Is face-slapping safe?

Define "safe." If you mean, "free of any risk whatsoever," then no, it's not safe. But all physical BDSM play has some risk, and barring any special medical conditions, it's possible to slap someone without doing serious harm. You should support the opposite cheek so you don't spin the person's head around, take off your rings, don't slap someone on the ear or near the eye, and don't make like Mike Tyson here, okay? Keep your slapping light. And make sure you negotiate this clearly--face slapping is often an emotional trigger, and if your slapee wasn't expecting it, you may have one very pissed-off bottom on your hands.

Mistress, can I use my four-foot signal whip on those clueless people at the gym who just sit on the machines and talk to their friends, seriously annoying those of us who are actually there to work out?

Oh, that's a really lovely idea. I'm tempted to give you my blessing on the stipulation that you begin your reforming crusade at the Broadway Social Club--otherwise known as Gold's Gym--where the boys lounge on the chest-press machine like they're waiting for the server to bring them their cosmopolitans. Maddening. And after you clean out all the bogarting gym bunnies, perhaps you could progress to Seattle drivers who come to a complete stop to make a right turn.

However, I fear for my own liability if I say that, so you'll have to follow your heart in this matter.

What techniques do you use for teaching a woman to come on command?

Oh, this is a hot-button issue, if you'll pardon the expression, and I just know I'm going to get a lot of hate mail about my response here. You see, some dominants in the kink community--always men, never women, I notice--say that they have trained their female submissive partner to have an orgasm at the snap of their fingers. They generally attribute this ability to a mixture of amateur hypnosis, some vague kind of Pavlovian conditioning, and of course, his über-domliness and her true-submissive nature. I've seen people do "demonstrations" of this, where the guy kneels his submissive down, points his finger at her, and says, "Come, slave!" And she obediently starts moaning and writhing and gives this big convulsive gasp and goes limp. That's it--no stimulation, no gradual build-up. Just an instantaneous orgasm on command.

Uh, right. Color me highly, but highly, skeptical about this--particularly since, although I no longer practice, I am a trained hypnotherapist. So while I've seen some pretty little performances, it's nothing Meg Ryan didn't do with Billy Crystal. There are distinct stages of sexual arousal that lead to orgasm, and although I'm not a doctor, I don't think it's physiologically possible to skip them.

Now, it is possible for a woman to be sexually aroused to a point where she's teetering on the edge of orgasm, and then have something that really turns her on--like someone ordering her to come--push her over the edge. It's also possible for some women to sexually stimulate themselves without seeming to, by flexing the pubococcygeus (PC) muscle, or by subtly rubbing their thighs together. So I'll grant you that those two factors could be coordinated to produce what seems like an instant, on-command orgasm.

But if you think you can take a woman who's busy washing dishes or doing her taxes and make her instantly erupt into Technicolor bliss, well--in my opinion as a woman and as a dominant, you're the one who needs a bit of sex education.

What's your least favorite type of scene to do?

One where someone wants me to act furiously angry with them, to the point of hatred, for the whole scene. I can enjoy correction scenes, where I start out pretending to be mad, but then punish and forgive, that's alright with me. But I enjoy myself in the dungeon, and if I can't laugh, I don't want to be part of your perversion.