Fetish Series: Pictures and Video

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The very first thing that needs to be said here is: You can’t trust anyone. I am sorry if that is cynical or if you don’t agree. But it’s the truth. In our modern world, you have to work very hard to avoid compromising pictures/video of you showing up online.

It’s true that several states have passed laws against pictures of you being uploaded without your consent. However, once something is on the internet, it is there forever. If you end up on a revenge porn website, you can go to civil rights lawyers who specialize in that sort of thing and try to get help. However, as they will point out, it’s impossible to know where pictures of you have been uploaded, and finding them all and sending cease and desist orders will not “fix” the problem.

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There are hard truths to face here. Overwhelmingly, it is men who hide cameras or even tell women they are photographing/videotaping them, and then later in a moment of rage, they upload the pictures/video.

So what can you do?

If you agree to any pictures or video, make sure you are the one in possession of the recording device, and that it stays in your possession. Don’t share any pictures/video. Just say that it’s something you want to experience together or not at all, and then don’t back down.

As it happens, there are no naked pictures of me on the internet. However, there are naked pictures of all my friends, because they sent naked pictures saying “My master would never betray me.” And then, big surprise, he did.

I know the “not all men” folks will come out of the woodwork now and say “But I would never do that.” Well, good for you. But according to statistics, that makes you part of a very small minority. And that makes my warning prudent even if you think it is unfair.

As far as I can tell, there are literally zero websites devoted to hidden camera footage of men naked. There are no revenge porn websites full of dick pictures or full frontals of guys. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find any naked pictures of men online that they didn’t upload themselves.

Please, correct me if I am wrong. Show me the websites devoted to posting photos of unconsenting men. Show me a few ruined careers when the boss found out, and some unapologetic women saying “It’s not illegal to have a camera on in my room. If it happens to stream online, well, it’s not like he asked first if I had a camera on.”

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So keep an eye out for hidden cameras. Make sure you know someone before getting naked at their house (and remember their are whole websites devoted to hidden camera pictures of women peeing, so you aren’t even safe in the bathroom.)

Definitely don’t take pictures and send them. And don’t let anyone photograph/take video of you unless it’s on your device and you can be sure that you will be able to maintain control.

If you are going to end up on a porn website, it should be because you consented to it and got paid for it. It shouldn’t be because some asshole stole your imagine and uploaded it. So take care of yourself and don’t let anyone push you into taking pictures or video. Ever.

Just say no.

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All that being said, it can be a fun experience to record/photograph yourselves. I have done it on occasion, on my own phone (and after we watched it I deleted it right away.) It is interesting to see yourself doing things, and it can be really exciting.

Just be careful.

Also on the note of pictures and video, some people have a fetish for watching porn during sex or trying to recreate a porn at home. It’s not my kink, but I suppose the appeal is obvious: extra stimulation. I don’t know how these couples agree on porn (my husband and I don’t watch much of the same kind of porn) but good for them for being able to compromise on something like that.

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Fetish Series: Pushing Boundaries

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It is simultaneously really simple and really difficult to define what a fetish is.

From the Wiki page, the suggestion is that a sexual fetish is a focus on an inanimate object or non-genital part of the body. The idea is that a person gets sexual pleasure from something that is not inherently sexual.

In spite of this seemingly easy definition, I would argue that in practice, there are actually a lot of gray areas involved.

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For example, hook suspension is not a new practice, and not all people that do it fetishize it. However, some people who do it do fetishize it. So when we talk about it, it’s important to be clear that some do it for the mental clarity and the peace they feel when they are suspended. On the other hand, some get a sexual thrill from it. (Watching, participating, doing the rigging, etc.)

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Many things being fetishized are not always a fetish. Take Tens Units and Violet Wands, for example. Many people do use these devices to stimulate muscles after an injury or to help with muscle spasms (as is their stated purpose.) However, many others have an electricity fetish and consider these devices to be kinky. In fact, at most “tastings” (fetish events where you can try things out) there will be a station set up with a Tens Unit or Violet Wand.

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You are always going to find people who use a vibrator as a “neck massager” because that is how it is advertised and they really are that naive. Most of us can agree as a society that we know a Magic Wand is for female masturbation and not neck massages.

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My point is, in some ways a Violet Wand is a sex toy, and in some ways it is not. If you get a thrill from electricity like my husband does, then it is definitely a sex toy. However, if you’re using it for a muscle injury, then obviously it is not.

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Additionally, you are likely to see things like Violet wands and Hook Suspensions at a kink party in Arizona (where I am from,) but that doesn’t mean that the people who are there for those things are necessarily part of the kink community. So, on the outer limits of fetish culture there are blurred lines, and you should try to avoid making assumptions if you can. Always ask people questions rather than guessing at the answers.

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As I have said through all the posts in this fetish series I am doing, there are blurred lines. Vanilla people engage in a lot of behavior that could be considered fetishized, but they don’t think of it that way or interact with the community. And in the community many people do things that seem like they are extreme and pushing the outer limits of kink, but some of those people don’t consider those things at all sexual.

The key to all of this is just to try to remain tolerant, open-minded, and understanding.

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Fetish Series: Body Fluids

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This is probably the fetish group most pointed to when people want to prove that the kink community is “sick” and that we’re all terrible.

I can not tell you how many times I have said I was into kink and people have said ignorant things like “Oh, that’s gross. I wouldn’t want someone to poop on me or whatever.”

They bring up that old to girls one cup video and talk about how twisted we all are, and I know that it would be an uphill battle to ever get them to consider anything open-minded.

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So look, there are very devoted fetishists in the areas of blood play, bukkake, drinking breast milk or lactation fetishes, golden showers, and even scat play. These are some of the most Googled fetishes, and are featured in whole worlds of specialized porn.

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If you don’t want to pretend to be a vampire and drink blood, then I am not going to judge you for that. However, I really think we need to stop judging people who do. Vampire culture has been around for hundreds of years, and people have been drinking blood as long as there have been people. If you don’t like it, okay. But don’t use blood play enthusiasts as an example of what is wrong with the world.

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Bukkake isn’t for everyone. Many women find men’s cum to be stringy and gross (I would argue that it depends of the guy.) I understand why some people are repulsed by this fetish. But again, some people think it’s sexy; particularly men who associate cum with orgasm and therefore feel that a girl playing with their cum somehow validates their orgasm. Don’t judge.

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Lactation fetishes and a love of breast milk and pregnant women is also one of those fetishes that people like to point to as if there is something wrong with it. I can’t think of anything more natural than breast milk, actually. For most of human history we all started out drinking it. If you don’t think it’s sexy, that’s fine. However I think it’s fair to say that lots of people find it sexy, and they don’t deserve to be marginalized just because you don’t understand why.

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As for golden showers and scat play, this is often part of a power dynamic. The submissive feels degraded and humiliated (common fetishes) by being forced to endure contact with the most forbidden of all things. The master feels powerful because they are humiliating and degraded their sub.

Again, your kink is not my kink and that is okay.

Let’s try to remember that fetishes related to body fluids are very popular, and often if you are talking about how gross you think it is, it’s likely that you are talking to (or near) someone who would disagree.

I know I like sweaty, wet, messy sex. I like it when I need a shower afterwards. I don’t necessarily want to be neat and prim about something that is a really primal act in my mind. So, you know, who am I to judge?

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Fetish Series: Role Play

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Role Play is another enormous group of things, and as with everything else in this series, vanilla people do it too.

A vanilla example of role play would be something like this:

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A husband and wife are bored of talking about/doing the same old things. They plan to meet at a bar, but both pretend to be different people. Maybe Sally the Housewife turns into Candy the stripper, and Dan the Accountant turns into Bob the Fireman.

They flirt as different people, go home as different people, and have sex as different people. This helps fulfill the desire for variety that can be difficult to satisfy in a monogamous relationship, and it can also just be fun to try on a new persona for the night.

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However, some people like very specific things. I once got asked to join a threesome dressed as Black Widow, where the other two participants would be Hawkeye and Captain America (though Captain America was going to be played by a girl with a strap-on.) I was down for the idea, but had already scheduled an event out of town when they visited. I am still disappointed that I missed it.

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Still, this is a perfect example of a very fetish-specific form of role play. In this case, the fetish was comic books. However, it could just as easily have been role play of elves, animals, or incestuous family members. There are all kinds of people with all kinds of fetishes.

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The most maligned of all role play fetishes that you see in media/culture is furries.

Furries are people who like to dress as animals to meet, date, and have sex. This seems to attract negative attention as a fetish for a few reasons. First, the suits are expensive. A good furry suit can cost more than $1,000. So I think discriminatory people find the cost extreme for what they consider to be a “sex thing” (though like with many fetishes it’s really more of a lifestyle thing.) I also think people find furries an easy target because they think dressing up as an animal has to cross some line in culture where everyone can just agree that it is wrong. They find furries easy to point to and say “but that is weird!”

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I would argue that it’s actually a really neat fetish. You don’t have to be self-conscious, because no matter what you look like, you’re hidden in a suit. So if you don’t like your height, weight, nose, or anything else; that’s okay because all anyone sees is a sexy fox or a cute raccoon.

Plus, many furries don’t exchange real names, instead staying in character as their animal. So it’s also anonymous sex, which many people find exciting. You don’t know if the person you are having sex with is young or old, or what they look like. I think glory holes appeal to the same sort of call of the mysterious.

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Obviously the most prominent role play in the kink community is the power exchange between a dominant party and a submissive party. This is the underlying role play that we all do in our relationships, and what makes sex more fun for us than when it is just vanilla.

Sure, sometimes we role play the kidnapper and the hostage. Some folks enjoy rape play. Some enjoy race play. And there is an underlying power dynamic that is generally involved in these types of role play.

However, at the end of the day, we all role play master and servant, or dom and sub, or mistress and pet. That is really the very essence of what the kink community is all about.

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Fetish Series: Bondage

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I am going to start with the joke that isn’t funny (above). Do not ever restrain your partner and then leave them, unless this is a pre-arranged situation and they have an abandonment fetish. Even then, you need to be close by to monitor the situation in case there is a fire, the house is broken into, a swam of bees gets in the house, etc…

Seriously, it’s not funny to handcuff your partner to the bed and then leave. I see this all the time in TV/movies/cartoons/culture presented as a hilarious joke, but it’s really not amusing, okay?

BDSM motto: “Safe, sane, and consensual.”

Period.

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Now again, every vanilla person has handcuffed a sexual partner at some point. So like all things, there is a gradient of kink here. Handcuffs really aren’t very kinky, because kink is about sexual taboo, and about things outside of the normal.

So what else is there?

Well first, I recommend anyone even considering cuffs use leather instead of metal. This is because they won’t cause permanent damage to a submissive or the furniture. It’s just a better way to go.

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You can use a series of leather cuffs to bind a person, and it is a quick and easy way to ensure that they are unable to move. Wrist and ankle cuffs are the most common, but obviously you can get them in various sizes, and with various lengths of chain/straps to connect them.

This isn’t necessarily an elegant way to bind someone, but it is easy to get in and out of, and it doesn’t require a significant commitment of time or effort.

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Probably the most beautiful and elegant way to bind someone is shibari, or Japanese rope bondage. This is a skill that takes practice, and it is definitely fancy enough to be considered an art form.

Because any kind of rope bondage can be dangerous (cutting off circulation to limbs can cause permanent damage) I recommend learning from people who really know what they are doing. Both the Knotty Boys and Twisted Monk offer wonderful video tutorials.

People who become very skilled in this art will sometimes also do rope suspensions from hard points in the ceiling. However, again, this takes a lot of practice and is not for beginners.

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One way to learn things like Shibari and suspensions is through your community, so make sure to check your local resources. Some cities have awesome public dungeons that you can visit like the CSPC (which contains a learning annex), and even small towns have members on Fetlife.com who can help you find a workshop to go to.

Remember, don’t be shy. Use the local resources in your community to learn about BDSM safely! I know that at first you might feel nervous about it, but do it anyway.

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If you would rather, there are body suits you can buy for bondage. Some are leather, and some are latex. Both are very popular, and indeed, some people have fetishes just based around the wearing of leather/latex.

However, if the material doesn’t matter to you, then you can simulate the same kind of thing with plastic wrap. It is cheap, but very restrictive.  I would ask that you be careful to ensure that your submissive has plenty of circulation to all body parts, and also that you make sure to have a cutting tool on hand.

As long as you keep those things in mind, it’s a fun option for full-body bondage.

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There is all kinds of furniture designed for bondage. Above is a spanking bench, but there are also stockades, spanking poles, and all kinds of other options.

Making your own is typically cheaper, as it is rare that you can find such things for purchase, and when you do the price is typically steep.

So, you might want to take a basic carpentry class is furniture is your thing. It will save you money/effort in the long run, and carpentry is an easy and fun hobby.

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Perhaps also in the category of furniture is cages. You can typically find these for purchase because cages are used for dogs, and also for larger animals in zoos. Specialty pet stores will often have fancy options, and also your basic kennels available.

However, you can also weld your own, or purchase some that are specifically intended for kink. My friend Steve Haworth happens to do this, and makes very cool round cages that come in two parts which fit together.

In any case, cages are another form of bondage that you may be interested in.

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Gags are also a popular form of bondage. Remember, if you use them, you will need a non-verbal safe word of some kind. Please decide this before play.

There are several kinds of gags. I am going to go ahead and say that ball gags are only for looks. They are way too easy for a bratty sub to spit out. If you like the look, I won’t fault you.

However, if you actually want to gag someone and have them stay gagged, I recommend a spider gag. They also look cool, and no sub is spitting those out!

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This all seems very elaborate, and maybe some people feel that such elaborate apparatus are going “over the top.” I would remind you that all these things can be fun if you are willing to give them a try, but that it’s perfectly fine if you are lazy like me and typically just bind someone with gear ties. (Yes, I really do.) Bondage can be fancy and it is often beautiful when it is. But of course, it doesn’t have to be.

Remember there are often a thousand ways to do something, and they can all be fun.

Your kink is not my kink, and that’s okay!

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Fetish Series: Impact Play

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Impact play is another umbrella of things. It can be as innocent as a bare hand spanking, or as intense as a flogging with barbed wire.

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Note: I want to reiterate that I am in no way saying that leaving permanent marks is wrong. However, I do feel that extra checking in is important when permanent marks are possible/expected. I have certainly had folks in the community tell me that I need to stop pushing my conservative agenda and shut up, because if someone wants to let their Dom pierce/tattoo/scar them, it’s none of my business.

I get that attitude. And yet, I think that if we are to claim that we are responsible as a community, then we should always make sure that a person who is going to have permanent marks is in a healthy state mentally, and that they understand what they are agreeing to.

Some impact play can leave permanent marks, so like with all things that can, I want to implore you to make sure that all parties understand what they are consenting to. Then, by all means, bring on the whips made of barbed wire if that’s what you want to do.

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Now then, impact play can be something as innocent as a bare-handed spanking. I think most vanilla couples have tried that. It’s a fairly tame thing to do. As we always talk about, aim for the fatty areas and try to hit straight-on.

However, we can involve toys too. Here are some popular toys for impact play (by no means a complete list):

-Floggers
-Whips
-Paddles
-Canes
-Crops

*Seriously, you can hit someone with anything. These are just a few common toys.

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Each category of toy can be broken down farther. For example, with paddles, there are a lot of different kids. Some are wooden and light, which will cause a stinking pain and be more likely to break skin. Some are wooden, but very thick and heavy. This is more about the sensation of the impact, and about feeling your body move with each blow.

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Then, some paddles are made of leather. They can be decorated with rivets like the one pictured above, or left plain. Again, how they will feel when used is a function of how long and wide they are, as well as how thick.

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Regardless of what you use, the goal with impact play is generally to start out slow and soft; almost teasing. Then, slowly build to a more intense sensation. So when I am going to beat my sub with a riding crop, maybe I will start but just running it along his skin and letting him see it. Then I might start with a few soft swats in key areas. As things get going, then I will start to hit harder and more frequently.

This is not how everyone does it. You can do whatever you want. However, the general wisdom is that it is more pleasant for the sub if you build up to the harder hits, instead of starting out whacking them as hard as you can.

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Obviously most of us want to avoid permanent damage. That means sticking to fatty areas and not hitting nerve clusters. There are plenty of diagrams and charts on the internet, so remember to have a look at one before using a new toy, just to be safe.

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Remember to check with your partner beforehand. You may have made a flogger out of computer chords which you are very proud of, but your partner might not be interested in having it used on them (plastic chords can do a lot of damage, after all.)

It’s fine to use household items to enhance your kink. Just be aware of what the items can do, and get consent from the person they will be used on.

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I know one item that can be a touchy subject is a wooden spoon. Within a certain generation, it seems pretty much all kids were beaten by their mothers with wooden spoons. This can still be a touchy issue, as can any abuse suffered in childhood. So, again, try to be aware of your submissive’s state of mind at all times, and make sure that they are okay.

And remember, just because you draw the line at a little light flogger, doesn’t mean it’s wrong for someone to enjoy being covered with welts from a caning. Your kink is not my kink, and that’s okay.

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