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The online diary of an ethical pervert.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

He loves me, he loves me not

I've been thinking recently about love and BDSM. This was triggered by something that happened a couple of weeks ago and have only just found the right space to be able to articulate it. I find talking about love quite difficult, not because I am embarrassed, or because I find emotions challenging, but because it seems like such an overworked subject. So much has been said on the topic by better minds and sharper pens than mine whilst at the same time an awful lot of inane twaddle has been wharbled by soppy handwringing actors, teenage singers and dodgy "wimmins" literature. It's a road well travelled, clearly. Yet everyone's experience is unique, each person has a specific resonance that comes to mind when they hear the word. For me, love is very concrete, it's not an airy-fairy ineffable concept, it's as real as the sheets beneath my hands, as the keys underneath my fingertips. A definite palpable entity that I own as much as any other thought or feeling in my head; book on my shelf; piece of clothing in my wardrobe.

I thought that love might be complicated by BDSM, that emotional power plays might make it harder to recognise or to appreciate love. Turns out that whilst this is a reasonable concern, it isn't exactly the case.

"I don't love you, you know that, don't you?"

I didn't know that, not precisely, I'd suspected as much and had thought it to be true in my heart of hearts. So I nodded, feeling like I'd been punched in the chest with something hard and cold. I started to cry, part of me felt lost and abandoned, the other light as air, almost relieved in a terrible way as if some awful secret had been confirmed. The Photographer barely pauses, he continues to fuck me and I continue to cry, softly, trying not to alter my position or do anything that might affect his use of me. My mind is reeling and my connection to my skin feels quite tenuous, I'm numb.

"I can't love you, not a thing like you. How can I love a slave? I've never made love to you, that's not what we are about."

His voice is soft, reassuring like one might talk to an animal or an unreasonable child, explaining to them the rationality of a seemingly cruel gesture. It is a cruel gesture. It is also rational, and the strength of the imbalance of power we have sweeps me away for a few moments. I can love him, and I do, perversely perhaps I feel it even more so right then and there because of what he is saying.
He reiterates how much he needs and wants me, how much he enjoys using me but that the very nature of what I am to him prevents love. I have never felt quite so empty around him, quite so much of a thing or object until this precise point. I've enjoyed the feeling of being used like one, but then I could hide myself away in my body, floating happily in the sensations. Here it is impossible. I am not playing at being an object, I am being treated precisely like one. I have not shut my personality or emotions into a little box whilst I enjoy being calmly abused: they are fully present, appreciated and understood. And under examination they are irrelevant to him. I have given so much over to his control, starting with my body which was the easiest, then to parts of myself and my identity that only a handful of people know about. And those parts of me which I thought were unique and special have no value.

Afterwards, I lie on his chest. We're talking quietly, whilst he strokes my face shoulders.

"I do love you. But not when we're doing that, I couldn't do the things I do to you if I loved you at those times." He's trying to explain.

Part of me feels a little triumphant, that he feels as strongly toward me as I do for him. And happy, especially given I know he has a hard time relating his emotions. Most of me still feels hurt, shaky and confused. I'm trying to understand him: I am to him sometimes myself, a real person who he loves, and sometimes his slave, who is not a person and therefore he cannot love me. I can appreciate it as a D/s dynamic, it is very powerful, certainly and there must be a mindset that he adopts just as I have one when I submit, that is different to the day-to-day, that processes and expresses in different ways. For him, love is incompatible with ownership. Like loving a table, or a chair. I can see his point of view, and lay it out here as best as I can in black and white, but I don't think I understand it at all. I suppose because I do not separate out the two states of being in the same way: I am his all of the time, sometimes this is expressed more strongly than others. I'm always his, and I love him.

These are hard waters to swim in, I've never played like this before, never been owned or experienced ownership like this and neither has he. So both of us are working through what we've discovered and I'm not sure how the dynamic will alter given these new revelations: that he loves me, and that he doesn't. It does give me a curious confidence. I know that we have a strong relationship and we keep discovering curious twists and turns that lead us to unfamiliar places. Falling in love was something that I was prepared for, and I like being in love, so it's no hardship at all, far from it. Making love powerful strange was something I'd never anticipated, and dealing with that together will be something entirely new.

Delicate parts

I think I may have sustained my first BDSM related injury. By injury, I mean something that wasn't really intended, so whilst I'll happily sport all the red lines and bruises with pride, this is more of an accident. Accidents are par for the course, of course, there's a risk to everything and it is never possible to eliminate all risk from activity. Potentially there is kink value in being curled up and kept very still, swaddled tightly in cotton wool, but even then there might be problems with breathing constriction.

I have a couple of tiny tears at the sides of my nipple piercings caused in all probability by over-enthusiastic pulling during play with Knight of Wands. He has been especially concerned, and yes, they are quite sore but they look to be healing fine. It's interesting to me because I had previously thought of them as being quite durable. They healed up very quickly with a minimum of fuss when they were done, and they have never had anything like the sensitivity that The Photographer's do, for example. On the other hand, I have only had them in for around six or so months and it's a delicate part of the body. I also think that the insertion of metal against flesh gives the impression of durability, when this is not the case. Metal is strong and unfeeling, flesh is very, very definitely not.

One of my difficulties, and something I am now keenly aware of and will bear in mind for the future is that my tolerance for pain is higher than my body's tolerance for damage. I mark very easily, and that's fine: marks that fade after a few weeks don't concern me over much, but the fact that I clearly can't tell especially well if something is causing "good" pain or "bad" pain, is a bit of a concern. To my mind, this must have a lot to do with the levels of adrenaline and endorphins being released as well as the sensation of being in sub-space, the connected disconnectedness of submission does not lend itself to rational and impartial observation of the body. Needless to say
the play itself didn't feel to be particularly heavy at the time I enjoyed it (we both did) but now, several days afterwards, they are still tender. Healing, but tender. So for the next couple of weeks I'm resigning myself to more philosophical and theoretical activities.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Wrapped up

Tis the Season and all that, so here's a present for you all, courtesy of that nice man Frank Miller. The image comes from an association working hard to allow comic book writers freedom of expression within their work, and I think we can all agree that the universe is made all the sweeter when thoughts like that are allowed to come to life through pen and paper.

And also perhaps flesh, now where did I put those sticky plasters..?

Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Time heals all wounds

I have something of a quandary, one of those fortunately rare moments where two things I am very fond of clash in an irreconcilable way. I want to get a set of labial rings, specifically outer labia, because I think that these will look the prettiest. There is a problem, however. I have no issue with the pain involved indeed part of the point of getting pierced is that there is some pain - it's part of the process itself. If the pain was not there it would be less of an accomplishment, less of a ritual. Neither is it any particular worry about infection, scarring or similar, I'm not a fool and understand how to follow the very simple instructions in looking after piercings, and the place I'm likely to go to get it done is very, very good.

My issue is the healing time. By all verbal accounts, and according to those in the know on the Internet this could put me out of action (quite literally) for around three months. No sex for three months. I feel the need to reiterate that in italics no sex for three months. It's possible I might die from some form of erotic malnutrition. On top of that is the concern that this could perhaps also involve being quite uncomfortable in a very important area for a similar length of time. Unfortunately I'm not in the position whereby I could lie on a chaise longue and be served ice-cream during my extended convalescence, and at the very least an alibi will need to be constructed for work. I was contemplating "groin strain" but that might imply some form of exercise on my behalf and I tend not to give the impression of sportiness.

So, I'm currently tabling a list of options to chat through with The Photographer who is almost as keen as I am for new and exciting piercings that offer chastity control options. The first, and most obvious, is to do it and be damned, which is my usual first choice in any given situation where I feel aware of the risks. I know what I'm getting into, I know it will hurt, and possibly hurt for a long time, but if I really, really want them, then I'll just have to go through it. The second is to not do it at all, and compose some form of work-around for chastity purposes, although this may have to wait until the world invents a female chastity belt that isn't bulky and/or ugly. Which could be a while. My final, and currently preferred option is to go for the inner labia instead, whilst not quite as much of a statement piece, they certainly fulfill the same function and have the added bonus of healing very, very quickly.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Pinch me

I'm naked, on my back and trying not to yelp. A gag would make my life easier, but my tongue has been deemed to useful, and thus required. Knight of Wands is exploring, minutely investigating the terrain that is my flesh. It's our first play session, and given he's back in the world of BDSM after a hiatus we both wanted to start slow and build up, see where we get to. We have some areas we are both interested in investigating longer term, but there's nothing that needs rushing. We're in the fortunate position of knowing each other already, so the trust and comfort levels are in place and we've been chatting about potential games and suchlike for a few days now. We've selected a few bits of kit - cuffs and blindfolds mostly, and are now seeing what each of us is made of.

What is slightly unnerving is the silence, he's absolutely focused, and saying very little except the little murmur of approval after I shudder or groan on the back of an especially tight twist of the flesh. Pinching is a curious sensation, it starts of quite slow, heavy massage almost, and I wriggle appreciatively as my muscles warm up and melt under his hands. As the pressure increases and narrows down to specific points it starts to play on the edges of pain. A rough but firm pinch, taking in a fair amount of flesh is pleasant, it speaks of the desire to consume, to manipulate. Finer, more precise pinching is sharper, a deep shooting pain as the nerves are compressed, twisted.
Some areas are more sensitive than others, the inside of my thighs now sport a series of coin sized bruises from where they were held hard and not let go.

Pinches, like clamps on chain, hurt more the more you try and wriggle away which adds to the build of a submissive state, not only are you in pain, but you must control your movements to manage the pain better. The part of me that enjoys being passive bumps up against that animalistic fight or flight response that knee-jerk moves me away from the pain. I settle down back for more, of course. The fact that it is fingers and hands rather than an implement is also attractive to me, I like being touched, and there's something exciting in being grabbed, pulled and pushed around to literally be that which someone can't keep their hands off.


This is, I suppose a post about closure. It's a reflection on my feelings after what happened with The Photographer, and it's also a set of musings about one of my favourite topics: the link between pain and emotions.

It has taken me some time to process and digest my thoughts on this matter, not because I'm at all coy about sharing my views or impressions but rather I didn't feel as if I was in precisely the right state of mind to be able to properly describe what was going on. My thoughts were all over the place, especially the following day. We had agreed that the proper punishment was to be six strokes of the crop, but that this couldn't take place instantly and so we would have to wait until the next evening. This meant that I couldn't really accept the matter as being settled, I wasn't forgiven because I hadn't paid the penance, I was not in a place where I was comfortably and safely his any more. I felt caught in between things. Furthermore the emotional expenditure of the evening, and the realisation of the strength of our bond made me feel jittery, a little worn out and tired. It was similar to the exhaustion you can get after an argument, before making up, where the tension hangs over your day like a cloud. I hate leaving things unfinished, and I really hate the sensation of letting someone down and being unable to make things right there and then.

It was in that somewhat fractured place that I met up with him in the evening to go for a date with Food of Love a couple who had contacted us via our shared profile. I was not really in a sociable mood, to say the least, and was a little slow of the mark with conversations and jokes, this was a little unfortunate because they were both very charming and interesting. They are a master slave couple whose entry into the BDSM world came via swinging, so their outlook was a bit different to ours. We discussed fine food and wine (always a pleasant topic) and also the link between D/s play and sex. Eventually I felt myself calm down and relax into the evening, and I'm certainly looking forward to seeing them again in a more mentally prepared state.

We went home, hand in hand. I felt so close to him, exposed and a little uncertain. There was no doubt in my mind that I'd take the punishment, more than that, I needed to do so. But the fact that I had to be punished made me feel a little sad. Almost as soon as we got indoors I got undressed, bent over across the bed, legs slightly parted, arms spread wide. No collar, no cuffs, no symbol of anything. Just me. The first blow was a little off, softened by falling at a slight angle, but the second cut sharp and true. The crop is a bright pain, flashing into the skin and the brain like a physical firework. I jumped, and partly curled up, an instant reaction to pull away from it. My heart was racing and for a few seconds I didn't think I could do it. But knew I had to. I crawled back into position slowly, the traces of pain still flowing through my flesh. You can't remember pain properly, that's one of the interesting things about it. It only exists in that moment, and then it is gone, you only remember that something hurt, not a full recall in the same way that a smell or sound can be replayed. So each time it is new, unique, and each time you are not prepared. That's why the second blow hurts the most, because by that point you are inside of the pain, and you know what it is like once more, just as you know that there is more to come and that when blows fall upon blows they hurt more.

It felt like forever, but it could only have been a minute, maybe three to allow for the time he spent holding me between blows, stroking my hair and face. Then he held me, whispering how proud he was, how wonderful I was and how happy he was that I had done this, that I was his. As the pain faded, and with it the memory of pain, to be replaced by the warm glow of energised skin, of sensitive touches and the floating sensation of submission, relief, release and happiness. Yes, I am his.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Baby's got a temper

In BDSM interactions, we can only set the ball rolling, not predict where it is going to land. We can only speak for ourselves and our states of being. And even then it's not certain. For me, this is especially true of emotional or psychological areas: my submissive state is one in which I have increased sensitivity not merely to touch but to thoughts, to feelings. I will take things to heart, particularly criticism because I want to be good, to be wanted, desired, pleasing. This isn't a mutely facile servile mindset without process, far from it, it is part of who I am as a person so by extension it is part of me. I hate failure, weakness, vacillation or lack of care. Actually, it is truer to say that I fear failure, letting people down, not doing what I should. This can often be a powerful and positive driver, it moves me forwards, keeps me honest. But in a submissive state these fears are exacerbated and the channels for moving beyond them locked down, out of reach because not only do I fear the act of failure itself, I am not in control of what determines a failure, or the consequences.

"Aren't you going to answer me?" He slaps my cheek again, holding my face firm with his other hand, turning it over so he can hit the other side. Hard, regular strokes.

A little thing, in isolation, a small correction of behaviour. Talking about it afterwards we both agreed that it could have gone either way, we could have ignored the blip, laughed it off and carried on, but neither of us did, there was an edge to what had happened, for whatever reason. One of those unexpected, unpredictable turns of emotions and we both decided to run with it. The incident in question isn't important, only that I hadn't behaved precisely as I should, as a slave should. And now I wasn't responding as I should, a simple yes or no would have done, but I didn't: passivity had slid into something else, refusal, negation. I was holding my lips firmly pressed together. A cold, slippery fish flipped in my stomach, I was upset with myself for letting him down, but there was more to it than that. I could feel myself pulling away from him, becoming angry with him just as I was angry with myself. And resolved not to speak, not to react, to not play this game. It wasn't bratting, there was no conscious decision on my part to try and "push" him, or make him angry with me, I just wasn't in a place where I felt I could speak, I gritted my teeth, I started to cry but they were not tears of abandon, or pain or suffering, they were angry, frustrated tears.

"Why aren't you answering me?" Calm voice, still hitting me. Within me I could feel something build, and at that point I almost felt as if most of my conscious mind had simply shut down, whatever was piloting me forward was pure and simple rage, hate and hurt. It was an animal place, of push and pull. And I was being pushed.

I lashed out, turning round and hitting him back before he caught my arms and bore me down onto my side, holding my wrists tight, his voice was harder, he was talking to me, demanding to know what was going on, making me aware of just what would happen if I ever tried to hit him again but his voice started to sound very far away. It was like blacking out. I had moved so far away, away from my mistake, from his punishment of that mistake and my own guilt at having let him down. I was just angry, cold and angry. There weren't any words where I was, and I didn't move either, immobilised and unwilling to respond. I think I might have growled. After a while he stops, turning away from me, pulling the sheets around him, leaving me in the dark. Like a surly lover, refusing to bridge the gap after an argument with a single kind words, still too raw and angry to speak, I reached for the sheets to cover myself but he pulled them back. At which point I got up and left the room.

Two minutes walking up and down a small, cold bathroom in the dark wondering if this was the end of the experiment, If I'd gone as far as I could reasonably go. If I'd broken what we had, and what I could do next. On my way to make up the spare bed, too proud to go back to the room, The Photographer met me in the kitchen and held out his arms, I held on for a long time and then we went back to bed to discuss what happened, to reassure each other that we were both safe, both happy with each other, both wanting to continue.

The play that we have is not really play. It does not turn on and off, we are not actors who adopt roles, we are people exploring a serious and deep connection. So to say that we went back to the scene is not the right phrase, but we did push ourselves back into that place, to resolve it in the space where it was created. I can start it at any point I want, if I want. And I do, with all my heart. I get on my knees, at the foot of the bed and apologise to him, sincerely, in full and honest earnestness. There is no anger in me any more. I am calm with flashes of concern and worry that he will not take me back. Collar and cuffs put on in silence and after a few minutes I am allowed back into the bed, held tightly.

Whatever was started was both powerful and unexpected and is still continuing. We've talked further, in more depth and the emotional angle to what we are doing is something we are only just starting to fully appreciate. I'm interested to see how it will develop. As my submission grows, as our connection grows, there will be further moments like this, barriers that we never knew existed will appear and we will have to work through them, or put a line under it, say "this far and no further." I'm not there yet. I've got more distance to go.

Monday, 15 December 2008

A manifesto for masochism

"Now I think I'm going to hurt you a bit more now." Shuttered Lens wraps white rope around his arm in a practised gesture as he speaks. "Because you like it."

I wonder if he's right; certainly he's not wrong. I've never previously identified as a masochist, but what else is this situation except for a very considered and pre-planned consensual request to be put in pain? It is all of these things, I've always said that within the contexts of BDSM I don't do anything that I don't want to do, however that may be expressed, and whatever apparent contradictions may come from that. Society hates pain and a great many individuals and organisations dedicate vast amounts of time and resources to overcoming it in all its many forms. Here am I not merely allowing it to happen but specifically seeking it out and exploring it. I am not psychologically damaged and therefore unable to separate "affection" from "control". I am not an abuse victim seeking some form of catharsis. This is not an abusive relationship, I am getting no more and (hopefully) no less than what I explicitly asked for. It is a controlled environment, those I play with are smart, safe and enjoy what they do.

We enjoy pain, although "enjoy" is a difficult word for those outwith these situations to grasp because we have a socio-linguistic disconnect between pain and pleasure. That which is painful cannot, by standard definitions, be pleasurable. Yet we know this is untrue, from experience, even vanilla non-controversial experience: the tired ache in calf muscles after a good run speaks of satisfaction, of physical prowess. Marks on the face and body inflicted by boxers give intense adrenaline rushes, not to mention the roar and sway of the crowd as each blow falls. The sporting world acknowledges pain as part of the process, and thrill seeking as a natural urge. Yet extremes of sexuality still provoke a challenge, especially when the pain is directed towards a woman.

I am perfectly clear on what I'm doing and accept the risks in order to gain the rewards. The bruises are my trophies, the stripes are my badges of pride. I'm not ashamed or frightened about what I want or what I need, however the wants and needs of pain are very different to the daily requirements of eating, sleeping, breathing. I don't have to do this, it is not a pathology, but neither do people need to buy new shoes, to consume champagne, to dance. They want to, and because these things are not considered problematic by society (and indeed are often posited as signs of positivity and happiness) there is no difficulty in doing so. In order to make things a little less problematic, or perhaps just to set my stall out as clearly as possible the follows is a small but perfectly (to my mind at least) formed manifesto for masochism. These points only refer to consensual adult adventures in pain, and are in no way shape or form an acceptance or supporting document for truly non-consensual abusive infliction of pain.

  • The exploration of pain is also an exploration of pleasure. One cannot exist without the other and both are equally important and valid, indeed pleasurable-pain and painful-pleasure are contradictions that enrich sexual experience and interactions. Without pain, pleasure would have no meaning.
  • A desire for pain is not wrong. Masochism is not a mental illness. Historic medicalisation of BDSM has led to a failure in understanding and accepting the drives that underlie these activities, and causing society to formulate unhelpful categories of "right" and "wrong" desire, which do not truly exist. Consensual pain can be actively sought by individuals. Just as it is possible to consent to be pleased, so it is possible to consent to be harmed, provided all are aware and accepting of the type of harm and the potential risks involved. True consent derives only from a sane consideration of the facts. Without pain, we cannot truly be sane.
  • Masochism is a fetish. It is not for everyone and it is not necessary that everyone enjoy pain, but that does not mean it is not enjoyed by some people. In order to live freely, and to allow others to do so, we must accept that some people will want to do things that we could not imagine or countenance doing, but that this is their choice. Without pain, we are not free.
  • Pain is part of human experience. Love of pain and love of inflicting pain are desires to be analysed and understood, not feared or rejected out of hand. Thrill seeking, endurance, curiosity, satisfaction, joy and exhilaration can all be found in pain and these are wholly acceptable reasons for seeking out pain. Pain is personal and makes us unique. No-one can speak of anyone's pain but their own, each person's pain is unique to them, and belongs to them in its entirety, however our pain can help us empathise with the pain of others, and by sharing painful experiences we can grow close to each other. Without pain, we become less human.
  • The body is owned by the self not the state. It is not the duty of the state to legislate for what sane, consenting adults chose to to their own bodies and to the bodies of other consenting adults. The right to self-authoring, to control our existence, to live a whole and full life should encompass the right to affect our bodies in whatever way we chose. Without this right over our bodies, we are incomplete selves. Without pain we are less in control of ourselves and our world.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Pained expressions - Part 2

I'm on my knees, part curled into a ball. I'm naked and my wrists are cabled-tied together. I can feel the plastic scratch and bite every time I attempt to move my hands, the skin there is flushed red with an exposed rawness to it. I feel fragile, physically and mentally, I'm slightly tired from the pain, and going through pain is tiring: all the little jerks and spasms of muscles, the responses to it. I am not quite part of the world: I was certainly moving on auto-pilot as I settled back into position on the floor, as instructed, and my awareness is limited to my instructions. I can hear Shuttered Lens speak commands as clearly as the background noise of the room is muffled and far away. I exist in my skin, and only in my skin, feeling a bit like a puppet jerked on strings both real and verbal.

The world is coming back into focus in dribs and drabs as my brain pulls itself back from wherever it goes whilst my body is being abused. The two slowly melt back together and I watch as pegs are clipped onto The Photographer's penis and scrotum, he wriggles a little and gasps. I wince, imagining what that might feel like. Shuttered Lens attaches thin cord to his nipple piercings, then a metal clip and some safety scissors for weight. He holds them in his hand, as if to drop them, and I wince again. He notices and hands them to me to hold.

"Drop them." I can't. Mutely I shake my head, I can't really speak either, and neither do I want to. After a few moments, he pulls out a flogger, thick black leather cords with knots in the end. A part of me thrills to this, instantly understanding if I don't hurt him then I will be hurt in his stead and the part of me that loves him, that seeks to protect him, wells up. There is strength in my submission, and here I have been given an opportunity to express it, for which I am also grateful. All these thoughts flutter past within a second or so before the first stroke lands. It is sharp, biting and causes a little flash of white around the edges of my vision.

"Drop it." I can't, but I also can't bring myself to say "No" to him, because that feels rude, a criticism of what he is doing, when in fact everything he is doing is perfectly right, and I accept it. I just clutch the scissors and look at him, shaking slightly. He hits me again, and as always it's the second and ensuing ones that hurt most because they prove that the first was neither accident nor chance. The blows will keep coming and keep hurting, that is what they are for. I feel floaty, "high" isn't the right word, although there is a wash of endorphins and crying out to the edge where the tears might become laughter. Not because it's funny, the pain is emphatically not funny, but because I'm making direct reactions to what is happening within me, without social context or intellectual contribution. There's an abandon to it, almost like hysteria at my situation.

It doesn't take long, both the pain and the weight of expectation are too much and I drop the scissors after the third or so blow. I curl up, ashamed of myself, after a while, I feel able to raise my head and whisper "sorry" to The Photographer, but he's smiling, not a grimace through pain, but a genuine smile. I smile back.

"There," says Shuttered Lens "that wasn't so bad was it?" It was, and of course it was also a superb headfuck, even now I'm kicking myself for wondering if I could have taken more blows, although at the time I knew I could not. Talking to The Photographer afterwards and noting the power disparity in the paired games, where both of us were put in positions to hurt the other. Even though he was in a submissive position, he was still my master, and I still did not want to hurt him, whereas he had no compunction about causing me pain, especially in situations where it was inevitable. We play the games according to our different rules, each for our own goals and desires.

Pained expressions - Part 1

Shuttered Lens ties me to a chair. Slow, methodical and sure. My arms are bound behind me, legs spread a little and lashed by the ankle to each side. There is a plastic clip on each of my nipples, the pain was sharp and hot when they first went on, clamping tightly against the piercing running through the flesh. Almost as soon as they went on I could feel myself come out in a cold, nervous sweat, and I think I grinned. After the initial bite, the pain flattens a little, coming in constant, rapid waves, rising up through my stomach and along my skin, to the points themselves. I course along with them, feeling them roll and build like the mirror image of an orgasm.

I'm blindfolded and shut down from the world. There is just the pain and whatever part of me it is that is experiencing the pain: stimuli and receptor is the sum of my existence. I'm aware, on some low level that I'm making noise, shifting, groaning and letting out little moans as I mouth at the air, uttering words that are not words. I can't form language from within this space, I can't conceive of the pain because there is no part of me that is able to stand outside of it, to observe it and my reactions in order to describe the sensations. It's hard to unpick them from memory, although I am still reasonably sore and have plenty of tenderness to remind me of where the feelings where the strongest.

It hurts, there is no other way of describing it, I am in pain, I am caught up in this powerful sensation that is flowing through me, a sensation that is just this side of bearable. Just. The small part of me capable of any rational thought whatsoever keeps repeating "any moment now you will have to stop". But the moment passes. Each moment passes. Because I want to carry on, to see what the next wave brings with it. In tandem with the fear (and it is a fear) of having to stop, there is the desire to move on, to feel more, to experience more.

The blindfold is removed and I can see that The Photographer is also bound to a chair, in a similar fashion. There are thin white cords stretching from his piercings to mine. I can feel each jerk and twitch as sure as he must be able to feel me. Shuttered Lens stands behind him, finishing the ties. I can see both of their faces, both absorbed in the moment: the one placid, eyes closed, mouth slightly open, breathing coming a little heavier as the ties are pulled tighter. The other smiling at the reactions. There's a neat dynamic at work here, an exploration of pain and its effects both on those inflicting and receiving. And we have an entire evening at our disposal to work through the preliminaries.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Being and doing

This is a response to one of the questions I have been recently asked. Writ small, the question was about submission and identity - are they separate things and is my submission a performed act: something I "do" rather than something I "am".

I would say that I am a submissive, that would be how I identify myself, however, I don’t feel the desire to submit to just anyone, or indeed the majority of people. It is part of who I am and an important part of my sexual make-up (I don't like vanilla sex). I enjoy topping, but prefer to submit. For me, it is topping that is the act of “doing” rather than the "being" which is one of the reasons I very rarely use the word “Domme” to describe myself when I’m topping, because that’s not how I feel. It feels more like a the game, an action-orientated activity around the physical sensations that I’m giving to someone else and a mindset that I am playfully experiencing, putting on like a new dress and swanning around in it for a bit, before returning to normal.

I don’t like to use words such as “natural” when
describing these sorts of activities but I do feel more comfortable when submitting. It’s a state I’m more likely to seek out and to enjoy doing for longer and in a variety of contexts. Submitting is the “real deal” (obviously all these tags and labels are flexible, I think that as we go on and learn new things about ourselves and others we change and develop but for the moment it’s a useful way of talking about how I feel). It is “me” that submits, I give myself over physically, emotionally and intellectually. If it was just a physical transactional based activity in which I derived masochistic pleasure from being hit, then yes, I would view it as an action or gesture. Sometimes it can be like that, especially when I am playing with people I don’t especially know – then it is the pure thrill of being tied up, or the endorphin rush of being hit. But when I play with my partner (we have a D/s relationship) it is more than that. I’m emotionally connected to him for a start, and we play in more psychological areas – so my brain and my feelings are engaged.

I’m not sure that you can really view this in isolation, however, facets of one's identity can be pulled apart in that manner. We change as we grow, different points come to prominence. Which is a positive thing overall, but does mean that sometimes it can be difficult to think about submission as an identity in isolation, it interlinks with a lot of other parts of my personality and is a reflection of them: .for example, in my vanilla life I am reasonably head strong, very independent minded and have a career that relies upon initiative, personal responsibility and being able to order and manage others. I think that the part of me that enjoys submitting does so as a way of letting go of these cares. However, the desire to submit has been with me for a long time, and I would count it as being part of me and a very definite part of me at that, not just a mirror image of “how I am at work” or anything as plain as that, but an ingrained and extremely pleasant part of my view of myself.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Winsome, lose some?

Date last night with Tie Tighter, who was a lot more than met the profile page. Given our conversations I'd been expecting a certain type of person and found my expectations utterly, pleasantly, confounded. It's nice to find yourself in that situation, whatever the reverse of being let down is. We had an extended chat, and I observed his eyes light up when he spoke about rope bondage, his metier, listening to his descriptions of tying people, of how he enjoyed delivering pleasure through mummification, sensory deprivation and loop after loop of rope was energising, as it is whenever you hear someone talk about something they obvious love.

As a strict heterosexual (the mention of tying up a man made him wince as if he'd bitten lemon) there is obviously less room for The Photographer in any potential scenario, but although co-subbing is certainly still high on the agenda, also too is the desire for my own experiments and experiences. It's interesting to find someone for whom sexuality is so tied to gender, as this is something that I am quite aware of and beginning to explore more of myself as I play with more women.

Speaking of joint ventures, New Friends dropped us a note wanting to slow our interactions down somewhat, to become, well, friends before continuing further. It's true that we had moved very quickly from chatting to meeting to playing (the latter stage occurring within a few hours). And whilst a part of me can't help but feel a little disappointed, I'm also genuinely looking forward to getting to know them both a bit better: at worst, we will have a couple of cool new people to chat to, and at best we'll have a firmer relationship on which to base play.

I'm feeling generally very positive about future meetings, both as a pair and flying solo. We have a play date lined up for Friday with Shuttered Lens who gave us both the most business like of pre-play chats we've ever had, which I certainly appreciated for it's candour, if nothing else. I'm not precisely sure what to expect of this, his experience would lead me to hope for good play (why hope for bad play?) but it will be one of the few times I've played with someone who I know very little. Play-as-play is still quite new to me, so that may contextualise my feelings and sensations - and as well as everything else, I'm keen to know what effect this has.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Save all your kisses for me

Kisses are powerful symbols, more powerful actions. The signifier of the power of love, whether it be affection, friendship, eros or agape. From childhood we learn that they can wake sleeping princesses or turn frogs to princes. Allegories that a Freudian analyst might draw notwithstanding, the kiss is a potent figure within almost every story of human relationships: Judas' kiss in Gethsemane, "kiss me Hardy", a kiss before dying. When we each have our own first kisses, however good or bad they might have been, they contain a certain something - I remember my first kiss with each of the three people have ever been in love with, and each time was charged with a frisson that time may have exacerbated certainly, but the moment was there. It still is whenever I think about it.

"And that's the last time I'm going to kiss you when I use you." His lips have just left mine, from a delicate kiss, no more than a touch. I'm stunned, literally numb for a few seconds whilst I process this. My first thought is prostitutes don't kiss their clients and that contextualises it all for me instantly. This is how you separate sex from feeling, how you insert an imbalance of power. I want to kiss him, contrarily, and that is certainly what I desire in the those moments whilst I'm thinking. Then a certain calm comes over me, because this is another layer of submission I've been given, another push further down, a way in which I become more and more that object of desire rather than that person, that girlfriend, that lover.

The Photographer looks at me quizzically when I tell him I feel sad, but content. Which is true, after a fashion - just like absence makes the heart grow fonder, what I can't have becomes more prized. Wonderland logic: things taken away are things bestowed. I'll miss his kisses, of course, but I also appreciate what has happened, I am happy to make him happy, and if this is something that he wants, then I'm glad to be able to oblige. Desire represented by no kiss at all.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Kitty and puppy

The efforts of our joint profile appear to be bearing fruit, last night The Photographer and I went out to a small kinky gathering with New Friends - we got on really well, and had a very switchy night of deciding who we were going to do next. They introduced us both to a fantastic piece of electronic kit which had a series of remotely activated pads. These were placed on the girl's labia, either side of the clitoris. The warm-up was a firm but gently vibrating sensation, which was very pleasant, and then as the current increased it became sharper, more like the feel of a violet wand, but still with the vibration underneath the electricity so even at higher levels the pain was intermingled with definite, and intimate pleasure.

The Photographer was seconded to button pushing and took great delight in doing so, but it was a little as if he had sidelined himself from the action, or fallen into his more customary role as amused but detached dom. Given the fact that he doesn't get to submit as often as I do, and that turn about is fair play I decided that really he shouldn't be left out and that he should wear the collar for the rest of the night. On hands and knees in tight pvc trousers and later on, even less, hooked to a lead he made a wonderful gift of a puppy to our recent acquaintances, the female half was especially delighted, and amusement was had when we realised that Kitty (pet name from her other half) had a puppy. Who was, as usual wonderfully well behaved, even when
strapped to a bench and the electrical pads placed on the top of his penis and at the base of his balls. Then the button pushed. Mercilessly.

The three of us spent quite a while alternately petting and abusing him, until he was quite spaced out and staring, glazed and smiling into space. At which point, we changed location to the St Andrew's Cross and I got to spend a bit of time glazed and smiling as I was flogged and had my nipple piercings toyed with at length. Puppy stayed firmly on the floor, his tongue industriously investigating the potential of Kitty's stockings to everyone's delight.

What was especially nice was the level of sexualised contact, and strong mutual attraction. Lots of kissing, groping, licking and alternating dynamics which were very exciting. Although an element of Britishness (perhaps?) prevented us from inviting them back to ours for a "coffee" afterwards, I'm sure that future encounters, now the ice has been broken, will see us being a little less coy.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Learning by doing

I keep trying to work out whether or not I am actually polyamorous, and the answer is I don't know. I'm definitely in an open relationship, and (time permitting) keen to date and see other people, just as The Photographer has his partner. And we're certainly both busy trying to find those special someones who would like to tie us up and put us through our paces.

I'm not sure if that makes me poly, though. I don't know precisely where the line is between "feelings" and "play". I know that I need some connection with my partners, but I think that's true of everyone. Certainly better play has happened with those I've felt something for. Whether that is pure attraction, affection, friendliness, confidence in their presence or a mixture of all of these. I don't know where this leads - I am reasonably confident that I don't have the room in my life for another relationship that is as emotionally involved as the one I have with The Photographer, and I absolutely will make time for him before anyone else. Which is meaningful in and of itself. Does that make me not poly, then? Equally, I'm not sure that hanging labels on things ever does much good, I know that I've had a few cheeky little sniggers at people who introduce themselves as being firmly fixed in one category or the other. But perhaps they are. Just as I am happy to try new things, and would hate to shut the door on potential options. Which admittedly makes me sound greedy, but a little bit of what you fancy does you good. As my gran says, though probably not in this context.

So why the worry? If I'm happy to keep sampling from the varied menu of sexuality, why do I feel the need to work out just what my ideal relationship status is. I suppose the key here is in the word "ideal". As many of my friends are now cemented in their Noah-esque pairings, with weddings going off here there and everywhere, I'm starting to wonder how everything will pan out, where the dust will settle. Part of this has come from recent conversations in which I've tried to sound out how the future might look, but of course no-one can do that, and as time moves on, things change. I've changed. In the last nine or so months my life has moved into a very different place and I feel more comfortable with my love life, my sex life, my life. But less settled in my future.

Where once boy met girl and they went and chose curtains I'm not even sure I could begin to plan for anything now. It's a curious mix of freedom and anxiety. Worries about how it might all turn out, terribly aware of the fragility of these relationships see-saw with the excitement of possibilities, of everything from fun dates to finding love. Again, again and maybe even again. For as long as it works. And that's the rub. Which I know is exactly the same with any sort of relationship ever, but I think that recently I've been forced to be more honest and appraising of how relationships work (and don't work) and more accepting of impossibilities, of things that can't be changed.

It sounds a little maudlin, I suppose, but I am generally very positive, but perhaps also cautious. The more people that are involved, the more complex things get, and the less in control of the situation each individual feels. I've lost the illusion of control. Which can only be a good thing, but I'd gotten used to it, and now I'm doing without.

Clipped at the edges

"You've got a red pen mark on your back"

And other phrases one would rather not hear at work. Much as I would like to have smiled winningly and responded "oh no, that's from a knife" I am happily employed and would like to remain so. As it stands, I am hopeful that my general clumsiness about the place will assure folk that I am indeed capable of falling in such a way as to get a perfectly straight line of red ink from a curiously placed Biro. Perhaps one balanced on the edge of a desk, held firm with Blu-tak. Actually, I'm more hopeful that they won't think about it. Coming out in the workplace as gay would probably be met by some sort of parade, as a BDSM practitioner? I am less than convinced.

It didn't actually feel like a knife, although now, touching the raised and textured line I can imagine The Photographer drawing that precise mark down my spine. At the time I thought it was the pinwheel, pressed deep. It's funny how when blindfolded and without clue or guide sensations can trick you. There were distractions, in my defence, a pair of metal clips on my labia, bound together with a loop of cold, heavy chain, like the sort an old fashioned fob watch might hand from. I really enjoyed the feeling of being held like that, of having the chain pulled or flicked in a playful way. Enjoyed it more when the clips were tightened and the pressure became sweeter, more intense. He fucked me doggy style and the edges of the clips pressed against me with each stroke, biting a bit against my flesh: the contrast between the deep pleasure of penetration and the rhythmic sharp jab of the clips was fantastic. The build of a medley of alternating sensations is something guaranteed to push me down into a tingly spaced out world, and this was no exception.

I thought about how it might feel to have piercings there, that could be similarly chained or otherwise bound. Except permanent. For keeps. Something to move higher up on the list, I think.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Kink in a cold climate

Winter has arrived, and with it a different flavour of kink. All thoughts of romping outdoors have been put to bed: pony frolics will have to wait. Wrapping up warm, and staying indoors are of course very compatible with a bedroom orientated lifestyle, and there is no better excuse to remain under the covers than being tied to the bed. No more worrying about hiding red stripes or bruises under little summery dresses, works of kinky art are hidden under coats, boots and scarves.

That said, the weather also has its downside. I have fairly poor circulation and so tend to get cold feet (literally, not metaphorically) and hands. Getting cold is always a concern of any play I engage in, and its something I have to be aware of, my fingers will quickly lose sensation and it will be hard to tell whether or not those ropes are too tight. Naked people in the house are always a cause to keep the heating a little higher, and now it needs an extra level of toasty warmness to contemplate being able to remain still or exposed for any length of time.

Low temperatures are a punishment for me, I dislike being cold. Not in the sense that I dislike the cane - that hurts, but cold does something different. I can just about appreciate the sensation of an ice-cube melting on warm skin, a light touch that doesn't linger. Or a short sharp shock like a blast of cold water from a shower hose. The classic torturer image of drenching a body suspended from cuffs and balancing on slippery wet tile has a fascination for me - I find it very attractive but I know that it would just be unpleasant. Not sexy, just cold, cold, cold. I'm shivering thinking about it, my skin reacting in sympathy with the numbing prickling of it all.

Unlike impact play where the sensation builds, increasing as skin turns pinker, cold turns me off, switches my senses down. I lose track of myself and disconnect from what is happening. Not in the light floating way of subspace, but in the gritted teeth, head down and get on with it, trip to the dentist sense. And not a kinky dentist at that. Just numbness, my body refusing to play, teeth chattering, miserable and fed up. All of this, of course, is probably appealing to some, but for me there is no masochistic pleasure in being cold, no adrenaline or euphoria. Just a need to be somewhere else, in the warm, hands cupped around a hot cup of tea, naked under a blanket, face flushed, collared and grinning.

Monday, 24 November 2008


Recently come into my possession are two documents. One was sent to The Photographer and myself from Welsh Dom (he in whom we place the reins of pony play fantasy, amongst other things) and is an extremely comprehensive list of BDSM activities, arranged alphabetically. There was a guide to completing it: alongside ranking the activity from 0-5 with a "no" option to set it as a hard limit there were spaces for notes, previous experiences and a little code to use for likely types of comments such as "D" for "discuss beforehand". We filled it in together, stretched out on the bed, alternatively frowning or giggling whilst we remembered one activity or the other.

I enjoyed it as a theoretical exercise and it could certainly be the basis of a lot of interesting conversations (though never a replacement for them). It was good to contextualise in such a clear fashion what we were and were not keen to do when we actively seek to submit to other people. Penetrative sex was an area of concern, aside from the standard infection-and-babies worries we both thought that there were things we might like to keep as just between us. That said, neither of us would want to cut down the opportunities for an exciting and engaging scene with sexual content (as it might say on the box set) but sex isn't the be-all and end-all of this aspect of our explorations.

I wonder if this might not be a useful ongoing document, to see how our tastes change, if they do, over time and with experience. I am a great believer in discussing and evaluating play, keeping what worked, improving or rejecting what didn't and thus far I've learnt a great deal not just in scenes but after them, talking to others about how they felt.

The second piece of electronic paper on my virtual desktop is a small questionnaire, written in a very open style, inviting my comments on a few points from my perspective as a female submissive who is in a heterosexual relationship. They centre on ideas such as self/identity, empowerment and gender, so certainly play well into my favoured arenas. Unlike the hierarchical and codified table, this is taking me a lot longer to complete as I'm also able to be much more free flowing and associative in my responses. It is also something of a mood piece, and I keep going back and adding or amending my notes. Eventually when I've worked through them I will probably put a truncated version here because they are interesting questions. Whether what I've said is of any use or value to the person who asked originally remains to be seen, but I'm very keen to take part in the discussions, if and when they occur.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

On top again

The dressing gown cord is a underrated object. Bringing as it does reminders of those first forays into bondage - impromptu ties made from whatever was to hand (often including ties). And whilst rope is purpose made and can be either silky smooth and a pleasure to run over the skin or coarse and untreated so it locks into whatever vicious position you have assigned to it, there is something down-and-dirty fun about casting your eye around the room in a moment of playful not-so-innocence and grabbing whatever is nearest to inflict upon your dearest. Ropes and shackles are prepared, patient tools of a planned out scene, which is a wonderful thing, but so is the spur of the moment, and the more I top the better I get at recreational impromptu abuse, which makes me more confident in general.

I have started to mingle the two more and more, so I'll plan certain things that I want to happen and then see what reactions I get along the way. Which is where the dressing gown cord comes into it. I'm sat astride The Photographer, playing with his neck and nipple piercings. I take one end of the handy cord and push it through one piercing, and do the same to the other, pulling it reasonably taut and enjoying the squirming, and the noises that follow the squirming. Then I tie his wrists to either end and get him to play with my breasts as I lean over, secure in the knowledge that even the tiniest movement causes twinges of sensation. Another cord was put to good effect in my first attempt at tied cock bondage, a couple of loops around the base, then another around the scrotum then back up to secure around the cock. Then pulled a bit tighter and given a nice bow. Present.

A bit later on and he makes a couple of jokey little comments and giggling, which normally would pop the Domme balloon there and then and have me feeling awkward, silly, and not in the mood. I'm still a little sensitive about it, I suppose, even though I do know that the jokes are not bratting but rather a nervous reaction. However, there was the cord, lying in plain view on his chest, so I picked it up, pulling at the piercings as I did so and put it, taut, between his mouth with the instructions to hold it nice and still until he had learnt to behave. I could then direct my attentions, and the attentions of the pinwheel to his bound penis. And enjoy the muffled whimpers.

On top of the world.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Questioning my sanity

"We're not crazy in Sweden anymore" said Ethical Hedonist over dinner last night. He's becoming increasingly active in the politics of the BDSM world, and relates these bite size nuggets of news with enthusiasm. I've long been aware that given the medicalisation of sexuality what I want from a partner is not a "natural" baby-making drive, but rather a terrible condition afflicting my poor, underdevelopped brain, and it's nice to know there are some countries who accept that there are different strokes for different folks.

The difficulty that I find with considering a penchant for BDSM as a mental health issue is that all desire starts with the mind, so by classifying some activities "bad" then by following the logic backwards (and it is, indeed, backwards logic) these terrible thoughts must therefore derive from some fault within the psyche. Rather than starting with a poorly brain and working out what it is making that person do. Because, of course, we can't see into someone's mind, we can only judge their status by their actions and actions are codefied by society. Change societies (like going to Sweden, for example) and you change the perception of the action. What is good becomes bad and vice versa. Black hat to white with a quick costume change, the important thing to note is that the activity itself has not changed. Like a chemical catalyst it remains unaltered, but it does cause an awful lot of reaction.

I view BDSM as being fundamentally amoral, that is, outside of the scope of a moral framework. Neither good nor bad simply something done without concern for societal norms or prejudices of right and wrong, between consenting adults whose only value judgement would be based on pleasure and sensation. Morals only enter into it when we are talking about how we manage these interactions: are we being honest, fair and caring? Morals relate to the motive and the method of the activity: how we go about doing it. A shorthand for an idealised sexuality, where everyone is free to stick whatever the hell it is into wherever the hell it is as long as that's what all adult participants willingly signed up for and are happy with. I love these ideas and would wish them for everyone, because I do not see the value in laws that intrude or put expectations on what we do to our bodies, in private, of our own free will. I am, however, not the arbiter of law, sadly, and that means that what I do is considered to be "wrong". Even though I know it's not, and the existence of national boundaries of legality further compounds my argument - I'm either sick in the head or I'm not. I can't possibly have a disorder in England whilst being hale and hearty in Sweden. That would be like being "a little bit pregnant". It just doesn't happen.

For the moment, I am ill and in the UK. And situations like this are unlikely to change overnight. Everything we do requires others, and with other people come their thoughts, lives, past experiences and current beliefs. Society, in short. We have to live somewhere. I just don't particularly like the idea of home being where the headache is.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Joint venture

The Photographer and I have recently set our stall out as wanting to play more together, co-subbing for want of a better word. We had a great experience with Lovely Couple and are hoping to secure some more fun and games. Thus far, as with the hunt for the Hot Bi Babe (male) either the universe has a lack of such people, or we are looking in the wrong places. Optimistically I'm hoping it's the latter, although willing to concede it might be the former. Given the general mood of heternormativity within the kinky circles I'm travelling in the types of responses we are getting seem par for the course: cuckold fantasists, "porn" directors, and a lot of don't-touch-me whereby the respondent indicates that they do want to play with a couple but don't want to lay a finger (or vice versa) on the male part of the equation. Which puts paid to any boy-on-boy fellatio daydreams that either myself or The Photographer might have.

Part of it is that we are not looking for sex, specifically. We're looking for play. Straight vanilla fucking (with or without a total stranger) holds no interest for me, and besides, no wives to swap here. But we are interested in a sexualised context, a powerplay of desire and manipulation where we each get to be objects or tools of attraction, service and need. Like most things BDSM it's about a mental attitude, and that is, I suppose what we are searching for: like-minded folk, and given that we are all specialists, with our perfect kink playing out in our minds, there is going to be a lot of non-overlap. And oh, there certainly is.

That said, we do have a number of potential offers on the table. Welsh Dom has made me excited enough to clap my hands by proposing a weekend in a horsebox for the pair of us, which is probably not a November activity, so we have plenty of time to chat. And buy tack. Additionally, a couple of charming young men have answered my rallying call for finding terrible things to do to my partner in crime and we are hovering at the diary point with them.

One of the things I enjoy so much about team games is the added sense of confidence and excitement I get in actively seeking new opportunities. Having someone else to perve and plan with is a wonderful aphrodisiac, and knowing that I won't be traipsing over to God-knows-where by myself is always a plus. Then there is the sensation of sharing, in a very different sense to poly, or to watching him play with someone else in a club. Of co-existing, as equals in a similar headspace, similarly confined and constrained.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Chemical dependency

The thought occurs that sub-space, like being in love and orgasm, is something that if you think you don't know whether you have experienced it, then you almost certainly haven't. So, with that logic, it's fair to say that I absolutely have, but it took a while. Descriptions of sub-space feel a little like those magic eye pictures, which I can't see, everyone assuring me that, yes it's there, I just need to focus, or relax, or both at the same time. I still can't see magic eye pictures and I think there is more to subspace than just a general encouragement to "let go".

A lot of the people I've spoken to indicate that pain is important in getting them there, and certainly I find that this can push me into deeper feelings, pushing away ephemeral concerns, calming me and allowing me to switch off. It's interesting to consider how this actually works. I'm basing the following on how the bodies autonomic system functions and the likely impact of BDSM activity upon the chemical balance.

Stress in the short term triggers the release of adrenaline, increasing heart rate and converting glycogen into glucose, raising blood sugar levels. This is the classic fight-or-flight response, and it is reasonable to take this as the initial biological response to pain. However, in a situation where neither fight nor flight is possible (bondage for example) and where the pain is also pleasurable, then norepinephrine would also released, which is stimulated by arousal and alertness, both of which will be in evidence.

Pleasure/pain. A push and a pull taking you in both directions at once, which, assuming the forces are as equal as they are opposite, holds you static. And that is for me the essence of submissive space, it is a place where you are kept still light and floating on a sea of blood-red calm. When I'm there I can hear static in my ears, crackling at the edges of my senses, I start to lose sense of myself as a shape, even less as a person and I do not connect with the world around me except those parts of it containing my partner and the sensations they are giving to me. I'm not in the bedroom, or in the club, or anywhere except deep down within myself, caressed with chemical kisses and buffeted in storms of sensation. Carried away? Absolutely.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

A rush of blood to the head

I try to write up my experiences as soon as possible after they have happened - memory, especially sense memory fades so fast and gets replaced quickly with inference and assumption in a mental equivalent of filling-in-the-blanks. Cliches substitute for descriptions, and I try to avoid that. But reflection is important and sometimes, particularly with an intense scene it takes me a while to process what happened as my brain needs time to come back to itself, to reconnect with language and thought. Especially with this.

"Are you OK?" asks The Photographer. I'm staring at the ceiling, but not precisely looking at it, I nod. Speaking is not something I feel able to do, there is literally nothing I can express: I have that closed-down feeling you get upon just waking, limbs have yet to come to and my mind is a heavy swirl of impressions and impulses. Primordial soup for thought patterns. I am not OK. I am so much better, and so much worse than that.

It's Friday.
I'm pinned under him, my arms by my sides, staring up at him. He dragged me on all fours into the bedroom and threw me on the bed, pulling off my trousers and pants, to fuck me. He holds me by the shoulders and stares at me, blank faced, hardened with a calm, focused look. He pauses, then slaps me in the face. The pain is shocking, up-close and personal it is literally in my face. The first blow hurts, absolutely, but the pain brings with it a rush of adrenaline, and excitement, anticipation: I feel playful, exhilarated and excited. It is the next, and the next and the next that hammer these feelings down. The slaps don't stop, the pain rises and the excitement is replaced with something else.

It really starts to hurt, properly, a stinging, unforgiving, bullying force. Hard against an extremely sensitive area, physically and emotionally. My arms are just by my shoulders, fists clenched as I begin to cry. At any moment I could bring them up and protect my face. But I don't. I cry harder; he doesn't stop. I don't stop him. There is a part of me that does want to run and hide, I can see myself getting up off the bed and locking myself in the bathroom. I can almost feel the relief of being by myself, of putting cool water on my tender cheeks. After the longest time, he stops, picks me up and moves me into a better position to use. He starts to talk to me as he fucks, accusing me in a coldly aggressive tone of letting him down, of messing him about and not behaving as I should have done, not being the slave that I should have been. He keeps asking why and I can't answer him: I'm crying too hard. After many false starts I can speak, barely.
I plead with him, promising to do better, but it doesn't make a difference. There is a pain in my throat, and my stomach is churning: he starts slapping me again and the combination of the two wipes my mind clear of any possibility of response. I am incoherent, shouting "I don't know" through the tears, feeling totally trapped and unable to express to him how hard I am trying, how much I want to please him and how I just don't understand what he wants.

Eventually he is quiet and so am I. He fucks me, pressing me down until he orgasms. I lie very still for a while, mute and numb. He opens his arms and I tuck myself in around him,
he starts to stroke my hair, comforting me. My face hurts - my ears ringing and the muscles and bones in my jaw and cheek are especially sore. That's the first distinct thing I remember as I start to come back together after being shattered. I'm sensing the feeling of my skin, it's very hot to the touch, streaked with tears, prickly against the hair on his chest. Then come the emotions, slowly, drip fed. I'm not panicked or upset, but I was very recently so I'm loitering in a very peculiar head space. I am on the surface safe, comforted and calm. But not quite. It's a close cousin of those sensations: I feel held down and happy for it. I hesitate to use the phrase "properly submissive", however I feel very real in my experience. I'm not in a scene or hedonistic playing through of emotions. I am here, deeply connected to him. Thinking backwards, working through what happened as already it starts to slip through my fingers. I don't want to let it go.


I can feel something pull at my nipple piercings, and I moan softly. It's Kiss Curls, I can tell from the brush of her lips against my cheek. I'm blindfolded and tied face forward to a St Andrew's cross, the pulling continues and I get a little louder. I'm reasonably sure The Photographer is watching. I hope he is watching. Then, without warning, a firm slap is delivered to my back, then many more, in a quick, steady drumming sensation which builds up to a deep, thudding pain at which I start to cry out. It is a fantastic feeling, actually: part heavy sports massage, part beating - warming up all my muscles and then bullying them into submission. The rhythm stops and someone thrusts hard against my arse, gyrating a little:

"Guess who?" Hedwig, but of course. Then they both continue to play with my front and back, my corset is discarded and I am blissfully pinched, slapped, tweaked and kissed. Girl on girl on girl. My blindfold is removed and I grin massively at them both, catching in the corner of my eye The Photographer and Ethical Hedonist watching with an air of amusement. Then the girls sing Happy Birthday and we all burst out laughing.

We went to Subversion on Saturday, meeting up with Offensive Charmer once we arrived. It was a good night for getting to know new people, chatting and watching different styles of play. There was plenty of equipment including some of my personal favourites - tables and racks that are also cages. I just have yet to work out something exciting to do with this combination. I want to make cages work because I love the idea of them, especially the smaller ones, where someone (or better yet, two people) have to be close together on their knees. Waiting to be used is a very erotic concept, putting me in mind of concubines, slaves and also dangerous animals that need to be secluded. Cages are like boxes, keeping something safe, away from anyone else, a prize possession or beautiful object. At the moment though, they remain better in my mind than in practice.

My current issue with a cage is that you put someone in and then, well, they are in a cage aren't they, on the horrible this-is-actually-a-student-union floor, getting slowly cold and bored. I'm thinking along the lines of cage as a grope box or to tie someone in such a way that they can interact with the person being beaten on top but the club was quite crowded and really the caged one might just end up being ignored. Which is a fitting punishment, especially for someone like me, but not a great way to spend a night out. Personal preferences I guess, and I'm sure that for some people being tethered and abandoned in such a way would work, but not for me. The cage needs to be the beginning of something, a start, not a thing in and of itself. It's possible that it would work much better in private play with more time to dedicate to building a scene around it, although this will have to wait until I have a little more space and a little less vanilla flatmate.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Letting go

One of the things that struck me about playing with Different Drummer was his level of trust in me, which I've been thinking about recently. He told me later that he had never let go in a similar fashion before, ever, and it seemed as if it had been quite an intense experience for him, physically and emotionally. At the time, I could tell he was enjoying himself, certainly, but because he had been the one to ask for that particular sensation, and that particular type of bondage I didn't feel entirely in control or that he was entirely in my hands. I can see now that's probably not precisely how it felt to him.

I feel quite proud that he was able to do that with me, that he felt secure enough with me. Admittedly we have known each other for a while, but still, it feels like a big thing, and I'm pleased that I was able to do that for him (to him?) It gives me a retrospective feeling of dominance that I did not have especially at the time but can bask in a little now. Part of my own love of submission comes from the fact that I don't often get the chance, in my day-to-day life to let go, to allow someone else to be in control, so I feel as if I can empathise.

Benefits of switching, I guess. Although I think there can be a problem with second guessing or if there are incompatible expectations. I didn't have any particular expectations when I went into this particular session, and certainly didn't expect to be topping (in whatever limited sense) but was quite glad that, rather than be thrown, I was actually genuinely interested and excited in exploring his sensations in that way and it was very different to the planned scenes I have done in the past - more of a physical game than a D/s situation. I didn't speak much, for example and certainly there were no titles or acts of obeisance.

Maybe for another day?

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Px plz

A lot of my communication with current partners and also potential partners is done via email, memo or IM, for a number of reasons not least that I am not all that keen on widely distributing my phone number. The Internet is a great medium but it does have its downsides.

It affords anonymity, and this cuts both ways. Whilst I am safe and protected behind my computer screen, so too my conversation partner is hidden from me. I can only see what they choose to present and that can make getting to know a person quite difficult. It also means that I make decisions on who to talk to and who to bypass based on things that wouldn't normally be immediately obvious if we had, for example, met in the pub. I put a lot of stock in language, as is probably quite obvious by now, and look quite hard at how people phrase themselves, the words they use and how the spell and punctuate them. Or not.

I'm interested in the images people use to represent themselves online. On this site, I've chosen two shots of parts of my body, no face shot. However, on sites where I am looking to meet someone for play or chat then I will use a face shot rather than an image or an icon, and I tend to avoid people who don't do this. First, because I want to connect with another person and having a face shot helps me with that, second I'm superficial, I judge partners, in part, by their looks because attraction is important to my experience of play.

I want an face to put to those words, to be able to picture the person I'm talking to, saying those things. Neither of which is entirely possible over the internet. The Photographer and I have decided that it might not be a bad thing to go to more munches and other socialising events to meet people face to face rather than in either club or online personas.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Biting and bottoming

I have bite marks on my neck, I am ashamed to reveal. I'm not big on them, I must admit. Normally I quite like sporting the temporary trophies of a play session - red lines or swirling bruises. But not on my neck. It's not just the fact that they are hard to conceal, although fortunately it is Autumn so I don't look out of the ordinary in a high neck top, but visibility is a part of it. I like to keep my BDSM and work life separate, very distinctly so.

I'm also not fond of the connotations of bruises in this particular area and never have been. From the terrible teen movie term "hickey" through to the puerile playground "lovebite" even language used to describe kisses bitten deep is a little distasteful. This is not, by the way, a reflection on the sensation that produced them. I have a very sensitive neck: I really enjoy having it kissed, played with, bitten or gripped with firm hands. All of these things are fantastic. The marks, less so. However, I'm also not handing out blame. These things happen, and no real harm done, my neck is still a little stiff and sore, however. Different Drummer and I did have a conversation afterwards where he agreed that yes, I mark really quite easily and he will remember that.

That aside, our play session was interesting in that I found myself topping, but not topping. He is relatively new to BDSM so I was showing him some kit, some rope ties and so on. Then there was the pinwheel, which he really liked. So he stripped to the waist and laid down whilst I sat astride him and played with the wheel on his (very twitchy) back. After a while he thought he might like to be gagged, so I put that on him. I could feel him get carried away with the sensations as I played, and he later revealed that he had felt extremely relaxed. It wasn't so much him topping from the bottom as a joint experiment in physical stimuli, I didn't feel like I was topping, but neither did I feel as if he was: we were playing around.

Friday, 31 October 2008


Human interactions are always a constant source of fascination to me, perhaps I missed my calling as a social anthropologist, although that said, it is only a very narrow field of activity that concerns me here. What the Americans (and we British, lately, it would appear) call "dating". I am making a bid to have the much lovelier word "courting" reintroduced but have thus far failed to make substantial inroads.

To make it perfectly plain, I neither court nor date in a vanilla context. Hand on heart, I have learned my lesson in attempting any form of conversion and the vital importance of being explicit up front. For all parties, it's for the best. But this post is not about me (for once) it instead concerns the complexity of finding a Dom who is interested in playing with men as well as women (ok, perhaps it is a little bit about me).

I've come across an interesting phenomenon (amidst the men actually looking for couples or the male half of a couple looking for, well, other couples), the ones which seem to have at their core the desire to attract women, rather than men in a curious version of girl-kissing-gets-the-boys. These are the men who want to cuckold other men, humiliating them in the process of fucking their wife or partner. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this fantasy in and of itself, but it works in a way which isolates and sidelines the submissive male to a voyeur at best and an unwanted, unnecessary third wheel at worst. It is a very specific desire and drive which is different from wanting to play with another man: here the male submission is not a thing-in-itself but rather a vehicle through which the woman is the target. There's an old fashioned-ness to it and certainly the lover placing horns on the sad defeated male has hundreds of years of precedent, and it is, to my mind, absolutely heterosexual.

Suffice to say, that the hunt for hot bi men to bully The Photographer continues...

Thursday, 30 October 2008


I haven't really been seeing anyone even semi-seriously except for The Photographer, partly because, well, I'm very fond of him, but also because I haven't had an awful lot of spare time and when I do have some free, he's top of my list. The more we do together, the better it gets, and the more close I feel to him. However, that doesn't mean that I don't want to see other people, it has just made me a little bit more picky, which again, is probably a good thing. When I first returned to BDSM after my "vanilla period" as it could be called, there was an enthusiasm to go everywhere at once and I was probably just fortunate in finding Ethical Hedonist and fortunate too in how much I enjoyed his time and company as well as playing with him.

A friend of mine (only slightly tongue in cheek) referred to it as my "selection box" of men, and yes, despite the odd foray into girls, most recently courtesy of Kiss Curls, I appear to still mostly be a man's woman. I am, of course, open to offers. A selection box? Perhaps, certainly I do look for a unique side to potential partners, but then that might be because I look for smart, interesting folk in general who are all likely to have their own specific flavour, as it were.

I feel ready to start a new stage of exploration then, where I'm actively looking to try specific things with specific people. There is no end point to these experiments because that implies there's a goal or a finish line, I don't think it's quite that clear cut. There is a school of thought that we as a society, specifically western society, is becoming tired of commodity and looking more for an "experience". We want something to sense, feel and remember, rather than use, throw away and forget about. Although there is an argument that experiences can themselves become commodities, experiences have a transient nature and generate close connection between participants, particularly in a BDSM context, which runs counter to the uniformity of commodities. Commodities are always the same, by their very nature they are standardised items. A scene shared between two (or more) people can never be re-experienced except in memory, and even then bits will be missing, others added.

An experience also has that crucial feature that the Marxist commodity lacks: connection to the moment and mode of production - indeed, it is a product of the people, the place, the actions, and therefore links all of these together in a special way. It cannot be re-made or re-produced anymore than water can run uphill so it is irreplaceable. A moment in time. I suppose that is to me the part that especially attracts me to BDSM, the ability to conjure and to participate in these sudden acts of violent tenderness, tender violence. A break from the usual. An experience.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Depending on your interpretation

I've been running my fingers down The Photographer's back, he's leaning his face into my shoulder and making little noises. It's easy to tell when he's switched because his entire demeanour changes: the calmness becomes passivity, the quiet becomes anticipation. His body softens a little, relaxing against me, waiting for me to move or speak to direct him. Maybe you couldn't see it from the outside, but I can tell. It's as if there are invisible strings, hanging loose over his skin waiting for me to pick them up, pull them taut and bring my puppet to life.

I've started to put in a few more physical requirements when I top him, gradually taking a bit more control of the minutae of his comportment, honing and refining until he is just so. I like detail. I especially like precise and specific details. For now, whenever he is in a position to do so, he must place his hands palm down, fingers spread. No gripping the edge of the bed when being fucked or moving those hands to touch anything other than that which I let him touch. I like pressing my own hands on his, running my nails over them as they lie, immobile but responsive. Waiting.

We have a balance of power, built on words and tiny little actions like this. Points of view. When I top, I fuck him, or play with my cock (that just so happens to be attached to him). When I sub to him, he fucks me, I play with his cock. It probably looks the same to the outsider. Not to us. My topping is still a game we both play, but very much a game leastways that's how I view it. In all seriousness, I am his, sometimes we switch, but mostly, I'm his. That's how I feel and I am very happy. The balance of power is not very balanced, truth be told and I quite like that, I certainly couldn't top all the time, or even half. Although the inbalance can create some interesting situations in play.

I'm fucking him, his hands are palm down, flat and fingers spread. He's being a good boy. I give him 30 more seconds, and count down (slowly) letting him know that if he comes, all well and good, but if he doesn't, well, that's it. He moves faster, more agitated, but in the end doesn't make it. I slide out from under him and push him over on to his side, holding him close and stroking his back for a while, then make him play with my clit for a bit before turning over to go to sleep. He starts to run his fingers on my throat, soft and pleasant at first, a submissive flirtation, but then sharper and harder. He's switched. He pushes me over roughly and fucks me, hand over my mouth.
He doesn't say anything, he just takes what he wants. The sensation of his cock inside my cunt is very different even though the position is the same, the physicality is the same. But it isn't the same, we can both feel it.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

In conversation with

Three brief snippets of dialogue have put me in a slightly contemplative mood, which has turned out to be overall positive, but the way they came about was interestingly staggered and set the tone for my current state.

"I don't mind that you borrow my toys, it's just that it reminds me that I'm not in a relationship at the moment"

This to The Photographer from his LT partner, which caused me to squirm with social and also emotional embarrassment at first, until assured (at length) that all was well. As mentioned previously, the more time I spend around the pair of them the more normal the relationship becomes, but sometimes I feel a bit awkward. Feeling being the key word here. Initially I was a little upset, or perhaps bothered is a better word - after all, I don't want any of my behaviour to have a negative impact on anyone. However, just as it wasn't me that did the borrowing, neither is it me that is responsible for her feelings - I'm not to "blame", I'm not an interloper or an interesting extra fling for the moment. We later sat around with tea and chatted a bit more about life, the universe and so on, which made me realise that the insecurities I have are not unique to me, and therefore not a result of being new to poly (and by inference inexperienced and wrong, which was my worry). They are the feelings that everyone gets, regardless of how long or how stable or how well connected they are in their relationship.

"So when do we get to see this nice young man?"
"Erm, you don't"
"Oh. Right"

Discussions with my mother regarding my private life never seem to include the word 'private'. Or 'my'. I would say that I'm not hiding my proclivities from my parents, except it would be an obvious lie. Of course I'm hiding it from them. But that has the knock-on effect of having to hide other things to, lest a spiral of questions takes me down a path I'm not prepared to tread. My folks are not especially conservative, and they are very loving and supportive. They are traditional, I suppose would be the best way of putting it and certain things are expected to come up in my future: marriage, babies, family life. None of these are on the cards from where I'm standing, and I'm not prepared to outright lie to them and declare spinsterhood so conversation avoidance is currently my only option, sadly. I'd like them to know, but more than that I'd like them to be comfortable and happy with the life I'm living. And those two are currently mutually exclusive.

"I guess I want something that's just mine"
"I understand...I just worry that the other someone will mess up you and me"

A slightly edited down version of a conversation I had with The Photographer, which led to us concretising our relationship in such a way that the pair of us both feel much better and more positive. Not that there was any particular difficulty that I'd noticed, although I do think that my acknowledgement of the lack I feel in not having something or someone 'for myself' (putting whatever drives that aside for later analysis) was if not news to him, certainly more obvious for being clearly stated.

We are in a D/s relationship which is open and poly - primarily he is my Dom, although we also occasionally switch. He has a significant other, and at some point I might also have one. We will have play partners, together or separately. We are in it for the long term. We are friends. We care about and look after each other. We are emotionally as well as physically involved.

If that sounds a little cold and clinical, it doesn't to me, sitting here, after much thought, with this little road map for the future, put aside for handy reference. And smiling.