Sunday, 3 January 2016

2016 / Go to a new event or bar / Learn something

So it is the start of 2016, and people have started their New Year Resolutions. My fave one I saw was to stop being so condescending (that's when you talk down to people). It is now a few days into January and I fully expect so many people have broken theirs already.

So I am not setting a resolution, instead I would like to set two challenges for 2016.

Go to a new bar or event
This past year I have started doing a lot more events - BLUF, UK Leather Pride, Birmingham Fetish Men, GearBlast:UK, Dare to Bare, Full on Fetish, Birmingham Pride, CLAW and various other events around the country. Though notably not in London - something that I'm sure a lot of people struggle to understand, there is indeed plenty of fetish events that go on outside London. Just that most people in London are too lazy to leave the big city and experience something new.

But this year I plan on doing some new bars and new events, and I challenge you dear reader to to do the same - try something new, visit a new city and try a very different event.

This past week one of the oldest leather bars in the UK reopened its doors - The Backstreet in London. Probably the last iconic strict dresscode bar in the country and I've never been. So that is something I will definitely be addressing this year. And if I can sort it, a visit to Mastery some time.

And for a very different type of event, and slightly closer to home, KINK up in Birkenhead in the North West of England. For the London gays this doesn't have a tube stop near it, but it does have a host of dungeons and playrooms. It has a Fetters Bondage Wheel, bondage frame, a bar, a jacuzzi, orgy room, underground prisoner cells and much more. This place appeals so much because it is somewhere that has lots of places to play!

Too many clubs now are just fuck clubs with a dress code, and for many events not very well enforced. I want to play somewhere with someone. This from what I have heard is a great place to do just that.

Learn something
When we start out on our leather journey of discovery we don't really know too much. And after a few years we know a little more, maybe we have found a particular interest - rope bondage, single tail whips, humiliation, ass play, objectification or animal role play.

But how do we learn? Most people just make things up and see how it goes, which for a lot of play is fine but for others very dangerous. For example not using the correct suspension harness can lead to unconsciousness or death in just a few minutes, using pressure around the neck from a rope, hand or something else for breath play can lead to heart failure and death in a matter of seconds with absolutely no warning. Using the wrong type of candles for wax play can lead to very serious burns.

When you start out do you know the importance of aftercare, of the come down for both the Dom and sub? How about knowing how clean some boots properly, look after your leathers or make your rubber super shiney?

Fortunately we usually find others to help us, play partners, Sirs, boys, pups or just friends. And then there is of course a wealth of knowledge in books and other publications that you can refer to and learn from. There are also some online learning resources like FetLife or Kink Academy we can use - though some find the presence of women on these too much to cope with.

In a future post I'll share some links to the books etc that I have found useful and interesting over the years.

But nothing beats hands on personal coaching, someone showing you how to do something and to help you get better.

So in 2016 why not find someone to help coach you in an aspect of your play you aren't that confident with. It could be flogging, rope bondage, asserting your dominance or finding your inner pup.

There are also lots of events that actually host workshops to help you with this - CLAW over in Cleveland, USA, being one of my favourite. But there are others - just take some time and find them.

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