This past Tuesday, April 10th, 2018 was the inaugural “Book of Kink” gathering at Menz & Mollyz Bar in Halifax; aptly named, “Chapter 1”. After some time at the start spent allowing people to peruse the two vendors’ tables, get beverages ordered, and chit chat with each other, Organizer, and co-host of Nightshade, CutieMarie, says her introductions and, with a smile, indicates it is their intention to host a new chapter in the “Book of Kink” every month.
After getting the crowd’s attention and quiet, CutieMarie states that she wants to start things off with a definition of “safe space”. Any institution or place where “harassment, hate speech, or violence will not be tolerated [and in which] organizers will stand up, on your behalf [against this sort of behaviour], whether emotional or physical”. She is sure to point out that this is not a 100% guaranteed system, but that “with communication, we can do our best to make it so”.
Next up on the stage was m1sterpunch of Babalon Leather (found on fb, fetlife, and Instagram) to give the audience a quick “intro to leather bondage”. He starts with outlining the main groups of materials, aside from leather, that one can use when tying up or restricting the movements of another person. CutieMarie rejoins m1sterpunch on the stage in order to act as “slave” for the duration of his presentation – he places on her neck a wide, black leather collar, so as to aid in the demo.
He goes over the advantages and disadvantages: tape can be quick, but is not so easy to clean (if one decides not to dispose of it, that is). Rope (natural, such a jute, or synthetic, like nylon) is inexpensive but requires skill, especially for suspensions (for which only natural ropes that don’t stretch with tension ought to be used). Rope generally has to be cut in an emergency. Finally metal – it can be easy to get into but not so easy to get out of in an emergency (you can’t cut it). In addition, such as with a very wiggly submissive, metal can lead to bruising and injury.
“Why leather?”, m1sterpunch asks the crowd “not just because Halfway Creations and Babalon Leather are here”. Reasons include it is easy to put on and take off, to adjust. You can use it in an active way as well as passive, such as using your leather belt, or a leather flogger, as an impact play device.
Leather can be made into masks and hoods (for yourself or fellow gimp), used in sensation play (it’s often quite soft when not thwacking a toosh!), and for sensory deprivation (such as blinders in equestrian play). Catch and release can be faster with leather. Leather is a part of BDSM and queer History (leather daddies, bikers). There is also the “primal” aspect that leather taps into – think of the smell.
m1sterpunch continues that a person can also incorporate rope and/or metal with leather. At this point, he locks CutieMarie’s wrists together using two leather cuffs; somewhat loose but they do the trick. He indicates that with restriction in movement one can better achieve the feeling they want in their sub. Their body is controlled (and thus safe) and their mind less distracted (thus allowing them to concentrate on the experience – wax play or flogging). With leather, there is also the fashion component.
He concludes with a note that it is best if you are able to do up a collar or wrist cuffs at a point in the middle (middle hole if a buckle) so that there is room to go up or down a bit in size if needed. And, a bit of a “but” to his statement that leather will last virtually forever, “don’t wet your leather”.
Before leaving the stage, m1sterpunch is sure to go over COA. Communicate, observe, and adjust. “Never leave someone who is tied up unattended”, even if you want to create the illusion of leaving them for a time, do so with a hood and be sure someone is standing in the room at all times, to observe.
Next is Kate from Halfway Creation (or HC) Leather Goods to talk about “topping from the bottom”. Kate, who comes on stage with a sizeable leather flogger with metal handle, self-identifies as a leather dyke, play pig, or switch but largely a bottom.
Kate wants to emphasize a number of quick but very solid points.
- Talk to each other.
- “Do your homework” – if you are looking for a person to give you a good flogging, check on them within the community, watch them flog others, what is their reputation
- If you take care of yourself (self-care: rest, eat, hydrate) you shouldn’t need aftercare
- “stack your deck” – “as bottom get in your toy collection what you want used on you” (buy it in the colour your Domme likes)
- Choose your location – you can’t strip naked and get flogged at Nightshade, maybe ORG or SPA
- Timing – don’t play after a full meal as “all you will think about is farting and burping”
- Mistakes are made – appreciate your top
- Topping is a lot of work – as sub, clean up your toys
- If playing in public, people might be talking politics or laugh or other… “get over it”
- Get your top a glass of water, “don’t be a baby”
Next on stage are the lovely couple Xiuhcoatl and -Trixie-, two humans you will often see taking part in DMing or demoing at Nightshade events. Their session starts off with Xiuhcoatl’s bag of toys being emptied onto a table. He then picks up different pieces and speaks of their use in impact and sensation play and includes (economical) locations where to purchase excellent quality items.
- Crops and canes – mixing sensations together (check a tack shop for horse crops)
- Aluminum dowels – heat or freeze depending on what the handle is made of (check Canadian tire)
- Thin plastic sticks, the kinds that make the little whippy sounds (from dollar store kites)
- Rattan sticks – better than bamboo since “rattan is solid whereas bamboo is hollow and therefore rattan is stronger and not as prone to shattering. Also, the way rattan is processed, the bumps at the joints have been smoothed out better than bamboo”. It can apparently be quite painful (for the top or bottom) if a cane splits at the joints when using the tool during impact play. Rattan is also prone to splitting but this can be helped by treating your cane with care and giving it a good soak in mineral oil on a regular basis (no local places supply rattan at present).
- Acrylic canes (home hardware)
- “Nightsticks are always lots of fun” says Xiuhcoatl as he picks up a large black nightstick inciting a nervous laughter throughout the room
- Leather paddles (not to get wet)
“it’s all about how you swing it”, he says – then he whips his cane through the air making no contact but instead a noise as the stick wooshes through the air. -Trixie- appears to enjoy this sound. Like in bondage, he advises, avoid joints (this is where we find ligaments/tendons, and where we can cause damage to circulation and nerves).
“If it happens [that you hit someone there], pause, check with your partner and decide if you want to continue.” The lovely -Trixie- then mounts the spanking bench to face her luscious derriere to the crowd for a little demo.
He starts with rattan and speaks of how a person has to be careful that they don’t get “wrap around” of the stick to a further point than the original impact; that ends up being even harder than the first hit (like whiplash). He starts with a SLAP of the stick on her bum. “Two” she jokes (as though to indicate the level of pain she’d experienced from the hit was only a two out of ten). She later shares with me, when asked, that it was really around a “4ish”, teehee! The rattan bounces off her bum nicely as he continues with the play.
Xiuhcoatl provides another safety tip, if you are just learning and in order to avoid the tailbone, place your hand on the tailbone and press down a bit – add it to the play so as to be as safe as possible. You can, he continues, to do impact play on the upper back, that is something to be negotiated between partners. “It’s really all in your wrist”, he adds as he whips the implement through the air, again eliciting a response from his partner.
He finishes with a two-handed demo, saying he and -Trixie- enjoy that sort of play. Being a drummer, he said, you can make music on a person’s body. An audience member has the realization that drumsticks would be great fun for such a thing, a lightbulb ignited.
Finally to the stage is a representative for the “School of Kink” through the Society of Bastet. A somewhat shy Soushka steps on to say there are workshops (such as the recently passed “how to find your dynamic”), meetings amongst littles/subs at “sub corner”, round table discussions, rope skill-share, and the upcoming foot classes, in May about how to pamper and cause pain to those little tootsies. All of these can be found under “events” on fetlife.
How lovely to have had the occasion to see and listen to the various sects of our kink community; all together under one roof with the goal to teach and learn.
“Thank you for coming!” CutieMarie exclaims after taking a couple of minutes with me to explain why she has started “the Book of Kink” (see quote), “the next one is more about consent than anything else. I am doing [the next one] with a co-organizer and she’s bringing in the consent kittens, and stuff like that. There is this easy definition that people don’t always understand. So it [will] all be based around consent and exploring what that means.”
by: lil’ Bird
featured image: shows posture collar from Bablon (www.babalonleather.com)
model in rope photo: -badblood-
rainbow leather flogger photo: from FetLife, with permission: www.HCleathergoods.com
logos obtained from online.
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