Shameless Part Two

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Awhile ago, I pointed out that my husband added a PayPal button, in hopes that some of you might consider my writing worth a few dollars here and there. (I’m a writer so of course I am poor.)

I have since then heard other bloggers refer to their PayPal buttons as tip jars, and I love that. I want to think of it as a tip jar, because as a long-time bartender, tipping is a well-established way to show appreciation in my head.

Anyway, it sounds so much better than begging.

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I have always joked that I am a “shameless promotions whore.” If a friend of mine is in a new band, you had better believe that I am telling everyone about it (check out Jonah Foree in Goth Brooks.)

In fact, I have an entire page on this blog just devoted to telling you how great my friends are.

However, I have always been a shameless promotions whore for other people. I don’t have much experience doing it for myself.

I finally understand what all my artist friends were always talking about when they said that it feels like begging to ask anyone to support your art. It does. And now that I am writing a series of kinky romance novels instead of working for actual money, I completely understand where they were at when they lamented “friends” asking to get into shows free or asking for a painting as a “gift” instead of paying.

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So I am going to be a shameless promotions whore for myself.

It’s probably about time I did so.

Please buy my book. And if that is too much money for you, then please consider transferring a “tip” to me through Paypal.

The more you support art, the better art there will be in the world. And as we all know, art is one of the most important things we can all support in order to make our society better.

Thanks for listening.

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Fetish Series: Pushing Boundaries

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It is simultaneously really simple and really difficult to define what a fetish is.

From the Wiki page, the suggestion is that a sexual fetish is a focus on an inanimate object or non-genital part of the body. The idea is that a person gets sexual pleasure from something that is not inherently sexual.

In spite of this seemingly easy definition, I would argue that in practice, there are actually a lot of gray areas involved.

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For example, hook suspension is not a new practice, and not all people that do it fetishize it. However, some people who do it do fetishize it. So when we talk about it, it’s important to be clear that some do it for the mental clarity and the peace they feel when they are suspended. On the other hand, some get a sexual thrill from it. (Watching, participating, doing the rigging, etc.)

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Many things being fetishized are not always a fetish. Take Tens Units and Violet Wands, for example. Many people do use these devices to stimulate muscles after an injury or to help with muscle spasms (as is their stated purpose.) However, many others have an electricity fetish and consider these devices to be kinky. In fact, at most “tastings” (fetish events where you can try things out) there will be a station set up with a Tens Unit or Violet Wand.

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You are always going to find people who use a vibrator as a “neck massager” because that is how it is advertised and they really are that naive. Most of us can agree as a society that we know a Magic Wand is for female masturbation and not neck massages.

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My point is, in some ways a Violet Wand is a sex toy, and in some ways it is not. If you get a thrill from electricity like my husband does, then it is definitely a sex toy. However, if you’re using it for a muscle injury, then obviously it is not.

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Additionally, you are likely to see things like Violet wands and Hook Suspensions at a kink party in Arizona (where I am from,) but that doesn’t mean that the people who are there for those things are necessarily part of the kink community. So, on the outer limits of fetish culture there are blurred lines, and you should try to avoid making assumptions if you can. Always ask people questions rather than guessing at the answers.

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As I have said through all the posts in this fetish series I am doing, there are blurred lines. Vanilla people engage in a lot of behavior that could be considered fetishized, but they don’t think of it that way or interact with the community. And in the community many people do things that seem like they are extreme and pushing the outer limits of kink, but some of those people don’t consider those things at all sexual.

The key to all of this is just to try to remain tolerant, open-minded, and understanding.

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Personal Update

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I’m super-excited to have just flown to Phoenix, Arizona for the 10th Anniversary of Arizona Fetish Prom put on by Horns and Halos Saturday May 24th. It was a really good time and I always love to be at Horns and Halos events.

James Bound of Horns and Halos

James Bound of Horns and Halos

While we were there, my husband got his magnetic upgrade from Steve Haworth, so now we match! That was pretty exciting, since I absolutely love having mine!

 

Steve Haworth, putting in a magnet in his studio

Steve Haworth, putting in a magnet in his studio

I’m back in Oregon, but only for another 2 months. It’s almost time for my next adventure. I’ll be traveling in August with my husband, and then in September I will be moving to Guam.

Oregon has been fun. My host family has been lovely. It has really been a wonderful year.

However, a year is a long time to stay in one place, and it’s time to think about the future. The future will involve beaches. Warmer beaches than Oregon has to offer.

I have no idea how long I will be staying in Guam. If I like it, then it looks like I’ll stay the full two years that the husband is stationed there. If I don’t like it, then I may drop back in to South Korea for a bit to work as a teacher, or possibly another country like Taiwan or Thailand.

Hopefully, wherever I go, there will be lots of fun fetish things to experience and to write about. You can be assured that I will keep you updated.

Just a picture from prom of a pull

Just a picture from prom of a pull

Upgrade Update

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Recently I got a magnetic implant, installed by Steve Haworth. It is a form of body modification which allows me to sense magnetic fields.

As a lesser feature, it also allows me to pick up metal objects like the safety pin pictured above.

Other people have had the surgery and they have written about it. But this is just my personal take on my little upgrade.
It’s like this;

When I first started playing the Google Augmented reality game called Ingress, it was hard.

I had to walk around in the REAL world while also walking around in game.

And my brain couldn’t do it! I could focus on the things around me, or the game. I could switch quickly from one to the other. But I couldn’t do both at once.

My brain could only comprehend my place in space and time in ONE universe at once while walking.

And then one day it learned.

I literally felt my mind expand.

Screen shot from Ingress

Screen shot from Ingress

Suddenly; I could walk around in game AND in the real world simultaneously. I built new neural pathways and I felt it happen.

The magnet is the same.

At first it was a tingle whenever I was near a magnetic field.

And it took whole seconds for me to realize that the tingle I felt was caused by the magnet in my finger, and to make the connection.

“Oh yes! (Said my brain very slowly). We have a new sense!”

But little by little it is realizing what is happening faster and faster.

Someday, it will feel natural like processing visual data.

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Everyone asks me why I did it. I can offer no explanation except to say, if it doesn’t sound cool to you yet, then I can’t explain it to you.

But I can assure you that I haven’t had any negative side effects worth mentioning, and that so far I think it’s an amazing experience!

I guess if there is any downside it was that the installation and healing was a bit of a pain.

I guess if there is any downside it was that the installation and healing was a bit of a pain.

I Have Been Upgraded

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So I headed out to Deep Roots Tattoo shop in Seattle, Washington last week. My purpose was to obtain a tiny magnet, implanted in the skin of my ring finger. I wrote about Steve Haworth before, and the cool body modifications he does.

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Of course now, I am having a little bit of trouble typing, so I’ll keep this short:

After m finger was numbed with ice, a small cut was made and the magnet slipped in. Then a stitch was put in my finger to hold the wound closed.

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This implant, when healed, will allow me to sense magnetic fields. I am super-excited about it, and I will let you all know how it goes once I’m healed and can type easily again.

I know this isn’t strictly BDSM related, but I wanted to share this adventure, and I do feel like many folks in the community are into body modification. (Or at least, that has been my experience.)

Steve is doing an East Coast tour in a few weeks, so if you are interested in getting your own upgrades, make sure to check him out!

And don’t worry; when I’m all healed up I’ll let you know how the magnet is working out.

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Steve Haworth, and Upgrading Your Body

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I keep meaning to write about Steve Haworth, and now I am finally getting around to it. There is lots of cool stuff in the Arizona kink scene, and body modification is very popular. I’ve seen all kinds of cool implants, from horns to crosses under the skin. Steve has done lots of cool stuff.

However, possibly the coolest thing Steve has ever come up with is magnets under the skin of a person’s finger tips. You might be thinking, “what is the point of that?” Well it goes way beyond party tricks like picking up a paperclip with the magnet.

What makes these magnetic implants so cool is that they allow you to sense magnetic fields. That’s right; you can tell when a magnetic field is present because the magnet in your finger tip reacts to it. Who wouldn’t want a whole new sense that they didn’t have before?

Magnets being put in.

Magnets being put in.

But it gets cooler than that. Way cooler. Because people who have the magnets in report that after their brains adapt to the new sensory information, they can actually SEE magnetic fields. Their brains interpret the information and process it with a visual manifestation. Now that is amazing.

You only need a single magnet to get the effect, and it can be placed in the tip of your pinky finger in your off hand so it won’t get in the way of your daily life. It has recently been discovered that they do not effect MRI scans because they are too small, and they do not set off metal detectors. So basically, there is no downside and you get to gain a whole new sense that your brain didn’t have before!

Now, you may love body modification, and you may hate it. Not everyone in the kink scene thinks it’s that great. But even if you’re not one to get horns implanted into your head, you have to admit, a little magnet that allows you to see the world in a new way is a pretty cool invention. So check Steve out if you happen to be somewhere he is on tour, or if you happen to visit Arizona. It’s worth a closer look!

This is just one example of the various other cool types of mods you can get for your body, though the magnets are still the coolest in my opinion.

This is just one example of the various other cool types of mods you can get for your body, though the magnets are still the coolest in my opinion.

Fetish Prom 2013 in Phoenix Arizona

 

Prom 2013 CoverPhoto

Prom 2013 CoverPhoto

 

So I went to a Horns and Halos event over the weekend. It was Fetish Prom 2013. I have to say, it was a really killer party. One of my very favorite bands, Hardwire, played the prom. And the headliner was a band called Hanzel and Gretyl. I hadn’t heard of them before, but they were pretty good. There were performances by all kinds of cool people, like Defenz Mechanism. There was so much good stuff that it’s a little hard to describe it all. I guess that’s the best way to really describe a prom- it’s sensory overload of kink.

Defenz Mechanism

Defenz Mechanism

 

I loved the vendor section with so many whips and chains to look at. The Violet Wand demos amused me to no end, since I brought my favorite pet and he loves electricity. The venue was comfortable, though I prefer indoor events. Club 910 Live was not the best location ever, but it wasn’t bad. The crowd was full of beautiful people, and there were even suspensions by Steve Hayworth.

Girl in a cage

Girl in a cage

When people in other countries or even other scenes outside of Arizona ask me to describe a Fetish Prom as I know it, the best I can do is this:

Whatever your fetish is, you will get to see some of it at Prom. People in cages, people suspended by hooks, people being beaten, music, strippers, and a whole lot of amazing costumes and outfits. A Fetish Prom is a chance to check out all the aspects of the fetish community and see what you like. It’s also the Disneyland of kink, because you can try things. Pet got put in a cage, hit on stage, electrocuted, and many other things. He ran around like a kid in a candy store trying everything, which is exactly what Prom is for.

Beatings on the side stage

Beatings on the side stage

I have never seen anything like Arizona Fetish proms anywhere else. I have seen wonderful gathers of cool people, and been to great munches and dungeon parties and all kinds of things. There is a lot of great kink stuff out there in the world. But Prom is something different. It’s huge. It’s over-the-top, and it’s amazing. I won’t even get into the after party here. That’s a whole other story. For now, I just want to thank James Bound and all of the good guys at Horns and Halos for another great night of crazy, kinky fun!

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