The Tower and the Chariot

The news of my estranged mother’s breast cancer adds one more variable in the tornado of shrapnel that is my life. Good news on my insurance paperwork is the trade off. Probably getting paid for my month of sick. Can pay Wildcard back for last month’s rent.

Got to figure out the rest of my life. Barring calamity, I have half a century left to work out. And I am listening to my medical professionals. Stop things that are making me sick.

So migrained last night I missed the munch I technically run. I am… Done. Ok with it, actually, shedding it like a wool sweater in the desert. A wool sweater I hand knit, but maybe I deserve to be happy?

I haven’t been happy about some things for a long time, and it shows in my writing. My blog on hiatus, my life waiting “until X happens” and taking care of the latest explosion. So much crisis management.

My body shut me down, hard, because I tested its limits for other people until I literally collapsed.

Kinda done with that.

I deserve to be happy.

LARP Boys & Sexuality

I am awash in LARP boys.

I am seriously concerned if I show up for one of the conventions, it’s going to be spontanious bukkake with the amount of attention. Which brings up the same thing I have talked about before, one’s relationship to the voracious desires others have for you.

Wildcard remains with a steady rotation of “kitties” some of them closer to him than others, all hands off to the point he likes, harvested from the local kink scene. Occasionally he bats them away from his penis, like small children being kept away from the breakables. He wants their upturned asses to beat, and maybe to jam a hitachi against them until they come. They are invariably at least a smigen younger (or like a full decade), cute, usually dark brunette- assigned female at birth but respected for their pronouns. To get off with them spoils his control.

He keeps a steady stream of IMs with the favourites, always a little gunshy about me knowing, like he isn’t entirely sure he has my explicit encouragement. This is his sexuality, what he needs to be happy. He’s making them happy too, so where is the harm?

At first I was a bit jealous as the transition to pursuit of kitties came with a natural drift from his obsession with me, but I have seen it is basically water seeking its own level. This is who he is, living geniunely, to have me as a part of his sexuality but not the entirety. That is kind of important and fits what I told him as one of my rules, which is that he should choose what makes him happy.

But me: LARP boys are just as kinky as BDSM scene boys, but more inclined to lead with their vulnerability, not their dicks and kinks. While my fetlife inbox is a trickle of “can you get me off to that complicated itch I need scratched, just so?”, with LARP boys, there’s a sensitive sweetness, a big eyed emotional hopefulness superceding the evident rampent erections.

Wildcard was a LARP boy once. I met him when my character boldly wandered into his troupe. As soon as the whole world I unlocked became evident to him, a wild wonderland of sexual freedom, he jumped and I don’t think he looked back. We still play games together, but to be honest I don’t think he likes mixing sexuality into story the way I do. His characters are asexual or delibrately distanced.

I bring sexuality with me, and flirt and charm and try to be as honest as possible. The attention I get is mostly a challenge for the contextual social situation outside the game. First off, I want story. I need story, and I have learned the hard way that boys prefer me to fantasy. Characters get abandoned when they realize there is a mind behind the mask. I don’t mind them getting to know the real me, but it kind of feels disappointing if it comes at the cost of my creations. Strong did that to me, trading out an interesting story for lurid sexual fantasies and then burning out all together. It kind of hurt.

Secondly, there is the whole slut-ego thing. I am not supposed to acknowledge my participation in attracting people. It is supposed to be an externally applied objectification people feel sorry for. Oh how sad, Pearl gets boys going! Mention “I get a lot of attention” and people treat it like street harassment or cruel manipulation. Victim or femme fatale. Take your pick.

Attention you can control and escape is not the same thing as attention jammed down your throat. I might be the sort of person who responded yesterday to a guy whistling at me and going (literally) “hubba hubba!” with “Seriously?!” (because it was in front of a Tim Hortins at 2PM. I mean jesus fuck, oggle at what I offer to the world but have some fucking decorum), but I also am the sort of person who acknowledges that there is more than  demeaning objectification in the scope of casual interest. But you aren’t supposed to. The princess is always pretty, but she always needs to wait for the hero to tell her how special she is. Tits sell everything from computer software to perfume, but God forbid you add your own to the conversation on your terms.

That is how a lot of the other LARP girls do. They have their turgid bleed-romances like everyone else, but discreetly, carefully, and hidden. We have girl talk and they are guarded about the sexuality in our hobby, scared of the men and pushing the envelope. And they have a point, some of them are rapists, more of them are coup counters who gossip who fucked you, as if your exposure to sex diminishes you a bit at a time. Lord save me from virgin chasers. I cast off mine as soon as possible, and I won’t be bound by guys whose goal is to be the cock with no point of comparison.

And the other trick, outside the coup counters, is that LARP boys, as a rule, don’t like acknowledging that they are not the only guy seriously strategizing getting you into a hotel room at a gaming convention and making the maid service hate them forever for the mess that would result. It’s either itchy fists directed at the other guys, or hurt feelings at you. If you notice the other men, how can they be special? 

Thing is, the 20th time he’s “never met a girl like you before” maybe you aren’t being full of yourself to see a pattern? My brother is furious that people keep messaging him to tell him his sister is hot. Wildcard gets peppered with squeeing “omg Pearl!!!” from the kitties who see us as a package deal. And I notice back. I like men. This isn’t a one sided thing where guys are sexless and icky.

I guess that is the other taboo. I like men. Really. They are fun, with their jaws and their swingy shoulders and their careful socially forced repression and power fantasies. And I think I am missing I guess the uh… misandry? Fear? That is supposed to blot out my ability to acknowledge them as just as much objects of desire.

But, these days when I get praised, I answer with “I know”. I put Wildcard’s presence and my ego into the conversation early, to lay out where I stand, almost like a challenge. Want me? Acknowledge me as I am. Then we can talk.

Being a slut, in that awkward kind of way where I don’t actually get fucked all that much, but I play with desire, is hard. The attention turns me on. The sweetness turns me on too- I like watching them worry if their voice is goofy or react to me discovering something special to them.

I like making them feel good, with sincere compliments. I might have a predatory streak (worship me! worship me!) that goes straight to the core of my dominance, but I actually like LARP boys. These are my people. Fun.

But there isn’t really a space to say that you get turned on by the attention. It doesn’t make me feel like a piece of meat when a LARP boy carefully unpacks himself in front of you. It’s a strip tease.

And I won’t pretend it is not a delight to tease right back.

His Collar, My Needs

For Christmas, I got LadyCobra (a leather worker, among her many talents) to make up a play collar in a rich, dark chocolate brown to add the Wildcard’s Christmas basket. It’s a prototype, as she expands her business, and it was something missing from the toy collection.

Why a collar? D/s involves a lot of purely-in-your head stuff. As much as I generally avoid anything with a whiff of Olde Guarde Leather and don’t like being called Mistress or otherwise dabbling too much into the Sekret And Strikt Tradition of BeeDeeEssEm shtick where there is one right way to be, but it seemed like a really practical tool for what we are trying to do.

Coming together as we did, knowing precious little, other than practically palpable physical chemistry to a degree that sends me mewling about like a cat in heat and our blissfully intellectually compatible brains, we went straight from chaste friendship to trying to figure out everything all at once in a backdrop that wasn’t what I’d describe as conducive to pacing.

Additionally, while Wildcard wasn’t a complete novice, a lot of this is pure theory to him that he wanted to try, and something that, fundamentally speaking, I only had slightly more practical experience to help us figure out what we’re doing.

Add an extra level of self imposed pressure- if he was, fresh from the land of vanilla, immersing himself with me as a guide, I of course allowed myself to get completely wound up about the fact that done wrong it might leave him with the wrong impression about some aspects of kink. Things went in little nibbles, a little impact play, a little rope- nothing big picture. Hell, roll back about six months ago and the poor man was convinced I was some sort of submissive. Whoopsies.

The other challenge for me was a desire to take him to a place, mentally, where I wasn’t sure he was capable of going, as much as he was down to try anything once. He had, at the outset, described himself as “bedroom only”. Realistically, that in itself is a fairly non-descriptive summary, since it means anything from trying to set yourself apart from the people who form their whole lives around their kink identity, to literally confining it to the immediacy of sex.

But in our case it’s not a relationship where I can simply, at any time, pull his hair and drag him to his knees to “force” him to submit to me the way I want. And I had no way of knowing precisely what his psychological construction around this is, even the means of just outright asking. He’s also fairly conservative about talking about his fantasies- I’ve not so stealthily been watching porn with him just to figure out precisely what he’s responding to.

When it comes to collar shopping, when he first got hints that was what I was plotting, he he declared “I reject any and all symbolism!” In the sort of pleased, fighty voice that suggested a certain degree of pleasure that I was going to enforce precisely what he claimed not to want. Of course I could have just gone the Pet Smart route, but the reality was that getting it custom made was one of those Things That Feels Right. It’s a play collar, but it’s got loads of symbolism attached because it’s an attempt to express my feelings. Which of course means lots of awkward fumbling, denial and blushing on my part.

But… it works, thus far.

The collar I mean, not the fumbling and getting a warm face. I mean that with it on, he’s much more focused in the moment and being where I’d like him to be. He shows it in his body language, the way he sits and curls up. Nothing is a panacea, and we’re still experimenting but it is pleasing and very good for my need to dominate.


Well, fuck. (Breakups)

So, Strong and I broke up. No story this Friday, just a post mortum.

Leaving most personal details out of it, it just wasn’t working anymore, which makes me incredibly sad. More so since I didn’t stop caring about the poor bastard, we just lost the mutual connection. Somewhere along the way, it died.

Ferns basically has the crux of the challenge for dominants, that without submission there is nothing. You can have a relationship, but it’s a stunted one with an under current of frustration. Breaking up with him meant leaving the hope that if I was just a bit more patient he’d come back to me.

But there’s that bugger chemistry. When you feel like submission is being handed out like a cookie, and the person is too busy giving you what they think they want, you stop feeling that glow of empowerment. To describe the situation, of course, doesn’t give Strong a fair chance to defend himself. He tried to be what he thought I wanted to the best of his ability.

But the problem may also be a matter of style. Submission, for me, is seduced out or ripped out. I find I tend to be drawn to the switch-y ones, in part because of my masochism, but also because of that sense of victory. Ha. I bet I probably sound like a cliché. Every dominant likes to think they’re special and that their submissive does not fall easily.

(Well, actually I’m not so sure about that, since I fake ‘submissive’ really well and I do not act fighty)

But for me, a guy who is all service and obedience from the start makes me feel like I’ve been asked to scale a sheer wall of glass. When I met Strong, he was emphatically not in a submissive position. The chemistry grew up around his desire just for me and we created something that was unique to us.

And yet there’s the gulf that often comes up between expectation of how a sub should act and  what the dom wants. In his case, I think he choked, and got too focused on being the perfect boyfriend. We always had a problem that way, for example I would provide a rule I wanted to put into place and he would take it and run with it and turn it into something his. Which makes it not about me, but about doing things his way.

On the other hand some of this is normal. I may have been too demanding and distance is bloody hard. And I really need to feel like I have the person’s full attention when I want it, which may be pretty hard to pull off all the time.

Regardless, he was, in many ways, extremely good for me and I don’t regret that he was part of my life. He came in as a friend, and I hope we’ll stay that way after we’ve had a chance to lick our respective wounds.

State of the Dis-Union

destr_torsion_padlock1I took care of some tax paperwork that needed doing, and followed up with the Ex so he knew that as far as cofiling for 2012, the ball’s in his court again. Next month I’m turning 27. Perhaps for that reason I’m filled with a particular impatience, as if nothing is coming at the speed it should.

And yet, I took a pretty big leap in January, to correct something that was demonstrably not a large sign of maturity in my life up until that point. I broke off an almost six year relationship, expecting to abandon everything that didn’t fit into a taxi.  With my Ex, I’ve been particularly careful talking about it- his privacy deserves respect and nothing is worse than tirades about a person who cannot defend themselves.

Breaking up didn’t make me a happier person per-say, because I’ve always been particularly good at living inside my head, and from that point, manufacturing my own contentment. I think, to apply a lesson from that situation, the problem was not basic sexual incompatibility, because I was quite capable of finding him attractive.  It wasn’t ideological issues, though we didn’t see eye-to-eye on a lot of stuff, because I again, tend to have that space in my head that generally lets people I’m close to be people. It was a fundamental lack of respect that was eventually starting to go both ways that was making it bad for both of us.

Again, I think I’m on pretty dubious grounds as far as telling the whole wide web, though I’ve also talked intimately of my sexuality in other posts so… I’ll try to stick to talking about me and not him.

A lot of people seem to think that being a D-type makes you magically able to pilot relationships  to the point that a few lonely-and-delusional sub types will chime in about how you just need to put glue in the lock of the chastity cage and everything will come up roses, and yet I think this sort of problem is something that could happen to anyone, kinky or not.

Things I took into the relationship, that were pretty important, is being a survivor of child abuse, and being part of the addict-and-enabler song and dance. A lot of people have gone through what I did (there’s no apparent correlation between being kinky and childhood abuse survival) and it grinds a pattern into you that is so familiar and reliable that I can meet someone from the same weird world and just about close my eyes and run my fingers, blind, through the maze they’ve got embossed on their psyche. What does that have to do with my Ex? Learned helplessness is a bitch.

In the oddest way, kink did kill our relationship. Not basic sexual incompatibility  but some older person on fetlife advising me that as I aged I would understand all those “[Sigh!]… whatever!” things women are supposed to give in response to their male partners. I find the idea horrifying. And, one of the prices of staying with the ex would have been fundamental acceptance that I would never be listened to, in any particular capacity- I’d rather be a crazy cat lady than resigned.

But independence is pretty amazing. I like having my own apartment. It needs work, but even the relative lack of resources that came as a trade off of not being in a shared household… does not seriously impact my quality of life. I have noticed that I am being treated like I am more attractive, which generally tends to go with being on the lighter end of my weight fluctuations and is a definite thing. People are shallow. Then again, I’m not living as much inside my head as it was, so that’s a positive trade off.

I engage in lots of little projects, as is my habit. Honestly, it keeps me occupied. Each month brings some small improvement. Not bad for someone who was sleeping on a pile of laundry mid January! This week’s extravagance will hopefully be updating my bedding, at least to get a nice duvet cover that doesn’t have the general texture of sandpaper.

And on the flip side, I’m enjoying the challenges of my job. Hilariously, my boss wants me to temper my “direct” communication style, which means code switching to utterly fake corporate cheerleader in all external emails. This is not challenging for me, but if I actually believes in True Dominance (TM) I’d claim it was my nature shining through.

Instead, insincere exclamation points.

This is generic stock art. No idea where it started out.

Me and My Webcam

Something…something…performative space… something… self objectification?

So I have been livestreaming daily life activities. Mundane stuff like me doing the dishes or yack-yack-yacking to people about safe anal sex.  Despite my reticence to put up static images, I actually enjoy interacting in this way.

It’s not precisely exhibitionism  because even though I’m under a barrage of sexual attention, it’s stimulating the upstairs not the downstairs, if you get my drift. It’s also rather interesting because I feel like I’m nudging up against the thorny issue of asking for attention.

I want positive attention. I mean, seriously, I wouldn’t be blogging and writing and talking to people if I didn’t adore hearing “Pearl, you’re the coooo0ooolest!” This isn’t even just a gender thing. Sure what I do is gendered, but guys who get attention deal with odd stuff too. But asking for attention has a certain degree of… I don’t know, social hazard?

Celebrity, even wimpy 10 person celebrity, is fun. I get a similar degree of fun being the person who organizes munches. As a nerd, I tend to be the GM in rpgs, or I admit a certain perverse desire to play characters that are different. Not different as in Mary Sue-esque “Oh my family was murdered!!!”  but characters with a reason to interact with people. Often i try to create underpowered character or other people’s villains.

Thing about getting attention is that it’s kinda like the double standard around beauty. You’re not supposed to put exceptional effort to get there because it’s supposed to be an anointed blessing from the gods. On the other hand it is supposed to be a good thing to be attractive, but being able to say “actually I’m kinda hot!” is a social faux pas.

You’re allowed to acknowledge your own cleverness. People polled generally see themselves as being slightly more intelligent than average, regardless of where they land on an IQ spectrum, as well as being a bit nicer than average. But if you say you’re more attractive than average… ouch! Prepare for a world of hurt. People are just as quick to assign people 4/10, would not bang scores as the are to croon at people calling themselves unattractive that they’re the contrary.

My hotness, incidentally seems to be one part context and one part related to the vagaries of how bloated I am and what my adult acne is doing. I can effect it in small part by what I wear and the application of makeup combined with the removal of eyebrows, but other than that…

Mostly I’m trading on nubile-ness, ultra pale skin and personality. Camming seems to have a positive effect on my perception of my looks even if I’m deeply distrusting about the actual nature of what people are perceiving. When I had an OKcupid account I got filed in the top 25%, but I still can’t trust it- I was generally considered “not hot” in other circles.

But give me a room to work and I start feeling more attractive. So there’s a definite push-pull going on there. There’s also a control issue. Which I will try to expand on.

Helen Mirren, of all people, talked about it pretty well

“I’m still trying to wriggle out from under that label. […] Being a sexual object is mortifying and irritating, yet it’s giving you power–an awful power that you’ve done nothing to deserve, a powerless power. I think some young women fall in love with that power, and it’s really objectifying.”

What she’s talking about is how when you put yourself out there to be desired, you’re simultaneously suffused with the ability to draw people in, but it encourages possessiveness on the part of the beholder. I don’t just mean the guys who project submission fantasies onto me, it’s that the attention other people give you is never really in your control.

My approach to camming generally comes with the caveats that I want to be able to limit it. It’s exhibitionism without vulnerability. But even beyond the persistent guy asking me to look at his penis… (and there’s always one without a fetish context) there’s the issue of always watching the crowd as much as they watch you.  As soon as you make yourself visible you need to be more conscious. On the other hand… I over thinka and…