Don Thompson
April 19, 2006


This character was invented in England in the seventeenth century to account for all the misinformation that was going around about the plague and the great fire of London. When people asked "who told you that?" the answer was, "just Dame Rumor."

The old crone also made her way to Palm Springs last week and she was flying everywhere. It was reported early last week that a current leather title-holder had been found dead in unusual circumstances. He was lying on his porch outside his house dressed only in a leather jock strap and with a chain around his neck. Speculation immediately began about the chain. Had he been strangled with it? Had he been led around on a leash attached to it? And so on, conveniently ignoring the fact that he was a leather boy and like many leather boys, he habitually wore a chain around his neck as a symbol of his status.

Why was he on his porch? Had he been dropped off there after a scene gone bad and just dumped there? Had he been involved in some edge play at his house and died as a result and had been dragged outside and left there? These and other lurid stories spread. Of course he might have just been comfortably at home and suddenly felt ill and went outside for some fresh air and collapsed and died there. Who knows? According to Dame Rumor he was allegedly heavily into steroid use and that can adversely affect the heart.

Then came the information that his hands were fastened together with leather wrist restraints - this from a police officer who called a member of the community asking for information about the dead person. So now we have a whole different set of circumstances. Clearly there was another person involved, itís impossible to restrain your own wrists. So maybe this was indeed a scene that went wrong.

Which brings us to the topic of Edge Play.

Edge Play is a scene where the basic tenets of Leather (Safe, Sane and Consensual) are ignored or infringed upon. Some people do like taking a risk, so generally what takes place is consensual, but in my book it certainly isnít safe or sane. Auto-asphyxiation is one such practice that can easily go wrong. Masturbating while choking is a turn-on for some people, it seems, but if the person is alone it can really get out of hand. Dame Rumor had a field day in England a few years ago when a prominent Member of Parliament was found dead, hanging, while wearing womenís panties and he clearly had died while in the process of masturbation.

The Dame also ran wild in Houston some years ago. As part of play, the submissive was restrained and put in a coffin (sensory deprivation and captivity). The top left him there and went out on an errand during which he died or was killed in an accident. The coffin was not opened until a couple of weeks later when the house was being closed up. Needless to say the occupant was also dead. What a way to go!

All edge play is risky and it ceases to become safe or sane when the people indulging in it donít obey the rules:

Donít be put in a situation that you canít escape if something unforeseen happens.

Donít ever leave a restrained person alone.

Donít do anything you canít control if you have to.

Donít do anything risky that would exacerbate a medical condition.

Donít do anything risky while under the influence of mind-altering substances.

DO use common sense. Itís in short supply these days.