Writing bondage, doing bondage

You can probably work out from previous posts on this blog that we actually do the kind of stuff that appears in the stories we write. Last night was an amusing illustration of that.

Leaving Velvet at home trying to finish off some work (no, I didn’t chain her to the desk!) I went to a local munch. A ‘munch’, as you probably know, is a meeting of like-minded people, usually monthly, in a public space, to discuss matters of mutual interest. They’re a common feature of the kink world and several munches happen regularly near us. If you want to know what munches take place where, most of them have events listings on Fetlife (UK, US, international) and Informed Consent (mainly UK) – both sites require registration but it’s free and quick.

This particular munch has the upstairs room of a pub, so is to that extent private.

I walked in and was immediately asked to do an impromptu bondage workshop. Someone who’d agreed to do one hadn’t turned up. I had no ropes with me but a few other people did. I borrowed them, did some basic stuff, got people to practice on each other and talked about safety issues as well. It was fun.

The stuff I did was, as I say, basic – the knot covered in the Bondage How-to No. 1 post and the karada in How-to No. 2, plus some of the safety issues mentioned in another old post.

While I’m on the topic, Velvet and I will also be doing a suspension bondage demo at After Dusk next Thurs, 19 May in the UK midlands area (the link actually covers two events, After Dark and After Dusk, both run by the same team). If you have a Fetlife account you can see more details here. We haven’t done any demos for a while, so it’ll be fun to get back into it…

Other stuff bubbling under – plans for erotic story readings and such. More to come when I’ve sorted details.

Oh, by the way – stories that include significant technical bondage info, albeit not based on the ropework I demo’d last night, include ‘Sex, Art and Aromatherapy’ and ‘Zen and the Art of Bondage’, in the Cocktales: Kiss in the Dark collection – both from Xcite. Yes, I have some more technically-oriented stuff coming out soon as well, in a Cleis Press collection – more details when I have a publication date.

Starting out in BDSM? Munches, fetish fairs and events – the real deal

wordle word cloud for this post

It seems fairly common for people who have an interest in bdsm, but who aren’t yet sure of themselves, to shy away from actual human contact with other kinksters and try to satisfy their interests online.
While understandable, it’s not always the best solution. There are plenty of places one can go online to discuss bdsm, but sometimes real-time, face-to-face communication is the most direct way to ask questions, share experiences, gain knowledge, discuss feelings and so on.
One of the best places to start is a munch.
Munches became popular over 20 years ago on the bdsm scene as a low-pressure way for people to meet informally. They started in the US and the idea spread to many other countries. They’re usually regular events and run at pre-set times, for example the first Wednesday of every month at a regular location.
There are probably somewhere around 40 munches every month up and down the UK, though no one’s really counting. You can normally expect ten or twenty people, though some are smaller and a few are occasionally larger (Fulani remembers going to one in Nottingham a few years back that just grew and grew, ending up to be around 70 or 80 people, but that’s rare!).
Advantages of going to a munch: it’s in a public place, usually a bar or bistro, and if you don’t like it you can just walk away. No one dresses up, though many are held in ‘goth’ pubs where some leather and PVC is regarded as acceptable if you’re so inclined. Unless the munch details specifically allow it, there will be no bdsm play at a munch. Usual protocol is to contact the organiser in advance so you’ll be expected and welcomed (many have dedicated ‘meeters and greeters’ who will meet you outside, answer any questions you have, and introduce you to people. They’ll also generally look out for your welfare.
You’ll discover people there don’t have two heads, are not monsters or sociopaths (excepting Fulani, who probably is a sociopath) and do have lives and interests outside bdsm.
Still interested? Try a fetish market. There are several up and down the country: the London Fetish Fair, the Birmingham Bizarre Bazaar, SWAMP in Bristol and others. A fuller list appears on the calendar of InformedConsent (can’t remember if you have to join the site to view it, but joining it is free anyway). At fetish fairs you’ll be able to browse stalls, ask questions of stallholders, watch demonstrations of different techniques, and in all probability meet people from your local munch or even from online groups. At the Birmingham Bizarre Bazaar, for example, by custom and tradition people who know each other from Alt.com have one specific gathering place; those who know each other from various goth websites (Netgoth etc.) have another, and so on.
Fetish events, equally, aren’t nearly as scary as you might imagine. For one thing they’re not usually massively crowded – there’s no point in having play kit there and no room to swing a whip! Organisers are usually happy to meet and greet, discuss concerns by email before the day, offer advice on dress codes, appoint someone to look out for you, and so on.
Best advice for going to a club for the first time: whether dom/domme or sub, don’t assume that the first time you go to a club you’ll hook up with the person (or people) of your fantasies and play. Especially don’t, as a dom or domme, march in and demand that everyone should bow down before you. You’re an unknown quantity and people will want to get to know you before playing. Give other people room, don’t interfere in their scenes, watch, listen and talk. And be polite! Most people will be happy to chat, answer questions, etc., if they’re not in the middle of a scene.
So don’t feel intimidated by getting to know your local fetish community. They’re just people, and by and large they only bite if you ask them to.
Above all, have fun!


The image at the head of this post is a ‘word cloud’ from http://www.wordle.net – have a go with any text you want to use and see what designs you can create…

Happy Christmas – and post-Christmas fetish activities!


Image courtesy of Jon Wilson

Christmas is often a time for family. A lot of people who are into fetish find themselves occupied – like everyone else – with the round of present-buying, decorating, cooking, entertaining, and religious services (if they’re so inclined).
If that describes you, have a good Christmas!
There are some people whose festivities are entirely fetish-orientated because they’re in that kind of relationship and have those kinds of friends.
If that describes you, have a good Christmas!
And there are those who for one reason or another are spending Christmas alone. Both Velvet and Fulani have experienced that several times, before they met. If you’re in that situation, we are the living proof that the best thing to do is relax, be comfortable with yourself, and trust that good things will happen in the future – because when you’re relaxed and happy good things do tend to happen. Trust us, and have a good Christmas!
Whichever category you fall into, by the day after Boxing Day the fetishless life may have grown a bit tedious. If you want to know where you can go and what to do, there are a couple of useful websites that will tell you. One is Informed Consent, which is a UK based site. The other is Fetlife, which is international but with the US heavily represented.
Both are membership-only but free to join, and you can quickly set up profiles on them. IC has probably the most comprehensive UK events listing and Fetlife has listings across the US, the UK and Europe – if not quite as thoughtfully organised. Both sites cover club events and munches (‘vanilla’ meetings in pubs or bars where everyone looks normal-ish and there’s conversation but no play).
Many munches and club nights also have their own Google Groups or Yahoo Groups pages, though you may have to hunt a bit to find them.
If you haven’t been to a particular munch before, remember it’s good form to contact the organiser first to let them know you’re coming. Many will be happy to arrange a ‘meeter and greeter’ for new attendees as well, to make sure you feel comfortable.
Here’s hoping you can relax and enjoy the festivities, and then find good things to do once you’re Christmassed-out!


The pic used in this post was supplied by a friend of ours, Jon Wilson. His website isn’t online at the moment but if you like his pic and are interested in buying prints of his work we can put you in touch with him. Use the contact form on our ‘About’ page.