Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Male Bondage

Ikarus Photographer: Heiner Welchert Model: Mode-Yo Ropework: Reraizure

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Caelestem et Terrenum

“Nada se edifica sobre la piedra, todo sobre la arena,
pero nuestro deber es edificar como si fuera piedra la arena.”

It is easy and hurtful to lose a battle in the realm of the heart. We yearn for that one person whose presence turns, even our most earthly experiences, into expressions of  shared transcendence. Finding that special someone is among the most alluring and fulfilling quests of our lives, albeit a challenging one: two passions have to match and two dreams have to merge. Even gods, upon finding the owners of their hearts, have to appeal to the full extent of their powers to conquer them and keep them forever by their side. To seduce his Leda, Zeus had to become a majestic swan. Popocatépetl kneels besides his sleeping Iztaccíhuatl for millennia to come,  caring for her, waiting for her to rise again. And, to avoid losing her to death, Eros gave his Psyche eternal life so he could kiss her, caress her and love her until the end of time.

(Only gods can love, because they are divine.)

In a recent attempt to earn someone’s love I lost one of these battles. The sadness and feeling of failure pushed me into the path of reflexion and search of deeper insight: Humans, as we are, often have to face, with our mortal powers, ethereal tasks. Progressively, the thoughts of defeat transmuted into an epiphany. I could not have become a swan; however, having looked into her eyes and having held her hands enriched me, made me a happier person. I cannot kneel at her side for millennia to come, but the sweet memories of the short time I spent with her will remain with me, be part of me and embrace my mind for eons. There is no way I can promise her eternal life but I can, at least, hold onto the hope that one of the kisses or one of the caresses I gave to her may warm her heart until the end of time.  

(Humans can also love, because in love, there is something divine.)

November 2013

Inpsired by Borges, Pico della Mirandola, Apuleius and a special someone.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Qui dolorem ipsum...

When I was younger, I discovered a book that I was not expecting to find in my home's library. A book which I already knew what its contents were about even though I had not read it by that time. A book that was written during a time of huge changes; where civil rights and the new concept of republic had been forged.  A book that coined a new term, was condemned and is some sort of keystone of our sub-culture.

The story of how that book got into my house may be material for another post; this one is about the book's back cover containing the translator's interpretation of one portion of the author's writings. It's a sort of synopsis which guided, to some extent, my views on the relationship between responsibility and freedom. The text I read is in Spanish, but the writing it was inspired by is originally in French. I ventured to write a translation with my still artless English but I appended the original in Spanish as reference.

"Let no one accuse me of being an apologist of evil; let no one tell me I strive to inspire malevolence or quell the qualms of those who conduct themselves inappropriately. The sole purpose of all my efforts is to articulate thoughts that have plagued my mind since I have been a conscious being. That these thoughts may be in conflict with the thoughts of other people or most people, or everyone except me is not, I think, enough reason to suppress them. For those souls succeptibles to be "corrupted" by learning of my writings, so much the worse for them, I say. I address only to those people who are able to examine, with an objective eye, all that lies before them. Those people are incorruptible."

"Que nadie me acuse de ser el apologista del mal; que nadie me diga que busco inspirar la maldad o acallar los remordimientos de los que se conducen indebidamente. El único propósito de todos mis empeños es articular pensamientos que han atormentado mi conciencia desde que tuve uso de razón. Que dichos pensamientos pueden estar en conflicto con los pensamientos de otras personas, o la mayoría de las personas, o todas las personas excepto yo, no es, creo, razón suficiente para suprimirlos. En cuanto a aquellas almas suseptibles de ser "corrompidas" por enterarse de mis escritos, tanto peor para ellas, digo yo. Me dirijo únicamente a aquellos hombres que son capaces de examinar con una mirada objetiva todo cuanto está ante ellos. Dichos hombres son incorruptibles."

Donatien François Alphonse De Sade
Philosophy in the bedroom
Paris, France: 1795

Monday, September 9, 2013

Local Scene Organization

“If you want to be universal start by painting your own village”

In the introductory post “Getting Your Feet Wet” four steps were described to help guide you through this first stage of exploration. Each step sets goals and actions before moving on to the next step. The purpose is to make your initial interaction with members of the local scene as smooth as possible.  It could be useful to complement that information by focusing on the local scene structure. Different cities organize in different ways however, there are patterns that many of them follow in a bigger or lesser extent. Identifying such patterns will make you feel more confident, more at home.

Local Scene

Lets start by addressing the concept of “Local Scene” or “Local Community”. By “local”, I mean a set of groups and people within a specific geographical location whose members have real-life interaction in a regular basis. In many cases a local scene is contained within a city but, in others, it could span a few nearby urban areas. For instance, Mexico City has it’s own local scene spanning the city itself. But, in central Texas, the local scene spans Austin, Round Rock, San Marcos and San Antonio. Members living in Austin will often be at many parties organized in San Marcos and San Antonio and residents of these cities often go, too, to Austin’s events.  It is the person-to-person interaction, and not the geography, what defines locality. If there is not much activity in your town or, if the groups are not exactly focused in the things you like, it might still be worth to socialize with the people nearby. It could be the case that your local scene is not only constrained to your city but, instead, your city would be part of a greater local community.

Planes of Interaction

Local kink communities have, at least, two planes of interaction: on-line and real-life. These two planes are strongly correlated. Many real-life groups have on-line presence which increases their visibility and eases the flow of information among members. This helps with the promotion of workshops, classes, parties, happy-hours and many other real-life interaction opportunities. There are, however, many other on-line resources which, while still local, do not directly correlate to real-life groups. For instance, on FetLife, groups such as the set of “Kink Information Centrals” of different cities, local bulletin boards, local classified ads, chat rooms or region-wide calendars are great examples of these kind of local on-line  only resources dissociated from real-life groups. Yet, these groups are still part of the local fabric because ease the real-time interaction of members and are targeted to a constraint area.


Groups, whether in real-life or on-line only, local or global have a scope. Some groups address general kink while others address specific interests. Both types of groups are important as they fill different needs in this exploration. General kink groups normally have the largest attendance, are more suitable for newcomers and require lower D/s protocol standards. They are great for socialization and exchange of information on several disciplines. For instance, in Austin, we have groups such as GWNN, TNG and Voyagers (among many others) whose scopes are general kink. This is: they do not focus their events to specific activities or fetishes. On the other hand, we have groups with more specific scopes such as Austin Rope, ARK and ClubFEM which are oriented to bondage, pet play and women dominating men respectively. While some of these groups are as open to newcomers as the general-kink groups, some may require a deeper knowledge of protocols or techniques, potentially making them less suitable for the less experienced. However, in some cases, this specificity could make it easier for the newcomer to feel comfortable about joining as those groups may, more than likely, be oriented to the topics of interests of the attendants without exposing them to other practices that may squeak a few. They would also reduce the fear and anxiety of being judged by people who do not share the same kinks. In any case, if there is a group you are interested in attending, talk to the leader and active members of the group. Almost always members are kind and approachable.


For most people kink is a leisure activity and, as any other recreation activities, events are are scheduled around weekends and holidays. However, the community is so tight-knit that groups tend to coordinate to avoid organizing events with conflicting dates and times. Several cities will keep a monthly period for parties and events; this is, the group A would organize their parties or events the first Saturday of every month, group B the second and so on. Some special, big events will also fall in specific weekends of a certain month or will be held in long weekends when  there is a holiday. For instance, Folsom Street Fair is normally held the last week of September, the GWNN bash the third weekend of July, Shibaricon on Memorial Day weekend and TES Fest during Independence Day.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Getting Your Feet Wet

Surf - Network - Meet - Play

If you are the kind of person who can easily branch out to new social circles the BDSM community will be a lot of fun for you. But, if you are of a more introverted kind, joining us can be a challenge. You may not only face the normal anxiety caused by the prospect of meeting new people; you will also have to deal with the context surrounding this characteristic we all share called kink. When you walk for the first time into a kinky group, feelings of vulnerability and exposure may run through your veins potentially triggering fear and raising many questions:

- ¿What will they think about me? ¿Will I be accepted? 
¿Will they ask me to do something kinky as soon as I show up? ¿Am I going to fit? ¿How to overcome years of sexual shame? ¿How can I even start to explore?

The mere thought of adventuring in something like this can be both: exciting and overwhelming. Every person is different and every city’s scene will have a different dynamic.

If you already jumped into meeting people and go to parties regularly ¡great job! Take the time to enjoy this new endeavor. But, if you feel you need to reach a higher level of comfort before meeting people in real-life, there are four steps that can help you make your plunge into the lifestyle smoother. Since you are reading this you have already started with the first of these steps: surfing the web.  ¡And this is a great first step! It’s the easier and less stressful approach to our community. The second step is networking which will help you understand the basic dynamic of your local scene making you more familiar with it. The third step is to meet people in real life. Events such as happy hours in public places are among the best options. And finally, if you still feel the appeal of the community, you can come and take the fourth step: actively participate. Lets look into these fours step in more detail.


The easiest, less stressful and most private way to learn about kink is internet. But... ¿Where to look? ¿What information to search for at this stage? Well, probably the best way to start is creating an account on FetLife. (See the post on Social Resources for Kink) You don’t need to set up a fancy profile at this point. You just need to get an account to start finding relevant information about your local groups. As soon as you create your account and log in, FetLife will show groups within the area your profile is located. Your goal at this point is to try to get a good idea of your local scene structure. (See the post on Local Scene Organization) Try to find which groups are more active (v.g. have more numerous and more recent messages). Identify groups that are oriented to online discussion only from those who organize real time activities. Check whether there are groups oriented to general kink and groups oriented to specific interests. You won’t need hours and hours of reading to figure this out. Maybe a couple of hours by yourself or with your partner will be sufficient. This will help you feel more comfortable to take the second step.


Now it would be helpful to have a decent profile in shape. You have already surfed other groups and, potentially, other profiles which may have provided some inspiration. Having an informative profile will get other people more engaged with your comments, messages and questions. A blank profile with no picture (or a generic picture taken from the internet) won’t spark a lot of interest. It’s also a great opportunity to do something unique and creative. If you are not of the creative type a profile with a recent picture of you and a well written introduction with good information will do. Note that the picture doesn’t need to be one that would identify you physically, there are many ways you can put a picture of yourself in creative ways to avoid jeopardizing your privacy. Also the information that you provide in your description doesn't need to have identifiable details.

Once your profile is set up, interaction with people will be much more engaging. A great way to start said interaction is participating in groups. You can ask questions (¡Please be mindful which questions you ask!) answer questions or introducing yourself (Note some groups have specific threads for introductions to avoid spamming everyone when a new member joins. Read the group’s rules before posting). Thoughtful posts will make people be more prone to approach you and the ice will start to break.

The networking stage will help you deepen your knowledge of the social scene because, now, you can ask specific questions to active members instead of just relying on FetLife’s search box or finding the correct link. You will also learn more about how real people interact. Members who are involved in several groups could be an amazing source of information. Try also to interact with as many people as you can in order to get a more objective understanding of your community. This is very important and should be stressed: talk to as many people as you can, ideally fairly active members, to try to get a better picture of your local scene. If you are starting this journey with your partner it helps a lot to have separated accounts with the appropriate relationship status so people will see you as a couple (or triplet, or n-tuplet or whatever).

In this stage, your main purpose is to identify an appropriate group, communicate with people in your local area and to start building a network of (online) friends. This way, when you actually go to a munch or activity with a group, you will already know a few people with whom you have started conversations online and you can just follow up with them in person. This will make the first interaction much easier than trying to pick a topic while meeting another 30 folks you have never seen in your life.


If any of the local groups you visited online caught your attention you may be considering attending to one of their activities. You may also already have established friendship with a few folks online through your interaction in said group on FetLife, private messages or local chats. ¿Are you eager to go out and meet people? ¡I really hope so! You will notice people are really friendly in the kinky world. Consider that a lot of us had to go through all these steps described here so we understand when a newcomer feels anxious.

It’s not rare that people feel more apprehensive about walking into a big group of people even in vanilla settings. This feeling can grow stronger in a kinky setting. However, big events in public venues organized by well established groups are the best way to start your real-life journey in a community like ours. ¡This is important! As in online dating, I strongly advise against meeting a stranger in a private venue (Like their home). It’s just a basic, common-sense safety measure. Big gatherings organized by established groups provide added advantages: big groups are not just created overnight, groups of 10 or more people have been around for a while and have been successful, their members like each other and implicitly vet each other reducing risk of a bad experience. If it makes you feel safer, arrange a safe call with a trusted friend.

Many groups require you to attend to some of their public events and socials before letting you to come to a party or workshop making social interaction a required step. It's always important to mention that, in these interactions, no one is expecting you to participate or engage in anything you don't want to. That's why these events are so useful. The fact these events are organized in well known public places sets certain standards to the behavior of the members making it easier for you to know what to expect. No group should expect you to do or behave in any way differently than in any other vanilla public interaction. If a group does want to impose a policy that is beyond what you would consider "normal interaction" at said events it should be considered a red flag and probably a good reason to check out other groups.

If your first real-time social experience with the group is good, you find the members friendly and welcoming, you like the group's rules and activities, then you might be ready for the last step.


I probably should have used a more encompassing title for this paragraph such as "Participate" or "Getting engaged" but I chose "Play" because of its connotation in our lifestyle. "Play" is a term used for the execution of actual kink activity, normally time-bounded and between, at least, two people. But the fourth step I'm trying to describe here is about experiencing kink in real-life. Play is only one aspect of this experience, albeit an important one. Other real-life activities you may be able to find in your community could be parties, classes, discussion groups, workshops, shows and even conferences. You can also be involved in different roles: attendee, volunteer, presenter, performer or organizer. Your imagination and enthusiasm is the limit. Depending on your personality and background, taking this step could be stressing because is when you'll be witnessing actual kink performances. This section is meant to provide a succinct list of characteristics most kinky events have in hopes it'll dissipate misconceptions and fears; hopefully encouraging you to eventually try it. Believe me ¡It's really exciting! 

To comply with the local laws of each country and region as well as to accommodate for the needs and interests of the members, kinky events will be subjected to different rules when it comes to matters like alcohol, nudity and sex. These rules are normally posted in the groups' forums. If you cannot find them easily feel free to ask about them to your group leaders. As a bare minimum, in order to provide a safety environment to the members, the group's rules must strive to foster the following principles: 

  • Consent - Probably the single most important concept the kink community fosters.   
  • Safety - Safe sex, safe practices, safe equipment, safe people. 
  • Optional participation - Access to a party should not be conditioned to participation in any scene. 
  • Respect your privacy -  Look for rules seeking to protect attendees privacy. What happens at a party should remain at that party.

These three guidelines are a very reduced subset of principles that groups should try to achieve; specially for those oriented towards newcomers. Groups that do not encourage principles similar to the ones enumerated here should be seen with suspicion. In a future post I'll explain in more detail these principles, what to look for in the group's rules and what to expect in these kind of events.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Social Resources for Kink

There are incalculable resources in the human spirit, once it has been set free.
Hubert H. Humphrey

FetLife: Is a social network targeted to the kink community and, as defined by its creator John Baku, an anti-dating site. ¡Wait! ¿What? Yes, FetLife is not intended to be a dating site. It has being designed to help users keep track of their social circles, participate in discussions and prioritize communication over hook-ups. There is nothing wrong with dating sites themselves; there are dating sites for kinky people too but FetLife is not one of them. Instead, it has strived to provide a framework for social and cultural interaction which is really helpful in the building of a BDSM community. If you are interested in getting involved in the kink scene at all I would highly recommend to create a profile on this website. (See Getting Your Feet Wet post).

visit FetLife

CollarMe: Is a kinky dating site with all the features dating sites normally provide: you can search by location, gender, fetishes and pretty much any parameter you would need in order  to find a person that could be kink-compatible with you. CollarMe has some characteristics of social networks too but it has not had the reach of other sites such as FetLife. Nevertheless people still use it and is an interesting site worth exploring.

UPDATE: As of May 2014 CollarMe has been closed, the link below has more information.

visit CollarMe

Find A MunchAlso known as "MALL" is a very comprehensive list of links on diverse  kink-related topics. Categorized by location, it organizes links to groups and munches around the world. ¡Yes, worldwide, I'm not kidding! Go and check it out because it could be very helpful to find groups in your local area. It also has links to some good articles about kink both, on FetLife and around the web.

visit Find A Munch

Yahoo Groups: At the dawn of internet Yahoo Groups was the hub for kink community-building. There were other BDSM-oriented sites like but those were, too, more oriented towards dating. Yahoo groups provided an easy way to share, with a bulletin board system, messages between people with common interests, fetishes,  sexual orientation, location and and other parameters. Yahoo Groups' calendars were also handy to structure and publicize events. Although bulletin board systems had been used by different kink groups before the rise of Yahoo, its groups' system had the advantage of providing a single unified interface and log-in credential. People didn't needed to go an figure out a different user interfaces or create new accounts for every single group they wanted to participate in. Yahoo groups were really active right until the rise of FetLife which has took over online kink activity since it was launched in 2008. Because of it's legacy, many groups still use Yahoo Groups  to share some information with their members. Also, its group-administration tools are more featured than those currently available on FetLife which some BDSM group organizers find handy to coordinate events.  

OkCupid: This is mostly a vanilla dating site; however, it has a great algorithm to match people with similar interests. Once you have signed up and created your profile you can answer questions that have been generated by the users themselves and yes, there are kinky questions in there. If you are kinky and answer those questions honestly you'll find more people like you. In my case, a lot of my kinky friends who are on OkCupid share a high match percentage with me (90%+). Conversely, a lot of people I've found in that dating site who have a high match percentage with me often end up coming to a happy hour or any other kink event. As a matter of fact kinkiness is one of the parameters they use to determine compatibility and it shows in your profile. I would highly recommend creating a profile there if you don't have one already.

Example of the traits OkCupid uses for matching. Note the "Kinky" trait at the very top.
visit OkCupid

Special Places: As a legacy of the pre-FetLife era, there are still some specific (and sometimes small) tribes of the greater BDSM scene that have separated networking systems. One example I'm familiar with is the tickling community. ¿¡WTF!? ¿Tickling? ¿Is that even kinky? Oh yeah it is... ¡And it's a lot of fun! But, coming back to the point discussed in this post, the tickling community has its own special, unique space known as the Tickling Media Forum (TMF). While they have Fetlife presence too, most of their activity (as of this writing) happens on TMF instead. Other specific kinks and fetishes may have their own niche forum or online networking system. If you are aware of other examples please post them in the comments. (:

visit TMF

Other local organizational tools: FetLife, CollarMe, Yahoo Groups and online forums such as TMF have a global scope. All of them, as a whole, are targeted to serve whoever wants to create a group, meet people or start a discussion all around the world. But kink is not only discussions or chats, kink is something that can be experienced and shared with people who are close to you: your local kink scene.  Many of the groups in your area will still make use of any of the previously mentioned platforms to reach their current and potential new members but , as the groups become bigger and more complex, needs for more specific organizational capabilities arise. 

Some of these tools are normally developed to fill gaps in the mainstream websites and serve specific local needs. Some of these gaps are, for instance, easing real-time interaction online. Since FetLife does not have (yet) a group chat and Yahoo disabled theirs, some groups have been using IRC-based (And other technology-based) chats. Other groups, specially those more institutionalized, use mainstream networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook (for example: TES) so that they can interact with other institutionalized organizations and celebrities that can afford to be conspicuously open in the public domain. Some cities have reach a size and level of organization to allow them coordinate city-wide calendars to help organizers, members and newcomers learn about active groups and their events in town. See, for instance, Madison, Austin, San Francisco among many others. You normally will learn about these resources once you start exploring your local scene. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

You Found the Path

Its not the Destination but the Journey that matters by bhagathkumar Bhagavathi
"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don't much care where –" said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
"– so long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

Cheshire Cat & Alice - L.C.

There are several paths that could have brought you here: anything from a friend who referred you to this site, a query on a search engine or a link randomly found on a website. You may have been following an impulse, a fantasy, a passion... Perhaps you are one of those who see things differently, one of the few who question everything, a revolutionary. Maybe you are just curious and heard about kink, sadomasochism or fetishism and felt an urge to learn more. It no longer matters which path brought you to this point; you are here along with many others who, like you, found this crossroad and are, also like you, making a path anew.

The direction you want to take from here depends on where you want to go. Odds are you already have an idea about what that place might be. You may be craving for the intimacy forged between a dominant and their submissive, maybe you search for the thrills arising from the intricate relationship between pain and pleasure or find joy in the symbolic process that transforms a mundane object into an erotic fetish. Finding your path to move forward is your privilege and duty, I can't tell you which one is it. My only purpose is to show the paths that others have taken because maybe, just maybe, one of them could take you closer to that place you want to reach.

Learning about your passions and having the courage to pursue your dreams is the first step. For many, the realization of the existence of a kink scene will be enough to start their journey but, for others, there will still be obstacles to overcome. Kink is a very personal and private aspect of everyone's life and, as such, is difficult to just jump into a community built upon the sharing of said aspects. In any case, I hope the information contained in this blog will give you some useful information about the BDSM sub-culture. For those extroverts, eager to plunge and dive in the kink scene, I hope to help you save some time in finding tools, resources and references relevant to your endeavor. For those who may be more apprehensive, I hope you'll find in these writings some words of encouragement and comfort and that the information on this blog will help you explore a whole new world. There is no reason to sit afar and hide when there are so many adventures and experiences to share, so many friends to make and so many pleasures to enjoy.

¡Welcome home!

Next recommended: Social Resources for Kink