Although I have been doing better and writing more, my blog is currently dealing with ten year bloat/age issues that despite the standard permission changes, have borked many things on the back end so that it is fighting templates, slow as hell and failing to let me upload images properly. Don’t worry, at this time work is being done.
Dealing with the whole template thing.
Removing thousands of spam “subscribers”.
Dealing with the nuclear waste of ten years of backups and updates ghosts that bloat out my site’s storage.
Gratitude is relevant to clinical psychology due to (a) strong explanatory power in understanding well-being, and (b) the potential of improving well-being through fostering gratitude with simple exercises
Alex M. Wood; Jeffrey J. Froh; Adam W.A. Geraghty; “Gratitude and well-being: A review and theoretical integration”; Clinical Psychology ReView; March 2010
I am grateful for the morning, the warmth of the bed I don’t want to escape and the consolation of the coffee he brought to me.
I am grateful for the way he knelt down last night and kissed the toes of my boots all playful, until I swatted him away squawking he needed to wipe them down first.
I am grateful for the nudge of his hard cock against my ass, even if we are both too groggy from last night because of it. I get to have impromptu sex on a week night, when I want. Even if I am tired and hate everything right now.
I am grateful for the three selfies he sent me of edging in the accessible/unisex single user bathroom at his work, and in knowing he wore the plug I hid in his glove box for four hours.
[ Entries missing and space covered with stickers.]
I am grateful for the way he looks in a collar, on all fours and for putting up with going out two nights out of three this weekend. Although I forgot to do my journal.
I am grateful for the bagel with sesame and cream cheese, even if he forgot and apologized it wasn’t poppyseed because he couldn’t remember if it was sesame or poppyseed I prefer. It’s sesame. He called me on his break from work, just to apologize because he wasn’t sure.
I am grateful for him being supportive about my step brother being gone, even if we weren’t really that close, and for understanding why I made us late by being on the phone with my mom all morning.
I am grateful for him remembering to tell me I seemed loopy and asking if I had been taking my ADHD meds. I hadn’t. Whose bright idea was a disability that takes organization to keep up with, that makes you disorganized?
I am grateful that he drew me a picture of my worst customer as a sulky troll and also that he doesn’t mind eating me out takes 20 minutes, and that even then sometimes I can’t get off.
I am grateful for how fun it is to edge him over and over again. And the really good deal I got on bananas.
I am grateful he got precum on my good work skirt and it came right out with a little water. Him being messy is sexy!
I am grateful for him bringing me a Starbucks holiday cookie while I was doing cert practice exams and letting me use his testicles as a stress squeeze ball.
I am grateful for him finding my gratitude journal behind the bed. And for not making me feel bad about being so upset it was missing. And being ok that I told him I wasn’t up to an elaborate scene tonight and then changing my mind and plugging him and keeping him in the sensory deprivation hood for an hour and a half while I hit him with a crop intermittently and played chinese opera through headphones in his ears.
I am grateful for the fact that he managed to write “Take your Meds” on his ass, but he did it crooked so it says “Tak3 your m3dz”. And for alluringly mooning me for a spanking after serving breakfast in bed.
I am grateful he drew me a picture of Troll-Robert being hit by a palette of express shipped orders and being squashed flat and for letting me cradle his head lovingly and slap the shit out of him. And for reminding me to put the bananas in the freezer before they go bad.
I am grateful for KISSES.
I am grateful for a really heartfelt letter about how proud of me he is doing certification AND working full time, and how he imagines what our future is going to me like and how my voice makes him drip.
I am grateful for him helping my mom TS her computer because he knows I find trying to help her with stuff infuriating, and letting my Dad tell him how to deep fry a turkey and then helping stop my dad from starting a fire when he got distracted. And head in the car home.
I am grateful for him catching my laptop when I accidentally kicked it off the bed. I HATE CERT PRACTICE EXAMS.
I am grateful for that wet big eyed, helpless on his knees look he gives. And for the little grunt he makes every time I jerk the harness up.
I am grateful for him freezing all the bananas I forgot to, and being able to make them into a breakfast smoothie so my adhd meds don’t give me a stomach ache.
I am grateful for saying nothing, dropping to his knees and worshipping my pussy when he saw my face after I got home tonight. And telling me not to worry about Robert complaining to my boss again about the order.
I am grateful for his submission and his love and getting me sushi to celebrate when I passed my MOTHERFUCKING CERTS. Also that he didn’t mind when I missed and hit his balls during spanking.
A note of real life femdom gratitude:
I would like to thank my supporters at Patreon and the unstintingly generous help of a reader for their technical support. The latter got my site operational again after something permissions related dramatically borked.
Becoming a patron helps me keep my content free, and means the world to me.And being the person who helps with my frantic AHHHHH emails after I fuck over something with a plugin/permission is it’s own great gift.
“No Nut November is a good enough reason to test this, isn’t it?” Her phone was open to a page on Amazon, looking at the selection of lab coats available. They were more expensive, in her opinion, than they had any business being.
“You are band wagoning.” He was naked, except for a t-shirt that was pulled off his neck but not his arms, and his socks, which they never seemed to remember to take off. Despite the bravado heavy sarcasm in his accusation, he was helpless, spread eagled in the white bed by straps taut, Velcro cuffs snuggle wrapped around his ankles and wrists.
“You are band wagoning, Doctor,” she corrected, emphasis on the last word. “For the duration of the month you are in this clinical trial and you will conform to every step on the protocol.”
“Yes, Doctor.” He cringed, meekly.
Ridiculous or not, anything said in a stern tone got him somewhere in the hind brain and delivered up that I’ve-been-slapped-please-do-it-again face. She smirked, feeling that flash of extra horny when she looked down on him. The heavy vibe-wand felt comfortingly official, with a turgid density that always reminded her of an erection. Or a weapon, as she felt you could do a reasonable amount of damage with a good clonk.
The buzz of the wand turning on sent tingles though her hand, down her arm. At its lowest setting, it was still enough to make him test the strength of the straps. Pressed to his cock and lazily inched along its length, he would move a little, realize he was denying himself the sensation he craved and then remember to hold still.
“The subject was introduced to the equipment for the test.” She purred, “and showed marked responsiveness. Further investigation found he was most sensitive on the ventral side, except directly below the head, and which point the sensitivity remained the same for dorsal and caudal contact.”
“Motion that was proximal or distal showed equal efficacy in introducing a response, and for consistency a gliding rather than rolling technique was used to establish moving stimulation. Pressure, of course, had a high variability.”
“Increasing the power of the vibrations and contact with the underside of the head of the subject’s cock produced similar non-verbal vocalizations. It will require further testing to determine if they are equivalent in the perception of the subject… or…” She bore down a little more, her grin going wide, “The subject is just being dramatic.”
“No, I’m not…” He shook his head. “That’s…”
She withdrew the wand sharply, and he heard the wine before the pop of electricity discharged into his thigh. He yelped. It was technically a cattle prod, even if she wasn’t sure how a hand-held device like that was used in a stock yard. But it did the job, warning with the pitch of a mosquito before the contact was made. Sometimes all it took was the noise itself to quell him perfect.
“I’m not being dramatic, Doctor!” The correction was blurted out a few seconds later.
“Better. I would rather think by your tone you are. I have seen you take more.”
“No, Doctor. It builds. But, over time I get more numb.”
“Yes, subject, that’s the point. If, by the end of the month you become immune to edging or not, and if you require significantly more stimuli or less, to respond.” To underline this, she nudged the wand back up against the root of his cock, tracing from his balls all the way over the head.
“But, all of November, Doctor?”
“Yes, the trial will run from November 4th to November 30th.” The dates alone weren’t a threat. “I know from the control month of Locktober you can handle no stimulation what so ever. Let’s see if the use of daily, escalating stimulation is any different, hmm?”
“Have you been planning this all along…” He paused, then remembered himself, pressing his hips up to chase more of the wand’s buzz. “Doctor?”
“Well, not really. Only since last week.”
The wand glided back down again, keeping a pattern. There was an interesting technical challenge for her, making torturing him almost meditative. Keep the motions similar, and not give into her own sadistic urge to go as hard as possible all at once.
Steady was its own reward. Despite how natural medical vocabulary came, she knew there was more wanton desire than meticulous art in her use of him. Something about his vulnerability inspired her to devour. She counted the strokes of the wand out loud. “…three, four, five…”
His eyes stayed fixed on her, not relaxing into surrender, but yielding with a focused attention.
“… Eight, nine, ten…” After a few more passes she pressed a little harder. There was that hip buck of his. “… thirteen, fourteen…” His fingers curled and uncurled. She decided not to give the wand more power, keeping it that way.
It took longer, but the edge arrived nonetheless. His belly contracted, as did his balls pulling closer to his body, his mouth making an o while his eyes squeezed shut. Incoherent words warned, no matter his sass, he was obedient to the fact that he was forbidden to come, always faithfully warning her.
She gambled, and gave it a few seconds longer. Another few more.
“Ah!” Only when that desperation started to truly look like he was bracing for an inevitable impact did she yank the wand back, leaving him gasping.
Her grin would have done the Cheshire cat proud, carrying a buzz of her own between the technical satisfaction of the topping and that in her chest aroused joy of knowing he was completely in her power.
“There now. The Subject will tell the experimenter exactly how that made him feel.”
The class was the live version of “On Top: Exploring Your Dominant Persona”, taught by Justine Cross, variously touted as the most popular Dominatrix in LA, participant in extensive public outreach experiences and significant mover/shaker in her community. She owns two dungeons, which host an important part of the larger local lifestyle community. It’s a dedication of her life to advancing acceptance of BDSM and being a domme a find deeply praiseworthy. She’s very much a role model for others to aspire to.
People familiar with my presence on the internet probably know that I take every option to attend classes that show you how to be or realise your dominant self. Moderating r/femdomcommunity not one week passes without at least one newbie asking “how do I?” Meanwhile this blog exists as an anchor of sorts, dedicated to the subject of being a lifestyle domme for your own delight. Reviewing classes is a nice mix of learning things for myself and knowing where to send other people to learn.
The target market of this particular class is novice dommes. It’s important to reach them directly because femdom is a culturally distinct entity within the BDSM community at large, and although much of it is still dedicated to the interests of male subs and their most psychologically resonant fetishes, it’s also a space that is often much less hostile to female power than the mainline BDSM community can be.
However… Any domme class review I do is fussy.
If you are upset by having someone’s very affordable public contribution pulled apart with a magnifying glass, I might not be the writer for you. If you happen to BE Justine Cross reading this, message me to send you the cost of a stiff drink, as I am tearing into things with all the concern and sensitivity of a pack of velociraptors on an unattended BBQ buffet. Caveat lector.
And, I’m pretty biased going into this, because I think way too much emphasis is already put on teaching women to embody personas already, and every other domme lesson out there seems still stuck on the archetypes of “The Mistress Manual“, a book I am not whelmed by. On the other hand, all the dommes that teach these classes aren’t stupid, and the queries I get from would be dommes often phrase their need in a pursuit of finding a particular self presentation. This naturally makes a “Persona” class seem more attractive in marketing, so I tried to go into it with an open mind.
Besides, I have an endless desire to know what is out there, because when someone is on the top of their game, as Justine Cross is, even if I disagree on something, they clearly have something I can learn from. I am hardly an indomitable authority, and I would be deeply uncomfortable if there was nowhere else to send folks than me for good information. Safe sources that are different in theory than me should be nurtured, because this pocket of identity is pretty marginalized already.
So, would I recommend Justine Cross’s Domme Persona class?
Justine Cross has both organizer bonafides and a lengthy teacher and presenter resume. They are very good at communicating. I would say it’s an excellent intro class with up to date reminders that dominants can have limits, but little direct emphasis on female pleasure. Most dominant classes for any gender seem more responsibility focused, developing a framework to safely hold authority, but I think domme oriented instructional stuff needs to center this a bit more.
You do not need any part of this class to be a domme. If you want to be better at embodying what people expect of a domme, it’s a much better place to learn than most resourced. There’s value here, but having asked her dead on why this (outside of the self evident safety part she taught) was necessary, I feel the bridge between the dominant self and the external performance is not explored enough by the class.
Additionally, although her Lifestyle bonafides are without question, there’s a few bits in the content that are continuing to hold all dominants to standards only useful to professionals or at best a narrow stripe of kinky folks in a public community. Most advice in her class is good and well taught, but it’s decidedly about embodying a dominatrix externally in a way that needs the dungeon to work. That standard looms a bit too much into her class, though make no mistake, her own communicated joy in her life in no way make dominating seem like a duty or a chore.
First, delving into what she did particularly right:
Without her class I would not have found her wonderful free(!) scene negotiation sheet. She offers it for on Gumroad, crediting its first version originator, Pervocracy. Being properly plugged into the spectrum of kink communities for info is key for any educator, and Justine Cross has that down perfectly.
(Only one caveat on the attribution: I don’t know if Cliff prefers to reference his dead name professionally, for works predating his shift to going exclusively by that name. This sheet still credits that way. I definitely don’t think Justine Cross is doing anything wrong)
I also really appreciated that the class took the time to talk about dominant limits and explained it in a very accessible way. They did not do off the rack domme characters like I feared she might, the persona in the class title was more of a self selected thing to nurture and construct within the self.
The bones of the Mistress Manual seem to be still there in the very deep background, but the distance from it has included more of the self. I at no point felt like it was a class exclusively on mastering the thing hubby asked one to do, as most domme guides do.
Particular to that point, Justine Cross was very much in her element when she talked about the limits of the old saw, to sub before you dom. Little touches of her personal interest in the cnc messy “abuse” inspired scenarios were a little window into desire that are missing in a lot of conversations, though she is impeccable consistent in flagging real danger.
Her safety discussion was flawless. That I can’t say more about it is due to it’s constancey, and did not veer into over corrections nor neglect the dominant’s comforts. She managed this without being full of safety myths. And I liked she touched on a preference for darker things that outside of care and enthusiastic consent, would be explicitly abuse.
Now the criticisms, because I am a miserable pedant:
There was only one big oof. And not a potentially fatal one, just a misdirection, if you are exclusively lifestyle. Other things I noted would be smaller, for all go into them in detail. I remind you to read my review in the context of nitpicking, and my own agenda, and that I am still recommending her.
The biggest issue is I think she wasn’t able to effectively distinguish lifestyle and pro. Some of this is that it’s not a hard binary. And yet, I feel that because of the validity of sex work and the format of kink as delivered only in dungeons, parts of the whole spectrum and quirks of lifestyle only femdom culture were missing. The problem went as far as her intro querstions, asking us to define “dominatrix or dominant” even as she told us this was a lifestyle rather than sex work focused class. Notably she just asks one to define “submissive” in her class.
(Of course some lifestyle only women do call themselves Dominatrices or draw all their inspiration from there, but most do not. This didn’t put the contemporary idea of a dominatrix into it’s larger context of ways to be a domme.)
Nitpick 1: A missed opportunity to befriend an awkward elephant
The low hanging fruit (which I am trying to knock down and discard), one might levy at her, is that her work with clients somehow taints her. That’s sexism, nobody tells all the male pro-riggers that if they aren’t completely attracted to their models, their work is less valid. But the question “are you a real domme tho?” is an elephant in the room. Not because I am asking, but because she is self aware of the context of her audience’s thoughts to be stuck having to build a self justification into the curriculum.
Make no mistake, Justine Cross’s professional work experience in no way makes her lifestyle “authenticity” lose its loud self evidence in everything she does. Part of the fun of her class is her use of tone and expression where you can see how uplifted and comfortable she is in her kink. I found myself admiring her- she deserves the prestige she has. I don’t cringe to know she puts herself forward to the media to represent what femdom is. If people think I am like her, by pop culture exposure, that’s a compliment to me.
It really sucks that lifestyle and professional have to be put at odds. Most pro dommes are both. Even if they were not, it wouldn’t matter- that a person wants to dominate is personally enough for me. I want them to be fulfilled doing it, but being lifestyle only also never stopped someone from trading in harmful info either.
I do not think we got a bridge built, and about the only point she looked self conscious was in reference to professional work she does when it gives the client most of the say in the script of his scene. She mentioned him being happy was enough. I sort of think that was a missed opportunity to talk about the unique permission women get to express power through nurturing, giving and empathy.
I think that the standard we hold dominants, particularly sex workers to, harms dommes. As much as I dislike advice that teaches dominance like a purely giving thing, it’s a worse burden to place on female dommes that if we overtly acknowledge we might focus on the sub we lose respect and power. Femdom, in the name, has permission to be gendered and thus the other. Where it is most in alignment with feminism is when it rejects that power has to look like by a very male standard.
And I think we need to have a stronger foundation, collectively, that traditionally feminine associated things, from homemaking to penetration, do not have to be submissive.
Nitpick #2: The direct female pleasure problem
All that being said on being giving not being inherently submissive, we are also still struggling with having pleasure or being selfish at all.
My biggest criticism of most of the intro/general het femdom classes I have attended is that they focus on getting it right as a vocation and not on pleasing yourself. There may be a lot of focus on projecting authority through symbols, technique, and body exercises, but none about achieving and outcome other than “you are happy because you feel you are recognized as a dominant, including by yourself” and “he is happy because he got what he wanted”.
It’s like if an intro to sex class covered lingerie, dirty talk, anal and deep throating, and neglected to talk about her orgasm. Some of this is coyness inherent in our sex taboos about women. At the best of times, it’s framed as a nurturing, generative performance. But even so, these classes never seem to touch on things like the stealth-domme parts the novice might realise she was doing all along. Or ask her to think about her needs directly and how she might get this met.
And all these personas seem less like permission to be a part of yourself you suppress and instead creating a new part of the self who is allowed to do things the you, to this point, can’t. Notably while Justine Cross asked us to look to our own examples of fictional dommes to build that persona, she didn’t linger there.
I think the why do all this was missing
Maybe it’s the brevity of the class, but the most interesting part of examining your fantasies and fixations is seeing how they might embody what you personally want. Sometimes it’s a means to an end, sometimes the moment itself is the goal. In Justine Cross’s framing, dominance seems more like a means to an end in itself. The argument was present: Be like fictional domme or real dominatrix to be domme.
She doesn’t ask why you might want to be a domme or what emotional or sexual fulfillment this might bring you. In Justine Cross’s class, being perceived as a domme by yourself and others is enough in itself. Am I doing this to create a safe space to be sadistic? What kind of buzz does having power give me, or am I more focused on the reactions of a sub? Am I strengthening my ego in just knowing I have admirable topping skills or do I want the outcomes for me?
Mistress Shahrazad, teaching at The Ritual Chamber, is the only domme class teacher I have found, to date, who suggested you might have to struggle to even identify, much less vocalize one’s needs as a woman. I think because her class was FLR focused things could get away from the constant performance part dommes in particular get asked to do. I find it odd, given how much mainline feminism is exploring the perils and pitfalls of asserting oneself that femdom lessons for women don’t touch on that psychological side more.
For Justine Cross, her style section for dommes is a fashion shoot of her different looks. This is in sharp contrast with her sub class (reviewed later, below), where sub style is the permutations of kink preferences. It’s a very external presentation. It’s true that women have more permission to express themselves via outwards adornment and affect. Nonetheless, it’s another missed opportunity to talk about how style leads to her feelings.
(I often wonder if I might just be weird?)
My sadist self needs no mask, she uncoils out of my core into occupation of the entire room. I don’t take her to the grocery store and the DMV, but she is indelibly there in my sexuality. Flirt and her teeth are what smile back. Fuck, and it’s your mind I try to unpick to control the interaction. Reciprocal horny loops occur when someone I want subs to me.
In the larger world, when a woman wants to be sexually or romantically dominant, the matter is presented very differently than to a man. We still drag her into caricature flavours of dominatrix: governess, goddess, amazon, and so on. These aren’t even what real life dominatrices are like! That’s (based on my current sample) usually warm, empathetic, creative, cynical and queer. But, the archetypes we are given as baby dommes aren’t even the power fantasies that move reams of women’s fiction. If someone is a governess or a teacher in a story that’s typically sold to women, the former is about independence in a historical setting and the latter about her dedication to a traditional but essential job. Neither give her permission for cruelty in a way that powers sadism.
Being a Dominatrix can be one kind of permission, but we need more!
Sure, plenty of women look at the capital M “Mistress” and want to embody that, but meanwhile the male dominants are getting to be heroes and vampires and corporate bosses. Or in real life, allowed to be middle aged alt/nerd guys playing make believe patriarch. He’s getting his dick sucked by someone he is calling “little one”, and we dommes are all over here trying to not be collectively scraped off the internet by social media female body bans and credit card providers.
Maybe it’s because hard power, and unapologetically self focused power are usually denied to women, without severe social penalties? A world where the female orgasm is more obscene than the male one on film will necessarily put female pleasure aside unless abstracted, euphemized or channeled into approved outlets. But, as much as women have permission to wield certain kinds of embodying and giving power men do not, the experience of being dominant that keeps the domme as purer, more limited thing than male doms are way more shades of the “The Female Eunuch” than I would want, given what a disappointing TERF Germaine Greer turned out to be.
Shows like Billions and Bonding, the latter of which Justine Cross cited as a good example, subtract female sexual pleasure from their scenes. Instead it’s the admiration of other women for your topping skills, and strict distance from one’s more vulnerable desires, an aloof power. You have something your partner wants, done well, ideally naturally.
I do think women regularly fantasize about being a dominatrix, along with other sexual vocations. So, classes to do this make sense. The dominatrix is a transgressive and yet very traditionally feminine place to be, a forbidden deviance that promises a power trip. However, I think men do not use those same self imagining filter tools to enjoy their dominance.
Dommes are not asked what they want in the context of their lifestyle-only relationships. The presumption at best is that you can put on a persona as a tool, but nothing about one’s own fetishes. Empowerment is mentioned, but never “horny”.
All of this is more like a context of the domme class’s absent female pleasure problem.
That Justine Cross doesn’t address this context head on is not an endorsement. In practice she does more to make kink accepted in the mainstream than I do. But I think in swelling our numbers I must stay like Nidhogg in the roots of Yggdrasil, that nasty dragon gnawing the base of the world tree. My place in all this is about a certain sort of self assured self advocacy. I have to stand firm that what a femdom is must be expanded without eliminating any of the current forms.
Male subs are *extremely* good at collectively saying what they want. There is an ocean of porn in every permutation imaginable. There is virtually none for lifestyle dommes, to the point our male partners routinely either think we don’t exist or their porn is for us. For an industry that acknowledges that women can make up a third of the customer base, we are still stuck in “but women don’t like this” for commercial content.
So, it’s a situation of scarcity that puts that problem. Maybe in the end I am naught but the lunatic fringe, but content for us needs to be more inclusive of ways of being. Elsewise we will have more eras of “not like other femdoms” in lifestyle only land and continue with the ongoing rejection of gendered labels by otherwise cis women (or femme folks) who feel excluded by the lean of contemporary femdom culture.
Nitpick 3#: A poly/pro approach is not acknowledging a monogamous majority
This was the heaviest structural issue I noticed. She defaulted to putting dommes in contrast to eachother, way more than subs are placed apart. I think it makes sense for a public living marketing power house like Justine Cross, but it will not necessarily make her lessons accessible to couples or the vast majority of serial monogamists and monogamish folks.
For example, when we talked domme limits, she suggested if something is a limit to you, you could refer your sub elsewhere for that. Great advice for pros, who have a healthy and supportive culture that is naturally more stringless poly, and uses referrals to strengthen the whole community, terrible for the average monogamous woman. That’s what the majority of dommes are, and there are other ways to navigate your limits than opening your relationship. I would be careful to go as far as saying it will have the opposite effect of encouraging dommes to push through their limits for fear of having to share. But it left a hole in this particular issue that needs patching.
The most frustrating example of this domme inter-comparison approach was the closing topic. It was titled “Honing Your Craft or specialty – What do you want to be known for?”. Nope. Please do not. Topping is skill based, being a domme is absolutely an internal desire thing, and the “craft”/ vocation part is explicitly a pitch only women seem to get.
In pursuit of this dominance-as-calling idea, Justine Cross described developing a personal style to differentiate yourself from other dommes. This is not advice lifestyle dommes need, and is actually harmful as phrased, implying that pursuit of social distinctiveness should be prioritized. Lifestyle dommes do not need to convince anyone they are specialized or have branding.
You might use a persona as a tool, but you absolutely aren’t doing it in healthy competition with other women, as an artist. Your relationships don’t work that way; you can offer a more complete picture of yourself because the world is structured to allow you to do so. Being a domme, for most women, isn’t like becoming a burlesque performer, where you take on a stage name and create an audience digestible snapshot. You definitely don’t worry your domme identity is too much like another domme- you may never do more than read/watch these other women or have interactions that are indistinguishable from vanilla.
In the kink community, on the lifestyle side, there’s definitely a possability social prestige in building a public parasocial identity even more so than just being “the funny one” in a friend circle, but this is not needed. I can say first hand as someone whose whining on the internet for nigh on a decade accidentally gave her a perceived identity, or who had people think she was an aloof badass in the in person scene in Montreal, because I was the event runner and didn’t feel comfortable seeking play in a pool I had authority over- that identity doesn’t need tweaking. You can just be yourself as most of the whole person.
Again, this segue into taking persona to mean something like a brand was a missed opportunity. It could suggest differentiation in pursuit of satisfaction, where a unique style was more about focusing on your fetishes and putting a you focused spin on it. And ironically that’s more of where her partnered to this sub class went.
Contrasting this with Justine Cross’s submissive oriented class
“On Your Knees: Power in Submission”, is aimed at subs in general, though marketed with a hooded suit sub dude picture (which she noted in her class was not optimal, but still nice to see a boy sub in central focus), and was flagged in her domme class as an alternative. As such, I couldn’t feel I was doing a review justice without looking at her recorded class for subs. It was incredibly well done, and I feel I would give it as a good class for anyone from a future person who saw themselves as a client only, to a baby sub just starting out.
Unlike the domme class, this one dedicates a whole section to sharing your needs, something conspicuously absent in advice for femdoms, both in Justine Cross’s Persona class and most educational resources. It’s woven throughout our shared culture, that the subs are not asked to distinguish themselves in the sense dommes are, or dress up in a way that exists in the interspacing between our perception of ourselves as sex and the perception of others of us as sexy.
Although the kink negotiation worksheet was provided to both classes, only in the (recorded) sub class was there any effort to review it. She asks the sub class to explicitly fill out answers to “I am, I need, I require”, which she does not do in her domme class.
It’s actually rather interesting to me that she does more to justify what she liked in the class for subs, than she does in the class for dommes. Some of this is based on curing the starfish idiots (or “hotdog sub, a term I am now stealing). These people assume dommes are telepaths or monolithic. Still, the presentation on expressing your needs includes things like “making you feel better after you have had a bad day”. I am not saying that’s not very *submissive* as you can do whatever you like in your D/s dynamic and doing that is something I personally enjoy as a dominant! I am saying that I would be shocked if the average femdom-for-femdoms class talked about communicating to your sub how to make you happy in such a nuanced way. This is missing, given how often dommes ask plaintively if they are allowed to be vulnerable or have needs too.
This class would have actually worked as a general BDSM ed class and is a lot of stuff baby dommes also need to hear
It’s a pity we don’t. In this class, there was a lot of practical advice for subs about leaning in, and working with what the dominant is putting down, as well as reminders of where the reciprocal way a scene works. I have to wonder if most dommes are expected to come into this already knowing that. Nobody tells us to approach it from a place of mutual goals. Giving to a sub is always self conscious, if mentioned, caveated with “but I am still a dominant”, while the sub is assumed to want a more whole spectrum as natural.
Dominance, like masculinity, is alas, more fragile than femininity or submission.
What makes a great sub, according to Justine Cross, also includes style/persona. And yet, these mean very different things than the domme class taught. For subs, she emphasizes the skills and self knowledge of what they are into as informing their persona. Styles are a lot more play oriented “bratty bottom” versus a super masochist, and so forth. There’s way more here about your needs as a sub, to help you with self knowledge, while the domme persona class didn’t seem to put even the play preferences of the domme central.
She also emphasizes how subs can build practical skills like massage or cooking (or specific familiarity with a flavour of kink). I am sometimes critical that this can lead to male subs feeling like they only have value in very sesexualized roles, and she might have toughed more on the subject of the female gaze, but she did a very good job of teaching how important being personable was to getting folks to play with you.
It’s part of the greater tragedy of femdom as a culture, because Justine Cross leaned, via her own examples, even way more into her own dominant pleasure in this class. Although she repeatedly emphasized she was a financial dominatrix, her broader explanations and real life anecdotes took the audience past stereotypes and better illustrated that sex work isn’t the orphan in the spectrum of what we might desire.
But, the bones of the difference I am talking about, in how we teach to dommes versus subs, is very clear in the two outlines…
– What makes a great dominant? – What makes a bad dominant? – Consent using the Kink Negotiation Worksheet – Archetypes – Style and fashion – Technique and style – Training, knowing your skills – How you identify, using a title or a name – Character or Persona – Honing Your Craft or specialty – What do you want to be known for?
Bring all of your questions and together we will explore common dominant archetypes, styles, techniques so that you know how to begin your journey into domination. Whether you are single or with a partner you will learn skills to help you enjoy this path with confidence and sexual creativity. Unleash your inner dominant in the bedroom and in life!
– What makes a great submissive or bottom? – Learning to express your kinky needs – Consent using the Kink Negotiation Worksheet – Styles of submission – Protocol and etiquette and other fancy words – for how to serve – Contracts and agreements – Boundary setting and inner work – Skill building for service
Together we’ll explore the role of the submissive, and how to safely create boundaries for healthy D/s relationships. If you are just beginning your journey this will give you the foundation to serve, as well as make a great impression on your dominant.
Class comparison taken directly from Gumroads and correct as of November 2021
Some sort of conclusion of this review
Having continued the trend of making myself completely unwelcome in any dungeon around the world with my pickiness. I should probably finish this wave of negativity with a few other caveats. I haven’t listened to her recorded class, and she was teaching live with a significant head injury the night before. Although she assured us she did not have a concussion, my own professional (snrk) background means all the symptoms she publically mentioned made be a little suspicious- I have to emphasize that what I got might have had the parts I though were missing if she hadn’t had an wrought iron bit of sex furniture bean her hard enough to give her a headache the next day.
And I actually think you SHOULD do both classes, because the recorded sub class was much more superior in conveying dominant joy and pleasure, as well as a bunch of good general advice including handling consent violations versus accidents, and a certain supportive frankness of building stuff together. And for the $20 USD the live class cost me, and $15 USD for the recorded versions, you are getting a bargain. At that cost, Justine Cross has made good information extremely accessible. She should be commended, tipped and celebrated.
And I hope I can see her interrogation work shop, because the purring enthusiasm she brought to talking about the subject in an off hand mention was a brief moment of feeling completely and entirely understood. I do want to see her speaking more narrowly than generally, as I suspect my socks may be blown off.
Whoops, this sat in drafts as the remainder of August and the first half of September into real life obligations and migraines.Here’s the yearning horny, albeit a bit belated!
My body wakes me up at 3AM for its own reasons and I seek his warmth and scent. I find him gone, and I am in my own bed, feeling his absence as a sense-ghost in my memory.
I think about the history he told me, discovering his submission online. Of his eager acceptance of what I say when I assert this or that in my tinkering with the comforts of life. I think about one, then two fingers sliding into his ass, my tugging, pinching and hurting him, and the interplay of our desires through his pain. Of the texture of his hard cock in my mouth, just slight slicked with the oil from the flavourless silicone we use.
I think about how odd it feels to spend two weeks where my sadism can uncoil itself without ceremony, whenever, however. Limits of reason are not something I care to exceed, so I am truly free to do as I wish. It really feels like a visceral thing in my chest, stuffed away behind my breasts. Tonight, at 3 AM in the dark, these ache.
With him, cruelty happens as easily as a fresh cup of tea, his skin blooming in whatever the latest thing I do. The marks flare bright and usually fade in less than an hour.
I consider you, I consider you…
The lyrics bounce about in my head, Anges Obel’s Beast. I have run my mile like the stanzas suggest, appreciating this wholeness with him. For the first time in a long time I felt fully unfolded, imagination painting me as something monstrous that usually keeps itself shrunk down. Something with long claws, like hooks, and a flexible body.
He is so small in my arms when I wrap around him. He who is three inches taller, and who I strain to reach when we kneel together to fuck him from behind.
I slap, strike, spank. He fast colours and fast fades, my hands marking for an hour, excepting a few bruises. I bend my mind around his circumstantial masochism, understanding the pain that is good pain, and the bad pain that is very wanted. It took me a few goes to understand that gentleness with fucking his ass was not needed, unlearming the chiding “ouch” from past partners and best practices, to trade for vigorous violation.
After we play particularly hard, perhaps an hour later, when my need to know overturns my commitment to the quieter moment, I watch his eyes and almost hear a click, as he tries to make the experience of me on him into words. It doesn’t come easy, but he knows I need him to articulate the nuances. I am oddly particular about his motives, for all that I glory in my sadism’s freedom.
My mind is a strange time traveller
All the time I visited him, I struggled with a blog post that put to words the sensation of having my mind focus on what’s next, beyond my visit. Now that it is past, I find myself, instead returning to the time before. Of all things, the memory of his smell leaves the strongest means to travel back.
It’s ironic because he is not particularly pungent. He has switched, recently, to some spice and old leather soaps, but it’s not those, as nice as they are, that places him so intensely he is a taste in my tongue and sinuses.
When we fuck, the ghosts of us bloom beyond our bodies. If my sadism is something in my chest, our sex scents, older than the species, are a warmth of considerable comfort that emerge from us both to soothe. I wondered out loud at that, if others might sense him on me and react, if, in the way of humans it would turn men away or drive them more intrigued.
Perhaps nobody could tell, but where we fucked and laid together, we became overlapped, and myself wearing his scent like his arms about me.
The morning when I left, I didn’t shower, nor the night before, jealously keeping him on my body. But, by the afternoon, settling back into Vancouver, hot water and an engulfing robe gave me comfort. And still it is like I remember the scent now and that becomes enough.
It’s now morning as I write this, and the city is ghost calm, the only noise the compressor of the fridge and the hum of the furnace. His bedroom is quite noisy. You wouldn’t think thus, for he would swear to you he prefers suburban calm, but the condos of the area have pushed the density considerably. Things whine and woosh on the road, mumbles travel up from below and yells make their way from outside.
I want to hear his voice: the rumble hinting the bottom depths of it, the slight lisp when he is tired or the plastic braces that keep his teeth straight while he sleeps are snapped in place. The way he finally became less self conscious and let himself sing along a bit to music. The working from home professional voice, listened to while I poke at my laptop and appropriate the sex wedge as a back rest.
Just before I left, I asked a bit about his past, the before me. He was precisely honest in a way that brought out details from memory, but also sparse in some things. I am not the first woman he has submitted to, taking on the mutual self discovery with a long term online friend.
He is careful, understandably, as any man would be when their partner says “tell me about your ex”, but for me it is more a comforting sequence of knowing not precisely the erotic details, but how he made his way into understanding what we do. I am fishing, not for comparison, but to find what part might be submerged, mapping out a depth.
I think that I am largely open about myself. Too open, by most standards: sex blogger, sharer of feelings and criticisms, quick to say what I think. I want to be recorded, understood, and, I guess, accepted. I know the latter two are unlikely, but I am shockingly good at getting myself heard. Silver? I watch him manage to make small talk that is warm, friendly and doesn’t even reveal an opinion on a sports team, much less politics, even casual hobbies. He’s as hard to grasp as a breeze.
Strangers on the internet know I still suck my thumb in my sleep sometimes, and that I repeatedly miss shaving a few of the hairs on my ankles until I start to resemble a clydesdale. Silver, meanwhile, is the first person I met to whom “still waters run deep” is actually true. I used to think a core part of loving someone completely was knowing them with the same thoroughness, now I come to discover it’s more like a compulsive need to explore until I do.
I could dig for a long time before I’ve mapped (mined?) all of Silver.
This is also the first relationship I have been in that I put myself utterly first. This sounds luxurious, but actually it’s painful and often very bruising to my ego. You see that means a lot of addressing my self protective crazy. It makes my critical of past loves, as something I am unsure about is at what point did perfectionism in muffling my distress become dishonesty and at what point was it a boundary?
There now, reader, I have contradicted myself. An open book who somehow always shocked her exes with the depth of her dissatisfaction with tthem. An honest speaker of her thoughts who uses the needs of others to not think too hard about what she wants.
With Silver, from day one, I placed my standards higher. I extended my desires, and treated my wants like needs. He meets them. Oh my goodness does he meet them.
I am all aflutter with terror because I want him so very badly. This in turn makes an insecurity that the needy anchor seeker in me will terrorize him into trying to protect me by pulling back. I am trusting he won’t, thus far he isn’t.
I am cared for.
He drives me back to Vancouver, so I can walk the park length left to the border and cross back. On the way, he thoughtfully pulls into the little lighthouse Starbucks of a small town just before things shade from the poverty sprawl of Northern Washington to the wealth of south eastern suburban Greater Vancouver.
Although most of what we just drove through was industrial boxes, here it’s a picturesque core of a small town. Autumn is hinting, a stroke of orange or a bloom of the first hint of red in some of the leaves, and a grey, chilly mist whispering that maybe the angry scourge of summer heat is done. Autumn is a weakness that turns me into romantic mush.
Masts from a marina peeping below the parking lot. I don’t want to leave him. I imagine a half dozen perfect maybe somedays as I steal what kisses I can. We reach the parking lot of the peace arch and he walks me to the border, where I will cross.
He likes a long, lips pressed kiss best. His kisses fascinate me, like nobody else. His cock settles in my body more easily than any other. He has the darkest blue eyes I have ever seen.
I am full to bursting with “what’s next, now!?”
What’s next? Here I am in Canada, first day back, I am considering my balcony garden and what parts survived my absence. Inexplicably the tender first zucchini that died in the heat wave came back robust, maybe there will be a crop. I regret only the goth cherry tomatoes, tenderly nurtured into bushy green from scant seeds from etsy.
Life will continue. Delta will do its thing, in theory at some point in September he will make an expensive trip to see me. But, we will be apart, for now and wait to see what will come next.
Oh whoopsies, broke a few things on the site there, didn’t I? Hopefully the new template tweaks are working nice and smooth in your browser. Feel free to leave a comment if they are not! Otherwise, it’s been busy these last few weeks, but up until last week, maybe not so exciting.
What have I been up to this summer?
No sooner did I get into doing live streams, but an amazingly awful blanket of heat waves hit my province, turning my possible filming space into a sauna. I do not like it when my gloomy, damp home turns into a place where the weather is literally “firestorm”. Still, all wasn’t bleak, despite having to resort to covering my windows in tinfoil like I was a conspiracy theorist doing interior design. During the truly medically terrifying heat wave, Silver gifted me with a few nights in hotel, coming to the rescue with his very typical eagerness. He is good to me that way. This was also a pretty major milestone for me to trust someone enough to let them give me something at that cost.
Everyone means well. BDSM basic safety advice is taught and repeated from a place of resilience against censorship. As online communities and access to written materials alike are squeezed by law and bad faith attacks by anti-sex moralists, we can always count on the hours and hours of free volunteer education to hold the line. Unfortunately, although unstinting in their commitment to keeping information about kink out there, there’s no quality control on what is shared. Thus while some advice might save a life, or at least an embarrassing trip to the ER, BDSM, as a subculture, loves its better safe than sorry story, frequently at the space of its own utility and dignity
This is best demonstrated by the Guardians of the Kidney, the safety squad that preaches the shibboleth of great power. Amongst the great perils of unflared butt plug bases, and the scourge of unsupervised bondage, so also is repeated wisdom “and don’t hit them on the kidneys.” Elder and neophyte alike, after safewords and reminders of consent
Meet a new kinkster? They reassure you Kidneys are protected. Post a post scene pic? These noble scouts watch for any wrapping whip strike or above the buttcrack bruise with a scrutiny that would do a lifeguard proud. And surely as the kidney is the most guarded place on the body, most people who preach that proverb also cannot locate said organs.
I cannot take credit for this discovery, that cynical observation goes to Cybill Troy. But it remains a great test of if said person knows what they are talking about to ask them where they are or just how much force that damage takes approximately. Or how often it happens.
(Kidney are just above where your ribs stop, and while you can hurt them with an impact, it takes things like a bad fall, punch or kick, or the sort of blunt force trauma of a car accident.)
But, given the frequency of the average repetition of the advice, a kidney is Achilles Heel meets Baldars Holly in one. It’s easy to believe. They are, after all, an essential organ, nestled in a matched set in the torso. And a bruised kidney or even ruptured one is an actual injury humans can obtain!
But, you know, not as a day to day worry, or one even likely to ever come up from a scene gone wrong. Certainly not the way a few hundred lost objects will be pried out of anuses every day, around the world. Or that ligature or smothering for erotic reasons (and positional asphyxiation) will claim lives. Yes, the low/midback is not a space to flail away at. But there’s a number of other things more pressing to concern yourself there.
Kidneys have a decent protective cage hanging down- the ribs being where they are. But, the waist is pretty spare on most humans, and low backs are already the failure zone of health problems. If you bonk that area it isn’t going to feel good, not even the good kind of bad.
But so also goes for the knee pits and elbows. Wrists are bad smack zones too, unless you are limiting yourself to a short ruler on the top side. Indeed there’s some general rules of thumb to work out where you should and shouldn’t hit. And equally importantly, what you may or may not want to use. And that’s going to help more.
Instead of just avoiding the kidneys, a little broad theory matters.
A technically useful lecture on impact play would cover concepts like warm ups, or the padding protection of muscle and fat. Force of possible impact correlates with how much meat there is to thump. Additionally the places you body has a joint or bone close to the surface is also a no no.
And, if you are not sure, don’t hit it, and less is more. You can always hit a second time harder if the first was too light, but you can’t un-hit people.
However, something about human nature means that rather than the most broadly actionable advice: Kidneys! Exploding!
Don’t feel too bad if you were happily chirping this advice at other kinky folk by way of making conversation. It sounds bad enough that even if you’ve never actually heard of someone who got kidney damage from impact play, it favours better safe than sorry repeating!
But, let it be a lesson:
When someone repeats safety advice, it never hurts to ask for more specifics, before you pass it to someone else.
“Oh, I was going to fuck you, but then #forcedbirth legislation swept the US. Now I am going to cuck you with this big, thick silicone cock. But, because I am being fair and I love you, you can watch and masturbate. However, no draining those naughty unsnipped breeder balls until I say you can!”
The length of silicone balanced on its flanged base, standing erect in anticipation of the service it would be put to. His own equipment made a similar performance with less lucky expectations, but while the fake cock was marble swirls and muted shine, his was the warm mottled matte tones of skin.
He could smell the back of the nose lift of her arousal, hindbrain triggering, impossible to pretend. She grinned. “Of course you turn me on. That’s why I want this. It was so hard to find just the fit that matched your shape. But you understand, right?”
“C-can’t we just use condoms?” he asked weakly. The cock cage was lying next to them, key still in the lock, a tight squeeze to cram himself into with the sexts she’d been sending him all week. Now, here in here presence, she said she wanted a good, safe fuck, and nothing else.
He gave her a pleading look, hoping for a reprieve. Being inside her was wonderfully intimate. Her eyes would lock with his and she would straddle his lap, riding while he stayed in careful control, helping her come without letting himself ruin her pleasure by coming. Not this time.
“Oh no baby,” she was practically purring, a decided arch in her back that thrust her breasts out, clearly turned on by his suffering. Her fingers stroked down her own thigh. “If I am going to ride a piece of rubber, we are going to do it right, and we both know accidents happen. A condom could fail.”
He watched her spread herself, fingers seeking, pushing. He pressed his own mouth closed to push back a whimper. “Please? I want to be inside you.”
“I know, it must be driving you crazy. I am so very wet, and it feels so warm and tight. Don’t think I am going to let you get a vasectomy either. You are much too pretty not to make babies with you… when I am ready.”
He filled his palm with a squirt of clear, sleek lube, but a reach to the root of his cock got a hand tap. “No! Not until I have hilted, darling!”
Hesitating like a dog balancing a treat on its nose, he watched her nudge the rubber up against her pussy, one hand playing with a nipple. She had perfect breasts, halfway between heavy and full, responsive and soft. She wasn’t even letting him touch her.
The toy slid slowly into her. For a moment the affectionate but sadistic patter she teased him with stopped and her saw the unmistakable look of pleasure wash through her. Her lips made a pout, eyes going out of focus. Sliding down the toy, his rival, she let herself enjoy every inch.
He eagerly slicked up his own cock from the root to tip, beginning to stroke.
“Slower baby, in time with my pleasure. This is about me, and what your cock can’t do.”
Obedience made it better, and he matched his pace to her drag of her hips, up and down, squats pushing herself to the base of the toy and mid way up. “Don’t you wish that was your cock inside me?”
“It feels so good. You are so perfect.” She was smiling, though it was crooked with the exertion and the distraction of what she was doing. “Isn’t it great you can still serve me this way?”
She gave a huff, jiggle in her breasts and thigh with each fresh stroke. In his groin her sped pace was posing a danger. Building. Slick, tight.
“You don’t get to be inside me. You don’t get to come. You’re going to get locked back up after I do, and…”
“Nnnh…” He had to stop pumping his hand.
“Almost?” Her grin was wider, seeing his desperation. “You don’t need to cum. Not until I decide to breed you. You’re property. And I sumply cannot afford an accident, so this big, thick toy is going to take your place.”
“Hand off your cock.”
He gasped a thank you.
“Oh really? You know your place as a denied breeding slut?” She shifted to sitting, legs sprawled open, working the dildo out at the speed she liked before she came. “Say thank you to my rubber cock too. Thank it for doing what you can’t.”
“…Thank you to Mistress’s rubber cock.” Leaning forward, he made himself commit to the clumsiness of his phrasing. “Mistress deserves pleasure. Mistress deserves to come. I don’t matter. I’m only for breeding. I don’t get to come. I…”
The yell was a sharp exhalation, built tension pushing air from her lungs with quick burst of coming. Her eyes snapped shut, one last thrust jamming into just the spot that tipped her over. “Yes!”
It’s smug kind of “I told you so” that this year the conversation has turned from an almost kink critical “they can’t consent to that” to a reminder that we very much belong. When I bashed out the ideas that formed the skeleton a few months ago, suggesting kink in public was actually ok was enough to get me blocked by people.
Don’t take my word for it, check out the ever insightful Kat Blaque or Watts the Safeword. They don’t necessarily agree with me on all points, but before you read me, it’s a good idea to arm yourself with some other perspectives to understand that in writing this I accept my take is probably the most radical, it’s coming from a larger nudge to the Overton Window from everyone. You don’t have to agree with everything I am going to say. You can take some of my arguments and discard others. I just ask that you assume I am arguing from a good faith place.
I believe BDSM belongs at Pride, and the arguments not include it are fundamentally against the spirit of the event.
But first, a caveat: If you don’t think kink belongs at Pride, or you disagree with me, you probably aren’t a bad person.
Sometimes these arguments against kink are trying to be protective, either of people at large or minors. The problem is that they rest on claiming any awareness of kink anyone could have is a comparative level of lewdness to reenactment of a Public Disgrace shoot. Another is to suggest that it’s a derail, that being kinkyed has nothing to do with any of the different identities we choose to address. Sometimes this attitude is because a ham handed kinkster tried to make a one-to-one comparison at some point in the past about how their marginalization was equivalent to a group with worse troubles. Sometimes the person perceives kink as a peculiar hobby that could also traumatize people, putting it in the same camp as the “no cops at pride” conversation.
Kink isn’t actually as lewd/filthy as people make it out to be in its totality. BDSM, as a subculture evolved so concurrently with the queer communities it weaves in and out of the fabric of the latter’s identities that separation of impossible. Additionally, the wholesale rejection of kink is explicitly ace-excluding, insisting on a very narrow definition of sexual and non-sexual.
My radical take:I think the whole enchilada should be there.
Yes, the Leather folk. The people on leashes. The pup masks. They not only should be there, but not quarantined off in a special “after dark” space. And I push more progressively, that there’s even significant context in which a “scene” in public is also not a violation equivalent to vanilla genital fucking either.
This isn’t going to win me many friends to be the weird lady who actually thinks that say, the cherry tree shibari shoot that happened a few years ago in Toronto (not at Pride but in a public park) is fine. It’s not because I think I should be dragging everyone into being actors in my own personal fantasy re-enactment. I do feel that even just flying the leather pride flag and allowing a few sashes and corsets, or just carrying the paraphernalia of kink is still conceding unfair ground. And I do not personally put myself in the business of having elaborate public bondage scenes (etc…) in public not because I think they are morally wrong. I do so for the same reason I cover my breasts even though it is legal in my country. I decline to do certain things because of my own self protection against coercive harassment.
But Miss Pearl, you say, how can you force your sexuality onto people?
I dunno, I have a hard time taking that sort of pearl clutching (snerk) about kink when people wander around wearing special monogamy rings and inviting their whole family to watch them celebrate their monogamous commitment in a monogamy dress, with a monogamy cake, and two very sex themed optional monogamy imminent parties, in a monogamy ritual where they often make a big deal about exposing and tossing special underwear and showing how pair bonded they are in public.
Or walking past lingerie ads, or ads for dating services, or lovers lanes of steamy making out. The monogamous, ostensibly vanilla pair bond is seen as so wholesome that naval boats raffle the first kiss with your spouse at port as a ritual, and force everyone else to watch. At a certain point, the decision of what is and isn’t allowed is going to be pretty arbitrary to the culture it exists in. The concept of “private” grapples with the problem that relationships that are vanilla are interwoven with the culture and desires of others. People can be sincerely offended if they aren’t invited to a wedding of someone they care about. People WANT to gather to wear penis veils, or chained to a blow up doll, and run about the street collecting pre-wedding forfeits.
Ok, you might argue, but BDSM is sex, that stuff is less sexy. It’s romantic.
So, if you mean to tell me a collar is a constant tool of overt arousal and ALL public play is the most vile of exhibitionism, prepare to be severely disappointed. Not only does the tokens we wear have a lot more on par with stealing your lover’s hoodie (or in Silver’s case me thiefing his white cotton t shirts), but usually they signify more of the romantic/belonging aspect of a BDSM relationship than the sexual one.
Not only that, but the bizarre pageantry of kink, precisely because things like leather are off the mainstream, aren’t particularly obviously sexual unless you have a subtext decoder.
Sure that guy might get aroused by being called “pup” as well as get emotional fuzzies, but the leather pup mask he is wearing is so much a fetish that it’s not even sexual unless you share his kink. And we allow plenty of sexy things as empowering- the wearing of revealing clothes and lingerie, padding, etc…
Ok, fine, you may argue, but non-consensual exhibitionism is bad. The world is not your free audience. Why did you need people to know about your private business?!
Sometimes I shouldn’t need to hide. Part of Pride challenges and pushes back on the norms that decide, say, my tits need to be in a top, but the same chest on a man can flop and wobble in the sun. This might be a feminism thing, but its an argument that pokes at what gender even means. Banning kink is part of collectively enforcing that the rituals of relationships and families that people take for granted have to be that way.
In the case of kink in Pride, it isn’t about flashing people, for the most part it is about freedom. I know that a fuck ton of frightened arguing pops out about how they totes saw triple fisting pony butt plug tails, but while I won’t bother telling you it NEVER happened ever in the history of humans being dumb, I can say it’s a fixation that indicates a complete lack of education about what kink and fetishes look like.
While people fret about the overt stuff they easily note, most fetishes pass. It’s sometimes the Pleasers on the Drag Queen. The day collars. The body parts and clothes that the average person would never never think you could find arousing (like wool knit!)
But what if it *IS* obviously sexual damn it!???
Yeah, you might see a vagina costume or a packer. But the lady on the float in the strapon probably isn’t particularly wet right now, she is enjoying feeling so safe about herself she can be open. She, or the big pink labial mascot, or any other permutation of this nature also may be making a transgressive point about gender. We live on a planet where multiple human cultures still explicitly display dicks on stuff, including things like the incredibly wholesome Japanese penis festival or Michelangeo’s David.
Inversely, we tolerate loads of vanilla stuff that is in the borderline if you have plausible deniability. This is the unfairness to kinky folk- what we do doesn’t get this space. Have a wedding in a park and people may even cheer, hold a collaring ceremony and it’s uncomfortable stares.
And sometimes the sexual is important because it means more. The strapon scene in Sense8? Where you see a wet rainbow dildo bounce on the floor? That’s the sexual turned to convey a profound amount of meaning, of acceptance of one of the character’s core identities.
Love is love is all very well and good, but we live in a world where the public regulates the private. Sex is also sex. Sex toy bans, porn censorship and even regulations around sodomy all make the intensely personal NOT have the right to that privacy. You cannot say that a dildo is a secret thing and then demand that you can only buy one for “novelty or educational” purposes in certain US states.
Nor would it be ok to tell queer folk they could love who they liked, just to abstain from sex all their lives. Again, all love is the same love until your “It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” is actually in effect outside of the most superficial or sanitized expressions of what love might look like.
But, what about kids at pride? Pride is a family event now! And gay kids benefit from attending, if there’s anything sexy they might not go.
I am glad you have thought about the children. As minors with less rights they need protection… however!
We already went through a great deal of time insisting that people being gay or trans in public were requiring conversations kids just weren’t ready for. People tried to argue two guys together meant having to explain the mechanics of anal. And various other permutations of being ok, grudgingly, with kids figuring out a bit of hetero but being in Grave Danger if they had any inkling anything but Barbie and Ken dream wedding was afoot. This is nonsense, you can age appropriately scale the conversation to protect a minor- the same way you can simplify or go into detail as appropriate on subjects like pregnancy or why Aunt Jo uses they pronouns.
I get this is a fraught topic. Again, everyone is still iffy about things like (O.W.L.) Our Whole Lives and fighting over abstinence only education and how and when kids get to know things.
But, if you mean to tell me “some adults like dressing up, feeling different sensations or playing with who is in charge” is too hard for you to say, oh dear.
And if you think there’s really anything at Pride that isn’t popping about in kids cartoons, as comedy or dramatic peril, you haven’t been doing a good enough job screening your kids media. If you are freaking out about pup masks while letting your kid grow up on paw patrol, yikes. Don’t like Bondage? Take Disney off the net blocker white list, and toss out superheros. If you think your kids aren’t integrating these “innocent” scenes into their fantasies as their sexuality develops, I have news for you.
Further, our habit of waiting until anyone is 18 before thinking they can acknowledge kink exists is not really a solution. There’s precious little sex ed, outside of Scarleteen that even acknowledges kink is a thing, outside of closed communties and the intentionally lewd. This is doing harm.
I will never advocate minor/adult kink relationships, but I wouldn’t advocate them as a vanilla thing, either. However! I explicitly believe you can have age appropriate awareness, the way we teach condoms, biology and consent as part of a healthy sex ed. I further feel that when someone who has sexuality but must be protected to discover it can only find one version, it will cause as much shame as abstinence only sex ed does.
By shutting kink out of a public festival of Pride, you are projecting a simplified perception that this is exclusively a weird extra sexy sex thing that can’t be scaled up or down. You are not allowing minors to receive holistic sex ed in a context where they aren’t directly engaging with adults. Ultimately this goes back to my point that sometimes it’s just thematic resonance or romance, and if you don’t know that, it’s not fair to fail to let kink folks show otherwise.
Ok, but what if BDSM *is* sexual? You write a porn blog, god damn it!
Sex (in that larger sense) in public also already is a conversation that varies by culture. Who gets declared more or less lewd and what it means where you do things is variable not just by place of origin, body proportions and what we think about that role.
Thus we can have the most wildly erotic dancing in no kissing Bollywood films, or have cultures that consider someone more sexy in more coverage, not less. Generally most humans like full say in whose engorged and moistened genitalia they are exposed to, but even so, the codpiece, the merkin and the penis gourd exist. And none of these are anything other than ok, normal clothing, albeit generally formal.
Further, there is validity to exploring that edge of presumed acceptance, as well. As an intersectional thing, you are under extra scrutiny for being “sexual”. If you are fat, femme, or even just gifted with prodigious breasts or buttocks, for example, you are more policed than you are slim, masculine and so on. Just being seen by other people as being more lewd can, in fact, be a form of discrimination. This effects everyone Pride is meant for, and accusations of predation and more desire are a historical part of the violence such groups experience. It’s a very real double standard.
While flashing people for your jollies is not ok, being able to make people acknowledge that you have sexuality and it should be celebrated is extremely Pride, and so is declaring your sexuality is no less shameful than another person’s.
What was that about BDSM being Queer?
BDSM is, among many things, a loose collection of subcultural norms. Today and for all of its history, its place as part of alternative culture has made it not so much an ally as an active part of Queer cultural history.
Aspects like “Leather” are more Queer than not, with the adoption by straight people following after their popularization in gay communities. While today people may be more familiar with things that are profoundly heteronormative, like the popularization of 50shades, in practice, while BDSM communities may have explicitly Gay, Lesbian, etc… off shoots, and some pockets that are homophobic hot messes, for the most part it is a space built on norms that are some of the most accepting of being queer.
Further, BDSM’s parallel evolution interweaves with the same counter cultural pioneering that created space to be increasingly openly gay, trans, etc… TES, possibly the world’s oldest continuous BDSM group, was participating in Pride when it was still branded as Gay Liberation. The early community building of kink explicitly modeled itself after the same going on in feminism and gay rights.
Sanitizing this from display is selectively determining that some parts of being Queer and Queer history are not ok, and Queerness is ok as long as it’s only a gender swapped version of some sort of 1950s dream.
Right, great, we will let the queer kinksters in, leather daddies and dykes on bikes are go! But you F/ms and M/fs who aren’t containing one or more trans people can simmer down.
(Here is the point that the people tend to lose patience and get unfollowed. You can be mad if you like, but I ask only you bear with me, to my next point…)
For a significant part of the kinked population, the answer of what your sexuality is, is to say BDSM and/or fetish. Sure they might have a gendered preference for who they do that with, but something we don’t talk about is how common it is to be kink dependent for attraction to function. And this is where people get frustrated and tell me BDSM is not an orientation like gay or straight. True!
It is actually under the A for Asexual.
Although not everyone *needs* kink for a sexual or romantic response to work, if you do require BDSM to have functional sexuality, you meet precisely the criteria laid out for demisexuality or other parts of the spectrum of asexuality, aka Grey Ace or Aspec. A lot of kinksters, themselves, have their minds blown when they realize this is them. But yeah, you, reader, if kink is the only thing that makes your sexuality function, could identify as Asexual.
What is Demisexuality/ Grey Ace?
A less understood part about being Asexual is that it is an umbrella term. It can include the obvious complete absence of a sexuality, but it also includes being Aromantic (where you can be sexual but simply not experience romantic love); and the so called grey or demisexuals, whose.sexual experience is pending a limiting factor.
A common experience for demis is romantic love being the gateway to experiencing attraction. This means that until that bond is there, nothing can happen. People generally get this, and the modern branding of Pride, “Love is Love” make this incredibly accommodating. Another way one might be on the asexual spectrum is for it to be sporadic, say a libido that is very low or unpredicable.
But for an asexual person, another condition one might have to experience sexuality or attraction is having a paraphilia or fetish.
In my case, if you tried to have me have a sexual and romantic relationship without kink, the answer is, I couldn’t. I mean, I could fake it and be utterly miserable, but my kinks are my kinks. And for me, love and kink are two factors that regulate my sexuality. Unfortunately this part of sexual knowledge is so removed from the conversation it took a lifetime to learn this was a hard truth.
As a result, I had years of painful, bad sex that was in no way coerced by my partners, with everyone telling me it was just a matter of time and practice. I can’t blame them, although one party was outright abusive, the rest were largely good, giving humans who tried to find the clitoris, etc…
The most giving, foreplay granting hot vanilla human will waste their time with me, and I them. In my case, I can experience some easier physical attraction if I fall in love (almost universally facilitated by a text based medium and kink) and my bits have the right nerve endings to use them conventionally, but subtract my fetishes and that relationship will die on the vine.
Further, my porn consumption follows that pattern- screw gender, I am just looking for a certain intensity and activity set. Gay, straight, agender… although the consumptive scope means I write what I like, I also consume a lot of romance and fast flip through perfectly well done sex scenes. This is my life.
I wanted to be “normal”. It would have made my life, including my dreams of sex work, much more feasible. But my body and heart needs something very specific. If I get that, fireworks. If not, it has all the erotic thrill and romance of looking through a 1960s wallpaper catalogue.
But what about Pride? You don’t mean to tell me all kinky folk are Ace do you?
Sure, for some people kink is a value add not the main event, but that’s not on you to decide from a distance. I wouldn’t say my experience is a one to one comparison with every other kinked person, and I definitely personally don’t go blundering into Pride declaring it needs to be all about me now. But! You cannot celebrate people being Ace with the same commitment to equality if you won’t actually acknowledge what Ace can and does look like.
I can understand when you are getting murdered for holding hands in public, this is not comparable to me lying on my back wondering why this is the bad kind of pain while a very considerate vanilla partner tries their best. I have amazing passing privilege, just like people tend to not notice my bisexuality or my gender fluidity.
I also acknowledge my fully radical position on kink inclusion is not going to win me any friends. But I do ask that you consider how much ground we give up by conceding to even a very sterile kink, and how arbitrary even our definition of scene/ not scene is. I do not think it’s fair to let people who are not even kinky have such a strong voice in defining what is both sexual and not actually means. And I have some concerns that our caution that we violate consent to even let people know we exist is a form of internalized shame.
Kinky folk are not a monolith, but neither are we benefiting from closeting and ignoring that a good part of what we built is actually a culture, not just a sex thing. In conclusion, BDSM belongs at Pride.
(There is a whole other argument that kink is morally reprehensible in it’s own right, which, well, I can’t help you there. Sure just because it turns someone on doesn’t make it ok. However after a point, once we hammer out whatever SSC, RACK or PRICK system works best for me and my partners, what I do with consenting adults eventually falls into “fuck off, this is my thing, die mad about it”)
Ten years ago, today, I registered a domain name and created a space to host my erotica. It wasn’t my first time blogging, but a femdom blog, itself, was a new focus for me. I had started on Fetlife, but I preferred more control, and in hindsight self hosting was the right call. Other sex blogs have come and gone, to permanent hiatus and censorship as their hosts, wordpress.com, tumblr, and blogger, slashed their archives from the web. This place has endured, quietly, not the best or most popular, but constant.
I became a creator because there was a lack of other spaces for me, and most pressingly, no porn for me. It’s always been in my makeup to write, my best skill. If I were a better visual artist I would do that instead. But, instead, it’s a million upon a million words to make myself a place where I and what I love might be found.
For me, this was a journey that started with someone’s metafilter question asking for porn for femdoms, https://ask.metafilter.com/96448/Porno-for-Femme-Domme, and bounced to a now long hiatus’d blog, https://bitchyjones.wordpress.com/. Until that point I knew I was kinky, but imagined my masochism and the point of least resistance of my gender presentation was the best way to seek what I needed. Most commercial femdom porn doesn’t do it for me, so until I found there were others like myself I was unaware I was dominant. This caused a sort of gradual realization that whatever was going on, my prior conclusion I wasn’t a dominant was an issue of lack of things that might appeal to me.
As well as Fetlife, and then, looking for an audience, tried Literotica, only to be rebuffed by the strong non-con lean in my work, and a significant dose of sexism. I may have mentioned it before, but the M/f bias in how we depict heterosexuality, and our tendency to rate acts of leadership and assertiveness by women as more violent, cruel and selfish mean that when you are already fetishizing these aspects you can find a medical modification scene labled “snuff” and a mixed bag of feedback that emphasizes the evil of your character far more than if the dynamic were flipped.
This, plus a post college job doing general online marketing, gave me the encouragement to try setting up a blog and practicing what I learned regarding SEO and other promotions. If I was going to do it for my employer’s clients, I reasoned, I might as well work on making myself be good at getting really heard too.
(My domain name was a compromise, when the handle I use was taken by a still running site someone made dedicated to their Pekinese. Oh well!)
In some ways I predicted this was going to be a long haul, in other ways, not so much. And I do not think if you asked me to map out where this went, I would predict it, even I think pay
This is going to get long, so settle in for a deep read and before you hop the “more” tag, here’s a heads up that I am going to talk about sexual assault, abuse, missing stairs and super personal stuff.