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Rough Body Play: Intro to Face Slapping

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Cartoon image of a woman slapping a man in the face
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The first time I was slapped in the face during sex was during a kinky hook-up. I was still new to BDSM at the time and wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. The surprise, the taboo of it, my submissiveness—I loved it all. Even though the guy hadn’t hit me that hard, I felt the sting for hours afterward, at least in my mind, and I knew immediately that I wanted to be with someone who would do that to me again. Fortunately, when I met Vagabond, he was more than happy to oblige.     

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Who Wants To Negotiate?

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Negotiation is a dialogue between two or more people or parties intended to reach a beneficial outcome over one or more issues where a conflict exists with respect to at least one of these issues.

The Wikipedia definition of negotiation

Mimsy and I have been musing about how kinksters use the word negotiation to describe the super hot “what are you into?” conversation that often precedes BDSM scenes. In my mind, negotiation feels too stiff—like we’re suggesting that we all have to give up something we want in pursuit of a good kinky time. Of course, there’s give and take in every kinky or sexy act, but I’d hardly consider agreeing to swap my belt for some bamboo rope “overcoming a conflict.”

We did a little more digging into the origin and definition of negotiation. Its roots can be traced back to business (according to etymonline.com, it literally derives from the phrase “lack of leisure”).

The dictionary definitions tend toward the softer and broader, “discussion aimed at reaching an agreement.” That’s a much more inviting way to describe getting down to business.

Survey Says . . .

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OnBuy, an Amazon competitor in the UK, recently surveyed 2,381 people over 60 to learn about their sexual proclivities. One in five respondents indicated that they had specific kinks in the bedroom, and of those 20 percent,

  • 63 percent are into BDSM,
  • 60 percent are into age play,
  • 56 percent are into being dominant and submissive,
  • 44 percent are impact play, and
  • 41 percent are into edge play.

It’s not clear why BDSM was broken out separately given that the rest of these activities fall under that umbrella. I’m also not sure how reliable survey results from an online retailer can be. But caveats aside, it’s reassuring to see some evidence that retirees are living out their kinky dreams!

The New Dominant Survival Guide

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Man walking on deserted beach headed toward mountains

You’ve finally figured out how to label that super sexy way you like to be in control of the object of your desire; congratulations, you’re a dominant! There are as many ways to be dominant in BDSM as there are doms, but following the advice below will make you a better one. If you’re submissive or a non-dominant kinkster, you’re welcome to read on to get a glimpse of what makes a dominant tick, but you should also check out The New Submissive Survival Guide.

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Killing Eve: Season 3

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Unfortunately, the D/s themes that were so prominent in seasons 1 and 2 of Killing Eve are far more muted in season 3—except for a phenomenal scene in the third episode (spoiler alert).

In this season, Eve reluctantly gets roped back into pursuing the Twelve, the secret organization Villanelle works for as an assassin. She and Villanelle don’t cross paths until the third episode, but it’s worth the wait. Eve is minding her own business on a bus when Villanelle suddenly appears in front of her. They immediately begin fighting—slapping, screaming, and hurling each other from seat to seat. You almost wonder if this is a dream of Eve’s, but it isn’t. At one point, Villanelle pins Eve under her and they kiss right before Eve head butts her. Villanelle eventually gets off the bus, and Eve goes to work disheveled and stunned. There is no clear winner.

In some ways, this scene sets the stage for switchy power dynamics, but that thread isn’t pulled through the rest of the season consistently until the season finale. Eve and Villanelle dance together and tellingly can’t decide who’s leading. Later, they try to part ways for good, but fail, instead solidifying a romantic bond born out of a bizarre mutual understanding. Villanelle says to Eve, “I think my monster encourages your monster.” At that point, it’s not clear who has the upper hand. We’ll have to wait until season 4 to find out.

Benign Masochism

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This weekend, we attended Shay Tiziano’s virtual class “Stand Back—I’m Going to Try Science!” as part of Ropecraft’s Homebound conference. Shay is one of our BDSM heroes and loves to geek out on the science of kink.

One of the most interesting tidbits in this class was related to benign masochism. This refers to experiences that our brains perceive as negative at first, but that we come to enjoy once we realize they pose no real danger. Examples include eating spicy food, riding rollercoasters, and watching horror movies.

It may come as no surprise that many kinky people derive more pleasure out of such activities than vanilla people. Shay even did a poll in the class asking participants to rate their enjoyment of beer, unsweetened coffee, thrill rides, sad movies, massage pain, squeezing pimples, spicy food, and a few other things. At the end of the class, she showed how our results compared with the population at large, and we kinky folk liked all of these things way more. This was true for me as well, even though I don’t really consider myself to be a masochist when it comes to BDSM.

365 Things Wrong with 365 Days

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Movie poster for 365 Days

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new 50 Shades Polish knock-off called 365 Days that, despite being widely panned by critics, has become a Netflix sensation due to its “mind-blowing bondage” and other racy sex scenes. The movie tells the story of Massimo, an Italian mob boss, who kidnaps Laura, a Polish woman he’s obsessed with, and gives her 365 days to fall in love with him. (What could possibly go wrong?!) While some have defended the movie as pure fantasy, it presents a warped view of consent and BDSM that may be confusing to its many Gen Z fans.

Although there are undoubtedly 365 things wrong with 365 Days, we’ll spare you the minutiae and focus on 5 big ones. We’ve spoiled it so you won’t have to suffer through it. You’re welcome.

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Black, Indigenous, and People of Color BDSM Resources

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Black Lives Matter!
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If you’re White, keep reading! Don’t make the mistake of thinking these Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) BDSM resources don’t pertain to you. They absolutely do. 

In the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other Black people, we, like so many Americans, have joined the effort to prevent such atrocities from occurring in the future. But the changes that need to occur in this country go far beyond ending police brutality. Every community needs to take a step back and reflect on what it can do to not only make space for BIPOC but ensure they are welcome participants and leaders. And the BDSM community is no exception.

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The Hottest Thing in a BDSM Relationship? Trust.

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Wartenberg wheel on bare skin

Would you let someone you don’t trust spank you, tie you up, and call you names? Probably not. Trust is integral to a BDSM relationship and is ultimately what makes any kind of power exchange so hot. Taking another person’s control away or letting them take it from you is thrilling, risky, and raw. Without trust, neither partner can completely let go and enjoy the moment. But with trust, BDSM and power exchange can bring partners closer together and eventually pave the way to rougher or riskier play.

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Bound Together

One couple’s insights into BDSM. About us.






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