Tag Archives: what to do

Broken: Hearts, Minds, Vows, and Man

One of the things that’s simultaneously good and bad about this gig is that people tell me things from time to time they wouldn’t even tell their shrink.

Just the other day one such letter arrived in my in-box. As is sometimes my habit, I entered into a knee-jerk response and was about to tear the woman apart. Something made me stop and think, and instead of writing something savage, I sent her an email back. Her last question in her initial email was, “Am I a white trash whore?”

My response then was, in so many words, no, but you’re a liar and a cheat. I do stand by that, but with a massive, monumental, intergalactic caveat.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Due to the fact that there’s so incredibly much riding on her admission to me, I’m taking great liberties to change a good deal of the particulars that could identify who this poor goddamned woman is, because her life is filled with enough shit right now and I’ve no business adding to the pile by doing anything that could in any way come back to haunt her.

Here’s the gist of what you need to know.

  • She’s a mother.
  • She’s been married a decade-plus.
  • She’s in her mid-30s.
  • She’s been madly in love with her husband for all the years of their marriage, and still loves him, but things have changed.
  • He suffered a life-changing stroke of great severity that has rendered him child-like and frail. His mental capacity is nothing of its former self and his personality has been completely reformatted. Physically, he needs constant help. Sexually, he functions, but there’s no attraction left for her.
  • She’s been having an affair with a close friend of the family, in which the sex is incredible. Unfortunately, both she and he are married, and neither have the intention of abandoning said spouses.

That’s it, in a nutshell, that’s what a volley of eight emails has yielded to me.

Like most women under great strain, she’s perceived by others to be an incredible trouper. Strong, coping, able, yada, fucking yada.

The truth is, she’s coming apart at the seams. She hates herself for her betrayal of the husband she loved with all her heart, the husband she stayed with even though she learned he had cheated on her. She despises herself for loving sex with this other man. She’s angry about the loss of her love and best friend and the passion that came with. She doesn’t feel she’s able to speak to anyone about it. My guess is, she’s drowning in this life of woe she’s found herself enveloped by.

And my heart goes out to her.

Yes, she’s lying to her husband. Yes, she’s a cheating ho. But ask yourself: What would you do?

I know a lot of people would judge her for cheating on a guy who’s been sent into this horrible new reality by this unfortunate eruption of blood in his brain, but what about her? She’s still among the living. All of a sudden, she’s expected to give up everything that defines her life to provide 24/7 care for a man who can’t care for himself. She’s young, in her sexual peak, and what’s more, she needs an outlet for all the things gone wrong.

When my mother died seven years ago this week, I turned to books on grieving. I went through all the topics on mourning, everything from poetry to prose to essays, and I distilled from it a great deal of information on what to do to get through it all. The thing was, they said “mourning” and “grieving” are misunderstood. They’re not just necessary in times of death; they’re necessary in times of great change and loss of any kind.

For all intents and purposes, this woman’s husband died. When those blood vessels ruptured and filled his head with pools of blood, the soul of him just faded away. He’s but a shell these days, though he lives and breathes and walks and fills the space of their home with a friendly face and eyes that once mirrored the love she showed him.

With every moment in every day, she’s confronted by the struggle of caring for him, of helping him, of getting him through to the next day. Then there are the kids. And the doctors and medical procedures. Then there are the quiet moments. The moments in which she should be able to have the time to think of herself and her needs and the things she ought to do with her life… but that she can’t. Because every waking moment is spent caring for others and forgetting herself in the process, and when she’s not caring for them or coping, she’s formulating plans for keeping that circle rolling. In a life like that, there is no “down time.”

I believe one of the most important things for women (in particular) to do is to remember the them they’re forgetting, and to consciously make themselves more important in their scheme of things. But how does she do this? How is it possible?

I lived with my mother when she was dying of cancer. Any time I thought there was something important for me to do for myself, I consciously remembered that she came first. I couldn’t do that for myself; what about Mom? But then I was let off the hook. She died. My heart shattered to a million pieces, and one day I began to Krazy Glue myself back together. It took time, it took work, it took a conscious remembering that it was her that died, and not me.

This reader has none of that time, none of those options, and as far as I can tell, no Krazy Glue.

What’s the point of all this, of her letter, of this posting? I’m not really sure there is one. There’s no easy answer, no pat solution. It’s broken heart upon broken heart, and no matter what she decides, she’s in for a constant world of hurt because that’s her new reality. She can continue being sexually satiated by her lover, and lie to the man she loved but whose lights are no longer shining, or she can do the moral thing and give up the sexual release in order to do “the right” thing and continue caring for that shell of a man.

Either way, she’s in for a hard life.

So I say, whatever gets you by, sister.

The thing she needs to watch out for, sadly, is the fucking obtuse people out there who think morality trumps reality; those who just don’t get that some kinds of adversity just aren’t the kinds you can put your chin down to and barrel on through. Some kinds stop you up inside and make you hurt six ways to Sunday with no relief in sight, and this is that kind.

She could walk on him. Leave him hanging, and therefore no longer be unfaithful, but then what happens to him? Broken brain, broken body, plus broken heart?

Or she stays with him and gets her pipes cleaned by her new plumber man from time to time, and enjoys the illusion of affection and love, such as she once had with her husband?

I really don’t know. It’s quite possibly the original lesser-of-evils dilemma, and I’ve had some sad moments thinking of what her existence must be like.

I feel badly that she feels so alone, as I know I refuse to be the voice in the night that listens at all hours and says everything’s gonna be all right, baby, ‘cos I don’t even have a voice like that for me right now, so how do I provide it for others?

She’s not alone, though. She sees a therapist, but she’s too afraid of feeling like a failure and a liar in confessing her recent moral choices to him. I say she must. If there’s any one thing I do know, it’s that. She absolutely must confess to him, because he’s not a fucking idiot. He’ll understand, and he might even provide her with the closest form of absolution she’ll ever receive.

This is hard, baby. Harder than hard. It’s diamond-hard. Confess. Take a load off. Print off these emails we’ve exchanged, and this posting, and drop them off at your shrink’s a few days ahead of the appointment with a note saying, “These are a conversation I’ve had with a complete stranger. We need to talk. We really need to talk.” At least it’ll let you know the issue’s finally getting confronted, but it’ll let you sit back while he plays the ball that’s now in his court.

I wish I had a magical Band-aid for you, but all I’ve got is empathy. You do what you got to in order to get through. You may feel like shit and you may feel like a liar and a cheat and trash, but you’ve got my admiration. You’re doing what’s got to get done, and if it so happens that you’re a little human along the way, well… that’s just the way it goes.

But what do you think, readers?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Warning: Excessive Bliss May Be Good For You

I would have said that “the Guy has this saying,” but according to Google, there’s 14,700 hits for the phrase “post-coital bliss.”

It’s all about the PCB. Blissed out and riding that wave back to normalcy. Nothing recharges the batteries like a good lay, don’t ya think?

It’s Saturday morning (as if you didn’t know) and it’s cooler than it has been, but not cold. There’s 94% humidity – yep, count it, 94% — and the air’s got that built in chill-enhancer that’s not so friendly in the morning. Still, I’m in bare feet, just not happily naked like I normally am in the morning. Oh, well. The headache burrowing into the back of my skull’s not really a high point this morning, either, but I’m ignoring it and listening to Gomez over my headphones anyhow.

The gym was supposed to be my destination, but I have that all-over-body sore that says somethin’ physical’s been up of late. (The dirty s-e-x, that’s what. I tell ya, the death-grip with your legs around the waist, hiking him towards ya, good fer thighs and ass and abs, ladies.) I figure instead I’ll do some ab work, play with free weights, write, watch TV a spell, and then that’s my day. The Guy hobbles over, crutches and all, to my place this evening.

Back to the more interesting of topics thus far, PCB. It was after the dirty s-e-x that the conversation steered towards the PCB. Nothing takes a sting out of a working man’s week better than getting him laid by 10 on Friday, you know. My guy’s cut from a slightly different cloth. Instead of having sex (the dirty s-e-x, even) and rolling over to sleep the sleep of the dead, he gets energized. He actually enjoys cuddling and talking after a good shagging. How do ya like that? Now that’s serious PCB, folks. He even gave me a couple decent writing topics.

I, for one, am a big fan of the PCB, baby. Sex for everybody, says I. Didn’t you get the memo? I took over the duties of World Domination and Universal Autocrat as of midnight last night.

Lucky for you fuckers, too.

Sex for everybody. Yep. Just step right over here to your frequency lanes and pick a number you’d like as your sexual quota each week. What, three times? Four? More? All rightie, then. Pick a lane, any lane. That’s the number of times you’ll be getting’ your love on each week, my friends.

Ah, if only. I would make such a KICK-ASS dictator. None of the genocide crap, man. No illegal law enforcement. No intimidation. All about the bliss, baby. Personal freedoms for everyone, medical insurance discounts for anyone getting shagged often, sex toys would be tax deductible… If only.

In my pie-in-the-sky utopia, I’d have sex four to six times a week. A couple double-dips and such in there, of course, as well as lazy sleep-in, clothes-off, shaggin’ Sundays.

I’m looking forwards to next month. We’re on the verge of warm, warm nights now, and I’m thinking how much I’m gonna love those late-night just-got-laid departures – riding through the fragrant streets on warm, breezy nights, my scooter weaving back and forth under canopied streets as various perfumes from flowers assail me and cooler air pockets surprise me. Sigh. That’s always the best time to be out commuting in the world: a summer night after sex.

(There you go – a road rage solution. Road rage is all because people aren’t having sex enough. C’mon, people! Spread the sex around. Let’s reclaim our streets. Nice, happy drivers who just couldn’t give a shit if you go faster. They’re thinking about getting a little more of the shaggin’ they just had. A far better traffic pattern would emerge, I bet.)

Y’know, I went out for years with this guy who lived about 35 minutes away from me, and I still, to this day, remember loving the ride home almost as much as I enjoyed the sex and/or his company. It’d be 4am, and I’d be driving out on a highway that always had this awesome turn-off that made it feel like you were driving literally into the sunrise. Whoosh, around the bend, and back headed south-east, towards the sunrise again. I almost always took the long way home.

There’s just something great about sex in the summer. It’s better when you have a fan to cool yourselves off after all that work, but hey, seasonal shagging’s all good. I love staying in for sex in the winter, but if you have to leave, it’s such a bitterly cruel contrast – the cold, cold nights against the warmth and sweat and fury of your recent encounter. Yeah, I’ll take this… summer and the PCBs.

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