Frangipani

Polyamory, bisexuality and maybe even some atheism

Things I’ve Learned March 20, 2012

I’m sure I mentioned this in an earlier post, but men have become more appealing of late. I think that comes from having sorted out a lot of my shit in that department and having come to understand and accept my kinks and inclinations.

For instance, I wondered if, in being drawn to being dominant towards men, I was simply reacting to the submissive-by-default status of women in what little BDSM I had previously been exposed to as well as, well, the world in general. I wondered if wanting to hurt them was perhaps more a political thing than a personal thing and maybe, deep down, I really didn’t want to do it at all. I know that my reaction to being struck, dominated, etc. is almost immediately aggressive and potentially violent in just about any context, and that should have been a clue, but such is the power of suggestion and conformity. It’s just so much easier (at least in theory) for a woman to be submissive that when you’re not, you’re left second-guessing yourself. At least I was.

Then I met a woman with whom I had amazing chemistry and whose libido was about as strong as mine. We spent at least the first three months fucking like our lives depended on it at every single opportunity. The funny thing about all that sex is that it didn’t really help us get to know each other all that well as people, but it certainly helped both of us get to know ourselves an awful lot better.

I can’t write about what she learned, but for my part, I found out that I really do like running the show. I really do like impact play. I really DON’T like being on the receiving end of impact play, but trying it and finding out was actually pretty fun anyway, and I only really concluded that it wasn’t for me afterwards. I don’t mind hurting women or dominating them, though I much prefer things to even out in the end. I get off on hurting people in ways they like. I get off on playing with people’s bodies and figuring out what works for them and what freaks them out (in a good way). I don’t mind tying people up, but I much prefer simply not allowing them to move. I love the feel, smell and weight of a whip in my hand. I love just using my hands. I love using my mouth, and especially my teeth.

And, at the same time, I learnt that a lot of the stuff that freaked me out or that I didn’t like the idea of wasn’t all that scary after all. I may not like it, but that’s ok. I have the right to not like things. But it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It did not shatter my idea of who I was. It did not make me a bad person. It was just…stuff.

For a while, I thought it was weird that sex with a woman should help me sort out stuff about sex with men. Eventually, it dawned on me that, duh, it’s not that different. I feel safer with women in general, but I felt particularly safe with her, at least sexually, and that allowed me to let go and experiment with stuff that, in the past, I’d been far too wound up to even think of trying. I’d thought for the longest time that it just took me longer to trust men than women sexually, but really, it was me I didn’t trust. I was afraid that despite what I really wanted, I would simply freeze and then revert to the handy-dandy little  he-Tarzan, me-Jane script when dealing with a man.

*lightbulb*

I don’t have to do that. Or, if I really feel like it, I can do exactly that. The key is figuring out what I want at the time and articulating it and then letting the response be about the other person and not me.

And the end result is that while that relationship may have gone south, it’s left me in a much better place. I’ve actually started to notice men and to find lots of them sexy without knowing the first thing about them. I know most people will think that’s perfectly normal, but it has rarely, if ever, happened to me.

Now to figure out what to do about it.

 

New(ish) blogs I’m reading October 12, 2011

I’ve added quite a few blogs to my blogroll and most of them fall into the kink category. Specifically, and with one exception, they are blogs by either dominant women or submissive men. Some of these, like Maybe Maimed But Never Harmed and Male Submission Art (NSFW), are blogs I’ve been following for longer than I can remember.  The others are newer finds. After Bitchy closed up shop last year and I was seriously short on the time I’d need to find another blog like that, I pretty much stopped reading anything from a dominant woman’s point of view.

That kinda sucked, now that I think about it.

Recently though, I found Clarisse Thorn via her posts on Feministe and remembered again why I liked listening to smart women talking about their sexuality, their politics and their experiences. Her excellent post dismantling the idea of inherent female submission was what really hooked me on her writing. Not only was she clear and thorough, she also linked to a whole bunch of blogs by dominant women when debunking the idea that all women are naturally submissive. That particular blog post was something of a turning point for me personally, but I’ll talk about that later.

For now I want to talk about the blogs I found through her (thank you!) and totally fell in love with.

Like Domme Chronicles, by Ferns, for instance. I wanted by now to have a few favorite posts to point to, but honestly I think it’s just better to go to the beginning and just read the blog from beginning to end. I’m not quite caught up yet (I have to work, sadly), but it’s such a pleasure to read that I find myself not minding having to put it away because that means there’s more to come back to. And while the writing alone is worth going back for, I find that hers, of all the other, similar blogs I’ve read in the past, is the one that resonates most with me.

I’ve already talked about Topologies, one of the blogs Clarisse Thorn linked to directly in her post and the starting point for my return to the world of dominant women who blog. It’s gone a bit silent over there at the moment, unfortunately, but I really enjoyed their writing and hope they’ll be back soon.

Tales of a Domme, by Dishevelled Domina  is another smart, well written blog that I like reading. Her series interviewing submissive men has been interesting and she keeps doing things like that -asking questions about aspects of BDSM that interest her (and me!) and inviting people to have thoughtful discussions about how kink ties into other things, and so on. Her tumblr (NSFW) is pretty damn awesome too.

Then there’s Stabbity at Not Just Bitchy. The blog’s only been around since June this year, but I think it moved onto my favorites list pretty much immediately. Stabbity – and let’s pause for a second to admire that handle – talks sense. Not that the others don’t, mind you, but she does it in rant form and that just warms my heart. That she (and we) have shit to rant about isn’t so great, but at least it results in good reading and discussion.

Then there’s maymay’s blog Maybe Days. It consists of shorter posts, quotes, and photos and is, like most of maymay’s work, political. That’s a broad term, but it’s hard to find a succinct way of describing someone who’s done so much and put himself out there so often for the kink community and particularly for our side, i.e. submissive men and, by association, dominant women. I know that whenever there’s an update, it’ll be something worth reading and reacting to (and usually sharing).

So in all, this is a group of smart, thoughtful, passionate people who, very fortunately for the interwebs and the kinky people on it, happen to blog. I’m delighted to have found my way to them.

 

Topologies July 4, 2011

I can’t believe I haven’t come across it sooner, but, now that I have, I am reading Topologies from beginning to end. I’m almost up to the most current post and since they don’t seem to post very often, I’m apprehensive about the potentially long wait till they write more, but…wow.

Briefly, the blog is about BDSM from the points of view of three “women who top/dom”. I use their phrasing since not all of them use those words as identifiers so much as descriptors for what they like to do.

The three women in question are Cal Stockton, Ivy O’Malley, and Delilah Wood (these links will take you to a list of their posts on the blog). Each one writes thoughtfully and carefully and it just makes my heart happy to read what they have to say. I love that they don’t necessarily have One Truth to impart (see their ‘Convoluted Terminologyposts, for an example.). Instead, they present their sometimes differing opinions like civilized adults (It’s a sad comment on general discussion online that such an approach stands out, but there you go.) and the discussion that arises from that is genuinely engaging and interesting.

It is also SUCH a relief to read the perspectives of dominant women (or women-who-top) from a non-pornified perspective again (it’s a word now, dammit). I loved Bitchy Jones and have missed her since she closed up shop last year. Having found more smart, feminist women who make with the ouchy-hurty AND critique general BDSM culture is awesome. And inspiring.

Also, the name makes me smirk every time. Love it.

 

“Kinky” February 19, 2011

Filed under: Definitions,Kink,Sex,Sexuality — Araliya @ 10:55 pm
Tags: , , ,

I have a confession. I’m profoundly uncomfortable with the word ‘kinky’. I’m just not sure what it means. I admit, the word elicits some immediate images: leather, bondage, sharp things, etc., but I also know that they are the result of the media’s representation of the term, as well as what some (but not all) self-identifying kinky people like to do.

The word itself seems to mean ‘twisted’ or ‘perverted’ and though, by extension, that can be taken positively to imply something exciting, I have a knee-jerk negative reaction to the word because it sounds pejorative. I realize this in no way bothers the vast numbers of kinky folk out there, and it really shouldn’t. It’s just a label and as such cannot fully encompass every individual’s experience.

My problem is I don’t really get why anything anyone likes to do should be labeled as more or less ‘kinky’.

There are things I personally don’t like or that simply don’t pique my interest, but the fact that someone else likes to do them with other consenting adults doesn’t make that person, to my mind, any weirder than me or anyone else. I personally don’t like eating escargots, but I don’t find people who do like to snack on snails disgusting. People’s palates are different, right? So what’s wrong with having varying tastes when it comes to sex?

A similar problem I have is the concept of sex as something ‘naughty’ or ‘dirty’. There seems to be some sort of social code that requires us to cast things that are perfectly natural as ‘bad’, so that we can ‘protect the children’ or some such nonsense. I think kink falls under the same category. You have to believe that there is such a thing as ‘ordinary’ or ‘normal’ before you can call yourself – or anyone else – abnormal and I think that’s what I have a problem with. After the kind of life I’ve had, I have a profound mistrust of the idea that some things are ‘normal’ and others aren’t. We’re all ultimately trying to get to the same place, sure, but I don’t think anyone’s way of getting there is any more or less ‘normal’ than anyone else’s.

I’m not, by the way, arguing that there is no such thing as kink. There are clearly demarcated sexual practices that fall into that category. The analogy that works best for me is that kink is the extreme sports of sex. A reasonably large number of people are happy with a jog or a walk in the park, but another lot of people like to throw themselves off tall buildings with varying levels of frequency. I get that.

I guess where I get unsure is not the ‘clearly kink’ stuff but the stuff that one person would find ‘kinky’ and another would take as par for the course.  By the same token, I don’t get ‘vanilla’ either. Again, I get the mechanics of it, but I don’t get the value judgment that seems to go along with it. Depending on the context of the conversation, either kinky or vanilla will be used pejoratively, and that really bugs me.

The more I think – and write – about it, the more I realize that what really bothers me is the concept of shame in all this. Somewhere along the way, I seem to have broken the connection between shame and sex in my head, (I can’t remember when it was ever there, but it would be hard to grow up without some sort of negative association with sex, so I’m assuming it must have been there at some point.) but I live in a world that will either shame you for being kinky or will be open and accepting of all kinks but turn around and shame you for being vanilla instead. In both cases, shaming what you’re not seems to be a very basic way to establish that you belong in one group or the other.

Shaming people for their desires, not to put to fine a point on it, is an incredibly shitty thing to do. It damn near broke my heart when my girlfriend thanked me the other day for not making fun of what she wanted to do in bed. The way she put it, clearly someone had made fun of her and had made her feel horrible for both knowing what she wanted and articulating it. Both of which should get you praise and gratitude, not shame.

So yeah, to sum up this ramble: The word ‘kinky’ (and ‘vanilla’) sits badly with me because of the value judgment it seems to contain, particularly when it’s used as a means of shaming other people. I think that kinky and vanilla are terms that, while useful for organizing interest groups and negotiating partnerships, are best left out of actual sex.

Unless, I suppose, transgression gets you off.

Oh dear.