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As I have stated here in the past, I am a switch. This means many things to many people, but for me it means I can play both the traditional binary D/s or top/bottom roles, and enjoy them both. If anything, I tend to be more comfortable in the submissive role, and get a ton out of it, particularly with male dominants. And this, as I have discussed ad nauseam in this space, can be problematic in all kinds of ways.

It’s been a long time since I’ve found those desires problematic for myself in particular; I’m pretty well settled on the fact that being dominated by a (right) man in particular ways is one of the most loving and fulfilling ways I experience sex, and it doesn’t make me uncomfortable with my identity or doubt my power or agency as a woman. But I do notice this one annoying thing:

Where the hell is all the good porn at?

My longtime girlfriend and I were discussing the magnificant John Preston (RIP) the other night, as I had just recently finished I Once Had A Master (which I’d started years ago) and gone on to the gay leather classic, Mr. Benson. We were sharing our undying love for gay leather porn, how unapologetic it is, how raw, how rich in enthusiastic consent and unabashed, rough desire. Preston’s work paints a generation of gay life that literally no longer exists: the magnificent black knights of Folsom Street and Christopher Street, the Mine Shaft, the sex clubs that saw the wildest nights of an era passed by gruff men in boots and harnesses, worshipping and fisting and pissing on and fucking each other in acts of such profound intimacy and freedom that the earmarks of their slavery were worn as marks of pride. All of it wiped out, vaguely reflected today in a leather culture that is straighter, narrower, smaller.

And we realized together that the thing we both so love about this stuff is the ease of it all: the removal of the need to describe every negotiation in painstaking detail, the way the straightforward maleness of it all takes questions of patriarchy out of the power dynamics, the way two characters in this world can come together and be absolutely clear that they both want to be there, more than they want anything else in the world.

Which is not to say that Preston’s characters never experience self-doubt. Hell, the hottest and sweetest stories always involve someone feeling unsure, scared that they’ll scare the bottom away, or that they won’t be good enough, or any of a number of poignant human moments that make the encounters that much more real.

But rarely in gay leather porn do you find, say, an elaborately constructed fantasy in which the submissive must be captured, groomed, and “tamed” (read: raped) in order to become a “true slave.” Or stories in which a dominant man is the way he is because of his abuse history and must ultimately be “saved” by the submissive. Or in which the dominant likes beating up and treating submissives badly because he has some other axe to grind – or worse, because the author does.

My girlfriend points out that much writing about and for submissive women who like dominant men – Anne Rice’s extremely silly Beauty books come to mind – has built into it a component of nonconsent because women feel they need some excuse to surrender. And I get this, I do: it’s really hard to deliberately give over power to a man in a society that still demads that we do so in every other way, which simultaneously telling us that we must under no circumstances do that. When it comes to stroke fiction, it’s not surprising to me that many women need an “out” in order to safely explore their desires.

But my gods, is it exhausting. Also, to me at least, super not-hot. I would much rather read a negotiation, complete with nervousness and all the little things a dominant can do to make a negotiation hotter, than read a story in which the scene happens because of kidnapping, abuse, rape, or Stockholm syndrome.

Still more than that, though, I’d like to read a scene like some of the ones in Preston’s work, where two people see each other across the bar and then the dominant tests to see if the sub is what he wants that night. Those squeezes and looks, orders and countermands, the dance of seduction – it’s hot, and it’s a lost art, sacrificed to rape culture. And that fucking sucks.

If anyone knows of any male dom / female sub porn that actually makes this work in a way that is both pantsfeelings-inducing and clearly consensual, please send it my way. Until then, I’ll be in the bathtub with Mr. Benson.

Hello, everyone. Miss me?

It’s been…more than five years since my last confession – uh, post – and it’s been a crazy ride. I’m thrilled to see that people are still regularly visiting my blog: mostly to read about strap-on sex or see if I’m really a dominatrix offering services, which, shocker, I’m still not (anymore). But it’s nice to know that my writing is still getting around, a bit.

I decided I needed to re-open this space, as it were, because I need a place to write about kinky sex again where my Aunt Gladys can’t see it. Things have changed an awful lot in the last five years: the discourse is completely shifted, the blogosphere is all-but dead, an orange monstrousity is president, and the space for talking about these things seems to exist in a different plane than before. Not to mention that I’ve gone through some searing life changes, relationship shifts, and other things that might make a kinky lady like me bank the coals for a few years. But recently, I’ve had a bit of a reawakening.

Nonetheless, as someone who writes more publicly, works in social media, and now has extended family paying attention to what I do on the Internets, I feel the need to relegate this type of thing to a more private place. Like here, under a lovely Aughties-type blog pseudonym. So, here we are.

Which raises another question: why? Why, even now, do I feel the need to keep these types of thoughts, fantasies, stories, revelations separate from the rest of my writing life? I write honestly and openly in other places; I’ve always been out about who I am and whom I love, because doing otherwise feels disingenuous and even dangerous.

Well, in the first place: getting older has finally taught me (took long enough!) that sometimes, there are other people to protect. I may be totally comfortable with who I am and what I do, but my partner’s parents might not be – and in real life, I don’t feel any need to tell them this stuff, either. While I’ve always tried to operate from the persepctive of giving others permission to be who they are by fully and unapologetically being who I am, I also recognize that sometimes, harm can be done for which the reward isn’t high enough.

I sense a longer piece coming about being out and what that means, but not tonight.

Tonight, I just want to say I’m back. Hi.

I spent a delicious part of an afternoon last week (Independence Day, in fact; nice way to celebrate…) being sort-of practice-topped, sort of actually-dominated by a new, switchy lover. He is about to have the opportunity to play with someone he’s had his eye on for five years now, and I always like to help a brother out.

(Insert inappropriate incest fantasy remarks here…)

It turns out that he’s not lacking much at all in the hard skills department; while I have yet to show him how to work my four-foot singletail, I received a very delicious flogging. What I found myself dipping in and out of subspace to do was to give him ideas about what might be called soft skills.

Now naturally, I was working from a place of what I was wanting in the moment, what was going to make me feel more desired, sink me deeper into trance, bring me more under control. And yes, it was a very interesting and fun dance – working from my experience to instruct, while simultaneously letting myself surrender to the experience itself. When we were planning it, I joked that he’d know he was doing well if he could keep me from instructing him.

But some of the things that came up seemed to me to be fairly generalizable for newer tops or doms, especially those playing with new partners. Here’s what I came up with:

1. Keep in control. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to this and aren’t really sure what you’re doing. Faking it – in the confidence sense – can really go far. I’m not saying you should do something that you don’t know how to do – please don’t suspend someone, or cane them, or poke them with needles, if you don’t know what you’re doing! – but rather that assuming an air of control and confidence can go a long way toward making the submissive partner’s experience more fulfilling. In my case, I have a much easier time letting go if I sense that the person topping me has the situation in-hand.

Some ways of doing this, practically speaking: use occasional sudden, sharp movements (push me down, slap me harder than I expect after lulling me with sensuality, grab me by the hair); inspect/appraise me; tell me what to do without too many words; restrict my choices; correct my mistakes with calm harshness.

There are going to be moments of hesitation and doubt, of course. The trick is to have the mini-panic-attack inside your head, then find a way to either change the activity that’s causing you stress, or express your doubt in a dominant way. Which brings me to:

2. Keep in touch. The corollary to the above is that, especially with new partners, checking in frequently is important. Some subs go non-verbal (hello!), and many don’t respond well to questions in the moment, unless the answers are a simple yes or no. Even then, sometimes the sub will be in a space where he doesn’t know what he wants; some subs go into a kind of thrall in scene and get deeply into surrendering their will.

Especially for people like this, keeping in touch is key. I mean this in two ways:

-Physical. Touch them with your hand. Check the temperature of their extremities. Press your body into them, feel their reaction, then pull away again. It all performs the triple function of teasing, cherishing, and checking on them. Watch their breathing. Is it slow and deep and trancey? You’re probably okay. Is it rapid and shallow? This could mean several things – panic, extreme excitement, about to faint. This is where the second way comes in:

-Verbal. It’s sad, but true, that the last thing a sub wants to hear during a scene is “Are you okay?” But maintaining the illusion of dominance, non-consent, or whatever you’re playing with doesn’t mean there’s no way to find out what’s going on if you’re confused. Say you’ve been hitting them for a while, and it’s escalating, but you reach a point where you’re not sure if their reactions mean they’re near their limits and might safeword, or that they’re about to have an orgasm. Stop. Put your hand on them. Make them look you in the eyes, or loop your arm around their chest and growl/whisper in their ear. “You had enough? Or do I need to beat you some more?” There are a thousand variations of this, of course. Generally, you’ll know pretty quickly. If they’re in a “wanting more” space, you might even get some begging out of it. (I love both saying and hearing “please, PLEASE…”) If you’ve hit their limit, this will be a good chance for them to breathe, collect themselves, come back to earth a little, and receive some tenderness. They may still be non-verbal, but if you’re unsure, wait for an answer. Consent is a continuous process.

3. Close the scene clearly. Not knowing whether a scene is over or not, or whether the dominant’s attention is still on me, or whether I did okay, or whatever is one of the most demoralizing things that can happen to a sub. I know I’m not alone in being extra-sensitive when I’m in subspace: everything is magnified, everything the dominant does has meaning, and very small slights can make me feel completely abandoned. All of these skills I’m talking about are about maintaining clarity, but this might be the most important one. When you feel the scene is over, let the sub know. This can be done in many ways. One thing I recognized the other day is that I really like praise and tenderness afterward, especially if I endured something difficult. “Good girl,” “It’s okay, it’s over, you did soooo well,” “You pleased me very much,” and so on. Petting along with this also helps. Some subs aren’t like this at all – some prefer to be abandoned as part of their kink; some want some alone-time to process their feelings, but many will want some kind of aftercare. And regardless of aftercare needs – which you can talk about in advance of the scene – making it clear that the scene is ending is critical. Take the collar off, start untying ropes, tell the sub how well they did, that it’s time to come down, or whatever. The clearer you make it, the easier it is for the sub to return to normal headspace.

*
What do you think? How generalizable are these? Can you think of others?

Seeking.

All right folks, so here’s the deal:

As you know Bob, I stopped doing professional domination work some time back. I’m mostly on to other things.

However. Lately I’ve been having 1. a hankering, and 2. a bit of a financial squeeze. So I’m looking to potentially start seeing some people again.

Here’s the catch: Because this is no longer my primary source of income, I’m going to be limiting my practice to people I really want to see, who want to do the things I want to do. The flip side of this is that I’ll be lowering my tribute to well below the usual market.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know a bit about who and how I am: I’m basically a smart, sensual, empathic top who likes to play with responsive people. Which is to say: I’m less interested in your stoic ability to take a hard beating than I am in hearing you gasp, moan and squeal as you take it. I like men with easy subspace triggers, but I also like a bit of a power struggle.

I like my feet worshipped well, and my boots also.
I like using floggers, singletails, canes and crops, and other hitty things.
I use rope, but I’m not a huge rope top. I’m more interested in functional bondage.
I like contact: slapping, punching, pinching, squeezing, kicking, and some smothering.
I like menacing you with knives.
I like authentic interaction, like, a whole lot.

I don’t care for piss, enemas, or anything else that potentially makes a big smelly mess.
I still don’t want to do forced feminization scenes.
However, all gender presentations are welcome, and if you want to play with gender in a respectful way, that definitely turns my crank.

There’s plenty more, of course, but it all depends on who you are and what you bring. If you have interests I didn’t mention here, please, let me know, and it’s possible I’ll be into it.

Email me directly if this is of interest to you!

I know this has been pointed to from all over the place, but I myself have just stumbled across it, and feel it deserves yet another signal boost.

Please read, if you have ever had concerns about the types that The Scene can nurture, and if you’ve ever wanted to further uncouple BDSM from abuse.

A Field Guide To Creepy Dom.

Maymay has asked me to pass this along – the press release for the upcoming KinkForAll in Denver, CO.  Please spread the word!

***

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact:

Rebecca Crane
KinkForAll Denver unorganizer
(303) 817-6530
rebeccacrane@gmail.com
http://kinkforall.org/?author=27

Community unites through peer-based sex education, teach-ins at Tivoli Student Union

Denver, CO – February 2, 2012 – A full day conference featuring teach-ins, presentations, and discussions about sexuality and its intersection with the rest of life will be hosted on February 25 at the Tivoli Student Union. Organizers cite the peer-based education format as a key method to empowering individuals, helping participants learn on their own and share their knowledge with interested neighbors. The conference, called KinkForAll Denver, is a collaboration with a growing group of sexual freedom and education advocates spanning the nation.

“What excites me most about KinkForAll is the idea that everyone has valuable skills and ideas to share. We’re all experts on our own experiences,” said conference organizer Rebecca Crane. Past KinkForAll events featured sessions led by professionals and accredited sex educators, but also by students, amateur craft-makers, and even teens. Youth explained challenges in setting up Gay-Straight Alliances at schools, and other participants discussed topics ranging fromgender identity to religion, personal coming out stories, writing about sex,sexuality and technology, and more. Many sessions are video recorded and made available online for free, helping to reform sex and relationships education with a grass-roots, citizen-driven movement. “Denver’s communities have a lot of unique knowledge to contribute to the growing national conversation about sexual freedom and relationship choice,” Crane said.

The innovative conference format gives each participant 20 minutes in which to facilitate a discussion, give a presentation, or lead a session on any topic related to sexuality. Everyone who attends is encouraged to present in whatever form they find most inspiring or comfortable. Anyone interested can learn more at http://wiki.KinkForAll.org/KinkForAll and sign up to participate at http://wiki.kinkforall.org/KinkForAllDenver.

Contact:

Rebecca Crane
KinkForAll Denver unorganizer
(303) 817-6530
rebeccacrane@gmail.com
http://kinkforall.org/?author=27

For additional information, contact:

Meitar “maymay” Moscovitz
KinkForAll founder
(323) 963-4827
bitetheappleback+kinkforall@gmail.com”
http://kinkforall.org/?author=2

An innovative conference to empower a citizen-driven reform of sexuality education, KinkForAll Denver, will be held on the Auraria Campus at the Tivoli Student Union on February 25, 2012. The event is free, open to the public, and strongly stresses education and sexual freedom over eroticization. Anyone with the desire to learn or with something to contribute is welcome and invited to participate.

About KinkForAll

KinkForAll is an ad-hoc unconference about sexuality for anyone and everyone, drawing participants from an astounding range of both sexuality-related and other communities. Anyone with the desire to learn in an open environment or with something to contribute is welcome and invited to participate. KinkForAll is a 100% free event that is open to the public.

KinkForAll is a fast-paced event with discussions, presentations, and interaction from all participants. There are no spectators, only participants. To attend, you must give a presentation or otherwise help out. KinkForAll events aim to support participants face-to-face and to create shared knowledge with lasting benefit to humanity. KinkForAll is inspired by and based upon the BarCamp community and unconference model.

http://wiki.KinkForAll.org

Folks, my computer was stolen last week and I hadn’t done a recent enough backup.  If you tried to contact me via email in the last little while, give it another shot:

Click here to do it, baby.

Ta!