Open Your Mouth, Jackass!

No, this isn’t a post about piss play or strap-ons.

It’s a post about peoples’ dumbitude.

Lots of people out there have an interest in some facet of bdsm, and they’re not quite sure how to tell their partners.  So they post online asking for advice on how to broach the subject.  No problem so far.

Then lots of people end up saying things like, “You should buy this book and give it to her”, or, “Show her this website; it’s got everything she needs to know.”

I’ve got no problem with people learning and using various resources to further themselves in some way.  But why not, you know, communicate?  Aren’t you in a relationship?  Don’t you talk to each other?

Handing someone a book or link and then running away is a timid way to handle the situation.

Plus, they’re other peoples’ words.  This is a problem on two fronts.  First, it’s very impersonal.  It doesn’t come from you. It comes from some shmo who doesn’t know either of you, who doesn’t know a thing about your relationship.  Second, those words are only true for the person who wrote them; your relationship, your interests, and your limits are different than the author’s.

It’s important to develop your own style of bdsm.  We all have our own flavor.  Reading books, going to demos, and checking out websites can all be part of learning what’s out there.  But they’re not a substitute for thinking for yourself.  Handing someone a prepackaged bundle of words comes across as cold and scripted.  It leaves little room for the recipient to feel out his or her own way of doing things.  Plus, it adds pressure, which is very un-sexy.  Not only that, but what if the recipient has a question?  They can’t ask the book, and since you’re obviously not willing to talk, they can’t ask you either.  Making someone feel alone and pressured isn’t real conducive to open-minded exploration.

Instead of just trying to hand someone a book, why not take the time to think about why you want to do whatever it is, and then talk about it?  Use your words to explain why it appeals to you and what you think she might enjoy about it.  Yes, it actually involves a little effort, but it’s more personal, more accurate, and more likely to get the other person interested.

Hypocrisy in Motion

Some people in the bdsm community have a problem with switches.  They say switches are just confused.  Or that they aren’t “really” into bdsm.  They’re treated even worse than the ultimate evil scum, submissive men.  That’s pretty bad when you consider that submissive men eat puppies and are solely responsible for our dependence on foreign oil.

(Not all communities do this, of course.  It’s often the higher-protocol, ritualized, structured communities that do this.  People in the bdsm group that I’m the most involved with don’t take this approach; people there tend to feel that being a switch is a legitimate option.)

Here’s the part I don’t get:  Those who don’t feel switches are valid usually don’t seem to have a problem with bisexuality.  At least in women.  You don’t hear them talking about how bisexuals are just “confused” or aren’t really into sexuality.

While I don’t switch, I know a lot of switches.  I was in a great relationship with one.  I respect them just as readily as I do anyone else.  And on a cerebral level, I understand the appeal.  They get the best of both worlds.  Honestly, I’m a bit jealous.  And I feel that switching makes someone more empathetic and understanding as to what it’s like on the other side.

I like Chinese food.  And Italian.  Mexican and American too.  I like heavy metal, reggae, techno, and jazz.  I play both guitar and bass.  Does this mean I’m just confused as well?  Am I not really into music and food?  Or do I simply have an appreciation for different flavors?

I don’t see why people feel that others should have to pick just one thing to enjoy.  If you like more than one, go for it!  And if you only like one flavor, that’s okay too.  But I don’t think that anyone has the right to say, “You have no place in bdsm” just because someone doesn’t do things the same way.

Yes, I’m Strange

I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to convince Billy Mays to do a workshop in the local bdsm scene.  I have no idea if he’s into bdsm.  I just think it’d be awesome to see him giving his usual spasmodic wound-up delivery on a different subject.

Maybe anal fisting.

“Hi, Billy Mays here! Did you ever want to ram your fist deep into your partner’s ass? Feel around in their colon? Well with enough lube and a rubber glove, YOU CAN! And I’m here to show you how!”

Or cbt.

“Hi, Billy Mays here! Do you like to see your sub in pain? Do you relish his anguished looks? But floggers are expensive, and singletails take forever to learn! So how can you make your sub grimace in agony? Well I’m here to show you!  Just pull your foot back, give his balls a swift kick, and voila! It’s easy! Instant sadistic gratification!”

Then again, maybe sploshing would be a little more appropriate for him.  He’s always spilling things in his infomercials.  He seems like he’s into wet & messy play.  He really seems to enjoy spilling wine, coffee, pudding, soup, and everything else.  That’s why they film him from the waist up so often- they’re trying to hide the bulge in his pants.

Piss on Me, But Not on My Kinks

I’ve done some “forced” feminization play before.  And while I found it hot, it’s something that only a handful of people in the local scene know I sometimes engage in.  I’d like to be more open about it, but people seem to have a lot of misconceptions about it.  They make assumptions that just aren’t true.  I find that incredibly ironic considering that the bdsm community is a group of nonconformists, people who tend to break away from all the typical ways and standard assumptions.  Narrow thinking annoys me.  So do people who dress up their dogs in little costumes, but that’s a different post altogether.

One problem is that some think forced fem play is degrading to women.  They say that if femininity is humiliating, then that’s a way of seeing women as being lower than men.  I understand that way of thinking.  And I agree.  The thing they don’t get is that the appeal isn’t in femininity being humiliating.  Because really, femininity itself is not humiliating.  Femininity is beautiful.  The humiliating aspect is that, for the most part, I don’t identify as effeminate.  So being made to emulate something I’m not can be humiliating.

If I did identify as feminine, it’d simply be part of who I am, and it would have no humiliating effect.

Another problem is that people tend to look down on those who practice forced fem.  Even if the sub is stereotypically über-masculine 99% of the time, if people see him doing this type of play, their attitudes change.  Not all react that way, of course, but quite a few do.  Some will say that they’re okay with people doing it, yet they begin to treat differently those who are into it.

Part of that condescension may have to do with stereotypes.  Only a small percentage of Muslims are terrorists.  Only a small percentage of blacks are thugs.  But those few on the extreme end get the press, so people start to believe that the majority are like that.  Same with forced fem.  There are some pushy, top-from-the-bottom do-me queens out there who are often one-trick ponies.  And often, that one trick is fem play.  People have bad experiences with them, and they tend to equate forced fem (and anyone who does it) with these socially inept wankers.

One last reason I don’t do any fem play in public has nothing to do with others’ perceptions or ideas.  When I do any kind of humiliation play, it feels like anyone who is watching is also taking part in the scene, taking part in my humiliation.  So I’m essentially playing with everyone there.  While humiliation in front of a group is more powerful than one-on-one, it also presents a problem.  I don’t play with everybody.  I need to be attracted to whoever I’m playing with.  (It’s really not such an odd idea-  would you have sex with people you weren’t attracted to?)  If there is a group of people watching my humiliation in a scene, the only way I’d be able to get into it is if I were attracted to all of them.  A scenario like that most likely isn’t going to happen.

Forced feminization can be tasty.  It’s humiliating, it’s fun, it’s sexy.  Being made to do this, to do something I won’t do on my own, brings to the forefront the power exchange between two people.  But stereotyping and presumptuous thinking present major hurdles for anyone who practices this type of play.  Even within a community of open-minded kinksters.  I do my part to correct any misconceptions out there, but sometimes that’s not enough.

Richard Simmons

I never thought I’d be writing about Richard Simmons on a bdsm blog.  Some DJs on the radio mentioned this clip, and I had to seek it out.  Apparently he was being interviewed on a show and decided to engage in a little of the good stuff.  Well, there is that little technicality of consent though…

And if this is an effective way to attract news anchors, look out Megyn Kelly, I’m on my way!

Where are the Femdom People?

Since I’ve gotten involved with the Pittsburgh bdsm community over four years ago, I’ve wondered why there’s such an imbalance among the numbers of maledom and femdom people.  It’s really irritating.  At least to me.

And it’s not like female doms show up once or twice, then never return.  They just don’t show up at all.  It’s a running joke between me and some of my friends- every time a cute new woman shows up at a munch, party, or workshop, I bet that she’s submissive.  We seem to have no trouble attracting submissive women and dominant men.

Still, I’m glad that, unlike some other cities, Pittsburgh isn’t overrun with male subs who pounce on anyone vaguely female as soon as they walk in the door.  That’s definitely not a female-friendly environment.  Fortunately for me, we also have a lack of male subs.  Less competition is a good thing, although even if there were more competition, I don’t think it would much worsen my chances of finding someone.

If we were able to attract more dominant women, I’m sure the male subs would follow.  We do occasionally get submissive men who show up, see that there are very few dominant women, and don’t come back.

There are enough dominant women and switches here so that I’m not always jonesing for play- I do play with friends.  But I yearn for something more.  Love is important.  Casual play is fun, but play (and d/s) within a relationship is ten times better.

Begging

Begging can be divisive.  Of the dominant women I’ve talked with about this, most either love it or hate it.  To some, it comes across as selfish or whiny.  Others get wet just thinking about it.

I’m sure that a lot of that depends on experience.  If a dom has a series of relationships with people who really are whiny and petty, that can tilt her opinion of begging toward the negative.

I’ve always been reluctant to try it, simply because I just don’t know what to say.  I don’t know what good begging is, or how to keep it from sounding whiny.  The few times I tried a little, I definitely felt like I was whining.  When I watch scenes, begging isn’t a part of them, so I have no examples to go on.  What differentiates whiny, annoying attempts from genuine, jeans-moistening begging?

Currently this problem isn’t at the forefront for me, since I’m single.  And when I play with friends, there’s no begging involved; it’s usually more physical types of play.  Begging has always felt awkward to me, but I’d like to be able to do it just in case I end up with someone who enjoys it.