Jim Stewart wrote and published this story
as it was told to him by
Sally & Malcolm



Originally titled 'We Love S&M', the cover blurb described:- "This light-hearted little handbook of kinkery is less about so-called S&M than imaginative sexual self-determination.
An ironically titled humorous tale, it was written in the dark days following the infamous 'Spanner Trial' (which contrived to make many private so-called S&M games between consenting adults, technically illegal in Britain).

Direct LINK to 'Spanner' information.



Before the days of the Internet, people like husband and wife game-players Sally and her sexually insatiable Malcolm felt totally isolated in South Croydon.

Married 25 years, pillars of the local darts team and amateur drama club, Malcolm was a tough man with a secret need to be challenged, subdued and dominated. So, together they experimented, inventing efficient restraint techniques and highly creative power-exchange scenarios. Graduating from suburban isolation to visiting straight and gay Fetish clubs in Amsterdam, San Francisco and New York, this is a heartening story of two people working out what is best for them.

By the time they told their story to me, the dark shadow of the 'Spanner' trial had fallen across the British legal system and Sally was (as she put it) " spitting feathers. She decided that they should tell the story of their own private struggle to find fulfillment in the face of moralistic misinformation about 'Deviant self-discovery'.

Sally was no writer, but a great talker - so she talk - and talked - and talked into my tape recorder.
At that time in history she was very angry.

The entire text has now been transferred to this site'. It contains no explicit descriptions of heavy SM or sex but is full of highly witty and thought-provoking common sense about a whole range of achievable erotic alternatives.

A book review (in The Fetish Times) said: "This deliciously light hearted tale of innocents discovering and inventing for themselves is essential reading for people new to role play games, and is a wide ranging compendium of information for the sexually adventurous".

In the publisged edition
A FOREWORD and INTRODUCTION were more relevant in 1995 before so much information was freely available via the Internet - but this text helps to set the scene:

Quotes from an article by Dr. Bill Thompson (SKIN TWO magazine, issue 16)
 ... Some judges in their role as self-appointed moral guardians clearly resent the freedom exhibited by the growing number of magazines, books, clubs and organizations exploring SM sex-play, and wish to put a stop to SM dabblers by targeting the devotees. Many in the SM community have indignantly complained that it made no sense to prosecute SM for assault while sports like boxing remained immune; but that is to miss the point, and real threat, behind the “Spanner” prosecution ...As it turned out, Judge Rant’s ruling  ...  forced the defendants to change their pleas to guilty. And when they were formally convicted on December 19th 1990, they found out why the Judge had made that ruling. His comments included the declaration that it was the role of the Court to draw a line between what was and was not acceptable in a civilized society, and that as sadomasochism was “degrading and vicious”, it was on the wrong side of the line. This decision, upheld at the Court of Appeal 18 months later and then confirmed by a split 3:2 decision by Law Lords in March 1992, raised two problems for a really civilized society:• the Judges’ beliefs concerning SM sex bore no relation to what SM sex is all about; and• their legal justifications for making consenting activities like spanking an illegal assault were more than dubious.... the real scandal  in the “Spanner” affair was the court case itself!

 Dr. Bill Thompson is a Criminologist at Reading University.
His book 'Sadomasochism: Painful Perversion or Pleasurable Play' has recently been published by Cassell.

as told to Jim Stewart
by Sally & Malcolm Barrett

(Complete text)

INTRODUCTION by Jim Stewart:

Personally, I’m into bondage rather than the full range of S&M games ... but that distinction may be lost on the general reading public, because where in Britain can anybody with a casual curiosity about such topics find reliable information? Certainly not in the tabloid press or a court of law.
The facts of sexual life are still energetically suppressed in Britain. Recent activities by the Obscene Publications squad, the Vice Squad, Royal Mail and Customs & Excise inspectors all graphically illustrate that prejudice and ignorance still have their champions. So, the aim of this provocatively titled little book is to make information available to men and women who prefer to think for themselves rather than be told what they should or should not be allowed to know or do.

When it comes to introducing Sally and Malcolm Barrett, authors of WE LOVE S&M, this is a special delight. Ever since I read their early attempts at a DIY draft of a manuscript I’ve wanted to see it more widely available. In a world full of sexual stereotypes, to meet two genuine originals is refreshing. It is also particularly valuable to have their good-humoured revelations on record. To a lot of people, players of so-called Bizarre Sex games are characterized in images gleaned from top-shelf “Kinky” magazines. Exactly what such exotic game-players actually do and why they do it can not be learned from the non-stop stream of “Shock Horror” reportage in the popular press where titillation without factual information seems to be the norm. This usually leaves the man or woman in the street mystified, perhaps intrigued, but certainly none the wiser about S&M games played by consenting adults for their mutual pleasure.

Sally and Malcolm are the reality behind these often repeated fictions. When I say that the Barretts are Originals, this doesn’t imply that they’re unique. Not only are there thousands of SM/Bondage enthusiasts around the world   most are serious individualists. At mutual interest gatherings and annual events such as “DRESSING FOR PLEASURE”, “LIVING IN LEATHER”, “THE BIZARRE BAZAAR” and “THE RUBBER BALL”, stylized clothes and symbolic SM imagery may suggest a same-ness ... but in reality the people are generally creative, thinking individuals. Whether they are bank clerks or housewives, top-executives or waitresses, mothers or fathers, most of them manage to live “normal” lives while also enjoying private pleasures which too many people think of as being abnormal.So, the down-to-earth common sense of Sally Barrett should be read by a much wider public than this privately printed little book will reach. My only regret is that in the past three years I have failed to find a mainstream publisher/distributor willing to take it on.  Maybe one day.
Have fun and enjoy what you enjoy.

M J Stewart-Addison
Seattle, Nov ‘95

See below for the complete text of
this delightful couple's adventures into kinkery.


Criminal Confessions from South Croydon

Start of Sally's first draft - November ‘94
When I sat down to write this book four years ago I was a very angry person. On December 20th 1990 a judge at the Old Bailey declared that sex games my husband and I enjoyed in the privacy of our bedroom were, in fact, criminal. On that historic day Judge James Rant decided on a surprise new interpretation of existing laws  ...  and it changed our lives. I wouldn’t mind, but we weren’t even on trial ... it was nothing to do with us ... but there it was in black and white in THE NEWS OF THE WORLD: Consenting adults can’t consent to all sorts of things that until then we didn’t think were anybody else’s business but our own!

So   ...   I won’t go back over the whole depressing, disgusting, sick-making, infuriating disgrace to the British Judicial System called the “SPANNER” trial  ...  because, as you can see, I’ve calmed down a lot in the past four years. If you don’t already know about it and you’re a real masochist, you can read more about it elsewhere  ...  but it’s very depressing. The main outcome being that a single judge without reference to me (or to Parliament) decided that my husband and I weren’t intelligent enough to decide for ourselves what was and was not good for us nookie-wise.

At that time we felt very powerless because so many of our basic rights had obviously been bludgeoned to death by the Good Judge Rant. We decided that we should try and do something positive. But what? Well, such a lot of rubbish was talked and written about S&M and fetish games in general during the trial  ...  that gave us the idea. Even the so-called Quality papers trotted out every misconception and popular prejudice, so we thought “Time to stand up and be counted.”

Now, my Malcolm has never been one for letting it all hang out, but he agreed with me that we were at least in a position to tell the other side of the story: that kinky sex and SM games may not be everybodys’ cup-of-tea, but they are certainly not something for the great British Judicial System to make an ass of itself about.  As my sister Ethel says “Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it” (she’s famous for such platitudes), and Judge Rant and subsequently the Law Lords  (God bless their silk socks and silk frocks) did seem to not have a very clear picture of the reality behind the lurid myths about S&M for pleasure.

Anyoldway, we decided to tell it how it is because, whether the disapprovers like it or not, there’s a whole lot of us intelligent, responsible but sexually uninhibited people out here in the real world and we manage to live full and fulfilled lives without disturbing the neighbours or corrupting our kids.

For what it’s worth, here goes with the story of two of them.

When I first met Malcolm he thought he was king of the Orchid Ballroom, Purley.  At 18 he was your typical early sixties Jack-the-Lad.  Elvis hair and Elvis trousers.  Legend had it that he wore a salami down his pants leg for effect.  That wasn’t true - it was all his very own.  Of course me, I was five years older and light-years wiser than him then but not exactly experienced sexwise.  You see if you’ve got a mother who talks to you about sex it may take away some of the delicious mystery and excitement  ...  but it also makes getting it a bit less desperate.  My Mum’s always been a lady who knew exactly what she liked and got it regularly.  And, because she was never furtive or saw reason to hide things from us girls, I suppose as a child I was well informed but managed to remain totally objective. Adult sex seemed as natural as enjoying a game of tennis or hopscotch. No she didn’t corrupt me. She enabled me to approach the practicalities of sex more calmly than is usual in British family life. Maybe, unintentionally, she did exposed me to some early experiences of men’s sexual overdrive. But, as she put it, information is power. As a young teenager when anyof her admirers attempted some minor slap and tickle with me  ...  they were left with very red faces.  I’d seen the way she could handle any situation and I learned by observation.  So, I suppose you could say that early in life I’d discovered that sexually I could not only look after myself, I could take it or leave it. 

Unlike me, lusty Malcolm (“Big M” to his friends would you believe) had a lot of notches on his gun at 18 but very little idea of subtlety.  He won’t mind me telling you all this because he was a very different person then.  In those balmy days of Beatles and the last of the Milk Bars, for a boy to pull a bird five years older than himself was like doing rude things with your granny.  I’d seen him around of course (you could hardly miss him), but I’d never spoken to him till I took my mini into this garage in the Brighton Road.  He was working there: bright red Pit Stop overalls with zip open down to the crotch, picturesquely torn vest underneath and more grease on his hair than in his grease gun.  Well, I don’t remember what sort of smart crack I made as I drove away  ...  but he remembered me next time he saw me at The Orchid.  With a couple of other girls we were all looking cool and unavailable in the Stardust Bar when in swaggers 'Big M' attended by several of his courtiers.  Two of his cronies nearly came to blows over who would buy him a beer, and his gaggle of girls giggled nervously imagining what death by impalement might feel like.

He gave me a smile that wasn’t meant to look sincere and drawls “Oh  ...  where have you been all my life?” 
“23 Margurite Villas,” sez I quick as a flash, adding in what I hoped were sexy tones, “Why? Are you looking for accommodation?” He sensed the challenge and so did his groupies.  “Oh  ...  would you like to accommodate me  ...  cuddles?” he purrs. 
Now, if it hadn’t been for this reference to my slightly fuller figure I might never have pursued the matter.  “I have a bed that would accommodate you nicely,” I smiled,  “It’s in our front garden and all ready to be planted.”  I’ll skip over the subsequent verbal fencing and two months of sporadic sniping, but the garage he was at did good work, and when I noticed that he always managed to be the one to come over and deal with my car when I drove in  ...  I began to warm to him.  Two years later we got married in a hurry.The parents of this ballroom Lothario were more conservative than Winston Churchill.  They’d had Malcolm late in their lives and his three older brothers were all already up and away before he was twelve.  So his slightly lurid Hollywood Pop star image was his defence against suburbanites as he put it.  Anyway his poor old Mum and Dad were relieved that he would be safely married off and moved out by the age of 20 so they could enjoy their old age in peace.  God love them they’ve been good Grandparents and will soon be Great-Grandparents if all goes well.

We’d set up house just in time for our Melanie to arrive and a year later almost to the day our son Todd followed in.  There we were, as ideal a young family as the Christian Family Association could wish for.  The fact that Daddy was emotionally immature and randy as a buck rabbit and Mummy less than ecstatic about being a life member of the Pudding Club didn’t promise well for our long term future.  In addition, super-stud Big M’s self-image was developing in a distinctly un-lovely chauvinistic direction.  So with the danger of a population explosion plus our need to be a two salary family something had to be done.  Our sex life was terrific  ...  predictable but terrific, but I knew something had got to change.

Now  ...   I don’t think it was exactly what my mother had in mind when it was first suggested: After I’d talked to her on the quiet about the problem, she just happened to remark in passing to Malcolm that there were alternatives to good old straight forward penetration.  She’s like that, my Mum.  I thought he’d freak out  ...  but he was just vaguely mystified.  To him sex had always been as natural and uncomplicated as loading the washing machine  ...  and he wanted his oats about as regularly as a household with two infants runs its washing machine.  But anyway, he adored my Mum and loved it when she talked about sex because of course his parents never had.  Well, there’s nothing kinky about our Vera (that’s my Mum) so all she was really suggesting was that perhaps there are things a man can do that make it last longer, perhaps without quite so much wear and tear on the merchandise, and not result in too many unwanted little strangers.  God bless him, poor Malcolm was totally out of his depth.  I think he wasn’t all that far from asking her to show him what she meant.  But I stepped in and told him I’d explain it when we got home. It wasn’t easy.  #

Big M was used to taking what he wanted when he wanted it.  Physically he was powerful enough to control any situation.  He welcomed a good fight but in bed nobody had ever put up much of a struggle.  So when I tried to show him that if he would only hold back a bit and let me regulate the build up  ...  but it wasn’t what he was used to.  It was too easy for him to take over whenever he felt the urge.  The cellotape was my idea.  We’d both got quite giggly while I was trying to get him to hold back and control himself.  I trooped out of bed and down into the living room and came back with a roll of cellotape and said “If you can’t keep you hands to yourself you’ll have to let me help you”.  So without any protest he let me tape one hand to the bed head.  He was in a stupid mood and said in an Irish accent “I can fight any man with one hand tied behind me back!” So I said I’d tape the other one as well.  He laughed as he let me, shouting “Help! Help I’m being accosted by a sex mad female!! Help! Rape!” and he was laughing and struggling  ...  and I don’t think he realized how strong cellotape is when it’s wrapped round a few times.

It was ever so dramatic.  He’s a big feller and for the first time in his life he wasn’t in physical control of the situation.  He did his damnedest to break free and I waited for him to convince himself that he was well and truly fixed.  His legs were under the bed covers and I was sitting on them so they weren’t too much of a problem.  We both had an incredible time.  After I’d teased him a bit he was getting so worked up he told me to cut him loose so he could take control and I said no way.  He was all steamed up and at first he didn’t believe I was serious  ...  but I was having a ball like I’d never had before.  It was the hottest sex we’d ever had together and it went on and on and on.  We were both deep into new territory, with new rules, new possibilities  ...  and before that night was over we both understood that there were places we’d never even dreamed of.  It was fabulous.

Next morning he wasn’t so sure.  Ever since I’d known him he’d sniggered about perverts and people who needed 'kinky' sex.  Same with his attitudes towards homosexuality: Prejudice based on total ignorance.  He’d always been dismissive but at the same time very defensive about Queers as he called them.  Only, with his silk shirts and tight pants at The Orchid it wasn’t only the women that gave him the eye.  But then if any man ever looked at him twice there’d be ugly incidents and punch-ups.  At times I almost felt he invited the trouble.  Let’s face it The Sixties may have been swinging in Carnaby Street and Liverpool, but in Croydon horizons were still pretty limited.  Our local Borough Council wasn’t actually top of the league table for Sex Education.  No, our Malcolm was your typical provincial macho, chauvinistic, Daily Mirror reading penis-brain.  Why did I let him marry me? Apart from him being highly sexed and incredibly good looking he had a sense of style and a sense of humour and inexhaustible vitality  ...  and I was slightly plump and twenty five years old.  Now, if you ask him why he married me  ...  I don’t think he knew at the time but he knows now:  We’re well matched.  From the first time we met we’ve been good sparring partners.  Two halves of the same coin.

Getting back to how little we knew about non-conventional sex; whatever preconceptions and misconceptions either of us had at that time about “kinkiness” had been obtained through school yard mythology, adolescent jungle telegraph and the more sensation-mongering newspapers.  We’d all heard about it but nobody we knew admitted to actually having done it.  Sound familiar? But the social conditioning was deep and effective.  Unlike today when fetish clothes and bondage imagery are commonplace in the Pop Scene, at that time imagery of so-called Bizarre Sex was thinner on the ground  ...  particularly in Croydon.   So even after that one great night, the inhibitions that 'Civilized Society' had so subtly tangled us up in prevented us from escaping.  For me the altered balance of physical power had opened up new vistas of tactile, emotional, sensual and imaginative possibilities.  For Malc his brief experience of powerlessness had (he admitted much later) broken down so many barriers and made him realize how potentially destructive to our relationship his limited sexual horizons had been. But speaking chronologically the cellotape stayed out of the bedroom for over two months. 

Then, one night when Malc was trying to persuade me to let him go off on a six week deep water diving course, in wheedling to get me to agree he said he’d let me tape him up again.  Ho-ho, I thought, he’s been thinking about it too.  Our second bout was even more fantastic than the first because I taped his ankles as well that time.  Purely a practical measure because with his weight training he could throw me off or trap me with his legs.  The progression of the scene that I improvised took him through excitement, frustration, real impotent anger, desperation and eventual physical exhaustion to a point where he’d have agreed to anything to get me to stop teasing him
Somehow he grew up five years in that one night.  For the next week he smiled a lot and we were closer than we’d ever been.  Then he went off to learn deep sea diving and I was left with two screaming kids to contemplate what the rest of my life might hold in store.


adism and Masochism were words I’d never even spoken before the age of 25.  I’d read them, maybe even heard them said at work; sniggered about in the nudge-nudge wink-wink way people do.  Certainly at that time the sort of games Malc and I occasionally played weren’t sadistic or masochistic in the Sunday newspaper sense of the words.  Starting out with the purely practical need to get a better balance of physical power between us, the new alternatives we discovered opened up a whole new ball-game (if you’ll excuse the expression).  So, is tying somebody down and tickling them until they beg for mercy or will agree to anything sadism? Is agreeing to have it done to you masochism? If you say so  ...  that’s what we were by natural instinct.  If you disapprove  ...  that’s your problem.  If you think we should be sent to prison for doing something we mutually enjoy in the privacy of our own homes  ...  then stop reading this book.Assuming you’re still there  ...  what’s your opinion on tying somebody down and bringing them to orgasm five times over a period of three hours or maybe less? Is that torture and sexual abuse? Can you imagine the headlines in the NEWS OF THE WORLD? Well, it became one of my favourite games on a slow Sunday when the kids were off with their grandparents for the weekend.Other words like fetish and perversion gave us the same problems in the early days.  I looked them up in a dictionary but the definitions didn’t seem to relate to anything we liked to do in bed.  Fetishes like stiletto heels and fishnet tights, nun’s outfits made in black latex or grown men wearing girls school gym slips were cliché we discovered in soft porn magazines the first time we went to Amsterdam for a weekend.  They didn’t appeal to us but we thought 'Live and let live'.  No, in our early days of self-discovery we derived innocent fetishistic pleasures unconsciously.  For example Malcolm’s greasy garage overalls with his wide leather belt and high lace-up boots turned me on more than his satin shirts and blue suede shoes at the local hop.  When I first went on the back of his motorbike (He’d had one since he was 16) I wore one of his old leather jackets.  Snuggling up against his leather shoulders and nice round butt gave me a thrill that I didn’t identify as even sexual  ...  it was just exciting.  I think the words sensual and erotic are often much more appropriate than sexual. 

For Malcolm and me to work out a way to discuss things together we found we needed to learn a whole new vocabulary and un-learn a whole load of prejudicial meanings that have been imposed on words.If leather and boots are a fetish, by the time I got my own jacket and boots so I could go for weekends on the bike with Malc I was well on the road to hell  ...  because in them I even turned me on let alone Big M! And not only leather but wet weather gear too.  Climbing off the back of the bike after a ride through the rain with Malc dressed up like a plastic spaceman  ...  we were both so turned on we could have rolled around on the garage floor having rampant sex if it’d been physically possible in all that gear.  The frustration of having to peel it all off before we could get at each other was terrible.  By the time we got to bed or into the shower the main turn-on imagery was lying wet and limp by the back door. 

So, “Fetish is as Fetish does” as sister Ethel might say if she had any imagination.Is having sex with your clothes on Kinky? Somehow when I was young I thought is was  ...  unless you had nowhere to go except the cinema car park.  When I first talked to Malc about it he agreed that somehow he’d grown up thinking that to have proper sex you needed to be naked.  First time we had sex together in full leather and boots it was fantastic beyond belief.  It was in a tent on the Yorkshire Moors and it was a very cold wet night  ...  so that made it OK.  After that we tried it once in our bedroom and felt stupid.Now rubber was a different story.  Long before it became fashionable and Madonna wore it I think Malc was attracted to it.  He had waders and oilskins to go fishing in as well as his bike waterproofs.  For his wind surfing and snorkelling he had a wet-suit before I met him.  Then came his yen to take up deep water diving.  It didn’t strike me until the first time I saw the Avon dry-suit catalogue how sexy men look totally encased in thick rubber  ...  preferably black. 

After the diving course when he suggested he should get his own suit I thought  ...  to hell with the expense, think about the possibilities offered by having one on hand on dry land.  Specially when I went to the diving centre with him and saw what was involved in neck entry as opposed to zip entry.  All the struggling and pushing and pulling to get into it, and it being almost impossible to get out again without outside help.  Right there in the shop seeing Malc totally imprisoned inside the thick rubber casing made my innocent heart flutter.  I can tell you I could hardly wait for him to get it home.People who don’t know what I’m talking about kink-wise often ask how it can be sexy if you can’t get at the essential equipment.  Well first of all, if I can’t get at it, neither can he (for more about Chastity Belt games see page 35).  And when he’s in no position to push me off, it’s amazing what you can do with ice, a hair dryer and a vibrating Pifco massager  (Whenever we see one at a Car Boot sale we buy it - they’re the best sex toy ever produced).'Bondage' is another word that always causes a stir but most people don’t really know what it actually means.  Bondage when I was at school was something Shylock yattered on about in Shakespeare.  In the Bible people always seemed to be getting themselves into or out of bondage, and in the NEWS OF THE WORLD a bondage shock horror story is anything from a fully furnished dungeon in the basement to a roll of cellotape in a bedside table drawer. 

There’s a lot of confusion in the public mind about what exactly Bondage involves.  It’s a conveniently vague taboo for The Establishment and Customs Inspectors to maintain without having to be specific or even logical.We still didn’t consider we were seriously into Bondage when Malcolm and I had already learned from experience that rope is less messy than cellotape; cotton rope leaves less marks than hemp AND the knots don’t slip like they do with nylon cord.  It was much later in our development that we switched permanently to using leather strips which we first saw at the annual BIZARRE BAZAAR in New York  ...  but that was years later and gets a chapter to itself so let’s stick to the subject of the names of the games.In our early days of discovery without access to information, we discussed between ourselves whether or not such 'exotic' sex games might be addictive and we might lose the ability to enjoy the simple pleasures of kissing and cuddling and good old straight forward humping.  Well, we still don’t know the answer to that one  ...  but how many other couples who’ve been together for 27 years play erotic games regularly at least twice a week  ...  sometimes 12 hours at a stretch? You tell me. 

If we cut down on the actual intercourse that might originally have been to do with birth control or because it was so exhausting with Malcolm exclusively in the driver’s seat.  Anyway I’m turned 50  ...  but then again Vera’s nearly 70 and she still gets a little whirl when she needs it.  I don’t think SM or Bondage sex are any more addictive than arcade video games.  It’s all a matter of degree and intelligence.  For some people even Bingo becomes obsessive and wrecks their home life.

Still on the subject of our vocabulary of eroticism: Pain as a game takes a bit more explaining.  We eventually came to the conclusion that Malc has always been some sort of masochist.  Well, you don’t leave a warm bed at five o’clock in the morning to go fishing when you’re 12 years old if you’re normal, do you.  Enjoying physical pain and discomfort in Malc’s case ranged from boxing, wrestling and running (until he tore a tendon) at school, through motorcycling in all weathers as a teenager to deep diving off a North Sea Oil Rig in winter.  That all involved degrees of self-induced discomfort  ...  whether consciously or unconsciously is another matter.  I suppose physical self-challenge can become a fetish if you get off on it (As an American friend of ours might say “Tell THAT to the Marines”).  What would you call a man who works out with weights till his whole body is trembling and he’s almost crying with the strain on his muscles?; He-Man or Pervert? So here’s a scoop for the Daily Mirror Sports Page  ...  in our bedroom for the past six years we’ve had an elaborate and expensive home exercise construction called Super Gym.  It fills half the room with posts, pulleys, weights, traction benches and push-up/pull down bars with grab handles and suspension points.  Well I wasn’t the one who decided to add lockable wrist and ankle straps at strategic points.  I wasn’t the one who set a tough exercise program and asked me to make sure he did it all  ...  “and maybe more”! What sort of a game would you call that? Kinky? Perverted? At 45 his body looks great and he feels great  ...  believe you me.  OK it was my surprise idea that he’d do his chosen exercise program every day wearing his silver plastic sweat suit.  I love to watch him sweat and strain and cuss.  I tell him it’s his full body condom.  He gets so mad  ...  but a deal’s a deal.  I lay and watch as he does his exercises  ...  and we both get the benefit from them.Erotic games involving deliberately inflicting pain, like everything else we do, grew naturally out of experiments. 

Having discovered what turned Malc on it was only right that he should be free to get his own back and spring a few surprises on me.  Almost the first time I let him give me the cellotape treatment I thought I’d made a serious miscalculation.  When I was all spread-eagled and vulnerable he announced that he’d bought a new whip that he wanted to try.  We were still only at the slap and tickle stage then  ...  and although we hadn’t got into gags at that time he improvised something and left me helpless and fuming  ...  but somehow deep down I knew we had too good a relationship for him to push it too far.  Back he came saying that he’d have to blindfold me as well before he used the whip.  I heard the swish and braced myself  ...  the devil had bought a aerosol can of whipped cream which he proceeded to squirt all over my helpless naked body  ...  rub it around  ...  and then lick it off.  Gagged and blindfolded I was in seventh heaven.  I couldn’t have let him do all that to me if I’d been free to fight him off.  You see, it may sound terrible or wonderful to you or just plain silly  ...  but we like it.  


uring the first five years of our marriage before our kids were capable of serious curiosity Malcolm and I were free to play at home  ...  although, as an investment in the future, we did from the beginning encourage my Mum and Malc’s parents to have our kids to stay with them for occasional weekends and take them on holiday trips from time to time.  Luckily this suited all concerned and even in our innocent beginnings allowed for our noisier game playing.  As far as our instinctive gravitation towards more (shall we say) experimental games, we were isolated from any form of outside influence, but at least we had each other.  When I think how many people there are out there with nobody to even exchange ideas or opinions with; people who may never succeed in making contact with another compatible soul on this planet  ...  Sorry, recently that thought’s been bothering me more and more.  Anyway, where was I? Beginning of Phase Two of our development. 

By the time our two kids both reached the age to start primary school full time, money was getting tighter.  Everybody was ready for a change.  I wanted to get back to my work full time and Malc was eager for a shot at something more adventurous than being a garage mechanic all his life.  From the first his idea behind the diving was to get work on the oil rigs which were only just starting.  After five years of married life he had earned a break.  Bless him he was great with the kids but he’d still got a lot of the kid in him at 25.  We thought there’d be more need for him to be around the house when our two hit adolescence.  I was nervous of the dangerous work of course but there was good money to be made on the Rigs at that time  ...  and I was quite looking forward to getting back onto the career ladder I’d hopped off to get married.

As this saga is only about our sexual exploits I’ll get to the point of this chapter: Voices in the Wilderness.  Throughout history sex-starved men in lonely places have found solutions that 'Civilized Society' might find unacceptable.  Life on the oil rigs pitched Malc smack into a world he’d never experienced but took to like a duck to the proverbial.  In spite of his Orchid Ballroom bravado and our less than conventional occasional sex games he was still an innocent at heart.  Older men on the rigs knew and did things that blew his mind.  Luckily for me we had a good firm relationship.  Without the bond of our secret and slightly guilty games (we still felt guilty about them then  ...  we don’t now, Your Honour) I don’t think our marriage would have survived Aberdeen  ...  the Tartan Klondike.  For the first time Malc was exposed to German, Swedish and American porno videos.  He had access on local shore leave to strip shows, sex clubs, phone sex  ...  and what was so sweet was he used to write and tell me all about it.Not to be outdone I used to write him weekly letters giving news of home and the kids plus totally fictitious and outrageous accounts of my sexual exploits with my boss, the milkman, his old mates from the garage and even with the lady next door. 

Some of the scenarios I dredged up from my subconscious shocked even me.  On his first two trips home he was suspicious  ...  but it was the beginning of the role playing that we both eventually became so good at.  On an early trip home he brought a few of the Contact ad.  magazines that circulated on the rigs to show me.  Of course they’re illegal in Britain but that didn’t seem to include Aberdeen.  BITCH GODDESS, SM GAZETTE (I’m not making this up), SM/ADS, , RUBBER NEWS,  and DIZIPLINE were all packed with contact ads as well as pictures and fiction.  Most of the ads were from professional Dominatrix offering the men interesting shore leave in Amsterdam, Hamburg, Bradford, Birmingham and even Carnoustie!  Some of the ads sounded like pure fantasy but who knows? There were also obviously genuine personal ads from lonely men, lost souls sending out messages from the wilderness.  It was the first time I realized how many lonely hearts never get heard from.

During that leave I asked Malc if he’d fancy writing to some of the more outrageous Dominatrix ads.  I said I’d be very interested to know how they wrote back.  He said he’d think about it.  When he went back he left the magazines  ...  they certainly contributed to my education.  No, they didn’t pervert me, I was just happy to know we weren’t the only perverts in the world if that’s what we really were.  Reassurance that you’re not alone in the world is not something to be sniffed at.  And like it or not Mrs. Whitehouse, there are people in the world who choose NOT to live by the rules you choose to live by.  Whoops! Cool it! Don’t get emotional.  But you see, thinking about all the people who never manage to make contact with kindred spirits makes me angry and depressed  ...  and I don’t want this book to be depressing or shocking just informative.


laborate role playing between regular sex partners isn’t as peculiar as it might sound, nor as unusual.  When we first drifted into it early on, it was on paper like I said  ...  in our letters.  The first time in full make-up and costume was full of surprises.  A week after that leave when I suggested Malc should write to some of the sexy contact ads a letter arrived from Aberdeen addressed to the 'Divine Madam S' at our address.  I could have killed Malc because the postman’s good a friend of ours and member of the Darts Team.  In it he’d written to me as though I’d advertised in a magazine called SEX EXCHANGE BY POST.  According to him my ad had said “Frank exchange of sexually explicit letters desired by suburban housewife from frustrated sailor or manual worker living alone”! He’d concocted this quite sincere sounding letter from a man who had a wife who didn’t understand his needs and was sexually frigid.  He went on to unburden his secret sex fantasies which included every kind of perversion under the sun and ended with the admission that he was so sexually frustrated he was masturbating nightly together with several of his work mates and was seriously in danger of turning homosexual if he didn’t get a sympathetic and understanding response.  He even signed his letter with his real name!

For the next two months our exchange of letters was by return post  ...  sometimes he wrote a second letter before he’d received my reply to the one before.  The erotic fantasies he thought up were incredible.  In one of his letters to his “Divine Madam” he sent a set of ridiculous black see-through underwear with red marabou feather trim.  I can imagine what sort of shop he bought it in Aberdeen.  Well, he asked 'her' to wear it and think of him.  In response I asked him to send a photo of himself in the nude.  Ten days later I’m damned if it didn’t arrive: Malcolm stark naked except for his hard hat and his wellies, grinning away larger than life.  I’ve never dared to ask who took the picture  ...  which was in a box with this slightly larger than life vibrating dildo and a note suggesting that I should use it and think of him.

As a return challenge I wrote straight back and said that on his next leave not to go straight home to his wife but come visit me 'The Divine Madam S' for a couple of days.  We’d actually booked a family holiday in Ibiza for the second two weeks of his shore leave  ...  but in my letter I said I (The divine Madam S) would send my children to their Grandparents for the weekend.  It was really exciting.  The next week his letter was very short.  It just said that his leave started the following Saturday and he was very much looking forward to meeting me for the first time.

Because I had no idea if he’d have the nerve to follow through with it, I tried to cover all eventualities.  I’d already ordered by post a few items advertised in the magazines he’d left  ...  just for a bit of devilment  ...  but I’d never dared show them to him.  They were just what I needed if I was to live up to the reputation of the Divine Madam S.  - Slut of the South Circular Road.  So I packed the kids off for a weekend with his Mum and Dad, my excuse being that I would be working overtime to earn extra cash for our Spanish holiday.  Of course they were always happy to go because Malc’s Mum and Dad always spoilt them rotten.On the appointed morning the front doorbell rang and I was suitably tarted up as The Divine Madam S. just in case.  I’d even borrowed this long dark wig ready to give the acting performance of my life.  When I opened the door there stood Malc and I was stunned.  He’d had his lovely long hair shaved down to a tight crew cut, wore seaman’s sweater and wellies and was smiling like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth.  “Are you Malcolm Barratt’s missus?” he asks in a broad Scottish accent.  There was a pause before I nodded.  “Funny,” he says, “he told me your were brunette.  Anyway Malcolm asked me to look in on you while I was on leave.  He sent you these,” and he produces a bottle of booze and chocolates from his canvas kit bag.  The bastard had concocted a totally different scenario.  “Would you mind if I came in for a wee while?” he says easing his way past before I could answer.  I was totally off balance but the scene that followed should have won us both an Oscar because, having switched roles into the role of dutiful wife and mother, Andrew McGilligan (“Call me Andy” he tells me!) opens the Scotch, plants himself in Malcolm’s chair and starts making a strong pass at his good mate’s wife.  When I demurely rejected his advances, downing a third “wee dram” he starts getting insistent and I find myself defending my honour against a sex starved helicopter pilot on his first visit to London.           

It was a wonderful performance.  Before long his character started to turn quite nasty and suggest that he could take me by force if I didn’t co-operate.  I was just deciding whether to drop my role and opt out of the game or knee him in the groin and ruin both our weekends  ...  when he suddenly changed tack and said not to worry, Malcolm had asked him to visit and tempt me because he had heard that I was being unfaithful.  Well, I acted outraged and shocked and then came the tears and ordering him out of the house.  Suddenly he asked why I was trying to get rid of him and what was I trying to hide and who was I expecting  ...  and before I knew it he was up the stairs and into our bedroom.           

Well the lacy lingerie and the dildo were all laid out on the bed  ...  and a Scottish Presbyterian Minister couldn’t have been more biblical about me and my Fancy Men.  It was time for thinking on my feet so I said I knew Malcolm had been having an affair through a contact magazine.  I cried a bit and said I’d fetch us both a drink and I’d explain it all.  Down stairs I quickly reviewed my options and dashed back up stairs with two large glasses of scotch  ...  and I don’t even like scotch!

He was sitting on the bed looking at the set of lockable leather wrist and ankle restraints with matching collar I’d bought by mail order.  For a minute I thought he was going to come out of his character  ...  but he downed the drink in one gulp instead.  I could see I’d gained a little time so I took it quite slowly.  “Andrew,” I said “I am not, in fact, Malcolm Barratt’s wife.  I am a professional Dominatrix and his wife Sally has paid me to be here because her husband was supposed to arrive today and wanted his wife to do terrible perverted thing to him  ...  and I’m a lady who can deal with men like that.” Calmly I added “That’s why I laced that drink I just gave you with a potent chemical which will make it impossible for you to resist me physically or mentally  ...  do you understand? Can you feel that all the power has drained from your muscles? You will do exactly as I tell you.  OK?”

I could see that his old brain was whirring away before he decided to play along.  He says weakly but ever so dramatically, “You Bitch, what have you done to me?!”  “I have made you my slave and my prisoner.  Take all your clothes off.  You have just enough strength to do that but no more.”  Acting like the last of the zombies he strips right down to the buff as I sit on a chair and watch, smiling enigmatically.  “Now lock on the ankle, wrist and neck restraints,” I purr.  He does it and Zombie or not his pecker was stiff as a pole.  He co-operated while I fastened him to the bed, then I got the other glass, lifted his head and gave him a drink from it.  “This is the antidote to the drug.  Your full strength and power will be restored immediately.  You can fight and struggle as much as you like now because I’m not going to let you loose for 48 hours”.“Forty eight hours,” he yells suddenly springing back to life.  He thrashed around and really put my new purchases to the test.  Luckily they were worth the money and held him fast  ...  but he didn’t give up easily.  “Keep still,” I barked and slapped him quite hard.  “Now tell me who you are Andrew McGilliguddy or Malcolm Barratt?”  He thinks for a minute and then says “McGilligan.  Andrew McGilligan, helicopter pilot for B.P.”  “Right Andrew, I’m going to do to you all the things that your friend Malcolm wrote and told me he’d like me to do to him.  Two whole days with no arguments.  No get out.  Right?”

Well, he was determined not to drop his character  ...  and for two long days and nights I pulled out all the stops.  He slept in restraints for the first time.  I’d also bought a good solid gag so he couldn’t keep me awake.  Incidentally, this isn’t the time to interrupt the continuity to talk about long scenes or degrees of 'consent' and the removal of it, but I hope to find a place to slot it in later on.

Anyoldway, by the end of it all poor Andrew was drained quite literally.  He acted like it had never happened to him before ..  and I had worked in a lot of surprises  ...  and it was the longest scene we’d ever sustained.  When I let him loose poor old Malc was too tired to think and I played my part right to the end.  When he’d got his clothes back on I kissed him gently.  “Well now Andrew.  You pop off down to the station and phone Malcolm and ask him if when his leave starts he’s coming to see The Divine Madam S.  for two days before he and his wife and kids fly off to Ibiza for his leave proper.  Andrew nodded and trotted off down the road like a lamb. 
In about ten minutes the phone rang “This is Andrew, Madam” he says, “Malc says he’s feeling a bit shattered and would like a couple of quiet days at home before the start of the family holiday  ...  but he asked me to ask if perhaps on his next leave he could come and visit you for the first time.”  “Tell him I’ll look forward to that, Andrew,” I said. 

Well, talk about quick change and stage management.  I only just had time to change my clothes and pack away the gear in the bedroom before I heard Malc breeze noisily in through the back door.  He was wearing a colourful athletic track suit and carrying a sports holdall; the sailor’s kit bag and wellies nowhere to be seen.  I thought  ...  you have a talent for this game matey.  I’m going to have to get in some practice. 

Since then the repertory of characters we turn into to turn each other on has grown.  Together we’ll plan a night out  ...  perhaps by one of us going to a bar we know which is mainly for singles in Redhill  ...  the other will arrive pretending to be somebody totally different.  It’s real improvisation stuff.  We have a file of character types, turn-on clothes, basic scenarios.  Sometimes we just pick a piece of paper out of a hat.  Malc knows I like his slightly dumb drunk Irish labourer and motorcycle stud or off duty policeman new to the neighbourhood.  My tart with the heart of gold and the school teacher who’s never had sex and getting desperate are fun for us both.  I suppose many people don’t need or can’t deal with elaborate role play in sex  ...  but I tell you, it beats going to the pictures.


might sound like I’m skipping a lump of the story, but with Malc working away and two kids springing up like weeds and me back at work full time, although our correspondence and holiday breaks continued to be full of surprises our real serious development into fully fledged sexual perverts didn’t happen for another six years.  When Melanie was 12 and Todd 11 it seemed like time for Malc to settle down closer to home.  Always in his mind he’d wanted a machine shop or specialist garage of his own.  The opportunity presented itself and the cash had been saved.  It was the time of the North Sea boom but he eased his way out of the field work but had managed to make himself useful enough to have some good contacts when it came to special marine engineering requirements.  So by 79/80 we were in business. 

My job had elevated to Company travel organizer for the multi-national which shall remain nameless, and was too good to give up.  The perks had already got the family to Spain, Crete, Greece and California plus romantic weekends for Malc and me in Rome, Venice, to say nothing of Hamburg, Paris and Amsterdam  ...  and I’ll say nothing of our visits to Hamburg, Paris and Amsterdam!Oh, what the hell! Those trips contributed to our coming to terms with our sexual preferences.  After seeing the magazines from Aberdeen, visiting these so-called fleshpots of Europe made us realize how normal we were and how screwed up so many so-called normal people are  ...  but it certainly confirmed our isolation in South Croydon.  Contact ads of the less lurid kind were there to be found if you knew where to look even in Britain in the late Seventies.  Useful magazines like SKIN TWO, SHINY and BOUND TO PLEASE hadn’t started to appear yet but FORUM, PUSSYCAT, ATOMAGE and Pamela Young were all good low key contact points for the needy and the lonely. 

Malc and I discussed the possible advantages of making social if not physical contact with like-minded people.  Choosing our own route towards further personal development was proving difficult.  Access to information allows you to make informed choices. 'Ignorance is not bliss' as the opponents of Sex Education would have us believe.  But with our kids increasingly alert, inquisitive and demanding, our games at home needed to be very very circumspect.  I was determined the kids would not grow up ignorant of the broader concepts of sexuality  ...  but no way would we complicate their lives by opening their minds too far too soon. 

A brilliant solution to our space needs was for Malc’s new workshop to have a separate 15 x 15 foot 'Work-out Room' for his weight training complete with shower, etc.  ...  etc.  Naturally this was something he used mainly in the evenings  ...  and at weekends when Daddy was working overtime and Mummy was helping him with the Books.  The kids were happy to have the house to themselves from time to time and entertain their friends.  They were good kids and we treated them like young adults.But somehow our sense of isolation seemed to be increasing and several times we discussed running some sort of ad to make a few social contacts or at least to exchange letters with other closeted suburbanites.  We’d both become very good letter-writers during our months apart, but first we needed to take stock and consider what we had to gain or lose by risking exposing our interests to strangers. 

Malc had met several men on the rigs who in that free-wheeling atmosphere had let down a few barriers about their less-conventional sexual preferences, but with most of them there was still an element of snigger-and-wink coyness about such admission  ...  and apology.  Malc said these men often pretended to be contemptuous or disapproving when in fact they were dying to try things they’d only heard about second hand.  'Civilized Society' (aided and abetted by the muck-raking media) was still helping to keep the locks firmly on the closet doors even then.  I had never had a serious discussion with anybody but Malc or my mother about so-called deviant or kinky sex.  It was time to put a toe outside the door.But before we’d decided what to put in some sort of ad, FORUM magazine Personal Column provided us with what looked like the perfect opportunity.  “South West London couple with interest in all forms of unconventional sexuality and erotic stimulation wish to meet others with view to forming discussion group.  Confidentiality guaranteed.  Send phone number only in first instance”, and a Box number to write to.  Well, that was the start of the next phase in our personal development.


roups can be a mixed blessing.  Malcolm and I have learned a lot since that first faltering attempt by the two who put the ad in FORUM.  As it turned out they were really looking for additional sex partners and shared experiences rather than discussion  ...  and Malcolm and I weren’t ready for that.  Apart from us, three other couples and eighteen singles replied to their first ad so it showed just how many people were in the same boat as us.  I don’t think now’s the time to get into generalizations about the dynamics of Group Interaction  ...  No I’m sure it isn’t.  Maybe it’s something to do with being British.  Anyway, a few of us did meet two or three times in private houses from Streatham to Dorking.One direct good result was that we got to see a copy of a newsletter from EULENSPIEGEL, a well established SM group in New York.  And, well, one things leads to another as Ethel would say.  (I really should tell you about my younger sister sometime.  She’s the queen of the platitude and lives a totally uneventful life in Sutton). 

Anyway, as our personal development into depravity is what I expect you want to hear about I’ll skip over the fumblings of our first face to face Group Encounters in South West London and get on with our expansion into the international network of newsletters put out by different SM groups in different countries and the personal contacts which can build up from there.We’d found the door we were looking for at that time.  Our previous letter writing experience gave us the confidence to say things in print we perhaps weren’t yet capable of saying in public.  Very British! But the immediate response we got from our tentative letter to the Secretary of EULENSPIEGEL was friendly, generous and genuine. 'Goldie' welcomed us and also immediately sent us a copy of THE RIGID BONDAGE ROSTER (now sadly defunct) which was filled with useful Contact addresses for other clubs and groups around the world.  There were also “Personals” of hair-raising explicitness (if there’s such a word!).  Importing such publications was illegal in Britain even at that time (1978/9), but it was before the recent vicious clamp down made even having a copy of such a magazine in your private home a criminal offence.

At that time Malc first got his Personal Computer because it was necessary for his new business and he got ever so good at Word Processing  ...  and over a period of about five years that modest little office Word Processor found itself becoming the centre of an international information exchange of private opinions about all aspects of kinky sex! It built up gradually, but people we wrote to were mostly so friendly “It just grow’d” as Little Topsy said (a literary reference!).  It also proved how isolated so many people like us were.  Not just geographically but isolated from their neighbours, family and social friends  ...  and forced to lead double lives.

Anyway, we found we could store letters we wrote and send chunks of information and opinions on any specific topic whenever that subject cropped up again in a letter somebody else wrote to us.  I suppose even that is technically illegal  ...  publishing obscene material  ...  and sending it through the Royal Mail (Now there’s an obsolete and cranky Victorian hangover. 'Obscenity' like corruption and perversion are used like blunt instruments by people who’s understanding is as limited as their Christian tolerance.  Whoops! I digress again).

So, by the start of The Eighties our circle of PPPs (Perverted Pen Pals) had already spread and we were in regular contact with like-minded souls as far afield as San Francisco, Oslo and outback Australia.  Apart from informative intellectually stimulating and psychologically sound exchanges on all aspects of SM and Bondage  ...  there were offers to “Visit if you’re in the area” from all over the world.  Not invitations to orgies, you understand  ...  just nice, friendly sociable people who were longing to have more communication with people who shared similar interests and weren’t screwed up about it. Well, because the kids were lively young teenagers and Malc’s business actually did take up a lot of not only his time but mine, we not only didn’t have much time to ourselves, we wanted to give our kids the best.  For our annual family holiday in 1980 the kids opted for New York.  We invited my Mum to join us and it was the first time for all of us  ...  and as it turned out a wonderful time was had by all.


The Big Apple lived up to it’s reputation.  The hotel was big and busy and just off Times Square.  The kids at 14 and 15 were fearless and eager for adventure - and in a funny sort of way so were Malc and I.   We’d been writing regularly to three people who were all members of this EULENSPIEGEL SOCIETY and also to the man who published THE RIGID BONDAGE ROSTER, so when they all knew we were coming the offers of hospitality were overwhelming.  “Come and see our Playroom”, “We’ve got a guest apartment in our house”, “Will you give a talk at the weekly Meeting?” But it was essentially a family holiday so we declined all offers except that we said we would like to be at the regular meeting of the EULENSPIEGEL SM GROUP if there was one while we were in town.  There was and it was arranged for Vera to take the kids to see the play DRACULA on Broadway (their choice, not ours) and off we went to meet “Rose and Dick” who we already felt we knew.  Ron, the man from THE RIGID BONDAGE ROSTER was to join us along with a Professor from City College who lectured on Fine Art and had a fully equipped dungeon in his basement.  They were to buy us dinner and then escort us to the meeting.  I thought I’d be nervous but we’d all exchanged so many intimate letters it was like meeting old friends.  They took us to eat in Greenwich Village and the table conversation ranged from SM Night Clubs to where to buy a leather strait-jacket, and nobody even bothered to lower their voices.  The sense of freedom was something I found difficult to get used to.

Then, walking into that little hall where EULENSPIEGEL met was somehow like coming home.  A wonderful mix of misfits who’d found one another and although they were all into different things they were comfortable with one another: From city and suburb; straight, gay, lesbian; couples and singles.  No strict dress code so we didn’t feel at all out of place in our tourist clothes.  There were some in full leather or fetish dress, even two transvestites or trans-sexuals (I didn’t know the difference then).  Anyway, we were made to feel completely at home because it was actually homely.  I’m not being wicked but the atmosphere wasn’t much different to our local parish church social  ...  except for the topics of conversation of course.  There was coffee and biscuits and the sales table was piled high with pamphlets, information sheets and publications (many of which we’d never heard).  Rose and Dick knew most of the people and we were introduced informally around the room.  People asked what we were “into”  ...  and we hadn’t actually got a pat answer.  They were amazed we hadn’t brought any photographs of the games we play.  We’d never thought of taking pictures of us in action  ...  in fact I thought it was quite a kinky idea.  We discovered that a lot of people there had photos in their wallets of themselves dressed up or tied up.  They handed them around like showing photographs of their children or holidays; common currency, communication.  We felt completely relaxed as people gossiped together as more people arrived and the official meeting was ready to start.

A fabulous lady of about my age and build who was a lecturer in Social Psychology introduced herself and gave us her business card.  She invited us to come meet students in her 'Human Sexuality' course and talk to them about marital S&M in Great Britain.  We said we had our kids and my mother in tow.  “Oh, I’ll get somebody to take them on a boat trip up the Hudson for a day” she says.  “My students would love to meet you.  Last week we had a professional New York SM Call Girl give a talk.  She was a lot of fun.

Then there was Donna, a sexy but tough looking gal in full leather (although it was ever so warm that night) who asked if we’d ever been to San Francisco.  “That’s where it was all at” she announced.  She told us that she was employed as a sex Counsellor at a big hospital there, had helped found “DYKES ON BIKES” the all female motorcycle club and, as a hobby she made the best whips in the USA.  We saw DUNGEONMASTER magazine for the first time and bought all the back issues of it and RIGID BONDAGE ROSTER.  A very masculine man in boots and motorcycle jacket introduced himself to Malcolm and said he was a member of the Gay Male SM Activist’s group (G.M.S.M.A.) and would Malc like to go to a meeting as his guest? Malc looked panic stricken.  He’d grown out of thinking of all homosexuals as limp wristed pansies but this hunk looked like he could beat Malc in the wrestling or boxing ring.  I speculated on the thought of Malc being overpowered by two very macho homosexuals  ...  but from there on I didn’t pursue that fantasy.  But I did buy a couple of issues of the gay magazine DRUMMER which specializes in photos and fiction about muscular men in leather and chains.  The theme of the issue was “Hot’n’heavy Mansex”.  I thought that’ll make interesting reading after we get home.

The Speaker for the evening was an expert on whipping techniques.  He demonstrated various types of whips on several willing acquaintances of both sexes.  We were impressed by his insistence on safety, hygiene, precision and total responsibility (Mutual consent seemed to be taken for granted).  These strict rules & established etiquette were new to Malc and me.  The rules are clearly defined and generally observed among the 'in crowd'.  Prescribed codes of conduct are even written down and published in magazines in American, Sweden and Germany  ...  it’s just that all those publications are banned in the UK, so we found we were horribly ignorant at that time.

This lecture demonstration was part of a series.  Other topics listed for forthcoming meetings were restraint as a sensual experience without SM titled “The Gentle Art of Bondage', “Pins & Needles” (which was piercing and tattoos as Art and Eroticism), “Masks, Hoods and Helmets in Fantasy Enhancement” and 'Military Interrogation Techniques, including demonstrations of electro-torture with muscle stimulators, vibrators, cattle prods, violet wands and hand-cranked generators”.  I slipped a copy of the list to Malcolm and as he read it the bulge in his crotch got noticeably bigger.

After the main talk and coffee the crowd of about sixty split up into smaller groups each discussing a different topic or sexual preference.  Rose and Dick were leading a 'Talkshop' about enemas which didn’t appeal to us much, so we sat in on 'Inferno 79'; the dishy young leatherman talking informally about the recent annual meeting of the Chicago Hellfire Club.  'Inferno' each year is a gay leather/SM/bondage get together for four days. 200 men into every kind of 'Heavy Mansex'  he explained, “It’s a learning experience as well as having a great time”.  The slides were incredible; flogging and electro torture workshops with demonstrators working on willing victims and surrounded by crowds of observers; a Slave Training session by a well-known Master; a freestyle bondage competition.  Men aged 21 to 72 at the equivalent of a Boy’s Camp in the wilds of the Mid-West doing their own thing in public in the privacy of an enclosed campsite.  Apparently it’s by invitation only and always oversubscribed.  Malc bought the illustrated souvenir program for the previous year  ...  and picked up membership details!

I’d wandered over to a group to which a middle-aged Jewish housewife was demonstrating 'Nipple Torture'.  I gathered she was generally known as Rosie the Tit Lady, who sat at home in Brooklyn modifying all types of bulldog clips, alligator clips and anything that would grab, grip, nip or tweak as she put it.  I moved hastily on to join Malc at 'Bondage for Beginners' where we didn’t learn anything.  But it was a massive breakthrough for us both.  Sixty men and women responsible and intellectually alive, sharing ideas with the specified, publicly advertised aim of promoting SAFE, SANE AND LOVING S&M.


So, back in Croydon the need to share some of the things we’d learned grew stronger.  Nothing to do with trying to corrupt or convert people you understand, just an increased awareness that there were a lot of folks like us around if we just knew how to meet them.  Oddly enough a Pen Pal in Stockholm put us in touch with a couple who lived 20 minutes down the road from us and one thing leads to another, doesn’t it.  They knew a couple of couples and over a few social get-togethers the confidence grew.  We discussed the practicalities of having a more formal group with regular meetings and pre-planned agenda.  We decided on a few rules and codes of practice and it wasn’t long before we took the risk and advertised.I’d been Secretary of an amateur Drama Group and Malc and I were both on the Committee of the Bowls Club  ...  and the administrative side of it was no different and we weren’t offering anything illegal.  Of course we kept a sharp eye out for newspaper reporters trying to join, but prospective members were well vetted.  I’ve not spent 30 years in Personnel and Public Relations for nothing.This was a particularly rewarding period for Malc and me.  We had experience and knowledge other people could benefit from, and we never stopped learning.  The Group brought us into contact with a whole cross-section of possibilities we might never otherwise have stumbled into.  And although talk not action was the name of the game at meetings, that didn’t mean to say our social interaction with individuals met through the Group didn’t, shall we say, spill over somewhat.

I’m not going to give you a catalogue or blow-by-blow account of this natural progression but meeting different people with different preferences gave us not only information but occasional hands-on experience.  Particularly when it came to equipment, there were things we’d never have thought of buying but having had an opportunity to try it  ...  well, for example ...One nice couple from the Dorking area (let’s call them Rita and George) were very much into corsets.  That was something we’d seen in magazines but never encountered in the flesh (if you’ll excuse the expression).  In advance of inviting them to give a talk to the Group Malc and I went to visit them socially.  During the evening they were very proudly showing us their collection, and Malc says to me that I’d look good in a corset.  Well, I wasn’t any slimmer than when we were married but I wasn’t much fatter.  So Rita says to try one on  ...  hers wouldn’t fit me but one of her husbands’ would.  Well, I wasn’t flattered but I didn’t want to be a spoil sport so I whips off my frock and Rita puts this contraption on me and laces it so tight I could hardly breath.  It did wonders for my boobs and hips but nothing for my digestion.  No wonder Victorian ladies were always fainting.I think Malc was quite intrigued because he started looking through this corset catalogue George had and I says firmly “If you’re thinking of ordering one of these get it in your size, mate!”.  George thought that was a wonderful idea and out he whips this heavily boned and strapped man-sized corset.  I suppose Malc didn’t like to be unsociable so he strips down to his briefs and lets Rita and George lace and strap him into it.  I said “Now you know what I mean” but his old pecker was trying to rip his underpants apart and Rita said “Oh, we’ll have to do something about that, won’t we George.”  Malc caught my eye but neither of us expected what was coming next.  The corset had attachment points for a through-the-legs piece that tucked all his masculinity into a sort of solid crotch box and then sort of  ...  depressed it.  Before we knew it he was looking like Danny La Rue below stairs.

Well  ...  perhaps if we hadn’t already had sherry before and wine with our meal he might not have gone along with what followed from there.  Rita and George decided on the full treatment for him; make-up and wig, black stockings and a pair of George’s best high heeled shoes topped off by rhinestone choker, earrings and long black gloves.  He looked fantastic and he couldn’t take his eyes off the mirror.  Eventually, all he said to me was “Have you ever thought of becoming a lesbian?”.Talk about broadening your outlook: it was around that time we also met a few people who were really into Chastity Belt games.  Not just over night anti-masturbation devices but long term for weeks on end.  The different psychological control and domination games centred around restricted access to your own body and bodily functions can be mind blowing  ...  a book could be written about it.  I’ve even sat through 'The Sound of Music' locked into a chastity belt when our Melanie was in it for the local Operatic.  First time we got somebody to give a talk on Practical Chastity Devices at the Group Malc said he wished he’d known they were available when he was on the Rigs because he’d have bought one for me.  It’s funny isn’t it, how you tend to threaten somebody with something if you’d secretly like to try yourself.  That can signal the threatened person to go ahead and turn the tables.  That double bluff situation is something you learn to recognize in a lot of 'power exchange' games.  Certainly Malc and I soon got good at it  ...  and we like to do things together.  So, chastity belts, lockable clothes and controlled access to our own bodies became part of our games.

There have been times when I’ve had him trapped into his diving suit for three days on end.  He once told me that Air Sea Rescue teams wore urinal bags inside the regulation waterproof Immersion suits so they don’t have to keep taking them off and on during long tours of duty.  Malcolm got all the gen from copter pilots taking them to and from the rigs (Shades of Andrew McG!).  Diet control and a butt plug can also prolong the time a suit can stay on.  Nowadays I also insist that Malc wears his restrainer belt inside so he can’t get an erection or bring himself off when I’m not watching him  ...  but then I like to watch him.  I’ve had him working in his workshop all weekend and sleeping in our play space there, trapped inside his diving suit including face mask (which now locks so he can’t take it off).  Intense? Yes! Sexually stimulating  ...  you bet! And I know that most of the time he’s sweating and melting away there he’s dreaming up something diabolical for when it’s his turn to get his own back.  That’s how I like it.

Something else we never invested in in the early days was actual custom made bondage equipment.  When we modified our double bed so it had attachment points in the early days we thought we were being pretty daring.  The first time I saw a D.I.Y four poster made of builder’s scaffolding it slightly blew my mind.  Actually having a separate play space rather than a trunk of toys under the bed is beyond most people’s resources, especially if they’ve got families.  But it’s amazing what you can do with a little bit of imagination.  We actually knew somebody who got a local government Home Improvement grant to open up and insulate their attic and then used it as an SM playroom.  Certainly if you’re good at Do-It-Yourself the dedicated SM games player can save a fortune.  Creative imagination seems to be something most people we know who are into this sort of thing have.

Of course Malcolm having the machine shop and access to welding gear has meant we’ve never been short of the odd shackle and attachment point around the house, garden and garage.  But of course that doesn’t mean to say we weren’t tempted by the professionally made paraphernalia from Bondage Equipment suppliers.  The leather wrist and ankle restraints I sent away for were only the first of a series of purchases.  Other modest accessories such as gags, blindfolds and our first leather hood made us feel very committed.  If any aspect of playing SM games is accumulative it’s picking up bits of equipment.  Over the years we’ve accumulated so much junk  ...  but that’s only like any normal household isn’t it  ...  except that you can’t have an S&M Jumble Sale  ...  well, we haven’t yet!

When it comes to fetish clothes, like I said, conventional erotic-type slinky vinyl cat-suits or form fitting full body latex outfits have never been my preference  ...  perhaps because my figure isn’t exactly classic.  I can tell you from experience that a five foot five high black latex dumpling doesn’t look exactly appetizing.  Because we’re both more into real gear rather than sex costumes means Malc is well provided for with his diving suit, bike waterproofs and a black oilskin naval Foul Weather suit if he fancies a session of sweat and struggle.  One of his favourite kicks is to be out of doors warm and waterproof all wrapped and strapped up helpless all night in the pouring rain.  With me cosy and warm inside our little camper van somewhere in the wilds of the Surrey countryside everything is possible.

This chapter’s been rambling on a bit but I guess you’re getting a clearer picture about where we’re at and how we got to be where we are today.  The story of our development’s about up-to-date except for the changes in our lifestyle since both kids got married and moved out  ...  and now this temporary setback in terms of legal interference with our private lives.  Where to go from here I’ve no idea  ...  but the future is in the lap of the Gods  ...  and “Tomorrow is another day” as Ethel would tell you.  If she hadn’t become a nun she could have written scripts for BBC TV.Anyoldway, never having written a book before I’m not sure how to end it.  As you will have gathered, I’m not really a writer.  In fact this book wasn’t written ... it was talked.  I said it into a tape recorder and Malc typed it out and tided it up a bit (a bit!).  You might be interested to know that, because I needed to concentrate hard and get in the mood for each session of recounting our story it became a routine that Malc got to go down in some sort of wrapping and strapping so he couldn’t interrupt my train of thought during a 'Session'.  We agreed that these would be regular four hour slots because it took me a while to get going.  Naturally, he was as happy as a pig in the proverbial with the arrangement.  Only thing was, by the end of a 'writing' session he was about ready to get let loose, just when I’d had enough of writing/talking/thinking and ready for a bit of action ... and, of course, he was in no position to argue ... which is really the way he likes to be.  So  ...  where was I  ...  talking about knowing when enough is enough!


Biographically I think I’ve gone about as far as I need to go to illustrate the sense of maturity and confidence Malcolm and I have reached together.  Perhaps one last episode might round off this half-baked biography.  It was a point in our development when for the first time we found ourselves not only comfortable with our extraordinary way of life, but proud to be part of an intellectually stimulating, imaginative fraternity of people around the world.   Two years after the New York trip, thanks to my cheap travel concessions we made another trip to California.  The kids were too old for Disneyland but the bright lights of Los Angeles and  San Francisco attracted us all.  Again first and foremost a family holiday.  In L.A. we did the tourist things like Universal Studios and the homes of the stars but we found it all too big and impersonal and stuck very close to each other.  But San Francisco was a different story all together.  The kids felt safe to go off and explore on their own in that wonderful city.  Good job too, because we had so many people who wanted to meet Malc and me.  How about that!

The SOCIETY OF JANUS  hadn’t got a meeting scheduled during our stay so they threw what they called a “Play Party” specially for us so we could meet all our various Pen Pals in one fell swoop.  Soon as we’d arrived and settled into our hotel our main contacts, Mike and Janie, invited us to come up to their house and bring the kids.  We were nervous of that, but they told us they also had kids who didn’t know about their alternative lifestyle either.  So on the day of the JANUS party we took a cab up to Nob Hill.  The house was incredibly glamorous with lots of space and stunning views.  Their son was away at college but Liza their daughter was just Todd’s age (Ho, ho, ho!).  So after a meal for the seven of us Liza took Todd and Melanie off to see some sights and meet a few of her friends.  As she drove them off in her Lincoln convertible (she was 17 years old!) she promised to drop them off back at the hotel around 2 in the morning.  Mike our host was something high up in a bank and his wife Janie seemed to be a well known photographer.  Dress code for the Janus Play Party was, they told us, leather or fetish and they’d previously agreed to kit us out.

From an impressive wardrobe of clothes which was housed in Janie’s photography studio (which doubled as their playroom) Malc settled for a leather waistcoat over his bare chest, his own jeans and tall Engineer’s boots like John Travolta wore in 'Grease'.  I had the choice of leather or Western.  I chose a fabulous embroidered silk rodeo shirt, suede skirt, boots and hat.  Mike said he’d be my escort for the evening so he’d wear brown Western leather chaps and boots and a fantastic fringed suede jacket.  Janie appeared in a slinky leather catsuit and proceeded to persuade Malcolm to put black leather chaps over his jeans to compliment their leather image.  He looked smashing  ...  we all did.

The Janus Society is mixed straight and gay, and the Play Party was well underway when we arrived.  Several men and women were chained or strung up to various pieces of equipment and being worked on systematically by lovers or friends  ...  but a good time was being had by all apparently.  Some of the action was heavier than anything Malc or I had ever seen in 'Public' but however much moaning and writhing  ...  nothing was ever without consent.  In our honour there was a sumptuous buffet all laid out and wine or soft drinks.  We were told that club policy discouraged alcohol during 'Scenes' and drugs were totally forbidden.

After a few introductions Malcolm and I took a look at some of the incredibly wonderful equipment which various members had brought along to use and share; leather strait-jackets covered in straps and with detachable hoods.  Head to foot form-fitting leather 'Sleepsacks', man-size canvas 'Male Sacks' with air holes.  These could be suspended from the ceiling and two were already occupied when we arrived.  Also an impressive range of metal manacles for ankles, wrist, waist and neck in styles ranging from neat and chromium plated to super-heavy medieval dungeon weight, all fully lockable.  Our hosts were amazed that we’d never seen any of this merchandise before because it was all made in London.  FETTERS turns out to be a London-based firm with a spectacular illustrated catalogue of amazing bondage items.  You live and learn, as sister E.  would say.

As the evening progressed I got the uneasy feeling that Malc and I might be expected to DO something.  Perform! Various members of the Janus Committee told us we had the run of the equipment, but I said we were quite happy to just talk and meet people.  Chet and his lover Bill were two passably handsome and incredibly straight-looking men in full leather and appropriate hardware.  They told us they regularly come to London for the museums and theatre but of course they always went to the Colherne, London Apprentice, the Cellar Bar and named several other leather clubs which they went to during their visits.  Malc caught my eye and we both nodded wisely, but we’d never heard of any of those places.  Funny old world, isn’t it.  They asked Malcolm if he’d like a tour of the ‘Frisco Leather Bars? He declined politely using me as an excuse.  By this time the action was hotting up and a man was screaming and writhing as a woman was lashing him with a leather belt.  Apparently they did the same thing at every meeting but in real life he was an important Attorney and she was his secretary.  SM as therapy, somebody explained.

Chet and Bill asked me if we ever went to the opera.  They offered to take Malc and me while we were here.  I said thanks but no  ...  but tell me more about the Leather Bars.  They told me they were the best in the world, raunchy and the action was really steamy but strictly male only (this was 1983).  I told them that Malcolm was not gay (or bi as far as I knew) but I thought he’d really like to see them  ...  but he might need a bit of persuading.  Janie had joined us and her comment was “Well these boys can be extremely persuasive.  When any of our members submits a kidnap or arrest and interrogation scenario to our Fantasy Enactment Committee, Chet and Bill usually provide the muscle.  John over there is actually a cop and the guy he’s talking to is in the Marines”.  Chet unclipped handcuffs from his belt and looked at me.  “We’d enjoy taking him around the bars in chains and if necessary gagged.  Nobody would look twice in those places.  The action does get pretty heavy.  Do you think he could handle it?” I knew he’d hate it at the time but thought that after he’d survived it, who knows what he might do to me in revenge.

To this day I don’t know what came over me but I heard myself saying authoritatively (just like Miss Whiplash) “Don’t hurt him, don’t humiliate him  ...  but I don’t mind if you scare this shit out of him.”  To this Chet grinned and gave me a kiss before saying to Bill “Get leg irons, gag, hood, collar and lead.  Talk to John and Nick and be in the backroom in ten minutes.”  As Bill jumped to it, Janie said “Honey this is what makes it all worth while.  Now Chet, after giving him the tour take him back to our place.  Sally how about a few of us girls taking in one of the Male Strip Joints while your old man’s otherwise occupied?” Chet suddenly asked “They’re having a Shaving night at one of the bars.  Do you think your husband would mid losing some hair around his crotch?” I thought about it before saying “You might need to tie him down.  I wouldn’t like the razor to slip ... and do you think you could arrange for a couple of photos so I don’t miss all the fun?” Chet gave me another bear-hug “I love you lady and I lust after your sexy husband, but I will defend his honour and he’ll be delivered back to you as unsullied as ever was.  Janie, do you have a camera here?” “Bet your ass, and Mike’s almost as good a photographer as I am.  Sally, you shall have a photo storyboard from start to finish.  I’ll go find him.  How soon, Chet?”.  He checked his watch.  “Bill, John and Nick are already in position.  Soon as I see Mike go into the Backroom, Sally and I will go find her lucky feller.” He added “Let me do the talking.” ... and he did. 


Chapter Ten: MIND FUCK
It was all so totally professional  ...  no fuss, no bruises, no noise.   Chet told Malcolm there was some equipment in the backroom that might surprise him! He was so right.  Soon as they walked in the door somebody pinned his arms and covered his mouth with a leather gloved hand.  Leg irons were around his boots before he realized what was happening.  After that the gag and cuffs were relatively easy, but he put up a good struggle.  It’s all there on photographic record.  He’d calmed down a bit by the time they brought him out to me.  I’m not sure what they threatened him with if he didn’t stop struggling and play along.  He was more embarrassed than angry  ...  but I gave him a kiss on the gag and told him I’d let them take it off if he agreed to go to the bars with the nice gentlemen  ...  but the chains would stay on for the whole tour.  Mike was continuously snapping photos like the NEWS OF THE WORLD at a Roman Orgy.  Malc glared at me and I said to the four men standing guard “He may need a collar and leash if he decides to be uncooperative.  Are you going to co-operate? Nobody wants to humiliate you.  Just show you how different San Francisco is from Croydon.  Now, are you going to play along?” He looked at John the cop for some reason before he nodded, and I wondered for a flash what sort of threat the cop had made.  I unbuckled the gag and gave his moist face a couple of big wet kisses and everybody applauded.  He says to me quietly “I’ll get my own back for this, lady,” and I smiled and told him I’d look forward to it  ...  and with that off they went, Malc clanking along with his escort of four beefy guards and his own personal photographer.

You see it’s all theatre.  Fantasy games well played have rules and agreed limits even if Judge Rant hasn’t heard about them.  That night not only Malcolm but I had three hours of suspense, excitement, a little fear and a huge amount of pure sexual arousal.  Even when Janie and three other ladies took me off to this amazing Club to see six hunky male strippers driving 800 women into a frenzy, part of my mind was with Malcolm handcuffed and helpless.  On the way home we even stopped off at this terrifically smart Night Club with a Drag Cabaret.  Glamorous or bawdy, those men were not only a hoot they were living the lives they wanted to live and the audience wanted to be there  ...  and I thought who’s to say they’re wrong.

At this point I should say something about the subject of consent and the removal of it.  In the light of Judge Rant’s draconian disregard for the concept, read Jim Stewart’s 'Talking Points' on both MUTUAL CONSENT and CONSENSUAL NON-CONSENT.  Enough to say here that in an SM 'Scene' surrender of control to someone you trust is one of the most rewarding elements in the game.  Of course mutual trust and responsibility are essential.  The danger comes with lack of experience and particularly lack of shared knowledge between players.  In this instance the adventure was a classic example of the sort of psychological catch-as-catch-can which makes the whole subject of erotic fantasy games so potent.  For years we had been expert in taking control of each others’ head space  ...  but this was the first time I’d not only taken him over, but handed him over  ...  and allowed him to be taken out from my control  ...  and in retrospect both Malcolm and I agreed that it was (and remains) one of our favourite 'Scenes'.

So, meanwhile, our Hero was, as I learned later, after suffering the intense embarrassment of a walk through the streets of San Francisco manacled hand and foot, faced with the problem of getting into a car wearing leg-irons linked by a short chain.  John the cop’s private car had a 'Prisoner seat' specially shaped for someone with hands handcuffed behind their back.  It also had two safety belts to prevent any movement of the torso or legs.  I know because those seats are illustrated in the Law Enforcement Supplies catalogue that John later gave Malc to bring home with him.  The whole sequence of events on Malc’s night to remember were documented shot by shot in the forty page presentation photo album which reached us in London soon after we got home.  From leaving the Janus party to when they dropped him off to wait for me at Mike and Janie’s house, I have all the evidence, Your Honour ...  along with all our other family holiday snapshot books.

Basically the highlights of his tour were being escorted into the first bar where among a crowd of leathermen Malc was by no means the only one in chains.  Highly stylized scenes were taking place on all sides  ...  I’ve since read THE URBAN ABORIGINAL so I understand better about the needs of 'Leathermen' and their rituals.  So that Malc was able to have a drink John switched the cuffs for a Transport Belt: That’s a lockable leather escort belt (standard police equipment) which allows the prisoner to take a drink or a leak while still restrained by handcuffs on a thread-through chain.

The second bar was a ten minute drive away, and out in the street they decided Malc should travel in the boot of the car.  Surrounded by four of them he didn’t have much choice but agree.  Having promised to behave, John took the leg-irons off him so he could climb in unaided.  It was fully carpeted and there were even anchor points (so he didn’t roll around when the car went round corners).  They reassured him there was enough air because “Dozens of people have travelled a lot of miles in here”.  When they all arrived at the next port of call they warned Malcolm that this was a bar for dedicated SM enthusiasts and he might see things that would worry him  ...  but nobody there was being forced to do anything they didn’t want to be forced to do.

Well, from the photos it looks like a terrifying orgy of torture, humiliation and pain.  In reality it was a crowd of a couple of hundred men proving to themselves or to people they loved that they could endure, enjoy or survive.  'Tops' and 'Bottoms', Leather Masters with their so-called Slaves, cowboys, construction workers, prisoners in army gear with military escorts.  Musclemen were strung up from the ceiling by their boots, being flogged with belts; nipples, genitals and buttocks being abused in all manner of ways  ...  and nothing illegal about any of it.  And, if you please, in the middle of all the mayhem my Malcolm smiling with his friends, casually drinking beer and eating peanuts.  The photos are irrefutable proof that life in the wicked world of S&M is not exactly what it seems.

At the entrance to the third bar I guess Malcolm was the closest he came to panic.  It was, he was told, a special 'Naked Night'.  He could keep his leather chaps, waistcoat and boots but the jeans had to go! Well by this time I guess he trusted the four hunks who were showing him The Town ... so along with John the cop, Nick the Marine, Chet the college professor and his lover Bill the construction site manger (plus Mike the bank president) they all peeled down to various states of leather undress.  Photos of this sequence are tactfully limited to our hero.  They even let him leave the handcuffs with his jeans in the locker by the door before they entered what (according to Malc) looked like Dante’s Inferno.It was, in fact, 'Shaving Night' at THE RAMROD bar.  Malc might have been more difficult to handle if there hadn’t been a chair vacant when they walked in.  Without warning four pairs of brawny arms lifted him bodily into what used to be a dentist’s chair before it was fitted with straps to immobilize ankles, knees, thighs, wrists, elbows, chest, waist and neck.  When everybody stood back and Malc was sitting comfortably, he was offered the choice of the hard way or the easy way.  He’s a sensible lad so he nodded as much as the neck strap would allow, gritted his teeth and accepted the inevitable.  The sequence of photos of my husband stoically watching two pairs of manly hands clipper and wet-shave away all his genital hair don’t embarrass me.  The whole album has pride of place among our books of holiday snaps.  They may be pornographic to you Mrs. Whitehouse  ...  but to me and my husband they are mementos of times enjoyed.  If owning them makes me a criminal  ...  tough shit (as Ethel definitely would not say).  The fact that a year later Malcolm allowed the slide version of this photo set to be shown to our Group in Croydon AND a few years later at the 'DRESSING FOR PLEASURE' weekend at the Penta Hotel in New York tells you that we’re either the most decadent degenerates in the world, or very sophisticated people.

Perhaps the final sequence of Malcolm’s adventure into the world of 'Leather Mansex' is my favourite.  Bare buttocks and shaved crotch open to the elements he was escorted manacled hand and foot from The Ramrod with his head encased in a tight fitting leather hood without eyes or mouth.  Loaded bodily into the boot of the car he was driven off to destination unknown.  I can still get hot imagining how he must have felt.  Once inside the new space he was strapped standing spread-eagled in the middle of a mirrored room with spotlights illuminating his glistening leather chaps and boots and sweating chest.  Chet told him through the hood that anybody who gets shaved publicly at The Ramrod wins a prize, his was a pair of nipple clamps joined by a heavy chain.  I’m told Malc yelled when they first gripped his tits but as Chet reasoned with him, yelling was pointless inside a thick leather hood in a soundproof room.  He then thanked Malc for a memorable evening and hoped he’d return the favour when Chet and Bill were next in London  ...  but for now it was au revoir.  He unsnapped the detachable blindfold from the hood before leaving so Malc, left alone, could appreciate his spectacular predicament mirrored from many angles.  He had no choice but to stand there and await further developments.

When I got home with Janie it was late.  Mike without ceremony told me to follow him straight down to their playroom and told me to go in alone.  In the mirror Malc saw me behind him and groaned.  I moved close behind him and we looked at the two of us in the various mirrors.  I walked around to the front to get a better look at the tit clamps  ...  lifted the heavy chain and let it drop suddenly.  He flinched but no more than that.  There are no photographs of what happened next but it took an hour.  I saw Malc’s jeans were neatly folded on a table nearby and with them a small gift wrapped package labelled “A present for Sally ..  and Malcolm”.  Inside a velvet bag marked FAMILY JEWELS was the most beautiful reproduction of a penis and balls moulded in superbly realistic feeling plastic.  Also there was a small tube of lubricant with it’s own label from Chet and Bill saying “Disappointed we weren’t allowed to round out his evening  ...  we hope you will.”  Well, I did!  


Chapter Eleven: EVIL IS AS EVIL DOES.
he unusual length and seeming gratuitously explicit previous two chapters wrote themselves and I let it roll because I had a serious point to make.  Consider the situation of a handsome married man taken by four homosexuals around four bars each packed with self-confessed sadists, seemingly grotesquely dedicated to uninhibited sexuality  ...  and during three hours nowhere at no time were any liberties taken.  There are strict rules about such things.  Judge Rant may not know about them but in SM Communities anyone who commits an act which is irresponsible or non-consensual is considered to be a criminal.  It’s just a tragedy that The Law in Britain is not wise enough to make the same distinction.  The sequel to that first San Francisco story (there have been several other visits since) is relevant to what needs to be said next.  After I’d had my wicked way with Malc as a grand finale to his adventure we both got back into the clothes we’d started the evening in and went upstairs to find Mike and Janie.They’d waited up for us.  Malcolm was looking decidedly sheepish  ...  but Janie hugged him soon as he appeared and said “Thanks for giving Mike and the boys such a wonderful evening.”  Then Mike drove us back to our hotel and we slept through till noon.  Over lunch the kids told us about the fabulous time they’d had with Liza, Janie and Mikes’ daughter.  They’d arranged to meet her again that evening and asked if we had any plans.  I said I thought we old folks would just take it easy.  Suddenly Todd said “Are you two into Kinky Sex?” There’s nothing subtle about our Todd ... and without waiting for a reply he went on “Liza thinks her Ma and Pa might be.  I told her we know that you two get a lot of rumpo but we’d never asked what sort.”  Well, if Rosanne Barr had been invented in 1983 she might have come back with the right reply.  I looked at Malc who shifted uneasily on his chair ...  but that might have been a physical problem due to my grand finale last night rather than embarrassment.  I heard myself saying “And how do you know we get a lot of Rumpo as you call it?”  “Aw come on,” drawls Melanie like she’s been to Yale for a semester “We only have to look at your faces over the breakfast table to know if you’ve had it off the night before.”  “Stop the world it’s spinning too fast,” I thought.  We’ve always made a point of being honest with our kids, which has meant trouble since Melanie heard about the virgin birth in Religious Education and asked the teacher if that was like artificial insemination.  Well at eight years old that can start people talking.  I certainly got some funny looks at the next Parent/Teacher meeting.     

No, but seriously, coming in the middle of this particular learning experience for Malcolm and me the kid’s question came as a bit of a shock.  Suddenly Malc says “Yes.  We’re into kinky sex ..  at least kinky for want of a better description.”   “Wow great!” says Todd, his sixteen year old eyes bright with admiration “What sort of kinks?” I held my breath.  “That is for us to know and you to find out, as your Aunt Ethel would surely say.  We’ve always told you to ask questions but we didn’t promise to always give you answers, right? Ask me again when you’re eighteen.”  “I’ll be eighteen next month,” chirrups Melanie.  “On second thoughts ask me when you’re twenty,” he tells Todd “and until then keep your noses out of our private business.  We don’t quiz you too closely about what you’re finding out for yourselves.  We trust you  ...  and don’t stop asking us questions.”  Then he says “I’ll tell you something I didn’t know till I read it somewhere: the word education doesn’t mean to be taught things  ...  it means to draw out or perhaps it was find out.  I happen to think it’s important that people are taught where to find the information, and it’s wrong to prevent people getting to that information.  Censorship has been the name of the game since the Christian Bishops burned the library at Alexandria.  The collected wisdom of the Ancient World was there and a lot of it was lost for ever.  Then all those monks beavering away editing things out of the original gospels in the Dark Ages because they didn’t agree with them.  Well, it’s still going on!”     

Well, we all stared at Daddy Bear  ...  and he shrugged suddenly and went back to munching his home fries.  I asked him “What sort of kinky books have you been reading to pick up that sort of opinion?” “Oh, there are still things about me that you haven’t found out yet,” he twinkles.  I stood up and kissed him and as my fingers moved to tweak his nipples he grabbed my hands very quickly and firmly.      Just to wrap up the story  ...  our kids are both married now and as far as we know, happy.  Vera, as I said at the beginning, is notoriously still as active as she wants to be and she’s still streets ahead of many people with less miles on the clock.  As for Malc and I, we didn’t find the kids moving out was the end, but the beginning of something.  Until last December’s court decision we were contented with our life.  The process of writing all this down  ... well anyway, thinking it, saying it, writing it and kicking it around; deciding what to include and what not to include has helped us both come to terms with our opinions and our natures and our confidence that even if the world judges us as being guilty of horrible things we know we’re not.  We love our games and we love the people who play them safely and sanely and of course consensually.  Without mutual consent you have a crime.  If people play without responsibility it would be nice to have the protection of the law  ...  but like regular health checks for State Registered Prostitutes  ...  that’s beyond our so-called Civilized Society.



Jim Stewart

The idea was to give here a simple overview of the Spanner Affair.  But life is never simple is it! Like the authors of WE LOVE S&M, my resentment wells up every time I look back towards what I still refuse to call the Spanner ‘Trial’ - because when a Judge announces his verdict before the Prosecution has begun to present it’s evidence to the Court, it can not truthfully be called a trial.  People with more experience of court procedure than myself may not have been surprised that a Judge can refuse to accept a plea of ‘Not Guilty’ on the opening day - but to people with a respect for common sense, insistence upon a plea of ‘Guilty’ seems to suggest that, in the mind of the judge at least, the verdict was never in doubt.   Less prejudiced minds than mine are still reviewing the evidence and I suspect that this whole sorry affair will live on to haunt the British legal system well into the next century. The victims in what became known as Operation Spanner have been forced to pay the price for this expensive legalistic charade.  The drama was played out before a wide audience and much to the relish of the mass media.  It is a theatrical dictum that tragedy usually teeters on the edge of farce.  Conversely, good farce always contains an element of near tragedy.  So, it is no laughing matter that with this case ‘The Establishment’ in Britain successfully contrived to set new legal precedents and define things that were previously left to the intelligence and unbiased judgement of local magistrates.  The joke maybe that, because of intelligent press coverage of the Spanner Affair (and there was a lot) there is now a greater general awareness of S&M as an extension of a sexuality acceptable to more than a “Despicable, degenerate minority.”  Certainly, four years after Judge James Rant’s resounding refusal to accept the reality of a more open-minded contemporary sexuality, the echoes still sound and the games are still played, often in defiance of the law.  Perhaps the sad joke is that the whole questionable affair has made it difficult for many intelligent and independent-minded people to take seriously our police, judiciary or the people who govern us.My sincere thanks to COUNTDOWN ON SPANNER, SMGAYS and SKIN TWO magazine for permission to reprint here informative commentary on this issue. M.J.Stewart-Addison.  Seattle Oct ‘95


FROM SMGAYS  “Resource Book 2
n December 1990, 16 gay men were given prison sentences of up to four and a half  years or fined for engaging in consensual SM activity  ... 
The convictions have now been upheld by both the Court of Appeal and by the Law Lords. 

Despite what you may have read in newspapers, for the most part, the men were not convicted of sexual offences but the everyday crime of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. ...The CaseIn 1987 the police received, anonymously through the post, a video-tape which showed a number of identifiable men engaging in heavy SM activities including beatings, genital abrasions and lacerations.  The police claim that they immediately started a murder investigation because they were convinced that the men were being killed.  This investigation is rumoured to have cost £4 million.  Dozens of gay men were interviewed.  The police learned that none of the men in the video had been murdered, or even suffered injuries which required medical attention.  However the police may well have felt that they had to bring some prosecutions to justify their expensive investigation.The Verdicts16 of the men were found guilty (20th Dec. ’90) of a number of offences and were sent to jail, given suspended jail sentences or fined.  The men’s defence was based on the fact that they had all consented to the activities.  But Judge Rant, in a complex legal argument, decided that the activities in which they engaged fell outside the exceptions to the law of assault.
A number of the defendants appealed against their convictions and sentences.  Their convictions were upheld though the sentences were reduced as it was felt they might well have been unaware that their activities were illegal.  However the Appeal Court warned that this would not apply to similar cases in the future.  The case then went to the House of Lords.The Law Lords heard the case in 1992 and delivered their judgement in January 1993.  They upheld the prosecutions by a majority of three to two.The EvidenceThe evidence against the men comprised the video-tape and their own statements.  When they were questioned by the police, the men were so confident that their activities were lawful (because they had consented to them) that they freely admitted to taking part in the activities on the video.  Without these statements and the video-tape, the police would have had no evidence to present against the men and would have found it impossible to bring any prosecutions.The Law Of AssaultIn law, you cannot, as a rule, condone an assault.  There are exceptions.  For example, you can consent to a medical practitioner touching and possibly injuring your body; you can consent to an opponent hitting or injuring you in sports such as rugby or boxing; you can consent to tattoos or piercings if they are for ornamental purposes.  You can also use consent as a defence against a charge of what is called Common Assault.  This is an assault which causes no injury.

The Judgement
he Law Lords have now ruled that SM activity provides no exception to the rule that consent is no defence to charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm or causing grievous bodily harm.  These are defined as activities which cause injuries of a lasting nature.  Bruises or cuts could be considered lasting injuries by a court, even if they heal up completely and that takes a short period of time.  Grievous bodily harm covers more serious injury and maiming.Judge Rant introduced some new terms to define what he considered to be lawful and unlawful bodily harm.  Judge Rant decreed that bodily harm applied or received during sexual activities was lawful if the pain it caused was “just momentary” and “so slight that it can be discounted”.  His judgement applies also to bodily marks such as those produced by beatings or bondage.  These too, according to him, must not be of a lasting nature.  In essence, Judge Rant decided that any injury, pain or mark that was more than trifling and momentary was illegal and would be considered an assault under the law.



he denial of the Spanner defendants rights to choose what to do with their own bodies has lead to a series of ludicrous legal situations.The judgments mean that body piercings for decoration are quite legal but for the “  ...  satisfaction of a sadomasochistic libido” are illegal! In practice this means that you are permitted to get your body pierced if you experience only pain.  If you also experience pleasure, however, a serious criminal assault has taken place!The Law Lords’ opinion in the Spanner judgement, together with recent test cases, has confirmed that it is legal for adults to beat children in their care for the purpose of  “lawful correction or chastisement’’ whilst the same activity between consenting adults is a criminal assault.Despite Lord Lane’s assertion that consent is immaterial in cases concerning SM, several of the men were convicted of  “aiding and abetting” assaults on themselves! How did these men aid and abet the assaults? Erm ...  well ... presumably by consenting to them.  Consent, it seems, is only “Immaterial’’ when it suits the courts!

The convictions were subsequently upheld through all appeals despite the fact that:
              All the men consented fully to all the activities concerned.
                  No one received permanent injuries or needed medical attention.
                  All the activities took place in private and the police received no complaints.

The courts and police claim to be trying to protect people from themselves.  These legal absurdities expose the fact that the Spanner case was not about assault at all, but about sex.

COUNTDOWN ON SPANNER is a mixed-sexuality group of sadomasochists originally formed to support the Spanner defendants and campaign for their rights.  It is currently fund-raising to support in the European Court of Human Rights a further appeal against the Spanner judgement.  Funds raised are administered for the Spanner Trust by 'Liberty' the British organization for Human Rights.

COUNTDOWN ON SPANNER, in it’s widely distributed Inform-ation Pack, defines it’s declared aims and position:-
The term sadomasochism covers a wide variety of activities and desires, but Countdown on Spanner  uses the following working definition:
  SM is obtaining pleasure from a power exchange and/or pain in consensual sex play or sexual fantasy.   SM sex is, by definition consensual.  Non-consensual sex is an abuse of power and is therefore sexual violence, not SM sex.
  There are no predetermined roles in sex.  Power relations are defined by choice.

IN TWO magazine is known throughout the world as a successful glossy, ‘pervy’ sexy fetish magazine with a high-fashion image.  But SKIN TWO is more than just a pretty face.  In past issues it has reported on the more general heterosexual implications of Operation Spanner and the confusion that complex new rulings have caused.  We reprinted in the Fetters European catalogue (Dec. I993) their comprehensive article on the Spanner affair up to that date “ARE YOU A CRIMINAL?” because it encapsulated so much information.  Since then SKIN TWO readers have regularly been brought up-to-date with excellent coverage of developments.  We are particularly grateful to SKIN TWO and the author for permission to reprint once again this key article.

y Tim Woodward and Tony Mitchell.(Reprinted from SKIN TWO issue 12)In Britain today, SM in private, between consenting adults can be illegal.  SKIN TWO reviews the Operation Spanner case that brought the law into British bedrooms, and asks one of the defence team what now lies ahead for his clients - and the rest of us.

Hopes that the convictions of a group of gay sadomasochists on assault and other charges would be quashed by the Court of Appeal were dashed last year when the verdicts were upheld.  As a result, activities which many ordinary adults, gay or heterosexual, enjoy as part of their private sex lives are now illegal.  Now, if you spank your husband or wife, you may be a criminal, guilty of assault.  Consent is no defence.

Partners who consent (even thoroughly enjoy it) can be guilty of aiding and abetting the assault.  This results from the ‘Operation Spanner’ case in which the police hunted down and arrested a group of gay men who had practiced various SM activities, some of which were recorded on video.  They caused no lasting bodily harm, no non‑consensual activity took place, and everyone was over 21 and enjoying themselves.

The arrests caused a furore and the consensus among the quality papers (and probably among the general public) was that, while Joe Public would just as soon avoid some of the thrashings and piercings, thanks very much, these people were doing no harm and the law had no business interfering.  Hence the alarm at the verdicts and sentences of up to four and a half years prison for crimes including assault.

Hopes were high that the whole thing would be thrown out on appeal and sanity would be restored.  Far from it.  The verdicts were upheld, albeit with reduced sentences, stirring up the papers up again with much talk of infringement of liberties and the ridiculous prospect of the mass arrest of thousands of happy couples.  Are the implications as serious as they seem, not just for sadomasochists but for couples everywhere who don’t always have sex in the missionary position?

The charges, verdicts and sentences in the Spanner case seemed so bizarre that it’s hard for ordinary citizens to see how the appeal could possibly have failed.  So what went wrong? We spoke to Angus Hamilton, a defence solicitor in the case, and it seems we were quite naive to place any confidence in common sense.  English law in this area gives little such hope.  It may have appeared to be the first time the law had interfered in private and harmless sexual activity, but Angus had always felt pessimistic.  Precedent and the weight of the law in fact stood against the defendants.

The judge, Justice Rant, was characterized in the papers as some arcane reactionary, out of touch with everyday life.  That impression lent some hope ‑ surely an appeal court would gently restore order? Not so.  Angus points out that, in fact, Rant is a perfectly mainstream and respectable career member of the judiciary.”  If Rant’s analysis was unfavourable, “there was every reason to fear that the Appeal Court would go along with it.”  So they did, although they did reduce the stringent sentences; The judgement at appeal found it to be not in the public interest for people to be able to do “harm” to each other “without good reason.”  Harm is defined as anything beyond the transitory or trifling (love bites, for example, might be considered trifling).  But what constitutes good reason? You’ve guessed it ‑ this was not defined.

The “satisfaction of a sadomasochistic libido” was, however, specifically stated not to be a good reason to do harm.  Some good reasons may be found floating around in the byways of English law, such as surgery or the pursuit of sports.  Riding crops and jodhpurs seem OK so long as you take them off before going to bed.  The case now goes to the House of Lords in December.  Angus will put up a fight - but he feels that the law provides little grounds for optimism So why bother? “It’s far from just an empty exercise; you must go through all the processes of national law before a case may be taken to Europe,” he explains.  “The Lords are likely to rubber‑stamp the case, but it can then go forward under Article 8 of The Convention on Human Rights, which protects the individual’s right to a private life.”

So in the meantime, are the thousands of ordinary couples up and down the country who enjoy spanking, SM, bondage, whips and chains etc. really criminals? Angus confirms that a lot of everyday behaviour you thought was nobody else’s business is now criminalized, but he points out that, in practice, it might be rather hard to seek out and arrest everybody.  “My advice is to respond to the judgement on a practical level.  Whether or not you stop what you are doing is a matter of personal choice, but don’t record it - either in written form, or in photographs or on video.  If approached by the Police, always seek legal advice.”  Hesitate before you take those snaps to the local chemist.  A troublemaker or even someone who genuinely fears wrongdoing, might get you locked up in a way you wouldn’t enjoy.  Reactionaries insist that we are about to be swamped by a flood of child porn and snuff movies, and that only more budget increases for yet more policing will save us.

After Spanner, can we now expect the Perve Squad to screech to a halt outside the bedroom window every time we get the riding crop out? Angus is not quite so gloomy, but he warns that fetish/SM clubs may be making a rod for their own backs.  At any disco, you will see some kissing.  Add even the most light‑hearted and conventional of sexual connotations and you could end up like the organizer of the Nightshift couples’ club, who found himself this summer with a criminal record and a fine of £3,500 for keeping a disorderly house.  (A case of causing death on the road attracted a fine of £500 on the same day.) Nightshift was not outrageous, but when the evidence was read in court it sounded so wild, it astonished people who had actually been there.  Now, introduce SM to the picture and imagine how easy it would be for someone to make trouble.

“There are lots of ways to harass clubs,” says Angus.  “They can object to alcohol licenses, and make trouble that way.”  So when you go to a fetish club, do restrain yourself.  Or rather, don’t restrain yourself until you get home, because it’ll be the club organizers who will take the blame for your irresponsibility.  It’s very difficult for the person running a club to keep their eye on everybody.  You’ve only got to get a snooper finding a couple in a corner doing something the organizer is unaware of, and there’s potential for real trouble.  It has been said that the police and courts are anti‑gay, and heteros are less at risk from this kind of harassment.

So was the Spanner case exacerbated because the men involved were gay? Throughout the case and the appeal, the judges went to great pains to emphasize that there was nothing anti‑gay in the prosecution, and that the same principles would be applied to heterosexual SM behaviour.

Says Angus: “It’s difficult to really support this, but my gut feeling is there wouldn’t have been nearly the same amount of interest from the police if they had been dealing with a group of heterosexual people.  It’s a combination of SM and homosexuality that ready makes it all more potent.  “In my view, the whole attitude of the police towards all gay sexuality is that it is fundamentally criminal and only decriminalized within a very narrow window.  No more than two people, over 21 and so on.  If you step outside of that window of legality, the full force of the law will come down on you, whether it’s public affection between gay men, say, or sexual behaviour with more than two people, or whatever they deem beyond their pale.

“I’m not saying heterosexual SM behaviour won’t be attacked, not at all.  But I find it difficult to believe that quite the same interest, manpower or money would have gone into an operation involving married couples.”

We wondered whether Angus thought that the courts and police pursue these cases because the broad mass of the public feel threatened by sexuality in general and want action against it.  Or, do we have a powerful few - the police, judiciary politicians and career activists - putting pressure on sexuality to make themselves look good and/or massage their prejudices?

“I think it is certainly the latter,” comes the reply.  “Most of the serious press reports I read after the case were wholly antipathetic to the judgement.  It was widely felt that there was no justification for the state to intervene in private lives, unless, say real injury was done.  Otherwise, it’s just moralizing and felt to be no business of the state.  The fact that some people found it distasteful or would not do it themselves was felt to be neither here nor there.  I see little real body of opinion in favour of moralizing.  Even those behind the investigation could not, I suspect, find such a body of opinion.”  Typical official claims invoke pressure from the public for their actions.  It was more or less absent in this case, though.

“Throughout the whole Spanner case,” says Angus, “I was not conscious of any pause for thought at all.  They just pursued the case blindly.”  You don’t need a history degree to know that when governments tell us we are criminals, this does not lead to a mass change in our behaviour.  For the public to heed officialdom, they must agree with it.  Much of the sexual behaviour of much of the British public is now effectively criminal.  But there isn’t going to be any mass return to sanitized sex ‑ people will carry on much as before.  Unfortunately, so will the police.  The irresistible force will continue to confront the immovable object.  Casualties will be inevitable, including the Spanner defendants, justice and common sense.

In a more recent issue of SKIN TWO  (Issue 16) an excellent article ASSAULT ON REASON by Criminologist Dr. Bill Thompson gives a detailed analysis of the legal what he calls “jigerypokery” used by the Law Lords and the police in regard to the Spanner affair.
From his opening statement that “SM was not attacked in the Spanner case for what it is, but for what it had come to represent in the minds of Britain’s self-appointed moral guardians,” through an examination of the unhealthy collaboration between Feminist Separatists and the Moralistic Right, on to a damaging analysis of the way legal precedents were (in his opinion) cited in the case and then selectively exploited or ignored in the original court and various courts of appeal.  Information contained in this 7000 word article “ASSAULT ON REASON” will, hopefully, be available to the Law Commission who are currently deliberating on whether to support the criminalization of SM sex.

 Dr. Thompson is a criminologist at Reading University.  His book “Sadomasochism: Painful Perversion or Pleasurable Play” has recently been published in Britain by Cassell.

On December 14th 1996 the Law Commission (official body set up by the British Government in 1965 to work towards the “simplification and modernisation of the law”), published an extension of their review of law concerning “Consent and Offences Against the Person”. This Green Paper  is the result of a long and serious consideration by a team of respected legal experts reviewing laws concerning a broad range of topics which include ritual circumcision, cosmetic piercing, dangerous sports and martial arts. Predictably, when reporting the publication, even the Quality press zoomed in on the small part of the general review which deals with sadomasochism.

Although the commission suggests that “ ...in non-recognised sports any intentional or reckless causing of an injury should continue to be criminal” sensation mongering editors headlined news of the publication with KINKY SEX ‘NOT A CRIME’ and  SADO-MASOCHISM ‘SHOULD BE LEGAL’. More predictably the Daily Mail which continues to wage war on the Law Commission because of it’s previous proposals for reform of British divorce laws, screamed LAW CHIEFS PROPOSE ‘LICENCE’ FOR PERVERTS and followed it up with a long article from William Oddie headed WHY THESE PERVERSIONS MUST NEVER BE LEGALISED.

Inevitably, the more vociferous of the morally self-righteous network immediately pitched into the battle with gusto. Thier professional Parliamentary lobbyist grabbed the opportunity to appear on BBC’s Newsnight on the day of publication, seething with indignation. When asked about the possible harm of allowing responsible consenting adults a little more freedom of choice he replied that “ ... children must be protected from abuse”. When gently reminded by the presenter that the question was about consenting adults, this spokesperson who could have been mistaken for a representative of Moral Myopia replied that if adults were free to enjoy such activities “... this would lead to them doing it to children”.

Obviously, serious media discussion of sado-masochism is impossible when fanaticism & sensation-mongering cloud the real issues. The Law Commission is still accepting submissions regarding it’s general subject. Dedicated lobbyists and pseudo-Christian moralists will bring out any big guns in their armoury to undermine attempts at rational thinking on matters concerning freedom of the individual especially when S.E.X. is involved. It is hoped that the Law Commission and sensible people who try to keep British Law and Government in touch with the real world will not allow themselves to be bullied by irresponsible politicians and media moguls.

 CONSENT IN THE CRIMINAL LAW, Law Commission Consultation Paper 139 is available from Her Majesty’s Stationary Office price £21.

This British magazine, which emphasizes action rather than the imagery of S&M and fetish, consistently informs it’s readers on all aspects of politics, legal harassment and media exposure of S&M game-players.  It also carries incisive reviews of new books.  Rather than duplicate information which has gone before in this section on Spanner, we have asked PAN PANTZIARKA for permission to reprint his review of a book which Judge James Rant might usefully have read before assuming the responsibility of passing judgement on this particular case.

            The history of sex surveys is long and tortuous, but the one thing that they all have in common is that they display their authors’ own prejudices and ideologies as much as anything else.  Whether it’s Krafft Ebing using Psychopathia Sexualis to pathologise ‘deviance’, or Nancy Friday refusing to find female fetishists, each survey has something to tell us about its author’ s own agenda, (and we won‘t even mention the recent Janus Report).  We’ve all got a point to prove, only some people like to dress it in the language of science and numbers, turning the rest of us into lab exhibits to be gawped at vicariously.
            Still, there are surveys and there are surveys.  Some are all facts and figures, trend lines and statistical analyses, others are all interviews, fantasies and selected texts.  Both of these approaches have their place of course, and the facts and figures approach needn’t be less humane than the other impressionistic route.  For example Sexual Variations by Chris Gosselin and Glen Wilson is probably the most interesting example of this approach.  Now sadly out of print this was a book largely sympathetic to the world of pervery, and peering out from under the charts were the genuine faces of real SMers, TVs and fetishists.
The other approach is best exemplified by Nancy Friday’s collections of sexual fantasies.  Here it seems that people are left to speak for themselves, but of course the choice of fantasies is with Nancy Friday, and her comments and views preface each selection of texts.  So here we can see Nancy repeating whatever other ‘sexologist’ have repeated: women don’t fetishise, despite the evidence going back to Krafft Ebing, and later Freud and Lacan and the rest, she refuses to see just as they did.  Still, Nancy Friday had other ideological battles to fight at the time, so perhaps this was one ‘orthodoxy’ too many to challenge, (see Female Fetishism by Lorraine Gamman and Merja Makinen for more on this denial of reality).            Now, at last, we have an interview type survey devoted exclusively to SM and fetishism.  ‘Different Loving’, edited by Gloria Brame, William Brame and Jon Jacobs, and subtitled ‘An exploration of the world of sexual dominance and submission’, is a book of voices from the America SM scene.  There are no charts or diagrams here, only the voices of perves like the rest of us.  No judgmental overview, no snotty nosed scientific objectivity, only the voices of the editors and people talking about themselves and what they do.
            And what don’t they do! The coverage is quite extensive, there isn’t a single major area of SM that isn’t covered: CP, bondage, gender games, dressing up, piercing, infantilism  ...  all SM life is here.  Even when some of the things described make you personally cringe, (and I read the section on catheters with legs tightly crossed), I was able to gain insights in what turns other people on, and an idea of the pleasure they got out of it.  The non-judgmental tone of the book helps this, the subliminal voice of the editor isn’t there to force you onto the defensive.
            If there are no facts and figures in the book does that mean that there’s nothing we can learn from it? The first thing that stands out is the enormous diversity of sexual fun and games that people play, the cliché whips and chains and kissing heels is only a small part of an enormous mosaic of sexuality and experimentation.  Diversity is the key word here, and it applies not just to what people do and say but also to the kinds of relationships that SM people are engaged with.  What comes across is the wide range of lifestyles and relationships that people have evolved, and it ranges from the entirely monogamous on the one side, to the ‘body fluid’ monogamous, to the completely open, the fluidly polygamous at the other end of the scale.
            Very few claimed to have hit on the perfect relationship, but warts and all at least they were aware of where they were and what they wanted.  Clearly there is no one relationship that is right, we are all different and changing all the time, but the sheer diversity makes me hopeful that this thing we call the SM community is wide enough to encompass all sorts of situations and is not above laying down the law on what is right and wrong.
It was also interesting to note how many people introduced themselves as ‘mostly het’, or ‘often gay’, or ‘currently lesbian’ ... Again there was a wide range of sexualities, but also the inference that this was a fluid, dynamic thing.  It even seemed that gender attraction was secondary; an incidental more than anything else.  Is there a distinct SM sexuality that transcends labels of ‘gay’, ‘straight’ or ‘bi’? On the evidence presented here the answer has to be a definite maybe.
            The other thing that is noticeable early on is that the power roles of top and bottom seemed even more dynamic than gender attraction.  Most people were evolving, experimenting, changing all the time.  The number of people claiming to be exclusively dom or sub was lower than expected, and the number of these that had not tried the other role was even lower It emphasized once more that in SM the game is more important than the roles.  A number of people stressed that if it came down to a choice they would switch from dom or sub rather than stop playing altogether.
            There is so much more to say, but I could go on all day and you‘d get bored.  It’s not all good though, there were a number of annoying things about the book but these were pretty trivial.  An index would have been good, as would have some discussion and conclusions at the end.  There was a lot of skating around political issues, but this wasn’t the book for that.  This is a book about people and pleasure, a chance to hear what other people do, and a chance to say “yeah, that’s exactly how it feels!”
So, it’s a book worth reading, but will we see an English edition published over here? Sex surveys sell, walk into any branch of Waterstones and see them piled high, but somehow I think this one probably won’t make the best seller lists over here.  If you can get a copy from the States though, you’ll enjoy it.

 Pan Pantziarka

 Different Loving is published by Villard Books (Random House) $25.

The original volume also included ... 'EROTIC BONDAGE - Twelve Talking Points' - and informative overview of erotic game-playing.

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