Please tell us a little bit about yourself – How would you describe your everyday vanilla life?
In a word: busy. I remarried several years ago to an amazing woman who is an artist, like myself, and we run a small business. We also both have full-time day jobs - I’m in computer consulting and she’s a secretary. Between our jobs, creating art, vending, and taking care of our house, time to ourselves is currently a challenge.
When did you first realize you were into bondage?
That would be about seventeen seconds into my first experience (as a teen). Prior to that, I was abstractly aware that it was something people did, but didn't really know much about it and didn't feel particularly drawn to it. That changed rather quickly.
How you best describe yourself and why? Your choices are: Dominant, Submissive, Switch or Fuzzy Rainbow Unicorn.
Dominant, of the daddy/caretaker flavor (with a hint of mad scientist). It works well for me - I can be nurturing and sadistic at the same time, and play with gadgets too!
I know it's useful in a general sense, but I’ve always been a bit uncomfortable with strict categorization - people have a tendency to make assumptions based on those labels. I've also seen heated arguments about what makes a "true" dominant or a "real" submissive, which I think is completely pointless and a compelling argument for adopting the previously mentioned Fuzzy Rainbow Unicorn label.
This was surprisingly difficult to answer. We talked about it and decided it's really a mix. I certainly like being creative with the hardware and the toys, and she likes the sensations of being tied up and tormented, but the closeness that brings us is just as important. Neither of us is interested in casual play; without the strong emotional connection it wouldn't be the same (at least not for us).
What does BDSM mean to you: is it a lifestyle, a diversion, or something else?
It's an important part of our lives, but I don’t think I’d consider it a lifestyle. While I certainly can't imagine a serious relationship without kink elements, it remains just one component of the entire whole. At the end of the day the grass still needs to be mowed, the trash has to be taken out, and my partner has emotional needs that can't always be met with set of cuffs and a paddle.
Having said that, though, I know there are more things we’d like to do outside the bedroom. We’ve attended a few fetish events and would like to do more, and we have an adult toy store nearby that holds all sorts of interesting classes.
Were lovers accepting of your interest in bondage?
Yes, although the ex-wife was hesitant at first. I've talked with enough people to know I've been quite lucky in that regard. I also understand being into kinky things can make dating a bit of a challenge, but I’ve been fortunate there as well; I’m a firm believer in being completely open about things like BDSM, especially in the early stages of a relationship.
Please briefly describe your first bondage experience.
I was dating someone I'd recently met through a friend and didn't really know me very well. The first time we got beyond the petting stage she surprised me by asking me to tie her up. Which I did, badly, using scarves, but it was enough to get me hooked. The second time I brought rope and was a little better prepared. I found the idea that she was aroused by being restrained (and she was) just as exciting as tying her up. Haven't looked back since.
What was your best bondage experience?
Nothing in my past holds a candle to the current experiences with my wife. She's very into sensation and electrical play, and we've just started experimenting with some stricter bondage. So, really I can't say what may be best yet...they keep getting better. Sterling is open-minded, very willing, and quite adventurous. Check back in a few years.
What is the most creative safeword you have ever used?
This is an area where I think simplicity counts more than creativity. Currently its "apples" - Sterling is a fan of the TV show "Castle", and it's Richard Castle's safeword. Before that, it was "raspberry". Hmm...seems to be a trend.
What do you feel is most important about the experience of bondage?
The intimacy, particularly the sharing of trust. My partner is giving me a gift of herself; in turn I do everything I can me to honor that gift and give her back what she is seeking. There is something very primal and very satisfying about a person totally surrendering themselves to you, mentally and physically.
What is the best advice you would give to someone just starting out with BDSM?
Communication, beyond anything else, is absolutely essential. Even at the most basic scarves-and-fuzzy-handcuffs level this is not something you should be doing with someone you can't talk to. There's too much room for misunderstanding and too great a probability of a miscommunication spoiling what should be a wonderful experience.
Beyond that, a sense of humor is invaluable - the best plans can go off the rails, and the ability to laugh at yourself can salvage just about any situation.
And of course, buy a really good pair of scissors.
What is your favorite gear, toy or lingerie item from sub-shop.com and why?
Personally, I'm a huge fan of bondage tape; it's extremely versatile, and especially useful when traveling.
Sterling loves the wide range of electrical toys on the site. That type of sensation doesn’t do much for me (I test everything on myself first) but she absolutely adores it (at least I'm pretty sure that's what those sounds mean).
What is the one sensual fantasy you haven’t lived out yet that you are excited to try?
We’ve only been married a few years, so we're still eagerly experimenting. So far we've either done (or plan to do) whatever my evil subconscious can come up with.
However, if I'm completely honest with myself I have to admit to being curious about being on the other end of the flogger (so to speak) at least once - I've never taken a submissive role in any relationship I've been in.
What’s your favorite knock-knock joke?
Hey, that's one of my favorite shows!
(I had eight kids...you do NOT want to get me started with bad jokes...otherwise I'll find out what YOUR safeword is).
Is there anything else you would like to share with us such as advice, thoughts or more knock-knock jokes? We are all ears and ball gags.
Autumn, we really appreciate that you're getting regular people to share their interest and enthusiasm for bondage. It's always very frustrating (and not in a good way) to see BDSM and the subculture portrayed in a negative light. Frustrating, and all too common. Positive depictions of kink in mainstream media are few and far between, which is a shame considering the considerable percentage of people that actually enjoy these experiences.
For us, as a loving, committed couple, BDSM brings us closer together and allows us to address both needs and desires that we might otherwise never have expressed.
And it's a helluva lot of fun.