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Basics of Flogging

The Basics of Flogging
How to Flog Someone So They’ll Come Back for More


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 and enrich the experience for both the “top” and the “bottom”. And a beginner would do well to practice on a wall or pillow, focusing on the intended striking point.

Negotiate Before You Start

Before any flogging, the participants should negotiate what is desired and what isn’t, along with what “safe-word” or other indication the “bottom” is to use to slowdown or stop the flogging. Does the “bottom” like stinging or thud sensations? How open is he or she to new experiences? Has this person had much experience with flogging? Novices may think they can take lots of pain, and then be surprised at what a good flogging actually feels like.

In addition, pertinent medical or physical problems should be made known before beginning.

Flogging The Back

The basic area to flog is the upper back on each side of the spine. Try to stay off the spine to prevent injury to the vertebrae and related tissues, and the skinnier the person is the more important this is. Also avoid swinging the tails down the back onto the hips or upper butt, or else this may cause a different kind of pain that is undesirable. Rather than a full swinging motion (this isn’t golf) that carries the tails down the back, stop the flogger immediately after it hits or even pull it backwards in a snapping motion right before it hits. By varying this motion you can control how much of the tails connect with the back; more will cause greater thud while hitting with just the tips will be stingier.


Generally speaking, avoid unintentional ”wrapping,” which is when the tips of the tails wrap around a curved part of the body such as the shoulders, torso, butt or legs. In wrapping the tips accelerate tremendously and the resulting excessive force at the tips almost always causes an undesirable increase in pain. One difficulty in avoiding wrapping is that the tips can fly so fast that you may have trouble seeing them–a person sometimes has to estimate where the tails are hitting, especially in darker environments. In addition, when throwing a flogger people often have a tendency to lunge forward, which can cause wrapping if it’s not compensated for. On rare occasions a bottom may desire wrapping, but then this should be done by mutual agreement and with care to not overdo it.

Other Targets

Other targets: the butt is very inviting, yet because of its smaller size and roundness it requires greater accuracy to avoid excessive wrapping onto the hips or into the especially sensitive “inner” areas; also avoid hitting the tailbone. When flogged well, though, the butt can be very rewarding. The thighs can be flogged but should be done with extra attention to the power in wrapping. Female breasts should be flogged relatively lightly to avoid later medical problems, and this may be more important if they are flogged often; males can usually safely take more in this area. Generally other parts of the body, especially the kidney area, shouldn’t be flogged except maybe with very light, miniature floggers. Stay away from all joints of the legs and arms, and the head and neck should never be flogged.

Also be aware that there is a big difference in flogging someone in the standing position versus lying down.

Warm Up & Timing

Start with softer blows and work up gradually to harder ones–this way the bottom will be able to take more as well as get more out of the session. Similarly, if you have more than one flogger, use the lighter one before going to the heavier one. In addition, varying the pace and alternating heavier blows with softer ones (or using just the tips), can make the difference between a good flogging and a great one.

During a flogging the top also needs to be sensitive to the nuances of how the bottom is handling the experience and when to vary the strokes. And after the bottom has recuperated from the flogging, the top can learn valuable information by obtaining the bottom’s perspective on what it was like.

Thud vs Sting

The top should understand that softer/heavier tails will generally cause thud, while harder or narrower tails will cause more sting–rubber or braided leather tails are usually the most stingy. And these differences are best understood by experiencing them on one’s own skin. A flogger also needs to be thrown fast enough so the tails don’t fly apart and land inaccurately–because of this it’s very difficult to use a heavier flogger in place of a lighter one to achieve the blows that a lighter flogger would deliver. This is why people often have more than one flogger.

Health & Safety

Occasionally during a flogging a small amount of blood may appear on the skin as a result of a blemish being broken open. How blood and other body fluids on a flogger should be dealt with is controversial; disinfectants and leather conditioners can alter the leather and having different floggers for every bottom isn’t practical.

First of all, have band-aids available and apply one as soon as any break in the skin is noticed. If any blood or body secretions have gotten on the tails, they should be wiped with a dry cloth while wearing a glove (there shouldn’t be much!). Then before using the flogger on another person it should be hung to air-dry in a warm, dry place for two weeks–the drying action will kill the AIDS and hepatitis viruses. Some would suggest cleaning the tails with a cloth moistened with a fresh solution of bleach mixed 1 part to 10 parts water and then waiting 10 minutes before using the flogger on someone else. A few may suggest both the bleach solution and then drying for two weeks, but this may be more than is needed. On the other hand, we are talking about AIDS and hepatitis.

The best approach is to avoid getting blood and other body fluids on your floggers. However, the flogging action will tend to wipe blood away and make a tiny skin break difficult to see. Therefore checking a bottom’s skin after a flogging for signs that any blood may have gotten on the flogger would be wise. A few would even say that the same flogger should never be used on more than one person per day, but that is not actually a sufficient length of time to be safe from hepatitis. Others say that the risk of catching AIDS or hepatitis from floggers is very minimal, yet this would be almost impossible to verify with certainty.

The Last Word

Finally though, always remember: If someone is trusting you enough to let you flog them, you owe it to him or her to be sensitive and careful; and secondly, flogging is ultimately supposed to be gratifying to both parties.

Hair Bondage

techniques and tricks
for doing it right 


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 and in position for other things, such as “forced” oral sex.

Binding the hair may not always be easy. The hair easily slips out of every knot you tie, unless you know how to do it right. And not every technique can applied with every type of hair. Long hair is a lot easier to use of course. Short and extremely short hair may be a problem. In other words, you may to to experiment with different techniques a bit before you find the one most suitable for your own situation.

[Pro Tip] If you find the hair still slips out of the rope, try using hair spray first. This will make the hair less slippery and stick to the rope and to itself.

Be considerate with your submissive. If a strand of hair has been tied for any length of time, it may be hard to get it back into the normal style for a day or two – especially if it’s usually worn loose. Hence don’t do this in the event your sub has to go to work or to an important job interview the next morning.
No matter what you see on pictures and in videos, there is a certain risk. Any brisk or unexpected movement may cause someone to pull out their own hair, especially if the strand used is not thick enough. Especially if you and your submissive are inexperienced, make sure you use thick strand or an entire ponytail and never “hang” anyone inexperienced from the hair. This includes forcing someone to stand on their toes tied this way – if they fall, lose their balance or faint they may scalp themself.
Okay, now that we’ve settled that, let’s concentrate on some of the different techniques. We’ll describe several techniques here that everybody can do, without special knot tying techniques or needing special attributes.

Technique 1 – Japanese Braiding 

Japanese bondage masters prefer special rice rope for this, but hemp will do just as well because it’s a bit rough. This is a typical long hair technique and the main advantage is that it can be kept in for hours or days if you like and that – once tied correctly – you can use it for a variety of different playforms. If you’re planning to use it in different forms (this goes for all forms of hair bondage) observe the pulling direction. For example, if the direction of the bondage is downward, never use it for an upward position later without changing it, since that will cause the full force to be applied on only a part of the strand which may cause your submissive to pull parts of their hair out themselves. The safest way is to put the hair in a loose ponytail at the back center of the head first.

Now what you do is you take three or four thin ropes and use them together as one rope. Lay the middle of your rope bundle behind the ponytail and wrap both ends around the tail (as TIGHT as you can) two or three times, about one third of the length of the ponytail from the head. Next divide both the rope bundle and the hair in three strands and braid them again TIGHTLY (really try doing this as tight as you can) and go down as far as you can. When done, separate the rope from the hair and tie the rope strings together with a series of reef knots (also called square knots), tight again. You can now either use the remainder of the rope bundle (if long enough) to tie it to something else or tie another rope to the end of the braided bundle to use in the rest of your bondage.

Technique 2 – The Knot Tube

This technique again is only suitable for long hair. Best use hemp rope again, about the thickness of a pencil. Seperate a strand of hair (or use an entire ponytail) and work from the middle of the rope. Wrap it around the strand, close to the head once and make a half reef knot. Now lay the strand of hair over the knot and make another half reef knot. Wrap the rope around the strand again and repeat the procedure. Repeat this over and over again. Mind you, this takes quite a while to complete and an equally long time or more to untie again so this is not something to do in the event you only have a little time. Make sure to make your wraps and knots TIGHT and be aware that a small strand or slick hair may easily slip out, despite the number of knots. Using hair spray may be a good idea in such cases.

[Pro Tip] If you want to be extra “cruel” make the strand of hair wet before tying it this way. Especially if the hair remains tied like this for a couple of hours and dries this will cause a great “semi-permanent wave” that may last one or two days, causing a similar effect bruises after a whipping or a caning has. In other words, they’ll have something visible to remind them of the bondage for a longer period of time.

Technique 3 – The Ring

The final technique we’d like to discuss here is the use of a ring. This technique is probably your best best if your submissive’s hair is not really long and also is the simplest one if you’re not an experienced bondage master.

You can use any type of ring. Take a strand of hair, lead it through the ring and fold it around it. Make sure the part between the head and the ring is one-third of the hair and the part that’s folded back is two-thirds. Now either use thin packing rope or fishing line and wrap this around the folded strand, starting from the ring and working towards the head. When finished, fold the remaining one-third upward and repeat the wrapping, this time upwards towards the ring and finally tie the rope. Make sure your wrapping is a tight as possible. When done correctly it is next to impossible that the hair will slip out of the rope and the ring of course can be used as a connection point for any other bondage. The possibilities are endless: from tying the submissive’s hands behind their head to fastening the ring to something else, like a wall hook or whatever other object. The ring of course also allows for the use of quick snap hooks, so this technique is very suitable for use in combination with other things, like leather of steel handcuffs, tackles and similar gear. This too can be left in almost endlessly, provided the strand used is not too thin (if it is it’s likely the tension eventually will become too much.

[Pro Tip] Tie one of these rings in the hair, one on each side of the head, and the possibilities are endless, especially for humiliating positions like cuffing the hands to the sides of the head (and giving someone all sorts of tasks to perform, like serving dinner or pouring a drink – which will not only be difficult and thus humiliating, but will also automatically force them to pull their own hair which also makes a great form of “self punishment”) or to restrain someone’s head in a position for forced oral sex.

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.

Ruling out some persistent urban legends and misunderstanding is probably the best thing to do first, so, here goes:


The average gag you can buy in a shop is too big for effective use. This is especially true for almost all penis-shaped gags.

They have been designed by people with no experience in power exchange, usually only made to appeal to certain fantasies and create sales. So, whatever you do when you go out to buy a gag: buy a small one.

A gag that is too big will be too uncomfortable to keep in for any length of time (and usually that is exactly what you WANT a gag to be used for), because it will create cramps in the jaw muscles and a gagging effect if it is too long. There is no need for the gag to go in any deeper than halfway down the tongue.

Gags and Breathing

Inflatable gags and some very large penis shaped dildo gags excluded, gags – as in “things put in your mouth” – will not interfere with your (sub’s) ability to breath. There’ll almost always be room enough to let a sufficient amount of air flow around the gag. And – unless she has a cold – she can breath through the nose as well. The fear of not being able to breath is largely psychological and – although not very rational – something that most slaves will have to learn to overcome.

What does limit the ability to breath are attempts to try and swallow the saliva. And these attempts are largely futile, which is the main objective of a stick-in-gag. As soon as the slave lets the saliva just drip out of her mouth – yes humiliating, but again, that is one the main objectives – there is enough room and freedom for the air to move in. Kind of cruel, isn’t it. But then, cruel choices is what BDSM is all about.

Choking is another gag related problem and it’s origin usually is – again – the saliva problem, in combination with fear (of being unable to breath). If gags are something new to you, ask your dom to train you. It is really not as bad as it seems, but you may have to get used to it and that may indeed take a while.

Gags and Silence

It is impossible to fully silence a submissive – or anyone else for that matter – with a gag, regardless the type. Once you stuff the mouth to the point where making noises is entirely impossible, the victim has probably died or very likely will very soon.

In the BDSM-situation the objective of the gag is to humiliate, both through creating the saliva problem as well as through the fact that any more or less coherent speech is impossible and reduced to funny sounds.

The third main objective is to remind the submissive in a physical way that she is not supposed to talk.

Some types of gags may serve other purposes as well, such as to bite in (to help fight or cope with the pain), steer (in pony play) or train (for oral sex).

Finally, a gag very frequently serves as a pacifier in the same way it does for babies. Being able (or being allowed) to suck on something can be comforting.

A gag is a gag, who cares?

Most certainly not! There are many different types of gags – we’ll talk about most of them in this section – and most of them serve different purposes. The fact that most people think a gag is just a silencer is what leads to many misunderstandings – as well as a lot of opposition, especially by submissives.

Gags are a very powerful instrument, when used in the correct way and for the right purpose, both from a psychological point of view (usually their main purpose) as well as from a purely physical and practical point of view.

For example, many people think that using a gag will help prevent complaints from neighbors. Guess what, very likely exactly the opposite will happen. Want to know why? Well, spend an evening doing nothing but watching abduction movies and television series. If there is one distinctive sounds (no matter how faint) the average TV-watcher has gotten used you (psychologically grinded in) it is the faint sounds of a gagged woman, especially hearing it through walls, from behind bushes or from the trunk of a car. You won’t believe how many even wake up when they hear a sound that “sounds like” a gagged woman and call 911 or the police. A gag can be useful to suppress outcries of pain provided the sub has been taught to BITE in it to fight the pain instead of shouting, which is another energy burst, a way to fight the pain. The gag doesn’t muffle the cries – the gag is supposed to be an alternative for shrieking and crying.

Dangerous Gags 

One of the problems with television series and movies is that it makes some things seem harmless and hardly dangerous. Gags are close to the number one position in that area and every year especially children die, because their playmate – when playing cops and robbers – thought a gag wouldn’t do any harm. And it is not just children. In the – unlikely and rare by the way – event a person dies during a BDSM scene it will almost always be either the result of breath play (strangulation) or the result of a dangerous gag.

The most dangerous toy, in the hands of someone inexperienced, is a role of duct tape. Depending on the type this may indeed make breathing through the mouth entirely impossible and all you need is a simple nose blockage of some kind for the sub to die!! If you use duct tape, at least punch a few holes in it.

Another dangerous way of gagging is to put cloths into someone’s mouth. This will obstruct all air channels, including the back of the nasal inlets. Cloths kills! Especially when used in combination with duct tape.

Finally, another type that does not belong in the hands of inexperienced people (in all honesty, experienced people are of the opinion they should not be sold at all) are inflatable gags – rubber balls or balloons that can be pumped to size. They will almost always be pumped to a size that is dangerous. The balloon fills the entire mouth and blocks all airways. To make things worse, they will usually form part of some sort of mask or leather harness or belt, making it impossible for the submissive to even try and push them out far enough to be able to breath in the event of an emergency.

Furthermore, such inflatables may very well make it impossible for the saliva to go anywhere else BUT the lungs. Meaning the slave will choke on her own saliva and die!

As always, we have no intention to scare you away from gags, but you should be aware of the health risks and dangers to be able to make the right choices. And THEN gags – and other forms of mouth related torture and teasing – can be a lot of fun.


Regardless what type of gag you use, you should be aware of a few important things:

1. Never leave the sub out of sight and preferably be in a position where either the dom or someone else – if that is an option – can monitor the facial expression of the sub on a more or less constant basis (which is one reason why having mirrors in your dungeon can be very handy). The first signs of lack of air are the eyes widening (“popping out”), lips turning bueish and the facial skin turning either red or pale. Unexpected heavy sweating – on the forehead – is another warning signal. Inability to breath is mostly a matter of panic. It should be dealt with. Always remove the gag instantly, because you should respond to panic seriously, regardless if there is a logical reason for it or not.

2. Make sure there is some sort of non-verbal warning signal or safe word. Humming SOS in Morse code (three short – three long – three short) is one way, but not
always handy. A bell to ring is the most efficient safety tool. An old and not always practical advice is to give the sub a ball in her hand, she can drop if she feels she is in trouble. That signal may be too subtle and may be overlooked easily. If she has to drop something, let her drop something that makes noise when it falls, so you
have a double warning signal!!

3. Make sure – whatever the restraint, bondage or position is – a gagged sub can always tilt her head sideways (when laying down) or bow it (when the head is in a more or less upright position) so she can expel excess saliva. This is humiliating, but always a better choice than choking. 4. Never gag anyone suffering from heart or lung related diseases, regular hyperventilation or claustrophobia, someone who is on heavy medication or psycho drugs or suffers from diabetes or seizures.

Adapted from Amsterdam News Desk/Powerotics

Why is SM Taboo?

By Rob Jellinghaus

 …is SM criminal, unnatural, immoral, unethical, or unhealthy?
If what we’ve been saying in this FAQ is accurate, then why haven’t more people heard this? Why are the prevailing images of SM so negative?

There is no doubt that they _are_ negative. Not long ago I was informed that there are some members of the Winnipeg (Canada) police department who believe that soc.subculture.bondage-bdsm is “a textbook on how to torture women for sexual pleasure. It’s obscene.” Said police were considering how to deal with s.s.b-b on obscenity grounds. In England in 1991, a group of gay men who had gathered for an SM play party in which they were using whips for pleasure were arrested and charged with battery, EVEN THOUGH they had all agreed to be doing exactly what they were doing, and WANTED to be doing it. Consensual SM is illegal in England. How can this be?

The crucial distinction here is between consent and non-consent. The difference between whipping someone in a scene and assaulting them on the street is the difference between sex and rape. If everyone involved agrees to what is happening, it is not a crime. If they do not, then it is. This distinction is not in principle difficult to understand, and being involved in SM makes it very clear. SM practitioners are _more_ familiar with consent issues than most, and as such are _less_ likely to commit crimes of the sort that people confuse with SM. And NONE of the material in this FAQ advocates ANY kind of nonconsensual, criminal behavior.

Unfortunately, there are many who would be arbiters of what others may and may not legally consent to do. I believe that consenting adults should be free to do as they wish in the privacy of their homes. There are many who don’t believe this is acceptable. It serves them to confuse the issue by claiming “SM people are sadistic rapists” when in fact we are nothing of the sort. Criminalizing consensual sexual activities (sodomy, SM, even prostitution) is an old tradition, but in my view, an unjustifiable one.

This problem is exacerbated by the body of “scholarly research” on SM and related practices. Almost all the books written about SM and other alternative practices in this century have been written by psychologists and therapists (i.e. people outside the scene), and almost all have portrayed SM as a dangerous practice, indulged in only by “unhealthy” individuals. The reason? Healthy individuals weren’t the subjects being studied; rather, the subjects were all seeking psychological treatment from the authors of the books! The “studies” completely ignored the many many well-adjusted, happy people who were also into SM. It’s easy to conclude SM is harmful when your only experience is with psychologically maladjusted SM people, and when you aren’t interested in presenting a balanced view (as few authors are–psychologists can be as sexually judgmental as anyone).

More recent events in the psychiatric community have shown a change in opinion about SM. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Conditions is a document produced by the American Psychiatric Association. The DSM-III, published in the late ’80s, classified “sexual sadism” and “sexual masochism” as disorders for which treatment was recommended. The APA, in the DSM-IV, reclassified SM as _not_ necessarily a disorder, unless the practice of the SM produces clinically significant ongoing emotional trauma, or leads to death, serious injury, or disability. The DSM-IV is recognition by the therapeutic community that SM can be practiced in a psychologically healthy way. Specifically, _DSM IV_, © *1994*, page 529, §302.83, “sexual masochism”: Classed as a paraphilia, not a disorder, lacking negative implications unless “the fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.” Sexual sadism is discussed 2 pages later, §302.84, with similar qualifications.

As for “natural”: people have practiced SM behaviors throughout history. Many are the saints who scourged themselves in the name of the Lord. Using intense sensation to reach altered states of mind is a practice as old as humanity itself–and hence can be considered in no way “unnatural”.

Our society (as do most societies) tends to ostracize the different. If you don’t fit the mold, you’re weird and dangerous. People into SM don’t fit the mold. This is why there is such pressure to remain anonymous in the scene; people have lost their jobs, partners, children, and liberty by having their sexual preferences revealed to their community. This stems from the same source: lack of understanding of what we do and why, and lack of respect for what is different.

Of course, there are plenty of people who just aren’t into SM. (Most people, in fact.) There’s nothing at all wrong with not being into SM, or with not wanting to be exposed to people who do various forms of SM; many people have emotional issues with some kinds of SM activities and may be repulsed or disturbed by witnessing them. These people should clearly avoid SM (and probably should avoid soc.subculture.bondage-bdsm). I would hope, however, that even these people would manage to learn about consensuality as it relates to SM, and learn how SM, practiced carefully, is not abuse.

Some people feel that any power exchange between people is unhealthy. The argument is that giving power to someone else is tantamount to giving away your essential right to self-determination, which must be considered an unqualified evil. Moreover, there is no doubt that many social evils–wars, abusive relationships, et al.–derive from one group of people seeking power over another; therefore, the argument proceeds, it is always wrong thusly to seek power.

In reality, there are many situations in life in which someone chooses to give some of their power over to another, because they trust that other to use that power wisely. Examples include entering the Army (which regulates your life for the duration of your service); getting married (which is often a commitment to abandon some of your personal autonomy); taking a job (which restricts your choices of how to spend your time); and, of course, entering a BDSM scene (during which your top has authority over what goes on). All these power exchanges are mutually agreed upon, and are mutually beneficial; when they stop being beneficial, the exchange itself should stop.

People whose moral codes state that all power exchange–consensual or otherwise–is wrong should clearly not be involved in BDSM. Certainly such people have a consistent ethical system that defines BDSM as immoral. Short of such an ethical system, however, it is hard to see how a BDSM relationship is any more intrinsically immoral than a stint in the Army, or a traditional ‘death-do-you-part’ marriage. As for me, I believe that in a free society, morality requires permitting each citizen to make his or her own choices of how to live, and how to express themselves, including sexually. Sexual rights are human rights. If we lose our freedom to love as we choose, we lose a vital part of what it is to be human.

These issues are very controversial, even now. In the 1992 Oregon state ballot, voters narrowly overturned a measure named OR 9, which contained the following paragraph:

“State, regional, and local government and their departments, agencies, and other entities, including specifically the State Department of Higher Education and the public schools, shall assist in setting a standard for Oregon’s youth that recognizes homosexuality, pedophilia, sadism, and masochism as abnormal, wrong, unnatural, and perverse and that these behaviors are to be discouraged and avoided.”

Homosexuality, sadism, and masochism are neither wrong nor unnatural. All three are consensual ways of living and loving that many people enjoy. They are not for everyone, but nor should everyone be told that they are for no one. Note also how this measure seeks to confuse the issue by grouping homosexuality, sadism, and masochism together with pedophilia, a practice which is in most places legally nonconsensual. (It is not my intent to enter here into the debate over whether children are ever capable of fully consenting to sexual acts. Suffice it to say that whether they can or not has no bearing on the fact that adults _can_ consent to SM play.) Legislating what consenting adults may and many not do in private is neither healthy nor democratic.

(In recent years there has been a spate of articles about how SM is entering the mainstream. Madonna’s book “Sex,” her movie “Body of Evidence,” and the movie “Exit to Eden” are examples of this trend. Hopefully this will lead to more people feeling free to express their love as _they_ choose–so long as it’s consensual!)

The most extreme forms of SM come closest to the line between consent and non-consent. Most SM people have established safewords which they will use if need be, though if they’ve known their partners for long, that’s rather seldom. Some people, though, do play without safewords–whether because they know their partners well enough to stay within their partners’ limits and read their partners’ responses, or because they enjoy the rush of playing without an escape clause. This latter sort of play is sometimes known as “consensual non-consensuality,” and involves scenes in which the bottom literally cannot escape from whatever the top wishes to do. This is very advanced SM; it requires exponentially more negotiation and introspection, and even then is hazardous. Not many people do this, or want to, but some people do, and find it exhilarating and uplifting. More info is available on s.s.b-b or in some of the references…or on s.s.b-b itself, which is one of the best places in the world to hear a myriad of voices speak out about their individual ways of doing and living SM.

Dominant Styles – One Dom’s Perspectives

By Owlm48

Over the years I have observed many forms of Dom/sub behavior. Although I have never been known as one to try and categorize anything or anybody, in the educational spirit of creating discussion and thought, I wanted to discuss some of my observations. Hopefully this dissertation will help those new to the lifestyle find a place for themselves, an area to identify with or explain various forms of D/s behavior. And for those who are in the lifestyle to just enjoy the discussion.

I think that Dominants can fall into one of three categories , with modifications within them. I want to discuss the major categories, but leave the modifications to your imagination and/or conclusions. There could even be combinations of types.

The types fall into the categories of Authoritarian, Democratic, and Equalitarian. These types have their sub counterparts. I will discuss the main characteristics of these subs and again leave the various modifications thereof up to your imagination. Remember, although I may mention some negative things about some of these categories, these persons and situations must be evaluated by the quality of the people involved and not by the activities themselves. Remember that variation is endless. I do not intend to offend anyone by these generalizations. We all know that there are exceptions to every rule and that “we” are all “exceptions.”

The Authoritarian Dominant is one who “rules” with the absolute power, the total control. Makes all decisions, there is no questioning of what is asked or done. The only recourse the sub may enjoy is perhaps a safe word or , if allowed, few if any limitations. These Dom’s enjoy the strictest master/slave relationships. They attract subs who want to be totally controlled. This is the “slave” submissive. Many of these subs find themselves being considered doormat types by those who do not understand this form of D/s. (However, it may attract door-mat type persons and power freak type individuals). This form may and usually does involve strict total voluntary surrender either mentally/emotionally and/or physically, and usually through heavy S&M activities. This is where pushed limits are very much a part of the activities. Some of the strongest bonds/relationships exist in these situations. Here is where one can also find the strict 24 hours a day 7 days a week (24 / 7) D/s relationships. There are no long drawn out training sessions to effect certain behaviors as in the Democratic Domination. Things are just done, no negotiations; limits are pushed and it is accepted by both. There is a great sense of closeness and coupling in the uncensored relinquishing of power and the wielding of absolute control. They fully understand this concept of D/s and live it strictly and with elegance. Their implements (toys if you will , but in this type I don’t look upon them as toys – you can be sure that they are the “real” thing) are highly crafted, sometimes intricate, wielded proficiently and effectively. The Dominants are highly skilled in their use. And you might say that the submissives are highly skilled at receiving the results. These implements developed by the Authoritarian types are borrowed in kind and concept by other D/s types. It can be a profound and sobering experience for some not yet familiar with this type of domination to witness an Authoritarian scene. You will find this type referred to as real D/s. and it is “real.” This is what “real” is usually referred to. But D/s is not only S&M , it encompasses a wide variety of D/s behaviors and conventions. So real is real for what you are involved in and not what others do. This “is” real BDSM, have no doubt about this. It is, however, only one aspect or area of D/s. I think that here one finds the situation where individuals feel naturally (born) this way and fall into this easily and with great acceptance and comfort in spite of outward appearances.

The Democratic Dominant ( sounds like an oxymoron ) is one who controls by agreement. Contracts, discussions, limitations, conditions, safe words, times of day, places where, are all spelled out or discussed and are strictly followed. Sometimes in written contracts. Punishments are provided for the enjoyment of both when these are not followed; and rewards are given (I think) when they are followed. Submissives who are attracted to these situations are those who want the same agreed conditions, especially the limitations. They can be called feisty, bad, spoiled, hard to tame, because they like to challenge the limits/rules — either because they want it this way (to have control), or have certain fears. This can be the game area, where fun supersedes the Dominant/submissive operative. The Dominant and submissive like the actual and varied activities and enjoy participating in them. The submissive probably does not want to actually surrender, but likes playing as if she is does. These form the least strong relationships and bonds. This area is where the fun seekers usually reside, those who do not fully understand or have not fully experienced what D/s is, and maybe don’t want to. Or, frankly, the inexperienced. The activity or concept of “Topping from the Bottom” is also found here. The rules are a guide to those who like this type of interaction, or a crutch for those who have little or no knowledge of what it is all about on an intellectual, philosophical and physical level. “Cookbook” Domming and submitting. Many like this type of situation since it is a convenient and safe way to play with D/s (fun) or it makes it easy to feel like they are or are indeed practicing D/s. This type also serves a very good purpose as a safe passage to other forms of D/s, or for learning, especially among those who are doing this for the first time with someone new, or for the first time ever. After experience with D/s or experience with that particular person is gained, the “rules of the road” so to speak become more of an intimated reaction between the two, and can lead to some very strong and satisfying D/s relationships. Some of these types or agreements can be of the 24/7 type, usually by agreement, but most involve predetermined parameters. This is the area for those Dominants who like long drawn out training sessions and submissives who are resistant to certain things and need to be broken down or want to be broken down repeatedly. Also, surprisingly, we can find the very S&M orientated individuals here as well as in the Authoritarian (totalitarian) types. The individuals are very much into the giving and receiving pain. The relationship is formed with what you might say is an underlying agreement; that is ” I like and enjoy giving you as much pain as I can give and you can stand.” — “You want and enjoy as much pain as I can give and you can stand.” — “Agreed.” — “So let’s be together.” Another democratic agreement made.

The Equalitarian Dominant is one who controls by teaching, mentoring and leading. This Dominant feels and knows that when they find a comparable submissive that things will happen as a progression of the interaction. Usually just a mention or short learning situation is necessary to obtain a certain interaction. Both the Dominant and the submissive “get it”, need very little, so called “training” and naturally know what the other needs after interaction. This Dominant does not like the situation of constantly repeating and forcing a particular behavior (submission) to occur. It is not the activities but the surrender as the result of the Domination that is the objective and enjoyment. Creativity is an important part of this situation. These are the more intellectual, into the philosophy/psychology mechanism of this lifestyle. They understand the concepts and resultant interactions and can put it into real life. They do not need many “rules” like the Democratic type , nor do they like the heavy S&M activities; preferring submission to occur as a result of an instilled desire in the submissive to surrender. She “wants” to as a result of the Dominant’s knowledge and skill at Dominating. Sensuousness is the rule and pain is given and received as a form of sensuous stimulation. Light pain as opposed to severe. Sensuous torture is a popular activity in this area. Both the Dominant and the submissive must be naturally this way. These are the ones who claim to be born this way, have always been this way. They fully understand the concept of D/s – it comes to them naturally and easily. They attract a submissive who truly and naturally wants to please, and who will observe and sense what the dominant is communicating; and be able to translate that into the right thing to do. The doing or saying without having to be told type. The submissives beg easily and surrender sweetly. They understand the concept of respect and surrender and can make it happen after initial learning with little or no additional instructions. They embrace the surrender gratefully and lovingly. These individuals usually form the most intimate of relationships, the closest. There is not much downside to these relationships, because they not only grasp the concepts, but can make it happen too; and their attraction is based on strong mutual respect. Their strong relationship is not readily apparent to the unobservant, but they are always subtly in the 24-7 mode. The fact that these things come forth naturally and without the need for orders or rules are a great affirmation and source of pride, satisfaction and loving. Just as the strictness and forbearance without the need for orders or rules.

Subspace: Falling or Floating or something else?

MsIn10sity’s Essay on Subspace

Falling or Floating or something else?

Something I’ve been trying to write about for years now is subspace. Finally, I have managed to say something worthwhile about this mysterious and elusive topic.

Probably the toughest thing to describe to the uninitiated is that elusive
thing that many call “subspace.” It’s also known as “headspace” or “flying” or
“floating” but while those of us who are experienced know just what this means
within our own context, it is a very difficult thing to define. In fact, I’ve
been trying to write about it for a number of years now without success.

Okay, why is this so hard to pin down? Because it is felt differently by any
given individual and there are many ways to get to this point; there are also
some folks who never feel much of anything mentally but may feel certain
physical responses.

At this point, I read my own words on the subject with a great sigh. I’ve just
written two whole paragraphs and haven’t said anything worthwhile. But, like any
other topic in this lifestyle, there is no *one true way* to describe any
relationship or the feelings anyone experiences as a part of this lifestyle. So,
I speak for myself here and *Your Mileage May Vary* as they say. One of the few
things I can state in an absolute way is that it is my Master (Michael) who
coined the term several years ago and he *borrowed* the term from Star Trek.

Subspace is–usually–more than just the submissive headspace one feels from
serving one’s dominant in some way… more than that extraordinary need to
please that is so common for slaves and submissives alike. The most simple
description is a sort of hypnotic state reached by the release of endorphins
into the bloodstream. But the pseudo-scientific explanation of subspace doesn’t
really matter, at least as far as this writing goes. What I want to talk about
is the mental and physical feelings involved.

It can take on a dreamy quality and can virtually paralyze some submissives for
a time. It is, in my opinion, also the greatest natural high there is and many
have likened it to a “runner’s high” or the release of adrenelin into the
system. Some have said it is invigorating rather than a relaxing trance-like
state and it has often been stated (I think mostly by those who have never
experienced it) that it is only possible to reach subspace through painful
physical stimuli. Frankly, that is nonsense; it is more than possible to reach
subspace from overwhelming passion and love with no pain being involved at all.

I’ve felt subspace on a number of levels in my time in the lifestyle, which, by
the way doesn’t make me any sort of expert on the subject. There are many
submissives I have spoken with who feel wholly different in this mental state
and all of us are describing the same thing.

Sometimes, subspace can get so deep that one can’t communicate at all and can’t
even move. I’ve had this happen a number of times and it is for this reason that
I want to caution folks who are new to all of this that no matter how subspace
is felt by any submissive, this can be a very dangerous situation for both
dominant and submissive. After all, if the sub cannot communicate, he or she
cannot safeword, safe “gesture” or in any way protect themselves and it is up to
the dominant to handle such situations with a level head and to be aware of it.
My point also covers the fact that subspace can change over the course of a
relationship and the reactions–even to the same stimuli–can also change for no
particular reason.

Subspace can be the most wonderful experience and it can also be terrifying.
I’ve also felt as if I were falling out of control and this is not a pleasant
feeling. I am not describing a *flashback* situation from some previous
situation going badly (such as abuse issues), but rather a sensation that is
like being in a plummeting out-of-control elevator. I can be talked *down* from
this, but have been fortunate to be with a Master who is always prepared to
handle whatever form my subspace may take in any situation.

At its very best, subspace is almost always a mental and physical *high* for me.
I sometimes see my own body in a beautiful garden with gorgeous flowers and a
flowing stream and feel such a sense of security and comfort and love that I can
only describe it as *temporary Heaven.* Often, I do not speak at all but I know
my Master is there and it feels as if we are the only two people in the world.
Sometimes I do talk, but not in response to my Master but rather a flowing sort
of stream-of-consciousness that makes no sense really. And when he brings me
*back to earth* from these kind of subspace experiences, all of my physical
discomforts are gone and I feel no pain whatsoever. I feel as if I could run a
marathon and this is what is magical about it. I do suffer from constant pain in
the form of inflammatory arthritis and there is no medicine in the world that
works to totally alleviate my pain as *subspace* does for a period of time.

Beyond this wonderful high is the essential complete trust I have in my Master.
I know he will not leave me alone in this state (which could be quite dangerous)
and that unless there is some emergency, he will be gentle and take his time
bringing me back from the subspace to reality again.

I have had subspace last for several days as well and that is sometimes an
almost bizarre feeling. Bizarre because the things that normally bother me don’t
bug me at all and I feel quite *dreamy* even while able to function as I usually
do; I’ll call these experiences a sort of *veiled reality* and I have no idea
why subspace varies so much from time to time. Also, I have gotten into subspace
with just his voice on the phone and from multiple orgasms as well. Altogether,
it is a state of mind and sometimes state of body that I wish could be bottled
but I have not *mastered* getting into subspace all by myself, though I suppose
that may be possible as well.

Written: 03-06-01

Copyright © 1998 – 2001 by MsIn10sity, All Rights Reserved

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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 more than you are bargaining for. Both in pain and nerve or tissue damage.

Secondly, don’t leave these on too long. The whole point is that they cut off the circulation. Thus, they hurt more coming off than while they are on. However, if you cut off the circulation for too long, you get tissue damage. This is NOT good. I recommend no longer than twenty minutes maximum, and less than that if you are using strong clips. Thirdly, some tissue was not designed for exceptionally rough treatment like zippers and heavy weights. Please be careful around the genital area on both sexes. It is easily possible to tear the labia and genital tissue in these areas. As always, it’s your decision as to how you play, but emergency rooms are not my idea of enjoyable play spaces.

Wood versus plastic:

Wooden clothespins are a bit kinder and have less tendency to abrade, thus I would suggest starting with them. Plastic clothespins tend to have much smaller ribbed gripping surfaces, and a ‘feel’ much stronger than the equivalent wooden ones. Extremely small plastic clothespins are very nasty indeed, and many may be used in the same area for greater intensity.

Wooden clothespins are available in several qualities, with the older, thicker ones being a bit better IMHO, and the thin ones more likely to splinter or have sharp edges. As one may purchase 50 of these for perhaps $4 American, these rank among least expensive of toys, and among the most versatile. Almost anything one may do with fingertip squeezing may be done with clothespins, and several things that cannot be accomplished with one’s fingers may easily be done with these tiny household beauties. Of course, this does leave your hands free for other activities….

Clamping Tightness [“too hard!”, “too soft!”, “just right!”]:

Unmodified, most wooden clothespins of quality grip with between 4 and 6 pounds of pressure over an area of 3/16 X 1/2 inches. This is too much for some, and not enough for others. The grip is best increased by wrapping the clamping end with elastic bands, and decreased in several ways. The simplest is by weakening the springs by clamping something that requires the clothespin to be open to its limit for several days. This will reduce the clamping pressure by several pounds, dependent on the initial strength of the spring, the width of the opening, and the length of time one allows for stretching. Carefully pulling the jaws wider than they would normally travel will stretch the spring quickly, but this is harder to control. Wrapping elastic bands around the legs of the clothespin will resist the tension of the spring and weaken the clamping force without permanently weakening the spring.

If you are willing to spend a bit more time, drill straight through both legs of the clothespin legs about one third from the end and thread a bolt through the holes, tightening a wing nut on the bolt will allow for wonderfully precise changes in clamping pressure, since the bolt-nut combination adjustably limits the travel of the legs. It is often best to drill a larger hole or even a slot in one leg for ease of adjustment. This requires perhaps 2 minutes per clothespin and is well worth the time, as the pressure may be slowly increased as hir ability to enjoy the sensation improves. Weights may be hung off of the clothespin as well by hooks or cords attached to such holes and hardware.

‘Standard’ Techniques [suggestions for beginning and advancing]:

One classical place to begin with clothespins is the nipple, but there are many possible variations to this alone. The first grip recommended most often is with the clothespin pointing straight onto the nipple, not from the side, gripping the base of the nipple, not the tip, and perhaps a bit of areola as well. This does not have the same sort of ‘bite’ as grasping the nipple alone may, and often does wonderful things for sensitivity without causing severe pain. It is best to start with a rather weak clamping pressure and work upwards, and if you are just beginning, try not to leave the pins on for too long [start with what sie can endure, and eventually work up to perhaps twenty minutes [I prefer not to leave them on longer than this, YMMV]. The longer the clamping time, the more fierce the sensation caused by removing the pressure. The increased sensitivity afterwards may last from minutes to many hours, depending on the person, the clamping force and time; and several things might be done in this period to use that sensitivity to advantage [beating with the proverbial ‘wet noodle’ or even a featherduster is quite effective]. Ice applied immediately after removing the clothespin may reduce the length and severity of the sensation if that is desired.

You might try putting the clothespin on sideways, with the nipple centered in the the hole in the clamping area. If you do this far enough back on the nipple base or areola, the tip of a large nipple will remain exposed for other things, such as ice, nibbling, or smaller clips and clamps.

You might try clamping the nipple only, or work gradually out from the areola as hir ability to enjoy more increases. Tapping or lightly brushing the tips of attached clothespins is effective, and a light vibrator may also be used if taped to the legs of the clothespin.

One simple device works nicely for both nipples at once on all but the smallest female breasts. Take two clothespins and glue the outsides of the legs together with a slight overlap so then use the clamping ends to grasp both nipples from the sides at once. The pull will vary depending on breast size, but some will be present, thus causing her to jiggle her breasts gently can be fun, and of course, this is often just the thing to add to tickling. Size differences may require an additional short piece of wood to link the pair together, length best found by experiment.

Several people have mentioned pulling on clothespins or clips with strings, chains or cords. The nipple itself may also be encircled by a thin cord or thread, I have used unwaxed dental floss to good effect. Avoid slipknots for the obvious reason that they might tighten too far in use.

Pulling off a clothespin is more painful than squeezing the legs to remove it gently, and is the basis for several devices below. Again, the longer one leaves them attached, the stronger the result. It is also possible to flick off clothespins with a flogger or some other striking device, and combining the two is an interesting way to add some bright ‘explosions’ to the sensations of a ‘standard’ flogging without switching instruments or striking harder. When doing this near the front of the body, some form of eye protection is needed, a heavy blindfold will serve nicely.

Other places you might wish to try:

Many areas of the body might do well with a bit of clamping either for sensation or visual appeal. Other parts of the breast, and any portion of the torso and limbs where one may gather a bit of skin come immediately to mind. In view of the tiny expense, one might use many dozens at one time.

Specific classic variations include but are not limited to:

  • a row, circle [or other sigil of your choice] on the belly or back
  • one or more on the labia or other areas of ‘wabbliebits’ [tm-STella] 
  • the inner thigh or arm 
  • a belt of clothespins round the waist 
  • small clothespins on the webbing of fingers and toes
  • the earlobe [the dangling legs of the clothspin brush the neck nicely] 
  • behind the knees and inside the elbows 
  • a circle round the thighs as a reminder to keep them spread 

‘Zippers’ and other tailoring:

Drill a hole through one leg of at least one dozen clothespins, thread them on a thong or cord, knotting them at small intervals, and you have created a zipper. One derivation for the name will become obvious the first time one tugs swiftly on one end of the cord and hears the sound made by the pins pulling off sensitive skin [there may be other sounds as well]. The spacing may vary, longer ones may be made, and double rows of 20 or so clothespins are common. The inside of the upper arm or thigh are rather traditional for these, but most areas of the body are available, one of my own favorites being the side of the body normally covered by the arms, after binding the arms over the head. Ticklish and sensitive.

A ‘tri-zipper’ is my own name for three of these single zippers with one end of each fastened to a central ring [a keyring will do, but try to find something a bit larger]. The ring is centered high on the belly, with the farthest pins attaching to the nipples and ‘wabbliebits’ [tm-STella], perhaps with a bit of spiral towards the center of each region, and the nearest ones fastening to the skin near the center. The look of horrified anticipation as you grasp the ring and begin to pull slowly outwards, each pin popping off in turn as the three zipper lines move towards the most sensitive areas is not to be missed, while pulling faster often causes volumes of coloratura shrieking.

Another design I have not seen elsewhere I have dubbed the Reverse Garter, ‘reverse’ in the sense of pulling down rather than up. Two bands of non-stretch material [webbing, fabric or leather will do] with buckles or other adjustable fasteners are put high up around each thigh, perhaps five inches from the pubis, although this dimension will vary. Sewn or riveted onto the band is a close [almost touching] row of four clothespins on the inside of the leg, with the clamping ends pointing upwards. These are first attached to the outer labia, then the band is adjusted to a position to gently stretch the lips and tightened so as not to be pulled further up the thigh. Intriguing in itself, and provides both more pull and an interesting display when she spreads her legs. Delectable. [N.B. There are major sensation differences between the outer lips and more inner tissues, grasping these areas with the same force is likely to cause considerably more pain than anticipated.]

(Aside from Domina, “The inner labia are no place for zippers or other methods that could tear fragile skin. This should also indicate to you that scrotum are not good places to do this, either. I know people who have had torn labia from weights and zippers in this area. I’ve HEARD of people having damaged testicles from rough play in this area. PLEASE use a bit of sense here.”)

Modifying pins for more intense sensations:

The simplest method is increasing the clamping force with one or more elastic bands round the clamping end, but there are several others.

Purchase some short 1/8th inch diameter brads or finish nails, and a drill of the same diameter. Drill three holes through the clamping end of two clothespins. Sand, grind, or file the ends of the brads to a smooth *ROUND* tip then push them through so they protrude into the clamping area while the clothespin is held open 1/8th inch. Use a drop of strong glue to hold the brads in place, and saw off the excess length from the outside of the pins after the glue dries. This is as it might appear when completed.

Exceedingly nasty, as the clamping force now concentrates primarily on three small areas rather than the entire clamping area. Use this carefully, preferably with a fully adjustable clothespin as above, and make quite sure by testing on yourself first that the ends of the brads are NOT SHARP at all to avoid damage. Useful for those seeking more than a ‘regular’ clothespin may provide.

Several less extreme variations on the idea above are possible, all based on disassembling the clothespin, filing several grooves in the wooden clamping area, then reassembling the clothespin. Grooves and blunt ‘teeth’ aid in preventing slippage, and feel a bit more harsh than flat wood.

Removing perhaps one-half of the side of the clamping area with a saw or rasp provides two benefits, the same clamping pressure will be applied over a smaller area, and double the number of clothespin tips may fitted to the same bit of anatomy. Remember to round the edges slightly with sandpaper to avoid splinters or other inadvertent injury. View from above of the clamping end with the side removed.

A design for testing the clamping force of clothespins: Tradition demands testing on the web of one’s hand, this is well and good for impromptu buying and to get a subjective feel for the actual sensation of a new design, but lacks precision and repeatability, qualities dear to the heart of any engineer. Some thinking and a bit of experimentation resulted in the following frame to directly and accurately measure clamping force in clothespins. With minor modifications, it serves to measure certain other sorts of spring-clamp pressure as well. I recognize the source of error from measuring the force at the hole rather than the clamping area, but it is a difference both trivial and consistent, and thus may be ignored for comparative testing.

Select two boards longer than 8 inches, wider than 1 inch, and perhaps 1/4 inch thick, and place them together, lying flat on top of one another. Drill a hole through both 5 inches or so from one end. Put a bolt through this hole, and thread a wingnut on the bolt. Clamp the other end of the boards firmly to a table or bench, slide one leg of the clothespin into the tapered space between the two boards, then tighten the wingnut. This frame will hold the clothespin for testing. Once the pin is held firmly in place, use a thin cord attached to a spring tension scale [I use an ‘anglers scale’, accurate from 1 to 28 pounds, any ‘pulling’ scale with a hook will do], and pull downwards against the clamping area until the clothespin opens. This measurement will vary from the pull necessary to just open the jaws to a higher reading before the jaws reach their limit of travel. As mentioned, the ‘standard’ clothespins I have tested fall somewhere in the region of 4-6 pounds, stretching for several days may yield less than 3 pounds, and manual stretching of the clothespin spring will swiftly reduce the pressure to 1 pounds or less. If one has the time and interest, coding the various strength ranges of tested clothespins for different tastes and applications is possible, either by color or by filing groove patterns in the legs to select by touch. “Twenty of the red ones for a start, I am in an evil mood tonight.

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 of sexual potency and when someone helplessly undergoes abuse of his most precious appendage the psychological charge is immense. A site normally associated with indulgent pleasure is being transformed into a vulnerable target for punishment and pain. There are also clear links between CT and interests in sexual control and chastity.

Parts of the Penis and How to be Cruel to Them


A structure of several layers, the core layer being spongy tissues (the corpora cavernosa) that engorge with blood during erection and the arteries that supply them. Within this and a little closer to the underside is the urethra (the duct that carries urine and semen) and around it muscle fiber, nerves and minor blood vessels covered in a loose layer of skin. The shaft is the least sensitivepart of the cock, though the sensitivity of the skin that covers it increases greatly when stretched during erection — appropriately, because an erect cock, being under pressure, is far more fragile than a flaccid cock. The flaccid shaft can be struck with the palm of the hand, knuckles or objects like small ‘cock-whips’, rulers and beaters (though avoid excessive force – see below); squeezed with hands or otherwise pressurized with bindings; scratched and abraded with fingernails and rough-textured objects like stiff brushes; subjected to extremes of hot and cold (temperature play); pinched on the surface skin with fingers or clothespins and clamps. When erect similar treatments could be applied but much more gently. In both cases avoid too much pressure on the underside, where the urethra is closest to the surface.


The fold of skin that covers the glans when flaccid and should roll back to expose it on erection is basically skin with nerves and blood vessels, and a little more sensitive than the shaft, particularly on the inside. Even when it has been removed by circumcision, a remnant usually remains, particularly of the frenum, a web-like structure that attaches it under the glans and can be a very sensitive site for pinching and pegs. The foreskin as a whole can be squeezed, stretched and twisted fairly firmly to no real ill effect.

Glans (head)

Primarily spongy tissue (the corpus spongiosum, erectile but less so than the shaft) covered in a thin, tight and highly sensitive skin layer. The most sensitive part of the dick, even more so in many circumcised men, and particularly so at the ridge at its base, the corona. Little effort is needed to produce results, and some men find even gentle stroking difficult to bear. Can be struck like the shaft, squeezed, pinched, subjected to temperature play, rubbed and abraded and so on. Sometimes a little water-based lubricant helps things along.

Urethral opening or meatus (piss-slit, pisshole)

Often very sensitive and tender, particularly just inside, which in many people is an unexplored territory, and can be carefully teased with fingers or other objects such as cotton buds, lubricated if less discomfort is desired, and also stimulated by pulling and twisting on a healed Prince Albert piercing. However the urethra is sterile inside and any objects to be inserted more than a centimeter (0.5″) or so should be sterile too. See Catheters and Sounds for more details of urethral play, which has its own potential dangers.

Special Techniques

Much enjoyment can be gained by exploiting the cock’s propensity to increase and decrease in size somewhat independently of the conscious control of its owner by various forms of cock bondage. One of the most common pieces of male SM wear is undoubtedly the cock ring, a metal or rubber ring (the latter are usually vacuum cleaner drive belts repackaged by fetish shops at a vast premium) through which first balls (one by one) then cock are slipped when flaccid and which can give a pleasantly constricted feeling when erect.

With some men, unfortunately, the difference in size between tumescense and detumesence is so large that it’s impossible to find a size that stays on all the time but isn’t dangerously tight and uncomfortable on erection. As David Stein recounts: “I once made the mistake of putting on a metal ring at home before going out. At the bar, when I lost my erection in a moment of distraction, the ring came off, slid down the leg of my jeans, hit the floor witha clang, and rolled away.Not the way to make a good impression.” A variation on a ring is a simple cock strap that goes round the same site, often made of leather or neoprene and adjustable to size.

During a scene, the snugness of the bindings could be increased so that erections are deliberately made uncomfortable or painful (there are some hazards to this — see below): with some people this can result in a particularly vicious circle with the discomfort itself exciting further erection. This can be achieved with cords, laces or thongs, for example tightly connecting loops around the glans with loops anchored round the base of cock and balls. A variety of purpose made cock straps is also available for the purpose, such as the ‘anti-erect’. There are obvious links here to chastity techniques.

In addition, cocks are often the focus of specialist techniques including clothespins, electricity, piercing (temporary and permanent), pumping, and waxing.

Health and Safety

Circulation Blockage

This is probably the biggest danger in cock play, as pain may not be a reliable indicator. Tissue that’s deprived of blood eventually stops hurting — which doesn’t mean it’s okay! It may be irreversibly damaged. Any binding is too tight if it cuts into the skin and causes bleeding. Any binding is on too long if it causes the cock or ballsac to become cold or numb, but the third typical sign of circulation problems in limbs that are bound — loss of color — is less reliable in this case. The cock and ball sac normally become engorged with blood during sexual arousal, turning reddish or purplish as a result, and up to a point genital bondage just helps that process along. Circulation could be dangerously impaired by tight bindings before there’s much loss of color.

A better sign of impaired circulation is edema, or visible swelling, of soft tissue in the cock or scrotum below or around a binding. While such swelling isn’t dangerous in itself (it will normally go down on its own after circulation resumes), whenever it occurs the bonds causing it should be loosened or removed as soon as possible in order to prevent damage. Avoid genital bindings that can’t be removed easily even when there’s swelling. Tie with a bow-knot or some other knot that will release easily if you pull on the ends — and be sure to leave the ends long enough to get at. Keep blunt-tipped emergency medical technician’s shears (scissors) available to cut bindings in an emergency. Don’t use a metal cock ring that’s tight when the cock you put it on is soft. It’s going to be a lot tighter when that cock gets hard, and you won’t be able to take it off until the cock softens again — which might be a long wait if the ring has caused severe edema.

To sum up: A good rule of thumb is to loosen tight genital bindings enough to restore full circulation every 20 to 30 minutes even without any signs of a problem. And in no case should anything tighter than a comfortable ring or harness be left in place overnight or throughout an extended scene.

Retrograde ejaculation

If a man is forced to come while tightly bound around the genitals, the semen may be forced back down the urethra and reabsorbed into the body. Deliberate retrograde ejaculation is a practice of Tantric yoga, and although possibly uncomfortable, there doesn’t seem to be any direct medical research on whether it is harmful. Evidence from vasectomies suggests frequent retrograde ejaculations might at worst lower sperm counts or generate antibodies to semen. An isolated incident should be nothing to worry about.

Other problems

Foreskins can be torn, and if circulation in them is cut off for very long, the tissue won’t retract normally and could even die and slough off.

Be gentle with genital piercings: if you rip a ring out, you’ll need medical help to repair the damage and avoid a nasty scar, infection, or worse. If a ring does tear out, use an ice pack and local pressure to stop the bleeding (see the First Aid Manual) until you can get to a doctor.

A fracture, when an erect penis is struck hard and “breaks” with a loud cracking noise, is an unlikely but potentially serious problem, a medical emergency that requires prompt treatment by a physician. As first aid on the way to the hospital, use ice packs to control bleeding. But if you avoid hard blows to a hard cock, you won’t risk the problem in the first place.

Ball Torture (BT)

Ball Torture refers to a range of techniques to cause sensation, discomfort and pain in the male testicles and scrotum. Common examples are squeezing with hands, slapping and beating with hands and other objects, crushing using various vice-like devices and applying pressure with bindings, straps and weights are favorite techniques. Often found in conjunction with cock torture (CT), thus CBT.

So What’s the Thrill?

As most men know, the balls are highly sensitive, particularly to pressure. Most men find handling, stroking and squeezing gently is a pleasurable sensation in itself, and the boundary between strong sensation and outright pain seems particularly malleable here. For many people there is also the thrill that the balls are regarded as probably the most delicate and vulnerable part of the male anatomy and using them in SM games requires great trust and carries a particularly intense charge.


The scrotum is a loose, flexible bag of skin that contains the testicles (the “balls”), two bean-shaped organs of fibrous material covering soft gland tissue in which sperm is produced. Plentiful pressure-sensitive nerves in the testicles account for their extreme sensitivity to blows or squeezing. A ridge on the outside of each testicle, known as the epidymis, extends up to form a lump on top and contains tubules that transfer sperm. Attached to the top, next to the epidymis, is the spermatic cord, an elastic tissue that connects the testicles to the rest of the body and contains the vas deferens, the duct between the epidymis and the penis. Since sperm production requires a lower temperature than the normal body temperature, the testicles usually hang outside the body, but the spermatic cord can draw them up into the body when cold. The scrotum also contains some fluid.

Various implements to use

Hands are the obvious weapons: precisely controllable and always available. Slap (gently), punch (more gently), or flick with fingertips, and carefully squeeze with the fingers. Get the balls in the bottom of the scrotum, then twist the scrotum around above them to prevent them slipping out of your fingers.

Probably the second most popular items are ball bondage toys. Cords, ropes, laces and bandages can all be wrapped in various ways around the balls to stretch the scrotal skin, force balls apart or together and put pressure on individual balls. A classic basic tie is a loop around the base of both cock and balls, a loop around the neck of the scrotum and then a loop between the balls to force them apart. Leather and fetish shops usually have a range of (usually leather, sometimes rubber or neoprene) toys with various arrangements of straps purpose made for ball bondage, for example: Cock and ball straps and dividers anchor the balls in place round the root of the scrotum and cock and pass around the scrotum vertically to separate the balls.

Ball stretchers are straps of various sizes that go around the top of the scrotum horizontally, forcing the balls down into the stretched sac. Alternatives are bandages, ropes or leather thongs which can be gradually wrapped round to increase the pressure. Just a modest strap around the top of the scrotum will have the additional effect of trapping the balls and preventing them slipping out of range. Parachutes are parachute-shaped devices with a hole in the middle for the scrotum to pass through, with the parachute itself resting on top of the balls. Ball weights are then hung from chains below the parachute. Weights can also be hung from arrangements of chain or rope. Be very careful with weights: some men can work up to hanging quite large weights from their balls, but there is some danger to the practice. Weights of 500g-1.5kg (1-3 lbs) should be enough to give sensation and be safe.

As well as weights, light objects that move can be hung from balls. A London top has experimented with dangling a spherical jumping toy from Toys R Us in a string bag attached to ball bindings or parachute. Crushing the balls can be achieved with various clamps or bondage equipment like cling film (saran wrap) or elastic bandages (Ace bandages). DeBlase says he has read “of an American Indian torture that involved soaking a piece of rawhide and then sewing it up to tightly encase a victim’s scrotum. As it dries, it shrinks, increasing pressure”. He also speculates about experimenting with an inflatable blood pressure cuff, and suggests putting gravel inside the elastic bandages to add abrasion to the repertoire of ball techniques.

Toys for beating need to be fairly light and delicate. An ordinary pencil is quite adequate, especially for rapid light strokes on a well-secured ball. Some people use a small, soft cat o’nine tails called a ball whip. One source of hard objects suitable to the task is music shops: try bell-beaters designed for playing hand-held cowbells, or mallets topped with dense rubber balls of the sort used to play glockenspiels and chime bars!

Other specialist techniques could be applied to the balls. See elastrators, electricity, play piercing, shaving.

Health and Safety

The key thing to remember is that levels of tolerance vary enormously. When you’re playing with anyone new, always start out lightly with any kind of stimulation to the balls and increase the intensity gradually. With an established partner or in “self-abuse,” you can safely begin at a higher level and move faster, but you should still be very sensitive to his (or your own) reactions as you go along. Probably the single most important danger signal in this area is intense and often rapidly increasing pain, so the bottom must be able to let the top know unmistakably when he’s had enough. In the vast majority of cases, a bottom whose consciousness is not dulled by alcohol or drugs will have no difficulty in distinguishing between a level of pain that is erotically stimulating and pain that signals real damage.

Probably the most common form of genitorture involves pressure exerted by “ball crushers,” the hands, or weights. While even a heavy, experienced masochist is almost certain to beg for relief well before damage is done through steady pressure alone, if you have any doubt whether you’re injuring him, stop. Ball stretchers aren’t hazardous within reasonable limits, but don’t get impatient and over do it. Begin with a narrow stretcher band and work up to wider ones gradually, carefully monitoring the bottom’s (or your own) acceptance of the increasing pressure. Do not leave the any genital bindings on too long and certainly not overnight – a good rule of thumb is to remove them every 20 or 30 minutes and allow the circulation to return to normal for a while. See the Cock Torture briefing for more on the dangers of circulation blockage in cock and ball play.

Much more potentially hazardous is any bondage in which the balls are tied to something else, such as another part of the body or a hook on wall or floor, and might be yanked by a sudden movement: for instance, if you tie a rope or attach a chain between his ankles and his scrotum so that if he tries to move his legs he pulls on his balls. Don’t combine this kind of bondage with any other strong stimulation that might cause him to yank on his balls involuntarily, in reaction to pain elsewhere, unless he’s otherwise so tightly restrained he cannot move enough to put pressure on them. And never tie someone by the balls to a wall, post, etc. in a standing position without additional support: he could lose his balance or faint and put his whole body-weight on them.

The most common injuries to the balls during genitorture are abrasions (usually from rough-surfaced bindings, such as rawhide or scratchy rope), bruises (usually from slapping or whipping the balls), and tiny cuts (which might happen in any rough play when the scrotum is pulled tight over the balls, or during a shaving), minor injuries best treated with sensible first aid such as cleaning with antiseptic. Bruises generally heal by themselves, though an ice pack can limit swelling. Medical intervention is not usually necessary unless the bruising doesn’t fade normally or you suspect an infection.

More serious is a hematoma, which occurs when an injury ruptures larger, deeper blood vessels and a pool or pocket of blood forms between layers of tissue, such as between the scrotum and the balls. The pocket of blood will generally clot in a short time and form a hard mass. Externally, it will appear as a firm, bulging, or swollen area. A small hematoma will usually be reabsorbed without lasting damage. One that is large or keeps growing (because fresh blood keeps accumulating) can “squeeze” adjacent structures, including nerves and blood vessels, reducing circulation to the area and impairing sensation and other functions. If the pressure of a large hematoma is not relieved, permanent damage can result. Prompt medical attention is indicated.

In men who are predisposed to them, minor injuries to the balls can precipitate subsequent swellings, called hydroceles or spermatoceles, in which fluids other than blood build up in the space around the testicles. They can be corrected at one’s convenience unless they become infected, in which case prompt treatment is required. Another problem to watch out for is an epididymal cyst; this is not typically caused by trauma but if you notice any unexplained swelling or mass in your partner’s scrotum, or your own, do not engage in such play until you know it is harmless or have it corrected. Also, avoid ball bondage entirely with anyone who has a scrotal hernia.

Probably the most serious damage that might occur to the balls during erotic genitorture — which is not to say that it’s likely — is rupture of a testicle. This is when the outer covering of the ball splits and allows the contents to spill out into the scrotal sac. Besides causing extreme pain, often accompanied by nausea, a ruptured testicle will make the scrotum swell rapidly, and internal bleeding will nearly always create a large hematoma. The ballsac will appear black and blue and be massively enlarged. If this happens, go to an emergency room immediately! The most likely causes are suddenly yanking on the balls or hitting them with a heavy, blunt instrument. Symptoms similar to rupture occur in cases of testicular torsion, which is when the spermatic cords and vessels that suspend the testicle within the scrotum become twisted or kinked, interrupting the normal flow of blood, etc. There will be intense pain, and the scrotum will swell rapidly and be extremely tender to the touch. Surgery must be done within six hours of the onset of pain or the testicle will be lost.

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.

    Rattan is the stem of a giant tropical Asian grass, growing over twelve feet tall.  Bamboo won’t do.  It lacks flexibility and is prone to unexpected splitting, its hollow shaft suddenly sprouting razor-sharp edges — although whipping with split bamboo rods was a form of capital punishment in ancient China.  Synthetics (Delrin, Lexan, and fiberglass) make popular canes.  They’re available clear, and in black and other colors.  They don’t fray or dry out, but they’re denser than rattan, hence too severe; and lack a natural direction of bend, hence harder to control.  And they have all the aesthetic appeal of artificial flowers.  Nature does it best.


    The cane became the rod of choice during the Victorian era, usurping the birch.  There were several contributing factors:

    1.    Availability.  British and Dutch traders opened up the Far East at the end of the eighteenth century and began importing rattan for use in wickerwork and furniture.  Nilgiri canes, from a district in eastern India, became the standard instrument of academic correction.

    2.    Modesty. A birching must be delivered on the bare, and the Victorians were uncomfortable with indecent exposure.  As a French commissioner noted, “One is astonished at seeing English masters remove a garment which the prudery of their language hesitates to name.”  A cane is effective over the drawers, even over the trousers.

    3.    Durability.  A bundle of birch switches, even soaked in brine, shreds to pieces after a whipping or two.  A single cane can see to hundreds of bottoms.  When the end begins to split, it is simply trimmed and returned to service.

    4.    Efficiency.  A memorable birching requires dozens upon dozens of strokes, its effect resulting from the cumulative sensation of hundreds of minute cuts and scratches.  Six of the best with a cane is sufficient for a brisk but unforgettable experience.  Every stroke counts.  The cane’s flexibility permits its tip to attain speeds of up to 200 miles per hour.

    5.    Favorable pain-to-damage ratio.  The cane’s smooth, round cross-section, lightness, and speed transmit maximal deep-down sensation while causing minimal surface trauma.  Intense sting and several days sitting-down discomfort — an ideal reminder for students — may be inflicted leaving only stripes that soon fade.  A stringent birching slashes the loins into a bloody shambles.  Thus frequent caning is both practical and humane.

    In discussions of caning, one case always arises.  The civilized pleasure of erotic flagellation bears no relation to the brutal ordeal suffered by American vandal Michael Fay in Singapore.  He was dealt four strokes from a rod half an inch thick and four feet long, wielded with maximum force by an executioner using a two-handed grip.  (The original sentence was six strokes — Fay had a good lawyer.)  Such judicial barbarity results in bloody furrows and permanent scars. Not safe, not sane, not consensual, no fun.  Not what we’re talking about.  But remember that atrocity was perfectly legal – yet they call people of kink depraved!

    So why did British aristocrats crave to recreate their dread schoolboy discipline by patronizing flogging brothels and paying the likes of Alice Kerr-Sutherland (author of A Guide to the correction of Young Gentlemen) and Theresa Berkley (inventor of the Berkley Bench) a guinea a stroke?  Because it hurts so good!  You and your partner may be enthusiastic spankers ready to try other flavors.  Spanking is a thud.  Caning is sting and burn, a sharply focused sensation, a compelling excursion into the entertainment potential of your central nervous system.  It’s ecstasy for endorphin junkies, heaven for heavy players, paradise for bottoms who’ve learned to process pain into pleasure.  Pain is when I stub my toe.  Pleasure is when I’m tingling in anticipation of the next stroke.  Caning can be severe or sensuous, decadent or decorous, spontaneous or scripted.  Incorporating a single implement into your play can add oodles of atmosphere.


    A practical recreational rod measures about 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch in diameter (the narrower, the stingier), and from 24 to 32 inches long.  A yard-long school cane is difficult to control without much practice.  Considerably less expensive than fancy paddles and floggers, canes have another distinct advantage:  their impact makes very little noise, an important consideration if your bedroom has thin walls with nosy neighbors on the other side.  (Noise made by the recipient is another matter.)

    A good cane need not be straight as an arrow.  In selecting one, stroke vertically in its natural direction of bend and beware of any wobble to the left or right.  A few gentle swings should reveal its flexibility.  Do not attempt to bend the cane into a circle; this will damage it.

    The British public school tradition insists on a crook handle for hanging the cane menacingly on the wall, but a loop attached to the end of a straight cane serves the same purpose.  Sometimes the end of a cane is steam-bent into a complete turn to form a handle, but the best natural handle is the knob at the root end of a rattan stalk.  Knob-handled canes are rare indeed.

    Some merciful schoolmasters used to brace the crook against their forearms in a style that prevented any wrist action, also shortening the cane’s effective length.  If you purchase a crook-handle cane, be sure the crook is properly aligned relative to the cane’s natural bend to suit your grip and stroking style.  Crooks also serve to prevent the cane from flying away, as does a straight-cane handle wrapping.  Use a thin leather thong (kangaroo is ideal), racket-handle tape, shrink-wrap, or bicycle handlebar wrap.  Electrical tape works too, but lacks elegance.


    Canes are usually sanded to remove some or all of the bark and to smooth the joints.  A “peeled” cane with all the heavy bark removed is much less dense, so it’s less severe as well, making it a good cane for beginners.  It’s also more fragile and should be frequently examined for splinters.  Unsealed, such a cane soaks up bodily fluids like a sponge so its use should be restricted to light play or limited to one particular bottom.  Sealing a sanded cane with repeated light coatings of shellac, varnish, or polyurethane prevents it from soaking up bodily fluids.  Leaving all the bark on results in a heavy, stiff cane with joints that may cause more bruising than you’d like.

    Canes should be stood upright with their business ends in an inch of water and left standing overnight every few months.  The fibers will draw in the water, keeping the ends from drying out and splitting.  Purists advise sanding and resealing the end each time, but this isn’t necessary if only the very end is left unsealed.  The tip should never dig into your target, anyway.  A split end may be trimmed off, but be sure to sand it to a smooth, rounded tip before re-use.  Taping the tip retards splitting.


    It requires remarkably little force to deliver a memorable cane stroke.  Think of it as a whip, not a stick.  Think badminton, not tennis.  Wrist alone (if your wrist is strong and supple) will be enough to satisfy many bottoms.  Wrist and forearm combined suffice to deal an exhilarating cut.  A wrist flick right at the end of the stroke can be devastating.  Chastisers used to hold a book (try a Bible, if you’re very kinky) under their caning arms to limit the power of their strokes.  A saber-stroke-style slash with shoulder, elbow, and wrist all fully involved is probably over-doing it.

    Practice on a cushion upholstered in a nappy fabric (or a teddy bear) so you can see where you’re striking.  Aim a few inches short of the edge of the pillow because a power stroke will reach further and wrap around more.  Begin with the cane up next to where you want to strike, tap, draw back, and let it return mostly by its natural recoil, applying very little additional force.  Gradually increase the involvement of your wrist and then your elbow.  Start the stroke further away from your target but continue to begin each stroke by drawing back, allowing the cane’s end to achieve maximum travel.  Your goal is an even impact of about the last third of the cane’s length.  You don’t want the tip to cut in.  Once consistent accuracy has been attained, you can develop fancier strokes in your own personal style.

    After you’ve achieved control, practice on your partner’s clothed hindquarters.  Use a wide, thick belt to protect the lower spine and kidneys.  Insist on detailed feedback.  You’re looking for an “Mmmmm!”  You might chalk the end of the cane to tell exactly where your strokes land.  British school prefects used to do this as an aid in striking repeatedly in precisely the same spot, a sadistic practice that is extremely painful and may result in deep, long-lasting bruises.  Spread your strokes around.

    Stand to the side and a bit forward of your target, so that the far buttock won’t receive the brunt of the blow.  The ideal is an even stripe across both buttocks.  Since this is difficult to achieve, you’ll want to move from your forehand to your backhand side periodically, in order to evenly treat both cheeks.  The sulcus, or crease between the buttocks and thighs, is extremely sensitive, as are the backs of the thighs, because they lack the natural padding of the butt.  If you intend to stimulate these areas, decrease the force of the strokes you direct there.


    There are two main schools of caning technique.  English-style traditionalists insist upon power strokes only, with no warm-up, while the West Coast school enjoys inflicting a variety of intensities.  Many sources insist that there is no middle ground in caning — that strokes are either wimpy or wicked.  Striving to please my partner, Rebecca, who loves to receive the cane but has a low pain threshold, I have proved that moderate strokes are possible with practice and sensitivity to each individual cane’s response.

    A cane has a natural rhythm, useful for delivering a massage of rapid pitter-pats.  An educated wrist can endlessly vary the intensity, unexpectedly interspersing harder shots to keep the bottom alert.  This massaging technique is an excellent way to learn to control the force and to stimulate sensitive but delicate areas where a full stroke would be dangerous, e.g. palms of the hands, soles of the feet (bastinado), insides of the thighs, armpits, belly, breasts, and genitals.  The narrow tip of the cane is perfect for tickling those hard-to-reach spots.  Such rap-tap-tapping is a great warm-up for power strokes.

    Severe strokes demand ceremony, both in giving and receiving.  For some, formal ritual is an essential element of caning.  The ceremony begins with the commands, “Unbutton.  Let down.  Assume the position.”  Dangling shirttails are “taken up,” tucked or pinned out of the way.  The drawers may be slowly, humiliatingly lowered by the chastiser, or left up with a promise to lower them if the culprit proves unruly.  A fearsome whistling swipe through the air puts the subject in the proper frame of mind.

    The position is usually bent over, so that errant strokes will miss entirely rather than impacting the lower spine.  (But aim low to avoid the tailbone.)  Bending over tightens the flesh of the buttocks so that the stroke is felt more keenly.  Lying prone is a good position for subjects of novice caners because downward strokes are easier to control, and unstretched buttocks are more padded.  A pillow may be put on the far side of the target area to harmlessly absorb any wrap-around.

    Power strokes must be slowly served and savored.  The pain is two-fold:  the surface smart at the moment of impact and the delayed internal fire as the compressed nerves spring back.  To masochists, the sensation of a perfect stroke is as exquisite as an orgasm, and one has been known to lead to the other. Allow plenty of time for full appreciation of the blooming pain’s slow burn before you deal the next one.

    Strokes are awarded in sets of six.  Counting by the culprit is key.  “One.  Thank you Sir/Ma’am.  May I have another?”  Penalty strokes are awarded for miscounting, flinching out of position, or attempting to shield the target area with a hand.  Bondage is seldom employed, since voluntary submission is an essential part of the correction ritual.


    It is customary to create a closely spaced grid of parallel stripes, each welt bearing twin red edges, to demonstrate your superb control.  An expert caner is capable of producing stripes that will last for hours, days, or weeks, according to the recipient’s pleasure.  “Gating” is the fiendish technique of crossing such a pattern with a diagonal stroke, often drawing blood where the stripes intersect.  (Obviously, if blood is drawn, the cane must be carefully plastic-bagged and disinfected, but it’s a rare bottom who hasn’t had enough well before this point.)  Schoolboys returning to their dormitories after a session with the headmaster, used to rate the severity of their thrashings by having classmates count the number of “stars” on their bottoms, where strokes had crossed.

    Afterward, the culprit may be required to hold position and forbidden to rub the afflicted area until permission is granted to rise.  It is customary to kiss the cane and express gratitude for the exertions of the chastiser.

    “Thank you, Miss, for having corrected me.  I ask your pardon for the trouble you have taken, and I promise never to steal again.”  —    —  Harriet Marwood, Governess, by John Glassco


  •     “The Art of Caning,” by Peter Fisk, Checkmate #13, November, 1995.
  •     “Sensuous Caning,” by Conrad Hodson,
  •     “Canes and Caning,” by Mitch Kessler, SandMUtopian Guardian, #19
  •     Thy Rod and Staff, by Edward Anthony
  •     An Illustrated History of the Rod, by William M. Cooper, B.A.
  •     A Guide to the Correction of Young Gentlemen, written by a Lady (Alice Kerr-Sutherland)

This article originally appeared in Prometheus, Issue #35.  All rights reserved.  Do not reprint without permission. 

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 build upon for their, and their subs amusement, enjoyment, and stimulation.

Why do breast Bondage?

There are several reasons why breast bondage is an important element in the domination of the female. The breasts and nipples are generously provided with an abundance of nerve endings, have no bones to break, and are notoriously resilient to ‘attention’. Coupled with the mental and psychological orientation of the human with the breast as a source of sustenance, the breast is a physical and mental target of great importance.

How is breast bondage developed?

The objects of breast bondage are to enhance the look of the assets for the dom, focus the vision of the sub on the objects being enhanced, and to provide stimulation directly to the breasts to focus the feelings of the bondage recipient on the assets, and their state of submission or stimulation.

Is Breast Bondage for a short time, or for long duration?

Breast bondage can be for an intense short time, or a less intense longer period often lasting hours. The duration of the bondage must be taken into mind when choosing the technique, as well as the material to be used, and the tension, or tightness imposed. Breasts should never become blue, or become numb. Tightness, swelling, and redness are common. Some discomfort can be expected in the early stages of exploration. Remember, different women have different sensitivity to various areas of their breasts. Some have very sensitive nipples and areola, others do not. Similarly the supporting heavy tissue in some is sore, and easily bruised, while others can take a lot of ‘attention’. The dom/me needs to explore each new sub carefully, in the beginning.

Do you do breasts, or just nipples, or both?

There are almost an infinite variety of things you can do with the nipples, and others that deal with the breasts themselves. I will concentrate here on the breasts. Feel free to add clamps, rings, bows, or clothespins after, to your personal taste <grin>.

What kind of materials do I need to do this?

The materials will depend on the effect being sought, the size and flexibility of the breasts, and the technique being used. It is common to use braided ropes of polyester, or cotton, or silk. Also leather thongs , silk ribbon, twine, light wire, or saran wrap are useful in other situations. Finally, in some cases, tensor bandages, or elastic wrap, or light chains are suitable for some, but not all techniques.

How do I choose what type and material to use?

Remember that you are out to accomplish some combination of three things. The look to the dom, of neat, tidy, tight, and good presentation of the naked breast to his/her easy use and access. Second, the visual effect from the subs point of view, where they know they are controlled, and being constrained and presented by their dom/me for some purpose entirely outside of their control. And thirdly, the bondage is designed to provide sensory feedback to the sub to stimulate them either subtly, or intensely, and reinforce the knowledge that they are being prepared for their doms imminent use. Where the bondage is being used as a longer term continued stimulation to get her stimulated and keep her aroused, it is prudent to select something that looks good, and can last for hours, without the need to adjust things for safety purposes.

Can breast bondage be done by the sub herself, alone?

There are a few techniques which can be done by the sub to her own breasts, without help. There are several more complex techniques which require the masters hands to accomplish. It is intriguing for the master to watch her bind herself for her dom/mes pleasure and enjoyment, and to a tension and constriction which the sub feels they can handle.

So what are the Techniques?

Type 1 – Breast Circling/Cinching

This type is suitable for ladies with a C or D cup breast shape. While bending slightly forward, the sub puts her hands behind her back so the dom can work on the breasts one at a time. Using a 1/4 inch or 3/16 inch rope or ribbon, or leather thong, wrap two turns around the base of the breast, and snug up carefully. Use a square knot on other non-slip knot. Run at least two more turns around that breast, and tie off the running end of the thong with an overhand knot. Repeat for the second breast. You can tie the running ends together behind her back to lift and separate the breasts, or use another short length to fasten them close together. If this type of tie is used, and done too tightly, there will be some discomfort, and the need to monitor the color and sensation in the breast, on a regular basis.

Type 2 – Two Rope Cinching

In this type, use one rope of about 1/2 inch diameter, about 20 feet long. Start by putting the rope behind her while she has her arms raised and her hands clasped behind her neck. bring the two loose ends to the front, and make sure they are the same length. Get the sub to lift the breasts, while you cross the two rope ends under the breasts, high up on the ribcage. Pass the ends around her chest and back behind her again. You now have two wraps under breasts. Let the breasts back down, and bring the ropes around, under her armpits, but over her breasts. take the now shorter ends around to the back, and tie them off with square knots, where she cant reach them to untie them.

Next, take a much smaller rope, ribbon, or twine, 1/8 inch, and at the left side of the left breast, take the short rope and place it under the two larger ropes. Tie a square knot, tightly on the two ropes, bringing them together. Now wind and lace the little rope around the two big ropes, in the direction of the nipple. This will draw the two (four actually) bigger ropes together, and tighten the ropes on the breast. Do this on the right side of the right breast, to balance, and cinch on that side. If you are feeling cruel, get another short rope, and tie/cinch the four big ropes at the point between her breasts,… and lace until tight enough to get her attention.

Type 3 – Rope Bra

In this type, you need a 30 foot rope, of about 3/8 or 5/16 diameter, and soft braided type. Like the previous type, run the rope behind her first, and run the first two wraps under her breast, high on the ribcage. On the second wrap, run the ropes between her breasts, and finish above her breasts and under the arms. In the back, knot the two ends together and around the first two wraps. This will put the knot in the middle of the back. Take the running ends over her shoulders, on either side of her neck, and bring them down between her breasts. Tie a knot between her breasts, then take the loose ends around behind her, under the breasts. Run the loose ends around the back and under her armpit, then over her shoulder on the other side of her neck. Do this for both sides. Tie the ends of the ropes off in the middle of the back. The breast will be accentuated and surrounded by the ropes, but no pressure is applied. This can be done to any size or shape breast. You can secure the crossing points of the ropes with small lacing, if the bondage is desired to last for several hours, or if you want to tighten up the tension around her breasts.

Type 4 – Presentation Rope Shelf

In this type you need at least a 1/2 inch rope, braided polyester preferably. You will need about 50 feet, depending on the chest size of the sub.

Start by taking a 12 inch bend of rope at one end. Place it vertically in the center of her back, at her breast level. Run the rope around her once, and place the wrap over the vertical loop, to hold it in place. The wrap is under her breasts, about 3 inches below the breast. Make three more wraps around her chest, getting higher and higher each time. The fourth wrap should be snug under her breasts. Adjust now as necessary.

The second level of three wraps will lie on top of the base four wraps. In the back the vertical loop is still visible, and accessible. The three wraps will be snubbed up just under her breasts. The third level of wraps goes on top of the second, and more snugly under the breasts. The final wrap is brought around to the back, and inserted into the top or the vertical loop, and the dangling end of the loop is pulled to snug the loop against the wraps, and then the dangling end is tied off to the running end, in the middle of the back. The effect is to create a tight shelf of rope, under the breasts to force them out on a shelf, on display, and easy access for floggings, stroking, touching, or other activities. This looks great under a sweater too.<grin>

Type 5 – Japanese Rope Harness

This type is more complex. Take a 50 foot rope., and make a 10 foot bend in one end. 12 inches from the bent end, tie a double overhand knot. make four more knots, one every 16 inches. Take the knotted end and open the first loop, and place the subs head in it. It will be a loose loop sitting on her shoulders. The second knot will probably rest under her breasts, the third on her lower abdomen near her navel, or lower. Have her spread her legs, and bring the loose ends of the ropes between her legs. Bring the loose ends up the middle of her back, and tie the loose end to the rope at the back of her neck. The harness will be relatively loose at this stage , so don’t worry about her not getting enough stimulation,..yet.

You now have one running end with about 30 feet of rope to play with. You are starting from the back at the neck level. Run from there under the arm to tie loosely to the rope above the breast, then back around the back, and attach to the same rope loop, but from the other side. As you tighten the ropes to the sides, the loops will get shorter, and wider, and the tension on the crotch rope will get tighter 🙂

Go from the above breast loop, to the below breast loop, and then from the tummy loop to the back near the buttocks loop. As you adjust the lower loops, and increase the tension, be sure to open her lips, and insert the two ropes securely between her lips. How tight is up to you.

For the breasts, finish off by tightening the chest loops, and cinching up the under and over breast loops. Looks good and gets her attention, etc.

Type 6 – Breast Binder

This type of tie can be uncomfortable, depending on the tension, and type of material.

In this we are essentially squashing the breasts against the chest, to make them smaller, but in doing so, increases the pressure on the breasts. Start with the bandage wrap. saran wrap, or rope UNDER the breast, then wrap around her twice, then start wrapping above the breasts, downwards. Finish as snugly as desired. The tighter done, the more important for close monitoring and attention. Finish off in the back, so she cant get at the knots..

Enjoy, have fun, be careful, and remember to use your imagination.

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 of drugs or alcohol. Don’t try things you aren’t sure about. The front of the neck should never receive pressure of any kind. Don’t leave a bondaged person alone.  Bondage Techniques by Dr. Bondage is a great site!  Here are the links to the various sections.  Please read “Safety” first.



Basic Rope Techniques

Advanced Techniques

Negotiate a Bondage Scene

Rope Marks

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 the sidewalks and in the hallways of our daily lives.

To the insider, however, the Emblem is full of meaning.

The three divisions represent the various threesomes of BDSM. First of all, the three divisions of BDSM itself: B&D, D&S, and S&M. Secondly, the three-way creed of BDSM behavior: Safe, Sane, and Consensual. Thirdly, the three divisions of our community: Tops, Bottoms, and Switches.

It is this third symbolism that gives meaning to the holes in each unit. Since BDSM is at the very least a play style and at its greatest a love style, the holes represent the incompleteness of any individual within the BDSM context. However “together” and “whole” individuals may be, there remains a void within them that can only be filled by a complimentary other. BDSM cannot be done alone.

The resemblance to a three-way variation on the Yin-Yang symbol is not accidental. As the curved outline of Yin and Yang represent the hazy border between where one ends and the other begins, so do the curved borders here represent the indistinct divisions between B&D, D&S, and S&M.

The metal and metallic color of the medallion represents the chains or irons of BDSM servitude/ownership. The three inner fields are black, representing a celebration of the controlled dark side of  BDSM sexuality.

The curved lines themselves can be seen as a stylized depiction of a lash as it swings, or even an arm in motion to deliver an erotic spanking. The all-embracing circle, of course, represents the overlying unity of it all and the oneness of a community that protects its own.

For more information, you may go to the Emblem Project website.

The BDSM Emblem is copyright 1995 by who maintains the copyright in order to protect the symbol. It is freely available for all educational and non-commercial use within the BDSM community without charge. The explanatory
text is copyright 1995, 1997 by and used here by permission.

BDSM Basic 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) and/or safe gestures (tap foot three times).

5) Negotiate the scene before you start. Communicate your limits, medical conditions, medications, experience and desires.

6) “No limits” is fantasy. Every sane player has limits. Do not be embarrassed to express them to the dominant player(s).

7) Do not engage in BDSM play while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.

8) Expect the unexpected (fire, power failure, medical emergency, etc.) and be prepared. Another man’s life is in your hands.

9) Always have a first aid kit nearby.

10) Don’t play with a person unless you feel absolutely safe!


1) NEVER let yourself be tied up if you don’t feel absolutely safe.

2) NEVER let a stranger restrain you the first time you play.

3) NEVER tie up a body part so tight that it begins to tingle, feels cold, or “goes to sleep”.

4) No bondage involving the front of the neck.

5) NEVER restrain or gag a person and leave them unattended.

6) Always have safety paramedic scissors nearby.

7) Watch out for rope burns, particularly with coarse rope.

8) Do not gag a person suffering with respiratory ailments .

9) When gagging a person, always have an audible, bodily signal in lieu of a safe word (i.e., stomp feet three times, tap fingers, etc.)


1) Always determine if the masochist has experienced mummification before; claustrophobic tendencies; longest period in bondage and/or hood; and if the masochist has ever experienced panic during a scene. If the masochist is a novice, consider covering the face last.

2) Always determine if the masochist has any medical conditions, particularly allergies, asthma, congestion, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. as well as any alcohol, drug or medication usage within 24 hours of the mummification. If the masochist wears contacts, they should be removed.

3) Be sure to have the following items nearby for the scene: safety scissors for emergency removal of the wrappings; electric fan and ice to keep the body cool; and towels to remove sweat.

4) Monitor the masochist’s body temperature and pulse. Take a baseline pulse before you begin. Use ice and a fan to cool the body if necessary.

5) NEVER leave the mummy unattended.

6) Use a towel or foam splints to place between the legs, arms and torso, or wherever two body parts come into contact.

7) Do not wrap any body part so tightly that it begins to tingle, feels cold or “goes to sleep”. Check the fingers for signs of blueness.

8) When wrapping the chest, be sure the mummy expands the chest cavity, so the wrappings do not constrict breathing. When wrapping the neck, apply the pieces vertically (up and down) to avoid strangulation.

9) Provide cool water (with a straw) often to prevent dehydration.

10) Provide appropriate aftercare for the masochist. If overheated, apply ice.


1) BDSM play should be safe, sane and consensual.

2) Know your paddler or spanker and inquire as to hisor her experience. 

3) Always use safewords, i.e., 911 or red (STOP), yellow (slow down) and/or safe gestures (tap foot three times).

4) Be careful with the force of your stroke. Paddles cause a sharper, more intense pain than a spanking hand.

5) Sharp edges or rough areas on the paddle may break the skin.

6) The narrower the paddle, the less noise it will make and the more likely it is to leave marks.

7) Begin the paddling with a spanking session first to warm up and prepare the bottom for the paddle.

8) Direct the paddle to strike the lower half of the buttocks.

9) The best position when using a heavy paddle is for the bottom to be prone or standing upright with hands braced against the wall and legs spread about shoulder width.

10) When spanking, remove your rings first – they leave marks.

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 separate lifestyles all actions must be SAFE, SANE AND CONSENSUAL.

The terms are not interchangeable, yet one lifestyle may lead into the other or may overlap another depending upon the limits agreed upon by both consenting parties.

As the relationship continues to grow and expand the limits may be changed by both parties and therefore lead from one lifestyle to the next.

S/M may be and usually is incorporated in both or either of the other two lifestyles in one form or another or may be considered a separate lifestyle on it’s own.

These lifestyles might better be referred to as a form of alternative relationships, each of them being a form of love in which one person controls and the other person surrenders willingly, never forcefully.

First some terminology is necessary:

Dominant one– The controlling person. They may be a Master, a Mistress, a Dom, a Domme, a Goddess, a Lord, a Switch or a Top

submissive one– The one who chooses to be controlled or dominated. They may be a submissive, a slave, a switch or a bottom.

submissive– One who chooses to be submissive but who does not give total control of all aspects of their lives to a Dominant one.

slave- One who have given all aspects of their lives, physically, sexually and mentally to be controlled by a Dominant one and who usually has a contracted relationship.

Dom or Domme– One who is a Dominant one.

Master or Mistress– A Dominant one who has accepted the gift of submission from a submissive one who then has become theirs.

Floating or subbie space– The state where the submissive one relinquishes all control to the Dominant one and simply put, floats on a cloud, thus reaching a state of euphoria.

Switch– One who chooses at different times to be either a Dominant one or a submissive one.

Bottom– One who chooses to be scened or sessioned by a Dominant one but who is not necessarily a submissive one.

Top– One who chooses to scene or session a submissive one but who is not necessarily a Dominant one.

Goddess– Usually a Domme who have been trained under the “Old Guard” and who has earned the right to be worshipped and obeyed and who trains other Dom/mes, Masters, Mistresses, submissives, Switches, Tops, Bottoms and slaves.

Lord– The masculine equivalent of Goddess

Sadist- One who likes to inflict pain upon another.

Masochist-  One who likes to have pain inflicted upon them by another

Limits- These are actions or areas or degrees of pain and/or experiences that are not to be inflicted upon a submissive one.

Safeword- A word or gesture that has been agreed upon between a Dominant one and a submissive one that should it be used by someone during a scene or a session will cause the other person to have an immediate agreed upon response.

boy- A term used for a submissive one which could be for either gender.

girl- A term used for a submissive one which could be either gender.

Dominatrix- A female Dominant one who gets paid for scening or sessioning a submissive one.

Implements-Toys-Accouterments- Anything that is used during a scene or session by a Dominant one on a submissive one.

Although a Dom or Domme can be a Master or Mistress not all are. If the Dom or Domme chooses to accept a submissive one for their own, they then become the Master or Mistress to that one.

The major differences in the two life styles, D/S and B/D, is that of pain and humiliation. In the D/S lifestyle control by use of pain or humiliation rarely occurs. The control is relinquished by the submissive one willingly to the Dominant one. The Dominant one controls by voice and minor punishment. In the B/D scene the punishment is more severe and pain and humiliation is more a part of the ongoing relationship and incorporated in scenes or sessions on a regular basis. Punishment is given for misdeeds or failure to obey, warmth is given for obeying. One must remember this is a game of love, and that love must be shown at all times, even during the act of punishment.

When one speaks of punishment, one must also speak of limits. Limits are agreed upon prior to the start of any part of this lifestyle. These limits must be adhered to by all parties involved. The submissive one submits and trusts the Dominant one that these limits will not be exceeded. They must never  be exceeded under any circumstances, without first discussing them between the two parties and mutually agreeing to remove or extend the limit in question.

Mutual respect and trust is of the utmost importance in these lifestyles. When mutual trust disappears, the parties should re-evaluate the relationship immediately. remember this trust is earned over a long period of time but may be lost in a split second. Seldom when a trust is truly violated can the same degree of trust ever be regained.

Many Master/Mistresses are good teachers and can teach their submissive one on their own. But in many cases a Master/Mistress chooses to have another Dominant one teach their submissive one for them. They may or may not choose to have their submissive one serve that Dominant one in any other capacity than as a scene. Submissive ones may be trained by a Dominant one without already having a Master or Mistress to serve, be chosen by the Dominant one to serve or stay as free a submissive one with no one to serve.

In all cases the Dominant one and the Master/Mistress are responsible for the protection and safety of the submissive one. They must honor and cherish them as much as they are cherished by them. Love and respect reins above all in these relationships.

The use of safe words comes into play at this point. There are usually two safe words that have been agreed upon and understood by both parties. One safe word usually means that the submissive one is being pushed to their limits and when used the Dominant one eases off slightly and takes more time to get the submissive one to the place where they want them to go. The second safe word, when used by submissive one tells the Dominant one that something is wrong and the scene, session or the actions tops immediately and the Dominant one ensures the safety and well being of the submissive one. Under no circumstances can the action continue unless mutually agreed upon. should the action continue without the permission of the submissive one then it is no longer a consensual actions but one of force.

If you are submissive/slave it means that you consent — or choose — to submit. In other words, your submission is a gift that should be respected by whomever you choose as your Dominant. If you are Dominant, you consent to accept that gift and respect the person who offers it. Failure to do so may ultimately cause you to be ostracized from the community. Whatever takes place in a session/scene is the result of a prior careful discussion by both partners of the submissive’s limits. And it DOES mean that the Dominant one MUST always respect those limits.

Everything in these lifestyles should be

Reference books that should be read and reread:

La Laisse Soduire La Maison Du Raison
Different Loving Gloria Brame, G Brame Villard Books
Screw the Roses, Send me the Thorns Phillip Miller and Molly Deveon Mystic Rose Books
The Bottoming Book Dossie Easton and Catherine Liszt Greenery Press
The Topping Book Dossie Easton and Catherine Liszt Greenery Press
The Loving Dominant John Warren Masquerade Books Inc.
Ties That Bind Guy Baldwin Daedalus Pub. Co.
Learning the Ropes Race Bannon Daedalus Pub. Co.
Sensuous Magic Pat Califia Masquerade Books Inc.
Safe Sane Consensual and Fun John Warren Diversified Press
The Ethical Slut Dossie Easton and Catherine Liszt Greenery Press
Anal Pleasure and Health Jack Morin MD Down There Press
Leathersex Joseph W. Bean Daedalus Pub. Co.
Bound to be Free Charles Moser Ph.D M.D., JJ MaDeson Continuum Pub. Co.

© 1999 byAll rights reserved. This information is for educational purposes only. This author advises if you wish to engage in any activity mentioned in this article that you do further research and upon engaging in any activity mentioned upon you do so in the presence of an experienced mentor.

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 love anal sex. Others hate it. Others haven’t tried it yet and are curious. And many people are attracted to it precisely because it’s so taboo and mysterious.

What is analingus?
One other part of the body that some people enjoy licking, or having licked, is the anus. The anus has half the nerve endings in the pelvic region and many people find touching it to be sexually arousing.  The anus and rectum carry many diseases that live quite benignly in your lower digestive tract, but which can be harmful in your mouth or stomach. Performing anilingus is a very risky behavior for a variety of bacterial infections. Refer to resources on safer sex techniques for ways to protect yourself if you or your partner enjoys this activity.

Does anal sex hurt?
Anal sex should not hurt. If it hurts, you’re doing it wrong. With enough lubricant and enough patience, it’s entirely possible to enjoy anal sex as a safe and fulfilling part of your sex life. However, some people may never like it, and if your lover is one of those people, respect their limits. Don’t force the idea upon them.

Can anal sex actually give pleasure?
The pleasure of anal sex is derived from many things. Doing something “nasty” appeals to many people, especially about sex. Doing something different to spice up a sex life that has become something of a bore can be part of it. And the physical sensations available during anal sex are uniquely different from anything else. The rectum is lined with nerve endings, some of which signal the brain to ‘reward’ you with good feelings when stimulated. For men, the prostate gland can be a source of powerful pleasure. And for a thrusting penis, the ring of the anus can be a new and strong sensation to enjoy.

What do I need to have anal sex?
The most important pieces of advice anyone can give on anal sex are: lubricants, condoms, and patience. The most commonly available lubricant is KY-Jelly, a greaseless, odorless substance available at most drug stores. Better lubricants include Astroglide, ID, Wet, or ForePlay, some of which are available at better drug stores, and most of which are available in some form at adult toy stores. Do not buy anything that is oil-based. Make sure the lubricant you buy is rated “condom compatible.” Nothing else will do. Oil- based lubricants such as vaseline or baby oil will destroy a condom long before you’re done having sex. And many oil-based sub- stances will coat the lining of the rectum, providing a haven for many potential infections.

Do I have to use a condom… ?
Even if you’re sure that both you and your partner are disease- free, you should still use a condom. The rectum is home to lots of infectious bacteria that can cause burning and urethritis of the penis. It will also help you clean up afterwards.

I‘m worried that anal sex will be messy.
Anal sex should not be messy. Most first-timers fear that it will be, but most people can tell when they have to go. A condom will help with cleanup, of course, and if you’re really concerned, a commercial enema, like Fleet, will help beforehand.

How do we prepare for anal sex?
Patience is the third and final thing you need to make anal sex possible. Initial penetration is always the most difficult part of anal sex– the anus is a tight ring of flesh at the opening of the rectum designed to control the elimination of bodily waste. It is partially under voluntary control, and partially reflexive to stimulation. Your partner has to relax, and you have to go slow to coax it into opening enough to receive your penis/dildo.

Start with a well-lubricated finger or a slim dildo. The dildo is more realistic, but fingers can flex and feel what they’re doing inside your partner. Slide one finger in slowly, letting your partner adjust to it. Take your finger all the way out, then push it back in again. Give your partner’s anus time to get used to this kind of activity. Then slide a second finger in. Consider how big your penis/dildo is and realize that two fingers is probably enough.

What position should we use for anal sex?
For actual intercourse, picking a position can be important. Many want to be on top, to regulate how fast penetration occurs. Other like to lie on their stomachs, or crouch doggy-style, or to be penetrated while lying on their sides. Choose what’s best before you start. As always, control yourself. Take your time and use lots of lubricant. People who like anal sex say that “too much lube is almost enough.” Listen to your partner– if he/she tells you it starts to hurt, back off. Eventually, a time will come during your lovemaking where their anus will relax enough to allow the head of your cock/dildo to ‘pop’ in. If the anus is completely relaxed, that pop should feel completely painless. Now just because you’re inside is no reason to start pounding away like mad. Let your partner adjust. Take your time. Eventually you will both be ready for more.

Can a pregnancy result from anal sex?
It is not technically possible to get pregnant from anal sex; there is no way for semen to get from the rectal tract to the vaginal tract. However, anal sex is still not a very good method of birth control. Semen leaking from the anus after intercourse may drip across the perineum (the short stretch of skin separating vulva and anus) and cause what is known as a ‘splash’ conception. The failure rate for this is surprisingly high! 8% of couples of who use anal sex as a method of birth control have babies each year. 

What if I don’t like it?
You may find that anal sex just isn’t for you. That’s fine. Nothing says that you have to indulge in something that doesn’t make you feel good.


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 that we are not ‘as safe’. To some extent we have stepped across our own thresholds of security and exposed some or all parts of our inner selves to the scrutiny and possible damage of others.

Scening can or may be seen as a compromise between what the submissive is seeking or desiring and how close to achieving those desires the Dominant’s own fears will allow them to go. This is a stretching in ‘both’ directions. Both the Dominant and the submissive often venture into areas they have never gone before. These areas can test their inner strength and resolve, their will and compassion. To retain ‘personal integrity’ or a belief in ourselves we have to stay within the ‘codes’ that we live by and believe in. In learning about ourselves we often test these codes to see if they are indeed ‘our’ codes or codes we have simply adopted by rote at some point along the way.

The road to ’emerging’ as a Dominant or submissive is filled with these kinds of moral and ethical choices and the contradictions and apparent paradoxes that they present. Reconciling these contradictions and forming ‘true’ choices of who we are and what lines are inviolate within the self is a process that takes years and perhaps the entirety of our lives to discover fully.

When we ‘expose’ ourselves to another human being there is an expressed obligation by both people to refrain from injury or damage, offer solace, nurturing and care until that sense of exposure recedes. We call this period of time ‘aftercare’. Most often we associate this term with the time frame immediately following a ‘scene’. However, this term is equally applicable at many other points and times and many times is not associated with BDSM or D/s at all. Essentially it is an ‘understood’ promise that should exist prior to anyone agreeing to engage in any type of relationship. Often it is overlooked or ignored as an ‘incidental’. The concentration or focus of many people appears to be on the action ‘events’ such as any and all forms of BDSM or sexual interaction that may and in many cases will occur as part of the relationship. Minimizing the importance of aftercare is a mistake. Aftercare is a period of necessary ‘recovery’. This is a fundamental recovery of the self into a form competent and ‘safe’ to independently interact with other people.

Some aspects of BDSM trigger responses much like intoxication. The ability of the brain to rationalize or make important or serious decisions may be seriously impaired for a substantial period of time after an event or scene. Scening can and sometimes does summon up long hidden memories, feelings, emotions and traumas that the individual has kept safe behind the barrier wall or mental defense system that during a scene may suddenly no longer exist. We maintain these walls through diverting a portion of our mental energy to them at all times. In periods of low stress this constant trickle of energy is negligible. In periods of high mental activity the brain diverts energy toward activities which take precedence. Managing a BDSM scene will often become an activity of such precedencial choice. When this occurs the brain is no longer sustaining the wall and it may simply vanish, exposing what is behind it.

We maintain personal barriers and walls of defense to protect ourselves from things we know but perhaps have serious trouble dealing with. An example of this would be an automobile accident. Some portion of the brain does ‘know’ and fully experienced all that occurred during the accident or ‘event’. The extremes of the experience may be so great that a self protective determining factor inside the brain decides that it is ‘unhealthy’ for the cognizant areas of the brain to experience this event through memory loops over and over again. At that point this determining factor selectively places this event in a ‘safe area’ or behind one of the brains natural mental barriers or walls.

Should one of these ‘events’ become exposed then the individual may re-experience the event. It is vital to remember that these hidden events were considered to be potentially damaging when the real event occurred so much so that the brain took active steps to protect the individual from them. Supporting and assuring the person who has re-experienced one of these events that they are ‘safe’ is profoundly important. The new ‘information’ may be of a nature that they do have great difficulty coping with it and in some cases they may need good professional assistance from a qualified therapist.

Normal aftercare occurring without such an exposure is often the simple nurturing of one human to another. The support and protection of and from revealed intimacies and aiding and assisting in rebuilding the former protective walls, barriers or defenses. These protective mental measures appear to rebuild naturally as a simple part of how the brain functions and manages over a period of time. That time frame will vary with the individual and with the intensity of the experience itself. Aftercare in its most simple form is just being there with your partner for a sufficient time period that they feel safe and no longer feel the need to cling to you. It is equally important to recognize that aftercare is for both the Dominant and the submissive. If either person leaves too soon then
their partner may feel abandonment or loss far exceeding the apparent parameters of the interaction.

It is also important to recognize that aftercare may be a serious factor when a relationship ends and especially when that ending is through the choice of one person and not the other. To some extent it remains the obligation of the person who makes that choice to extend aftercare support in a form agreeable to the person who has not made that choice until they have reached a point where they feel emotionally less devastated or more able to cope with the changed aspects of their life. In these days of acrimonious breakups it is common to act without dignity or respect for yourself and for the person whom you have engaged in a serious relationship with. This type of attack damages everyone involved and is seldom decent but most often reflects cowardly and selfish actions.

All Rights Reserved By Mistress Steel

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 may be wonderful, online and the phone, but admit you don’t really know him, and protect yourself until you do.

1) Before you even plan a meeting, be sure you discuss your personal safety with your new dom. Tell him how you feel, and listen to what he says. If he’s really a man who cares for you, he’ll add things to protect you, and agree to anything you wish to do. If he does not, then treat it as a first clue to use caution.

2) Once you plan your meeting, find two people who know you personally: Your name, your address, your phone # and most of all, your background. Make sure they know who you are meeting: HIS name, his address, and his background, as well as any other info about him you might know. Leave them as detailed a plan of your visit as you can foresee, and arrange with them for regular telephone check-ins…and what to do if one of them is not made. Obviously you don’t want the police breaking down a hotel door, while your dom has you tied to the bed, but it might just be that you’ll be glad to see them.

3) Meet with your dom in a public place…somewhere that there are lots of people…and don’t LEAVE that public place until you feel comfortable with the person you are meeting. If you don’t get comfortable right away, be sure you have some sort of alternative plan available, in lieu of going with him. Try to have YOUR car available…or better yet, a large, muscular friend to see you off, and meet your dom with you. 🙂

4) For the first meeting, do not travel to a remote place to get acquainted. Find a comfortable, well-staffed hotel or inn, where there, again, are PEOPLE. Other people are your best defense against injury and if necessary, run to them…even naked. The old cabin in the hills, where he says you can really “be alone”, might sound wonderful, but it is not safe, and should not be considered.

5) Never, never travel away from your planned itinerary with a new dom. You planned that schedule so people could find you…if you leave it, they can’t…and your new dom ought to understand that. Stay where you said you would be, when you set up your security, and resist, to the point of running away, any attempt by your dom to take you away.

6) D/s and playing. It’s normal for you to want very much to please this man who means so much to you…to give him everything he asks for…and delight in the pleasure he enjoys. But like everything else you do, for the first time, you have to protect yourself…and as exciting as a caning might sound, while tied and gagged…once you start, remember that stopping him is going to be a problem. Use safe words…there’s nothing to be ashamed of, in doing so, and if you need them, you WILL need them. Resist any sort of neck or throat bondage. Resist any sort of oxygen deprivation play these are dangerous kinds of play, and require enormous care…and you don’t know your dom, yet. Sex itself…well, AIDS is around, but it’s silly to try and convince two people in your situation to refrain, so use a condom. Insist on it, in fact, and don’t give in.

7) This is from me, to all of you. You are submissives, and there is nothing I’ve found in my world which is more wonderful. You are all special…and we can’t afford to lose you, cause there aren’t enough to go around, now…so please, take care of yourself. When you do come back, show us your new collar, or your welts, or whatever you value most from your visit, and we’ll love you more for having done it.

But, whatever you do, come back to us.

History of Leather Communities

towards a bibliography 

Compiled by 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 that corrections or suggested additions may be sent to the compiler, who retains responsibility for any errors and for the opinions expressed herein.

While no single work published as yet can claim to be definitive or comprehensive, the works listed here provide some signposts. Not all are still in print, but copies should be available one way or another. An asterisk (*) indicates those works that the compiler feels give the best overviews and starting points for further research.


BALDWIN, GUY: Ties That Bind (Daedalus, 1993): Mostly columns from Drummer magazine, 1987-1993, by the well-known kink therapist and 1989 International Mr. Leather, including a few explicitly historical essays.

* BEAN, JOSEPH: Leathersex (Daedalus, 1994) and Leathersex Q&A (Daedalus, 1996). Not historical works, but the first has a historical appendix, and the second has one section devoted to historical questions — both brief but very valuable. has a wealth of information about this author, artist, editor, and educator, now executive director of the Leather Archives & Museum.

BRAME, GLORIA, et al.: Different Loving — The World of Sexual Dominance and Submission (Random House, 1993; Villard paperback, 1996). Largely based on interviews with contemporaries, but Chapter 2 gives a historical overview of the Victorian roots of modern hetero BDSM.

* CALIFIA, PAT, AND ROBIN SWEENEY, editors: The Second Coming — A Leatherdyke Reader (Alyson, 1996). Billed as a sequel to Coming to Power (see SAMOIS below), which Califia contributed to (and helped edit the revised editions), this has historical essays about several women’s s/m support groups, including Briar Rose, Lesbian Sex Mafia, the Outcasts, and more, as well as other pieces of historical interest.

HARRIS, DANIEL: The Rise and Fall of Gay Culture (Hyperion, 1997). The chapter on “The Death of Kink: Five Stages in the Metamorphosis of the Modern Dungeon” argues that in “mainstreaming” s/m, we have lost what made it valuable. Irritating but thought-provoking.

HOOVEN, VALENTINE F., III: Tom of Finland — His Life and Times (St. Martin’s, 1994). This biography of our most famous gay kink artist includes much about the history of erotic art.

MACK, JOHN E.: A Prince of Our Disorder — The Life of T. E. Lawrence (Harvard, paperback 1998). Lawrence of Arabia would have fit right in with the 1950s gay leather scene in the U.S., but in Britain in the 1930s he was a square peg looking for a round hole. This biography not only discusses Lawrence’s own homosexual masochism but also gives background information on such previously unmentionable British institutions as the Hellfire Club.

MAINS, GEOFF: Urban Aboriginals — A Celebration of Leathersexuality (Gay Sunshine, 1984). A pioneering work — probably the first to connect endorphin release with BDSM experience — that today seems very “70s” in its uncritical enthusiasm but is historically valuable for that very reason.

NAN, MISTRESS: My Private Life — Real Experiences of a Dominant Woman (Daedalus, 1996). The memoirs of a famed West Coast Dominatrix with decades of experience.

* RUBIN, GAYLE: The Valley of the Kings: Leathermen in San Francisco, 1960-1990 (Ph.D. dissertation in anthropology, the University of Michigan, 1994). Unpublished; some day it will be the heart of an indispensable book.

* SAMOIS collective: Coming to Power — Writings and Graphics on Lesbian S/M (1981; revised editions published by Alyson in 1982 and 1987). Among many other things, this extremely influential book produced by the first openly lesbian s/m organization popularized the now widely accepted concept of s/m as a “consensual power exchange” (it seems to have been coined by Cynthia Slater, who founded the Society of Janus in San Francisco, and was used by local sex educations in that city).

STEWARD, SAMUEL M.: Chapters from an Autobiography (Grey Fox Press, 1981). From sleeping with Lord Alfred Douglas to filming s/m scenes for Dr. Alfred Kinsey, these are the amazing memoirs of a man who chucked a career as a college professor to satisfy his unconventional appetites and curiosities — and became famous as the erotic writer “Phil Andros.”

STEWARD, SAMUEL M.: Bad Boys and Tough Tattoos — A Social History of the Tattoo with Gangs, Sailors and Street-Corner Punks, 1950-1965 (Harrington Park Press, 1990). As “Phil Sparrow,” Steward worked as a tattooist long before such “body modifications” became semi-respectable.

THOMPSON, WILLIAM: Sadomasochism (Cassell, 1994). An English criminologist’s review of the legal and psychological concepts and definitions of s/m in Western thought, the book was written to address the issues raised by the Spanner case, but it has implications that reach much further than British jurisprudence.

* THOMPSON, MARK, editor: Leatherfolk — Radical Sex, People, Politics, and Practice (Alyson, 1991). This landmark anthology includes historical essays covering the 1940s to the 1990s by Samuel Steward, Thom Magister, Jack Fritscher, Gayle Rubin, David Stein, and the editor, plus other essays with a historical dimension by Joseph Bean, Guy Baldwin, John Preston, Pat Califia, Geoff Mains, Dianna Vesta, Eric Rofes, Wickie Stamps, Gabrielle Antolovich, and more.

THOMPSON, MARK: Gay Body — A Journey Through Shadow to Self (St, Martin’s, 1997). Thompson’s Jungian-influenced autobiography and meditation on the experience of growing up gay includes a good deal of historical material about the leather scene in California in the late 1970s and beyond.

TOWNSEND, LARRY: The Leatherman’s Handbook (1972) and The Leatherman’s Handbook II (1983). A classic. There have been various editions of both the original and the revised version (a very different book), and a 25th Anniversary edition of the original has now been published by the author. Townsend’s roots are in the early 1960s in Southern California, where he was a gay-rights activist as well as one of the first to publish gay kink erotica, including his own stories as well as work by other authors and artists. Beyond all the technical information and advice on cruising, relationships, scene-play, and so on, each book can be read as a kind of collage of the gay leather scene at a moment in time.


* GUY BALDWIN: “The Old Guard: Classical Leather Culture Revisited,” in International Leatherman #20 (Sept.-Oct. 1998), is an excellent introduction and gives a very persuasive explanation of the mutiple factors leading to the eclipse of the “old guard.” Also, “The Journey,” a free online column hosted by Leather Navigator, kicked off with two fascinating personal memoirs, “The Road to Leatherville” (Nov. 1997) and “Walking on Sand” (February 1998).

BLACK SHEETs #12 (fall 1997): “Sex Pioneers — San Francisco in the ’70s.” Part 2 will appear in issue #15, scheduled for late 1998-early 1999.

CHECKMATE #13 (November 1995) through #18 (February 1997): Charles Clark’s reminiscences about the gay s/m scene in the New York area from the 1950s to the post-Stonewall period.

CHECKMATE #19 (May 1997) and #20 (September 1997): Jack Fritscher’s personal perspective on the history of Drummer magazine and other topics in kink publishing (available online).

DRUMMER #136, January 1990: Mark Thompson’s essay on the first gathering, in 1979, of Black Leather Wings, a group of leathersex faeries, with his own photos of their recreations of Native American and other aboriginal pain rituals.

DRUMMER #139, May 1990: “Remembrance of Sleaze Past” by Jack Fritscher and Gayle Rubin’s history of The Catacombs, a famous leathersex/fisting club in San Francisco (a revised and expanded version of the latter is also in Mark
Thompson’s Leatherfolk anthology).

INTERNATIONAL LEATHERMAN #4 (Summer 1995) and most subsequent issues: “Dear Diary,” the still unconcluded story of “cliffy,” a novice slave, is actually Joseph Bean’s own memoir of his initiation into a leather “family” in 1966-67. Replete with “old guard” rituals and practices.

INTERNATIONAL LEATHERMAN #10 (Nov.-Dec. 1996): “Mecca Then,” a timeline of San Francisco’s leather scene in the 1970s.

INTERNATIONAL LEATHERMAN #13 (May-July 1997): interview with Larry Townsend; also “Back in My Day,” brief memoirs by eight leathermen about how they got started

INTERNATIONAL LEATHERMAN #15 (Oct.-Nov. 1997) and #16 (Dec. 1997-Jan. 1998): Joseph Bean’s two-part interview with filmmaker Roger Earle (Born to Raise Hell and the Dungeons of Europe series) amounts to a history of gay s/m video.

THE LEATHER JOURNAL #93 (June-July 1997): The 10th Anniversary issue includes reprints from many past issues charting ten years in our community as seen from Southern California.

PROMETHEUS #24 (Winter 1996): The 25th Anniversary issue of The Eulenspiegel Society’s magazine offers a number of historical pieces and reprints from TES archives, including “S/M Through the Ages” and a history of TES itself.

RUBIN, GAYLE: Several articles based on her dissertation (see NONFICTION BOOKS above) have been published, including a chapter on San Francisco’s South of Market leather bars in _Reclaiming San Francisco — History, Politics, Culture_, edited by James Brook, Chris Carlsson, and Nancy J. Peters (City Lights, 1997); a history of The Catacombs in Drummer #139 (see above) and an expanded version in Leatherfolk (see MARK THOMPSON above); and “Elegy for the Valley of the Kings: AIDS and the Leather Community in San Francisco, 1981-1996” in In Changing Times, edited by Martin Levine, Peter Nardi, and John Gagnon (University of Chicago Press, 1997).


Erotic fiction can be a perilous guide to historical (or any) truth, and yet it is sometimes in our fictional creations that we most reveal ourselves. The following cannot be taken as gospel, but they are all extraordinarily revealing.

ANDREWS, TERRY: The Story of Harold (Holt Rinehart, 1974; the 1975 Avon Equinox trade paperback has illustrations by Edward Gorey). Written under a pseudonym by a best-selling children’s book author, the novel is set in New York’s sexual underground of the late 1960s and concerns a kinky bisexual man’s varied relationships. Although it was praised by the New York Times for its literary merit, no one dies at the end, not even the perverts! Apparently accurate historically, tremendously funny, and very moving all at the same time.

ANDROS, PHIL (pen name of Samuel Steward): $tud (Guild Press, 1969; abridged edition with introduction by John Preston published by Alyson, 1990). All of the Phil Andros books give some of the flavor of gay s/m and leathersex back when it was illicit and mostly hidden from unsuspecting eyes, but $tud was the first to be published, and it seems least compromised by the need to satisfy an audience or an editor with embellishments or idealizations.

ANDROS, PHIL: My Brother, the Hustler (1970; revised edition published by Perineum Press as My Brother, My Self in 1983, and more recently by Masquerade; a newly illustrated edition of the original version is forthcoming from Brush Creek Media) is notable for its accurate description of The Black Castle, a Chicago leather hang-out in the 1960s where the artist Etienne, Chuck Renslow (who owned the famed Gold Coast bar and still owns and runs the International Mr. Leather Contest), and their friends lived and played.

* CARNEY, WILLIAM: The Real Thing (Putnam’s, 1968; reissued by Richard Kasak Books in 1995 with an introduction by Michael Bronski). Set in the 1960s gay s/m scene in southern California and New York, this epistolary novel, consisting of letters from an experienced leatherman to his novice nephew, presents a largely accurate account of the prevailing mores, though with a tragic, ultimately s/m-negative slant. Carney was a “player” himself, if perhaps a misguided one, and the novel is a classic. Some consider its sequel, The Rose Exterminator (Everest House, 1982), to be even more interesting, but most critics have judged it harshly, at least as a reading experience.

* FRITSCHER, JACK: Leather Blues — The Adventures of Denny Sargent (Gay Sunshine, 1984). As terse and concentrated as the same author’s novel of the 1970s, Some Dance to Remember (Knights Press, 1990), is bloated, Leather Blues distills the 1960s leather-biker-outlaw-sex scene in just 82 memorable pages. contains bibliographies, interviews, and more. Fritscher, one of the great Drummer editors, seems to have been everywhere and done everyone during the “good old days” of leather culture.