August 29 1999 EhBC Online Discussion

<`abi> Our topic tonight is "Learning the Ropes, Gaining Experience" Please feel free to join in, but kindly refrain from Walton-style hi-byes until the discussion ends at 10 pm. Hebron is the recommended server to avoid lag. Be advised that our discussions are logged for posting to the ebhc website. If you wish to remain anonymous, please change your nick before joining the discussion.

<`abi> welcome everyone to our weekly discussion time

<`abi> Perhaps we could begin our discussion tonight by talking about the most effective ways to learn the "craft" part of our lifestyle.

<Achilles{tr}> May I ask what is meant by craft?

<^curious^> the craft theres a craft

<`abi> the craft being the parts of the lifestyle which require some knowledge and skill

<`abi> handling a flogger, wielding a crop.....

<Achilles{tr}> The how-to of flogging, wax play and such you mean?

<`abi> as a start ...yes Achilles

<^curious^> ah i see

<^curious^> bear likes wax play...

<`abi> in the old guard leather tradition there was a school of thought that suggested that the way to learn to be a top...was to begin life as a bottom

<Finn^m^> explains all the candles

<`Valare> so is there another way to learn abi?

<`abi> candles are a good example curious....trial by error is perhaps not the best way to learn waxplay..agreed?

<^curious^> ya but arnt hers hard to drip there in tubs!!

<QTIP> well, i've made some leather goods that i like to play with. i have always tried them on myself for effect 1st. the same thing for other toys, electronic & such

<`abi> I expect so Valare...lets ask some of the Doms present how they learned to do what they do

<Achilles{tr}> treasure and I have learned a great deal by basically working slowly and empirically together. trial and error with the trials being each a very small step.

<QTIP> but then, i HAVE been called an insensitive beast too....

<`abi> because of errors Qtip?

<Achilles{tr}> More recently I have begun to have opportunities to scene and interact with subs and Doms more experienced than I and learn by observation and discussion.

<QTIP> oh, there have been errors. but that's my most effective learning tool

<Finn^m^> most of my serious play has been with meghan..the ^m^ the nick..we're both quite new to it we just make it uo as we go..

<`abi> exposure to others is a valid learning mechanism some view playparties and fetnights as opportunities to learn?

<Finn^m^> some is from a play party we attended...and a Dom friend tried out a few of his toys on her..and we discussed the merits of each..

<`abi> did that work well for you and megs Finn?

<jalyn> I have learned most from playparties and casual experiences

<Finn^m^> yeah...saves you from buying some 200 dollar toy that the bottom

<Achilles{tr}> Play parties and such are great opportunities. They can teach a great deal of the style of using such things as canes, floggers and what have We. I think though that there has to be some sensitivity and previous knowledge to be able to determine good vs not-so-good techniques being used.

<`abi> do you have specific things in mind that you'd like to learn jalyn...or do you just observe and learn?

<QTIP> when i'm with somebody new i always make an agreement on setting safe words. at least one, usually more

<`Valare> what if you just want to learn what you like and don't like?

<Achilles{tr}> They are also a good opportunity to watch a sub at Your side to see what things are happening at the party which make their eyes shine with interest.

<jalyn> I prefer to learn as much as I can...and be allowed to participate when the opportunity arises...sometimes I watch things and go "oh!"

<Madra> good point

* LrdThomas is teaching two doms this weekend... and to me, thats the best way to learn... watch, then hands on.

<`abi> Dom to Dom mentoring is one way LrdThomas

<Finn^m^> for me...learning the person is as important as learning a new toy...

<`abi> can Doms ever learn from submissives?

<`abi> yes Finn...learning to read a submissive is an important part of the craft....

<`Valare> for me the next big step I have to take is to actually 'step into the ring' I know I'm not a sub, but I don't know enough to be an effective Domme

<`abi> how do you see yourself learning your craft trial?

<LrdThomas> i believe so abi. But that is my bias, its how i learned.

<^curious^> what about a sub who dosent give total control to the dom during play?

<`Valare> I think mentoring would work, but I'm not at the point where I would feel comfortable with others in the room

<`abi> good point Valare....mentoring does require some comfort with public play...or at least with sharing

<Achilles{tr}> When choosing to learn from Somebody it is certainly important to understand their qualification. There are many who may not know quite as much as they might let on or even believe themselves. Again... a little knowledge before We learn.

<TheWolfe> mentoring is ok for technique, but it is difficult to pass on the psychological aspect

<`Valare> that's a good point Achilles, thanks

<`abi> the psychololgical aspect is hugely important you have any suggestions for "learning" that aspect?

<`Valare> is the psychological aspect something that can be learned or is it something that has to be there already?

<TheWolfe> talk to submissives like they are human

<Achilles{tr}> Perhaps an ability to understand the psychological/emotional aspects and learn them is a qualification for being a Dominant?

<Finn^m^> if you have someone to play with...the psychological part will often be there allready...even if the technique is lacking..

<TheWolfe> one definitely learns from subs

<LrdThomas> actually, i would say mentoring is in fact the best way to trach the psychological way.... when a new dom can see the passion and emotion and committment he takes with the salve... and that is isn't just turning her skin various shades of "not-white". :)

<`abi> good question Valare...reading a submissive requires a certain insightfulness...can that be learned...or are there signals that can be recognized

<TheWolfe> one can see...but one can't pass on the feeling part

<`abi> what about submissives....can we learn from each other?

<TheWolfe> of course you can

<Madra> i hope u can

<TheWolfe> Doms can learn from each other but Doms generally don't open up

<TheWolfe> (generally)

<Finn^m^> you could do handpuppets for each other..:)

<TheWolfe> lol

<`Valare> lol, handpuppets??

<Finn^m^> Im

* `abi recalls a certain discussion on shaving when the channel was Domless

<Achilles{tr}> Each sub... each person... has unique ways of communicating their feelings. Each has their own set of feelings even. Some derive pleasure from loss of control, panic, pain, fear... We have to learn to read each new person. Understand their needs and wants.

<`Valare> don't let the young'uns find those in the sock drawer

* jalyn is sorry she missed that one

<Madra> so am I ,i missed it

<`abi> What about gaining confidence....does that come from experience?

<Achilles{tr}> What triggers these feelings? Which ones do We want to instill and which ones avoid? Every partner is a new puzzle. A joy to solve.

<TheWolfe> yes abi it does

<`abi> what if both partners are inexperienced TW...where does the confidence come from?

<^^blush^^> is it only the Dom that gains confidence with experience? or the sub as well?

<TheWolfe> through learning together

<TheWolfe> both gain confidence

<jalyn> I think the confidence would could from the building trust in each other as they explore

<TheWolfe> communication is key

<LrdThomas> well, let me give you this example... most have seen play at public events.... and how many times do you see top/bottoming... and thats kewl... but occassionally, you see a dom go totally into a slaves head, with words, with caresses, with mood, and focus, along with whatever discipline he is using on her... those are special emotional moments, and at least for me, when i see it, i learn, i study, and i appreciate the artistry.

<Achilles{tr}> Confidence in themselves. Confidence in their partner. Confidence that this is what they truly need.

<QTIP> i agree whole heartedly, TheWolfe

<`abi> what about book lernin?

<TheWolfe> what they both want, need, & enjoy

<`abi> I remember reading Screw the Roses...and going "Oh my God, I wish I'd known that sooner"

<Finn^m^> Im not comfy when theres mental/emotional stuff tween Dom/sub in public play..

<TheWolfe> why not Finn?

<TheWolfe> en & I would make you very uncomfortable *smile*

<Finn^m^> its too personal..

<TheWolfe> ??

<`abi> I remember having the opposite reaction at my first play party Finn...I was appalled by what I viewed at the time as the lack of emotion

<TheWolfe> agreed abi

* angel-{A} agrees

<`Valare> its interesting the opposite opinions

<Finn^m^> it doesnt apply to my there's no real learning for me..

<Achilles{tr}> Tying a person to a cross and flogging them untilt hey scream out for mercy isn't personal? I guess different things squik different folks. Perhaps this falls under 'limits'. G'night folks. have a great discussion. I'll show Myself out. <smiles>

<`abi> which brings me to my next it a good idea to try to separate the technical from the emotional?

<TheWolfe> we were at a fet night where the sub had a drink & a smoke while being flogged

<LrdThomas> abi, i agree, i love the emotional scenes.

<`Valare> I'm under the understanding that most of the 'craft' is mental anyway and should be the heavier half

* jalyn blinks

<Finn^m^> in private...I prefer emotional over technical..but not in public..

<QTIP> i can't see something that is a type of sexual play not being emotional

<jalyn> how could a sub do that? what a sight that would be

<`abi> and en gave demonstations at a recent play party....many of us learned alot from them....what the experience like for you and en?

<TheWolfe> what is your definition of emotional Finn?

<TheWolfe> we learned a lot about ourselves

<Finn^m^> its hard to say....Ive seen some scenes..where I knew the ppls..were I was much more comfy..and could understand what they were going for..etc..

<`abi> because you separated the technical from the emotional during that time?...

<TheWolfe> it was also emotional for us, difficult, because I had to be aware of everyone around us & consider them in the scene

<TheWolfe> en learned about being emotional with Me in a setting like that also

<jalyn> I would think that would be very difficult for a Dom

<QTIP> being observed always makes quite a difference than being in private

<`abi> Learning as you go can be rewarding in itself...but what about things that carry more physical danger....fireplay, electrical play..breathplay

<TheWolfe> the nicest part was everyone was quiet

<TheWolfe> focussed, not chatting, getting in the way, etc

<`abi> I'm not sure I would want someone "experimenting" on me with fireplay

<QTIP> by trade i am an electrician. there are things i'd never use on another person, even if asked

<TheWolfe> Doms should practice on other Doms first *smile*

<LrdThomas> i find, with the best public scenes, within minutes i forget the others are even there.

<jalyn> I don't think I would either

<QTIP> but i can also take quite a bit more of a shock than many

<TheWolfe> with a demo you can't LT

<LrdThomas> that is true, i forgot you mentiojed you said it was a demo TW. :)

<`abi> leads back to the question of whether Doms can learn by bottoming QTIP...

<QTIP> i have

<TheWolfe> some can, especially technique

<Finn^m^> I suppose I equate some emotional Domming..with punishment...or for instance..seeing a sub being "disciplined" uncomfy...

<QTIP> i don't enjoy it, sexually. i do it more for 'perspective'

<QTIP> like using my own toys on myself to see and feel the effect

<TheWolfe> don't you get the wrong perspective if you don't enjoy it?

<QTIP> not if you can enjoy watching another Dom/me's 'craft'

<`abi> good point TW....I've always thought that a Dom might learn what a flogger feels like, but not what goes on in the head of a submissive...because the mindset is different

<QTIP> up close and personal

<QTIP> i can take quite a bit of pain. do i need to become erect too?

<TheWolfe> I enjoy the sadist side, en enjoys the masochistic switch would be...wrong

<TheWolfe> I love pineapple she doesn't

<QTIP> TW, do you think you could learn anything by reversing roles?

<TheWolfe> no

<QTIP> well, i feel differently

<`Valare> have you ever tried TW?

<Finn^m^> at the play party I attended..I was amazed at the number of switches..

<TheWolfe> I experienced it briefly once

<TheWolfe> useless

<`abi> there is perhaps a difference between switching as an orientation and switching as a method of learning

<TheWolfe> for Me

<TheWolfe> learned about trust, so that's one

<`abi> what about there a "craft" aspect for us?

<TheWolfe> left a negative feeling, so yes I learned something

<TheWolfe> en thinks so

<`abi> besides how to walk in 5 inch heels without falling over

<jalyn> lol

<TheWolfe> en doesn't wear heels

<`abi> what does en define as her "craft" TW?

<TheWolfe> focus, trust

<jalyn> I'm not sure if I would call it a "craft" per se

<`abi> are there skills that we learn jalyn?

<TheWolfe> remaining open to My everchanging moods

<TheWolfe> within a scene

<Madra> sorry ppl have to go

<TheWolfe> mental preparation

<Finn^m^> bye Madra....

<jalyn> yes...the trust and resolve not to move when commanded...the focus of the mind to flow into where the Dom is taking you...etc

<QTIP> what about the subbie's awareness of the vocation part of the role, and what it means personally once the fantasy is becoming 'fleshed out'?

<QTIP> that's an interesting part of learning for both roles

<TheWolfe> explain pls

<jalyn> to not be easily distracted from the scene yet fully aware of everything around her

<TheWolfe> en is aware of nothing outside of what we are doing

<`abi> how does she learn that jalyn?

<QTIP> vocation=calling=personal taste. before we begin, it might just be our nasty little secret. after playing, isn't there a learning?

<QTIP> an awareness?

<`abi> so you both learn something every time you play Qtip?

<TheWolfe> yes, & for some relief

<TheWolfe> comfort

<`abi> how many people use some kind of "debriefing"...diary, discussion etc. as a learning tool

<TheWolfe> we do

<QTIP> well, personally i'd like to think i can learn something new each day. i take that into my sexuality as well

<`abi> can you tell us what you use and how you use it TW?

<TheWolfe> mostly discussion...sometimes a diary

<QTIP> i have to leave for a bit. my subbie is monitoring and might change nicks to join in

<`abi> do submissives primarily learn from their own Dom/mes....what about bringing another Dom or submissive into a relationship as a learning/teaching tool...anyone have experience with that?

<TheWolfe> we use it to discuss new areas primarily

<LrdThomas> i think the dom would be missing the fun of power exchange, if he didn't probe his slaves feelings at some point after a scene... tho, i t needn't be that day.

<`abi> fun perhaps LT...but can he also learn something himself by such discussion?

<TheWolfe> en probes also

<TheWolfe> lol we "probe" each other

<LrdThomas> well, abi, to me, learning is fun... thats what i meant.

<`abi> here's a whatif TW...whatif in her probing en expressed a desire to try something that you had no experience with...what would you do?....

* TheWolfe looks at the hypos on the shelf

<TheWolfe> learn about it, together & decide if we want to go there

<TheWolfe> (we do)

<`abi> ...and LrdThomas...if your submissive expressed a desire to try something would you go about learning about a fun way of course (smile)

<TheWolfe> temp piercing is one area en has brought to My attention

<TheWolfe> permanent is another...I said no to the latter

<angel-{A}> temp piercing?

<QTIP> i've had the same experience, TW. but now i must go

<LrdThomas> i would research the hell out of it, without her knowing... then figure a way to master whatever the discipline was.. then one night, i would cupo her face and looking deep in her eyes, tell her i had a special surprize for her.

<`abi> what sources did/would you use to learn about it TW and LrdThomas?

<TheWolfe> en would say red!

<TheWolfe> lol

<`abi> Finn....back to you...if you don't learn by observation..what's your favourite way to acquire a new skill?

<TheWolfe> books, demos, talk to those with experince, receiving & giving

<LrdThomas> ditto TW, plus i would go to my dom network pals and find someone who had mastered it, and buy him copious beers, till he agreed to teach me. lol

<tongue-tied> hi ya'll...Q went back to work, I'm his subbie

<Finn^m^> well..observation is good...but for example..megs is really more a brat than sub..and we're best we just try stuff..if it works..great..if not..we laugh it off..

<`abi> ..and've expressed the desire to "step into the ring" there "peer support" from other Dommes for those new to the ropes?

<TheWolfe> "oh damn! I just sliced your jugular! haha"

<Finn^m^> we dont do really heavy play though..nothing that would be dangerous if screwed up..we're both newbies..and that works well..for us..

<TheWolfe> *smile* was just joking

<Finn^m^> ti sok..I know..

<`abi> half in jest, but full earnest TW...I'm sure that Finn would never endanger megs...but I'd sure like to know that someone coming at me with a knife had some experience...I'm just not sure what the best way for him to get it would be

<TheWolfe> but actually some would explore heavier stuff with no knowledge

<Finn^m^> playing with ppls I trust..who perhaps know more is another way..but not ppls who are bored..or have a "been there..done that" attitude..I dnot need to be pushed past my limits for someone elses sake..

<LrdThomas> then blindfold her, and use a carkey, til the knife expertise is mastered... there is more than one way to skin a cat. :)

<TheWolfe> I have watched a surgeon on many occasions cut someone who also showed Me how

<`abi> what about seemingly "lighter" kinds of is quite possible to damange someone through incorrect use of a flogger or we do enough as a community to provide learning opportunities?

<TheWolfe> well, we tried, but not many are interested *smile*

<Finn^m^> Im a bit of a wuss when it comes to testing someones be very honest...

<jalyn> I would like to have more opportunities

<`abi> why do you think that is TW?

<TheWolfe> submissives are very interested Doms are not

<tongue-tied> I think depending on what area you are in there are lots of learning opportunities, but many think they know how and dont bother trying to learn sometime new

<TheWolfe> exactly tongue-tied

<LrdThomas> Finn, i respect your saying that... and in time, you may change and grow in that area too. But it matters not, you at least are honest. :)))

<`abi> is there ego involved?

<TheWolfe> abi...*smile*

<`Valare> As for as I'm concerned I need to learn all I can :)

<TheWolfe> what do you think?

<Finn^m^> Ive only played with ppls I care about...takes time to know them well...why rush????

<tongue-tied> doms with too much ego to learn a new technique are dangerous in my opinion

<`abi> in the same way that submissives can let ego get in the way of using a safeword or expressing a need, I think that sometimes Doms can let ego get in the way of learning

* jalyn agrees with amy

<jalyn> abi even

<jalyn> lol

<tongue-tied> i agree with that as well...

<`abi> but I think as a community we can help to create safe opportunities to learn...

<TheWolfe> we can create them...yes

<TheWolfe> but will people use them

<`abi> en and TW certainly contributed to that...and I think every friendship that is founded at a munch or online is an opportunity to grow and learn

<tongue-tied> i think many will

* jalyn certainly will!

<LrdThomas> TW hit it on the head.... will ppl use the resources.... and in my experience, too few do.

<`abi> well, perhaps we can all teach by example LrdThomas...maybe that's a start :)

<`abi> thank you all for participating in our discussion tonight

<jalyn> but there are a group of people who want to learn and need the resources....books can't cover it all

<tongue-tied> if you create the opportunity, even if only one person learns from it you have done something to help the communitity