Explicit Consent

Explicit Consent: Kinky Erotica Through the (P)ages


“Consent is sexy.” These three words have become a popular catch-phrase over the past few years. Though there is (valid) critique of the trope of “sexy consent”, the concept of consent as compatible with—and even a prerequisite of—eroticism has become nearly ubiquitous in the sex-positive sphere. But what about consent and negotiation in the context of kinky erotica? Can lovers negotiating their BDSM scenes be erotic, not merely implied or ignored altogether?


The historical answer, at least in most kinky literature published prior to 2010, is a resounding “no.” Sexy consent isn’t reflected in most “classic” BDSM erotica, and remains a minority even in the 21st century.


Story of O (1954), Pauline Réage’s genre-defining classic, depicts kink as something that the submissive must suffer through. It reinforces the rather troubling idea that kink is sexy because the submissive derives no pleasure from it. O undergoes physical and psychological tortures, but there is no portrayal of negotiations. Furthermore, there isn’t the slightest indication that O enjoys herself, even in a masochistic fashion. O isn’t a masochist at all—she’s a long-suffering vanilla who simply wants to please her partner.


The depiction of consent (or lack thereof) in Fifty Shades of Grey (2011) has already been deemed problematic by many a writer, so I won’t get into the gritty details here. Suffice to say that protagonist Anastasia is precisely the opposite of a model of enthusiastic consent. From page one it’s clear that she, like O, only agrees to Christian’s kinky antics because she wants to be close to him. This portrayal of submissives—especially female submissives—as merely putting up with kink is harmful on many levels, and tacitly implies that it’s okay to push kink onto someone who is only half-heartedly consenting. Suffering is eroticized, but not in a particularly fun way, and definitely not in a manner that most of us would try to emulate; neither Story of O nor Fifty Shades of Grey have endings that would work out for most kinky folk.


But where, I can practically hear all the literate kinksters lamenting, is the erotica that depicts kink as something mutually beneficial, or even romantic and loving?


Alison Tyler’s semi-autobiographical Dark Secret Love (2013), and the entire Story of Submission series, is the sexy, realistic portrayal of kink that we’ve all been waiting for. Tyler openly displays Samantha’s thought processes—even those of jealousy, discomfort, and uncertainty. When she realizes that maybe she can’t bear the sight of her dominant Jack playing with another submissive woman, there is no pretense. Samantha says, in simple words, that she is experiencing jealousy, and she and Jack renegotiate their relationship.


She also vocalizes and enforces her hard limits. At one point she refuses to carry through with a piercing that Jack orders, and there is no implication that she isn’t a “true submissive” because of this limit. Jack doesn’t try to wear her down or push past her boundaries. No, they simply move on, and the rest of their evening is delightfully depraved, with not so much as a hint of resentment from either party.


This isn’t to say that erotica openly modeling consent can’t push boundaries. Au contraire. Jack walks right up to the lines of Samantha’s boundaries, and pushes past the ones that aren’t hard limits. Samantha is uncomfortable in many of the scenes, but that discomfort is something she chooses, and revels in.


That’s the key here: Sam’s desires are central to this series. From the very first page, we, the readers, are only here because she needs to tell her story, every bit as much as she needed pain, restraint, and discipline. Samantha is a slave to her desires, yes, but merely a submissive to her dom. That is to say, she is forced to submit to her deliciously wicked fantasies, but chooses willingly and wholeheartedly to submit to Jack.


Especially in the wake of California’s new Enthusiastic Consent “Yes Means Yes” law, we need more examples of explicit consent, in every sense of the phrase. Not all kinky erotica needs to show consent, but for the sake of newbie readers everywhere, some of it certainly should. Readers need to see what consent looks like on a romantic evening, or between two strangers casually hooking up, and yes—between a kinky couple whose fantasies rest upon the (pretend) premise that the submissive’s consent is violated. We need to see that we all have a real chance at “kinkily ever after,” where whips and chains mix with roses and early morning cuddles. Consent and negotiation can be just as sexy as they are essential to a relationship. Let’s start reading the stories that reflect that, and perhaps the positive attention will shift the trends so that the next kinky bestseller is a little more reflective of a consent culture of BDSM.

From The Author

Eva Gantz is a community-focused writer at the intersection of social media, feminism, sexuality, and tech. She’s the community manager at Stellar.org, a non-profit centered around digital financial inclusion. Previously, she managed social media and marketing strategy for a queer, feminist press. She founded Giving Books a Voice, a business, site, and podcast for authors who want to get smart about social media. She’s passionate about open source everything and hazelnut lattes.

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Not At This Time

I glanced down at my chest, resisting my natural urge to look away. The first needle pierced through the skin at the top of my breast, woven quickly in and out. No blood. I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I’d heard people talk about this sensation of “flying” when they do needle play. I wasn’t expecting much.

Two needles criss-crossed over each other, perpendicularly woven through my flesh. Okay, so I wasn’t flying, but this was only two needles.

Rewind to my early days in the scene (maybe two years before this experience) when I would have NEVER wanted to experiment with play piercing of any kind. And that is why the phrase Not at this time is so apt.

Not at this time is something we say in the scene to bring across the concept of “never say never.” One never knows how kink or BDSM will ultimately manifest in the future. Of course it is totally valid to have hard limits – activities you do not want to do or words you don’t want used when you play. It’s wise to share limits, both hard and soft, with your play partners and to keep them updated if these limits shift and change. At the same time, do you ever know, or can you ever really predict what you will find intriguing or hot in six months from now? How about a year? Five?

Being unsure about the unknown, not really knowing much about how an activity is carried out can certainly contribute to fears around some edgier kinks. Knowing more about the how could alleviate some of the fear or discomfort around an activity. Reading up on a topic and talking to people who enjoy it are great ways to learn about the why.

One my favorite books on BDSM is The Ultimate Guide to Kink because each chapter is by a different author talking about specific kinky activities. From bondage to fisting to mind fucking and so much more there are a slew of topics. Will you be turned on by everything? Of course not. I came away from that anthology knowing I didn’t want to try everything within its covers. But to read experiences where people are so passionate about the activity, I was captivated and at the very least I could then appreciate the turn ons.

The needle scene I described at the top of this post is something I tried on two separate occasions. There is a really fun local event in Los Angeles every November called Bizarre Bazaar at Threshold. At this event there are many “taster” booths where folks can sample a variety of kinky activities. Needle play, as I did, wax play, flogging, spanking, a coloring table for Littles, etc. along with exciting vendors, and a low-key atmosphere perfect both for those who just want to see what all the kinky fuss is about and those who have been in the scene for ages to socialize.

Certainly there will be scenarios a person just doesn’t find something kinky appealing ever. That’s also perfectly acceptable. Just remember: Don’t yuck someone’s yum. There is room for everyone to sit at the kinky table. As long as all participants consent to play, are having a blast, and are risk-aware, get on with your kinky selves!

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Happy Fisting Day 2014!

Curious about vaginal fisting? You should be! It’s a magical, sacred and extremely sexy experience for both parties involved. I am by no means an expert, just a sex nerd who likes to dabble in various perverted acts. I will share tips to keep in mind for vaginal fisting, as well as explain from my perspective as a submissive how fisting can bring a kinky scene to the next level.

So, first things first. If you anticipate fisting in your near future here are some things to keep in mind:

 • Hygiene: Fisters, don’t even think about it if you’ve got long nails! Can you say ouch?! Even if your partner eroticizes pain, vaginal tissues are sensitive and you don’t want to risk small tears and the chance of infection. Keep nails short and clean. If you can’t part with long nails or just flat out forgot to trim them you can wear gloves with cotton balls inside the tips. This will reduce the chance of the gloves ripping as well as your partner experiencing any uncomfortable scratches.

 • Safer sex: Wearing latex or nitrile gloves can prevent the exchange of fluids and can prevent the transmission of STI’s and other infections. Gloves are also helpful for individuals with long or painted nails. Even if you aren’t into medical fetishes, gloves can be sexy! With some Pavlovian conditioning, the sight of a glove may make cause some intense sexual arousal.

 • Consent and Communication: Vaginal fisting may not be on everyone’s checklist of activities they want to engage in, so it’s important to get clear consent before attempting to do so. It is also important to ask questions; “Are you interested in giving? Receiving? Do you have any medical conditions that may potentially be a problem? Do you have a safe word?” There are some risks involved in vaginal fisting, so it is important to be well informed. If you do have any concerns, consult a physician (don’t fear there are several directories of kink aware physicians who won’t judge). Lastly, communicate throughout the whole process. If you aren’t in the mood on a particular night, speak up! During the act, fistee’s communicate about wants, needs, and how it is feeling. Fisters, you can help out too by prompting communication with questions like, “Is this okay? Would you like another finger now? Faster?”

 • Slow and Slippery: Fisting shouldn’t be a race. The anticipation and build up to the end result of a whole fist inside someone’s cunt is part of the fun. Take your time and don’t be discouraged if the first time, or second, or fifth time isn’t successful. On top of taking your time, be liberal with the lube, and yes, lube is necessary! I’d recommend a silicone lubricant, oil based lube (beware with latex barriers though), or a thick water-based gel. Keep reapplying, even if you don’t think you need more because the less friction the better.

Some people may want a mellow, slow and sensual environment for their fisting experiences, while others may want something a little more intense or kinky. Allowing someone to put their entire fist inside of you requires trust, vulnerability, and communication. The fistee may feel they are ultimately submitting to the fister, or they may feel that they are constantly in control of how much of their partner they take into their cunt. As the receiver I feel that being fisted by someone is one of my greatest acts of submission. I am offering my pussy to be used. I am giving a priceless gift to my partner. As the giver I feel a great responsibility to communicate with my partner and reassure them that they are in a good place and taking the experience well. Vaginal fisting alone is one of the greatest connections I’ve felt with another partner, but combining kink with fisting is an experience that I can count on to bring me to subspace.

Some ways you can make your fisting experience a little kinkier:

 • Use a vibrator: I have to say the most intense orgasm I’ve had to this day was with a hand in my cunt and a Hitachi on my clit. Or try a vibrator with lower speeds and increase the power gradually if the Hitachi Magic Wand is too strong for you.

 • Bondage: Being bound by rope or restraints or held open by someone strong can really intensify those feelings of vulnerability and submissiveness. There may be some points in the fisting process that the fistee may want to wiggle away and stop, but the bondage will keep them in place and help them get through those difficult seconds.

 • Blindfolds or hoods: This can help you focus less on your physical environment and more on what’s happening inside you, quite literally as well as emotionally.

 • Sensation Play: Candle wax, nipple clamps, nipple/clit pumps, breath play, etc. The possibilities are endless! I would advise against using gags during fisting, even if both players are very experienced. Each experience is different and both the giver and receiver should be able to clearly communicate their needs and whether something is not working for them.

Happy fisting!

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Sex Life

“So, what if he took the train home tonight,” I asked, “and saw some woman he wanted to fuck?” I’m standing in my 8-inch heels in the mirror-lined dressing room, brushing the last lap dance out of my hair and applying lip gloss. “And then he goes back to her house,” I continue, “and has sex with her. How would you feel?”

Rosalie smiled. “I’d be happy for him, and proud of him.”

“You wouldn’t be jealous?” I asked.

“Not at all!” she replied. “I fuck other men. It doesn’t have to mean anything. And I trust him.” She was so matter of fact, so self satisfied and confident, that I couldn’t find words to ask her any more about it. I couldn’t imagine feeling that way about my partner if he were to sleep with someone else. I could only imagine crying, slamming doors, packing boxes and wanting to peel his cheating skin right off of his unfaithful body.

“It’s actually really hot when he fucks someone else,” Rosalie added, as she made her way to the tiny door that separated the dressing room from the stage. I was astonished. I was aroused. I was confused. I was 22.

Now, at 35, with over three years of an amazing open relationship under my belt, I fully understand what Rosalie meant all those years ago. And the more I learn about open relationships, and myself within one, the more I understand that I wasn’t ready, at 22, to take on the work and trust that such an arrangement requires. At that age, I was convinced that if my boyfriend spent too much time around an attractive woman it would make him want to throw his dick into her regardless of the consequences. I also thought that if my partner did throw his dick into another woman it meant that he wished I looked different, and didn’t love me anymore. Ahh, youth. Where do we learn these things we think we know in our early 20s?

I can’t blame it all on age, though. Rosalie was actually a year younger than me. She was also a stunner- long dark hair, huge dark eyes, full lips, beautiful breasts, the works. She had graced the cover of our monthly national strip club magazine earlier that year. Her looks also caused confusion in my young mind. She was so incredible looking, why did her boyfriend need to sleep with anyone else? Obviously I had not yet begun my delightful discovery journey into the biology of human sexuality. I’m tempted to say that I wish that I had had the knowledge and confidence to start experimenting with open relationships in my 20s, but I’m not sure it if would have been successful. Learning from Rosalie that such relationships could exist planted a seed that grew into a decade-long fascination with the topic. It took a long time until I felt ready to explore opening up, and it also took that long to find the right partner to try it with.

At 22, I had already had a lot of fun and crazy sexual escapades, but there were still so many more that I had not yet experienced. Perhaps many of the things I had already done at 22 would take another person many more years to try. Perhaps some of the things I had already done would never be comfortable for another person, regardless of their age or other experiences- posing for explicit, toy-penetration nudes, phone sex, being a stripper, same-sex dalliances, fucking in a boat, in a bar bathroom, in a dump truck.

It’s wonderful that we live in a world with so much to offer sexually, in a time when activities outside the strict vanilla box are more accepted by everyone. It’s exciting that one’s sexuality and sex life can be (nay, should be!) a divine, changing, complex and utterly thrilling journey. We must keep in mind, though, that no one else walks our same path. What you’ve done for 20 years might be new and scary to someone else, and the other way around. Let’s learn from each other, and teach each other, and trust that new sexual worlds are waiting around every corner. Where would you like to explore next?

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This Weekend In Los Angeles – Our Annual Haunted Rummage Sale Returns!

It’s baaaaack – Our annual Haunted Rummage Sale returns from the aether again this weekend!

Thrills and chills await in our deviously devised discount den of depravity, full of sexy samples, irregular and limited edition items, deadstock and more on sale for up to 90% off their original prices.

Want to know more? Come by this Saturday and Sunday and experience it for yourself!

What: Stockroom’s Annual Haunted Rummage Sale

When: October 18 and 19 11am-6pm

Where: Next door to our Silver Lake Retail Boutique 2809 1/2 W. Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90026

Special Offer –

Want a chance to take a sneak peek at what’s being offered? Enter our contest to win a special early admission to our VIP Rummage Sale Preview on Friday, October 17! This contest ends 11:59PM Wednesday, October 15, and winners will be contacted by noon on Thursday, October 16! Enter below for your chance to win:

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It’s That Time Again – October Is National Kink Month!

Dust off your french maid outfit and polish your patent leather boots – National Kink Month is here again!

For our third annual celebration of all things kink, we’ve pulled out all the stops to make this the biggest, best, and kinkiest Kink Month yet! That means more blog posts, more kinky costume ideas, and more exploration of kinks you’ve wondered about (and probably some you’ve never heard of).

We’ll also be running contests and giving out prizes through our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and here on our official blog, so make sure you’re following us everywhere and use #kinkmonth to join the conversation and spread the kinky love!

Welcome to National Kink Month 2014!

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CatalystCon 2014

As an out-and-proud sex nerd, attending CatalystCon for the first time was a mind-blowing experience. With seminars entitled “Slut Shaming: The Clash Between Sexuality and a Sex-Negative Culture,” and “ECOSEX! Make The Earth Your Lover: Heat Up Your Sex Life as You Slow Global Warming,” and “Sex Toys: Past, Present and Future,” my two days of CatalystCon were jam packed with learning! It was kind of like being back in college except instead of talking about sex in secret, everyone there was talking about sex publicly in an amazing and open setting. Instead of a notebook full of penis doodles, I left with a notebook full of great information about all different facets of human sexuality (okay, and a few penis doodles.)

The seminars were led by some of the biggest names at the forefront of sexual education and sexual expression; Carol Queen, Annie Sprinkle, Cunning Minx, and too many other luminaries to name. It took a lot of restraint to not go full blown fan girl on some of my favorites (although I did wind up stopping Annie Sprinkle in the bathroom to take a photo.)

In the hospitality lounge, Wet Lubes had a full blown lube lab where you could try out different types of lubricants and offer up an opinion on your favorite. There was also a table full of books for sale by attending authors where I met tons of other kinky folks browsing tantalizing books about tales of sexual adventures, useful bedroom tricks, and how to safely and successfully fulfill your fetishes. I left CatalystCon a little nerdier, a little kinkier, and filled with a new appreciation for all of our amazing sex educators!

Check out this video from CatalystCon East to hear what Del Tashlin, Sex Nerd Sandra and others had to say about their fetishes, the kinkiest thing they’ve ever done and their secret sex tip! I cannot wait to get my geek on again next year! #CCONforlife

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Lada Nikolska for Syren Latex !

The lovely Lada Nikolska came by our studios to get sexy in some of our newest Syren Latex designs!  Check out this cheeky behind the scenes video of her photo shoot!


Visit Syren.com to get these luscious latex looks for yourself!

Fishtail Gown
Basic Rubber Corset
Molded Opera Length- Latex Glove
Newmar Dress
Rubber Muir Cap
Latex Trench Coat
Latex Garter Dress
Long Sleeved Mistress Dress
Glovelettes with Trim
Zippered Latex Halter w/Optional Side Panel
Mila Bra

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Stockroom University Special Event – “Master of O” with Ernest Greene and Nina Hartley

Join us this Friday night, September 12, for An Evening with The Master of O featuring a reading, Q&A, and book signing with author Ernest Greene and his wife and muse, Nina Hartley!

Master of O

Be sure to be a part of this exciting night with us!

Buy Your Tickets

RSVP on Facebook

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Essential Tools of the Dominant Woman

Her voice drops to a low purr as she leans into her beloved submissive. Her eyes narrow and lips curl into a mischievous grin. She whispers her desires and makes demands to satisfy her whims. Perhaps she feeds off moans of sensual suffering. Perhaps she seeks sexual satisfaction. Maybe she’d like pampering and amusement. This is her time. Because it’s her time, where she speaks and gets what delights her, it’s also their time. It’s a bubble of time and space where no one and nothing else matters. It is a gift to their relationship of clarity, simplicity, authenticity, confidence of belonging and pleasure.

There are four essential tools that the dominant woman needs to make this magic time happen. I also want to share with you three simple and clever tools that make the dominant woman’s play time so much easier and sweeter – more on this later!

The fundamental tools are; your voice, your gaze, your touch and your walk.

Your Voice:
Your voice sets the tone. Gives cue to the bottom on what you share now and where you may take them. Don’t rush it. Drop your voice and slow down the speech a little. If you don’t know what to say, say nothing. Silence makes bottoms squirm. Saying wicked things, hot breath in the ear, with sweet tones creates delightful dilemmas. Your voice is unique – soon your bottom will come to associate that particular tone of your voice with their happy, fun, bottom space.

Your Touch:
Your touch wakes up their senses to the moment and to your intention. Gentle caress makes their skin tingle. Rough grabs put them on alert. Stinging slaps and pinches may be rewards or punishments, depending on how their appetites run.

Your Gaze:
Your gaze reminds them that they must be present and in the here and now. The smiling eyes encouraging a bottom maybe extra strength they need to sweetly suffer through an ordeal. The gaze averted maybe a cruel denial.

Your Walk:
Practice the infamously effective “Queen’s Walk” We practice this form of movement in ForteFemme. Pull your spine up, roll your shoulders back, proudly bring your chest up and tighten your core. Put your weight on your back foot. Then walk slowly. Lock your gaze on your partner. With each step you take, take a breath. Yes, it’s that slow. It sets the tone. It sets the understanding of who owns that time and space in the moment. It’s a great tool of creating confidence in the woman and setting the stage for the partner and the scene.
These are tools that you’ll want to practice and hone over time. At first you might feel awkward, but it will come to you in time. They are subtle but powerful tools.

So now for the fun and crafty tools to make your playtime easier and sweeter!

Blindfold is a top’s best friend! With a blindfold on, ever you do is always a surprise. With a blindfold on, they won’t know your expression of befuddlement as you try to figure out some new complicated toy – or when you kick off your heels!

Comfortable Chair:
Why be uncomfortable? Being uncomfortable is the prize for the bottoms. Not something you should endure. Once you’ve Queen’s Walked your way to your ecstatic bottom, enjoy creating and conducting the scene from a place of gorgeous comfort! If you really like the regal seating for play, you might consider selecting toys that are easy to use while seated.

Collection of Kinky Erotic Fiction:
Yes, fiction. Collect and read many, many kinky fiction books. There are so many quality ones out there beyond the ones that mass media repeats. Don’t forget Laura Antoniou’s books. Various anthologies with works from many writers are great. Ernest Greene has a new one out too.

These are both you and your partner to read. For you, it will illuminate what kind of play and mindset turns you on. For your partner, find out what story and which part they liked. Try to get them to tell you what they liked about it. This will give you a deeper idea of how their pleasures are mapped out – and can be far more illuminating than a standard negotiation.

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