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Posts Tagged ‘fantasies’

Through Orlando’s Tumblr page, which is already hot enough to keep me distracted, I’ve stumbled across the Leathermen Tumblr page, which might be enough to destroy my productivity forever. Particularly distracting thus far are this image of a top wringing a washcloth (presumably full of his own sweat) over the bound and bruised body of his boy, who looks out at the camera with the most glorious expression of mingled humiliation and challenge; this prototypical image of a couple in an alley in full leathers, where the top’s expression is rough with power and pleasure and doesn’t seem to be for the camera; and this shot of a man in uniform, casually enjoying a cigarette while he rests his booted feet on a boy who’s worshipping his leathers.

What can I say, I’m an old fashioned kind of gal.

Still other images I love for their simplicity and beauty in what they evoke, like this one of a leather pantleg, hand, and boot on some stairs, or this sweet one of a Daddy cutting his boy’s hair.

If I haven’t mentioned it in this space before, I’m something of a leather slut. I’m not too excited by the kind of leather female dommes are expected to wear, though I’m happy to wear it because hey, leather. But the gay leather iconography gets me so hot it sometimes feels like I’m one of those fetishists I see from time to time whom I feel sorry for because they can never truly fulfill their fantasies: giantess fetishists, for example, or people into vore.

But from time to time I butch up and treat my girl nice, and from time to time I boy up and get kicked around by my Daddy a bit. And those are times when I feel my gender dissolve into something new and mythical and beautiful. It’s painful, too, though: I know the unreality of it, and I also embrace the femme side of me, and wouldn’t want to change. There’s something terribly poignant about this type of play, and something godlike to me about these images of men doing terrible, wonderful things to each other without shame or doubt.

One time, I got to go to Provincetown with my Daddy, and watch him get picked up, picked over and appraised by a number of men. We went cruising and drinking with these guys, hung out in front of Spiritus after closing, got shown the infamous “dick dock.” I felt like Goldilocks surrounded by all these warm and loving bears, and at the same time I felt like a squealing fangirl, a fag hag, the least interesting person in the room. Still, there was something freeing about it: I didn’t have to perform, only to admire. Only to wish I were one of them.

It was a night when I got to face down my high school demons at last, in a way I never expected. I was in love with a gay boy in high school, and I always thought it was because I wasn’t ready to have a real sexual relationship. My crushes on gay men continued through college – particularly when I didn’t know someone was gay. Later in college I dated a bi man, and would continue to stumble into queer space for a long time to come.

It’s only recently that I’ve come to recognize that fag haggery isn’t part of my sexuality: it’s more that I’m part gay boy. My attraction to gay men and leathermen isn’t entirely unrealizable: my own Daddy proves that, as do my interactions with other amazing bi men who see fit to draw me into their worlds. I’ll never be a real boy; I’m a bit like Pinocchio in all this. But I’m proud to be a part of what seems to be an ever-expanding definition of queer leather.

And still totally distracted by that Tumblr account.

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I’m still seeing clients here and there, if I meet someone I like and feel that the fantasy is something I can fulfill with integrity and a sense of fun. Plus, the money’s good. What can ya do.

The type of client I seem to keep coming back to is spankos. Not because spanking fantasies are particularly un-problematic to me; if anything, I often find the types of activities that spankos seek somewhat disturbing. But in the interest of being non-judgmental and promoting the sexual health of all individuals, I think I probably keep coming back to it because it’s problematic for me, and the problem inherent is one that is not the fault of the spankos themselves, nor even of the professionals they sometimes visit in order to indulge their fantasies. It’s a tweak I have about the rhetoric that often forms around the spanking roleplay.

The sexy idea of “I’ve been baaaad and need to be punished” is probably as old as time; the kinking of punishment into pleasure isn’t what troubles me (much, more on that later), though it’s not really what I go in for personally. Professionally, though, I’ve often found it to be a hoot to play the strict aunt or headmistress or Victorian lady doling out paddlings and canings to irrepressible “young boys.” It’s a chance to do some acting, to stretch my roleplay capacities and hone my quick responses, and often, it’s hilarious.

But what bugs me is what many of these men are wanting to be punished for. Sometimes it’s sassing an elder, sometimes it’s violating someone’s privacy, usually a girl or woman and usually involving a panty drawer or curtains carelessly left open of a summer evening. But more often than anything else, they want to be punished for masturbating.

As a staunch supporter of masturbation (stand tall and salute!), I find this a troubling trend. I think that the healthy habit of pleasuring yourself is the first step of exploring and loving your body, getting to know what you like, and being able to share a healthy sexuality with others. Granted, there are all kinds of things that people fantasize about and enact that would be horribly unhealthy in “real life,” things that they wouldn’t want to happen: rape fantasies are an excellent example, and many people fantasize about being kept as slaves in a cage in someone’s basement, but would hate it were it to really happen, even in an erotic context.

But the fetish for being spanked as a response to natural pubescent impulses troubles me because a lot of the time, it stems from true experience – an experience in which a child was punished for trying to know himself. This fantasy has the tendency to expand, too, into talk about the need for a strong female authority to control men’s wild sexual urges – which in turn recapitulates an irresponsible and misogynist narrative about how men are just beasts who can’t control themselves, and women are the moral, moderating influences who must rein them in, lest they go out and rape every woman they meet. (See also: maybe the way to prevent rape is not to stop women from wearing short skirts and drinking alcohol, but for men to STOP RAPING WOMEN.)

One of my favorite longstanding clients enacts multiple versions of this fantasy with me, and given our relationship and our lunches post-factum, I often have discussed this problem with him. Over time, his detailed fantasy letters began to shift: it wasn’t masturbation he was being punished for, but inappropriate, non-consensual attention to women, or being a cocky, misogynist 17-year-old asshole (one of his more entertaining incarnations), or the classic: going into a female classmate’s room and stealing panties from her drawer. We developed a story over several visits which wound up with the young man masturbating under the caring supervision of a slightly older female intern, which I thought was strangely sweet. In earlier versions of the fantasy, the boy’s ongoing discipline and recidivism ultimately ends in castration. In a later version, over lunch one day, he told me that he imagined that young man finally settling down with one of the imaginary young women we wove into our scenarios, having a healthy, female-led relationship with her. My sessions with him, to a certain extent, mirrored my own attitudes about my work – and, I like to think, began to heal that boy inside him.

I still have trouble with some of these punitive scenarios: for myself, in kink, punishment is a bad thing, so much so that it’s something I don’t really play with as a bottom. Punishment, as in the real world, is something to be avoided. For spankos and some others, the punishment is the kink, is the pleasure. There’s no teasing and denial, no finishing themselves off afterwards. It’s chastisement, smart-mouthing, face-slapping, and butt-reddening with fast, hard strokes meant to cause real pain. It’s something that I don’t fully grok, as it’s not about the pain being transformed into pleasure, or the pain being endured as part of a trial by fire, or even the pain as atonement, though I’m sure that’s part of it. And unlike a lot of kinky activity in the more leather side of the scene, it almost always seems to stem from childhood. As with foot fetishists, it’s something they knew about early and have sought for much of their lives (or began to kink on later in life).

As with the sessions with my old client, with this new client I chose to punish him for looking in his little neighbor girl’s window while she was dressing, rather than for masturbating. I always have this strange need to punish for something I feel is just, rather than for something I want to encourage. I just can’t reinforce that idea that masturbation is bad and sexuality is immoral and wrong – even in the context of a session that’s clearly sexual for the person receiving it!

There is, of course, the possibility, as with some kink, that enacting these scenarios is in part about re-framing and healing the wound. But I just never hear about that from spankos. It just always seems like a somewhat compulsive, likely ultimately harmless, and usually pretty playful thing that got kinked for them at an early age. And probably there’s nothing wrong with that. But I’m always bemused by my own reactions to these things.

What are your thoughts?

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[Note: for those of you who watch Lost and haven’t yet reached the Season 5 episode “He’s Our You” – SPOILER ALERT – READ NO FURTHER!]

I’ve mentioned in this space before that I have a thing for interrogation scenes, and that that fact scares me a bit. In fact, the more I’ve gotten into them, the more uncomfortable watching them on TV is, and I’m not sure if it’s discomfort in a good or a bad way.

But last night I was just delighted to watch an episode of Lost in which the always-yummy Sayid gets shackled to a tree and fed a truth serum. What starts out as something really frightening quickly turns into something almost goofy: they don’t beat Sayid or even treat him all that roughly, though there’s a marvelous physical reference to the way Sayid tortured Sawyer in the first season, when the leader of the Dharma Initiative pulls out a pair of shears to cut Sayid’s handcuffs off. (“Put out your hands,” he says, and the alert viewer recalls the way Sayid put that same instrument around Sawyer’s finger and threatened to snip it off.)

Instead the interrogator – the magnificent William Sanderson of Blade Runner fame – tells the others to open Sayid’s mouth, and puts in a sugar cube onto which he’s dropped some kind of drug. Sayid’s resultant confession is wide-eyed, soft, and reminiscent of someone on Ecstasy. “I come from the FUTURE!”

Oh, how awesome. I definitely have some guilt at times for enjoying those kinds of scenes, but I feel a bit let off the hook when they turn out like this.

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I have a sweetie with whom do a lot of (scorching) “non-consensual” play. We sometimes have difficulties negotiating in scene.

It works if I come out of subspace enough to chirp a campy “Oh no! Not that! Please don’t make me come. That would be too humiliating!” But, I have to tear myself out of a very happy headspace to do that. And, the over-the-top tone necessary for this to work makes both of us a little giggly.

What suggestions do you have for negotiating within a non-con scene without completely coming out of headspace and losing the flow?

A fascinating question this week. “Nonconsensual” play is one of the more challenging rows to hoe within the BDSM scene, for the reason you bring up here and for any number of other reasons. I could go on and on at dick-shriveling length about all of the ways it can go wrong, how to mitigate against that, and how to do non-con play safely.

But from your question, it sounds like you’re playing very safely and happily, and you just need a little bit of finessing to take it to the next level.

I will say here that if your biggest problem in non-con scenes is that you’re giggly, you’re doing pretty well. But I also fully understand the urge to make it more real. It sounds like you want to go to a darker place with this, and that perhaps you’re a bit stuck in the “damsel in distress,” melodrama version of nonconsent.

Not that damsel in distress stuff can’t be hot.

But if you want to get to a place where you’re able to say no and he’s able to ignore your no and you can keep it serious, one way to start is with him “forcing” you to say yes. Part of the deal with nonconsent play is that you have to talk, right? And as I’ve discussed before, talking while in subspace can sometimes be difficult. In my own sub play, I’ve often found it easier to repeat what the top is telling me to say than to generate spoken content on my own. If s/he tells you to beg for it, or to say how much you want it, or other suchlike things, it may feel humiliating in and of itself to beg or to say you want it. Your top might choose to make you say other embarrassing things, too. The result, hopefully, is twofold: you’re being made to talk when it’s difficult to talk, without having to come out of subspace too far. And you’re playing with doing something you don’t want to do for the top’s amusement. It’s only a short leap from getting used to that kind of dirty talk (“please, yes, please make me come,” “I’m a little slut,” or whatever) during play to saying, “No, no, please, no…” without it having to be melodramatic and “chirpy.”

Whew. Okay, now you’ve got me all excited. I hope this is helpful; I’ll be in my bunk.

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As if by magic, this week I’ve had a question dropped in my lap that touches the root of all the discussion that’s been going on here triggered by that old post about not asking why. This one takes it away from the radfem discussions and the political questioning of desire that so often leads to self-loathing and into the more fertile realms of the self. That is: what if I’m not worried about whether my kink is influenced by the patriarchy, but I am worried that maybe it’s a bit sick?

I just hope I can answer it in fewer than a thousand words.

In thinking about kink and fetish and alternative sexuality, how important do you think it is to understand the root of a person’s kinks? If you derive mental and physical joy from, say, being flogged or filling your socks with pudding, how important is it to know why that is? How useful is kink as a tool for self understanding and how risky is it to expose the root? Does understanding remove mystery and passion?

Obviously this varies with the kink/fetish at hand. More historically problematic areas, rape fantasies for example, prolly merit a more exhaustive investigation. On a personal note, I have a recurring kink that is hugely arousing to me and socially taboo. In my case, it’s also not even possible but nonetheless, it troubled me until I figured out the root.

The root of it is that trust is really my kink. (veiled cleverly under several guises)This was a hugely instructive thing for me and has not, so far, rendered the fetish in question less effective. It’s just…less troubling now.

Whoa nelly. Where do I start? So, just to get this digression out of the way: if I were Dan Savage – and even if I weren’t – my first response would be, what’s the fetish?? Dude, I so want to know, don’t you?

But putting that aside: it seems, gentle reader, like you’ve come to terms and a kind of peace with your particular kink, and from your own experience, knowing what its root is didn’t kill its erotic charge for you.

Now, for you, this is a pretty nifty way to have it both ways: here you have this kink that was super hot for you but a bit disturbing, and now that you know better what it’s really about, it’s less disturbing but still super hot.

I can see situations where that might not be the case. I can imagine, for instance, a scenario where someone finds out that their kink really does originate (in that classic sense) from some past trauma that he has been repressing, and in digging up the trauma, he both re-traumatizes himself and loses the power that the kink had to gradually heal it in his own subconscious.

On the other hand, I’ve known cases where knowing the root of the kink made the kink more powerful and made the healing of the old trauma more profound.

I think the short answer is the one you already have given yourself: if your kink is troubling to you – not to your friends, not to your community or people on the Intarwebs, but to you – then it’s worth investigating its roots. Does your kink cause you to feel shame and guilt? Part of this might be alleviated by finding a community of people who share your kink and knowing you’re not alone. But if your shame and guilt goes beyond the typical “I’m a freak” worries that many closeted kinky people have and into “I think I might be sick,” then it’s probably time to sit down and think about where this is coming from. Automatic writing is a great tool. So is dream journaling. So is hypnosis. (Speaking of fun kinks.) If you have a kink-friendly therapist, you might want to explore it there. Or even better: with an understanding lover who knows you deeply.

There are dangers, of course, digging into that well. Opening old wounds can be counterproductive, even harmful. But if a kink is powerful for you and you can’t accept it for what it is, then that’s a choice you have to make.

Nobody knows for sure where kinks come from, but the one thing that does seem clear is that practicing those kinks does not make them go away: they are not demons that need to be exorcised. If anything, they’re demons that need to be exERcised. So long as you’re doing no real harm, the best thing for kinks is to let them out to play now and then and get all tuckered out so they can sleep for a bit. Just know that they’ll wake up refreshed and ready to play again. In general, this is probably the best thing we can do for ourselves: let our kinks out for some light and fresh air. It’s amazing how this simple act can burn away the shame, pain, and doubt so often associated with kink.

So that’s a pretty squirrely answer to a pretty squirrely question, I know. But here’s my recommendation, to those of you with kinks that cause you distress. Start by doing them more. Write stories about them. Perform them with a partner, if possible. If they’re impossible, do dirty talk about them when you’re in bed. Masturbate to them. See if exposure doesn’t take away some of the problematic parts.

If it doesn’t, and if in fact it makes it worse, then you have my permission to dig. Just make sure it’s in a safe space. It’s possible you’ll fall into something deep and difficult, but I bet it’s more likely that you’ll find it’s something simple, like the writer of our letter did.

Made it in under a thousand.

Send me your questions!

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Yes, just as your mail comes a day late and you don’t put the garbage out if you normally have a Monday morning pickup, I too am a lazy bitch who takes the Memorial Day holiday off. Seeing as I spent the weekend at a three-day playparty, however, I think I can still consider myself qualified. And so it is that without further ceremony or ado I present to you This Week’s Question!

Dear Delilah–

I’ve had it pointed out to me that I am “almost certainly a closet sub.” While I will frankly admit the idea of being a submissive has an appeal, I’m ridiculously new to the “scene” and want to separate the facts from the fictions. Here’s the rub: have no desire to be stomped on, beaten, flogged, verbally abused, manacled, humiliated, or any of the other stereotypical “passions” –I simply want to approach the idea of being dominated in a sexual sense and see where it takes me as a person. Is there a primer?

–Dale

One of the common mistakes that people make when they start to be interested in kink is to believe that if they are kinky, that means they must want to do all those crazy things they see on the Internet. Dale, I don’t even want to do all the crazy things I see on the Internet, and I do some of them in videos that I sell. Seeing as you’re not looking to make a profession out of it, there’s no reason for you to do anything sexually that you don’t want to do, ever.

That being said: the first step is to think about what you do want to do. I see a long list here of things you’re not interested in, and yes, many of them are associated with being a submissive, and many of them are especially associated with being a male submissive in the Internet sense. By which I mean: often the desires of a particular sexuality (particularly female dominance and male submission) are depicted in particular ways by the sex industry, and all the other possibilities for it are kept relatively invisible. (The above links are provided to give different perspectives.)

What this means is that you probably haven’t seen the kind of submission that you’re interested in depicted anywhere. And you may not know exactly what it looks like.

I have a couple of recommendations for you. One is paying attention to your fantasies (an old Dan Savage trick). What images come to you when you’re jerking off? Or even, when you daydream about sexual submission, what does it look like? It sounds like you’re not interested in the more pain-intense varieties, nor in the more humiliation-intense ones. Perhaps you want to be tied up and have a woman “take” you sexually. Perhaps you want to be given orders. Maybe you are drawn to service – whether that means bringing her paper and slippers or fucking her just the way she likes it for an hour. Is it about giving up control? About worship of the dominant? About obedience? About lying back and letting someone else do the work?

Once you get a sense of what that looks like, you need to have someone to try it out with. I don’t have good information about what your circumstances are in that department from your letter, but if you have a current partner, it’s probably worthwhile to propose it to her in a non-threatening manner. If not, the next time you’re dating someone, you should probably present this as an idea when you begin to become sexual. Also: who is it that’s telling you that you’re probably a closet submissive? If it’s your partner…well, that may be more than a hint. 🙂

Which brings me to one more thing I want to touch on here. Make sure that this isn’t about somebody else projecting their fantasies onto you. Where are you getting these messages from, and do they make sense to you? It sounds like you’re open to exploring it, but be wary of basing your identity on something that other people have said about you.

Finally, though: don’t worry too much. Explore the fantasies and have fun. If it doesn’t turn your crank, you’ll find that out soon enough, and no harm done.

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It has not escaped my notice that I have a hot spot for interrogation scenes. Okay, maybe a wet spot would be more accurate. But there’s a mystery to it for me. While I admit to enjoying the rush of power that comes from hurting someone until they break, the place I more often imagine myself in is the role of the break-ee.

I read this post and its follow-up from Miss Calico and found myself alternately disturbed and aroused. (I sense a new title for this blog coming.) I sent the links to my go-to man for such things, knowing he would get off on it, even as I squirmed with it, even as her words kept rising in my throat like a sickness.

I was not having fun…this was a big mistake…I would rather be somewhere (oh god, anywhere) else – I knew these feelings, and knew, too, the anticipation and memory that bookend and feed those experiences. The amount of pain described sounded horrible to me; I was turned off by what seemed to be the top’s total insensitivity to where she was in her pain, even as I could feel that tension in her words, the place where this was exactly what she wanted even while she was hating it. There is a place of terror for me in all of this: that place where I’m silenced by my pain, and by my pride: where I’ll do anything for my top except surrender. That level of sadism – and masochism – is somewhat frightening to me, even as I somewhat understand it.

Yet I can’t stop looking at the posts, can’t stop picking that scab today. What fascinates me so about this type of play, this place where I’m tied down and begging, and nothing I say will make him stop?

This part moved me in particular:

“I clung to the paternalism in his address. I wanted to be his good little girl. If he was getting off on using his little girl, it wasn’t meaningless torture: he wasn’t going to kill me and dump my body behind the woodshed. Probably.”

I’ve been turned on before by someone telling me how easily he could kill me. Hell, I’ve turned it around and used it to make someone else come. The idea of someone having that kind of power over me, the intimacy of death, so close to sex, his body pinning mine, huge hands crushing my throat as he pierces me with his eyes, his cock…yeah, it gets me hot, the idea.

But there’s a line here, and I’m struggling to figure out where it is. Something to do with the lack of intimacy, the pulling back from it. The coldness in the torturer, who begins to make me believe that he no longer cares, that I’m just another victim to him. Some people fantasize about being tortured, raped and abandoned on the side of the road. I am not one of those people. No, I fantasize about being tortured, raped, and then rocked back to regular consciousness with cuddling and soothing words.

Maybe that makes me some kind of kink wimp, I don’t know.

A commenter on the post had this question: “Do you ever fear that you will go to that ‘it was a long way back’ place and not return? Or return but be changed?”

I like to think that I have a strong mind; I think that’s part of what perversely (how else) attracts me to this type of scene. I want to know how much I can take. I want to know how far I can go. But to what end?

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