The Ritual Chamber is one of Canada’s foremost spaces for BDSM play and workshops. It’s located on a nondescript street in Toronto. From the outside, the Chamber looks like any other well-kept house: exposed brick, manicured shrubs, and a sleek exterior. You’d never find it if you didn’t know it was there, which is by design. Most clientele requires complete discretion for their visits.

Inside the main room, the walls are lined with whips and floggers. There are leather cuffs hanging from the ceiling and a large St. Andrew’s Cross in the corner. Other rooms have themes: a doctor’s office complete with stirrups and IV drips; a schoolroom with an undersized desk and oversized blackboard; there is a room with mirrors everywhere, adorned with smoking chairs and a Victorian couch. Earlier this week, I sat on the couch across from domnes Lady PimRed Diamond, and the Chamber’s owner/headmistress Shahrazad. While I’ve dabbled in kink, it’s not really my scene. If I had to define my major fetish, I’d say it’s people being kind to me. Still, conversations about the subject are endlessly fascinating. That day, I was there to learn about effective submission.

“A person shouldn’t start out by labeling themselves submissive. I would recommend they start by having experiences,” said Shahrazad. The headmistress’ tone was patient and kind, playing in stark contrast to her costume of stockings and military garb. She gave of a vibe that was benevolent but authoritative. Like an elementary school principal, if an elementary school principal also knew the proper technique for safe testicle torturing. As she spoke, Lady Pim and Red Diamond nodded along in solidarity. “Slowly exposing yourself to the type of play you are curious about lets you decide what kind of submissive, bottom, or switch you are. Or if you are any of those things at all. The best way is always easing in, asking questions to people you trust, and figuring out what’s right for you.”

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Dominatrixes Tell Us What Makes a Good Sub by Graham Isador

April 25th, 2019