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The online diary of an ethical pervert.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Lap dancing versus my hypocrisy

I've been following the Policing and Crime Bill on a semi-casual basis, most particularly because of the sections concerning sexual activity, including prostitution and lap dancing clubs and the licensing of so-termed "sex encounter venues" which I assume will include fetish clubs. There's an interesting (although potentially also painful to read) series of comments directed at Lord Norton's stubby article in which seeks the opinion of the internet denizens. A number of things have caught my eye, both within the wording of the bill itself and the various bits of commentary and opinions surrounding it. There's talk of exploitation, trafficking, of NIMBYism and of overzealous and needless government interference in the God given right of men to look at tits - I'm paraphrasing and in doing so showing my prejudices. So let's have a look at that.

Lap dancing. Something I feel very uncomfortable about. I don't especially like them and I often feel very contradictory and even hypocritical when discussing the reasons why, so I'm going to have another go at trying to pin down what it is, precisely, about lap dancing and similar acts of paid for exposure that turn me cold.

It can't be the nudity.
After all, I have been naked, for the purposes of sexual titilation, in front of people in public places and I'm reasonably sure I'm not a prude. So let's examine the differences, then I'll attempt to work out whether they are relevant to me or not. First, I'm not being paid to do it, unlike the stripper. Second, I'm doing it because I want to do it for my own sexual gratification, because I'm an exhibitionist (without getting into the arguments surrounding the motivations of strippers, I can only speak for myself here). Third, I'm doing it in a BDSM / fetish context, alongside other people who are of a similar mindset. When I do it, it's usually as a part of or a prelude to play, and not usually expressly in front of an audience - one might form, but they aren't my focus, the dom (or doms if I'm lucky) and what they are doing to me is. I'm not just naked, I'm extra-special M&S naked.

Right. Three differences then. Ideally I want to be able to dissect them without veering into the "it's ok if I do it, but not you" territory because that isn't especially helpful and is also extraordinarily patronising not to mention ridiculous because the amount of knowledge I have about the life of your average stripper or lap dancer is practically nil. I'm going to try and focus on what it is about the activity itself that gives me problems, not the people doing it.

I'm going to discount the "sexual gratification" one, which although interesting really is all about whether or not the stripper wants to be a stripper in the same way as I want to be naked in a club. I'm fairly sure that's not the case, but without doing some interviews, I can't know other people's motivations for doing anything and therefore can't really take them into account when discussing this.

So I'm going to assume that lap dancing is something people do for a job because they need the money and that in this hypothetical instance they have not been coerced or trafficked (because those latter things are obviously bad, but I do not think that all lap dancers have been forced into the profession and I also think that coercion and trafficking are awful things if they happen to non-lap dancers). Which leaves me with the money aspect.

Is it this the thorny issue? Maybe. I certainly had some problematic thoughts over how I felt regarding a potential paid-for sexual encounter that came on my radar in the past. However, I don't especially regard prostitution as an inherently bad thing, merely that I don't want to do it, although it is perhaps telling that I automatically lump stripping in with prostitution, falling as they both do in my category of "sexual things done for money". But it isn't the payment aspect which makes me dislike it. I think it's more along the lines of what they are paying for and the attitudes that this very public system of exchange generates.

When I think "lap dancing" what I actually think of, once thoughts of sleazy bars with sticky carpets have faded is the fact that they are very much skewed towards providing naked female flesh for the consumption of heterosexual males. Yes, there are male strippers, but nowhere near as many. For me, lap dancing clubs are emblematic of a deeply ingrained problem within society - that of the commercial availability of women's bodies. Woman as sexual commodity. The lap dancers wriggle around for the money in men's pockets and this adds to the huge pile of weighty social acts which designate female as purchasable and men as holding the purse strings. It's a public act of female powerlessness. And I hate it.

So here's the rub. How can I. who have enjoyed sexual service, stood naked and been flogged in public, done any number of sexualised, public acts with my female body have a leg to stand on when criticising the public availability of "woman for sale" or female powerlessness? I have enjoyed many acts of my own powerlessness, am I contributing to the problem as well as being totally hypocritical when I savage other acts of powerlessness?

Because it's my body and I can do what I damn well please with it and still demand to have my opinions treated with the utmost respect regardless of what I do or don't do in bed. That just because one woman wants to do it doesn't mean all women do, and just because I did it once doesn't mean I want to do it again or do it with you. Because there is a fundamental and vitally important difference between individually submitting to someone you trust and who cares about you in a consenting activities and being paid to be powerless in front of an uncaring stranger who sees you as a piece of flesh.

Even as I type this, I know that those two acts described above could look practically indistinguishable, but I genuinely feel there is a difference. I don't think I've quite yet bottomed this out, and I'm still somewhat nervous that I'm neither as clear nor as free from contradictions as I'd like to be. Work in progress, then.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

It's oh so quiet...

I'm at home with my family at the moment, deep in the countryside of Northern England where I can lick my wounds and rest up. I needed a break, not to put too fine a point on it, and home is certainly that. There is very little to do - I know that in a few days I shall be bored and therefore probably feeling better and ready to return, but for now I am content to drink endless cups of tea, chat with my Mum every now and then about the end of the relationship as well as getting updates on the day-to-day gossip of a rural hamlet.

Just as my parents surprised me with their reaction to poly, they also surprised me with their reaction to the break up, realistically I should know them better by now and stop being worried by what they might think, given that they always turn up trumps. They have been very supportive, without being critical of the relationship itself, except to comment that they were unsure whether it was right for me, although they did like The Photographer. They have, otherwise, just let me talk, without offering opinions on what to do next or how I should behave or feel. I am a lot calmer here, felt the weight leave my shoulders as I left the city. Not because I dislike the city, I love it, but it is also the centre of many things, of my life with him, reminders of us and places we've been. It's also a place where I have to be many things to many people - who I am at work, at home, out with friends. Here I don't have to do or be anything - from not even having to prepare dinner through to not needing to go to work. It's a retreat, I guess, only instead of new age counsellors I've got my folks.

I feel more practical and pragmatic here - I can say with certainty that my relationship with The Photographer is over, that it has no long-term future unless he leaves his other partner or dramatically changes the way he negotiates polyamory. I can also say that I know this to be extremely unlikely. Yes, this makes me very unhappy, but it doesn't make me unhappy enough to try again, because that would be the emotional equivalent of beating my head against a brick wall. I am not sure how this stance will hold when I'm back in the Smoke, or when he and I meet up again, but for the moment, I'm more solid.

As an aside, my kinky exploration is currently confined to the internet and I found an interesting article in the Tate magazine on English art and flagellation (le vice anglais, si tu veux?) which put in a good word for female monarchs encouraging male submission. The problem with Elizabeth I is that for some reason she reminds me of Margaret Thatcher - I have no idea why - and then the thought of grovelling men is nowhere near as interesting especially as it seems to stem from true fear and powerlessness rather than submission proper.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Bite my lip and close my eyes

Right. It has been a month since I last had sex. This is both important and relevant. Important because this is an extremely unusual event for me, especially as, right now I have no desire to have sex, additionally quite unusual. So I'm feeling a little freakish. Usually this is the point where one accepts that the libido is connected to the brain in some as-yet-unknown-to-science manner and because I'm down and unhappy therefore I don't want sex. That's not quite true in this case. I don't want to have sex with someone else. The thought of actually going out, meeting someone, taking them home to fuck them leaves me totally cold.

One-night stands have never had any particular appeal (it always seemed to be some kind of pot-luck event where the odds were very much stacked against you). Here, it's not so much concerns over whether it will be any good, more that all of the associated periphery activity will certainly generate too much hassle, effort and anxiety. For a start, you have to talk to people, new people and right now I'm just about managing not to piss off the people I do know who are all being very understanding about my social prickles. Then you either have to bring someone home or go over to their house, Whatever way it happens, it's unfamiliar and I'm not really energised or focused in a way that makes me want to put on my Indiana Jones hat and go exploring. Under normal circumstances, all of this would be exciting, challenging and something I'd be chomping at the bit to engage with.

I'm caught in a bit of a double bind. I do want to go out, find someone and have sex. Conceptually. In my mind the idea works and it all happens perfectly, not a word or body part out of place. It's all easy and there's no complications, plus there's someone warm to wake up to and slide up against in the morning. In reality, I know this won't happen. Quite apart from the fact that actually getting ready, going out and acquiring such a person is a herculean task in and of itself, I can't guarantee the results. And I want, no, need guaranteed results at the moment - nothing unforeseen, nothing worrisome, nothing that might go wrong. Hence the wanking. At least I know which buttons to push and I can control the whole process.

Consequently, I've decided that there's nothing wrong with my libido and everything wrong with my social behaviour. It's not the fucking, it's fucking people. I'm mediating all of my desire and stimulation entirely through masturbation and imagined fantasies, which is stopping me from climbing the walls but also reminding me of what I'm not doing, what I don't have. Masturbation is a stop gap, it's a thing to do to keep the body ticking over and the orgasm level topped up (I'm a two a day girl, how about you?) on the days when I wasn't seeing my partner. It's something I do when I'm bored, which also means that it can occasionally make me feel bored. It's also a lonely activity, after the initial swell and crash of the orgasm, once the warm blankness has receded, you come to a little, you are by yourself.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Proud submission

Kiss Curls and I have been chatting, which is nice, she's a smart lady and we tend to be on the same page. She's also recently finished a relationship with a poly couple, so we are currently sharing a lot of subject matter. I'm looking forward to meeting her for dinner next week where we can delve into things face to face, additionally a joint promise of ice-cream has been made.

We've talked a lot about break ups, especially in conjunction with submission. I've been reasonably careful not to create too many links between my submissive identity and the breakdown of the relationship. Firstly because I don't want future acts of submission (which there will be, hopefully!) to be put in the shadow of this, secondly because there was a petering off in our D/s connection which was symptomatic of the problems we were having as a couple - in other words, we were worried about the relationship and as a result the D/s lessened, not the other way around. The love, the relationship was primary, the D/s was something that we did within that context.

However, there is certainly a link between the origin of my submissive traits and the responses and feelings I'm having over the break up. I say "origin" because my submission is not about adopting a persona, it's about having the opportunity to express (sometimes in extreme ways) thoughts and beliefs I already have in a safe and controlled environment.
This is coming a little close to sounding like "BDSM as therapy" - a pet hate of mine. I don't think it is - in the way that I don't think my thoughts or desires are damaging. Similarly expressing them through BDSM is not about getting rid of them in the same way that talk therapy works for some problems. Better to consider it as a way of enjoying myself, of doing things that I want to do, in ways that are normally socially unacceptable, dangerous or a bit weird. I'm a submissive, not a bottom - that means I enjoy not just the physical stimulation but the mental backdrop and context to it. A gag is constricting and pleasant to feel in the mouth - a gag to make you shut up because you are just a fucktoy is exciting. I'm an active participant mentally as well as physically, emotionally too if the situation is good enough.

So what does that mean in this case? It means that certain, innate personality tropes which can express themselves in submission also give me a particular outlook on relationship break ups that are similar to other submissives. This isn't about the loss a submissive feels when the dom leaves, which I'd argue is a different thing, it's about the things that make us submissive also giving us particular ways of coping, or not coping, with the end of any relationship. I imagine that there are vanilla people with similar outlooks and responses, who do not identify as submissive, but who would certainly fall into that category if they had the opportunity and inclination. Patterns of loss.

Our main thesis was around that curious thing - the submissive ego. And there is one, sometimes rather a large one, after all, how can you give up or submit if you don't have anything to let go of or offer up? The submissive ego, certainly for myself and Kiss Curls is about pride - pride in being pleasing, pride in making someone else happy, deriving pleasure and satisfaction from a job well done be it that instance of play or of sustaining a long, happy, kinky relationship.
We were both very interested to find we both considered pride as key to how our submission operated, it made a lot of sense in terms of who we are as people - our work ethic, our belief in ourselves, our own intelligence and self-determining outlook. All good things, in the right place. But all things in which the onus is put on ourselves, to succeed and to make things work, regardless of the situation.

When it works positively, pride is the source of effort and willpower, the thing that keeps you going, that lets you get through the pain or the discomfort. It's also the thing that makes humiliation, pet-play and other ego puncturing activities so amazingly powerful and erotic. Pride is good. When things go wrong within the relationship, pride turns on itself, becoming guilt, self-criticism and perceived failure. If the submissive is the one who is working hard to make the other person happy and the relationship fails, then (according to pride) it must be the submissive at fault. Within this context, only the actions of the submissive are given any value, although it is a negative value, which is of course, illogical, irrational and just plain obviously wrong, however, knowing something and really feeling it are two completely different things, especially when you are hurt and casting around for answers.

This is where I attempt to add 2 plus 2 and potentially make 5 because I'm now going to try and link this together with my issues over acceptance. I know that it's important to accept what has happened in order to be able to more comfortable deal with it, a big part of that is swallowing my pride, which is a large mouthful, I'll freely admit. And I'm still working on it.

Monday, 19 October 2009


I'm becoming talked out. Seriously. I am not really sure how many more ways I can say the same thing over and over again (often to the same people) or rewrite the same sort of thoughts (often in the same places). I'm stuck in a mental rut, which is unfortunate and tiring. Like a hamster on a wheel I'm going around and around. None of this is surprising, but a conversation yesterday made it very clear to me why this is the case and what I need to do about it. It's because I can't quite believe that there isn't a way for me to "fix things". I'm not very good at accepting situations the way that they are, especially hurtful and difficult situations. I want to make things better, for others and naturally, myself. So, not only am I very upset about breaking up with The Photographer but I'm also wearing myself out trying to find a way to get back together with him. I like to have a plan, you see, a process to follow. A direction to take. The problem solving one would be ideal except for the fact that there is currently no solution. So I go round and round. Time to try and get off the merry-go-round. The only way to do that is to break out of the cycle, part of which is accepting that now, and possibly forever, there is no solution.

Easier typed than done, of course.

I've had lots of conversations about heartbreak recently. A few people have compared it to grieving, which has certain similarities. Things are lost and there has been a break with the expected movement of the world. Something and someone that you loved is gone. The thing about grief, as I understand it, from my fairly limited experience, is that it's a process, etched in the common consensus as the reasonably disputed Kubler Ross model. Whilst this is a bit too pat and one-two-three to really reflect human experience - grief is essentially unique to each person and to each instance, there is one thing that seems to be key to surviving the whole thing. Acceptance.

Acceptance is hard. Acceptance, in this case, means stopping beating my head against a brick wall. It also means forgiving myself a little bit, that it wasn't my fault the relationship broke down and that I had worked as hard as I could to try and make it work. Sadly, this is one of those problems that cannot be resolved by just trying harder. I can type these things. It's going to take a little bit longer to really, really believe them. But I'm going to try.

For me, part of trying has been to break the communication black-out and get back in touch with him again. Restate the situation, check if anything has changed. It hadn't. And I didn't break down about it. I got upset, but I was also made strangely calm - repetition as a learning device is a bit primary school, but clearly my brain needs a bit of back-to-basics in order to really accept what has happened.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Great expectations

"Our problem is that we have really high expectations of relationships." A conversation had over dinner, with a vanilla friend. I disagreed. Not on the subject of expectations - I'll set the bar as high as I feel it needs to go on the understanding that I'm prepared (and happy) to give as good as I get. My response was that I don't think it's a "problem", a problem is something to worry about, something wrong or amiss. Something to be resolved and made to go away. Snobbish and pseudy as it may sound, having high expectations should never be considered as a problem.

Which isn't to say that they make life easy. I expect a lot, that's fair to say. From life, from lovers, from everything, really. And I won't accept half measures - almost good enough is not good enough. Period. I don't want to be on either side of that equation: the person who isn't getting what they want or the person who isn't giving the right thing. Again, this may be where my obsession with balance and with exchange comes in. I'm not naive enough to believe that love will always find a way or that hard work is it's own reward. There will always be an element of luck or chance in meeting the right person, happening upon the right situation. It's what you do when you've got there, how you behave and how you deal with problems, real problems, when they arise.

It's also about what you do when it doesn't quite work, when you can't square the circle. When what you have does not match up to what you wanted, when the image in your mind is not the same as reality, where nothing you can do can make it so. That's where I am now, living the reality of being an "all or nothing" person and currently putting up with nothing. I bit the bullet and cut all ties because I couldn't live happily ever after with what was on offer. But I still miss what I had, what I had hoped it would become and what I had desperately wanted us to make work. Which is why a part of me, a big part of me, is waiting for that phone call. Because whilst I'm still living in the hope of getting everything there's only a very short list of who I want it from.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Shaved heads

I wanted to share another pet subject of mine: shaven heads. I love them on boys, but they must be the precise length, just a little amount of fuzz to be strokeable but nowhere near enough to grab hold of (that's what collars and leads are for, surely?) I like the fact that something which can ostensibly be seen as macho would, in this instance, be something submitted to. It's also a nice punishment piece. Especially if they have that sort of pretty-boy floppy hair that's doing the rounds. I've always wanted to shave Hugh Grant's head, or Paul Bettany. All the associations are fantastic - slave, captive, thing, animal, pet. I think of Samson, those locks of strength curling down onto the floor.

For girls, it's even more impactful, the short, sharp, shock has never been in the traditional female haircuts list. This isn't the gamine, elfin crop that lends itself a coquettish air of androgyny (the kind of haircut I currently sport, for example). This is full-on, eye catching and damn obvious, which is why I desire to do it and why I'm scared to do so. It isn't cute, it's hard. It's also much more likely to provoke questions, not all of them good. There is the aesthetic issue. I would worry a little about how it looks, whether my ears would stick out, whether I would look strange (I know that looking strange is part of the point, but there's strange and strange - we want to look kinky and we want to look good doing it). Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder though, and if you had someone commenting on how hot it was regularly and it provoking the response of them jumping on you the minute you got in the house then I think that might go a long way to overcoming any such issues.

Then there's the fact that it's not something you can take on and off. It's permanent - or at least around for a few months. You have to go out with it, to the shops, to work. Everywhere. On a very mundane level, I'd get a cold head in winter and a burnt one in summer - having to hide such a status symbol under a hat seems to miss the point. Then there's the chemotherapy link: someone I know, when commenting on a woman who had shaved her hair, thought it was cruel on those "poor women who have lost their hair" - an indictment to the extent with which womanhood is associated with hirsuteness (only on the head, eyebrows and eyelashes though - everywhere else it must be removed!) That's not really the response I'd be gunning for and it's strange to think that if I did take the plunge there might be those who would look badly on me for doing so. The shaved head = lesbian is a stereotype I am happier to deal with, it's not true, but it at least points people in the right direction. Yeah, it's a sexual thing. No, I'm not gay. But keep going... (insert knowing look and a wink here).

So why would I want to do it? I love the statement it can make - getting rid of all those feminising associations of long Goldilocks tresses and I love it as something to offer up to a dom. I love my hair, I love colouring it and messing about with it, I love it's softness and buy nice smelling shampoos. It would be a big thing to give up and therefore an important and valuable thing, a measure of trust and ownership. Like tattoos and piercings altering the body alters my perception of its use, its purpose: it's the map upon which I design my life. In many ways, I operate my D/s as an ongoing system of exchange. I give up this in exchange for that. Power dynamic as tit for tat. I give you my hair and you give me the security and safety of being yours, for example. The shaven head is the sign that I am yours, like a collar, but worn everyday. Obvious, part of me and visible to all.

Whether on a boy or a girl, this should never, ever be done at the hairdressers. Oh no. The hair - or lack thereof - is a statement, a symbol of the connection between the sub and dom. A regular little ritual, to sit or kneel down and, perhaps locking wrists behind your back, closing your eyes, whilst they use a set of clippers to take away your crowning glory and leave you to sweep it into the bin. Walking or crawling back into bed to lay an almost naked scalp onto their shoulder.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Wax venus

Arranged a trip for a bunch of local perverts to go around the Exquisite Bodies exhibit at the Wellcome Collection. Ended up just being myself and Knight of Wands, which ended up suiting me just fine, as it turned out. I also cannot recommend the attached bookshop enough - stacks and stacks of volumes on subjects such as hysteria, prostitution in Victorian England, the history of sex and sexuality. I felt as if a lot of instructive reading could take place there and now at least have a useful outlet for those random book tokens I still get on high days and holidays.

We caught up a little over coffee and cake whilst waiting to see if anyone else would show - he commented that all of the things I've talked about in recent posts were totally at odds with his own life view so it was interesting to get a reasonably impartial (at least, outwith my own relationship) viewpoint on the whole poly break-up thing. It's a needs and wants problem, or a definition problem - the meaning of words like "love", "commitment", "special" and "together". We discussed the whole winning and losing scenario, he doesn't see it in the same light as I do and, doubtless, neither does The Photographer, but then everyone wins and loses on their own terms. We didn't go over anything I didn't know or didn't discuss, but batted about the whys and wherefores until they'd grown cold with the coffee on the table.

Then it was on to the displays. I am always intrigued by any exhibition which claims to shock or provoke a response, especially one with a message that you might find it "disturbing". Wax models, in the main, but also some old medical text books with lift up flaps revealing intricate and beautifully drawn internal organs. The fact that most of the exposed corpses were female came as no surprise. The saving grace of many of these models in an age of worries over moral decline was the association of artistry in their creation and many were beautiful - disconcertingly passive, but beautiful. Images and representations of beautiful, passive, naked women have long been a mainstay of art and it was only the perfectly constructed lungs and lights, open for all to see, that differentiated them from any number of traditional gallery exhibits. There was sexuality in their exposure, no doubt about it - lips were parted and in some cases legs too, a slight bend of the knee indicating a casually erotic pose of a woman at rest, assured in everything that she revealed. Yet, at the same time, unresisting and unresponsive. These were models made to be viewed and touched - to have their innermost parts taken out and put back, turned over in (men's) hands and replaced. It speaks volumes about our (hopefully) historic associations of femininity that the models were female and not male.

There were male parts, and literally parts. Torsos, hands and arms, no full, naked body revealing itself to the viewer. Then there was another section, hid coyly behind a red velvet curtain with the instruction that some viewers may be offended at what they might see. Like peeping toms we parted the cloth to see wax representations of diseased penises and vaginae. Squat, square partial models, taking the hips as a frame. No faces here, lest we connect menfolk with exposure or such accommodating sexuality. Why hid the penis, I wondered? A touch of showmanship rather than outright prudery? Certainly the exhibition was set up with the allure of the circus freak show, which many of the models on display at some point ended up being a part of, there were unusual physiologies on display alongside the normative, airbrushed Venuses. Maybe it was the diseases that were being kept out of sight rather than the genitalia, for wherever you looked smooth, healthy cunts were on display for all to see. But no healthy penises. Sadly, I had to admit that it might simply be the ongoing assumption that somehow the naked penis is more of a shock / important sight than the naked cunt.

My favourite was a 19th century British piece. A wax Venus, but unlike the older, Italian models this one was not blandly staring. The wax skin had a tinge of green to it and the organs, rather than being in perfectly tessellating pastel blocks of pink and lilac were muddy and livid, spilling out from her stomach where the skin had been peeled back. She looked real. She looked like a corpse. Her eyes were closed and her mouth drooped, revealing bad teeth. She was not sexy, like the others, but she did stand out. This was no doctor's barbie doll, but an attempt to give a realistic version of death and the body.

I'd have been interested in getting a feel for other viewpoints on the displays. I'd be especially interested in restaging it - with boys as well as girls, and someone to give a proper anatomy lesson. I absolutely found some of the pieces erotic, no doubt about that, falling firmly into all of my push-button points like objectification, exhibitionism, passive dolls and objects d'art. I also found it a little strange and slightly grotesque (from which derives the eroticism I believe - had it just been pretty it would have remained exactly that, but the aura surrounding it and the context made it genuinely erotic). I also like the idea that for some people, current and contemporary to the pieces themselves, these items would have been revealing, shocking, daring and perhaps even both beautiful and disgusting.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Perfectly normal

You'll have to excuse me whilst I use this as a forum for screaming into a bucket. The alternative is to go and find an actual bucket, which may well also occur. Things are not going well, to say the least. This morning I sacrificed the last shred of my dignity onto the altar of my feelings - phoning The Photographer to beg him (yes, I used those words, yes, I am now mortified not to mention guilty over absurdly dramatic language) to leave his other partner. Of course, he said no. Of course, I cried. Of course, I'm an idiot for doing it in the first place. But there's a part of me that needed to be that blunt and needed to do that thing. Because I am not rational, I am about as far from rational as it is possible to be whilst still being in control of a keyboard and internet connection. Part of this irrationality involves trying absolutely anything that might, in some way, make the situation manageable. And by manageable, I mean to fix it, to be together with him again.

I'm still stuck in that place. The place which states that if two people really cared about each other that much then there would be a way to resolve this. Even though he wants polyamory and I want monogamy (which are about as uncompromising as you could get, as situations go) surely there should be a way. In black and white, typed on the page or speaking to friends with my non-wobbly voice, I know that there is not. It doesn't work. The circle cannot be squared. But I keep coming back to it like a tongue probing a tooth, finger nail picking at scabs. I know it won't get better if I keep picking at it, however the temptation is too great. I think I need a straitjacket for my brain, or an emotional version those cotton mitts that they give children with eczema, to stop them from scratching their skin at night.

People keep asking me how I'm doing and I pause for a moment before replying "shit" (if they are friends) or "ok" (if I'm at work). Neither are precisely true. I'm a mess. I'm all over the place. I feel a lot like an empty glass which every now and then gets too full up of these watery feelings and spills. I shout, stamp and get upset. Then I'm all empty again. This is, according to my mother, perfectly normal. The things that I want are perfectly normal. The feelings I have, the way that I am upset is also perfectly normal. My frustration, anger and sorrow are perfectly normal.

I am coming to the very rapid conclusion that "perfectly normal" is a terrible state to be and would much rather be both imperfect and freakish.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Material girl

I've been sorting through my wardrobe, filling it with the lovely fabrics and colours of autumn and winter; getting rid of all the silly summer dresses that make me uncomfortable (people seeing my naked legs in clubs is perfectly fine, people on the street is less fine). This has made me think about the types and styles of clothes that are not just sexy, but kinky. Silk, for example is sexy, the cool feel of it against skin, the way it slides over the body. It's not kinky though, not to me - it's comfortable and wonderful to slip on a wrap after a play session and relax into each other. Sexy. But not kinky. Stockings are sexy, but ripped tights, especially along the knees from crawling on something sharp, or long marks from fingernails are kinky.

I know a lot of folk are fond of leather, certainly it has good background, not only as a tough and durable material for all sorts of straps and cuffs but associations of armour, both historic and modern. Similarly, the armour quality also works on a metaphorical or symbolic level - who has not put on a leather coat and felt a little stronger, a little more powerful? Whether bikers, rock stars, cowboys or maverick cops leather has an association with that kind of individuality that binds certain people together. It's a tribal marking, encapsulated in the kinky-verse by the word "leatherman" to give a good example.

For me, pvc is the ultimate kinky fabric. I love the way it shines, especially black pvc clinging tight to curves and edges. It reminds me of robots, mannequins and sex dolls - the pvc acting as a fake, plastic "skin" that turns the body into a kinky body. I like the way pvc feels slightly tacky and sticky, especially from the inside, when it begins to sweat a little. Even better, plastic wrap for a mummy - held tighter than a lover could ever manage, and with pressure exerted from everywhere - total encasement, with the added knowledge that you must look, from the outside, like a perfect, shiny, somewhat alien pod. Ready for something to emerge.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Cold Turkey

It's important to know when to stop. In BDSM as in life. To realise the point where pain has gone from being just this side of bearable to being too much. To know when and how you can go past that point and when you can't. Sometimes you just have to down tools and step away, get a clear head then work out what's next.

So this is where myself and The Photographer find ourselves. A weekend shutting ourselves from the world is exactly that - come Monday reality bites. In more ways than one. The cold light of day does no-one any favours, we've all been there, watching the glow fade away only to have those same insecurities creep in with the morning sun. I'm a sad addict for the way his skin smells and tastes, for how strong his chest and arms feel when he wraps me up, for his kisses and his cock. Like any addict, feeding the need does not sate desire and neither does it ameliorate the situation - which is that the things we want, we cannot have and it's driving us both a little nuts with the confusion.

I can't wean myself off being in love with little samples here and there, I'll only end up feeling more denied. Which is where the decision comes in. To stop. To let go and try and deal with it by myself - no using him as a sexual prop or emotional shoulder to cry on, not least because there's got to be some sort of guilt-trip (not purposefully or cruelly) involved in that process.

It's strange. The first time I've ever been by myself without any sort of partner for about ten years. I feel panicked and also confounded - like I've thrown myself of a bridge but haven't actually plummeted down. It is bad, yes, it's horrible. But it's not as bad as I thought it might be. I'm still here and now that it's just me there's time to work out what that means.