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The online diary of an ethical pervert.

Thursday, 31 December 2009

Distance, desires, definitions

The morning after the night before, I'm attempting my usual submissive sidling up to someone in bed in the hopes of some attention. As Kiss Curls commented to me a couple of days ago, sometimes you just want a bit of a fuss, especially first thing in the morning when everything is soft and sleepy. He wasn't having any of it, keeping his distance. There's a cool absence about him I've never had from any other partner - we don't kiss, at all, there's little in the way of physical contact outside of play itself. I find it curious but have yet to work out what is behind it, whether it's just how he is or part of some personal rules of engagement currently opaque to me.

He's quiet when he plays, for the most part, so I don't have any words or moods to go on. Whether he's in a certain headspace of his own or as calm and unaffected as he appears to be is still part of the puzzle.
All I've got to go by, is the activity. Some resistance play, featuring clover clamps and enforced squat positions; feet pressing against my face; me, prostrate, resting my lips on his bare foot; a failure at forced orgasm (mine, of course and nothing new to be learnt there). These are all well-rehearsed actions for him, reeking of practised control, of domination. There's pain too. Some caning and an oversized ball gag, face flat against cold plastic floor, howling against the pain, later announced to be "about a three". I'm not very durable at the moment so am still considering myself a bit of a disappointment on that level. And on others. I don't feel exactly banal, but I'm not entirely sure that I'm exciting him, either, which is a shame. Whether or not I'm of any worth to this sadist is yet to be proved, in my eyes at least.

The most striking activity was an objectification piece he'd mentioned before: I've been a variety of furniture before, never a loo roll holder though. I'm on my knees, in the bathroom. It's dark, but there's a thin line of light coming from the bottom of the door. There's a smell of cleaning products from the bathtub, where rubber is soaking. He's been washing things, going about his routine, ignoring me. He left and turned off the lights a few minutes ago, I'm currently remembering how good his bare legs looked as he was washing the rubber, unsure whether thoughts of good-looking naked men cleaning BDSM equipment is an appropriate mental state for human bathroom accoutrements.
I take the opportunity to review my position, since it's a new one and since he seemed keen to do it. My thighs are strapped to my calves with thick leather bands, arms around my back and to my sides in a similar fashion. There's a posture collar around my neck, which is padlocked to a chain and thence to a pipe in the wall. I've this gag in my mouth, which isn't quite tight enough and is drooping slightly, but does have a pleasingly chewable ring on the inside that I'm nibbling on to amuse myself. Because I'm bored. And lonely. And cold. And losing feeling in my feet. On the plus side, I am not currently being hit with anything, which is nice and I'm grateful for that.

I wonder what sort of emotions other people would be experiencing at this juncture - whether they would find it humiliating, frightening whether they would be nervous. Once again, I realise, that I don't, that I'm not. He either is going to come back and use the toilet or he's not. There's not a lot I can do about it and it's his call, his responsibility. I can't feel embarrassed, though, no matter how hard I try, it's just not embarrassing, perhaps because of my total lack of agency. It is a little silly, though and I feel faintly ridiculous, certain that I look ridiculous, at any rate. I'm grinning as I type this, because whilst I didn't enjoy it precisely, it was quite a surreal activity, and funny. I'm not sure that was the point. As I sit in the darkness, other things occur. After all, I'm not just an object, I am a prisoner, a captive. I'm also being something, of use, to him, which means staying still, being good. When he returns I concentrate on my breathing, keeping it calm, low and regular, timing my blinking with the exhalations in a similar fashion to before. I don't expect he notices, because I don't expect him to be noticing me. That's the point, really. I'm playing with myself a little, I suppose, but that is part of how objectification works for me, to be inside my head.

Eventually he sits down and plays with my hair a little. That works, the bit of human contact after all the abstraction. Without the waiting it would have been nothing. As it is, it has the air of the first sip of water when you are thirsty. I lean into his hand as he rubs the shaved part of my head, there's a small feeling of warm contentment, I lean into that too. The shadows of something I've felt before. I still can't see his face, haven't done so all morning. I hope he's smiling. He thanks me, later, once I've gone. Before I can send a message to thank him. I wonder what we are thanking each other for - what did he get out of that and why did he do it?

Does what we want reflect who we are - can you get a grip on someone by experiencing their kinks? I'm pondering this and potentially eking out meaning where there really isn't any. Still, it wouldn't be the first time. Captain isn't much for chatter, so my usual post-activity debriefs are fairly curt and I'm left to draw my own conclusions about what drove the activity, where to go next, shame because I'm sure there is something interesting going on in his head and as usual I'm drawn to filthy thoughts and their origins. It's new, the way he does things, and like all new things I want to pick it apart and see how it works.

I'm also dealing with my own trains of thought on what to do with the next phase of exploration. I don't want to play-act, so I'm avoiding random encounters. I don't want anything approaching what I had with The Photographer because I'm not ready for that. I know that I've changed, that I do want something more than *just* play, but I won't know what that is beyond picking things up and knowing that they are or are not right for me. So I'm still running with the "what do you want?" question using trial and error. It's not about activity, I know that much, it's more about the person and context for those activities and how they make me feel. I want to have amazing feelings, and to feel amazing. Part of this is hopefully going to include further exploration of my dominant side - meeting up with a likely looking young man over the weekend for a coffee and chat.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Maker's marks

From last night. Dealt through the vacuum bed.

I'm always impressed with how quickly and brightly my skin bruises - according to Captain these were very light blows. I'd argue they were a little harder than that, whilst acknowledging that I am not ready to enter into any sort of pain one-upmanship contest.

Not just because I'd lose. But because really, BDSM is not a contest - and even if it were to be a contest, I'd prefer more valuable criteria like was it a good experience? (yes) and who has the prettiest bruises?

Me. I do.

I also have an impossible-to-photograph-by-myself friction burn in the centre of my back. Carpet burn, I think. How retro.

Vacuum

I have a new favourite thing - vacuum beds (no, that's not me in the image, I'm afraid). Sliding in to the cool, slinky folds I'm a little apprehensive; I have had occasional brushes with claustrophobia in the past and am slightly nervous about a possible recurrence, however this is massively overwritten by my excitement at trying out something I have always been attracted to. The immobilisation combined with the complete covering hits a lot of my buttons. The plastic is slippery and soft, it feels wet but isn't. It is actually quite light and very cool to the touch, I'd expected something heavier, more along the lines of wetsuit material. I'm on my back, legs spread, arms a little away from my sides, a surgical mask fits over my mouth and nose. Everything is loose for a few seconds, then I hear the noise of a vacuum start up and the air is pulled out from the bag. The material tightens around me, most conspicuously around my head and face, although there is a noticeably pull around my cunt, and I think I raise up slightly in reaction to it before settling back down to enjoy the sensation. I can't hear very well at all, and there's a knock-on effect of knowing my air supply is coming through a tube, which is in the control of Captain.

I open my eyes into blackness to see what I can see. Nothing. No, not quite. There's a white circle of retina burn in the centre of my vision, like I'm looking at a spot of light far, far away as my body falls backwards. I feel my breathing slow and I'm reminded of hypnotic and trance states, everything is very quiet and I am able to drop very easily into a pleasingly fuzzy state. It's a little like being underwater, very much like a flotation tank, there's a sense of pressure upon me although I know there is no actual weight. I feel weightless. Floating and with a supreme sense of safety, I am hidden, protected and unassailable. Air ebbs back in and the material loosens, the weight vanishes. Immediately I miss it, saddened with regret, then the vacuum starts up again and, blissfully, the black waves close over me once again.

He closes off my air supply. First a brief gasp, then more, longer pauses. Unlike having a hand over my mouth, this feels more like drowning. I make the physical actions of breathing in, but there is no oxygen with which to expand my lungs, instead of the channel of air, there is emptiness, a wall of not-air, invisible and palpable. I am choking on nothing. He releases me from the line, and like a fish I slip from the hook and back into the water. I can feel his fingers running over my body, playing with my clit, my nipple piercings, stroking my face. It feels smooth and a little warm with his heat, but also clinical, removed. I briefly move up to meet his, but both the pull of the deep, inky blackness and my own reservations about connecting with him in this personal and needy way make me stop. I lie back into whatever sensations he wants to deliver, ready and receptive. There is a smell of chemicals in the air, which I later find out is amyl nitrite, at the time I was unsure whether it was real or whether I was imagining it, as I fell even deeper. I'm soon roused from my reverie, by light, then harder blows to the inside and tops of my thighs. They penetrate both my physical relaxation and self-indulgent image of protection. I am not very distressed by this, as such, possibly because I'm relatively deep by this stage and also in part because the pain is a needed contrast. A required punctuation in my experience, reminding me that I am subject to the whims of an outside force, whether pleasurable or painful. A little part of me is annoyed that my calm has been interrupted, but another part is glad that it happened.

The vacuum stops once more, and air returns all around me, the zip is unfastened but I don't move. Warm liquid splashes over me, body temperature. My first thought is water. My second thought turns out to be more accurate - urine. Strangely, or perhaps not, I'm more interested in finding out which it is than worrying about what it might be. There's enough space around my face mask to reach out with my tongue to taste, but I'm still none the wiser until later on when I'm finally out. I had often wondered whether I would find the experience of being urinated on thrilling or humiliating (I'd hoped for both), as it is, it was more of an habitual action, something perfectly normal and acceptable in the circumstances that gave no more impact than the physical - that of being sprayed with warm liquid. Either way, I was wet and the plastic around me became more slippy. When the air is pulled out again, I feel more cocooned, the sensation of being underwater is much stronger - I can hear the bubbles in the liquid which packs around my eyes and ears enhancing my submersion.

In the darkness, I mused on whether I was actually concerned about being covered in piss. I decided that I wasn't, and that was a bit of a shame.
Perhaps it was the fact that there was no outside context, I was fairly relaxed by that point and couldn't see what was happening so was reasonably unaware. Additionally, given that I'm not squeamish about the act itself - the main reason I'd never done it before was simply that I'd never done it before, rather than any reticence. Finally, I think that this is another area where the D/s and interpersonal elements play a strong point with respect to impact. As with anything psychological, which humiliation certainly is, I think that there needs to be an outstanding sympathetic connection to fuck around with - real feelings, in short. Which we don't really have much beyond general mutual interest, which is very enjoyable, but not very deep. My major focus is on his enjoyment and my own physical experiences so it was more of a positive than anything else: it was nice to be convenient, to be used. He did it to me, therefore he must have wanted to, and it was an interesting feeling, there was not much more to it. I'd like to think that there could be more impact, in different circumstances, and certainly with another context. Something to file for later, perhaps.

Build up, break down

My arms are tied behind my back, I can hold my elbows in my hands, wrap my fingers around myself. The rope is tied to a suspension hook high up, I can lean into it, testing the strength of the bonds and, by inference, the strength of my body. Being tied up makes me feel strong: regardless of whether I can or cannot loose myself, I feel as if I could. I can imagine my muscles flexing and snapping these cords. The fact that I couldn't is irrelevant, it's the place my mind goes. I feel very powerful. I am tied up because I am a strong, potentially dangerous thing. There's a sense of the animal about it. I don't speak but I do feel a little growly, not in an angry way - it's more playful than that. If I were a cat my tail would be twitching, waiting to see what happens next. Although on the outside it may seem as if I am the captive, inside I am the one toying with the situation, grinning and biding my time. I am poised, elegant and perfect. I am also beautiful, displayed like this, arranged and put in place. There is a strong sense in which the attentiveness of the Dom becomes an investment of some sort of power, of time, of effort in the submissive, rather than the more traditional removal. I can feel it now, each touch and each tie. A certain energy. And I'm lapping up the attention and loving it.

After an hour or two, I'm back in the same corner of the room, but everything has changed. I'm on my hands and knees, cold, wet and shaking. A thick, padded collar around my neck, my head locked in place inside the iron circle at the front of the puppy cage. I'm outside the cage and I feel exposed, vulnerable. If I were inside there would be safety, I would be the strong thing held tight and Captain would be on the outside, limited in what he could do, how he could interact. Now I am the limited one. There are no ropes to hold me, just the heavy cage, keeping me down and in place. I can't see him, he's somewhere behind me - all I can see are the drops of liquid on my arms, resting uncomfortably on the rubber floor on the interior of the cage. I feel a wave of cold rush over me and I shivver hard. It's a full body shake, from top to toe. I try and hold myself still, legs spread in what has become an accepted position, arse raised.

He hits me. I don't really remember where and I don't really remember how it felt beyond the fact that it hurt. I think I howled. The pain showed me to be exposed, removing any last vestiges of strength that I might have had earlier. The only thing that remained to me was my capacity to withstand this, to endure, internalize and go with the pain. To take it from my soaking, trembling skin and hold the warmth within me. I've done it before, let it take me away and use it as a badge of how good, how well-behaved and submissive I could be. Not now. The pain was pain was pain. I was trapped and being hurt. He was silent and far away. I was alone with the pain which I just couldn't endure. I let go. I kicked, bucked and lashed out with my arms to catch the flail before it could land again. Then I broke down and cried. Not because of the pain, but because I had failed to take the pain, because I had been weak and unable to bear it, because I had tried to fight back as opposed to staying still. Because I had done something wrong. I was frustrated and unhappy with myself, with what little I had managed to do, with the pathetic quantity and quality of my performance.

Thinking back to that moment, talking to him about it later in bed, that had been a key point for me - the use of the word "performance" emphasising that much of what I had done thus far was exactly that, a show for his benefit, me trying to show off, flash my colours in a superficial rite of nothing significant. Doing it with mirrors. That moment was different. That was me, dragged kicking and screaming from my safe place of comfortable aptitude into something too hard. Something I couldn't do. A genuine break rather than a self inflicted push.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Mixed messages

Just returned from the Christmas kinky hiatus and attempting to stack my diary for the next week. Like meals, it's very important not only to have regular and balanced BDSM activities, but also to know when the next one is coming along. Currently there are irons in the fire but nothing actually materialising, which is making me a little fed up. I'm having a slightly concerning communication issue with Captain in which he doesn't respond to any of my messages trying to set a next date, though still sends me the odd note to me apropos of nothing. I'm hoping it's just a technology issue or crossed wires rather than some curious and dull game I'm unaware of playing. Of course, the sensible thing to do would be to talk to him about it but in true Catch22 style that rather does require a two way conversation. Perhaps he's recently picked up some male version of The Rules. It's hard to decide what to do, obviously I've enjoyed the two sessions we've had thus far and would like to continue but equally I don't feel much like playing silly buggers and hoop jumping in order to get there. Those sort of games are for serious relationships and generally one agrees the parameters in advance.

Ho hum.

*drums fingertips*

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Absent friends

"You don't really do anything, you just stay there and I do all the hard work." A joke, but perhaps one that some tops might secretly believe. But there's more to staying there than just doing it.

Captain is running ropes around me, moving me this way and that. My hands rest loosely on my shoulders, fingers splayed, arms bent double and knotted into place. I let myself go not quite limp, but limber. It's a balancing game of joints and muscle - to be soft enough to be manipulated easily, hard enough to hold oneself in a convenient place. For him, that is, not me. I'm the one who is meant to be convenient. My legs are spread and I'm stood up, leaning a little against him whilst at the same time trying not to intrude on what he is doing. The other balancing game is happening in my head as I try to think about nothing. There's a concentration that I don't want to break, both his and mine. I'm pushing mine into my skin, busying myself with being a thing. It's hard because on one hand I don't want to think about what is happening to me on any level, more than that, I don't want to actively mentally participate in it, just to be abstract and physical. On the other, there is a certain amount of effort required to give myself the first push.

Because we are still new to each other and relatively personally unconnected so the D/s is only really inferred at this stage. It's still mostly in my head - I don't know what he likes or dislikes and there are no protocols or agreements to follow. I'm out on a limb slightly. My instincts are still there, of course, but they are general rather than focused on him. I go where I'm put, I move, wait and want. I suck greedily at skin when it's near my mouth because that's what I physically desire. But I need something more than just my desire. I need his. Which I still don't really have a feel for, hence the self-inflicted push. I'm in an interim stage. Becoming null. I'm a body. A puppet. I experience. I don't look at him, eyes flickering down, I see him in patches: a shard of shoulder, a flash of skin. I feel him, pressing against my back, an arm around my throat. My head is consciously raised to maintain the posture and correct line of my back and neck. But I don't look. Eye contact is intimate and would be a human (and humane) reaction, a connection during which we would both see each other and the spell would be broken.

For some, this would be an appalling reaction. A deliberate pulling back and moving away from the other person in the space. A rejection of what they are doing. When in fact, the opposite is true. What I'm doing is making myself into a canvas, a space to be taken over and colonised. There are theories of submission, one being that it is a "gift" that is given up, another that the real power lies in the submissive, who controls what can and can't be done by what they are prepared to give up. Those things can be true, but that's not where I am now.
I'm not handing anything over, not in that mechanical, mercenary way. I've let go. What happens next is not up to me. I don't want it to be. I refuse to control or to place a limit on what I will and won't do because I refuse anything that feels like agency. I'm playing another game of not being there. He's playing it too, covering my face when he fucks me, erasing any possibility of personality. I wonder if he is more present because of my absence, if he can move into the physical and theoretical space I have created. My abdication of power creates power for him which he uses to get what he wants. And that is how I am taken. I abandon myself, become nothing and allow myself to be rebuilt.

Talking to Kiss Curls about this, as she described a particularly intense session in which her hands were cupped like a porcelain doll - fingers fused together, thumbs on a curling semi-circle. Each time we do it, each time we erase ourselves and let someone else remake us, we get a little bit closer to the desires of the other, which are wrapped up and reflected in our own desires. We learn a little bit more, by doing and being done to. Become a little bit more perfect, a little bit better, a little bit more like that thing we want to be. That thing you always want to take.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Liebe ist fur alle da

I have a new Christmas present requirement. It contains everything that a woman could want, and all in a beautiful and attractive display case.

The deluxe edition of Rammstein's new album Liebe ist fur alle da which features dildos cast from each member of the band, cuffs and lube. I could make some sort of "stocking filler" related pun, but I'm not going to. I shall merely wonder which one belongs to that fine, strapping, germanic specimen, Mr Lindemann.I do like a man whose shoulders have different post codes. Especially one with that voice.

Excuse me whilst I go and have a little lie down.

Sex tourist

December in Berlin is cold. The kind of cold that gets into your bones and only substantial quantities of alcohol will draw it out (gluhwein comes with amaretto shots, I learned) I was feeling a little low, partly because of the temperature which meant I mostly wanted to hibernate, but also because I was by myself in a strange city where I didn't really know the language. Being a tourist will always make you feel like an outsider, so I was looking forward to visiting Gargoyle and being more at home. The club itself was smaller than I'd expected, perhaps because I'd thought dance club rather than private members club. It was also a little quiet, there had been an expectation of around 30-40 people but the weather and the closeness to the holidays had reduced the figure to around 15 or so. It was, however, very cosy and welcoming - a bar area with comfy chairs for sitting and chatting, the obligatory smoking room (everyone smokes in Berlin) which came complete with puppy cage and neck holder, presumably for fitting an ash tray device, if you wanted. There was a back room with a beautiful custom made wooden frame of multiple use and a downstairs dungeon area. Small, but perfectly formed and a neat combination of safe, comfortable social space with playrooms. There were also lockers for getting changed and the cover charge included the opportunity to borrow all those bits of kit that we Londoners cart around in rucksacks.

All in all, it was a very well-thought out space for the scene - I remember thinking that having one of these in London, especially given that it was very easy to get to, would be a remarkable addition and alteration to how we play and interact. Here, the focus was on friendly interactions - the party I was attending was called Gemeinschaftserziehung which translates as "co-education" (everyone was very kind to speak English to me when and if they could, and for a portion of the night I had a semi-naked young man at my feet to translate the difficult bits). The hostess went around encouraging people to talk to each other, finding out what each person liked and wanted to do and introducing them to like-minded folk. The idea of the evening was that everyone would learn from each other, both in terms of play style and experiences - I put the previously mentioned young man on the rack after he looked at it with fear and excitement. There was a wonderful moment part way through when he got very panicky and I was able to calm him down with some breathing exercises which was a very satisfying sensation in terms of practicing that particular form of benevolent control I enjoy.

Mostly, however, I watched and talked to people. As best as I could. Sometimes with hand gestures. I suppose that part of me was looking for specific differences, a hat that I could put on "the german scene" but with only a small number of people, in one club, with my limited language use, I was just repeatedly struck with how similar everything was. Unlike the vanilla bars I'd been in on the other nights, striking up a conversation was much easier and the entire place felt more sociable. Perhaps it was simply that we had more in common, or that at any rate a common subject matter was obvious and talking about it practically a necessity.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Berlin

Have arrived in Berlin. Been here for about 8 hours and have yet to experience any of the crazy renegade sexuality that was promised / implied.

Although there are a lot of Christmas Markets. Going to attempt a private party at a play club tomorrow, assuming that I can navigate the U Bahn.

More info when internet is less prohibitively priced...

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Conversation points

Dinner and ice-cream date with Offensive Charmer last night which inspired a number of thoughts, some of which are still brewing. We talked about everything, as usual. All things kinky, at any rate. Politics and religion were far from the dinner table because it was already full of sex. We discussed the difference between the London and New York scene, he bursting my bubble on any big apple fantasies by stating that London has far more clubs, munches and general open-mindedness about the whole thing. We talked over BDSM mythologies - those fantasies we used to hold, and in some cases still do, about what is and isn't possible in the cold, hard world of actual people. We talked about our recent, "failed" relationship and it was interesting to do so in a more clinically-brained what have you learnt? scenario. Food for thought. I'm just beginning to be able to think about my relationship with The Photographer in anything approaching a calm, neutral manner, so attempting this was very interesting. I know that I can't be in a relationship where I am treated as anything less than the "main partner", I'm doubtful that any form of polyamory would ever really work for me, though I can imagine a scenario in which I was monogamous but open to the odd play partner here and there.

I'm still thinking about it, but it was interesting how many things instantly came to mind. I know that I find a D/s relationship more exciting than a vanilla one, certainly a sex-life that is BDSM-focused is now a must. I know I want a relationship in which there is that sort of connection in tandem with an emotional attachment. I'm not sure I could have a "purely" D/s relationship or master/slave relationship for any length of time without wanting to develop it into something broader. I enjoyed the casual-but-omnipresent style that our relationship evolved into, one in which I was always his, and we both knew that, but in which the D/s was always there, but not always externalised or demonstrated - I never wore a collar, for example. In some ways, I might have liked more protocol than we had, some formalisation, certainly there was repeated talk of an agreed symbol of our partnership - tattoos and piercings for example, but they never materialised and that's just as well given what happened. Perhaps quite telling in the way that they were discussed many times but never truly offered. Finally, I know I want something that lasts, that gives me security and love for the rest of my life. I also know that I'm not ready to begin looking for anything like that at the moment. But that I am more than happy to wait.

Offensive Charmer always brings out the pocket socio-psychologist in me and we ended up revisiting the lists of what we wanted, prompting me to revisit the original list of Things I Want To Do, constructed at some point many, many months ago and updated still a while ago. Interestingly, most of the original wants have been checked off. So perhaps there is time to construct a new one?

I'm not sure what it is about him that make me review in this fashion, perhaps it's his own yen for order. We also talked briefly about "us", in the sense of whether we could possibly be compatible. I suspect that he is more inclined towards micro-management and that his patrician style will not necessarily fit with mine, he has suggested that I visit New York so he can test the hypothesis by fucking me. I rarely find fault with this kind of directness, there's a lot to be said for coming straight to the point. Whether we can actually get the time to do this is another matter.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

I am what I am

In an email conversation with Green Man, I've been sending strangely timely text messages by all accounts (nice to know that my radar is not completely off-kilter) and he asked me an interesting question about whether I did consider myself a switch, given that the situations in which I appear to be having the most fun are those when I am submitting.

The short and pat answer is "yes" but he certainly got a better response than that. There's a number of reasons and I thought it worth going through, it's the end of the year and I'm always easily led into a spate of introspection. To kick things off, I don't like labels. They serve a purpose and that purpose is usually served within five minutes of introducing oneself. My thoughts on labels are similar to my thoughts on stereotypes - I can accept that I might appear to be certain things, but that's usually because of where I am and how I'm doing. Usually. Sometimes it's all true. So far, so muddy, that's the difficulty with talking labels. What I can talk about is activities, experiences and feelings (physical, emotional, that crazy-wonderful place that is both, neither and in between).

I do BDSM because I enjoy it, simply put. Really, really enjoy it. I like all sorts of things about it. I like being part of a niche community that does things differently to others. I like being engaged in something that inspires passion and massive responses. I'm fascinated by human responses, others and my own. I like to observe reactions, feel skin go taut. I love kit, the smell of leather, the jingle of buckles and sex that is more than sex. I like it when my heart races. I like it when other people's hearts race and when they collapse into a silly, giggling, grinning heap. I like doing that to people and I like it when people do it to me. It's not just the net result though - it's about how we got there and who I'm doing it with. Certainly my main serious partners have been mostly dominant, which means that I've done mostly submissive things. Different strokes...

The physical stuff is easier to describe and although I currently stipulate (on various websites across the internet) a few activities I don't enjoy, I can imagine that with the right person, in the right context they could be amazing. They just haven't been right for me yet. Or I haven't done it and am worried about not knowing how. So I can't tell you about my BDSM orientation by just telling you what I have enjoyed doing. Just that I've enjoyed doing it. I might not in the future. It depends on what's in my head. And there's a lot going on (I know it doesn't often seem that way). Right now, for example, I am seeking out some beautiful young men who might be interested in becoming pets for my own personal amusement - this has resulted in some epic dreams about cunnilingus training that I'm hoping to turn into reality. I have also had dreams about being beaten til I couldn't move then strapped down and fucked.

Before I start to isolate everyone by sounding very undecided and fickle (which certain parties have already defined as being the core of "a switch") I do know that the real desires of my heart lies in the psychological context for those activities. Because it's not about what I'm doing. Really, it's about me. I like to feel important and valued, that comes across in how I play - when I'm on top I don't want to have to fight someone for control, I want them to come to me and beg me to take it from them. To offer themselves up for me. When I'm submitting, it's about being "good", either because I just am, or because I've done something difficult and challenging. Either way, I want to make someone happy because they are with me.

The key is in who that someone is, what they want and what pleases them. It's that which drives the way I feel which in turn drives what I enjoy doing. It's in the D/s, in the power play - in whatever real connection I have with my partner, whether that be love, fondness or a deep, chemical need to fuck them right then and there. Without that connection, things become a little less interesting to me, it's casual sex and messing around and I'd rather spend my time doing something with a bit more "me".

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Vanilla sex or vanilla serious?

A couple of weeks ago I considered internet dating, in the vanilla sense. Spurred by curiosity, and a conversation with a friend of mine who had had some success, I clicked over guardian soulmates and decided to have a look at how the other half live their dating lives.

The quick search is by gender, age and location. Fair enough as a start, I suppose. First, and fairly obviously, there are a loads of them. Tons, in fact. I'm stunned. With plenty of (quite good looking, actually) photos all smiling back at me in various normal surroundings. No-one seems camera shy or laying claim to having some sort of very secret / high powered career that prevents them from putting their image on the internet.

Each profile then has several tabs of text on who they are and what they want with many, many check box "interests" that seem, frankly, irrelevant - party behaviour, fashion choices, body art, sports, animals.... It seems that I can search for a man who likes pinstripes, football and penguins, should I want such a thing.


Yet, something is really rather obviously missing. Oh yes, that's it. How do they like to fuck and what's their kink? I can't tell. There's no section for that. There's no section at all for any sort of sexual desire (although I can search for both boys and girls) which seems strange given that I would consider that more important than whether or not a person has daydreams (yes, that is a question on the profile). I wonder why there's no mention of it, casually wondering whether there's some sort of code in operation - one person has put "assertive" does that mean dominant? Probably not. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Or in this case, sometimes an absence of sexuality is an absence of sexuality, which seems bizarre on a dating site. Surely sexual compatibility is important to everyone?


I consider whether it's just Guardian readers who are uninterested in sex and wander over to mysinglefriend.com which comes up with pretty much the same sort of thing, except with less check boxes and some text from their "friends". Again, factors like whether someone drinks or smokes seem important, whether someone likes doggy style or open air action does not. These sites are clearly aimed squarely at those seeking Mr or Mrs Right and I am frankly alarmed that people are prepared to meet up with someone who might be a complete turn-off sexually speaking. In a final blast of experimentation I veer towards the terribly named but much promoted benaughty.com in the hopes of finding vanilla folk who aren't afeared of sex-talk. It has a heart logo with some little devil horns. Already I feel uninspired.

Unlike other sites, I have to sign up and create a profile first, rather than just entering "bloke" "around my age" and "somewhere near me" into a search box. I am wondering whether there needs to be some sort of members-only exclusivity before people will begin to talk about their sexual desires. It does seem that as the sexual content increases, the photos on profiles decrease - a lot more profiles without pictures. People do seem to be a bit shy about connecting their image with having sex. I start to fill out a profile, bits of it are in code - I can select whether I want "saucy chat", "casual encounters" or even "discreet relationships" which I infer mean cyber sex, one night stands and cheating on my spouse. Great. So there is sex out there in vanilla-land. It is just a bit, well, grubby and underhand. Not in a good way. I have a look around. It's definitely aimed at getting someone, and getting them fast, no matter who they are as long as they want to have sex - lots of chat room options and I could also send mass-messages to anyone who fit my requirements, if my requirements were as simple as "male" and "postcode". The profile pages are a bit more specific - though nothing like as in depth as a BDSM site. Sexual likes and dislikes hover around oral sex (apparently this is optional), and little bit about positions and sexual orientations. There is a kinkier aspect - a reference to "being master or mistress" another to "when it hurts a little" and a final one to "golden showers" which surprises me as I had this pegged as a vanilla pick-up site and whilst a little light bondage and roleplay seems an acceptable vanilla activity I wouldn't have automatically assumed that watersports was. Live and learn. After accumulating about twenty messages in five minutes without bothering to upload a profile (women appear to be in the minority on this site) I click off, feeling a little dirty - again, not in a good way.

So that's the lie of the vanilla land, it seems. Sites dedicated to finding your one and only, with no mention of sex and sites dedicated to finding sex without any consideration for much else. Sex separate from seriousness. How strange.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Trans-atlantic conversations

Two coffee/dinner/misc dates lined up for next week, both from people who have flown in from across the waves. Not expressly to see me, I hasten to add, but I'm happy enough to be on their lists of London kinksters to meet up with. Offensive Charmer who I long thought lost to the lure of New York and I are going to try and squeeze in a dinner around our terribly hectic schedules and one half (or maybe both halves, if I'm lucky) of a couple that The Photographer and I were in touch with and it's nice to still be in contact.

They are both smart men who have very particular and interesting views on kink - thus far I haven't actually played with either of them and given the way that diaries are going that isn't looking likely for the foreseeable future. So, we talk. Whether by email, the rare face-to-face meetings or through reading and commenting on something the other has written out there on the internet, our connections are based in the majority on words not actions. I love talking about kink, especially with folk who are keen to get deep into it and both of them are. Looking forward to two evenings spent picking apart the whys and wherefores, plunging our greedy philosophic fingers into pots of desire and then licking them clean.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Kid in a candy store

"Do you have any thoughts, fantasties?"

The obvious answer is, yes. Lots. I immediately get very excited, then almost as immediately become completely stuck. I have the opposite of writer's block. Writer's overload.
It's not as if Captain is limited by kit, for example, or by will-to-power. Consequently, I want to do everything. Twice. Especially the things that scare me, or things I've never done before, or never even heard of. This particularly holds true with pain, which is a personal fascination of mine. It scares me, for a start. Not just because it hurts, but because the fear of being hurt is such a strong survival instinct and going through that barrier is extremely powerful. It's also a complicated psychological sensation: I know I've rarely had the same mental or physical response twice; that I've loved and hated it in equal measure (sometimes at the same time) so giving any sort of straight answer is nigh on impossible.

So that's the descriptive difficulty. There's another issue at play, which is about D/s power dynamics and how they operate in the negotiation phase, which I guess is where we are at, early days and all that. Open ended questions like that, without context leave my submissive brain feeling confused. The usual response would be "whatever you want" but that sounds as if I'm turning the question round and refusing an answer. It's not quite like that - I don't know what he wants so I can't offer that up which leaves me feeling stalled. Because of the way I like to submit, I want to feel as if someone else is in control, but I know a remit is required, at least in the beginning. I'm not embarrassed to ask for what I want and am aware that mind-reading is not yet common currency. So I find myself giving a list of red/amber/green activities, which are in themselves a little tricky because they are naturally based on things I've done before, with other people in other circumstances so I'm never precisely sure if it will apply in the future.

Clearly there is a lot more exploring to be done. Excellent.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Ex Machina

The hood goes on first. Rubber, relatively thin, but full of the smell of it. I haven't played much with rubber before however I'm a quick learner and the attraction is pretty clear: it's not tight, but it is soft, slippery and close, rubbing against my skin, alien and cool. There's something fitted against my face, covering my mouth and nose, hard plastic it feels like (I later find out it's an anaesthesia mask) and I think my breathing is restricted. I'm not sure. As with everything in a hood it's a little far away, a little disconnected. My body is there but my brain is trying to be inside and outside at the same time. Inside because everything feels sharper and stronger, inhabiting myself, circling around and around in time with my breathing. Outside because there is a picture in my mind of what I must look like. Naked body, rubber hood: a not human thing. He said he was going to make me into a fucktoy. I want it because I want it. I want it because he wants it. The latter is important and informs the former. I have desire, sure when he ties me to the cross and investigates my cunt there's evidence enough of that to draw comment. I want to give myself up to someone who wants to take it. Fucktoy is perfect. Behind the blind hood, I close my eyes and let go.

Earlier.

Date on Friday night.
A classic date: dinner, drinks then BDSM. A first date, even, if collapsing into bed together (but not doing much more than wrapping limbs against limbs and falling asleep) doesn't count. I'm choosing to say it doesn't, but will admit that this week has moved fast. But if the alternative is to say "no" when you mean "yes, please" I'll accept fast any day of the week. I first met Captain at the London munch and we chatted, briefly. Then again at the U35 drinks where there were further chats - and further drinks hence the unforeseen but basically chaste stopover at his house. So, Thursday morning, filtering a cup of tea around a storming hangover and arranging a date for Friday. Because it's nice to do things properly, even if that means stopping what you are currently doing and starting again.

I'd sent over an email of likes and dislikes, hard to write because I didn't know him very well. I knew he was an experienced dominant and I knew he had plenty of kit and wasn't afraid to use it. Both facts were big positives, I could be safe without having to be in control. For the first time in a while I was actively excited, physically and mentally, about play. And a little nervous, because this was new territory, no acknowledged rules or previous methods of engagement. Restart button. That probably added to the excitement all told.

Later.

I'm strapped face down to a Y shaped bench. My arms are folded together in the small of my back, my legs are spread and bent back - calves strapped to thighs. He's wrapping me in plastic. I can hear the peel and coil of the wrap, the slight tackiness of it as it folds around my limbs. I'm still hooded, breathing through a tube and sometimes the air stops, rubber inflating and deflating uselessly, enough to bring me part way to a panic. Then released. After a short while, I'm done. Bagged and tagged. There's only a couple of inches on show, arse and cunt. I'm two holes in nothingness. Squirming a little underneath, to see how it feels. It feels good, tight enough to be held all over and nowhere to go. There's the chill drizzle of lube over the exposed flesh, making me slick. I am made of concentrated anticipation. There's something hard, large and seemingly spherical, pressing against my cunt. I tense as I hear mechanical buzzing and my thoughts race at memories of over-powerful magic wands. I become a little scared. The shape presses inside me, pushing slowly in and out, uncaringly pushing through taut, worried flesh. It's hard and it hurts enough to mean something. It throbs with weight. And there's something else, pushed close against my clit. I recognise the hitachi and barely have time to utter a pre-emptive yelp before it roars into life and my body explodes with sensation. It's too much. I know it's too much after two or three miliseconds. It's too much but it isn't stopping and I can't move. I can moan though, which I do, as if the pressure against my cunt and inside me is trying to come out of my mouth. It doesn't help. I have never felt force like it and it is force, brute force, commanding deep responses. It's not exactly pain, it's not exactly pleasure, it pitches between the two, in waves equally unyielding and incessant. I cannot relax into it and I cannot get away from it. Sometimes I'm sucked down by it, other times I can edge myself away a little but then the pitch changes and it's too strong again. I tense, almost as if I'm about to orgasm, but the pressure is too much and I can't. Something has to give. So I started to cry with the helpless frustration of it all. All this time when I thought I was tied up to be the object and instead I am a whimpering scrap of flesh plastered to a bench in thrall to the real machines.

When eventually, everything has stopped, there's a hand on my head, through the wrap, through the hood. A gentle kiss and a word of congratulations. I did well, I'm still in a daze as the plastic, bindings and buckles come off. I'm wet and my cunt is incredibly swollen. Legs wobbling under me with uncertain footing. But grinning. Definitely grinning. Curled up on the floor, in a blanket, leaning my head against his knee, dreamily contemplating a new definition of totally fucked.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Me and my shadow

"You've got a touch of sadness about you at the moment." He's right, of course, but I had hoped it wasn't quite so obvious. I'm at the London Munch, attempting to socialise in a fake it til you make it strategy that is clearly currently more fake than make. Or perhaps The Professor is just being extremely perceptive. Either way, I get a hug and we chat a bit, possibilities of pallet wrap and hairdryers (the heat hardens and shrinks the plastic) are raised alongside house refurbishments with extra sturdy hooks in the ceiling. It's good to see him again, to see a lot of people - the fact that they are there, getting on with things and so on is reassuring. I'm still here too, trying to get on with things.

But wherever I go, in whatever conversations I have and whatever I do, there's something around the edges. A creeping shadow which follows me around. I am nowhere near over him. I know that I should try to, but I don't really know where to start. I'm not sure how you go about cutting off your shadow - or if you just wait for it to go away. Like so many things with the collapse of the relationship the lack of coherence, of control is making me frustrated.

I'm pondering at the moment whether this is because for the first time I was not the one to end the relationship, so consequently am left with strong feelings that have nowhere to go. What our cousins across the pond term "closure" I suppose. After all, when I tried to end the relationship we still kept on seeing each other. When he ended it, it stayed ended, he managed to have the upper hand in the end. Which leads me on to my second thought - whether the D/s may be playing a part - I've never had a D/s relationship as strong as the one I had with The Photographer, for a long time I was his and extremely happy to be so. And now I'm not, or rather, he has decided that I am not, but I still feel as if I am. So, I
'm doing what any good submissive would do when left alone. I'm waiting for him to come back. I know that this isn't right, that this isn't actually a game that we are playing. That he has left me and that we are done. But there is a gulf between knowing something for a fact and actually believing it. To get to the place where I truly feel like I am mine, rather than his. No shadow.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Toys

After coming home from meeting Painted Lady I couldn't wait to try out the CB2000 so I empty all of the pieces out onto my bed and it's a bit like a cross between a towers of hanoi game and a small piece of IKEA furniture. The bright pink plastic has a very christmassy feel to it and is pleasingly smooth and warm in my hands, putting me in mind of stocking filler gadgets and gizmos. Which makes me worry I will get excited by it for three days then break it, or it will run out of batteries.

I study it for a moment. It's a reasonably complex bit of kit. I've got a cage structure, with a ring at one end which has three holes drilled through it. I've got a number of plastic rings of different sizes which also have three holed in them. They feel like bangles from a toy shop, but with a bit more strength to them. I've got four pins. Two have a little base and a hole in them for a padlock (one longer than the other) these fit in the central hole of the rings. The other two are narrower, they fit in the holes on either side of the central one. I also have some small clear plastic tubes which slip over the pins. And a padlock. That I can work out at least. Hmmm.

I had two problems. First, no instructions. Second, and slightly more important, I had no-one to put it on. Now, I couldn't just leave it lingering in my toy box until Mr Right came along, because I needed to see how it worked, right now. Also, a little part of me suggested that it might be a good idea to play with the thing in private first before unleashing it on some (poor, unsuspecting, innocent, big-eyed) chap without really knowing what I was doing. Safety first and all that. So I did what any sensible single girl would do. I tested it out on a stuffed toy. Oh yes. Fortunately I had a diplodocus handy, whose long neck and stubby front feet had enough of a similarity in shape (if you looked at it from far away and squinted) and, helpfully, plenty of give due to the plushiness. And I could lift and manoeuvre him a lot more easily and with a lot less fuss than a real person.

This knowledge will probably result in absolutely anyone with a grain of sense avoiding any form of kinky contact with me forever, especially if, as it turns out, I've put the damn thing on wrong, but I'm putting the photos up anyway because they made me smile.
















For anyone who has a passing interest in how to place a chastity device on a soft toy, there was a certain amount of finicky-ness involved, especially with getting the pins in place. The CB 2000 website has some fairly dull and unhelpful instructions (written in teeny-tiny print and with no pictures) which I think I've managed to follow. I wasn't quite sure how many rings to put on so opted for the little plastic spacer instead, for the look of the thing. I expect that in the real world there might have been some sort of feedback in terms of whether this was comfortable or not which might have helped work out which bits to put where. Additionally, I have assumed that the different sized rings are for different sized boys - certainly not all of the rings could be worn at once, given the length of the pins, though the website does seem to imply that more than one base ring is worn at once.

As it turns out, there is nothing especially satisfying about a stuffed toy in a chastity device, once you've got it in, it doesn't do much and you can pull the whole lot off fairly easily. Not a lot of amusement, beyond the initial fit of giggles. So I guess I'll need to wait for a willing partner. One who doesn't mind that he's second lab rat to a diplodocus. And one who is up for making a "how to put on a CB2000" YouTube video, as that was something I could have done with and feel honour bound to improve the universe by creating one.

That's a brave man indeed.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

All kinds of nothing

A very curious start to the week. I'd say dispiriting, but I'm relatively light-hearted about it, given my zero quantities of either expectation or emotional investment. Thus far I've had a date that wasn't a date and porn that wasn't porn.

The date first. Maybe it was my fault for not super-confirming, in writing, in triplicate. But when I do fire off a note to someone suggesting a time and a place after we have already agreed that yes, meeting would be nice, then I kind of take that as a "yes". Apparently not. It's just as well that these days I pick locations where I can happily spend a bit of time by myself, without looking or feeling like a fool. In the absence of CCK I've been collected other little coffee places around town, ones that aren't too busy or too commercial. Preferably ones with a good line in something toothsome in case I need a consolation prize. I resisted a cinnamon bun from the Nordic Bakery (a test of willpower when they come warm from the oven). Anyhow, that's the end of that. I'm a little sad, because it would have been a good get-back-on-the-horse date. He was interested in play, specifically CBT and male chastity, both of which are things I can really, really get behind these days. Not because I'm going overboard on an anti-male, serious cruelty kick, it's just I like the precision and the fact that it will not involve sex. I'm off sex at the moment. Plus he wasn't interested in a relationship. I'm off those too. Anyhow, it's not to be. Fish in the sea and all that - I'm sure there are more young men who want to be tortured in intimate places and then not have sex. How could such a wonderful offer be turned down?

Then the porn. This was sent to me. As you can see, it contains no porn. I was initially wary about clicking on it as I thought it might be a ghastly advert for some equally ghastly porn site. There's a lot of crap porn around - I'm fairly fussy in what I like (limited and specific) and what I don't like (mostly everything) in the porn video department. However it was certainly different. Strange, but as with many strange things, I do kind of like it. At first I was a bit put off, considering it all a little pseudo-arty, but then it made me smile. Any piece of work that makes me smile is worth something. Plus it was a nice idea, a bit clever-clever, but it's done fairly well. And the jiggly bed still makes me crack a grin.

So, two heaps of nothing. One better than the other. I'm off to a munch tomorrow and then meeting up with Painted Lady on Thursday where I shall hand over some cash in exchange for a CB2000 and a straitjacket. With any luck, the end part of the week shall contain a lot more somethings.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Return of the native

First night out to a BDSM club in I-don't-know-how-long. I am grateful for any number of things. That I had Knight of Wands with me, who was the most perfect gentleman and the best wingman anyone could ever ask for. That the event in question was Crimson, which meant that is was a superb night and a very safe space full of people I know. Who were full of compliments. It was like a run down of almost everyone I have met over the past year or so, which was marvellous strange - part of me felt as if it were a trip down memory lane: Ethical Hedonist, The Collective, Hedwig and Kiss Curls to name but a few and all of them reminded me of things I'd done, places I'd been. Which all in all, was good. There were some sad moments, some points of reflection, but at no point did I feel as if I didn't belong. Quite the reverse. I felt a bit like I'd come home after being away for a while. Which was an affirmation in and of itself. My kink does not belong to The Photographer, it has not ended with the end of our relationship. It is mine and lives in me.

I settled on a pretty flamboyant outfit - plastic pvc mini-kimono with geisha make-up and wig. Part of me wanted to secure those "oh wow!" comments (a big part of me, I'm working on an ego-rebuilding process) and another part of me wanted to be out but still able to hide a little. The make-up is a mask. It looks beautiful and disguises my feelings, it allows me to play a persona rather than simply being me. But I was also out, which meant I wanted to feel like I was out - I wanted to dress up and be a princess.

The club itself was fantastic, everything a play club should be. Plenty of room and lots of pieces of kit, the majority of which is custom made. I was also surprised by what a difference having great music (no Gregorian chanting here) and no dance floor made. This was a play club, you were here to watch or to participate, to socialise. It wasn't a club with a gesture made to those who want to play by shoving a St Andrews cross into a cupboard. There was also a lot of space, at no point did I feel cramped or crowded - I could walk around when I wanted, sit down when and where I wanted. There were no queues for equipment as there was plenty to go around (certainly the best kitted out space I've seen). Most importantly though, was how it felt. Fun, friendly and filthy.
The atmosphere was unlike any other club I'd visited and someone had really thought out how best to use the space - spotlit areas for the exhibitionists, more secluded areas for others. Whilst play was the focus there was no pressure to play, the lack of dance floor meant that there was no division between players and party-people, we were all here for the same reason, it's just some of us weren't currently participating.

As I walked around saying "hi" to people I kept getting little flashes of excitement, little visions of what I could do, what I'd want to do. A girl was having feathers pinned into her back, reminding me of the thrill and natural high that each sharp gives. The buzz when they are all in, holding you up. Feathers were very appropriate, in that case and looked beautiful. The centre stage had a large rigging structure where someone was being secured with lengths of japanese hemp ties. I remembered the feel of that sort of rope in suspension, how it pulls and locks in place - leaving you floating and held at the same time. An empty cage brought up my dominant side, wishing for a moment that there was a naked man to lock inside and torment. A naked girl strapped to a rack being tickled mercilessly (cruel punishment!) brought out my curious side as I wondered idly what her smooth, shaven cunt would taste like as her labia flexed in time to her contortions.

I'm not ready to play yet. That the desire was there, was enough. I'm still me and I still work. I took along some kit which remained in the bag - I had the crop out at one point, but mostly for show and nothing came even close to getting used. I had a couple of offers which were (hopefully) politely declined. I knew I wasn't ready for it, knew that my reactions would be very unpredictable. And I'm not ready to be unpredictable in a public space. That aside, oh it was good to be out and about...

Friday, 20 November 2009

Sex in the city

I've been perusing last week's Time Out sex survey results, which whilst being a narrow spectrum of folk who live in the Big Smoke I thought might have enough interplay with the kinkier side of life to be interesting. Maybe it was the questions more so than the answers which didn't surprise me - age of losing virginity, number of sexual partners, amount of times you have sex.

There were a few that I did note however - most people put their "kinkiness" on three out of five (with five being 'practically perverted') - now with this kind of self-assessed survey it's hard to tell whether people think that fluffy handcuffs merit a kink-factor but the appearance of the question itself in the survey is notable - not all sex is straight sex - even if it is just the one point before moving on to sexual injuries. Unsure whether these two questions were related. There was a flicker of kink in the sexual fantasies arena - kidnapping, fear and bondage all featuring, making BDSM a high scoring "fantasy" with the group surveyed. I wonder whether this is a desire that is made sweeter by being forbidden or by being unobtainable - the fantasy is only exciting because it is a fantasy, when faced with it in reality would people genuinely desire it?

There was a lot of gender division, almost every question had a section for male responses and female responses, backed up by two "sex experts" giving their opinion on both the male and female results (no room for trans responses here, just team pink and team blue) - so the battle of the sexes still wages in the bedroom then. That made me think - harking back to a number of conversations I've had with various kinky folk on the importance and indeed relevance of gender to play - for me it doesn't matter that much in terms of pure play, bodies are bodies are bodies, just some have different bits and make noises in baritone or soprano (and depending on where you are hitting that isn't always as easy a guide as one might think). A number of people I know feel the same, men and women, even when it comes to more sexualised play. However here the difference was made abundantly clear - boys and girls like things differently. I'm not sure whether that makes vanilla sexuality more prone to remarking upon a gender divide or just that we kinksters like our bread buttered on both sides. With jam.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Tender hooks - a narrative

All of this comes from a bad place. Maybe one day I'll look back at what I've written and feel ashamed or embarrassed at the bile and vitriol. But for now, this is what it is.

Yesterday afternoon I received an email from The Photographer saying he'd decided to stay with his current partner. A couple of lines, no more, including a refusal to offer explanaitions and a total absence of feeling. An automated response. A coward's response as well, to put into brusque prose and fire across the expanse of the internet, knowing I was at work and would not find it until later - dividing the act and the response by both time and space - keeping me and my "difficult" feelings, my "demanding" attitude at arm's length. Sparing his feelings by scarificing mine. In that sense, the medium was perfect for the message.

Needless to say, I called him. Hissing and spitting with rage, then morose and despondant as he refused to engage. It did no good in the sense that it changed nothing, much less his mind. I upset him. I upset myself. As final words go, they were pretty poor and badly chosen. But that's what happens when you get fucked up, and for all my displayed lack of optimism in him reaching a good decision, I still had hope that he might. But not any more. I'm here, at arm's length. It's over. The waiting is over and the relationship is over. Whatever it was, whatever we were, is done.

I'm an appallingly confused mix of emotions. Memories of feelings I had, current sensations, the sly suggestion of responses I think I should be having but am not. I am, by turns, angry, thwarted, lonely, relieved, miserable, furious and calm. Round and round they go. I can't really describe it, so I'm going to take an unusual step and go into metaphor. It's an image I have very strongly in my head - I'm not sure whether it's because it's easier for me to describe how I'm feeling this way or because the effect of what has happened is so strong that I've become somewhat lightheaded and am currently living few degrees askew of the world therefore tending towards the poetic. Either way, it's where I am. What's in my mind. So here goes.

I'm sat at a dining room table, which is long and black. No-one else is there. The room goes on forever with just a plain floor and walls. No doors. My feet don't quite reach the ground, like a child. I'm wearing nothing but a white dress of some description which might be a man's shirt, might be a hospital gown, might even be a table cloth. There's a hole in the centre of it, through my chest. It's a big hole, you could put a fist through it easily and out through my back. Ribs are visible, blood, flesh and viscera. Some blood drips through the gaps, but not much. I'm still breathing, which surprises me. I'm looking down at my hands. In my right is my heart. It is in a very sorry state - bits of it are torn, there are cuts all over it. It's still attached to me, the arteries and veins run from my heart back into the hole in my chest. I can feel it, warm and soft, pulsing slightly. It is jammed with thorns, nails and hooks, metal and rusting. With my left hand I am pulling out the pieces of metal and placing them on a white china saucer in front of me. I can hear the "clink" sound as they hit the porcelain. None of them come out easily. Each one means something important to me, and the fact that they hurt me does not stop me wanting them. But I take them out anyway, twisting at the flesh as I do so in order to free them, like extracting the stone from a peach, fibres still clinging.

They go on the plate. One by one. They are not quite memories. Not quite feelings. Not quite connections. Not quite hopes. They are all of those things. They are also nails in my heart. And I know that it will hurt to pull them out but I know that if they don't come out they will fester and my heart will be poisoned and never heal. So here I am. Pulling pieces out of my heart.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Does not play well with others

I don't often mix my vanilla and kink social groups - I try not to on general principle. Friday night reminded why this is a very good idea. I went along to a flatwarming, which was ostensibly vanilla, but I knew there would be a sufficiency of the pagan-kink-alt-misc crowd around to make life interesting. I wasn't in the greatest of moods, but had gotten two messages from people there who were hoping I'd turn up and so felt inspired enough to actually get out of the house. Progress, of sorts.

All was going very well until a collar, lead and flogger came out. We passed them around, made some jokes, commented on the weight of the flogger. Someone got the collar and lead put on them and they were passed around between myself and Different Drummer (the party host) who were clearly the nominated keepers for the night. It was nice to be in a position of power, to have kit in my hands and feel if not good, at least comfortable being in a kink-ish environment without The Photographer. It was the first time I'd done anything even remotely kinky without him for a number of months. We were messing around, very playful, very light, very clothed. The heaviest anything got was forcing the collared person to eat cake from a bowl without hands and testing a flogger on a bare-chested Different Drummer - mostly everyone had a go, good party game for who could make him shout the loudest. So far so good.

Then one of my friends came in to say goodbye. He was clearly uncomfortable: I know that he has issues being around anything vaguely fetish or BDSM and he was certainly unhappy with what was going on in the room. A difficult situation in and of itself, not my party to manage and also he was very much outnumbered by the active perverts and casually interested. His girlfriend paused to give some goodbyes to the collared person, they are extremely close friends and made lots of effusive comments about being totally enamoured of each other. At which point, I jerked a little on the collar and made a joke about how I should be the important one, given the chain of command. My friend went ballistic, shouting "No!" at me across the room, eyes wide and glaring, full of hate and vehemence. He stormed out, leaving everyone shocked and silent.

I followed him down the stairs, he was still shouting at me, refusing to pause or to even explain what had happened. It turned out that he had been triggered, I suppose is the best word for it, by the act of tugging on someone's lead and had thought I had been attempting to put a real world break in the relationship between his girlfriend and the collared person (they are best friends). So, like a knight in vanilla armour he had felt the need to shout at me to prevent his girlfriend getting hurt by my predatory actions. Or something to that effect. I should add that he had drunk a reasonable amount and I was not sober. Different Drummer, who has known him longer than I have, sat on the steps with us both and we tried to work it all out. The conversation ended with awkward smiles and everything seemed ok.

But it wasn't. I still haven't really managed to process what happened. Rationally, it is obvious that he wildly misinterpreted what was happening and that we did not consider his antipathy to BDSM enough. Sadly, what happened from my point of view was that my first interaction with kink sans The Photographer was met with revulsion and anger on the part of one of my closest friends. That he thought my playful SM (it was hardly a D/s interaction) was something cruel directed at his girlfriend, who is also my friend. So by inference he thought I was doing something wrong, something hurtful. In that moment, through that action he believed me to be a bad person, who did bad things. Add on to this a note that large men shouting angrily at me is something I don't deal with very well at all in normal circumstances - shouting in general is liable to panic me, shouting men particularly - when I was younger my father very rarely shouted, but if he did you knew that something was very badly wrong. In light of everything that is going on, I can't cope very well with my friends thinking that of me. Drunk or sober.

Now, I know I am very sensitive at the moment and also vulnerable, especially in these areas. So I expect that this is hitting me a lot harder than it should do. I'm about to go around and try and have a conversation with him to clear the air. I am steeling myself to have a discussion that will centre on "you have hurt me by doing this". I'm getting a little fed up of having these conversations with people close to me and beginning to wonder if it's my own thin skin rather than anything else. In this case, I don't think so. And either way, something needs to be said to clear the air.

I'm just not looking forward to it much.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Zine

No personal post today. A link instead, something a friend of mine sent my way:

Brat Attack was a highly unprofessional and irreverent dyke SM zine published in San Francisco from 1991 through 1994. All issues are sold out. This site is all that remains.

I've been reading some of the articles and particularly enjoy the "no experts" logo on the front. I like zines, I used to illustrate for one in my teens and have fond memories of scissors, glue and photocopying. I like the rough edged hand made feel of them, that someone actually sat down and made this. I suppose that the scene has moved on, perhaps, though of course I can't speak for leather dykes or San Francisco (and would be overjoyed to find that someone was being made to do artwork whilst tied up or edit copy when gagged).

I think it would be great to have one of these now, to be involved in making one - with or without a gag - or just to be able to get a copy in my hands. I wonder if the time for such things has past though, if the internet has superceded the zine to become the new space for such writing. Anyone with access to a dial tone can get their work uploaded and, in turn. read the work of many others just with a judicious google search. Fringe groups are no longer isolated, on the world wide web we can share thoughts with others like us - it's made it easier to locate and connect with like-minded folk and the only barrier to connecting with other people on the far side of the world is time zones.

All the same, I miss those black and white scratchy pages.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

After the fact, the facts.

This is another post that I've been mulling over far longer than I should - I often feel I write better straight after the event, pouring words from my brain whilst things are still fresh, feelings still sharp. Sometimes it's not possible, although I admit to an urge to be forced to type whilst in bondage or being beaten (that might result in some terrible spelling errors). The more I turn something over in my mind the harder it can become to write, I get stuck with the "best way" to put across my meaning or end up trying to be too clever-clever rather than what I'm actually aiming for - authentic, accurate, real.

So here's my quandry - how to write about two sexual encounters, which happened within hours of each other, without being crassly comparative. I don't want to assign scores or in any way put these two acts side-by-side and yet, by virtue of timing, my own headspace and who they involved, they are. I feel guilty even thinking about it. Because these are two people I care about. In different ways, certainly but they are both important to me and both events were important to me. Helped me. And I want to talk about both of them, yet putting them in separate entries seemed a little disingenuous, deliberately partitioning what happened and muddying the order of time. Making everything neater after the fact, although it wasn't neat in the moment, and some of me still feels concerned over such flagrant bed-hopping (does it count if it was the bed that stayed the same and the partners that hopped?) I'm trying to make light, a clear indication of my discomfort level. Which means it's time to rip the plaster off clean - doing that which scares you, that you don't want to do but find the strength to do anyway always works for me.

I fucked The Knight of Wands and The Photographer over the weekend. I did it because I wanted to, in each individual circumstance. The latter was planned, mostly - we were due to meet for dinner, it was likely we'd end up in bed. The former, less planned, but more obvious as the evening went on. Familiar bodies, familiar lovers. There's a safety in those kinds of arms: people who know you and who you can trust, laugh and joke with but also feel confident that they understand your kinks and twists and can deliver.

I craved sex, put simply, it was a need I had and it was sated - touching and being touched. Lying together with someone else in warm, animal comfort, hearing another heartbeat. Not being alone. To the mutual shock of The Knight of Wands and myself I had a short moment of crying whilst we were fucking - an outpouring of emotions like steam from a boiling kettle. Over as soon as it started, but strangely required. The physicality of the whole evening was like popping a pressured balloon - everything wrapped up inside had to come out.

Come the morning and I wanted to talk. Because I can't just fuck and keep my thoughts to myself (the wise person would keep me gagged, I expect, this may also be wishful thinking on my part). I wanted to be sure that he was alright, that we were alright. I still have trouble with "sex as sex", I see strings attached everywhere. To be reassured that the craving I had and the satisfaction of it was a mutually enjoyed activity - and then some, that we were friendly and neither harboured expectations of the other allowed me to breathe a little easier.

I also craved D/s and that was more difficult. A lot of me still thinks of myself as belonging to The Photographer, when I think about my submissive self (a self that has become quieter and more muted these days, thinking things over, I expect). But it's hard to really be his, to feel able to fully submit without worrying about the attending relationship problems. In that, we don't have one so there are no longer any rules - no protocol to follow, no process or way of being and I am reminded of how adrift I feel.

Having sex was problematic because - despite the massive desire - when we actually got to it I found myself to be very scared. We mirrored familiar actions - removal of jewellery, holding my cunt open for me and there was a memory of feeling, of connection, but I was also guarded (I think he was as well) which meant I was half into the situation and half outside of it. Wanting to go deeper but scared to do so in case putting myself into such a vulnerable situation might cause me more hurt and more heartache. I don't think I could stand to have him leave me again so I didn't want to build myself up to the place where I felt his completely. Which meant that I didn't really get what I wanted. I got some of what I needed. The happiness I felt when lying next to him, even though it was dogged by clouds of concern, was still happiness. His skin, his smell, the presence and simple joy of being around him.

Then again, came the morning. And we had to talk. Harder conversations. Because there are expectations in this case. Massive ones. I still want us to be together, but in order for that to happen he has to change his relationship with his other partner. To say "leave her" doesn't really cover the complexity of the situation - whether he sees her or not, fucks her or not, spends time with her or not isn't really the issue. It's about lives and living patterns. It's everything that's already been mentioned and I'm not going to go over it again. We talked about his leaving her, for want of a better phrase and he's thinking about it.

I get anxious just thinking about it. I know that what I want from him scares him, that it seems so big, so life-altering, that I'm the outside bet. Full of serious change and difficulties. I keep wanting to shout "it's ok! We'll sort it together" But I've said that already. Probably three times, if I've said it once: I'm getting talked out. Despite appearances, I'm trying not to think about it, trying to keep my brain distracted by the day-to-day or locked in that warm, safe animal place. But I'm by myself a lot these days and there's just my body which I'm keeping ticking over with masturbation that follows the laws of diminishing returns. Something to do, passes the time. Stops me playing the waiting game I'm already subconsciously playing. I'm also trying not to live in hope, because I don't want them dashed. Trying to exist in the place where we are still broken up and I have to try and carry on regardless. Yet, we tried to do that and we both wanted to see each other so much that when we first met we could barely walk ten yards without stopping to kiss, deep. Again and again.

Which has to count for something, surely?

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

In praise of tests

A coffee with Milady turned into two as we picked over bones and compared battle scars. There's satisfaction in discussing life, the universe, everything with a like-minded soul. Our outlooks marry up pleasingly so conversations include a lot of nodding, agreeing and general wonderment over the rest of the world which does not appear to see things the way that we do, declaring them as mad and both of us sane. It's not about being able to get on with someone or about having the same opinions or tastes - we have disagreed in the past on a number of concrete issues - but more about having similar ways of relating to what is at hand, of navigating the emotional and intellectual landscape of a discussion. It's nice to be able to say "this is like such-and-such" and feel as if the other person understands what you mean rather then just the words that you said.

The topics rather naturally turned towards the kinky once the private business of life and work had been thoroughly raked over the coals. She knows The Photographer and we discussed responses to breaking up, able to laugh at the realisation that until recently we had both thought the term "heartache" was a hackneyed metaphor rather than an actual physical condition. We shared our frustration at feeling unable to get the meat of what we wanted across to other people and she revealed to me her ongoing problem with submissives and text messages.

Like me, Milady prefers to develop D/s relationships not just one-off play sessions. Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed many individual sessions, however there is a depth of feeling that only comes with an intimate connection created over time, with effort. For me, it's the difference between bottoming and subbing - I can turn up, strip off and enjoy being tied up for the physicality of it. However, if someone I care about does that to me it creates a totally different (and more powerful) response. The D/s doesn't switch off. The SM does. So to, with her. We both like the idea that when you are in a D/s relationship, no matter where you are, what you are doing, somewhere in the back of your mind is the knowledge that you own, or that you are owned. The method of expressing this is through ritual - I talked to her about my Monday morning emails to The Photographer in which I shared by upcoming week with him. She mentioned she likes to get text messages and frequently instructs her submissives to send her one in the morning then one in the evening. The part that interested me was that despite protestations of wanting to be trained by her, of needing her terribly badly, so many of them had fallen down on following up on this simple little request.

We mulled over whether it was really "simple" or really "little", eventually deciding that, yes, it was not a huge thing to ask. I pointed out that if someone had asked me to do so I'd have enjoyed the fact that they wanted to hear from me at regular intervals - it would have felt caring and supportive to have them require something from me. And if it made them happy, I'd have done my work as a submissive with the mere press of a button. Plus it was a test that I could win at, then be considered a good girl. Perfect. But the boys she contacted could not seem to do it. Or they would do so for a couple of days then forget, or cite drunkeness (a cipher for forgetting, no doubt). So we wondered - could they all be so forgetful or could it be something else, a difference in attitude? Perhaps, unlike the pair of us who view D/s as part of ourselves, they saw it instead as something to pick up and drop, whenever you were in the mood or in the moment.

It was, we realised, a litmus test for a perfect pairing. The task reflected exactly the sort of relationship that both Milady and I enjoy - it was ongoing, but not overly invasive or impractical and showed a consistent duty of care for both parties. The inability of the boys to complete the task foreshadowed other incompatibilities that arose later on. We became fascinated by it, from a social anthropology point of view, wondering if perhaps it was something gender specific that made the boys unable to follow through despite their stated desires or something else and how you could use this behaviour to understand the type of relationship they wanted. Only an experiment will do, we decided. Take an hundred submissives and set them the same task: "text me twice a day for five days without fail and then we can meet and play". Difficult to do without leading anyone on and there would have to be an amount of untruth to not skew the end result. However, we both agreed that those who did send the messages would be those who were interested in the act itself and consequently interested in that style of D/s - in short, the ones worth meeting up with.

Maybe my attraction to this idea says more about myself than about those I might survey. The need for games, for tests, for people to prove themselves. That I have been let down and want reassurance before trusting, that I have problems with abandonment and require ongoing, frequent contact to assuage the constant worry of being left or being forgotten about. But since I know these anxieties are part of me it's not especially revelatory to find that I seek someone who can provide those things. Unlike physical attraction, compatible psychological characteristics are harder to see at first glance, or even at the first meeting. You get them through question and answer. Input and response. In other words - tests.

There are those who look down on tests, who argue that it is a ridiculous female obsession - to be constantly checking and re-checking in such an obvious fashion. Like a version of those "is he the right one for me" quizes in terrible magazines that decant a relationship into five to ten a, b, c or d responses. However I do think that being able to question a relationship, to analyse it and understand it is important in order to know whether it is right for you - or, to put a more positive spin on things, to work out the bits that aren't working so well and make the better. If you can firmly say that "when you do X I feel bad" because you have been able to filter out that particular cause of stress then provided your partner is supportive and willing, you can eliminate it. If you do not know what is wrong then how can you ever make something right?