A Long Essay On The Lost Lifestyle Femdoms

The belief that the ratio between submissive men and dominant women wildly skews to have more of the latter is an incorrect hypothesis. Circumstances exist to hide the lifestyle femdoms, often in plain sight.

That’s a bold statement on my part, but I feel the perception of the ratio is largely a flaw in how we measure and look for sexual desire. Sure, studies of women describing their sexual fantasies show a paucity of dominant women. Studies also had a terrible time locating a bisexual man in a laboratory setting. The majority of the clitoris was only found in this century. We know both to be real.

Further, I think we are going about the pro versus lifestyle femdom question all wrong. The approach tends to be on if the “connection” of a professional and client is the same as a lifestyle couple. This is a problem in the limits of how we conceive of power and how it has been historically available by gender.

My argument is twofold: what a professional and client experience is no less “real” than what I do, and the frustrations with the system are the problem of one’s own relationship with power due to sexism. There is no real ratio imbalance on the basis of gender, just a really complicated mismatch between experiencing power for emotional and sexual gratification, and how women have access to power as a general thing.

Being dominant and enjoying having & using power are gender neutral activities.

Thus also is sadism, sexual teasing and exhibitionism, etc… I strongly suspect that paraphilia we more traditionally associate with men are also more evenly distributed. For example a man with 300 pairs of high heels is seen as a pervert, but the same collection owned and worn by a woman because it makes her feel sexy goes without notice.

I posit, all these kinks show up naturally in anyone, regardless of gender. In dominance, there is no reason to assume women are not suited to it. After all, women have demonstrated capacity and desire for real, non fetish leadership, both effective and despotic. Likewise, even within gender stereotypes, we cannot argue the potential for sexual cruelty is absent. Even if women were inherently kinder, the vast majority of people who experience sadism as a sexual kink can tell you that high levels of empathy are complimentary, rather than a barrier to it.

But, how we talk about women who lead, and women who lead conceive of themselves, occupies a different vocabulary set. The female dominants are here, they just don’t use the words we expect them to. And they probably avoid the leather bustier- although kink comes and goes in mainstream fashion, there is a paucity of cat suits in female heads of state, business owners, department heads, etc…

I think how we conceive of the roles naturally drives women away from identifying as dominant.

Discussing the protosexual (presexual?) evolution of desire, it is notable that, across the gender spectrum the fixation on who does what to whom doesn’t seem to show reliable correlation to where the person ends up. An overview of what we consume, as pornography, shows example such as cis-women enjoying m/m (including such targeting men), while the norm of kink development includes a plethora of anecdotes of random power set ups that stuck with us in age appropriate fiction or childhood games, playing captive, princess, etc…

Nonetheless, it is disingenuous to pretend that the current presentation of femdom in pop-culture is anything other than a male centred fantasy, but that doesn’t mean that women are only helpless puppets playing out crypto-slave roles, and are not part of the conversation as well.

It means gender and power are fucking broken, and this is naturally going to flow into every pocket of the world where both exist.

We did BDSM as a subculture a disservice when we obsessed over old-guard-leather and ignored the large contribution that femdom-through-sex-work provided in sustaining a “scene” of sorts. This wasn’t just pro-dominatrices, but all those nameless women who were the models for the fetish art, etc…

When de Sade penned his edgelord fantasy wankery, he was doing so in a world where S&M was already known to be a commercially available, a common part of sex work. He gets to name Sadism. Sacher Masoch, likewise, didn’t independently arrive on what he stuffed Venus in Furs with.

Sure, sex work in generally determined in service availability by he who pays the piper, but so also were the lives of wives. And nonetheless, women have, despite it all, actively and enthusiastically fucked. If women could manage vanilla sex of their own volition through periods when their ability to orgasm was itself in debate, why not dominance?

They say “Anonymous was a woman” to mean that a significant amount of things women say or do, when they get preserved, tend to lose their name in the copying process, like cropping the artist’s signature off the meme.

But we know women have always been there.

The problem is that over the last millennia, women have not been permitted to talk about sex openly, in a way that is celebrated and preserved, but we’ve definitely been having sex, talking dirty, inventing stuff, etc… And, as much as men have been recording sex from the narrations of their hand’s gratification on themselves, women have also been active partners, organizers, and so on.

Who really remembers “Anna” of the early 90s, organizer of the Boston Burger Munch? Or, in the Bay Area, just before that Vicki, Marcie? Laura Lee? STella? It’s recent history, but the Usenet BDSM communities that anchor our modern conversations of kink and make blogs like this possible. I digress because even today, there just isn’t the same emphasis on admitting that BDSM, as a community, functions under the labour and management of hundreds of women.

And the trick is a lot of these folks ID as subs, and there’s the loop back- there’s no connection with sexual dominance and social utility as a leader or mentor. Performing as a submissive woman, is the path of least resistance if you are a switch.

I can say, personally, that for all that people often imagine a dominatrix when they picture BDSM, the market, as a woman, caters to me as a submissive and is considerably more concerned with my gaze and common aesthetics there. Further, navigating the kink community, as a dominant you are fairly policed and limited by what you can do, and the most verbotten acts are typically the most typically associated with women.

Want my brains fucked out? Want to dress like a pretty pink pastel princess? Want to wander about in a cozy onsie or bunny slippers? Cry? Giggle? Love? Wait for the squinting in your general direction- all while some guy is still dictating what you can wear and do in your inbox.

Theatre preserved plays performed by Greek men, but not the active and lively mystery cults of women that ran in the same time. Likewise, we know about London spanking Madams of the Victorian period, but not the private bedrooms of the more ordinary married woman. And in our modern oral tradition, we remember gay male bikers in the late 40s, but have little love for newsgroup saavy women in the 90s.

That doesn’t make a good place to assert your sexuality, as a woman. Perhaps better than some, but if you have to play ball in a game you didn’t design, not only is it rendering you actively invisible by narrative, but it is punishing you for going out of bounds.

Economic Oppression Built This

A common conversation around the “fakeness” of pros is that they are just doing this “for the money”. The snap back of the past, on the allegedly shameful nature of taking money for sex work, is that the house wife does the same thing. That’s not an argument that ages well- the obligation for sex in marriage as a “duty” you assume for support is largely out of fashion, for all some world laws trail in archaic misery.

But the necessity of extracting money from the world to live means that women are still working on a system with underpinnings that assumed that you are an economic subsidiary of a male controlled household.

Bucking that system was a quick way to end up broke and even more powerless. The few women who clawed out independence still, more often than not, had to navigate the whims of a majority.

In the same manner that we don’t use leeches and antimony pills in medicine anymore, likewise, our ability to conceive of and grapple with consent has altered. Nonetheless, the whole financial and social system didn’t roll into a new format overnight. Regardless of if it isn’t actually a given now that women have a different financial situation than men, wages, etc… things just have not balanced across the board.

(Note: Get into a pay gap in a myth argument here and I will delete you.)

Therefore you have a paradox that your power is framed as a perception of your ability to extract money from men by performing traditionally female tasks AND that these tasks don’t need direct compensation and much recognition. You can hold a lot of soft power/social capital, but the hard power of being the origin part of the cash is generally just not given to women as much.

And our foundational archetypes often harken back to old role- in kink for women, rustling out the governess, nanny, mommy, goddess, nurse and so forth, of which frankly, I think a dominatrix, herself, is just part of that spectrum of power through roles.

As I said earlier, it’s not a closed loop of men- we women consume the same porn and inform our own identities based on what is available. The trick is that whatever fetish stuff that makes BDSM in us asks women to take on not just being dominant, but a dominatrix, by default.

A Dominatrix is to female power, what Drag is to being a woman.

It’s a caricature, one with an aesthetic that can, itself be fascinating, liberating or empowering, but a Drag Queen is not the same thing as being female (bio-queen or not). True, villains always have the best lines, and in practice the real professional dominatrix exists somewhere between highly useful sex therapist and immersive theatre, but nobody asks men to take on a whole vocation to get kinky.

Right, you might ask – you have argued why kink is hostile to women expressing overt sexual power at length, but how does this translate to the claim that femdoms are loose in the wild vanilla?

Maybe they don’t imprint onto BDSM that way due to lack of role models?

Look at what women do, not what they lable. Look at our attraction to men in distress in fiction, and our fixation on things like princesses in girlhood. Look at the perfectly evenly distributed desires in vanilla women to be sexually compelling and get what they want.

Consider how easily they accept the gender neutral parts of dominance, and how easily traditional masculinity can be framed as service. Make a partner feel incredibly horny and decide on who gets gratified, how? Get your way without a ridiculous fight?

Once you stop slamming women into leather bustiers and thrusting a client book into their hands, or coming at them like the french philosopher Rousseau did, so crazed to publicly expose himself to strange women in the hopes of getting a smack.

I think, as we get more social power, it may get better. I have already noticed the youngest cohort of female dominants embark on it with considerably more agency, carving themselves more feminine friendly, but gender not constricting identities.

I close this with the suggestion that if we are currently largely “lost” what we must do to be found remains a place for ourselves, and our own desires. And I continue to write under the stubborn awareness that just as art and writing that treated me as normal and worth catering to gave words to my own desires, so also will others find their way.

Don’t Date Your Therapist: A Response

Eris Martinet wrote a manifesto of sorts, and I have a disagreement.

It’s here: Psycho-Sexual Domination and Its Healing Potential

It’s one of the biggest ethical nonos for a professional mental health care provider,  and a pithy piece of good advice for everyone looking at setting boundaries in their relationship in the appropriate level of care to give a partner.

But there’s so little space to love on the perverts or give sex workers a space to speak that I feel like I need to start my disagreement response to Eris Martinet with a disclaimer- this is a “Yes, and…” not a “Fuck no”.

And if you use my participation in a conversation to turn this into a diatribe on realness or anti-sexworker, I will look on you with disdain so severe you can’t even get off on it.

Eris’s true, raw piece about her very valuable career, as something between performance artist and therapist, is a very good way to make a lifestyle femdom real miserable. This is speaking as someone with a pretty serious caretaker kink, who wanders around unzipping boy’s baggage sorting through it with a reflexive talent.

But the dichotomy of broken and healer, while it can make for some powerful chemistry, is one that can only be dipped into not immersed in if you are building a relationship without a pile of (professional or other) distance, and I think female dominants in particular should be aware that the giving urge is particularly tempting to us.

I can’t really know where Eris is coming from regarding the professional side push back particularly on findoms, although the evil puritan gremlins who control the credit system on which all modern finance rests do their busy work implying that hypnosis is a bridge too far. I am not a prodom and I can’t speak for the nuance of culture- I’ve spent the last decade of sexual activity and public writing chasing away men trying to hire me with various levels of politeness.

She is right that we rank against each other too much in a world that casts us all out, with equal scorn. But…

If you are a female dominant and simply trying to date and find lovers, as writers like Ava have noticed, there is one hell of a bad tendency to use you as an outlet. Beyond this, it’s very easy to mistake the relationship of nurturing control for the power that makes you zing. Sadism and empathy are not two opposing forces, it is my observation that if your thing is vulnerable or tormented men, this compliments intensely with loving them and helping them.

But there is the cosmic joke, the one poor old Sacher Masoch teased out in his porn philosophy, when he wasn’t leaving protein stains on his wife’s ermine coat, the situation is all too much not opposite but opposing sexes, and this polarity on a binary fucks a lot up. With the framing of things as weird power dynamics in the vanilla that don’t seem to help anyone but nonetheless exist, everything is messy.

While Eris is pouring hot gold into the fissures of men’s psyches, I am over here slamming the door on a life spent setting myself on fire to keep someone else warm.

Two easy things go wrong- his fractures are actually the roots of his submission, not his nature, and your glue seals your power away, as satisfied, thence goes your heart. Or you exhaust yourself on an endless quest to mend and soothe, addicted to his need to heal. I am inherently a caretaker, and that won’t change, but I am more careful now.

It’s a familiar habit in our blogs- the happy couples are there, but most of the words are still frustrated, still seeking and suffocating under piles and piles of performance and incompatible need.

We break our hearts, over and over again to the point I stopped writing for a while because the world didn’t need another frustrated femdom crying into her keyboard about how nobody actually loves her properly. That it was my lot in life to inherit men who somehow broke under the pressure of the supposedly mirror kinks to mine, that I had to become either an unshakable self promoting pedestal or a deep well of patience to the exploring interest of emotionally stunted survivors, while they got to sulk about having the choice and economic position to buy a skilled professional.

Now perhaps my tone is not entirely fair, because men’s pain in their circumstances are valid, and it is extremely self evident in examining the pile of trope that is femdom that the whole thing has all sorts of pockets of internalized pain pressed into pearls, particularly some of the worst injuries we do to guys in policing them.

But oh hell, boys! I didn’t make that snarl of masculinity you get yourself so tangled up in.  I just want to be loved without being a therapy tool, an outlet or an idol.

And if there is one thing I have learned since I started being sexually active over half my lifetime ago, it’s that it needs to be better.  That I have specifically watched too many dominant women mistake helpless and wounded for something else, as a lifestyle choice.

I guess the other part is it never feels like anyone cares about our pain. Our alienation, disempowerment, and so on. Eris says nobody blinks at a Daddy Dom, but the reality of boundaries on your power as a Mother is one girl children learn from a young age when the first adult decides you should babysit.

And there is a glory in the traditional tools of womanhood- I have come to respect that perhaps I do not think femdom must look like maledom (perhaps the latter should aspire more the other way sometimes). I will not cast away the metaphorical spindle as a shackle, nor douse the hearth/home my ancestors-in-sex tended.

But, though I will spin a rope to bind him before tending to his pain, I will snip those threads when they become a barrier to the whole person. And I think my life has too often mistaken prior damage for enthusiastic surrender.

And I do recognize that I don’t think this is going to be a popular position, since people are bigger on sentiment and big declarations that if you care about the broken are reassuring. We are all a little shattered, and sub guys are intimately aware something is askew.

But there Eris and I part company- for I love where there is the perception of good surrender, but where she has the distance to mend the shards herself, I know that it will cut us, very deeply if we let a pretty broken thing be held to us the wrong way.

So take in a man whose body or his psyche is a map of scars, for that is beautiful to me and that may be your passion as well. I know I love and have loved such. But, beware the imbalances of energy and space to be whole yourself, you, my sister in kink who may be reading, and guard for the easy way you can fall into the breaks in him at your expense.

How to Get a Woman to Dominate You: a Search Review.

I believe you can tell a lot about the quality of the information available to community by how searchable it is and right now that exact phrase “How to Get a Woman to Dominate You” turns up a disaster as far as results.

About 50% of humans seem to be at least vaguely kinky, with submissive fantasies being very common in all genders. Despite that, it’s an oft remarked comment of femdoms that the quality of the come ons we get and the education of our potential partners is more often than not, appalling. Guys who think we don’t exist. Guys who don’t know how to approach us. Guys who think we are weird fetish unicorns.

Why, with the sheer banality of the desire to be dominated, is this a thing?

A pretty common refrain is that men just don’t care to educate themselves, because sexism, but I don’t think that’s the entire picture. Although it’s easy to dwell on porn or poor social skills, the evidence is of a lot worse problem. The information just isn’t there to be found.

Lets say you are a an average straight-ish guy with a smart phone. You want to get femdom sexings, maybe with a partner,  or maybe you just want ot know how it works. Just as you check everything from the directions to your doctors appointment and how to make a pot roast to if you have cancer or where to find latex strapon videos, you probably google that shit.

So I did, and here’s the first 10 results. It wasn’t pretty.

  1. The first hit is Goodlookingloser, a A MRA/PUA site, telling you that women just don’t find being dominant inherently hot. their tip is to trick her, PUA style y offering your individual fetishes as things you want because you find them sexy, to which he inherent desire to be sexy will cause her to reciprocate. Direct quote “Girls are not naturally dominant.
  2. Then an Ask Men click -through article that is low on details and orphaned from anything BDSM community shaped.
  3. Then a guide to dominating women. >:(
  4. Then a guide *for* women on bustle, asking a man to dominate you.
  5. Then a Bad Girls Bible article for women telling them how to lead into a dominant role that is… actually not half bad.
  6. Back to dominating women. More text about how she will really want you if you do, a re-occurring theme.
  7. Then a Quora hit. It’s a specific scenario about trying to make femdom more appealing- not really a helpful answer but an honest one that not everyone’s going to be into your kinks, and a bit of explanation of “service topping”.
  8. Then we are back to another hit about dominating women from a wedding website.
  9. And another hit talking about dominating women and how it is what they really want.
  10. Finally, Stoya, over on the Verge, answers an agony aunt style sex question.  Unfortunately the net nanny “over 18” is broken and wouldn’t let me pass through.

According to everything Google tells us about the monopoly provided by their service, the first page of search is usually the only one people every visit, and most people usually only click the first link or maybe the first couple of links.  This means that Google thinks, algorithmically, the most useful search hit to a person looking for “How to Get a Woman to Dominate You” is in fact the following: “They don’t like to be because they no longer feel feminine and sexy.” and “Girls like to get fucked by a dominant, alpha male.

Can you imagine how much that is fucking with sub men to read that?

As a femdom, it’s infuriating, because obviously I exist and I am over here buffing my muffin to precisely the shit the author thinks won’t glaze a wick on its own merits. But if you were a sub guy… soul crushing. Follow that with dead ends and a litany of reminders how much women want to be dominated and no wonder I am getting a trickle of people who sound like they met a mermaid-unicorn or can’t fathom that I have my own needs or desires.

We need to do better than that. While we are getting utterly slaughtered by the side effects of FOSTA/SESTA and the #Pornapocalypse, we are largely erased from the narrative by lack of searchability. For all that articles like my 33 things every submissive man should know or femdom stuff to make him do while you figure stuff out have gamed SEO a bit to get actually useful information out there, I can’t find any of my blogger friends easily and that’s a problem.

So do me a favour and throw your favourite advice articles and blog posts in the comments and I’ll try to get them carried out a little further.

 

 

 

 

On Missing Stairs, Zak Smith, Libertines, Pimps, BDSM and Roleplaying

missing stair and bdsm and gamingLet’s talk about Zak Smith (aka Zak Sabbath, Zak S).

No, not the being terrible person thing, lots of people know about that already. Rather, lets talk about a particularly noxious kind of person who attaches themselves to libertine communities and pleasure parties: the pimp, and how he embodies a particular part of The Problem.

A Background: Who is this random guy and why should you, the reader of a porn blog, care?

Recently my various worlds collided. I’ve intimated before I do super nerdy stuff like roleplaying. That doesn’t make me shocking- venn diagram between kink and LARP is almost a perfect circle. Therefore I won’t delve too much into telling you what roleplaying is. I will warn that if you were here to get your rocks off, a better fit would still be my archive of femdom stories, as this way lies spicy feminism.

Still with me so far?

If you are involved in roleplaying enough to poke your head out into the larger online community, you’re probably aware of a new suite of allegations against a games writer, Zak Smith (sometimes called Zak Sabbath).

 

An artist and games creator, pornographer and promoter of adult arts in games media, Zak Smith has been the repeated subject of blown whistles. This time, when a number of his partners came forward and called him out, it seems to have stuck better than two years ago, when a games company, Whitewolf, decided to publically come out and say they didn’t find any truth to the allegation that he liked to harass people online.

Zak Smith likes to harass people online.

The page where Whitewolf defended him is mysteriously 404’d, but their parent company has since put them under greater restriction after a few other oopsies.

At almost a year to people loudly yelling at Whitewolf the games company for employing a known hazard, Zak Smith’s former romantic partners came out and said he abused the fuck out of them, and indeed used them to benefit his internet slap fight habit to help re-enforce his ability to harass people.

And as Zak Smith has publicly bragged about, the reason why this is germane to you, the reader, is that this famous dude also wears his kink membership hat with pride. We’ve given him a platform for us a bunch without telling him not to.

As is the way of online media, Zak Smith has, historically, been a bit of a lifestyle brand, wearing his wife and her adult entertainment work, as well as the bodies of other women attached to him as extensions of that identity. Although also famous for his work for Dungeons and Dragons, he’s particularly attached to the famous World of Darkness games franchise (it’s larp, tabletop, computer games, card games- you name it!)

(note bene: WoD is a ‘mature’ cousin to Dungeons and Dragons with lots of bdsm and fetishy stuff in the materials, both through a goth aesthetic and the subject matter largely focusing on their flagship franchise “Vampire”, a game about power dynamics)

 

Right, you say, I’ve burned my copy of Lamentations of the Flame Princess and vowed to never buy his tat again. But other than being same old same old, what makes this case stand out?

So here’s the accusation: the behaviour Zak Smith exhibited is textbook Objectification.

The best archetype I can use to describe Zak Smith is a pimp. Not in the oogie boogie woo woo sex traffickers gonna getcha horror stories, but in the sense that matters, a parasite that exploits the objectification of women while adding back nothing.

He didn’t even make his crap – “I hit is with my ax” and other creative endeavors showing adult film actresses gaming to their benefit, it was another chance to show it off to other straight white men that they could game with their fantasies. He was the Hooters of gaming podcasts, not because the women he worked with weren’t interesting, funny and had valid things to contribute, but because he cheapened all that shit to promote the person he actually cared about (himself) to raise his street cred with straight male nerds.

The problem with pimps, even in the classic sense, is not sexy art and sex for money, it’s that comparatively advantaged people attach themselves to marginalized communities, make it all about them and what they want, and use the fuck out of women, queerness, etc…

Much pixel-type is being laid about people’s feelings on the subject, largely affirming that it past due.  People are doing a good job of Believing the Victim, which is good- means that #metoo business gained a little traction. Normally all this would warrant from me is a few tweets agreeing that Mandy Morbid, Viv Vivid, etc… deserve respect and protection.

But I will add this:

You probably know a Zak Smith or two in your local kink community. Whether the self promoting creepy rope top who leers at anything female; the braying ass who uses being poly to collect humans for coup counting; or the starry eyed munch babbler who thinks that he is a more enlightened being by dint of where he goes to get a hard dick, all these people are particularly notable by the way they dress themselves up in the struggles of other while largely being straight white dudes.

This is not to say being a slutty man is not indeed, valid, wonderful and your right, or that men can’t be organizers or contributors. It’s that tendency in which others, usually women, become subverted into objects. Not artists or workers. Porn stars make art, sex workers work with their bodies. The distinction here is the people who cannot separate the person from the product.

For Zak Smith, BDSM and poly (unicorn poly, natch) provided a convenient smoke screen to own, abuse and modify women to his hearts content. And then turn around and cry sexism and prudery at anyone who disagreed with him. In the case of the Mandy Morbid (and other persons) anecdote we’re lucky enough that she decided to give us her testimony on the way out, he even flat out used her name and social media accounts to write, pretending to be her, because he could hide behind the very real shit she had to deal with because of her artwork.

While he, lets be honest, could slap hot naked goth chicks onto things all day long and merely make a few people who weren’t buying the product anyway harumph. That was a large part of it, and notable in his visual arts, that he depended on naked alt girls and blurred what he could claim (his technical skill) with deciding their voice for them.

Precisely because of his desire to smush together sex and gaming, as well as selling something people wanted, he’s long benefited from being able to call his critics prude or sex negative or even sexist. It’s a complexity that I think my readers are familiar with- the desire to have sexy art that is also ethical.

Zak Smith has not behaved ethically, indeed if you read Mandy’s account you will see him trying to wield her marginalized status like a sword to his, and not her advantage. Likewise he’s not LGBT ally, as her bisexuality was bragging rights and access to more women to him to use and control.  And there in is the stick that I want you, the reader, to note.

It’s a pointy stick, jutting out there, pretty obvious, in pretty much every community, but more notable in the arts and sex communities like kink where this has the most room to overlap. A kinky guy with access to porn stars and roleplayers, of which a fair percentage of them see the terrifying train wreck of abuse that was his life as living the dream? Wow, is he everything that’s wrong with sexy art.

Obviously I am not anti-sex, or even anti people who identify as male (although if this post gets any traction I can bet there are a few motherfuckers in duck and cover position screaming they are tired of being lectured for being men) but precisely because I make porn and get my literal and metaphorical tits out upon occasion, I like to try to be responsible and warn to beware of pimps.

Exploitation and identitySo how do we enjoy sex (and sexy art) and keep the pimps out?

It’s a challenge, the line between painting flesh vases for your dick flowers versus a celebration of humanity in every wrinkle and pothole of human experience. That is also the line in which the concept of ‘attractive’  vacillates between a restriction and a pleasing popular aesthetic. But if this longform blog post gives you any useful take aways, look to who is profiting from the sexy.

Zak Smith, a pretty garden variety creep in many respects, got particular power by not just fucking with the women in his life, but using them as a sales thing for his brand.

Breaking down the conventional sexy paradigm is not enough. No identity or role is so specific and obscure that there is not some man out there who believes he is doing a favour by being sexually attracted to it. Fat women, bi women, pale women, femdoms, women with physical disabilities- it’s not at all harmful someone gets off on that, but the point of harm is as per usual, when some asshole with his dick out wants a cookie in his non-wanking hand and screams like a small child when he isn’t show exactly what keeps the stimulation going.

If you want to keep objectification significantly reduced you need to turn a pretty heavy level of scrutiny on all that lovely porn and lovely porn adjacent sexiness and ask who it is meant for and who, ultimately benefits.

And if the answer is a troll of a man living a dream that pretty much all popular media uses as comedic shorthand for “lucky bastard” but he is wailing about oppression or claiming to be part of a secret society promising a liberal life  better for everyone, welp, poke it hard and weed for pimps.

 

[Signal Boosting: Weird & Wonderful has feelings about Zak Smith.  Ettin64 read Zak S’s rebuttal, poor thing.]

Writing About Porn Panic and Porn Influence

If you want to boil Porn Panic into a single concept: It’s about the breathless trembling shock  people write about facials with.

In porn, it makes a great visual to have the guy finish by wanking all over the model’s face.  The visual nature of the medium means that the positioning and nature of communication of the erotic puts the semen produced somewhere into the picture and facials are an alternative to creampies, pearl necklaces, whatever slang term for festooning the buttocks, etc. Something particular about putting semen on the face causes a tizzy.

It’s a newer behaviour in the sense that it meandered over from Japanese porn in my teenage years to be a standard in pretty much all western porn.  It is extremely fair to say that porn influences the sex we are having because of it’s ubiquity.  And inevitably the discussion leads to articles like this., in the NYTimes, discussing what teens might be learning from getting a sexual education from porn.

Writing about the influence sexual media has on sex is hard to do without tut tutting.

I hypothesize that the piece we are missing from all this is that sex is supposed to be a conversation, not some static, platonic idea of sexy, and porn influencing sex is a feature not a bug.

For a while, after he came, LDR style, Brick would send me a snap of a palmful of cum, all shiny as “proof”.  I don’t know if he found this erotic for the sake of the act or presumed that I must like “proof” and was doing it for my benefit. It’s not something that, prior to him, it would have occurred to me to ask for. But curiously enough, he stopped doing it (probably because changes in living situations eliminated privacy for him) and I find with this introduction of what is in effect a fetish activity, I actually kinda liked it and now miss it.

Sexy is social. Social is communication. Art is communication. Sexy is art. 

I don’t think we’re very good at acknowledging the flow of sex-as-a-conversation  without bringing in mortality. For example recently as a think piece, Hylas and the Nymphs, by Waterhouse, was removed from it’s place in the gallery it lives in. I think it’s a beautiful enough painting I put a print of it in my bathroom. It is, however, a pretty good piece to use for the conversation about why great art so often means shit that gets a wealthy straight male audience off and we value this sort of thing so much we don’t think particularly hard about trotting people we want to be educated past glorified excuses to look at idealized titties.

Framing matters. Sometimes literal framing in gilt. Porn gets slapped around because it doesn’t even get to wear the crown of art (and people sneak their porn in by calling it ‘art’ because we’re bad at acknowledging that lowly pop art is still art but Hylas and the Nymphs is no more or less dignified than the carefully made up fake PoV shot of a model getting cetaphil flung at her face because it makes a better visual than the variable amounts of semen produced by a human male.

I’m going to go against the grain and make a statement:  Sex is supposed to be performative.

That’s the weirdness about all this, an unspoken part of the conversation where people have an idea of pure and good sex that is normal, a porn influenced sex that is a cabaret show of perversity, but sex doesn’t actually work like that, and what sex it, is a variable conversation and set of fungible norms. It is not a penis churning a vagina, although it could be.

For example, a performance: Brick likes mouths a lot when we have sex so there’s a particular maneuver I do where I lift my head a little bit to flick my tongue over his nipple while getting my long dark hair out of the way that really Does It For Him. Why? He learned his nipples are sensitive from a past partner with outlandish oral skills, but who knows where she picked up the idea of putting her mouth on nipples. No single sexual behavior is universal across all humans.  It didn’t occur to him to ask her to do that until she put her mouth there and from whatever source she learned it from, now I get asked to lick because we’re smart adults who can talk about desire.

Why am I going to the trouble of slightly angling my neck so her can see my tongue pull over his nipple? There’s a diagonal perspective where I can watch him react to what I am doing and if I get it just right, his eyes take on a haze I find incredibly sexy.  Although I like his penis and this act is usually accompanied by him with is clutched in his fist wanking into the general area of a potential orgasm,  the social and psychological aspect of sex means where we put our eyes and the emotional intimacy is a huge part of this.

Bless the NYTimes article I linked to, they at least mentioned that part of the appeal of people doing facials (from the awkward teen conversations) is the eye contact with the people involved. I wish we could get beyond the idea that porn is teaching kids to be rapists, which is one of the points that that NYtimes article was hammering out. (I don’t think that’s porn, I think the norms of the factor we call rape culture are in every facet of our life including porn- people raped perfectly happily before the wide availability of porn, and even if civilization and its medias vanished they will carry right on raping until our species fundamentally changes.)

When we try to talk about sex, it’s such a big topic that bits and pieces get left out.

For example a significant percent of women get pain from vaginal intercourse or no orgasm from any sexual activity ever including masturbation (1 in 10) and we don’t know why.

Millennials as the TNG  Munch demographic, the people aged 18-35 to whom the internet was a factor in our life but not simply the background radiation.  Usually we get lumped into the batch of up and comers, that next swathe of kiddos maturing away- although Gen X is somehow able to keeping well clear. And the inevitability of this is that people will also talk about the peculiar challenge that is Porn and Sexual Norms.

The internet exploded the community around having sex, by allowing disparate people wealthy enough to afford a connection the ability to access material for titilation. Everything about the modern BDSM community is not, despite what some people wanking themselves into a coma will tell you, the work of Old Guard guys, although they were a culturally relevant factor, but the newsgroups crawling out of the medium of safe communication behind usernames and into the first “Munch”. Which, btw, was organized by a woman. But the other side effect of internet connectivity was a golden age of relatively unfettered access to sexual materials.

Porn drove internet innovation- technologies to deliver video and static images, like it or not, were motivated in huge part by desire to look at things that got people off.  They sure as skippy didn’t invent sex though- porn is ancient. The oldest known paintings include illustrations of little stick figures with erections, including fucking wildlife. (Ahem it’s about man’s dominance over ANIMALS, OK! It’s SYMBOLIC!  Not! Freaky! Prehistoric! Beast! Porn! Side note: although the cave paintings usually depict skinny tanned white guys doing the painting 3/4 of the handprints in the work appear to be women based on typical sexual diamorphism in finger length, so this is another case of women making nasty tumblr worthy filth about boys) .

But Porn Panic should not supersede nuanced critique

When I say Porn Panic, I mean the idea that somehow erotic art is a thing that is actively inherently toxic, and gets combated as an intrusive external force.

We’re in an awkward period right now, where enough people have gotten on the web that rather than being the privileged domain of largely straight white wealthy people with leisure time and some specialized knowledge, enough of the population enjoys connectivity that there’s a backlash- places like the UK are not entirely comfortable with the idea that huge amounts of sexual materials are out there and thus because porn makes a part of a conversation about what people Should Be Allowed To Have.

This is the wrong conversation- excepting naked imagery produced in the absence of consent, which is a separate issue to image content, the idea of toxic art is pernicious.

The conversation about how media was teaching people they were doing sex in a problematic fashion did not start with internet porn- prior to this there was “MTV music videos” or other fretting about

Make Love Not Porn and Porn Literacy are both trying to combat that, but the former bites the hand that feeds, seeking to define porn as the things that do sex in a way that they do not agree with, with the idea that they should from there make explicit erotic art they get to call not porn. Basically it’s Porn Panic with the idea that if you rebrand things “erotic, softcore, Not Porn) you are excising the poison without losing the medium. This is implausible, and more than a little be self-deluded that you don’t have your own norms that may be equally problematic- particularly if you become the new dominant voice.

For instance, we live in a culture that penalizes being fat, and prioritizes being skinny. Good work is done to help people who are not skinny feel sexy. However, cultures that are fat dominant in their aesthetic are not any less oppressive.

Where Porn Literacy can, but not necessarily, fall flat is that while they are correct that the larger world of sex exceeds the limited window of what porn lets views see and is a dialogue of norms not passive entertainment, there remains this search for innocence as a moving target, a time before the nastiness intruded.

This is why while it would be socially beneficial for me to say I write “erotica” or dress myself in the language of anti-porn, I prefer to say I write and consume porn

Why Kinkshaming Ruins Christmas

Snowy gif used to illustrate conversation on kinkshamingOk, ok that was shameless clickbait. I’m sorry. It’s not that bad. What I am talking about is actually the conversation around “Baby It’s Cold Outside“. There are two camps around this popular carol, one that observes that it is a festive version of Blurred Lines only worse, and a counter point  that it is totally not an ACTUAL date rape in progress, just an old timey courtship that looks like a date rape by modern standards.

The latter is going the rounds of my Vanilla-ish facebook, which I think misses the point completely of the first camp not enjoying hearing a woman playfully plead about not wanting to be there. It argues that “Mouse” (the woman) and “Wolf” the (the man) in the duet are consenting but playing out the script of the era, so to relax. Other versions mention it is a husband and wife team that wrote and originally performed it as if this was relevant.

I have things I can say on facebook- I can say it is problematic because it’s about the expectations of predation, a celebration of an era before enthusiastic consent, the mere fact that the duet parts are named after specific animals tells you the expected power dynamic and so on. I can rebut the fact that trying to defend it because she softens her no to blame other people is bullshit that doesn’t understand how women diffuse rejection to protect themselves.

And sharing it uncritically as old timey fun is how we end up with this rather gag worthy video where Bublé uses child actors to show how cute it is to push past a woman showing she’s not interested. This is probably a more accurate version from Funny or Die.

But… then I also write horrifying kink porn for fun and profit.

The thing that frustrates me is that there is no space to step in and tell people it’s ok to fetishize sexual violence, but you have to acknowledge it as sexual violence. Romance and erotica have always had a scope of displaying everything from full consent to outright rape, and the ability to label things dub-con (dubious or questionable) or non-con (sexual assault) in contemporary porn is part of developing a healthier conversation around it.

It is ok to be titillated or warm and fuzzy about a holiday song of  light M/f.  It’s ok to want someone to ‘force’ you into spending the night with them while pretending innocence, provided you also have the framework of free consent protecting you. The point it becomes dangerous is when you romantasize that being just how normal sexuality works or worked.

And it’s not like this was the distant past- people who fucked in the fifties according to these standards of conduct are still out having sex. Harrison Ford’s Deckard was assaulting Rachel Replicant in 1982 and having it be told as a straight if stormy love story (and his Indiana Jones was paired with someone he first boinked when she was 15 to his character’s 27 to which he blames on her). 80s era romances are notoriously rape-y, hence the perpetuation of the idea of the bodice ripper. The recent spate of sexual assault scandals are all built on the same idea that the enthusiasm of one of the partners doesn’t need to be present either at first or at all.

You, the reader, probably knows that real reluctance or real resistance is a flat out hard stop. If you permit either you have a global dynamic that means that “real” still gives your partners and out.

A safer world means one where we can explicitly say that Baby It’s Cold Outside is about as icky as He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss).  It also means one where we look to why we feel the need to use historicals to tell stories about sexual assault or statutory rape (in the two 80s movies I cited, one is in faux 40s  future noire and the other is set in the 30s, continuing the trend of).

But…

I am turned on by fucked up shit. I also have dealt with harassment and violence, and I don’t ever want to do or experience that shit for real again, and harp on consent so much to stop this from being an issue.  But as far as the complete picture, people like me are left out of the conversation because we can’t be honest about the reason why we are clinging to excuses to share and enjoy unhealthy relationships.

As the various people share that defensive tumblr post on facebook I can’t point out that what they want is a rape fantasy. The fact that talking about getting turned on by consent violations is taboo leads to a really unfortunate, lopsided conversation. The middle path here that lets people enjoy the idea of people ignoring their No while still having it respected for real is missing. Kinkshaming ruins everything and is forcing people who like a lil violence in theirf fantasy life into uncomfortable company with the people who like a lil violence in their real life. Since the latter should catch fire and fall into the sea, this sucks.

If we had a healthier conversation about the role that stealth kink plays in people’s idea of the romantic, we’d all have a happier Christmas.


The art is taken from here.

Corporations Hate Kinky Sex

Credit card providers don't want you to have kinky sex.At the time of writing, Patreon and Twitter are both going through a phase of removing adult content. Patreon changed their ToU, while Twitter has been merrily shadowbanning accounts it deems sensitive, trimming them from the general popular discourse.

Twitter managed to hit historical expert @Whoresofyore during her book promo, while Ferns of Domme Chronicles and a number of other prominent sex bloggers have discovered they have been secretly muzzled. That’s what makes Twitter’s handling of things particularly frustrating- nobody knows how your posts and content pass the threshold of unacceptable. And nobody notifies you. You just need to figure out if you have been silo’d.

This was in the heels of, and overlapping with the Patreon change. Those who make porn remain ever vigilant that the guidelines of a corporation will crush them. It’s old, tired and familiar by now, part of an ongoing trend.

I had been thinking of making the switch to Patreon support, so I could put more effort into content and less into other sources of revenue, both linkbuilding for SEO (which I am iffy about) and the unreliability of getting scraps of freelance story requests. I don’t think that is as likely to be a viable option and that frustrates me. And that’s the challenge here, with trying to make adult oriented, and to be explicit, sexual art. Everyone wants the fucking stuff, but nobody wants to pay for it and admit they want it or give it space in the mainstream.

And when we do try to make stuff easier to pay for, we get yanked around by the credit card providers and financial brokers that underpin the transactions that make this possible. Because they are private corporations, unlike writing to my MP, it is considered to be a privilege to me that a few companies have a monopoly on most of the use of money that I do I and everyone else has no recourse.

The truth is, credit card providers don’t want you to have kinky or unregulated sex, and sites like Patreon are hostage to that. Meanwhile Twitter’s logic seems to be tied with the same efforts to try to scrub out trollish harassing nazis- only they remain more interested in punishing outspoken women than the people who bother them.  And at it’s core it’s a problem with our heavy dependency on for profit business to maintain platforms of public discourse but also the fuzzy moral madness around sex in society at large.

This is part of an ongoing war, both government side, and through the whims of the monopolistic control of private corporations, to decide what kind of sex you are allowed to have and talk about.


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My Take on Cuckolding Fantasies

Cuckolding fantasies are more than just cuck focused“So multiple people offered to throw in cash to get me to go to this event at $nerdhobby, I am so popular.” I’m not bragging, I’m surprised at my popularity and slightly bemused by the absurdity.

His reaction is to miss a beat, face going suspicious, “Oh really? Who?”

“The very gay $nerdhobbyguy, for one.” I know the implication, but I live with it and measure it accordingly. Boys offering you things is kind of par for the course as an extra level of social complexity to navigate. It sucks as an artist of any kind, because patronage is also how we wend our way, and nobody likes trying to suss out if you are trying to fuck me or support my writing. And I never apologize that men want me.

He’s not quite calm about it, not mad at me or displaying any sort of impolite or threatening anger, but outlined to me what it had always meant when he had offered to sponsor a girl, and then realizing that I might take offense either via implying I condoned really low wage sex work or was naive to the ways of the world, falls into repeatedly reassuring me that he trusts me.

Brick, you see, is a jealous man but not a controlling one. He’s liable to characterize it as “protective”, from the perspective that I need to be saved from all attention, pursuit and appreciation. On the other hand there’s a definite thread that we share a similar mean little desire to reject and trammel all over a guy. You’re never going to catch him as the forced bi bull shoving his cock down a would be rival’s throat, but there is a desire to emotionally and socially dominate other men (and in fantasy land probably beat the shit out of them) that pretty much occupies the same space a cuckolding fantasies do in the continuum of things men are socialized to have feelings about.

But, I like watching you fight them for me, even if I want you to win.

I am not one of those people who thinks that jealousy, or any feeling, in the abstract, is bad. I don’t think one’s feelings entitle you to automatically make the other party responsible for them, but I like the honesty and vulnerability in him getting possessive, the itchy fists and raised hackles. It’s hot. It makes me feel in control and turns me on. I enjoyed that Brick’s reaction was not compersion, that mainstay of the poly community, but murder.

I’m careful here, because this is a raw dynamic, which means that it’s his Real Feelings (TM) and could actually hurt him, so I’m not going to do anything to actually harm him or manipulate him. But I like that the script is there. I like the idea of using him as a tool of my sadism and dominance. I think he would get worn out and stressed if he thought that other men were constantly testing the boundaries of his relationship in a way that imperiled him, but I’m still going to enjoy it when it accidentally falls in my lap. And I have more thoughts on that… Read more

Fuck Homophobia; Fuck Islamophobia

Love is love is love is love is loveThis is more like a one shot service announcement, but as a sexual libertine I wanted to put this out there, based on the Orlando tragedy:

Fuck homophobia. Fuck blaming Muslims.

As a non-American I don’t feel qualified to give more than an opinion on the subject of gun control (why do you need those? wat? whyyyy?) but as a sexual libertine who screws and plays with people anywhere on the wonderfully unrestrainable gender spectrum, and whose life is so far on the side of sexual liberal that I don’t even know what normal looks like anymore…

We don’t deserve to die, and what kills us is not our choices, it is the choice of others to hate us. And that hate is not uniquely confined to any variant of monotheism, that is a 100% optional. Let every politician who hemmed and hawed about transgender bathrooms or gay marriage know that YOU did this. Let every pastor who decided that the pulpit was their hate catapult be ashamed. Let every TERF who sneered about what a “real” woman was hang your head in fucking SHAME. Hell, even you in the back who was hoping to be the bigger man and saying that it was okay for people to be perverts as long as they hid their icky secret and never expected right, fuck you in particular. Fuck your hate the sin, not the sinner. I am my “sin” and if love is a sin, than fuck you, we love.

The killer was your textbook scene creep (you know the type, nasty messages, nasty disposition, missing stair extraordinaire), lashing out from the closet doorway. Sure he dressed himself in the raiment of whatever big name terrorists he could wind about himself, but if you are buying into this as a remotely Muslim thing… well I don’t know if the word “racist” applies to hating on such a pan-ethnic faith, but you are certainly an ignorant bigot. More than that, you’re explicitly on his side, where he loudly tried to distract everyone from the fact that this was a hate crime with a huge component of self hate. This was the UpStairs Lounge arson attack again, made possible with assault weapons. This was a horrible, abusive person abusing what he (secretly) loved as surely as he abused his wife. Fuck you for trying to make this a talking point so you could bully and harass Muslims in the name of people that, let’s be honest, a decade ago you probably barely acknowledged as human.

I love living in 2016, where Axe body spray ads feature men in heels and I can marry any one adult that will have me. But holy fuck, guys, can we not make a hate sandwich and pretend that being mean to gay people isn’t a homegrown bit of bullshit bso we can be horrid to brown people?

We clear? This blog is pro QUILTBAG and pro any damn faith that gives you peace and cultural warm and fuzzies, whether it’s all of them or none. This is just another drop in a rainstorm of people shouting about gay rights and not being a bigot. But if i have a soap box, I will at least express solidarity to the some 10K sessions you guys make here monthly.

Things I Am NOT Saying About Professional Dominants

As a follow up to my last post on the subject of dominatrices VS non-professionals, I’ve also been trying to share more of other people’s writings on the subject and make this more of a conversation, including on twitter. And of course I’m getting pushback because people think I dislike or don’t believe in professional dominants. This happens every time you try to talk about the pro/non-pro distinction, so I’m going to try to make a definitive response to the subject right here.

Professionals are not fake. Please stop writing to tell me about how they are also all “lifestyle” and real and put their heart and soul into the job. This is not about bashing pros, it’s about making a distinction, and I’m going to use a metaphor to explain this.

When you go to a restaurant, the business employs staff who are (ideally) personable, friendly and enjoy the environment. It’s also perfectly possible to make real friends with a waiter, as well as them just being nice to you as part of the job. Similarly the atmosphere of the venue may be fantastic and fun. It may have been founded by someone who truly loves food. But the main purpose of a business is to generate revenue.

If you go to my house, you should NOT have the same expectations as you do for a restaurant, even if eating might take place there. That doesn’t mean I’m anti-eating out. However it is frustrating to be solicited like I’m a professional dominant, much like most people who enjoy cooking are not expecting someone to come to their home and expect to be handed a menu, tell them what to cook out of selection and send it back if they don’t like it. Both a professional chef and I want delicious food. Some chefs work really hard to replicate the home cooking experience, and some home cooks try to replicate restaurants.

But I don’t have the same concerns of mass appeal a restaurant does. My home is not set up with a little podium out front where a person seats you and tables laid out to place friends and strangers in a suitable level of sorting. It is not relevant in the least if in fact dinner is eaten in bed while watching Jessica Jones, or that breakfast for me was a little packet of tasty french chocolate cookies (or in Wildcard’s sake, an ensure meal replacement, because food and him don’t really get along until 10 AM). I *could* make an eggs and bacon and ham and beans and home fries like the little breakfast place we go to sometimes (albeit after 10 AM). But we do what makes us happy, not what the restaurant has to do to get people in the door.

Wildcard and I might cook for other people, but although we want them to enjoy our food, if you try to complain to me that Wildcard didn’t smile enough when he put your plate in front of you or forgot your water, shall we say that you can expect a very different response than if your waiter did either and you complained to the manager.

Now some professionals have the luxury of either naturally being what people want, or choosing their clients so selectively they don’t have to think about it. But this is not going to be the norm, anymore than most restaurants get to be that picky about who they take money from.

When I complain about being treated like a professional dominant, I am in the same metaphorical position as a person who has idiots banging on her door asking to be seated,  wondering why I’m not wearing an apron and a hair net, and who come to dinner expecting a menu and choice of soup or salad.

I know many people who work in sex work, and many of them, from escorts to dominatrices, enjoy the job. They picked that out of many options to make money as the best fit for them, much like some of the friends I know who work in food service are there because it suits them (hell, I know more happy sex workers than waiters). But I can confidently say that if any of their clients decided that paying them was not needed because they were such good ‘friends’ they would stop being friends at all.

Both professional dominants and non-professionals don’t want our partners to be jerks. We thrive when we like what we do. But professionals don’t just offer the option of being open to a wider range of people, the nature of the business is that they make certain concessions for the revenue side of things. They wear the clothes that get you off, they play out particular scripts that work well for the client.

And if you come to me expecting these scripts I’m going to be fucking pissed off, because as a non-pro, my fantasies and scripts are just as valid as yours. And i you’re one of these people, you’ve been trained by your expectations that I just want what you want (for a small fee).

B-but, Miss Pearl I don’t feel like she’s using me for my money! My dominatrix made me shoot rainbows out my butt! We have a connection!

You imbecile. She *earned* that money. She deserves it. How can so many of you nodcocks be so gungho about the whole pro thing and then turn mealymouthed and queasy at the idea of someone earning money? You have a connection because of your money and you are (I hope) compensating her fairly because you are not a cheat. Have some self respect.

When Wildcard wanted to know if he liked being spanked for real, on his terms, he had an experience with a professional rather than trying to coerce random women into playing it out for free. It was a super great thing all round- she created the atmosphere and wielded the implement- he got the benefit of exactly his fantasy. You’d have to be some sort of moron to think that this sort of polite, respectful transaction is the same thing as my home life. Do both activities push his happy sub buttons? Yes! But they don’t push *mine*.

And therein is the problem, the scripts and assumptions of professionals are chasing away women who might want to otherwise identify as dominant. When the world acts like you don’t exist, or that the distinction is to be an amateur with all the ramifications (or at best some sort of philanthropist) you create a world that marginalizes the sexuality that does not serve men, or to be specific, a certain subcategory of men who are prepared to pay for sex work (from dominatrix-through-to-porn). This is not something professionals are doing to non-pros. This is not something all male subs are doing to dominant women. Indeed there is more of accident than conspiracy going on here.

But it is a thing. And maybe if we worked on a solution there would be more porn and more female doms. And more happy people overall. Hell, imagine a world where male subs stopped being a default client. How hot would it be to be so good at serving female desire they paid you?