Wednesday, March 20, 2013

BDSM BASICS AS EXPLAINED BY EXPERTS




A fifty-minute workshop only scratched the surface of this subject that’s now on mainstream America’s radar, but noted Sexologist Dr. Charley Ferrer and award-winning Ellora’s Cave author Joey W. Hill gave it a shot at the recent Liberty States Fiction Writers conference. Here’s a Cliff Notes look at their talk, “BDSM Romance—The Reality That Makes It Work”.

Joey W. Hill and Dr. Charley Ferrer at Liberty States Fiction Writers workshop

By now everyone has an inkling of what BDSM stands for:
Bondage/Discipline
Domination/submission (D/s)
SadoMasochism

BDSM happens often in our everyday lives:
  • Hickies, playful spanking or teasing
  • Engagement/wedding rings, ceremonies, rituals
  • Power exchanges between husband and wife, boss and employee, parents and children
  • Fighting with your partner then having make-up sex

Two fundamental principles which show mutual respect and affection must be adhered to in any BDSM relationship:
  • SSC (safe, sane and consensual)
  • RACK (risk aware consensual kink)

There are three personality roles in BDSM:

Dominant. This person is, of course, in charge. S/he sets the rules, safeguards and protocols; trains, corrects and punishes the partner; and most importantly, is entrusted with the emotional and physical safety of the submissive. Most males prefer the term Master. A female Dominant is known as a Domme but may refer to herself as Lady, Goddess, or the like. (Dr. Charley thinks the title “Mistress” has a negative connotation).

Submissive. This person desires to serve and be vulnerable, either sexually or in service.
  • A “sexual submissive” can be highly alpha in other aspects but chooses to submit sexually.
  • A “service submissive” wishes to be “self-less” and desires only to make their Dominant’s life easier. 
  • A “slave” is a submissive who relinquishes all choice to his/her Master, including the right to have a “safe word” to stop any activity.

Switch. Many people enjoy both aspects of the power exchange. Some in the lifestyle look down on them because they believe these individuals are only “playing” and not serious about their lifestyle choices.

One of the most interesting topics was debunking myths.

It’s all about whips and chains and hurting or being hurt. Wrong. In domestic violence, abusers do as they wish with no regard to the recipient. In Dominance/submission, when the sub calls out his/her safe word, the play (flogs, whips, restraints, sensory deprivation, and the like) stops. Period. This is the result of the power exchange, where limits are pre-set and adhered to.

It’s just about sex. Not necessarily. There are stages of relationships that impact whether or not sex is included:

  • BDSM relationship. It’s sort of like dating. You play with someone (okay, maybe you’re spanked instead of taking in a movie) but you don’t necessarily end up having sex.
  • D/s relationship. These folks are working out their power exchange and, even though it might be monogamous, will probably compartmentalize this relationship within the D/s context.
  • M/s relationship. This is the ultimate power dynamic: being there for your Master or your slave in an intense emotional connection that may or may not include sex.

A female Dominant is in it for the money. Yes, there are Pro-Dommes who will dominate a subject for money, but she’s not necessarily a Domme. A female Dominant has the same needs and desires as a male Dominant—to have someone cede his or her power to them under the same power exchange guidelines as anyone else.

Submissives, especially male submissives, are weak. Myth with a capital M. Some of the strongest personalities in vanilla life willingly lay down that power in the D/s world. Think of a female surgeon who must be on top of her game every second of her working life. It’s a relief to be able to relinquish the need to make decisions for a time. Or think of a knight kneeling before his queen. As Dr. Charley observed, it takes more courage to kneel before another than to stand over them.

The workshop ended all too quickly, but before the group dispersed, Dr. Charley reached into the pile of attendee names and gave away an iron submissive’s collar. The winner was a member of Book Obsessed Chicks; you can see her with her prize on Kimberly Rocha’s blog. I thank Kimberly for allowing me to use her photo of Joey Hill and Dr. Charley on the dais.

If you’re at all interested in BDSM, be sure to check out BDSM The Naked Truth by Dr. Charley Ferrer.

And anything Joey W. Hill writes is golden, as far as I’m concerned. Rough Canvas is one of my favorites. No weak submissives here!

~~ Cris Anson

12 comments:

  1. Great post, Cris. Toucjed on a lot of important points that I'm sure were taken for granted by us vanillas.

    Very alluring lifestyle in many ways,

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  2. Was so excited that I had premature posting syndrome. That would be TOUCHED on.....

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  3. Awesome post! Very informative. Thanks so much for sharing!!

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  4. Great post, Cris. LOVED the line, "It takes more courage to kneel before another than to stand over them." So true. And Joey Hill? One of my all-time favs! Love her!

    Thanks for giving us a slice. :)
    Riley

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  5. Thanks for commenting, ladies. The more I learn about BDSM, the more intrigued I become.

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  6. Thanks so much for sharing all these experiences Cris. This world of BDSM is so intriguing.

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  7. Thank you Cris. It is so important to be open to the life before you write about it. I've seen so much discussion on what is written about the lifestyle and what is truth.

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  8. Cris forgot to mention what a fun and efficient moderator she was. She kept us on track, and didn't even have to use the faux fur paddle to do it! (even though, in retrospect, we should have misbehaved more - lol). Thanks for the lovely compliment, Cris, and for showing off the Rough Canvas cover!

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  9. Since you are an excellent writer of novels your blogs are always interesting. And as an attendee of that terrific workshop l'd say you covered it well. Dr. Charley and Joey are such dynamic speakers, they made the workshop fun as well as informative. Anyone interested in BDSM should read Dr Charley's book. It is clear and comprehensive. And Joey's books take you on a journey through the lifestyle you'll never forget. Talk about strong women!


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  10. Thanks for your nice words, Joey. You are always a pleasure to listen to and be with. But misbehave more? Yes!!

    And thank you too, Rose. I appreciate your support, and I agree with your comments about both Dr. Charley's and Joey's books.

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  11. Chuckle - Cris, we'll work on that misbehave thing. Maybe at Romanticon, the perfect place to misbehave!

    Rose, I second your compliments for Dr. Charley's books - she has a great, simple way of presenting things that helps introduce both writers and those personally interested in BDSM to the topic. And I got introduced to Cris's blogs last year, when she did the 3-day BDSM workshop. You're right - she keeps the topic fresh and interesting - I always learn stuff when I visit. :>

    Riley and Rose, thank you both for those lovely compliments about my work!

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