Tuesday, October 9, 2012

BDSM for Writers workshop - part 1


This past August, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit New York City to attend an intensive, hands-on BDSM for Writers workshop conducted by sexologist Dr. Charley Ferrer. The workshop started in earnest on Friday, but I flew in on Wednesday so I could do some research/sight seeing. I'll talk more about that aspect of my trip in other blog posts - I took enough pictures to fill a scrapbook.

So on Thursday evening, several of us (Cris Anson and Kathy Kulig) arranged to meet Dr. Charley and her assistant to go out to supper. I have to say it was VERY cool to actually know some of the other participants already. Cris and Kathy are wonderful women and talented EC authors, so it was natural to hang out with them during the workshop. It was a wonderful surprise to meet Dr. Charley. Not that I was surprised she'd be there - I mean she was presenting the workshop of course she was there - but rather I immediately felt a comfort and connection with Dr. Charley. I have to tell you, she's funny, smart, tough as nails and sweet by turns. And when she gets a certain wicked glint in her eye, well...damn, look out. She's got some plans for you!

That first night, I got to try on some metal cuffs and a metal collar. It was an interesting experience too. You'll notice in the picture above there IS a lock on that thing - right in the center front. At first I was a little nervous about that, but I felt an immediate trust of Dr. Charley so I knew that there was nothing to fear with her around. In fact, the entire weekend was like that. It felt like having a guardian angel or a protector very close all the time.

A group of us wandered out of the hotel to find a pub for supper. At supper we talked about what to expect from the workshop and about BDSM - the lifestyle and how it's portrayed in fiction. It was a great meal and so good to talk with Charley.

The following day the workshop was launched in earnest. I met the other attendees, who were all very nice. Like usual, I started out kind of shy.But as the day continued, I think I loosened up. Dr. Charley covered BDSM basics during the day to help prepare us for the trip to Paddles - a BDSM club in NYC - that evening. Some things covered were familiar to me, some things were new. One thing that surprised me (and that I'll need to incorporate into my stories) is that while the sub experiences an endorphin rush which ultimately leads to a state not unlike being drunk, a dominant experiences an adrenalin rush which has them bouncing off the walls. That fascinated me and definitely impacts how I write.

I was intrigued by the idea of importance of ritual in a BDSM relationship. Ritual is important for both the submissive and dominant to allow themselves to get into the right mindset for a scene. Ritual reinforces the relationship and increases intimacy. That wasn't something I really considered and it was a great thing to learn.

Another point Dr. Charley emphasized was that the Dom/me sets up rules - specific rules - and must correct the sub until those rules are followed exactly. The sub should practice until he/she has things right. Training is designed to teach the sub what the Dom/me expects from them so they learn how to behave. She also told us that a Dom/me should always follow through on threats. If the Dom/me says something will be a consequence of disobedience, then it had better be a consequence. Otherwise, the submissive knows they can disobey at will and there will be no consequences for their behavior.

She also mentioned that at a club, Dom/mes often sit and observe. They watch how a sub plays with others, how they behave, and how they accept rejection. This was very relevant because that very evening, we would be visiting a BDSM club. For me, it was definitely my first time at such a club and it was quite the eye opener. I'll discuss the Friday night visit to Paddles next Tuesday.



4 comments:

  1. Great summary! Sounds like a really informative workshop.

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  2. I agree about the warmth and trust that Dr. Charley showed to all of us. It was a great and informative workshop. Sharing it with you and Kathy made it easier to jump in, so to speak. Thanks for posting and bringing back smiley memories.

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  3. Minx - I know Dr. Charley will be holding the workshop again next year and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who writes BDSM.

    Cris - had a great time with you and Kathy. I agree that having people there that I knew made things much easier. :-)

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  4. Francesca,

    I did so enjoy having you in my class..as well as Cris Anson & Kathy Kulig and the other writers that joined us. I'm flattered by your compliments. As we discussed kinky Sadist can be protective as well. smiles.

    I look forward to seeing you again next year for BDSM for Writers 2013. And of course, staying in touch and reading your fabulous books until then.

    Live with passion,

    Doctor Charley...

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