No Space Bears for you.

Whilst suffering from writer’s block, I put out a call on FetLife for what people would like to see me write about. The most popular answer was “space bears”. I would love to blog about space bears, but they have very little impact on my kink experience. Also, they would maul me if I divulged their secrets. The space bears are benevolent masters unless you cross them.

There was also a request for my experience on the interaction between masochism and submission, so I thought I would talk a little about that this time.

When I returned to London and began to immerse myself in the kink scene in earnest, I had a false start with a dominant whose main fetishes seemed to be rooted in humiliation. This experience was short-lived, for a variety of reasons which I won’t go into here, but I learned some important lessons about myself: namely, that I don’t get off on humiliation at all, that I will not tolerate more than a certain amount of interference with my appearance and daily behaviour, and that I am probably not a lifestyle sub.

There is very little a dominant can say to me that is any more humiliating than what I tell myself every day. Psychologically, I am already fettered by low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy. Having them reinforced is not remotely erotic to me – it is simply a confirmation of what my inner demons know to be true, and of all the things they whisper to me when the night is dark and I am on my own.

That, and I’m as stubborn as a three-week-old wine stain. If you try to get me to do something I don’t want to or I don’t understand the reasoning behind, I will dig my heels in so hard they leave craters. I wouldn’t say I was particularly assertive, but when I have the bit between my teeth it will take far more than physical punishment to deter me. For me, the attraction of submission – particularly as a masochist – is in relinquishing control and allowing myself to simply feel. As I’ve said before on this blog, pain and compliance help to drag me out of my head and give me a break from my thoughts for a while.

I guess I’d conclude that my submission is dependent on my masochism – I can be masochistic without being submissive (did I mention I love power struggles? I love power struggles), but I can’t really be submissive without being masochistic.

I try to let my submission inform my dominance, and be the kind of dom I would want for myself. My experience with this is limited. I’ve never been particularly confident (see above), and my lack of fine motor control makes me pretty wary when I’m in a position to hurt people. I don’t get off on controlling people’s daily behaviour any more than I get off on having the same done to me. I do get off on that gentle flutter of eyelids, that sharp intake of breath, and those involuntary movements that tell me that my playmate is walking that razor’s edge between pleasure and pain. I have always enjoyed scaring people. My sadism is gleeful, almost childish – somewhere between a pantomime villain and the antagonist from a Bond movie.

My experience of both S/M and D/S (in so far as the latter applies to me) has changed with my recent introduction to rope play. Rope has given me a whole new variety of ways to experience the many facets of my sexuality, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing where else it’s going to take me. The future is, as ever, an adventure.

Masochism and me

I find it very difficult to feel as if I am “present” in my body.

There are all kinds of reasons for this. It’s at least partially because I am very particular about physical contact. With people I know and trust, I can be very tactile. With people I’ve never met or have any misgivings about, physical contact can be repugnant – it makes me feel nauseous, and leaves me with an abiding desire to shower several times and/or shed my skin.

In my day-to-day life, I find it very difficult to focus and to stay rooted in the here and now. I am neuroatypical. I have a laundry-list of ways in which this affects me. On a good day, I am giddy and excitable in a childlike sort of way. Most days, I am depressive, anxious, and prone to withdrawing into the infinitely expansive prison which is my own skull. Moreover, as a genderqueer person, this body is often alien to me. It feels like little more than a meat car. Nominally, at least, I am driving it, but I can put it on autopilot with little trouble or outwardly noticeable effect.

At times, sensation can be an unwelcome distraction. But in the right place, with the right person(s), it can be transformative. It can bring me back into myself from wherever meandering pathway my mind has chosen to lead me down. More than that, it can bring me into true contact with the person providing the sensation. A hug will bring me into the safe space enclosed by the arms of whoever is hugging me.

More effective, however, is pain. More effective still – and this came as a surprise to me, at the time of discovery – is rope play.

Play such as the scene I described in my last post is, at the same time, one of the most grounding and ecstatic things I have ever experienced. The rope (a sensation in itself) binds me, literally and metaphorically, into myself. The pain makes it impossible, inconceivable, to want to drift away, and yet the feelings are like a different world in themselves. My body is more than just a shell I can abandon. It’s a vessel, a journey, a network of tightly packed nerves that are coming alive.

Aside from when I am performing, there are few things that can make me want to inhabit my body more than that.

Playing Rough II

I’m in trouble. I know this because D is brandishing 4mm jute rope, not the 5mm linen he usually ties me with. This is harsher – rougher in texture, with less surface area meaning more pressure. This is going to hurt.

I can’t wait. The anticipation makes the breath catch in my throat.

This is far from being our first tie of the night, but the equipment makes it seem climactic somehow. We’re in a wire cage at the centre of the SM playspace at Transgression. Our first tie here worked much better than our other attempts in the poorly heated area designated for rope, where people keep walking through scenes. People are watching.

D is an exciting rigger to watch. In his hands, rope is a rich tapestry which he weaves with an energy and a sensitivity that I don’t often see. It’s a live animal which he has tamed. It’s his will made manifest.

As he ties my hand behind my back, I have a thought. “Could you blindfold me for this one?”

He nods, secures my wrists, and fishes a thin strip of fabric out of his kit bag before tying it forcefully around my head, obscuring my vision. Yes.

First he ties a harness. It’s tight. A halter around my neck, a harness around my upper body, cinching at my groin. He drags me to the ground, whispering “down” into my ear. A bundle of rope scratches at my inner thighs. He holds me down, elbows on my throat, whilst he ties my legs as tightly as he dares.┬áHe attends to my breasts for quite some time, enjoying my sighs and gasps as the rough rope slides over sensitive skin, bites into pliable flesh. With pain sluts like me, he inverts the knots on his ties. It’s not in keeping with the Shibari aesthetic, but it does mean that the rope bites harder and leaves impressions. Pressure marks. He pulls hard on the ropes.

And that, of course, is when I bite his arm. Later, he will smile and tell me I need a new trick for next time, but I feel he is about to let up and I don’t want this to stop – not now.

He drags me by the hair into a seated position and delivers one, two, three, four stinging slaps to my tightly bound thigh, the three black diamonds tattooed there serving almost as a target. I cry out. The blindfold slips, and he yanks it back on. It feels like he’s reaching for something to his right.

I’m not expecting the sound in my right ear, but it’s unmistakable. It’s the jingle of a tiny bell. Puzzling. What could it – ah!

I cry out, louder this time, as something hard clamps onto my left nipple. Jingling, again. The jingling hurts.

I’m suddenly more aware of the texture of the rope than I was before. As if to drive the point home, D drags it roughly over and around my breast, then my nipple around the clamp. I’m screaming now. A sound in my right ear. Jingling again. I jerk my head away, and hear him chuckle. “Now you’re getting the idea,” he says, and snaps the clamp on.

The way he toys with me for the following – seconds? minutes? Time is meaningless here – is almost langorous. He’s got me where he wants me, the sadistic bastard.

Somewhere between a microsecond and a lifetime later, the ties around my legs start to come off. Tension, and release. Tension, and release. I feel hot, my skin flushed from the pressure and the pain. I am panting with exhaustion and barely repressed desire. He takes a little time, digging his fingers into the gnarls that his knots have left and delighting in my gasps. The clamps are the last things to come off.

The breath I draw after that feels like my first.

Accountability applies to everyone.

In a recent debate with a London community leader on the subject of personal accountability, I wrote the following. My friend A, whom I had asked to proof-read the message to help me eliminate any hostile language, suggested that this part of it should be made public. Here it is.

The majority of abuse happens between people who have been known to each other for some time. The most successful abusers are not people who are new on the scene and no-one knows anything about them – they are pillars of the community who know exactly how to act and what to say to keep people on their side. This statement applies to all instances of the word “community” – I have seen it happen in choirs, and in the context of live roleplaying groups. We all hear about it happening in religious groups. And it’s when people who have been abused by them come out and tell others around them what has happened that we start hearing the chorus of “but they couldn’t! They’re a nice person! You must be lying.”

 

And can you accuse anyone in this situation of failing to carry out due diligence? Everyone around the abuser is singing their praises. They would have no way of knowing, particularly if this is a repeat occurrence and other victims have been similarly silenced and ostracised. THIS is the most dangerous thing in any community, and no amount of due diligence is going to make the problem go away.

 

So by all means, carry on encouraging people to keep their own safety in mind. But please allow for the fact that relatively few people who make the accusation are lying. Encourage due diligence for community leaders and event planners, so that they check if people are known abusers. I often hear the argument that known abusers should not be banned from events. I respectfully disagree, and would counter that known abusers should not only be banned from events, but their pictures and usernames should be passed around all local events organisers so that they know who to watch out for. There could be a happy medium in asking DMs to keep a close eye on particular people at events, or in encouraging widespread use of things like Kinky Salon’s PAL system.

 

The only way to eliminate all facets of the abuse problem, from repeat offences to false accusations, is to put all of this stuff together.

Playing Rough

“Am I in trouble?”

Stupid question, really. My arms are in a box tie behind my back, which is smarting from a few lightning-fast pullthroughs that struck it like a whip. My chest harness is taut and heavy against my clavicle, and D and I both know that it will leave a mark. I’m lying with my head in his lap, my legs stretched out in front of me as he brandishes a fresh length of rope, contemplating his next move. And I’ve just bitten his arm.

“Maybe.” He half-smiles. “But not now. If I do anything now, you’ll be expecting it.”

He bends my left leg at the knee and begins to tie a futomomo.

He can be gentle. Moments ago, he was unwrapping me from a much kinder tie. He crossed my arms in front of me so that I was embracing myself, and fastened the rope around my fingers. I kissed his hands as the bindings came off. But I’ve had a difficult week, and I’m not in a mood to be handled with kid gloves today, so when he offered some rougher play I enthusiastically agreed.

As he wraps the rope around my bent leg, a part of my brain – the part that hasn’t yet succumbed entirely to sensation – wonders what he would do if I began to resist. I would get violent, if he let me. I would thrash and kick and bite. He would overpower me easily, of course – me with my slight frame, and him with his athlete’s arms – but I imagine it being a worthwhile struggle. The thought swirls around in a fog of submission before it is discarded. Not here. Not now. Too many people. Not enough space.

A jolt of pain brings me sharply back to the present moment. D has yanked hard on the rope as he secures it. My eyes fly open, and I see heads turn as I cry out. He catches my eye, grins, locks the tie off. Then he wraps again, the already tense rope gnawing further into my flesh. Pulls, hard, and I cry out. Again. And a third time – slowly, now, and deliberately, almost as if he’s about to change his mind and slacken off…but no. Another flash of pain leaves me breathless.

“You see,” he murmurs, whilst I struggle to get my breathing back under control, “I can bite, too.”

The only answer I can think of is to bite him again.

My personal and political

I am passionate about politics, and this passion more than occasionally finds its way into my kink life. I’m trying to be as active as I can, for example, in promoting Consent Culture. I believe in making kink accessible to people of all ethnicities, and would like to see as many events as possible become disability friendly. I believe in safe spaces; I campaign for queer acceptance.

My political beliefs will inevitably find their way into my writing on this blog, because they’re inextricably linked with my sense of self. Because the personal is always political. Because sometimes things happen, to me and to others around me, that aren’t OK. Because sometimes things happen, to me and to others around me, that are glorious and life-affirming at least partly because they’re rooted in acceptance.

It’s possible – likely, even – that people will find some of that content difficult to swallow. I may post things that are triggering (though I will do my best to issue trigger warnings where necessary). I may post things that confront you with an uncomfortable truth. I may simply post things that you disagree with. A comment moderation policy will be put in place; whilst I am open to criticism, I will not tolerate hateful, abusive comments in this space. Because this is my little corner of the Net, see, and I make the rules.

I don’t intend to keep all this content political – hell, I doubt it will even be all that serious – but it’s worth putting this out there early on, I think.

The obligatory introductory post

I’ve set aside this little corner of the Internet where I can talk, frankly and relatively anonymously, about sex. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to do so regularly, or even at all, but it’s nice to have the option. I like writing about sex. I think it’s interesting. I like to have all my memories accessible to me in one place. I’d like to hope that, if any of my experiences could be helpful to other people, they’ll be able to find them here.

The kind of sex I like is… I’d say it’s unconventional, but in the circles in which I move it’s so common as to be mundane. It’s the kind of sex where the line dividing pain and pleasure is blurry at best; where love and respect can take the form of insults (screamed or hissed); where “no” can mean “yes” and “flugelhorn” can mean “no”. I refer, in my own pretentious and obscure way, to BDSM.

Please to meet you, Internet. You can call me Quin.