“Fashion is transformative,” is what the Editor in Chief of Marie Claire magazine recently said as a judge on the television show Project Runway, and she’s right, especially when talking about fashion in a BDSM context.
Recently I was at a convention where an author dressed as someone from the time period their books were set for all four days and nights. They were a pleasure to spend time with and I walked away from some of our conversations sure they were from a different time and place. Speech patterns can be learned, but when the corset, skirt, stockings, boots, gloves and hat are put on, it becomes that much easier to convincingly portray a person from that period.
The same principles can be applied to a participant in the BDSM world, whether it’s for one night, a weekend or the 24/7 lifestyle. Putting on the trappings of the preferred role will transport the partakers and viewers deeper into their play space, hence why parties and clubs hosting the events often require attendees to dress up. Scenes are as general or detailed as the members have agreed to and what they wear follows the same guidelines and range from simple to elaborate.
BDSM is a big world so I’m narrowing the field for this discussion on fashion to bondage enthusiasts. This group can generally be put into two categories. One prefers how the scene evolves on its own, like rope play, and the other choose to bring other things into the sex or BDSM activity. The latter group could contain dominants who dress in a way that personifies power, although not necessarily a defined character such as a police person, and the one to be bound would be the submissive. A sub would wear something that emphasized innocence and compliance to their partner/s. A shepherdess, like Little Bo Peep, is a good characterization or they might wear a leather harness, collar or nothing at all.
Pony Players would be on the more detailed end of the spectrum as it takes a great deal of physical alterations to fit into and act out a role they’re playing. The one who enjoys being the pony, be they man or woman, would put on things such as modified horse tack, masks or hoods, bondage items such as arm binders and shoes to turn their feet into hoofs. They wear leather gear to help them more resemble a horse and have adapted conventional equestrian equipment for their needs. Others act as and dress like their pony’s rider, trainer or caretaker which also offers a great deal of variation.
From these two examples, one can comfortably conclude clothes have an important role in that they present a visual snapshot of a person and what they’re looking to experience at a BDSM party or club. Guidelines still need to be discussed and agreed upon, but each layer of clothes worn should be chosen with great care as they will enhance the various players’ and viewers trek to fulfillment.
Missing in Paradise, a contemporary erotic romance with bondage, was recently released through Ellora’s Cave and the heroine encounters two different incidents where fashion is important. What she wears needs to do more than cover her nudity, she wants to entice, seduce and yet not appear overtly sexual. She has specific goals for the interludes and sets out to achieve them by donning the right attire to ensure that happens. Sounds effortless, but they are definitely not easy tasks.
Fashion is significant every day and especially in a BDSM setting, but don’t forget to have fun with it as well. Next time you decide to participate in a scene, wow your partner/s and really dress!
Scorching romances full of twists, turns and ties.