Archive for January, 2013


Master Stormmy and his slaves, Nichole (left) and Miranda

Master Stormmy and his slaves, Nichole (left) and Miranda

In my last post, The YIKES! of Kink, I described a BDSM scene I’d witnessed that freaked me out. It involved blood play, which I don’t often see. One of my readers wanted to know what the Master and slaves had to say about that scene, something I’d been wondering myself. The Master, Stormmy, is a friend of mine, someone I’ve played with several times (though not anything as hardcore as this). So I contacted him, and he and his slaves graciously agreed to let me interview them. I had dinner with him and Nichole the other night. Miranda wasn’t able to be there, so she and I spoke via email.

 My description of the scene wasn’t entirely accurate, partly because I didn’t see the whole thing and partly because my memory failed me. (Getting older sucks—I no longer laugh at my parents for forgetting things!) I thought I’d seen Stormmy using a whip, when actually he was using a Dunstan cane. In my defense, Stormmy is known for his skills with a whip, and I have rarely seen him use a cane, so my brain must have substituted what it expected in place of what I actually saw. My apologies for that. Second, because I missed part of the scene, I didn’t realize that the girls had words carved into their asses, not just random cuts. The cuts spelled out the words TEAM FLUFFY. TEAM was on Nichole’s ass, and FLUFFY on Miranda’s. Third, while the girls were cleaning up, Stormmy went outside to smoke a cigar. When he returned, he rubbed the ash into the wounds so it would create a sort of tattoo. Nichole’s is still visible, though it is fading. Miranda’s is already gone, but does appear when she is caned in that area.

 Team Fluffy started one night when Stormmy and another Master were playing with a sub at the CSPC.

 “We were whalin’ on her,” Stormmy tells me. “Then she says, ‘everyone knows you guys are just a couple of fluffy service tops.’”

 I wish I’d been there to see their faces. That’s when Team Fluffy was born. Team Fluffy is a group of kindred spirits who are into extreme BDSM play. There are about a hundred people who consider themselves a part of it, and it has team leaders in several cities across the US. Team Fluffy has a profile on Fetlife and a group where members discuss the “fluffy” things they’ve been up to. They also sell t shirts and a variety of toys, including barbed wire floggers. (And here we go with me freaking out again. Yikes indeed!)

 When Stormmy, Nichole and I sit down to talk, the first thing I ask about is safety. Extreme play, especially when it involves blood, is risky. I am happy to learn that Nichole is a nurse who specializes in wound care.

 “All of our equipment is medical grade,” she says. “We use Sporax to sterilize if we can’t autoclave. After a scene we disinfect the wounds with chlorhexidine, the stuff they use at hospitals.”

 When they are playing with people outside their threesome, they take the proper precautions, using latex gloves around body fluids. With each other there’s no need because they are a sexually exclusive family and know that they’re all healthy.

 Once my concerns on that score are laid to rest we move on.

 I’ve talked before about the intimacy of BDSM, and how the things we do can deepen the bonds between partners. Extreme play takes that even further. For Nichole, sharing such a dark part of herself with people who understand and feel the same way is a powerful bonding experience. And giving her life blood is part of her submission to Stormmy.

 Blood heartMiranda says, “Emotionally, it does bring us closer because I haven’t done this kind of play. And I just have to trust in him. By pushing [her limits] it reaches a new depth of trust, love and respect. I know he loves me and wouldn’t want to break his toys.” She adds, “When we play I am giving him my body, mind, spirit and soul to do with as he wants. I know that he will always take care of those things.”

 “It takes a lot of work to make a poly relationship work, then you factor in some intense play and that can trigger more stuff,” Stormmy tells me. “As as Master I have to always be watching for signs of how they are mentally….I think by keeping my eyes open and constantly using communication I am doing my job as a Master, to make sure my girls are good.”

Relationships aren’t the only reason many of us practice BDSM. It’s a part of who we are as individuals, and meets different needs for each of us. This applies to any level of play, but especially when it’s more extreme. People, in my experience, don’t start doing these kinds of things on a whim. Not everyone is self aware enough to understand their own motives, but Stormmy, Nichole and Miranda consciously examine the mental and emotional aspects.

 Stormmy is up front when it comes to his desires. “It feeds my sadism. And I always get a sexual charge out of it.”

 One of the things I admire about him is the way he accepts this about himself and doesn’t apologize for it. Rather, he finds safe and consensual ways to meet his needs. He is also a very spiritual person, and sometimes incorporates that into his scenes. Particularly the ones he knows are likely to bring up emotional stuff. Hook scenes are a good example.

 “You’ve got to prepare for those. The hook goes in, and when it comes out the other side a lot of things come out with it,” he says. It’s important to be ready to deal with that. From my personal experience with Stormmy, and from how I’ve seen him play with others, I know he provides a safe place for intense emotions to come out, and helps his play partners deal with them.

 “I like to push myself,” Nichole says. “I think, if I can do this, what about that? I like it dangerous. If it’s too safe, it doesn’t feel real to me.”

 There’s also a creative aspect. Stormmy points at Nichole and says, “She comes up with the ideas for most of our scenes.”

 Considering the kinds of scenes she comes up with, I can’t resist asking Miranda how she feels about it. Does she sometimes want to smack Nichole upside the head and ask what the hell she’s thinking?

 Miranda admits, “When she comes up with some ideas I kinda get worried.” But she goes on to say, “Only because it’s usually something I haven’t done before. And that is hard. But I don’t get all uptight. It’s the new experiences that make this life so great.”

 There are also times when Miranda uses extreme scenes to work through emotional issues. When something is particularly scary to her, she examines the reasons. “The fear for me is usually about something other than what we are doing. It usually comes from something that happened in my life that went really wrong.”

 If she feels she is ready to confront that issue, she will do the thing she’s so afraid of and use the scene to work through the problem. It can bring to the surface emotions that are buried deep and need to be released. By doing this with someone she trusts to take care of her emotionally as well as physically, she achieves catharsis and comes to terms with things that have been festering inside her.

Master Stormmy and his slaves Nichole (left) and Miranda

Master Stormmy and his slaves Nichole (left) and Miranda

Extreme scenes aren’t always so dark, however shocking they might look to some of us. Stormmy, Nichole, and Miranda are playful with each other. They like to joke around, and don’t take themselves too seriously. He loves to tease them. The Team Fluffy scene I witnessed, for instance.

“That was just fun,” Stormmy says. “I thought it sounded like a hot idea; it ended up being way hotter than I anticipated.”

 Miranda tells me, “I enjoyed a lot of hints about that scene.”

 And then there’s the sensory aspect. I’ve talked before about how I want to pay more attention to my five senses, in everyday life as well as with sex. But for some reason I didn’t think of applying that to blood. It’s scary for me to think of playing with blood as a sensual experience. Most people feel the same way, which is interesting, because vampires are so popular in entertainment these days. We’re fascinated by fictional beings who revel in the sensual experience of blood. Yet we’re afraid to go there ourselves. Not so with Stormmy, Nichole, and Miranda.

 “It’s very sensual,” Nichole says. “The smell, the taste, the feel of it dripping down your skin.”

 “When you’re doing it [caning a cut],” Stormmy tells me, “the splatter comes up in a fine mist. Like on a misty day when you feel it on your skin. It feels really cool. By the end of the scene my arm is coated in blood.”

Miranda says, “I like to bleed. And I bleed a lot. I like to play in it. And I know Stormmy does also….The one thing I like so much is when it runs down my leg and goes all the way to my toes. So, for me that is the best part of playing with blood. I get to see my toes all bloody. I also really enjoyed surfing in my blood for that scene. It was so much fun. There looked like so much blood [but there was] really not so much.”

Vampires in entertainment: mainstream blood play?

Vampires in entertainment: mainstream blood play?

 There’s also a visual element. When I get past the shock factor and look at it like I would a piece of art, the color and patterns are beautiful. Like an abstract using mixed media. Stormmy says, “That’s why we like using that cane. It’s white, so the blood shows up really well.”

 What about the pain? That’s something I tend to focus on, partly because it’s one of the things I enjoy about BDSM. I like the endorphin rush, and the challenge to see how much I can take. I’ve been cut before and it hurt like hell, so I wanted to know how much the Team Fluffy scene hurt. I’m surprised when Nichole tells me it wasn’t that painful.

 “We used a scalpel, which is so sharp you don’t even feel it. And we don’t cut very deep.” I ask how deep that means– an eighth of an inch?  Nichole’s answer: “About that, yeah.”

 Miranda agrees that the cutting didn’t hurt too much. The caning was the hard part for her. “I don’t like canes and paddles. I have a hard time processing that kind of pain. But Nichole likes both of those. We are totally different. We process pain so differently.”

 So how do people get to the point of doing such extreme things? To these three it isn’t that big a deal because they do this sort of thing a lot. But it wasn’t always that way.

 “Nobody starts there,” Stormmy and Nichole both tell me. “You build up to it. Your play gets more and more intense over time.”

 I think of it like mountain climbing. Nobody starts by climbing Mount Everest. A lot of people enjoy hiking, and never go beyond that. Some, however, find they’re interested in more. They want to push themselves, and learn what provisions and tools they need to take longer hikes to more remote locations. Others take classes or find mentors to teach them rock climbing techniques. If you keep going, you learn how to use pitons and ropes and ice picks, how to survive extreme weather conditions, how to deal with the dangers of storms, avalanches and ice crevices. Eventually some hardy souls will tackle climbing a mountain. And a few push themselves to take more and more difficult climbs. Extreme BDSM is the same way, but you are also confronting cultural taboos and dealing with the judgments of people who see you as dangerous or even criminal.

 On that point, I ask Stormmy and Nichole how they feel about it when people freak out over what they do.

 Stormmy shrugs. “I don’t worry about it. This is what I do.”

 “I like to freak myself out,” Nichole says. “It pushes me to go deeper inside myself. I like to give that to other people, too.”

 On the practical side, Stormmy tells me that before doing any scene he goes to the dungeon monitors and discusses it with them. He wants to be sure they know what he’s going to do and that they’re cool with it. It’s important that they’re all aware and know what to expect, so no one will try to intervene. And he needs them to keep observers from getting too close.

 “I’m really focused when I’m doing it,” he says. “Most of the time I don’t even notice that we have an audience.”

 Nichole likes to have freedom to try wild things without worrying about how other people will react. “I like to go to smaller parties that are more ‘out there.’”

 The three of them go to conventions, doing demonstrations and teaching classes. Stormmy believes “It is important to let people know that it is ok to play at this level. People ask me all the time, I tell them get as much info and education as possible about the type of play they are interested in. Start out slow and go at their comfort level. The human body is an amazing piece of Creation. It can take a lot and keep on ticking.”

 They are becoming known for their hardcore scenes. Recently, they overheard some people at an airport discussing one without realizing that the people who had done the scene were standing right next to them. When Stormmy went over to talk with them, they immediately recognized him.

 “It’s kind of cool being recognized,” Stormmy says. He adds that, “The Team Fluffy started out as a joke and it has been fun watching it blow up. We were just in San Fran and saw a gal at the airport wearing a TF shirt as our shuttle bus went by.”

 I want to thank Stormmy, Nicole and Miranda for taking the time to talk with me, and for being so open and honest about what they do. It’s helped me understand them better, and the next time I see something like this I’ll be less likely to freak out about it. Hopefully, it will give my readers a better understanding of extreme BDSM play as well.

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

 Stormmy is an educator at the Kink Academy. His credentials are too many for me to list here, but you can read more about him on his Kink Academy profile. You can also find him as Renegade on FetLife, a social networking site for the kink community. He and his slaves are all active in the BDSM community here in Seattle, and teach classes around the country at BDSM conventions as well as at the CSPC (Center for Sex Positive Culture) and other venues in Seattle. He is the director of Paradise Unbound, the CSPC’s annual kinky campout. Check his Renegade profile for a current list of classes. Team Fluffy can also be found on Fetlife.

 WARNING: The links to Kink Academy and Fetlife have graphic photographs of hardcore BDSM scenes and nudity. They are not safe for work. Don’t view them in public, and don’t go there if you are offended by those kinds of images. If you go anyway and are upset by what you see, don’t blame me!

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The YIKES! of Kink

Scared catI’m pretty jaded when it comes to kink, but every now and then I still see things that freak me out. When that happens, I have to decide how I’m going to react. In some cases, my first instinct is to shriek something really suave like, “Oh my gods, that’s insane!” or “Are you kidding me? You actually like that?”

But then I get curious. When something provokes a strong reaction, it’s a sign that a part of me has been brought to the surface that I need to examine. So instead of running away from whatever I’m feeling I try to get in touch with it and figure out what’s going on.

A few months ago I was at a CSPC play party and saw a scene that both appalled and fascinated me. A Master and his two slaves started by putting down a couple of large tarps. I got distracted (ahem) for an hour or so, but finally came back to see what the tarps were all about. I thought they might be doing a body painting scene, and it would be fun to watch. Boy was I wrong.

The scene was well underway when I returned. The two slaves were naked now and stood facing the covered table, bracing themselves on their hands, asses presented. I saw blood and at first didn’t understand what I was looking at. Then I realized that both of them had long, thin cuts along each ass cheek. As I watched, a single-tail flicked out to lick at those cuts, making blood trail down their legs and sending little droplets flying.

The crowd of people watching stood well back as the Master whipped his slaves with precisely placed snaps of the whip. Neither of the women made a sound. I was transfixed. I’d never witnessed that much blood in BDSM play before. The lines of red streaming down their thighs shocked me.

(Edit: I just spoke with this Master, and he tells me it was a Derlin cane, not a single tail. Just goes to show how freaked out I was!)

The Master and one of his slaves are friends of mine, and I decided to say hello to him while the women cleaned up. He stood off to one side talking with some other people when I approached. He turned to me as I said hi, and I saw that he had smeared blood all over his face.

Yep. That’s when I freaked. I couldn’t meet his eyes for more than a second because I just couldn’t stop staring at his face. I managed a brief bit of small talk before slipping away. I like him a lot; he and I have played together many times, and I have a great deal of respect for him and the one of his slaves that I know. But I couldn’t stick around and talk with him when he was painted in blood.

I’ve been thinking about that scene and my reaction to it. What was it that bothered me so much? The obvious answer, of course, is the blood. Self preservation tells us that bleeding = life threatening danger. We want to make it stop as soon as possible. Then there’s the fear of disease. But I’m not really squeamish about blood when confronted with it in everyday life. I actually enjoy having blood drawn when I’m in a doctor’s office. And I’m attracted to stories about vampires (something I have in common with a hell of a lot of people to judge by book and movie sales). So why did it make me freak out this time?

Blood gift There is something primal about deliberately making another person bleed. It reaches beneath the veneer of civilization. The scene brought to mind primitive practices like warriors bathing in the blood of their enemies or hunters drinking the warm blood of their kills. In modern culture, these things are taboo. But no matter how much we try to distance ourselves from them, they are still a part of the human psyche. And what could possibly be more intimate? That was the most intense display of submission and Dominance I have ever seen. To give your life blood to your Master. To take that precious fluid from your slave and bathe in her trust and surrender.

I’m not advocating that we all give in to such primitive urges. They are taboo for a reason. But it was fascinating to see them explored in a safe, consensual way. It brought me in touch with a part of myself that I might not have examined otherwise. So I thank the Master and his slaves for giving me that gift.

Sex and Sensuality

smelling rosesSex is a sensual experience. Duh, right? But most of us fail to use all of our senses during sex. And even the senses we do use are often narrowly focused. We look at someone and see how attractive they are. We touch and feel wetness and friction. But there is so much more.

 Sex is better when I take time notice all of the things I experience while having it. The texture of a lover’s hair, the warmth of his skin. The feel of his hands and tongue, not just in the obvious places, but everywhere on my body. And what about smell? It can be delicious. A hint of soap or shampoo, that scent that lingers on the sheets after a nice, long romp. The sound of flesh meeting flesh, the hiss of linens sliding against each other. The taste of his lips and tongue.

 Making sex better for my partner means tending to all of his senses. Looking good is only the beginning. I want to please him with my scent and flavor, with the variety of sensations I offer. I want to know if he likes music, or likes to hear me moan, so I can offer him those pleasures. If I consider every aspect of our time together, I can add so much more to the experience for both of us.

Of course, the same thing applies to writing. Making sex scenes hotter means describing everything, not just the obvious. It’s the little things that can draw in a reader. Unexpected things, like the way little puffs of breath tickle when someone laughs against your skin.

 My goal this year (one of them, anyway) is to pay more attention to the sensations of everyday life. If I get into the habit of appreciating everything I see, taste, smell, hear and feel, I’ll start doing it during sex, too. That’s a New Year’s resolution I’ll enjoy keeping. 

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