What would life be like without the bi-monthly covid-19 intros in my Ask BaadMaster series here on kink weekly. (Did someone say, “A lot more fun!”) Well, it is looking more and more like these corona virus based intros will go the way of Sears fairly soon. With this in mind, I would like to start to make these articles more play based; after all, most of us have not been playing in public for the better part of a year. And though your flogger might not rust, your play techniques will. With this in mind, here is a question I picked up which went to the heart of a play-based dilemma.
Reader: I’ve practiced rope bondage for over two years (one pre-covid) on my female sub. Luckily, we live together and have been able to get in some play this last year. But even before the pandemic, she was begging for a long-term bondage scene, which is new for us. I’ve read about the physical logistics, but I’m more concerned about how it’ll affect her emotionally. She’s enthusiastic… but what if she’s not realistic about her limits?
Ordinarily, I would suggest you join a local dungeon and observe the play there and also talk about your desire to become a more skilled rope practitioner. The best way to learn anything is to listen to people who are skilled in that discipline. So that leaves playing in your home. But if you are into impact play or your sub is loud, you might have trouble with neighbors. Besides, it is unlikely you have a fully stocked home dungeon. (Exception if you are the Fifty Shades guy.) So until the dungeons reopen – and DomCon LA is now re-scheduled for mid August – a different strategy is called for.
I would look at your current situation as though you are a beginner – even if you are familiar with these protocols. First, I would re-establish the importance of a safe word and a safe signal. Since you are concerned about emotional aspects of this scene, explain to her that she should err on the side of safety with respect to using her safe word or safe signal. Make it clear that should she use it, you will not be disappointed in her. Many subs try to avoid “safe-ing” as a matter of pride. But, this is usually in the physical context of pain thresholds. Here the Dom can always use his eyes and ears to see if he has been going too far; he does not have to rely solely on a safe word or signal. As there are no physical signs to see when you are concerned about psychological damage, you must explain to her that she will be your “eyes and ears” with respect to going over the line. And read some of the articles here to increase your general knowledge about BDSM. Use the remainder of this “time in exile” to raise your BDSM IQ!
Now onto play. Since you have expressed doubts in her ability to be realistic about her limits, and you cannot use your own eyes and ears to assess when you have gone too far, then you must use what I call the “thousand mile principle” with her. (“What is the “Thousand Mile Principle,” you ask?) There is a Chinese saying that says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Keeping this in mind, you can say that a long-term bondage scene is really just a series of short-term bondage scenes. Thus, you must approach this like a journey of a thousand miles.
Your first step is to establish a temporal benchmark – a time frame that you know your sub has no problems with. Let’s say this benchmark is a half-hour. (It could be anything; since you have been practicing short-term rope bondage with your sub, you already know the length of time that has been safe to use with her.) Then add, incrementally, more and more time to your bondage scenes. You might start with half-hour increments. Thus, your next scene would be keeping her in rope bondage for an hour. Of course, all safe words and signals apply. After the scene, discuss it. See if the hour had any ill psychological effects. If she liked it and wants to go further into the world of long-term bondage, then add another half-hour to your next scene. Now, you are up to an hour and a half! You can keep adding half-hours to your scene. Eventually, you will get to some serious long-term bondage! Remember to discuss the scene with her immediately post-aftercare and again the next day, so you get some perspective from her. Ultimately, you will reach her true limit.
When you get to her time limit, you might wish to throttle back on any time you plan on adding to the scene. In the example I have given you, you might wish to only add ten more minutes at a time. And, once you reach her hard limit, respect it.
Here is one additional piece of advice I offer. Use the stop-watch on your cellphone to time your scenes. Since you might lose track of time during the excitement (or demands) of your bondage sessions, set it to vibrate (which you should have in the dungeon anyway). Thus, you can time your scene which also will give you a kinda-sorta diary to keep track of your progress.
I am under no illusion that I am as good in play as I was before this pandemic started. I am not being overly humble; but “Pride cometh before a fall.” And since I do not plan on falling, I will not be filled with foolish pride. One step back, two steps forward!
After a ten year run as head writer for the legendary bondage.com, and an equally long run as the host of the hit internet show “Baadmaster’s Dungeon,” we are pleased to welcome the one and only Baadmaster to KinkWeekly. His thoughts about all things BDSM will now appear regularly on these pages. From the mental aspects of D/s to the nuts and bolts of S&M play, Baadmaster will cover every facet of this ever expanding lifestyle.