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!

Professional vs Personal

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There are a lot of differences between doing something professionally and doing it for fun. I was arguing this with a friend the other day, and now that I have thought about it I think I can explain it better.

First, being a Domme in your personal life is nothing like doing it professionally because it’s for fun. You get to set up scenes you want to play out, and pick who you play with, and all kinds of others awesome things. So of course, it’s fun to be a Domme when it’s not your job. (And maybe you’ve noticed that almost anything seems fun until you do it for a living.)

The Woman.

The Woman.

So for all you Dommes out there who have never worked professionally as a Dominatrix, of course it seems like it’s all fun and games.

The thing is, here’s what being a Professional is like:

I get to work and there is already two clients waiting. When I say clients, I kind of mean creeps. I know I shouldn’t say that, but I got a creeper vibe off half the guys that came to see me. So great, I pick one and we go into my room of the dungeon. I have a small table where we sit down, and I take out the standard consent form, which I have every single person sign before every single session. It says that I am not legally responsible for any physical harm that may occur during the course of the scene, and it asks questions they must answer about what kind of scene they are looking for.

We go over he form together and make sure I understand what type of scene they are looking for. Then I get out the checklist. It is a list of about 100 things that may or may not happen, depending on the client’s desires. On MY checklists, certain things were always crossed off, such as any part of me being penetrated by anything at all. Other Dommes made other choices and also made more money. I respect that, but chose not to do it.

So, then we know what kind of scene and what things will be done or not done. I name a price and collect the money up front, and then I go out and wait while the client prepares. (Usually taking clothes off and getting into position or whatever.)

I come back (leaving the door open so my DM can check in on me).

Now, let’s use an example of a common fetish that I had to deal with. I’ll describe a scene I did for a guy we’ll call Mr. Chocolate. So, he wanted very much to be treated like a puppy. He would do this in his underwear, with a collar and leash on.

He’d jump up and I’d say “No! That’s a bad dog!” And I’d use my riding crop to smack his butt. And then he’d pout and look cute, so I’d say “Aww, I can’t stay mad at you! Come here.” And I’d get down on the floor and let him crawl around and put his head on me and lick my face while I petted him.

He came to see me several times, and we played out scenes where I taught him tricks and punished him when he did them wrong; while rewarding him with treats when he did them right. He also came to me once obviously upset, and spent the whole time making little whimpering noises while I petting his head and told him he was a good puppy.

Mr. Chocolate had this need to be a puppy, and so my job was to play the scenes out with him. Would I have chosen to do those things on my own? No. I’m not really into pet play. (I do call my husband pet, and I do pet him, but he never pretends to be a dog and I don’t want him to.)

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That’s just one example. I had guys who just wanted to be flogged for hours. I had guys who waned to be spanked, and made to count each whack. I had guys who wanted to be hurt in any way I could think of until they “felt something.” Sometimes, it is about the pain.

But in my experience, mostly, it’s about the control. Someone wants to give themselves over to you wholly and completely and be free from all responsibility or worry. And because they are playing for it, the experience, it will be on their terms.

How is this different from a personal relationship, you ask?

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Well, here are the main things as I see it:

1. Focus. Yes, in private the sub still gives themselves over to you wholly and completely. However, they generally want to please you, rather than having the focus on them being pleased. Even when you do focus on just pleasing them, they still do what they can to make you feel good too, because you are their master and they want to please you.

2. Sex. There is usually sex or penetration of some kind or oral contact or something in a personal BDSM relationship. In general it is frowned upon in a professional context. This is because back in the day when I worked as a Domme*, the dungeons were in private houses and as long as there was no sex, it was legal. If sexual contact happened, it could be considered prostitution and there could be jail and fines and such.

3. Respect. A person who is paying you doesn’t respect you probably, even if they have to act like it to make the scene work. And you don’t respect them all that much either, since you can’t help wondering why they don’t get a girlfriend that will put them on a leash and take them for walks.

*Note: In the 1990’s the internet hadn’t quite created things like fetlife.com and collarme.com yet. There weren’t BDSM meetups just advertised, and going looking for them could be scary. Communities that you could talk about kink with were rare. Kink was less accepted, and more persecuted. Dungeons like I used to work out might not exist anymore (I haven’t been to one like that in years!) 

See, nowadays, you can just meet someone to do kinky things with, so there is no need to pay a girl to do things to you. 

So now, dungeons like the CSPC are places where people can go alone or as a couple and do kinky things in a professional dungeon setting, without needing to pay for time with a Dominatrix. 

It’s a better age, but I feel like it renders people like me somewhat obsolete. I just teach now. After all, I got good at speaking frankly about kink during all those scene negotiations I used to do. So, it’s easy for me to talk practically about things that embarass others. It’s therefore easy to do workshops and things like that. 

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Anyway the point is, working as a Domme isn’t the same as being a Domme for fun. If I’ve failed to explain why then I am sorry. I tried to do my best. But as someone who has Dominatrix friends who are both pro and personal, (as well as having been both) all I can do is promise you that I know what I am talking about. It’s not the same.

Anyway, I hope that you guys know I write these posts with a smile. If you met me in person you’d see that even though I can snap right the fuck into serious mode when I have to, I really am mostly a goofball.

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So Your Significant Other Is Into BDSM…

One of the most common questions that seems to come up in online forums related to BDSM is:

“Well, I’ve never thought about it and I am not into it, but my SO is into BDSM and I love them, so…”

I am not an expert at anything. I’ve just been in the scene for a really long time. It doesn’t make me a relationship guru and only you know what is right for you. But here is what I have noticed:

First, I am pretty sure this whole kink thing is The Way We Are. I have been fantasizing about pain since I was 5 years old, so I am pretty certain it’s just a personality trait, and I don’t think it will go away because someone else is not interested. I’m sorry, but I can’t change my hair color either.

Just understand that kink isn’t something that I think people typically choose. Maybe some people do- if they’re just bored with sex. However, I’ve been to a lot of play parties where we all started talking about how we got to be kinky, and all of us remember fantasizing about kinky things as kids.

So just take that into account.

However, let’s be honest: The kink community can come with a lot on nonsense in terms of dating. You meet people on fetlife.com or collarme.com and they can be nice people- or they can be people with serious issues who act like their kink is the only acceptable kind and everyone else is sick. Sometimes we get tired of dating “in our scene.”

There are all sorts of ways a relationship can go when you meet someone in the community. For example  sometimes you meet someone that you only play scenes with and the dynamic is really good; and you don’t want to make it a relationship because it might alter the dynamic.

Also, as I mentioned before when I talked about how to hit on a girl- just because a guy is kinky- does not mean he has game. Some of the people you meet are awkward enough that it can turn you off to kink completely for awhile. I have met a lot of girls that felt that way.

Worse still- sometimes you’re stuck living somewhere that the scene is mostly dead. Imagine that there are only six other people that ever meet up and they are all in monogamous relationships, and it’s just you all alone with no one kinky to date. And even if one other person showed up, and if they were of your preferred gender, and if they had kinks similar to yours, you still might not like them as a person. Or, to put it another way, just because the only male a of species left on Earth meets the only female of a species left on Earth, does not mean they will fuck.

The point is- dating in the scene can be complicated. Maybe a person doesn’t always feel like they have that option. And so sometimes we date vanilla people- for whatever reason.

So then various forums end up flooded with vanilla people asking one of two questions. They either want to know about kink and maybe get into it, or they want to know if their SO can live without it.

If they want to know more about it, there are great books like S&M 101 by Jay Wisemen. There are people who do workshops like Midori. There are people who do how-to videos like Twisted Monk. And there is loads of places to read up online like the FAQ section of reddit’s BDSM community. Learning about kink is as simple as spending some time reading.

Note that I didn’t recommend watching porn. There is good stuff out there, like the stuff at kink.com. That’s worth paying for- and I don’t often say that about porn. However, the majority of porn that is labeled BDSM is actually just porn, but with vinyl clothes. That’s not really going to help anyone learn about kink.

Anyway there are lots of resources. If you want to learn, it’s easy.

The other question is harder. What most vanilla people dating someone into BDSM really seem to want to know is- can they live without it. I have met too many people who were dating someone who often pushed them to get freaky and they just didn’t want to. They had no interest in whips, chains, spankings, or even a little light bondage. And they wanted me to tell them that their SO didn’t need those things.

Like I said at the start of this post- I am pretty sure I was born this way. I don’t think there was ever an option for me. I think I have always been tweeked a bit- and I don’t think I can change it any more than I can change my hair colour. That’s just me. Maybe your significant other is different. Maybe they can be happy with vanilla sex forever. Talk to them about it. And if they say they are sure they can quit kink cold turkey and never ask you for anything out of the ordinary, then maybe that is the case.

Only you know how your relationship is doing and how your dynamic is. Only you know what you can live with, and what you can live without. I think more than anything else, what’s needed in such situations is soul searching. Because if your SO is into BDSM and you’re sure that you’re not- then sometimes the relationship is probably not going to work out. Sorry to end on a down note; but it had to be said.