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My Magazine > Editors Archive > Advice > Voyeurs, Exhibitionists, Diversity
Voyeurs, Exhibitionists, Diversity   by Cleo Dubois

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Cleo Dubois News Flash: Cleo Dubois and her partner, body modification expert Fakir, have been invited to London to showcase their work. This will be their first London tour in 12 years. Check out where you'll find the dynamic duo in May at [extern url='http://' target='_blank'']

Just got home from Cinekink film festival in San Francisco‘s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; you’d have loved it! Cinekink celebrates the many faces of alternative sexuality with three full nights of dramas, documentaries, comedies and kinky porn. “Vice and Consent,” the film I am in with a dozen other out-spoken kinksters [reviewed on about 8 months ago], won the Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary!

In it Race Bannon (creator of the Kink Aware Professionals online resource), speaks about the first time he played in public, recounting how amazed he was by the raves of the seasoned players who witnessed his scene. “I was just doing my thing,” he said and felt embarrassed, flattered, and validated by their kudos, all at once.

The very next day after viewing that documentary, I received an email asking about voyeurism in last month’s column “Playing for Real!” Maria wants to know why, “being normally a Dom, Brian doesn’t feel uncomfortable with the girls watching him bottom?” I don’t think Brian was actually comfortable knowing that two hot women had their eyes glued to him as he was being objectified. I think that his embarrassment added to his turn-on!

Remember we play in “shadow,” shedding light on our dark desires to arouse and maybe even heal us. Instead of using embarrassment to belittle someone, we fuel our eroticism with it. Your Top is actually giving you permission to be the sexy slut s/he is calling you. You know, there’s an exhibitionist in each of us! Doesn’t being witnessed make you want to do your best?

Maria also asked, “when does the voyeuristic thing become a hindrance?” For me, it’s when observers in street clothes, arms folded across their chests, make loud comments too close to my scene! But that does not happen often. Community dungeons have trained DMs (dungeon monitors) as well as guidelines about appropriate attire. As Michael Blue says in Vice and Consent, “we are organized!”

Another question Maria had was, “How did I know that my sub Brian would be cool with Mistress August’s humiliation?” No one knows for sure; it’s a dance. That’s why we pay attention to our partner’s responses and body language. I expected Brian to speak up if it was not working for him, or call his safeword. Good play, although negotiated, is not scripted like theater.

Recently, one clueless patron who went to the Citadel for the first time complained to the management that the female submissives did not look like the bondage girls of the porn he enjoys. As he was told, this is a community dungeon, NOT a porn set. We all love eye candy, but in the real world, you find that real players turned on by real live erotic power exchange come in all sizes, shapes and ages.

Last weekend I took Laura, a newbie I met at one of my classes, to her first play party, “only to watch this time,” she requested. I asked her to dress in something black and sexy. She looks good in her shiny bustier and tight pvc pants as we get to the Citadel on a lively Saturday night. Introducing her to some of the members I know well, I assure Laura there is no need to rush downstairs to the dungeon yet. “Take a breath,” I suggest, “let people know a bit about you. You are in good company. You can tell folks you are new to the scene and not sure yet what play attracts you.”

Basic dungeon etiquette dictates that you be a fly on the wall if you are going to watch others in action. We slowly go downstairs. The two St. Andrew crosses are busy. Backs and asses are being whipped to the beat of loud house music.

In between them I notice that my dear friend and first mentor, Amber, now in her 60s, is out tonight! Good for her! Her submissive play partner, a man in his forties, is naked except for his boots. Out of their play bag he hands her a set of wrist cuffs. She quickly clips his arms behind his back and has him kneel facing her. Despite folks flogging madly on either side, Amber is giving her “boy toy,” her undivided attention. Without taking her eyes off of him she slowly and deliberately takes clothespins out of her pants pocket, adding them one at a time to his bare chest. Laura and I notice his obvious sign of arousal!

We continue our slow stroll through the playroom, stopping at the water cooler, always a good, discreet observation spot. A delightful scene is in progress about 10 feet from where we are standing.

A slender woman with pigtails is bent over an old-fashioned school desk, receiving a sound spanking. When her butt is good and red, her Top has her sit her naked ass on the chair, and spread her long legs. That’s when I notice that these two could not be much over 25. To my surprise he then drops to his knees, crawls under the desk and starts worshipping her pussy! Her hands are sweetly folded in front of her as a sublime smile lights up her face. Clearly she is enjoying her reward!

On the far wall chained to a couple of eyebolts, a tattooed man over 6 feet tall struggles against his bonds while his Top, dressed in full motorcycle leathers, punches his chest and thighs with her bare fists. Their eyes are locked in intense concentration. With each blow he calls her “Bitch,” and she spits back, “Bastard.” Obviously their verbal exchange adds to the heat. All of a sudden she grabs his short hair and kisses him passionately.

As we get back upstairs, the bold art on the walls highlights a very different scene on the couches below. A Master is seated with his collared submissive on her knees worshiping his cock while his other sub canes her big ass, red marks all in neat rows. I liked that! I noticed Laura couldn’t take her eyes off them either and I felt her squirm a little, a good sign that voyeurism is turning her on too.

On our way home Laura shared her surprise with me, “so many different types of people and ways to play! And I loved watching them all. I had no idea that older folks have that kind of fun too! I guess size, shape and age don’t really matter, do they?” True, diversity rules in our community. Those who like to play publicly enjoy that extra bit of juice they get from watching each other and knowing they are being watched!

Dear readers, have you tried it?

In leather pride, with heart,
Cleo Dubois

When not writing for ALT and traveling the country doing demonstrations, Ms. Dubois enjoys mentoring couples in private, guided play at her SF Bay are dungeon. You'll find her special couples page at: [extern url='' target='_blank' text='']

Erotic Dominance Weekend Intensive for Dominant Women & Women Who Switch February 24-25, 2007 at the SF Citadel is full!

The next Erotic Dominance Weekend Intensive for Dominant Women & Women Who Switch
May 5-6, 2007 at the SF Citadel
Meet & Greet Friday evening, May 4th
Gain the confidence you need to make your scenes soar!
Hands-on training. Limited to 8!
Teachers: Cleo Dubois & Eve Minax with the assistance of Selina Raven

Erotic Dominance Weekend Intensive for Dominant Men & Men Who Switch
March 31-April 1, 2007 at the SF Citadel
Meet & Greet Friday evening, March 30th
Dominate with competence, presence and passion!
Hands on training. Limited to 8!
Teachers: Cleo Dubois & Eve Minax with the assistance of Selina Raven