Monday, December 19, 2005


Last week I had the pleasure of binding the most charming and sweet British girl. Yeah, I have said it before and I’ll say it again. I have a serious thing for girls with accents and British accents are right at the top of that list. (Must have been all that Benny Hill I watched on late night PBS as a pre-teen) Anyways, while we were doing the whole pre-scene negotiation over lunch I thanked her for agreeing to come play with me, a guy she met literally 48 hours ago. “Well I don’t make it a habit of playing with strangers,” she responded in her crisp London accent, “but you came with glowing recommendations.”

Recommendations, now here is a funny phenomenon of the leather community. In the past, if I wanted to spend time, get naked, tie up, or otherwise be generally toppy with someone we would spend some time together and if there was chemistry, move on to the bedroom and let nature take it’s course. It was not until I started actively participating in the local leather scene here in Seattle when someone with whom I was flirting with said to me. “You seem really hot and sound like a lot of fun. My only question is this, who do you know? Who can vouch for you?”
At the time this took me aback. Look lady I just want to tie you up, not open a line of credit.

What seemed foreign and unnatural then makes a lot of sense to me now. In fact, I do it all the time. You see, what we do is dangerous and while there are a number of ways we go about minimizing that danger. In the end, a bottom must put a great deal of faith into someone who could (heaven forbid) seriously hurt them physically (and emotionally). Now if the top is not someone they have known for a while or someone with whom they share a mutual emotional investment with, this is a very scary thing. So knowing that this person that they are about to play with is trusted by others in the community, others they also trust… well that helps a great deal. Sure, it will always in the end be the responsibility of the bottom to ask the important questions and clearly set their limits, but that personal recommendation goes a long way.

There is of course a flip side to this. By giving a recommendation like this, you are assuming responsibility for the safety of another human being. Don’t take this lightly. If the top you recommended turns out to not respect limits, lacks the skills or worse is dangerous… how can you sleep at night with the knowledge that you knowingly put another human at risk like that?

Perhaps I am being overly melodramatic here, people are people and we cannot control another human’s actions nor can we flawlessly predict what another will do in every situation. In the end, yes, it is the bottom’s choice as to whom they will play with and if they put themselves in a dangerous situation. However, like it or not, you are judged by the company we keep. What happens when that company you once glowingly endorsed is found lacking?

Well then, then dear readers you may find ourselves not getting those positive recommendations either.