Sunday, December 13, 2015

Yes, Virginia, kinky people can be bigots, too

It was commented to me recently that people coming into the BDSM and non-monogamy lifestyles have to learn a whole new set of mores—that the accepted modes of behavior are all just a little bit askew. I agree, to a point—yes, the sexuality is in hyper-drive and often on display—but I think that the basic ways of acting as a human being in other areas still apply regardless of the sexuality of the people involved.

It is to be expected that sexuality will be ramped up in a group of openly kinky people. It is not uncommon for me to go to a munch, for example, and have a woman whose last name I don't know kiss me, or have a man make a very sexual joke about my breasts (both with permission). These things would not happen in most other groups in which I am a member, but they are an accepted part of my particular kink culture.

On the other hand, there are things that aren’t acceptable no matter how kinky we are.

I was at a kink gathering some time ago where a cisgender, straight person made a really offensive joke about gay men. In talking with Danny about it later, we talked about mores, and he commented that the person was totally in the wrong, but that because of the nature of the group it is entirely possible that this person thought such a joke was appropriate. This is a concept I just cannot grasp—how on earth does someone not know that bigoted jokes are inappropriate?

I thought about this some more as I went to sleep, then even more when I woke up, and this is what I came to:

Yes, the mores are different, but basic humanity and participating in the world in a responsible way is not specific to non-kink situations—to suggest otherwise insults me as a thinking, kinky adult.

We are not especially enlightened human beings—we are just kinky. We are capable of being bigoted, racist, homophobic, misogynistic, and just plain ignorant and uninformed. Someone should not get a pass on that ignorance just because they like to give or receive a good ass caning.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I want to be your totally submissive little slut (sort of)

I want to submit completely. I want to indulge in that space with a person whom I trust with both my submission and my life. I want to lower all walls, let go of societal expectations, and escape into a world where he or she is my only responsibility. I want to exist only for pleasure, to be a servant, a fuck toy. I want to give up the ability to say no with a dominant who would never do anything to make me regret that decision.

The thing is, though, I only want to be that girl for a couple of days—tops.

I could never be that girl on a regular basis. If I tried I guarantee that either the dominant would die when my need to assert myself becomes a murderous impulse that I cannot deny—or I would die from the sheer effort of trying to contain it.

I am a service-oriented person in general, but this takes that to a whole new level—a level that is both slightly terrifying and exciting as hell. There is something wonderfully freeing about not having a say in the decision making process, and in having an existence that is so clearly, and rigidly, defined. There is something ridiculously hot about that definition consisting entirely of keeping the person whose dominance excites me happy. And there is something deep, and spiritual, and magical in having my focus entirely on that person as I submit, in existing in a space that has little to do with the outside world, or reality, or anything but the connection between us.

For this to happen, I have to go away from everything I know, every reminder of every day life, because if I am going to indulge to that degree I need a clear mental and physical separation between fantasy and reality. I need to be able to leave that girl behind so that I don’t get lost in her, because as nice as that space would be to visit, I am pretty sure I would not want to live there.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

You don't need my permission to fuck my lover

...or talk to him, or have coffee/dinner/drinks with him. You need his permission--period.

Really, that is it. Granted, he and I do have strict rules about STI testing and putting one's dick in crazy, so he isn't exactly waving said dick around hoping it will land in someone, but if the conditions of our relationship are met, and all appropriate consents are in place, he can have sex with whomever he likes. He can also kiss whomever he likes, play with whomever he likes, and generally spend time with whomever he likes (all three of which are much more likely to happen than actual sex!).

I have written several times about how much it pisses me off when people ask him for permission to do anything to my body (see exhibits A and B), so it would be hypocritical of me to expect permission about his body and/or time to be asked of me.

Do we discuss time we are going to spend with others? Of course. Do we discuss any potential sex or any possible play outside of a party? Absolutely. But the reality is that we do not give each other "permission" in anything but the larger sense.

Do I want basic courtesy from anyone with whom he is involved? Yes, yes I do. They need to know I exist, and they need to be respectful of my time and relationship. But, they are not under any obligation to run anything past me.

He is the one who has to check with me, to make sure I am okay, to see if I have any reservations. He is in this relationship and so owes that to me as the other person in the relationship (as he owes it to anyone else he may be in a serious relationship with).

I generally feel the same way about anyone I am going to play with, though if their partner would like to talk to me first I certainly respect that. My basic feeling is that we are all adults, and I trust if someone is going to play with me they have whatever their version of permission is for said play.

I do tend to thank their partners after the play as a gesture of community and niceness and all-around good feeling, and I like it when someone does the same with me--but, to me, that is not the same as asking for permission. That is acknowledging that another person shared their time and energy (in the form of their lover) with me, and the openness is appreciated.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

On sex positivity in public play

Sex without pain is like food without taste~DeSade
Pain without sex just fucking hurts~LiteraryWench

Okay—there doesn’t have to be sex, but there does have to be sexual stimulation (either physical or mental) for me to indulge my masochism.

I have been doing what it is that we do for a very long time, and I happily admit that a large part of why I do it is that it gets me off. I have been to dungeons in several states and have belonged to quite a few groups—most of which had either a no penetration rule or just frowned on anyone doing anything sexual in a play space. There is this overarching theme that sex is somehow bad and that our sexuality is something of which we should be ashamed.

Fuck that—I like sex.

My masochism is most definitely tied to my sexuality—and the more you get me off, the more pain you can subject me to (this is what we refer to as a win-win). I can also get off from the pain itself, so the reality is that if I am enjoying the scene, I will most likely orgasm (especially if you use a cane—just sayin’).

I have heard many people over the years talk about how BDSM is pure if sex is not involved, and that those who engage in pain play without sexual stimulation are somehow more kinkily evolved. Sadomasochism is wonderful, and power-exchange is fantastic, but they are also very specific to the individuals involved. The person who likes pain without sexual stimulation is no better than the person who likes pain with sexual stimulation—and vice versa.

I do understand that sometimes an organization has to be governed by the laws of the particular town in which they operate—but these laws just illustrate how fucked up this society can be. Think about it—I can take a man to a dungeon, strip him, tie his cock, put clips on his balls, shove ginger in his urethra, poke needles through his shaft—and this is all perfectly okay. But—if I dare to put that cock in my mouth (after removing the needles and ginger of course!) I have somehow crossed a line.

Yep, one fairly fucked up, sex-negative society.

The problem is that many seem to have internalized this message of sexuality as evil, or at least something to keep hidden. We slut-shame the woman who says she likes sex, and we tell women that if they behave in a way that is too sexually suggestive, they deserve whatever happens. Or—we create play spaces that tell a man that he can be as sadomasochistic as fuck, but unless it is being tortured, he had damn well better keep his cock in his pants.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Envy, compersion, and the desire to have it all

Jealousy: Fearing the loss of something you have
Envy: Wanting what someone else has
Compersion: Feeling joy when someone you love enjoys what they have

Now that we have the definitions, I can get to the point.

When Danny and I got together, I had a lot of jealousy. He started another relationship not long after we started seeing each other, and there were a whole lot of emotions that almost derailed us entirely. Luckily, we worked through it, but it was rough.

I still have strong emotions about many of his other play partners, but now jealousy is never really one of them. I am not worried that someone is going to take him away from me. Instead, I am envious as hell. I am envious because I also want play partners, but I don’t put myself out there the way that he does. I don’t go for it and risk rejection the way that he does. I envy his ability to be so open to the possibilities of the universe.

I also envy some of the things he does with these play partners because I want those same things. He can top someone in a way that doesn’t work for us, for example, because going too far into that head space fucks with our egalitarian household. I envy some of the sexual adventures he goes on with a new partner because they are things we don't often do at home. There are some positions he doesn't favor, but that new energy makes shiny, and some things he just feels more comfortable doing with others.

Don't get me wrong, we have a satisfying, and hot, sex life, and I know he has passion for me--but I am comfortable and known, and NRE is a hell of a drug.

Compersion definitely co-exists with the envy and I want him to have these experiences. I want him to have NRE and to feel extreme passion for someone, and I want him to try new sexual positions and explore various aspects of BDSM. I understand that I benefit from his adventures both because he is happier and because he learns cool things (in fact, I never did say thank you to the girl who helped him develop that fabulous oral technique!).

But, sometimes it hurts, and sometimes emotions just aren't that clear cut. I want him to have everything--I guess I just want to have it too.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Elle King

Just digging this chick and this video, so thought I would share!


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Polyamory deal breakers

Because I am actively on the non-monogamy play partner hunt, here are my poly relationship deal breakers both in terms of possible new relationships and what might kill an existing relationship:
1. Monogamy. I know this may sound silly considering the topic, but I was asked more than once before I got married if I would become monogamous now that I found the right man. The answer is no, because non-monogamy has nothing to do with whether or not I have found the “right” person. I feel that Danny is very right for me, but he and I will never be monogamous. I understand that different relationships have different guidelines of what is acceptable, but non-monogamy in some form will always be on the table.
2. Absolute veto power. The relationship before Danny ended because one of the three involved had that absolute power, and when the emotional connection between the other two became more than she wanted, she used it. I understand a need for some kind of veto power, but it must be a last resort. Once everyone is emotionally involved, using that power without intense discussion simply cannot be an option. I will not put myself in that position again.
3. I cannot be a secret. If you can't tell your other partner/s about me, then we simply should not be considering a relationship. This means that if you state that your relationship is, "don't ask don't tell" I will probably just walk away rather than risk being a part of someone's lie.
4. The cover-up. I do not know if my partner having sex with someone outside of our boundaries would end the relationship, that would require discussion—but I do know that covering up that act, or covering up anything that would have an impact on our relationship, would. Mistakes happen, dishonesty is deliberate.
5. Putting my health at risk. I don’t care if you don’t like wearing condoms—if we are fluid bonded there can’t be any other fluid bonding with anyone else unless I agree. I offer the same in return.
I think that just about covers it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Feeding the beast

Up until three years ago, all of my adult relationships had power-exchange as their defining characteristic. I have written much about my submissive nature, and that nature has not really changed, but I no longer feel the need for power-exchange in my relationships on more than a scene-by-scene basis. I am still somewhat surprised by this.

I do, however, have beasts that need to be fed. I have found, for example, that I cannot live without the ability to feed my masochism on a somewhat regular basis--which gets only slightly complicated by the fact that my husband is not a sadist. Thank goodness for non-monogamy.

For quite a long time, I have bought into the De Sade philosophy of "sex without pain is like food without taste." I am finding now, however, that sex without pain can be incredible, and erotic, satisfying, and hot, and in no way lacking. Still, I find that every once in awhile I just have to get out and feel pain--to be beaten, and tortured, and pushed, and made to orgasm from pure painful sensation.

I miss going deeply into my masochism. I always worry with this particular beast that I will bite off more than I can chew--the whole "be careful what you wish for" thing definitely applies--but I am eager to give myself over to it and just get the hell out of my own way and let it happen. When I do, it is awesome.

I like the head space I get into when I bottom to a hot sadist. I like the soreness the next day--the tenderness in the nipples, the pain in my wrists where they pulled against the restraints, even the stiffness in my neck and shoulders brought on by gripping and tensing as I process the sensations.

I don't need this every day, and, thanks to my lover, I now know that I do not need it to have an amazing sexual experience--but I do need it.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

On hunting unicorns

In poly circles, a unicorn is generally known as a bisexual female who wants to be in a non-monogamous relationship with both members of the couple and not really disrupt their lives all that much. They are called unicorns because it seems everyone wants to find one, but they are rarely, if ever, seen. I have been a potential unicorn, and I have been part of a couple in search of a unicorn, and here is what I have learned—the term is kind of bullshit.
Many people spend their lives in search of the “one,” (a creature who, to me, is equally as mythical because he or she simply does not exist), and most of the time, they fail. There is no way that failure is not magnified when the “one” you want is to become part of a triad.
Basically, what you are hoping to find is a woman who attracts you, who is attracted to both you and your partner, who is open to polyamory (and, often, to kink), whose life fits in with yours, whose personality and energy meshes well with yours and your partners’, who is willing to abide by all existing relationship rules and not seek other relationships of her own, and who is available to complete your triad at that particular time. That is an awful lot for one person to be, so yes, that “perfect” person is, not surprisingly, rare.
Now—I get that someone may write that they found their unicorn and it is wonderful—to that I say, hooray! Feel free to share your story :-) But, if that were the norm, the term would not exist and neither would this writing, so unless we want to rip a hole in the space/time continuum, it is probably safest to move on.
It is difficult to make two people work out long term because of the personalities and emotions and life goals and, and, and… That gets exponentially harder when you try it with three, or four, or a googol people. And every person you want to add with very specific attributes becomes more rare, of course, because the search parameters have been narrowed and the pool of available candidates has gotten smaller.
I have known quite a few couples over the years who are on the hunt for a unicorn, and every one of them failed because when you are chasing a myth, reality will just never do. The woman you seek is not a unicorn—she is not mythical, and she is not magical—she is human, and, chances are, she is not perfect.
The problem with ascribing any kind of mythical status to her is that you take away her status as a mere mortal. When you are so busy looking for the unicorn, you may easily miss opportunities and relationships with real potential, and when you are trying so hard to turn someone into a unicorn, you may interfere with her ability to be her most authentic self.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Vows (on keeping the monogamy out of our wedding)

When Danny first found me on OkCupid, the first line of my profile read, “If you are looking for monogamy, I am not your girl.” He, obviously, liked this (and my references to Princess Bride, Doctor Who, and Vonnegut), and sent me a message. I sent him one back, we talked, then met in person at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, where, three years later, we were married.

In those three years, I had people ask me on several occasions if we would become monogamous when we “got serious” and decided to get married. Well, no, that isn’t really how it works. We were serious about each other when we moved in together, we were serious about each other when he got offered a job across the country and we moved our lives, and we would still be just as serious about each other if we never decided to get married.

Marriage ≠ monogamy, at least not for us.

Over the course of our relationship, we have definitely hit some non-monogamy speed bumps, but at no time did we even entertain the idea of being monogamous, so when we were planning our wedding, we wanted to make sure there was no hint of, “forsaking all others.” The ceremony had to be authentically us, though not so obvious as to shock the more conservative members of our families.

First, the rings. Danny was adamant that he wanted titanium bands to symbolize our relationship and its extremely strong yet very light nature. We chose matching bands with three inset gemstones—sapphire in the middle, and two green garnets on the sides to represent nature and the colors of our eyes.

The wedding party was made up of people we loved, some of whom we have played with, one of whom is my girlfriend.

We chose two readings for the ceremony: Gibran’s On Marriage, and a Victor Hugo/Walt Whitman mash-up that we created because we could. The Gibran reading was particularly important because it said everything we felt about the nature of couplehood:

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

After this, we both read our statements of love to one another (awwwww!).

Then the vows—very short, very to the point, and very, very us:

Do you promise…

To respect and cherish each other as partners and equals, and to honor each other as individuals?

To laugh together in the good times and comfort each other in times of struggle?

To take the adventurous road in pursuit of one another’s dreams and to delight in what you know of each other and trust what is yet undiscovered?

We did, and we do—and we look forward to many, many years of wedded, non-monogamous bliss.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Consent: A play in one act


Scene: A munch, sometime before today.
Characters:
Your friendly, neighborhood wench
Danny (her main squeeze)
Skippy: A male acquaintance
~~~
Skippy—speaking to Danny: “Do you mind if I do something to your wife?”

Danny: “Well, she isn’t my wife, yet, but, regardless, you should really ask her.”

Skippy: “But this thing could get me in trouble.”

Danny: “Again, she is an autonomous being—speak to her.”

Skippy turns to the wench in question and, without speaking to her, grabs her arm, pulls up her sleeve, and pinches her hard enough to leave two bruises.

Wench: “If you ever do that again, I will punch you, hard.”

Wench storms off stage left.

And…scene.
~~~
So, yeah, this happened—and sure, a pinch on the arm may not seem like a big deal to some, but it was—and what it says is huge. It says that, to some, my consent in this community means little. It says that if I am partnered with a man that this man must speak for me. It says that there are people out there who think they can grab a woman and cause her pain without any type of permission whatsoever. 

This isn’t the first time I have written about this (exhibit A), but this is the first time I walked away with actual bruises, and every time I think about it, it pisses me off all over again. I am just so tired of having to fight for what I feel should be assumed without question--namely, that I have ultimate control over what happens to my body.  

Yes, we are in a community that engages in power exchange. And sure, a woman may give the power of permission to some other individual—but if you want to know if that dynamic exists, ask her, and recognize that it is she who has given that power.  The default simply HAS to be that consent lies with the individual.

This is an important discussion because these consent violations are not always being committed by those we consider predators. Seriously. This guy is not the creepster that girls need to be warned about. He has sincerely apologized and will most likely not be making the same mistake any time soon. But it doesn’t really matter in the moment if the person who is treating you as less than a fully-functioning human being is misguided or an actual predator—it sucks either way. 

So—let’s make this simple: Don’t. If you do not have permission from or through the person whose body you want to touch--just don’t. That’s it.  Just. Fucking. Don’t.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Flux

In the last few months, I have become increasingly aware of the people in my life who are busy discovering totally new aspects of their sexuality or indulging in areas that are either different from that they present to the kink world or different from the part of their personality that I know so well. Straight men exploring bisexuality, tops enjoying a good whipping, bottoms happily and confidently directing their slaves, women enjoying masculinity as they define it, and men enjoying their femininity in the same way.
Hooray!
I have been doing what-it-is-that-we-do for what seems like a very long time, and in that time I have had my perceptions and pre-conceived notions challenged a number of times. Each time I have been deeply grateful that it happened--because every time it opened up this life, my life, in so many ways.
The first time I realized how nuanced BDSM can be, I was tied to a double cross in a hotel somewhere near LaGuardia in the late 90s and there was a man across from me making a lot of noise as he enjoyed a good flogging. I tuned the guy out until my own scene was finished, then I looked up and made eye contact and was startled to discover it was a man whose dominance/sadism had me totally awestruck earlier in the evening. Mind-fricking-blown.
Since that eye-opening moment, I have been through a few of my own gender/orientation bending changes as I have gone from straight to bisexual to pansexual, from submissive to switch to bottom to fairly meh about the whole power-exchange thing, and from neutral to masculine to feminine to who gives a fuck?
So--a couple of decades from that first encounter--I enter into a relationship with a heterosexual, non-power-exchange man, we move in together, we decide to get married, we plan our lives together, and he becomes a man whose status on the kink spectrum is constantly in flux.
Again—hooray!
I want him to experience all that he wants to experience, even when what he wants scares me. I love the feel of his energy as it reacts to new stimuli and the ways in which his world becomes larger as he discovers long-hidden parts of his nature.
I want, no, I need to be the person who gives him the freedom to explore, who encourages him, who provides safety and a soft place to land when his new vulnerability leads to pain.
And I need exactly the same thing from him, and from every one of my partners.
I need the freedom to be constantly in flux.