So, last night I went to The Pleasure Chest in West Hollywood to attend their “50 Shades of Pleasure” workshop. I thought I would be able to stand in the back and giggle and live tweet throughout but I was wrong. The workshop was taught by Mary, a very cool and knowledgeable woman who told us right off the bat that she worked as a dominatrix for ten years, so I promptly put my phone away.
The audience was…interesting? There were a lot of middle-aged couples which I guess wasn’t that surprising. The couple in front of us were basically jerking each other off the whole time. There was a strange European man sitting behind us furiously rubbing his companion’s leg who asked how a female orgasm worked. He also had a John Waters mustache. There were quite a few women alone- that’s fine. But the highlight had to be two elderly men sitting off to the side. I’m not well versed in old gay men, but I would bet even money these two were straight. They looked like your grandpa if your grandpa was a trucker- beat up t-shirts, athletic pants hiked up to their nipples, you know the deal. I don’t know why they were there but God Bless America.
I won’t get into the whole seminar as it was two hours long but it was informative. Mary, the instructor who was clearly knowledgeable about all things BDSM, voiced some problems she had with the book including Anastasia’s endless stream of orgasms, her constant “wetness”, the fact that people who like s&m are deemed as damaged and, my favorite, the horrible writing.
The highlight of the workshop was the list of hard limits and soft limits (just like the book) placed on all our seats. The Pleasure Chest listed a shit ton of… things you can do during sex (I would call them fetishes but as you’ll see many of them aren’t). Here are some of the highlights which I have categorized:
THINGS ONE THINKS OF AS A GIVEN DURING SEX BUT MAYBE NO FOR SOME PEOPLE?:
And THINGS ONE (me) WOULDN’T DO OR DIDN’T KNOW EXISTED
Okay, so now three funny anecdotes:
Mary was talking about how BSDM is a nice thing and thinks it should be at the same end of the spectrum as love-making. According to Mary the other end of the spectrum is rape. Then she started talking about fantasy rape and one half of the middle aged couple in front of us (the man) laughed A LITTLE TOO LOUD. Yikes.
Mary was talking about things you can use other than rope to tie people up and she got on the topic of pantyhose. Mary then said, “pantyhose makes a really great gag,” and went on this long story about buying pantyhose and wearing it out and in my head I was like, “ok but when does the prank come in?” Turns out she was talking about the kind of gag you stick in your (her) boyfriend’s mouth. I was disappointed that didn’t end in funny gag when someone gets covered in Nickelodeon slime or punk’d or something (my roommate, who accompanied me, also thought she was referring to a gag as a prank- we’re white girls).
Mary said that the BSDM community has the acronym “SSC” which stands for Safe, Sane, Consensual. Apparently it’s an older saying that has been replaced by “RACK,” meaning Risk-Aware Consensual Kink. According to Mary, RACK is what the cool young kids use, because sometimes you don’t want to be safe and you want to do BLOOD PLAY. That’s right…BLOOD PLAY. I don’t know if you guys have heard of this thing called AIDS, but it’s a thing, and you might want to look into it and stop playing in each other’s blood.
Well, that’s it. Any questions?