Archive for Writings

Secret Life of the Human Pups: Balanced?

// July 22nd, 2016 // No Comments » // Writings

The Channel Four documentary Secret Life of the Human Pups (Firecracker Films 2016, produced and directed by Guy Simmonds) is a rare glimpse into the world of human pups.

Doing its best to show pups in their normal environment and letting them do the most talking (or barking), the documentary follows a few pups in the course of their normal lives, and also highlights Mr. Puppy UK’s participation in the Mr. Pup Europe competition. Certain public events are also portrayed.

Before the release of the documentary, the pup community anticipated an exploitative scandal, and possibly an public outrage, with many pups hiding their online personas and psyching them ready for a free-for-all. In stark contrast, the documentary presents a relatively neutral portrait of a few pups, and lets the viewers make their own conclusions.

Why only relatively neutral? The documentary does its best to avoid any discussion of sexuality, being only slightly alluded to in a discussion of pup play’s roots in BDSM. Pup play is strongly portrayed as a non-sexual hobby, only there to provide a safe headspace where to escape the daily grind. As anyone exposed to the pup scene knows, this is an omission. A lot of pups play either partly or solely for sexual purposes, deriving sexual pleasure out of the pup gear, or using pup gear to facilitate other sexual practises.

This is an understandable omission, considering the context of the documentary. It is hard enough to introduce the greater public into pup play on the innocent side, let alone show what happens to pups in the back rooms of kinky cruising parties. However, documentaries are judged by their impartialness and balance, not as adverts. The discussion about sexuality is analogous to the furry community’s eternal divide between non-sexual furries and sexual furries.

The most outstanding element of the documentary is the carefully composed cinematography, soundtrack, and narration, serving to bring the viewer into the same peaceful headspace the pups themselves seek to immerse in.

All in all, the documentary is valuable in a broader sense as it exposes the general public into the not-so-usual sexual practises, and it can be argued that the time is not yet right for public to see the full spectrum of pup play, so for now, we are stuck with the fluffy part.

Product Review: Max Cita Psycho II strait jacket

// June 23rd, 2016 // 1 Comment » // Writings

Overview of the Psycho II jacket

Overview of the Psycho II jacket

I’m a big fan of strait jackets, and I think they are an important piece of arsenal for anyone into heavy bondage. Strait jackets, originally a medical invention, have been almost completely phased in medicine, but still find a lot of use in the kinky circles.

Strait jackets can be found made from many materials: rubber, leather, lycra, PVC, and of course canvas. All of these have their good sides and bad sides, but there is a reason medical strait jackets are invariably made from canvas: it is breathable, washable and comfortable.

Back view with the back straps, notice length available for people of slightly larger size

Back view with the back straps, notice length available for people of slightly larger size

Having already owned a couple of strait jackets, including an authentic Posey medical strait jackets, I recently decided to purchase a custom-made canvas strait jacket from Max Cita in Canada, a talented escapologist.

Max Cita has multiple models, but I settled on the Psycho II as a good compromise between constriction and simplicity: Max Cita has even more complicated models with more buckles, but my style of play is usually practical.

Ordering

Dual crotch straps prevent escape and allow access at the same time.

Dual crotch straps prevent escape and allow access at the same time.

As I was ordering a customized jacket, I had to first do the measuring myself. This proved to be easy (with the help of a friend, you should never measure yourself alone!) and then it was time to discuss features. In addition to the normal features of the Psycho II jacket, I specifically requested a second middle arm loop with a buckle. The jacket has a standard fixed loop, but it is somewhat loose and I wanted that constricting feeling. Max duly noted that if he puts on just a center loop with a buckle, at least he can escape from the jacket, so he suggested two middle arm loops: one fixed and one buckled. I agreed and we settled on that. Max also suggested additional straps around the wrists, which I also agreed on.

Delivery

Front and size arm loops prevent escape. An additional straps goes around the chest on top of everything else.

Front and size arm loops prevent escape. An additional straps goes around the chest on top of everything else.

All Max’s items are manufactured to order, and manufacturing was quick. The item was finished in two weeks, and shipped to a friend in the US (to avoid higher shipping charges, import duties and VAT in Finland). This happened without complications, and Max kept me constantly up to date with the progress of the order. Other kink companies should take advice!

The Jacket

Multiple metal loops allow opportunities for bondage. This jacket is not meant for suspension!

Multiple metal loops allow opportunities for bondage. This jacket is not meant for suspension!

Having now tested the jacket for a month in different circumstances, I can present my findings.

Build quality of the jacket is excellent. All seams are stitched professionally, and aligned perfectly. Points of highest stress are reinforced. The canvas base is reinforced with multiple canvas straps running through the entire length of the jacket.

Design and fit being a custom sizing is exact to my measurements. It is comfortable, and since I’m somewhat average in size, there is latitude to fit other average-sized people inside quite nicely.

Security is of course top-class. There is no getting out of this jacket when applied correctly!

Detail of a metal loop.

Detail of a metal loop.

Happy model victim not going anywhere soon...

Happy model victim not going anywhere soon…

Maintainability is easy, since the jacket can be washed in laundry, although I recommend a laundry bag since the metal parts may be damaged or damage the machine otherwise.

Value for money

Max Cita Psycho II medium (standard sizing): 375 USD

Mr S. Deluxe Leather Strait jacket: 1495 USD

Fetters Tie Down Canvas Straitjacket: 1075 USD

Strait jackets are expensive items. Max Cita’s pricing for its jacket, considering the build quality, customer service, is frankly a steal.

Event review: Rostocker Steppenbrand 2015

// August 1st, 2015 // No Comments » // Writings

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Date: 10-12 July 2015 (event extends for the whole week)
Location: Saal, Germany
Price: ~60 EUR for the weekend

July 2015 saw my first experience with Rostocker Steppenbrand, an annual kink outdoors festival held in the vicinity of Rostock in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Northern Germany.

Steppenbrand is unique as a festival in a sense that it is a loose gathering of people in a mostly camping sense. People from all avenues of kink (BDSM, military, bikers, skinheads, punks, motocrossers, mud players, etc.) were present in the event, which this year totalled approximately 400 people.

It should be noted that the actual event runs the whole week, but most attendance is during the weekend.

Location and getting there

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Steppenbrand is held on a plot of land near the village of Saal, unreachable by public transit. The organization provides a shuttle transport from the nearest railway station for a fee. Most people arrive with their own vehicles.

Location is quite isolated with no other buildings or inhabitants within sight, surrounded by fields. One building is used for the indoors accommodation, other buildings were closed or exclusively for staff.

Accommodation

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Most people choose to self-accommodate themselves by camping. Camps ranged from individual tents to large tent complexes and trucks. There is also a possibility to stay indoors at the barracks in shared rooms, in either bunk beds or on the floor with your own mattress. Both options cost a few euros extra. Playing or other activities are discouraged in the barracks, but this rule is not followed all the time.

Indoors accommodation is basic, and the largest rooms accommodate 12 people, so for privacy (or uninterrupted sleep) I would recommend camping, if practical. I opted for the indoors accommodation, but I will certainly consider camping the next time.

Facilities

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Showers, indoors toilets and gear washing areas are provided. Some basic BDSM furniture is present, many people bring their own.
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People

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All age groups and many nationalities were present. There were no organized get-togethers, and some groups seemed to be mostly enjoying their own company. Some larger private camp complexes also served as informal gathering areas.

Catering

Food and drink is provided for a price by the organizers. During the weekend, self-catering is discouraged. However, proper warm food is only served during meal times. A failure to observe these times results in having to survive on fish sandwiches. Food is basic barbeque meat and side dishes to go with it, drink is beer and booze.

Breakfast is included in the admission price and is the continental variety with coffee, tea and bread, with some warm dishes such as eggs and sausage.

Organization

Organization was efficient and well-planned. Some organizers understood English, and I encountered no practical tr600-06issues during my stay.
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Is Steppenbrand for you?

If you are not afraid of camping or staying in a spartan accommodation, Steppenbrand might be the right event for you. Most people travel there in groups, so going there alone might prove a bit boring.

Steppenbrand provides some unique opportunities for dirty/mud play, outdoors BDSM scenes, motocrossing and other outdoors activities. If these are not your thing, Steppenbrand might not represent good value for you. Steppenbrand is not a social gathering per se: although it is possible to meet new people there, this applies equally to any event anywhere.

From distant countries, flying to Berlin and renting a car from there is probably the fastest choice to get to the event.

2014 in review, and thoughts about life

// January 1st, 2015 // 2 Comments » // Writings

(scroll down to skip boring statistics and jump to Trikoot’s special rant about life!)

In 2014, I visited 12 foreign cities, which are, in alphabetical order: Basel, Berlin (3 times), Dresden, London (2 times), Los Angeles, Manchester, Munich, Norwich, Oslo, San Diego, Vienna, and Zürich. I had a total of 65 foreign travel days.

Summer 2014 saw me getting my motorcycling (class A) license, and immediately afterwards my first motorcycle, a Yamaha FZ6-S. I spent the summer riding as much as I could, racking up approximately 9000 km (5600 miles).

During 2014 I refurnished my playroom. I constructed my own bondage chair, made out of wood, and expanded the steel bondage frame already present in the room.

For 2015, I have the following goals:
* Complete the three-phase training required to get a car (class B) license.
* Do a motorcycling trip abroad, probably in Central/Southern Europe.
* Visit Berlin for Easter and Folsom Europe
* Improve my motorcycling skills with a few track days
* Construct the first, actually working version of a microprosessor-controlled breath control machine
* Finish my Master’s degree.

On a more personal note–and part of my ongoing midlife crisis–I’ve had to repeatedly think about the relationships in my life with my friends. For the past year I have tried to emphasise quality over quantity when it comes to having meaningful relationships in my life. It seems that a lot of my friends seem to be contempt with having numerous acquaintances, with whom occasional pleasantries and a beer can be shared, but with whom there is no deeper connection. A year ago I decided not to prioritize relationships with people with whom I cannot connect on a deeper level, as I find such relationships relatively meaningless. I have done my best to attempt this connection with everyone who comes across my path, sometimes rather fast, but too often unsuccessfully.

But this is not to say say, as once again too many do, that there is something inherently wrong in the world or other people. I believe partly in existentialism, especially because I believe that there is no inherent meaning in life, except that which we decide to create ourselves. I believe that the map is not the territory, and that the only meaning of communication is the response you get. It would be foolish to imply that most people lack the capacity for human connection, which is why I have concluded that my current approach is not perfect.

While I use the word “relationship” here to refer to any connection I have with other people, the big question of that one special one has not escaped my mind. As I see friends finding— and losing— their special ones, the superficial part in me silently congratulates himself for evading the huge emotional impact you expose yourself to by engaging in courtship. The statistician in me notes— rather dryly— that, considering the size of my target group, and my rather high expectations, there is practically no chance for finding someone to fit that mold. The responsible adult in me notes that I should not experiment with things like these, for the risk of hurting other people is too great. The Eckhart Tolle in me notes — peacefully — that any feelings of incompleteness are unnecessary.

I do not expect to find answers any time soon.

The next post will probably have rubbery bondage pictures, like usual.

Film Review: Age of Consent (USA/UK 2014)

// November 9th, 2014 // No Comments » // Uncategorized, Writings

I don’t usually write film reviews, but every now and then I encounter a film during which I cannot help but to wonder what I would write if I did reviews for a living.

This week, I had the chance to see Age of Consent (Bangor Films, USA/UK 2014) in a special showing organized by Vinokino, a local LGBT film organization in Helsinki, Finland. The following is my opinion of the film.

Filmed, directed and edited by Charles Lum and Todd Verow, Age of Consent aims to discuss the recent LGBT history of UK, while also portraying The Hoist in London as a groundbreaking venue for kinky folk. The film consists mostly of interviews of people associated with The Hoist, with the addition of a few other people in the LGBT scene in both the US and the US.

Unfortunately the film is a failure as a documentary, and features incredible lost potential in discussing important subjects. The historical timeline the film features is lacking, with important cases such as the Spanner trial, mentioned without any context, or even a decade for that matter. Political aspects of LGBT rights are ignored, and politicians are painted as simple devious individuals aimed at destroying the possibility of free, unlimited sex.

All of the serious political discussion is cross-cut with video of explicit penetrative anal sex, which might work as a parody of an over-the-top LGBT documentary, but which in this case is most likely either as an attempt to keep viewer attention, or worse, to gather up some risqué attention for the otherwise failed film.

The documentary does not shy away from simplifying the kinky scene of London, featuring implicitly The Hoist as a savior of the scene, conveniently either ignoring or mentioning in passing the numerous other clubs serving the scene in history or current day.

From a technical standpoint, Age of Consent attempts a cinéma vérité style of documentary, with noticeable absence of narration or background music. Unfortunately this proves mostly nauseating, hand-held video photography juxtaposed with cheaply made B-roll, in a futile attempt to break up otherwise obviously unprepared and blathering interviews. Any historical footage is absent.

In conclusion, any of the topics mentioned superficially in Age of Consent would be enough for a feature-length documentary. Age of Consent, however, fails to discuss any of the serious issues currently challenging the kinky community, or even to provide an adequate historical background to base any discussion on.