Friday, September 25, 2009

Comments about Comments

So I asked for input and I got it. The feedback has been extraordinarily insightful, the comments so thought provoking. I can't explain why I'm so infinitely fascinated with understand what's in the head of the masochist, but I am, and you've all given me food for thought.

For those of you who publicly posted, I appreciate your honesty and willingness to share with the group. For some that send me thoughts privately, I understand your desire for confidentiality or your timidness or other personal reasons for not sharing publicly. You willingness to send me your comments was most appreciated.

I think this worked out very well. I'll do this again at some point in the future.

Thanks again, one and all. And if you're just reading this and late to the game, check out the previous blog post and add your own comments.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Call for Comments

I am infinitely fascinated with the inner workings of masochist and sadomasochist minds. The "why" behind all of this shit. The dictionary definitions only work so well: "derive pleasure from pain" kind of thing is accurate, albeit superficial perhaps. So my question to the few of you actually reading this site on a regular basis is this:

Why do you enjoy what you do?

What do you get out of it? Why do you need it? What does it fulfill within you? What does it quiet, charge, recharge, center, quash, calm? Why does it get you off?

Big questions. Answer as simply or as detailed as you wish. Do it privately, publicly, anonymously. I'm interested in your answers and if I'm interested, chances are the rest of you will be as well.

I'll get it started by being frank: I am a textbook sadist. I derive sexual pleasure from inflicting pain. Sometimes it's just deriving pleasure, in general, from pleasing the bottom by inflicting pain. A lot of it is the physical connection between two people--the trust, the tenacious bond formed in the moment, the tactile and almost neurological binding of two people. Not in a sexual way, per-se, but in a very human way that really can't be achieved by vanilla means.

That's my rather top-line answer. What's yours?

Friday, September 11, 2009

My Own Post-Party Drop

I've been telling my female friends from Shadow Lane to be careful of post-party drop or "spanking orgy let-down," a common psychological disorder known as SOLD. (That's not even funny. Ignore me.) and I've told them, proudly, that it's something I simply do not experience. I got to wondering if tops experience this at all, if "drop" is unique to bottoms. Well, I'm here to tell you, for this particular top, it is not.

I had my own weird and visceral reaction today. In speaking to my lovely switch of a wife on the phone this morning I inquired if she was going to be playing with anyone at our local BDSM club Saturday night--we're typically there most Saturday nights, either with Erica and J or other individuals--and she said she had no plans, that we were likely to have a quiet night at home instead. I'm good with the occasional quiet night at home. But it got me pining for the Shadow Lane or Florida Moonshine parties.

At those parties I can see someone I want to play with, politely ask if I can take them to the bedroom to give 'em a few whacks and off we go. Or I've prearranged spankings or BDSM scenes in advance. My card is pretty full. I like that, knowing I'll be busy and having fun.

But at the Lair, it's catch-as-catch-can...or not. Most likely not. Most playdates there are prearranged. There's very little trolling for someone to bottom or top. In the BDSM world, such trolling could end up with dangerous consequences at worst or a mediocre scene at best. I've given up on the opportunity for a random walk-up in that setting.

I know many tops that work very hard online at setting playdates and acquiring interested play parties. FetLife, Alt.com and other dens of debauchery are their haunts, email and IM the new way to find a playdate. Of course, the results seem to be less than satisfactory. I talk to many of the tops/doms at the Lair who express frustration at many of their planned rendezvous simply not panning out. The other party just doesn't show up. I get it. It's tough to meet at a BDSM club, particularly if you're alone and a woman. Talk about feeling vulnerable!

I just don't have time for all that. It's bad enough I work as many hours in a week as I do, travel a lot for business and have very little downtime once I get back from a few hours at the gym. I savor that downtime. Even still, I'm usually online, paying bills, catching up on the continuous stream of work-related emails that pour in from around the globe when others are working in foreign places, or IMing with friends and play partners. So much for downtime!

So I have a hard time imagining working the message boards on FetLife or Alt.com trying to come up with, at best, a 50/50 proposition. Maybe I don't want it bad enough. Certainly I am not critiquing the techniques or wherewithal of my top/dom compatriots. They have more patience and fortitude than I do.

All of which leads me to the subject of this post: my own post-party drop.

Thinking about last weekend and the fun we had at Shadow Lane's Vegas party, thinking about all the wonderful women I got to spank (and flog, and touch with poky things, and strap, and cane, and, and, and...) and then thinking about the Lair and my lack of an opportunity to do the same kinda bummed me out.

Of course, there's always the monthly (give or take) playdate with Erica. I'll gladly wait a month to get a chance to play with her, but it's more the philosophy of the thing--the cold, hard reality of it. The scenes are different, the attitudes more insular, the approaches more protocol-laden and complicated.

And, for me, I've got just a bit of the SOLD.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Shadow Lane's Vegas Party--A Top's-Eye View

Back from Shadow Lane in Las Vegas. What a weekend! This’ll be a long blog, but let me start off by saying I lost count with how many times I played. And I’m not talking about quick, fun impromptu spankings, but more the longer, more intense scenes and sessions! I know I’ll forget all the lovely ladies I was able to get my hands on, but just some quick thanks to Lizzie, Jada, Sandy, Kate, Carolyn, and, of course, Erica. And to those of you, whom I’ve accidentally left out, thanks to you, too. My purple palm is a testament to how much I enjoyed playing with all of you.

But I’ve gotten ahead of myself. Allow me to start at the very beginning.


Cindy and I arrived Friday late morning, getting to the SunCoast way, waaay off the strip and finding our suite. A very nice hotel, I must say. Soon we were changed and in Matt’s pimpin’ suite (thanks Matt for your hospitality!), a sprawling Tuscan affair built for high rollers. Ran into some friends there and familiar faces and before long I said goodbye to head back to our suite with Sandy. We played in the living room of our suite, an intense but friendly spanking scene that I certainly believe got Sandy warmed up for the weekend. I like Sandy and enjoy playing with her. She’s such an eager bottom and I hope to set up an even more intense scene with her and my cadre of implements at a future play party.

After playing a bit I went down to the fitness center for a short run, getting back to the room minutes before the official party was to begin.

That evening it was the Shadow Lane vendor fair and appetizer buffet. We arrived late, leaving Matt’s party, changing and heading downstairs. Soon we were saying “hi” to friends and were ogling Ian’s London Tanner’s goods, spread out like a kinky smorgasbord before us. Poor Cindy, my delightful and beautiful switch of a wife, could hardly decide what new leather item she wanted for her diabolical collection. Before long, the actual smorgasbord of appetizers became slim pickin’s.

But before I could grab something to eat I looked across the room and saw our good friends Jada, J & Erica at a table. Erica! There she was! My favorite bottom and most special friend. I bee-lined it across the room, trying to look my toppy best, hoping to catch her eye. She spotted me and shot up like she had a joy buzzer in her seat and before long we were hugging, saying hellos and chatting away excitedly, all four of us.

Tired of waiting for her to make up my mind, I grabbed my own slappy leather “Nanny Paddle” and headed off to get something to eat as we hadn’t had lunch and I was famished. Unfortunately, all that was left was some albino watermelon, a single, sad slice of pineapple and a carvery station of dry peppered turkey breast and roast beef. I slathered a pile of horseradish cream onto the meat in the hopes it would do some good and eventually gave up on it.

Finally, Cindy decided on something and bought it, coming back to the table with even less than what I had (though her roast beef was juicier than what I’d been carved). Before long, it was time to go to the suite parties, so off we all went.

We ended up in the suite of Glenn and Lori (hope I get these spellings right!), with my new friend Carolyn there. Carolyn was introduced to me pre-party by Erica. Ends up, she told both of us we’d really like to play with one another and we’d both enjoy each other’s company and it was certainly true! When we got to Glenn and Laurie’s suite Carolyn was showing off a HUGE wooden industrial size rice paddle (easily 36” long) and before we knew it three women were lined up bent over the sofa getting swats from eager hubbies. Erica, John, Michael, Kate, Jada, Cindy, myself and others (it all begins to be a blur after so many parties!).

I got to play then with Carolyn. Such a hottie with an ass that’s so perfect it looks injection molded. She was so much fun! I laughed so hard with her. We became fast friends and I look forward to getting to know her better online. (Thanks to Glenn and Laurie for their fine hospitality and generosity!) Carolyn is into fire play and managed to drum up enough support (Kate, Jada...) to convince me to bring my fire gear to Vegas next time. Grrrr... Can't wait!

I don’t recall if I played with Erica the first time over the weekend at Glenn & Laurie’s or later at Tom’s suite party, but she was next. Erica and I share such a special connection, almost a sixth sense when we play. I tried explaining it to others over the weekend at Shadow Lane and have a hard time putting into words that connection we share, but that first scene was like pent-up energy released all together at once. Hard, fast, furious. Delicious.

There were others, but it really is all a blur! By the time Tom’s suite party shut down at 2 am we headed out, Jada, Cindy and I. Cindy and I were starved. We had hardly eaten at the vendor fair and were truly famished. The three of us went down to the 24-hour deli and order a selection of sandwiches we scarfed down in no time. Went to bed around 3:30 or so.

By noon on Saturday we were up and met Erica, J and Mir (a friend of J’s and Erica’s) downstairs at the cafĂ© for a late breakfast. Before long, it was time again to play. I had an afternoon appointment with Lizzie, the very first person I ever made contact with in the scene. We had connected via the Shadow Lane message board and had a very short play session the first time we met at Shadow Lane in March, but we made up for it with a fun and intense scene at Florida Moonshine in June in Tampa. Our scene was fun, deep and full of a wide range of BDSM implements. We certainly enjoyed our lengthy scene together.

Once it was over, it was time to get ready for the themed “prom night.” Cindy and I dressed for the event, with Cindy wearing a beautiful short formal dress and I in a stylish black suit, thin tie and white pocket square a la Mad Men. I arrived before Cindy. She was still getting ready and I knew J was holding a table for us, I wanted to get down to keep him company. But by the time I arrived, everyone was there. The table was full with Michael & Kate, J & Erica, Glenn & Laurie and Jada. Cindy was 38 minutes late, and the men at the table decided she needed at least one spanking from each man as punishment for being late. She accepted her fate with brattiness and aplomb. The dinner was fine and the music began and soon the dance floor was full of kinksters dressed to the nines. Cindy and I enjoyed a rare opportunity to dance and later I invited Erica to the floor for a delicious slow dance. While on the dance floor I whispered what I was going to do to her later. Hee-hee.

Time ran out on our dinner dance and once again we were off to play in the suites, after stopping back to our rooms to change again. More play, lots of fun. Again, a lot of it’s a blur. There was fun with many delightful and wonderful women. By around 1 am Tom’s place shut down and we were off to a New York spanking group’s suite. There, I grabbed Erica and we had a rather intense scene. I must admit, I was trying to get in her head and, regrettably, it turned a bit dark. I felt bad. “Please don’t be upset,” I said. “This is a party! You’re supposed to be having fun!” Erica told me about her almost-guaranteed once-a-Shadow Lane meltdown, so I didn’t feel that bad, but still… I was determined to turn our scene around and make it fun. We did.

Afterward, I was spent, my hand sore. Worse, my upper arm and shoulder was really sore and I am nursing an Achilles tendinitis issue with left foot, so I was throbbing top and bottom and knew my night was done. I said goodnight and headed to bed, while Cindy went off to continue scene play with others.

Sunday began much like the day before, with a noontime brunch meeting with J & Erica and Mir. Cindy slept in, having gone to bed around 4:30 am. She ended up joining us just as we were finishing up. I ordered off the Chinese menu and couldn’t even eat mine, unfortunately, so after we finished I grabbed a protein bar at the hotel’s convenience store.

We went off to play dates again. I began to panic. I still had three private play dates to work out, with daylight waning. I know I have the order of things all screwy, but we went to Matt’s suite again for another party. After a brief time there I was off with Jada to her room. Jada and I had been “negotiating” our scene for months. It was meant to be intense, dark, focused and, in some ways, important. I would be saying too much to explain, but Jada was deeply and intensely “occupied” by our scene and very subspace-y afterward. I felt very protective of her afterward. We went back to Glenn & Laurie’s then I grabbed Erica for a private play scene for 90 minutes or so.

Everyone that reads Erica’s blog and mine know of our special connection. I won’t lie. I was pleased to have “private time” like I more or less get at the Lair. Not a public party. We had a fun, light, playful scene. We went back to Glenn and Laurie’s and then off to dinner with J & Erica and Jada. We were famished.

A Mexican dinner and we were off again to another suite party, back at Tom’s. Erica and I played again, this time for a small group of people watching, and she bratted it up for the crowd and I joined in, the inner performer in me jumping out. It was a blast! Erica would tell me to fuck off and the crowd would “oooh!” in surprise and I’d pound away at her butt like a butcher works on a chunk of gristly beef with a cleaver. We were both laughing and though she got a bit subspace-y at the end, we were lucid enough to acknowledge our “performance” with each other.

I’d promised a longer play session with my new friend Carolyn and we connected at the suite party and off we went to play, a longish scene at the party with lots of hand and strap work. Carolyn, I’d figured, would be my last of the night and of the party, so I was ready to “give it up” for her. I went into a new rhythm thing I concocted and finished her off to her satisfaction. I was spent. My hand was in pain, my palm having gone from red to a weird purple. My arm from the elbow to shoulder was sore and my shoulder hurt like I’d dislocated it. It was over.

I gave Carolyn a big hug and a thank you and we went back to the living room to be with the rest. There was Kate, of Michael & Kate. I love Kate. She’s a firecracker. She’s a heavy, excellent player and I’m pleased and honored every time we play because she’s such a good player. She chided me for not having played with her yet. Fair enough. Time was running out. I had wanted desperately to play with her earlier in the weekend and the time just didn’t work out. So, off we went, my poor hand and I.

Again, we had a blast. Kate took all I could give, but I was reminded once more, “I’m no Erica!” It was Sunday and she was very sore, so I took it easy, but also gave her something to remember me by as well. My little gift. Kate: I’m play with you anytime you want.

We finished and I secretly looked at my hand again. I couldn’t believe I’d done another scene. I could barely make a fist. We went back to the living room and I thanked Michael for the great time I had with Kate and said goodbyes. After I had played with Erica earlier she had played with Andy who’d caned her very well and very technically accurately and after that I think she played with Joe, another very good top and a very traditional spanker. I was sure she was spent because she’d looked like it when she’d finished with Adam and had poured herself into J’s arms. So I was surprised to see her come out of the other bedroom, having just played with Djinn, I believe, another excellent player, I’m told.

Very toppily, I motioned for her to come over to me before she weaved her way to J to work their way out of the suite. “I want to play with you one last time,” I said, selfishly, barely able to believe my own words. “I want to be your last.” She was hesitant, touching her butt cheek and wincing. “I’m done, Craig,” she said, pleadingly. But she saw I was, too, and we decided to have “one for the road.”

To make my own sacrifice I didn’t use any implements, just my hand. I wanted her to know this was going to be my last, too, and we were both “giving something” to do this. Does that sound sappy? Silly? I hope not. Certainly some scenes are fun, light and superficial. Some bottoms I could never connect with at all and the play is just fun and the banter and time together a pleasure. Others are more. The connection is there to make the scenes meaningful to me personally. I don’t take them for granted and I don’t take them lightly. I may sound like a broken record because with each bottom I say, “Thank you for trusting me.” And I mean it. Putting yourself, in such a vulnerable position, is hard to do on any level. The least I can do is acknowledge I value that trust.

The combination of satisfying my own sadistic needs, coupled with my desire to fulfill other’s needs, plus my own empathetic nature and need to help others makes for a heady and powerful package when in a place like Shadow Lane. It’s not all heavy and intellectual and emotional. So much of the time it’s fun and frivolous (in a good way) and just damn entertaining. So much laughter and attention and connection and fun. So many friends, new friends and acquaintances.

A lot of these events are out of order and I know I've forgotten a few special people I enjoyed playing with. I also am sure I failed to thank everyone for their fine hospitality and for inviting Cindy and I to their suite parties and sharing food and drink with us. We did not take that hospitality for granted.

Thanks to you all for making our weekends so special, be them Shadow Lane or Florida Moonshine or a night at the Lair. It’s not just about beating butts or flogging backs. It’s about connection. It’s the whole package that recharges my batteries.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Everybody's Working for the Weekend

Ready for Shadow Lane in Vegas? I am. Looking forward to getting there, being with friends, hanging out, playing. Not a lot of action/comments on the blog here, so keeping it short. Thanks to those of you staying with me and reading/commenting.