Dungeonmouse Goes Clubbing
  Copyright 2004 by dungeonmouse

     I recently visited a bdsm club.  I had never visited a bdsm club before.  My previous years bondage activity was limited to self bondage and bondage performed privately with one or two other people.  Here are my observations as a life-long self bondage fan entering the "public" bondage scene for the first time. 
     The club I visited is "members only" club but a three month membership cost just ten dollars, plus another ten to attend the play party.  They required an orientation session before attending the play party.  Orientations are not held the same nights as play parties.  The orientation involved no bondage and was held at their clubhouse.  They explained all the club rules and showed us the play room and equipment.  The orientation was followed by a question and answer period.  I thought the orientation an excellent idea.  I got a good feel for the club and met several club members before attending the play party.  When I showed up at the party I at least knew a few familiar faces and could enter a conversation without feeling out of place.
     The crowd at the club was older than I expected.  I'm in my 50's and felt right at home.  There were some people in their thirties but very few that I guessed were in their twenties.  I'm guessing about forty people showed up with something over half of them actively playing during the evening.  The crowd appeared split about 60-40 with men in the slight majority.  The club is pan-sexual and accepts most any kink.  While most members appeared heterosexual there were both gay and lesbian couples present. 
      The party was held in a concrete block industrial building converted by the club into a meeting hall and play room.  The decor was "American rummage sale," the furniture mostly donated by the members, I think.  They had play equipment scattered around the play room: an X-frame, several platforms and horses, pillars with eyebolts and the like.  One item I found fascinating was a six-foot section of chain link fence mounted on posts.  Members brought snacks to the party and sodas, water and coffee were available.  This club bans all alcohol and drugs from its parties, a rule I found reassuring.  Smoking was not allowed in the building but there was a smoker's conclave outside.  The club requires all activities be safe, sane and consensual.  They assign a dungeon master throughout the evening (the more experienced club members take turns as dungeon master).  The dungeon master monitors the play and steps in if things start to get out of hand.  If body fluids are exchanged, the club requires a latex shield be used.  The club provides latex gloves, condoms and dental shields at no cost.  I was very impressed with the planning that had gone into keeping the activities safe.  The dungeon master never exercised his or her authority while I was there. 
     All the members were very friendly and very normal.  You wouldn't give any member a second glance in the mall.  They introduced themselves and generally made me feel comfortable.  Other than the bondage equipment and the few people wearing obvious bondage gear, the party started pretty much like your average neighborhood gathering.
     The most common scene I saw during the evening was the top securing the bottom a frame or table then teasing and flogging them.  Floggers and whips were everywhere with members showing off their latest design.  Male top/female bottom was the most common scene but there was also a two-female top/one-male bottom scene (a power exchange scene that didn't involve much bondage that I could see), a gay male scene and a lesbian trio with two tops and one bottom.  While flogging dominated the play, the action also included hot wax, edge play with a large knife but no obvious blood and one suspension scene.
      During most scenes, the bottom was not overtly enjoying the scene.  By this, I mean that the scene was played as a domination plot where the top bent the bottom to his will, so the plot called for the bottom to not enjoy the activities.  During very few scenes did the bottom appear sexually aroused and begging for more, although I'm sure most were very aroused.  One exception was a very hot scene where a ruggedly handsome male top tied his gorgeous female bottom spread-eagled in a sling and whipped her front with a flogger.  Towards the end the woman had the most surrealistic smile on her face I have ever seen.
      The scenes, on average, were more restrained than I expected.  I guess my expectation was whips whistling through the air, cracking against bare flesh and leaving angry red welts, accompanied by tortured screams from the bottom.  I saw a few pink bottoms after some scenes but no welts.  I heard moans, squeaks and soft cries but no screams.  The bottoms flinched but they rarely struggled.  At first, the apparent mildness disappointed me.  Then I realized I've viewed all my previous bondage sessions from inside my own head where the fantasy is very intense.  Someone watching me during self bondage play would likely be sadly disappointed by the inactivity.  I must also admit that I left just before midnight as the suspension scene started.  From all the equipment they brought, that promised to be a much wilder scene.  Unfortunately, I had to work the next day and had to leave before they really got going.
     Once I had this insight, I realized the club's play was based on theater.  The tops spent long minutes setting up their equipment and arranging their floggers while the bottom sat passively, imagining her fate.  Blindfolds were common and applied with ceremony.  One top lead his bottom to the floor holding her hand at head level as if dancing a minuet.  The theater or drama aspect was so powerful that several scenes ended with the bottoms sobbing.  The theatrical aspects were the biggest lesson I learned while at the club.  Providing drama and suspense during bondage play provides the same heightened pleasure that drama and suspense provide in the movie theater.
     I was prepared for an evening spent viewing, so I was delighted when a female switch asked if I'd like to play.  We discussed the scene in some detail and agreed she would top.  She tied me spread eagle between two posts and alternated flogging, spanking and massaging me.  As the scene started, I got into subspace and began enjoying the bondage.  I also began feeling really slutty and wiggled my bottom, daring the top to hit me harder.  She read my mood well and played along.  It was wonderful!  The flogger she used was soft leather and I can't truly call it painful.  The spanking stung nicely, just right for a first time scene with someone you recently met.  Time stands still in subspace but I'm guessing we spent twenty minutes doing the actual scene with a bit more time spent setting up and taking down.  Afterwards, I sat on the sidelines, still nude.  I watched the other players and came slowly down from subspace.  Several club members came over and talked after I'd come down.  Conversing with strangers in a crowded room while naked and wearing cuffs is an activity you really must experience.
     The bottom line:  this old self bondage dog learned some new tricks.  I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and will go back.  If you you've never tried a bdsm club, check the web for clubs near you.  Ask questions and check them out but you can tell quickly whether the group you've found is on the level.  I would insist on 1) no drugs or alcohol,  2) clearly defined rules and a monitor (dungeon master) who enforces them and 3) an open, friendly atmosphere.  If you find a good club, give them a try.  I think you'll enjoy yourself.


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