Category: BDSM

It can’t be just me that thinks…

Reading Time: 4 minutes

…Tumblr really hasn’t changed all that much for those that mostly post porn. Sure there are far fewer naked’y’ [explicit] pictures but for the most part, the pictures that are posted on the strictly porn accounts still have nudity, leather, latex, rubber and other styles of dress, just for the most part the nudity is from the side, or from the back, not front-facing. So, the Tumblrgeddon that occurred this past December wasn’t as far-reaching or disastrous as we all expected. Add in the knowledge that Verizon seems to understand they sort of ‘cut off their nose to spite their face‘ in this, and they’re already looking for a buyer to take the platform off their hands. Whoever they find to buy it is going to be getting a bargain, since their foray into censorship has cost Tumblr a good third of their clientele. A lot of people moved off the site after the censorship of late last year. Sites like pillowfort, BDSMlr have taken a lion’s share of their former kink friendly accounts. Even on my feed (I backed up all of my accounts but being me, I didn’t delete any of them) I can see a pile of deactivated accounts being referenced by some of the ones still active, reblogging the same pictures over and over.

Whether or not that will change with the selling of the platform is anyone’s guess. The buyer might prefer to keep the service as clean as it can be, given that it’s a pretty open site, to begin with. How else would those that were interested in adult-friendly services (and service) have started to use it for their purposes? Tumblr didn’t start out being a G-rated site. If anything, it seemed to be a step up from Stumbleupon, another site that I used to use (and still have an account on, though I haven’t been there in ages). Similar premise, but they did it a little differently (much like the difference between VHS and Beta) and ended up becoming more popular. It’s always hard to tell what’s going to work and what’s not. I mean, people in France put mayo on their fries and wouldn’t dream of using ketchup. Here in the US, I had never heard of putting gravy on fries until I moved to where I’m living now. Pop is sometimes soda, and soda is sometimes soda water. Cats and dogs living together…Mass hysteria!! (ahem…sorry, got carried away there a bit)

Even so, a site like Instagram has looked at the Tumblr model, and instead of seeing a bad idea, they decided to jump on the bandwagon. Many kink-friendly accounts that have been there long-term are starting to get pushed out, and are taking their business elsewhere. I’ve posted about catering to the Lowest Common Denominator before and I believe this is systematic of that problem. Instead of treating everyone like adults, we’re attempting to treat them as children, ie not offending anyone if we can help it. Instead of allowing people to make their own informed decisions, we’re allowing companies and entities (and yes governments too!) to both legislate and dictate what’s acceptable and what’s not. That’s pretty high school thinking, to my mind. Making the majority of the popular ones (which end up being a minority) decide for the rest of us. That never works out for the best, since the majority rarely has the best interests in mind. Usually, it’s their best interests they’re considering and to hell with the rest of us.

All in all, I’m not certain where Tumblr is going to go. But it will be interesting to see how it all pans out.

Which is better?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

My slave and I were having a conversation on Friday evening, and she brought to my attention a fledgling plan that she’d been putting together involving a quick trip to come visit me on my upcoming vacation.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the effort on her part, but there are other things to consider.  While it would be nice to see her for a day or so, I and my wife are in the midst of cleaning the house and getting it ready for company that had already planned to be here, hence the need for my taking vacation in the first place.  Should my slave show up rather unexpectedly, with the whole purpose of being here wanting to spend time with me, I wouldn’t be able to, since I already have my time alloted, if you will.  Money is rather tight to begin with, so a trip here from where she is, is going to cost more than a few bucks for gas.  Too, she’s not going to be traveling alone, so there’s her companions to consider as well.

Believe me, I’m getting very antsy about seeing her as well.  It’s been 11 months now since the last time I saw her, and as I’ve mentioned countless times, our intent in this relationship was based on seeing each other several times a year, not just once.  One cannot adequately build on extremely sporadic meetings.  Believe me, I tried this already twice and it didn’t work out very well either time.  Doing this sort of thing at a distance quickly becomes tedious, as you’re basically left with domination/submission from afar, and there’s little or no way to really build anything that will last.  Sure, there’s daily communication, but it’s not a good substitute for some things others that have daily face to face contact may take for granted.

If I was living on my own, more than likely, she would already be here.  But with the wife in the mix, some things have to take precedence.  My slave already understands most of this, as we’ve talked about it more times than either of us would really care about, I expect.  Just another wrinkle in this relationship of ours.

Personally, I want time to work on things, build on what we were working on last year and have alone time, play time, and even down time together. Can’t really have that if you’re only in each others’ company for a few hours and then gone again.  That’s like teasing in a bad way.

That’s my thoughts on the issue, at any rate.  It may not be preferable to wait in the short-term, but you get more ‘bang for your buck’ if you make it worthwhile in the long run.

Catering to the LCD

Reading Time: 6 minutes

A post from a scene friend on Tumblr yesterday gave me pause about something that has been niggling in the back of my head for some time now.
It has to do with the BDSM scene and kink in general and how society as a whole seems to be attempting to deal with it on the Internet as well as elsewhere. For a while now, those of us in the kink community have been pretty closed off and content with that considering how open society views the scene. Generally, if you’re labeled as ‘kinky’, you’re considered to be on the ‘outside fringes’ and well worth keeping a distance from. Certainly, people who are kink friendly have shown up in news reports doing ‘odd’ things like walking their girlfriend through a mall in NY as if she was a dog or pet. Personally, I think that’s an extreme case and not really the best way to put your best ‘kink foot forward’ since a mall is a place where children are likely to be present, and you’re causing others to be privy to what you normally do in the privacy of your own home. Doing it at an event that’s specifically geared towards kink practices is one thing, out in public where you’re making others uncomfortable is not. So I can easily understand how sites like Facebook and Tinder would be less inclined towards those that promote themselves as being kink friendly.

Less so for sites like Tumblr and Instagram. In December of last year, came an event that unofficially was dubbed ‘Tumblrgeddon’, where the owners of the site decided that they were going to almost unilaterally remove a good deal of porn from their servers, and effectively sequester the rest as much as the could. If you had an account that was strictly geared towards kink, or porn, whether it was yours or just being reposted, it was excised from public view. Worse yet, if you had anything that (in their rather poorly stated words) promoted “female-presenting-nipples“, it was summarily banned or hidden from others’ view. So essentially 90% of people who were working with accounts that were kink related had to find somewhere else to put their interest. Within a couple of days, enterprising people were setting up sites called pillowfort.io, bdsmlr.com, Humblr.com as well as others that wished to freely accept anyone that wanted to leave Tumblr.

Within the last month or so, Instagram has more or less decided to do the same. (I note that it’s not a coincidence that Instagram is owned by Facebook btw) About 3 weeks ago one of my Insta accounts was deactivated by TPTB (The Powers That Be) and I received notice that it was mine no longer and it wasn’t going to be reactivated due to a violation of the TOS. When I asked what the violation was, they wouldn’t tell me. I’ve heard about others that have had similar experiences, much like when you’re relegated to ‘Facebook Jail’ and they won’t divulge the reason you ended up there. Just that you’re going to be offline for a specific period of time and that’s that. The people who run these sites know they’re in the catbird seat, and you’re basically powerless to do anything about getting censored. You can lament all you want about how ‘unfair’ its become, but anymore they’re the only game in town. It’s certainly become far more difficult in the last 20 years in terms of connecting with like-minded individuals of the kink persuasion, as the sites to which we’re allowed to gather become more and more restricted. People talk about ‘Freedom of Speech’ but that doesn’t apply to multi-national conglomerates or these companies that, like Wal-Mart in a way, gather millions of people on their servers, and squash (or buy then liquidate) the smaller websites that might do the same thing, but when they’re the only game in town, things become far more restricted. Especially when those companies become publicly traded entities. When Facebook was a private company, it did things very differently than now when they’re beholden to shareholders.

Just a FYI, for those that say Twitter or Fetlife are suitable alternatives, honestly they’re really not. Twitter doesn’t have the same capabilities of a Tumblr or Instagram, and Fetlife by its very nature isn’t a personals site. Yes, people use it as if it was one, but that’s not the purpose of the site. About the only reason that Fetlife hasn’t been more restricted or censored is the fact that the home servers are located in Canada. If they were located in the US, they probably by all purposes would have been shut down by now. I equate the current situation to what happened to the website Insex around the time it ceased production around 2005. At that time, there was another Republican Administration in the US in power and by and large they were cracking down on a lot of US porn (and kink) producers, stating that the money that they were making was being sent to purveyors of terrorism (a huge lie) and many sites were being shut down or being threatened with lawsuits. The creator of Insex decided on his own that he was going to shut down the site, and move the content outside of the US (to the Netherlands to be specific) so as not to lose his work to a sudden possible seizure by said government. Which was actually possible. At the same time, he created several other sites that were a LOT tamer in comparison to the original, and they’ve been operating for the most part ever since. Though as of this writing, they’re slowly being updated infrequently, and probably in a few more years won’t be around at all. The original creator of Insex is now in his 70s, and as I understand it has mostly retired from active online participation. He has basically one ‘apprentice’ that carries on his work in Oregon, but he’s a mere shadow of the ‘The Source’, where all the diabolical ideas came to life way back in a little place in Brooklyn circa 1995.

Getting back to the title of this, it’s my opinion that we’re increasingly catering to the Lowest Common Denominator in many things and Kink seems to be no less of a victim. It’s sad to see how far we’re falling, and how it’s all going to play out over the next few years.

High time for a rant

Reading Time: 5 minutes

I watch the calendar day by day and note that it’s been almost a year since the last time my slave and I were able to be together and see one another in person.  We could have gotten together sooner, but there’s a wrinkle that I’ve had to impose due to financial realities.  The last two times we got together, I pretty much paid for everything.  I went down to where she lived in southern Virginia back in 2017, rented a car, drove down there (10 hours each way) and spent several days with her.  It was great, we bonded, had play time, did some sightseeing, but in the end, it cost me about $1500. (about half of that was the rental car…which even now seems a little obscene)

After that, we kept in touch via online abilities.  Text, video, email, phone.  With an LDR (Long Distance Relationship), you have to keep in touch the best way you can, or things tend to fall apart pretty quickly.  Our plan post meeting was to get together more often, keep things fresh, build on what we had set in place at the face to face meeting. As oftentimes happens, life gets in the way, and time marches on.  So, we didn’t get together again until June of 2018.  That time, instead of me driving all the way to her, we decided that we’d meet ‘somewhere in the middle’.  Since I’m a bit better with logistics, I found a place that was approximately equidistant from both of us and searched for a suitable town/city and then a hotel for our stay.   Since she’d recently moved a bit further north towards northern VA, Harrisburg, PA ended up being the best place to meet. I booked a hotel, got the time off and this time took the family car instead of renting a vehicle.  A bit cheaper, but again I paid for most of the cost of the trip.  All said and done, somewhere between $900 and $1000 for the entire adventure.  

After this second meeting, I had to inform her that I wasn’t going to be able to foot the cost of our meetings anymore.  She had to help out or else it was going to end up being unacceptable for me to continue.  I’m not wealthy, I’m very much blue collar in my finances.  Granted I don’t live paycheck to paycheck, but there has to be give and take in other things than just the BDSM.  She agreed and admitted that she was feeling somewhat guilty that I was paying for everything but her finances were in a poor spot at the time.  Consequently, our plans to get together more often after the June meeting had to be shelved.  Summer passed, then autumn, and now winter has gone by the wayside.  We’re back to Spring, and we’d had tentative plans to meet at the end of this month or the beginning of May.  Those plans included ‘closing the circle’ per se, having her come all the way up here to visit, stay at my house to cut costs, (as well as having her here in my comfort zone) and as before the visit would be 3-4 days.  Any more and we’d be encroaching on The Wife’s patience, and that’s not a good thing to do.

However, between money and other things happening, that’s had to be shelved for the time being too.  It’s getting very frustrating for me.  And for her as well I know.  Relationships are kindled and developed with face to face interaction.  Yes, I’m reminded that couples have managed to stay married and in relationships over long distances through war and strife, through long trips and distances over the centuries when communication was a LOT more spotty than it is possible today.  Still, it’s not the same.  I want to DO things with her, in person, not through text, not through emoticons and messaging one another.  Saying in words, like last night when I put her to bed ~”I come into the bedroom and see you cuddled under the covers, I lift the blanket edge, take the metal shackle and encircle your ankle with it, you can feel the cold of the steel as it steals the warmth of your skin, hearing the lock click as it’s secured, hearing the clink of the chain as it is secured to the bed leg, knowing that you’re secure and going to stay in place all night long”~ is all well and good and engenders nice feelings, but it’s most definitely NOT the same thing as doing it in person.  Which we’d both rather be doing.

I’m not certain what the solution is at this point.  I’m actually about to the point of saying ‘fuck-it’ and put something together willy nilly and go see her.  Just because I’m tired of the situation the way it is, and the way it’s been and continues.  Of course, when I stop being emotional and look at my debt spreadsheet, it brings me back to reality and down to earth.

My pseudonym/name is Leathers, this is my rant and I fully support it.

Contractual obligations

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I’m on vacation again.  But this time I’m using up my vacation days before I lose them from not using them. [Say that 5 times fast]  It’s something I go through every year around this time, due to the fact through my work I’m due 4 weeks of time off yearly.  Technically it’s 160 hours of vacation and 24 hours of personal time.  According to the union contract, (fortunately) it doesn’t have to be taken a week at a time (40 hours).  I can use it sparingly, or in larger chunks.  However, due to the nature of where I work and how short-handed we are (didn’t use to be this way), if I were to try to take off 2 weeks at a time, there would be several peeved off managerial types.  So I make every effort not to rock the boat in that aspect.

It just so happened that this week coincided with monthly inventory, so in theory this could have been a problem taking the time off.  The department manager prefers to have me present for inventory, so I make it a point to be at his beck and call and keep things on the level.  Consequently, this week I worked Sunday & Monday and took off the rest of the week for 3 vacation days and my normal 2 days off.  Next week I have 2 days of vacation and 2 days off, then back to work on April 4-7 to round out the week.  So, 9 days total.

As with all my other vacations, I have lofty plans, which usually almost never come to fruition.  If someone were to give out awards for laziness, procrastination and stubbornness in not getting things done, I’d have a basketful.  Certainly much to the chagrin of the wife, and my slave.  I’m not always spot on with keeping my promises, even if initially they’re made with good intentions.  As always, something to work on.


This morning while I was scanning through blogs I’ve started to follow, I came across one entry where the owner of the blog was railing about the necessity for contracts in BDSM.  Not just railing mind you, but making it quite clear that she believed they were essential for any BDSM relationship to be successful.  Furthermore she seemed quite convinced that the Fifty Shades model of contracts was the best one to be used.  Add in a link to a PDF she’d created with the contract in question (blank of course), and I suppose I shouldn’t have been too shocked to find there were a litany of responders to the post all pretty much agreeing with her.

Honestly, I couldn’t just let that one go.  Had to put my own take on it, though when I looked through the homepage of the blog, it hasn’t been updated since January, so it’s entirely possible my comment is falling on deaf ears.  Furthermore, since all comments to the blog are moderated, it would have to be approved in order to be seen by someone from the outside.

4 days down, 5 to go.

Collar 2.0, revisited

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Last year I made a foray into collaring my slave.  Given that we’re separated by 3 states here in the US, and she has a job where she interacts with the public a great deal, initially we had decided on something that was, or could be ‘mistaken’ for something less than it actually was.  Unlike fiction, anything can be considered a ‘collar’, per se.  With a previous submissive, we settled on an ‘Eternity’ cuff, a steel circlet that could be made semi-permanent by the fact that it was secured with a screw.  If I had kept the allen wrench that controlled the screw, then (at least in theory), I could control when it was on and when it was off.  If my submissive were creative, and wishing to be ‘bad’, she could get an allen wrench on her own and remove it if she wished.  But we didn’t have that sort of relationship, she honored the cuff as well as the symbolism which it engendered, and I allowed her to have a wrench in case it needed to come off for some reason, unforseen by either of us.  And it worked, for as long as the relationship lasted.  I still have the cuff, she returned it to me about 6 months after we parted ways.

For my current charge, after searching high and low for the ‘right’ collar, I found an artisan on Etsy that crafted jewelry that was both aesthetically pleasing as well as functional.  Granted the artisan in question lives/works in Russia, so getting something from her was going to take some time.  Too, since my slave informed me that she doesn’t so much like a necklace/collar that rides too high on her throat, I had to have a longer than normal version of the collar crafted to accommodate her needs.  All in all it took a little less than a month from the time that I initially contacted the artisan, to the time when the collar arrived in my mailbox.  Fortunately, it coincided with my trip to visit with my girl in Pennsylvania last year and during a little ceremony in our hotel room, I presented her with it and she began wearing it as close to 24/7 as she could.

But then tragedy struck.  The collar was lost during a trip she had made to a local (for her) beach.  To her credit, once it was discovered as missing she immediately went back to the place where she had been (it was close to the middle of the night) to search for it, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be found.  Needless to say, I was less than pleased.  I paid a good amount of money for it, and in the space of a couple of months, it was gone.  Just like that.  I have to admit, it was the first anything of that nature that a submissive of mine lost.  Considering that it was only in her possession for a little over a month, I wasn’t exactly in a hurry to get something else in the same vein.

It’s now been seven months since the last collar escaped.  In that time we’ve had several conversations about ‘when is she going to get a new collar‘.  As before, it’s not an easy answer because it’s not an insignificant investment.  Especially since we now can confirm something that can be removed can easily be lost.  So in spite of the fact that she has a preference for something that’s loose around her throat, I’m thinking that it’s going to be my preference this time, that it be something that’s difficult to remove.  Not impossible, since we’re separated by mileage and hours, but something that requires invested effort to remove.

So, the main purveyors in this genre are Eternity and ROS (Ring Of Steel).  (There’s also Damax on the continent, but due to shipping issues and overseas exchange rates I’m mainly concentrating on domestic suppliers) ROS has a version that’s they refer to as a ‘Stealth’ collar, in that it’s only 1/4″ diameter steel tubing.  Consequently, it tends to be less noticeable, or allows it to fade into the background, as it were.  Of course, as I’ve noticed over the years, it’s usually the person themselves that either call attention to something or not, depending on how they wear it.  If the wearer treats the item as an extension of themselves, then others don’t necessarily look at the item as something unusual. If it’s the reverse, and they’re uncomfortable with it, then it tends to get noticed more often.

In order to do this right of course, I need an accurate measurement (again).  We have a visit planned for the end of April or the beginning of May, so I can get her neck measured and if I’m completely certain, I can send off the order to whichever business I determine is going to give me the best bang for my buck, as well as can have it completed in a fair amount of time.  Small time artisans don’t work on an assembly line, they’re not putting out wares for the masses, at least you hope they’re not.  As the old saw goes; Quality vs. Quantity.

There will be updates.  This isn’t the final decision.

Hit and Miss

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Even though it’s been a good 8 months since I last played actively in BDSM, I’m still shopping for good bargains on toys.  Fetlife, Craigslist, Facebook (occasionally) and eBay remain good places to find items that others no longer need/want, new items from (online) storefronts at discounted prices, and items that can be repurposed if possible into additions for my toy collection.

Of course, when you do your shopping online, you run into occasional problems in descriptions, some are vague, others claim to be bigger or smaller than they actually are, so you have to be careful in what you’re offering, or agreeing to pay when the seller asks a certain price.

This week I purchased two steel restraints from two different sellers on eBay.  One is an established company down in Texas; Cuffstore.  They sell BDSM items mainly that are imported from Pakistan.  The steel restraints are generally stamped with the acronym KUB, which stands for ‘KUBind Industries‘ and they’ve been around for many years.  Fortunately, there are several US-based companies that do the importing from them, so one doesn’t necessarily have to deal with customs or items that are either lost in shipping or detained at the border.  Shipping internationally isn’t as easy as it used to be, due to changing political climates and so on.

The other restraint actually came from someone that I knew in passing from the old days on Compuserve.  (Small World) He has a fledgling business where he builds extremely pricey spanking benches.  He calls them ‘The Spankmeister‘.  I only managed to recognize who he was from the name that he used on eBay, it was unique and it caused me to remember him. Now I purchased a one-off spanking bench from someone in Oklahoma on eBay about 20 years ago.  As I recall I paid something like $65 for it, and another (don’t quote me) $40 in shipping as it came by bus.  Yes, it was placed on a bus in the luggage/storage bay and I picked it up at the local bus depot.  This fellow prices his bench at a staggering $1500 (USD) and claims that it’s worth every penny.  I have friends that received a prototype of his original design, they painted it purple (her favorite color) and it’s probably still sitting in their house in NH unless someone else is living there now.

Getting back to the topic, both of the restraints were delivered in the mail yesterday while I was at work. Upon coming home, I opened them, looked them over, did a little marveling at how they were constructed and so on, then tried them out. On me. Since I don’t have a model available to try things out on, and my girl is 3 states away, I tend to do my testing out with myself as the model. I figure the circumference of my wrist and/or ankle (depending) is in the same neighborhood as my girl, so if it doesn’t fit me, it’s unlikely to fit her. The KUB restraint is constructed a little differently than the black one, it has an oval shape that better accommodates the wrist, so it fits me ok. When I went to secure the black restraint, I discovered it’s about a 1/2 inch too small. Won’t come together without pinching my skin. Too, it doesn’t have the oval shape of the other, it’s merely a circle. As I’ve mentioned to my girl on multiple occasions, if something is too large, there are workarounds to pad her limbs to make it snugger. With steel, if it’s too small, that’s it…it’s too small. Of course, it can be repurposed into something else, like a spreader bar, or hung on the wall of the playspace for decoration, so it’s not as if I’m going to sell it. (Sorry nijntje)

Either way, I figure they’re both a good investment. I didn’t pay over and above what one would for similar products, and it should give me the sufficient happiness factor that I was aiming for when I initially made plans to buy them. Of course, the proof in the end is how well they work on my girl, since that’s who’s going to be wearing them for the majority of the time. So yes, there will be revisitation on this issue.