Kiss of Leather, Tongues of Fire, page 2

This is  the most significant piece of performance Fakir and all of us involved in the creation at London’s Torture Garden in 2008 had the privilege to offer… Our intent was to honor the ancient shamanic piercing and suspension traditions in a ritual performance containing beauty and spiritual imagery. I loved creating these symbolic realities. Namaste.


AFF: You are attracted to ritual elements of BDSM going back to your trips to Malaysia for the Thaipussan Festival where you studied tribal rituals first hand. You have tribal tattoos and in your videos, you create elaborate ritualistic piercings. For you, what are the important connections between BDSM and ritual or what does ritual do to improve your understanding of BDSM?

DUBOIS: Ram Das said, “There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but once you reach the top, the view is the same.” Shamanic body ritual practices borrowed from Hindu culture, such as the Thaipussam or the Native American Sun Dance, are ancient and sacred rites.

I find that by challenging my body to embrace intense input, I reach a place of stillness where I am bigger than my everyday reality. In such rituals I am both the Top and the bottom, pushing myself to feel more until I surrender under the guidance of archetypal spirits.

In a way, it is very similar to SM Play. In fact, I often consider the reality of the Dungeon experience sacred space. I have identified as a ritualist for many years. In that space, burdens of my busy mind stop and I experience a feeling of oneness with life.

It is an honor to mentor others on their journeys. Twice a year, my partner, Fakir Musafar, and I present a Spirit+Flesh Ritual. It is connecting, empowering, and so sexy as the group comes together in a dance that resonates with huge erotic energy. Just beautiful!

AFF: You often speak about the intense energy that a long scene or a ritual might stir up. What is your role with respect to these energies?

DUBOIS: When I am in charge of a scene, the power exchange makes me feel powerful. I stay in control and hold the space. I sometimes find myself stepping out of my ego and tuning into archetypal energies.

Let me give you one example. In my first video, “The Pain Game” the connection between Creed (my beautiful masochist) and me allowed both of us to fly in shamanic S/M play. When I pulled the feathered zipper off her back, big energy was running through me. I felt the destructive energy, which is also loving. I felt very empowered as the sadist, very blessed by her gift, and not afraid to show her my vulnerability while still being totally in charge.

As the Sadist, I am Kali’s servant. And when I am in sync with someone I am whipping, caning, or piercing, I often feel a shift of energy. The room becomes electric. I let my intuition guide me to provide the biggest possible experience for my bottom. Of course, I pay attention to my bottom’s body language. That’s the way the energy works. We both go on the journey.

AFF: I believe you’ve mentioned that women exploring dominance often tend to be hesitant about seizing their power. What advice or coaching might help someone get over this?

DUBOIS: I encourage folks to breathe, breathe, breathe and practice on an inanimate target, say a couch for a few minutes. Flogging is a dance and the whip’s a mere extension of our energy. When I guide a couple I encourage both partners to be fully present and to let go of their fear of not doing it just right. I am there as their safety net. It’s a liberating, exhilarating experience once they get into the groove.

Since negotiation is so important, I listen a lot. Even those who are able to word their fantasies clearly come with concerns, fears and expectations. I work on guiding their play towards a hot and often quite sexy, connected time for both.

AFF: When handling a flogger, what are some key things to remember?

DUBOIS: A flogger is a very special toy.  It must fit your hand and the handle should be the right thickness for you. Shorter whips are easier to handle for most people. It is a good idea to have a soft flogger for the warm up and a heavier one to continue. A good technique is to stand straight and remember to b.r.e.a.t.h.e and pay attention to where the ends of the tails connect to the submissive’s skin. The flogger is the extension of your own energy sent to your partner. There are different strokes to learn, and being aware of the rhythm is also a good thing. Giving the bottom enough time to process the input is also very important. A new player might ask the bottom where they are at on a scale of 0 to 10 with 10 being too much/red/safeword and 1 to 3 being a definite encouragement to use more force.

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Next: Being present, video clip on the benefits of switching, working with couples >>>

This post was written by
A ritualist, BDSM educator & kinky coach, I founded the Academy of SM Arts in 1995 to share with others what I had learned since beginning my journey into BDSM in the 80's - that negotiated sadomasochism is a valid path to self-discovery, intimacy and healing.
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