Vertigo sent one novice to find out more about the lighter side of Bondage, Discipline, and Sadomasochism. Kaitlin Lake reported for duty.

 

Mission: To explore the dark and often taboo world of BDSM. I don’t intend on actually being tied up and whipped with a chain, I’ll just be investigating this subculture as it extends beyond the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon.

Literature


E. L. James’ erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey caused a global sensation upon publication, selling over 70 million copies worldwide. It became the fastest selling paperback of all time, surpassing even the Harry Potter series. Since this, knowledge of the sexual practices of bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, and sadism/masochism (BDSM) has become widespread. Personally, my favourite quotes from the novel, which originally started as Twilight fan-fiction can be found in the contract that the dominant Christian Grey formulates for his ‘sub’ Anastasia: “15.21 The Submissive shall accept whippings, floggings, spankings, caning, paddling or any other discipline the Dominant should decide to administer, without hesitation, enquiry or complaint.” While quotes such as this, which detail the ‘chains and whips’ aspect of BDSM, Fifty Shades also explores the psychological aspects of the practice: “It’s about gaining your trust and your respect, so you’ll let me exert my will over you. I will gain a great deal of pleasure, joy, even in your submission.” James, although perhaps the most widely known, was not the first to publicly write about the enjoyment that can be derived from BDSM practices. The Kama Sutra, which historians believe was composed some time between 400BCE and 200CE, tells of the pleasure of pinching, biting, hitting and impact play during lovemaking.

Hours wasted: Too many to count (thanks heaps E.L. James)

Kink factor: 4/5

 

Online forums

To learn about BDSM beyond the confines of James’ ‘mommy-porn’, I took to fetlife.com, the Facebook of the BDSM community. The first step was creating my online profile; I created a username, answered some questions, and thus KinkyKaitlin was born. A whole new world (or a new fantastic point of view) appeared when I was asked to select my ‘role’. Mistress, domme, pet, slave, sadomasochist, babygirl, kinkster, hedonist; I didn’t even know what half of these meant. Googling ‘kajira’ and other such terms not only proved fascinating, but also ensured a questionable internet history. Amongst advertisements for nipple clamps and crotchless panties, was the Novices & Newbies forum, the perfect place for KinkyKaitlin. Advice ranged from how to find a safe dom/sub to how to convince a ‘vanilla’ partner to fulfill your BDSM desires. The forum contained a plethora of information and revealed a community of people from around the world who were admirably focussed on safety before anything else.

Hours wasted: 4


Kink factor: 2/5.Extremely informative but failed to stir my ‘inner goddess’.

Chatting Online

Random chat sites like Omegle and Chat Roulette enable users to chat to others based on similar interests. Random strangers and I were matched on our similar interest in BDSM. I opened with the classic line “dom or sub?” My first encounter was with an overweight British man with a beard, and stripy red tie, who told me he was at work. I instructed him to take off his tie and he complied unquestioningly. Good sub. At my request he proceeded to roll his tie into a ball and put it in his mouth. However, because he was at work he refused to satisfy any more of my whims, and then disconnected. My second random stranger was from Denmark and was the spitting image of Chad Michael Murray. We began with some small talk, he told me about the sexual habits of Hans Christian Andersen and I asked how Princess Mary was doing. Before long we had moved to the subject of anal fisting. However, even the beauty of CMM’s chiseled jaw was no match for the experience which came with my third online encounter, a lanky, brunette youth from Ireland. “I am your mistress,” I began, and he complied with my commands. By the end of our 45 minute conversation I had made him “shake his booty”, “do a handstand”, and “act like a cat”, and yes, I assure you that I have proof in video form. Perhaps our encounter was not as intense as the scenes between Anastasia and Christian, but I sure felt powerful when he lay shirtless, in the fetal position, meowing like a kitty. Hours wasted: 3


Kink factor: 4/5. Potential for so much more, but ultimately I just wanted to make my subs dance.

Store

Reading about the tools of the trade is all well and good, but at the end of the day nothing compares to the real deal. I visited an adult store to see what they had on offer. Mouth gags lined the walls in varying forms, some designed to keep the sub’s mouth wide open, and others to ensure they remain silent. The sales assistant informed me of the popularity of floggers and whips. Floggers were the biggest sellers, whilst caning provided the most intense pain. When taken to the fetish clothing section, I was greeted with the sheen of black PVC and latex. From corsets, to masks and harnesses for both men and women, there was a wide variety, which the sales assistant encouraged me to try (I politely declined).

Hours wasted: 1


Kink factor: 5/5. Fifty shades of fun.

 

Result: I may not be much of an Anastasia, but now at least I know a little bit more about this not-uncommon pastime.