Thursday, July 24, 2014

Let's Read Fifty Shades of Grey: Chapter 23!

The trailer for the FSoG movie is out, and here's my mini-review.  (And one more thought on it.)  I have a weird mix of glee and sorrow that they're making a movie out of this.  I am looking forward to it being so-bad-it's-good, a Showgirls for our time--but I'm also terrified that it's going to give millions of people the idea that BDSM is "abuse but they're perverts so it's okay."  I don't want that.

Based on the trailer, it seems like it will be very faithful to the book, which might work in my favor.  The audience consensus might end up being "wow, when you see this stuff actually acted out it's miserable," and then the whole thing will sink beneath the murky waves from which it arose.  I can hope.

Anyway, we still have four chapters left in this book.  Let's get slogging.  As a reminder, when we left off, THE EMAIL WAS COMING FROM INSIDE THE BAR!!!

Content warnings for this chapter:  Emotional abuse, do I even have to say it?  Stalking, bigtime. Weirdness around drinking.  Child molestation, molestation apologism, and implied (?) physical child abuse.  Period sex.

Also, this is another long-ass entry.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

30 Days of Kink: Days 18 & 19!

Day 18: Any kinky/BDSM pet peeves?  If so, what are they?
Most of the things I dislike about kink rise above the level of "pet peeves," like the fact that we as a community still lack a workable consensus action plan for what we do when we find out that one of our buddies might have committed physical and/or sexual assault.  That's not really an "aw man, this has anchovies on it"-level complaint.

But for a pettier peeve--you know what, I'm going to say the color black.  Like, there's nothing wrong with black clothing or black toys or black dungeon walls or black website backgrounds.  But goodness there are a lot of them.  It gets monotonous, and sometimes has a really cheesy "kink is spooky like Halloween, boo!" feeling to it.  I own green and blue rope, a gray flogger, and wear various colors to parties, because sometimes I'm not Halloween, dammit.

(I also own a shit-ton of black stuff, for reasons ranging from "that was the only color I could get it in" to "I'm not actually that much of a brave iconoclast and sometimes I kind of like being Halloween.")

Day 19: Any unexpected ways kink has improved your life?  If so, what are they?
It's inspired me to do a lot of writing which has, in turn, vastly improved my life. I also met Rowdy at a kink event, and knowing him has improved my life tremendously, because he's a wonderful partner and I completely love him and he has cute freckles.

But honestly, the main way kink has improved my life is... that I get to do kink.  I enjoy it so much more than I first thought I would, and in so many different ways.  It's an integral part of my romantic and sexual life. Which makes this question a little like asking "how has chocolate cake improved your life?"  Oh, I can think of stuff like "it looks nice on my table, I hear it has antioxidants or something" if I have to, but the real answer is because it's chocolate cake.

Maybe the biggest unexpected way kink has improved my life is that I've learned different and much better ways of looking at consent.  Because while kink definitely isn't a magical consent haven, the kink community has popularized some pretty cool concepts around negotiation, safewords, limits, the idea that agreeing to one thing is not agreeing to everything, and the idea that who you are does not imply what you're willing to do.  Even when I'm not doing kink, these are useful.  It's helped me to structure my statements about what I want based on what I want, not on what I think I'm allowed to ask for.  It's helped me put trust in my own limits.

I have not purchased an extended warranty since I started doing kink.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Let's Read Fifty Shades of Grey: Chapter 22!

Home stretch, you guys.  And a tough stretch it is.  This chapter is almost entirely composed of emails.  Here's that bug-eyed guy graphic again.

It's originally meant to illustrate "how can I ever live up to this sexy, sexy book?"  I have to assume he'd opened it to a section that wasn't forty pages of grouchy emails.

Content warnings for this chapter: Do I have to say emotional abuse?  You know there's emotional abuse.  Jealousy.  Stalking, SO MUCH STALKING.  Homophobia.  Physical abuse.  Kidnapping.  Slut-shaming.  Child molestation.  Excessive drinking.  And other sexy romantic things.

Also, this chapter (and hence this entry) is loooong.  FYI.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

30 Days of Kink: Day 17!

Day 17: What misconception about kinky people would you most like to clear up?
I have to pick just one?

I think what I'd most like to clear up is the single image I feel like most people have of kink.  I think there's an idea that all kink is super-serious, heavily sexual, involves both dominance and SM, involves a lot of trappings and props, and is between a man and a woman.  And everyone's got a collar on.  Even the doms.

When... there is no one image of kink.  But here's a couple images I'd like to mix in with the black leather:

- Me, fully clothed, cheerfully folding and sorting Rowdy's laundry.  He hits me afterwards, not as a punishment, but as a reward.

- At a party, a woman demonstrates how she uses a urethral sound on her partner.  She's wearing gloves and using surgical lube.  She's joking around a lot and everyone is laughing, including the guy with the sound in his dick.

- Cuddling with Rowdy, I ask him to bite me, and he does, still cuddling me.

- Kinky people gathering in a mall food court, not to do anything kinky, just to socialize and connect in an atmosphere where they don't have to hide who they are.

- A bondage workshop held in someone's living room.  Some people are clothed and others are in underwear, mostly just for freedom of movement.  People are passing around books with bondage diagrams and instructions and trying them out.  Other people are in the kitchen nibbling on the cookies someone brought.

- A different party.  I went with Rowdy planning to play, but the energy just sort of feels off to us, and we're more tired than we expected, so we just cuddle and watch people play.

- A friend playing as a puppy.  He's not doing anything kinky or sexual, he's just going up to people who pet him and fawn over him, as you do with puppies.

I could go on forever.  I'm still missing lots of stuff here--my experiences are really just one little corner of Kinkland.  But you get the idea.  There's a lot in kink that you don't see in images like this.  I don't want to say "it's not black leather, it's t-shirts," because that's just reductionism in another direction.  It's not black leather; it's black leather and t-shirts and pink latex and nice button-down shirts and people running around with no shirts at all going "wheeeeeeee."

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Let's Read Fifty Shades of Grey: Chapter 21!

There's only 25 chapters in this book.  We're gonna make it.

I have to admit, it's all starting to blur together for me.  In the first part of the book, things were already horrible, but at least they moved a little.  Ana worked, went out with friends, graduated school, moved to a new city.  Now we've entered this vague Timeless Zone where the pacing becomes an undifferentiated dribble of "we had really icky un-fun coercive sex... and then later we had some more."  I don't know the month, much less the day of the week, and the relationship isn't developing one inch past the "I want you to submit to me but I don't actually like you" point we were at a hundred pages ago.  Trying to enjoy this book as a piece of fiction is like trying to paddle a canoe through gravel.

Content warnings for this chapter: Emotional abuse and manipulation, bigtime.  Workplace sexual harassment.  Trying to help an abused friend.  Sparkly GIF.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

30 Not Even Slightly Consecutive Days of Kink: Days 15-16!

First of all: there is fanart for day 12!

Credit to sbloyd.  Rawr.
Day 15: Post a BDSM/kink activity you’re curious about and would like to try.
One I've wanted for a long time is sensory deprivation.  I have a fidgety mind; it's hard for me to sit quietly for more than a few minutes without reading or doodling or pacing or reciting facts about sharks.

("We now rise for a moment of silent prayer."  "......"  "......MALE SHARKS HAVE TWO PENISES.")

I already use physically intense play to shut that down in one way, by overwhelming myself with so much sensation that my mind is absolutely swamped with it and doesn't have any processing power left for fidgetyness.  But I'd like to address it another way through BDSM, the opposite way, by giving myself absolutely no opportunity to avoid my own mind.

So I'd like to be locked in a closet for as long as I can stand.  Preferably a whole weekend, but honestly I think I'd probably only last a couple hours.  I would like to be stuck in there with my thoughts and absolutely no way to shut them down.  I'm not even sure what that would be like.  My fantasy is that being forced to face my own mind would lead to some breakthrough that made me permanently less inclined to avoid my own thoughts, but even if that doesn't happen--I still want to know what it's like.

On the more sexy-fun side of BDSM, I would love to bottom in an interrogation scene.  I'm fascinated by the two kinds of power I'd have in that scene--both the power to spill the beans and stop the torment, and the power to not spill the beans and endure.  The push-pull between "I'm so tough and stubborn" and "I can stop this at any time" feels fascinating.  Plus I just want to be tied to a chair by someone in a uniform.

Speaking of uniforms... another thing I haven't tried but have been contemplating is topping in medical play.  I have all these skills from my nursing education, and a powerful desire to misuse them.  Although I wouldn't want to be a Naughty Nurse.  Maybe an extremely authoritative and straight-laced nurse in scrubs and a labcoat.  Or an EMT!  I would be a Naughty EMT and wear a crisp white shirt with shoulder straps and combat boots and tie people to my backboard!  YES.

Day 16: What are the most difficult aspects of having a sexuality that involves kink or BDSM for you personally?
(note: little bit of sexual assault talk)

The secrecy.  It's gotten to be much less of an issue as I get older, but it still bites at me sometimes how much conscious effort I have to put into "who can be trusted with what?" about things as basic as "how was your weekend?" or "so I hear you're a writer."

It hurts when I'm hurting and can't seek help.  A big part of the reason I told almost no one (and still haven't told my parents and a lot of my friends) about being sexually assaulted is that it took place in a scene.  I don't want to change that story to make it more acceptable, but I also don't want to have to preface it with an hour of BDSM 101 where I explain what a "scene" is and how "tie me up" doesn't mean "do anything you want to me," really it doesn't.  So silence becomes the path of least resistance.

And it hurts when I'm proud.  I mean, I've been published in some cool places, I've flown across the country to speak at colleges, I've been cited in academic papers for chrissakes... and there's so many people I can't tell.  I just submitted a story for publication in an erotica anthology and if it gets accepted I can't make the "omg guess what" phone call home.  Boo hoo, I know, but it does hurt (especially in a family that values academic success very highly) that I've done all this cool stuff and there's so many settings where I can't tell anyone about it.

The "your world is now the same twelve people and no matter what happens you'll keep running into them" factor in the BDSM community can get a bit trying at times, too.  It can be charming and comforting sometimes, but if there's someone who's very active in the scene who you don't like (or who's seriously hurt you, for that matter), you're going to spend a whole lot of time awkwardly avoiding eye contact.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Let's Read Fifty Shades of Grey: Chapter 20!

Call Mara Wilson a "sad fuck", will you, E.L. James?  Well, I've got some news for you: all of the fucks in your book are sad.

In fact, we're heading into a particularly sad one right now, as when we last left our heroes, Gaston Von RockThrust was angrily dragging Ana into a boathouse in his parents' backyard to punish her for offenses consisting of:

A) Making plans to go visit her mother.
B) Having drinks with a male friend.
C) Not letting him finger under the table during dinner with his parents.

And don't worry, she's genuinely terrified and trying to deflect or escape him the whole time.  Now that's how you make a fuck sad.

Note: all Christian Grey names in this entry are automatically generated by the Manly Name Generator, courtesy of Spencer Dub.

Content warnings for this chapter: More or less outright rape.  More detailed emotional abuse than usual, including some real-life stories.