Guidelines for Safe(er) Erotic Modeling

After the topic came up on a favorite podcast of mine, I wanted to lay out my thoughts on precautions and guidelines to consider when you’re looking to model for sensual/erotic/BDSM/nude work, particularly if it’s a TFP (trade for pics) shoot.

While there are plenty of artists out there who do this sort of thing for the art, there are also a shit ton of skeevy folk (mostly, but not exclusively men) who are shooting for their own personal spank-bank, the power trip, or worse.

Participating in this type of shoot can be empower and fulfilling, but it can also leave one feeling awful, or be downright dangerous. So with that in mind, here are some guidelines to consider:

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How To Use Urethral Sounds

This post totally blew up in a way I never expected. It’s gotten quite a lot of traffic over the years, and I was eventually prompted to do a revised version. Below you’ll find the original “How To Use Urethal Sounds,”  followed by a more lengthy and expanded sounding primer. If the first interests you, be sure to also read the second.

Enjoy and play safe! – Winter Tashlin 4/16/14

 

How To Use Urethral Sounds

originally posted on 8/21/12

Sounding can be a very enjoyable way to play with ideas of penetration, fuck with gender, and experience new and hot sensations. It can also be easily incorporated into all manner of D/s play. The techniques used for sounding aren’t terribly difficult, but there are some simple steps you can take to make it safer and more enjoyable.  

First off, get an *actual* sound or sounding set. You’re way better off dropping $50 on proper sounds than finding thing around the house that might fit in your urethra. Seriously, I mean it. 

Second off, get some sterile surgical lubricant. The best in my opinion is “Surgilube” and you can order it off Amazon or from your local pharmacy. I buy a one gross (144 packets) box of 2oz packets. There are other companies that are a bit cheaper, but they aren’t as pleasant to use, and honestly, you can probably get a 1 gross box for around $30 and it’ll last a couple of years. If you’re just playing with yourself, you can also get an 8oz or 16oz tube as an alternative. 

Clean and rinse the sounds well after each use. I play with multiple people, so I disinfect my sounds with SaniCide after each use, and then clean the SaniCide off with Dr. Bonners or a mild dish soap (you don’t want that stuff in your body), and then I do a quick wipe with rubbing alcohol right before i use them. But again, if it’s just you, you can probably just get away with just the Dr. Bronners/dish soap and the alcohol. 

Now for the whole “using them” part 😉

If you have a standard set, for instance of Hagar sounds, which are probably the most common, you’ll probably NOT want to use the smallest sound in the set. The smaller the sound, the higher the risk that you could screw up (especially at first) and puncture the urethral wall, which sucks about as hard as it sounds. 

Find the largest size that you can put into your urethral with a minimum of resistance and no feeling of stretching. With Hagar sounds I most commonly start beginners off with the third size up. Remember if you’re using a Hagar set that they are dual ended, usually with a 1mm difference between sides, so that’d be the smaller side of the 2nd smallest sounding rod. 

Lube the first several inches of the sound well, and also spread some lubricant around the meatus (piss slit). Being careful to stabilize the sound with your hand, place the end into the meatus, and carefully and gently guide it into the urethra. Use an absolute minimum of force, if any, at this point. Ideally you want to let the sound “fall” in as far as it wants. Once it stops going in, just let it be for a bit, focusing on the experience and sensation, and then maybe try moving it in and out about 1/2 inch. At this point you may want to take out and re-lube the sound. 

Once you’re used to the sensation of having something in your urethra, which can take anywhere from a few seconds, to minutes, to never, you have two clear options: you can bump up your size a bit, or you can go a bit deeper. 

Either way, you’ll likely need to use more (gentle) force to insert the sound or push it further in. This may be uncomfortable. You may feel pressure, or a burning sensation and this is pretty normal. What you DON’T want is any sharp pain or the feeling that one place hurts *more*, especially at the tip of the sound, this is a big warning sign from your body and you need to listen. 

In order to take a sound deeply, you may have to experiment to find the right angle of your penis to your body for the urethral passage to be conducive to sounding once the sound passes the base of your penis. You also may find in the case of Hagar sounds in particular, that the sound wants to rotate around its axis to continue deeper. 

You generally don’t have to worry about entering the bladder (which you emphatically do NOT want to do) as long as you don’t push hard against the sound once it hits resistance while pretty deep in. You can always check how deep the sound is by feeling for the end between your legs along the perineum (taint). If the sound vanishes into your penis, especially if you are rather well endowed, it’s nothing to worry about. You can always retrieve it by finding the bottom end either at your perineum or along your shaft (depending on sound and penis lengths) and pushing up from there.  

There’s a good chance you’ll have some burning with urination for a few hours or even days, this is normal, as is possibly a bit of blood, particularly when you’re new to sounding. If you have a discharge, fever, or cramping, seek medical attention. Also, if you’re prone to urinary tract infections, this may not be the play for you. 

Once you’re accustomed to and comfortable with the whole idea of sounding, you can start experimenting with masturbating with it in, or using the sound specifically for sensation or pain play. Applying pressure to the outside of the urethra for instance with the sound in place is a great way to add some pain both in the moment, and later, as it will be more likely to burn during later urination. You can also “fuck” your penis with the sound. Use short motions, and remember to be very careful, especially if the sound is relatively small. 

Done properly, sounding is generally on the safer end of the kink/BDSM spectrum. Play safe and have fun!

 

An In-Depth Primer On Sounding

originally published on 12/8/13 as part of The Bilerico Project’s short-lived “How’s That Work” feature on sex and kink

Of all the myriad topics I teach on, not to mention play modalities I personally enjoy, urethral sounding is without a doubt the one that consistently gets the biggest reaction when I bring it up.

As a rule, cis guys in particular fall into one of two camps when sounding is mentioned: The first group are the men who say “I’ve always wanted to try that,” or regale me with stories of what random objects they’ve put down their own urethras. The second group tends to go pale, unconsciously cover their groin, or tell me that the very idea makes them actively nauseas.

For a bit of background, urethral sounding is the act of inserting a rigid object into the urethra, usually some considerable distance. Its origins are as a medical procedure, and it was primarily used in the days before modern prostate-shrinking medication, as a way to keep the urinary passage open in men with prostate enlargement.

Today it is mostly done for fun.

There are of course, a number of reasons people may enjoy sounding:

  • It’s a form of penetrative play using a completely different hole than usual, and the physical sensation of a sound in the urethra can be intense and exciting. Some sounding enthusiasts compare the sensation to anal fisting, although personally I am not qualified to judge the comparison.
  • Sounding can be a real mindfuck experience. It’s penetration, but in one’s penis, which for many men is strongly associated with the act of penetrating. Some people enjoy the way that feels emotionally, while for others it is intensely upsetting in way that can be hard to describe. Anecdotally, guys who’ve done a lot of receptive docking play don’t seem as freaked out by it, perhaps because they are already used to the idea of having their penises penetrated, albeit in a different way.
  • Deep sounding can be an awesome way to do prostate stimulation of a kind many won’t ever have experienced.
  • For folk who like some pain in their sex, sounding can be done in a way that is erotically painful, mostly through size choices and how one stimulates the sound when it’s in place.
  • Going back to the first point about penetration in a new hole, there’s dominance and submission play that can be revolve around the act of one person sounding another.

So then, how to go about doing this whole thing?

First off, get an actual sound or sounding set. It’s a far better idea to drop fifty to one hundred dollars on proper sounds than it is to go around the house finding thing that might fit in one’s urethra. I really am quite serious on this point. For every person who emails me to rave about their homemade sounds, I have two messages telling some horror story involving a straw from a fast food restaurant or a too-sharp knitting needle.

Second off, get some sterile surgical lubricant. If you are in the United States, the best in my opinion is “SurgiLube,” which it can be ordered off Amazon.com or from a local pharmacy. I buy a one gross (144 packets) box of 2oz packets for around forty dollars. There are other companies that are cheaper, but they don’t tend to be as as pleasant to use.

It is of course, important to clean and rinse the sounds well after each use. I play with multiple people, so I use a hospital-grade surface disinfectant on my sounds. These days my kit has Super Sani-Cide Wipes in it, but Mada-Cide, and similar products will work. Once the sounds are disinfected, the Sani-Cide is cleaned off with Dr. Bonners or a mild dish soap to ensure that the disinfectant can’t be introduced to the body in later play. I then do a quick wipe down with rubbing alcohol right before use to remove any dirt or surface contaminants.

My professional opinion is against boiling metal sounds to clean them. The majority of sounds people use are plated in a chrome or stainless plating over a base metal. Boiling can cause separation or cracking in the plating, which can cause everything from internal lacerations to an increased risk of bacterial infection. Many silicone sounds however are fine to boil.

Now on to the practical hands-on info.

In the most common sounding sets, for instance of Hagar dilators or Dittle straight sounds, there are a range of available diameters. It’s best not to start out with the smallest sound in the set if at all possible. The smaller the sound diameter, the higher the risk that a screw up (especially at first) could puncture the urethral wall, which sucks about as hard as one would think.

The ideal first sound is the largest size that can be fit into the urethral with a minimum of resistance and no feeling of stretching. Keep in mind that the urinary passage in the glans of the penis, in people so equipped, is often wider than the urethra itself.

It’s important to apply lubricant to the first several inches of the sound, as well as around the meatus (piss slit).

Then on someone with external anatomy: Being careful to stabilize the sound with the hand, place one end into the meatus, and carefully and gently guide it into the urethra. Use an absolute minimum of force, if any, at this point. Ideally let the sound “fall” in as far as it wants. Once it stops going in, just let it be for a bit, before experimenting with moving it in and out about 1/2 inch. At this point it may also be a good idea to take out and re-lube the sound.

On someone with internal anatomy: Stabalize the sound with one finger supporting its weight as it is guided to the meatus. Be extremely careful that the sound does not slip past the meatus and enter into the vaginal passage. If it does, the sound needs to be cleaned, dried, and re-lubricated before attempting again, or the risk of a UTI will be very high. Once the sound enters the urethra, apply gentle pressure until resistance is encountered, then pull the sound back about a quarter to a half inch. Keep in mind that the urethra on someone with internal anatomy is much shorter than on someone with external anatomy.

Once accustomed to the sensation of having something in the urethra, which can take anywhere from a few seconds, to minutes, to never, there are several options: go to a larger size, trying going a bit deeper, or begin stimulation though contact with the sound or moving the sound, more on that in a bit.

The following only applies to folks with external anatomy:

To move the sound deeper into the body, begin applying gentle force on the sound. This may be uncomfortable. People sometimes feel pressure or a burning sensation, both of which is pretty normal. What is absolutely to be avoided is any sharp pain, or the feeling that one spot hurts more, especially at the tip of the sound.

Experimentation may be necessary to find the right angle of the penis to the body for the urethral passage to be conducive to the sound going past the base of the penis. In the case of Hagar sounds in particular, which have a distinct curvature, the sound may want to rotate around its axis to continue deeper.

As a rule, for people with external anatomy entering the bladder, which you emphatically do not want to do, is not much of a concern as long the sound isn’t forced once it hits resistance inside the body.

It is always possible to check how deep the sound is by feeling for the end between the legs along the perineum (taint). If the sound vanishes into a penis, especially if in the case of people who are rather well endowed, it’s nothing to worry about. It can always be retrieved by finding the bottom end either at your perineum or along your shaft (depending on sound and penis lengths) and pushing up from there.

Regardless of anatomy, there’s a good chance some burning with urination for a few hours or even days will occur after sounding, particularly for people who are new to it. This is normal, as is a small amount a bit of blood in the urine. Obviously, if discharge, fever, or cramping, occurs seek medical attention. Also, people who are prone to urinary tract infections may simply not be well suited for this form of play.

Once accustomed to, and comfortable with the whole idea of sounding, there are many ways to experimenting with sensation and play.

As mentioned earlier, on people with prostates, a sound can be used as a form of prostate stimulation, either on its own or in conjunction with anal penetration. To use a sound for prostate stimulation, insert the largest size comfortable past the base of the penis, so the the tip of the sound is two finger widths below the scrotum. Then gentle rock the sound back and forth about an inch towards the body and then away from it. Everyone’s body is different, so it may take some experimentation to find the exact placement and preferred degree of movement.

On people with internal anatomy, gentle rocking is also sometimes found to be pleasurable. Digitally stimulating the sound through the vaginal wall, and doing digital G-spot stimulation with a sound in place are other internal-anatomy-specific forms of play.

Some people enjoy moving a sound in and out of their body in a manner not unlike penetrative sex. If trying this form of play, it’s a good idea to drop down a size or two and make sure to use plenty of lube. Otherwise, abrasion of the urethra will almost certainly cause pain during urination. Use short motions, and keep the speed low and well controlled. In the case of someone with internal anatomy do not “bang” the sound up against the urinary sphincter at the end of the urethra. This is a bad idea on someone with external anatomy too, but would be highly unlike to occur.

On the subject of pain, sounding can be used as a tool for erotic pain. There are several easy and reasonably safe ways to accomplish this. The first is to stimulate or massage the sound through the urethra. This compresses the urethral between the fingers and the metal of the sound, which can range from uncomfortable to intensely painful, and can be done regardless of whether someone has internal or external anatomy. Using sounds that are uncomfortably large, or sounding someone with little or no lube are other ways sounding can be a tool for erotic pain.

Done properly, sounding is on the safer end of the spectrum of kinky play. Be safe and have fun!

 
NOTE: If you’re interested in having me come teach my sounding workshop, which covers safety, proper use of sounds, and how to use them in sex & BDSM, or any of my other kink/BDSM/sexuality workshops for that matter, I am currently taking bookings for Winter/Spring 2013 appearances. For more information, contact me here

How To Use Urethral Sounds

WARNING: TEXT NSFW

How To Use Urethral Sounds

Sounding can be a very enjoyable way to play with ideas of penetration, fuck with gender, and experience new and hot sensations. It can also be easily incorporated into all manner of D/s play. The techniques used for sounding aren’t terribly difficult, but there are some simple steps you can take to make it safer and more enjoyable.  

First off, get an *actual* sound or sounding set. You’re way better off dropping $50 on proper sounds than finding thing around the house that might fit in your urethra. Seriously, I mean it. 

Second off, get some sterile surgical lubricant. The best in my opinion is “Surgilube” and you can order it off Amazon or from your local pharmacy. I buy a one gross (144 packets) box of 2oz packets. There are other companies that are a bit cheaper, but they aren’t as pleasant to use, and honestly, you can probably get a 1 gross box for around $30 and it’ll last a couple of years. If you’re just playing with yourself, you can also get an 8oz or 16oz tube as an alternative. 

Clean and rinse the sounds well after each use. I play with multiple people, so I disinfect my sounds with SaniCide after each use, and then clean the SaniCide off with Dr. Bonners or a mild dish soap (you don’t want that stuff in your body), and then I do a quick wipe with rubbing alcohol right before i use them. But again, if it’s just you, you can probably just get away with just the Dr. Bronners/dish soap and the alcohol. 

Now for the whole “using them” part 😉

If you have a standard set, for instance of Hagar sounds, which are probably the most common, you’ll probably NOT want to use the smallest sound in the set. The smaller the sound, the higher the risk that you could screw up (especially at first) and puncture the urethral wall, which sucks about as hard as it sounds. 

Find the largest size that you can put into your urethral with a minimum of resistance and no feeling of stretching. With Hagar sounds I most commonly start beginners off with the third size up. Remember if you’re using a Hagar set that they are dual ended, usually with a 1mm difference between sides, so that’d be the smaller side of the 2nd smallest sounding rod. 

Lube the first several inches of the sound well, and also spread some lubricant around the meatus (piss slit). Being careful to stabilize the sound with your hand, place the end into the meatus, and carefully and gently guide it into the urethra. Use an absolute minimum of force, if any, at this point. Ideally you want to let the sound “fall” in as far as it wants. Once it stops going in, just let it be for a bit, focusing on the experience and sensation, and then maybe try moving it in and out about 1/2 inch. At this point you may want to take out and re-lube the sound. 

Once you’re used to the sensation of having something in your urethra, which can take anywhere from a few seconds, to minutes, to never, you have two clear options: you can bump up your size a bit, or you can go a bit deeper. 

Either way, you’ll likely need to use more (gentle) force to insert the sound or push it further in. This may be uncomfortable. You may feel pressure, or a burning sensation and this is pretty normal. What you DON’T want is any sharp pain or the feeling that one place hurts *more*, especially at the tip of the sound, this is a big warning sign from your body and you need to listen. 

In order to take a sound deeply, you may have to experiment to find the right angle of your penis to your body for the urethral passage to be conducive to sounding once the sound passes the base of your penis. You also may find in the case of Hagar sounds in particular, that the sound wants to rotate around its axis to continue deeper. 

You generally don’t have to worry about entering the bladder (which you emphatically do NOT want to do) as long as you don’t push hard against the sound once it hits resistance while pretty deep in. You can always check how deep the sound is by feeling for the end between your legs along the perineum (taint). If the sound vanishes into your penis, especially if you are rather well endowed, it’s nothing to worry about. You can always retrieve it by finding the bottom end either at your perineum or along your shaft (depending on sound and penis lengths) and pushing up from there.  

There’s a good chance you’ll have some burning with urination for a few hours or even days, this is normal, as is possibly a bit of blood, particularly when you’re new to sounding. If you have a discharge, fever, or cramping, seek medical attention. Also, if you’re prone to urinary tract infections, this may not be the play for you. 

Once you’re accustomed to and comfortable with the whole idea of sounding, you can start experimenting with masturbating with it in, or using the sound specifically for sensation or pain play. Applying pressure to the outside of the urethra for instance with the sound in place is a great way to add some pain both in the moment, and later, as it will be more likely to burn during later urination. You can also “fuck” your penis with the sound. Use short motions, and remember to be very careful, especially if the sound is relatively small. 

Done properly, sounding is generally on the safer end of the kink/BDSM spectrum. Play safe and have fun!

 
NOTE: If you’re interested in having me come teach my sounding workshop, which covers safety, proper use of sounds, and how to use them in sex & BDSM, or any of my other kink/BDSM/sexuality workshops for that matter, I am currently taking bookings for Winter/Spring 2013 appearances. For more information, contact me here

Some Reasons People Like Needleplay

There’s been some interest expressed in having a post on what people find interesting/appealing about needleplay. I’ve taught needplay 101, sadistic needleplay, needle CBT, needle predicament bondage, and using needles for magic & energy work, at some of the top events in the US as well as on KinkAcademy.com, so I felt comfortable answering this one. 

The list below is not intended to be every reason folk might like needleplay, and I’ve never met someone who liked it for all of the reasons listed. Note: Some of these reasons apply more to the top, some more to the bottom.

 

  • Sensation – Needleplay provides not only a unique sensation, but offers an immense range of sensation. I can pierce someone with a very small gauge needle (27 – 30g) with next to know sensation, or I can go larger (18 – 16g) and draw from a wide range of sadistic twists, resulting in some of the most intense sensations available anywhere in the BDSM world. For the record, many of my scenes go somewhere in between, and my most commonly used needle sizes are 22g & 18g.
  • Penetration Play – There is something incredibly erotic in penetrating/being penetrated bodily in holes that didn’t exist a moment before, and whose only purpose is the excitement and enjoyment of the people involved in the scene.
  • Blood – Needleplay doesn’t always involve much shedding of blood, but as a rule, you get pieced, you’re going to bleed, and of course there are techniques for increasing how much a bottom bleeds. Some people enjoy needleplay because they enjoy making someone bleed/being made to bleed, and the needles themselves are a means to an end.
  • D/s – For many people, there is a powerful D/s dynamic involved in engaging in needleplay with someone. Submitting to another and letting them violate your body in such intense and intimate ways is a powerful act (see: penetration play). The exchange of trust is also central to the experience. The bottom is trusting the top to safely  do play that is not only risky, but requires a high degree of skill and training to be done properly, while the top is trusting the bottom not only to hold still (very few people do needleplay with restrained bottoms in my experience), but also to communicate their needs, internal state, and medical history, not to mention not to report them for what nearly every jurisdiction would consider to be assault with a dangerous weapon (in this it is much like other BDSM techniques) or practicing medicine without a license.
  • Phobia – Playing with our fears is a tantalizing and thrilling form of edge play. It is not uncommon to see people drawn to needleplay because of their fear of needles or bad medical experiences. One of the most intense needle scenes I ever saw involved a bottom simply getting to where they could be in the presence of a needle out of it’s packaging.
  • Medical Fetishism – There is a lot of medical trappings involved in doing needleplay properly, from surgical skin preparations (why you shouldn’t use isopropyl alcohol for play piercing is a whole other post), to sterilely package hypodermic needles (not sewing needles for gods’ sake), very frequent changes of latex or nitrile exam gloves, sterilely package gauze and bandages, stretcher sheets or chucks to protect surfaces, hospital-grade disinfectant for cleaning all non-porous surfaces afterwards, and of course, the bright red of the sharps box. For many people, all these factors make needleplay as much about medical fetishism as about the sensation of the play itself, and I’ve heard of people who take needleplay way beyond the above list of necessary tools, to include other medical fetish tools such as O2 sat monitors, hospital-surplus tables, *sterile* gloves, and more.
  • Artistry – Although my scenes and layouts can be lovely, I am not at heart an artistic needleplayer. However, I have immense respect for my friends and colleagues who are, and some of the work I’ve seen is staggeringly beautiful. There are both tops and bottoms who enjoy needleplay primarily as an opportunity for beauty and adornment, rather than sensation.
  • Low Effort/High Result – I have some serious disability issues that prevent me from being able to do many of the more intensive topping techniques (for instance, I can’t swing a flogger for more than a minute or two). Using the tools and techniques of needleplay, especially sadistic needleplay, I can provide my bottom with a powerful experience with a minimum of physical exertion on my part.