Thursday, October 22, 2009

Animal play is for the birds....

(photo: Central Asian horseman - provenance unknown)


I had an email last week from a male Dominant who wrote that his sub was interested in animal play ... or more specifically bird play. She wanted him to train her as an eagle. He was unable to find anything about this on the internet, so dropped me a line.

I'd never heard of this either. It's an interesting idea. I would certainly find a bird of prey helpful during my sub hunts *grin*. Anyway, I thought I might include my reply here, in case any readers encounter this. I'd also be grateful for any ideas you have, and promise to pass them on to him :)

****

"The only form of animal role play featuring birds that I've heard of is parrot play, but I have no further info or training details. You are going to have to start from scratch here, but there's a lot of fun to be had in that.

"First, if you've not had a serious animal play D/s relationship before I suggest you read up on the classic forms such as pony play (and here ) and puppy play (also kitten play as this is popular amongst female subs) for practical tips on how to run animal play relationships, their basic dynamics etc. You might like to try joining the Human Fauna forum. I wasn't able to access their forum this morning so they might be offline for a bit, but their forum covers all types of animals and it might be a great place to ask for advice.

"Some thoughts:

"Why an eagle?

"The majority of reasons for animal role play are linked to power exchange and physically manifesting animals that are familiar to the player, such as puppies or pony play. In your sub's case though the choice of an eagle suggests a spiritual link, and you'll need to identify the connection to make the role play work. Ask why she has chosen an eagle. Does she identify with a particular species of eagle? Does she relate to it as an animal totem? In case she does I've added some info below about eagles as animal totems in Native American culture. Does she feel the connection goes deeper than that? Does she see eagles as a part of her own psyche?

"If there is some kind of spiritual connection you might like to do further research into tribal cultures where non-sexual animal roleplay was common. Native American culture is the one that most comes to mind, as animal role play was an important part of their rituals. In this case the animal was usually either one that was revered spiritually, or one that was hunted. Eagles would fit the first category. Try and track down photos or info about animal dances - one example that comes to mind is the last Animal Dance ("Massaum") performed by the Northern Cheyenne of Montana, photographed by Julia Tuell in 1911. This often gets translated as a buffalo dance but there were many other animal stories danced into it.

"How to translate all this to role play:

"First, have a read of the Native American culture info about eagle totems below. Apart from the spiritual side, this info provides lots of interesting facts for you to work on, when creating and training your own personal eagle. Note the line "The eagle is incredibly patient. Often seen perched in a tree maintaining the same position for hours at a time, eagle teaches those with this totem how to master the art of patience in every area of their life". I'm sure that gives you some ideas for eagle training, lol.

"Read up on eagle habits and think about ways you can make this work. How do eagles take to being confined? What steps are taken to preserve their comfort in captivity? What is their diet? How do they hunt?

"Here's something else you might like to consider: eagles are one of the birds of prey used in the fine art of falconry, so this is another form of training you might like to adapt to your role play if your sub finds it of interest. Eagles are rarely used due to the difficulty of training and managing an eagle, Wiki notes. Ah ha. So there's a goal for you: training your eagle to hunt with you. Read up on how to train your first bird. This involves interesting practices such as keeping the eyes covered at certain times, keeping the bird in isolation, fitting the training bird with bells and a leash, feeding reward treats from the hand, etc etc. You get the idea, I'm sure.

"Please drop me a line if I can help further. Have fun :)

"With best regards, Ms160

AMERICAN INDIAN INFO ABOUT EAGLES AS A PERSONAL ANIMAL TOTEM

The eagle is a sacred messenger, carrying our prayers to the Creator and returning with gifts and visions for the people. Eagle feathers aid medicine people in calling on this connection when they need to contact spirit for healing.

Eagles are majestic birds with a powerful presence. Although they can be social birds they do require isolation from human encroachment to breed in the wild. If a human strays to close or touches their nest, they are likely to abandon it. Both male and female incubate the eggs and share in the duties of raising its young.

The eagle is incredibly patient. Often seen perched in a tree maintaining the same position for hours at a time, eagle teaches those with this totem how to master the art of patience in every area of their life. Within the energy of patience "all things are possible."

Eagles are good at feeding themselves from the land and still soar to great heights in the sky. They teach us how to move through life without becoming attached to anything. They show us how to accept what comes our way and see everything as a gift from great spirit. They have excellent hearing and can hunt as much by ear as by sight. To those to whom eagle comes, the ability to hear spiritually and psychically will awaken

Eagles have sharp beaks and strong jaws. They remind us to pay attention to our speech and how it affects others. Our words as well as the tone of our voice should be examined. Eagle asks us to maintain a prayerful connection with Spirit, to keep our minds focused on what is important in life. Maintaining this attitude removes judgment from our consciousness. Without judgment we speak with encouragement and kindness towards others. Lessons associated with judgment are part of this medicine.

Eagles have excellent vision. Perched high in a tree they appear to analyze and observe everything. If Eagle has blessed you with its presence in some way, you are being given potent gifts of clarity and vision to use for the good of all people helping to bring forth the light out of the darkness. Eagle also serves as a reminder to those with this totem to communicate with Great Spirit daily so the gifts Eagle offers you can be utilized fully.

(photo: Central Asian horseman - provenance unknown)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Melbourne's OzKinkFest



Time to head to Melbourne, for OzKinkFest, if you are an Australian kinkster!

There are an enormous number of events planned over the next ten days, including Hellfire Resurrection IV (at which are performing: Lukas Zpira and Satomi, and The Hanged Man Team, amongst many others), Klub Kunst, Provocation and Fetish Expo, which is at Fitzroy Town Hall:
"The EXPO is a great place to come and find out about alternative lifestyles, to meet and socialise with those with similar interests. We welcome all lifestyles including straight, bi, gay, lesbian, poly, TVs, TSs, Masters, Mistresses, slaves, ponies, maids, pets, ABs and even those that are just mildly kinky or just plain curious.

Our event is open to anyone with an open mind and tolerance of others peoples' lifestyles. Come along to find out about the latest fashions, clubs and events in and around Australia."

You can read about the free to attend KinkFest's workshops and skillshares here. The website states:

"The Melbourne Leather Alliance and OzKinkFest have gathered some of the most experienced and knowledgeable folks from our community who will generously share their experience with us - and two great International presenters who are offering workshops whilst they are here.

"KinkFest 09 sees an unusual and interesting array of skillshares being presented as part of our program. OzKinkFest is proud to be offering this set of skillshares FREE of charge to the community. This is due to the generosity of our presenters, and the venues who are supporting the festival - Blue Velvet Bar, Eagle Leather and Palookaville.

"All of these skillshares and workshops are being presented under the banner of Safe, Sane and Consensual - SSC. We encourage everyone to get educated in their specific areas of kink in order to enjoy them to their fullest - safely.

"The {also} Foundation are supporting our desire to encourage sexual safety and have made a significant commitment towards enhancing sexual health in the community. Their "Take Care Out There" initiative will be a visible and welcomed sponsor of all sexual skillshares. Safe Sex packs and resources will be available to all participants in the skillshares, and are generously provided by also."

Steel and totty from Adelaide are presenting a workshop on Electrical Play on Tuesday 20 Oct.
"Target audience is for people curious about electrical play and interested in learning and experimenting with various devices. Topics covered will include :
* Electrical Safety - how not to fry your partner!
* Types of Electrical Play - 240volt is NOT ok!
* Different devices available
* TENS units - techniques, insertables,do's and don't.
* Violet Wands - myths busted, techniques, attachments.
* Practical sessions.
With numbers limited to 20 participants, there will be plenty of equipment on hand for all to participate and experiment to their heart's content...if you have your own equipment and wish to bring it along and expand your knowledge base, please feel free!"
At the same time Cyppie is holding an Impact Play 101, which also sounds great fun:
"This skillshare is targeted at new Tops/Dominants/Switches who wish to learn more about "How To" administer impact play safely. Skills that will be covered include: Flogging, Caning & Spanking The "how" and "where" of these fun activities and how "Not" to break our toys :)

"This skillshare will be facilitated by our very own Cyppie who has much experience, and a lot of information to share. Some practical activities will be included, so please bring along any impact toys that you would like to learn how to use safely and effectively"
There is a Catheterisation and Urethral Sounds workshop on Thursday 22, don't know who's presenting but I'm definitely attending:
"This is a workshop designed to teach the safe way to perform female catheterisation and how to play safely with urethral sounds on men. We will discuss safety aspects of catheterisation, the different types of catheters that can be used and for what purposes. Why insert a catheter? Now it is in - what can I do with it? There will be a demonstration on female catheterisation. Supplies will be available for purchase"
I'm presenting a strap on sex workshop on Monday night 19 Oct,
"Whether for gender play, prosthetic purposes or expressing kinky desires, a strap-on adds serious fun to sexual and D/s relationships. In this two hour "hands on" workshop for strap-on beginners Mistress160 answers all your questions, including:
• What exactly is a strap-on?
• How do I select one?
• What types of harness / dildos are there?
• What about strap-ons for larger women?
• What about strap-ons for men?
• Novelty styles of strap-on
• Eco friendly styles of strap-on
• And most importantly, how do I actually use the damn thing?
All genders/orientations welcome. Comments from Mistress 160's previous Strap-On play skillshares were "awesome and comprehensive" and "often hysterically funny... I learned as I laughed"
and on Cyber Kink on Wednesday 21 Oct:
Finding your way around kinky cyber space can be a bit hit or miss. It's rare to find someone willing to show you around and actually teach you how to play. But today you are in luck! In this two hour workshop Mistress160 will help you explore the realms of cyber kink and equip you with the skills and confidence to become an active player in forums and chatrooms. We'll discuss:
* where to find online kinky / fetish communities
* practical tips for creating online profiles
* practical hints for finding a partner online (and avoiding online predators)
* coping with online play partner disappearances
* chatroom etiquette
* how to organize a short D/s cam play scene
* cyber aftercare
* places where you can go online for further information
Bummer about presenting Cyber Kink then because otherwise I'd be at another event at Eagle Leather- "a special evening for Women with/without their partners (female or male) co-ordinated and lead by Mistress Mallice and friends"!

I am also the speaker at a Femdom only afternoon tea event on Sunday 25 Oct:
"Adrenachrome and The Sisterhood are proud to present our guest speaker Mistress 160, who will present a talk on how to run a FemDomme high teas and D/s dinner parties, followed by our very own afternoon tea for the ladies. What a lovely way to end Kinkfest 09! Please note this is a Sisterhood event for dominant and switch women only."
There are also workshops - although not free - by Lukas Zpira and Satomi. Satomi will be conducting three levels of Shibari Workshops and Lukas Spira will be presenting his Scarification and Branding Workshop. You can sign up here. I've attended Lukas' workshop and it was extremely interesting and informative. Satomi of course needs no introduction, everyone into rope agrees she's an amazing teacher ... and her self suspension performances are a joy to watch.

Look forward to seeing you there :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Lee Harrington - Sydney and Melbourne workshops



You might remember I told you about Lee Harrington's great audio programs a few months back. As I wrote then, Lee can be found online at his Passionand Soul website, who's exquisite logo you can see above:
"Welcome to the world of Lee Harrington: eclectic artist, spiritual and erotic educator, gender adventurer and published author on human sexuality and spiritual experience. Part of the international sex positive communities since 1995, his stories make people laugh while showing you that eroticism can be as serious, sexy, or silly as you make it, while challenging each of us to pursue our own erotic and spiritual authenticity. Lee's writings and photography (also under a previous pen/porn name, Bridgett Harrington) have appeared in numerous publications, and his image has been seen everywhere from PlayBoyTV to SkinTwo".
You'll find lots of interesting material on Lee's site.

The great news is Lee is coming to Australia and holding workshops in Melbourne in November and Sydney in December. If you'll forgive a xpost from _T_ on Fetlife:

On Behalf of Melbourne Leather, Dangerous-Curves and T_S we welcome the return of Lee Harrington to Australia: eclectic artist, spiritual and erotic educator, gender adventurer and published author on human sexuality and spiritual experience. Part of the international sex positive communities since 1995, his stories make people laugh while showing you that eroticism can be as serious, sexy, or silly as you make it, while challenging each of us to pursue our own erotic and spiritual authenticity.

Lee will tell us his story at an elegant opening of his down under tour at the beautiful Blue Door Gallery at Gasworks Arts Park 21 Graham Street Albert Park Victoria Australia

Opening Night Tickets $30.00. All other workshops are $55.00.

Limited numbers to all workshops in Melbourne and Sydney.

Please go check out the wonderful workshops on Fet Events,

Book early to avoid disappointment as tickets are limited

Beverages and Finger Food provided. Melbourne Tickets obtained from: http://www.gasworks.org.au/ or Phone +61(0) 3 96993253

“Lee Tells His Story” $30.00 Food and Alcohol Supplied. Blue Door Gallery at the Gasworks Arts Park. 21 Graham Street Albert Park Melbourne Victoria * All workshops $55.00 per head

Melbourne - November Venue: Gasworks Arts Park: Garden Studio. 21 Graham Street Albert Park Melbourne Victoria Australia

Rope sex Saturday 28th 2pm to 4pm

Kama Sutra Bondage Saturday 28th 5pm to 7pm

Take my Breath away Sunday 29th 2pm to 4pm

Open Hearts, Open Minds Exploring Alternative Relationships Sunday 29th 5pm to 7pm

Melbourne - December

What’s leather got to do with it? Friday 11th 7pm to 9pm

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional Saturday 12th 2pm to 4pm

Playing between the ears Saturday 12th 5pm to 7pm

Sacred Kink Sunday 13th 2pm to 4pm

Beyond Bowed heads Sunday 13th 5pm to 7pm

Sydney - December Venue: Birthing Rites: 10 Denison Street. Bondi Junction. Sydney NSW Australia

Kama Sutra Bondage Friday 4th 7pm to 9pm

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional Saturday 5th 12pm to 2pm

Take my Breath away Saturday 5th 3pm to 5pm

Sacred Kink Sunday 6th 12pm to 2pm

Open Hearts Sunday 6th 3pm to 5pm

For more understanding on the workshops please visit Lee’s website www.passionandsoul.com

Melbourne Tickets are purchased from: www.gasworks.org.au Or Phone: +61 (0) 3 9699 3253

Sydney Tickets purchased from: +61 (0) 419 531 988 loz@ozonline.com.au Private sessions: Please call +61 (0) 419 531 988 for appointments

Proudly sponsored by Transformed Self & Dangerous Curves Productions and Melbourne Leather.

Proceeds to go to Transformed Self Scholarship Fund.

(logo: Lee's website)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Part 23: Saline Infusion / Inflation Play

bratty's saline infused balls

This post is part of the
Edgeplay Series and
Body Modification Series

Please don't read it if you are not
interested in learning about:
saline infusions , scrotal infusions,
and medical play


"Ms160 whenever we go to play parties
these days we see medical injection / infusion scenes ...
they are pretty intense for newbies to watch.
Can you tell us about them?"
Anon.

"infusion is wonderful"
Anita-
(private correspondence to Ms160)



The regular reader of this blog who wrote the top quote in red above is quite right. Infusion scenes have become increasingly popular amongst the kinky community.

Scenes often occur at parties - in fact at a recent party I assisted at two scrotal infusion scenes. "Body modification - saline injection" now features on many BDSM checklists. You'll find infusion techniques turning up in books (there were labia and scrotal infusion scenes in Warren Ellis' book "Crooked Little Vein" ... "probably the scene I receive most email about", writes Ellis) and educational workshops (like Marc Paquet-Decker's "Scrotal Infusions (saline)"). I've also noticed several professional Dominants adding "saline infusions / injections" to their play specialty lists - Sydney based Miss Fleur de Lys recently blogged about an evening with a Doctor friend where the topic was 'How to Win Friends and Influence People Using Saline Injections': "very handy for those with a medical fetish and/or lovers of CBT and pussy play. I am very excited to have learned this new skill, it's been on my list of things to do forever!"

So saline infusions are definitely becoming more common. However, the regular reader I quote above is also right in saying that watching such scenes can be intense and confronting for new kinksters. That's understandable. This type of play is definitely edgeplay and definitely for advanced players. But it might make you feel better to read the quote below, from Donna's Life, the Universe and Donna blog, where an experienced kinkster comes face to face with her first labia saline injection scene:

"I am also rather amused to find that there’s still some things in kink that make me go “oh my god, ew! are you kidding me? people do that for FUN?” I was under the impression that even if I haven’t tried “everything” I had at least been exposed to just about everything. Nope! This one was new: Labia saline injections. The concept seems safe enough (the body will just absorb the saline pretty quickly, but leaves things … er, rather painful for a while afterward) but holy shit, NO FREAKING WAY is anything like that going near my hoohaw.

"Your kink ain’t my kink but your kink’s okay… over there. I lie, actually — I was totally fascinated to the point of wanting to apologize to the poor girl getting salined up for staring at her hoohaw for a good ten minutes straight, but seriously! THINGS ARE BEING INJECTED IN THERE, how could I NOT stare? Crazy. I am so not doing that. Hell, I won’t even get pierced down there…"

So you see, it's not just newbies who react a bit when they encounter these scenes *grin*.

You will find a lot of discussion online about how dangerous saline infusions can be and how no-one should do it. And you should read some of those discussions. But if as a newbie, the topic interests you - and let's be honest, it DOES interest a lot of men in particular - you'll find this post and it's References / Online Resources list, helpful.


WHAT IS INFUSION PLAY?

This type of medical play - which is also sometimes called inflation play - is a temporary form of body modification where usually saline (a sterile mixture of pure salt and water - not to be confused with contact lens saline) is injected into the scrotum, labia or breasts. Sometimes other compounds are used for scrotal infusions, we will talk about that later.

The result is increased sensation and swelling. In the case of scrotal infusions we are talking serious swellings: "How big? Think softball, grapefruit, and, in one scene I saw, cantaloupe". Because saline is compatible with the body, the swelling decreases over several hours or days as the saline is absorbed by the tissues.

If this interests you, you might also like to google the following related terms: Saline Injection; Saline Injection Temporary Breast Enlargement; Saline Labial Injections; Scrotal Infusion; Catheter Play

WHY DO IT?

"People who want to combine "saline" and "scrotum"
by means of an "injection" should feel free to replace
"saline"
with "sulfuric acid"... such persons should
probably not
reproduce, nor be allowed within
1000 feet of a school or playground"

Ellison on a bondage.com thread

As Fleur de Lys observed, it's popular amongst kinksters with a "medical fetish and/or lovers of CBT and pussy play" as well as kinksters interested in inflation, and also ball stretching and pumping.

The "why do it?" question is often asked on forums where this type of play is discussed as too dangerous or just ridiculed. Not so much the saline breast injection or the medical play discussion threads, these often feature excellent responses. It's primarily the people who ask questions about scrotal infusions who come under attack.

I remember one poor bastard on bondage.com was ridiculed for five entire pages before the moderator shut the thread, just for asking in a newbie arrogant manner for information so he could attempt a scrotal infusion safely. Negative responses like "normal sized balls are good enough too. just a thought" are common on these threads. Worse, in one case on this particular thread one poster suggested the OP "try replacing the saline with air, and your balls with a major artery or vein. Its really kinky". That one comment was his entire post. It would probably have killed the OP if he had taken this advice.

Smart flippant remarks are all very well but on an open forum where a newbie with little experience asks for help, this kind of hostile, sarcastic and potentially lethal response is beyond appalling. So why are there so many threads like this?

In part because I think this kink is more misunderstood than most. Take the "your balls are fine the size they are" type response. Here's another from that same thread, where one poster did some "research" on scrotal infusion sites and found, in response to the "why do it" question that "the patient person felt as though his scrotum was too small somehow. I suppose it's the same type of mentality that makes some women get outrageously large breast implants". Note that: "patient person", rather than accepting that those interested in scrotal infusions are kinksters too.

Sure in some cases it might be the same mentality. But body modification fetishes focused on enlarging or stretching the scrotum (both permanently and temporarily) have been around a very long time, and are widely accepted. Genesis P. Orridge talked about someone who stretched his scrotum to his knees in Modern Primitives. Certainly someone interested in ball stretching / pumping would find scrotal infusions a turn on.

But there are other reasons for doing infusion play. The main one is because it's an intense form of sensation play. Let me paraphrase Anita- from Fetlife here, because I think she puts it best.

From the top's point of view there is a tremendous feeling of power and control, of temporarily changing the shape of your play partner. I can verify this feeling, in the scenes I did with bratty and cowboy - I really enjoyed the psychological aspects of playing a role in altering my friends' bodies, creating a situation that placed them in a constant state of genital awareness. You can also have amazing fun playing with the soft, heavy, enlarged body parts, which are incredibly sensitive.

From the bottom's point of view, Anita- makes these points:
  • Saline infusion involves extreme submission - to trust and give your body to the Top for modification (on the other hand saline infusion is a temporary body modification, you don’t have to commit long term changes)
  • Saline infusion has a tremendous humiliation factor
  • Saline infusion is highly erotic
  • Saline infusion provides intense sensations—big heavy balls pulling downward, big bouncy breasts, tight skin makes everything more sensitive, fun to play with!
  • Saline infusion is a form of self bondage, being held hostage by your own body
With scrotal infusion there is also the psychological aspect of some men who enjoy the weight and pressure on their balls (as this puppy play kinkster noted "It seems odd but when you're on all four paws, having a big heavy set of puppy balls swinging against your legs, it really puts you into the puppy mindset"), while others get off on the look of having really big balls.


HOW DO YOU DO IT?

"please, please, please learn it from a medical professional.
This is one of the things where making things as close
to
sterile as possible makes a huge difference"
From a tribe medplay thread

"Some people would do anything to win a Darwin Award"
Fukurerubber,
Body Inflation Forum

You do it very fucking carefully.

As I've already mentioned, you will find a million posts online telling you its dangerous and to leave scrotal infusion in particular, well alone. And you will also find horror stories of where things went wrong. However a great many of the horror stories are written by men - or by doctors ( see A Complication of an Unusual Sexual Practice by Jeffrey A. Summers, MD 2003) - who tried to inflate their own scrotum. Like this idiot Michael:
"I was very stupid and very lucky years ago when I had a very strong desire to inflate my scrotum. I cut a slit in my scrotum skin and used a bike pump needle used for airing up baskets balls,etc and rubber tubbing and ran distilled water into it and into my scrotum. Ouch… It ran in too fast and caused such pain I was sweating awhole lot. my scrotum swelled some from the water. I paniced some and squeezed my sac trying to squeeze the water out of the cut slit. All I know after placing a bandaid over the slit I went to sleep. Never tried it again. Learned my lesson. Was very lucky I did not do any damage to my reproductive system and did not get any infections"
What did he learn from this experience:
"Never try anything that you do not know much about. Study and ask lots of questions from experienced people that have done what your interested in trying".
Wise wise words, those. You might like to read them again!

The trick to this particular play is to have the infusion done by either a medical professional, or be trained yourself by a medical professional, like Fleur de Lys:
"[The Doctor] went through all the safety aspects while I listened attentively and took notes and asked questions. Then it was time to try it. She supervised as I injected 5ml of saline into each of my labia. The results really were instant and interesting, and my body absorbed the saline after an hour or so. I'm a big believer in testing out new things on myself first so I know how it feels and how to apply it"
Your last option is to be trained by someone who has been trained in this specific technique, but I'd prefer to get my training direct from the medical professional. Dr Dick of Dr Dick's Sex Advice column backs this up in his own description of doing a scrotal infusion, where mid way he comments:
"The infusion bag needs to be hung approximately three and a half feet, or one meter, higher than his nuts. You’ll need to know how to set up the infusion apparatus and bleed the infusion tube of air. If you don’t know how to do this, then you are in over your head. Don’t attempt this on your own."
I can certainly confirm that with someone experienced or with medical background in charge, infusion scenes become fascinating to watch as well as take part in. I love asking kinksters who do infusions their tips and secrets. Emma writes:

"injecting in four quadrants of the breast and through the nipple can be quite stimulating and with care more than 500ml can be injected into each breast ... it's almost impossible to fully 'rope a male breast as there simply isn't enough tissue there but above and below then cinching the two ropes in will help especially immediately after pumping. the fluid will be retained a little longer if the ropes are done effectively"

Here are some of Anita's tips:

"infusion for scrotal sac and breasts--slow and easy, a nice slow expansion that doesn't hurt the person too much.

"injection for labia--fast and painful, but necessary because the labia is very porous and the saline will reabsorb too quickly with an infusion. I hate doing labial injections however because I hate hurting women. But I will if they insist.

"don't do injections for breasts and sacs, you wind up with many holes and injection sites, lumpy bumpy odd shaped body parts, ick--infusion is wonderful (smiles)"


WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE?


Here is one man's saline scrotal infusion story:
"I've had this done twice so far. Once with 500cc and the second time with a full litre. From my point of view it was partly curiosity to 'see what it felt like' and partly the submissive side of me wanting to give someone control to perform a possibly uncomfortable and certainly potentially dangerous procedure on a particularly sensitive part of my anatomy.

"What was it like? Very interesting and a little nerve racking once I was in position and waiting for the needle. As usual the sensation was less uncomfortable than I had anticipated and the infusion itself was almost totally free of sensation, apart from the tightening sensation as my scrotum started to swell.

"It was amazing to have all that weight swinging between my legs for a day or so. The first infusion took about 36 hours to be completely reabsorbed and the larger infusion was gone in two days.

"Would I have it done again? You bet I will"

Re breast / labia infusions, Kinkybitch1922 writes:

"For what it's worth, I've been injecting/having my breasts/labia injected with large amounts of saline for several years now with no ill affects. The most I've ever had in one boob was 720ml, more felt a bit "too much" pressure and weight wise"

fembottom49 writes:

"I was a demo bottom for a saline injection workshop recently. The injections were in the inner labia and clit hood. They were very stingy going in, I mean REALLY stingy but felt great afterwards. Increased sensitivity to any light touch. The demonstrator did one injection in the clit hood and two each in the labia. She specifically did not recommend breast injection because she said that they tend to make the breasts lose their shape and firmness. Some may disagree and I don't really know from personal experience.

"She also did a scrotum injection which was done with an IV line, and one of the bottoms got huge....like large grapefruit size. He seemed pretty pleased with how it felt..."

WHAT ABOUT USING
NON SALINE INFUSERS?



A quick glance at bzine's pages on this subject show a variety of non saline materials used for scrotal infusion, from air to KY jelly. Probably the most successful non saline substance is argon gas. One practitioner, BME founder Shannon, notes:
"normally in gaseous inflations CO2 or O2 is used, or sometimes just air, but that feels terrible when your body absorbs it for most people). Inflations like this are fascinating to watch (or do) because they’re just so fast in comparison to saline inflation — start to finish times are measured in seconds and minutes rather than hours."
You can see one of his photos of argon gas inflation above. You'll find some Nitrous Oxide inflation photos here, and you can read about a first Nitrous Oxide scrotal inflation here.


CAN I TRY INFUSION BY MYSELF?


Some men do. In fact you can even buy online kits for self scrotal inflation. And find advise online on how to proceed. But guess what, I'm not going to go there. There are plenty of kinksters with experience willing to help you, if you desire to proceed.


EXAMPLES OF THE TYPE OF INFUSION
SCENE YOU MIGHT SEE AT PLAY PARTIES


I'm now going to write about a couple of scrotal infusion scenes where I assisted, to give you an idea of what the scenes are like, and how the procedures occur. This way, when you see infusion scenes at parties you'll know what's happening and they won't appear so confronting.

The first scene will also give you an idea of the kind of scene you'd experience yourself, if you want to try a scrotal infusion.


INFUSION SCENE
WHERE MS160 ASSISTED:
RASTAS AND BRATTY

This scene was to celebrate Kittens-bratty-one's 50th birthday (it was a terrific party ... you can read more here). His owner MistressKitten had organized his first scrotal infusion as a gift. However in other cases where the sub is less well known to the dominant, Anita- suggests a few things to keep in mind prior to play:

  • Know your “victim”: How does his/her anatomy measure up?
  • Any Health issues —blood pressure, edema, diabetes, back problems, allergies to iodine or latex?
  • Any emotional issues —fear of needles, ready to be in saline bondage for over 24 hours, what is he/she looking for?
Rastas was the First Aid Officer the night of Bratty's birthday party, and performed Bratty's infusion. I was Dungeon Monitor for the night, and assisted in a minor capacity. As it was my first scrotal infusion Rastas kindly talked me through the procedure.

We placed Bratty on a medical gurney in a leather straight jacket. This left his legs and genitals bare. Alcohol wipes, latex gloves, bandaids, medical tape and a sharps container were placed between his legs.

While we snapped on latex gloves, Rastas explained how the saline solution had required heating to around body temperature. Saline solution being a gravity fed system, he hung the bag / drip tubing etc on an IV stand:


Some saline had already been squeezed into the vial - it is vital no air or air bubbles remain in the drip tubing. A small area of bratty's ballsac was wiped with an alcohol swip. Then Rastas inserted the catheter needle into the scrotal cavity:


The danger here is hitting a testicle. As one kinky instruction manual puts it "Unusual sensation if you hit the testicle itself….sort of OUCH…..ride the wave and enjoy extreme needle play".

The needle was then removed, leaving the teflon sheath in Bratty's sac. I handed Rastas the medical tape and he taped the tubing down so that it didn’t pull out or kink up. He connected the drip tubing from the saline bag to the catheter sheath, then adjusted the clamping device, allowing an even drip to begin to flow in the vial. Bratty felt tingling as the saline began to enter his scrotum.

As it was Bratty's first time Rastas only infused 500ml. Here is MistressKitten measuring the impressive result:


A litre next time, Rastas told Bratty!

It took about 20 minutes for the liquid to slowly drip it's way into Bratty. During the wait Rastas told me he prefers infusions to injections because the latter can end up with a lumpy effect. We also discussed the largest scrotal and breast infusions we'd seen.

When the 500ml was in, Rastas disconnected the saline bag and withdrew the catheter sheath, disposing of it in the sharps container. There was only a tiny spot of blood:


Bratty was pretty amazed with the result. Here Mistress Kitten wishes him Happy Birthday:


Here he is taking his first walk:


And finally here is my favorite photo of the scene, which I took when Rastas held a torch to Bratty's balls:


Everything went perfectly with Bratty's first saline scrotal infusion, and if this is something you want to try you could not have had a better experience. However Anita- provides a list of things that might go wrong, and what to do:

What can go wrong:

  • Hitting the testes with the needle--no excuse for this since you insert between the testes.
  • Victim gets faint or lightheaded
  • scrotal cellulitis-- If you make sure that you use aseptic technique, keep the needle/saline sterile, then this should not happen. But if it does, then it is easily treated with antibiotics.
  • Bruising, sweating--this may happen based upon the fragility of the skin of the person.
  • Leaking--use liquid bandage (or a dot of superglue) to seal the hole
  • catheter kinks up--this can happen if you are not careful to keep the person still
  • catheter breaks off--very, very unlikely

What to do make it feel better:

make sure the saline is VERY warm, almost hot; put a hot cloth on the infusion area and replace it when it gets cool; distract the victim to pass the time pleasantly.

Thank you to Rastas, Mistress Kitten and Bratty for allowing me to assist and write about the scene :) (sorry it's taken so long to publish the damn article, I asked permission way back at Bratty's party LOL)

The next infusion scene I assisted with was a scrotal infusion by injection:

SALINE INJECTION SCENE
WHERE MS160 ASSISTED:

DEVILWOMAN, ED AND COWBOY



This scene occurred at the same party. The players were ED, an experienced Dom I am just getting to know, and Devilwoman and Cowboy, my favorite extreme play partners :). It's always an honour to play with these guys. You can read about other scenes I have done with Devilwoman and Cowboy, and about this scene in detail, on my Edgeplay blog (if you want access to this blog, drop me a line below or via Fetlife).

Unlike Bratty, who was a scrotum infusion virgin, Cowboy had experienced lots of infusion play. Therefore the scrotum saline injections were not the focus of the entire scene, but only a component of it. Devilwoman told me she had negotiated a scene that included scrotal injections followed by knife, sparkler and branding play. It was certainly going to be a lot of fun.

Devilwoman had Cowboy anesthetize the center of the cock just prior to play commencing. We then stripped Cowboy off and placed him on the same gurney Bratty had used earlier.


Alcohol wipes, latex gloves, bandaids, medical tape and the sharps container were again placed on the gurney. This time however, the bag of saline was also placed there, rather than on the IV, with each syringe filled from the bag.

We tied up Cowboy's balls tightly with my favorite CBT cord, to stop the saline from escaping the scrotum. Then ED and Devilwoman began to inject 500mls of saline:


Cowboy's brightly colored and heavily decorated balls looked fantastic as the saline enlarged his scrotum:


Here is the end result:


At this point we removed my bondage cord and let his scrotum settle and spread a moment, before introducing a series of extremely sharp objects into Cowboy's dragon:


We then moved on to sparkler play:


The scene then became serious edgeplay, so I won't continue here. But in terms of infusions it was interesting to see injections into the scrotum as opposed to the saline drip. Thank you again to ED, Devilwoman and Cowboy for letting me share this scene with you.

CONCLUSION

Enough from me for today. I hope reading this post makes watching your next saline scene at a party more comfortable, and has helped fill in some facts if this is a technique you want to try.

If you want more info it's time to check out some of the online resources listed below. There are quite a few videos you can watch on YouTube, and lots of forums where you can discuss the topic. Have fun ... and good luck in your explorations!


REFERENCES AND ONLINE RESOURCES:


anita- Saline Infusion Instructions part 1, part 2, part 3
Dr Dick Scrotal Infusion
Dino Report of my First Scrotal Infusion
Warren Ellis "Crooked Little Vein"

Pumphouse How to do a scrotal infusion
Jeffrey A. Summers, MD A Complication of an Unusual Sexual Practice 2003

FORUMS:
Forum Saline FAQ
BodyMod.org Forum
BodyInflation.org Forum
IC forum thread on scrotal infusion
and here
IC form thread on saline injections
Bondage.com thread on breast saline injections
and here
Topix - saline infusion
Fetlife group on Saline Injections
Fetlife group on Medical Play
Yahoo group for Medical Fetishists

PHOTOS:
BME photos of non saline infusions
BME photos of labia infusions

VIDEOS:
There are lots of saline injection / infusion videos on YouTube.
There are quite a few videos on saline breast injections on ThePainFiles
There a few videos of genital gas inflations on BMEvideo.

RELATED TERMS:
Saline Injection

Thank you:
MistressKitten , Kittens-bratty-one
Rastas
ED, Devilwoman and Cowboy
Life, the Universe and Donna

Anita-
Miss Fleur de Lys

Dr Dick
Shannon
Michael
fembottom49
Kinkybitch1922
Emma
Dino

Photos:

bratty and Cowboy scenes - Ms160
argon gas - Shannon • Jul 11th, 2006
breast injection - unknown provenance

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Ms160 watches a blood cupping scene....


This post is part of the
Edgeplay Series.


Please don't read it if you are not

interested in learning about:
blood play , blood cupping
and cutting.



Last weekend we attended two events at Mistress_Angelicca and paddy's home in Brisbane: a Femdom tea party and a play party.

I was Dungeon Monitor at the latter, along with our hosts. You can read about what DMs do on this post in the Going Real Time series. Briefly, they keep an eye on play and make sure all is well. You can tell when I'm in DM mode because I wear the tiny red and black torch you can see below on my right wrist:


Having extra light fast is extremely helpful if something goes wrong during a scene, and you need to undo or cut something fast. I can either just point the torch from my wrist, or quickly put it around my head - its actually a caving torch and is supposed to be worn on the forehead.

The nice thing about being a DM is that it gives you the authority to perv. You get to watch everything closely. There were two scenes I remember from that night. One was done with licorice by a couple I knew from Midori's visit. Licorice. Yep, you read that correctly *grin* ... I'll do some research on that particular form of impact play and get back to you!

However the most interesting scene that night was a blood cupping scene. This is an example of edgeplay. Regular readers will be aware that I like to write about edgeplay scenes now and then on this BDSM For Beginners blog so that you become familar with more advanced types of play that you might encounter at play parties. The References + Online Resources section at the bottom of the post also provides an opportunity for you to read more about these topics, if they are of interest.

This particular scene was between tntnikki and her sub, of whom she writes so expressively on Fetlife:
"We own a "squishie", who IS submissive, and he fits nicely into the mix- having a live in who is service oriented in nature is certainly a much welcomed plus- but aside from that, his brain, both smart and funny is a welcome addition to our Tribe"
Squishie had just served with grace and distinction at our tea party. I look forward to sharing many more tea party experiences with them.

You will probably have heard of cupping, but possibly not of blood cupping or wet cupping. Cupping of course is derived from a traditional form of therapeutic treatment that's very common not only in Asia, but all around the planet. Originally bamboo cups, and then metal and glass cups were developed, with fire being used to create a vacuum in the cups once the latter were firmly positioned on the skin.

Fire cupping makes a striking BDSM scene, I've done it once. In Nik's scene a hand-held pump was used to extract the air from valve-fitted cups and create the vacuum. This pulls the skin upwards. Either way the end result is a very erotic form of sensation play.

And that's the important thing to remember if you see a cupping scene like this at a play party. It's not being done as a traditional treatment. The traditional technique is simply providing a source of inspiration for innovative sensation play. However, because kinksters - especially the true sadists amongst us - can be very innovative in their desire to create new ways to inflict sensation, sometimes they devise something new ... that turns out to be something very old. LOL. And that's what was going on during this particular scene...

In the case of cupping bruises occur under the cups, where the skin is raised into the cup via the suction stimulating an acupressure effect. The skin often becomes very dark once the cups are removed. It looks painful but done properly, is not. What cupping doesn't usually do is bleed, lol. Let me tell you what I saw.

I arrived at the point in the scene where all the cups were in place, and Nik was doing nasty things to Squishie's back, alternating gentle fingertips with sharp objects and a violet wand on his incredibly sensitive skin:


I was stunned by the amount of blood in the cups, and found myself sharing a quick glance to the party's first aid officer, who like me, had only just arrived:


From her expression we were in agreement: what was all that blood doing there?! It was only later in the scene when Nik removed the cups that we realized she had made an incision into the skin under each cup. Brilliant.

This technique - of making the incision under the cup - was intriguing for me to see. It reminded me of the blood cupping I'd seen in the Middle East. It's called hijamah in Arabic, which translates as "sucking". It's a form of traditional therapeutic blood letting that is even referred to in the Qu'ran. It's usually performed on the head - the back is not especially recommended, as one should not lie down during the treatment. The cup is left to cling to the skin for a few minutes, then it is lifted off and several tiny incisions are made in the skin. The cup is then put back as it was before until it is filled with blood.

Now Nik was not filling the cups with blood, not by any means. But the technique certainly made a very effective and erotic kinky blood play scene. I continued to watch as Squishie's body responded delightfully to Nik's various tortures:


Sparks flew as the violet wand again came into play...

When it was time to remove the cups, Nik donned latex gloves and several of us stepped forward to help with holding up the plastic sheet draped over the massage table. As the suction in the cups vanished, the taut skin began to relax and the blood dribbled and ran...


Nik swirled her hands through the blood to stop it dripping too much down the sides.


It looks very dramatic but it's really not painful. Soon Squishie was sitting up, and then was accompanied down to the shower by Nik's husband and the first aid officer. The sheet was quickly folded up and removed. Nik then disinfected the massage table top as well. It's always important to take these kind of precautions after blood play, as you will see if you read some of the articles on blood play, cutting, cupping etc I've listed in the References + Online Resources section at the bottom of the post.

Later I wrote to Nik asking about her technique, whether she had heard of wet cutting or hijamah. She replied that she was aware of bloodletting and blood cupping in Asian cultures, but not of the Middle East link:

"I've used my cupping set often - and had it used on me often and it is a wonderfully relaxing thing! I've done cuttings often too, but that was the first time I have combined the two. It was only Squishie's second time being cut.

"And I used just a scratch, not an actual deep cut. I scratched small X marks- not deep enough to draw blood on their own- because it was interesting to watch the X's burst open on the first suck in!

"I plan for more decorative things in the near future- the circular bruises will lend themselves to interesting designs when combined with cuts- I'm thinking a pentacle and an eye design soon, which will incorporate the larger circle"

I never cease to be dazzled by the creativity of kinksters, in their search for new games to play and new techniques to inflict. Inspiration is quite literally, all around us. I find myself wondering if Nik will ever be tempted to push her experiments further and completely fill those cups. With any luck I might be DMing again :).


REFERENCES + ONLINE RESOURCES:
H. A. Hâyar Albinali, Traditional Medicine Among Gulf Arabs Part II - Blood Letting,
Heart Views
, Volume 5, No.2, June-August 2004
Titanium Angel Blood play
Subhuti Dharmananda CUPPING
Fire play
Leather Barbie Cupping and fire play
Noir Silence Blood play
Rose Veraga Playing with blood
Healthy Muslim Hijama


Have any questions you'd like to raise? Try:

Thank you:

to our weekend / party hosts
Mistress_Angelicca and paddy
and
to
tntnikki
and squishie
for sharing photos and their scene

Photos:
Ms160
Scootah
reproduced with permission


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Snuggle party?? It may be just what you need...

CBS 25 Oct 2005


So there I was having a quiet brunch with my friend MisLis (aka Cupcake Goddess as she is known in this household) and she says she's about to attend a snuggle party. "A what???!!" says Ms160. Did I mishear? Was this a new type of Femdom tea party or something?

MisLis then explained, and I thought "hmmm ... okay this is a vanilla activity but it's something that might be of interest to my readers. I'll do some research". And so I did. And guess what, readers, I discovered that kinksters need the odd cuddle too!

Of course "odd" may be the operative word there, but a quick google search shows that the cuddle / snuggle party phenomenon is taking over the Western world. It's even been on the news. In fact being on CBS in Oct 2005 (see the "hot cuddle party" story title CBS photo at top of post) may have made terrific publicity for the original creators of Cuddle Party but it also caused endless hassles. As one of them said later "All that time we've spent in the last year and a half, convincing people Cuddle Party is not an orgy? Allllll down the tubes tonight."

With that "hot cuddle party" headline they were certainly doomed, LOL. But despite orgy seekers turning up now and then, cuddle / snuggle party organizations have continued to be created to meet the needs of deprived snugglers - of which YOU may be one. So let's check out cuddle / snuggle parties in case they can provide something you need...


The words cuddle and snuggle evoke childhood memories of touch, don't they? And you'll find many different variations of the two words being used online ("Cuddle Party", "Snuggle Party", "Snuggly Pajama Party" etc etc) to describe very similar events - either identical to the original Cuddle Parties created by Reid Mihalko, or with minor variations (Love Coaching who organized MisLis' first Snuggle Party in Sydney, state on their website that "Snuggle Parties are a close cousin to Cuddle Parties (with a few extra fun things thrown in the mix)").

So let's look at where the whole thing started. Wiki says:
"Reid Mihalko and Marcia Baczynski, a pair of self-described "relationship coaches" in New York City, founded Cuddle Party in New York on February 29, 2004. According to their website, the events were initially created for friends who were too intimidated to attend Mihalko's informal massage workshops. Upon publication of the Cuddle Party website:


the events were opened to the general public, and, thanks to a swarm of media attention, became a phenomenon in New York"
You can read some of those media articles in the References and Online Recourses section below. So what IS a cuddle party? Back to Wiki:

"A cuddle party is an event designed with the intention of allowing people to experience non-sexual group physical intimacy through cuddling. Cuddle parties are described by organizers as "workshop/social-events" that gives adults an opportunity to "give and receive welcomed affectionate touch in a no-expectation, friendly setting, according to your needs, desires, interests, and boundaries...

"in order to meet the demand for Cuddle Parties in other cities, Mihalko and Baczynski began a training and certification program in January 2005, and have since trained a number of individuals to facilitate Cuddle Parties in various cities ... events have occurred across the United States, including New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Montgomery, Boston, Minneapolis, Chapel Hill, and Kansas City; and abroad reaching Toronto, London, and Melbourne".

And now Sydney.

So what are the ... er ... rules of play?


Here are the rules from CuddleParty.com:

WHAT TO WEAR: Pajamas - nothing too risqué. Think more comfy than sexy. (More drawstrings, less lace! No shorts.)

WHAT TO BRING: A pillow or stuffed animal if you like. Juice or sparkling cider is always welcome. Sorry, no liquor folks. Otherwise, just bring your smiling self.

STICK TO THE RULES:

  1. Pajamas stay on the whole time.
  2. You don't have to cuddle anyone at a Cuddle Party, ever.
  3. You must ask permission and receive a verbal YES before you touch anyone. (Be as specific in your request as you can.)
  4. If you're a yes, say YES. If you're a no, say NO.
  5. If you're a maybe, say NO.
  6. You are encouraged to change your mind anytime you want.
  7. Respect your relationship agreements and communicate with your partner.
  8. Get your Cuddle Lifeguard On Duty or Cuddle Caddy if you have a question or concern or need assistance with anything during the Cuddle Party.
  9. Tears and laughter are both welcome.
  10. Respect people's privacy when sharing about Cuddle Parties and do not gossip.
  11. Arrive on time.
  12. Be hygienically savvy

Need more info?

Most of the cuddle party sites feature an extremely good FAQ page, which was written by the original facilitators. However because some sites don't list all the questions on that FAQ list, it's worth going back to read the original list here. Which I might add includes the tricky question of how to deal with erections at cuddle parties *grin*

I'm sure you can imagine how some people enjoy taking the piss out of these events. This is my favorite, on Gawker:
Today we spotted the story of a single 20-something New York City girl bravely encountering what must be the most horrifying new trend: cuddle parties. Seriously. Invented by a man who calls himself REiD Mihalko (no, seriously), at cuddle parties people get together and, obviously, cuddle -- they set "boundaries" and they do "safe roleplaying" and then they "cuddle." Let's do some healthy roleplaying of our own:

Your friend says: "I'm hosting a cuddle party. Will you come?"
You say: "Go fuck yourself, you ridiculous California-damaged ninny."

Your friend says: "I wish you wouldn't be so judgmental and hostile. Cuddle parties are about sharing and intimacy!"
You say: Nothing, because hopefully you'll never speak to them again"
There has been some criticism directed at cuddle party franchizing. One blogger noted, re training facilitators:
"I think the idea of cuddle parties is so cute and fun, so I checked out their website. They have it GOING ON, for $500 you can attend a cuddle party and learn what it’s all about OR for $1000 you can become certified in cuddling. OMG. And it’s $200 a year to stay certified. So they have basically taken cuddling and turned it into a franchise. Slick. This recession sure will make people get creative in ways to create income..."
You can read an interesting post about the franchising viewpoint here. But to attend, most parties charge about $20. So it costs the same as attending a play party.

What sort of people go?

A complete cross section of the community, I'd imagine, rather like kinksters. It's not a singles event as such, but as the CuddleParty website notes "Singles in particular seem to flock to Cuddle Parties, because they are a safe, fun, and non-alcoholic way to meet other people". True, and to paraphrase my friend MisLis below these events provide a safe, sane and consensual way to access the touch that's missing in many lives. Unless parties are same sex they are also gender balanced. I think parties usually have 10 to 20 attendees. They are also excellent for people feeling isolated by illness or disabilities, as Camilla Andersson reported:
"Deborah*, 44, decided to go to cuddle parties because her disability, fibromyalgia, a chronic disorder resulting in pain and fatigue, has lead to increasing isolation from society. After she developed the syndrome 15 years ago, she started to withdraw from the community activism she used to participate in, resulting in increased isolation. She has been to two parties, partly because of the need to break her isolation, partly because she has always taken care of others, whether in the role of a mother or an activist, and she needed some pampering herself. "The cuddle parties appealed to me because it seemed like a place where I could get a bit more physical attention, get a little bit touched," Deborah says.

"During her latest visit in the middle of November, Deborah was clear about what she wanted. In the welcome circle, she told the other participants about her need to be pampered and that she really enjoys when someone brushes her hair. Almost immediately after the welcome circle, a woman approached Deborah, sat down behind her and started brushing her hair softly. "I felt really rejuvenated. It was exactly what I needed," says Deborah, who had gone through a few stressful weeks before the party. "It's up there with things like meditation and yoga. It's very healing."
I mentioned same sex parties a while back. When cuddle parties first started in New York in 2004 Greg Bensinger wrote that "also in the [planning stages] are themed cuddle parties, like ones for the gay and lesbian community, seniors and women only. "All the cuddlemonsters are coming out of the closet," said Mihalko".

These themed / community specific parties have certainly taken off since then.



As have cuddle parties organized by kinksters. In fact the one MisLis attended was also facilitated by a kinkster: Flame, on Fetlife, who I know from the Sydney scene. There is also a Fetlife group for kinksters interested in cuddles and these parties: Cuddle Sluts.

So how do you find one? Check CuddleParty.com for places in the US. The site also shows you how to become a facilitator and hold your own parties.
Here in Australia you can attend parties with several different groups / facilitators, like CuddlePartyOz.com:


And Love Coaching who organized MisLis' first Snuggle Party in Sydney. You can find Love Coaching's snuggle party page here. I've never been to a cuddle / snuggle party so I can't personally recommend one facilitator over the other ... but on the other hand I'm completely biased towards supporting kinksters, LOL. So why not try Love Coaching's parties first, as you will meet Flame from Fetlife who comes highly recommended by MisLis.

Which brings us to MisLis' report on attending a Snuggle party. This is already a very long post, but I am going to quote this report in full because it's so interesting and well written. I must add that MisLis checked the report with Flame prior to sending it to me, to make sure no party attendees' confidentiality was breached.

Enjoy!:
"A few weeks ago, I attended my first ever Snuggle Party.

"It's an interesting thing for someone like me to commit to. I like to keep interpersonal touch in public to an absolute minimum. I have an acute sense of personal space. Music festivals are my idea of hell played to an awesome soundtrack. Attending a structured function that includes deliberate touching of me and other people? It seemed ludicrous!

"But when I saw the Snuggle Party promoted, I was instantly curious. I love kooky new experiences, and this would certainly be something to push me out of my comfort zone. Plus it sounded like a really healthy thing to do. So I booked myself in, and started telling everyone I knew about this wild, crazy thing I was going to do. Safe, sane and consensual public touching.

"Snuggle Parties, and their cousins, Cuddle Parties, are gatherings of people who just want to get together and share some good old-fashioned non-sexual touch. The cuddle equivalent of Dungeon Masters are on hand, to make sure that everything is kept comfortable and under free-flow control. Participation in everything is completely voluntary.

"So on a quiet Sunday night, I strapped a pillow and a blanket to the old scooter-beast, packed my pajamas and ventured east to Snuggle Central. Earlier that morning, over breakfast with a friend it had finally hit me: I was going to do something that was completely outside my comfort zone. I ignored the fear and ploughed on anyway.

"On arrival, I was greeted by a friendly chap, removed my shoes, signed in, and changed out of my bulky gear and into some comfy pajamas. The venue was warm and cozy, but I was glad to have brought socks. Immediately I was struck by the feel of the room and the sense of spiritual broadmindedness that was already bouncing around.

"I have to say, the facilitation is actually what made this event so successful. As a group we discussed and agreed to confidentiality for every participant, so I don't want to go into too much detail about what actually happens. But we did spend some time discussing some really interesting topics; we had a 'mini-workshop' on learning how to say no, and yes, asking for exactly what you want, and enjoying the present. And that's just what I got out of the session, but I suspect what you get from it depends on your own personal circumstances. (Gush some more: that sort of learning is gold dust!)

"But onto snuggling!!

"While it took me a little while to warm up, I found myself purring like a pussycat not long after. I was the lucky giver and receiver of touch. There were some really wonderful, compassionate people in the room. It felt strange to be engaging in what I would normally consider to be foreplay, in a non-sexual context (another revolutionary, but extremely healthy concept!) By the end of the night, all my personal space boundaries had been broken down. I had let someone touch my feet. I was happily snuggled in a little corner, a small Lis sandwich, finally relaxed and free to spend time thinking about my breathing and able to enjoy the moment.

"I left, and performed a quick survey of myself: how was I feeling after that intense encounter? I had a mild endorphin high and felt fulfilled, without being aroused. I felt like eating a square of chocolate, but that might be unrelated to the Snuggle Party. :) All in all, some pretty positive feelings and so I gave the night a thumbs up - it was well worth doing.

"Would I go again? I would, especially if I was feeling a bit touch-starved. Apparently we need seven hugs a day to get our daily dose of human touch, and I certainly am nowhere near that close! I definitely recommend it to everyone as something to try at least once, whether you are into touch or not.

"The next Snuggle party will be held in Sydney on 11th July. If you are in town, and are even the slightest bit curious you should book yourself in!"

REFERENCES AND
ONLINE RESOURCES:


Of interest:
Articles:
Camilla Andersson "Snuggle Opportunities for the Cuddle Deprived Whether you need a hug or some afternoon spooning, cuddle parties will provide it for you" November 20, 2005
Gred Bensinger "Gimme a hug! The 'Cuddle Party' is New York's newest feel-good-about-yourself fad" New York Daily News July 11, 2004
Gawker "Bad Trend Alert: Cuddle Parties" Mon Apr 19 2004
Christina Troup "Snuggling finds a safe party" Oakland Tribune , May 31, 2005
WIKI on cuddle parties

Bloggers:
Cuddle parties, reform and revolution
Cuddle party - my thoughts
The Good, The Bad and The Cuddly Prepping for my first-ever Cuddle Party (in New Jersey!)

Videos:
A "Snuggly Pajama Party" can be viewed here on Facebook
Some YouTube cuddle parties here

Photos:
Google photos of cuddle / snuggle parties here

Thank you:
to MisLis for sharing her experience :)

photos:
Cuddleparty.com
CuddlepartyOz.com
CBS via apictureofme.blogspot.com/2005_10_01_archive.html