Please tell us a little bit about yourself – How would you describe your everyday vanilla life?
In everyday life I’m a software/hardware engineer for a design company focused on safety systems, from amusement park rides to pyrotechnics. Unfortunately computers don’t understand Safe Words as well as humans do, so somebody has to do the coding to make sure they behave and nobody breaks the toys! Before that I was a Correctional and Security Officer for several years (where else can I get paid to play with handcuffs daily?)
When did you first realize you were into bondage?
We’re going to have to go to childhood for this one. I wouldn’t say I understood what the word meant at the time, or what it involved, but looking back on it I can definitely say that’s when it started. I remember playing with my first set of ‘child-safe’ handcuffs you would find in the grocery store (do they even sell those anymore?) and, well, for some reason, it felt right. This was back in the days before the internet (did…did I just age myself?) so the most exposure I had was wandering onto BBS sites and downloading as much literature and, well, images, I could get my hands on (age verification was a very inaccurate science in those days). With more exposure to the lifestyle, if only from a 3rd party point of view, I knew that it felt right and it called to me.
When I originally started in the lifestyle I was most definitely a mix between Switch and Fuzzy Rainbow Unicorn…I didn’t know what to do and what to expect, but I wanted to explore everything possible in the realm. One cannot say something is not for them unless they themselves have learned what it is, can they? As life progressed, as things normally do, I was, for all intents and purposes, forced into the Dominant role in my first lifestyle relationship. Being a switch from the start, I felt like the submissive side of me was being lost, not being nurtured. Every coin has two sides, and unless you know them both, how can one excel at either? These days I consider myself a submissive at heart. In the real world, I must be Dominant to my subordinates, my coworkers, and even my customers when things matter. However, outside of the world, I need to unwind and feel not in control, in order to balance both sides of the coin. I do have my Dominant streaks now and then at home, but those are reserved for special occasions .
Do you feel that your desire for bondage is more physical or emotional? (please elaborate)
For myself, it’s a mix of both worlds. The physical side, the restraint, the loss of control (for the most part, safe words after all), is a release for me from having to be in control constantly. However, the bond between my Mistress and I is on a very deeply emotional level. The connection during a play session is something that cannot even be quantified, let alone described adequately with the words available in the English language (there may be some in French, but alas, I only know very little). The physical side releases me from choice, but the emotional side fills that release with joy.
Were lovers accepting of your interest in bondage?
My first wife had no idea the lifestyle actually existed, so for all intents and purposes, I brought her into the fold. It started out playfully of course, silk ties, nothing too serious or daunting, but we both enjoyed it. Like myself, she identified as a switch when I finally got the courage to explain more about the lifestyle itself, beyond just the playing aspect. As I mentioned previously, she decided the submissive side was her lot in life and I was very happy to accommodate her in that respect. Unfortunately, my desire to also play the role inevitably ended that relationship, however we remain good friends. My current wife, Mistress, and confidant, was already into the lifestyle when I met Her through a local group of fellow enthusiasts I was a member of. She Herself had the exact opposite life experience, forced to be the submissive at all times. So strangely enough, it was a perfect match. We both switched our roles and have been together for nearly 14 years now. As I mentioned, we do switch back on the rare occasion just for some good laughs (I’m apparently REALLY out of practice…) but the connection and acceptance has always been there.
Please briefly describe your first bondage experience.
My first experience would have been while I was still young and learning. I’m sure some people in the lifestyle started out the same way I did, by self-bondage due to the lack of a partner. By my standards today, it was quite crude, though I knew enough from my readings about safe ways out (key in an ice-cube…tried and true). It was a simple spread-eagle on my bed, with a curious addition of a toy that I had purchased through a catalog (it’s a wonder what you can get your hands on through the mail). I didn’t know what it was for exactly, but in all the photos I had collected, it looked like a requirement! That would also be the first time I experienced a la petit mort (see, I told you I knew some French!) After that, the two were inexorably tied together, pun intended.
What was your best bondage experience?
I can only describe the best thus far, as there is plenty of time to improve even on that. Oddly enough, the best experience thus far was also the most, I don’t want to say minimalistic (though by our standards it is), but so simple. I had built for Her a backboard, for lack of a better term. Just a pair of 2x4’s joined side by side, 4” of high density memory foam (completely wrapped in black leather of course…we’re not savages…) and an ungodly number of ½” thick nylon straps with buckles attached permanently to the board by anchors underneath. I wore a latex hood (nose openings only), earplugs, rubber mitts, other items that are best left to the imagination, and then placed inside of a mummy bag (this one from the site to be exact), before being strapped down to the board. If you’re thinking that’s nowhere near minimalistic…heh…we’ve done much worse Now, usually at this point, She pulls out one of my other little inventions (engineer…remember?). Artfully named the black box (though, in hindsight, I should probably have painted the case black…) it allows Her to plug in a number of…lets say…electronic stimulation devices…pre-programmed on the PC to turn on, off, or produce an infinite number of different patterns at Her whim. Normally, I’d spend the next hour or so being tormented by the little devils (more so depending on which program she puts in) before continuing on. However, on this specific day, there were no toys, just myself, my thoughts, and absolutely no outside world. Think of sensory deprivation to a very high degree. In that setup, time loses meaning. I don’t know if it was an hour, 5 minutes, or an entire season of Her favorite show before she came back, as I had no way of knowing when she would. When she did however, a single touch was all it took to bring everything back into focus suddenly, I felt centered, I felt whole, and I felt right. The rest of the day is, well, a blur, but that moment there was the best experience I can remember to date. Though, we always plan on outdoing ourselves on the next time around Always room for improvement!
What is the most creative safeword you have ever used?
Traditionally we stick with the stop-light method (Green/Yellow/Red) but I did yell out ‘Shenanigans!’ once which took us both by surprise, and the fit of laughter on both of our parts pretty much signaled a stall in the activities. Close enough!
What do you feel is most important about the experience of bondage?
For us, the most important thing is the connection it creates between yourself and your partner. During those moments in a play session or scene your thoughts are only on that of the other person. The rest of the world means nothing during that time, only the connection with your partner. It is such a deep connection, based on trust and love (and lust, let’s not kid ourselves…) that it is the corner stone by which we experience the joys of bondage play. If either of us is missing that connection, things just aren’t right.
What is the best advice you would give to someone just starting out with BDSM?
I can give three pieces of advice. First, for the love of god, don’t use a toy on your partner unless you’ve used it on yourself first (where applicable), otherwise you’re going to have a LOT of explaining to do when you break your toy (or your partner, which could be one and the same thing…). Secondly, go slowly. Trust is a major factor in all BDSM play, full stop. Without it, you’ll spend more time worrying about what’s going to happen next instead of looking forward to what might happen next. Trust is gained slowly, especially with a new partner, so nurture it; the rewards far outweigh the time. Finally, a lot of people probably run into the same road-block (we have) where it seems like you’re just doing the same things over and over again. What fun can there be in that? When that train of thought begins, I remind Her, that it doesn’t matter what She’s doing, or if we’ve done it before. The play itself is just the cake, and all cakes are made the same way. What’s important is what the cake means to each other. It’s an occasion to be happy, to laugh, to have fun, and get out some pent up frustrations in the most sensual way possible. It may be the same cake, but we’re still all going to enjoy it!
What is your favorite gear, toy or lingerie item from sub-shop.com and why?
Our favorite piece of gear we have doesn’t appear to be on the site anymore! Sad face. It’s a red and black latex cat-suit, of sorts, with rings down the sides and the arms have to be folded inside of the suit (think of ‘I dream of Jeanie’) before it’s zippered up and buckled in the back. No escape from that one! And plenty of access when needed <weg>.
What is the one sensual fantasy you haven’t lived out yet that you are excited to try?
What’s your favorite knock-knock joke?
Don’t really have one, which seems quite odd for me. However I do have a joke that is used quite often around my workplace:
How many software engineers does it take to change a lightbulb?
None…it’s a hardware problem.
Yeah, yeah, not funny. We design contraptions that keep people alive when everything goes wrong, so our creativity is great, but we don’t get out very often…
What is Eskimo ice?
I have no idea, and I’m deadly afraid of what the answer might be…
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.
Remember, everything in this flavor of the world is about having fun and enjoying yourself. If you don’t have any fun, then you really have nothing at all. Keep your Dominant/submissive happy, and they’ll keep you happy, I can think of no better way to live than that.