BDSM

11 09 2011

Burning Man is one of the safest places that I know of for exploring new and uncomfortable things. One of the things that I explored at this year’s burn was BDSM, and it was great. (Yes, you read that right. BDSM. I liked it.)

“Playfully Yours” is a dungeon theme camp that provides a safe and beginner-friendly setting in which people can learn about BDSM and try out different equipment in a sensual and playful manner (“Playfully Yours, not Painfully Yours”). I went to one of their demo workshops in which the camp organizer explained the applications of a variety of restraints, floggers, crops, whips, paddles, pinwheels, and even a violet wand.

Then came a call for volunteers, and a few brave people had what looked like an awesome time. The demo ended and the equipment was left on the table for attendees to try out. Overcoming every voice telling me not to, I approached someone who looked like she was there alone to ask if she was comfortable practicing with some of the equipment together. “Sure!” She was clearly not a first-timer.

He* was very into flogging, which I found out that I was a natural at, and I had him try the Wartenberg Wheel and Violet Wand on me. (*Yes, “he.” I later found out that my partner was a trans guy! Surprise!) The rush from only five minutes with those two simple tools – on my back and arms only – had me feeling high for around an hour and a half. Really.

I learned a tremendous amount about BDSM that day. For most people, pain is a very minor part of BDSM play. So much of it is mental. One example: There were five or ten different floggers to play with. They were different lengths and weights and had different styles of leather. One flogger was designed to crack loud enough to wake the dead. But that flogger hurt less than most of the others. It was designed to play more with your mind and less with your skin. So much of BDSM is about mental power and vulnerability, and trusting your partner enough to give over control.

Continuing with the mental side of things, when I swung by later that night to show Ayo the dungeon, there was a guy there doing fire play. I wasn’t comfortable enough to do a scene, but I did allow him to light flames on my hands and inner arms. Mindfuck. I would have sworn that I was being burned. There really was a fire on my skin. But in the end I was left with no burns at all, and a huge rush that lasted for a while after.

Yeah, I know. It’s not for you. Those people are weird and different. Whatever. If you haven’t tried this stuff (and other components of BDSM), you’re missing out. And if you’ve ever blindfolded your partner or even lightly held their hands down, then you’ve already dipped your toes in the BDSM water. Time to light your partner on fire. (Kidding!)

PS – Hi, parents. So now you’re coming to Burning Man with us next year, right?

posted by yair

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4 responses

11 09 2011
Brenda Auch

*She* would be the correct term after all. Most trans people I know greatly appreciate being referred to as what they feel is their true gender.

I can totally get into the pain aspect of BDSM. I actually think It’s a GREAT thing to experiment with and more if you’re so inclined. Where I lose interest is in the sub/dom relationships. I suck at both. LOL Being ordered around puts me in a very adversarial mood OR just makes me laugh. And the reverse feels way too silly for me to ever pull off with a straight face. I’m too playful for something that “serious”.

I really must get to Burning Man sometime. I think I worry I would feel out of place as a middle aged person though.

11 09 2011
Yair

Oops, I guess I wasn’t clear. He was definitely a trans guy. Female body, but identifies as male.

The D/S relationship doesn’t really do it for me either, and the pain side of things for me is more mental. Who knows, however… I’m down for trying a lot of things once.

As for Burning Man, you DEFINITELY would not feel out of place as a middle-aged person. It’s really not an event for young people, and there are folks of all ages in attendance. And really, that’s not just lip service. The average age in our camp this year was probably 45, and we met people well into their 70s.

11 09 2011
VJ

BDSM is a pretty big umbrella – you don’t have to have a D/s relationship to *play* with it erotically. IMO it’s just up to the people involved; someone has to submit, and the other better have a workable plan for what to do with that submission.

23 09 2015
Oz

I found Playfully Yours at BeQuinox this year, and Jimbo gave a terrific impact play class, with lots of different floggers and things. Learned a lot about material, technique, and sensuous application. Strongly recommend.

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