Unknown Unknowns

I am fairly new to the practice of BDSM. However, I have been fascinated by it since I was a teenager. Thanks to being a nerd, I studied the practice through fiction and non-fiction. I read The Story of O, the Sleeping Beauty trilogy, Poppy Z. Brite’s works. I read non-fiction accounts by practitioners. There have been friends and acquaintances over the years who have shared their stories with me. I have known tops and bottoms, doms and subs, bears and otters…

I have no shortage of theoretical experience. I likely know a lot more than most people going in. But there are some things that I did not know I did not know (How’s that for a Rumsfeld moment?), and would have welcomed the insight. Here they are:

Pain Management

I wish I had taken a little more time learning about ways to manage pain. I have always had a comparatively high threshold, but the unique experience of being voluntarily helpless and receiving pain makes for a different dynamic. I am not a masochist, but I do appreciate the sensitivity that pain leaves.


I am quite bendy. But holding a position is difficult. I should have stuck with yoga. There will be yoga in my future. Actually, BDSM reminds me that I have to take care of my body. As someone who lives in my head most of the time, it is a valuable reminder.


BDSM has been a great experience in failure. Sir will devise situations where I can only fail–which is fantastic. Being someone who shoots for perfection, and who is generally pretty adept, playing with failure is liberating. It shows that failure is always an option–and that translates across all areas of life.

Practical Stuff

Places to put toys–since we, like many, do not have a formal playroom. BDSM is part of our daily lives. I drink my coffee next to the floggers and the canes. When people come over, there is a mad scramble to put toys and devices away. Even so, there is an eyebolt with an S-hook hanging off it in the middle of the living room arch. No one has noticed/commented on it yet.

These are the big things that I have noticed. I am certain there will be many surprises ahead.


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