Friar Stogie’s abridged “Play for Pain 101 ½”
After another successful BSDM Rectory event at the Monastery, my email box has been jammed full of questions from my parishioners. As Rector, I will indulge and publicly release this month’s lesson.
To be a Friar in this monastery, all candidates must have the basic knowledge and skills sets of Faith, Humanity and Love. These virtues are essential in the ministry. In the BDSM/ Fetish / Kink (BFK) Communities, I subscribe to the ancient teaching of the Old Guard ways and the new wave teachings of the “I” Guard ways.
The “Old Guard” is self-indentified individuals / groups who core values or elements are: “Respect, Discipline and Tradition.”
In the “I” or “Information Guard” (as I call them) ways, are generally centered on the core values or elements of “Safe”, “Sane” and “Consensual” and my addition to them, “Referral”.
In this sermon, I will not forget the Old Guard ways, because they will always be a part of my play, but for this discussion, I will address the questions and concerns of the “I” Guard generation. This generation, (in my humble opinion) makes them different then their Old Guard parents because of having so much information available to them via the internet – websites, blogs, chat rooms; public/private clubs and associations for every walk of life with the BFK communities and whereas these groups may provide lectures, demonstrations, hands-on workshops, and even organized play opportunities.
The awesome wealth in knowledge and accessibility has come with a price; I have personally witnessed the “Knowledge without Experience” syndrome. So the BFK communities have come up with three simple words of wisdom: “Safe, Sane and Consensual.” I also would like to add a fourth word, “Referral”.
Please indulge me in this sermon and let me explain what these four words mean to ME. Let me say, I’ve been a kinky Friar since 1989 were I was trained by the Old Guard Masters in New York City. I consider myself, an “I” Guard kind of Friar and proud of it but I will never forget my past Old Guard teachings, the diameter of my Master’s cock ring, and the smell, sight and sounds of the numerous and lavish play parties of old.
But the past is in the past. No longer can a seasoned Master walk into a bar, smoking a fat Toro cigar or Marlboro cigarette, dressed in traditional leathers, grab a charity case (a phrase meaning a want-to-be or novice leather person) and have his way with him in the bar without worry/concern of: possibility catching a Sexually Transmitted Disease (HPV, HIV, Gonorrhea, the Clap, and more), the state’s laws which prohibit the smoking in bars, a person’s inexperience in the BFK community and the wearing/flagging the wrong play signals (wrong colored hankie or items hanging on the wrong side of the wardrobe.) The list goes on though by all means, this isn’t totally a bad thing. We may be better off now, then in the early days of leather, but I very little to say of what it was like way back in the day.
So let me explain those four words mentioned above. Please bear in mind; these are summaries of my experiences, teachings and opinions.
“Safe”– is a general term used to mean doing something right in accordance with today’s common standards. “Safe” –
: Player – This person understands general health, safety rules, and most possible issues and practices. His experiences come from personal experiences and/or the combined results from attending demonstration and hands-on workshops.
: Equipment/toys – The practice of clean play, clean equipment and toys are other one. This means after play the washing/wiping down items with clean / mild soapy water or to the manufacturer’s suggested cleaning specifications using a given cleaning agent or sterilization process, to the best of one’s abilities. I talking about the items which were used during play. A person knows his toys. This person knows what to look for when purchasing a toy, how to use it, the toy’s normal up keep and its disposal when the toy can no longer serve its designed purpose.
: Location/Play space/Dungeon – A location where the action can take place – private or public, where the environment may be controlled. “Controlled” meaning the space’s temperature, sound level, crowd control, equipment availability and more. This is also, where likeminded people can get together for communion of the mind / body / spirit.
: Time – Knowing what their body and their play partner’s body is telling him. Know if you are sick or coming down with a cold, if you’re tired, stressed or angry at life. Knowing these things, but limited to the fore mentioned, can help gage the amount of time in the play arena. Common Sense tells me, a healthy body with positive, upbeat energy can endure more “tactile stimulation” then a body filled with negative, angry energy.
Watch for tattletale signs that the body (yours or your play partner’s), has reached its limit where you need to rest for a bit, call for a change in the scene or form of play or even bring the scene to an end.
And at NO time is it expectable to play if the interested parties are too mind altered. Meaning, there might have been too much drinking or partying prior or during, where the judgment, attention or stimuli responses, may be in question.
Remember this Friar’s general rule of thumb – “Be true to yourself and your play partner because you want them to come back to you to play, time and time again!”
“Sane” is being able to judge the scene.
Knowing what is expectable and safe and also knowing where and how to control and push the limits of your play partner.
Use basic judgment along with Common Sense, doing what is considered right and avoiding the temptation to take advantage of the situation, a person or a piece of property.
“Consensual” is being in agreement.
In my monastery, I teach about consensuality by means of a process which occurs before anything happens between two or more rational adults. It’s called “Negotiation.”
The process is a double-edged sword with the edges cutting down possible problems before they result in ending up as hospital visits or lawsuits or barriers from becoming permanent walls of physical or mental scarring which may take long hours of therapy or forever missed opportunities of pleasures not experienced.
The idea of negotiation is a meeting of the minds. I’m sorry to say, this action isn’t practiced as much as I feel it should. This time is where a Top / Master / Dom / Sir should meet with the bottom/ slave / sub / boy.
Find a quiet place where both parties can talk. Look at going to a public place like a coffee shop, park or even in the cab of a vehicle. Find a comfortable environment where there are few distractions.
Use this time to gauge the compatibility of both parties and get a feel of energies being put out towards each other. Assess the physical presences is also a good idea. What I mean by that is, is the person you want to play with too drunk or altered to begin play and get the desired results? Can you trust their judgment to do the right thing, the right way and/or know then to bring things to an end?
During this time, re-introduce yourselves. Be up front and honest with each other. Have the bottoms express their needs, desires or fantasies, first. Bottoms, be as CLEAR as possible. Talk about both your Soft and Hard limits. A Soft limit is something where you feel somewhat uncomfortable with doing due to lack of experience or exposure, but might be willing to do but want to have the option to back out or stop the activity if you find uncomfortable. This limit may be removed as a soft limit over time and more experience.
A Hard limit is one where the item or activity has been found to be uncomfortable, or has no interest in and does not want it to happen or considered in a scene. These are definite NO type activities. Remember too, these limits may change over time and exposure.
Let the bottoms talk first. This gives the Top some time to study the candidate. Since the Top will be mentally designing the scenario in their head for activities forth coming. With the bottom talking, the Top can start list together. Once the bottom is done talking –
- 1st – Acknowledge them! It takes a lot courage to lay their life in someone else’s hands, so thank them.
- 2nd – Acknowledge their Hard limits. Ask questions to redefine them if they’re not clear enough.
- 3rd – Briefly touch on their Soft limits. Same things go as above. Ask them questions to explain them if they’re not clear enough.
Using the Soft limits and areas of stimulation not to mentioned as limits, the Top can start to build their scenarios for the event forthcoming.
NOTE: The Top is not telling the bottom what your limits are. The Top is going to be working those limits in to the play and working around them.
Example, if the Top likes watersports and the bottom has a Hard limit of body fluid up their ass, then spray the bottom down on the outside of their body.
If the Top’s and the bottom’s Hard limits doesn’t match their mutual needs, then move on and depart as friends. And if the Soft limits are also too restricting and you both can’t think of what to do with them – Move on!
Okay, now, experience should help the Top get an idea about where he would like this scene to go – now is the time to ask questions of the bottom which can make the experience even more enjoyable. Ask the bottom relevant health questions. Example – if the Top is thinking of flogging – ask the bottom if he’s got back problems; if doing mummification, ask about the fear of constraint. Only ask health questions which only pertain to the activities at hand.
Using Common Sense, if you’ve got a runny nose from hay fever and you’ve taken a pill to control it; don’t think the worst, and tell the other party know about the runny nose being from an allergy and not a cold so there won’t be ruling out of kissing for fear of catching the cold. Or both parties might agree that at this time, no oral activities will happen until the next time they meet.
I know I’m being old fashion, but I still think it’s a good idea to let someone know where you’re going if you’re planning to place yourself in a situation where you are giving up control of yourself. Call, text or email a friend or a trusted family member the name, place and phone number of the party you are going to be playing with.
If your hosting, let the friend know you’re going to have a “kinky” session and might want to them to call you in the morning or something like that.
After you’ve been playing for a while together and trust has been built, the need for notice before playing may be disregarded. But it’s up to you, better safe than sorry. Sometimes having emergency information posted somewhere close is a great idea for both parties playing, a specially if you’re new to that area of town.
“Referrals” is the checking of stories or experiences to safeguard one self. If you are going to pack up your toys and your ass and travel somewhere and you haven’t done the face to face meeting or you get the feeling that this is “too good to be true” – ask the player for some referrals. These are people who can vouch for the stories or experiences talked about during the meet and greet stages. Ask for names, phone numbers or email address for you can ask questions from these people about those credentials.
Traveling across the country or the big blue ocean to live or play with someone after chatting for a certain amount of time, even up to a year, may still warrant references just as a precaution. We’ve all heard of persons who are not like their profiles or what they say they are. Most players of respectable reputations are honored by the chance to show off their reputations. The test sometimes is, are they as good as they talk about?
I also understand that there are exceptions to every rule. So, use your better judgment. Communication with your future playmate prior to the event, and in the long run you might save yourself the heartaches, backaches and a whole lot of time and money.
So my children, remember the words of “Safe, Sane and Consensual” and throw in my other word, “Referrals”.
Peace, Friar Stogie of the Eternal Soaken Briquette
Friar Stogie aka Spud has been active in the Leather/BDSM/Fetish/Kink communities since 1990. At one time, collared and trained as a slave, boy, submissive, bottom and Master, Sir, Dominate, Top under Grand Master Steve Milo of NYC. Spud is also an experience Dungeon Master and Community Educator since 1991. He’s a self-proclaimed Switch and also draws on his 10 years of naval service and university degree to enhance his play.