I Don’t Feel Like Prancing

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I have moved to a new place, and I should be out getting to know people. However, I’ve been battling some pretty serious health issues lately, and I just haven’t had the energy. (I’m really old.)

Being laid up gives you time to scroll. I do spend time reading and doing things that are better for me, but I spend more time than I should scrolling. It makes me think about how saddened I am by the BDSM community (and the world at large) these days. There’s just so much attention-seeking, and everyone is fighting for “likes” and “shares” and validation.

We didn’t used to be like that.

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I hate to be that shitty old person who is like “Things were better in my day…” But a meetup back when I was younger was more about talking to like-minded people and sharing a connection over our mutual freakishness. I loved that.

Now, you go to a meetup and there’s a bunch of people just assessing you as “fuckable” or “not fuckable” and there’s so much less productive conversation. I don’t even think it’s generational. It’s older kinksters at these meetups too. I think it’s just what we’ve become.

It’s like everyone is out to commodity every relationship in some way and see what value the other person can have or what validation they can give.

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I’m not touchy-feely as a rule (probably due to being raped- which really did put me off strangers.) But when I spoke at this convention a couple years ago, everyone there was really upset by my standoffishness. They’ve reduced the concept of “connection” to touching, which is not at all the same thing.

I’m tired of feeling like the only thing going on in the kink space is a meat market full of peacocks.

I don’t know… I guess I’m just not looking forward to doing it all again. I’m too exhausted to smile and validate people and act like I care what they think of me. Why don’t we have munches for those of us who are deeply cynical, don’t care about attention or validation, and who just want to bullshit with other freaks? I don’t feel like putting on my slut-costume and prancing right now, so can we just hang out and chat?

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BDSM Resources

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It’s been a while since I’ve done a post about helpful resources for new kinksters, so I guess I’ll do one.

First, it’s awesome to learn from the people who are out there putting in the time to teach. I highly recommend Jay Wiseman, Midori, The Knotty Boys, and Janet Hardy. I’m not much of a teacher myself, even though I do my best to mentor the kinklings. But the real pros have more information and it’s better organized. Look to them.


Here’s Hardwire


Second, it’s all about head space. Where you exist in your mind is where it’s at. You can have a kink relationship with a vanilla person without them even knowing it by choosing to submit or to dominate in your own way and viewing the relationship in those terms in your own head. Seriously, kink happens in the mind.

Since kink is in your head, confidence is your biggest asset when you want to play a scene. For that, I recommend some great music. I like Faderhead, Element a440, Marilyn Manson, and Hardwire. However, you should find what works for you and makes you feel sexy and in the space that you want to be.


Here’s element a440.


Third, don’t buy cheap toy sets from a sex shop. Get some good quality leather that will last longer and be more fun to play with. You can find awesome vendors for cuffs, custom collars, floggers, and paddles. Just do some digging. If you won’t search for independent vendors, at least go through somewhere like Stockroom.com instead of Castle Boutique. (No offense to Castle- but they do carry lower-quality kink gear.)

There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to be you, but the main thing that defines the kink community is our focus on consent. In the vanilla world men touch women without consent and pressure them into things. We’re not like that. You should probably fill out a negotiation form or a BDSM Checklist before you play, and you should make sure never to get pushy and rapey with someone (unless they specifically tell you that their kink is for you to be pushy.) Communication is the best way to avoid confusion so TALK TO EACH OTHER.

Honestly, we make a lot of this stuff up as we go because BDSM is like Polyamory: It’s not represented in culture and there are not examples in your day-to-day life to model. But if you need a mentor, join Fetlife.com and go to a munch to meet people. We’ll help you.


Here’s Faderhead

Teaching

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I haven’t written  in ages because I’ve been really sick (not with a virus; like- the serious kind of sick.)

However, I was inspired to by a girl we’ll call Cupcake. She put out a call on a vanilla social media platform asking for advice on being a Domme. I hooked her up with a link to Midori, (a master) and didn’t think much else about it.

Then she wrote to me again. She had some interactions in the kink space that she wanted to discuss. Of course my initial response was to put her off. I’d never win any prizes in a narcissism contest because I’m firmly convinced that there are a million better teachers out there. But then I thought, well, I’m the most available to her and so I should help.

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As Cupcake and I talked, I felt inspired. I often get sort of bored with life (and kink) for periods of time. I guess it’s partially due to my health problems and partially due to the general existential crisis all conscious beings go through from time to time. Yet, I found myself pulled out of it by seeing kink through fresh eyes, as a new and exciting adventure.

This- when you get right down to it- is why those of us with decades of experience should be teaching and giving back to the newbies. We often feel put-upon when grilled about things we have explained hundreds of times, but we forget that it keeps the love of kink alive inside of us, too. Seeing anything in life through fresh eyes makes it beautiful again.

So, dear followers, find yourself a Cupcake of your own and be a mentor. It’s important so that the newbies learn to treat each other with respect and to value consent above all else. But it’s also important to keep us engaged so we still show up at munches and participate in the conversations.

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How Do We Cope?

I’ve been thinking a lot about my country, and about how hard it is to see it falling apart. I look around the world, and I see that other places have the same problems with rising income inequality and increased xenophobia. I don’t want to debate which is worse: US immigration camps or Australia’s immigrant prison island. Let’s just admit that we’re all doing it wrong.

For those of us who are kinky, this is particularly hard. They are taking down websites on the thin justification that “you could meet a prostitute” on them. We all wonder if our favorite kink sites will be next.

In addition, we see more puritanical laws going into effect. The government is seemingly bent on attacking anyone they don’t deem as “normal.” As a pansexual queergender polyamorous human, that is making me very nervous for obvious reasons. I know many of your feel the same. I have been watching a TV show called The Good Fight in which they tackle some of the issues we face in this new conservative era, but there is nothing out there that is truly representative of our struggle.

So how can we cope with this? How can we live each day in fear? How can we get past our social anxiety and our legitimate concern about being marginalized and get out of bed in the mornings?

For me, the answer is to fight back. I can’t be on the defensive. I can’t be the one always backing down. I have to be the one who sees he bad thing coming and rushes headlong at it like an idiot. That’s how I am going to cope with this.

I have always voted, but now I am pushing my friends about it. I also “came out” to my friends and family on Facebook so they would know that they know someone who is effected by this climate of hate. And, I am writing a series of romance novels to normalize kink.

Now, before you say that there are already some good books out there that portray kinky characters as normal humans, relax. I know that. But there are not enough of them. There are too many people reading “50 Shades of Grey” and thinking that is who we are. There are too many people who read the Beauty Series and think that kink without consent is sexy.

I want to lend my voice to the people who are writing about BDSM in consensual relationships. I want to write about how we slowly come into our own in the kink community after some soul-searching and some effort. So with that in mind, I’d like to tell you about The Jamie Johnson series.

It starts with a main character in a mostly vanilla relationship with only a little kink. She feels unfulfilled but unsure if she can find better (because I think we all started out that way.) In the second book she leaves her mostly vanilla relationship and experiments with a few sex clubs and stuff. And finally, in the third book, she figures out what she really wants and she finds it. As the character evolves and more kink is introduced, you can watch her grow as a person and become more confident and comfortable with who she is. It’s a process that I think any fully realized kinkster had to go through, and it humanizes us for the “normal” folks.

Obviously, I have made sure to include consent as a huge theme. I hope to show people that kink can absolutely be sexy even after a lengthy scene negotiation. I genuinely think that we are easily vilified and portrayed as “other” because people don’t understand us. This is my best attempt at combating that. And they are modeled after vanilla romance novels (of which I read 26 before starting this project to try to understand them.) This will hopefully make them palatable to vanilla people who will then come to see us as normal.

Book One: Love & The Desert
Book Two: Love & The Rose City
Book Three: Hearth & Home

The first two are on sale now on Amazon, and the third will be available in time for the holidays, so please feel free to give a friend the gift of ethical kink this year!

Lifestyle Under Threat

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It’s been two decades since I got into the kink scene for the first time, and so much has changed. Sit back, relax, and let me tell you younglings about how things were back in the day.

In the 90’s, religious groups would advertise fake kink meetups so they could prey upon anyone who showed up. It was mostly Mormons, but Christians did it too. I grew up in Arizona, and there was a kink group called Arizona Power Exchange, or APEX. They advertised their meetups with fliers at popular counter-culture hangouts like The Graffiti Shop on Mill Avenue. Unfortunately, they couldn’t stop Mormon prayer groups from putting out fliers for fake events, and then telling any “sinner” who showed up how they needed to be saved.

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This is how I came to understand that kinky people were discriminated against by society, and it’s also how I came to hate Mormons. I actually wish Hell was real so those fucks could burn in it.

However, it wasn’t just Mormons and other religious nut-balls who preyed upon us. There were a lot of physiologists who saw kink as a disease of the mind. They claimed that things like rape fantasies made you “sick” and “dangerous.” They tried to lure people into special counselling groups and get them on medication, while lying to them about how unusual they were.

The cat is out of the bag, thanks to the Internet. In a new book called Everybody Lies, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz explains that Google searches show us for who we really are, and most of us have rape fantasies and dream of violent sex. So kinky people were not persecuted for being different- as we had always been told. Rather, we were persecuted for doing something that everyone secretly wanted to do, because we were actually doing it.

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It’s ironic, because I remember fellow kinksters saying things like: “They’re just jealous; they wish they had sex like us!” Then we all laughed because it was a joke to us to imagine those bigots being in touch enough with their sexuality to negotiate a scene and play it out. And yet, it turns out it was true. They were always just jealous.

These days, BDSM is no longer in the DSM as a mental disorder. Psychologists and medical doctors are instructed to treat us normally. Sometimes, they actually do.

We got to enjoy the era of CollarMe.com and Fetlife.com and the rise of munches and fetish proms in every city. We got to enjoy kinky people simply going about our lives and being treated with only mild disdain, instead of being thrown in prison. And those younglings who came into the community during this time of openness and acceptance might not realize how dangerous it used to be to be kinky.

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However, our freedoms are under attack. Now that we are threatened, we need to remember what it was like before we were free to meet and be and who we were. We need to look back at our history, and remember that there are people in prison right now for things like having rape fantasies. (Yes, I know one. He was convicted back when kink was still seen as a disorder and we were still considered dangerous.)

They are taking down websites. They use the excuse that these websites “could be used for sex trafficking,” but we all know that is bullshit. My Facebook profile says I am a guy, and I get TONS of spam from hooker-bots on Facebook, so any website can be used for sex trafficking. If I can buy a hooker on Facebook, I can buy one anywhere (since Facebook is where all the old grannies hang out.)

In Congress, they just decided that it’s okay for states to ban gay couples from adopting. This is in spite of all the studies which prove that gay couples are often better parents than straight couples (since they don’t have their kids by accident.)

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If you are a youngling that never lived through a fake kink meetup put on by religious people who blocked the door to keep you from leaving and shouted hateful shit at you, then you might not see the writing on the wall. That is why I am telling you: Attacks on marginalized people like sex workers and gay couples are attacks on us. They are coming at us one subgroup at a time, and they are working hard to criminalize everything about who we are.

What we have built over the years is something I am so proud of. The kink community used to be full of exploitative Doms and abused women. And yet from that, we built a healthy community full of supportive networks of people. We built websites and clubs and spaces where kink could be safe. I am so proud of us and of all the things we have created for safe, sane, and consensual kinky sex.

Seeing the government begin to attack us again is terrifying. Having someone like Mike Pence in the White House is probably the scariest thing I can think of. I know everyone focuses on the buffoon in the spotlight, but he is deeply irrelevant. Pence is the one who is part of the Quiverfull Movement (a group of religious extremists whose ultimate goal is to force all women into the home and to force Christian values and straight vanilla sex on us all.) All the dangerous legislation against us is coming from Pence. And this is something we need to be talking about.

If you are kinky, then politics needs to matter to you. I know it’s easier to avoid it and to just not talk about it, but we can’t do that. We have to fight for the community that we have built, and fight against those who would take our freedom to fuck in fun ways away from us. You might think it can’t get that bad, but it was that bad twenty years ago. It can be again.

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Please vote. Please write to your elected representatives. Please talk to people about the community and how we are just normal folks like them (as opposed to terrifying criminal sinners.) Be open about who you are and how you follow laws. Remind people that CONSENT is our biggest rule.

And as an aside, I wrote a trilogy of books to humanize us. They are modeled after a vanilla romance novel (I read about 30 vanilla romance novels before writing them to get the formula right.) However, the main character is kinky. She starts out a little kinky, and then evolves into a polyamourous dominatrix. The point of the series is to teach vanilla people about consensual kink and how normal and non-threatening it is.

So, if you know a vanilla person who might need that lesson, please buy them The Jamie Johnson Trilogy. It’s not anything super-special to us kink folks (all the kink scenes are pretty tame and standard.) But that is because it’s intent is not to shock. Rather, it is to lull the vanilla folks into a sense of security because we’re just normal human beings who have a few whips and chains in our closet, and it’s not a big deal.

You probably don’t have time to write novels, but any form of activism you choose to do is equally valid. Just fight. Please. We all need to fight for our right to be kinky!

Happy Pride

It’s Pride month, and I just want to wish you all a very happy Pride. That includes the people who are out, and the people who are in the closet, and everyone in between. That includes the gay people, the bi people, the pan-sexual people, and the asexual people. Whatever you are, it’s okay to be proud of yourself in spite of your lack of representation in culture and media. Everyone is valid. Everyone matters. And just because our stories aren’t being told; doesn’t mean we aren’t important.

I consider myself to be a boy in a girls body (so both genders,) as well as pan-sexual, poly-amorous, and kinky. There are no people like me in movies or on TV shows. There are no books with heroes or heroines that I can identify with. My orientation is always something I have to explain, because it’s not hetero so its “not normal.”

And you know what? I am still proud. I am a fabulous, adventurous, fun person and I have nothing to be ashamed of. That goes for all of you, as well. We are awesome, and we should have Pride!

Munches and Thoughts

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I have had some time now to rest and relax, and to reflect on my trip.

I had to cram a lot of things into far too small an amount of time, so I was only able to make it to two kink events.

Sydney Board Game Munch

I want to say that the Sydney Board Game Munch was fabulous, and it really helped me get an idea of what the scene there is like. Plus, I played two new games; Joking Hazard and Ticket to Ride. Both were a lot of fun! It’s wonderful to be around kinky geeks because we all have so many little quirks in common, and I feel so much less strange around other people who are kinky and geeky.

Sydney Monthly Munch

Second, the Sydney monthly munch was nice, and I wish I could have stayed longer. It was really delightful to be around kinky people again, and to be able to talk about kinky things. I played a game of BDSM Jenga, which I hadn’t done since Korea. That was a lot of fun. And, I talked up my books and passed out business cards.

All The Gratitude 

I had spoken to a guy named Kinky Panda online before I came, and it was wonderful to meet him and to hear his thoughts on kink, Australia, and everything else. Plus, he introduced me around a little to other people, so I didn’t feel like a stranger in a room of cliques I wasn’t part of.

By the way, that is something that I think a lot of people overlook- making a connection before you go somewhere.

It’s important because kinky folks are often secretive. This is justified, because being “outed” can ruin someone’s life. Therefore, being mindful of that is important when traveling. Join some groups and chat with some people before you go to a new spot. Ask to be introduced around at events. It really helps.

I was glad that I had put in the effort, and that I had lucked out and met a really cool person who knew everyone. So if you are reading this, thank you Kinky Panda. You are the bomb!

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The Bad News

However, it was not all sunshine and roses.

Being around a community again also reminded me of some of the bullshit that you have to deal with. I guess I had completely forgotten that stuff. It’s amazing how isolation makes things fade away from the forefront of your mind.

Yet, you have to remember that I did spend twenty years in the community before I came to Guam. And, it turns our that memory floods back quite quickly with the right trigger.

My time with the Sydney kink community inspired me to want to tell you a few things that I think need to be said more often. But, don’t take this as a reflection on Australia! This stuff applies to every community I have been in, in South Korea, France, the USA, etc…

Again, I want to emphasize that I loved the Sydney community and I loved Australia. BUT I also remembered some old gripes that my subconscious has had a lot of time to turn over and think about since I have been forced to live in solitude the last four years.

So, here goes:

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1. Do not criticize events unless you are planning to pay for, create, and promote your own. This awful woman at the board game munch went on and on about how she was tired of seeing rigging work at kink parties. After awhile, I really wanted to scream in her face for being such a whiny downer when she has never planned a single party.

I have planned parties with burlesque dancers and had people complain that they wanted rigging. I have planned parties with rigging and had people complain that they wanted bands. I have planned parties with bands and had people complain that they wanted parties with scenes. And, I have planned parties with scenes only to have people bitch that there were no dancers.

Look: unless you have something constructive to say (Example: I like burlesque dancers, but I think instead of a stage with entertainment I would prefer a vendor area) then keep your mouth shut. And you know what? Even if you have something constructive to say: Say it nicely. We promoters work hard for you!

Planning events is a thankless job. I never made much money at it (and what I did I always put straight back into the scene.) I just did it because I wanted to be able to go to good parties, and there weren’t already good parties going on. So, I made some. And I really don’t think that people who just show up to things and whine add anything to the world. I think they are just soul-sucking harpies without an ounce of happiness inside them.

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2. Do not make generalizations because it makes you sound like an asshole. The same loud (and quite rude) woman who was whining about events basically said that all riggers are rapists. She went on and on about it.

When I said that I had never raped anyone and I didn’t think it was a fair thing to say, she simply carried on with her stream of vitriol towards anyone who does rope work (now I am often too lazy to bother with rope, but I do know how to do rope work and I do think it is a beautiful art form.)

The thing about people who want to attack an entire section of the community and slander them with lies is that their words do not reflect on the people they are talking about. Nothing that Angry Girl said about riggers in any way affected my opinion of the rope community in Sydney. What it did affect was my opinion of the girl saying the nasty things. I found her to be bitter and mean. Her words made her look horrible, and thereby improved my opinion of riggers in Sydney considerably. I now think that they must be fabulous people, because a really terrible woman doesn’t like them.

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3. And finally: Kink is an orientation. Those of us who are kinky were born this way, and it is not something that we can change. To say that we don’t have to be this way is to not really understanding what kink is. If you think that kink is not an orientation, then you don’t belong among us.

It is just like those men who say that doing certain things will “turn you gay.” You know what I mean. All those pastors who claim that men listening to Taylor Swift or watching Frozen will turn them gay. Those men only think that because they are already gay, and they are lashing out at the things that make them feel like having sex with men (which is most things since they are already gay.)

If you think kink is not an orientation, that is only because it is not your orientation. Maybe you think you are into kink because you like shemales or furries. But if you don’t understand that kink is an orientation, then you are not really one of us. You have just someone who has a fetish.

Because, if you were kinky, you would know that it is how we are. I feel it in my bones. It is as much a part of who I am as my sexual orientation, and I couldn’t change it if I wanted to.

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In conclusion:

I really did have a good time in Sydney, and I am glad that I went to some munches while I was there. However, it did remind me that some people in the community just suck. It’s a shame, but it is how it is. They make drama, criticize instead of create, and generally ruin everything that others work hard to build. And the worst part is that they think their shitty attitudes are good for the community because they think everyone needs to hear what they have to say in order for things to get better.

This is a lie.

Things in a community get better when people STOP bitching and moaning, and start doing actual things.

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You are either the person who says that riggers are rapists and that they are the worst people in the community, or you are the person that learns Shibari and puts on beautiful displays for your fellow kinksters.

You are either the person who whines that events are not good enough and that you don’t like the entertainment, or you are the person that plans events and does the best you can to make them awesome.

You are either the person who creates drama and is mean to new people, or you are the person who keeps a blog and helps new kinksters to learn about BDSM.

Don’t be the shitty person. If your life sucks and you are miserable and bitter, fine. But keep that toxic shit to yourself. When you whine and bitch, it doesn’t say anything about the people and things you complain about; it says something about you. No one likes the person who complains all the time. No one wants to be around that person, and no one values that person’s opinion.

I would urge all of you to be the change that you want to see in the world. That is how we have a good community.

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