Friday, April 29, 2016

Yes, Master (entry 141): Real To Real

Launched in 2009 as a regular column for Washington D.C.'s The New Gay website, "Yes, Master" is a series of essays, Q&A's, and rants by Chicago pro Dom, Master Aiden.  The new entries of "Yes, Master" continue here on  Feel free to write in, ask questions, etc.:

Fantasies are powerful.  There's no question when it comes to that.

They exist in their own sort of strong reality; the reality within each of us.

Fantasies are figments of our imaginations, desires that boil in the back of our minds.  Sometimes our desires, our wishes, become so strong and so plausible, that we have no other choice than to figure out a way to make them materialize.

BDSM play is, if nothing else, fantasy brought to life.

I've said it before and I'll say it again:

We live in a society in which we're extremely fortunate.  Uniquely fortunate.

Do you realize how fortunate we are, to live in the time and places in which we live?

We are able, as adults, to explore our fantasies.  No matter what gender--or how you declare your gender or nongender--, no matter what race, no matter if you're straight or gay or bisexual or other, no matter if you're a young adult or middle-aged or getting up there.......

We can be dominant or submissive if we choose to be.  We can be both if we choose to be.

Your fantasies are possible.  The realities in your dreams can be pulled into the physical world.

Are all fantasies doable?  No, not all of them are.  Some are doable, but not all of them.

Some wishes aren't plausible.  Nor should they be.  It's important to recognize where certain things belong, to compartmentalize.

Some dreams can merge, intact, through the membrane that exists between the inner world of peoples secret wishes and the physical plane.

But then there are other dreams that thrive in the vaults of imagination but don't translate well in the outside world.  Recognize the difference.


In BDSM, compromise is everything.

If something is too much of too much, know it.  We're all adults here.  Our fantasies are our creations and they answer to us.  Don't let your fantasies trample all over you, don't let them boss you around.  You can--and will--be submissive to men playing the role of Master and women playing the role of Mistress but don't lose control of your own impulses.

Realize that some fantasies need to be modified in order to keep yourself safe and/or out of consideration for other people.

BDSM is not chaos.  It's not utter mayhem.

Be honest with yourself.

When something needs to be adjusted to the benefit of your S&M adventures--and the adventures of those you session with--adjust it.

BDSM is too good of a thing to be sabotaged by your own overreaching fantasies (or the overreaching fantasies of other people......).

It's not all-or-nothing.  Know when to alter things, know when to compromise.

Use strategy, pre-planning, total realism (throw your rose-colored glasses into the trash bin), and effort in order to translate your BDSM desires from the world inside your head to the world that you physically experience.  No, that's not asking for something outside your capability.

Some fantasies can happen verbatim.  No changes necessary from your dreams to the clanking dungeon.  Those fantasies are doable, plausible, realistic, safe, and not asking for too much.  They're within the personal abilities of your Masters or Mistresses who have the resources and the gear--the devices, the toys, the clothing--to make them happen.

But then there are those other fantasies, on the other hand, that may need to be tossed out.  Those are the fantasies that are too much, too dangerous, too vicious, too inconsiderate of others, too strategically over-the-top, or too elaborate.

Good, safe, fun, healthy BDSM is for many things--for so many things and for so much.  You can absolutely transcend your previous (unnecessary) inhibitions and accomplish things in your personal life that you never thought you'd be able to do.   But BDSM is not everything.  It's not for everything.  There are limits.  For all of us.  Of course there are.  Know that, realize that, accept that.

Any kinkster who tells you "Anything is possible!" is getting carried away.  Know when to activate your side-eye.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

What Do You Have To Say For Yourself!?!

Or, rather, what would you like to ask?

I do these from time to time:

In a couple of weeks I'll do another Q&A posting so if some of you readers have questions that you'd like to ask me, go ahead and email me.  Ones that I haven't answered before (and that keep on-subject--stick to BDSM questions, please), I'll answer in a blog posting.

If you're going to email a question, do it before May 1st.

As always, my email is

Thursday, April 14, 2016

learn a thing or two

The Leather Archives and Museum in Chicago will be hosting a lecture by Gayle Rubin titled "Archival Fetishism:  Decades of Documenting Leather History" on Saturday, April 23rd from 3pm to 5pm.

"Archival Fetishism" will focus on Rubin's archival collection and the trajectory of LGBT/leather archives and repositories.

Doors open at 2:30pm.  This an event for adults 18 and up.

Leather Archives and Museum members enter free.  Students and Seniors 65+ will pay a $5 admission while general admission is $10.

The Leather Archives website (with location, etc.) is right HERE

Thursday, April 7, 2016

about the next photo shoot

Spring has sprung, oh yes it has.

My usual sessions are keeping me busy--things are going great--and I'm also getting my stuff in order for this year's upcoming BDSM photo projects.

I'm very tempted to tell you all about what's cooking at the moment but I'm not going to let the cat out of the bag completely, so.....

For the Spring 2016 Gallery:  the picture on this post is my inspiration.

Yeah, this upcoming shoot is going to be kind of silly.  I like dark and I like silly sometimes--not always, but sometimes--but it's good to do different kinds of images and themes, right?  Right.  The stuff coming up in May is dark (BDSM always has some darkness to it, needless to say) but it's pretty ridiculous and it tells a story, comic book-style.  Earlier this year, I was looking at some old, vintage bondage magazines at a dungeon party while waiting for my slave to get dressed (I had tortured him for a good couple of hours, it was getting late, and it was time to head home) and I stumbled across a section in this magazine where they did comic captions overlayed on the photos themselves.  The story that they were telling was about a thief who broke into a home, was caught by the owner, and the thief ends up being bound and spanked (because of course he does, naturally).  The text on the pictures narrated the story in a way that was hot and really kind of hilarious.

Which gave me an idea to do a similar kind of thing--not the thief story though, something totally different--for one of my photo shoots.

I've never done anything like this before with my photos but I thought that an overall narrated/comic concept would be completely unusual and really interesting to try out.  So I came up with a kinky sci-fi kind of story that we'll be telling through our upcoming photographs that I'll be posting up here next month.  It will be kind of awesome and stupid (both!).  I don't want to give too many spoilers away about what happens in the story--any excuse to play some kind of evil overlord, I'm more than happy to go for it--but I think that it's a great theme and a fun fantasy to explore.  I've had some friends help out with the overall idea and I have an illustrator buddy here in Chicago who's helping design some of the masks and props. The submissive model that I'll be dominating in these photos is a really nice guy and a great sport so I'm confident that he'll "get" the concept behind what this project entails and have a good time with it.  Getting all the gear and props taken care of for the Spring 2016 Gallery is already proving to be kind of expensive and a pain in the ass but I think that it will be worth it.  So, yes, there is a team of collaborators involved (thanks guys!) and lots of bells and whistles to it.  It's one of those kinds of projects.

The Spring 2016 pics are going to be.......out of this world.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

keep and toss

Yes, some stuff stays up here on this blog while other posts disappear.  I've done things this way for years.

So how do I decide what to keep and what to delete?

I keep the good posts, essays, "Yes, Master" entries, and Short Spanks (quick, short writings).  The pictures that I like after they've withstood some time but are still looking like me and how I present myself, I'll keep those too.  If I think that content on here--even if it's a bit "old"--is still relevant to me, and to those of you who come to this blog, then I'll keep it.

But a little over half of what's posted on this blog eventually gets scrapped.


I like to post notices regarding BDSM events (mainly in Chicago but not always) that I think that you people could be interested in.  Once those events are done, and that date has passed, I'll eventually pull them off this blog within a couple of months and get rid of those events posts.

I get rid of older pictures that I think are lame or aren't where I'm at right now, either stylistically or physically.  Sometimes I pass over old pictures of me on this blog and I'll think "eh, yuck, no" and I'll get rid of them.  I'm looking my best now (thank you, God!) so I get rid of old photos that I think are outdated or just turn me off for some reason.  Newer, better pictures often replace some of the older material.  That's going to continue.  But I'll still keep some of the old favorites that I think are fun and look right.  Even though my hair is longer now than it's been in a while, I still like some of those old, shaved-head pics from a few years back so, therefore, I won't get rid of them.  Those photos represent a tone, a certain flavor of attitude, that's still very much me so I don't want to delete them.

Like everyone else, I evolve and change my opinion sometimes.  If I think that one of my old essays doesn't line up to what my thinking is currently, then I'll get rid of those old postings.  Not because I'm embarrassed by anything that I said in them--it's not that; I'm usually very, very careful in how I jot down my thoughts and how they correlate to what my personal experiences have been with BDSM--but because some of the old content isn't where I'm at anymore.  That being said, I don't have the time to go over everything with a fine-toothed comb, but, overall, if my opinion is drastically different now on some subject than it was back then when I wrote it, I'll get rid of it.

I do my best to only keep the content on here, on this blog, that continues to be--in general--relevant to how I do things now, what I look like now, where my thoughts are currently, and what kind of fetish events are going on at the moment.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Yes, Master (entry 140): Dungeon Roller Coaster

Launched in 2009 as a regular column for Washington D.C.'s The New Gay website, "Yes, Master" is a series of essays, Q&A's, and rants by Chicago pro Dom, Master Aiden.  The new entries of "Yes, Master" continue here on  Feel free to write in, ask questions, etc.:

I'm like every other Dominant in the sense that I take people on a journey.

When people engage in BDSM--whether they're a Dom, a submissive, or a switch--they go on a trip:

Up, down, and up again, over high hills, around sharp turns, into dark tunnels, and back to full light.  There are high points, low points, favorite moments, bizarre sections, and instances that aren't necessarily the best segment of the escapade (but interesting nonetheless and a part of the excursion in order to get from point A to point Z).

There are thrilling moments, nerve-wracking moments, and moments that require patience.

This is just the reality of every amusement park ride and every amusing hour spent doing kink.

That's just the way it is, that's how it goes.

Unlike a ride at the carnival, you can never fully duplicate one fetish experience from another.  Sure, you can revisit your favorite crests and falls but there will be always be some new twists involved.  There will always be nuanced changes that are subtle or not-so-subtle.  Different jolts of pain, different degrees of pleasure.

The layout of the BDSM roller coaster is always changing when you're not looking.

You hop into the car, maybe expecting the same voyage, but you're lead to a different destination.  Or, perhaps, there are new features and altered tracks.

A submissive should never be 100% sure what they'll experience.....because, I admit, sometimes we Doms, typically, are not 100% sure how we want to map out your adventure.  There are days where it's best just to play it by ear and adjust things to the flavor of the atmosphere in the dungeon.  Micromanaging does work sometimes but, at other times, you just have to throw the plans out.  Different factors transform the chemistry.  Factors change:  confidence, aggression, raunch, desire, thirst for newness, shyness, need for adventure, physical comfort, a session that requires extra sensitivity, etc., etc., etc......

None of us are the same from day to day.  No S&M scene is going to be the same from one hour to the next.  Nothing can be copied, not exactly.

But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't love our favored go-to's.  We all have our kinks, fetishes, and magic buttons.  Everyone does.  That doesn't make you boring, it just makes you straightforward.

Similar to a fun-ride, I think that most people want to end their BDSM journey on a particular peak or exposed to a certain kind of view.  How you reach that point, however, will involve a constantly changing journey.  That could entail the cars on the roller coaster being painted a darker shade of blue (that you barely notice until you're up close to them), an entirely reconstructed ride, or the conductor has decided to take you spinning in a different section you've never traveled through until now.  Maybe he planned it out or maybe it was spur of the moment.  The submissives can't be sure, can they?

Everyone has favorite roller coasters that we constantly revisit but new additions and subtractions to the ride, here and there, should always be considered.

Monday, March 28, 2016


Nobody's perfect but there are those who come very close to it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

To you Peeps out there

I hope that all of you have a truly eggcellent Easter.


Master Aiden

Friday, March 18, 2016


I'll continue doing the Galleries (with different people as submissives, lots of various gear/clothing/environments/concepts, etc., etc.) but I'm also going to start doing some Instagram-style Bonus Shots from time to time that don't require as much fuss as the Galleries typically do.

Galleries for the elaborate, high-concept shoots that sometimes involve a team of people, lots of customized gear, masks, and all the rest of it....but then I'll do Bonus Shots too, every once in a while, for more casual stuff.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Shamrock Shake It

Whether you're a top o' the morning
or a bottom o' the night
I hope this Paddy's Day gives you
plenty of delight
(I just made that up.  You're welcome.)

Have a great, wild (but hopefully not too wild)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Yes, Master (entry 139): French, Twisted

Launched in 2009 as a regular column for Washington D.C.'s The New Gay website, "Yes, Master" is a series of essays, Q&A's, and rants by Chicago pro Dom, Master Aiden.  The new entries of "Yes, Master" continue here on  Feel free to write in, ask questions, etc.:

All pictures in this posting are the work of Pierre et Gilles.

I'm a huge fan of image-creators, Pierre et Gilles and, apparently, so are a lot of people.  For a couple of decades now, you've see their influence--if not their work, directly--imprinted on films, television, music videos, album covers, advertisements of all kinds, etc.  Even if you're not familiar with who they are, I'm certain that you've seen their work, whether you knew it or not, in some form or another via a picture credited to them or an image/scene done by one of their many copycats.

Simultaneously iconic and iconoclastic, this France-based duo began producing work in the 1970's.  Incorporating an unusual method that utilizes photography, painting, and (sometimes) 3-dimensional framing, Pierre Commoy and his creative partner Gilles Blanchard capture models, rock stars, fashion designers, and actors in customized fantasyscapes.  Often the artists transform their subjects into catholic saints, mythical gods, and allegorical figures while, at other times, they inflate their sitters into superpowered versions of who they already are.  Subtlety is typically not the forte of Pierre et Gilles.  It's always "Go big or go home".  Their straightforward, high-camp sensibility is often called "kitsch" but that ignores their clearly intentional senses of humor and irony that easily guide viewers towards quick lessons in pop culture and art history.  Deeply intelligent, sensitive, and sophisticated, the playful works of Pierre et Gilles are regarded as bright points in international contemporary art.

"GAY" doesn't scare Pierre et Gilles and it never has.  From the start, their work has been filled with swooning hunks and glamorous divas wandering through Crayola-colored forests, beautifully hazy torture dungeons, haunted mansions coated in diamond dust, enchanted Parisian streets, etc. and so on.  Always stunning and occasionally kinky,  Pierre et Gilles never apologize.  They create images for themselves; for their own entertainment and reflection.  They share their art with the world and the world responds favorably.

Some good examples of their work can be found HERE and a clip from a documentary about them is right HERE.  Pierre et Gilles are sort of mysterious these days (heavy-handed social media isn't their cup of tea) but I like to keep updated on them by visiting Gilles' Instagram account, hoping to catch a glimpse at whatever they're cooking up at the moment.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Short Spank: the right kind of chain

It's good to have different chains for different occasions and places.

Some chains (because of the thickness of their metal links) are right for some locks, and some carabiners, but then completely wrong for other locks and different carabiners.  Some chains are perfect for specific installations and shackles while other chains not so much.....  Which, if you're not ready for that kind of situation, can cause unwelcome surprises during some dungeon play scenes or if you're in a dungeon space (a play party somewhere that you're not used to going, a new dungeon in some different state or country, etc.) where you don't know about all the equipment quirks (and every dungeon has its own quirks......).

So, if you're the kind of Dom who enjoys bondage utilizing chains (like I do!), you know that metal chains are not necessarily one-size-fits-all.  Which is one of the advantages that ropes (typically) have over chains.  Chains can be heavy, loud, and a hassle to transport sometimes.  But I still love using them during scenes because they're quick, no-nonsense, and absolute.

The chains that tend to be the easiest to use are not the super-heavy, expensive ones.  Strangely (appropriately?) enough, the chains that tend to be the least amount of hassle and the most multipurpose are the cheap, bagged lengths that you find in the Pets section at stores.  They're lighter and have thin links that work well for most installations, locks, and carabiners.  I would recommend that all kinksters who engage in bondage play get a light, cheap length of chain for their gear bag (you never know when it could come in handy).  Scenes that involve real suspension would (obviously) require heavier chains than these and should only be done by people with a lot of experience.

Is this the most exciting BDSM subject ever discussed?  No.  But anticipating small, practical details like this sort of thing is extremely helpful when it comes to dealing with the realities of dungeon play.

Friday, March 4, 2016

after Easter

Typically, I lean towards posting about some of the Chicago-area and Midwestern kink events but there's constantly interesting stuff happening all over the USA, in Europe, etc.

I have an appreciation for extremely straightforward fetish event titles and you'd be hard-pressed to find ones that get more directly to the point than these two.....

Bears, Bikers, and Mayhem will be a leather weekend that takes place in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania from Thursday, March 31st through Sunday, April 3rd.  Event description, schedule, tickets, and the rest of it is here on their website:


On that same weekend, here in Chicago, there will be Kinky Kollege (classes, lectures, play parties, vendors, and all kinds of good stuff) taking place from Friday, April 1st through Sunday, April 3rd.  Tickets, information, etc. for that event is right here:

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

notes on latest pics

The intent for the Winter 2016 Gallery was supposed to be "kinky horror movie" but it turned out looking like some really elaborate initiation in a gothic fraternity that doesn't exist anywhere.

I like the Winter 2016 stuff but I wanted it to look more scary and evil.  It doesn't look scary to me, it looks like a few emo guys getting weird with each other.

But you know what?   It's fine, I guess.

I wanted the new stuff to look scary but we don't really look all that scary......  Except for the part where I'm in the long overcoat, with the heavy rubber flogger, and the Fetish Wraith leather mask.  That's some good shit (and, I think, effectively unnerving).  If I could walk around looking like that everywhere every day, that would be great with me!  That would be a lot of fun (for a while).  A dungeon-spank cross between Jason Voorhees and one of Hieronymus Bosch's worst nightmares.  Good times.

The rest of our newest photos, on the other hand, didn't turn out freaky-deaky enough.

Eh, moving on.

The reason why we do these shoots is so that we can try to tackle different themes, concepts, ideas, and fetishes with different models and new "stories".  Stories through still images rather than footage or written words.  These are pretty much comic books (without text) using photographs instead of illustrations.  Some people have said that I'm basically pulling a "Man Of A Thousand Faces" (or "Master Of A Thousand Faces", in this case) when it comes to my photos and they definitely have a point there.....  But, also, the objective of these photo shoot projects is to keep my personal photos full of new stuff and updated (because I'm a pro Dom and that's something that all Pro Dom and Dominatrix people do from time to time), to communicate different ways of thinking about B&D (yes, it's physical and kinky but I think that the intellectual and emotional aspects of leather and fetish can get unfairly ignored sometimes), and to keep my blog/website visitors engaged with fresh material.

The guys that I recently shot with--the two men that played my submissives--are a couple of very, very good-looking dudes.  I wish that they'd show their faces--those are some great faces under those masks!--but, understandably, 99.9% of the submissives that I do photo shoots with wear masks.  Because it's BDSM tradition and it's a privacy thing, obviously, but you already know that.

The themes that we explored this time are:

-- powerful submissives concocting their own scenes and living out fantasies of their own creation (putting masks on themselves, claiming their own gear, contemplating "punishments" that they desire from their own imaginations, etc., and so on).  To actually, physically, address your private fantasies takes power and gumption, especially if you're brave enough to take on a submissive mindset--a typically secret version of yourself--and bringing that character to life through S&M role-play.  Men and women who play submissives at certain times can easily become Dominant if they chose to change their roles.  It's all preference, it's all choice, it's all role-play.  I wanted to show how a person who plays the role of the submissive is, in truth, the one calling the shots.  In these most recent photos, I liked the idea of assuming the role of a kind of Boogeyman, a spectre, that they call up in order to play out their fantasies.  I change, I morph, I'm as mean as they want me to be, and then more coolly domineering at other times.  A cruel soldier, a whip-wielding demon, a threatening and strict man sprung directly from the pasts of their religious upbringings, and then some "bad" guy that they shouldn't be thinking about.....  ha ha ha

-- BDSM as ritual (and as head trip)

-- kink/leather as being the result of emotional breakthrough


-- self-awareness, and self-allowance, coming from the destruction of our own hang-up's; annihilating the limitations of the past and playing in the debris (that's the best use for it, in my opinion, if I do say so myself.....).

In other words:

If you want to play the role of the submissive, then play the role of the submissive.  Don't feel guilty about it.  It's a powerful role to play.

If you want to see what it's like to play the Dominant, then give it a go.  You'll learn new things about yourself.

Don't ever let anyone tell you what role you're supposed to play or what role you're not allowed to play in your erotic life.  Whatever mask you want to try on--whether it's the "captive" or the "Monster"--you can try it on as long as you're willing to allow that for yourself and as long as your partner agrees to it.

Life is short.  If you want to try something "naughty" and "kinky" and explore a fantasy side of yourself, you just go ahead and fucking do it even if it seems silly, indulgent, or ridiculous.  Don't let other people dictate your fantasies.  Live a little and break through your own barriers.  That's the moral of the story that we're telling in this newest set of images, our Winter 2016 Gallery.

And, now, as for the photos coming up that we'll be doing this spring......

The concept is totally fucking absurd, kind of an eye-roller, low-brow, and, hopefully, wonderful.  We'll see.  This weekend,  I'm meeting with the model that I'll be in the photographs with next month, who will be my submissive, for the Spring 2016 Gallery (or later this month, depending on what his schedule allows).  I'll give you more hints about it in a couple of weeks.  It's gonna be trashy and dumb.  I'm looking forward to it.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Winter 2016 Gallery


Submissives chose when it's time to be give in, when it's time to set themselves on a journey.

Of their own free will, they conjure me up to torment them.  They serve me but, in truth, I'm the one maintaining a service.

Everyone confesses their sins for different reasons.

Some people seek discipline in order to balance themselves out, to cleanse themselves, to pay for their true or imagined misdeeds.

For others, submitting is strictly indulgence.  Punishment is how they reward themselves.

Special Thanks to everyone who participated on this shoot.  

Thanks to Mr. P.E.T. and Little Baby Jesus for doing some behind-the-camera snaps and thanks to Mr. F. for being so accommodating and cool (needless to say....).  Very Special Thanks to Mr. Deveraux (black and white mask, red underwear) and Chris P. B. (black and silver mask, black tank top) for volunteering to be the submissives.  You guys are awesome, gorgeous, and easier-than-easy to work with (thank you x 100). 

As always, I'm the Master in these photos.