Artwork: Isobel Williams@BOUND, London – 22/11/13

One of the artists which I seem to be encountering more frequently these days (though usually not directly as I frequently fail to spot her, and when I do manage to, I loath to interrupt her because she is often putting brush or ink to paper) is Isobel Williams.

She has drawn Benjamin and I in the past at Dr Phil’s London shibari workshop and now it seems that we have mused for her once more with our performance at BOUND last weekend.

Bound 22xi13 3

I am always honored when used as inspirational material for any artistry and I think Isobel did a wonderful job at capturing a moment within our performance.

You can see more of her work at http://boulevardisme.blogspot.co.uk/

I would highly recommend a peek.

Advertisements

A Velvet Thought – Mistresses Musings: Blue Skies

As some of my readers will know, I have been lessening my availability for professional domination sessioning.

There have been a lot of reasons for this, but the final proverbial nail is now being hammered into the coffin and I am ending this half-hearted profession in order to concentrate on my own blossoming business: Kabunza.

To be honest, I have grown very tired of the profession and my opinion of it has degraded substantially over the past three years of doing it (I no longer have the time to waste on timewasters).

I will now be devoting my attentions (and my blog writings) to what I consider more deserving; my personal lifestyle and passions of BDSM. however let it be known that I have no regrets. I have learned a lot in doing this kind of work, I have nothing but respect for those who enjoy it and I have even met a handful of decent people in the process of doing it myself.

It has been swell, but the swellings gone down…

Nothing but blue skies from now on.

Flogging workshop and first-time Kabunza trade stand at the BBB

Whenever I am asked to host a workshop, give tuition or give a demonstration, I always leap at the chance. It is incredibly rewarding and I truly believe that one of the best things anyone with a well practiced skill can do for the BDSM community is to pass on their knowledge to willing students safely. There are a lot of people out there who are reckless (even dangerous) but teach their activities anyway, (often simply to stroke their own egos) despite how unsafe it may be. It can sometimes be very confusing or even scary enough to put people off trying or learning new things. My recommendation to anyone taking advice from anyone on any BDSM activity is to do a little research into the competence of the person(s) giving out their information and also briefly on the subject matter in question (be it flogging, whips, shibari or any BDSM skill) using that magical tool: The internet. Trust me, for the safety of both yourself and those you play with, it never hurts to do a little research and anyone with real knowledge or skill will be apparent from the tat.

I tend to be very hands-on and interactive in my workshops; I like people to ask questions, I like people to talk to me about their own experiences so that I can explain or perhaps even learn something new myself (nobody ever stops learning) and I always try to get people out of their seats to physically practice anything I am trying to teach. Actual practice of any skill makes perfect and I think being able to actively talk people through and demonstrate safely as they are attempting new skills tends to alleviate a very large portion of simple first-time learning hiccups.

Having said that; I am happy to say that the flogging workshop at the Birmingham Bizarre Bazaar received some wonderful feedback and comments. It seemed as though everyone had a wonderful time and I cannot express how rewarding it is to watch people putting their new-found teachings into practice over the course of an event (having a room full of flying florantining floggers can be an incredibly fun thing to watch).

Even the lovely Mistress Victoria from Uberkinky (who was a pleasure to finally meet face to face) wrote a sparkling review of the experience, which you can read on her website blog: Here.

In response to the many people who have asked me to do some Youtube videos and tutorials: I do hope to get some made eventually, but it is finding someone who would be willing to film me and has decent enough equipment and software to do so. It will be done, it is just a question of time and expense (anyone wishing to participate in this kind of project, please feel free to contact me).

And to answer the question that so many people directed at me about my collection of floggers at the workshop: The straight handled floggers were from Jack’s Floggers, The ball handled floggers were from Jack’s floggers and Edgeplay and the majority of the floggers that you saw that evening (the poi floggers) were from our very own Kabunza Craftwerks (we do accept custom orders if you would like a personalised set made).

As well as the workshop, it was also Kabunza‘s first ever trade stand at the BBB. We received some wonderful feedback on our products and many people walked home with shiny new Kabunza collars, jewellery and floggers. We are gleefully looking forward to any possibilities of trading there again. The atmosphere and people at this event are simply awesome.

To sum up this post, I would just like to send out a few thankyou’s :

  • To the BBB market and after party organizers for offering us the opportunity to have our Kabunza trade stand represented at their event, for the ample support they gave us, for allowing me the honour of hosting a workshop for them and for their very encouraging and complimentary words throughout.
  • To everyone who made a purchase at the Kabunza trade stand. We know from all your lovely comments and appreciation photos that our hard work is going to good homes. We hope you get as much joy from them through their use and wear as we have had in creating them.
  • To everyone who attended the workshop. I hope everyone had fun (I know many did from the comments that I have received on Facebook and Fetlife but I never tire from hearing your thoughts and I am sure the readers of my blog would love to hear your comments if anyone would like to post any below).
  • To my ever diligent partner for pouring her blood, sweat and tears (three of my favourite things to squeeze out of her) into customising and altering almost every purchased Kabunza item at the event. She really worked hard.
  • To my Benjamin. Who, without him, none of the above would of happened and who embraced everything that I inflicted upon him at the workshop (and afterwards) with a delicious smile. As I have always said; “It takes two to play”, and in that respect I am always greatly appreciative of him and feel incredibly lucky to have him as my own.

So, you want to be a professional Dominatrix?

I receive regular emails and messages asking me questions on how to go about becoming a professional Dominatrix and I do offer training sessions in my dungeon (phone me for details if you have a specific training in mind). However, there are a certain number of base truths that anyone who aspires to get into this kind of business should know.

  1. This kind of work takes a specific type of mindset and a certain mentality. It is not the kind of thing for the faint of heart and it is not just about wearing some fetish clothing or sounding bossy. Clients will know if you are less than genuine. In my opinion, a decent intellect and a basic knowledge of human anatomy is mandatory, and if you are not naturally dominant or you do not already have an interest in fetish, kink or sadomasochism, then I would highly recommend you give it up as a bad idea before you make yourself look incredibly stupid.
  2. It is not easy work. This job can be very draining emotionally, mentally and physically. I am certain that from the observers point of view, this kind of lifestyle can look incredibly glamorous, fun and exciting. Those who are successful tend to make it look easy. But there is a lot of work to be done both in and out of the dungeon before sessions can take place. Profiles, websites, updates, advertisements, photo shoots, constant correspondence 24/7 with both potential clients and time wasters, references to check, set up before and clean up after each session, travel and any specific arrangements that need to be made beforehand. To say it can get stressful is an understatement.
  3. You get out of it what you put into it. You are directly responsible for any success or failure that you achieve. The energy and money that I invest in developing my business, equipment or skills, directly reflects my success and earnings. Quality brings longevity, knowledge brings respect, investment brings potential and all are required to bring profit. You will also find that this business is very seasonal or fickle. Certain times of the year can be incredibly busy whereas at other times you may not spank a single bottom for weeks. It is a very true barometer of the economy; when the economy is healthy, people feel that they can spend on the luxuries, when the economy is slow, the mortgage is more important than tribute for a Mistress.
  4. You may meet mentally questionable people in this lifestyle and business. Most tend to be very respectful and intelligent, however, you do get a few who look to abuse and take advantage (some are prone to violence). You learn to identify these people fairly quickly, but you must keep your wits in this kind of business and be able to handle yourself both verbally and physically. A lacking in self-confidence or being emotionally sensitive will mean this kind of work will bring you nothing but mental anguish.
  5. This kind of profession can be very hard on relationships. Family, friends or partners; not everyone will agree with your choice of work or lifestyle. This is one of the reasons why the mundane are called mundane, they will never understand. The best you can hope for is that they simply accept. Many people will make assumptions, often negative, about you, your motives or your character. I have also noticed that despite being a lifestyle Dominatrix, even other members of the BDSM scene may take an active dislike to a professional practitioner of BDSM.

These basics by no means cover everything and I am sure other professionals will have different views. They are just a few personal observations which I have learned in my years as a lifestyle Dominatrix as well as my years in the professional business and I am simply relaying to those who have been seeking my advice or to any who may seek it in the future.

I would not recommend seeking advice on practicing professional BDSM from anyone other than those who have experience practicing professional BDSM (you may be able to learn skills from those who frequent the BDSM scene, but you will not learn the finer details of how to run your business from anyone other than those who have hands on knowledge, no pun intended).

It is unlikely that this will be my last ‘advice post’. Some of my previous blog posts which have been written with the intention of giving help advice to the aspiring professional Dominatrix include:

Preventing “bounce”

Tipping the hourglass

My only hope is that this helps people to decide and accept the consequences of their own life choices.