Please tell us a little bit about yourself – How would you describe your everyday vanilla life?
Although I have a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, and worked as a forensic evaluator for a number of years, these days, my time is spent helping shape policy and programs for persons in need of behavioral health services. When not leading my team of data analysts or attending countless policy meetings, I spend my time at home like most persons in that I watch movies or shows, play games, entertain friends, etc. I have a talent for cooking which I have honed over the years. I haven't had as much a call to cook elaborate meals since the passing of my wife a year ago. With that said, I find that most things in life that are considered vanilla can have a playful element to it as well. Cooking with two can be a rather sensuous experience.
When did you first realize you were into bondage?
I realized I was into BDSM as a teenager. I grew in a large city (far cry from the small city I am in today) which had a very active alternative lifestyle community. Growing up there was a specific cable channel that would switch to public access after 10pm each day. For some reason this particular channel tended to cater to adult content as there were at least two adult oriented "talk shows" that aired on Friday and Saturday nights. While BDSM was not a common feature of those shows, the trappings of what I related to BDSM were. It was not uncommon to see leather and latex clothing on the guests or in the video reviews featured on the shows. I found the costumes to be rather engaging and I sought out material that would teach me more about BDSM. I was an early reader of Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty trilogy (I have not read the fourth book written a few years ago) which then opened up other authors. I did not get directly involved with the local BDSM community until I was in college. My involvement with the local community increased once I went away to graduate school in another metropolitan area. Safe to say that I've been involved with BDSM directly for almost 30 years.
How you best describe yourself and why? Your choices are: Dominant, Submissive, Switch or Fuzzy Rainbow Unicorn.
Dominant. I find that I get the most enjoyment and I am at my strongest when I am guiding things. My perspective on my version of a dominant is that I am a pilot of a ship and my partner is the captain. The partner gets to choose her destination. I offer a number of different choices for how to get there. Ultimately she decides where she wants to go and I plot the course. The journey tends to be a game of moves and counter moves. Even when I am with a partner that I know well, there are always nuances to any given experience so there are always new paths to take. I enjoy being able to provide the safety and structure to an experience. And I enjoy knowing that I do my role well.
Do you feel that your desire for bondage is more physical or emotional? (please elaborate)
My desire for BDSM is more emotional. While this thought is not original, there is a great deal of trust one must put in another to allow them to physically bind them. That emotional connection is what I enjoy. It says a great deal when someone allows themselves to be hooded or gagged. I appreciate a partner that can let herself flow into the moment because she knows that she will be safe and contented even though the situation might vary from her expectations in terms of intensity or degree of physical sensation.
What does BDSM mean to you: is it a lifestyle, a diversion, or something else?
For me, BDSM is a lifestyle. Being recently widowed, I have made a concerted effort to seek out a kindred spirit to, so to speak, bond with. I know that I have self-imposed limits to the degree I can express myself openly given my professional career. The community at large that I presently reside in is not the most tolerant of diverse lifestyles. While I firmly believe BDSM is a lifestyle for me, I know my limits. At present my involvement with BDSM tends to be limited to specific relationships. Most of the activity tends to occur indoors as home is where the BDSM collection resides. I have done things in public but tend to limit those to situations that would minimize the risk of drawing negative attention.
Were lovers accepting of your interest in bondage?
Yes. Partially because it was something I felt comfortable sharing early on in the relationships. I knew my late wife was the right person when she painted me picture of a bound woman after our third date. Other partners were open to exploring their personal interests, which in turn expanded my level of experience. There has not been much I have not tried in my nearly 30 years of experience with BDSM.
Please briefly describe your first bondage experience.
I will share my first "true" BDSM experience. I was dating a partner during graduate school that knew of my interest in BDSM. She expressed a desire to try bondage and had an interest in leather and latex clothing. During a holiday break from school I returned home to visit my family. While at home I made my way to a number of upscale BDSM shops in my home city. When I returned back to school a few weeks later I presented my partner with the assortment of items I acquired. I shared with her a story of a fellow, male customer that became intimidated by the various insertable toys on display at the shop. According to him, he would never get his partner such large toys because he would feel small by comparison. When I finally showed her the particular items I purchased she laughed because the objects in particular were far larger than most women ever even see, let alone experience. I'll describe the experience this way. She chose what she wanted to wear, and what she wanted to have used during the encounter. We discussed and agreed to limits. For things that she was cautious about, I indicated that I'd let her see how she responds. She was surprised that she was into more than she originally expected to be. Being a novice with ropes I relied a good deal on leather wrist and ankle cuffs for positioning. I still have the original set of cuffs from 30 years ago. Those items are old friends to me.
What was your best bondage experience?
Best experience was helping a partner push past her personal limits. A woman I was dating was interested in impact play but afraid that she'd not be able to tolerate much as she had a low tolerance for pain. I explained that one of the things that attracts me to BDSM is how seemingly incompatible events can be tied together to make for an intense, pleasurable experience. In keeping with the PG-13 version of events, in a span of a month I was able to take a novice with impact play and help her move to a place where she was proudly displaying the after effects for days later and asking for additional ways to increase her enjoyment of sensation and impact play.
What is the most creative safe word you have ever used?
Most creative word I used is not a word at all, but a hand chime. Much of the play I do involves some form of gag or hood and safe words are not practical in such situations. With each partner I have had a particular chime that they could hold in their hand and either shake to let me know things were a bit too intense or drop if things needed to pause. Buying the chimes is a bit of a ritual as it needs to be something that fits well in the hand of the partner and needs to give her the confidence that it will make sufficient sound to let me know when to ease off. This is an example of a seemingly vanilla event (buying a hand chime) having a great deal of BDSM involvement. I consider it to be akin to emotional foreplay.
What do you feel is most important about the experience of bondage?
For me, the most important aspect about the experience of bondage is both partners growing in some manner. I always learn from my partners even if it is something I have done hundreds of times. There is always room to learn and grow. I find it attractive when a partner is emotionally and/or physically drained and she has a beaming smile on her face because we both shared in something special.
What is the best advice you would give to someone just starting out with BDSM?
The best advice I can give to someone just starting out with BDSM is to be an educated student when it comes to the internet. I grew up as an early adopter of computers (I was programming computers when I was nine) which also means I sought out all the adult related material on dial-up Bulletin Board Systems that I could find. When I started meeting people interested in BDSM, Yahoo had chat rooms. BDSM and alternative lifestyles were not as accessible as they are today. I believe people should connect with a source that they find trustworthy and build knowledge from that connection. There is a great deal of intolerance and misunderstanding of BDSM in some communities which can make it challenging for someone that cannot find a ready outlet for their interests. I would caution those individuals to be always mindful that they need to feel safe in whatever the situation and to always have the ability to say no. I guess the best thing I can say is for persons just starting off to take their time and be patient. I may have started my interest in BDSM as an early teen but I did not get fully involved in the community until I was 23. In the years between I learned about what is commonly considered BDSM as opposed to abuse. I also learned that anything worth doing is worth taking the time to become familiar with. Best advice I ever got was from local stores. Good salespersons will ask what one is seeking and provide guidance. I also found stores to be a great source for guiding one to like-minded individuals.
What is your favorite gear, toy or lingerie item from sub-shop.com and why?
I first learned of Sub-Shop in July 2018. Since then I've had eight orders. While It is hard to choose a favorite I have two I can readily speak to. First is a red and black open breast straightjacket. This item is perfect. Great fitting, easy to put on and fix in place, and easy to remove. Of course it does precisely what it is intended to do -- restricts movement of hands and arms during play. Some of my best memories are of partners wearing that item. Second item are foot bondage booties. These items were extremely helpful in preparing a partner for walking in ballet heels. They're rather simple in design in that they stretch the toes towards the heel. I probably have bought around twenty separate things from Sub-Shop and I have been well satisfied with them all.
What is the one sensual fantasy you haven’t lived out yet that you are excited to try?
I have always wanted to become proficient with rope play to the point that I could try suspension. However, for that I'd really need to go take a course as the risks of not doing it correctly are rather high. There are opportunities in the state I live in that there are at least three or four major BDSM or fetish events each year. Trick is to find the time to be able to attend.
If you had to be trapped in a tv show for a month, which would you choose and why?
If I had to be trapped in a tv show for a month I'd presently choose Russian Doll. I am fascinated with the idea of how I might alter each 24-hour day knowing that my actions would reset due to an untimely passing.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us such as advice, thoughts or a silly knock-knock jokes? We are all ears and ball gags.
Let's go with an observation:
True Masochist to a True Sadist: Hurt me.
True Sadist to a True Masochist: No.