Max and Me

I was teaching an "SM 101" class recently, and during the course of that I introduced my partner, Max, to the attendees. Afterward, I was chatting with a fiftysomething, Bellevueish-looking guy, and he said, "That's your boyfriend, huh? He's kinda... not what I would have thought." When pressed, he shrugged and said, "I would have thought he'd look more like that weird rocker guy with all the makeup, what's his name? Marilyn Monroe?"

I laughed, although I don't blame him for thinking a girl like me would have a freaky-looking lover. Max is actually more of a Kevin Spacey type--if Kevin had a beard--and he wouldn't look much out of place at the Republican National Convention. Of course, underneath that Nordstrom polo shirt beats the heart of a flaming pervert, and that's why I adore him.

And he adores me, which can't always be the easiest thing. Not because I'm a complex, high-maintenance control queen, or anything like that. But in teaching BDSM classes and writing this column, I put a lot of intimate stuff about myself out in the world--information that many people would consider private--because I want to positively influence people's ideas about alternative sexualities. Not all people could handle having their partner do that, and not everyone could handle the way that others sometimes react to me because of it. But Max has always been completely supportive of me.

Now he's teaching a lot of BDSM classes himself, mostly in his specialty, which is complex rope bondage and suspension. That's hard to teach people, because there's a lot of left-brain rote memorization involved in learning the knots. Only someone who loves rope bondage as much as Max could make learning to tie a taut-line hitch seem sexy. What I like about the classes is that they're feeding something inside Max to teach people about something that's important to him. I think it's given him more insight on how empowering it feels to share intimate parts of yourself and your sexuality with strangers who are thirsty for the guidance. His passion for his subject is infectious in more ways than one; Max is developing his own little band of rope groupies, which delights me. I love having a partner other kinky people cream for, even though he in no way resembles Marilyn Manson.

Max is teaching "Fundamentals of Rope Bondage" on Sun Dec 7 from 1:30-4:00 pm. Advance tickets are available at Toys in Babeland.