Wednesday, September 12, 2012

BDSM: "Whips and Chains Excite Me" Part 1


In a BDSM Dungeon

It’s no big surprise that Rihanna’s hit song “Whips and Chains Excite Me” is about BDSM. When I did a search for BDSM songs for possible titles for my blog series, I was stunned by some of the songs and artists that had BDSM overtones or themes. And there are a ton of songs. I think I’ll leave that for a later blog post. The video for this song is very hot too.

Author Cris Anson is doing a 4-part blog series of her experiences too. She’ll be posting on the same days as this series. Please check out her blog as well: http://crisansonspassions.blogspot.com/

BDSM is an acronym for Bondage, Discipline, Sado-masochism. Ever wonder what it’s really like inside an actual BDSM club dungeon? Recently, I had that opportunity while attending a 3-day BDSM Writers Workshop given by Dr. Charley Ferrer in New York City. http://www.bdsmforwriters.com/Conferences.html
 

Whips and Chains, etc.
 

Before attending the club for the first night on Friday, we had an extensive full-day workshop of detailed lectures on various topics about the BDSM lifestyle, definitions, psychology, etc.

Even with all the research I’ve done on this topic, I came away with a much broader knowledge of the BDSM lifestyle. Some things I knew, or thought I knew, but ended up being a quite different. And some things I totally had no clue about.

·         BDSM is not all about whips and chains. The power exchange between the Dominant and submissive can be experienced in other ways. These individuals desire a deep spiritual and emotional connection.

·         A BDSM club isn’t a sex club. Intercourse isn’t allowed unless there is a private area. Most open clubs don’t have this.

·         Knife play, needle play and fire play are high risk BDSM activities but they are common in a club. This really surprised me. No wonder they don’t serve alcohol.

·         The clubs Dungeon Masters or safety guards may wear a reflective vest like a school crossing guard. I thought this was rather cute. But they wandered around observing the scenes, especially the RACK (Risk Aware Consensual Kink) scenes for participants not following safety precautions, scenes getting out of hand, not following club rules, etc. They work in shifts so get to “play” after their shift.

·         Subspace is real. I saw a number of participants in deep subspace and have a better understanding of it. More on this in a later post.

·         Wearing of a collar is a sacred thing in the D/s and M/s (Master/slave) relationship like wearing a wedding ring. A collar signifies ownership. The color can have significance too. A light blue one may mean a person is in training, a new relationship. Black used to mean available but is a popular color now for style. Gold and silver means permanent relationship.
Kathy and Dr. Charley Ferrer


Friday Night at Paddles , Intro.

Paddles, http://www.paddlesnyc.com/,  is one of the longest, if not THE longest running BDSM club in the U.S. Was I nervous? Hell, yeah. I knew I’d stick out as a non-player and expected to get a lot of annoyed, rude looks and/or comments. I was afraid they’d look at me as a lurker and gawker. In a way I was, but in a sincere way to learn. I also expected everyone to be dressed in fetish wear—leather, latex creations and a few were but most had club attire, dresses or jeans and tee-shirts/collared shirts. Dressed nice.

Unless you know where you are going, Paddles isn’t easy to find. 250 West 26th St. between 7th and 8th Avenues. It’s an unmarked metal door beneath a Veterinary Clinic sign. When the door is open, the word ‘Paddles’ is marked in black letters on the door.

We walked down a long concrete hallway, then down stairs into a basement. It felt a little creepy because it was dark and musty. At a window we gave our names and got our hand stamped. A gentleman in front of us was new to the club and was given the rules before he was allowed inside—No alcohol allowed, you may watch a scene but not interrupt, nudity is permitted but no sex. No touching unless given permission.

Inside, we passed a small room where you can borrow a toy: flogger, paddle, etc. in exchange for your driver’s license to make sure you’ll bring the toy back. There’s a bar for soft drinks or water.

The walls are made to look and feel like stone in a castle dungeon, the lighting is dark. The club is sectioned off but the rooms are open. There is, however, an area called Pandora that is private. I’ll explain about that in a later post.

When we first entered, we passed the main area by the bar and saw a woman at the far wall. She was naked, her wrists bound overhead and she was getting flogged. She seemed to be enjoying the attention. Victor, who has a warped and sweet sense of humor, gave us a tour. The rooms contained various pieces of Medieval-like furniture with straps or rigging for bondage. A bed with ankle and wrist straps that looked like a rack from the Spanish Inquisition, a split-seat chair with arm restraints, a spanking bench, a large chair for…well use your imagination. A cupboard contained cleaning materials and paper towels for wiping down furniture after use. Just like the gym equipment. J There’s a jail cell too. Other rooms contained St. Andrew’s Crosses, padded tables, hooks in the walls, floors and ceilings.

The one thing I did notice was how friendly, warm and open everyone was. Friday night was a small crowd. A group called DomSub Friends were there. A number of people knew Dr. Charley and knew “the writers” were there too. People would come up and ask, “Are you one of the writers?” And they were more than happy to talk and answer questions. Michael the owner was super. He was so accommodating to us by explaining things and showing us around. He even gave us a tour into the private section of the club called Pandora.

In the next segment of this blog I’ll talk about our tour of Pandora, and knife, needle and fire play.

NOTE: This blog series is about The BDSM Writers Workshop Weekend I attended last August. It was taught by Dr. Charley Ferrer. This blog series will be broken up in four parts:

  1. BDSM: Part I - “Whips and Chains Excite Me” (9/12)
  2. BDSM: Part II - “Baby Let’s Play Rough”- Part 2 (9/19)
  3. BDSM: Part III - “Sweet Dreams are Made of This”- (9/26)
  4. BDSM: Part IV - “Master and Servant” (10/3)

11 comments:

Kathye Quick said...

Kathy- you little minx. Bravo to your experience. Can't wait to read more.

flchen1 said...

Ooh, thanks for sharing it with us, Kathy! :)

Nina Pierce said...

Love the blog. Thank you so much for sharing. I can't wait to hear about the rest of the experience.

I understand a real-life BDSM club wouldn't allow intercourse, but when it comes to writing erotica, I'm thinking readers would prefer the full act bet ween h/h rather than just the sexual play.

Kathy Kulig said...

LOL Kathye, there is a lot of material. That's why I split it up in 4 posts.

Hi Fedora, You're welcome. :) Thanks for stopping by.

Hey Nina, How are you? That is true. Sometimes reality does have to be tweaked a bit in fiction to meet the readers expectations. It's a story not real life. I try to be as accurate as possible.

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hello, Kathy,

Great post. I'm envious! I've had BDSM experiences in private but I've never been to a public club or a play party.

Be sure to broadcast the next installment in this series far and wide, so I don't miss reading it!

Kathy Kulig said...

Thanks Lisabet, appreciate your comment and checking out the post. A slight correction in the title: Whips and chains is part of Rihanna's lyrics to her song "S& M" W & C is not the title. ;-) but I'm sure everyone got that.

Basia Rose said...

I’ve really enjoyed Charley Ferrer’s books. She writes from a different mindset to me, but I found the refreshing!

“A BDSM club isn’t a sex club. Intercourse isn’t allowed unless there is a private area. Most open clubs don’t have this.”

Much as I love reading about BDSM clubs where everyone’s “doing it”, the myth that’s what the clubs are all about does annoy me a bit. I don’t know of many (any?) places that allow the kind of sex acts you find in every BDSM romance.

Basia Rose said...

**That** refreshing, I mean!

Kathy Kulig said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Basia. Very true. Readers do like to read about sex so in fiction that's where reality steps aside in this instance. :)

Dr. Charley Ferrer said...

Hi Kathy,

It was my pleasure having you at the BDSM FOR WRITERS Conference. I hope you return for next years where there will be even more things to do, see, and experience. smiles.

Look forward to reading the rest of your segments on BDSM.

@Basia: I'd love to get your take on my BDSM book. Not sure which you read BDSM for Writers or BDSM The Naked Truth. Please feel free to email me at: doctorcharley(at)bdsmforwriters.com

Live with passion,

Doctor Charley...

lisekimhorton said...

Sounds like a terrifically "enlightening" evening - and definitely makes Paddles seem approachable, along with their visitors. Thank you for sharing in such great detail.