate and personal, it can be painful, humiliating and it often is a very effective way to keep the head still […]
  • Clothespins, Clips and Clamps - By STella I want to stress a few dangers of playing with clothespins and clamps. First, used on the scrotum and labia, or any where else for that matter, but especially there, make sure you are not getting any of the delicate structures in these areas actually IN the clamp. This can cause a lot […]
  • Basic Cock and Ball Torture - So What’s the Thrill? Obviously the cock is the organ of the male body most effectively wired for pleasurable sensation, and there are huge stretches of the pleasure/pain boundary to be explored in its vicinity. But arguably more important is the psychological angle: for many men, cocks are the center of sexuality and a symbol […]
  • Canes: The Rod of Rods - By Gary Switch The cane is the reason why erotic flagellation is known as the English Vice.  As iconic as the maritime cat-o’-nine-tails, Scottish tawse, fraternity paddle, and the American bullwhip may be, none is so perfectly suited to the task at hand.  None possesses the elegant severity of a thin, swishy wand of rattan. […]
  • Breast Bondage - This little dissertation is meant to be a discussion of the six different types of bondage applied to the female breasts. I will not say that there are not more ways, nor will I say that these basics cannot be embellished upon. These are the basic techniques which a dom/me may use to begin to […]
  • Bondage Techniques by Dr. Bondage - Like any other sport or hobby, bondage is best practiced with an awareness of safety. If the game is played right, every participant wins! In all sports, there is the possibility of accidents, so here are some recommended “don’ts” for bondage. Don’t play when you’re not alert. Don’t play when tired or under the influence […]
  • Anal Play - Why would anyone want to have anal sex? For many people, anal sex is the ultimate taboo. Buttfucking makes it sound crude and dirty, sodomy sounds technical. In the 1990’s, anal sex has been given the bad rap because HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is most easily transmitted by anal intercourse. But some people […]
  • Aftercare - Aftercare is affectionate care and attention following any type of traumatic or mentally challenging event. D/s relationships are engaged with a passion and intensity that are often so strong that they can strip away at the barriers and defenses that we normally use to protect ourselves from exactly those extremes. To ‘feel’ that intensity means […]
  • Presenting -  On Presenting By *protected email* Recently several people have posted to the lists in regards to teaching their skills to the community at large. In the two main cases the results were disastrous. As someone who in the past has presented locally, and at current teaches at several of the larger national events, I’d like […]

Power Exchange

  • BDSM 101: Basics made simple -  D/S, S/M and B/D are the terms most often used in society today. They are distinctly different in that D/S stands for Dominance and Submission, S/M stands for Sadism and Masochism while B/D stands for Bondage and Discipline. These are three distinctly different life styles. But remember at all time and in each of the […]
  • Spare the Rod, Spoil the Slave? - Spare the Rod, Spoil the Slave? By Jack Rinella There are significant differences between corporal punishment and the infliction of pain for the giving of pleasure: technique, reason, and effect come to mind right away. A person can endure a significant amount of pain from a whip, strap, hand, or paddle if their application begins […]
  • Rituals -  Rituals By softpetal The word ritual means a process or action that is done and repeated according to specific procedure. A ritual is a sort of ceremony that is usually formal and follows the same pattern each and every time. Simply, it is something that a person does over and over for a Purpose. They […]
  • Formal Relationship Structures -  Creating and Maintaining Formal Relationship Structures Flagg 2002 For purposes of this discussion, I would like to offer some definitions. These ideas have been invaluable to me in the continuing evolution of a workable formal structure. Definitions: Structure-       A framework of systems which define the authority dynamic of a given household. Protocol-         Rules and guidelines […]
  • The Dominant Mindset -  The Dominant Mindset by RebelGent I often receive requests from Dominants who are on the point of embarking on a 24/7 relationship. Their biggest concerns center around both maintaining control of the relationship while simultaneously ensuring an environment conducive to the fulfillment of both his needs as the Dominant, and his submissive’s needs. The issue […]
  • A World Of Absolutes - By *protected email* The world around us is one of situational ethics and malleable values. Everything is relative to the moment. The professed standards for today are compromised tomorrow for the sake of expediency. Some people thrive in an environment like that, while others feel as if cast adrift, struggling to stay afloat by clinging […]
  • Qualities of a successful Dominant - By Polly Peachum “The Problems Started After I Moved In” When talking to submissive women about their lives and relationships, the most frequent cause of sorrow and difficulty that gets mentioned is the transition from a non-live-in D&S relationship to a full-time live-in situation. Relationships that seemed to work beautifully when limited to cyberspace hot-chat […]
  • Advice to a Novice Dominant -  There are as many ways to do D/S as there are people, so you really need to know what your partner wants, doesn’t want, is comfortable with, is afraid of, and so forth. A lot of submissives will have great trouble telling you what they want. For some of them, this is because they don’t […]
  • Like You - LIKE YOU By *protected email* In many areas of our lives we all have experienced being “different” in some way. Maybe you are gay or have a particular medical condition.  With regard to BDSM, since this is a BDSM group, maybe it first was feeling you had a kink.  Then you discover BDSM.  Some of […]
  • From Ugly Duckling To Swan - From Ugly Duckling To Swan By devilsbane Property of *protected email* I have sat and thought this over for a while and I’d like to express some thoughts. Some may understand and agree, some may not, but I think it is worthwhile. I hope it will be somewhat entertaining as well as internally reflecting. I […]


  • Submissive Struggles - By *protected email* All submissives look within themselves and dissect their submission; many times will come up when they ask themselves if they are really submissive at all. Yet, certain things creep in again and again that get our juices flowing or our antennas up where we “feel” something inside that tells us we are […]
  • Submissive vs Slave - By *protected email* This distinction appears muddled, misunderstood and generalized by a great number of the people that I converse with. First I would like to make a point. Language at it’s best shifts from area to area. Within this one continent we have many variations or dialects of usage. This can be seen in […]



  • Basic Math: Hints for Adding Partners to a Relationship - Basic Math Hints for Adding Partners to a Relationship by Peggy, aka O Multiple relationships are very common in the BDSM community. We look around us and see a lot of leather families that seem not only to be functioning, but, in fact, thriving. Many of us enjoy variety and would like to create our […]
  • Jealousy -         UNMASKING THE GREEN-EYED MONSTER:                  MANAGING JEALOUSY IN OPEN RELATIONSHIPS                                   By Kathy Labriola, Counselor/Nurse In my counseling practice, I work with many people who have chosen to […]