Tuesday, November 29, 2011



Here are a collection of Biblical quotes that could be interpreted to have meaning to individuals involved in a BDSM relationship. I'm sure that Serafina will have some more thoughts to add on this topic, as she is by far the more advanced student here in terms of Biblical scholarship.

It certainly could be said that these particular quotations are quite sexist, and I wouldn't even attempt to defend them on those grounds. Certainly, as Serafina has pointed out, there are a good number of Biblical quotes that have been used as justification for the subjugation of women.

However, since documents like the Bible are studied for meanings on a variety of levels, it's simple for me to view these quotes from the context that "wife" isn't a gender specific term.  Instead I simply interpret it to indicate the more submissive, or passive, individual in a marriage.  By the same measure, "husband" can also simply be interpreted to indicate the dominant partner in a BDSM styled relationship.

I've also gone out of my way to include quotes (primarily from Proverbs) that include mention of discipline for boys as well, doing my best to follow the ancient goose / gander imperative.


JT's  Stockroom

"When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.  If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again.  But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her.  And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter.  If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife.  If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment."    -- Exodus 21:7-11
"However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you.  You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land.  You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance."  -- Leviticus 25:44-46
“Wives, submit yourself unto your own husbands, as is fit in the Lord.”    -- Colossians 3:18
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”    --  Genesis 2:24
“Thy desire shall be for thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”     --  Genesis 3:16
"Fools despise wisdom and discipline."     --  Proverbs 1:7
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.”    -- Ephesians 5:22-25
“Let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”    -- Ephesians 5:33
“Wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.”     -- 1 Peter 3:1-2
“For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”    -- 1 Peter 3:5-6
“Husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”    -- 1 Peter 3:7
“Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”    -- 1 Timothy: 2:11-12
“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”    -- 1 Corinthians 14:34
"For there are eunuchs, that were so born from their mother's womb: and there are eunuchs, that were made eunuchs by men: and there are eunuchs, that made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it."     -- Matthew 19:12 
"Blessings are for the head of the just, but a rod for the back of the fool."  -- Proverbs 10:6
"Folly is close to the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him."    --  Proverbs 22:15
"Withhold not chastisement from a boy; if you beat him with a rod he will not die.  Beat him with the rod, and you will save him from the nether world."    -- Proverbs 23:13-14
"If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years.  Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom.  If he was single when he became your slave and then married afterward, only he will go free in the seventh year.  But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife will be freed with him.  If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master.  But the slave may plainly declare, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children.  I would rather not go free.'  If he does this, his master must present him before God.  Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl.  After that, the slave will belong to his master forever."    -- Exodus 21:2-6 

exemplary actions

We've started discussing some of the side issues regarding personal health and BDSM in previous posts here at the SpiritualBDSM blog.  Issues our community faces include but are not limited to: the common use of hazardous chemicals such as phylates in dildos and vibrators, the unsafe nature of leather toys for internal use, the many problems inherent in products made in China, as well as the age old issue that all non-monogamous humans must face - sexually transmitted disease.

Although I always do my best to make blog entries here interesting, these aren't especially engaging topics.  None of these are sexy to think about.  For sure, nobody is going to masturbate to thoughts on these topics.  Not to mention that they are not very likely to draw new readers to our blog.  In fact, these topics are likely to alienate readers looking for more titillating postings about the very exciting aspects of BDSM.

So why write these kind of posts?  Why not just write about the fun and exciting aspects of BDSM?  Don't we want more readers?

Obviously, Serafina and I think they are important topics for discussion or contemplation.  They get written despite being a little uncomfortable and potentially uninteresting for some readers.  They get written because they are very necessary to our mission of not just entertaining, but also educating.

Thankfully, we are not alone. There is little or no regulation in the sex toy industry, but there are manufacturers who "self-regulate" and go out of their way to provide quality products that are not only safe, but are made here in the USA.  Manufacturers of this sort are not only providing safe toys for adult fun, they are also providing jobs and contributing to our country's economy.

With that in mind, I'd like to give one domestic toy maker a tip of my cap, a nod of serious recognition, for their policies and products.

That company is Tantus.
 
We don't want to go on at too great a length about Tantus products in this posting.  We have a good number of their toys in our collection, and they all deserve their own reviews.  We made most of our Tantus toy purchases direct from the manufacturer, so Tantus also deserves their own vendor review.

For now we'll just say that Tantus has been making silicone toys here in the US since 1998.  And, as the tag line of the entertaining videos that accompany their product listings usually says: "Tantus Toys are hypoallergenic, hygienic, phthalate free, odorless, tasteless, boilable, bleachable and even dishwasher safe."

Tantus seems to have a great company philosophy, which we applaud.  Here's a verbatim re-posting of fairly brief note from the Tantus website about the meaning of being both health and green as a manufacturer.
What does it mean to make toys healthy for the body and to be a green manufacturer?
Green has become the new tagline of just about every industry, especially in sex toys. And everything it seems is now silicone. Is it all safe? Is it all the same?
Tantus takes pride in the fact that all our products are healthy for the body and made using processes that are healthy for the earth. We’ve been around since 1998 advocating for safer products and responsible retailing and it hasn’t been an easy ride.
So now that so much silicone is around- what makes silicone made in China different from the more expensive products (without as many whistles and bells) which are made in North America or even Germany. What difference is there in a company whose sole product line is silicone or healthy materials from factories who have it made for them in third world countries?
As a responsible manufacturer I want to know the process is clean as well as the materials. I want to know my customers are safe. I want to know that each portion of the process here at Tantus is under my control.
In 2006 the Dutch EPA did a study where they randomly chose 16 adult toys from a store. Out of those 16 tested 3 had arsenic, 6 had antimony, 12 had lead and 7 had cadmium. Cadmium is a heavy metal. Every time you expose yourself to those toys your cadmium level increases. One of the cadmium toys had levels so high that the EU would have required a radioactive sticker on the product had it known this had been imported into the continent. So what was it? The radioactive sex toy was a Chinese made Slimline vibrator made of safe ABS. The issue wasn’t what the toy was made of but what it was pigmented with. This toy was yellow and cadmium was its pigment.
When you smell a Tantus product there is no scent of chemicals— and when you walk into our shop you’ll have the same experience. We manufacture everything here in the US so we can make certain that the materials we use are safe; the solvents we use are safe and the quality is superior.
Solvents are used to clean machines, there is no way getting around it. At Tantus we use an FDA approved mineral spirit that we recycle. We pay a little more for this solvent, but it’s worth it. I didn’t mention the toluene in the Dutch EPA study but 14 or 16 products had it and what is it used for… to clean machines.
But let’s talk about silicone. Silicone is made by refining silica. Yup sand. Sand is heated and refined and heated again, etc until it becomes a liquid. There are no milk proteins here. It’s vegan as vegan can be.
And while 100% Ultra-Premium Silicone does not break down, it is completely inert. As waste it builds land mass but doesn’t pollute the land. And all silicones are not the same. There are as many different grades of silicone as there are raw silicones that are made.
But Buyer Beware— adult novelties isn’t a regulated industry.
For years products have been labeled silicone that had either negligible amounts of silicone or no silicone at all. This summer I heard a horror story of a very responsible vendor going to China to look at what was available and being asked do you want the package that says silicone or the generic one. When they ask what the toy is actually made of they were told, “No. Do you want the package that says it’s silicone or not?”
But one of the most crucial parts of being green, I think is economic sustainability. I think when someone talks about “green” they have to talk about sustainable wages. At Tantus no one who makes our products makes just $2.00 a day. We pay livable wages in a very livable city. We sustain the economy by making all of our products right here in the USA.
Green sex toys make good press. But we at Tantus are proud of our stewardship: we live responsive to our passions. We take care to make sexual products that work for the body and work for the earth.
While advertising yourself as being "green" is good marketing in some circles, there aren't many companies willing to make the kind of total commitment we see from Tantus.

Commitment to providing a green product for adults is outstanding.  That's also true for a similar commitment to a green manufacturing process.  Providing jobs at home and contributing to our shared economy is both commendable and worthy of imitation.

Which brings us back to the post's title:
ex·em·pla·ry  (g-zmpl-radj.1. Worthy of imitation; commendable: exemplary behavior.2. Serving as a model.
I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.

    -- Anaïs Nin

JT's  Stockroom

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

affiliate link - JT's Stockroom - vendor review

JT's 
Stockroom Spiritual BDSM is now a proud affiliate of JT's Stockroom!

Purchases made after clicking the banner/link to your right (or below) won't cost you anything more, but Serafina and I will get a little commission from your purchase.  What a nice way to show your appreciation for the information and resources we provide!

We consider lovemaking and BDSM to be aspects of our own spiritual practice and journey.  That makes our choice of affiliates a matter of significant personal importance.  We aren't about to mix commerce and our spirituality in a manner that could reflect poorly on our practice, or ourselves.

Serafina and I aren't the kind of people who will add an affiliate link without having first hand experience with the vendor's products and service.  That's a matter of personal pride for me, as well as being a practice which guarantees readers we aren't simply flogging products (excuse the pun) for personal gain.

We are very familiar with stockroom.com's products and customer service, having made multiple purchases there over the years.  Taking a moment to look at our order history, Serafina and I have made several purchases there within the last year, a testament itself to our satisfaction with the Stockroom's sales and service.

Like Captain Renault in the movie Casablanca, the Stockroom can, "Round up the usual suspects!"  They offer a great array of standard BDSM toys: collars and cuffs; vibrators, butt-plugs and dildos; as well as paddles, whips and floggers.

The quality of those basic BDSM products seems to range from average to outstanding.  As with most things in life, you get what you pay for, so it's still important to carefully read descriptions and study product pictures if you want really great gear, but it's certainly there to be found at stockroom.com.

But, believe it or not, those basic/standard BDSM devices are not why we usually shop at JT's Stockroom.  Before I'd even met Serafina, I'd already collected a great supply of leather gear.  We have more collars and cuffs here than we should ever realistically need or use.  Certainly none of that gear should ever be in danger of wearing out during our lifetime.

Instead, what makes the Stockroom.com special for us is the more unique products they offer.  Earlier this year, at the start of our summer, we purchased a nice selection of PES electrical toys from stockroom.com.  Late summer found us purchasing a "Pig Sling with Stirrups," a wonderful sex sling constructed from 42oz black vinyl-coated polyester fabric.

The Stockroom is also having a huge Thanksgiving and Black Friday sale which goes on through the rest of this weekend.  Meaning, I couldn't resist purchasing another order of goodies to go under the tree at Christmas.

Some of the items in the order are intended as a surprise for Serafina, she may not know what they are until I unveil them during play.  But, for sizing purposes, one of the items required the use of a tape measure this morning.

With that in mind, there's no surprise to ruin when I tell you Serafina's going to be wearing a Bolero Straitjacket like the one worn by the model in both banners featured in this post.

I didn't need Santa to tell me she's been a very good girl this year!
I have a simple philosophy: Fill what’s empty. Empty what’s full. Scratch where it itches.

    --  Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Saturday, November 26, 2011

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body 
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

    -- Mary Oliver

Friday, November 25, 2011

it's big and it's black - must be Friday - SALE! SALE! SALE!

I'm not sure if the phenomena occurs in the rest of the world, but here in the USA the Friday after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year, and it's called Black Friday.  Retail stores all across the land usually reserve this day for their biggest sales events, opening their doors in the middle of the night, hoping to attract as many customers as possible for themselves.  It sounds like a cliche, but in this case it is also true - the tough economy this year has made the competition even more fierce than normal.

That is a very good thing for shoppers.

Although the majority of sex toy purchases are made online, rather than from a brick and mortar retail locations, adult toy makers are certainly getting in on the Black Friday frenzy in a big way.  All week long my email in-box has been inundated with sales announcements, and most of the sales include the biggest discounts I've seen this year.

Here is a brief sampling of great savings opportunities from vendors we frequent:

Tantus, maker of fine Silicone sex toys is offering 40% off everything - coupon code PREHOLIDAY40.
The Black Friday sale at Liberator is a site wide 25% discount - use the coupon code LOVE.
The discount at For Your Nymphomation is also 25% - coupon code BlackFriday.
Over at Eden Fantasies everything is 20% off - code HOLIDAY.

SheVibe is offering a slightly different sale, their's is for Cyber Monday.  On November 28th customers purchasing more than $200 in merchandise can get an extra 10% discount on SheVibe's rock bottom prices by using the code CYBER10.

There are also some discounts that are more generic holiday sales type events.  For instance, Mr S Leather is offering free shipping on all orders over $50 made by December 19th.
Happy Thanksgiving image from email to MR-S-Leather customers.
DISCLAIMER - We do not currently associated with, and are not affiliates of, the vendors or websites listed in this posting. We have not received any compensation for this post.
The highest exercise of imagination is not to devise what has no existence, but rather to perceive what really exists, though unseen by the outward eye--not creation, but insight.

    -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - Table-Talk

Thursday, November 24, 2011

happy Thanksgiving . . .

I wish I could say that the picture was an original, but it's something I found on tumblr . . . 
Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends, both new and old, near and far.
In all perception of the truth there is a divine ecstasy, an inexpressible delirium of joy, as when a youth embraces his betrothed virgin.

    -- Henry David Thoreau - Familiar Letters

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Not In Your Mouth

If you haven't already seen it, we've embedded a YouTube video that we consider a must view!  Sexologist Ducky Doolittle is featured in a monologue - "Not In Your Butt" - her listing of amazing objects people have had removed from their rectums.  The video is sponsored by Tantus, so there's a short plug (pardon the pun) for some Tantus butt objects at the end of the video.



It's a pretty amazing list, including a vast array of food items including apple, zucchini, onion, turnip, potato, and salami.   Also making Ducky's list were a number of bottled objects: Mrs Butterworth's syrup, peanut butter, deodorant, vaseline, and cold cream.  Perhaps the strangest item was a collectable action figure.

Today, inspired by Ms Doolittle's video, we are doing a variation of her theme.  Ours is called, "Not In Your Mouth."  Our version isn't going to feature any outrageous foreign objects.  Instead, we are going to feature a common BDSM toy designed for a submissive's mouth that is inherently unsafe . . .
The picture is from a tumblr blog called Don't Move which was recently featured on BondageBlog.com's Friday Bondage Links Cornucopia.  The image appears to originally be from FetishClub.com.  We are reproducing it here, not to pick on any photographer, site, or toymaker, but instead as an educational illustration.

We are using the picture to illustrate a common BDSM toy we consider to be inherently unsafe - the leather wrapped o-ring gag.  While the ring gag on this model looks pretty, it is far from ideal. I would never use it on Serafina.  In fact, that holds true for all leather gags.

For starters, it's very obviously a simple metal o-ring wrapped in leather. That's an effective enough design in terms of appearance and utility.  It's also very cost effective - ie cheap to make.  But, it has serious flaws in terms of health and safety for my submissive.

The leather wrapping itself is less than ideal for a number of reasons, it is also the primary reason I'd personally reject this design.  Left unwrapped, the steel o-ring is hard enough to chip tooth enamel.  The leather wrapping is used as padding to protect the submissive's teeth, so it's an essential part of the design, but it comes with it's own critical flaws.

Leather is inherently flawed as a gag material.  It cannot be be sterilized, or even effectively cleaned, after use.  Because leather is an animal hide, it is inherently porous.  Bacteria that are normally harbored in the mouth can be absorbed into the surface of the leather.

Using an alcohol wipe might eliminate some of the surface bacteria, but it's never guaranteed to get them all.  Bleach isn't an option for sterilizing a leather wrapped mouthpiece, again the porous nature of leather would leave your submissive sucking on sodium hypochlorite the next time the gag is used.  Boiling isn't exactly an option either.  In fact, any sterilizing agent or method I can imagine is likely to either destroy the leather or endanger my submissive's health.  For that reason alone . . .

It's not going into Serafina's mouth!

Leather tanning in Marrakech
The second flaw is inherent in how leather is made.  There are a number of different methods for creating leather, a process known as tanning, and all of them use chemicals I'd not personally want to suck on for any length of time. Chrome-tanned leather, for instance, is created by using chromium sulfate and other similar chromate salts. In case you weren't aware, chromium is a potentially toxic substance.  It's also a known carcinogen.

For some folks, chromium is also a pretty serious allergen. Chromates can lead to rather unpleasant skin conditions like contact dermatitis and irritant dermatitis. The worst case for these allergic reactions? They can cause skin ulceration that are sometimes referred to as "chrome ulcers."  In the absence of any other reason, the problems with chromates in the leather wrapping would be enough to make me say . . .

It's not going into Serafina's mouth!

Selection of Fiebing's Leather Dyes
Then there is the issue of dyes used to make the leather wrapping black.  Leather dyes can be water based or solvent based, and I'm not particularly thrilled at the prospect of putting an organic hide stained with solvent based dye into my submissive's mouth.

I haven't done as much research here, but I do also know that the dyes used in a number of black leathers can transfer to other objects.  Rubbery sex toys are notorious for being stained when they come in contact with black leather, and that's even true for some silicone products.  This speaks highly to the potential for some stain transfer onto my wife's mouth and tongue.  Just another reason I'd say . . .

It's not going into Serafina's mouth!


Please note that I'm not a vegan or animal activist, I have no problems with the making, or use, of leather.  Serafina and I have a number of pairs of leather wrist and ankle cuffs that we use and enjoy on a fairly regular basis.  I also enjoy leather collars and leather jackets, and we both wear leather shoes.

I've even used leather gags in past times.  I used them without a care or concern for health issues.  I own a lovely black leather gag that has a padded leather tongue that inserts into the mouth.  That gag was a favorite of mine during the 1990's, and it was used on a number of previous partners and playmates.

To the best of my recollection and knowledge, nobody ever got sick from using that gag.  But, that doesn't mean nothing bad happened, or that something bad couldn't have happened, I'll never know about that.

I wasn't armed with the same knowledge then as I have today.  And, I didn't have the same level of concern for my own or my partners health back in those days either.  I'm not proud that I used sex toys without thinking about chromates or phylates, but I'm not ashamed either.  We just didn't know any better.  That's no excuse today.  I do know better now.

Our bodies truly are our temples.  Yes, I deliberately bind and torment my darling Serafina before I worship at her temple, so to speak.  But, that doesn't mean I revere her any less,  And, I certainly have great regard for the health of my slave/goddess/wife.

One of these days, somewhere in my collection of toys, I'll find that old leather gag.  I suppose I'll hold on to it for sentimental reasons, as an educational piece, and as a bit of history.  I'll also add a picture of it here for our readers.  But, one thing for sure, now that I do know better . . .

It's not going into Serafina's mouth!
A woman knows the face of the man she loves as a sailor knows the open sea.

    -- Honore de Balzac

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

what is hepatitis? . REALLY??

Today's topic is not a comfortable one for general conversation.  Perhaps that makes the post even more important in the educational sense, even if it's not especially fun or sexy to write.  It's time to tackle a growing health threat that might not commonly be considered a sexually transmitted disease, although it certainly can be spread through sexual activity.  The topic is viral hepatitis.

Alphonse Gabriel Capone
STDs are a subject that carry a certain personal poignancy.  Back in the 1930's, my paternal Grandfather suffered from the same sexually transmitted disease as infamous mobster Al Capone.  Grandpa Eugene had Neurosyphilis, an infection of the brain or spinal cord that occurs in people who have had untreated syphilis for many years. Eugene died in a sanatorium from the disease, an unpleasant reminder that modern illnesses like HIV aren't the first sexually transmitted diseases that can become life threatening.

Let us start with a disclaimer of sorts - This post is about communicable diseases that can be life threatening.  While we are educated individuals who have worked in health care and related fields, we don't wish to present ourselves as medical experts.  We are simply individuals who have done our "homework" on this topic, and the quotes we will share from expert sources are a few of the fruits of that labor.

As we've stated, we are NOT physicians, and the contents of this post should NOT be used to replace a frank discussion of this subject with your own health care provider.  It's extremely important to be open and honest with your health care provider about sex, even more important if you are not monogamous, or if you live an alternate lifestyle including BDSM activities.

Ok, ready?

Let's start with the basics as told by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
"Hepatitis" means inflammation of the liver and also refers to a group of viral infections that affect the liver . The most common types are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.  Viral hepatitis is the leading cause of liver cancer and the most common reason for liver transplantation. An estimated 4.4million Americans are living with chronic hepatitis; most do not know they are infected. About 80,000 new infections occur each year.
One of the most disturbing aspects of viral hepatitis is the fact that many of the individuals who carry the disease have not been diagnosed and are simply not aware they are sick.  Responsible individuals who might otherwise protect future partners with simple measures like wearing condoms and using disposable gloves for fisting and serious anal play, are still likely to spread the virus if they are unaware they are infected.  Thinking about that, I am very much reminded of the earlier stages of the AIDS epidemic.

Here are some more specific facts about hepatitis as an STD from the CDC:
STDs and Viral Hepatitis
Hepatitis A
Transmission of Hepatitis A virus (HAV) during sexual activity occurs due to fecal-oral contact or contamination. Measures typically used to prevent the transmission of other STDs (e.g., use of condoms) do not prevent HAV transmission. Vaccination is the most effective means of preventing HAV transmission among persons at risk for infection.
Hepatitis B
Among adults seeking treatment in STD clinics, as many as 10%–40% have evidence of past or current Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Many of these infections could have been prevented through universal vaccination during delivery of STD prevention or treatment services. A study of adults diagnosed with acute Hepatitis B found that 39% had sought care or been screened for an STD before they were infected with HBV, indicating a significant missed opportunity to vaccinate at-risk persons when they first access STD prevention or treatment services.
Hepatitis C
Although not common, Hepatitis C virus (HCV) can be transmitted through sexual activity. The factors found to be associated with sexual transmission of HCV are sex with multiple partners, presence of other STDs, or sex with trauma. Case-control studies have reported an association between acquiring HCV infection and exposure to a sex contact with HCV infection or exposure to multiple sex partners. Surveillance data also indicate that 15%–20% of persons reported with acute HCV infection have a history of sexual exposure in the absence of other risk factors.

Leave it to a Government agency to make important information more than a little difficult to understand.  Not only is that embarrassingly dry to read, it includes really odd language like "surveillance data". 

To put all that into more easily understood language, here's a nice summation of current knowledge regarding hepatitis as an STD, courtesy of the ubiquitous Wikipedia:
Studies show the risk of sexual transmission in heterosexual, monogamous relationships is extremely rare or even nil.  The government does not recommend condom use to prevent hepatitis C transmission in long-term mutually monogamous relationships. However, for not well understood reasons, the risk of transmission is higher if one has multiple sex partners and condom use is recommended. Vaginal penetrative sex is believed to have a lower risk of transmission than sexual practices that involve higher levels of trauma to anogenital mucosa (anal penetrative sex, fisting, or use of sex toys).  For these reasons, condom use is highly recommended for those who engage in anal sex play or other sex acts likely to cause bleeding or damage mucosal linings.
Like it or not, it's always good to be properly armed with information . . .

Pamela Anderson
One example of a celebrity who potentially contracted hepatitis from sexual activity is Pamela Anderson (aka Pamela Anderson Lee or Pamela Lee.)   Like my darling Serafina, Pamela is originally from Canada.

Anderson has publicly stated that she contracted the Hepatitis C virus from former spouse and Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee.  The most likely source of Anderson's infection is from sharing tattoo needles, but it's not impossible to imagine that it could have just as easily been transmitted during sexual activity.

Let's be sure we are clear - fear of contracting hepatitis is no reason to become celibate or avoid sexual activities you enjoy.  Abstinence is no real answer.  With that in mind, please remember it's just necessary to play a little smarter.

Vaccinations are available for types A and B, and they appear to be a good choice for individuals who have multiple partners.  This is especially true for individuals who enjoy activities like rimming and anal sex that are more likely to spread this virus.  Condom use is suggested for at risk individuals, and dental dams should be considered for rimming.

For more information, or to get answers on any further questions you may have on this topic, we strongly suggest a frank discussion with your health care provider.
A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.

    -- Ingrid Bergman

Monday, November 21, 2011

The difference between burlesque and the newspapers is that the former never pretended to be performing a public service by exposure.

    -- I. F. Stone

Sunday, November 20, 2011

To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself and so to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the breaking of bread.


    -- James Baldwin

vendor - Naturally Twisted Co

Shibari/Kinbaku
Shibari and Kinbaku are both words steeped in the history and customs of Japan.  On a more personal level, Japanese style rope bondage is a beautiful and satisfying art to practice.
The core of Kinbaku is the connection between the rigger and the model, the attitude of the rigger, the type of tie and a thousand little things all contribute to the sense of connection.
    -- NaturallyTwisted.co
While Naturally Twisted makes and sells premium jute rope for Shibari / Kinbaku, they really offer more than mere rope.

Naturally Twisted is also a resource for almost anyone learning or studying the wonderful art of Japanese style bondage.

For some folks, the rope is what matters, and we wrote Naturally Twisted's wonderful jute rope up a while back.  This post will be focused more on our experiences with the company as a vendor, although we certainly won't forget the rope.  We will also take a quick look at some of the many resources offered on the naturallytwisted.co site.

As a vendor, Naturally Twisted Co easily met or exceeded all of our expectations.  I need to admit upfront, we were a little hesitant about ordering from Australia, international shipping can be expensive and terribly slow.   Serafina corresponded with individuals from "down under" when she was living in Canada, so she knows letters can take a while to cross the Pacific Ocean.

Well, we sent an order to US Hemp rope maker Twisted Monk exactly one week before we placed an order with Naturally Twisted Co.  Both offer beautiful hand conditioned rope, but it wasn't exactly a fair test, since Monk's production facility is in Seattle, more than just a little bit closer to us than New South Wales.

The TwistedMonk.com order of 6mm hemp rope arrived first, no surprise there since it was placed first.  I expected the Naturally Twisted Co order to follow at least a few weeks later, accounting for the vagaries of international mail.  So, I was very pleasantly surprised to have my jute rope from Naturally Twisted arrive exactly one week later, perfectly matching the length of time it took to receive our other order.

(picture from NaturallyTwisted.co)
Having a vendor thousands of miles away on a different continent match the shipping turn-around time of a well known domestic rope maker is a pretty impressive feat!  After we received our order, the rope's maker contacted us at FetLife to make sure we were satisfied with the product. It's hard to stress enough how impressed we are with Naturally Twisted's service.

Not only is the service and shipping time impressive, so is the rope itself.  Here's a description of Naturally Twisted's product from Hebari, the rope's maker:
The jute I have is all hand made in individual sections, then hand treated, when it's new it is a little rougher and a bit springier. The rope is treated with a bees wax, camelia oil as part of the hand treatment so comes out smooth and pliable. Also it has a higher twist count than the Japanese ropes so doesn't come apart or slip out of alignment as easily.  It's what I use at home and for shoots, at last test a new treated piece breaks at just over 200kg per strand.
As we said up in the post's introduction, we've already done our own review of Naturally Twisted's rope here at Spiritual BDSM.  But, we also thought our readers might find it helpful to get a second opinion on that product.  So, with that in mind, we reached out to some individuals at FetLife who had previously commented on Naturally Twisted's rope, and got their permission to re-post their statements here at SpiritualBDSM.com.

Here's the comment made by 123avalon:
I am happy to vouch for Hebari's jute, I have rope from about many different sources & well known riggers from the US, Japan the UK and Australia.
I am always open to try new ropes and fibers but for the moment Hebari's hand made Jute is the rope of my choice.
I find it compact & crisp, as I like my ropes to be, it is very pleasant to tie with, it does not unravel and like all ropes it gets so much better with use.
Cheers
Av.
PS
I do have a soft spot for my coconut rope from MauiKink, its "Wicked" ......
That's a nice little testimonial that rings true to our experience.  At the risk of getting a little off topic, we also agree that Maui Kink's coconut rope is truly "wicked", but that's really a subject we should reserve for another time.

Here's another FetLife testimonial, this time from Nawa-Chou:
I can also vouch for Hebari's rope. I'm lucky to be tied with it on a regular basis and have three sets of my own- natural, charcoal and red.
I've been tied with rope endorsed by some if the world's best riggers and nothing compares. With use it becomes so soft and feels amazing. Its not as fluffy as some other ropes, and the oil and beeswax used for conditioning feeds it in the most beautiful way. Slides beautifully through the hands and the ties of the rigger as well. 
(picture from NaturallyTwisted.co)
If memory is correct, Nawa-Chou is Hebari's shibari bunny, so it could probably be argued that she's a bit prejudiced in favor of his rope making skills.  We're not going to make that argument here, as everything she says certainly holds true in our own experience, so we'll let our readers make their own decisions on how much weight to give any one individual testimonial.

So, we've established that Naturally Twisted Co makes outstanding rope, and that their customer service matches that excellent standard.  Everything else from here is like icing on the cake, it just sweetens the deal.

Well dear reader, this isn't like some tired piece of wedding cake with a thin crust of dried out frosting, Hebari has spread the Naturally Twisted icing nice and thick.  There's a nice mix of resources to be found on the Naturally Twisted Co site, including good information for basic and intermediate students of shibari.

The quick tour we are giving readers will begin with the News and Articles section.  Also included in this section is a short page about Love and Rope, a documentary exploring the emergence of Shibari in western culture and the growing group of western riggers and rope models dedicating themselves to this uniquely Japanese art form.  Another feature here is Nawa Chou's Bunny Blog, looking at things from the bondagette's side, a nice addition.

Within the Community section at Naturally Twisted Co you can find a very nice listing of Knots and Ties with their proper Japanese names.  This a wonderful addition for the more serious student who is looking for authenticity and greater understanding of this art form.

My personal favorite, the History of Shibari/Kinbaku section, is another great resource for the Shibari student who wants to know more than just knots and ties.  Here's Hebari's introduction to the section:
The history of Shibari/Kinbaku is to a very large degree the history of Japan itself. The very thing that makes rope bondage so powerful for the Japanese psyche is the racial memories and present day interconnections that surround both the rope and the act of Shibari/Kinbaku.  The following pages are largely a result of my research into Japanese history and the art of tying. 
(picture from NaturallyTwisted.co)
Although the provided history is already pretty satisfying, it's my understanding that this is a work in progress. I very much look forward to future growth here, and throughout the site.

Finally, it should be noted that there are a great number of links to other sites and safety resources for Shibari students.  Another great addition that demonstrates Hebari's love, not only for the art form of Shibari, but also for the Shibari community itself.

If you couldn't already tell from the strong positive tone of our review, we feel fortunate to have discovered the NaturallyTwisted.co site a few months back.  The Jute rope offered there is truly a premium natural fiber product we should be able to enjoy for years to come.  The company's service was very much up to the high standard set by their rope.  The additional resources offered on the site serve to further distance them from a good number of their competitors.

Those are all good things that might be assigned a value or price . . . Hebari's obvious love and passion for Shibari is priceless!
"When you learn, teach. When you get, give."     -- Maya Angelou
DISCLAIMER - SpiritualBDSM.com and it's owners (Michael Samadhi and Serafina Samadhi) are not associated or affiliated with Naturally Twisted Co or naturallytwisted.co in any manner.  We have not received any compensation or consideration in return for this posting.  


All images within this post are property of NaturallyTwisted.co

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sometimes I feel, like I've been tied to the whippin' post.  Oh Lord, I feel like I'm dying.

    -- Allman Brothers Band - Whipping Post

Friday, November 18, 2011

A riding crop and a blindfold doesn't make it BDSM. There is a big difference between being kinky and being in the scene. It's not a sexual thing to me, it's a very spiritual thing.

    -- Domina Blue

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Yak it up . . .

I have a new love . . .

No, I'm not forsaking Serafina . . .

No, we haven't decided to join the rest of the BDSM and Tantric worlds and become polyamorists . . .

Actually, I have to confess, I'm in love with an inanimate object . . .

No, I'm not talking about a Fleshlight or Tenga Egg either . . .

Then - "What is my new love?" - you ask . . .  

I've discovered a tremendous affinity for something exotic.

Black Yak rope from Maui Kink.

It's a Tibetan Yak rope, made from the coarse outer hairs that the yak produces to keep warm at high altitude.

My love for this rope is not unlike Homer Simpson's feelings for bacon.  It elicits shudders of joy.  It starts my mouth watering.
Royal Yak Hair Rope & Black Tibetan Yak Hair Rope from Maui Kink (picture by Maui Kink)
Make love to every woman you meet.  If you get five percent on your outlay it's a good investment.

    -- Arnold Bennett

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

You have to accept the fact that part of the sizzle of sex comes from the danger of sex. That you can be overpowered.

    -- Camille Paglia

Monday, November 14, 2011

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.

    -- Rachel Carson

Sunday, November 13, 2011

marriage, life, and the universe

A woman who has never been hit by a man has never been loved.

    -- Zsa Zsa Gabor
Back on the last day of October, we included a quote from Zsa Zsa Gabor here at SpiritualBDSM - "Personally I know nothing about sex because I have always been married."  Not exactly a flattering statement about those of us who wear rings on our fingers.

As I commented a few days back, in a brief little note called - "about all those quotes . . ." - the quotations we post here at our virtual home are not always intended to be taken at face value.  The quote about sexless marriages was included because Serafina was previously in that situation.  She divorced a partner who had little interest in anything at all, and an especially critical lack of interest in any kind of lovemaking.

With that said, anyone who knows Serafina and myself at all, knows that we have a good measure of respect for the institution of marriage.  And of course, they should know that we also have lots of sex.  Here in my 40's, I don't quite have the libido of 20 years ago, but it's not unheard of for Serafina and I to make love three times in a night.  I guess the real difference between now and then is I can't perform to that level on consecutive nights. As we get older it's more necessary to pick and choose when and where, but that also has it's own rewards.

Serafina is always and ever willing.  No, she's more than that, she's forever wanting!  My slave/wife is a marvel, without a doubt the most beautiful sexual creature I've ever have, or ever will know.  Given the choice between a night out dancing, or a night of being bound, tormented, and ultimately having my cock plunge in and out of her until she's nigh on delerious - she pick's my cock every time.

I am, indeed, a very lucky man.

And, returning to the quotes by Ms Gabor, I hope everyone also knows I would never strike Serafina in anger.  There's a very distinct line I see between BDSM and abuse, and that line is drawn so play can never involve any true anger.

Spankings and floggings, nipple and genitorture, strict bondage and even sensory deprivation are all good and fine, in the right place and time.   BDSM experiences can be cathartic, they have the potential to slay old demons. But, they are not tools for resolving differences between active partners.

You aren't going to read here about Serafina getting a spanking because she acted out, or upset me.  I believe in discipline not punishment.  I believe in starting instruction by saying the word "shall," rather than focusing on any kind of "shall not."  I prefer to direct by saying "thou will" instead of "thou will not."

Every dominant is unique, and every submissive is too.  What works for me may not work for you.  Like car commercials, there need to be disclaimers that "your mileage may vary" added on to any advice given about living a BDSM lifestyle.  But, if Serafina and I were faced with that iconic question - "How's that working for you?" - we can offer a hearty affirmation here, "It's all very good!"
Men have always liked me and I have always liked men. But I like a mannish man, a man who knows how to talk to and treat a woman—not just a man with muscles.
    -- Zsa Zsa Gabor

marriage, life, and the universe

A woman who has never been hit by a man has never been loved.

    -- Zsa Zsa Gabor
Back on the last day of October, we included a quote from Zsa Zsa Gabor here at SpiritualBDSM - "Personally I know nothing about sex because I have always been married."  Not exactly a flattering statement about those of us who wear rings on our fingers.

As I commented a few days back, in a brief little note called - "about all those quotes . . ." - the quotations we post here at our virtual home are not always intended to be taken at face value.  The quote about sexless marriages was included because Serafina was previously in that situation.  She divorced a partner who had little interest in anything at all, and an especially critical lack of interest in any kind of lovemaking.

With that said, anyone who knows Serafina and myself at all, knows that we have a good measure of respect for the institution of marriage.  And of course, they should know that we also have lots of sex.  Here in my 40's, I don't quite have the libido of 20 years ago, but it's not unheard of for Serafina and I to make love three times in a night.  I guess the real difference between now and then is I can't perform to that level on consecutive nights. As we get older it's more necessary to pick and choose when and where, but that also has it's own rewards.

Serafina is always and ever willing.  No, she's more than that, she's forever wanting!  My slave/wife is a marvel, without a doubt the most beautiful sexual creature I've ever have, or ever will know.  Given the choice between a night out dancing, or a night of being bound, tormented, and ultimately having my cock plunge in and out of her until she's nigh on delerious - she pick's my cock every time.

I am, indeed, a very lucky man.

And, returning to the quotes by Ms Gabor, I hope everyone also knows I would never strike Serafina in anger.  There's a very distinct line I see between BDSM and abuse, and that line is drawn so play can never involve any true anger.

Spankings and floggings, nipple and genitorture, strict bondage and even sensory deprivation are all good and fine, in the right place and time.   BDSM experiences can be cathartic, they have the potential to slay old demons. But, they are not tools for resolving differences between active partners.

You aren't going to read here about Serafina getting a spanking because she acted out, or upset me.  I believe in discipline not punishment.  I believe in starting instruction by saying the word "shall," rather than focusing on any kind of "shall not."  I prefer to direct by saying "thou will" instead of "thou will not."

Every dominant is unique, and every submissive is too.  What works for me may not work for you.  Like car commercials, there need to be disclaimers that "your mileage may vary" added on to any advice given about living a BDSM lifestyle.  But, if Serafina and I were faced with that iconic question - "How's that working for you?" - we can offer a hearty affirmation here, "It's all very good!"
Men have always liked me and I have always liked men. But I like a mannish man, a man who knows how to talk to and treat a woman—not just a man with muscles.
    -- Zsa Zsa Gabor
Ordinary life does not interest me. I seek only the high moments. I am in accord with the surrealists, searching for the marvelous.

    -- Anaïs Nin

Saturday, November 12, 2011

When I was growing up, there were certain things people did for penance; I know people who slept on coat hangers or kneeled on uncooked rice on the floor . . . and as for me, I think somehow things got really mixed up.  There was some ecstasy involved in that.

    -- Madonna

Friday, November 11, 2011

The only thing that keeps me going is this chick. I've got this incredible chick on the side you see, and she is so hot, I can hardly believe it. She's got one of those heart-shaped asses. Have you ever had a chick with a heart-shaped ass

    --  Mickey Rourke as John in Nine 1/2 Weeks

The Joy of Kink is Open

Joy of Kink Now Open New Home Please come join me at my new home... The Joy of Kink I'm joined there by some new friends... ...