Jenn: My First Class in the BDSM Scene

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So one reason I started my weekly BDSM 101 class series is that when I entered the scene I couldn’t find something similar. My intro was thru a friend of a friend who pointed me in the direction of Fetlife. I was going through a divorce, was in my early 30’s and had two young children. I didn’t know anyone in the community – nobody to show me around or introduce me to people. I remember learning to navigate through Fetlife and trying to find any classes or socials (aka munches) that I could find and could get out to. As luck (?) would have it I stumbled upon a class that was offered at a time I could go. It was a class on singletails. (Now do you understand why I use the term “luck” loosely? lol) Keep in mind I just wanted to get out and start exploring – I didn’t really care what the topic was. I hadn’t come across any 101 or beginners classes that were being taught that week. So I decided to go.

The class was being held at Threshold. Funny story – I had already been to Threshold, just had never gone inside. I had driven there for a party but didn’t realize where the entrance was and ended up (after attempting the wrong door) going home. I believe this was before they added the giant “T” to the door, however, I’m not even sure I drove far enough in to see it regardless. For the class I somehow figured it out and went inside.

It was a smaller class – maybe 6-8 people plus the instructor. Unfortunately I can’t remember the instructor’s name. A handful of people seemed to be familiar with the topic, whips in hand, and comfortable in their chairs as we waited for class to begin. I sat next to a young man who seemed to be as equally terrified as I was. For most of the class I sat there, wide-eyed, as I watched the instructor demonstrate how to use the whip to simply catch the bottom’s hair. All the while trying to avoid eye contact with him so that I wasn’t called upon to volunteer. I’m sure he went over other exercises but much of it is a blur now. Until he got to the end of the class and started demonstrating “wrapping”. The only thing I could compare it to was the thought of Indiana Jones throwing his whip to wrap up an enemy and take them down. He asked for a volunteer to demo this “wrapping” technique. Crap – he was looking in our direction, so I did what any kind and thoughtful person would do and nudged the other newbie and encouraged him to volunteer! Lol I told him he had to tell me if it hurt. He agreed to go up. The instructor told him to hold his arms out and wrapped each of his arms. He came back to his seat and assured me there was absolutely no pain. Ok – be brave Jenn – I volunteered to give it a go.

I walked to the center of the room. I was asked to put my arms out to the side just like my new friend before me. He threw the whip and I think I closed my eyes and winced until I realized the whip circled my arms without an ounce of pain. What?! So he asked if he could do it again, but this time around my waist. Sure – I mean no biggie now right? This doesn’t hurt at all! So, with my arms still outstretched to the side, he crouched a little and threw the whip from more of a side angle. It wrapped a couple times around my waist. Then he did something I did not expect. He used the whip that was around me to pull me towards him. Holy moly. I’m sure I blushed. It was so hot! Trust me, it was not the instructor that made it hot (sorry whoever it was!) – it was the entire action of being wrapped up and controlled by this implement that had seemed so scary!

After the instructional part of class was over they set up stations with plastic sheets on the floor and lit candles. Those that were more advanced practiced putting the candles out with their whips. That was amazing and super impressive to sit back and watch.

There were a couple lessons I took away from that first class experience. One, going to classes, no matter the topic, will expose you to new knowledge as well as new people. This is why I encourage the newbies I meet to take any classes they can (mine or others). I remain friends with a couple people that were in that singletail class. Not “terrified dude” – not sure whatever happened to him. Two, implements (any implement) can be used from light to heavy and in so many different ways. I teach in my classes that it’s not the implement you should be concerned with. It’s the person using it – their skill level and intention. To this day the singletail is not at the top of my favorites list – I much prefer thuddy toys. However, I also know that in the right hands it doesn’t have to be scary.

So thank you, nameless instructor man, for the lessons I walked away with that day. I may not remember your name, but I remember the experience.

Jennifer Masri is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, specializing in Alternative Lifestyles for individual and relationship issues. She also teaches the BDSM 101 class series at Sanctuary LAX in Los Angeles every Monday evening. Read more about Jennifer on her blog, A Kink Shrink.

Comments

  1. Now I remember who one of the women who bailed out on their first attempt because the door was hard to find!

    I honestly cannot think of a dungeon where the door is easy to find. That makes sense, we don’t exactly put up huge signs saying get whipped here.

    For Threshold Hartland dead ends into the parking lot. Most of the parking is to the left, but there is one row of parking to the right against the Threshold building. The door is at the end of that parking and as Jenn pointed out there is a big ‘T’ on the door. But that big T only helps if you get as far as the door!

    Sanctuary where Jenn teaches her classes is not that much better, perhaps worse because La Cienega is a major street so creeping along it looking for a venue is not always fun. The key knowing Sanctuary shares a parking lot with an artificial grass company. They do have a sign taking up the whole side of their building letting you know they sell artificial grass. Sanctuary is the first door South of that parking lot.

    If you are telling a friend about a dungeon take a second and give them those last few feet on how to find the door!

    Threshold Orientation is in a sense a class on scene etiquette. It at least used to be that you could choose to not join but still get the paperwork so you could join later. The class aspect is worth the price anyway, but gaining on option is a nice bonus if you don’t want to or can’t afford to join right away. I’d assume orientation for other clubs or even commercial dungeons also tend to be a worthwhile class. The Threshold 10 by 10 party has a mini class and the Club Awakening party does in a hands on sense. Don’t miss the free classes attached to parties if you are just beginning or new to the local community. If nothing else it is a chance to meet others new to the sense or area.

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