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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Another rape post

I live in a country where child abuse was rife, alive and well in a church that had enormous social control, and which was protected by the Vatican. Police turned a blind eye. Church officials turned a blind eye and moved the abusers to new parishes, fresh pastures of innocents. Parents met accusations of abuse with physical violence. We're terrified our children might get abducted; stranger danger! but the horrible truth is, with this legacy of abuse, children are far, far more likely to be abused in their homes, by family members or friends, than by any dangerous stranger with a car and a bag of sweets. Statistically.

I also live in a country where marital rape didn't exists as a crime until 1990. Nineteen ninety. My friend who is now in her eighties told me a story of being in hospital after the birth of her first child, and hearing the woman in the next bed being visited by her husband - for a conjugal visit. He came into maternity hospital days after she'd had a baby, to fuck her. Ever had a baby? Can you imagine?

I think Stoya's terrible revelation on twitter last night, that James Deen raped her while they were still together, is profoundly unsettling. It calls into question everything I believed about kink. I've never been naive enough to think that there aren't abusers out there calling themselves dominant. It's all too clear. But James Deen stood for something, and was this daddy-figure for all sorts of adoring teenage girls who think they want what he's offering.

And, shit... what's he really offering, if he can rape a woman he loves, a beautiful, intelligent, articulate, important woman like this... one slip of the facade, one decision to let go the responsibility for your sadism that must be so tightly reigned in...

 I have sympathy for people who feel these urges, not just the urge to play, but the real, vicious need to delight in pain you cause others, reagardless of their wants and needs. But we can't validate it if you're going to let go control and fuck it all up for everyone. Especially when your whole career and brand depends on presenting it as safe, sane, consentual. The mask slips and ... it's all called into question. Our support of kink; of porn, too. Much as I want to watch that stuff, no way do I want to get off on it if it's real.

It's a fine line, yes, and maybe an unfair one. But still, it's the one you have to tread if you want to be respected. And so many people do, right? It's hard, but they do it? Because they're good human beings who are horrified at the idea of putting their own base desires above their partners' physical and emotional safety. A safeword should be an instant cause for alarm, concern, de-bonification. It shouldn't be a turn on to override it. Because if it is, you're not kinky, you're just criminal. You're just a shit person who indulges their sadism at the expense of others without a care.

I think every learning Dom will make mistakes. People talk about how hard it is to be submissive, but I'm not sure. Personally, as someone with fuck all control over any aspect of her life or self, the level of control and organisation it takes to be a real dom amazes me - I can't imagine it. So... I wouldn't do it. But there's mistakes, and there's rape. There's a huge, yawning gulf between the two.

There will always be much 'let him defend himself/did you report it then?, innocent til proven' etc. etc. bleating in these cases. Certainly, false accusations can be life ruining. It's the playground of the mysoginist though, to decide to dismiss a rape claim because it can't be proven. I feel genuinely afraid of what's to come for Stoya, and absolutely understanding of why she hasn't come out with this before now. And I understand absolutely why people (everyday people, let alone porn stars who like rough sex) are reluctant to go to the police. Because it's a gauntlet of cruelty and misery they may face when they do. BDSM and misunderstanding of it cloud your right to protest against rape. There ain't that much understanding of the difference out there. And there's a whole heap of victim blaming bullshit - not to mention that post listing endless names of police officers convicted of rape in the US - the people you're reporting to are the abusers too. It's terrifying.

It may suck, but to me, the vulnerability of a rape or child abuse victim is far more fragile than the vulnerability of a man wrongly accused of rape. Foremost, because that's actually so rare. I'm appalled at the idea of false accusations, but I think the people who rant about them are blind to the misery of what it takes to accuse. They have no idea. And they also have a vision of women (and often children) as malign and manipulative in a way that harks back to fairy tales of old. They want wicked witch queens, it's easier than facing what our world is.

But tough... there's a hell of a lot more rape out there daily than there are false accusations. We desperately need to frame a different response. And how should Doms respond? The ones who get turned on by rape scenes, by tears... I'm not sure, because I feel the ground shaking too. I agree with Stu, that James Deen needs to man up, admit, accept consequences, and above all, apologise unreservedly, if he wants to make this right. He's being very silent on the matter - I assume he's lawyering up, I dunno.

I do feel naive and disillusioned, as a supporter of good porn, and kink, as someone with alternative sex-wiring... it does make you wonder if all the positivity is real, is possible. Whether the whole leather tower will come crashing down in an explosion of human foibles at some point. We're weak and imperfect. We fuck up. And we're all so vulnerable.

Communication is key. After-talk. Humility. A stripping away of barriers and borders and self-protection. Be honest, be ready to listen, be keen to fix. With this, mistakes don't become dire things that hurt the people you love forever. They are containable, and enable change and development. This is the only way to frame it for yourself, I think, if you are a Dom who's feeling doubts about the validity you've built around your needs. At the end of the day, if you're reacting to this news with alarm, with disquiet, with disappointment, you're doing ok.



Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Speaking of rage...

So I have an elementary student from a foreign clime who asked me about treatment for thrush, saying she felt too ashamed to go to the doctor. I told her she didn't have to, and how to fix it, and that it wasn't neecssarily an STD, and said there was no need to feel ashamed at all. 

She told me the shame was from sexual abuse earlier in her life and mentioned it in one other context too. 

She's depressive, and is missing swimming and surfing like she does at home, which is her outlet and mental health guard. Her other teacher invited her to go away for the weekend surfing, an she was really delighted - a chance to have fun and get back to her passion that keeps her grounded. 

Instead, she messaged me on Sunday to say that she got drunk on Saturday night when she shouldn't drink as it doesn't agree with her. And that she woke up naked next to her class mate that she's been being friends with, who's Brazilian about hugs but who she's not interested in romantically. She was horrified and ashamed and put her clothes on and ran away. She WhatsApped him to check that he'd used a condom (she couldn't remember anything at all, but could tell she'd had sex), he said he had, but she couldn't be sure. 

Even though she's blaming herself for drinking when she's not used to it, she was able to tell me that she'd explained to him that she didn't sleep with men because of her past experience. Which seems pretty clear cut to me. Yet when she was so drunk she'd blacked out, he took her to bed and had sex with her. 

I know it's complex, she doesn't know what she said or did or agreed to. But the fact remains that whatever it looked like, she was in no state to go back on her initial statement that she wouldn't have sex with him, because she doesn't sleep with men. She's 26, it's been 12 years since her original abuse happened, whatever it may have consisted of - but that means she was 14 then, and she's probably never had a consentual adult sexual relationship with a man ... but he took it upon himself to decide that he was that guy. While she was black out drunk. 

So her beautiful gift of a weekend away gets turned into a re-experiencing of her earlier trauma, and she gets to try and process the fact that she's been raped, again, while so very far from home and having nowhere near enough English to talk to anyone about it. 

I've found her a nice counsellor with 'some' Portuguese, I've brought her to get the morning after pill, just in case, and sent her home alone to deal with the ensuing sickness. I've had the guy moved to another class so she doesn't have to sit there looking at him. And I feel frustrated and impotent and full of rage. 

If I had a superpower, it would honestly be to extract all her feelings of shame and panic and violation and dump them right on him. All the memories of what happened when she was a girl, all the guilt and regret and nausea and humiliation from the weekend and the way it must feel reawakened all over again - and the way her time away studying English has been soured and made into something traumatic and difficult and awkward and full of grief and fear. I would take all that, and fuck it, her depression and family difficulty too, and I would drop it on him from a height, and let him feel it instead of her. 

And then maybe he'd get some perspective about what exactly having a fuck at someone else's great expense is worth. And maybe he'd listen harder next time, to the girl who's told him something that should have been respected, instead of listening to his cock. 

I get that we through rationale out the window when we're horny and drunk. We throw caution to the wind and we think fuck it, and we do things like cheat, or fuck strangers, we do things we know we'll regret. 

But we shouldn't do things we know the other person will regret. If someone tells you they don't want to sleep with you and gives you a very good reason, you don't bulldoze over that just because they're drunk and they've stopped saying no. Even if you want to have sex with them. Even if it looks like they want to have sex with you. This guy, he's not 16. He's a grown man, with a small daughter. And right now, I'd love him to understand, in technicolour pain, what he's done.


Monday, October 26, 2015

Beards and funny

I have yet to kick my tube porn habit, despite Stoya's eloquent laying out of the obvious problems with them. I'll confess this as penance at the start of this little story because it comes from something I saw thereon. I suppose I shouldn't post it and encourage anyone with similar habits.

Here's a pic of the Mr Pretty instead


Jordan Levine

The other day I watched a vid of two gay guys having quite a sweet, kissy time with each other. I've been rekindling my Logan McCree-inspired love of gay porn stars of late - beards and cool haircuts and tattoos and smooth tastiness. I hope gay guys don't mind being fancied from afar by women approaching middle age. Do you think they do?

Anyhow, at the end of the vid, the guys are being asked post-scene questions. He's lying there comfortably, basking in post orgasmic calm with his own spunk still on his rippling belly, and his partner's asked what he likes about him - he says his tats, and his beard (yes indeed, me too) and Jordan smiles and says sheepishly, 'It grew back' and goes on to tell a story about the same director asking him to shorten it for the last scene he did. He says his scene partner wanted to trim it for him, 'but he had the clip down too low, and buzzed it all off... so I rage-fucked him.' And all three of them crack up laughing, and his white teeth are all shiny and perfect. I wish I had a little clip, It sounds alarming out of context, but it's just really funny. And his voice is so deep and cute. It had me laughing out loud. 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Cosmo

@seblogofsorts lippy competition - what an evocative and powerful word this is, conjuring up memories of formative years. The only contact I've had with the famed magazine in decades is reading irate or hilarious posts and complaints on its dangerous anti-feminist messages and terrible, horrible sex education. There was a time, though...



 When I was a girl, it was not quite the nineties. I started secondary school in 88, and finished in 94 (after a repeat year where I met my husband had more sex than I'd ever had before - or since, incidentally). It seems like such a short stretch of time. How did I fit all those growing up experiences into 88-94?

Back at the start of that period, things were different. American Pie hadn't come out yet, there was no tantalising Magical Book of How to Get Girls Off and the boys I knew at 15 didn't know what clitorises were. Boyfriend: where do you liked to be touched? Me: er, here? Him: that's a funny place!
Unpleasant, arrogant other 15 year old to me and best friend: do you frig yourself? Me: (inner sigh, debates round of anatomical education for group pf boys in garden at party: ...Yes. Best friend, uncomfortable: No. Me: inner sigh again.

But it was different for girls. Long before I'd ever had a cock in my mouth, I'd read up on Best Blow Job Techniques for Girls in the form of Cynthia Heimel's Sex Tips for Girls and the ubiquitous Cosmo. While the idea might have still made me uncomfortable, I had studied, oh yes. No one knew how to make me come, but once I'd got used to touching penises (which was scary at first - strangely, my 13 year old best frenemy had no issue touching them, but wouldn't let anyone finger her, while I was all good with that but was scared of releasing the trouser snake. I don't know why. Performance anxiety brought on by reading too many sex tips? Who knows.)

It's a further inequality between the sexes that I think has largely changed (no small thanks to American Pie, perhaps,  and as far as I know, Men's mags like FHM etc, are thronging with articles on the Secrets of the Clit (though now women are irate about men's 'I'll sort you out, little lady' attitudes towards their own prowess. It is, I know, hard to win).

Fifteen... we've talked a lot about teenagers' sexual agency and how age laws in erotica do them such a disservice, essentially cancelling out young people's experiences and desire at a time when their engines run ten times hotter than yours, or yours, or yours. Do you remember? The burning, flaming, distracting desire? We could power the world on teenage horniness, if we harnessed it instead of suppressing it and jeering at it.

I had fumbling, secure, utterly non-orgasmic sex with a very beautiful, hazel eyed, read headed boy when I was 15. He had a gorgeous cock, too, larger than anyone else's I've seen, the first time I knew that quintessential velvet-hardness, in my hands, on my tongue. He was the first person I went down on too, and I loved oral sex, embraced it,  was pathetically grateful for it. He boasted about it to friends in the supermarket one day and everyone wondered 'Did She Really??' which was odd, as weren't we all at that stage? Not quite. But I'd grown out of squeamishness by then, and god, oh yes, I did.

One day I wandered under the duvet, traced my tongue over his soft, white, boy's belly, impossible distances of smoothness, before finding his curling red hair (we all had pubes then, and we didn't worry about them - it was great) and happy, heavy cock, waiting for me. I don't know what happened that day, but there was some sort of magic coming-together of skill and experimentation. I slid him into my mouth and sucked and stroked and moved up and down on him, in that cave of warmth and skin on skin; it was the first time we'd taken all our clothes off. I was lost in no-time, dark and the smell of him and the feeling of him in my mouth - his hardness and my concentration - the work. And the freedom of our tentative nakedness. It was beautiful.

I didn't have TMJ problems then, but my jaw finally tired and I birthed myself back out of the duvet and into the light to find him lying, light headed, stunned, dizzy with arousal and surprise at the heights of sensation he'd reached. I asked him if it was good, and he said,
'Good?? Didn't you hear my breathing? And I didn't even come!'

I didn't used to be down with face fucking. I thought it was unfeminist. I thought blow jobs were all about being in control, back then. And, sometimes they are. Beautifully so. The power and pleasure of being able to make someone writhe and their breath rasp in astonished ecstasy is a deep and special one. I was proud of myself. I loved his cock. The study had paid off. I gave good head.


Monday, July 20, 2015

random words

Often as I'm drifting off to sleep, my head writes things. Sometimes they're coherent and I like the language, so I struggle out of my comfy half sleep and write them down.

I just one I filed away the other week. I do remember writing it, but I have no idea what the larger idea was, or what earthly use it will ever be to me.

So I'll just stick it here as written.

This is why I don't write long form work...

I lay in my little bed in the cottage and listened to the arythmic bump and scrape and shuffle of the boat bobbing against the dock. Gradually the impact grew more rhythmic, and when it was accompanied by a soft groan I realised it had been assimilated into the sound of my sister having sex in the room next door.
I listened dispassionately. Really, I thought, I’m too young to be exposed to this sort of thing.
That wasn’t actually true. I was of an age to start finding out. My friend Cally had recently thrown herself into sex with an exuberant energy, her enthusiasm and willingness to learn making up for her inexperience. She shared her newfound knowledge with me in whispered snatches and I reacted appropriately, smiled and filed it away in some later to be opened box in my mind.

I couldn’t imagine being bothered. Not with Cally’s smoke and cider scented Darren or the grimy construction workers who filed into the pub on Thursday and Friday evenings, cement dust greying the rough lines on their fingers.

Who might this ingenue teen find to explore her desire with? A billionaire dom? A vampire? Some class of lesbian? I've a horrible feeling it might have been her sister's boyfriend, now that I think about it, but I can't remember why. Hmm. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

An Open Letter To George Hook

Dear George Hook,
So in this article, you seem to be saying you didn't say what Nuala Nic Dhomhnaill thought you said about implied consent in a relationship. Instead ... this is what you meant... 

So now you are sharing a bed with someone and obviously a sexual congress takes place on a regular basis, because you're living with somebody. Now is there not an implied consent therefore that you consent to sexual congress?" he asked.


Yeah, the difference isn't very clear to me. But why is it so hard to fathom the idea of consent? Why would being in a relationship imply consent at all times? Didn't we make marital rape a crime (finally, in 1991 - seems that before that they thought it might get in the way of 'reconcilliation')? Not that it's made much difference, as we've still got shit like the case you've been pontificating on, or this one that popped up when I went to search for the criminalisation date, because I couldn't *imagine* it could have been as late as 1991.
You're not alone in this either, George. Possibly because men of your age and attitude are still the influential voice of the coutnry. 
But back to the complexity of the issue, George... if you're in a relationship, consent is implied, eh? What if they're having a poo, George, is consent implied then? Or if they're sick with a fever, or they've just hit their head. Or maybe if their parent's died, and they're too sad to say no clearly... would implied consent still work then, because you're living with them?
What if you're living with them but you're not actually in a relationship but you had sex once before? Is consent implied then, if you never officially withdrew it?
Yes, George. You need consent Every Single Time. And you don't fuck anyone when they're asleep unless they've specifically asked you to and you've agreed the terms. It's scary to me that people have trouble with that idea. Have a wee look at this handy cartoon if you're still confused. Please.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Handsy

When it comes to kink, I know exactly which side of the sub/dom line my inclinations fall. Control is something I'm lacking, not that I revel in. Tie me up. Tell me what to do. Take that cake away from me.

But... but... what does appeal about switching, I realise, is the opportunity for access. To have an open invitation to touch. Call it neediness, call it a Taurean desire for tactile contact, call it dyspraxic impropriety, explain it however you will, but oh, to be able to hold your hand, to squeeze your butt, to slide my hand between your legs whenever I want. To run my fingers through your hair, stroke your cheek, put my mouth on you, put my tongue in your ear, slap you, pinch you, penetrate you, knead you, need you... this is the appeal. Oo, gimme.

Yes. I would love an open invitation to be grabby. To own you. Not 24/7, but just to be able to revel in you, and not sit on my hands all the time, wondering if it's ok to touch. To stop worrying about sensibilities and boundaries and propriety and whether or not my affection or my desire will upset or intrude or discomfit.

The more I think about it, I realise how intensely personal this post is. I was going to make it writery, but I'm not sure I can. There are too many things bound up in it - too much stymied need that Freud would have a field day with it (yes, I just need to suck something, ok?). Perhaps it has to do with lack of love in childhood, or the experience of growing up less than attractive, feeling like the consolation prize. Fat girls are so grateful for the crumbs of attention you throw their way, isn't that how it goes? And then choosing a life partner who wasn't that into physical contact or PDAs...

And anyway, while I may not be great at self control and routine, I do revel in being bossy. So god, yes, strip and get face down on that bed, please, and grant me a pass, open up, let me play.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Thoughts on beards and...

A silly thing crossed my mind this morning.

So, beards are good, right?* We like beards. While a stubborn few cling to the idea that to be clean shaven is to be neater and more formal, more socially acceptable, the hipster men of our present generation (not to mention all those adventurous non-hipster masses who came before) have reclaimed The Beard that is their birthright, and have embraced the joy of being fancy once more. And most of the women of the world share in their hirsute delight.

There's a thing, though, that I just thought of. Would you agree, that there's a particular stubborn pungency to the smell of cunt juice that clings to one's fingers as it dries? It's tenacious; not unpleasant, but strongly lingering. If not washed off straight away, it tends to hang around through the day, subtle, yet evident.



Perhaps you see where I'm going with this? One of the things we beard-appreciating ladies appreciate is the added sensation of stubble or hair on our tenderest parts when our men go down on us. Yes? That extra tactility (it's a word, I just checked) of a hundred wiry hairs biting just a little into our sensitive, pinkest skin. It's a delicious cruelty that makes us writhe against your face that little bit more.

But oh! How hard the aroma of us must cling to those face-forests thereafter! And how tantalising, disturbing, alarmingly evocative it must be to walk around with a constant reminder of the services you performed earlier wafting into your nose, embued as your beard is with tiny beads of love-cream. It must be difficult to get anything done.

There's something wonderfully animal about it all. N'est-pas?

I'm sorry, I couldn't resist. 


*I am choosing to ignore that disturbing article doing the rounds about the dubious bacterial load that beards carry, but would implore all beard wearers to wash their hands carefully as often as necessary. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Matthew 7:3-5

I'm a horrible reader. I need to find my inner Zen when it comes to reading things.
I trip over one word that wrankles for some reason, and I'm out of the game, it's like I'm wearing a hair shirt, metaphorically, writhing around in discomfort, my brain firing out alternatives and reasons why the word's wrong. And often it's a word that everyone is using - but I can't enjoy the writing anymore. Typos, word misuse, personal pet peeve words... ugh. I'm awful.

In the last few days, I've come across the phrase, 'I let out a whelp', which was meant to be meant as a yelping sound, but as far as I know only means a newborn pup. I know 'whelp' is an exclamation sometimes, but 'a whelp', no - so what I had was an image of a woman tied to a bed in the middle of a gang bang giving birth to a puppy spontaneously, and that was it, it was all over for me.

I have similar reactions to to commonly used words. One is 'want' in place of 'desire' - when did that start happening? You're overcome with want? Want is a noun now? I thought it meant a lack, as in 'for want of a nail, the shoe was lost'. Now it suddenly means desire. And every time I see it I get shaken out of the story and think, grr! Same for 'hit'. For me, hit is a verb, and as a noun it means a chart topper. But it's used in place of smack, or stroke, or blow now, thirty hits to my butt... nooo, please no. It sounds so clumsy.

Anyway, yes, see how my train of thought works, in the middle of nice stories? And the worse thing is, I am also tormented by my own petty pernicketiness. It's not fun to feel like this. It's not fun to jolt over extraneous apostrophes as if they were tripwires. It's pants. And I don't know what to do about it. How do I put down the red pen? 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

fat jokes

I have this very attractive colleague, he's 42, if I remember correctly, he mountain bikes competitively and is in great shape. He's very funny, good at being overly familiar in a nice way, very kind, full of teasing. He brightens the day, really, I appreciate his presence.

Yesterday, though, I think he horrified himself by saying something out loud I suspect he meant to say in his head.

I was lamenting the lack of a blind in my classroom, as no one can see the board. There were just himself and another young colleague in our tiny staffroom after work. I wondered if there was anything I could bring in to hang in the window that would do to block the shine, as I don't think a blind will be particularly forthcoming.

He instantly piped up, 'A pair of your knickers?'

Now, generally in my workplace, which is female-dominated, we don't do fat jokes. Generally, here, it's impossible to lament your fatness, even as an obese person, because someone rushes in to tell you you're fine. Actually, I'm not sure that goes for me any more, as I've clearly crossed the line at this stage, but still. There tends to be an elephant in the room during these conversation, still, these days, and yes, that elephant is me.

So... though Dan's joke was gasp-worthy, slightly shocking, funny in its utter meanie rudeness (you're not supposed to mention the gigantic nature of my ass!) it was also refreshing, and a little comforting in its honesty and chilled outedness. I really don't think he meant to say it, but I'm glad he did. And I also kicked him, as really, if manners maketh the man, telling a lady she has a huge arse get you kicked in your own one.  

weirdness

I am so very white-skinned that my boobs are kinda see-through in bright sunshine.

I'm trying not to be grossed out by that. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I usually avoid these things like the plague, because I am truly, deeply boring. And this is a disappointment to the nominator and all the poor people who might read, expecting scintillation. But I like little random questions. So feck it. 
The award comes with rules, so if you are nominated, you are required to do the following:
 *Usually I take delight in ignoring the rules, cos fuck you, I won't do what the internet tells me, but here they are. I might not provide eleven facts.

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
  2. Answer the questions provided by the person who nominated you.
  3. Provide eleven random facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 5-11 blogs that you feel deserve the award and have less than one thousand followers.
  5. Create a new list of questions for the bloggers to answer.

Here are Abi Rode's questions: 

Bacon or sausages? You can only have one…
Well, as a vegetarian, I want neither, but if we're talking protein substitutes, I'll go for some Fakin' over the ubiquitous veggie sausage. Why do they try to recreate gristle? That's why I gave up meat in the first place... 
When a plane lands is it ever acceptable to clap?
Eh, yeah? If there's Weather, and the pilot lands smoothly, or with difficulty, maybe?
What do you crave when you’re hungover?
Grease. Horribly, sometimes McDonalds, but not really. Fried food, though.
What is the sexiest accent for you?
Sexiest? Hard to say. Scottish, maybe, I love hearing Douglas Henshall saying 'Darlin''. I'm also quite fond of posh English accents, though they amuse me too. Oh, and once a Czech IT guy helped get my computer back online, he was in my computer, and was telling me to do allsorts, I might have turned clockwise three times waving a rowan branch over my head for all I knew what was going on. Suddenly  I was connected again, and I said, 'Oh, it's back! Did that just happen or did you do that?' and he replied, 'Ve did it togezzer' in an extremely sexy, deadpan voice, it was like IT phone sex. So I've a soft spot for Eastern European accents too. 
Where have you been, that would surprise me that you have no interest in returning to? And why? (i.e. somewhere that’s universally thought of as great)
I'm not sure I've been enough places. Armagh, but I don't think anyone really thinks that's great. I hope they don't. God. No, I'd go back everywhere I've been, but I would go other places before I'd go back to Paris, I have to confess. 

 If I made you a cup of tea/cup of coffee/sandwich and it wasn’t to your liking, would you tell me?
Ah, such an Irish thing. As I'd an American mother, my filter isn't great, I probably would. I tell everyone everything. 
If someone had some food on their face, something in their teeth, would you tell them?
See above.
Do you have any strong feelings about your name, first or surname – or if you’re a girl, giving it up?
I did give mine up. This name's a pen name, and as such, fanciful and indulgent. I'm obsessive about my first name because everyone gets the full version wrong, and misspells the short version. SIGH. This bothers me. I bristle. I was happy to give away my father's name, as after all, it's only his abusive father's name as handed down to him. The chance to become someone else appealed to me. And I think I'm more comfortable with my married name, though I don't quite feel I deserve to lay claim to it, somehow
Do you leave voicemails, or just hang up and send a text?
Heh, usually the latter, because I hate listening to voicemails and I don't want to inflict them on anyone else, and I don't trust that they listen to them either. 
What is an unacceptable item of clothing that would have you struggling to forgive?
Eh... in what sense? Like, fur? Or some fashion crime? Fur would be a hard one, and in the latter sense, em... I dunno. Shiny tracksuit? Those uni-ball sack swim suits? Jumpsuits and play suits are deeply dubious, imho.
If you left your country for a year what would be the thing that you would miss the most (we’re assuming you’d miss your family, partner, friends and pets)
Irish humour. Soft rain. Once upon a time, Guinness would have been up there. 


11 Random facts
Ugh, I don't want to do random facts. I struggle not to just put myself down. Erm... that's one. 
I can't turn off my inner proof reader any more, and just read blithely. Misplaced apostrophes scream at me in neon. It wrecks my day every day. I wish I could stop. 
I'm starting to grow white hair now. It's coming.
 I'm 39 this month. 
I have studied philosophy, but I've forgotten what little I managed to understand of it at this stage. 
I think Bagheera was the first fictional character I was ever in love with. 
I've suffered from Trichotillomania for twenty years. It's shit. 
I wish there had been local swimming pools and swim teams when I was in school, because then I could have been good at a sport. 
I think I'm dyspraxic. (It's also shit).
I bake exceedingly good cakes. It's all in the butter and vanilla.

 Questions
  1. Favourite tv programme du jour? The one you'd stay in bed with toast for 48 hours for. 
  2. Item of clothing that makes you feel sexiest/most confident/most like yourself or all of the above. Em, beside. Whatever. 
  3. What can you forgive easily? 
  4. Pet peeve (apart from that phrase)?
  5. Tell me a beautiful place you've been that stays with you. 
  6. Have you got an internet friendship that you think will endure? Have you met IRL? 
  7. What's your speciality? 
  8. What's the worst thing your parents have bequeathed to you? And the best? 
  9. If you could choose one talent to excel at, what would it be? 
  10. Tell us a horribly embarrassing experience you've had. Go on. 
NOMinations.
Ms Rayne, off you go. 
Exhibit A, plz. 
F.Leonora Solomon
Ms Elyot
Jeannette Gray. 


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

to the blog, Batgirl. Kinksters, psychopaths and feminism.

I've just nearly left a comment on various posts/articles today, but maybe in the long run we should all be having our say on this one. I'm completely open to discussion on this because I no longer seem to have the ability to order the thoughts I have as instinctive gut reactions when I read something into a coherent and cohesive response. So maybe this makes no sense at all.

I've been following the Dwyer O Hara murder case, as any Irish person has been, but I look at the photos of Elaine O Hara and I see someone who could be me. I know her body type and her lack of self worth and her depression and her longing for love and a Sir, but thankfully not her institutionalisations or the conviction of her suicidal urges. I've no urge to flirt with someone who wants to stab me to death, or stab me at all, thank fuck. Knife play... it's not for me. I'm grateful. I'm not that strong. But if I were into it, I would hope that it wouldn't be driven by a death urge or an inability to see what the person I was playing with was. A murderous shit in wolf's clothing, in this case.

My heart goes out to that poor, tortured woman, and the fact that the only person she could find to give her attention was a twisted sociopathic fucker who saw her as nothing more than a means to his own homicidal gratification.

No, this is not what BDSM is. Kink is not about wanting to kill women, or anyone. It's not about wanting to be killed. But people are allowed play with the metaphors. And that means they should keep their eyes open about why.

Emer O'Toole wrote a piece today suggesting that in the midst of kink positivity, we do still have a responsibility to look at the cultural morées that our play has grown out of. It's no longer de rigeur to dismiss BDSM as misogynist. Men like submission too! And yes. Choice and consent count for a lot. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't look at where this urge to be on your knees, or have someone kneel before you comes from. Especially if you think 50 Shades represents what BDSM is.

To be honest, my personal impulse is to analyse the emotional, psychological why of the impulse over the cultural and historical one. I'm a little more interested in what's in my head and how it was shaped by my own experiences and relationships and exposures than by the sociopolitical culture I live in. I don't think that means it's any less important, though. And I agree that the lines between those two things are extremely blurred - I'm the scared daughter of an unquestionably dominant, aggressive, verbally abusive Virgo father who I also have to recognise as a pretty misogynist person. There is nature, yes, but sometimes nurture waves a brightly painted flag too. And this is why I look at Elaine O Hara, and I can understand, and I can see her intense vulnerability with such searing night vision.

I've watched and read enough crap porn to recognise sexist tropes when I see them. 'My stable of women are just holes for my use' doesn't stop being sexist just because it turns us on. Sorry. Doesn't mean we shouldn't play with it; if it speaks to your erect and swollen bits, go for it, but don't pretend it's above a rigorous feminist inspection. To think otherwise would be a little incurious.

Ahem. Back to the sainted glory of BDSM. Accepting that BDSM isn't influenced by cultural power imbalance just doesn't make sense to me. I agree with others that BDSM practitioners are not psychopaths or murderers. I'm as ready to jump on stupid statements about why should we teach our children 50 Shades is good and Graham O Dwyer is evil as the next girl. Ok, 50 Shades is massively problematic, and that asshat commenter doesn't understand anything about why it doesn't represent BDSM etc., but he doesn't know that.

I think BDSM can be beautiful, brave and freeing. I don't think Emer O'Toole is unintelligent enough to suggest that Dwyer's impulses are BDSM gone awry, as GirlontheNet suggests in her angered response. I won't speak for Emer, but I don't think her assertion that we should ask why BDSM is becoming so popular is anti-kink. She seems to be asking questions about our culture that is so rife with violence against women, which sees women as expendable, is also so keen to roleplay on such a fine line. Half the lines that turn us on were once (and in all honesty, still are) spoken with utter seriousness by some asshole who subscribes to every patriarchal, sexist belief you've ever rejected. I don't think that means we should do away with whatever 'suck my cock, whore' line we've ever loved, but it does mean we should think about it.

 In this case, we have a columnist questioning her own fantasies about BDSM sex because a woman was manipulated and violently murdered. BDSM is not about this – it’s not. It’s about mutual, consensual exploration of fantasy with willing participants.

Now, I know Emer a little, and I think this is a massive reduction of her point about underlying sexism in our culture and and insult to her own sexual awareness. She's neither that headshy or that stupid. What she is is extremely aware of how insidious misogyny is. I'm looking for a quote to back me up, but there's too much. Just... read the article again, please. It's the ideology she wants to look at. The acceptance of, or influence of social conditioning behind the consent.

What’s more, to use this as a reason to question one’s own BDSM fantasies is to legitimise the excuses of the perpetrator. To say ‘hey well you know BDSM does make us do fucked up stuff’ is to utterly ignore the impact of context, consent, and all the other things that matter when you’re doing something like this.

Do you see Emer's article as doing this? I don't see her as demonising BDSM, but recognising that its action is influenced by a common normalising of violence against and subjugation of women. It seems oddly blind to assert that it does not contain those elements, however it deals with them. If you slap your sub in the face and then push her head back onto your cock again, where does that action come from and why does it turn you both on? Shouldn't we ... ask that? Does it mean that we can't enjoy it if we do? She's not ignoring context or consent. She's saying, do not be blind as to where this thing that turns you on originated. Why do you now claim it as your own ?

 I’m making this critique not as a kink-shamer, but as a challenge to myself: what are my reasons and justifications for inviting or accepting male sexual violence? And, at this point in history, when kink is becoming ubiquitous, I’m calling on all responsible, egalitarian kinksters to take a step back from personal desire and pleasure and ask similar questions.

 I don't think this paints her as a kinkster who's lost her nerve because of a nasty story. I think it paints her as the feminist academic she is who questions the providence of sexual customs in a problematic society. I certainly agree that asking questions and exploring our submissive and dominant impulses and what they're born out of is a good idea. I couldn't operate any other way, personally. You may want to mould your sub into all that they can be, in altruistic fashion, but if you're someone with an inborn need to hit another person, I don't think you should do so without a certain amount of introspection. There's nothing wrong with looking, or requesting that we look before we welcome the act with wholesale acceptance. Asking questions does not mean denying your kink, or suppressing it.

Tumblr is full of littles (who are genuinely still little) who want Daddies to discipline them. Of teenagers who find the idea of living in a 1940s relationship where the man has control of the woman as if he were her parent a massive turn on. Sexism is sexy! they were all clamouring, before I unfollowed because I couldn't take any more. Why is he turned on by that control? Why are these not-quite-yet women so seduced by the idea of having their every choice, from spending their own money to the colour of their underwear made for them? Shouldn't we ask? Listen, I would love to have someone spank me for not observing bedtime and being too tired to function well the next day. But I also try to be quite aware of my own struggles with self-discipline (as well as all the rest) and I'm not content to explain it all away with 'because it would turn me on'.

I certainly think that had he realised his phones and deleted  videos and records would be found, Dwyer would have pleaded a consentual sex game gone wrong. I'm sure he would have loved to have painted himself as the victim in some way. Instead, the evidence made painfully clear that he had about as much regard for O'Hara and her broken self as a meat eater tucking into a burger does for the animal it came from. In his arrogance, he thought his trail would stay hidden, so he pleaded not guilty. If he'd known, I think he would have argued all the way that theirs was a relationship of consent. Yes he's a shit, a sociopath, and manipulative, murderous abuser, without empathy for the woman he was tormenting so cruelly. Yes, most Doms want to treat their subs with infinite responsibility and care.

But then there are stories like this, by Cliff at the Pervocracy, who is pretty much a consent warden (as you can see from her extremely detailed breakdown of what's wrong with 50 Shades). This link details an assault she was subjected to within a scene, and why she didn't report it - much of the why says depressing things about the kink community. She later goes on to write a post about how her rapist was giving consent lectures, something that's deeply alarming.

In sanctifying kink, I fear we take our fingers off the button, for want of a better phrase. Our eye off the ball (for god's sake, help me). Yes, this man is a psycopath. Yes, Remittancegirl's point that there are far more psychopaths who've used religion as an excuse to kill than there are Doms Gone Mad is absolutely right. Sadism exists outside the beautiful bubble that is the mutual need and response of BDSM. But I don't think that means we shouldn't police and investigate ourselves and our desires.

No, sexual psychopaths' existence should not deny us our kink. No, you are not Graham O'Dwyer. Or Elaine O'Hara. But I bet you thought quite a lot between the burgeoning fantasy of slapping someone in the face and how it made you hard or wet, or being slapped in the face and how it made you hard or wet, and the act of slapping or being slapped for real. And if you didn't, do you not think maybe it would have been a good idea to do so?







Wednesday, February 4, 2015

challenges, stumbling blocks, call them what you will

Oh my god. I am trying to write/edit/finish something off. My husband has chosen today to borrow a petrol hedge strimmer from our neighbour and is right.outside.the.door using it on our monster hedge. It's very loud.

My school refusing daughter is upstairs on her computer, having had a screaming tantrum because I asked her to do some schoolowork. It's 1.04. It's time for her dad to bring her to school to collect more work.

The motor and the screaming tantrum are unsettling. They block the creative flow, readers, the discerning, decision making, critical faculty needed to pull a story together. I need that faculty, and I need five hundred odd more words that fit.

*Aughghgh!*