by Sensuous Sadie
Sadie: With so many websites catering to BDSM interests, what motivated you to start Dom-sub Lifestyle? What are your goals for the next few years for DSL?
Lady Bleu: "So may websites I came across preached 'this is the only one and true way of doing things.' My desire was to offer many different perspectives that would cause the reader to think and make decisions for themselves. I admit I don't always agree with what the various authors write, and what they say may not be for me, but that doesn't mean it might not work for someone else.
"In the future, I do hope to make Dom-sub Lifestyle a monthly issue and to continue to add various features. I'd also like to expand the toy store to include more affordable items for the average person."
Sadie: Your website offers a real variety of articles and amusements. What are your favorites? How often do you update the content?
Lady Bleu: "Favorites? I really can't think of any that I enjoy more than others. And it just wouldn't be fair to choose now would it?
"The features I add from time to time occur because I want to keep things fresh and fun. Currently, the e-zine updates bi-monthly, i.e., Jan-Feb, Mar-Apr, May-June, etc. On occasion special things are added mid-issue simply because I can't wait to share them!"
Sadie: What are some of the writing or content problems you see with material that's submitted? Any pet peeves?
Lady Bleu: "Deadlines....Deadlines....Deadlines!"
Sadie: You refer to your work editing DSL as being "a work of love." What about it moves you so?
Lady Bleu: "Quite honestly, it was visits to chat rooms. I was astounded by the fact that there was so much 'garbage' being strewn about. I was amazed that girls online thought they had to do whatever they were told by whoever told them to do it. I was amazed by the fact they thought they had to be doormats without any thoughts or desires of their own. So, it began with the desire to pass on some reality and continues to be just that."
Sadie: Your website has won a number of awards for design and content. What do you think are the things that most draw readers to you?
Lady Bleu: "The awards are all fine and good, but it is word of mouth that draws new readers. We maintain a mailing list of near 1,000 people for notification of new issues, as well as carte blanche to post information on a number of listservs. This resulted in total hits of over 1,000,000 just fourteen months after launch. Readership continues to grow and we're obviously quite pleased by that fact."
Sadie: You recently moved to Arizona to be with your Dominant, Bleu Sadist. What are some of the special things that the Arizona scene offers?
Lady Bleu: "I live in the Phoenix area where there is a fairly large community, both public and private. Phoenix is the home of APEX (http://www.arizonapowerexchange.org), one of the largest private dungeons in the nation. The thing that appeals to me most is the varying assortment of classes and seminars that are provided within the organization. And the fact that there is no snow in Phoenix had NOTHING to do with the fact that I wanted to live here. (All things being equal I will take palm trees and sunshine any day)."
Sadie: You recently moved into a new home with a dungeon area. Can you tell me about it?
Lady Bleu: "Ahhhhh... the dungeon! I have a space 25' x 16' that has a beautiful brick fireplace. This room affords me the capability of having several pieces of dungeon equipment including a GYN table, a Super Post, a Spanking Bench and a modified torture chair. I also have a couple of new pieces coming in the next few months. I have a dear friend who builds the most incredible furniture (his furniture http://www.dsfurn.com fills one of the dungeons at Black Rose) so I have a bit of an inside track."
Sadie: You write about Dominant Care. What are the issues around this? Do you find that submissives often don't have nurturing skills, or perhaps they are what's called "do me" subs?
Lady Bleu: "The Dominant Care article was due to a question asked on a listserv on how might one keep their relationship fresh and fun. We brainstormed on several things one might do to make her dominant's life a bit easier and to always let him know how proud she is to be with him.
"Of course there are the 'do me' subs, but I don't feel they are submissive in nature (more like manipulative). We also have to realize that there are bottoms, submissive types and slaves... varying degrees of involvement in WIITWD, just as there are Masters, dominant types and tops."
Sadie: You have an interest in corsetry and waist training. You write that, "I've almost never seen a woman in one for a play, historical reconstruction, or a wedding, who didn't like it, and who wasn't in fact surprised by how much she liked it." What is your response to people who feel that restricting a person's breathing and body this seriously is not being cognizant of our body's need to breath deeply?
Lady Bleu: "I find corsets to be extremely feminine and amazingly comfortable to wear, provided you haven't eaten anything that causes you to bloat! ~Laughs~ I don't find it causing any major restriction in breathing if worn only for the appearance. I don't myself have an interest in waist training, but only the aesthetic appeal of wearing a beautifully crafted corset. I do think it important that anyone interested in waist training realize what risks there can be and take the time and learn to do it correctly."
Sadie: One of the things that you recommend that submissives do is to take care of themselves emotionally, and don't "flake out over every little thing." I think there's a bit of a stereotype about submissives not being well grounded with a high self-esteem. What's your experience around this?
Bleu: "It isn't the stereotype typical of submissives, but
of some women in general. I refer to them as 'drama queens.' Something
is always wrong and they need constant reassurance. I personally
think it's a manipulative behavior, not necessarily one of low self-esteem.
I do however believe that a submissive shouldn't expect a dominant
to 'fix' their lives, but should take responsibility for themselves."
Bleu: "What I believe to be the 'right dominant' for just about
anyone would be someone who was supportive yet not coddling, one
who will not accept the 'poor me' attitude but give those gentle
pushes to improve. One who will not be manipulated into being a
Sadie: What ways do you think that this issue is particularly problematic for people in the lifestyle? What are some ways that we can increase our self-esteem within the D/s construct?
Lady Bleu: "I don't feel that it is problematic over-all. I simply feel that the idea that someone will 'fix' what is wrong attracts some who can't/won't take responsibility for whatever problems they might have."
Sadie: Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
Lady Bleu: "Yes, we would like to thank all of our readers not only for their readership but for their constructive input and stimulating questions. Dom-sub Lifestyle is truly a community effort for the community!
Thank you very much!
Sensuous Sadie is a BDSM columnist and edits SCENEsubmissions, a free e-newsletter for the New England area and beyond. She is the founder and leader (1999 - 2001) of Rose & Thorn, Vermont's first BDSM group. Comments, compliments and complaints, as well as requests for reprinting can be addressed to her at SensuousSadie@aol.com or visit her website at www.sensuoussadie.com. Sadie believes that the universe is abundant, and that sharing information freely is part of this abundance, so she allows reprints of her writing in most venues.