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Capital Voices: 'Outside this, I'm a "normal" mother, daughter, sister, friend'

on Sunday, 09 April 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

by Bruce Deachman

In anticipation of Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations, the Citizen’s Bruce Deachman has been out in search of Ottawans — 150 of them — to learn their stories of life and death, hope and love, obsession and fear. From Feb. 2 until Canada Day, we’ll share one person’s story every day.


“The freedom to be who you are. That’s why I’m here today. I’m part of the NCLP — National Capital Leather Pride. It’s all about just expressing yourself. Whether it’s fetish or who you love or what you want to do in life. This is about the freedom to do what you want.


“This is not so much a fetish for me as it is … like, I don’t pretend I’m a pony. Some people do, they can get into that head space of a pony. But this, to me, is more of an exhibitionist side. I’m an attention-seeker. Positive attention. Just to show that you can come out and have and do whatever you want. Just the happiness of it, and the happiness it brings people if you see them and they watch you walking around. It’s a lot of smiles, a lot of applause. It’s just for me to tell people, ‘It’s OK to do whatever you want. Don’t hurt anybody. Be kind, and just have fun with your life, because it’s too short.’


“I’ve been in the fetish community for about 25 years, Sexapalooza and the Pride parades. Private parties, too, of course. Or if people invite me to a benefit or something like that, then I’ll be there.


“I like the shock value it has for the vanilla people, the ones who aren’t in to any kind of BDSM or fetishes. We just call them vanilla. It’s new people just starting out; they haven’t tested all the flavours. When they see me, they ask a lot of questions, and it’s almost always positive, which is really nice. Outside this, I’m a ‘normal’ mother, daughter, sister, friend. I work hard, and family is really important.



“Things have absolutely changed. I grew up with a friend who was gay, and he was so ashamed of it back then — that was a long time ago. He died about 20 years ago, of AIDS. And now today, look at it. Look at all the people here. He would never have done this 25 years ago. It was always hidden. So there definitely is a big change. So I think about him when I do this, because I only wish that he could be here now, to be able to express himself instead of feeling ashamed.“

"Fifty Shades of Denver’s BDSM Scene"

on Sunday, 09 April 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

By Nicholas Thomas

While the 50 Shades Trilogy has brought the mysterious world of BDSM (Bondage – Domination – Sadism – Masochism) into the mainstream, it has been highly criticized for not authentically representing the community. With a look into Denver’s BDSM scene, the true nature of the community began to separate from its pop-culture depiction.


Some of the earliest writings about BDSM came from Marquis De Sade, who was also the first recorded person to write about sadism, the tendency to derive pleasure from inflicting pain on others. Leopold von Sacher-Masoch frequently wrote about deriving pleasure from pain and the term masochism was coined by Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing in reference to him. Both author’s literature was erotic and frowned upon in their communities.


Dr. Kat Martinez, Women’s Studies professor at MSU Denver, conducted BDSM research as part of her dissertation work and has been involved with the community since 2009.


The BDSM community is nothing new to the United States. Martinez explained that it started to make its way to the States shortly after World War II and may have been in connection with the LGBTQ movement.


Many “vanilla,” or people that partake in normative sexual acts, are unaware of this history and often relate their knowledge of BDSM to books, pornography or movies, which can be quite misleading.


Saskia Davies, a dungeon owner and headmistress at Pavlovia Denver, said that many people who come to events or clubs for the first time have little background information. She explained that when people enter her club it is important for them to be knowledgeable because every experience with BDSM is different and as such, there is always a risk factor.


Misconceptions about the community are commonplace and can be found in pop culture depictions. One misconception that Davies often encounters comes straight from Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, in which a leather-clad gimp waits eagerly in a corner for a ball-gagged Bruce Willis and Ving Rhames. “It’s very expensive to keep a pet like that. If they’re not working you have to feed them and talk about their medical needs. So no, we don’t actually keep geeks in our basement,” said Davies.


Members of the community do not necessarily spend their time actively living and participating in the BDSM lifestyle. At the bank or grocery store, you would never know the difference. Sometimes, Davies explained, you can tell when somebody is new, because they may feel the need to prove their dominance by leading someone around on a leash everywhere they go.


“The more confident people are with anything in their lives the less need they have to prove to anybody else,” said Davies. “The quiet ones are the ones you really have to watch out for. Sometimes the ones who are there just to gain others’ attention may be there for the wrong reason. It is very important to keep strong communication with your partner.”


BDSM culture relies greatly on trust and boundaries. An aspect of trust is the willing power exchange between partners.


“Submissives are not just doormats waiting for someone to tell them what to do. If we don’t start out with everything we negotiate as equals and remember at all times that we are equals and have respect for each other it really doesn’t work,” said Davies. A submissive is defined as someone who is willing to conform to the authority or will of others. On the flip side, a dominant exercises authority or influence. ...

Drupal member sent out after BDSM lifestyle revealed

on Monday, 27 March 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates


by Sam Varghese

The head of Drupal, Dries Buytaert, has asked a longtime contributor Larry Garfield to leave the project soon after it became public knowledge that Garfield practises a BDSM lifestyle.

In a statement, Buytaert said Garfield had been asked to leave, "because... he holds views that are in opposition with the values of the Drupal project".


He did not specify what these views were, adding that he would not have discussed this issue in public and was only doing so because Garfield had posted about it.


Garfield disclosed in his post that he was involved in both the BDSM and Gorean communities. The latter sub-culture particularly focuses on the master-and-slave dynamic in sexual relationships and associated forms of female submission as portrayed in the Chronicles of Counter Earth novels.


Hardly any of the comments responding to the post were supportive of his ouster.

Buytaert said there were many omissions in the post that Garfield had made. "What makes this difficult to discuss, is that it is not for me to share any of the confidential information that I've received, so I won't point out the omissions in Larry's blog post," he wrote.


"However, I can tell you that those who have reviewed Larry's writing, including me, suffered from varying degrees of shock and concern."


Drupal, like many other open source projects, has a stated goal of welcoming and accepting all people, no matter their heritage, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity or other factors.


Buytaert said the manner in which the information about Garfield, which he had referred to as not being divulged, had been shared "was shared by others in a manner I don't find acceptable either and will be dealt with separately".


"However, when a highly-visible community member's private views become public, controversial, and disruptive for the project, I must consider the impact that his words and actions have on others and the project itself.


"In this case, Larry has entwined his private and professional online identities in such a way that it blurs the lines with the Drupal project. Ultimately, I can't get past the fundamental misalignment of values." ...


A Cultural Moment For Polyamory

on Monday, 27 March 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates



The word polyamory, according to this FAQ page maintained by writer and sex educator Franklin Veaux, "is based on the Greek and Latin for 'many loves' (literally, poly many + amor love). A polyamorous person is someone who has or is open to having more than one romantic relationship at a time, with the knowledge and consent of all their partners."


(Polyamory, then, isn't to be confused with polygyny, when one man has several wives, or polyandry, when one woman has several husbands.)


Lately, I'm seeing "polyamory" everywhere. It's not a new word or concept of course, but it seems to be having a cultural moment.


Some of the heightened attention to polyamory may be because philosopher Carrie Jenkins published a book about it early this year.


Last month in this article at the Chronicle of Higher Education, Jenkins discussed — in addition to various scholarly aspects of polyamory — having both a husband and a boyfriend.


Around the same time, an article in Salon magazine profiled people who participate in a monthly event in New York designed for the polyamorous.


And the topic is here, again, in New York magazine this month in an article citing a study that reports polyamory has been practiced by 20 percent of single Americans at some point.


To some degree, the focus of mainstream-media articles like these aims at overturning incorrect assumptions about polyamory. It's not the same as promiscuity, for instance.


To quote from the Chronicle piece about Jenkins:


"There is no necessary connection between polyamory and promiscuity, Jenkins argues. She thinks like a logician, and to her, this is simply a confusion of concepts. She points out that a person could fall in love with two people at the same time, have only two partners her whole life, and be considered a "slut." Meanwhile, someone can sleep around while dating, or go through a string of brief, monogamous relationships, and have dozens of partners without receiving censure. Still, Jenkins recognizes that most people will struggle with her ideas."

Jenkins is no doubt right that people struggle with her ideas about sharing one's life with multiple romantic partners. The U.S., for instance, is a country that very much espouses monogamy as a value.


Yet when we take a close look at polyamory — and embrace an anthropological perspective — we may gain a clearer understanding.


Polyamory is sometimes defined as "consensual non-monogamy." Yet polyamory isn't automatically or inevitably in a binary, oppositional relationship with sexual monogamy. As Gaylen Moore wrote in "An Open Letter to the Press" posted on the Polyamory Society website, "it is love, not sex, that is the key issue in polyamory." ...

Proposed 'sex-positive community center' gets fair hearing from Tacony residents

on Friday, 24 March 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Plan Philly

by Jake Blumgart

Thursday night’s community meeting in Tacony went better than anyone could have expected.


A proposal to open a private sex-positive club in the midst of a residential neighborhood would likely stir contention anywhere. In the Northeast, with its reputation as the most conservative corner of the city, such a project almost seems to court controversy.


But the sex-positive club’s lead organizer, Deborah Rose Hinchey, assuaged neighborhood fears by taking questions from a standing room only crowd for well over an hour. In the stuffy heat of the Tacony Music Hall, crammed with concerned neighbors and community activists, she faced a public reckoning with what until recently had been her private—very private—passion project.


Sex positivity is an expansive philosophy which argues that what happens between consenting adults is healthy and natural. Think anything from polyamory, or openly engaging in multiple romantic relationships, to practitioners of bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism (BDSM). And the more people are educated about such practices, the better.


For three years Hinchey and her supporters have dreamed of opening a members-only sex-positive community center. The idea is to create a gathering space outside the bars and illegal warehouse parties where many alternative sexual communities are forced to meet people who share their proclivities. Drugs and booze complicate consent, and the community center model offers a safe space where they are explicitly banned.


Six months ago, Hinchey and her comrades were approached with the idea about locating their club in the stately Victorian Tacony Music Hall in lower Northeast Philadelphia. Three months ago, the group’s benefactor, Harry Leff, purchased the building. Two months ago, they started moving in furniture.


Last week PlanPhilly broke the news that the sex positive community center hoped to open in the neighborhood. Hinchey spent much of the next ten days haunting the Tacony Facebook group and responding to freaked out commenters.


Last night, it came time to face the crowd. In less than two weeks Hinchey will have to go before the Zoning Board of Adjustment to secure a special exception to provide “live entertainment for more than 50 people.” Currently the club can operate by-right with a capacity of 50 people per floor. Currently there are less than 30 members, but eventually they’d like to have over 150 people signed up.


Getting a special exception requires a community meeting with the local Registered Community Organization (RCO). Flanked by zoning lawyers, Hinchey stood in the midst of what was once the music hall’s second floor office suite. The huge room features a winding staircase that leads up to an interior balcony, presenting Hinchey and her cohort with two levels of attendees.


As the meeting got started, a betting man might have put money on a screaming match. Numerous attendees scoffed audibly whenever Hinchey assured them there’d be no alcohol served or tolerated. A few older residents vibrated with skepticism.


But the Tacony Civic Association is bent on civility. Questions had been collected beforehand and were read by Alex Balloon of the Tacony CDC. Whenever the crowd started to get rowdy, Joseph Sannutti, president of the Tacony Civic Association, threatened to shut the whole meeting down and chuck everyone out of the building. He wields his gavel fiercely, quelling any sign of unbridled unrest.  


And then a funny thing happened as Hinchey and her zoning lawyers answered the crowd’s questions. Tacony listened. No one screamed at her. No one wailed or gnashed teeth.


A few people asked her to think of the children, but she came prepared for that one. After all, there is a daycare on the first floor.


“We want to make sure we can cohabitate in this spaces as well as possible,” said Hinchey. “We’ve worked really, really hard with them. One of the things we are doing is making sure we are never open at the same time, they close at 6:00 and we open at 7:00 on weeknights. We have separate entrances on separate streets.”


The director of the daycare walked up to Hinchey, identified herself as Monique Roye and spoke in support of the sex positive center. As far as she’s concerned, having such a conscientious tenant upstairs—one that will pay for security camera to be installed outside—would actually help her business with the influences she actually worries about.


“When I started working here we were picking up drug paraphernalia off of our playgrounds,” she said. “We were watching DEA agents knocking down doors up the street.”


With the daycare director on her side, Hinchey’s detractors’ were defanged. Her description of the membership process also seemed to help: Applicants must have the approval of two vetted persons, then their ID is taken and copied, and they are assigned an identification number to better preserve privacy—although their full information is kept on file.


Still, the meeting wasn’t without its touchy points.


At one point Hinchey said the word “bondage” and the room erupted in hoots and derisive laughter that drowned out everything else. It took the intervention of Sannutti to calm things down.


The crowd rumbled and shifted uneasily throughout the question and answer session. One person bluntly insisted that the club members would simply have a stash of booze in their cars, even if it is disallowed in the building. (Hinchey says no intoxicated person will be allowed in.) Then came the perennial Philadelphia question: Where will all the cars go? (Hinchey has been studying the parking patterns in the evenings and found non-residential blocks nearby where there are few cars at night.)


The parking questions lead Hinchey to propose a good neighbor agreement the club could sign, which could encompass any number of assurances. No parking on Longshore Ave, for example, or no loitering on the sidewalk.  


Hinchey’s calm and assured answers mostly won her an honest hearing, although by the end of the meeting the crowd still seemed skeptical as the voting began. (The results weren’t announced at the meeting and no one could confirm the results Friday morning, although Tacony Civic’s zoning spokesperson said he doubted they’d get community approval.)


“Look, as someone who grew up in the 70s-era coffee shop era in Philadelphia, and needed safe spaces, I truly respect that aspect of your mission,” said local resident Andrew Keegan.  “I think that’s commendable. If that were the limit of it, I wouldn’t be here. But there’s a sense of mission creep.”


Could Hinchey guarantee there will be no sexual activity?


No, she won’t say that. Becoming a member, or attending a function, does not guarantee anyone sex, she stressed. The center is not an attempt to monetize potential sexual encounters. But she also would not rule out sex between consenting adults in a private space.


“Sex is not prohibited within this space but it is not the purpose or intention of this space,” said Hinchey. “This space’s intention is to educate people about their bodies, about having relationships, at how to communicate effectively. Sex is not the purpose, but it is not prohibited either.”


That idea obviously made the crowd uncomfortable. A suggestion rippled through that sex should be banned at the center, at least for a few months. But Hinchey didn’t back down. Even then, despite audible dissent, there were no truly unruly outbursts.


Canvassing the crowd for opinions about what they’d just seen, a hard no vote was surprisingly hard for this reporter to come by.


“I’m really not sure whether I want to go for it or not—I just hate to see the building empty,” said Lorraine Quirk, a lifelong resident of Tacony. “The neighborhood is really turning into a drug infested neighborhood, so maybe this could be a positive thing. And her presentation was excellent. She wasn’t afraid to tell us the truth.”


Another older resident, Bill O’Drain, said he’s optimistic about the proposal. “This neighborhood is bad. I hope that somehow possibly this’ll inject some good life into a bad situation. Maybe this will work out for everyone. A win-win.” ...

Consent in the BDSM Community at SSTAR

on Friday, 24 March 2017. Posted in NCSF News

Russell Stambaugh and Susan Wright will be presenting on the 30+ year history of kink safety and consent campaigns at the Annual Conference of the Society for Sex Therapy and Research (SSTAR) in Montreal, Quebec April 20, 2017.


This is a 3 CE preconference institute, and you won't need to miss a minute of the excellent SSTAR main program. It includes their research report on the 2014 Consent Violations Survey examining consent violations in a kink context.


This is designed for anyone interested in becoming a kink-aware clinician and those seeking to understand what teaching consent may or may not accomplish with kinky people.


We hope to see you in Montreal!

Kink Is Dead! Long Live Kink!

on Friday, 24 March 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Two big fetish-oriented businesses have made major cutbacks—but it’s not because consumers are tired of bondage and butt plugs


by Lynsey G

It’s been almost six years since Fifty Shades of Grey burst onto the pop culture scene, launching the “mommy porn” phenomenon that saw suburban parents suddenly devouring erotica in public and discussing kinky sex practices like bondage, butt plugs, and Ben Wa balls over the dinner table. And the kink industry in America has been riding a wave of financial success ever since.

According to Fifty Shades’ publisher, Vintage Books, 150 million copies of the first book alone have been sold worldwide since its initial release in July of 2011. The first movie grossed over $571 million at the box office around the globe, and just over a month after its release, its sequel, Fifty Shades Darker, has already brought in almost $370 million worldwide. As a result of the media franchise’s unprecedented success, kink-friendly businesses like product manufacturers and retailers, workshop instructors, and professional kinksters of many stripes benefited from an uptick in interest for over half a decade.

But just as Fifty Shades Darker was about to hit theaters in early 2017, two giants of the online kink community scaled back in big ways. In early January, FetLife — the largest kinky social networking site in the world — deleted thousands of photos, groups, and entire categories of user-uploaded content without warning. About a week later,, the biggest kinky porn company in the known universe, announced that it was moving porn production out of the San Francisco Armory, where it had filmed for a decade. Company founder Peter Acworth told the San Francisco Chronicle, “It’s the end of an era.”

These abrupt, drastic changes from some of the world’s largest kink-based businesses raised a question: Were these sudden moves by big kinky businesses indicative of a larger trend? Had the post–Fifty Shades kink bubble of the early 2010s finally burst?

Although many kinksters don’t like to give Fifty Shades too much credit for its cultural impact — its depictions of the lifestyle, they say, are not only incorrect but potentially dangerous — others maintain that regardless of the misconceptions it conveyed, the franchise spawned a huge wave of interest in kink. But now it’s over. As one kinkster, who requested anonymity, told MEL, “Capitalism guarantees that any popular thing be allowed to rise to its level of ‘not popular enough to sustain this level of public engagement.’ I think on some level a lot of people’s curiosities have been satisfied, insofar as they were curious about kink in the first place.”

Mike Stabile,a longtime spokesperson for, said, “A lot of people came in [to the kink community] and experimented and then moved on. But the core community grew during that period — even if in the interim, the swelling went down.” recently compiled data for its 2017 “State of the Union” report. “We looked at resources for kink and fetish communities — playspaces and dungeons, doctors who are conversant in BDSM who won’t be judgmental that we pulled from the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom site — and FetLife membership.”

LA was rated the kinkiest city in’s “State of the Union”

The results were dramatic: “The numbers grew in every city,” Stabile said.

But if the kinky community at FetLife has only grown, and lots of those kinksters want to watch the entertainment that provides, why the upheaval at both companies?

As it turns out, numbers — no matter how large — can be tricky for kinky businesses, especially when it comes to getting paid. The online payment industry has made no secret of its distaste for adult-oriented businesses of all kinds, charging them higher fees or outright refusing to do business with them (with Department of Justice backing), and it appears that FetLife’s massive content gutting was a result of this ongoing tension. FetLife’s John Baku wrote in a blog post to the FetLife community that early January’s deletions were due to concerns about payment processing. “We got a notice that one of our merchant accounts was shutting us down,” he said. “One of the [credit] card companies contacted them directly and told the bank to stop processing [payments] for us.”

According to Baku, the credit card company told the merchant account that their reasoning “had to do with ‘blood, needles, and vampirism’” in user-uploaded content. A few days later, another merchant account announced that it would also drop FetLife because a credit card company had reported “immoral and illegal” content on the site.

It’s not clear exactly what spurred the credit card companies to bring the hammer down on FetLife, but Colin Rowntree, the founder of (NSFW!), one of the oldest kinky porn sites on the internet, is familiar with the difficulties faced by kinky businesses online and offered some context. “Being a user-generated-content community site which accepts credit cards as a method of payment… FetLife is bound to the rules and regulations issued by MasterCard and Visa (BRAM) on what is permissible content for its members to post to their profiles,” he said. “What appears to have happened is that FetLife simply did not keep up the level of vigilance in monitoring member uploads.”

“We were not technically forced to remove anything,” Baku told MEL. “But the combination of losing our current merchant accounts and the fear of not being able to accept credit cards again is pretty much the equivalent of forcing an organization’s hand in our de facto cashless society,” so FetLife took a hatchet to its user-uploaded content.

Since the slashing of the site’s content in January, Baku says, “Some of the largest and most reputable [payment] processing companies have offered us the ability to start processing credit cards again, but due to the number of restrictions that come with accepting credit cards, we’ve decided against taking them.”

Instead, the site is accepting direct bank transfers, gift cards, Interac e-Transfers and bitcoin. It’s updated its content guidelines, which now forbid depictions of alcohol or drug use, anything that might be interpreted as hate speech (like race play), content that could be considered obscene (like incest), activity that could cause lasting bodily harm, and depictions of consensual non-consent. Some members are understandably upset, given that there are myriad kinks and fetishes involving these activities in which FetLife members participate. “When we removed content that was against the BRAM guidelines, understandably, we lost a lot of the community’s trust,” says Baku. “But now that we’ve decided to no longer rely on being able to accept credit cards, we’re working hard to regain it.”

The question now is: Is the kink community strong enough to bounce back? FetLife’s membership is higher than ever, according to the 2017 State of the Union research from, but things are changing at the biggest kinky porn company in the world, too. ...

A Bondage Sex-Cation Inspired by 'Fifty Shades' Helped Me Let Go of Control In My Relationship

on Friday, 24 March 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates


By Carrie Borzillo

My boyfriend, John*, and I have been engaged in a weird power struggle lately. I often find myself getting frustrated that he's not taking charge, but the real issue is that I'm so consistently taking the lead with everything that he doesn't even get a chance to do so. I go overboard in correcting, controlling, and being short with him, but it has been nearly impossible to get ahold of myself.

If past years of therapy have served me well, then I can psychoanalyze this one myself: I am a quick-talking, loud Italian from the East Coast, and John is a chill, laid-back Californian. I'm simply wired faster, and because of that, I get impatient easily. Not that it makes it right.

In just 48 hours, for instance, I did the following:

Micromanaged John's packing for an upcoming trip. ("Roll your clothes so they don't wrinkle!")

Nagged him about standing up straight. ("You're going to look like a hunchback by age 60!")

Wrestled the Champagne bottle out of his grip because he was opening it wrong. ("You need to keep your hand on the cork so it doesn't fly off!")

Yes, I've been too bossy lately. And, no, I'm not proud of it.

I needed a break from my own bossiness. And I found it...

That's where our trip to Desire Riviera Maya Resort came in. Desire Riviera Maya Resort and its nearby sister hotel, Desire Riviera Maya Pearl Resort, are luxury, adults-only, couples-only, clothing-optional, destinations just outside of Cancun, Mexico. They're popular with swingers, polyamorous couples, and people who like to get—as Anastasia Steele would say in Fifty Shades Darker—their "kinky fuckery" on.


Maybe playing the submissive role could teach me to surrender, to let go of control, to let John lead for once. Essentially, to be a little more like submissive Anastasia Steele and less like the dominating Christian Grey, even if just for a night. It's a lot of work being in charge all the time.

John and I are not swingers. (Though there's nothing wrong with swinging.) But Desire Resorts hand-picked me to test-drive their brand new "Desire Bondage Fantasy" night, a private bondage experience guided by two of the resort's pole dancers—Amber* and Antonio*—and inspired by the Fifty Shades franchise.


The $500 fantasy night, which we were lucky enough to experience sans charge, is part of Desire Resorts' world-famous Fantasy Menu, which also features erotic massage, pole dance lessons, sex on the beach, and more. It's designed to teach you to "surrender to your partner" and "journey into a dark, erotic place."

It's hard to pass up a good sex-cation, so I opted to dive into the role of the submissive. Or, at least, to try to dive in.

As I prepped for the trip, my need for this evening became even more obvious.

Even though I've only seen the Fifty Shades films as a "hate-watcher," laughing and mocking them aloud, I do dabble in some mild BDSM from time to time. A little spanking. Some handcuffing. A good flogging is nice. Feather tickling always gets me going. Unable to control myself, I barked out the following orders:

Rule No. 1 of bondage: There is no giggling. John's a happy guy, and I love him for that, but he does tend to giggle when he should be serious, and bondage is serious business.

Rule No. 2 of bondage: No smiling! Happy-go-lucky John has a great smile, but it's not right in this scenario. "Christian Grey doesn't smile as he spanks. I need you to put your best fuck-face on, please," I said.

Rule No. 3 of bondage: He would be in charge. He would be the dominant. He would be Christian Grey. I would be the submissive. I would be Anastasia Steele. If I tried to direct him, I needed him to stop me, spank me, or gag me.

Realizing I'd already broken Rule No. 3 by telling John what to do, I went into the experience quietly but firmly repeating to myself over and over in my head: Don't micromanage. Don't correct him. Be more like Ana. Enjoy taking the backseat for once. ...

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