Disturbing Bondage Deaths in the News

These stories have been around for a while now but I thought I’d post the links just in case anyone’s missed them. They’re both good lessons that bondage can be dangerous, even fatal, if done wrong. The especially disturbing thing about Adrian Exley’s death is that it wasn’t even self bondage, which usually is the case in these kinds of things. There were apparently signs of distress and difficulty breathing even before the final death, but the guy he was with, Gary LeBlanc, says that after “cooling him down,” they continued with the three-day-long scene. Eventually Exley was left alone in a closet, where he was found suffocated and turning blue by a third man who showed up. LeBlanc and his friend tried to dispose of the body in Rhode Island and LeBlanc finally wrote up a five page suicide note detailing what happened and then shot himself. And the guy who Exley was playing with wasn’t some crazed drifter or something. He was a Gulf Oil sales executive. What a horrifying scenario.

The other story from several months ago is in fact a self bondage scene gone wrong, with an Alabama minister who suffocated while doing self bondage while wearing two full wetsuits and with a large black dildo in his ass. When I first read this my cynical side just thought, hey, he was probably just another hypocritical preacher heaping sexual guilt on his congregation, but man, no one deserves to die in such an awful fashion. You can only imagine the pain, suffering, and bewilderment that his family and church must be going through. And the pain he himself must have dealt with all his life regarding his own sexuality. A very sad situation.

Rope Bondage Workshop with Miss Susan this Sunday, Oct. 28th

Just a reminder that for this Sunday’s Rope Bondage Workshop in N. Hollywood we’ll have my friend Miss Susan giving a demo on doing bondage with furniture, specifically showing ways to secure the bindee off to an inanimate object. I’ll be there enjoying it in the audience for a nice change. Hope you can make it Sunday from 4 to 6 PM.

Rope Bondage Workshop Monthly Calendar

Address and link for map

Being Out

Occasionally guys will write me and ask if they should tell their wives about their crossdressing. I always wince when I get these emails – not that I should even be giving advice – see Dan Savage in an earlier post. ;-) But what always makes me hesitate is that it’s pretty obvious that the wife is going to be really pissed off and hurt when she finds out – and rightly so. Even if she takes the news fairly well, which is doubtful, she’s going to feel betrayed and lied to just because such a big secret was withheld in the first place. (That’s assuming, of course, that the crossdressing was going on before marriage, which is usually the case, and that it was consciously kept secret going in.)

So to give advice anyway: Tell her before you get married. It just makes things a lot easier. And to the above guy I would have to say that the right thing to do is probably to tell her and deal with the mess that’s bound to occur. Even if it leads to divorce that’s probably better than carrying around that fear and dread of having a Big Secret.

I remember fifteen years ago when I was in the closet and I met an older guy who was very much out of the closet about his lifestyle. People at work knew and even though he didn’t dress all the time he had long hair and earrings in both ears. And I remember being blown away by his boldness and thinking, “I could never do that!” So what happens in fifteen years? I have long hair and earrings in both ears and run a tranny bondage website. Life’s funny.

I know that when I started doing the website probably part of my unconscious reason for it was just to force myself to be more out of the closet about my life. If I were to get involved with a “real” woman, there’s no way I could keep my lifestyle a secret. Hell, she would probably know all about it before the first date anyway, since when meeting new people we always ask, “So what do you do?”

And since I have a strong desire not to keep secrets, running a website that has a little bit of visibility is a good way to avoid keeping them. I know when I was younger I used to believe that no “real” woman would ever want to be with me because I’m a transvestite. And then the years passed and life happened and it became pretty obvious that this just wasn’t true. I’ve made a mess of things with girlfriends in the past about other things, but I’ve learned too that there certainly are some women out there who don’t have too much of a problem being with a tranny, and a very small number out there who actually kind of dig it. Sure, the vast majority are gonna go running and screaming from the room but that’s perfectly okay. You only need that one yes that you really click with.

So in this long rambling post I guess I’m saying that it’s probably better to be out of the closet about being a crossdresser or TG than not. And I don’t want to sound like I’m somehow better than someone who’s not out, since it’s all a matter of personal choice and no one is right or wrong in the matter. And some might also object and say, but Sandra (or Robert, as the case may be), you don’t have a regular job and a boss who could fire you or a wife who could divorce your ass. Which is true, and yes, everyone has to take their comfort level and circumstances into consideration. But I also think it’s probably better to just get out there and deal with the ugly consequences. Why would I want to keep a job where I’m not okay as I am, or stay married to someone who finds my sexuality unacceptable? What a thoroughly depressing and unempowering situation. Being truthful can definitely make things a lot tougher, though usually that’s in the short term. Eventually things work out and something new comes from the initial mess. If that’s a divorce or losing a job or friends or family members being pissed off and not speaking to you, well, that’s the price to be oneself.

And speaking again of Dan Savage, he’s talked before of this situation where a gay person comes out and they have family members who are upset and they become estranged. But then over time the family member comes to terms with the news and they accept it and become close again. Sometimes it takes years, but usually things work out in some fashion. Definitely in my own case with my Dad, my being open about my lifestyle has brought us much closer together. And when I opened up to him I was going out on a limb. My gut instinct would have said, “Are you fucking crazy? He doesn’t need to know!” But it was worth it and took more of that weight off my shoulders.

And then there are also the inevitable political gains from being out of the closet. Just like with gays and lesbians, someday there’ll be so many crossdressers and TGs out and visible that the “normal” world won’t be able to hate us as easily. I can’t imagine that crossdressing will ever be free of controversy – how could it be and would we really want it to be? But it’s inevitable that with the passage of time there will be more and more people who are visible and it’ll make a difference in how we’re perceived. If you know someone personally who’s “different” it makes that difference much less frightening and mysterious. And a lot harder to hate.

Red PVC Shoot

I just had a really enjoyable shoot this afternoon with my friend Al from Popshot Pictures. If you’re a tranny (or anyone for that matter) and you need a photographer in the S. California area, Al’s your man! I always enjoy shooting with him. Here are a few shots with this sexy pvc dress that my friend Barbara gave me at the Club Fantasy party. She was amazingly generous, cleaning out her closet and bringing all kinds of great fetish wear and heels to share with everyone. I knew this one would be good for a photo shoot. It’s funny, sometimes when I’m shooting bondage pictures we’re so focused on the tying and posing and photography that it’s almost like real work. But on this set I totally zoned out and went off into the Bondage Zone. I wish I could have had Al just leave me there for a few hours and come back later to check on me, perhaps with his tranny-tormenting friend in tow – Oops, my fantasies are kicking in ;-) Anyway, I’ll probably post the full set of pictures in about two weeks on the Trannies site.

Vegas: By the way, it’s more end of the year travel here. I’m meeting my best friend K. from Colorado tomorrow for a couple days at a friend’s timeshare in Las Vegas. So my email will be even more spotty than normal (and it can be pretty spotty at best). I’m not much of a gambler, might just blow twenty dollars at the nickel slots or something like that. But I always love going to Vegas for just a day or two. Any longer and the city’s charms start to quickly wear thin. Alas, there’ll be no bondage or crossdressing but it’ll still be fun.

Dan Savage

Lately while editing pictures for the website I’ve been listening to the podcast from Dan Savage, who does the hilarious “Savage Love” sex advice column. There are links to his podcast here, or you can subscribe from Itunes, and it’s free! I love how he talks so freely about this stuff and throws out all these words with not a hint of hesitation – fuck, shit, piss, come, and on and on. I’ve already learned all kinds of crazy things, like having sex with dolphins.

In Atlanta

I took a long weekend off and went to Atlanta to visit with my parents for a few days. They’re divorced but it was a friendly one and they both live here, so it’s convenient for visiting. And like I’ve mentioned before they’re getting old so I try to see them a few times a year. I flew on AirTran again on a 737 and had the best seat in the plane – 31F, which is way down on the last row, but because of the configuration of the plane there’s lots of extra room and room next to the seat for a good size carry on bag. It was the easiest flight I’ve been on in a long time and I slept like a baby. There was a little turbulance coming in and I always imagine the side of the plane ripping open and the seats being sucked out for a terrifying free fall to death. But I still enjoy air travel and it’s way safer than driving on the freeway any day of the week in Los Angeles.