First Playshop Organised In Delhi
iwonderwhy27 Nov 2016
Date: 11th September,2016
List of Attendees From Kinky Collective
Number of Participants : 27
As with all stories that have a beginning, this one does too. When, where, and how it began, these are questions for another time. It started with an idea, the seed of which was planted many months ago in the minds of some of the kinky people of Delhi. Nourished by their rich and fertile imaginations, the idea finally germinated and reached fruition on this day. It was an event special enough to warrant a new name. The idea was to teach and learn, as in a workshop. But the best and most fun way to learn is by doing, or rather, playing. Thus a need was felt to also give us an opportunity to play and experiment with a few activities. So what we had was not quite a workshop, and not quite a play party either, but a mix of both, which is conveyed by the portmanteau "playshop", a place for a diverse group of kinksters of various proclivities to get their feet wet and their kink on.
The event had generated a fair amount of buzz, and it was nice to see a very healthy turnout. Most had even stuck to the black/red dress code (I had too, down to my socks and underwear; I bet nobody knew :P). As soon as everyone had arrived and settled down, our M.C. @Dg officially began the event by warmly welcoming us to IKC's first playshop. She told us the intent and motive behind the event, and what we hoped to gain out of it, along with a quick rundown of the plan for the evening. All of us received a sheet where we could mark the activities we were interested in participating in, and in which role. While doing so, we went around as all those present introduced themselves, and shared a bit of their journey into kink. Most got to know of the event via a social networking site for kinksters, while a couple (I'll call them Q and X) through their connection to the local queer and kink community. It was evident that lots of feelings were bubbling up amongst us. There was anticipation and excitement all around. While some openly expressed their nervousness, others tried to play it cool. ;)
The remaining, and very essential bit of briefing was handled by our co-organizer @joy. He made clear the rules of conduct that were to be observed by us all. Paramount of these was consent, a word we hear often and sometimes even falsely believe that we understand, without understanding its full ramifications. He illustrated the proper way to seek consent, to say yes or no, and clearly communicate whether consent has been granted, denied, or revoked. We wanted this to be a fun and pleasant experience for everybody, which meant that everyone must feel welcome, safe and comfortable. So respect for others and their personal space was to be followed at all times. Thus the law was laid down (violations were to be handled by @sig, our designated bouncer, through punishments he never got a chance to dole out!). @sig also doubled as the house jester, lightening the mood and amusing us with his steady stream of trademark quips and witticisms throughout the evening. :)
@Ts added her personal advice, or wish, to not artificially hold ourselves back, and just go with the flow. Sometimes, a scene can turn quite intense, and that can be a beautiful thing. We agreed upon the "traffic signal" safe word protocol, and as we proceeded to give ourselves the green signal, it began ...
Act I: Flogging a Red Arse
No warm-up here, as out came the floggers and we hit the ground running with some proper impact play to get us in the mood. Not for the squeamish, this! To give us the demo was @sig, and the first volunteer on the receiving end was an eager participant, for which she received our applause. Sig familiarized us with the majestic black and red flogger he held in his hand, and gave a lesson in human anatomy, and how to use the flogger to cause pain but not injury. The volunteer was in position, bent forward supported by a chair, and just like that, "crack!" it landed on her butt. With great skill, precision and control, the impacts landed one after the other, and we got to see the versatility of a flogger in action. Soft or hard, fast or slow, above or below, the possibilities are endless. I imagine many were simply transfixed, awed by the sight in front of them, even as they heard and felt every sharp strike of the leather against the body. Like a tennis coach, he explained the finer points of wrist and arm action while using the flogger.
@joy too demonstrated flogging, and one time they performed it in tandem. It was interesting to compare their personal techniques. The way of Joy, and the way of Sig, both have their merits! It was a sight to behold, as he built up a certain rhythm and cadence while varying the intensity, like a virtuoso playing a symphony on a human percussion instrument.
After the demo, many were itching to try it out on their own, be it as givers or receivers, and it was not hard to find an obliging partner to flog or be flogged by. This went on for a bit, and I believe many backs and butts must have turned quite red and warm!
Act II: It's a Wrap!
It was now time for a change of pace, and to try out something different with some bondage play. @joy was there this time to demonstrate how to make a living mummy. The items required were pretty basic, a roll of cling film, and a pair of scissors (to cut the film away after we were done). While appearing simple, safety still comes first, so we learnt the dos and don'ts and the precautions to be followed, such as always keeping one's eyes on the bound and immobile partner, and never leaving them unattended. For this demonstration, a volunteer stepped forth. A length of the cling film was placed across his shoulders, and starting from there, round and round it was wrapped around him while maintaining some tension in it. The roll kept unwrapping as layer after layer kept covering his body, constraining it ever so slightly more with each turn, until in no time at all, he was wrapped from neck to toe with this glistening plastic skin, trapped and virtually immobile, but visible for all to see.
With his permission, he was shifted from a vertical to horizontal orientation on the floor (a movement you can no longer carry out on your own while bound like this), and we talked a bit more about mummification as he lay on the floor, seeming quite comfortable ensconced in his cocoon. To finish off this demonstration, we were shown how to safely cut off the plastic wrap and release the person within (as well as attend to basic after-care).
Many people were keen to try this out too, and they got busy. Soon, we had prepared a whole batch of 'mummies', and they were laid side by side, all neatly wrapped and sealed for freshness. None seemed in a particular hurry to be released from their confinement either, as most found the experience to be pretty calming and comforting.
Interlude: The disappearing chips trick
After the mummification session, it was time to break for tea and snacks (though some continued to marinate for a bit longer!). A particpant was gracious enough to prepare tea for us. People by now had opened up a lot more, and plenty of chit-chat took place. It was evening, and we were running a bit behind on time though, so we needed to keep the break short. In front of me were two bowls of potato chips and dip. Within fifteen seconds, the entire bowl emptied in front of my eyes as we stuffed our faces to quickly refuel for the second half.
Act III: Ass You Like It
Spanking is perhaps the first activity that one stereotypically associates with BDSM. So much so that it might even appear something pretty ordinary, and not particularly special. Oh, how wrong you would be, and we were fortunate to have the pair of @Indian Thrust and @Ts to demonstrate to us just how powerful and intense it can be. The gentlemanly @Indian Thrust, we were assured, is a master of spanking with many years of experience under his belt, and we had no reason to doubt it. He first explained to us in words what it involves and the techniques he employs, and then invited @Ts over to take on the role of the submissive who would receive her spanking from him. A few minutes were spent while she adjusted her posture, bent over on her hands and knees while resting upon his lap, even as everyone threw in their cushions to provide extra support for her knees and proper buttock placement for ideal access (and view, I guess!).
The first thing we noticed, even before it began, was how intimate the whole setup can be. The submissive was in a very exposed and vulnerable position, and the dominant, while having complete ability (and intent) to cause physical pain, simultaneously took on a protective and reassuring role. While one hand was placed atop the buttocks, ready to strike, the other was held near the neck and face, maintaining a constant physical connection with her and gauging her reactions.
Then he began the demonstration, as the palm of his right hand hit the target area (buttocks and upper thigh). It happened again and again, often accompanied by audible gasps. These strikes were punctuated by gentle caresses, where he checked in with her to see how she was doing. The hand fell over and over, and the strikes became more and more intense, as did @Ts's reactions. Sometimes she flinched anticipating a strike which never landed. The dominant can be quite devious in that way! The energy of the whole scene and the connection between the two was very palpable. By the end of it, she was almost shaking, and was gently brought back from the place she had travelled to as the demonstration concluded, and we thanked them for sharing this amazing experience with us.
By now you've got the idea of how the playshop works, and obviously, many more butt-spankings ensued. :)
Act IV: Tea Light Delight
For the penultimate activity, we experimented with something hot! How about some fun with wax? We learnt how candle wax can be used to produce some interesting sensations, and how to safely play with it (nobody wants any nasty burns, which you won't if you do it right). Some candles were lit, and our first canvas was @VagabondKink. Baby oil was applied to his back to make cleanup easier afterwards, and drops of molten wax were made to drip on it. By the end of it, nearly his entire back was covered in wax, and he was writhing around (not sure if he had had enough or wanted more!). Our first wax painting was complete, and then it was scraped off with a butter knife. In the meantime, @Dg was sitting in a corner celebrating Diwali in advance by lighting a dozen more tea lights, which were soon picked up by others eagerly awaiting to try it out themselves.
Act V: Anaerobic
The final activity we tried is also potentially the riskiest, and that's why it falls under "edge play". Here we were shown breath play through asphyxiation. It's play, yes, but not a game. A misstep or carelessness on the part of the giver can very quickly lead to a loss of consciousness in the receiver, or worse. We don't want that, and @Joy showed us how to do it right, if we wanted to. As it turned out, of all the activities planned, the fewest were interested in trying this one out on this occasion. Not necessarily because we were not intrigued, but because we were aware of the risks involved, and wanted to be responsible by not trying it until we had gained enough confidence. This was a good sign, he remarked. But of course, we were there to learn, while someone could monitor and keep a watchful eye on us, so some of us did try it out too. For the demo itself, it was one of the participants who was there on the receiving end. Kudos to her!
@joy demonstrated two different techniques, first using our old friend the cling film, and then using a plastic bag. While using cling film, he kept on wrapping a layer of it around the head, completely blocking the mouth and nostrils, and then poking a hole where the mouth was to allow for breathing to resume temporarily before cutting it of again. Using the bag involved placing it over the head and tying it at the neck with some rope, cutting off access to fresh air.
As this form of play demands immense concentration and focus, he requested everyone to remain absolutely quiet through it. From the looks of it, half of us had our hearts in our throats and were hardly breathing ourselves while the demonstration was going on. Almost as if we were vicariously engaging in breath play together! Makes you wonder, how it must be for the one actually being deprived of air, trusting on one hand that they will be safe, yet with their body warning them of the peril they are in. One thing is for sure, this was probably the most intense scene of the evening, and when it was over, everyone literally breathed a collective sigh of relief.
Epilogue: The Revenge of the Daal
The playshop finally came to its end, and now what was left was to share our thoughts about what we experienced and to give our feedback, comments, suggestions, and criticism. The best thing was that everyone found it to be a positive experience, and nobody regretted coming to this event. We thanked the organizers and all those who came for making it a success. Many of us naturally must have initially felt some hesitation and trepidation, not quite sure what to expect, how we would feel in the midst of many strangers, not knowing how they would behave. For some of us it might even have been our first opportunity to actually play with others, or the first time attempting to play in a group setting. We might have feared others judging us for our lack of understanding or experience. But such doubts do not linger for long when we actively strive to create an environment or community that is welcoming, accommodating and inclusive, where our differences and individuality is accepted, and everyone is given a chance to express themselves without fear of judgment.
For many, coming to the playshop was an eye-opening experience. They were skeptical, either regarding certain activities, or their own interest in trying them out. Then they surprised themselves by actually trying it out and even liking it, or even if not having tried it out, having gained a new-found understanding and appreciation of it. People were engaged and interested in learning from others. Hearing their experiences and seeing them participate enthusiastically provided the needed motivation to those who might have been sitting on the fence in the beginning.
It was also interesting to note how quickly our personal barriers come down when the conditions are right. In part it is due to the nature of the activities themselves that lend themselves to this dropping of barriers by fostering a certain intimacy. But to get there in the first place, we need a conducive environment, a place where we can feel safe, comfortable and at ease. So credit goes to the organizers, and indeed everyone who attended, for simply being decent people who were good to one another.
Numerous other discussions were had, which I can't fully recollect and summarize. We talked about the negotiation process, before any play takes place. There was also talk about testing and pushing limits, and whether it's appropriate to do so during play or negotiation (here too, we have the way of Joy and the way of Sig :)). Many mentioned how they were still trying to process the events of the day, which was no surprise, as it was quite a lot to take in at once.
I recall the mention of the word 'space' by various people at different times in different contexts. "Safe space". The need to feel safe and secure and comfortable is so important, and there is so much that goes into creating one. A casual offhand comment can bring someone out of it, and a simple thoughtful gesture of empathizing with someone and paying attention to their needs can do wonders to make them feel at ease. "Mind space". Kink and BDSM ideally would be a very natural expression of our desires, but in order for that to happen, we must be in the right frame of mind mentally and emotionally. Not finding an appropriate outlet for our kinks could lead us to tune out of that mind space, and conversely, with the right people and the right environment, it all comes back to us, reminding us of why we identify as kinky in the first place. "Sub space". Perhaps the most unique and elusive aspect of it all, and also the most internal and personal. The power of a scene to create an altered state of consciousness and transport one to a very different place, which relies on an immense degree of trust and confidence in your partner. We got to glimpse a bit of that too. I can't help thinking that all these spaces are interdependent, maybe even nested within one another. A safe space is a prerequisite to creating the right mind space, and only then can we hope to open up enough and engage in play and connect with our partner in a way that might even lead to experience that sub/dom space.
Visually, it wasn't what happened during the play scenes that I best remember, but what happened afterwards. Seeing the receiver/submissive getting aftercare, not necessarily from their play partner, but just by a friend or someone they felt comfortable with and could trust to tend to them, was a touching sight. It seemed that was the point of it all, whether intended or not. It brought people closer, even if momentarily, and that cannot be a bad thing. I don't know why I feel like mentioning that, except that it's something that I most vividly remember.
Oh, and what about this daal, you ask? Well, of course, no event is complete without dinner, and after a productive discussion, we all enjoyed a meal together. The food was good, and the daal was particularly spicy. But, hey, after being flogged and spanked and having hot wax poured on us, a little extra spice wasn't going to hurt, was it? Many left with their bodies sore at various spots, but we can agree that all of us left with good memories!
Delhi's first playshop: 11th September, 2016 4:20 PM–9:30 PM