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A BDSM Couple’s View [part 2 of 2]

Below is an excerpt from Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey, reprinted with permission from the authors. Part one can be found here, what follows is part two, in which the contributors delineate a scene.

By ChrisMarks and Lia Leto

Our Scene

Chris: One of our favorite scenes begins with my tying or chaining Lia to a St. Andrews cross in preparation for a flogging. It may begin with her wearing some clothing, but frequently I will tell her to strip. Sometimes I will undress her. I use the former strategy to build tension and uncertainty, which of course also builds Lia’s excitement. If my goal is to increase our romantic connection, I will undress Lia myself while gazing at her and caressing her body.

Once Lia is secured facing the cross, I check to see that she is relatively comfortable and, most of all, safe, making sure she does not have any restrictions that could end the scene prematurely. It will be my intention to hurt her but not to harm her. When I am feeling more romantic, I may begin with some kisses to her shoulders, whispering tender words, or sensuously caressing and teasing her. If I have begun the scene in a more brutish manner, I may be rough with Lia but will give her one or two loving touches to reassure her that I am caring for her.

I begin Lia’s flogging by draping my matched set of floggers over her shoulders and letting the tips rest on her breasts. I watch as she leans her face into the leather to inhale their sweet, musky scent. I drag the floggers slowly toward me and trail them down her back. I caress her body softly several times with each flogger. This warm introduction often brings goose bumps to Lia’s skin and even the occasional shudder. The sensuous dance of leather on skin begins. Starting slowly, I bring the floggers down on her body. I am focused on two things: where I land each blow and how she reacts to the impact. I watch to see if she flinches or tenses, stretches into the sensations or shies away from them. I can vary the blows, the timing between them, and the locations, changing the quality of the impacts by increasing the intensity, the rhythm, and the duration with which the floggers land on her skin. I render sharp stings by grazing Lia’s body with just the tips of the flogger. Laying on more length of the leather results in heavy thud impacts. My ritual of flogging follows a pattern that is fairly traditional, with milder blows leading to heavier ones followed by a pause during which I reconnect with my lover before I begin again. With each pause I will do something soft and tender; I might trickle a feather-touch of my fingers from the nape of her neck down her spine, or offer an encouraging word or a kiss. In that moment I gauge Lia’s breathing and ascertain how well she is experiencing the scene thus far. Each series of impacts brings forth a biochemical response in Lia’s body, especially endorphins, which are her body’s natural painkillers. By playing with the timing of each series of blows, I am able to effectively give Lia a natural high, which not only feels good to her but also makes it possible for her to accept more severe sensations with increasing pleasure. After twenty to forty minutes I will often switch to using either my long singletail whip or two of my Dragon’s Tongue whips. I begin as gently as the whips allow. The sensations are sharp and sting Lia even when I am stroking her softly.

Watching Lia is a pleasure; she is my lovely goddess. I thrill to see her body respond to my floggers and whips. And then there are her sounds. Her whimpers make me smile as they remind me of the sounds she makes when we make love. Our dance, the dance of the Dominant and submissive, continues for an hour or more. I have never timed one of our scenes, as I am so focused on throwing my floggers and whips on Lia, on how she looks and reacts, and the wonderful sounds she makes. I lose all sense of time; I am deep in a state of flow; my intention and attention on Lia is palpable, my energy is loving and challenging and deeply committed to bringing her all manner of sensation and pleasure. In our scene, I am the conductor of the orchestra, the leading man, and the choreographer of a spontaneous ballet that builds to a glorious crescendo for us both.


Lia: The beginning of a scene sets the tone for our activities to come, and all my senses are on high alert. Chris will usually speak softly but firmly to me as he secures my body to a cross, table, or other equipment. With my arms and legs in ropes or chains, I realize that escape is futile and begin my dreamy descent into “sub-space,” a state of mental and physical being wherein my mind and body experience waves of release by way of a vast spectrum of hard and soft sensations.

Chris usually starts our scenes by flogging me. The gentle brushes of the long, leather strips against my back and shoulders at first feel like a soothing massage. I relax and sway to the rhythm of his strokes. He frequently stops to caress me, to kiss my face and my neck, and I feel his love in this attention. He continues the flogging, combining both hard and gentle impact on my back, buttocks and legs, and I sense the heat rising in my skin. My muscles pulse with energy and I find myself craving equally the heavy thudding of Chris’ floggers and the pillow softness of his kisses. When he steps away from me, I miss his breath on my back and gird myself in anticipation of the next round of blows.

Suddenly I writhe at the first crack of a sweet new pain as he uses one of his whips. And then another. Back and forth the blows rein, and I writhe uncontrollably beneath two whips. The pain slices and flares reliably, then dissipates, echoing throughout my body. From excruciation to relaxation, tides of intensity wash over me again and again. I can hear my blood pounding as it courses through my veins. My cries and whimpers erupt in counterpoint to the cracks of the whips and I am an instrument in the symphony of sounds around me.

Throughout it all, I feel Chris’ laser-sharp focus on me. Once he has turned me around to face him, I suffer his lashing on my breasts, belly, and thighs. My eyes are riveted on him and I marvel at his artistry, in awe of the swirling arcs he creates with his whips. I want to please him; to outlast the pain of the stings, to make him proud of me. The intensity of the lashes rises and falls with my breath. Seconds could be minutes or hours, as I’ve lost all sense of time and place. When finally my legs quiver beneath me and my knees give way, Chris comes to me and embraces me. He kisses my face and my neck. He is smiling at me as he quickly frees me from my bonds and wraps me in his strong arms.



Our post-scene process of reconnecting is very important to us. In the afterglow of our shared delight, we admire the resulting marks on Lia’s skin, both of us pleased that the crimson evidence of our play will remain on her for several days. Reveling in a natural high that will last for hours, we snuggle and share our feelings about the scene and our love for each other.
Our Hopes

We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the national conversation sparked by the trilogy. The current mainstreaming of BDSM sexuality encourages us that the general public’s curiosity will lead to greater acceptance of alternative styles of loving. While Fifty Shades is arguably not great literature or even great BDSM, it does feature several aspects of BDSM that are important: consent, negotiation, and BDSM as components of a caring and loving relationship.

We feel blessed to have found in each other a partner that honors and nurtures all the aspects of our lives: the professional, the mundane, and the intimate. We hope that those who enjoyed reading Fifty Shades are equally blessed and inspired to find fun and creative ways to live and love.

A BDSM Couple’s View [part 1 of 2]

Below is an excerpt from Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey, reprinted with permission from the authors. Part two, Our Scene, will be available at the conclusion of our week on “kink”.

By ChrisMarks and Lia Leto

As two people who have individually and as a couple been involved with BDSM and D/s for many years, we find it encouraging that the Fifty Shades trilogy has become such a cultural phenomenon. E.L. James’ books seem to have created an expanding space wherein the general public can participate in an evolving conversation about creative sexual dynamics.

Ironically, we met on a popular “vanilla” dating website. We each hinted in our profiles about our dark predilections, which were often overlooked by our prospective matches. Our initial emails revealed that we each desired a partner who sought a relationship involving Dominance and submission. In contrast to the trilogy’s main characters, we brought to our relationship over twenty years of BDSM experiences between us.

Once we met it became evident that we shared incredible chemistry, and we soon fell in love. Three months later, I offered Lia my collar and we signed a contract acknowledging our devotion and commitment to our respective roles. For us, our relationship is an unfolding journey that nurtures our vanilla lives and allows us to explore our deepest passions and darkest desires.


About Chris: College educated and a professional in the marketing field for many years, I was aware of my interests in certain BDSM practices from a young age. Thinking that my interests were strange, I suppressed my desires for activities like spanking for most of my life, only trying out a little here and there. About fifteen years ago I became curious about flogging and bought my first flogger. Flogging is something that many readers of the trilogy have reacted to with horror, some even suggesting that it was abuse. I use leather suede floggers similar to the ones described in Fifty Shades of Grey to elicit a wide range of pleasurable sensations. I began attending classes in the BDSM community and learned how to use various toys and tools with care and skill. I now lead workshops to share what I have gleaned along the way with others seeking to explore this aspect of their natures.

About Lia: An over-educated alpha in the vanilla world, I identify as a bisexual Switch, meaning that I am as comfortable as a Dominant as I am as a submissive. Aware of this duality early in my life, I was as happy dominating others as I was fantasizing about being Wendy Darling, tied to Captain Hook’s mizzenmast, at the mercy of the pirates. For most of my adult life, I have been dominant in my personal relationships. Ten years ago, I realized that in order to create balance in my life I needed to explore the depths of my submissive self, so I began the search for my ideal, worthy Dominant. In Chris, I have found a partner of remarkable honesty and power. I am honored to be his submissive. We are creating our journey as a couple in love by exploring a power-sharing relationship and sharing what we learn with others.

Our intentions and experience stand in sharp contrast to the characters in Fifty Shades. The BDSM scenes in the trilogy are fairly brief and do not reflect the forethought and preparation that we and many others in the community practice. We thought it would be useful to elaborate on how one of our scenes comes together and share our individual perspectives as Dominant and submissive as we prepare for and play out a scene. Chris will discuss how he envisions and plans a scene, stages it, and moves through it. Lia will discuss how she prepares her body and mind for the physical and psychological rigors she experiences during a scene.

Contemplation and Preparation

Chris: Lia and I share a wonderful vanilla sex life although I often physically dominate her by grabbing her hair and being more controlling in our lovemaking. We have a very dynamic range of sexy and loving behaviors that we bring to our intimate moments.

However, there are times when I plan for a more elaborate BDSM scene. These times are extra special, and I dedicate more time and energy to thinking about what elements of BDSM I will bring to our next encounter. I may purchase something special to make that happen. One day Lia commented about chains making fun sounds, so a few weeks later I purchased some metal chains, some locks, and cuffs, which I use to secure her to a St. Andrews cross. As we previously negotiated our respective limits for play, Lia no longer has a say in what will happen to her. I have the control to make the scene follow my plan, and in this way I reinforce our Dominant and submissive roles.

Lia: From the moment I know that Chris and I will be having a scene together, a myriad of feelings and thoughts begin to swirl in me. On the practical side, there are certain rituals I practice in order to be fully prepared for whatever Chris may want to do with me. I ask him how he would like me to dress and then choose my attire carefully. For some scenes he insists that I am naked, which arouses me and sets my nerves on edge. Sometimes he suggests a color scheme for my lingerie. Often he gives me permission to surprise him, which I love to do.

I consider the preparation of my body a crucial way to express my devotion and love for Chris. An hour or so before our scene, I undertake my ritual cleansing, shaving, and oiling. It is then, in the intimacy of the shower, that I feel my all senses rising in anticipation of what is to come. I take care to not let my hands linger on my tender parts, for they are for Chris’ pleasure, and I know that they will undoubtedly receive intense attention during our scene. I dress with deliberateness. My pulse quickens ever so slightly as I put on my makeup and signature scent. Before I present myself to Chris, I check myself carefully in the mirror from all angles. Throughout my preparation I smile expectantly, wondering how Chris will test my limits and what new sensations I’ll be experiencing at his hands.