The holiday season will soon be before us again like a horror-movie character that won't ever die. I'm not a big fan of Christmas. Culturally enforced merriment gets on my nerves, and while I can handle a few days of artificial cheer, Xmas has now been stretched by department stores and big-box retailers to eight weeks or more, all in the name of separating you from your money. Bah, I say—eschew them. Instead of the predictable sweater or cologne, choose something unique and sexy from a local kinky craftsperson.
I've put together a little kinky shopping guide for you—and I recommend all these vendors with confidence because I've bought stuff from every one of them.
Twisted Monk (twistedmonk.com, 938-7527): Monk supplies soft, supple, hand-processed bondage rope, dyed in a rainbow of colors, to better bedrooms and dungeons worldwide—including mine. My favorite is crimson, in the eight-millimeter size, but he can do custom orders in any color you want. He's also got instructional books and DVDs, hardware, T-shirts, and safety shears. For beginners, I recommend the More Than Curious kit, as well as rope rigger Chanta Rose's book, Bondage for Sex. You can order online, by phone, or make an appointment to go to the shop.
One Wilde Knight (onewildeknight.com, 661-5518): I have custom-made clothes and corsets from many different makers, but I love O'Rion Xcalibur's creations—he's always willing to take chances and do something different. He does custom leather and studwork, period costumes, and steel-boned corsets all in materials both traditional and unexpected, and for both men and women. Of his work, Xcalibur says, "My corsets have delighted brides, goths, historical reenactors, fetishists, crossdressers, prom queens, drag queens, and collectors of wearable art." Gift certificates are available. For appointments, call or visit the website.
Imp of Satan (imp-of-satan.com): Looking for tight and shiny pants, tops, catsuits, and more? Talk to fetish designer Rose Algren, who makes traffic-stopping outfits from the stretchy vinyl fabric known as PVC. Has your baby got back? I find Algren's miniskirt flatters the female ass in all its curvy glory, and I also love the mesh catsuit. While her clothes are for ladies, boys can wear the bondage hoods she also sells. Buy off the website or e-mail for a custom fitting appointment.
Bare Leather Works (bareleatherworks.com, 877-427-3221): I have some delicious floggers made by Jerry and Rick; their toys are lovely, reasonably priced, and, trust me, they really stand up to heavy use. For a kinky beginner, I'd suggest a pair of leather cuffs and the midsize deer-hide flogger—it's the most gentle and sensual. For the serious impact player? Check out the biggest, heaviest Master Flogger, with 80 long leather tails—it looks like it would push you right through the dungeon wall.
Scott Paul (scottpauldesigns.com): Need a gift for the kinkster who seems to have everything? Go see Scott Paul. His warped imagination has come up with a unique and stylish collection of BDSM gear. I love his nasty little pinwheels, and the Click-a-Cuff bondage system is inspired, as is his wild collection of functional gags. And I definitely want a Fearsome Fingers glove! He also makes lightweight cages that break down so you can hide them away when your mom comes for a holiday visit. Custom work is available.
Tonya Winter (fetishwear.net): Tonya's the only local fetish designer I know who works in latex. She builds it well, too; I have a pair of rubber pants I bought from her years ago, and they're still looking good. She also designs sexy clothes, straightjackets, hoods, and bondage gear in PVC, spandex, and a fabric called darlex that's a bit like spandex on steroids. The women's fashions are sizzling, and boys, you aren't neglected here—Tonya makes hot menswear, too. Custom designs and gift certificates are also available.
Bad Juju Canes (badjujudesigns.com, 425-789-1383): Not the kind you walk with, the kind you whack people's butts with. But be careful, for even a light blow with a rattan cane can result in a red stripe and some bad language. If your sweetie likes stinging sensations, then choose from bright candy colors or a natural finish, in a variety of lengths and diameters. See photos on their website, and order by phone.
THURSDAY 11/16RAIN CITY JACKS PARTY
FRIDAY 11/17REDMOND RANCH SWING CLUB
Party at this friendly Eastside swing club. Single men must RSVP for the waiting list; couples and single women can just show up. Tonight is "Bi-Female Night." Redmond Ranch, 425-868-8169 or www.redmond-ranch.com, 7 pm, new people must arrive by 8 pm, $45 for couples/$25 for single women.MEN-ONLY NIGHT
A BDSM play party for gay, bi, and straight boys. Wet Spot, 1602 15th Ave W, building E, firstname.lastname@example.org or 270-9746, 10 pm—3 am, $15, male ID and membership required.
SATURDAY 11/182D OR NOT 2D ANIMATION FESTIVAL
Tom Wilson, the man who spawned Ziggy, hosts a screening of Ziggy's Gift—the Emmy-winning TV special about the small, bald, and pantsless cartoon character with more pets than friends. And it all goes down in Everett, the dick-shrinkingest city on earth. Historic Everett Theatre, 2911 Colby Ave, 425-258-6766, 2—3:30 pm, $50.KISSING SCHOOL
Kissing School is a safe, playful way to explore tantra and experience the kiss sublime. No previous experience necessary. Locale info at www.kissingschool.com, 10:30 am—5 pm, $335 per couple, preregistration required at above website.
SUNDAY 11/19PARADISE POOL TIME
A clothing-optional "swim and be social" event at an indoor pool. The Longhouse in Redmond, email@example.com or 270-9746, noon—4 pm, $10, RSVP and Wet Spot membership required, members may bring adult guests.EXTREME COCK AND BALL SENSATION PLAY
Join Mistress Marry for a basic 101 discussion and demonstration about how to safely and happily torment men's genitals in a BDSM scene. Wild at Heart, 1111 NW Leary Ave, www.wildatheartxxx.com or 782-5538, 5:30—7:30 pm, $20.