Dear Mistress Matisse,

I am a longtime reader of yours and I have questions I hope you can answer.

1. Do overweight women get into the public BDSM scene, or are many of them like me and too ashamed of their bodies to play in public?

2. I have recently admitted to myself that I am a bottom. I enjoy when my husband takes control. But, at the same time, I get frustrated whenever he's doing something "wrong" (i.e., it's not feeling good). What's up with that?

3. I am interested in all sorts of other play (such as anal, spanking, etc.), but feel wrong and dirty when I'm doing them, which makes me not enjoy any of it. Am I totally screwed up in the head?

1. There are lots of bigger women in the kink scene. The BDSM community, as a group, does not hold women to the Hollywood standards of beauty. That's partly because we value someone's personality and kink skills, and we see beauty in things other people don't. It's also got something to do with there usually being more men than women at kink events, so all types of unconventionally beautiful women find admirers. Many large women have told me that the BDSM community was the first place where they ever felt desirable and sought after, and they are now wildly popular at the kink events they attend.

2. "Bottoming" can be said to encompass two possible elements: relinquishing of control and acceptance of intense sensation. Not every bottom likes both those things. Perhaps you're not turned on by playing a submissive role, but you are turned on by intense sensation. For an intense-sensation player, bottoming means translating physical stimulation—say, spanking—into an endorphin high. The other term for that is "masochist," though that word flips some people out. It needn't. In kink circles, saying that one is a masochist doesn't mean someone can just walk up and sock you in the jaw and you'll find it arousing. Most masochists I know are choosy about what kind of sensation they like, and they're often quite direct about how they want you to give it to them. (Although the most popular of them have learned how to give this feedback diplomatically.)

3. No, you're not screwed up in the head. Quite the contrary. One of the firmest underpinnings of modern civilization is sexual control via shame and guilt. Those feelings of "but this is dirty!" have been carefully taught to you since you were a kid. The conflict you're experiencing is you trying to throw off other people's sexually repressive attitudes and decide for yourself what's sexy, which is perfectly normal. The best way to get over it is to spend time hanging around other people who understand how you feel. I don't mean you have to have sex with them, or do BDSM with them. I mean kinky pals, to whom you can talk without fear of disapproval. That's the best way to clear out other people's wrong and dirty ideas about what's sexy and make a clean start on deciding for yourself.

Kink Calendar



Get kinky in the men's bathhouse that will not die. Play safe so you don't either. Club Z, 1117 Pike St, 622-9958, 8 pm—midnight, fees vary, $3 off for SML members or those in full leather.



Play party for all genders and orientations. The theme is "Raw!" Low lights, loud music, and nasty energy. Wet Spot, 1602 15th Ave W, Building E,

270-9746,, 9 pm—3 am, $15/$10 if you are in fetish wear (blue jeans and a T-shirt

do not count), members only.



Learn how to give great head! Babeland sex educators discuss favorite fellatio tips and tricks. Open to all genders and orientations. Babeland, 707 E Pike St, 328-2914, 7:30 pm, $30.


Sensual-touch instruction for couples and singles, facilitated by David Longmire. No experience required. Wet Spot, 1602 15th Ave W, Building E, 270-9746,, 5—9 pm (doors close at 6 pm), $10, members only.



A casual, social event for all people interested in chatting about honest, open nonmonogamy in an accessible, family-friendly environment. Wayward Coffeehouse, 8570 Greenwood Ave N,, 7:30 pm, free.



Raven will show you how proper Kegel exercises make women more orgasmic. Fringe benefits include: shooting ping-pong balls, sipping champagne, and slicing bananas! No, really! Raven's Gallery Erotic, 406 Dexter Ave N, 274-8077,, 7—9:30 pm, $50, 18+.