Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Getting Naked at Paddles — BDSM: Part IV

Here’s the last of a 4-part series describing my experiences at the BDSM Workshop for the Writers weekend Dr. Charley Ferrer held in August. The venue was Paddles, the longest-running New York City dungeon. Photo used with permission from Michael of Paddles. I'm so glad I had written this weeks ago, because the emotions here are totally opposite those of my previous post.

Nervous? You bet I was. After all, this senior citizen was about to get naked in front of a bunch of strangers in a BDSM dungeon.

All in the name of research.

Right.

Being a voyeur on Friday night (see "All Hands on Deck" blog from September 26) was only a taste. Saturday would be a TES party (The Eulingspiegel Society, the oldest and largest BDSM support and education group in the U.S.). With lots of participants. And bystanders. And Traveling Fool (TF), the violet wand specialist who had given our Writers Workshop a hands-on demonstration earlier that day.

Gulp.

I got *ahem* warmed up earlier in the night with my first real spanking (Friday night was just a two-minute taste). Dr. Charley had introduced me to a pleasant-looking, fortyish gentleman who took me aside to discuss my first-time status, quietly explaining what he’d be doing and suggesting the obligatory “Red” and “Yellow” safewords. Then he led me by the hand to a dim loft corner (there are no private rooms, just nooks and crannies), arranged two chairs side by side, and sat down on one.

One of many ways to spank.
With some coaching, I arranged myself belly down across his thighs and rested my elbows on the second chair.  I felt the fabric of my skirt slide up over my butt and the heat of his hand on my bare (well, thonged) skin. Over the next fifteen or twenty minutes he alternately stroked and smacked, softly at first then harder, occasionally stopping the impact to ask how I was doing, never stopping the stroking, the soothing. Always, always there was contact, connection, concern.

Then he called a halt. Um, you’re done? Wait, wasn’t I, you know, supposed to come? He smiled. That isn’t the point, he said. The point was the spanking, the heat, the sharing.

Okaaaay.

For the necessary Aftercare, he sat me on his lap, cuddling me, talking to me, letting me absorb the stinging heat and, yes, the connection between us. I didn’t see how red my arse was until back in my hotel room. Wow. Not once had I felt true pain. Stinging, yes, but not abuse.

Skirt resettled around my calves, I wandered around, watching a Dom tenderly bind his sub in ropes, stroking, nuzzling, cuddling her, being there for her. Even my untutored eye could tell when she went into subspace.

I watched a Domme flog one of our group, who was also getting first-hand research. To me it seemed too hard and ouchy but she kept stopping to ask if the recipient was okay and always got the green light.

I saw a man abuse his slave with needles and punching and dirty talk while her hands and feet were restrained by thick spreaders, an edge play it was sometimes hard to watch. Definitely not for neophytes.

A birthday party for the rope Dom’s sub came next. Bound and almost naked, she was led to a chair on the small stage. Clamps connected by a chain adorned her nipples. A thin rope connected to the chain was slung over a bar about 8 feet high. The other end of the rope held a paper cup which patrons were instructed to fill with quarters. They did, eagerly. I’ll leave you to fill in the blanks as to the science of it. Diabolical. But I noticed the Dom watched his sub carefully. As soon as he judged her discomfort level to be at her limit of pain—which, she later told us, she bore stoically because she wanted to please her Sir—he swooped up the full, now-heavy cup. Amid a round of applause for the show, a candle-lit birthday cake was brought to the stage and the birthday song raucously sung.

Then it was my turn. TF was ready for me. It was sink-or-swim time.

Deep breath.

I slid my skirt off and sat on the padded bench. Several of my classmates arrayed themselves around me to more or less shield me from passing traffic, and I unzipped my top, took another deep breath and bared all, then quickly snuggled onto the bench, eyes closed, heart pounding in my ears, turquoise thong and black flats my only garb.

Before I ‘fess up to my personal experience with electrical play, let’s go back to our class. TF had described the physics behind the violet wand, that it delivered a jolt not unlike walking over the carpet in dry winter air and feeling the static electricity when touching someone, that the current was less than that of a 9-volt battery. He used a foot switch to power the wands, but technical details are beyond my ability to explain. For more info, go to the International Violet Wand Guild.

He held the wand out for us to feel the tingle, first at low wattage then progressively higher, each of us finding our own level of tolerance to the various sensations. We discovered we could pass it along—each of us touched the person next to her and the current traveled along the route, diminishing but still discernible after five bodies.

TF’s assistant—let’s call him Andy (not his real name)—settled onto the portable massage table in his boxers to be the guinea pig, er, volunteer as we crowded around. TF used various glass attachments (some filled with gases to create a glow of varying colors) to stroke softly or poke more strongly for different effects. He draped a Mylar swag of the type used to decorate Christmas trees and we were urged to touch random parts of it to electrify various spots on Andy’s body. He seemed to have a continuous smile on his handsome young face as we, both singly and in concert, gave him pleasure.

Remarkably, TF observed that he could see my face glow as I watched Andy glow from my efforts. And it was true. Giving someone pleasure provides pleasure as well for the giver. Which is why many of these fetishists and players seek out partners at these scenes.

Which leads me back to Paddles. I tried to relax as TF stroked me with various glass heads or his electrified fingers, but he commented on my tenseness. “I think I’m anticipating,” I replied. What I really meant was, am I really out of my mind to go through with this?

That’s when the handkerchief was draped over half my face, cloaking my vision. Instantly I relaxed, probably because the anonymity it provided gave me permission to give myself over to his ministrations.

In no time I was squirming, writhing, feeling fingers of electricity in unanticipated places, from knees up to my shoulders and places in between. I found myself arching my back to receive more and yet more of the sensation. When he touched my nipples I reacted violently, so he repeated the action, with more and more pressure until my back was half off the mat wanting more. Then suddenly,

“Too much! Too much!”

Instantly all sensation stopped. TF lifted me to a sitting position and enclosed me in his avuncular bear hug, stroking my hair, rocking me slowly, whispering things like “It’s all right,” “I’m here for you,” “I won’t leave you”. From a rocking high I faced an endorphin drop that brought tears to my eyes and apologies to my lips, sorry that I ended his fun, sorry that I couldn’t last longer, that I didn’t mean for him to stop, I should have said “Yellow” instead.

I was told later it took about twenty minutes for that energy flow to dissipate. TF didn’t leave my side until I felt able to stand on my own two feet without assistance. Oops. I couldn’t.

Immediately Doctor Charley appeared in my vision, snapping orders: pull up a chair for her away from the padded table (after all, TF had a waiting list), get her a bottle of water from the bar to rehydrate her, give her a piece of birthday cake for the instant sugar hit. I was done for the night.

No big, since it was nearly two in the morning anyway. I didn’t get to see some of the other scenes, but workshop participant Kathy Kulig is also writing a 4-part series about the weekend, so be sure to go to her blog to read about her own experiences.

Oh, a final note. Climbing into yet another New York City cab, I was first into the back seat. I spied a shiny new penny, face up, on the floor. For those of you who follow Dear Abby, people occasionally report that those are pennies from a loved one in Heaven. I chose to believe that my penny was a sign that my late husband was approving my foray into BDSM. Because I know he’d have been there with me if he could have.

So there you have it. My name is Cris and I’m a violet wand junkie.

Er, a research junkie. Honest. All in the name of my craft. Look for a violet wand scene in my next book *grin*.

P.S. Doctor Charley walked me to my hotel room to be sure I got there safely, checked in with me again after I got home, and wrote me an email after two weeks asking about my mental and emotional state. That’s Aftercare!

What kinks turn you on? What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?

11 comments:

  1. Cris, you described this so perfectly and helped me understand more about this lifestyle. And yeah made me squirm a bit. Jealousy here!

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  2. Cris this was just amazing! I love what you chose to focus on and isn't the cuddling after a spanking the best ever?

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  3. Cris, wonderful blog post. You've given me lots of understanding of what went on at Paddles. I'm glad you were able to experience it.

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  4. Oh yeah, squirm. Right word, Mona.

    So, Katalina, you're speaking from experience, huh?

    Thanks, Maria, and all of you, for commenting. I might even go back to Paddles some day. For more research, you know.

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  5. Yep, I'm happy you dived into the spank tank too! Enjoy. lol XXOO Kat

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  6. Great write up, Cris. All in the name of research. :) And excellent job on the details. It helps a lot seeing and experiencing 'hands-on'. Imagine the ideas for books we have now??

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  7. Hi Cris,

    I was there with you through the weekend and saw your amazing transformation in understanding what D/s and the BDSM lifestyle is all about; and of course some of your research efforts. Gosh, the things great authors do for their craft. *chuckles*

    I’m so pleased you shared your experience and feelings with the world. It shows so much about the fact that BDSM is the emotional connection you share with another not merely about sex or hurting others.

    As for Aftercare, in my book, Aftercare is synonymous with friendship, affection and respect. You don’t have to be someone’s Dominant to show these.

    Look forward to seeing you at next year’s BDSM for Writers Conference.

    Live with passion,

    Doctor Charley…

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  8. Thanks for checking in, Dr. Charley. And thank you again for shepherding us through unexplored (to us) territory.

    Hey Kathy, I look forward to your next book *grin*

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  9. I played with a violet wand at Romanticon 2012 and had so much fun with it (both as top and bottom). The thrill of grounding myself to the wand so my body was electrified and then running my fingertips over the line(!)of women ready to experience it was awesome. Damn, we had some fun ;)

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  10. Thank you for sharing your experience. I am interested in the lifestyle but nervous so your experiences have helped show me that it is more than it seems.

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  11. Hi Melissa, I was nervous too, but I've met many wonderful people in the lifestyle who have been willing to answer questions. I hope your exploring leads to good results.

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