Columns

Control Tower

Definitions

  • comments
  • Print

A taken-in-hand relationship?

Not necessarily a BDSM relationship, this term refers to male-dominant, female-submissive relationships that look much like an old-fashioned marriage. An older term for this would be a TPE relationship, meaning total power exchange, but that phrase seems to have fallen out of vogue. I might also refer to it as a 24/7 relationship, meaning the power dynamic is in place all the time, not just during sex or agreed-upon scenes. Whatever you call it, it means that the female partner must defer to the male in all matters, and it usually features physical discipline, like spanking, as punishment for any transgressions. BDSM that is for mutual fun and pleasure may or may not be included in the couple's sex life.

AAMP?

It's a sex-work term. An AMP is an Asian massage parlor, and an AAMP is an Asian apartment massage parlor, meaning it's located in an apartment rather than a storefront. Some clients consider such establishments more discreet and thus more desirable. However, many sex workers are of the opinion that an apartment-based MP with an all-Asian staff is where you're most likely to run into women who are in the country illegally and are quite possibly being exploited and controlled by organized crime. That's not universally true, but even if your ethics are flexible, be aware that law enforcement may have a somewhat higher level of interest in a place where there's more going on than a few stray misdemeanors.

Old guard?

I assume you're not asking me about military history, but about the kink use of the phrase. It's a much-abused term that refers to the highly stylized culture and customs of gay leathermen from around the 1950s to around the 1970s, as described by Larry Townsend in The Leatherman's Handbook. A number of current BDSM styles and traditions do have their roots in this era, and it's sometimes used as shorthand to admiringly describe someone with a formally structured approach to dominant/submissive relationships and, presumably, a lot of experience. However, there is now an unfortunate tendency for any newb with leather pants and a yen for instant credibility to call himself/herself "old guard." A twentysomething kinkster styling himself this way ranks right up there with saying that one is a "true dominant"—you will instantly brand yourself a clueless poseur. If you wish to convey that you prefer traditional BDSM manners, I suggest you call yourself "old school," instead.

Being "in the lifestyle"?

That's a tricky one. It depends on the context. I'm told that swingers don't like to call themselves swingers anymore, that instead they speak of "being in the lifestyle" or "lifestyle couples." Swinger events are sometimes called "lifestyle events." So I think it most often means a swinger. However, some BDSM people will refer to "lifestyle players" to indicate people who have woven kink into their daily lives, as opposed to it being merely an occasional thing. (And, amusingly, prostitutes used to speak of their work as being "in the life," although that's an archaic term now.) So consider the circumstances and suss it out.

Scrotal inflation?

Stop reading now if you're easily squicked. In BDSM circles, scrotal inflation (also called scrotal infusion) means enlarging the scrotum by filling it with sterile saline solution. This is very advanced play, kids; do not try this at home. Bad, bad things will happen if you do this wrong. Basically, you stick an IV needle into the sack and put saline into it until it seems as full as it can get. The sack stretches out and gets bigger and heavier. How big? Think softball, grapefruit, and, in one scene I saw, cantaloupe. It's temporary—the body slowly reabsorbs the saline over the course of hours or, possibly, days. Why do this? Well, some men enjoy the weight and pressure on their nads, and they may like the look of having really big balls. A dominant can enjoy the psychological aspects of altering someone's body and forcing the inflatee to face hours of constant, heightened awareness of his genitals.

Kink Calendar

THURSDAY 12/21

GRIND

The Wet Spot's kinky dance party: goth/industrial music, sex, and BDSM, with a younger, more style-conscious crowd. Wet Spot, 1602 15th Ave W, building E, 270-9746, info@wetspot.org, 9 pm-—1:30 am, $10, membership required.

RAIN CITY JACKS PARTY

Rain City Jacks is a private, men-only JO club that's alcohol, smoke, and attitude free. Raincityjacks.org, rc@raincityjacks.org, 7—10 pm, membership required.

FRIDAY 12/22

COLUMBIA CITY CABARET

Tamara the Trapeze Lady hosts this sexy variety show featuring Babette La Fav, Trixie Lane, Dyno the Aerialist, Charlie Horse, and live music from the Cocktet. Columbia City Theatre, 4916 Rainier Ave S, 605-9920, www.trapezelady.com, 8 pm, $15, 21+.

SATURDAY 12/23

A TAP DANCE CHRISTMAS CAROL

Ms. Ebenezia Scrooge and the rest of the gang torture audiences by tapping out Dickens's story about regret and death in Morse code. Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, 325-6500, 2 and 8 pm, $18—$24.

MONDAY 12/25

CHRISTMAS DAY POTLUCK

Ditch the family and hang out with some real kinky folks at the Wet Spot's potluck Christmas party. Wet Spot, 1602 15th Ave W, building E, cub@wetspot.org, 270-9746, 4—9 pm, free, membership required (members may bring adult guests).

TUESDAY 12/26

SEATTLE WOMEN OF LEATHER NIGHT

A monthly social gathering for "women interested in woman-to-woman BDSM and/or kink sexuality." Wet Spot, 1602 15th Ave W, building E, www.seattlewomenofleather.org, 270-9746, 7—10 pm, free, Wet Spot membership not required, female ID required.

WEDNESDAY 12/27

DRESS-CODE LEATHER SOCIAL

Seattle Men in Leather doesn't give details on their leather "dress code," but a good minimum effort would be 501s, boots, and a black T-shirt. Major pieces of leather, rubber, and uniforms are encouraged. No white sneakers or Birkenstocks! Cuff Complex, 1533 13th Ave, 7—10 pm, $3, 21+.

matisse@thestranger.com

 

Comments (0)

Add a comment

Most Commented in Columns