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My friend Lochai once told me about his time in some of the Florida sex clubs, where doms would come in rolling large cases – practically cabinets, like the kinds of things you see mechanics keep their tools in. To hear him tell it, it was a kind of pissing contest to see who could have the most tricked-out case: special racks of shiny toys, neatly hanging ropes, maybe an internal lighting system.
I confess, I’m enough of an equipment nerd to see the appeal. Hell, I think I’d throw in a fog machine too, and maybe a large speaker that would blare Carmina Burana as I opened the case. But I’ve found that with age comes…well, I could be charitable and call it “maturity”, but as Heinlein once said, it often resembles “too tired.” That is, I’m tired of lugging a big case of toys, rope, safer sex supplies, snacks, and maybe even a change of outfit or two up the seemingly-prerequisite steep staircase that leads to most dungeons. It’s tiring lugging them up the stairs, and even more tiring lugging them back down – usually having only used a fraction of the toys in the bag, if any.
I suffer from a form of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), though perhaps it’s more FOFIANI: Fear Of Forgetting It And Needing It. So I tend to overpack – several sets of rope, an array of canes, three or four floggers, some specialized toys, a paddle or two, knives, condoms of varying types, clamps, ass hooks…the list goes on. Then I’ll do a scene and use my hands, my teeth, and four pieces of rope. It’s a good scene, usually, but then I look at my fancy-dancy gear bag and wonder: Why?
So I’m moving towards a change. My basic gear: three ropes, a knife, and my leather gloves. The three ropes idea actually goes back to an interview I did with James Mogul for the Ropecast, years ago, when he was saying that he enjoys the creative constraint of deliberately limiting equipment. “I like to show up at the dungeon with just three ropes,” he said, “and see what kind of trouble I can get into.”
I love that idea. At the same time, things should, as Einstein supposedly said, be as simple as possible – but no simpler. Occasionally I’m going to need to do a suspension, so on those nights the gear will expand to something like six ropes, with a ring and some carabiners. And occasionally I will acquire a toy that just begs to be used – such as this cocobolo brat bat that I acquired from Maui Kink.
But only one toy. Only the tools necessary, and force the rest of my scene – whatever it may be – to rely on me and my bottom to make it good, not on trying to pick out a toy from a vast selection. This doesn’t mean I’m throwing away my toys, or that I’ll stop practicing, especially with gear like bullwhips that need recent muscle memory to really use safely and effectively. But it’s not because I want to bring that kind of equipment with me. I’m ok with being known for rope, leather gloves, and knives alone. But I do have this silly little fantasy:
There’s a movie with Tom Selleck and Alan Rickman called Quigley Down Under. It’s about a sharpshooter specialist who travels down under and gets into troubles of various kinds. Without giving too much away, my fantasy is similar to the plot of that movie – maybe even with some hot Australian babe just for verisimilitude – where she snubs my rope and my leather and holds out some exotic toy, assuming a “rope guy” would be intimidated by the unfamiliarity.
In my fantasy, I smile softly, take the toy, and rock her world. And as she’s recovering in a quivering orgasmic puddle of beautiful post-scene bliss, she says “Oy. I thought you didn’t know how to use that toy…”
“I never said I didn’t know how to,” I’d reply with a smile, stroking her hair. “I just said I never had much use for it. Here, let me show you what I can do with this rope…”