Friday, April 29, 2011

Has It Been That Long Already?

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” ~Theodor Seuss Geisel


Where to start the ending?

The last three months that I’ve been blogging for the Kink Academy haven’t always been easy. Many things that I hadn’t anticipated happening, seemed to creep up on me. There were a lot of great things, presenting at both the NELA Fetish Fair Fleamarket and Momentumcon; and some other, personal things that weren’t always so easy to deal with. It sometimes made it difficult to even want to think about writing, much less writing about kink.

One of the truths that I was reminded of while blogging for the Kink Academy is that in my life, kink takes time, effort and work. It’s not all fun and games. And it’s not always easy to shuffle commitments to make room for kink. But I also found that it was necessary for me to find the time. It’s such a large part of who I am, that blogging for the Kink Academy gave me time to explore kink, even when the world around me was at it’s most vanilla. It saved my sanity a few times when I thought I’d go crazy with all the shades of vanilla I’d had to deal with.

When I first applied for the job, I’d had great ideas and people that were willing to help me explore. The ideas stuck, but the people weren’t always available. That was okay though. I managed to learn even without having a partner in crime for a lot of things. Even if I had to use the dining room chair. It surprised me to learn that many of the things taught could be adapted and incorporated into areas of my life that had very little to do with kink. What was even more surprising to me was reading my fellow students’ blogs and realizing that we had a lot of things in common. And even if we’d watched the same video, the way that each of us used it was different.

Read more.....

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

e[lust]#25



Photo courtesy of Sadie



Welcome to e[lust] - Your source for sexual intelligence and inspirations of lust from the smartest & sexiest bloggers! Whether you’re looking for hot steamy smut, thought-provoking opinions or expert information, you’re going to find it here. And in this edition you can read all about the best sexuality conference of the year (ever?), Momentum, in a one-time-only Editor's Choice anomaly: I couldn't choose just one, so I chose them all! Want to be included in e[lust] #26? Start with the rules and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!



~ This Week’s Top Three Posts ~



Where We Are - It was only supposed to be about the fucking. I don't know how I convinced myself that it could be. I fretted before we began, about how I could ever possibly separate sex from emotion.



The Edible Slut - His hand made an audible crack as it connected with her ass, loud in the dim bedroom. Did he really sink his hand into her hair, turn her head to face him, and shout, “Stop being such a brat!”



Beyond Bisexual - I don’t identify as bisexual, because I am interested in so many more people than just two of the variety of sexes or genders out there. Except, that is a word that a lot of people understand.



~ Featured: Momentum Conference Posts (Lilly’s Picks) ~



An Extraordinary Gathering (and a Gathering of the Extraordinary)

Finally! A Real Momentum Post

Inspired by MomentumCon

#mcon Rehash

Momentum

Momentumcon, Part One



~ e[lust] Editress ~



To Be or Not To Be....Anonymous, That Is - If you’re out or decide to be out….you’re not just outing yourself. You’re outing them all. And did they give their consent? Probably not, I’d guess. And even if they did give their consent could they even have a clue what consequences there will be?



All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Thank you, and enjoy!



Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships



A Bump In The Road - A Swinger Party Goes Bad

Bridging the Gap (Between Swinging and BDSM)

con-sent

Eating Pussy

Jane Says: What Does Sex Feel Like For A Man?

Let's talk about food

Safe Word

S&M And Abuse

The Rules, Revisited

The Wet Patch

Who Cares About Your Open Relationship

Where There's Smoke...



Kink & Fetish



BDSM Advice: Nipple Clamps

bloodfucking

Communicating by touch

Consent [Violated]

Debasement

getting ready...

He mixed pleasure and pain, and my body responded to it all

Invitation

Stolen

Safety Scissors

Topping From the Bottom: An Ode

Wantonly Restrained

You Can Make It Feel So Real



Erotic Writing



3. Wrath

Cunt Licking

Definition of Inspiration

Linger

Miss Me?

My Sex Life: The Journey Continues, Part 2

Silk Memories

Sexy Dance-Ing

teacher sweaters and the cock that haunts me

The Casino

The miseducation of Ms. Mullins

Wow. Confession #558

When I come

WWWednesday

You Want This

Crying and Tying on My Pillow

Rope.

I saved rope for my second-to-last assignment at the Kink Academy. I’d been quite leery of watching videos on a subject that has been something of a difficulty for me personally. One of the things about rope that people fail to ever tell you is that the rope geeks just make it look easy. Unless you’re a girl scout or sailor, tying knots can be difficult. I sometimes tease that I wear high heels simply because they don’t come with laces. I’ve tried to learn before. Several times in fact. But I’ve never gotten the hang of it. I’ve always given up after a few minutes. And I always feel like an idiot in front of other people when learning rope because everyone else seems to get it far easier than I did. I’ve always felt embarrassed that I just didn’t “get” it.

I watched several rope videos to get a feel for the wide variety of rope skills. I watched videos on connection, on suspension (I’m a Graydancer fangirl), on harnesses and corsets and more. Searching for just something that I thought I could actually do. I wanted something easy to learn, so although these were really awesome, I settled down watching the beginning rope videos. I was searching for something uncomplicated, something pretty, and something that wasn’t difficult. AND it had to be something I wouldn’t need a body for.

Read more....

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

WOW: We HAVE a Winner!

I know it's been a while since I've done the wanker of the week. I've had loads of nominations, but I've been a bit...shall we say....saddened by the amount of them. It seems that they're starting to run together so much that it's hard to tell one douchenozzle from another.

Until today.

Today we have a guy who started a profile to complain about his "friend's" treatment on Fetlife. More specifically, his friend's being told to pretty much take a flying leap.

I can't even begin to describe the oddities found in the posts. Everything from threatening legal action for "slandering" (which, would be libel because it's written), this poor "black op" redneck's treatment for not getting a timely response to his emails hitting on an "under consideration" person listed on a profile to his rather unique take on the apparently "covert BDSM cells currently operating within our government". Oh, and not to mention that the girl in question was apparently not good looking enough to go through such a harsh treatment.

Poor little dear.

Did I mention that he's got a remarkable resemblance to a well known actor?

I really can't do this douchenozzle justice. You'll just have to take the leap, get some popcorn, and read it for yourself.

Congratulations to the Wanker of the Week! Here's your sign!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Momentum, Part One.

Now that I’ve had a few days to unwind, catch up, and take care of my taxes, I thought I’d start talking about Momentum. What it meant to me. What I learned about myself. And what I took away from it.

There are bound to be many blog posts written about it. That is, after all, one of the best things about media. Letting others tell you about their experiences, with their own points of view and what resonated with them. I’ll do my best to retweet links as I find them, and if you’re interested in Momentumcon 2012, you might wish to join the forum
There is also a Fetlife group and you can always search the hashtag on twitter: #mcon.

My experience as both a presenter and attendee began even before I stepped my foot into the hotel. I spent many months researching what I was going to use in my own presentation. Talking to others about their experiences and learning about all of the other presenters. I read thousands of blog posts, articles, and stories from these people ranging from gender to sex work to kink to sexuality. I listened. I learned. And I had a world open up to me. One that I’d been content to sit on the sidelines and enjoy, but never thinking my voice mattered amongst the crowd. I didn’t have a degree in women’s studies or sexuality. I’m cis-gendered, heterosexual and therefore I didn’t have much in the way of experiencing anything else. I never thought overmuch about porn or sex workers. I denied I wrote a sex blog, instead calling it a relationship blog because I only sometimes wrote about sex. I was content to just experience my kinks, in the way I was comfortable with, and if I didn’t really understand anything else, I was ok with that.

Before Momentumcon.

A long time ago, when I first discovered my kinks, it wasn’t that great of an experience. I’d had a hard time learning. I’ve written a little about it before, and about how it took help to figure out that I wasn’t crazy. I struggled with mixed messages given to me by society and most especially television. I think this is one of the main reasons why I no longer watch TV. I dislike the fact that to be thought of as a strong woman, you cannot be a submissive one. Ever. Not even situationally. Not even (and maybe not especially) in a relationship.

But even all these years later, I realized that I still had a lot of shame left. Shame about being a masochist and “letting men hit me”. Shame about liking sex and porn and kink. Shame of being found out that who I was, didn’t fit in with what my mother and nearly every other non-kinky woman I might meet, thought about who I should be.

It should come as no surprise that one of the sessions I attended was Princess Kali’s. I have made no secret that I admire her greatly. I admire her vivaciousness. Her ability to understand people. Her unabashed kinkiness. But mostly I admire her because she’s a woman who knows what she wants and gets it and doesn't apologize for it. I admire her so much, then when I suffered panic just before teaching my very first class a couple of years ago, the only way I got through it was to roleplay Princess Kali. She still has better shoes though ::wink::

Her session was called Women Taking Power: D/s dynamic as Feminism.

Every woman has a right to choose what their experience of sexuality is, though many women struggle with fitting their desire to be submissive or dominant into their philosophy of feminism. This class will address the process that each woman goes through to claim their own power, regardless of which side of the D/s dynamic she prefers.


I went into the session expecting that I’d hear about how it’s “more acceptable” to be a dominant female than a submissive one. I’d been expecting to hear that feminists would count me out of the club simply because I wasn't one. I’d wondered if she could provide any insight on the dichotomy that I still sometimes feel from others which usually manifests as “you’re JUST a submissive”. The old “domleh dom” behavior I see all to frequently. As if being around submissives is a game to see who can get the little subbie to do XYZ the fastest”. Kinky people are sometimes the worst bigots to other kinky people. We eat our own pretty frequently too.

I listened to Kali talk about the waves of feminism and how they’ve been turned over time. From having the “same rights as men” to “being just like men”, to being an outcast because some of us choose to have the rights of men, but also choose to fulfill ourselves in a role which we find satisfying. As a submissive. I equate this to the “stay-at-home” mommy thing. It’s come so far around that making a choice for yourself, among all of the available life choices, to be a stay at home mommy, means that one is somehow betraying all other women.

If you don’t call bullshit here, I’ll do it for you.

Everyone “gets” the concept of a dominant female. That’s “good”. That’s “normal”. That’s “expected”. But being a submissive one...all too often I feel the weight of feminism and my mother on my back. By what right does anyone have to choose my path to happiness? Whether in the guise of feminism or not? Three phrases that stuck in my mind from Princess_Kali’s session are below:

Feminism is about expressing your own experience and going with that.

We don't have to choose one. We can be greedy sluts.

Even open minded people don't necessarily understand.

I like the way those phrases go together. They work for me in a way that lets me enjoy who I am, what I like and how I wish to live. And it gives me a power and a strength to understand that not everyone is going to “get it”. It may be my option to try to help them understand, but if they can’t see that I’m stronger as a woman BECAUSE I submit to Septimus, then fuck ‘em. (Sorry, I'm having a Popeye moment :)

And finally, the last soundbite that got to me, is something that Septimus has said time and time again, albeit in a different way:

When a strong person chooses to submit to you, you should pat yourself on the back.

Kali takes nothing for granted. Not her good fortune in doing what she loves nor the devotion of her submissives Learning that for me, knowing that a woman I admire so much, admires the other side of the slash, made me want to do her dishes. She’s a role model I can comfortably emulate, not just roleplay. And if she ever does this session again, anywhere, I suggest you find a way to attend.

Even if she is a dominant ::wink::

Kinky Crafting

Some of the funniest things happen when a bunch of kinky people get together.

I enjoy lots of craft type things. I scrapbook, make jewelry, and paint. I’d wanted to learn how to knit and tweeted in the hope that I’d have at least one kinky friend on my tweetstream that could help me out. I don’t like to sew because I don’t have the patience or the ability to cut straight lines. Even with a ruler. A character defect that I can live with. Similar to getting lost even with a map.

I’d also tweeted about my intention to make a flogger based on the videos at the Kink Academy. I’m a little behind posting (although not watching) videos because I spent the last week decompressing from Momentumcon. I’d been trying to get my thoughts ordered enough to write a blog post or two about that, when I realized that I’d just wanted to do something creative that didn’t involve typing, writing, or the internet.

A sort of impromptu craft party grew out of those tweets. Toristorii put together (completely at the last minute) a Kinky Potluck and Craft night. It turned out so well that I’m hoping that she makes this a regular thing. This wasn’t a play party, this was just a bunch of friends bringing whatever craft they were working on, and a pot-luck item, and showing and talking about what they enjoyed. I like that. Seeing what my friends enjoy other than kink. One-dimensional relationship are not my thing and I like spending time with people doing ordinary things- but not having to watch our reference points when talking. The crafts ranged from a cane maker, knitters, pillow makers, a mixed media artist, a ropester who just wanted to whip the ends of her rope, and someone who was designing a collar design for his submissive. What piqued my interest was Subwonder who had made a joke about “blinging” her Hitachi and who was actually doing it.

Read more....

Thursday, April 7, 2011

HNT: Momentumcon


Last weekend at Momentum, I had lunch with three lovely ladies: @missystark, @the1miss_luna and @spunquee. Don't you wish you could have been a fly on the wall in THAT company?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

You Might be Be a Douchenozzle If

I'm often asked "how do you write a "good" online profile. As a twitter conversation this morning clued me in, "good" is subjective. What I find "good" and what you find "good" may in fact be far different things. I'm going for the middle ground. A profile and behavior pattern that don't make you the creepy douchenozzle guy (or girl). Once you're "the creepy guy", it's very difficult to jump back over that fence.

A well-written profile (which I'll talk about in another post) increases your chances of at least not getting written off as a douchenozzle right off the bat. A well-written profile, followed up by responsible online behavior, might in fact increase your chances immeasurably. I say that because I can't guarantee results. I can only tell you what I look for. And what my friends tell me they look for. Are there people who love those "other" kinds of profiles? Sure. But if you're fishing in a pond, why would you want to limit yourself to just a small portion?

I think that there's some general guidelines about writing a profile and behavior in general. Things that get attention and things that make people point and laugh. (and pass it around among their friends).

I thought to begin, a little fun. We've ALL seen these. We've all gotten messages from these. If you've got more ideas to add, please feel free. This is one time where I'll publish anonymous comments, so if you prefer, go ahead and give me your douchenozzle tips anonymously.


You Might Be a DOUCHENOZZLE If:

1) Your one and only picture (or the only pictures that you post) are of your penis. As much as I’m sure you’re proud of your little cock, it’s not exactly the first thing people want to see when they visit your profile. After all, chances are, that people will want to spend time with the rest of you more than just your dick.
**The only exception to #1, is if it’s a dressed up cockshot. I personally prefer faces, feathers and hats.

2) You comment on random people’s pictures with phrases like “you need to suck my cock”, “kneel to me bitch”, or “I’d really love to come* all over you”. I can’t stress this enough. If you don’t know that the person would welcome your critique of their picture using such language, and if you really feel the need to comment, make it something nice (RAWR, gorgeous, love it, or the like are all "nice") or keep your thoughts to yourself.
**If you spell the word “cum”, go directly to wankerville.

3) You don’t have a profile at all. It’s blank. You have no interests, no hobbies, and nothing about yourself- even what you enjoy or what you're looking for in a partner(s). If I’m going to get to know you, give me something to pique my interest. A blank profile shows me that you’re not interested in interacting with anyone. It says to me that you think “Why bother filling out a profile if all I’m gonna do is wank?

4) You send cut and paste messages to every woman until you run headlong into the spam filters. If that happens, realize two things: a) that the filters are there to stop you from being a wanker and b) if you continue to ignore it, you might end up on the wrong side of these groups:
Return to Sender or The Sad Solicitation Emails We Receive.

5) You brag about non-existent subs/slaves. Especially if you own more than a dozen. Or if they ALL suck cock like champions and you loan them out at the drop of a hat. Nobody believes you. Fantasy is nice, but only other wankers believe that you can actually hang a slave from the rafters for 24 hours, let them down, and expect them to cook dinner for you. Without poison.

6) You use imperatives when you speak to anyone. You WILL. You MUST.

7) You disparage others specifically to cause people to engage with you (aka trolling). You say awful things about race, gender, orientation, or size only to stir up a shitstorm in an online forum.

8) You post in a forum, what seems to be a good question, but then you blow it by outing your sockpuppet account.

9) You post in a forum, start getting good advice, and then delete your post because not everyone agrees with you or tells you what you want to hear. If you’re posting online, asking questions, take the good with the bad or STFU.

10) You treat people like the only reason they’re ON the internet is to give you wank fodder for your fantasies. And then get upset when they won’t play along. And then send them nasty messages for not playing. Take no as a no. That’s basic BDSM. And not getting a reply should be taken as a no.

11) You actually send a message to someone that says “I am wanking to your picture”.

12) You didn’t know what polyamorous was last week, but this week you’re an expert on it.

13) You have a “relationship” with everyone on your friends list. From “brother” to “master of”.

14) You use the term “mistress” in the classical sense. If you’re looking for a “mistress” on a BDSM site, I do not think you mean what you think you mean.

15) Poor spelling and grammar and overuse of the CAPS lock key. Everyone makes mistakes, but large numbers of them in one profile is a huge turn off.

And lastly,

16) If you use any of the following words or phrases:

“true” as in “I’m looking for a “true submissive”

“dominate” as in “I am a dominate with 20 years of experience

“no limits” as in "I’m looking for someone into chainsaws and kittens”

“my wife doesn’t care” as in “I’m just here to get laid”.

“I can’t send you a picture for security reasons” as in “my wife doesn’t care”

“I refuse to be part of the ‘The Scene’” as in “nobody knows me and if they do, they don’t like me”

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

No Rope Child Left Behind

This is gonna be a post that might seem a little snarky. So be it. They’re my opinions based on attending several conferences as one of those “clueless people in the audience”. One who at one time wanted to learn rope. And one who was turned off it for reasons unrelated to this post. Or perhaps not. That's a question I'll have to ponder some more.

I’d wondered WHY more than 1/2 of the attendees at a recent event were newcomers. You’d normally say “HEY, THAT’S GREAT!”. But while the numbers of attendees are increasing, the amount of people coming back is appallingly low. If 1/2 of the attendees are newcomers, then lots of the people at the last event didn’t come back. [edited, my math skills may suck, but I noticed that many of the "usual faces" didn't come back this time]

I personally think (and yeah, your mileage may vary) that as instructors, we’re failing to meet the needs of our students. We offer the same classes that have been done time and time again, and we’re losing people in the process. Yes, some classes need to be offered, especially in light of the newcomer attendance. But there’s a definite lack of sparkle in the offerings. But that’s a different subject.

This post is about how I felt teaching, getting feedback, and ATTENDING rope events. Maybe it’ll help those of us who teach this skill with things that I look for, have had happened, and have noticed myself.

First, be aware that when getting feedback (and I’ve gotten my share as a presenter as well), see if someone else can read and filter it to you. If one or two are awful, having someone else there to put perspective on it is helpful. “Oh...two people were unhappy? Out of the 60 that attended?” “That’s not really all that bad ya know”

Realize that feedback is not JUST a reflection upon you, as a teacher, but also is a reflection of the student’s version of what’s going on. Not everyone learns the same. Some classes that sounded okay might not live up to the expectation of the student. Or the hotel may have been out of hot water that morning. I find it a good measure on feedback to ask “did this class match it’s description?”. If lots of those answers are in the negative, that’s a problem that needs attention. Pronto. And I mean before you teach or submit another class anywhere.

If people complain about the same sort of thing “not enough hands on”, realize that it might not have been “just” about your class in particular, but about the event overall. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve attended a “hands on” class, only to find out that the class was the Presenter’s hands on their Demo-bottom. If it’s a hands on class, then GIVE the people help in starting. Many are shy, unpartnered, and newbies. Rope is intimidating. Good teachers make it look easy which also intimidates. Be aware that the audience, invited to start tying, may just not know how to BEGIN to duplicate what they’re seeing.

Be specific with descriptions. What the audience REALLY needs to know. Inform them at the start that if they can’t tie a box tie, and one is required to do it, then this class will not meet their expectations. That way when you get a feedback form that says “instructor didn’t teach how to do the box tie”, you’ll know it was the attendee who didn’t pay attention to the description and not teacher that didn’t pay attention to the student’s needs. Don't be so concerned with inclusiveness that you're afraid to exclude people who will have difficulty simply because they overestimate their own skills. Don't let them set themselves up for failure from the get-go.

IF you’re going to teach three complicated ties in an hour, you’re gonna get some negative feedback. Especially in large classes. Especially when you’ve got a lot of new people. Especially when the only other classes in that time slot have nothing to do with rope or are for even “more advanced” students.

And in that vein, pay attention to what’s scheduled opposite your own class. That way when only a few dozen show up, you’ll realize your class was opposite a Graydancer or a Lqqkout and be grateful for the two dozen. They’re just as important (and I personally think more so because they obviously didn’t KNOW who Graydancer or Lqqkout was or they’d be there as well) as everyone else who paid money to attend an event.

Be aware that when doing floor work in a huge class, you’re gonna get negative feedback from the people who got to the class late and ended up in the back of the room. Find a way to work around that and you’ll make those people very happy.

GET A TEACHING ASSISTANT. Or two, three or four if needed in large classes. It makes a HUGE difference to someone learning rope to have someone who can help without slowing down the entire class. Or getting frustrated enough that they give up. Trust me on this one. Asking for help can be intimidating. Having TA's around, especially if they're paying attention and can see someone having difficulty, makes it a win/win all around.

DON’T use the class to show how YOU play with your demo bunny. Unless that’s the point of the class. Watching some scenes to do with pain, can and does squick some newbies. That’s why there’s classes and why there’s parties. For the new-to-rope couple looking for a little bedroom fun, seeing a demo bottom getting their nipples pinched and tears start can be unsettling. If you’re going to do that, warn the audience. Believe it or not, not every person who attends a rope event is into pain.

Basically, remember that people have paid money (sometimes quite a lot after transportation and hotel fees are added to the ticket price) to learn about rope. Help them do THAT and you’ll have people that enjoy coming back to an event. Don’t let that other 1/2 keep leaving.

Momentumcon 2011



MOMENTUM 2011

To see the live-tweets of the conference- click here or search for #mcon.

Amazing would hardly begin to describe it.

When I first put my idea up for a session, I didn’t think about what I was doing. As in, I knew I had things to share about kink and social media, but I had no idea when I did it, I’d be in front of people talking at a convention that had the likes of Carol Queen, Doctor Ruthie, Tristan Taormino, Reid Mikahlo and Jennie Block speaking. To say that I was a wee bit intimidated by the idea would be somewhat of an understatement.

What the fuck was I doing? Thinking I could have anything important to say in THAT milieu? I was just a kinky girl, sometime relationship blogger, with fangirl tendencies towards sex positive people. When I talked with Septimus about my fears, he kind of just looked at me and said “you belong there too”. I still wasn’t sure. And, this was the first time I’d be speaking at a conference where Septimus wasn’t going to be with me. I felt like I wanted to heave.

Debaucheddiva finally convinced me when she assured me that smaller voices (and I daresay untried voices) are needed just as much as Jennie Block’s.

There were quite a few friends (Spunquee, Ten and B-Playful among them), quite a few bloggers that I’d been tweeting with for a long while, and many sex positive people that I’d met before who would be attending and speaking. Among those were some of my fangirl favorites: Megan Andelloux, Sarah Sloane, Shanna Katz and Princess Kali. I figured that I enjoyed talking with them enough in the past, that meeting a whole bunch of new people and doing the same thing wouldn’t be so scary.

I’d taken a look at the schedule and realized that there would be no possible way to attend every session that I’d wanted to. That’s how great it was. There were more sessions I wanted to go to than there were ones that I figured I could skip out of in favor of a nap. In all of the cons that I’ve attended, that has never happened.

I will write about specific sessions and what I learned from them at another time. Feminism and D/s, Podcasting, Marketing, CineKink and more. I’m still processing everything (and catching up on sleep). The sessions gave me more than enough blog fodder for dozens of posts. And have given me enough to think about to carry the excitement forward. To keep the momentum flowing as it were.

Those two days in DC, attending Momentum have changed the way I think about sexuality, sex positivity, gender, relationships, social media, and feminism. But what they did more, was change the way I think about myself. A wee bit intimidated? Sure. Who wouldn’t be? But talking to and learning from all those wonderful educators and attendees gave me something really important. An unintentional consequence of having an idea, putting it out there, and learning to follow through with it.

Confidence.