Read all about it

The online diary of an ethical pervert.

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Mistress Fanservice

I spent last evening being variously angry and disappointed at the portrayal of Irene Adler in BBC's Sherlock. I don't usually use this space to comment on the happenings of fictional characters, but I was so taken aback at this portrayal of a dominatrix that I wanted to explore some of her "characterisation" and why it was wrong.

First, some preamble, just to stake my claim for why this is quite so important: this kind of bullshit in the media really fucks with how I am perceived. And how my friends are perceived. I'm a dominant woman. I know a lot of other dominant women, both professionals and non-professionals. I also know a few sex workers who are not dominant. I know kinky straight women, kinky bi women and kinky gay women. To the best of my knowledge, none of us has fucked Kate Middleton, and for the record, of all the royals, Harry would be my preference. With this experience, and with zero interest in relations between this product and the original story (there's a good article discussing those writing choices over here) I am going to simply outline why this character is a terrible depiction of a dominant woman.

Dominant women are not just uber femme seductresses. Now, I accept that the "femme type" is a standard tool in the arsenal of the female dominant. However, there are many, many others and many, many different types of desire and sexuality that a professional female dominant works with. Particularly true I would hazard, for one who has worked with the wide range of clients that this character appears to have. We don't see any of that, in fact, aside from the fact that we are constantly told she is a dominant, she appears as a seductive woman. This is not, I repeat, not the same thing as a dominant woman. This is the main problem with the entire portrayal of the character, she isn't a dominant. She's a seductress: she uses sex as a substitute for power. Dominants use power as a substitute for sex. Her clothing neatly illustrates this:
she sweeps us through row upon row of glamorous frocks when deciding what to wear to greet Sherlock. No militaria, no rubber, no leather. No fetish outfits of any kind. Not even a pair of jeans and a white vest top. Maybe there's another wardrobe somewhere. And speaking of things that should be there but aren't...

Where's the kit? Personal opinion here, kids, but I don't really believe in the whole "I can dominant you with only the power of my mind" theory of dominance. I know what I've enjoyed as a submissive, and I know what submissives I've played with have enjoyed.
And that's having a lot of horrible things done to them with a variety of objects as well as good D/s. Dominance is very strongly correlated with S&M and fetish. I honestly don't know a single kinky person who doesn't like some aspects of these things. I certainly know no professionals who don't, because doing those things and having access to that kit partly what you get paid for. The flat we are shown has none of this. Nothing. Oh no, wait. There's a riding crop. A slim, feminine riding crop. And a sliver of black rope around a present. This is all very soft stuff, and the continual portrayal of female dominants as soft, mysterious and delicate is deeply annoying. We like doing hard, heavy and nasty things.

Dominant women are not two dimensional sex obsessed freaks.
Irene appears unable to say any sentence that does not reference sexuality or the fact that she fucks for money. She does nothing else, there is nothing else to her. Every single bloody line. Now, even for us who live the lifestyle 24/7, we have other interests, interests not connected with world domination. Being dominant is something that is part of life, and for me it is a deep and meaningful element of my personality. But I don't talk about it all the time, far from it. There are many situations in which it is entirely inappropriate to do so. Dominant women are both women and people as well as dominants.

No dominant worth their salt, male or female, would ever upon seeing their submissive, unconscious on the floor step over them with an uncaring shrug and a quip. This was the moment in the show that I actually put a (submissive) blanket over my head and refused to come out until the scene had ended. Seriously. The CIA have broken into your house and your submissive is lying on the floor. Any dominant I know would immediately rush over, check them and then tell everyone else to fuck off until they had made sure their submissive was fully recovered. Sod the mysterious detective malarkey, real kinsters know their priorities.

Sex workers are not waiting for the right man to come and save them, to help them or to make everything magically better. This is doubly true if they are gay dominant women. The very worst stereotypes of sexualised women are presented in this character for the consumption of the male viewer: the tart with the heart, lipstick lesbianism, women as manipulated by men, feminine emotions as critical weakness, seductive women defeated by male intellectual superiority. It is high time we got past all of this.
Dominant women are actually dominant. Seriously. They are capable, self-aware and real people who can do things for themselves, by themselves because they want to.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Ghost of Christmas past

"I can't carry on, you've just blown my mind."

It's a cruel trick to play, but it works really, really well. I love a good head fuck. I call this one "the submissive boy on top". I flip him over so he's fucking in the way that a vanilla boy might, hands on my shoulders, hips between my legs, gazing down and me then I watch as he realises that he is not in the driving seat. The short-circuit happens when the submissive feelings clash with the muscle memory of other women, other situations. His desire to please me is a physical, visceral thing, I can read it in the hardness of his cock, the twitch in his lower back. The confusion between his understanding of "traditional" desire and the way he feels right now is a wonderful thing to behold. His eyes widen and he stops dead, staring at me as if I'd just performed some impossible magic trick.

"Oh sweetheart, it's got nothing to do with the angles."

I flip him over again, and he tumbles as if made of paper and string. Resting my head on his shoulder, we talk into the night about dominance and desire. I let him lick my clit and bring me to orgasm, accepting his grateful thanks alongside his tongue.

In a moment of inspired madness, spurred by my mother enquiring over the course of many, many weeks whether perhaps I had a "friend" who I would like to bring home for the holidays I invited Ten to come and spend Christmas with my family. In the wake of my confessions of bisexuality which so upset my Mum this provided me with excellent heterosexual normal credentials as well as a spot of submissive company in my childhood bedroom. It is also a lovely side note to the fact that around eleven years ago he was supposed to come home for Christmas but then we broke up.

In less cynical terms, and I'm afraid I am becoming a little cynical, it also gave both of us some time to explore the nascent yet ongoing D/s relationship we have been, more or less, pursuing for many, many years.

We spent a few relaxing days amidst my family (who have since phoned to say that they thought he was a very nice young man, I agreed). We spent a few nights where I let him indulge his favourite activity of lavishing worshipful attentions on me as I re instructed him in the precise methods of orgasm. The ease of our power exchange would be frightening if it weren't for the way it feels so right. As with all well-matched partners the D/s is simple because each of us is giving and taking precisely as much as we want. The fact that, for him, a lot of this is still new, only really adds to my satisfaction. I enjoy being the first one to take him to these places, and to be the first, perhaps the sole person, who inspires these reactions.

It's a strange mental space to be in, now, back home and many miles away. Now we are separated once more, for however long. I left him, a little wobbly-legged but well-fucked, on the train platform. We spoke briefly about future plans, though we've spoken about those before and I know him well enough to not hold him to account. I'm curiously calm, at other times I would be building castles in the air, imaginary futures. That doesn't mean I wouldn't like for things to continue. I've been conducting aftercare via text message whilst really wishing he was resting his head in my lap.

I remain, ultimately, pragmatic about this. We live far apart, he travels a lot, I hate leaving London. We both love each other, but I don't feel in love and that's an important distinction. I enjoyed our time together, as I always enjoy our time together, and the little gifts, cards and messages I sporadically receive from wherever he is in the world. The question of whether he could ever be anything other than the icing on the cake is unanswered. I've left it in his court. As fond of him as I am, and I am very fond of him, I have no intention of turning my life upside down for anything less than wholehearted commitment, and that's a "C" word which goes alongside "C for cynicism".

Separating the Christmas present from future.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Reading (unwritten) rules

Following on from my thoughts on KSL and Torture Garden, I've been the way developing some methods of improving interactions in sex clubs, fetish clubs or at kinky parties. This is both a distillation of my own opinions and how I want to fulfil my own desires, so your mileage may vary. There's two main aspects here, one is around meeting new people, with the possible intention of fucking or playing with them, and the other is around the public play / sex and the aftermath. I'm going to be using "sex" as a bit of a catch-all term in this post to cover all manner of sexual encounters that are not about putting bits of genitalia in other bits - so I'm using sex to include BDSM play, sexualised games and similar.

Let's take the social bit first. We're British, so we have a lot of unwritten (though Watching The English does write some of them down, and it's a fascinating read) rules on how, when and where we can relate to each other. These all count for double when we are around strangers. And triple when they are potentially sexually available strangers, potentially available for potential sex, right now. There's a lot of potential, and that means a certain amount of expectation management is in order, partly so you don't become crushingly disappointed, but also so that you don't let false hopes cloud your ability to behave in a way that will give you - and those around you - the most pleasure and benefit.

At the most recent Kinky Salon London I ran a couple of games in the space to help people mingle and learn the rules of the event. The night was panto themed, so I styled it as a quest in which people could help Prince Charming (me) discover some magic items. I'd placed pictures of items around the space and a little word puzzle on the back which was made from the rules. Players found the "magic word" hidden in the puzzle, thereby reading the rules. I also ran a little "secret santa" messaging service so people could approach potential partners in a more covert fashion.

The two games were designed to counter two of the biggest problems that occur again and again in these environments - at almost every kinky, perverted, swinger and sex club I've been to. People who don't know the rules, or who don't follow them and people who don't know how to approach others and ask for sex or play.

People who are new to sex clubs or to the BDSM scene often do not realise that almost every club or night has its own particular set of rules - things that are and aren't allowed. Often called "dungeon" rules from the days when we kept our kink below stairs and in cellars. These are available in advance and often they are at the events themselves, although not always. Like check box terms and conditions on iTunes, I am fairly certain that no-one actually reads them, which is a shame because each set of rules reveals the kinds of games that are permissible in the space. And I mean both what sort of activity you can do and the sort of form the event will take - you can learn a lot about a club by looking at how they choose to write and present their rules.

So, if you are going to a club for the first time, read the damn rules. I'd do that before I bought a ticket, personally, and there have been events where, following a look at their rules I've decided that it wasn't the night for me (especially swingers nights that don't allow boy-on-boy). Further to this, when you get to the club, behave according to the rules, even if others around you are not. It's a basic piece of respect to both those who are running the event and people who have decided to turn up on the strength of how they thought the event was going to turn out. This is important especially if you want to do something that is against the rules. I like knives, cutting and blood. A lot of clubs don't allow this, so I don't do it at those clubs. I can do it at home, I can do it at other clubs. Just because I consider myself an experienced kinkster doesn't mean I get special rules, and if I decide to break rules because I think I am "special" or "better" then I send a very poor message about the etiquette of kinksters and about what it means to be on the scene.

The arrangement of space on the night will also help you see the unwritten rules. KSL was interesting because it separated the space for fucking (which they refer to as "the playroom") and the space for BDSM play which gave a nice visual cue to people present. There was overlap, of course, and the handcuffs and restraints on the bed showed that to neat effect. Take your time when you arrive at a club, look around, see how things are laid out, this will tell you, louder than words, what the organisers think about how play should happen. But be warned, just like the written rules, the arrangement of space will tell you what the event organisers expect to happen and what they want to happen, not necessarily what you might want. Unlike the written rules, it is sometimes acceptable to be playful with the layout of space, as long as you are considerate of other space users. Things like moving a spanking bench into the middle of an area designed for mingling is not a good idea, but nudging it slightly so you can move all the way around is probably fine. If in doubt, ask an event organiser.

The final element of the rules is you yourself and your interactions with others. The rules you have for yourself and the rules they have for themselves.
Most people do not come with a sticker which indicates their desires and limits. Sad but true. People are often poor at talking about these things and poorer still, especially if new and nervous, about negotiating. Additionally, rules change according to context and the person you are negotiating with. You are not a mind reader, you do not know what other people want. You need to ask. Ask before touching, ask before assuming.

Assumptions are rife, and many rules in clubs are assumed rather than being actually real.
Parties and events create a sense of carnival and festival through dress-up, themes, alcohol, dance and the element of secret society. This makes us feel liberated from conventional rules and mores which can be very exciting, powerful and sexual. We feel able to say and do things we would not normally do, because we are following the "rules of play", playing a game as we perceive it. It is permissible, in these places, to ask strangers if they want to have sex. But this atmosphere can also turn us into idiots and put us in danger of going too far as we forget that the rules are only suspended, not removed. They will return the next day and we need to feel comfortable with how we behaved in the morning.

There's also the matter of what is sex and how far you can go - which is where the permissiveness culture of sex clubs can cause problems. For me, regardless of how the club rules appear or even how they are actually written, the onus is always on you to secure active consent, from yourself and from your partner, before any kind of touching can occur. This kind of rule is one that is often included in written club rules. But it is not always in such an explicit way and the behaviour (and dress, unfortunately we still live in a culture where revealing clothing equals "wants to be touched") of people within the space can make it feel unclear. When things are unclear, it's vital that you create your own clarity.

You need to be clear in and of yourself about what you want and don't want. And stick to your guns. Talking to a friend on the night and we both agreed that it was "ok not to have sex at a sex club". We had both had a good night, but neither of us had been in the mood and were comfortable with our feelings on that front. Just because others are fucking, doesn't mean you have to. We are not in the playground anymore. Similarly, when others are fucking, and you want to, but are unable to find a partner you like, you need to be prepared for that, to accept the fact that whilst you might want sex others might not want to have sex with you. It's a sad fact and it can make you angry, unhappy or miserable. But it needs accepting and respecting.

Friday, 9 December 2011

The fire in your eyes

Her face is lit up by the candle flame, but the glint in her eyes is made of more than that. There are smudges of black around her lashes where the mascara has run from tears. And yet she is smiling. She looks up at me and smiles and the world shifts into sharp focus. Something passes between us in the moment where I hold the candle near her mouth and say she can blow it out if she wants to stop.

She just smiles.

And I go back to pouring the liquid wax along her red, red back. Red from the scratches where I dragged my nails through the threads of solid white wax to reveal fresh, bright skin. Red from the streaks and strokes of the rubber flogger I used to warm the skin and bring the blood to the surface, flood the capillaries and the nerve endings with plenty of sparkling oxygen. All the better to feel me with, my dear. I can feel the heat on her skin without even laying my cool palm on her flesh, hovering in that not-quite-touching place when you almost feel the magnetic pull of one body towards and another. It's in direct contrast to the cool of the metal cross she's tied to.
After turns and turns of wax poured on and skin scoured clean, both on her front and on her back I decide she is ready.

There's a small vibrator nestling in her underwear, just a gentle reminder of the balance between pleasure and pain, soft and hard sensation. Eventually, I slip my fingers between her skin and the white fabric, teasing her open, feeling how wet she has become and knowing that this too, belongs to me. I play with her clit, watching her face for those twitches at the corner of the mouth, the tell-tale signs of an oncoming orgasm. She looks at me, whispering a request for permission, and I grant it swiftly enough - this is something I want her to do for me, perhaps more than she might want for herself. She tips her head back and moans as she comes, then thanks me.

I take her down, to a smattering of applause. Slowly we move, leaning a little against the other, collecting our things and towards a nearby sofa, in the gently cooling dark. I lay her down, head on my lap, naked body open up to me like an unfurling precious piece of rich fabric. A tapestry of endless fascination. I stroke her hair, kiss her forehead and with a small knife, carefully pick off the remaining wax as we both return to something approaching normality.

When we play it is so, so easy. I move this way and that, feeling like an artist, an action painter, where every move makes something special happen. Each time I play with Blush I'm reminded of everything that is good about BDSM play, we riff off each other very well with our kinks and our desires. I trust her body to respond to my touch and she trusts mine to guide her through each scene. There's a balance to our bodies, they fit well against each other. I step forward and she leans back into my arms, I cup her cunt in my hand and push her upwards, she flexes against me and her feet lift up from the ground.

And whenever I hurt her, whenever I press, pinch, clip, strike or grind my knuckles against her ribs I can see the exhilaration flash in her eyes like sparks of light. She bites her lip, she grins, and oh help me, she even giggles. Her mouth opens in a perfect "o" as if I've said something deliciously witty whilst presenting her with a surprise box of kittens. I have never seen such a positive response to pain. I want to keep seeing it again, and again. I love her pain, it is enthralling, fulfilling and beautiful. It makes me happy. So I hurt her, again and again and each time she smiles, and each time she says thank you, and means it.

After turns and turns of wax poured on and skin scoured clean, both on her front and on her back I take her down, to a smattering of applause. Slowly we move, leaning a little against the other, collecting our things and towards a nearby sofa, in the gently cooling dark. I lay her down, head on my lap, naked body open up to me like an unfurling precious piece of rich fabric. A tapestry of endless fascination. I stroke her hair, kiss her forehead and with a small knife, carefully pick off the remaining wax as we both return to something approaching normality.

She smiles.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Club rules

Saturday saw the annual Torture Garden outing, and despite the fact that a number of The Tribe were unable to attend we still had enough perverts to make the night worthwhile, including a last minute addition of Blush. I'd been a bit sad within myself that I hadn't really been able to spend more time with her, either for play or just coffee, so it was nice to be able to take her out once more. Nicer still that we were at Rossetti's house to begin the night and together played a game of dress up making her into quite the Christmas princess, All white innocence and knee socks, all the better to fool you with.

TG is always a mixed bag. It's a big club night with a dungeon rather than a play night - recently a few of us were bemoaning the existence of good, hard play clubs outwith the gay fetish scene. The TG crowd is always better looking than average, so there were lots of well-defined male torso on display and a performance by a beautifully androgynous hula boy made me grin wolfishly. Any man who can strip whilst twirling a hoop around gets my vote.

Then there was the not-so-good.

The drunken, drugged up crowd falling over themselves (literally, one woman collapsed on the stage, bringing part of the decoration with her) and the grabby, gropey behaviour of vanillas let off the leash without knowing how to behave. The dungeon itself was bigger and better laid out with
more kit than usual, and lent itself to more showy, exhibitionist scenes: racks, cages, st andrew's crosses, benches, exactly right for that kind of crowd. It was very, very dark. We like some darkness, we perverts, but we also like not to fall over whilst we are playing. I rather long for a club with a bright, white playroom.

However, it wasn't well monitored. I saw a couple of - predictably male
dungeon monitors, predictably delivering flogging to newbie, nubile women in a very "look at my manly domming" sort of way. I'm never keen on DMs playing, I think that it's a bit like bouncers drinking and dancing. I appreciate that the line between showing someone a little about kink and actually having a scene can be hard to draw. However, in a club where there is likely to be more new people, and more new people who are drinking, then closer supervision is required. You can't watch play whilst playing.

They were not easily identifiable, especially as they were often busy playing or moving people out of the way so that they could play. One was masked, which I especially don't like as I think it makes it much harder for you to talk to them or ask them a question. It also makes us kinksters look like dickheads.

My feelings were compounded by the fact that when I really could have used a DM - a man was being extremely rude about stepping back from where I was about to play - there wasn't one to hand and I could hardly leave Blush by herself near Mr Angry And Entitled whilst I went to look for teacher. I'm able to take care of myself and he eventually left in a flood of curses but it hardly set the scene for a good scene - we recovered, naturally, and more on that later.

Now I know that these are problems faced by being a big club and by being a club that mixes a vanilla accessible party with play. TG does not call itself a play club, it isn't a play club, it is a fetish party with emphasis on the party.
Throw in the "it's Christmas" vibe and everyone was probably getting more high and more hammered than they might usually. That meant the dungeon was full of people who, especially towards the end of the night, were really not in a fit state to stand up, let alone play, or, importantly consent to play. The rules for the dungeon were printed on a board outside the entrance to one of the play areas - though not all. They were hard to read in the light and obscured by people going to the nearby bar. If I wasn't actually looking for them I would have missed them.

Good dungeon monitoring is a real bugbear of mine, possibly because of my own background in behind-the-scenes event and theatre work plus front of house. DMs create the experience for people in the club and also set expectation levels of what kinky people look like.

I want people's experiences of BDSM to be positive. I don't think everyone in the world has to participate or should be kinky. I do want everyone to think that, even if it's not their cup of tea, they are able to see why some people might enjoy it. Their first physical contact with kink is often via the club scene and I think that clubs like TG, especially with its size and reputation, have a huge responsibility to the scene to deliver. Similarly, we perverts have a responsibility to behave properly and respect individual club rules. Even if we want to play harder or do more. Their house, their rules.

If you are going to allow play and if you are going to have rules then you need to actively manage this, and, sadly, I don't think TG is quite up to scratch.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Respectfully decline

I had a fifth and final date with Technophile last week. It was a good conversation in some ways, not because it was especially nice or because it had a pleasing outcome, if anything it was a good conversation because difficult things were said in the right way. We parted ways with as much honour and dignity as is possible.

To summarise, he decided that we couldn't have a relationship because he, most emphatically, wanted children and I, most emphatically, do not. Now I don't want to discuss the why I don't want children because I am sick to death of having to justify a personal decision that impacts upon no-one else. But I do want to talk about the way it made me feel. I surprised myself in being more upset than I thought I might be. He's been the first man in a while where I'd thought "there might be something in this" and that something was more than kinky sex. A future, if you will. So to find out that there was no future was disheartening and I felt it keenly. Not because I had suddenly developed a large amount of feelings for him - certainly I still care for Mr Smith much more (and of course those thoughts are also tied up in the lack-of-future).

I felt it because it was another thing that was not to be. We can't help creating little hopes and dreams for ourselves that are leaps and bounds beyond where reality might be. It's one of the glorious, beautiful things about being human, it's also a very key part of being a pervert, the ability to imagine and to try and make those imaginings come true. Each time we leave a partner, or they leave us or however you want to phrase it, we let go of the bundle of aspirations and expectations we had for future times with them. They aren't always big things - it takes a long while for me to build up the emotional courage to consider moving in together or even, dare I say it, a wedding. I'm too aware of how far off those things are in anything other than abstract terms. It's more about the many, many small things that are now not going to happen. They sail away when someone says "no". Full of air and not much else, my small hopes are balloons floating up into the sky, leaving me like the small child who let go of the string, dwindling out of view. I'm left with that peculiar sense of loss you get over the irreplaceable.

I've done a lot of saying "no". I've had a lot of "no" said to me. For all kinds of reasons the nascent relationships I have built up over this year - with Dandy, with Mannequin, with Mr Smith, with Technophile and with the almost never-ending stream of first dates who never get to second dates and rarely get written about - have ended in a "no". Add onto that there are a couple very good kinky friends who I know would make wonderful, loving partners but just aren't right for me. More "no".

That's a lot of "no". And it builds up. I am at risk of becoming the girl who keeps on saying "no", which is ironic because I had originally decided that this was going to be the year in which I say "yes" to things. I wanted to shed my fear of spontaneous decisions and go out to find new experiences in a way I haven't done since my first few months on the scene. But I'm a bit older, much more discriminating, nuanced and clear in what I do and don't want. Saying "yes" to everything is not an option. But I do want to start to move forward.

I've been thinking about the future, about who I am and where I want to be, who I want to be with. How to get there. I've been thinking about what I don't want, I've been thinking about stopping doing things in order to devote more time and energy to fewer things that I can do better.
One of the instant upshots of this is to stop going on dates for a while. I recently put out on Twitter that I hated the idea that "you find the one for you" when you stop looking, because that sounds a bit like reverse psychology on the universe and the universe doesn't care enough to react to that kind of behaviour. I'm also reconciling myself to the fact that my life is extremely busy and perhaps I don't really have time for a partner right now - I'm not really sure I have time for myself these days.

All of this has put me in a whimsical frame of mind. Sort of sad, sort of thoughtful, all kinds of needing to go and think things through. I'm writing this from my family home in the rural north (family home makes it sound like a country estate - it's the home where my family live) and, as ever, going home gives you time to think. Even the train journey outside of London, and outside of London's internet and phone connection blocks the space between there and here.

I don't want my love life to be made up of little bits of random dates that never go anywhere. The great romance in which I meet The One sounds like an adventure for a woman who has more time than me. I've never been that interested in casual sex or hook-ups and I don't have the energy or schedule for planning and executing D/s play in anything more than the most adhoc fashion which doesn't sit well with D/s and anyway can only happen on the one evening a month that I'm not already trying to do four things.

I need breathing room. To think. So for the moment, and until further notice, I respectfully decline.

Friday, 25 November 2011

What I mean when I say I'm kinky

"I mean, do perverts want normal things, like hugs and companionship - or are they 'vanilla' too?" a paraphrased excerpt from a recent conversation with someone who is finding his feet, and his desires, in the widening world of sexuality.

I replied "yes" but using more words. And then thought about how this must mean we might be perceived as kinksters and the issues that might raise. Here is a sensible, smart and thoughtful chap who was worried that a life of crime and punishment might involve letting go of everything to do with what he understood relationships to mean: a partner, caring, loving, snuggling under duvets. That having kinky sex meant that these other things were not part of the bargain. Now, accepting that he isn't daft, that implies to me that when we talk about ourselves as kinksters and perverts we are only telling part of the story.

Think about the way we sometimes present ourselves, as edgier than edgy, more kinky than thou, always racing for the next thing: harder, faster, stronger. We do this for a lot of reasons - we want to be interesting and exciting, we want people to know who we are, we want people to think we are hot. We pride ourselves on our hardcore attributes, and we can isolate ourselves by doing and replace our personalities with personas. Cruel bitch. Evil bastard. Wicked masters and mistresses. Similarly, drooling submissives with no minds of their own. Creatures of sex and sexuality. But we don't talk about ourselves as people with love and with lives.

Make no mistake, I do not want to distance myself from my kink. It is a core part of me. But it's not the whole thing. The belle dame sans merci might be a wonderful place to play, and certainly part of me, but I can't do that all the time without becoming a gross (and emotional, intellectually empty) caricature. Even if it does become the pleasing acronym BDSM.

We have created the kink / vanilla divide. And we need to think a bit about how that is playing out in the wider world. When we emphasise, as I do, the importance of the lifestyle to us, we must be careful that we explain what we mean, rather than assuming that people will understand - the same goes for a lot of things in life.

So here's what I mean when I say I'm kinky.

I'm kinky. It's a thread of steel that runs through me like a backbone, supporting my body structure. I could no more remove it than you could remove your spine. Everything would come crashing down in a big mess. I'm kinky. I want to do awful, dreadful things to your mind and your body. I want to put my dirty fingers into your brain and pull on all those feelings that make you writhe and blush.
I'm kinky, I want to use D/s rules and control to build you into the person you want to be. I'm kinky, I want to hold your hand, talk to you about silly things, fall in love with you and grow old in a shared house where other kinky people might stop by for a cup of tea and a spot of shibari.

I'm kinky.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Singled out

I met up with a very good, very kinky friend for lunch yesterday and we ended up, head in our hands, mildly depressed, over coffee. There are certain stereotypes that I have always thought a myth and that of the single woman, bemoaning her status to other, single friends is seemingly not one of them. I felt depressingly Sex in the City, and hated myself a little for it.

There comes a point in every life when you can look across the room and see a host of couples - if you are a pervert you will also see a host of other sorts of relationships, but fundamentally, togetherness. People who you like, people who are your friends, people who right now you really, really don't want to be anywhere near. Because you do not have that special someone and you are starting to feel like a leper. Furthermore, you can look at the pool of other single people within that room and realise that you have either fucked, played with or are incompatible with all of them. And then you feel a bit stuck.

We tried to work out what was going wrong, as we often do when things are not ideal, we look inwards, to ourselves, to what we might be lacking (aside from a primary partner who practically explodes with desire to have kinky sex with us right now). Now, I have faults. I have many. I have cultivated them over the years and some are good friends. But there is nothing basically wrong with me. I'm a good catch. I'm smart, attractive, funny have all my own teeth, make a mean banoffee pie and am frankly, amazing in bed. The same with my friend, although I'm not sure about the pie. She does make great cookies. We are not crazy wedding obsessed women running around in white dresses screaming "commit, commit!" We just want a nice, kinky chap to spend some quality, perverted time with.

And, annoyingly, the problem is with the men available. Or unavailable. Sorry to be sexist, chaps, but there are a lot more good looking women on the scene who have wide and exciting tastes in kink. Add to that the girls are just a lot better at expressing what they want, going for it and actually delivering the goods. Without being an arrogant prick, though I am an arrogant prick, I have a number of beautiful, interesting and amazing women who want play dates. And I want to play with them. So I play mostly with women these days and go on a lot of first dates with men that go nowhere. Or worse, they stagnate in a kind of circling no-place of unanswered messages.
For the moment I've sent out some rather blunt messages to a few people, including Technophile regarding their level of interest.

Perhaps, we wondered, it was the kink thing. We're both very kinky. Sometimes that makes people nervous. Would it be easier if we were vanilla? At least the dating pool would be bigger, and we wouldn't know what we were missing, because we wouldn't want it. Sex would be sex rather than an entire lifestyle, which, wonderful as it is does become a very high bar if you feel like you are just not reaching it. But we are not vanilla. Any more so that lesbians are straight or tall girls are short.

When you boil it down, we are single for a very dull, very simple set of reasons. The people we want can't give us what we need. The people who want us we don't want. And it's very rarely anyone's fault. It just happened like that. We can hardly change ourselves, or change the people that we want. Conversely, we can't expect others to change or to change what they want - because then everybody would be going around pretending to be who they were not and pretending to like what they didn't like. Which is madness.
Some things are just part of you, bone deep and trying to be anything other than what you are is a lie you will always come to regret.

More and more I become clearer and clearer on what I want. I had a terrible realisation last night that perhaps this was the problem. My dreadful clarity. This leads me to reject any number of people who could be, might be, if you sort of turn a little and squint almost not quite what I wanted. Then I realised that would be a complete cop out and an utter compromise. So fuck that noise. I want what I want and there's nothing wrong with that. If that means being a little sad and a little lonely for a little while, then so be it.

Votive offerings

What goes around comes around. And when you offer something up, it can return to you tenfold, in an unexpected way. As part of Barelesque, a fundraising event for the excellent Albert Kennedy Trust, I donated a session of my services up for auction. I couldn't have hoped for a better recipient, in all my wildest dreams. Smart, beautiful and elegant, with a blush that rose pinkly from the centre of her cleavage like the rising dawn, thus earning her moniker. Perfect.

After a couple of email exchanges a date was booked. Something classic, dinner, drinks then to hers for kink. Blush and I met for a coffee a few days beforehand to check that all was well, we talked about many things before circling towards specifics. The less I know someone the more I tend to plan in advance, marshaling my forces around what might work best for them, all the more so when the activity is paid for. I allayed her concerns about "pleasing me", reassuring her that I never did anything I didn't want to, one of the benefits of being a dominant. Similarly, I attempted to put her at ease with regards to protocol and doing things right, remembering my own anxieties around my own acts of submission and the "correct" ways of being. There is a lot of joy to be had in being the dominant that you at one time wanted for yourself, you feel as if you are fulfilling a part of your own needs through the mirror of another's body, another's desire. And that's all without even counting the pleasure in domination itself.

We met for dinner and talked. With nights like this I always enjoy making each moment part of a greater game. Dominance is, in many ways, all about focus and making someone feel special. Very few people ever pay much particular attention to each other, so when it does happen it can be very powerful. I flirted with her over dinner, listening to what she said, as I picked out little phrases or comments of hers, filing certain reactions away for later. I watched her response, afterwards, as we shared drinks in a cocktail bar, batting off the unwanted affections or vanilla reactions of men in suits. I knew that she was watching me, but that also I was, in a way, taking care of her. She was under my protection, so the verbal sparring I engaged in was for her benefit as well as mine. I exercised my power in simple, little things. Decisions about where to go and when, taking the lead without ever needing to exert myself.

When you meet a submissive who is in tune with your dominance, everything becomes very easy. Like a dance partner who already knows the steps and the music, you can move together in a way that is natural, and not forced. Part of this is attraction, which was there and more so, but there's something else, something deeper. I've been attracted to people who I could not play with, or people who wanted to dominate me when I didn't wish to be dominated. The balance between the D and the s is delicate but, when tasted, very moreish. I was lucky. We were a fit. I held out my hand for her to take and she did. So we danced.

I stripped her down and pushed her onto the bed, tying her arms and legs down before running my hands over the exposed, gorgeous flesh. This is the moment I always relish, when things are about to start. She waits and I wait and we are bodies held in motion, like breath before an exhalation. I start slow, because some things are worth savouring. A week or so earlier she had bought me a set of metal chopsticks - she knows my tastes - for my birthday. Unbeknownst to her, the packaging hid their wickedly sharp points. I made her keenly aware of this, returning her gift to her. The points traced red, red lines in her skin, with a faint scratching sound from the microscopic tears as I moved up and down. Every now and then I pulled myself back from the hypnotic absorption that is found in tracing along someone else's desire. I watched her face, eyes closed, mouth slightly parted. I listened for those gasps of pain, the little moans of happiness as she fell into the floating space of masochism.

After a while, I lit a lot of candles. I had promised her, and myself, fire. This year will be a lot about fire, and I'm looking forward to doing more. I lay candles upon her reddened skin, pouring wax along the edges I had already cut with the chopsticks. Again, I lost myself in the motion of what I was doing, the control of wave upon wave of gently rising sensation. I could feel it, through her warm skin and into my own fingertips. I could feel, through that connection of dominant to submissive, and through the hundred, thousand little tweaks and movements she was making.
I grinned to myself as only a switch can - I know what that feels like. And I'm doing it to you. And you want me to, badly. It's like sadism squared. A double whammy of a power exchange.

The best kind of dominance, for me, is one in which the submissive comes to me willingly, wanting to be taken, to be cared for, to be controlled. A conversation with Majeste from long ago filters through my mind as I write this: "you come to me on your knees or you do not come at all." I do not want to take an inch more than is given to me - I would rather leave someone wanting more than angry, hurt or upset because I did too much. And certainly I will push for more, but that is part of the deal with submission, my role is to know when to push and how.

Later, by email, she talked to me of how my style was different to others she had experienced, and how she had been pleasantly surprised by my lack of force. I can certainly use force, if I want to, and sometimes a fight is part of a good scene. But better than force, better than the threat of violence, is not having to lift a finger. That is where power lies. In the power that is offered up to you, as the dominant. I do not need to take my dominance in that way, nor do I need to physically make a submissive do anything: they offer it up to me.

And I accept.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

How far can we go? Part Three

Finally getting round to completing the triumvirate in my musings on play and edges. I want to bring it all to a close by talking about dominance and submission as an experience, from within and without. Specifically I want to talk about what is and what isn't D/s. Now, there are entire shelf-loads of books devoted to YKIOK as well as the usual liberal (and geek social rules) around how you aren't allowed to say that someone is doing something wrong. So for those of you who ascribe to that principle one hundred percent, I would avoid reading further.

I like to think that for the most part I'm pretty cool with people doing what they want to each other as long as consent is acknowledged and it doesn't fuck up what I want to do. But I'm going to take a bit of a stand here. Sometimes things happen, in life and on the scene, that are just wrong. There are no ifs or buts or grey areas. They are shit things that shouldn't have happened. Now, why they happened is a different story, and we've all made mistakes - I know I have - but that doesn't change the fact that bad things happen.

In the past two articles I wrote about how we can create a moral code for ourselves as kinksters, and how we can use that in our negotiations with others, which touched a little on issues of abuse. Now I'm going to touch a little more firmly.

In a nutshell, my opinion is this: dominance is not the same thing as being domineering. Similarly, submission is not the same thing as being a doormat. In both instances, the former is good, healthy BDSM, the latter is not. Let's think about some definitions. A dominant person is behaving to generate an effect upon the submissive - I've always maintained that dominants (or submissives) don't exist in isolation, they need each other. You are dominant towards someone, you are submissive towards someone: that's the power exchange. A domineering person "naturally" has to be in control (or seen to be in control), regardless of who this is directed towards, regardless of whether they want it or not and regardless of what has been said or agreed. They are just "like that". Similarly a doormat cannot stand responsibility, regardless of the context, regardless of whether other people want to take control. You'll notice that when it comes down to it, these two poles are actually quite similar.

It's all about control and perception of control. It's also about confidence, fear, self-awareness and personal responsibility - all the things that make us people. So it's big stuff and cuts to the heart of who we think we are.

Having the confidence of your own convictions makes you a better dominant and a better submissive.
Fear, is the opposite of confidence and it is the enemy. Fear is fun to play with, but it's not fun to live with. It makes you weak and generates reactions that are animalistic fight or flight selfish self-preservation with no thought for others. Domineering types seize control and strangle the life out of things as they take them too hard. Doormat types hand themselves over without a word and close their eyes, hoping for the best.

Knowing when you move from dominance to domineering, or from submission to being a doormat is a personal thing. It requires brutal honesty about how you really feel, and it's about being self-aware. Are you comfortable with yourself and you are brave enough to make decisions and to talk about things that you want. Don't mistake it for bravado or thrill seeking - those are domineering/doormat traits. Pretend bravery that hides gaping holes which will cause problems in your D/s.

It's very easy to look at these examples and think "abuser" and "victim" but what I'm talking about here is deeper and more muddled than that. There's a great post here on how rapists are supposed by parts of society to be obvious which cuts through a lot of our challenges when thinking about nice people who do bad things.

When our BDSM works we are people who try to do bad things in good ways. Which is to say we give and take pain for pleasure, we push people down to build them up. We abuse, humiliate, hurt and harm in order to adore, love, lust and come really, really hard. We're a contrary, contradictory bunch. We're complicated. And complication breeds complexity so sometimes we can't see the wood for the trees. Things become "difficult". What you see isn't always what you get. There's a lot of "you wouldn't understand" going on within our lives. This post is, in part, about trying to understand. It's about breaking down some assumptions and about trying to tackle ideas about "right" and "wrong" within BDSM.

That's the easy bit done. The nice, wipe clean, seen from the outside told-you-so bit. The hard bit is telling the two apart when you are in the thick of it (either giving or receiving) and how to turn the bad into good.

I cannot answer that question for you. I'm not trained to do that and I don't know you well enough (well, most of you). I suspect, because I remember what it felt like myself, that we know, deep down, when we have crossed the line. But when we are in a D/s relationship, with a partner who is providing scenes and scenarios that support, encourage and even excuse our bad behaviour we often lack the impetus to change. This is not to blame them. At all times, what we do is our responsibility. Even if we, as submissives, have handed control to our dominants, event if we call ourselves "slave" or "animal", we are still responsible. I don't care that this might make me less of a dominant or less of a submissive or less of a full throttle pervert in the eyes of some people because those people are wrong and their attitudes are sociopathic. Submission is given. Dominance is given. They are gifts. Someone else makes the decision to take them.

Now here's another tactical conundrum. What do we - as responsible social kinksters - do when we see these behaviours and we aren't involved.
From the outside, domineering behaviours can look like, feel like and sound like dominance. And doormat behaviours can look like, feel like and sound like submission. Certainly at first, but in true "boiling a frog" principles we can end up in a difficult place by degrees. How do we know, when we look at a scene, or what we think is a scene, what is really going on? That blow to the face was not part of the scene. That one was.

We can't be guaranteed to be right, I'm afraid. We just can't. Like a jury, we will never completely know the real answer. But we also must be aware, and we must be prepared to act, to say something, if needs be. It's better to say something and be wrong, to be embarrassed, than to say nothing and allow someone to be hurt. Really hurt. Similarly, we must accept that others might want to say something to us, about how we are perceived, about how we act. And we must accept that with grace. Which means giving and taking criticism. And it means talking to people and listening to them. It also means talking about ourselves, letting people know what looks right and feels right for us. The more we do it ourselves, the more others are encouraged to do so. We can make friends with each other and be aware of what works for our friends.

There is a social contract to look out, and look after one another. As a group we must understand and act upon what is and isn't acceptable. We must also make these rules clear. As individuals and as groups. Assumption is the mother of all fuck-ups, and given the risks we play with we cannot take those risks. Not for ourselves, not for others. The challenge I'm issuing, here and now, is to start thinking about good and bad dominance and submission. Start to decide for yourselves what is right and what is wrong. And tell people. Then act on it.

How far can we go?

Over to you.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Come to the Cabaret

Now, either I'm losing my "touch of death" for cabaret or I'm finding the right sorts of performances for me. Bit of both perhaps. I do still find a lot of vanilla "sexy" performance frankly bemusing, but perhaps they also find we perverts and the things we like bemusing. Certainly it seems that taste is a big issue and there have been many recent performances all in the best possible taste, or my taste, at any rate.

Unsurprisingly, my tastes run to the queer, the impromptu and stuff done by my friends. There's a lot of cold water that gets thrown upon performances done by the "untrained" or "amateur" but several of the strip teases I saw at Barelesque, a charity event done at the RVT contained a lot more heart and soul - as well as that absolutely essential connection with the audience, that many professional performances can often lack. They were fun, rather than work and some shows I've seen, whilst slick and well-rehearsed do look an awful lot like work. And hard work at that. The sort of world-weary stereotype of a sexual performer, mechanically grinding away. This can happen in the industry, people get tired and the thrill can go out of it, there is a freshness in seeing something that has never been done before. Similarly, an audience can (note use of the word can, bad amateur stuff is just as dreadful as bad professional stuff but without the slick delivery) develop more of an engagement with a performer if they know who they are or know that this is their "first time". Public sharing in cherry popping, anyone?

This isn't to deride professional cabaret performers - of which there were several on the night, but to point out that it isn't the word "professional" that makes them good. It's the connection with people in the room and their performance capacity. A lot of perverts make good performers, especially the seasoned exhibitionists who understand the power of being watched and can tune into the feelings within a room. Some perverts make dreadful performers, but them's the breaks. The idea of newness is also important. Good performers make each audience member feel as if they are watching something special and unique - they tell a story that, though it might have been done a thousand times, is still fresh that night, for that person.

Speaking of fresh and along the same lines, I went along to Sleaze at Camden an "NYC style burlesque) last night to watch Jonny Porkpie and Mat Fraser to name but a few. The show was unashamedly lewd and crude, with lots of audience participation (and with plenty of perverts in the house there was ample opportunity for those exhibitionists to get their thing on) and whilst the stage was tiny and an element of "thrown together" prevailed it had the feel of being a shared conspiracy of silliness: something fun, sexy, light-hearted and done just for those people in the room - exactly what good cabaret should do. Yet beneath all of that, the performances were well timed and professional, the pacing was strong without feeling rushed and the room soon filled with screams of horror and laughter and mmm's of delight from the audience.

It's a delicate balancing act, akin to the whole "this old thing? I just threw it on" lies that those who spend hours getting ready might use to throw us off the scent. What looks as if it suddenly happened, is often very well planned. In a similar way, there's a strong connection between performance and scene building, a lot of thought goes into those precious few moments. Again, another reason why there may be a good crossover between perverts and performers. For my own part, I'm looking forward to doing some more of my own shows next year, as well as supporting others in developing theirs.

On with the show.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Patience, partners and personalities

I am not by nature a patient person. I can wait, if I have to, if there's absolutely no possible alternative. But generally delayed gratification is not my bag. Now, this isn't the same thing as wanting to do everything quickly. I often enjoy taking my time, as anyone who has been on the other side of a sharp blade held by me will know. If something is worth doing, it's worth doing well and often that means spending a lot of time on it. And very pleasurable time it can be too.

The key difference is whether something is being "done" or not. What I do not deal well with is the limbo of uncertainty. The dead, empty time between sending out a message and getting a reply. The "will they won't they" process of hanging around for someone else to arrange their schedule. As Chiaroscuro pointed out, the key is expectation management, vital word:expectation. If I know that something is or isn't going to happen then I can stop worrying about it and get on with enjoying things. Poor communication makes me stressed and it's a needless stress. And I remove those from my life with the same drive that ruthlessly pursues happiness.

I've had to pull back from Technophile due to precisely that, unfortunately. I don't expect anyone to cling to my skirts, or to send me endless chocolates and flowers. I do however require more than one Facebook message a week. It's a curious situation when the person who one is supposed to be dating is the least available, and shows no signs of becoming more available. This would have been fine, had we actual dates (with actual sex and actual kink) booked in the diary for that time, but we didn't. I'm a bit disappointed - I liked him and he intrigued me, but not enough to hang around or play any sort of waiting game with no real end point in sight. Conversations, when they happened tended towards the "I don't know" or the "Not tonight Josephine".

If it hadn't been for the monogamy angle everything would have probably been well. Those adhoc, every-now-and-then lovers are always a pleasing addition to life's rich pattern. Take Ten for example. However, I'd agreed to not see other people because Technophile was uncomfortable with it, and I liked him enough to try. But without any input from him, I ended up having no-one and nothing on my kink radar for a couple of weeks, which is pretty much an Ice Age in electronic doll years (they are like dog years only for BDSM). My usual pattern - which has been admittedly watered down somewhat by my new job - is around 3-4 dates a week with kinky folk, of which two would probably be play dates, then parties and events all weekend. My pattern recently was some lunches with kind kinksters who came to give me vicarious thrills on their own sex lives - thank you all. So to go from that to very little, in combination with a switch in relationship mode, plus still surfing the wave of periodic moroseness following losing Mr Smith and Mannequin meant that I felt a bit like the cowboy surveying tumbleweed.

I expect that this sounds somewhat "poor me" and that lots of people have to cope with an awful lot worse in this world, but it was an annoyance I could have done without and it also set me along the standard issue paranoia line: why hasn't he been in touch, what has happened, what have I done wrong? As it turns out, he was busy, nothing has happened and I am still the same wonderful, awful pervert I have always been. But that wasn't much consolation at the time.

I view frequency and type of communication as being directly proportional to interest. This isn't an obscure game for judging people, it's a way that those in my life, or who want to be in my life, can make me feel happier and more comfortable. Clear channels and timing for communication is something I absolutely require from my partners. And I make damn sure they know about it. On a really basic level, I like knowing what is happening, so I book dates in advance and keep a tight diary. As long as I know where my next meal, next fuck and next sleep are coming from I'm generally ready for anything. Lack of certainty on those fronts can cause me anxiety. It's my issue and I'm dealing with it, but the way in which I deal with it requires me to avoid people who cannot deliver.

We all do this, we look for people whose ways of behaving and living match up with our own. Dominants look for submissives, and vice-versa. People who want polyamory seek others of a similar ilk. Friends are people whose idiosyncrasies sit well with our own. All the more so in partners. Often it's the day-to-day behaviours that can create the biggest rifts - the saying goes that opposites attract but that only works if those opposites are complimentary rather than in direct competition. Planners will always get annoyed with prevaricators, and those who like to live life as it comes will come to loathe being managed down to their last minute. Different strokes for different folks. Sadly, what I'm coming to understand, in my ongoing quests for Goldilocks style "just right", is that there will be people, who through no fault of their own, are exciting and interesting in some ways, but fall short in others.

And just as I'm not prepared to wait without reason, I also will not compromise on those things I really, really need.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Sugar, money and power

Meet a Sugar Daddy Right Here Today Then Quit Your Stupid Job Tomorrow.

Google ads, wikipedia and the specialised dating websites
seem to be pretty clear on the subject: Sugar Daddy relationships are about the money. So why are the people interviewed in the recent BBC article being so coy about it?

Perhaps it's a combination of the famous British reticence to talk about money and the general social condemnation of sex workers? But I think there's more going on here. At it's heart, the "it's not prostitution, really" argument reveals a belief that disparity of power creates a bad relationship. There's an unease around these situations because society tells us that they are unfair, that someone is being exploited. A little like the assumption that all sex workers must be exploited. There are also ethical hang-ups, beliefs that selling sex somehow cheapens it (I personally think that the £313 for "a date" quoted in the article is hardly cheap, especially as there's a suggestion that sex might not be automatically provided. But beyond that, sex is an activity. It's a thing that can be done. It can also be a deep and meaningful connection between people. It can also be both.

Some of the dating websites have a very BDSM vibe to them, as well the might given the explicit power exchange involved. Sugar Daddy (and Sugar Mummy, although those seem sadly rarer) relationships are based on a transaction (often termed an "arrangement") in which the older, wealthy and hence powerful partner gives financial support and offers patronage to the younger, poorer and hence weaker partner. Now, I have had forays into the world of professional dominance so I have no problem with accepting cash for sexual favours. I'm also a pervert with a fondness for D/s relationships that are neatly structured with things given and things taken so these kinds of relationships feel normal to me.

This is where it gets even trickier, because disparity of power is at the heart of many good, caring and loving D/s relationships. D/s makes overt what a lot of us knew all along. Good relationships work because they are a balance of inequalities. One party gives the same amount as the other takes. D/s enshrines that in words and principles, it makes clear things that we do not usually speak about and that can make people very uncomfortable. It's not the fact that one partner supports the other, giving things that one may lack, that creates a "bad" relationship, it's other things. Like lying, non-consensual physical and emotional abuse or being a big, damn hypocrite.

And that is the real crux of the argument. Society does not like these relationships because they reveal us to be hypocrites. We pour scorn upon these relationships yet they are a fundamental truth of how relationships work and we skip over the idea
that people can get genuine enjoyment and satisfaction in relationships based on the exchange of money and power. as opposed to say, love and love alone. Don't get me wrong, love is amazing and wonderful and a many splendoured thing.

But so is being able to pay the bills.

Historically we have been more truthful, partnerships between people were partnerships between families, between countries even. Dowries indicated the transaction that was being made. Today, marriage still confers levels of social privilege and financial stability. Yet we talk about "marrying money" as if it's automatically a bad thing - as if someone would genuinely desire to "marry poverty" given the choice. Similarly, we disparage the older man who hooks up with the model (whilst also decrying her as a vapid bimbo). These relationship stereotypes have a kernel of truth that reveals society to be deeply hypocritical in how it views the value of beautiful women and powerful men - and that's without even touching on the heteronormatism and sexism revealed by beautiful women and powerful men.

No-one wants to go back to have all women as chattel (although some of us might like to play with all genders of chattel from time to time) but we must admit that we live in a world of gender inequality and it is childish to assume otherwise or to think worse of those who, honestly and openly, try to make the most of what they have got in the world. You don't like what they are doing? Then give them a world in which their options are better, in which we have other values for women and men. As long as we have a world where men are valued for their money and women for their looks then there will be men who pay to have a beautiful women on their arm.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Hierarchy of Needs

Over the past two months I've been very conscious of how my life is changing, and the effect that this is having on my kink and how I feel in myself.

“You’ve basically gone cold turkey”. Technophile and I are having a bit of a check-in on how things are going over a beer in a brief moment when neither of us was working or sleeping. Call it a date, if you will, I’m still uncertain about whether meeting people and then not having sex with them can be termed a “date” more on that (sore) point later.

He is, of course, correct. Losing Mr Smith and Mannequin, for reasonable reasons, compounded with the decision to see how things go with Technophile who is new to the scene, unsure about polyamory and generally needs the space and respect to go a bit slower than I might normally means that my sex life is very, very different to how it was a couple of months ago.

Which means I’m having problems. I’m a girl with control issues – I love control, which is why the power exchange is so meaningful to me. I like being in control. I like giving up control. With the right people and at the right time it makes life shine so brightly that I get giddy. Right now, things are unclear and therefore rather dim. The whole “take it slow” process for example. It’s against my nature to be patient or to let things “just happen”. In my experience things generally don’t happen unless there’s a will and desire moving them forward, so lack of momentum indicates trouble.

We’re both busy, I tell myself. And this is true. And we both like each other. Which is also true. I’m breathing deep and taking the plunge on this, at least for now, because I like the boy. And I want to give this whole thing a try.

But damn, this is hard.

Hand (and head) in the air: I’m high maintenance on the sex front. And with a new partner who is wanting to take it slow but is also monogamous I am not getting enough. I don’t know how to manage this – in an open situation I would seek other partners, but I can’t. And this means that talking about what I need, which I’m more than happy and comfortable doing, involves directly criticising, or seeming to criticise Technophile’s ability to provide. And no-one likes to have that pressure on them, and I don’t want him to feel pressured because we are meant to be giving him the space to learn the dance steps to see whether he wants to go further.

I need a lot of reasonably complicated – certainly to non-kinksters – sex. And this isn’t just about fucking, although I need that too, it’s about all the vital ancillary components that make good play, good companionship and just good times.

I’m not getting enough. I get up alone and go to sleep alone. Every night. I don’t have cute flirty text messages to smile about or the scent of someone’s flesh and juices under my fingers and in my hair. When I run my tongue around the inside of my mouth the only taste is mine. My skin is pristine, without a mark or a bruise to grace its whiteness and prove me to be alive. I have no memories of moans or screams or rising red marks to make me smirk to myself on my commute. I am not kissed, held or touched enough. There are no promises to keep or rituals of ownership to make sure are obeyed. I care for no-one and no-one cares for me. Collars are unused in their boxes. Floggers gather dust.

The vibrators are running out of batteries and I am getting a bit bored of my own fingers.

There’s more to kink than the BDSM, of course, and I’m not getting enough of that either. Which is a time issue. I used to be able to go out most evenings, as well as the odd lunch or coffee during the working day, spending time with other perverts, going on dates, attending munches or even just having the downtime to blog, tweet or reply to emails and texts. I’ve not got the space to do this and that’s making me feel disconnected and a strange rising sense of half-guilt, half-panic and all loneliness.

The ability to be around other perverts might not be such a bad thing, as at least it keeps temptation away, and hopefully with time there will be integration and a bit more space for my social life. At the moment I feel rather far away from those I like and the things I want. Which is odd as my recent decisions were supposed to move me closer.

I am hoping this is a stop gap rather than how life is now. I'll keep you posted.