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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Censorship and BDSM

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I am so relieved that Fetlife.com is still up. When they took down the personals section in Craigslist and all those other websites, I thought that Fetlife was next. When all that was going on, we were about to move from Guam to Hawaii, and I was like “How are we going to make new friends after we move?”

Thankfully, that wasn’t a problem.

However, that doesn’t mean we should let our guard down. There is a lot of censorship going on lately in other areas, and maybe we all think it’s for the best to ban a shitty Nazi or take away Alex Jones show (they are horrible!) But, we have to be watchful because it could be us next.

I would encourage you all to think about the balance between free speech and censorship. I know it’s not sexy and there are no whips and chains involved, but spare a minute anyway.

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My second degree is in Communications, and that involved a lot of Media Law classes and Constitutional Law classes. Where it sits right now, free speech ends at harm. So a shitty Nazi telling people to kill Jews is trying to incite violence, and that is a type of harm. You’re not allowed to say that you want to kill the President because that is a type of harm (although- only to him.) And of course, the old example of not being able to yell “fire” in a theater is just another example of a way to cause harm.

Keeping this principle in mind, let’s try to keep anything that could be construed as harm off of our sites. You know what I mean. If you see something shady in our community, say something. It’s up to us to police ourselves so that we can mount a good legal defense if they come for us.

I know that may ring a little paranoid to some ears, but then, folds told me before the Edward Snowden revelations that it was silly of me to think that the government was spying on its own citizens. Afterwards, everyone just got kind of awkward when they realized that an NSA agent had probably seen their dick pic.

The point is, we all need to be mindful of censorship and how it can affect us. This is a conservative era and online communities are being affected. Let’s make sure we’re not one of them.

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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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Happy Halloween!

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I’ve written before about how much I love Halloween  because it’s the one day a year that, instead of giving me dirty looks, people say “Nice costume!” It’s really wonderful to be able to walk around dressed in Domme gear instead of having to bring it all in a bag and get dressed in the bathroom of a venue (I learned the hard way that you do not want to get pulled over by a cop while wearing vinyl because they do not like that, so change when you get there.) But on Halloween, all things are permitted.

As I have often said, I love this. I don’t slut-shame the sexy nurses, sexy kitty cats, or any other silly costume marketed to women. I don’t care that women use Halloween as an excuse to dress as something that they never normally would. In fact. I think that is great!

However this year, a reader asked me a new question that I have never even thought of before, and it kind of blew my mind. He wrote: “Do you get upset when vanilla women dress up as a Dominatrix on Halloween? Isn’t this cultural appropriation?”

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So first, I want to say that I think it’s pretty shitty when people make a culture into a costume. I have Native American friends, and I am super offended when I see someone wearing a cheap, fake headdress made out of chicken feathers and calling themselves “Chief Wanna-Bang-You” or some other disgraceful shit. Fuck people who do that.

And second, I want to agree that Kink is a culture, and that a vanilla woman dressing up as a Domme for Halloween is definitely appropriation of a culture. HOWEVER, I do not think it is offensive. Look; that might be a personal thing. Maybe I am wrong (and if so please write to me and tell me why!)

It’s just that to me, shaming someone for cultural appropriation requires that the appropriation actually does some damage. And honestly, I think kink fiction written by vanilla people (such as 50 Shades of Grey) does a lot more damage than some vanilla wife playing Domme could ever do. I just mean, I think that standard we should use when we decide if something is appropriation is: Does it cause harm? And I don’t think that a vanilla woman in a fake pleather outfit with a thin, novelty whip is hurting anyone (literally or metaphorically.)

Halloween is my favorite holiday, and I don’t want people to be dicks on Halloween. So don’t appropriate someone’s culture. Be respectful of Native Americans, Black Americans, and everyone the fuck else. But on the other side of it, don’t be a white person who wants to call people out just for fun, because those people turn Halloween into a nightmare by actively trying to get offended.

Also, do not spread all that bullshit about how stoners are going to give your kids drugs. Drugs are very expensive, and no one is going to give them away on Halloween. The Beckys who push this crap are really ruining a perfectly good holiday.

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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!

Valentine’s Nightmare

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Every year Valentine’s Day looms; that pain-in-the-ass day where you feel obligated to honor all of your intimate relationships. Yuck.

Personally, I am much more interested in buying gifts for people when the mood strikes me (if I see something they would like.) And yet, if you don’t get a gift for your significant others on Valentine’s Day then you are an asshole. Also, it has to be a gift they would like; not something that you want (Example: Do not get your girlfriend lingerie and then ask her to wear for you unless she asked for it.)

If you are monogamous, then you really only have to worry about one person, so that is a relief. In this way, you can stress about Valentine’s Day like a vanilla person, with only the concerns of what to get and where to go. It’s still uncomfortable pressure on what might otherwise be a comfortable relationship. But at least you only have the one person to concern yourself with.

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If you are Poly, then you either put a lot of thought into planning something special for everyone you are dating, …or you are me.

Normally I am pretty good at this stuff. I have been poly for a long time, and I know that I need to make sure that everyone feels valued on important days. But sometimes (like right now) I am a little overwhelmed and it all falls apart.

The story goes like this: I just got back from Australia and I am still recovering from the trip. I won’t bore you with the details, but I am not as young as I used to be and I have medical issues that make traveling hard. So, I needed to catch up on doctor’s appointments and sleep.

I bought my husband a card and some chocolates and I thought “that should be fine.” After all, the rest of my relationships are long-distance right now, so what are the odds they will want to exchange gifts? I guess I knew in the back of my mind that I was lying to myself, but it felt so good to choose the option that didn’t involve getting out of bed, so I did…

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Then a very sweet card arrived from one of my guys in the US, with a gift card inside.

Fuck.

So of course, I panicked like the basket-case that I am at the moment.

I jumped on Amazon.com and send him a gift that is probably over-the-top because I feel guilty. Then I grabbed my address book and picked out a book for the other guy I am in a relationship with as well (just in case he got me something.)

Then, sitting by myself on my floor having just spent $100 on amazon, I wondered if I am also expected to call.

Probably.

On the day, or the weekend before?

I have no idea.

Le Sigh.

And this is just the distress of a person who is casually dating people who she is geographically separated from. When we all lived in the same place, it was much more complicated. Who gets Valentine’s Day night? My primary? Or since they get me all the time, is that not fair? What if my primary says they don’t care about Valentine’s Day and so I make other plans, but then they realize last minute that they do care?

This is different for poly people who don’t have separate relationships. Sometimes a couple dates another person as a unicorn and they can all spend Valentine’s Day together. Sometimes two people are dating two other people and each other, and they can just double-date. There are lots of situations that can work out to be less complicated, depending.

Mine just isn’t currently one of them.

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Anyway, you can tell I hate Valentine’s Day. It is, and always has been, my least favorite holiday. It’s full of pressure to have the perfect dinner, the perfect scene, and the perfect sex. Not to mention the pressure on Poly folks to decide who you see on the day, and who gets a day that isn’t really Valentine’s Day but you can pretend.

You can say that I am just contrary, (since if you know me, you know I also hate Christmas.) But I would argue that I have very good reasons to dislike the holidays that I dislike, and that I make up for it by loving Halloween five or six times more than normal.

Anyway, I hope you all have a good Valentine’s Day. Spend it with people you love and don’t let the societal pressures and expectations bum you out!

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