Kiss of Leather, Tongues of Fire: the Richer Territories of BDSM

Kiss of Leather, Tongues of Fire: the Richer Territories of BDSM

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.

This article is excerpted from a longer interview that was originally published on Alt.com in 2004.  In it, I  address some of those richer, darker and more transcendent territories to which our BDSM journeys can us. Topics include the dance of flogging, achieving good bondage play, what to do when a scene stops working, how to safely push personal boundaries, claiming your power, and the role of ritual and spiritual power in BDSM.


 

AFF: People just beginning their explorations of BDSM may not be aware of the many flavors it can have — for example, erotic, spiritual, BDSM for personal growth, BDSM as art, and so forth. How do all these aspects of BDSM fit into your own approach to play?

DUBOIS: For me, BDSM is about hot erotic explorations, personal growth, healing, connecting with others, and spirituality. We need big pleasure that connects us to ourselves and to the Divine. That pleasure (or should I call it pain/pleasure/surrender) I have found in the erotic rituals we call S/M. Doing a scene with trust and mutual respect can not only increase intimacy with our partner(s).  It also opens the door to our inner spaces and allows our spirits to soar.

AFF: What are some things that people may not be aware of when it comes to learning one’s own or a partner’s boundaries?

DUBOIS: A good thing to keep in mind is to go slowly.  People are not aware that boundaries can come up very unexpectedly and be triggered by multiple missteps: the wrong tone of voice, wrapping the whip and not being aware of it, bad timing on the part of the Dominant, fear of hurting your partner, fear of not pleasing your partner and many more. It is always important to keep in mind that it is the submissive who enables the power exchange. A satisfying, sexy balance needs to be found to make it work for both partners.

AFF: Is it possible that a sub goes along with something, not really aware of their personal boundaries, only to have after-shocks?

DUBOIS: Of course it’s possible. Any scene could go wrong or need to be cut short. We are playing with sex and power. Even a Top can hit one of His/Her limits and push themselves beyond it, only to regret it later. Play involving embarrassment and slapping, for instance, can bring up bad memories and by surprise, take the players out of the erotic realm.

With open and honest communication, people can face difficult repercussions with a loving and caring attitude. Guilt and resentment, that’s what gets in the way of healing, and keeps us from being as adventurous as we might otherwise want to be. Leave your partner wanting more rather than taking them to an edge too fast. Again go slowly.

AFF: Can you keep your play purely recreational so that issues like these do not come up?

DUBOIS: If by “purely recreational” you mean only light and fun play, then you must try to negotiate only light and fun things to do and keep your play to only those activities. A couple of examples are a simple role reversal scene where the woman is the leader in sex play and says, “Do this; now, do that,” and the man asks, “Please tie me up, Honey and do sexy things to me.”

These “purely recreational” scenes can awaken deeper, hotter desires in both participants. And then you cross over into the world of ritual intensity and real power exchange where buttons can easily get pushed. This is not “kindergarten” sex. This is sophisticated sex/power play.

The secret of successful kinky play is open and honest communication. It is difficult for many of us to communicate our erotic needs. If issues should arise between two consenting partners, do not blame the other for the scene not working. Stop and take a break. It is extremely important to just listen to each other rather than pointing the finger for either pushing too hard, being insensitive, not reading your body language right, not playing the game right, etc. After all, we’re not mind readers. Taking risks is part of play.

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Next: Video clip of ritual, on the BDSM/ritual link, running energy, the dance of the flogger >>>

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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