for those times when you're having troubles
by Celeste aka BitaTruble
There is a coworker that shows telltale signs of being in the lifestyle.
She has alluded to bondage, flogging and other BDSM activities. I am very
interested in this woman. How can I broach the subject of BDSM to find
out if she is really interested without outing myself if she is vanilla?
If nothing else, I'd like to have another lifestyle friend.
Thanks in advance,
Inquisitive in Leather
*Special note: Because I have been so out for so long, this question actually
had me stumped. I tend to just ask people in a very unsubtle way
if they are tops or bottoms so I turned to my Master who still takes great
care in the work place not to out himself. My appreciation for filling
in my duties this month, Sir!
Dear Inquisitive in Leather:
I have run into this situation in the workplace a number of times and
it can cause some confusion as to how best deal with the target of your
curiosity. The most important advice I can offer here is to go slow.
Charging into this scenario like a Dom in a leather shop can spell disaster.
First, for the moment, shelve any desirous intentions or hopeful fantasies
about using your flogger on this person or offering yourself as a whipping
post if they are of the dominant persuasion. Your goal at this point
is to determine whether they are, indeed, a member of the leather community
or just a vanilla dropping catch phrases they picked up online.
The following presents some hints and suggestions as to how to safely
· Listen to the catch phrases and what words the person uses to allude
to the activities you mentioned in your question. A true member
of the BDSM community will use phrases and words with which only such
a person would be familiar. For instance, any vanilla can allude
to a whip, but hear the person make a reference to a specific type of
toy such as a single-tail or tawse or refer to a specific type of material
a toy is made out of and the red light should start flashing. Vanillas
will refer to bondage or being "tied up," but rarely do they
use the term restraints. Terms, very specific to the lifestyle,
should raise suspicions. Interestingly enough, vanillas never use
the term vanilla. In fact, most of them don't know what the term
means. If the person you are curious about uses this word, you might
be closer than you think in meeting a fellow lifestyle member.
· As you listen to the person make comments
about BDSM related activities, nonchalantly play along and ask innocent
questions to see how the person reacts. For instance, a woman who
worked in my company was getting ready to go home for the evening when
she made the statement, "I'm going home to spank my husband".
I turned to her and innocently asked, "Why would you do that?"
She smiled and responded, "Because he's obnoxious and because I like
Hello, Ma'am! A few more well placed questions and we were talking
shop in a few minutes. Remember, if you act nonchalantly to statements,
you can only be accused of being as vanilla as the other person.
However, if the person alludes to whipping and you respond with a twenty
minute dissertation on the art of whip braiding, you have just outed yourself
to someone who might not know the difference between a bullwhip and a
licorice whip. In another situation, a woman made a statement about
finding someone that evening who would tie her up. She said it in
a way that could have been construed as joking around. I shot back
jokingly, "Really! Do you have enough rope on hand?"
She looked at me with a more serious look on her face and replied, "I
never use rope. Rope can cut and it's not comfortable. I'll
only use leather cuffs." "Do you have your own?" I asked.
"Quite a few." "Wow," I said surprisingly. "Are
they all over the house?" I joked. "No, I keep them well hidden
with the rest of my toys." Bingo!
Use your listening skills, learn what questions to ask and word them so
receive back more information than the question required.
· Once it becomes evident that your person is a bona fide enthusiast (it
may take a few conversations to confirm or disprove this), it's
your turn to hold up the sign. Again, you should take it slow, however,
this part is fairly easy. Break the ice by responding with a simple
statement. For instance, in the above example, a perfect response
to the conversation would be, "I like leather cuffs also but I use
the fur-lined ones". Or maybe, "I live alone so I don't
feel I need to hide my toys that carefully." Once the other
person realizes that they are in friendly territory, conversation will
ensue. Lifestylers have an uncanny radar in recognizing other kinks
which is a great aid in establishing common ground. I may start
sounding like a parrot but I need to repeat myself once again -- move
slowly. Let things proceed at their own pace.
· Once the two of you come to the realization that you are on the same
asteroid, you have to begin replacing caution with respect. If this
is a person that you would like to play with, either topping or bottoming,
you need to learn what their situation is like. The other person
may be a collared submissive or own a submissive which signals that the
two of you will most likely just be friends. You must always respect
the other's lifestyle status and situation. If they are unattached,
no Dom or sub, they may be a potential play partner, but ease into it
slowly. Don't go charging them like Roosevelt up San Juan Hill.
· The fact of the matter is there are BDSM enthusiasts all around.
Because of society pressures, the majority keep a low, very low profile
in the vanilla world, especially in the workplace. Finding and identifying
a community member becomes a game which can be a cross between Clue and
Where's Waldo. Keep your ears open and your mouth shut in the right
situation and you may find, with some careful maneuvering and patience,
that cute secretary or office boy accompanying you to the next play party.