Apr 132014
 

Since I posted Fuck Forgiveness and Worth It, I knew I was eventually going to have to tackle the topic of whether there’s any connection between childhood abuse and being kinky. I was planning to dig up the studies referred to in that last link, and present a perfectly researched, air-tight case against the idea that my shitty childhood caused me to be kinky. But then I decided, fuck that shit.

If you want to spout condescending bullshit like this,

I get that most people that are into it [kink], are into it because of things that have happened to them.

then you are the one making the extraordinary claim, and you are the one whose job it is to provide extraordinary evidence to support that claim. By all means, show me a remotely believable study proving that childhood abuse makes people kinky.

I’m not going to hold my breath waiting, though. Why? Because I have a basic grasp of logic. Mr. Condescending, in fact, is an excellent argument against his own idiotic theory. He followed up the part of his comment I quoted above with:

I’m not one of those people. I had a happy childhood

If there are kinky people who had happy childhoods, it’s pretty fucking hard to argue that kinkiness is caused exclusively, or even mostly, by abuse. If it was, then where did all the kinky people with happy childhoods come from? Oh? You don’t have a good answer? What a huge fucking surprise.

People do tend to assume that there is a greater percentage of childhood abuse survivors in the kinky community than in, say, the model train building community because in the kink community we have to talk about it. That’s idiotic, but it sort makes sense in a dumb as a sack of wet mice sort of way. If the kink community is the only place you see people talking about their abuse, you might assume (if you’re an idiot) that the kink community is the only place where people who’ve been abused end up.

Or, you know, you could think about that for five seconds. Maybe, just maybe, abuse survivors in the model train building community don’t talk about it because they don’t fucking have to! Honestly, do you think anyone enjoys talking about how much their childhood sucked? We do it in the kink community because it’s the only place where we have to explain why we’re fine with being spanked with a hand but not with a belt. There are probably just as many abuse survivors building model trains as there are building bondage furniture, but because the model train builders don’t generally have to explain the deep dark trauma behind their dislike of modern train engines, nobody knows that they’re abuse survivors.

I hate to break it to you, but child abuse is not exactly uncommon. According to McCreary Centre Society. Healthy Connections: Listening to BC Youth, 1999, p. 17. (link found on safekidsbc), 35% of girls and 16% of boys between grades 7 – 12 had been sexually and/or physically abused. With statistics like that, what would be strange is if there were no abuse survivors interested in kink.

Finally, it’s stupid as well as hugely insulting to assume that I’m nothing but a puppet whose strings are pulled by terrible memories. Human behavior is complicated, there’s no single simple reason for much of anything we do. Now, there are certainly people who spend more time reacting to their trauma than they do responding to what’s actually happening right now, but if the only evidence you have that I’m doing that is the fact that I’m kinky, well you don’t have much of a case now do you.

If you’ve got anything like evidence that there’s a connection between having a shitty childhood and being kinky, bring it. If you don’t, and we all know you don’t, shut the fuck up.

Apr 062014
 

One of my many, many pet peeves is people who refuse to understand that words mean things independent of what they intended when they wrote them. You would think that would be kind of hard to avoid understanding when you’re using a written goddamn medium,  but I guess some people are particularly resistant to common sense.

Taking this thread about sensual domination as an example, if every second reply objects to your use of the word “violence” to refer to consensual pain play intended to be fun for everyone involved, that’s a sign that you might be using the wrong word! Obviously people are free to use whatever words they like, and it’s not as if anyone can be forced to express themselves clearly, but you’d think people would get bored of their threads being derailed and just start using the generally accepted words for what they really wanted to talk about.

It’s totally okay to not know the right words for things, especially if you’re new to kink, but when a number of people all tell you that x is a better word than y for what you seem to be getting at, stomping your foot and insisting you can use whatever word you want is just a huge waste of everyone’s time.

Not only does failure to communicate bother me as a writer (why oh why would you bother to write so much as a Fetlife post if you don’t want people to understand you?), but it scares me as a kinky person. The only way we can do kinky things in a way that’s safe and enjoyable for everyone involved is to communicate clearly. It sounds simple, but communicating well is hard enough without deliberately making it even harder by using the wrong words for things when you’ve been told over and over that there are better ones.

To use another terrible example, I would never in a million years play with anyone who tried so hard to be completely incomprehensible. Not because that makes them a bad person (pretentious, yes, but not necessarily bad), but because there’s no way to negotiate clearly with someone who doesn’t appear to want to be understood. Again, you can write however you like, but if everyone who replies to your thread says they don’t understand what you’re talking about, it just might be possible that you’re doing a shitty job of expressing yourself.

Also, if your response to being told that something you’re doing isn’t working is to keep doing exactly what you’ve been doing, well, that makes it pretty clear that you’re not willing to think about what went wrong or do anything to fix it. Just what I’m looking for in a play partner! Oh, wait, no, that’s actually the exact opposite of what I’m looking for.

Communication is hard for a lot of good reasons. There’s no need to make it any harder than it has to be.

Mar 302014
 

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of whining about how terribly dangerous topping is, how a malicious bottom could pretend everything was fine, then change their mind after the scene is over and run around telling everyone what an awful  nasty person you are.

So, you mean tops need to vet their bottoms and get to know them well enough to trust them?!?!?!111! That’s nothing like how bottoms need to vet their tops and get to know them before putting their physical safety in their hands. *facepalm*

Yes, topping can be dangerous. You might try something and end up really freaked out about how much you enjoyed it. You might make a mistake and hurt someone in a way they don’t enjoy. You might run across a trigger someone didn’t know they had and re-traumatize them through no fault of your own. You might ask someone to try something that you’ve fantasized about for years and get nothing but a weird look and “…you want to do what?!” and end up absolutely crushed. And sure, fine, there’s an infinitesimal but non-zero change that if the moon is in Capricorn and it’s the 4th Tuesday of the month and your “malicious” bottom has video footage of them using their safeword and you ignoring it, and they’re willing to explain in detail to the cops how they ended up at your place in bondage, you might possibly see the inside of a jail cell.

Or, in terms of things that might actually, you know, happen, a bottom  might have their limits casually disregarded while they’re tied up and unable to do anything about it. If they’re new to the scene, if they’re playing with someone who runs an event or who “everybody knows is a good guy” then there’s very little chance that the asshole who hurt them will suffer any consequences whatsoever.

The more I read of this ridiculous fear that a evil meanie-pants bottoms who just so happen to be gifted actors will endure a traumatic scene while appearing perfectly happy, then turn around and accuse the poor, innocent dom of violating their consent after tricking them into thinking everything was fine, the more it reminds me of the sad little misogynistic trolls who are convinced evil, evil women are running around having consensual, enthusiastic sex with poor, innocent men just so they can ruin those men’s lives by crying rape the next day.

My advice in both cases is exactly the same: if in doubt, don’t. If you want to have sex with a woman and she isn’t enthusiastically participating, stop and check in. If you want to play with a bottom and they aren’t enthusiastically participating, stop and check in. If either one of them stops reacting, goes quiet, starts reacting differently, can’t promptly and clearly reassure you they’re having a good time, just fucking stop! It’s not that goddamn complicated.

Just like no magical mind-reading powers are necessary to tell if a woman wants to have sex, there are no magical  mind-reading powers needed to figure out whether a bottom wants to play. Fucking ask them! If you trust them, problem solved! If you don’t trust them, either don’t play or get to know them better and ask again later.

If you can’t tell whether or not the person you’re playing with is having a good time and can’t be bothered to find a workaround then you are the goddamn problem, not some imaginary malicious bottom.

Mar 232014
 

First, a small housekeeping note – my post about kink and people with histories of abuse is coming, but I’ve been condescended to as much as I can stand just now and need a little break before I post anything else that’s likely to result in patronizing douchebags setting up shop in my comments.

—–

When people talk about wanting to be punished, they tend to be talking about one of two very different things.

One, there’s what I think of as ‘serious’ punishment – that is, d/s dynamics that include agreements to give and accept punishment for certain infractions, also known as domestic discipline. The sub may enjoy having clear rules and consequences for breaking them, and be delighted to have that type of dynamic with their dom, but the intention is not for them to directly enjoy the punishment, although they may be very happy to feel like they’ve atoned for whatever they’ve done wrong.

Two, there’s ‘fun’ punishment – that is, sort of a punishment-themed scene that involves no actual wrongdoing on the bottom’s part or real unhappiness about the bottom’s actions. In this case, the intention is for everyone to enjoy the “punishment”, which is really just a fun little role-play to set the scene and give the top an excuse to do things to the bottom (I say ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ here rather than ‘dom’ and ‘sub’ because I don’t know that having a d/s dynamic is absolutely necessary to enjoy a punishment-themed scene). Some people enjoy very serious looking scenes which can lead to some confusion about which kind of punishment they actually want, but if they have any self-awareness it should be possible to figure out whether they want a scene or a serious punishment dynamic.

Because the ‘my kink is better than yours‘ thing seems to come up over and over in different ways, I want to be clear that fun punishment is not a somehow ‘lesser’ kink than serious d/s dynamic punishment. It’s annoying when people aren’t clear about which one they mean, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying a game of bad student/angry teacher and then going about your day.

If people can explain which one they’re talking about there’s no problem, but frequently when newbie kinksters ask about punishment they have no idea there is more than one type of punishment. Because of that, just about every thread about punishment I’ve seen starts with everyone trying to figure out which definition of punishment the original poster is working from.

Wouldn’t it be great if there were different words for serious ‘this is the way we resolve conflicts’ punishment and sexytimes ‘you’ve been a bad boy, go to my room’ punishment? Then we could get to the meat of a question immediately instead of having yet another boring discussion about the differences between serious punishment and fun punishment. I know, I know, that’s a pipe-dream, but I’ve got to try :)

As it happens, there are different words: punishment and funishment. The thing I love about the word “funishment” is that even if you’ve never seen it before, you can probably tell it’s a combination of the words fun and punishment and guess what it means. Unlike other stupid made-up words that irritate the shit out of me, “funishment” is actually useful because it describes a completely different thing from “punishment.”

Help me out, people. If you mean funishment, use the word funishment. I’d much rather talk about your actual question than have to drag answers out of you to figure out what you’re really asking.

Mar 162014
 

Before I get into the meat of this post, I want to be clear that in no way do I intend to shame anyone who doesn’t like going to kink events or can’t go to them for any reason (and whatever reason you have for being unable to go is goddamn well good enough). I just want to share an incredibly valuable thing I got from going to an event.

I was recently at Westcoast Bound 2014, and perhaps ironically, at a workshop about crossing lines I heard the single most life changing message of hope I’ve ever gotten. Every minute I spent on buses and ferries and skytrains to get to this conference was absolutely worth it to hear this one sentence. Hell, every minute I’ve spent travelling to conferences for the last five years would be worth it for nothing but what I got out of this one workshop. This one throwaway sentence in a larger workshop gave me hope that some day, I might finally find peace.

Despite how I portray myself on this blog, I actually desperately want inner peace. While there’s simply too much stupid in the world for me to stop getting angry at all, I would dearly love to stop being angry all the fucking time. It’s exhausting. Imagine how tired you feel after getting really, seriously, throwing chairs angry about something. Now imagine that on some level it NEVER FUCKING STOPS. You can force it down, you can get through the day with only a little vicious swearing at your computer, but it’s always fucking waiting for you. Like a banked fire, it might look cold but any goddamn time you take a poker to it, it will flare back up just as hot as it ever was.

Unfortunately, it’s pretty fucking hard to find peace when you have in fact been deeply and fundamentally wronged. People like to spout a lot of useless fucking bullshit about “letting go” and “forgiving for your own good“, which does absolutely nothing to help when you have completely legitimate wounds that cannot be papered over with a half-assed apology and conveniently forgotten. If I could let go, I would have fucking done it years ago. Do you stupid fucks think it’s fun to be this angry all the goddamn time? Do you think I enjoy having all the shit I’ve been through come rushing back every fucking time someone makes a stupid joke about a misbehaving child needing a beating? No really, on what goddamn level do you think any of this is a good time for me?

I know that the people giving me stupid fucking platitudes mean well, but the problem with “just let go” is that it tells me absolutely nothing whatsoever about how to get to the place where I am able to “just let go.” Again, if I knew how to do that, I would have fucking done it already. No one who has said “just let go” has been able to give me a road map, they just spout some useless bullshit about making the choice to let go as if that will magically make my anger go away. If “letting go” does anything for you that’s great, but you need to realize that nothing you have to say about forgiveness is remotely relevant to me or to anyone else who can’t turn their emotions off like a goddamn light switch.

The reason what I heard in this workshop meant so much to me was that the presenter was like me. He has struggled the way I have struggled, and was able to point to an actual concrete process I could follow to find my way out. So what did I hear that finally gave me hope?

One day, I ran out of anger.

Is that not the most beautiful sentence you’ve ever seen? Doesn’t it ring your heart like a bell? This is my most cherished wish, that one day I might run out of anger too. And finally, finally someone pointed the way.

For years I played from anger, then one day I ran out.

No one has ever shown me a path out of my anger that I had a hope in hell of following. All this forgiveness bullshit might mean something to people who are fundamentally nicer (or less wounded) than I am, but down here in the dirt it just doesn’t get shit done. But using my anger as fuel until it’s gone? That is actually a thing I might be able to do. I have serious issues around bringing anger into my scenes (specifically that if I hit someone I care about in anger then I’m no better than my mother, and if I can’t do better than her it’s time to find a building to throw myself off of), but even if I can’t do that, I can use formless anger as fuel for workouts.

For the first time in my life I have hope that one day I might be free of my anger, and it’s because I went to Vancouver for a conference. For the rest of my life, I will be profoundly grateful that I was in the right place at the right time.

Mar 092014
 

Some of the phrases most likely to make me instantly hulk out are “you need to forgive”, “let it go”, and “move on.” All of those piss me off, but “forgive” is the absolute worst. “Forgiveness” seems like such a nice, happy concept, so you’re probably wondering why I have such a deep and passionate loathing for that stupid fucking word. Let’s start with the dictionary.com definition so we can then throw it out the window:

forgive

— vb , -gives , -giving , -gave , -given
1. to cease to blame or hold resentment against (someone or something)
2. to grant pardon for (a mistake, wrongdoing, etc)
3. ( tr ) to free or pardon (someone) from penalty
4. ( tr ) to free from the obligation of (a debt, payment, etc)

Ceasing to blame or hold resentment against someone sure sounds like a nice idea. So does granting a pardon, or forgiving a debt. The problem is that when people say “you need to forgive” they don’t mean “I want you to be happy and being super pissed off about ___ is not making you happy.” What they always seem to mean is “I’m uncomfortable with your anger. How about you shove it down until you choke on it?” Shockingly enough, I don’t respond terribly well to being told that I don’t even get to have my own goddamn feelings about all the terrible shit that’s happened to me, or that my completely justified rage is less important than some random fuckface’s comfort.

People also seem to have this idea that once you’ve “forgiven” someone, whatever happened magically becomes okay and everyone acts like it never happened. Fuck that noise. Nothing is ever going to make what happened to me “okay.” No empty fucking platitude is going to give me a happy childhood or a mother who loved me (why yes, there is a post coming about kink and childhood abuse), and I’m not going to pretend otherwise for anyone else’s convenience.

To make things right, much more than one-sided “forgiveness” (read, swallowing my emotions so that no one else has to think about what happened) is necessary. Real forgiveness is earned with honest acknowledgement of wrongdoing and sincere, ongoing, and above all successful efforts to make amends. If you promise something will never happen again and it does, guess what? You don’t fucking deserve to be forgiven. Not that people have to be perfect to make amends, but they have to fucking try. Without any efforts from the people who hurt me to make things right, it is literally impossible for me to “forgive.”

In all the time I’ve spent thinking about forgiveness or letting go or moving on, I’ve read precisely one article that has anything remotely useful to say about forgiveness. To paraphrase fairly heavily, that article says there are three steps to take before you can forgive:

1. Acknowledge the harm done.

2. Feel your feelings about it.

3. Talk about it.

The standard “forgiveness” bullshit allows me to do precisely zero of those things. Instead, it tells me that I should just stop being angry, as if I can flip my emotions on and off like a fucking light switch, that I don’t have the right to feel inconvenient feelings about it, and that I shouldn’t talk about it. Funny how all those things do much more good for my abuser than they do for me.

I’ve tried not acknowledging the harm that’s been done to me, and it’s fucking exhausting to pretend things are okay when they are most certainly not. I’ve tried not feeling my feelings too. Trying to swallow my anger just made it worse, to get anywhere I had to decide I had the right to be angry and that I was damned well going to keep being angry until I was good and done. I still hate talking about it, but keeping it a secret is just one more way to pretend it never happened.

Fuck forgiveness, fuck the idea that I don’t have the right to be angry, and especially fuck the idea that other people’s convenience is more important than my well being.

If you want to actually help someone who had been hurt to move on, strike the word “forgive” from your vocabulary. Instead, say “What happened to you was terrible”, “You have a right to be angry”, “Do you want to talk about it?”, and “Is there anything I can do to help?”

If you can’t manage that, then at the very least be honest about what you really mean if you feel the need to spout some bullshit about how they need to let go. Admit that you don’t give a flying fuck at a rolling donut about their happiness and that all you want is for them to shut up about how they were hurt so you can go back to pretending nothing is wrong. And then admit that you’re a worthless sack of shit.

Mar 022014
 

Every so often on sites like Fetlife I’ll see people asking how much training/education/direct personal instruction they need before it’s ‘okay’ for them to have a sub of their own. I understand being concerned about being a responsible dom and taking reasonable precautions to avoid harming anyone you might play with or start a d/s relationship with, but I just don’t understand where people get the idea that there’s some sort of standardized dominant certification process.

If you’re going to get involved in something as potentially dangerous as BDSM, you’re going to need some critical thinking skills. Not only is there a lot of terrible advice out there, but there is also plenty of reasonable, well-intentioned advice that simply won’t work for your personality and situation. You’ll save yourself and any partner/s you might have a lot of time if you think things through.

So, let’s work this ‘standard amount of training/instruction before you can be a dom’ thing out. First of all, if there were some sort of rule that you need x years of experience before you’re allowed to have a sub of your own, who on earth would be the one to decide how much experience is necessary? Or  the one to administer the dom test and declare that you’re ready to start looking for a sub?

There is simply no answer to either of those questions that makes any sense. There is no national governing body for kinky people, and given that trying to get us all to agree on anything is like herding cats, there never will be. Your local kink group might have some guidelines that suit you and the way you play, but then again, you might have the sheer bad luck for your style not to mesh well with the general style of most people in your area. For example, my local community is generally very low protocol. Our standard (very broadly speaking) of being ready to play with someone is knowing not to flog the kidneys. If you were interested in high protocol master/slave relationships, that wouldn’t help you very much.

And that’s if your community is run by well-meaning people whose style simply differs from yours. There’s always the possibility that your community is run by assholes who don’t want any competition for the hot young submissives. If someone tells you that you need months of intensive study before you can even think of picking up a paddle while they gleefully pounce on every new person who wanders into the community, they just might have an ulterior motive.

Even  if there were a standard amount of training everyone needed before being set loose to find a sub (which will happen around the time soaring flocks of pigs become a menace to air traffic), there would still be the problem of who provides that training. What if you go to Mistress A and I go to Master B and they disagree about whether punishment is useful in a d/s relationship? What if you start your training in City Q, then move to Town K before you’re ‘finished’?

Aside from the numerous and glaring logistics problems with any sort of standardization, there’s one core problem. Namely, why the fuck should I care how much education some random thinks I ought to have? If you want to be someone’s top/dominant/master, there’s precisely one person whose opinion matters: your prospective bottom/sub/slave. If the two of you are happy and healthy*, everyone else can fuck right off.

*On the subject of healthy relationships, an agreement to have a certain type of relationship does not magically make it healthy for anyone involved. People technically ‘agree’ to work for terrible companies under abusive conditions because making some money is less awful than making none at all, that absolutely does not mean that said terrible job was actually freely chosen. People may also technically ‘agree’ to abusive relationship dynamics (for example: “You can say no to me whenever you like, but that will end our relationship.”) because they are afraid that relationship is the only chance they have to get their kinky needs met. If anyone in the relationship cannot freely say “No” or “Hey, can we talk about this?” at any time with no fear of consequences, something is horribly wrong.

No matter how experienced you are, it couldn’t hurt to read some of the enormous amount of advice available or to find someone in your community who you personally respect and ask them questions, but when it comes to relationships (high risk kinks are a separate issue and you really should get plenty of one-on-one instruction if you’re going to do something that might seriously harm someone) there’s a limited amount other people can tell you that you can’t figure out with good communication skills and a willingness to try things out and see if they work.

Above all, no amount of education is going to keep you safe if you’re unwilling or unable to think for five minutes and sort the maybe useful from the obvious bullshit. If you can’t put on your grownup pants and think things through for yourself, you should probably forget the whole kink thing until you’re ready to run your own life without Mommy and Daddy telling you what to do.

Feb 232014
 

Recently a special snowflake left a particularly whiny and misogynistic comment on my post 100 submissive men for every dominant woman which happened to be a perfect example of something I wanted to rant about anyway. This may come as a terrible shock, so make sure you’re sitting down and have a strong drink handy. Are you ready to have your mind blown?

Women can tell when someone hates us.

I know it sounds ridiculous, but hear me out. Women are actually not unlike people – we can understand spoken words, we notice people’s actions, and we can even fit those words and actions into a mental model that allows us to draw conclusions about what sort of person we’re dealing with.

So, let’s draw some conclusions about this whiny little shit. But first, a quick aside: if you’re going to tell me not to feed the trolls, you’ll save us both some time if you just go fuck yourself now and spare me the pointless whining about how trolls will totally go away if I’m a good girl and just ignore them like you want me to. Quietly ignoring the asshats of the world fails to send the message that their behavior is not okay. And yes, I’m well aware that being a big meanie-pants mcpoopyhead to the commentor will fail to change his mind. He’s a lost cause, I’m not interested in trying to change his mind. I’m interested in blowing off steam and potentially making people who don’t completely disagree with him have second thoughts about that particular brand of idiocy.

Bit of idiocy the first:

I have had dated more than 15 different girls and had sex with them all. I can assure you that none of them, NONE of them had any dominant tendencies whatsoever. [Spelling corrected because using dominate when you meant dominant is one of my big pet peeves]

That’s nice? 15 women is not exactly a representative sample, but more importantly, there is a blindingly obvious common denominator here – the commentor! If he has never dated a woman with any interest in domination, one might possibly start thinking he’s just not very good at finding dominant women. Maybe something about him repels them, which brings us to bit of idiocy the second:

… women have way more options that men in the dating scene, as a result women don’t see the need of developing any skills to satisfy their men. In simple words, they bring nothing new to the table. The only ones that do are usually the fat or old ones because they think they need to be kinky to make up the deficiencies they have.

This is the bit I really wanted to rant about. This miserable little asshole not only hates women, but he clearly thinks we’re too stupid to figure him out. Then he acts surprised that none of us seem to be comfortable revealing any taboo sexual desires to him. God only knows why, I’d certainly feel perfectly comfortable opening up to someone who clearly despises me. Why would I be afraid that he would shame me for being the wrong sort of kinky (that is, the kind that doesn’t turn him on) or for not performing kink the right way (the right way being the way that he likes) or for failing to be the perfectly poised uberdom every second of every day or for having any sexual desires that don’t revolve around his dick? I’m 100% certain he would be kind and gracious in all of those situations. No, if you’re wondering, I couldn’t even type that with a straight face.

Gee, I have no fucking idea why dominant women aren’t falling all over themselves to get a piece of this guy. I mean, nothing’s hotter than someone who is too stupid to realize he’s actively driving away the women he says he wants to have sex with.

The one thing our commentor isn’t completely wrong about is the fact that women who are conventionally attractive enough will get dates even if they have absolutely no other redeeming qualities (that article is both funny and horrifying, I highly recommend it). Fortunately, there’s a simple fix for this: stop dating women who are awful! If you want someone who is kind, interesting, funny, and adventurous in bed, why the fuck are you deciding who to pursue based on looks alone? If you treat woman like our looks are the only thing that matters, you don’t get to act surprised that some women will assume the only thing they need to be is hot.

Guys, you can’t both hate women and have satisfying relationships with us. Either get over your misogyny or get used to having boring, disconnected sex, but don’t whine and cry about how awful we are for not baring our souls to people who obviously despise us. It’s pathetic and it makes you look stupid.

Feb 162014
 

At Westcoast Bound I went to a workshop called Pet Play 101 by Ponygirl Bixy, and she said something that really resonated with me. She described pet play as (for some people) being a release from human responsibilities. For example, someone who was nervous about meeting new people and making small talk might have a much easier time of it if they were in pet gear (such as a muzzle and paws) that made it clear they couldn’t talk or shake hands.

Sometimes, I really don’t feel like talking (really, a shy introvert doesn’t always leap at the chance to hear her own voice? What are the odds?). It would be awesome to have a socially acceptable way of signalling that it’s not that I don’t like you, I just don’t fucking want to talk right now.

Aside from not always feeling particularly social, depending on the headspace I get into in a scene, I may feel even less vocal than usual. I think it would be really fun to do a scene where any expectation of  me talking was completely off the table. Given my lack of interest in bottoming some of you are probably very confused right now, which brings me to my next point.

Why is the pet in a pet play scene always the bottom? I know in a lot of ways it’s convenient to have the pet bottom, but come on, have you people never met a cat? I love cats, but even I fully acknowledge that they’re often adorable, furry little assholes. Other animals might not lend themselves as well to topping, but with all that presenting their fuzzy tummies to be rubbed, then savaging your hand when you fall for their trick, cats are clearly sadists.

As for assuming the human is always the one in control, I can’t imagine that ‘in control’ is how anyone locked in a cage with a lion would feel. Or the bottom could be chained up as a sacrifice for beast in the woods, or suddenly pounced by a particularly large house cat, or hunted through the play party, or …

Instead of making it the mute pet’s responsibility to make themselves understood, why not make it the human bottom’s problem to figure out what the big scary kitty wants and how to get out with (most of) his skin intact?

Feb 092014
 

Fantasies are great. They’re hot and fun and what drew many of us into kink in the first place. But they’re not reality. Clinging to a fantasy in the face of real life evidence to the contrary requires ignoring that evidence. Lack of evidence makes it just a little bit difficult to figure out what’s going wrong, let alone how to fix it.

For example, years ago on fetlife in the submissive men and the women who love them group, a man started a thread asking for guidance on being the best submissive he could be. All well and good, but he posted in all caps and replaced ‘E’s with ’3′s. Person after person replied asking him to post in a more readable format, but he insisted they were all out to deny his self expression and eventually left in a huff because no one would tell him how to be a better submissive. I sincerely wish I was exaggerating, but he was actually that deluded.

This guy was clearly living in a fantasy land, and it worked out badly for him. If he had been willing to put aside his fantasy that he was such a special and unique snowflake that everyone would rush to do him favours no matter how poorly he expressed himself, he might have been able to learn something.

As annoying as that particular person was, he really only hurt himself. None of the people he so thoroughly alienated were actually harmed by trying to read a few badly formatted posts. Other types of fantasies, however, can be much more harmful.

There are three main categories of fantasies I see in the scene. ‘It would be hot if…’, ‘It would be convenient for me if…’, and ‘My kink would be okay if…’.

‘It would be hot if…’ fantasies are the all too common ‘this protocol turns my crank, so I’m going to use it everywhere, even if S/slashy speak on a simple message board makes people want to claw their eyes out’, or ‘all the female doms in porn like verbal humiliation, so you should you like it too’. If you willfully ignore other people’s complaints about how hard your posts are to read, you’ll be left scratching your head and wondering why you can’t seem to make friends with anyone. If no-one you approach will give you the time of day, there may be a reason for it.

‘It would be convenient for me if…’ is that much more irritating. I put ‘I declared myself dominant, so you must all bow down and address me as Sir Lord Emperor Black Dragon Wolf’ in that category. It would be great if simply calling yourself a dom/top/master made you effortlessly confident in all situations – believe me, I wish it had worked that way for me. I think ‘my way is the one true way and the rest of you are all wrong’ belongs in this category too. It would be awfully convenient if there were one true way to do things that was clearly best for everyone. If there were, we could all stop screwing around and just do the stuff that works. In the real world, insisting there is one right way causes people to laugh at you either behind your back or right to your face. It’s also a bit of a setback when you inevitably encounter a situation where your ‘one true way’ doesn’t work.

‘My kink would be okay if…’ fantasies probably irritate me the most, although all of them are abundantly annoying. This is where I place fantasies like ‘all women are naturally submissive, so it’s okay for me to be dominant’, and ‘I follow the ancient Japanese tradition of rope masters, handed down generation by generation in a secret ceremony, so it’s okay for me to like tying people up’. It’s okay to be kinky, dammit! A lack of permanent damage and your partner’s informed consent makes your kink okay.

What’s not okay is hurting other people while you try to convince yourself your kink is okay. I don’t feel safe in a scene where asshats can go around insisting that women are all naturally submissive without anyone calling them on their shit. Your need to put a band-aid on your insecurity about your kink does not outrank my need to be able to participate in the kink community without getting attacked just for being who I am.

Feeling insecure about whether it’s okay to be kinky is perfectly natural, and not what I’m complaining about. What I can’t stand is people deciding that because they feel insecure, everyone should act in a way that lets them avoid dealing with their insecurities. The scene is based on consent, and I do not consent to denying who I am so that you don’t have to worry about whether you’re ‘doing it right’.