CLAUDIA ROSENBAUM’S article on the dominance and submission fetish fair at the Edge (“Dungeons and Drag Queens,” The District Line, 4/28) was, despite some glaring inaccuracies (there was no burning of virginal skin!), pretty entertaining.
Having been there and spoken to Rosenbaum, I feel compelled to comment on the major part of the “scene” that she left out: This must be safe, sane, and consensual! Educate while you titillate. There is a big difference between a desired level of pain and bodily damage; you should know what you’re doing!
To this end, there are many resources out there; books such as On the Safe Edge: A Manual for SM Play, SM 101, and Different Loving are available at alternative bookstores. There are also support/educational/social groups around…find one. Don’t be beatin’ on your partner without knowing the ramifications of your actions, despite his or her desires.
Lastly, every couple getting ready to “play” should have a “safe word.” This is a singular word that is unmistakable (“no” and “stop” are particularly poor choices), and means without equivocation (for whatever reason): “Enough! No more, let’s talk.” As one of our much-respected people says, “A good bottom is hard to find. Respect them, and earn their trust.”