“I like to see my subs in leather, latex or nice lingerie,” Goddess Lydia wrote to me. I looked through my messy closet to try and find something suitable. I settled on my black lace romper and a leather choker that my best friend got for me in Berlin. I put on heavy makeup and a short dress with a black trench coat. I looked good for her. Fast forward 15 minutes, and I was kneeling on the floor in front of the leather-clad dominatrix, towering above me in four-inch platform heels.
“Repeat after me: thank you goddess, for agreeing to spend this hour with me,” she said, waiting, as I kissed her feet.
“Thank you, goddess, for agreeing to spend this hour with me.”
The words felt slightly unnatural coming out of my mouth, but I pushed through. Any feelings I could have had about looking foolish didn’t make sense in the moment, because she accepted me fully, and I knew it. She wanted me to say these things ... In fact, she demanded it. I wanted to please her.
“I use the traffic-light system,” she explained, slowly brushing the tassels of the whip up and down my body. I shivered, and she continued: “Red for stop, yellow for keep going but slow down and green for yes, more please.”
I nodded to show her I understood. She started to slap me with the tassels. “Green,” I said, smiling. She hit me again, harder this time. I moaned accidentally. My body immediately started to flood with adrenaline. It wasn’t sexual pleasure or anticipation, per se. I felt stimulated, but more so because the process of her inflicting pain felt liberating. I had her full attention. She was watching me like a hawk: every muscle twitch, every gasp, she responded to.
BDSM stands for bondage, discipline/domination, sadism/submission and masochism. These practices have a long and layered history, which would be difficult to summarize adequately in only a thousand words, so I won’t attempt it.
Arguably, the most important component of modern-day BDSM is consent. Cara R. Dunkley and Lori A. Brotto published their meta-analysis “The Role of Consent in the Context of BDSM” in 2020. They concluded that “Among the wide range of activities that constitute BDSM, consent is perhaps, in theory, the single unifying and universal characteristic,” and “the BDSM community takes consent further, demanding explicit rather than tacit consent.”
BDSM carries heavy stigma. Jaya and KC are members of The Kinky Collective, an underground BDSM community in Delhi. They are featured in Christiane Amanpour’s Sex & Love Around the World: Delhi episode. They explain: “we have so little knowledge of kink that we think kink is something violent. In fact, because it is consensual, it can define what cruelty is not.”
BDSM requires skillful and intentional communication. It is the ménage à trois of intimacy, tenderness and vulnerability. A 2008 study titled “Hormonal Changes and Couple Bonding in Consensual Sadomasochistic Activity” showed a real, physiological link between BDSM and increased couple bonding and intimacy by measuring hormone levels in saliva.
Researchers are investigating the therapeutic potentials of BDSM. The existence of this work proves there is a depth to BDSM far beyond the sexy costumes and spanking.
Dr. Danielle Lindemann notes: “A large part of the ‘therapy’ being offered in the dungeon is that the clients are able to express these desires that have historically been conceptualized as problematic and pathological, in a context that is free from social judgment or reverberations.”
Winnipeg has had waves of various BDSM communities over the last half century. I’m not the first columnist to write about this for The Uniter. We have a few professional dominatrixes in this city that can be found on various platforms or by a specified Google search. Because the Progressive Conservative government seems to care so much about what we do in our private sex lives as adults, make sure you’re being respectful, discreet and careful when seeking out someone to play with.
Winnipeg Sex Positive Culture is run by TG and Griff, who usually put on a yearly event called Fetish Weekend, a conference-style weekend of kink for practitioners to learn and play together. Due to COVID-19, this has of course been cancelled. Aquarius bathhouse, which is still running, doesn’t focus on BDSM, but based on what I could find on their website, there seems to be some specialized equipment available that could be put to use. Club 200 and Fame nightclubs also host nights like Leather and Lace and rope bondage performance nights. Some time spent on various social media platforms will show that there are many individuals in the city who are open about their own BDSM practices. In a city this small, word of mouth can take you far.
If you’re feeling the urge to play in Winnipeg, the community is out there, people!
Time passed. My thighs and ass were screaming red where she had hit me. I drooled out of the corners of my mouth. I was wearing a ball gag and couldn’t swallow easily. As the sun began to set, I turned my head to the right and saw a yellow square of light on the wall by the kitchen. I could see the curve of her lean body and the leather and chains that adorned it in the shadow. The smell of latex and fake banana filled the air from the condoms she used to cover up her toys.
Up this high, the sky looked hazy through the window. The two of us towered above the city in a quiet room. Her lithe shadow slowly moved around mine as the room began to glow orange. I felt so loved and relaxed. I thanked her as I slowly got up. She opened her arms for a hug. It felt like embracing an old friend.
I held her hand before leaving the apartment, and she squeezed it. “I’m honored to have been your first dominatrix experience,” she said.
“You’ll always be my first,” I said with a smile. I held her gaze for a few moments before opening the door and saying goodbye.
Thank you Goddess Lydia.
Madeline Rae is a pleasure activist, writer and artist living on Treaty 1. Rae holds a BFA Honours in performative sculpture and is completing a BA in psychology, while pursuing a career in sex therapy. She is trained in client-centred sex education and harm reduction. She can be found at motherofgoo.com.
Published in Volume 75, Number 07 of The Uniter (October 29, 2020)