Wednesday, March 20, 2019

From the Top Shelf - For the Girl who has Everything

This is a something of a departure in that it's not a story but a nice bit of serious but lightly-delivered advice from Julie Holmes in Februs magazine, for men who want to introduce their ladies to corporal punishment but aren't sure how. Most of the specific references are British, and you will soon realize that this was written long before the internet - that one stop shop for all things kinky - came to be, but the principles apply everywhere.

This article is addressed directly to men. Yes I know Februs has a large female following but the fact remains that it's men who generally buy the magazine. (This is probably due to the difficulty we women have in reaching anything on the top shelf of a newsagent's shop, and of course there is also the embarrassment factor - the kind that used to afflict men buying condoms from snickering female pharmacy assistants before 'Johnnies' became politically correct).

Time and again I meet men who are keen fans of various disciplinary activities but are nervous of broaching the subject with their partners. Others are already 'active' but want to know where to obtain the implements, clothes or accessories commonly featured in spanking magazines and videos. To the more experienced or sophisticated devotee, some of the questions I get asked may seem ludicrously innocent and naive; on the other hand, some common practices can seem quite bizarre to the new enthusiast. We should remember that we all have to begin somewhere, but, once started, we are limited only by our imagination, tastes and considerations of safety!

If you know where to look, the opportunities to obtain the artifacts you want are legion. And whether you are trying to seduce a partner into her first CP experience or wanting to extend your existing repertoire, Christmas, birthdays and anniversaries provide ideal opportunities fro giving that slightly unusual present or introducing a new activity.

Unfortunately men often make the mistake of thinking if they buy the toys, their partners will automatically want to join in the game. WRONG! Apart from the January sales, the reason stores are jam-packed after Christmas is because droves of women are returning ill thought out and unappreciated tokens of esteem from their men folk.

Handy hint: SLOW DOWN!

Whether your desire is to see her in frothy lace-and-silk lingerie or tight-laced leather bondage gear, if it isn't what she happily buys for herself she will need time to get used to the idea. Just think of all the jumpers and pullovers women have given you that have been completely at odds with your usual tastes. Remember their looks of love and anticipation as you unwrapped the gift they had agonised over for weeks, and how you struggled to make a tactful response.

Then remember how you have usually come to like the item once were given time to appreciate it and become acclimatised to the change of fashion. Now imagine her feelings when you present her with goodies that are not just unusual but which seem to challenge her basic sexuality.

You may be feeling romantic, dominating and randy as she opens her package under the tree - but she might simply feel threatened.

It's your timing - not your taste - which is at fault. If you want her to experiment, you are going to have to prepare the way in advance. If you are thinking of getting traditional sexy undies, go shopping with her and casually show her the kind of things you like in a respectable department store. That's important. Don't make any attempt to buy them. Just take the opportunity to gauge her reaction. If she's totally repelled, don't waste your time going any further, but if she is willing to touch and talk you know Santa Claus can bring them safely down the chimney this year.

For something more esoteric in either the clothing or 'novelty' line send off for some mail-order catalogues to whet her appetite. The back pages of several Sunday newspapers - yeah you know the ones - carry suitable advertisements for first-time buyers. If it makes things easier, tell her you found the brochures on the bus or got them from someone at work.

Talking - even laughing - about the pictures and descriptions is a lot less menacing for many women than suddenly being confronted by a pair of crotchless rubber knickers and a sorority paddle wrapped in Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer wrapping paper. Once you feel she is comfortable with the idea you can send off for the real thing.

In either case it is important to play down the importance of all this to you. Don't put her under pressure. Make it a 'funny' supplement to her proper present of perfume, fluffy slippers or whatever she usually wants. Better still, save it for later and give it to her when the main celebrations are out of the way and you're settling down with cocoa, sandwiches and a television movie. You can create a more appropriate setting another time!

Another handy hint. If you buy clothing, do make sure it is the right size. This may seem obvious but many men are hopeless when it comes to their partner's real measurements. A generous bust can be the result of a narrow back rather than overall girth -understand bra sizing. Slim does not necessarily mean small. Badly fitting underwear of any sort is simply uncomfortable and clothes that men might fondly believe to be sexy and figure-hugging are simply embarrassing to your partner if they are too tight - and downright unflattering if they are too large. So do your research thoroughly.

Christmas and New Year celebrations provide great opportunities for initiating spanking games if you have not managed to introduce them into your lives before. At a time when it is natural to be somewhat merry and people are devoting themselves to fun and frivolity, a few physical forfeits can be slipped into the proceedings almost unnoticed. Like ludo, bridge and golf what starts off as a party game can soon become a pleasurable addiction. For the more adventurous, a trip to a club such as Whiplash or The Torture Garden (both in London) may provide new ideas and introduce you to people with similar tastes. Finding venues outside London can be difficult, but joining the mailing list of one organisation usually leads to publicity for others arriving through your mail box. You will need to adhere to the prescribed dress codes, so don't bother going if one or the other of you has nothing suitable to wear - and the club foyer would probably not be the best place to give a lady her first experience of a latex catsuit!

Experienced couples may find buying good quality products to suit their tastes a problem. The classified ads may help, but if you have specific needs you may want to find a supplier with whom you can build up a personal relationship. It is a common fallacy that if you want to buy erotic/fetishist goods and publications over the counter you need to go to London. While there are a number of well-established easy-to-find shops in the capital (Janus, Libido, Skin Two, Zeitgeist..and so on) there are several outlets in the provinces whose lower profiles may make the experience of shopping, especially for a first timer, much more relaxing. I am not talking here of conventional 'sex shops' , but rather those dedicated to specialised clientele or providing an ostensibly 'straight' service that happens to appeal to the fetishist.

Just recently I came across a shop in the back streets of Brighton that at first glance seemed to stock mainly leather watchstraps and bootlaces. It was only when I went inside and looked around more closely that I realised its major trade was in bondage harnesses. A picture-framer in Winchester offers prints of Victorian spanking scenes; a market stall in Manchester selling accessories for heavy metal fans has provided me with several interesting belts and chokers; a saddler in Newbury left me spoilt for choice when I wanted a new riding crop (and he clearly knew I had no intention of going anywhere near a horse!) In Stockport, goths and hippies buy their patchouli oil and tie-dyed skirts in the same shop that sells a tantalising range of PVC and leather garments.

The back streets of Britain are literally brimming with suppliers keen to satisfy our personal desires.

Should your tastes involve an element of nostalgia, be it for Victorian split-drawers or 1950's dirndl skirts, try bric-a-brac shops and flea markets. The owners are often seemingly oblivious to the fetish-value of much of their stock and will happily dispose of carpet-beaters, wooden rulers, leather satchels and other items for small change.

Yet another handy hint. Men, go window shopping on your own first until you have mapped out locations. Trailing around town in December in pouring rain looking for a kink shop you've heard of but can't find will not put your lady-friend in the right frame of mind for buying kinky collectibles!

For the shyer connoisseur there are quality mail order companies such as AE Services. Their discreet catalogue offers a comprehensive range of implements with pictures and full descriptions. Just bear in mind that if you are planning to buy that special lady something for a special occasion you need to order a catalogue well in advance - particularly if she is new to all this - so that you can read it, talk it through, get her in the right frame of mind and then place your order and have it delivered in time.

A final word of advice. Just remember it's the thought that counts. So think about how much pleasure she will get from having her horizons broadened rather than how totally she will act out your fantasies - and then you never know your luck!
From Hermione's Heart


Anonymous said...

In the past I have offered similar advice, but after years of seeing more and more I no longer do. Instead of suggesting tips on getting a vanilla to try something kinky, I give this advice: "If you know you are kinky, don't get involved with someone who isn't......unless it's not important to you and you can just as easily live without it."

And while it's not impossible to get a previously vanilla person to be more kinky, it does sort of presuppose the person may have had some latent leanings to start with. (It's like finding the possibly hidden leopard in a cat rather than getting the leopard to change its spots.) Still I think my suggestion is a bit more logical and more accurate advice with a much better success rate and it took only one sentence. ;-)

QBuzz said...

Would be interesting to know if the advice about backstreet shops is still good today. My partner and I long to find a shop like the Family Business in Eric Stanton's work - though we'd settle for an open-mimded leather goods retailer :D

Roz said...

Hi Hermione,

Very interesting article and advice. Thank you for sharing :)


ronnie said...

Thanks for sharing. Interesting read. Does it say when it was written?


Hermione said...

KDPierre - That's very good advice.

QBuzz - Idon't know of any, although our nearest shoe store carreis an assortment of leather laces, and an onsite shoemaker has some lovely leather straps hanging in his workshop.

Roz - Quaint but interesting.

Ronnie - I would guess at least 30 years ago, if not more.


Anonymous said...

Excellent point made here. I’ve been blessed to br married to Irene, a very open minded woman, for 36 years. Not that either of us likes everything kinky, but we’re not afraid to try things. Some we do only once, others again and again.

When I was younger I sometimes would get obsessed with an idea or an implement or an article of lingerie to the point that if it didn’t work right I might be frustrated if Irene didn’t respond just right. Today I’ll simple tell her I have something in that box that might be fun. It puts less pressure on both of us.

Perhaps the main point is the importance of communication, which is easiest when not in moments of sexual excitement. When I’m getting turned on as a sexual submissive, for example, it’s not the right time for a rational conversation.