Periodicals: Sex and Sales

This is the first Periodical Section, which will be replacing Mentor posts.

Like the periodical section of a library, these posts will contain links to articles, essays and sales that have crossed my screens in the previous week or two and may be of interest to the kinky, sex positive people who read the site and listen to the podcast.

Writings may be recent, or they may be older–there’s no expiration date on useful information.

  • Let’s start this entire new feature with a something impressive. How about a Norwegian video series on puberty and sex? Yeah? Yeah!

Recent Kinky Purchases Show and Tell

At the end of May I attended my first kink-based conference, which was Power Exchange Summit (PXS). There were several vendors there and I tried to purchase something from each of them.

Not because everything was high quality or anything, noooo, but because I was being nice.

Yes, that’s right. Because I’m a good person.

Show and tell time! Yay! Happy claps!

Everything I’d bought when I told myself I was done shopping:

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The two things I bought after that:

Both from Manor Gear

Both from Manor Gear

Things from the first set that could be aligned and where they came from:

Parallel lines are fun!

Parallel lines are fun!

Wood and leather flogger by Arcane’s Attic. He can be emailed at: arcane is a swell guy. I’ll talk about him in episode 15 of the podcast.

Handmade collar by Manor Gear. They also made my leather hair stick in the photo above this one after they’d sold out of the black. Really nice, knowledgeable people.

Wicked stick by Mr Malaprop. Also known as an evil stick or a pain stick or who knows what else.

Close up of the final two pieces:

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The bracelet is one of my favorite pieces from the conference because I love butterflies (they remind me of my favorite film, The Duke of Burgundy–kinky lesbians for the win). I wear it every day.

It was made by Leather Passions. I also got the two magnets in the first photo from them. They have many things on their Etsy site I covet mightily.

The silver instrument with the very pointy tip came from Mr Malaprop’s booth. It says ‘Made in France’ on it. I keep meaning to email him to ask what it’s supposed to be exactly. Or if it’s made expressly for poking people. It’s one of my favorite pieces, though mostly it just looks pretty sitting on my desk.

The wood and leather flogger by arcane is incredible. Some photos of the handle must be shared:

I also got a t-shirt from the event and a run pin and a pack of Kink Starter Cards.

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Which is a pack of 70 or so cards that can make negotiation easier or more varied or just give you a few new ideas. The cards are divided into things like Accessories, Implements and Scenes and after removing the things you definitely don’t want during that scene you use the rest to work out what you want to try. The cards are high quality–like regular playing cards.

You can get your own deck here.

Bonus! For my birthday, which was a week or so after I returned, I got a flogger stand (a.k.a. a coat rack).

Flogger Stand

On the far left is a rubber flogger I’ve had for years and have no idea where I got it. Ditto for the suede one on the far right, though I know that one is much older. And of course the obligatory riding crops. I’ve had those for 15 years or so, as well.

On the wall is my map of human sexuality, which I’ve written about and discussed before.

Interview with Embellish Maille

I was looking online for a submissive’s day collar and knew I wanted something metal rather than leather. Lazy but fashionable, I wanted it to be attractive but didn’t want to have to take it off to shower. After listlessly poking the internet I eventually came upon EmbellishMaille’s Etsy shop, which had several submissive chokers, as well as some other BDSM-themed jewellery. Everything was hand-made, as well, and the idea of having something especially made appealed greatly.

I knew what chainmaille was, but had never looked at it up close and didn’t know it came in different patterns or weaves. After seeing the intricate styles available, I contacted the owner and requested an interview and she graciously agreed.

My day collar--Poor Kings Maille

My day collar–Poor Kings Maille 34.95

How did you get into making jewelry? 
It started when a close fellow submissive friend of mine was shopping with her Dominant for a collar that she would wear everyday. Even though at the time I wasn’t in a relationship, I wondered what type of collar I would be drawn to. I consulted the ‘Powers that Be’… Google. I first searched for BDSM collars and noticed right away I wasn’t interested in a leather collar. I then refined my search to metal collars and was confronted with an array of solid steel collars and a mixture of different ones made with chainmaille. I focused in on the chainmaille collars and I was fascinated by the variety of patterns and even color designs. I took a look at a few instructions for some of the patterns considered “for beginners” and thought, how hard could it be? I invested about $50 into some start up materials and it’s been a growing passion. The only limit, is my own imagination. I love that it empowers me to get creative and have an outlet to express myself.

How long have you been making jewelry?
I started around the Spring of 2011.

Do you have a favourite piece to make or a favourite style chainmaille?
My current obsession has been the Jens Pind Linkage or JPL pattern. It reminds me of a classic rope braid weave that is pretty durable and unisex.

What’s the most complicated style to make? How long did it take you to master that style?
There’s a pattern called Elfweave that I remember being fascinated with when I was first exploring different weaves that I wanted to try in the beginning. I had tried the weave three or four times of the course of the last three years and it wasn’t until about six months ago that I could finally wrap my head around the instructions. The instructions were very clear and included photos, but for some reason it just baffled me. Once I finally rolled up my sleeves and took some time to understand it, the pattern itself wasn’t as complicated as I was trying to make it. Sometimes there are weaves that don’t have instructions and those can be tricky to visually break the weave apart to try to re-create. The key for me has been to go into a new weave with a clear head.

What’s your most popular piece?
The most viewed item is my “Lucid” Choker, which is something of a modified helm pattern. The most popular piece actually purchased is a toss up between the new custom [BDSM] photo pendants and the helm weave choker.

What materials do you use and why do you use them? Can you shower in them?
When I got started, my budget was tight. I wanted a shiny metal and anodized aluminum offers the shine without tarnishing like silver. It’s affordable, comes in a variety of colors and sizes and is really just easy to work with. The anodized aluminum is pretty easy to clean with the BLUE Dawn hand dish soap and warm water. Depending on the weave, it might recommend having a spare toothbrush to get into the crevices. I do have customers that wear their jewelry everyday including in the shower and I haven’t had any complaints yet. For anyone with metal sensitivity, aluminum also seems to be a great alternative.

How long have you been in the lifestyle?
I became aware of the lifestyle and my place in it around June of 2009. I was exploring and socializing on an online community (imvu). I had made friends with a married couple that partake in the Master/slave dynamic. As I grew to know them, they opened up about their lifestyle. When I had become curious, they pointed me to a website, “SubmissiveLoving” and it was a profound awakening. Since then, it has been… interesting. Initially I began exploring the lifestyle from the safety of my computer and engaged in socializing with other like-minded people online first before taking it to my actual life. It was a decision I have never regretted. I think I have always been submissive in nature though.

How popular are your sub collars? Is there one that’s more popular than the others?
Honestly, my sub collars are the most popular. Most of my customers tend to be other lifestylers in some form or other. To me, it’s very humbling to be asked to do a collar for someone. Though I know collars mean different things to different people, it’s an honor for me to be able to make something so profoundly meaningful. As far as which one is more popular, I would have to say it’s the “Lucid” pattern.

Have you ever tried to invent your own weave?
Not yet, though most people that have created patterns did so by accident. Or they will look at a pattern and say, “I wonder what happens if I do this with the ring instead of that.” There are a ton of variations out there by other folks that have tinkered and invented a new pattern. I think I came to do chainmaille a little late in the game and that most variations I would think of have probably already been done before. One never knows though!

Have you ever had a Dom?
Tragically, I have been involved with guys portraying themselves as Dominants. However, having an online handle like… “LordGrandPooBah” does not make a Dominant. Nor does spending hours upon hours watching BDSM porn.

You have several 50 Shades of Grey-inspired pieces. Have they been very popular? What are your thoughts on the series?
lol.. how much space do I have to fully cover my response for this? I do have almost a dozen Fifty Shades inspired pieces and to my own surprise, they haven’t been all that popular. I think only about 10% of my orders have been Fifty Shades items.

As for my thoughts on the series, I have read the trilogy about 7 times and seen the movie twice. The first thing, I would like to express is a reminder to everyone that the series is fantasy / fiction. If we’re going to commit time to reading or watching it, we should bear this in mind. It’s not an instruction manual for BDSM and shouldn’t be taken as fact. People that want to explore BDSM should be responsible adults and do their due diligence. Learn what BDSM really is and is not.

Secondly, the consensus I’ve noticed in regards to the BDSM community’s reaction to Fifty Shades has been pretty negative. I understand why, but I think we should be thankful. For all the faults that the series and the movie have… and there are a lot, the epidemic has opened up a dialogue. People are talking about it and we all know how important communication is; not just inside the lifestyle but with every type of relationship. Fifty Shades opened the door for conversation as well as a peephole into a lifestyle that for a long time was considered underground. It wasn’t widely known or talked about with mainstream “Vanilla” public. People fear and judge what they don’t know or understand and I may be naive but I think the more people know about the lifestyle perhaps the more open they will be to those of us that are in it.

Fifty Shades touched me on a very personal level. Ana reminded me of myself when I was 22. I was very naive as well as a virgin when I met a guy that was in many ways, much like Christian. For me, reading it was like playing out my own fantasy of how things might have gone. We had a rather odd platonic Master / slave dynamic and this was my way of taking the odd platonic dynamic to a romantic and sexual level.

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What advice would you give  to someone who was interested in trying to make chainmaille jewellery? What resources would you recommend?
For anyone interested in making chainmaille I will offer a few tips to know before getting supplies and such…. 1. is that doing chainmaille, not just jewelry but anything can be tedious. Most of it is taking a small segment and repeating it over and over again. For some that’s too monotonous. If you have any sort of carpel tunnel or arthritis, I don’t recommend it.

I would also suggest getting some good pliers. There are different types of pliers for different metals. Since I use aluminum, a flat thin nose and a flat, slightly fatter nose pliers works for me. If someone plans to use steel, I’ve heard that pliers with teeth will be more suited for the task.

As for other metals, I’m honestly not sure. However there is one website that has a ton of patterns, photos, forums, etc on everything chainmaille. The registration is free and they have a gallery and you can search the weave library and so forth. As for rings, different people use different places. I started out using and then American Chainmail as another option. Some people make their own rings and that’s awesome, but not something I have ever wanted to get into. There’s also some great videos on YouTube for learning patterns.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions–your work is beautiful!

You can find Jj on Tumblr under the name LilJorDay.

[This interview originally appeared on my Tumblr. I contacted Jj prior to republishing this and she said all of her answers were the same. I have used new images.

I’ve now had my choker for several months and regularly receive compliments on it. (People call it a ‘necklace’ so I’m guessing they don’t know what it is. Which is the point so mission accomplished.)]

30 Days of Kink: The Last Fetish Shop in N.O.

Day 30: Whatever BDSM/kink related thing you want to write about.

I had planned to write about my romp amongst the multiple fetish shops that were no doubt thriving in New Orleans, what with all the sinners and all. (Drinking on the street is legal there–this is unusual in the U.S.)

I was sorely disappointed.

Prior to my trip to the bayou, I had received information from a former resident of New Orleans that there would be several kink shops in the French Quarter. This was fortunate, as our accommodation was within walking distance.

The first clue my quest would be a futile one was when Google returned zero hits when searching for the shops I wanted. When I did find a reference it was some lamentation or another for a long-time shop having closed.

I thought the fault lay with me and my inability to find anything ever using internet search engines.

Because, surely, New Orleans still had at least five active fetish shops.

We’d simply ask at a gay club. Rawhide sounded like a promising start.

Before we got that far, we came across Boutique du Vampyre, which is a funky little shop with loads of handmade (well-made) items. They had gorgeous corsets and I had a friend there who sews who checked it out and gave me the thumbs up saying it was very high-quality. The one I chose was an under corset and it was $150. When I showed it to another corset aficionado who was with us but not on that expedition she gave me a high five for finding something that nice at that price. She also laced me me into it.

Behold, my first corset!

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(It’s by Daisy Corsets if you want to check out their incredible line.)

The woman there, the very cool and lovely Marita Jaeger gave us the news there weren’t really any fetish shops left. She said there was a place that may have some things, which turned out to be QT Pie at 241 Dauphine. They had a sister site, Panda Bear (415 Bourbon St), which was 99% sex toys and lingerie and a few fetish gear type things.

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. I had hoped for an experience similar to the first time going to a gay bookstore, which had buttons and stickers and books and t-shirts and all sorts of gay-themed things, but with a kinky bent. (heh heh) I had felt less alone in the world and spent far too much money there. Not this time, alas.

Boutique du Vampyre saved my trip. I wound up going back to give them more money and get other things, since I had been holding back on the assumption I’d be throwing cash around like mad in the actual fetish shop.

Oh well. At least I know my google skills aren’t as bad as I’d thought.