According to Cléo
by Cléo Dubois




The Power of Learning

In this world of information, how do you choose what you need to know? How do I, as a BDSM Educator, choose what I need to teach you to make your journey into erotic exploration a good one? Just two weeks ago , I was pleased, and proud, to present a program at The Learning Annex in San Francisco. My program was entitled "Overcoming Sexual Shyness: Taking Charge!" and it followed a seminar and demo of Lap Dancing for Your Partner. I asked the Learning Annex attendees about their secrets and fantasies, and their answers were stunningly encouraging. From fantasies of threesomes to wanting to be consensually raped to slave to Empress for the day, people want to learn more about that which turns them on.

Last week I had the honor to be invited to speak on radical sexuality for the department of psychiatry at Kaiser campus in San Francisco. I very much value the work of therapists, psychologists and psychoanalysts, having for one learned much about myself through the years under the guidance of my own kink aware therapist. The more informed about our consensual erotic practices the helping professions are the better for all of us who dare venture on the kinky path. I know a leather identified policeman who teach BDSM awareness to other cops in his department so that they will be aware of the difference between a domestic violence call and a unfortunate medical emergency during a scene. In our judgmental society as we all know fear run rampant, folks are afraid of losing the custody of their children in nasty divorces because of their behind close doors SM adult play. Not just because of nosy neighbors; often it is the ex who knows that they are kinky and wants to use it against them. Confidentiality is as important as consensuality, even online! That's another thing I've learned.

Judgment and ignorance go hand in hand. It still sadden me that most of my regular older clients hold so much shame and fear of judgment about their own lifelong kinkyplay. That sweet 75 year old masochistic cross dresser I saw yesterday refused my suggestion to wear back home these cute lacy red panties he brought for his session " just in case something happened on the way home and I land at the hospital " Well , I jokingly said if you landed at Kaiser SF you would be ok, they are getting educated about SM and fetishes"

If you live in the Bay Area, you know how fortunate we are to have so many venues for learning: QSM, Janus, Odyssey, Exiles, Madame S, Stormy Leather. I know it isn't as easy in other parts of the country. The Internet can be a great teacher, and yet, there are some things you really can't learn without first-hand physical/emotional experience. BDSM is one of those areas, for sure. Not only is instruction necessary for the safe use of the many and varied toys out there, it's extremely difficult to learn to read your play partner's energy just by reading about it online. I hope you can find places in your area to learn and practice safely the many arts involved in the exquisite sensations of BDSM play. Of course, it doesn't have to be in the perfectly outfitted dungeon, either!

Books, however, are extremely valuable tools to get yourself educated talk about our lifestyle, negotiate, come out to others in our lives if appropriate, learn about our roots and also expand our own boundaries. At the end of this post I am sharing with you my "recommended reading list"

In case you have not seen my videos "The Pain Game" and "Tie M e Up" - hot, sexy, intense and educative - I am having a HOLIDAY SALE. Both videos together for 25% off. Definitely a great stocking stuffer gift to yourself and your play partners., That secret ordering sale page is . As for the reviews on both videos you will find them at and at

Frankly it has taken me 20 years in the lifestyle to get to where I am now. Passing on what know and learning something new with each circle of students during the four days of seminars, workshops, and demonstrations Sybil Holiday and teach. We provide a safe space for each attendee to experiment, to reach their heart space and to use that energy to create the passion they seek in your life. From the practical skills of consensual play to the more emotional space where each woman faces her fears and insecurities, students have told us that had a fabulous time and enjoy their new-found confidence in both in and out of their real time scene play.

In October Sybil Holiday, Eve Minax and I finished one of my Academy of SM Arts Erotic Dominance Intensives for Women and I was immediately hit with the wonder of it all. There we were, in a dance studio, which we had turned into the Temple of Kink. During the bondage training four men were on all fours, bound to their Student Mistresses, obeying like the good pets they were and you could see and feel the energy, the heat, the empowering passion that grew and grew and then released with so much erotic laughter! And what did I learn again and again? I learned that it's not about the props, it's about the energy, the heat, the passion! And we can make that happen anywhere! So can you.

I plan to take the Intensives on the road with Eve Minax! OK, the US is a huge place so I will not necessarily make it to your city. For starters I am thinking of Ontario Canada, Chicago, Washington D and Los Angeles! If you are interested please email me. This is not a course for newbies; some experience is necessary and there is a questionnaire that we require interested applicants to fill out. The first step of course is to let me know you are interested! If you are part of a n SM Group perhaps your club is interested in hosting this intimate and energizing course. If that is the case contact me and we will put together a customized series for you to offer the women in your SM community. Current info will be on by the first week of November.

I cannot stress enough how important learning about our kinky selves is.

In the meantime, of course, the winter session of Erotic Dominance Intensives for Women are slated for February 26 - 29 in San Francisco, and I'm giving serious consideration to beginning a Series for Men sometimes in 2004. I am in the learning process myself on this subject so if you have any suggestions for me I would like to hear from you. Please email me at and thanks for sharing!

In Leather Pride, with heart,

Cleo Dubois

RECOMMENDED BOOKS & VIDEOS by Cléo Dubois Academy of SM Arts

In Association with

When Someone You Love is Kinky, Dossie Easton & Catherine Liszt, Greenery Press
Different Loving, Gloria G. Brame & Jon Jacobs, Villard Books (Div. Random House)
Fantasy Made Flesh, Deborah Addington, Greenery Press
Urban Arboriginals , Geoff Mains , Deadalus Publishing .
Consensual SadoMasochism, William A. Henkin & Sybil Holiday, Daedalus Publishing
The Bottoming Book, Dossie Easton & Catherine Liszt, Greenery Press
The Topping Book, Dossie Easton & Catherine Liszt, Greenery Press
SM 101, Jay Wiseman, Greenery Press
Erotic Bondage Handbook, Jay Wiseman, Greenery Press
Flogging, Joseph W. Bean, Greenery Press
Sensuous Magic, Pat Califia, Richard Kasak Books
Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns, Miller and Devon, Mystic Rose Books
Family Jewels, Hardy Haberman, Greenery Press
Sex Tips & Tales from Women Who Dare, Jo-Anne Baker, Hunter House
The Ethical Slut, Dossie Easton & Catherine Liszt, Greenery Press
Bitch Goddess, Edited by Pat Califia & Drew Campbell, Greenery Press
Leatherfolk, Edited by Mark Thompson, Alyson Publications
SlaveCraft, Guy Baldwin, M.S. Daedalus Publishing
Spirit + Flesh , Fakir Musafar,
The Pain Game produced by Cleo Dubois 2000
Tie Me Up! Produced by Cleo Dubois
Out of the Darkness by
Secretary by Sterven Shainberg