Centuries of Whips, Chains, and Spankings: Snow Mercy Talks About the History of the Dominatrix

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The history of sex is fascinating precisely because so little of it is written down. We may know where George Washington was born and where he died, but we have little idea of what he liked to do in bed, or what he would have liked to do. For the most part, anyone who liked sex that wasn’t heterosexual ten-toes-up-ten-toes-down style has tried to avoid letting the rest of the world learn too much about it.

But difficult isn’t impossible, and this weekend, Snow Mercy comes to Stockroom University to teach some of that history. In The History of the Dominatrix, Snow is going to look at dominant women throughout the last 500 years. She gave us a little preview of the material that she’s going to cover:

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Tristan Taormino Opens Up About Polyamory

Tristan Taormino - Opening Up Workshop at Stockroom, Nov. 15

As one of the most prominent sex educators on the scene today, Tristan Taormino wears many hats: Any bookstore with an even halfway decent sexuality section is sure to include several of the books that she’s written or edited, such as The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women or 50 Shades of Kink: An Introduction to BDSM. She’s been even more prolific as the producer and director of educational adult videos like The Expert Guide to Pegging.

Taormino’s work has addressed people of all genders and orientations, from vanilla to kinky. But she’s been especially important in expanding the possibilities for non-monogamous relationships. Before polyamory was something commonly discussed on mainstream sites like Slate or Newsweek, her 2008 book Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships served as a guide for people looking for alternatives to monogamy. Seven years later, it’s still one of the most-cited books by veterans and newcomers to polyamory.

This Saturday (November 15), Tristan Taormino will come to Stockroom Hall for an intensive four-hour workshop on how to create and sustain open relationships. We had a conversation with her about the workshop, the ethics of poly relationships, and how polyamory has changed since she wrote Opening Up.

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Rigger Damon Pierce On Using Alternative Armbinding Techniques to Suit Your Partner and Pleasure

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Longtime rigger and film director Damon Pierce will be coming to Stockroom University this weekend to present a class on Alternative Arm Binds. This class is more than one more teaching you a new series of knots; to Pierce, it’s essential to good and pleasurable bondage that kinksters don’t get too hung up on how to do things “the right way” and remember that our partners’ bodies have different abilities and different pleasures that aren’t necessarily covered in any of the numerous manuals or instructional videos that are available. The right way to do it, he says, is the way that makes it a pleasurable experience for the people involved. We had a quick conversation with him about why (and how) bondage lovers need to look more closely at the bodies in front of them instead of focusing too closely on the “one true way.”

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Sunny Megatron and Ken Melvoin-Berg: Making Humiliation Hilarious, Sexy, and Fun

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Stockroom University is presenting one of the best Halloween treats we can imagine this year: Adult educators Sunny Megatron and Ken Melvoin-Berg are coming to Los Angeles to teach their workshop Hilarious Halloween Humiliation! on October 31. Even in kink communities, humiliation play is something that many people find a little intimidating and even taboo.

Sunny and Ken have long been known among members of the kink community not only for sophisticated, ethical insights about sexuality, but for bringing humor to topics that are often treated with grim seriousness. Recently, they’ve become known to a wider audience through Sunny’s program on Showtime, Sex with Sunny Megatron. Ken serves as the consulting producer/Sharon Osbourne figure on the program. While kinksters everywhere wait with bated breath for news of a second season, Stockroom  spoke to Sunny and Ken about what humiliation play really is, how to negotiate it, and why it can be fun and pleasurable for all involved.

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The Boulet Brothers Are All About Making Halloween a Time of “Wild Abandon.” Syren Latex is Proud to Help.

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When asked to describe the atmosphere of Boulet Brothers events, Dracmorda Boulet has a simple but evocative answer: “Wild abandon,” he says. “People just go crazy and have a good time.”

Halloween in particular is a holiday that encourages and feeds on “wild abandon,” and for Dracmorda and Swanthula Boulet, it’s an opportunity to indulge their gifts for fabulous decadence even more than usual. This October 31 marks the fifteenth time that they’ll be putting on Miss Kitty’s Annual Hollywood Halloween Ball, hosted by horror writer Clive Barker.

  “The Halloween show’s going to be insane,” Dracmorda says. “It’s our biggest party of the year. We take an adult nightclub and mix it with Knott’s Berry Farm. So there’s like trick-or-treat booths and people jumping out and grabbing you all over the club, but we also have super slutty go-go dancers — both guys and girls. It’s just crazy. It’s like a haunted house nightclub.” Continue reading…

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Jay Rosen Talks About the Fantasies and Realities of Male Submission

Tomorrow, Stockroom U presents Up From the Bottom, a panel about the lives, desires, and realities of male submission. Men who submit to women are often ignored, dismissed, or mocked, even in kink communities, and we’re really looking forward to this weekend’s panel as an opportunity to talk about male submission in detail and with nuance. Jay Rosen, who set up the panel and is going to be moderating tomorrow, took a little time out to give us some insight on his feelings about submission.

Jay is a 42-year-old lifestyle submissive and father who has been involved in the D/s community for almost 20 years.  He has had the privilege of serving Lifestyle Dommes as well as Pro Dommes as their lifestyle submissive along with the privilege of performing with incredible Dommes on stage. He also performs ongoing duties as a service submissive to Club WICK as one of the elite service boys.
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Could you describe the panel that you’re going to be holding at Stockroom U this weekend?

It’s submissive male only, and it’s really going to be talking about our lives individually, how long we’ve been in the scene, what kind of service we’ve been partial to, and really discussing what goes on in a submissive male’s head, and really kind of showing a different perspective, because I think there’s so many great panels on dominant men or dominant women that submissive males kind of get overlooked a little bit. So, we wanted to show a side of people that have diverse lives and diverse likes and have served lifestyle women, professional women, maybe served couples. But show it from a perspective of “Hey, this isn’t all-defining of our lives, but it’s something that we’re into and that we love and that we have grown to throw into the mix of our everyday life along with our kink world.

Why do you think that the perspective of submissive men gets overlooked even within kink communities?

I think that it gets overlooked because so many of the communities started out with male dominants. Even femdoms have struggled for a long time to get noticed in a lot of areas. And so male submissives kind of get overlooked because there’s so many of them that kind of come and go in the scene. There’s not a lot of people that I’ve experienced who have been around for a long time.

So you’re saying that submissive men are overlooked because there’s so many of them?

I think that we get overlooked because — you see so many women wearing such incredible outfits and men are so visually driven that they think that they want to be submissive, and then they find out about it, and then they’re out. They’re gone.

I was at a panel at The Stockroom with beautiful femdoms that were all pros, and they were all dressed incredibly, so if you were a male, and you were like “Oh my god, I want to serve them,” and then find out what that actually means, it’s a different thing. When they find out what it really is to be a submissive male — that’s not really for everyone.

So what does it mean to be a submissive male? What’s the difference between the fantasy and the reality?

What it means for me is to really make sure that the female I’m with or that I’m serving or whatever our arrangement is — that she is extremely happy with whatever she needs. So if it’s sexual, I am there to please her. If she wants me to service her as far as getting her drinks, I am anticipating her moves, her wants, her needs. That makes me happy to see her extremely happy.

A submissive male — at least from my perspective — is that I’m anticipating the person I’m with. What they love, what they like, what the little things are. So, if they get home from work, I’ve got a cocktail waiting for them. If they want their feet massaged, they don’t need to come over and tell me, I’m just kind of ready to do it.

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What do you think the expectations are that people have about submission, and how do they clash with reality?

For men, we have our insecurities about things, and a lot of us don’t want to talk about them because they’re scared that a female will not like that. I think it’s that people think that they should get something if they show up at a party or if they pay to go to an event. They have this idea that there’s going to be all these beautiful women that are going to want to use them for whatever they want, and that’s kind of the fantasy of it. It’s not always as easy as people think, so when they don’t get what they want, they get very discouraged, and they’re like, “Well, I’m not doing this again.”

Do you think that there’s a stigma to being a submissive man in kink communities?

I do — in certain groupings. When I started out in Los Angeles, it was a totally different scenario than it is now. There was a lot of male doms who really did not like male submissives being around. They looked down on us because they thought that we were weaker mentally. I ran into that a lot — I still run into it a little bit.

I think that a lot of femdoms even take advantage of some of the kind of people who are very pliable. You know, they want to please, they want to be there. I think some women really take advantage of that and kind of twist it up a little bit. So, they kind of look at male submissives like “Oh, whatever, they’re pathetic.” And then there’s the grouping of women who absolutely think submissive men are amazing. But there is definitely a small stigma against them in the fetish community still.

What’s the first piece of advice you’d give someone who was interested in becoming a submissive man?

I always tell people in the younger groups to be patient. Don’t let anybody treat you with disrespect because that’s not what this is about. Don’t let anybody treat you like a doormat. It’s really important, if you’re going to be a submissive male to really have a good sense of confidence and that’s not always instinctual for people coming into the scene. You learn it through experience.

And I tell them to be patient. If you go to a play party, don’t expect that you’re going to get played with. Be patient. Meet people, be cordial. You have to be able to show confidence, because that attracts women all the time, whether you’re a submissive man or not. The women that prey on [men] who have no confidence, well — they’re the ones that are dangerous to everybody in the community. It makes the community come off as bad and scary, and that’s why there’s such a stigma.

What do you hope people will get out of the panel tomorrow?

I really hope that people gain a better understanding of what male submissives go through, what we’ve experienced, what our mindset is, how we’ve had difficulties relating even to the femdoms that we know.

I’d hope the women can gain a little bit more understanding of “Oh, this is what makes them tick.” It’s not about showing up, putting them on a cross and beating them. That’s a great part of it, yeah, but it’s helping people understand that we come to these things because we want to, and we love doing it. We all have our own worlds that are separate from this, and we’ve blended them.

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October 10 at Stockroom University: “Up From the Bottom” Panel

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This submissives panel will feature a male-oriented conversation shared by those who have been openly living as bottoms in the D/s community for most of their adult lives. Hear as each share their various and diverse roles and journeys.

Whether passionate about serving a Lifestyle Domme or wanting to witness a slave’s experience with Pro Dommes, join the conversation and learn about the many colors of submission. Explore the various realities of a 24/7 total power exchange and the ongoing duties of lifestyle service.

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How to Do Rough Sex: Danarama Talks About the Risks and Rewards

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This Saturday, renowned educator and bondage expert Danarama will present a workshop on “rough sex” at Stockroom University. Although rough sex is consistently listed as one of the most popular fantasies among people of all genders and orientations, it’s also one of the most misunderstood. Danarama’s workshop will take on some of the misconceptions and show people how to explore some of their most primal fantasies safely and consensually. We talked to him earlier this week about what his class is going to cover and why rough sex remains such a compelling fantasy.

 

Can you give a quick summary of what you’re going to be teaching at your workshop?

One of the most popular fantasies out there is rough sex. It’s a popular fantasy, but a lot of people don’t know how to go about doing it in a safe way. Particularly if you’re someone who really is a caring partner, sometimes you don’t want to be rough with your partner. But at the same time, as much as you care about your partner, sometimes your lover just wants to be taken. They want to know that there’s this unbridled passion, and the way to do that is not to make love, but to have sex in a primal, rough, and almost overwhelming manner.

To do that, there are a few techniques that you can use to make sex seem really primal and rough while doing it in a safe way that preserves not only safety, but consensuality and everybody’s agreed limitations. So I’m going to show how you can have these communications with your partner, and then how to use various take-downs and armholds and ways to invigorate even mundane positions like “missionary” or “doggy style” with rough sex techniques. I’m going to show how to use points of leverage to take control of your partner in a way that makes sex much rougher and — I guess primal is the best word.

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October 3 at Stockroom University: “Rough Sex” Hosted by Danarama

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Danarama demonstrates and coaches a wide range of rough sex techniques that can safely make sex feel excitingly brutal while remaining safe, for both women or men in control. After discussing negotiation, mental, and safety factors, Dan and his model dive in and demo dozens of fast and functional tips and skills to intensify sex, including:

  • Arm/body holds;
  • Creative use of clothing and furniture for impromptu restraint;
  • Powerful sex positions of high exposure or compression;
  • Mind-blowing fingerbanging, cruel handjobs;
  • Forced oral;
  • Hair pulling;
  • Slapping;
  • Throat holds;
  • Talking dirty;
  • Using vibrators and other toys;
  • Forcing or denying orgasms and other forms of control.

What: “Rough Sex” Hosted by Danarama
Note: You can also purchase tickets on arrival if you prefer.

When: Saturday October 3, 2:00-5:00pm

Where: Stockroom Hall: 2811 W. Sunset Blvd. Located next to our retail store.

About the Instructor:

 

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Currently the director of KinkUniversity.com and a lifestyle Dom since 1992, Danarama’s experience includes his 13 years as one of the world renown (now retired) Two Knotty Boys rope bondage instruction duo, a co-author of two best-selling rope bondage books and creator/co-creator of numerous free bondage tutorials on video. In his light-hearted yet engaging workshops, Dan brings his intensely creative BDSM style to bear, backed by his degree in Communication and four decades performing on stage. His rope bondage rigging has been seen adorning models in the work of many famous fetish photographers including Ken Marcus, Eric Kroll, and Z. Maitri, and he can be seen on numerous bondage web sites including DungeonSex.com and TheUpperFloor.com.

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A Night For Mistress Cyan: The BDSM Community Stands Up For One of Our Own

Mistress Cyan

Mistress Cyan

It’s hard to articulate the sudden rush of feeling that hits when someone you care for announces that they have cancer. It feels like the emotional equivalent of nausea; anger, fear, grief, horror, and helplessness churn together in one sickening mass. Sometimes one of those emotions wins out and forces its way to the surface; sometimes you just keep sitting there numb and cold while you try to sort out the news.

You could see that swirl of emotion happening in the BDSM community when Mistress Cyan announced last month that she was going into chemotherapy for cancer of the tonsils. Her roles as the owner of the Sanctuary Studios LAX dungeon and founder of DomCon are really only her most prominent activities in the kink and leather communities. The number of awards and honors that she’s accumulated since 1990, when she first became a professional domina, are far too numerous to list here. As a trans woman, she’s been a great trailblazer and advocate within BDSM, which unfortunately can be as hostile to trans people as mainstream culture.

The one thing that leavened Mistress Cyan’s original announcement is that her doctors also told her that they expected a full recovery. “You will more than likely die of old age in another 20-30 years and not cancer,” they told her, “BUT there are going to be about three really tough months coming up.”

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Those three months include not only chemotherapy, but extensive oral surgery. She’s already had 27 teeth extracted to eliminate the risk of infection spreading.

Mistress Cyan has been a friend, a mentor, and a supporter for many of us, and we’re going to be here for her in the months ahead. We hope that you’ll join us in this.

If you’re in the Los Angeles area, you can help support Mistress Cyan get through the next few months emotionally and financially by attending a fundraiser and play party next Saturday, September 26, at her own Sanctuary Studios LAX. The door fee is $20 and all of that goes to Mistress Cyan’s medical expenses. The evening will include:

  • Stage Performers including Stockroom’s Head Mistress Hudsy Hawn, Bettie Bondage, and Sir Valentino.
  • Silent Auction;
  • Raffle with kinky toys and other prizes.

Stockroom is, of course, donating some of our products to this event. Specifics will be announced during the week.

You can RSVP and invite your friends either at Facebook or Fetlife, depending on your preference.

If you’re not in the L.A. area, or won’t be at party time, friends of Mistress Cyan have also started a crowdfunding drive on GoFundMe. If there’s one thing that can be called positive to come out of this whole thing, it’s to see how many people have stepped forward to help. In only four days, the crowdfunding campaign has raised $3,720 of a target of $6,000. It shouldn’t be hard to push it the rest of the way.

From all of us, thanks very much to Mistress Cyan for her hard work over the past two and a half decades, and we wish Her very good luck in the months ahead.

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