Monday, November 29, 2010

Gone, And Almost Forgotten

“You’re not here with me”.

We were at a party at a friend’s house. That’s how parties are going to be for a while in Boston. Back to hanging with friends. In one way it’s good for me. I usually am much more relaxed at smaller spaces. Less people, less noise, less worries. But in another way, it’s also much more difficult to find something else to do when I’m not really in the mood to begin with. Or should I say, when I’m IN a mood to begin with?

We’d found ourselves plunked between two other rope “scenes”. They were both trying out a new kind of chest harness. Something that they’d learned earlier. Daddy asked me if I’d wanted to try it. He had a hopeful look on his face and rope in his hand. I’d just gotten done telling a friend that I hadn’t really had rope on me since Shibaricon and wasn’t holding out much hope for this being “the scene” for us to start playing with it again. I was hopeful that we’d start using it again. That we’d start together again with it. Hope. The dirtiest four-letter word of all sometimes.

I’d been asking Daddy off and on for a couple of months about playing with rope. But after getting shut down so many times, I’d figured that I’d just fucking blew it with all the bitching I did. Instead of getting my point across about HOW I loved rope when it’s used in certain ways, it came off as how I didn’t like rope when it was used in certain other ways. I got tired of saying that we were lost when it came to rope. Instead, I just laughed it off and told my friends that we just didn’t have time to play with it anymore. But that it was okay. We did other things.

I’m sure that one or two of them couldn’t have felt any sorrier for me. I know I’ve been feeling pretty sorry for myself.

He started to tie the rope around my chest. I leaned back into him, I brought my hand up and touched his face. I smiled at him, I whispered to him, I touched his leg. I leaned forward, trying to catch his attention. Trying desperately to let him know that I wanted his rope. I wanted us to play again. I wanted it to be like it used to be. The connection. The attention. I wanted just something to go right with it.

And got nothing back. I became the diningroom chair. And as diningroom chairs are wont to do, I became useful for a purpose, but not the one which I’d intended. It was like the entire last couple of years of rope was just gone. We'd forgotten how to do something that used to be so simple for us as connecting with rope.

After he’d tied me, we adjusted a few things, moved some rope that was slipping, and got it done. I looked around and focused on Daddy. He was looking at the ropework being done by others. He was paying attention to the rope.

And I lost it. I was too disappointed to speak. I was too upset to talk. And I just wanted out of the damned rope. I’d gone from hopeful, to trying to get him to remember, to just giving up on all of it. And who says rope isn’t amazing?

He’d looked at me and said that I wasn’t here with him. I knew what he was saying, but when I’m that upset, I tend to mouth off. I said that he’d just tied me, where else would I be? His face was different. He was upset. He was trying to figure out what the hell had happened. And he kept asking me about what I was feeling.

Until I finally thought, I’ve already given up on the rope. He might as well know it. And because I was hurt, I said the words that I vowed that I’d never say to him.

“This sucks”.

I blurted out everything: How I felt like the chair. How he was tying the rope, not the girl. How it used to be different.

He said that I needed to cut him some slack. It had been a while since he’d tied. I know it has. I’m there.

To try to salvage something, I asked him to tie ME. I didn’t care how the rope looked, how pretty it was, how the knots went. All I cared about was HIM tying ME. Both of us, using the rope to relearn how to do something that we’d forgotten how to do. Using the strings to pull each other into our personal space. To use the rope to start to mend us.

I smiled when he grabbed me. I wanted it to be a hot, sexy scene, but instead, I was too happy that he’d actually remembered how to do this, that my laughter got the better of me. And as usual, things devolved into another bout with those unintended consequences. During which all I could think of was one thing:

If you want me there with you, use ROPE!

Silly, daddy.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Revenge as a Kink

"Revenge is often like biting a dog because the dog bit you"
-Austin O'Malley

As anyone who lives in the Boston area now knows, Haven, our local place for all things kinky, is closed. Ostensibly due to someone who felt that shutting it down was fair revenge for not being allowed into an event there. I don’t know what the facts are. There’s a lot of heresay and rumor mongering.

Some people think that the kinky community doesn’t need to know who this person is. Some others (like me) think that the identity of this person should be made known. There’s speculation aplenty, but no facts that I’ve been able to ferret out. I suppose one could go and view the official complaint, but that would likely either be anonymous or reveal this person’s real name. I’m not into outing anyone, outside of this community.

But I think that this person’s identity should be made known to the area kinksters for a simple reason. If this person put his own petty revenge over the welfare of an entire kink community, he’s dangerous to everyone. And everyone should be given the choice of whether or not to associate with him.

I don’t want to seek revenge against this person. I have no wish to make this situation worse. I’m not sharpening my pitchfork, planning on calling his employer, or even blogging about how horrible this person is. I simply want to know who this is so that I don’t unintentionally show up at a place where he was prevented from attending. If he did it once, he’ll do it again. And I don’t want to be put in the same position as the proprietor of Haven. Balancing protecting my guests or my fellow party attendees, against letting an unsuitable person even HEAR about a party for fear that he might decide to take revenge.

It’s all well and good to say that it doesn’t matter if you know who it is, but you can’t build a community by protecting people who try to destroy it. The fight isn’t against the person, it’s against the idea that ONE person can ruin a good thing, simply by being pissed off. THAT is a dangerous attitude that affects everyone. I’m not asking for the information in order to take my own revenge. I’m asking so that I can AVOID having to put myself or my friends in a position of wondering if he’s been banned from the next thing and therefore itching to take some more revenge. The next thing being any event that I’m attending.

IF this person is not made known to the community, and he shows up at the next event, say the Bound in Boston, or a NEDS class, makes some friends with people, gets invited to a party, and then for some reason isn’t invited back (and from what I understand this is what happened to cause his sour grapes to begin with), would you, as an event organizer or party host WANT to go through what Arsine is going through now? How would your attendees and guests like it that they’ve been subjected to possible “issues” if any “officials” decided to act on a complaint that this guy makes? If he’s done it once, he’ll do it again.

I think it’s far better to know who this person is so that the kinky community can avoid him, hide our activities from him, and prevent him from even learning about where these things are happening from now on. We don’t have as much to worry about from the authorities as we do from this person. The authorities act within the scope of their duties. I really don’t think that they care what we’re doing. But if a complaint is made, they’re required to act. We need to avoid those people who will make those complaints. And the only way to do that, is to know who put his own vengefulness over the entire community.

Historically speaking, this sort of thing happens. There’s a list of “used to be” party places as long as my arm. Someone gets pissed because they’re not invited, or they’re banned, or they’re made fun of, and the next thing that happens is that the place is somehow put on the radar of those officials who have to act. The ultimate answer is of course, is to have a legitimate place, with legitimate operating privileges, and with the authorities only acting as if it’s just another business. But that’s a dream that takes a hell of a lot of money in this town. And a hell of a lot of goodwill from society that just doesn’t exist. Yet.

In the meantime, we’ve taken a step backwards. Back to closed lists, small parties, covert places, and private homes. It’ll make things harder, and at least for a while, people will look at those they don’t know and wonder if “this is the guy” that ruined it. Until we forget again. Until someone steps up again and opens another Haven. And until someone decides again that revenge is the ultimate kink.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Get Off My Lawn!

The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

I remember when I first saw it. I was 17 years old. In Hudson, NH. At a midnight showing that I had to promise my mother months of indentured servitude in order to attend. I traded months of Saturday mornings cleaning the basement and garage to go. It was worth it. The movie, filled with inside jokes, transvestites, and Susan Sarandon in those shoes for a 17 year old was sexy and damned transgressive. I’m still not sure how I ever convinced my mother to let me see it. I suppose I should be grateful that the internet, for all intents and purposes, didn’t exist when I was 17.

We’d gone to The Rocky Horror Picture Show with Coyotetoo and SubWonder. RHPS itself was just as I’d remembered, even if there were some “new” memes, the print had seen better days and obviously attended by many people who no longer thought of RHPS as being quite as transgressive as it used to be. After all these years, it’s become campy rather than edgy. But we’d had a ball, threw some rice, danced the Time Warp, and sang the songs (you kids really have to remember to sing!). But Daddy noticed something which, after I thought about, seemed a lot of what we’re used to dealing with. He’d noticed that nearly everyone in the theater hadn’t even been born when we’d seen the show for the first time.

Talk about feeling old.

I don’t know how Daddy feels, but this reminds me of the same thing that I feel all the time when we’re at parties with our friends, many of whom are under the age of 30. I like feeling all that young puppy energy around me, and I’ve developed close friendships with (and a crush or two on) some of these “youngsters”. We try very hard not to be the “creepy old people” at these parties and the fact that we do have many friends in that age group tells me that in that at least, we’ve succeeded. We don’t tout our “experience”. We just enjoy the experience. Being around young people is a joy for me. But it also makes me remember that many of these people weren’t even born when I first started experimenting with bdsm. Which also, coincidentally enough, was around 17. Chicken and egg much?

But just as with all those young people at RHPS, who are now experiencing the colors, themes and fun seeing something that is nearly 35 years old (OMFG!), and who are now adding their own memes and putting their own take on this time honored cult movie; the kids that we’re around at parties and events are also adding their own take to the practice of bdsm. For me, both are fun to watch, and both are fun to experience. And just as I enjoyed watching RHPS with all of those new things adding to my experience of it, I also enjoy my younger friends adding to my experience with bdsm.

I may never do some of the things that they do, but then again, they’ll never get to see RHPS and experience that same transgressive feeling that I did either.

And instead of feeling old, I’m feeling pretty good. I’m happy that RHPS is still being shown, albeit with a much different take than I’d had in 1982, and that my young friends have the opportunities to explore their kink in ways that hadn’t existed in 1982.

No. I’m not old. I’m envious.

But I also remember that someday, these young kids will also be in the same position. They’ll have years of experiences and somebody ELSE will change their RHPS to suit themselves. And they'll be the ones saying "you kids get off my lawn!!"

The little sadist in me is snickering. It’ll be fun to watch. :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Don't Take Me Down on Your Way Out

A confluence of things have caused me to think about something that should be a no-brainer.

Consent and Privacy.

In the past few weeks, a blogger, coming out about her kink in a newspaper article; a letter; and a few newspaper articles about my local scene (while being fairly complementary towards kink) but in reality may have caused a great deal of damage to it (time will tell), have come across my computer screen. The result of these items, as well as a few other things, has made me really nervous. Really nervous.

My version of my kink differs from other people’s versions of their kinks. I think we all chuckle at the phrase “your kink is not my kink but it’s ok” (YKINMYBIOK), but that is the crux of what I’m nervous about.

My family, my children, my mother, my employers and my non-kinky friends haven’t consented to even hear about my kinky activities, much less deal with the potential fall-out from their family, their mothers, their employers and their friends, should my kinks ever be exposed to the light of day, (not to mention the fact that many people still consider kink to mean that one is incapable of raising children, holding a security clearance, or even that one is mentally ill), they haven’t consented to the fallout. I try to keep my private life private from those who, for whatever reason, could make things harder for me or on them. I value my privacy, but I also enjoy sharing my kinks with those who share my outlook.

But what I don’t appreciate is the perennial arguments over about how “being out” about one’s kink is “better” for “everyone”.

What’s gotten my panties in a bunch recently is that there is a faction of local kinksters, most of whom have no children, no ex spouses, and I’m going to go out on a limb and venture to say something that sounds awful when I type it: no long term connections to employers or people outside of the kink community, who have "decided" among themselves, that being "out" is the only acceptable thing for kinksters. It’s easy to “come out” about your kink to people who are kinky or people you don’t know (vis a vis a newspaper article), especially when you have nothing to lose. Or even the fear that you will. I know what I have to lose.

But putting aside family and employment reasons, the main reason that these things coming across my computer screen have worried me, is that I haven’t consented to being outed by proxy by people who should understand that no matter what they might think, there ARE people who are their friends, who cannot or haven't consented to the risk to lose.

Let me make this perfectly clear. I have NO wish to be the poster child, test case, or a spokesperson for the kinky community outside of the kink community. I haven’t consented to my public play to be an outreach, a learning experience, or a goddamn lesson in the Constitution. That I’m into rope, but not into watersports is something that kinky people “get”. What they don’t “get” is that I’m into protecting my kinky life, while they’re into being open and vocal about theirs. They’re also forgetting, that just as people who engage in watersports know that they don’t subject others to their kinks non-consensually, that there are many others that don't share their idea of an out and proud nirvana for kinksters.

What makes me nervous is that people don’t stop and think about how coming out, being out, or looking down on those of us that aren’t, makes many kinksters shy away from those events where they’d otherwise love to be. They don't think that by forcing me to choose "out" or "stay at home", that they're forcing THEIR kink non-consensually onto me. What they don’t think about is the nervousness experienced by non-out-kinksters every time our local playspace is mentioned in the newspaper, or even the fact that their friends are now “out” and could be connected by those with rudimentary computer skills.

I do understand that the reverse is also true: that by being private and in, I'm forcing my kink onto these out kinksters. But the dividing line is mitigation of damage. Being out may allow non-kinksters to get the idea that kink isn't "bad" in the long term, but it really doesn't help other kinksters who may have to suffer the damages of educating the mass public. The question I'd put to these people is this: is the damage which may be suffered by people you call friend, who have trusted you as a kindred kinkster, who allow you to share in their experience worth the "education" of the purient or perennially intolerant public of the intricacies of our world?

I’m not saying that I don’t admire and live vicariously through many of my friends who are out. I congratulate them on having something that I’ll likely never experience in my own life. I’m happy that they’ve found more tolerance and acceptance in their own lives than I could ever hope to expect from mine. Believe me, after 45 years, I’m about as out as I’m ever likely to be. I teach and attend classes, I play in “public” and I use my own first name. Most of my kinky friends know my real last name, where I live, what I do for a living, and even my children and grandchild’s names. I’ve trusted them to recognize that we might have a different comfort level of outness, but it’s a trust that’s shared and was not given lightly. My friends are those who know all of these things about me, watch me getting my ass beat at a party, and never question my need to remain private. If I haven’t come out yet, you can be sure that there’s a damned good reason for it. Real or perceived, it makes no difference.

What I’m saying is that there is a disconnect. From what I’m getting it is that “real” kinksters are “out” and everyone else might as well just stay out of the scene. We’re not wanted, we’re a detriment, and the fact that we’re not out creates unnecessary “hardships” for those who are. And the corollary is that it is somehow they're doing it "for my own good". They have to be private when they’d rather be shouting their kink from the rooftops and shoving it down the throats of every mother and employer. I get that they might feel that I’m creating a hidden class, and I get that they might feel that us “innies” are just creating an atmosphere where remaining hidden perpetuates the idea to non-kinksters that kink is immoral or bad. Or to put it more succinctly: if EVERY kinkster was out, then there’d be understanding, tolerance, and we’d be such a force to be reckoned with that politicians and religiousians couldn’t stand against us.

I call bullshit.

So yet again, I’m forced to sit on the sidelines of the “public” scene for a while. Perhaps a long while. I’m not comfortable with my “friends” forcing me to choose sides. The “Scene” or stay home. I’m saddened that I feel like I have to do it to protect my privacy. And I’m damned pissed off that I’m considered not “freaky” enough to be kinky simply by virtue of not sharing the same kink of “out vs in”.

So be it. To my friends, thank you for respecting my wishes, thank you for understanding my need for privacy, thank you for trusting me with your lives as I’ve trusted you with mine, and thank you for truly understanding that the concept of consent doesn’t just apply to what I do to you, it also applies to what you do to me.

But most of all, to those friends or fellow kinksters who are, or may be on your way out, please remember consent of ALL those people around you (kinky people included) when you’re doing it. That way, you won’t take me down on your way out.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Talk Normal To Me

It’s been a while since I’ve written about my experiment on learning to talk dirty. In the interim, I’ve spent a lot of time listening to porn, watching how others talk, practicing phrases and conversations in my head, and trying things out on daddy. And yes, I did ask what he meant. It’s just that his answer wasn’t any more helpful than anything else.

This was a real struggle for me. Not because I don’t know how to talk dirty, but because everything I tried sounded either really silly (“manmeat”) or sounded like my normal voice when talking with daddy.

I get off on Daddy’s voice. His growls and purrs. His “good girl” and his “little slut”. I get off on the colors and tones in his speaking voice, and I really get off when he speaks Spanish to me. I don’t care if he calls me a portable refrigerator, if it’s in Spanish, it has a very marked reaction on my body. (Although I’m onto the “la nariz” thing). But even that, I can’t help myself. I willingly give up my nariz to him. His voice alone, sets off reactions that I can’t control. It’s not even the words (and I certainly can’t understand Spanish), it’s just his voice.

It never occurred to me that daddy might also get off on my voice, speaking normally, saying things that I usually say. It never crossed my mind that talking normally would work when he gave me his directive to “talk dirty to me”. I was looking for a complicated answer to a simple problem. I heard what he wanted, but thought that it couldn’t possibly be that easy.

Communication is a big catchword in bdsm. Communication about how you feel, what you want, what you don’t want, rules, protocols, consent, and negotiation. We use that word “communication” as if “oh, that explains everything” and as if it’s the easiest thing in the world. "Communication" as it relates to bdsm has become a generic catch-all term for speaking to someone about all those things that we need to discuss to keep our asses out of jail. But if you think about it, communication is much more than talking or listening. It’s also about style, body language, and intent.

I’ve always believed that I was pretty good at listening, and I’ve always thought that I was even better at understanding what I’d heard. But learning to communicate is more than just talking, listening and understanding. Learning to communicate with each other takes time, patience, and practice. Mistakes are bound to be made. Mistakes in understanding what someone else is thinking. Mistakes in applying what you think you heard. And mistakes in saying what you mean. A classic example of a miscommunication is when a ropetop says “lets play with rope” and you hear “play” and “rope”. Without knowing the intent behind the words, without knowing each other’s styles, and without knowing that Monday nights are practice nights, it’s too easy to only hear what you think you hear, and get really disappointed when your play and his play seem to be very different things.

Time together, speaking to each other, listening to your partner's body language and learning all those neat little buttons to push, and the ones never to push, is the real key to communication in bdsm. Expressing ideas is not enough when there are no set-in-stone definitions, when there are no dictionaries or board of directors to set the parameters. The biggest thing about learning to communicate is that you have to learn that the other person is listening with more than their head. They’re also listening with their emotions, their own experiences, and their own ideas of what they’ve heard you say.

I don’t know exactly when I figured out the right combination of tone and words to give daddy what he was looking for. I think it was when I’d finally given up trying to figure it out and said to myself “if he wants me to talk, I’ll just talk and then he’ll see I can’t do this”. I had no idea what I was saying, I just opened my mouth and repeated a conversation we’d had a few days earlier. It was nothing really overtly "dirty". It was just a phrase that I'd used before in another context. But I was struggling, so I figured what the hell.

And the reaction was astounding.

Since then, I’ve expanded somewhat. I still listen when we’re talking normally and put things in my brain for the “next time”. They still sound silly to me sometimes, but I’ve also learned that it’s not really the words that he’s hearing. He’s hearing my intent and my emotions. Even if I’m saying things that aren’t inherently dirty, they appear that way because I intend them to be. The same way that calling me a portable refrigerator in Spanish works on me.

This weekend I’d asked him if he thought I’d finally got this “talking dirty” thing down, because I still felt like I was repeating myself and that very often I was just talking normally.

He smiled and said, "babydoll....just talk normally to me then".

Job done.

Thursday, November 4, 2010