Tag Archives: what not to do

RANT: Just Another Stupid Comment

I’ve been torn about posting it here. I got bitter and decided to rant on my other blog. But a reader’s comment makes me think other bloggers might also relate. And, hey. I’ve wanted to say this for four years. About fucking time. Please read the comments for further clarification — I DO LIKE COMMENTS!

First off: When someone gets into a big long treatise or essay all provoked by what I’ve written, I’m flattered. When readers get into arguments with each other over something I’ve said, I’m flattered. When people take the time to write me to say why they identify with something I’ve written, I’m flattered.

THAT is why I love to write. All of those comments. They’re so awesome to get. I love them.

BUT…

This might be totally cunty of me, but I’ve got to say I’m getting really tired of people commenting and leaving me unsolicited advice when all I’m doing is blogging for the fuck of it.

Like I’m complaining on the other blog about my mild hangover after too much tequila on Saturday night and I get the whole “You’re probably dehydrated, you should drink more water” brilliance thing happening in the comments.

Yeah, thanks, Sherlock. You fuckin’ think so? God, how did I ever get to age 35 without knowing being dehydrated is a major component of hangovers? Wow, why do I never get these memos?

Holy overstating the fuckin’ obvious, Batman. Thanks for that pearl.

I know people mean well, but it’s really fucking irritating as a blogger, when you work hard trying to keep a blog with new stuff for people to read all the time, and instead of getting a comment that’s the equivalent of a pat on the back or something, we get emails telling us what we’re wrong about or some obvious stupid thing that the reader seems to think we need to do.

Obviously I’m dehydrated after drinking tequila. I thought I’d spare you from the obvious and write about the funny part of it rather than the what-every-person-with-a-brain knows, that one should drink water after getting drunk.

A week or two ago someone left me a comment about how to make an em-dash. See the assumption is that I give a shit. In fact, I don’t. I feel kind of badly for writing that reader back privately and telling him to stop with the fucking “helpful” advice that, instead of being helpful makes me feel like I’m being condescended to, not appreciated on the basis of the CONTENT of my blog rather than just its grammar, or any other number of feelings.

These guys are not exceptions. Sadly, this shit happens pretty regularly for any blogger.

Fuck, people. I work hard enough, working 40 hours a week, exercising up to 10 hours a week, writing and editing another 10 hours a week on top of that, doing the basic caring-for-myself eating/washing/shopping/house-cleaning that takes another 25 or 30 hours of my week. The last thing I need to start giving a shit about is putting a proper em-dash into motherfucking Blogger, for whom alt-characters don’t work. Life’s too short. A double dash works fine for me.

Besides, my job uses double dashes because of its 1980s software, so I may as well stay in a frame of mind more conducive to getting my job done faster. But does the reader take any of this into consideration before saying what I SHOULD do as opposed to what’s been working fine for me? No. Does the reader assume I even KNOW what an em-dash is? No, they condescend to explain what it is. I’m an EDITOR for a LIVING. I get PAID to understand the constructs of the English language. Like I say, this guy isn’t the first dude to jump to ignorant conclusions.

I don’t get PAID to write this blog. I do it for the LOVE of it. So I take shortcuts. So fucking what? Don’t make the assumption that I’m somehow unhappy with what I’m putting out there, because that’s an insult, as if I’m somehow settling for something crappier, when all I’m doing is choosing my priorities.

There’s the whole “Oh, just ignore it” mentality that someone else may want to suggest I have about those comments. You know, sail through life in “ignore” mode. Or I could just tell people to fuck off and have it done with.

So, let me say this on behalf of any serious bloggers out there:

When we WRITE blogs — not just throw up four links and call it a fucking post, or use some easy picture as filler with a 15-word wisecrack and call that a day’s content, but we really, really WRITE blogs — and we put our fucking hearts and souls into it, COMMENTS are the juice that get us energized and keep us going. So, when the only comment you get after, say, two days of no comments or a week of no comments, is something about grammar or punctuation or “drink water”, the first reaction is, “Have I got a bitch-slap for you!”

Like, have the respect to write about the content or saying hi or patting us on the back, rather than just throwing advice or grammar tweaks at us, or don’t write at all. We don’t need it. Really. It’s a big world full of “shoulds” and criticism. We can do without yours.

If our writing provokes a thought with ya, comment. If you liked what was said, comment. If you take issue with what was said, comment. Absolutely. It’s a dialogue. So let’s do that.

If, however, all you want to do is patronize the blogger by assuming they’re not smart enough to know anything outside of the 600 words they’ve just written, then put a cork in it.

I know I’m getting really fucking tired of the condescending advice emails that make the assumption I’m just some stupid chick who needs a little extra hand-holding to get across the street. Seriously.

“Drink water” after waking up from passing out from tequila? Gee, YOU THINK? Sigh. Fuck, man. Wanna tie my shoes for me, too?

Reader: Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

I had a reader question a week or so ago. Pretty short and sweet:

I was wondering what your take is on couples who have a peaceful, mutual breakup (stay good friends) and continue living together until their lease is up.

What, in a nutshell?

“Good luck with that” is about what I think. Good fucking luck.

Yeah, okay, somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds sing and rivers are made of chocolate, and couples who break up really truly can be friends. Yes, Toto, they can! Even in Kansas!

In my twisted little worldview, though, friends after breakup is a whole lot easier said than done. There’s all those weird little remembrances you have to get over. Like, “watching a movie” means a whole other thing if you’re “just friends.”

“You mean I can’t start nibbling your torso when there’s a boring bit?”

Well, there’s always popcorn, honey.

We’re human beings. We’re silly things with opposable thumbs and convoluted ideas on what constitutes civilization. We want to pretend we’re all smart and brilliant when it comes to problem resolution. The problem is, this ain’t no problem to resolve. The death of a relationship is, well, a death.

It dies. Six feet down, all bets off. It’s not a simple change of state. It’s a change of being. You used to fuck in frenzies. You told each other everything. You had dreams and goals and plans. And then, one day, it all went poof in a little whisp of smoke. You sorta saw it coming, yet there you stood still in a state of utter disbelief.

Because that’s how it all goes.

Now you want to think that a little piece of paper that says you have a lease is going to be enough to keep it on an even keel. Let’s hope you’re right. In my world, it just doesn’t tend to work out that well.

I’m a smart person with big brains and long memory, and pushing aside a past in order to have a present seems to be one of those equations I have a difficult time solving. Not that I wouldn’t try to solve it.

But surprises happens. Luck tends to play its hand. And sometimes odds get defied. Me, I err on the side of probability and statistics. Numbers meaning what they do and all.

Beginner’s Fun with Role Play

In Cronenberg’s A History of Violence, we’re given a great beginner’s demonstration of how to perform low-stress, low-prep role playing games.

In that scene, Viggo Mortensen’s character is seduced by his wife, who says, “We never got to be teenagers together… I’m going to fix that.”

She abandons him in the bedroom for an uncomfortable length of time as she vanishes into the washroom to prepare for her antics. Finally, she emerges in a high school cheerleading costume and stands there in the doorway, toying with her oh-so-short skirt to reveal a pair of girlie white cotton feminine briefs, complete with a little frilly ribbing.

Just standing there, hiking her skirt up enough to show these oh-so-innocent little panties is enough to drop his jaw.

The fact is, role playing may seem stupid and weird, but why should it? As children, we grow up pretending to be other people and we think it’s fun. “You be the patient and I’ll be the doctor. Open up and say, ahhhhhh. And maybe a little oooooh.

When does the switch get flipped that tells us pretending to be someone else is bad? Why do we feel so silly? What’s so absurd about remembering to play over the age of 18, hmm?

The thing about sex is that it’s supposed to be that one time — that one time — when we let our guard down enough to be utterly vulnerable. We’re there, naked, in every sense. Splayed and ready for enjoyment. And then, we lose a little control. For the good? For the bad? You decide.

Men and women tend to be pretty different in some regards, outside of the obvious, I mean. For instance, the reliability and comfort factor of a relationship tends to be really important to a woman’s sense of security. Men can get a little nervous about that, and they like to have things shaken up sometimes so they don’t begin to feel trapped. Don’t get all silly and think, “Oh, my man doesn’t feel trapped.” What, YOU never feel trapped? Admit it. You KNOW he does. It’s primal. Who we are. Get over it, but bloody well accept it. Everyone knows what feeling trapped is like.

So, it’s simple — you just change things up. Cook a different meal, wear a different perfume. Wear a wig, even, on a playful night in. Or, adopt a costume. (Change the decor of a room to be more masculine and dark for the night. Anything that adds new elements or airs will make the experience richer for the guy. Just cleaning up and tidying it will make a woman happy, sadly.)

And why shouldn’t variety make it richer? Variety is the spice of life.

One of the things I always loved about sex in the car was that it meant never having to have sex in the same place twice. Nothing quite like a game of strip Monopoly come rent time in the back of a hatchback, you know what I’m saying? One time by a river, another on a lonely stretch of rural dirt road, another in the abandoned car lot on a full moon night. It’s almost worth the handle imprint on the ass, the rug burn, and the crick in the back, you know?

There’s a digression for you. (Hi, I’m Steff, and I’ll be your tourguide tonight.)

What I loved about the role play scene in A History of Violence is how incredibly simple it is. It’s realistic. It’s easy to do. It doesn’t take a whole night of arranging and wooing. It’s reasonably spontaneous on one partner’s part, and is almost like a gift. Or, you can plan to play in advance. Set a date on the calendar… “Saturday, July 29th, 6pm: RP Games.”

Role play ain’t just for dungeons nor dragons, you know.

The advantage in booking the night and time in advance, where you explicitly say “This is what we’ll do” is that you get this wonderful goodness that comes in the form of committing to be together in every way… and the anticipation it brings. Guys LOVE to know they’re getting laid at a certain time. Let them look forwards to it with a little idea of what the night is to bring them, and man, you could find yourself with a pretty eager guy. Don’t you agree, boys?

If you’re a newbie to this shit, there’s nothing to be concerned about. You’re playing dress-up and having a cheap evening in, okay? That’s about the size of it. The pay-out is a little no-holds-barred fun that allows you to forget about who you are for a little while and adopt a fantasy life. It’s not stupid or childish, it’s just fun. Let your pride take a walk, and have a little fun, will ya?

If you’re a vixen-wanna-be, then check out the beginning of the movie (15 minutes in, give or take — I haven’t watched it all yet, so I’m not giving a whole-movie review; just scene approval!). Watch the scene where she seduces him, and pick up cues from that. The “Let’s go, Wildcats!” jump was a little much for me — after all, do you really want to risk jumping on your loverman’s mid-section when you’re about to try to get nailed? And another point, if you’ve taken the time to get a costume and have an idea in mind for playtime, take a moment and clean the kid’s toys off the bed! Jesus Christ! Get them out of sight. That happens at the beginning of this scene, when Viggo’s cleaning the toys off his bed, and that’s not really the cool thing to have happen. You’re about to get shagged — who wants to think of their kids? Again, Jesus!

It’s not rocket science, people. It’s fun. It’s carnal, it’s biblical, it’s illegal in some states, but it’s just downright fun. Why, someone oughta charge some admission.

Photo from filemag.com.

Sex, You, and Your Kid: How Parents Are Failing

Parents bear so much responsibility for how kids view sex. It’s a shame most of them don’t handle the subject better, and terrible that so little emphasis is placed on sexual education.

Two things caused me to spend years questioning sex and feeling like a whore for engaging in it: the Catholic Church and my mother.

The Catholic Church is a given. I had to laugh when I received an email the other day for a “Sexosopher’s Café” at a local sex shop, where they wanted to do a philosophical discussion of whether “religion is sex-negative.”

Come on, you had to think about that one? Oh, please. What’s the last church you went to that encouraged you to tie your lover up and pleasure them? What’s the last church you visited that said consensual sex could include just about anything under the sun? That’s right, none, ever. Sex, when it comes to religion, is only good when done in certain ways.

Am I stereotyping? Fucking right I am, but rightly so, too.

My Catholic guilt still tugs at my heartstrings now and again, but as long as I live, I will never, ever come to understand how my mother could have fucked sex up for me as much as she did.

I never, ever, ever got the conversation about what sex was from either of my parents. I saw them fucking once, and I still remember the horrified look on my mother’s face – before they realized I was standing in the doorway. Most damaging, though, was something my mother said to me when I was 15 and they had split up.

She commented, quite casually, that the thing she was most grateful for about the separation was how she no longer had to fear my father coming to bed and wanting sex.

My father was heavy then, but he was always a kind and gentle man, so I knew instinctively she didn’t mean in a violent or demanding way. She meant she loathed sex. She told me she’d sleep as close to the edge as possible, so she could more easily dissuade him from making advances. And then she expressed how relieved she was that she could now sleep anyplace she wanted on that bed.

Between her lightly dismissing my question on blowjobs at age 8, her horrified look mid-coitus, and this new complaint about fearing sex, I was quickly developing a perception that sex was something women had to do to satisfy men, and something worth dreading.

I didn’t know sex could be enjoyable. I never learned it was an expression of how much you cared for someone, or a really wild way to spend a night in. I didn’t know it wasn’t (really) painful, and I sure as hell didn’t know I was supposed to love having it.

For me, sex has been a long journey to where I am now, and there’s still road to travel. There are new destinations I’d like to reach, particularly considering my traveling companion of late, and the idea of sex is still something I’m ever curious about.

It’s a far cry from the girl who was terrified to sleep with her boyfriend shortly before she turned 18, who was sure it would hurt like hell, who was adamant she was doing him a favour and it wasn’t something she would be benefiting from.

Today’s kids are in a strange, strange world. They’re bombarded with sexuality from the moment they emerge from the womb. Cartoon characters (Disney in particular) are sexier than they’ve ever been, clothes are more provocative, and MTV borders on porn most days. When they’re not getting hit by sexuality from the world at large, they’re playing on the internet, surfing at random, probably landing on smutty sites like this or worse, (don’t read this, kids), or still worse yet, engaging in cybersex.

Am I a conservative? Not by a long stretch, but I’m sick and tired of seeing kids being raised in a Fuck Me Now world, where sex is the only currency that counts. I think sex is important. Hell, it’s crucial to my quality of life. A day with sex is better than a day without it, and that’s just how I feel. I’ll never be a sex-negative person, but it doesn’t mean I can’t be objective about this oversexed world we’re living in. There’s a fine line, and I think we’ve crossed it of late.

What kills me are the conservatives, the true conservatives. It’s so fucking ironic, their POV. They can’t control the endless stream of sexuality pouring in from media and marketing today, so instead they want to limit sexual education and birth control. Does it make sense? Not in the least. To pretend kids are not surrounded – bombarded – by images of sex and sexuality is akin to confessing a belief in the Easter Bunny. There’s no question that it’s out there, that dirty s-e-x thing, but to ignore it and hope that sticking your head in a hole in the ground will somehow make the world around you more palatable to your moral beliefs is delusional.

(As an example, Kansas has adopted opt-in sexual education. Meaning, if the kid doesn’t show up with a note from the parents that gives permission to teach them about sex, the kid can’t take sex ed. Isn’t it precisely those kids who are most in need of sexual education? Christ. Can someone, anyone, teach these people how to fucking connect the dots?)

How is ignoring the fact that we live in a world that doesn’t respect sex the way it should, doesn’t portray it the way it should, going to help anyone? That’s the perfect reason why kids need to learn more sex-positive education both in the home and at schools, so they can negate this overwhelming pornification of sexuality seen constantly in the media.

I’m not saying I want to do away with any images of sexuality, I’m just saying I sure as shit wish there were more sex-positive images, because there aren’t many.

I’m tired of knowing that I’m not the only person who never actually learned about sex from my parents. Sex isn’t biology, people. It’s passion, it’s emotion, it’s mind games, it’s exploration, it’s creativity, it’s dangerous, it’s satiating, it’s intense, it’s anything you want it to be. But it ain’t biology, and it ain’t all reproduction, and kids need to learn about what it is, and what it isn’t. They need frank, honest discussion, or else we’re going to continue having young adults who need to get past wrong perceptions of what sex is.

Considering all the head games and mind-fucks that come with courtship and relationships, dealing with mixed-up, backwards perceptions on what sex is, is probably the last thing any of us needs to waste headspace on. In the face of AIDS and other STDs, ignorance is a pretty horrifying prospect, but one that’s rampant as I type.

By teaching kids the realities of what sex includes – from the wet spot to day-after pains and aches to STDs and emotions – a little of the allure might be swept away, but so too will the unrealistic expectations and the fear, and maybe even the blasé attitudes most kids today have about getting shagged.

Here’s a very, very simple consideration for parents to take under advisory: Imagine your kid has come to you and asked you about sex and all the things that happen during it. Imagine your discomfort. Imagine the awkwardness of trying to explain it. Imagine the weirdness of divulging to your offspring about how you essentially created them. Imagine sweating under the pressure you would feel to do a good job. Imagine you cut it short and explain instead just the biology of what happens, and not how to be a good lover, or the emotions that come with, or the potential fall-out after the fact.

And now imagine your kid going out into the world with barely even an understanding of the biology, let alone the rest of the sexual happenings. Imagine them going into a sexual experience clueless about what should go down. Imagine the panic and worry they’ll feel afterwards when they wonder unnecessarily if one of them has gotten pregnant, and how pregnancy really works. Imagine they can’t figure out what way a condom goes on or how careful they need to be when pulling it out. Imagine the guilt and shame they’ll feel for doing what we all inevitably experience at some point in our lives. Imagine the self-loathing they’ll feel when they suspect they’re a bad lover. Imagine the awkardness of trying to fumble towards ecstasy without your help.

And now own your failures as a parent. So, I say this to every parent out there: Get the fuck over yourselves, and do your jobs. This is too important to continue letting kids learn by bump in the night, and the price paid for it is far too high.

You can’t explain it? Then buy a good book that explains about sex and give it to the kid. Better yet, pick up a pack of condoms and some lube and grab the book, and give them to your kid, and then tell them you hope they’ll be mature and responsible enough to wait for someone special when it comes to sex, because if they sleep with the wrong person the first time, they’re probably going to always wish they’d decided differently.

You may not appreciate the idea of your kid fucking in the back seat of a Ford, but the reality is, it’s gonna happen, whether you’re on page or not. You’ve done so much for your kid over the years; is it really worth abandoning them on the issue of sex so you can save yourself a panic attack?

Think about it.

Bondage for Beginners: Part Two, Basic Guidelines

(I forgot to include the link to part one, which is here.)

Bondage can become part of your life for a lot of reasons. Sometimes, it’s a way for folks to deal with the anxiety of their lives; symbolically giving control to another, or taking control. Sometimes, it’s for less honourable reasons. Sometimes, it’s just another fun game to play.

Whatever the reasons, however pure or otherwise, trust – having it, taking it, sharing it, abusing it – is the core experience of bondage. I touched on this last time ‘round. Have the right intentions, and this can be an incredible relationship-building experience.

In my fun little world of bondage, the tease is never separated from satisfaction. For me, tying a lover up is not only my opportunity to tease and taunt him, but also a chance to take him to orgasm as slowly and deliberately as I’m able, and make no mistake about it, an orgasm will be had.

As much as we’d like to think we’re all grown-up and it’s easy to give and take orgasms, the reality is, most of us are a little too conscious about whether or not we’re getting not only our partners but ourselves a ticket to the promised land. We overthink it, and we often overplay it.

During bondage my style, it’s a little more honest and straightforward: You will come if it’s the last thing I do – that is my job, my mission, for the next hour or more, my raison d’etre.

This is one of those instances where people want me to lay out step-by-step instructions, but that’s taking it too far. Bondage is about you being creative, using your lover’s body as a canvas or even as a test subject. “I wonder what happens if I drag an ice cube up the inside of his leg.” If you can think it, try it, and see what happens. Any time it doesn’t work, just go back to something you know you will. It’s not the end of the world. Try, try again.

So let me, instead, give you a few guidelines, not rules, all right?

  • I know there’s a contingent who finds the hows and whys of fancy knot-tying really erotic, but there are those of us who just can’t give a shit, too. I’m no sailor. I can’t do a grapevine knot or anything like that. I can tie my shoes, though, so bind a lover I can do. I make up for it in details.
  • Music can be an added bonus, or a negative, depending on your POV. If the submissive’s lying there all bound and blindfolded, sound is one of their major clues as to what’s going on. I have hardwood floor in my bedroom and it creaks and groans. I tend to put some music on to cover the sound a little, so he’s not as aware of what the next move is.
  • Lighting doesn’t really matter, if they can’t see, but the question is, how are you feeling? The sexier you feel, the better you’ll play. If candles make you feel more comfortable, then do that. Whatever makes you feel good, baby.
  • When bringing food into the equation, make sure everything is chopped bite-size. Put ‘em in bowls. Do you need to have all your supplies when you’re starting? Not really, you can leave them bound and wander out to find additional things later, but it might be considered cruel. I prefer to be organized at the start, so he’s not abandoned for more than a moment or two throughout.
  • Misleading them is fun. I’ll drag a finger up his chest, trace it over his lips, and when he thinks he can suck on it, pop a little cherry in his mouth or something else, like a tongue. Play, play, play.
  • If you can, pull your bed out from the wall. I can, and I do. Having 360-degree access means I can do more to him, and that I have more ability to move around.
  • Crawling over them on the bed’s pretty much a suspense killer. What’s the point, then? Get off the bed and walk around. Try to minimize how often you lean onto the bed, because, again, they can feel the weight shifting, thus negating the surprise advantage.
  • When you’re making your way up their body, be it with kisses or with drizzled syrup, going in a straight line doesn’t work as effectively as zig-zagging will. Why not? Because nerves like surprises, and if you’re working in a straight line, the body knows what’s coming next. This is always, always about surprising the senses.
  • Multi-tasking is hot. If you’re standing and you lean down to suck and bite a nipple, then use a hand to tease their inner thigh and the other hand to toy with an ear lobe or something. Remember, they can’t see what’s coming. Every touch, every action, they all get you a new reaction. It can be tricky, when you’re the doer, but as the receiver, it’s just an incredible mix of feelings.
  • Always, always, always mix approaches. Bondage without oral should simply be considered wrong. Bondage with straight-through-to-orgasm oral should also be considered wrong, in my world. I think it should be intermittent, incessant teases. Oral, then kiss and suck and bite all over them, then return again to oral play. Interrupt it with more props and toys. Toy with them manually. Change gears as often as you’re able. When the frustrated groans get louder and more pained, start planning your route to orgasm — by oral? By fucking them? By manual stimulation? Using sex toys? You’re writing the playbook, you decide. If you like, ask what they want. I never bother, though. I’m in control, I’m deciding.
  • Talk to them as you play. Tease them with little suggestive comments, or investigate how they’re enjoying things. Take requests, if you do such things. Most of all, be sure they know you’re having fun. Tell them it’s getting you hot, all this satisfactioning of them. Remember that the only senses they really have fully functioning are hearing, smell, and touch. Now and then you’ll indulge taste, too. Hearing, though, is a great way of keeping them focused on everything. Don’t talk incessantly; shut up and do your job sometimes.
  • Devour your lover. Cover every inch of their body with your hands, mouth, and any other body part you can think of. Every place you touch and claim as yours is one less area they’ll be self-conscious about – and when you’re tied up in bondage, feeling self-conscious isn’t a big stretch. Try to negate it by doting and outwardly desiring them.

This is your chance to really take notice of what your lover does when you touch them in different ways, different places. It’s an opportunity to learn and develop new insight. The question is, will you use it as such? I always do.

I may think of more in regards to bondage, from a beginner’s point of view, but really, it’s not brain surgery. Just try to keep the suspense at a maximum, remember that it’s all about the submissive, and try to take them to the edge as often as you can before you finally give the gift of what’s bound to be a pretty incredible orgasm.

Bondage for Beginners, Part One: What You Need

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, bondage is something everyone should experience.

Too often, things like bondage or use of sex toys or whatever are all obscured by a perception that they’re made for people who REALLY are into sex as a lifestyle. Not so.

But even if it were so, what’s so bad about enjoying sex as a larger part of your existence? Is it really so bad? There’s no admission cost, you don’t have to find parking, you don’t need to plan ahead. Sex as entertainment isn’t the worst fucking thing you could be doing with your time, now, is it? Beats the shit out of watching another Will & Grace rerun.

People get bored with sex. “The Missionary? Again?” With good reason. Sex can get repetitive if it’s the same position, same approach, every time. You wouldn’t eat a hamburger every day, now, would you? (Unless you’re that boring fuck in the States who’s eaten 20,000+ Big Macs. Jesus Christ – don’t get me started. But lemme know when he finally visits an oncologist.)

And this is why there are sex toys. This is why people try bondage, or public sex, or whatever. Now, you don’t have to get all gussied up like the Gimp in Pulp Fiction in order to enjoy bondage. So, what do you need? Well, let’s start first with what you DON’T need.

  • You don’t need to own a copy of The Ashley Book of Knots.
  • You don’t need to be nurturing a passion for the Japanese art of Shibari.
  • You don’t need to own a closet full of leather or gear.
  • You don’t need to have any special equipment at all.
  • You don’t need to own rope.

No rope? Gasp! Really?! Why, yes, Virginia, there is bondage without proper rope. How about neckties? Scarves? Nylons? Even that belt from your housecoat will do. It needs to be able to tie in a standard knot. That’s all you need.

So, here’s the shortlist of your requirements.

  • You need something that can restrain your lover.
  • You need creativity.
  • You need trust.
  • You need inventiveness.
  • You need a sense of adventure.
  • You need to want to enjoy yourself.

And five out of six things on that list ain’t gonna be bought at Paul’s House of Porn, all right?

Here’s the deal. Bondage is about trusting your partner enough to let them tie you up and do what they like to you, or vice versa. It’s imperative you talk about what isn’t going to happen. Don’t like pain? Agree to not go there. It’s pretty simple. You can get all fancy and lifestyle-ish and pick a “stop” word (a word that, whenever you use it during anything experimental in sex, signals that’s going too far, and stopping has to happen) but I find the premise pretty silly for anything less than full-on BDSM experimentation involving serious pain.

Me, I’m crazy, I favour the word “stop.” I mean, fuck, like it’s that complicated? “Hello, stop that, please.” When your lover says to stop, I don’t care what you’re doing, STOP, whether it’s in standard sex, or when your lover’s slung from the roof in stirrups. The more often you stop what they don’t like, whenever they ask you to, the more they’ll trust you in the future. Makes sense, huh?

Not respecting your partner’s boundaries in bondage means you’re breaking the number one rule. The belief in bondage/BDSM is that the person who’s all tied up is the one with all the power. Why? Because if they say stop, you absolutely must. According to anyone who’s played in the lifestyle, ignoring the submissive’s wishes is grounds for an ass-kicking.

Now, if you’re all gung-ho to tie someone up, but don’t want to be tied up yourself, I don’t think you deserve to do the tying, and I don’t care about this “But I’m a top!” bullshit. It is an act of trust. If you expect your lover to trust you, but you won’t trust them, then you might as well get a hammer, ‘cos that’s the first nail in your relationship’s coffin.

When it comes to bondage, I prefer doing the tying up, but I’d never deny my lover the experience of returning the favour, because that’s what good relationships involve.

Once you’ve had the talk and you’ve decided who’s being tied up first, it’s time to play. Personally, I prefer making an agreement to explore bondage in advance, because I think you need to be organized beforehand. There are, indeed, things you need in order to play with bondage Steff’s way.

My shopping list tends to include:

  • Chocolate syrup
  • Caramel syrup
  • Strawberries
  • Nectarines
  • Kiwis
  • Mangos
  • Papayas
  • Apples
  • Massage oil
  • Lube

And whatever else gets you through the night, baby. No, you’re not making a fruit salad. You’re bringing food into the equation because a) they’re at your mercy and b) if you’re doing it right, they’ll be blindfolded for a while. The fruit is practical and sensual at the same time. When the bondage play begins, and they’re blindfolded, feeding them a mystery fruit will have to force them to turn their senses on. It’s a pleasure trigger. They’ll need to figure out what they’re eating, thus making them sensually more alert for when you begin playing. I’ll talk more about the food in the next posting.

First off, let’s talk setting. Do you have a headboard you can bind your lover to? No? Then visit your local hardware store. Get standard-issue drawer pulls and screw them in strategic locations. You could even put them on the side of the bed and the bottom, if you want a variety of positions in the night. This scenario runs you about $10 to do four mounts, depending on the price you’re paying for the drawer pulls. It’s practical, cheap, and you can move them around if you’ve chosen bad spots. These pulls pictured here are exactly the ones I’ve used on my bed. Two for $3, and they have plenty of room for getting rope underneath, and allow for a little wiggle room for my submissive (aka Guy). The alternative is bondage bedwear, but it’s such a hassle and it’s expensive. If you’re settling in for a long night of play, it could be useful, but it also might intimidate the shit out of the submissive.

Ah, you’re not ready yet, grasshopper. Now you need toys. If you want to shell out the big bucks on sex toys when you don’t already have them, feel free, but your house is filled with a million things that can trigger some really, really happy feelings in your lover.

Get creative. Go rummaging through your drawers. Make a stop in the kitchen. Find things you know will offer a variety of interesting sensations. Whether you’re lightly dragging the tines of a fresh-from-the-freezer ice-cold fork up in the inside of a lover’s leg, or teasing their privates with the bristles of a silicone pastry brush, you’ll be guaranteed some shivers.

Let me revisit the silicone pastry brush. Run, do not walk, to your local kitchen supply aisle and buy yourself an extra silicon pastry brush for the bedroom. Fuck feathers – the pastry brush is one of the most erotic feelings I’ve found. I sent shivers up my guy with it the other week. Trust me. Go get one, kids.

Buy a curtain tassel at the fabric store and tease your way around their body. Even a piece of paper being dragged up a naked body is amazing. Ice cubes rock, so make them in advance. Even one of those skin-scrubbing gloves for the shower can be pretty wild. It’s coarse, so it’s a change of pace from the soft and smooth things. Sandpaper. Anything works, provided you begin with light pressure and see what the reaction is.

If you don’t trust your ability to judge how something might feel, then do your rummaging half-naked and any time you find something that piques your curiosity, then simply close your eyes and try it on your inner thigh. If it works, great. If not, put it back.

If you plan on getting really sloppy with the syrup, and expect to have to clean your lover up a bit over course of time, you can grab a slow cooker or a rice cooker with a “keep warm” mode on it, put some water and some wash clothes in it, and keep it bedside for a clean, warm cloth to wipe them up with. Or you can save the filth and shower together later. Whatever, but there are options.

Lastly, what you need is a carrying tray. It does no good to have a lover about to be blindfolded if they can see what you’re going to use on them. They should be bound and blindfolded before you gather all your goods to bring bedside.

And that’s where we’ll stop for today. By the weekend I hope to post on how the actual act of bondage itself should unfold in its most basic terms, but you clearly have a couple ideas, I’m sure, of where this is headed. Any questions so far? Any tips on household products that have brought you bondage glee in the past?

Want more? Huh? Do ya, punk? Part two is here.