Saturday, April 17, 2010

So, about that beer . . .

The new profile pic is one of a number of promo shots for OctRoperFest 2. In its second year, this local rope conference promises to be great fun -- national presenters, excellent rope, while maintaining a down-to-earth Austin vibe.

I like the pic, but it's hilarious for a couple of reasons. First reason is that I'm fairly clean living these days, so that's probably the closest I'd been to a beer in a long while. (It could have been worse. As you'll see on the site, last year's pics involve tons of sausage; as a long term vegetarian, I'd have needed to call red on that!)

The other is that I seem to be demo girl lately, not only for these pics but helping friends with their rope homework, being a demo girl for a live performance at last year's Extravagasm, etc.

I haven't quite figured out what I think about that. I think there are moments for it, and . . . I'm rapidly realizing that I am a strongly top-leaning switch (much as I am a strongly dyke-leaning bi girl). And, the presumption default around switches still tends to be that most are either tops who are trying to gain experience as a bottom, or dilettante bottoms playing around at the top side -- neither of which fits me at all. (Nor, I suspect, any but a small number of actual switches.)

The fact is, that I do want substantive, deep experiences on the rare occasions I bottom. And I am most likely to get those in the context of strong play relationships. Given that I am unlikely to form long-term relationships as a sub, this generally has meant bottoming to close friends who are tops, or bottoming to my own submissives. I joke that I'm most likely to order my girl to beat me, and that's not exactly untrue.

It's an interesting place to explore. I'm still unpacking it.

Oh my!

Twisted Monk goes fairly Eddie Izzard on us. Oh my!

It's sorta hot, actually . . .

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Going Beyond the Comfort Zone

There's a book on flogging in my reading bag today, along with the usual assortment of other non-fiction. (I do pity the fool at the coffee shop who innocently asks what I'm reading!)

I don't consider myself good at flogging -- and I don't know that a book is going to help that. I've had a few in-person lessons at flogging, and freaked out in the way I tend to do at any new skill I sort of want to learn but am afraid I'll look bad at -- like dancing, or Pilates. I want to practice it in private until I look a little bit like I know what I'm doing. And, with flogging you really can't.

I like canes. Yes, there is a certain amount of tech to them -- and a fair amount of kinetic learning to use them well without causing damage. But as a rule, they're an easy tool to self-teach. Once I understand the physics of them, the canes will pretty much go where I aim them with little muscle raining required.

Whips and floggers, on the other hand . . . oy. It feels like each of those tails has a mind of its own. I am too close, too far. The tails wrap. And while I am fairly sure I won't do serious damage to anything but my ego if things go wrong, I hate (hate, hate) hurting my bottoms in any but the ways I intend to. And so, this is a skill set I've avoided building.

Of course, the universe pairs me with a girl who's interested in floggers.

That may read like snark. If so, it shouldn't.

The fact is: the places where I have the deepest gaps and insecurities are the places where I need to most grow as a top. Period. Exclamation point. That doesn't mean I need to get good at everything -- I never see myself as having a yen for medical play. But then, I'm not insecure about medical play . . . because I have no interest in it. Flogging? Very much like dancing or Pilates, it holds a strong charge for me -- a taste of the fruit I've forbidden myself.

And of course that's precisely it. Back in the day, my dom didn't have any training in flogging. She didn't have anyone to teach her. She read what she could, practiced on a few pillows, and then had the courage to learn the rest on me. (She also, bless her heart, had no qualms about learning to do our first Shibari experiments with Midori's book open right in front of her like a recipe.)

I explain all this to my girl. Explain that I'm afraid that I may not be very polished at it -- and that my worst fear is that I may wrap the tails and hurt her in a not-pleasant way. Beautiful thing, she assures me this is okay. We can learn together.

And of course that's what the best bottoms do -- motivate us lazy-ass tops to avoid becoming arrogant, asshole doms and instead keep our beginners minds. This is, after all, a co-created process.

And so, the book goes in the bag, and my ego gets put on time out for a while. It's a good thing.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Want, want, want, covet, covet

Oh. My. Gods.

I cannot believe these are so cheap! It's like a DK picture book of Shibari!

Complete Shibari: Land and Sky

And no, I have no vested interest in mentioning this . . . beyond a not-so-vague hint that this would make an extremely fabulous gift for the rigger in your life. (Hint, hint.)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Planning to play with the big dogs

I am definitely going to Shibaricon this year.

I am not pondering going. I am not winning a ticket and then not going (as I did three years ago). Nope - I am totally going.

If at all possible, I have the perfect rope bottom in mind to take along. If she can't make it, I am still going. Dammit. For reals.

You heard it here first!

Monday, January 4, 2010


There are many ways to return to daily life after time off.

But a blackened ass is, perhaps, the perfect accessory.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

When I rule the world . . .

. . . all play parties shall be held in the day time.

As it is, I see a great deal of caffeine in my near future.

That is all.

Friday, January 1, 2010

You and i

Or, the online version of "Are you my dommy?"

There is a weird phenomenon of online kinksters that I simply do not get.

Yes, my darlings, it's 'You' and 'i'.

I'm referring to submissives -- usually male -- begin begin emailing or messaging me and refer to me as 'You' (and themselves as 'i') right off the bat.

I do most of my play in person, so perhaps I've missed something here. This may well be the norm in online communications -- although so far, my experience doesn't back that up. Most charitably, I'm sure they mean well. Perhaps this is intended to be a sign of respect, or of status.

To me, it's neither -- and it irritates the hell out of me, for a few reasons.

First, and most critically, jumping into You/i in email communications puts me in a D/s dynamic that we have not negotiated, without my consent. I can't begin to see where this qualifies as sane, or consensual.

Second, I feel like I've wandered into a one-size-fits-all BDSM script every time this happens. The men who do this rarely have an idea of who I am or how I play. If they are looking for Ye Olde Standard Domme, I can't begin to tell them how disappointed they're going to be. Yes, I have the boots and the rope. Yes, I can be a mean bitch. And -- domme? With an '-me' at the end? Have you met me?! I am a gender bending feminist, who tops for her own reasons. I am not a 24 hour BDSM fantasy line.

Thirdly, if you do this in a public forum, you have potentially outed me without my consent.

Last, but not least -- I'm sorry, but you earn the right to call me by honorifics. If you are lucky, I will play with you as a friend and a equal, something I love to do. If you are extremely lucky, you will be allowed to enter into a D/s relationship with me, in which you earn the right to call me Ma'am, or Sir, or Mistress, or whatever the fuck I choose -- when I choose it.

I would be extremely interested to hear from others who do more of this online thing whether I'm just being cranky on this.

(PS: I should say, for the record, that calling oneself 'i', or anything else one wants, is always fine. It is always someone's right to call themselves whatever they want, and to ask for their preferred form of address. If anything, that's the heart of what I'm trying to say.)

Building Trust

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I cannot trust your yesses, unless I can equally trust your nos.

There's something to be said for the bottom pushing hir own boundaries, at least a bit. Just like in any endeavor -- yoga, weight training, learning an instrument or craft -- growth typically happens right outside the comfort zone. And so of course there's a value in playing up to one's boundaries, and renegotiating those consistently upward.

That said, there is never a value in going too far beyond those boundaries, or too quickly. To follow the analogy, one could hurt themselves -- physically or intellectually -- in a way that impedes further progress.

As a top, I have certain responsibilities. As I see them, those include:

- working to connect with and understand my own desires
- articulating those desires clearly, and non-coercively
- creating an environment of trust
- pushing my bottoms to their limits as appropriate, while keeping play sustainable and fun
- listening for, and honoring, boundaries

Bottoms also have certain responsibilities. The biggest can be summed up in a single sentence: know your boundaries, and articulate them as needed. (Put another way, we're back to the pithy Miriam quote: you cannot exchange power you don't have.)

The single most corrosive thing I have ever seen happen in the scene is for a bottom to go along with something they don't really want. The motivations can be multifold: to be a 'good' bottom, to please the top, to save face at a party, ambivalence, bad communication skills, immaturity, whatever. It doesn't matter. As a rule, I've seen this lead to bad scenes, and ultimately to bad relationships.

The other side to this, of course, is listening not just for consent but, to use a phrase bandied about lately, 'enthusiastic' consent.

The folks I know who have managed long term kinky relationships find ways to constantly negotiate their boundaries and desires. A failure to do this, early and often, will destroy trust, and relationships with it.

All this to say: finding someone who can say yes and no equally clearly, and both with an open heart? Priceless. There's a list coming soon in which I plan to articulate the ideal bottom. This has got to be number one on the list.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Kinky interwebz, and kinks . . .

Well, I was going to take a nice long nap this afternoon. Instead, I spent a good part of the afternoon setting up a FetLife profile. There is nothing like confronting a long list of fetishes to get you honest with yourself.

Many entries rattling around ye olde brain, no time to write them. Soon, my pretties!