Thursday, March 27, 2003

Get a Spanking, Go to Jail — That's the Law

This is scary. I don't really expect this kind of prejudice from Massachusetts, but hey, it's everywhere.

'Commonwealth v. Baker' Poses Novel Question
By Harvey A. Silverglate and Carl Takei

If a man engages in kinky sex with consenting adult partners, should the district attorney's judgment that such behavior is "abnormal" and "sexually dangerous" be grounds for the commonwealth, in a civil jury trial, to incarcerate him for life?

This is the novel question posed by Commonwealth v. Baker.

It is also a profound civil liberties question that will help determine whether the 40-year trend toward personal and sexual autonomy and privacy -- begun when the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated Connecticut's (and therefore our commonwealth's) antiquated criminal laws against the distribution of contraceptives to married couples -- will come to an abrupt halt.

This question may well be answered in a civil "Sexually Dangerous Persons" (SDP) trial that commences this week in Middlesex Superior Court before Judge Ralph D. Gants and a jury.

The trial is governed by G.L. c. 123A, which calls for the involuntary detention of SDPs -- that is, people who suffer from a "mental abnormality" that makes them likely to commit future sex offenses -- by the Department of Correction, for one day to life.

As a practical matter, the period of incarceration is more likely to be closer to life than to a day, according to Alden Baker Jr.'s lawyer, Boston's John G. Swomley, who has handled more SDP cases than almost any other defense lawyer in Massachusetts.

The Middlesex DA's Office moved to civilly commit Baker in mid-2001, arguing that his interest in S&M sex activities, even with consenting adults, constitutes a dangerous mental abnormality within the meaning of the SDP commitment statute.

Baker's case represents the latest frontier in the war for sexual liberation and personal autonomy that began decades ago in both Massachusetts and in the nation: the right of consenting adult men and women to gain sexual pleasure however and with whomever they choose, as long as it is consensual, essentially safe and done in private.

The Baker defense team will argue that what consenting adults do with one another in their bedrooms -- whether homosexual or heterosexual, with whips or without -- should be their decision and not that of the state, and that people with tastes considered odd or even frightening by most should not thereby be deemed dangerous.

S&M In The Context Of Sexual Liberation-

The U.S. Supreme Court first touched upon private sexual decisions when, in the landmark case of Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965), it invalidated Connecticut's anti-contraception statute, citing the privacy rights of married couples who engaged in the practice of "family planning" -- now rather commonplace, but back then a crime.

In Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. 438 (1972), the Supreme Court expanded that right beyond the marital bedroom, striking down Massachusetts' anti-contraception statute on equal protection grounds because it treated unmarried couples differently than married couples.

Although the Supreme Court refused to take the next logical step -- to constitutionalize a right of gays to engage in private consensual sodomy in Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186 (1986) -- the Supreme Judicial Court did so in Commonwealth v. Balthazar, 366 Mass. 298 (1974), based upon the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights.

Now, however, the counter-assault on sexual autonomy appears to have begun, fueled in part by the clinical judgments of psychologists who condemn certain consensual sexual practices as "deviant."

In the Baker case, the commonwealth has gathered expert testimony to support the proposition that S&M sex -- behavior that makes some people a bit nauseous or a lot uneasy -- is actually abnormal and dangerous within the meaning of the SDP statute. A test case could well be in the making.

The outcome does not appear to be entirely clear or predictable. Under Chapter 123A, consensual but "abnormal" sexual behaviors can with surprising ease arguably become grounds for involuntary detention.

Whether this use of the statute will withstand constitutional scrutiny, under either the state or federal constitutions, remains to be seen.

Using culture-bound psychological judgments to justify legal enforcement of sexual norms is, of course, not a new tactic. In the 1950s and 1960s, the state routinely institutionalized men for engaging in consensual gay sex.

However, in 1973, the American Psychological Association removed homosexuality from its DSM classification of mental disorders, closing the door on that repressive practice.

Presumably, this step by the psychology profession also made it easier for the SJC to decide Balthazar in favor of the defendant.

Today, S&M enthusiasts are stuck where gays once were, straddling the legal and clinical fault lines between sexual freedom and sexual authoritarianism. Even when they engage in S&M play exclusively with consenting adult partners, S&M enthusiasts are frequently diagnosed as suffering from the paraphiliac disorders "sexual sadism" and "sexual masochism."

Yet within the S&M community, boundaries can actually be clearer than in most heterosexual, non-S&M sexual encounters. Partners agree beforehand who will be the "top" (dominant) and the "bottom" (submissive) partner, and often decide on special "safe words" that can be used to end the encounter if things appear to be going too far.

When pain is imposed, it is done within mutually accepted limits and for purposes of mutual gratification. Law enforcement officials generally ignore these distinctions, assuming that nobody could ever truly consent to pain (however temporary) or find it sexually exciting.

This leads to incidents like the "Spanner" case in Britain, in which British authorities classified S&M play as "assault" even though there was no permanent injury, and the "bottoms" had consented to the temporary injury that took place, and raids like Massachusetts' "Paddleboro" case, in which a dominatrix's wooden spoon formed the basis for "assault and battery with a dangerous weapon" charges.

The Spanner case was appealed to the House of Lords and then to the European Court of Human Rights, which in 1997 ruled in favor of the government (Laskey, Jaggard and Brown v. United Kingdom, Reports 1997-I).

Meanwhile, the Paddleboro case, heard in 2001 in the Attleboro District Court, never actually confronted the issues surrounding consensual S&M. After the court suppressed all statements and evidence arising from the police's illegal entry and search, ADA Roger Ferris dropped all of the S&M-related charges.

Alden Baker's case may therefore be the first judicial test of whether the battle over consensual S&M will trigger a new erosion of sexual autonomy in Massachusetts.

The Paddleboro case did not demonstrate that S&M sex could be prosecuted as criminal assault and battery, but the Baker case may test the proposition that such behavior can be the basis for a civil commitment for up to life.

Who Is Alden Baker?

As Baker explained to his lawyers, as a young man growing up in the pre-Stonewall era, he reacted to virulent homophobia by lashing out.

Once an Eagle Scout and an honor student, his grades dropped as he struggled to come to terms with his nascent homosexual identity. A turbulent time followed, in which he dropped out of high school and spent his time stealing cars, as well as accumulating a litany of petty theft convictions on his juvenile record.

By 1990, as he approached middle age, Baker finally managed to build both a successful business and a social situation with which he was comfortable. The president of a successful trucking and management-side labor relations business, Baker spent weekends hitting the gay bar scene in Boston, seeking out men who shared his sexual interests.

An active member of Boston's gay S&M ("leather") community, Baker also ran a computer bulletin board service (BBS), a precursor to Internet websites, that featured discussion areas, file trading and chat rooms focused on gay issues.

Following the practices of others in the S&M community, Baker had set up a "play room" in his house, outfitted with a jaw-dropping collection of sex toys and bondage gear. There, Baker and his lovers would stage sexual submission/dominance routines -- acts of willing compliance or feigned resistance.

Then a dispute involving Baker's on-again, off-again sexual relationship with his limousine driver showed Baker how fragile his prosperity was. Baker and the driver had sex several times. Two of those times, the driver said, had been coerced, yet he had continued to pay social visits to Baker to, among other things, give him Christmas presents. But the driver nonetheless went to the police and pressed charges.

On Feb. 28, 1991, the Medford police obtained a search warrant and entered Baker's house. They seized the computer equipment used to host his BBS and then proceeded downstairs to Baker's play room.

Det. John Brady, the officer leading the search, described it as a "torture room." Another officer accompanying Brady reportedly exclaimed during the search that the place was a "f___-ing faggot palace."

At the rape trial, prosecutors used videotapes of Baker's consensual S&M play (seized during the search of Baker's house) and Det. Brady's descriptions to create a negative impression of Baker, even though all of the lovers pictured in the tapes testified that the activities had been consensual.

The prosecution also claimed, using quotes lifted from the decade-old written evaluations of his high school teachers, that the 29-year old driver was "borderline retarded" and therefore could not have been anything but an unwilling victim in the sexual encounters in question.

Baker was convicted of raping the driver and sentenced to six to 10 years in prison.

On top of this, subsequent searches of the seized computers revealed that some users of Baker's BBS had used the site to trade explicit photographs of underage teenagers.

The child pornography statutes operate on a type of strict liability/possession basis, meaning that Baker was criminally liable for his users' activities. Any such photos stored on his servers, even if he had never viewed the material, could lead to a near-automatic conviction.

The situation was further complicated for Baker by the use by the prosecution of a suggestive (but not obscene) photograph, unearthed by prosecutors, of Baker and a young man whom a state-retained photo analyst claimed to have been under the 18-year-old legal cut-off, a proposition later contested by Baker.

Already in prison, Baker was offered a 43-month concurrent sentence if he pled guilty to 82 charges relating to the BBS file trading and one charge relating to the photo with the unidentified young man.

Realizing that he would be held responsible for his users' activities, and advised by legal counsel that it wasn't worth it to challenge the state photo analyst on something that wouldn't even affect the total amount of time he spent in prison, Baker chose to accept the deal.

He would later regret this decision.

How The Mass. Civil Commitment System Works

Chapter 123A, which governs the civil commitment of "sexually dangerous persons," was enacted in 1999, a last-minute addition to legislation creating a sex offender registration system for Massachusetts.

Although the old sex offender civil commitment statute, enacted more than half a century ago, had been repealed in 1990 because of its ineffectiveness in reducing recidivism, the new statute is not very different from the old one.

Part of the reason for this re-enactment was that in 1999, such statutes were becoming increasingly popular, having recently obtained the imprimatur of the U.S. Supreme Court.

In Kansas v. Hendricks, 521 U.S. 346 (1997), the court affirmed, by a 5-4 vote, the constitutionality of Kansas' "sexually dangerous predator" statute. Writing for the majority, Justice Clarence Thomas declared that the involuntary civil commitment of "sexually dangerous predators" is "nonpunitive" in intent and therefore does not implicate constitutional protections against double jeopardy and ex post-facto punishment.

The standard for "sexual dangerousness" in the new Massachusetts statute uses language similar to that of the statute in Hendricks. Under G.L. c. 123A, the key element of being a "sexually dangerous person" is that one "suffers from a mental abnormality or personality disorder that makes the person likely to engage in sexual offenses if not confined to a secure facility." G.L. c. 123A, Sect. 1.

In Baker's case, state experts have argued that his desire to engage in S&M play with consenting adults is a sign of dangerous mental abnormality. This supposedly scientific claim goes to the heart of the effort to imprison Baker for life.

The process begins when the DA, toward the end of an inmate's sentence, petitions the court to civilly commit that inmate. A probable cause hearing follows, in which a judge hears psychological testimony and decides whether the petition should proceed further.

If the DA is successful at the probable cause stage, then the defendant is transferred to the temporary custody of the Nemansket Correctional Center. There, the defendant awaits a trial by jury.

If the jury returns a verdict of "sexually dangerous," the defendant is returned indefinitely to Nemansket, where he is held until the Department of Correction decides it has successfully neutralized the "mental abnormality" that led to the determination of dangerousness.

The DOC will not recommend release of its detainees unless they participate in intensive psychological reprogramming -- and even then the facility's operators usually declare their detainees unfit for release.

Already, Baker has refused to participate in treatment to "cure" him of his "abnormal" sexual preferences, arguing that his interest in S&M is not harmful to others. If he loses his trial, however, these refusals will likely be used to designate him as incorrigible, making it unlikely that he would ever be released.

One state-retained psychological examiner, Dr. Stephen DeLisi, has already made this argument in his report: "[T]here is no data to indicate he has any interest in addressing, in a therapeutic way, his sexual deviancy, or that he even sees himself as having a sexual deviancy. It is likely, therefore, that his antisocial lifestyle and deviant sexual interests and behaviors will continue if he is released from custody."

What Do The Experts Say?

The first person to evaluate Baker was Dr. Ira Silverman, a state-retained psychologist whose diagnosis formed the basis for the commonwealth's initial determination of Baker's alleged dangerousness at the probable cause hearing in March-April 2002.

At the hearing, Dr. Silverman testified that if an individual derives his "primary or exclusive source of sexual pleasure" from encounters involving sex toys such as butt plugs, whips and handcuffs, that is per se a sign of sexual deviancy.

In this seemingly Victorian worldview, even explicit consent to the use of such toys is no excuse. Dr. Silverman asserted that the use of bondage gear is "clinically deviant" regardless of whether or not one's partner consents.

Further, Dr. Silverman found dressing up in leather, chains, jackboots and a leather hat to cruise the city's gay bars to be suspect. While Dr. Silverman admitted that such behavior is "not illegal," he opined: "[I]f this is how he derived his primary or exclusive source of sexual pleasure, then I think there would be a question there [as to whether such behavior is deviant]."

After Dr. Silverman's evaluation, Dr. Daniel Kriegman, an independent forensic psychologist retained by Swomley, conducted his own evaluation of Baker. In this report, Kriegman made pointed criticisms of Silverman's report, charging that Silverman selectively ignored crucial portions of the DSM-IV's definitions of "sexual sadism" and "antisocial personality disorder" in order to arrive at his diagnoses.

Despite these deficiencies, Superior Court Judge Jane S. Haggerty found sufficient grounds to bring the case to trial.

For the trial, the DA's Office ordered another round of evaluations, this time from Drs. Niklos Tomich and Stephen DeLisi.

Meanwhile, the defense retained three additional experts: forensic psychologist Dr. Leonard Bard; Dr. Fred Berlin, director and co-founder of the National Institute for the Study, Prevention and Treatment of Sexual Trauma at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; and Dr. Charles Moser, a specialist in sadomasochism who has made more than 100 presentations and published 12 scientific articles and book chapters on the subject. All four defense experts expect to be testifying.

The defense experts disagree over whether or not Baker's interest in S&M is abnormal, which reflects a fundamental division within the psychological profession as a whole.

Dr. Moser, who asserts it is not abnormal, is arguably the foremost critic of the pathologization of unusual but consensual sexual practices like S&M; he is pushing the profession to focus less on particular forms of desire and more on how both common and uncommon desires can create pathological situations.

Meanwhile, Dr. Berlin believes the existing conceptual framework is sound, but draws the line between dangerous and non-dangerous manifestations of abnormal sexual desires.

But despite these differences, Moser and Berlin both agree on the most important point: Baker's interest in S&M, whether abnormal or not, fails to pose a danger to society.

Much of the expert testimony will present the ancillary question of whether this area of the law has been infected with what is known as "junk science" -- members of the medical and psychiatric communities who proffer their personal tastes and preferences as "normal" and are too quick to label very different tastes as "abnormal" and therefore "dangerous."

There is, however, a larger theme to this case. It can be seen as the latest frontier in the battle for sexual liberation. Does our society value individual freedoms enough that we can accept the oddities of consensual S&M activities? Or are we now living in an era when the "sex police" are staging a comeback?

The battle for consensual gay sex has been fairly successful, but it re-ignites now and again, especially in the public schools.

The campaign against "deviant" S&M sex seems to be another battle in that larger war theatre, enhanced, as it is, with the "junk science" -- personal preferences disguised as scientific truths -- that is all too common when members of the "mental health" establishment get to the witness stand.

On Feb. 24, the Baker trial opens the next phase of this conflict.

Harvey A. Silverglate is a partner in the Boston firm of Silverglate & Good, co-author (with Alan Charles Kors) of The Shadow University: The Betrayal of Liberty on America's Campuses, and co-director of The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. Carl Takei, a graduate of Brown University, was on the staff of the Brown Daily Herald and is currently a paralegal at Boston's Swomley & Associates.

© 2003 Lawyers Weekly Inc., All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

Be Careful Playing

I know a number of people who have kidnap fantasies — I do myself, but from the top. (Of course.) But you always have to be prepared for the police to take an interest.

Naked Kidnap Fantasy Has Police Scrambling
Thu Feb 20, 8:10 AM ET

EDMONTON, Alberta (Reuters) - Canadian police in a frantic search for an abducted woman dispatched a SWAT team to her home late on Tuesday before officers on a routine patrol across town found her naked and bound in the back of a car.

But police in Edmonton, Alberta, soon realized they had a problem -- she did not want to be rescued.

It emerged that the 17-year-old female and a man at the scene were engaged in a role-playing game, but not before the man was arrested and the woman sent to hospital for examination. She was less than co-operative, police said.

"She did answer questions, but she wasn't very forthcoming with the detectives. They pieced it together that it was some form of fantasy scenario on the part of the people involved," Edmonton police spokesman Wes Bellmore said on Wednesday.

"It wasn't so funny for us because we burned up a lot of taxpayers' money dealing with this."

The saga began just before midnight on Tuesday when a man called 911. He reported he had been talking on the phone to the woman when she said someone had broken into her house. Then the line went dead.

Police sent a tactical team to the house in west-central Edmonton, because the address had shown up on their records as the site of a previous weapons complaint.

"We had to make sure the suite was cleared by a tactical team in case there were weapons involved. When all was said and done, there were about 10 police units involved in this," Bellmore said.

About the time the SWAT team determined the home was empty, officers in another part of town found the car in a secluded area by a golf course, with the woman inside bound with tape and her would-be abductor outside the vehicle, he said.

"She was not fully clothed. She was in a state of ... she was naked," Bellmore said.

Police arrested the man, who eventually told investigators that the scenario was consensual. The woman refused to file a complaint.

"As far as our detectives can tell, there was nothing malicious about it," he said. "We really had nothing else to do except release everybody, probably with a stern warning to be more careful."

Police said they did not believe the man who called 911 had been aware of the nature of the events.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Sadistic Teasers

For obvious reasons, I can't post "Broken Silences," my story for Dreaming in Color. But I though I would live up to my reputation as a sadist and post a few teasers. These lines from the story may give you something to think about.

I like to drive my badge of ownership into flesh.

I stepped closer and slid my thigh between his, pressing irresistibly against his bound cock and balls. I lifted my knee a little, just enough to hurt, and said, "You wouldn’t want that, would you, love?"

I wanted him helpless before he could think about what I was doing.

The struggle isn’t just between my will and the submissive’s, or between pleasure and pain. Some of it is in me.

"I will not give an order you cannot obey. You can do this, love. For me."

I fought the urge to hurt him faster, harder, more. I wanted to break him, but not all the way.

"I can’t. . . . I’ve never done that in front of a woman."

Hot yet? Buy the book!
Ethical Underwear?

Got this in e-mail from Jay Wiseman:

Well, as I imagine many of you have heard, Greenery Press is going through an exceptionally rough time. In brief, our main distributor went bankrupt and left us with a huge hole in our cash flow. We need help.

The press is offering some special sales on its books, but there's something else going on. Two "something else" items, actually.

The first item is that it's now possible to buy t-shirts, coffee cups, mouse pads, tote bags, and other items that relate to Greenery Press books. It's even possible to buy "ethical slut" underwear! In addition to the above, items that relate to Greenery Press as a whole will likely soon be available. These items are interesting, unique, and fun, and picking up a few helps us more than you may know.

The second item is that a whole bunch of the Greenery Press authors, including me, have agreed to contribute a royalty-free short story or other work to a special hard-bound volume that will be called "Dreaming In Color." This will be a fabulous book and only 500 will be printed. Right now, we're giving people a chance to pre-order their copy.

For the full story on all of the above, please go to the Greenery Press website at, of course, and all will be explained.

It looks like the company is going to pull through this, but we're a long way from out of the woods yet.

Please feel free to forward this to appropriate lists.

You may know Jay Wiseman as the author of SM 101 and The Erotic Bondage Handbook. I knew him first as an author whose work I admired and relied on. Jay, Lady Green, Pat Califia, Larry Townsend, and I were among the first people publishing how-to books on BDSM. Then we knew each other from the kinky message boards on AOL. (This is many years ago; they are long gone.) I always admired his direct, no-nonsense approach to kink, and we e-mailed occasionally. Finally, after I brought my books over to Greenery Press, we met in person. I was at the Greenery booth at Folsom Street Faire when a tall man with long hair and a beard flung himself at my feet, kowtowing. That was Jay. Since then we've been friends as well as colleagues.

I sent in my story for the new collection a few days ago, and I am still fanning myself. It's been a long time since I wrote anything that was FemDomme/guysub in orientation, and I really let myself go. If I had had time, it could have turned into a novel. As it is, it includes all kinds of interesting little kinks, from chastity to CBT to caning to watersports. If you want to read it, your only chance is to get the new anthology.

Dreaming in Color Table of Contents

Swordplay — Deborah Addington (A Hand in the Bush, Fantasy Made Flesh)
Lovely Vistas — Charles Anders (The Lazy Crossdresser)
Triangle — Miranda Austin (Phone Sex)
Daring: The Biography of a Kiss — Joseph W. Bean (Flogging)
Patron of the Arts — Andrew Conway (The Bullwhip Book)
Theory of the Big Bang: Introducing the Corps de Valets — Dossie Easton (The New Bottoming Book, The New Topping Book, The Ethical
Slut, When Someone You Love Is Kinky)

The Captain¹s Gaze — Tammy Jo Eckhart ( Justice)
Pain — Janet Hardy (a lot of stuff)
Tony¹s Dad — Sal Iacopelli ( Love, Sal)
Broken Silences — Lorelei (The Mistress Manual, A Charm School for Sissy Maids)
Love Rain Down On Me — Magdalene Meretrix (Turning Pro)
Three Poems — Midori (The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage)
Two Poems — Michael Moran (Erotic Tickling)
How It All Began — Jack Rinella (Partners In Power: Living In Kinky Relationships)
In the Corner — M.R. Strict (Intimate Invasion: The Erotic Ins and Outs of Enema Play)
Two Poems — A.H. Swinburne (Bottom Lines)
Blunted Affect — John Warren (The Loving Dominant; Safe, Sane,Consensual and Fun; Murder At Roissy)
Liberation — James Williams (... But I Know What You Want)
Convince Me — Jay Wiseman (SM 101, Jay Wiseman¹s Erotic Bondage Handbook, Tricks... To Please a Woman)

Sunday, February 02, 2003

Not Available in Any Store!

Greenery Press has just announced the creation of "Dreaming In Color," a limited-edition anthology featuring unpublished work by most of the press's authors.

A must-have for collectors, fans and other aficionados of fine erotica, "Dreaming In Color" will help raise funds to restore Greenery to financial health after the 2002 bankruptcy of its former distributor.

None of these stories, poems and essays has ever appeared in book form before, and each author has promised Greenery their exclusive use for three years — so this is your only chance for at least that long to read new, hot works by:
* Deborah Addington
* Charles Anders
* Miranda Austin
* Joseph Bean
* Andrew Conway
* Dossie Easton
* TammyJo Eckhart
* Janet Hardy
* Sal Iacopelli
* Mistress Lorelei
* Magdalene Meretrix
* Midori
* Michael Moran
* Jack Rinella
* M.R. Strict
* A.H. Swinburne
* John Warren
* James Williams
* Jay Wiseman
* and more!

Guaranteeing the future value of this important volume are features like:

* Hardcover, cloth-bound edition with heavy 80 lb. paper
* Exclusive unpublished cover photo by Charles Gatewood
* ONLY 500 COPIES will ever be printed, in this edition or any other!

The cost for each book is $55, plus $3.85 for U.S. Priority Mail postage. (If you're outside the U.S., contact Greenery Press to find out what postage will be.) We expect most of these to be presold before we get them back from the printer in March, so order yours now.

This book will not be available in stores; it must be purchased by contacting Greenery Press directly. The press can accept payment in several ways:

* Check or money order for $58.85 to Greenery Press, 3403 Piedmont Ave. #301, Oakland, CA 94611.
* PayPal payments can be made at
* Call 888/944-4434, or e-mail with a VISA or MasterCard.

The 500-book press run is expected to sell out quickly, so prepurchasing is encouraged. Contact Janet Hardy at 510/652-2596, or, with any questions.

Take a look at the cover art. I would buy it just for that image.

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Are you a friend of Jay W?

Disclaimer: THIS IS A JOKE. Not that that'll help. ;-)

With respect and apologies to all 12-step groups everywhere...

Could *you* be a friend of Jay W? Take this simple test and find out!

1. Do you lose time from working due to SM? (extra points if you've quit your job to avoid this)

2. Is playing too little making your home life unhappy? Do you find that you have trouble housing all your slaves, and still have this problem?

3. Has shyness ever made it difficult for you to find more than your requisite dozen play partners?

4. Is SM affecting your reputation? Do people refer to you as "Hey, there goes that S/M guy"?

5. Have you ever felt remorse for having turned down an opportunity to play? (extra points if you've *never* turned down an opportunity)

6. Have you ever had financial difficulties as a result of buying too many toys?

7. Do you hang around with too many Mensans?

8. Do you obsess about the safety of your partners?

9. Has your desire to maintain a totally pristine vanilla appearance decreased since you discovered SM? Have you ever considered leading a campaign to eliminate "vanilla" from Baskin-Robbins’ freezers?

10. Do you crave SM any time of the day or night?

11. Do you want more SM right after playing?

12. Do your SM desires cause you to have difficulty sleeping? Even after you take the clamps off?

13. Does your family doctor ask routinely about the calluses on your knees?

14. Is SM jeopardizing your job or business? Has SM *become* your job or business?

15. Do you do SM to escape from worries or trouble? Do you generate your own troubles so you have something from which to escape?

16. Do you do SM alone? Have you ever been listed on a police coroner's blotter?

17. Have you ever had a loss of memory as a result of SM? How many times did you use that excuse to get your partner to repeat *exactly* that same scene?

18. Has your physician ever treated you for the results of SM play? Did he look jealous? Did he make suggestions?

19. Do you wear a 25-pound policeman's belt full of floggers to build up your self-confidence?

20. Have you ever been to a hospital or other institution on account of SM? Would you like to?

If you have answered "yes" to any of these questions, there is a definite possibility that you are a pervert. If you have answered "yes" to any two, the chances are that you are a pervert. If you have answered "yes" to three or more, then you are definitely a pervert. But there *is* help for all you "Friends of Jay W."!


Rarely have we seen a person remain vanilla who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not become happy perverts are those who cannot or will not give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who have been so thoroughly programmed by vanilla society that they are hopelessly vanilla. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living that includes ten-minute orgasms twice a day. Their chances of happy pervertedness are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and physical disorders, but many of them can become happy perverts if they have the capacity to negotiate for their desires.

Our stories disclose in a general way what we were like, how we discovered our pervertedness, and what we are like now. If you have decided that you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it, then you are willing to take certain steps.

At some of these we cringed. We thought we could find an easier, softer flogger. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and dominating from the very start, if only to satisfy the submissives around you. Some of us tried to hold onto our old feelings of YKINOK [your kink is not OK], and the result was nil until we completely and consensually let go.

Remember that we're dealing with sex--cunning, baffling, powerful, and *hot*. Without help it is sometimes sad and lonely. But there is One who has all power--that one is the True Dominant. May you find him now!

Half measures availed us nothing. Half a spanking left us walking funny.

Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program for developing one's pervertedness:

1. We admitted that we wanted to be tied up, whipped and fucked; that our sex lives had become unmanageably dull.

2. Came to believe that the right dominant or submissive could restore us to our turn-on.

3. Made a decision to find the one with the perfect kink for us, and entrust them with our will, our power, and our best efforts to please.

4. Made a searching and fearless inventory of all our safety equipment.

5. Admitted to our partner, ourselves, and to Jay that we'd never done a lot of this stuff before.

6. Were entirely ready to sign up for the all-perv First Aid/CPR class, the Janus orientation, and SSBB. [the newsgroup soc.subculture.bondage-bdsm]

7. Humbly apologized for posting personals to SSBB.

8. Made a list of all those we'd like to top or bottom to, and became willing to negotiate with them all.

9. Negotiated face-to-face with such people whenever possible, except when they preferred cyber.

10. Continued to take inventory of our safety equipment and toybag, and when our fire extinguisher was out of date promptly had it recharged.

11. Sought through posturing and hinting to improve our contact with other perverts, and apologizing whenever it was premature and nonconsensual, renegotiating as necessary.

12. Having had a personal, spiritual, and sexual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry the message to those outside our communities, and to prevent the vanilla world from totally taking over.

Many of us exclaimed, "What an adventure! I can't get enough!" Do not be frustrated, unless that is your kink. No one among us has never had a bad scene. We are not saints, we're sadists. The point is that we are willing to grow and develop our sexualities along exciting and challenging lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim enthusiasm for sexual progress, rather than sexual One True Wayism.

Our description of the pervert, SM101, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

(a) That we were perverts, and didn't much want to change that happy fact.

(b) That probably no human power could change us, thank Ghu.

(c) That a qualified partner could certainly help, and would if he or she were sought.


I confess -- I am a friend of Jay W, in both senses. And I swiped this from his Web page on AOL. If you're interested in his books (which are excellent), check them out at Greenery Press.
Great News from Greenery Press

Some of the hottest authors of erotica showcase their best work in a limited collector’s edition. The cover alone makes me wet. I can't wait for the stories.

So what am I writing about?

That's a secret for now, but I'll give you the FAQ on it.

  • A very kinky FemDomme story. (Like that's a surprise.)

  • Of course. I would never write about something I hadn't actually done.

  • I don't think you really want me to. But I'm that kinky. Maybe you are.

  • Yes, in fact, I have to keep stopping to do that.

  • Depends on how well you know me.

  • Every single day, often twice a day.

Monday, January 20, 2003

Sexual Quizzes from

Lorelei, your sexual personality is Zeta-ETDN-10.

Your sexual personality is determined by your sexual persona (Zeta), 4 sexual scales (Emotional/Physical, Look/Touch, Daring/Modest, Verbal/Non-verbal), and your libido score (10).

As a Zeta, the high degree of confidence you feel around your sexuality matches your level of experience. Your sexual confidence and awareness are particularly high, but your sex appeal is somewhat lower.

How do we know this? How do we know that you focus more on the emotional than the physical connection with your partner while having sex?

Because while you were taking the test, you answered different kinds of questions -- questions that measured what you're like in bed as well as your sex appeal, sexual confidence and sexual awareness.

Lorelei, your ideal sexual partner was a Type 4...

A Type 4 partner radiates warmth and love. They are affectionate during sex and will rarely shy away from telling you how they feel about you. This is someone you can always rely on to be honest and sincere, since sex is the ultimate expression of their trust in you.

Both physically and emotionally, a Type 4 is a sexual explorer. Orgasm is rarely the driving goal with this person and because of this, they are likely to be creative and able to take you places you may never have expected.

Monday, January 13, 2003

And Now, a Word from an Old Friend

With all due respect, Mistress, do you really need all this stuff just to get off? And if so, what does it say about the role of industrial production in sex? How dependent are we on merchandise for human connection? How mechanized does sex need to be? (Zappa made fun of this kind of thing his whole career with constructions like the "mutant Gypsy industrial vacuum cleaner.") Your catalog strikes me as little more than the plastic-and-leather underbelly of the James Bond movies or Playboy magazine, which also equate sex with shiny toys. Is the world of kink just another brand?

Whew. Good, tough interesting question from my old friend Clark. Like Clark Kent, he’s a mild-mannered reporter who secretly has superpowers. There are reasons Lois Lane smiles a lot.

The short answer is: No, I don’t need it all just to get off. The irreducible minimum is just myself and my imagination. The practical basics for two-person sex aren’t expanded much from that: I need my partner, plus a choice of my voice, lips, tongue, hands, or teeth. That’s about it.

But there are two very different problems behind Clark’s somewhat acid query.

One is about the toys and my attitude toward them. The other is about BDSM itself.

I’ll freely admit I posted that list partly in self-mockery (because it is ridiculous to carry that much equipment around), partly in pride. I’ve never known a Top yet who didn’t want to show off the toybag a bit. Partly it’s because most of the Tops I know (including myself) are geeks, and “Hey, look at this gadget” is an invitation to a primary geek social interaction.

Plenty of people have the Playboy/007 attitude Clark refers to: the idea that the toys themselves are more important than the human connection. I’ve always loathed that sort of materialist status-chasing.

I admit to a certain wry affection for the sweet little Goth kids who flaunt the look but don’t have the faintest idea what any of it means. Part of that feeling is based on amusement, part on knowing that a certain percentage of them are really kinky and just don’t know the words yet for what they crave. Anyway, 19-year-olds are allowed to have props. It’s part of self-exploration.

My toys are not props, nor are they status symbols. A brand-new flogger may excite me with the potential it evokes, or it may please the sensualist and craftswoman in me with fine balance, rich color, a smoothly braided grip, the luxurious thickness of its falls. But until I’ve used it, no toy is more to me than a thing made well or badly of leather, suede, steel, or wood. Afterward it is blessed by the use. These things become close to sacred because they are the symbols for the connection between Domme and sub, outward and visible signs of the inward intensity of experience within a scene.

So what’s the point of all the toys?

1. They’re fun.
2. They signal a serious scene.
3. Serious scenes are part of building the intimacy of the relationship.

Packing the toybag serves the same purpose in the kinky relationship that a dozen roses or a candlelit dinner serves in more vanilla settings. It’s a promise of attention to be paid, intimate secrets exchanged, passion aroused and sated. And yes, there are people who are so fixated on roses or paddles that they forget the person they’re with.

The toys and the play they signal strengthen the bond between Domme and sub. So no, they are not (for me) a barrier to intimacy, nor a substitute for it.

And that, neatly enough, leads to the hidden question. “Are the toys necessary?” means “Is the kink necessary?” – a question Clark is entitled to ask, because when I was 19 (but not a Goth – they weren’t invented yet) he and I were lovers. That’s more than two decades ago, but we’re still good friends. And he has to wonder how a woman who spent an entire summer fucking him with such verve and enthusiasm and inventiveness could have turned into a pervert for whom all sexual expression must take place in the context of a BDSM relationship.

Honey, I don’t know. I know that the craving was there, even then, but I couldn’t name it or admit most of it, even to myself. I know that when I was younger, it was a lot easier to keep different parts of myself in separate boxes. These days I can’t do that. I can’t let someone into my sexuality without letting them into my life. I need to trust a lover. And one of the things that I need from a lover is genuine recognition. S/he has to know who I really am before I can open myself.

Who I really am is a sadist, a playful, affectionate, passionate sadist who laughs while she hurts men or women to the point of tears. I don’t cause unnecessary nonconsensual pain these days if I can help it, but what I do with consensual pain turns some people green. Don’t watch if you don’t like it. What I do makes me come. It makes my partners come, too, when they’re done screaming.

Who I really am is a Domme, a woman who needs her lover’s willing surrender, who discovers and explores and *loves* all her partner’s darkness, who loves and accepts his shame, fear, self-doubt, who will force a submissive to her knees in an airport. I love taking a submissive to a physical and emotional point where they can’t even decide what to order in a restaurant. Yes, I always bring them back, but I cherish the confusion and weakness, the blurred enormous eyes of someone who is so deeply dived they don’t remember their own name.

Of course, I am more than a sadist, more than a Domme. I’m a writer, a reader, a baker of bread, a good and loving sister, a warm friend, a devout if unorthodox goddess-centered Christian.

It took a lot for me to come to grips with my own nature. I’m not willing anymore to make love with someone who can’t deal with that part of me. It’s too important. That is one intimacy that is always present, in the foreground or background of any sexual expression.

Friday, January 10, 2003

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

Speaking of Siren Songs. . . .

I love Tori Amos anyway, but have you read her lyrics? Check out the song called "Leather," from Little Earthquakes. Mmmm, yes.

Look I'm standing naked before you
Don't you want more than my sex
I can scream as loud as your last one
But I can't claim innocence

Friday, January 03, 2003

Special Deals at Greenery Press

In order to raise cash to help survive the bankruptcy of its largest customer, Greenery Press is offering special deals on prepaid orders to its readers and resellers. You can help support your source of intelligent, exciting alternative sexuality information by clicking on, and taking advantage of the excellent deals offered there. Thanks!


Now, Greenery is my publisher, and they are genuinely wonderful people. They were pioneers in the field of intelligent kinky publishing, and their list includes some of the very best books ever published on BDSM. The books are wonderful too — consistently informative, exciting, well-written books you can trust on the sensitive topic of alternative sexualities.

So if you take advantage of this offer, you can get books to explore or expand your range of sexual interests, Greenery can go on offering books you can't find anywhere else, and everyone will be happy.
Types of Scene

The different levels and types of scene have such different effects on me that they might well be totally different activities.

Doing a demo might as well not be a scene at all, in terms of my sexual arousal. It’s pure expertise, which has its own keen intellectual pleasure, but no visceral lust, no emotional involvement. One exception was the knifeplay scene at Folsom Street fair a few years ago, where I kept actually getting into it. Mmm, nice. But that was Karen whose clothes I was cutting away. Part of the reason is that in a demo, your attention is divided between the reactions of the audience and the sub, plus using whatever tricky skill is being presented.

Playing with a friend’s sub – usually done as co-Topping -- is almost like a game of tennis, except that I wear a lot more clothes and am considerably better at it. It’s an exhilarating physical sport. Though of course I do aftercare, the main emotional stuff gets dealt with by the Domme in residence. It makes me feel high but not sexual toward the sub; on the other hand, Karen often gets extra on a night when I’ve helped with someone else’s scene.

Some scenes are pure emotion: deeply D/s scenes in which the thrill is exerting pure control, guiding an emotional breakthrough, feeling the sub’s surrender. Often they take little physical effort and don’t demand the sheer technical expertise of, say, Japanese bondage. But they’re high-demand scenes anyway, because by God you’d better know your sub, and yourself, and be willing to handle any landmines that come up. As the Domme, you’re not riding the emotional rollercoaster. You’re designing and building it while the sub rides it. And I do mean *while* -- this requires powerful self-control, sometimes instantaneous changes of direction, and the knife-edge awareness of your sub’s emotional state.

Playing with my own sub -- Karen, these days, or the Ex in the old days -- can be intellectually, emotionally, and physically intense. There were watersports scenes with the Ex that were just astonishing for both of us. (Though things didn’t work out, and the final few years were sheer hell, there were some good moments.)

Playing with someone I like and care about (like the other day) is both emotionally and sadistically satisfying. . . . to a limited extent. Like a good dessert. A wonderful treat, a work of art in its own right, not good as a steady diet, but sometimes just exactly what you want.

What was really powerful for me in that scene wasn't just the thrill of playing. It was in the tender emotional connection we established during the negotiation, strengthened during play, and expressed during aftercare. Real intimacy there: not romance, not really sexual at all (though sex can be a road to it, just as play can). From now on we'll be good friends, but always with that invisible bond of loyalty and care that you get when you've taken someone through hell.

And all done while I stayed completely dressed. But this leads into the murky question of what sex is, and how a scene like that can be erotic for me without getting so much as a quick grope. Later, later.

Thursday, January 02, 2003

Live Nude Safety Notes

Last night went well. Lovely guy, deeply responsive to pain and pleasure. I like that a lot. Excellent first scene, and I’m hoping to play with him again sometime. An ongoing Domme/sub relationship is not in the cards, but a deeper friendship certainly seems to be.

I was really pleased to see that he had set up a safe call. If ever one was unnecessary, you’d think this would be the time: we’re both well known in the scene, we have a lot of friends in common, we’ve known each other (online and off) for nearly a decade, we’ve had non-play dinners together, and we both have excellent reputations as safe, careful players. BUT — this was a first play date, and a safe call is an essential precaution. It’s good to know that your play partner holds to the basic safety rules.

So many guysubs think they’re invulnerable, or that a girl couldn’t really hurt them. Well, when a woman has you tied up and holds a knife to your cock, it doesn’t matter that you’re ten inches taller than she is, or that you have a black belt in karate. What matters is that you can’t move and she has a weapon. Of course, when I do that I’m just having fun, but how the hell does a stranger know that my idea of fun doesn't extend to castration?

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

Happy New Year!

I'm starting the year off right. Woke up. Beat my sub Karen. (That thuddy weight-lifting glove. Slightly more painful today because I did manage to mark her last night. The paddle with one-inch holes is guaranteed to bruise.) Put in a load of laundry. Fed cats.

Oh, and I am plotting a hot bondage/torment scene to do to an old friend this afternoon and evening. It's been ages since I had a chance to play with a boy. It's been only twice in the past three years, both times co-Topping a seriously masochistic guysub who belonged to a friend. Somehow that's different, though. Karen will assist me in various ways. I think it's going to be very satisfying.

If you hear reports of unidentified screams, moans, thuds, and mad cackles of glee this afternoon, you'll know it's going well.

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Who's Zooming Who? And Other Questions from E-Mail

Do Dommes ever have regular intercourse? Do they do fellatio? These seem kind of undignified, maybe even subby.

Honey, Dommes do what we damned well please, and we don’t worry what someone else thinks of our pleasures. Yes, I personally love fellatio. I also bite.

Many people consider receiving penetration to be somehow an intrinsically submissive act. They see penetration as invasive, controlling. Sure, it can be. When I’m wearing a strap-on, you’d better believe that with every thrust, I am taking, using, claiming my partner from the inside out. (The plentiful use of lube makes this a much happier process for all concerned. I don’t confuse discomfort with dominance.) GuyDoms may also have similar feelings when they’re fucking a sub’s mouth, pussy, or ass. And during a fisting, I am filling my partner in one of the most powerful and intimate acts possible to human beings.

Nevertheless, I've never felt a contradiction between dominance and receiving penetrative sex. I love penetrative sex of all varieties. When I’m being fucked, I don't feel invaded or surrendered to my lover. I feel voracious, engulfing, then I feel incredibly well-filled and satisfied. My partner and his cock (or her strap-on) are at my service, providing the sensations I desire.

My pleasure in engulfing extends to oral sex. Given the fact that I have teeth, I just can't see performing fellatio as a subservient activity. How can it be? I’m controlling my partner’s cock with my mouth. I get to nibble, suck, tease, torment, and arouse him, not to mention bite. I do it for my own primitive pleasure in the taste and feel of a cock in my mouth — but also for the sadistic joys of inflicting pleasure. A touch of pain, a touch of fear, an overload of frustration, all the unpredictable sensations I choose to bestow.

Of course, one of my pleasures in fellatio is simultaneously fucking the guysub’s ass, with lubed fingers or a toy. It’s even better if I have him gagged, so his mouth is also claimed.

Imagine yourself tied on your back, knees up so your sweet shy butthole is accessible to my probing fingers. All you can do is lie there exposed, naked, awaiting my will — you can't move, can't hide. It’s so easy for me to squeeze your balls, trail a fingernail along the sensitive perineum, or twist your scrotum while I lick and chew and suck. And there is nothing you can do about it except moan.

Feel the rhythm, counterpoint, and syncopation of my mouth and hand, filling your ass and swallowing your cock, building up the tension, bringing you close to the edge, withdrawing everything for a near-catastrophic moment, then filling and embracing you again.

Do you feel in charge? Or do you feel ravished?

Tips for Great Oral Sex

My Master wants me to go down on him, but I have a real terror of oral sex. I had some bad experiences. Can you help? I don’t want to be rebellious, but this is really hard for me.

First and most important, your submission and obedience can be just as well expressed with a dry kiss to the glans — or the hand — as in sword-swallowing. As a Domme, what I value is a submissive's gift of who s/he is, and I don't demand that someone fit themselves to an impossible standard of Perfect Subbiness — more like plastic subbiness, when you think of it. Your gift of yourself is precious enough without fellatio.

You may never be able to handle fellatio, but, speaking as a Domme, I'd be enormously touched and pleased if you were able to try a little, as much for your own sake as for mine. I wouldn't expect you to turn into Linda Lovelace overnight. Nor would I be disappointed in you if you couldn't overcome the block. Not the greatest Domme nor the most obedient submissive can heal all the past with a touch. If your Dom would be satisfied by nothing less than a savage oral rape-style scene, that could be a serious problem, but the problem would be with his unrealistic demands, not with you. A good and loving Dom/me wouldn't knowingly push you there unless and until you're ready.

I can't address the deep psychological issues; in my experience, you need to work those through with a good therapist. And I do recommend that you do so. Obviously there's a lot of hurt here, and I hate to think of you in such pain.

What I can help with is a practical desensitization exercise. Buy a realistic dildo, the kind with glans and balls and veins. They come in various amusing jelly colors as well as a couple of not-terribly-realistic skin tones; I recommend the jellies because they feel uncannily like the real thing. They also come in a range of sizes from average, real-world-guy to "boy, do you have a future in porn movies." Choose a small one. (In fact, you might want to start with a tiny dildo — maybe a new, slender, mini buttplug.) Wash it well; they taste kind of funny. If you like, smear it with something tasty: honey, whipped cream, chocolate sauce. Then practice on it. Start gently and slowly. Lick and suck it, and stop whenever things get nasty. Then when you feel good again, start up again. Take it slowly, but practice often, and you'll be amazed how soon you can slide the whole thing in.

If you keep it up, I bet you'll learn to deal with the feel of having a cock in your mouth, or even just licking it. You'll learn to associate it with pleasure and control, instead of misery and helplessness. I came up with this as a technique to teach a lesbian friend how to suck cock, a skill she needed when she started subbing to a man. It's also useful for learning how to deep-throat.

Though this is not how I overcame them, I myself have had some serious issues with foreign objects in my mouth. Dear old Daddy orally raped me when I was a toddler, so I've always had a very sensitive gag reflex (I gag on my own toothbrush sometimes), and I used to come out of a painless, no-cavities dental exam sobbing uncontrollably. Yet I love fellatio, and I can do it, too. Luckily one of my early lovers was willing to let me approach his cock at my own pace and style, so I was able to do the desensitization using a live cock. (Thanks, Jason.) I learned that he wouldn't hurt me, force me, or push me into a difficult place. Since then I've had no problems with cocks. I still have the gag reflex. It just doesn't operate when I'm sucking cock.

Other fellatio tips:

Breathe through your nose, and it cuts down the gagging considerably.

Relax your tongue, even move it a bit forward, and you can take him much deeper.

To control the depth to which he's going in your mouth, wrap one hand (or both, if needed) around his cock, as far back from the head as you want to let him in. That way his whole cock is being stimulated, and you only have to take in as much as you want. To give him that all-over wet feel, you can lick him all over first, or lube him with a flavored lube.

In my experience, if a guy has a nice wide fat cock, he can be harder to go down on. My back teeth get in the way, since I have a small mouth. Which is not a problem if he's a sub. A longer cock is actually less trouble, because you can use your hands too.

If you have a hand free, try enhancing the experience with playing with his balls or penetrating his ass.

And as long as we're talking cockplay (which I do love), using lube before a handjob makes it a much more rewarding experience.

Another nice handjob trick is to change the normal in-and-out motion. Instead of rubbing down the length of the cock and then changing direction, use both hands alternately to rub in one direction for a while, so he'll feel like he's just going deeper and deeper and deeper, and then switch directions. (You really need lube for this.) I dunno if it works just because it feels good, or because it makes him feel like his cock is about a yard long.

Farm girls will also know that milking is a wonderful technique to use on a cock. Grasp the cock with your whole hand, but instead of wrapping your thumb around, turn it downward, running parallel to the cock and pressing into it. Instead of yanking on the cock, stimulate it by pressing your fingers in waves. Very nice.

Usually I'm more likely to post about CBT. I hope everybody's not too unbearably surprised that I know how to play nicely with those luscious organs.

Monday, December 30, 2002

Packing the Toybag

Karen and I spent a couple of nights in a motel recently. She had to work during the days, but the evenings were for us. And this, I am embarrassed to say, is what we took with us in the way of toys:

Percussion Toys

A weight-lifter’s glove (pads the palm while leaving the fingers free -- makes for very thuddy spanking and lets me hit as hard as I like while doing no damage)
Vampire gloves (yes, I use these spiky leather gloves for percussion)
Two sizes of small rubber flogger
One squid (a kind of flogger made of weird bumpy red stuff)
Two paddles: one bloodwood, one birch with large evil holes
Half a dozen plastic, Delrin, and Lucite canes in sizes from 1/16th inch to 1.5 inches

An Entire Plastic Shoebox Filled with Insertion Toys

Three butt plugs in different shapes and sizes
Two purple jelly dildos in Holmesian sizes
Various other dildos ranging from 5 to 14 inches
Various strap-on harnesses
A hundred-dollar double-ended dildo designed for penetration of both partners at once
Lots of lube
A lot of condoms

Edged Toys

Scalpel handle and a dozen blades
Two Wartenburg wheels
A folding knife
A small, beautiful skinning knife (gift of Redmage)
Two lethally sharp daggers

Bondage Equipment

Two pairs of cuffs
Bond Voyage (a set of straps specifically for adding attachment points to mattresses, wherever you may be)
An array of assorted straps, tie-downs, carabineers, snap bolts, quick links, and other hardware

Miscellaneous Goodies

A bag of clips and clamps
A paraffin candle and lighter
The usual bandages, EMT shears, Neosporin, sharps container, etc.

I didn't pack the long canes, any of the leather floggers or cats, any of the leather straps, the needles, the wooden hairbrush, the abrasion toys, the CBT toys, blindfolds, rope. . . . really, I was most abstemious. Really.

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Christmas for Perverts

Merry Christmas!

For once I'm going to cross-post, adding a little extra to the LiveJournal entry. The extra bit's at the end.

Christmas morning. My spice (plural of spouse) are snuggled in various beds, the gifts are wrapped under the tree, there's a ham and a lot of chocolate of various sorts waiting for later. And I'm awake.

Last night I skidded into a patch of homesickness -- not really surprising at this time of year, but difficult anyway. I miss my sisters and my mother. I miss the kids, too. And the hills and fields drifted with snow, and singing carols with my sisters, and so many other things.

But I'm still deeply thankful to be here. We watched "The Nightmare Before Christmas," which made me feel better. I do have a family here, and if we're a lot more like Halloween Town than a lot of jolly old elves, so be it. We belong together.

This reminds me of something that happened at Haworth when we were looking for a new assistant. Sandy had suggested an older lady, and Josh and I were dubious. In addition to all the books for librarians and academics, Haworth does all those gay and lesbian books, some pretty steamy. The job would be hard for anyone straitlaced.

Sandy said, "Don't you think the copy department stands for family values?"

And Josh replied, "Yes. Addams Family Values."

Merry Christmas to all of you, whatever your family values.

Christ Jesus came for us all, the outcasts, the lonely, the whores and tax collectors. It was the shepherds (notorious low-lifes with dismal morals and a reputation for violence) who got the angel chorus. Remember what God told the Apostle Paul, who was lamenting his ongoing temptations: "My grace is sufficient for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."

All the broken places, all the shames — God takes them and heals them. And that's an essential part of BDSM for some of us. Gathering in the pain, causing and consoling it. Accepting wholly and lovingly.

More on this later. I still have one gift to wrap for Karen, and a few little toys to add to stockings.

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

The Music of BDSM

"And [she] sang to them . . . until their hearts, wounded with sweet words, overflowed, and their joy was like swords, and they passed in thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness." —J.R.R.Tolkien

Monday, December 16, 2002

A Brief Introduction

BDSM. Polyamory. Bisexuality. If you’re offended by any of these, you’ll want to skip this blog, because this is the journal of a bisexual polyamorous sadist and Domme. I’m not going to be pulling any punches, either. This is the real thing — not impossible fantasies. I do this stuff in real life. I live this lifestyle every day.

Which is not to say it’s a non-stop flogfest. I also hold down a normal job, belong to a church, drive and brush my teeth and do all the usual things most people do. And I intend to show you those aspects of myself as well.

I’m Lorelei. I live with my sub, Karen; her husband and Dom, Redmage; his sub and lover the housepet. I’m in my forties, fat, redheaded, divorced after 17 years of marriage. I’ve written books about doing BDSM. I live and work in Silicon Valley.

Mostly, I want to share my explorations with you. My own sexuality. My kinky experiences. My thoughts about the links between BDSM and the other issues I care about: spirituality, psychology, other forms of power, politics, art, feminism, the men’s movement, the ownership of the body.

And I welcome your responses. E-mail me at

My Own Personal Glossary; Your Mileage May Vary

BDSM: A portmanteau acronym for bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, and sadism/masochism. Otherwise known (somewhat arrogantly) as The Kink.

Bisexual: Someone who can become sexually and/or emotionally involved with those of both usually recognized genders.

Domme: A woman who gets sexual pleasure from exerting consensual control within a relationship. Short for Dominatrix.

Polyamory: Ethical non-monogamy. Comes in many varieties, from polyfidelity to swinging. I’m a lot closer to polyfidelity, but I sometimes do poly-play.

Poly-play: Casual BDSM scenes with those outside the primary sexual bond.

Sadist: A person who gets sexual pleasure from inflicting pain. I’m a consensual sadist. I don’t hurt people who don’t get off on being hurt.