"Wait, What’s the Safe Word?” - The lesson I learned from a BDSM Tent at Burning Man

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“You should never judge a book by its cover,” states the adage we all hear too often but never really practice. I never knew what that truly meant until 2017 when I went on my solo adventure to Burning Man. If you don’t know what it is; think of it as an annual, highly organized but modern Woodstock in the Nevada desert where there is a good chance you might walk into Elon Musk. It was indeed a surreal and one of a kind experience which I suggest to everyone to visit at least once in their life. I was admittedly nervous upon reaching the Black Rock Desert but was greeted warmly by everyone I came across, even though some of them were already naked.

On my second day there, I was walking around the massive city made of tents, cars and elaborate sets pieces (such as a fuselage from a jumbo jet which was converted to a dance club) when I happen to come across a giant circus tent decorated with black and red flowing veils which was simultaneously inviting and invoked curiosity. A ground called Suspended Animation was running the tent. The members were friendly, and we're asking anyone in who was willing to sign a waiver to participate in a BDSM introduction class. I had always thought BDSM was a depraved form of sexual perversion; but my peaking curiosity, a few attractive women and a promise to myself in which I will explore different cultures and customs made me enter the tent. Inside was a good mix of people from different parts of the world sitting on a large assortment of pillows of various sizes, while in the center of the tent was a professionally built rectangular scaffold, where different ropes and harnesses hung off from it. People walked around half naked wearing leather underwear while some women were naked but with ropes carefully tied around their body. I sat with a woman who entered the tent with me, and she told me that she does BDSM back at her home in San Francisco (makes sense) and it was a sexually liberating experience for her; which to me, still seemed odd

Mike, a clean-cut and friendly-faced man wearing a tool belt with various ropes and straps, came to the group I was sitting in and began to enthusiastically and kindly explain to us what BDSM was. Yes, there is a sexual thrill to it, but it goes beyond sex; it’s the practice of power. The person who enjoys the role of the Sadist is practicing power over the other person but as Mike surprisingly explained to us that the person playing the part of the Masochist is the one who actually holds power because he/she controls the Sadist with his threshold of pain and his endurance. Basically, the more the Masochist can take the more control he has over the Sadist. Mike also pointed out the practice of power over another person comes the practice of trust and intimacy because both people are becoming vulnerable when they perform the acts of bondage, dominance or sadism.

The enlightening ideas behind BDSM didn’t hit me until I looked over to the far end of the tent and saw a bodacious naked woman gently being wrapped and bonded with ropes by her burly husband. As I watched in admiration, her husband lovingly and carefully wrapped the ropes around his wife’s wrists and waist with every few moments they would sneak a quick kiss on the lips and a loving laugh as they were both enjoying their act of bondage. It was in its own way, a beautiful kinky act of intimacy.

I was about to leave to explore more of Burning Man, but before I did, I had asked Mike if I can try an act of bondage, which he found intriguing and novel. Mike carefully wrapped my wrists in the rope (because safety was paramount) with each arm attached to an opposite scaffold. Mike and another man pulled each rope with my arms stretched in different directions. “Harder,” I asked the men as I used my strength to hold both strong men back as I was being pulled apart. I felt a thrill, not sexual but the feeling of endurance, strength, and power. That no matter how life pulls me in different directions, I will always have the strength to take it on; that I was unbreakable.

Anyways, you should try some bondage. You might like it.