Data mining and learning new tricks

Mastercard have been mining the data and come to a disturbing conclusion: people are buying memorable experiences, rather than goods in the post GFC world.

By Leandro Neumann Ciuffo from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Mina da passagemUploaded by Markos90, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19967318

By Leandro Neumann Ciuffo from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Mina da passagemUploaded by Markos90, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19967318

Aside: whenever someone talks about corporations data mining, it makes me think of this – thank you Scott Adams!

Anyway, that’s great if you are in the “memorable experience” business like me, but I guess that it sucks if you sell things for a living, or are part of the supply chain for making and selling things. As a one time industrial designer, I am feeling just a little bit smug about my career change!

It does however make me just a little bit hopeful for humanity to hear this news from Mastercard. Checking off “See the Eiffel Tower” on one’s bucket list may not lead to enlightenment exactly, but it’s definitely better than just buying more “things” to fill up the cupboards with.

At the end of the day, it is experiences that make our lives rich and open our eyes to possibilities that we would not otherwise have considered. This is especially true of our sexuality. Even my society spend a lot of time and effort trying to prevent people from having and enjoying sex. But, I know absolutely that it’s never too late to learn. Be it mathematics, cooking, music, or sex. We all have the ability to make ourselves better. It just takes the right moment and the right teacher. And as adults, we have a lifetime of experience and maturity behind us to make good use of the things we learn.

If you have never had an orgasm. Or you have difficulty reaching orgasm reliably. If you want to broaden your understanding of sex and what it can be. Or perhaps explore your kinky side. Then drop me an email, or a text and tell me what you would like to learn. It would be my pleasure to be your teacher.

John.

Spanking – for pleasure and pain

When you think of “kinky stuff” spanking is probably one of the first things that comes to mind.  What may surprise you is that in real life spanking is a very popular form of play.  It’s easy, it can be very fun and it’s about as safe as kink gets.

I decided to write this article as spanking is something that I am getting more and more requests for.  Possibly due to the whole Fifty Shades phenomenon …

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Nipple clamps

Do you like having your nipples squeezed and pulled?  Then chances are that you would enjoy playing with nipple clamps.  Personally I have very sensitive nipples – meaning that strong stimulation just plain hurts!  But this isn’t the case for everyone.  So if you enjoy some nipple play then I highly recommend trying out a set of nipple clamps.

Nipple clamps

Some nipple clamps are spring loaded for easy use. These ones are tightened with a screw. Harder to use, but you can adjust them to just the right tension

This set (pictured right) have soft padded jaws and are tightened with a screw.  This makes it very easy to set exactly the right pressure for your nipples.

As you can see they are joined by a chain.  Once on and tight, the clamps are said to give a slow pulsing sensation that is like pain, but not quite …  I am told that this is very enjoyable and helps to keep you focused and “in the moment” if you are having sex.

The chain adds to the sensation when you are standing up, or on all fours by pulling down on the clamps.  During sex the rhythmic swinging of the chain when on all fours can be very enjoyable!

You can buy nipple clamps at any good sex shop.  If you are shopping for a set then you need to think about the size of your nipples (when they are aroused) and make sure that you get a set that will open wide enough.

There is no need however to stick to purpose made nipple clamps.  I have seen clothes pegs or all sizes and styles used, paper clips, and just about anything you can find that could hold your nipple!  Do be a bit careful though, you don’t want to use anything too sharp that might break the skin, or cut off circulation.

As always be safe and have fun!

John.

Women expect too much from men in bed?

Given my line of work, I really shouldn’t be so surprised to see this article in the Herald today …

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/why-women-expect-too-much-from-men-in-bed-20121114-29cgb.html

We live in a world where men and women seem to be constantly at war over our respective sexualities.  And there is no end in sight.

Articles like the one linked above demonstrate the simplistic views that many people hold.  And then try to foist on the rest of us.

Life is never simple, but if we are prepared to engage with our partner (male or female), understand what they want and need, and put in some effort to give it to them, then we may find that we get more back than we expected.

So lots of women loved Fifty Shades of Grey and it inspired them to start asking their partners for more in the bedroom?  I say that’s a good thing and something to be celebrated, not a cause for complaint.

John.

Fifty Shades of Grey – Part 2

This is just a quick post to provide a link to an article in the UK Guardian in response to Fifty Shades of Grey by a woman who has recently published a book on the subject of her BDSM lifestyle.

I think that it makes for good reading and provides some balance to the view of BDSM created by Fifty Shades of Grey.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/aug/25/fifty-shades-submissive-sophie-morgan

John.

Fifty Shades …

Ok, it’s time to talk about Fifty Shades of Grey.

Note: this post talks about BDSM and actual experiences of this fantasy.
If you are not comfortable reading about these concepts then please don’t continue reading this post.

I have stayed away from this topic since Fifty Shades exploded into popular culture because I haven’t been clear in my head about how I feel about the books and their portrayal of BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism, masochism). Last night though I had a conversation with a friend that set it all in perspective for me.

As with any work of fiction there will be people who love Fifty shades, people who hate it, and people who just don’t care much.

What has become clear to me though is that regardless of Fifty Shades merit (be that literary quality, BDSM accuracy, psychological etc) it has tapped into something profound in the psychology of many women.  A book doesn’t need to be great, or even good to inspire people, get them thinking, and open new doors for them.  Lets face it, no-one is actually going to live out the story of Fifty Shades in real life (if for no other reason than young self-made billionaires are hard to come by and are pretty hotly contested property).

But this is the point.  Fifty Shades, like all erotica, is about fantasy and what it inspires in you, not about slavish re-creation.

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A little tied up …

We have all heard of “bondage” in sexuality culture – and books like Fifty Shades of Grey have brought bondage and discipline (almost) into the mainstream.  It conjures up images of black leather, wrist cuffs, and spanking paddles.  And for some of us (many in fact) who are not part of that scene, a little buzz of curiosity.

So lets clear a few things up: bondage only means restraint and it comes in a wide array of forms.  It doesn’t require or need to cause pain and it most certainly shouldn’t be abusive.

Lots of people like the idea of being restrained, especially when having sex, or as part of foreplay.  Giving up control can be a powerful aphrodisiac for men and women and can totally change the experience of sex and of a relationship.  Too often we see sex as a physical act with orgasm as the goal – there is nothing wrong with that (good honest sex is my stock in trade and I love it), but it is only one part of the story of sexuality and sticking just to that may leave us missing out on interesting, exciting, and enjoyable experiences.

The first thing that you must have if you are going to explore bondage (or any fetish that takes you outside of your normal boundaries) is trust in the person you are doing it with.  Trust is what lets you explore and have confidence that things won’t go too far, that limits will be respected, and when you say “enough” that your partner will respect your wishes.

Bondage comes in many different forms and like most things cerebral and emotional it “means” different things to different people.  I would like to just introduce some basics here to give you a taste of some of the different styles of bondage.

This image comes from Wikimedia Commons and can be found via the link on the image

The logical starting point is handcuffs (like a policeman might carry).  They are virtually a cliche, but they are packed with symbolism and can be a (cheap) simple and effective way of restraining someone.  Don’t forget that bondage is (mostly) about how it makes you (and your partner) feel, so the symbolism and cultural meaning in things like handcuffs can be a very big part of the experience.  Also we can usually get away with having a pair of handcuffs in the bedside table (people can usually laugh that off), but it might be a little harder to explain cuffed spreader bars …

This image comes from Wikimedia Commons and can be found via the link on the image

More advanced bondage of limbs comes from wrist and ankle cuffs.  I won’t begin to try to explain the variety of products available out there, there is simply too much.  The bottom line though is that wrist and ankle cuffs are great for serious players.  They can look sexy, feel good, provide serious entertainment and pleasure through the ritual of buckles and clasps, and they are safe and easy to work with allowing for fast release of restraint when desired.

This image comes from Wikimedia Commons and can be found by the link on the image

Rope is probably the oldest method of bondage and the shear variety of materials and techniques is overwhelming.  As a rock climber and sailer I have a natural affinity for rope, so of all of the methods of bondage, I would have to say that it is the one that appeals most to me.  I have recently been introduced (via the Xplore Sydney Festival) to the Japanese style of rope bondage called Shibari.  As with most things Japanese Shibari has become a highly ritualised, formalised and studied art. I have read that it was derived from techniques used by Samuri to restrain captives.

This image comes from Wikimedia Commons and can be found via the link on the image

Shibari goes beyond just restraint and makes binding the human body a work or art and beauty.  Shibari requires significant time and effort to learn as a practitioner to be able to do it well and safely (this is a very important aspect of Shibari), especially for advanced work like this suspension piece shown to the left.

Ultimately bondage – however you practice it – is about having challenging yourself and your partner, exploring your boundaries, and most of all having fun.  It can also be a good gateway to the fetish community, giving you the chance to discover a whole new world of erotic experiences and people.

If you are curious about bondage, then let me know.  I would be happy to chat about it, or if you are feeling brave to make some light restraint a part of our date.

John.