I was approached a few months ago to be interviewed by Phile Magazine. The added plum of the interview consisting of myself and the startlingly badass artist Kenya Robinson talking shit made it irresistible.
This issue features
Midori (omg that’s my homie!)
Mollena Williams-Haas (omg that’s meee!)
Robert Anthony O’Halloran
Serge Victor Ray
The new issue will hit in August but you should pre-order, because it WILL sell out and it is cheaper that way!
When I first entered the BDSM/kink “community,” I realised that, in addition to being referred to as a “n00b” [or newbie by the less nerdy kinksters] I was also slapped with the label “fresh meat.” And treated accordingly…for a few moments. Due to my particular circumstances [I was immediately involved in a restricted relationship and not available in GenPop] it took a good year and a half before I was out and about on my own. By then, I was apparently past my freshness date, new meat had come down the line, I was “downgraded,” and there you have it.
I never liked and always actively pushed back against the use of that term in the community. I saw too many people, mostly female identified, quietly walk away from the scene because they’d been relegated to commodities before they had consented to be so, or even before they had identified as such! One would hope this attitude would not be prevalent. And perhaps it is less so? But a couple of times in my recent experience [online and at a kink event] I’ve heard this “fresh meat” banter and it gives me pause.
My hope is that those of us who are already here have the ability to respect our newcomers. That we give them space to learn, and find themselves…and that we refrain from making them prey before they have even consented to the chase.
While being someone else’s meal may be enticing for some, consent is must and non-consensual objectification is, yes, a consent violation.
Five Years Ago Today, I received possibly the most Austrian marriage “proposal” in the history of ever. We had lunch today in Grand Central, to commemorate the afternoon that Der Spousemeister, agitated after a weaksauce meeting with an arrogant lawyer, seemed like he might have proposed.
How does this happen, you ask?
Well, lemmie tell ya.
He’s insisted, since we met, he was not going to re-marry. After 3 marriages, he figured he might be better off NOT marrying someone he loved. I wasn’t tripping, since my priority was the power exchange dynamic and being with a man I thought was pretty damn awesome.
Four months in, and we were figuring out how things were going to work long-term. Part of my responsibility that day was getting him to an appointment with an immigration lawyer. She was awful, unhelpful, and it was dismaying since she’d been recommended by Columbia University as one of their approved counsel. We left feeling frustrated. I took a deep breath as we walked across 42nd and toward Grand Central.
“Sir I know you said you don’t want to get married again but maybe it would be worthwhile to consider it from a simply legal perspective. It would facilitate your citizenship, and we don’t have to tell anyone or make it a thing. Just get it done, file the paperwork…”
“No!’ he replied, emphatically. “I do not want to marry you for a green card. I do not want this. We will be married because I love you and you should be my wife. Not for this making things easier.”
We kept walking now through the hall that leads to the main, vaulted terminal of Grand Central. I looked up at the constellations painted and illuminated with tiny lights and replayed his words. Repeatedly.
“Did. You just say we will be married?”
“Yes.” he said firmly.
I was shaken and lightheaded and pulled out my phone.
I don’t think this was the proposal I’d dreamed of as a kid.
But by the time I gave up on dreaming, the reality made for a much, much better story.
I don’t often get direct hate-mail, and certainly not hate-mail from the Motherland. Today, not only did those streams get crossed, I’ve been advised that, somehow, I will be responsible for the safety of whites in Africa.
“But Mollena,” you thoughtfully inquire, “…what in the actual fuck?”
I saw Tumblr banned raceplay December 19. Here in Africa we don’t feel like African Americans. We are highly offended by your clips that you make. I have a plan to upload your clips in radical sites in africa. Then you will see how the youth react to whites live among us here in Africa. We area 1.2 billion white maybe 10million. I will upload your disgusting clips in local sites in Africa. Your clips make us disgusted . Your white prostitutes insults all black men as a whole. We never been in slavery. We are proud. So I will upload your missyplantaion disgusting clips in local radical sites and some have to take responsibility. I told one porn site I am going to upload the raceplay clip I saw on thier site to the local site here in Africa. They deleted it immediately. You are the one who created raceplay that doesn’t represent 1.2 billion Africans. You white stunts in your workshop insults all blacks as a whole not people who are in that sick fetish. So you are a sell out cheap black woman trade your own community. Here in Africa we are proud.. if I upload your clips the youth clean out the whites. So be careful you playing with innocent white people life.
I…do not have scene clips on Tumblr so that’s confusing!
And wow! I CREATED race-play…? Get my plaque in the Perversion Hall of Fame bronzed, y’all!
I’m not at all sure how this threat to whites will fall out. But if I can do my bit to decolonize, I am 1000% here for it.
It may be the “missyplantation disgusting clips” they are speaking of is the ONE VIDEO from my International Ms Leather performance…in which case, they missed the point entirely! And if they even managed to find that one, they’ve spent a whole lot of time researching my history!
But hey, I wish them well in their quest to blame a Black gal from the USA for toying with the well-being of the descents of the colonisers who kicked their asses in many instances and left wounds from which many countries still have yet to recover.
I’ll be over here, waiting for the news of The Great Raceplay Purge.
If you don’t know, you need to know. There is a magnificent human, LadySpeech Sankofa aka QuiAnna Ray, and you absolutely need to pick up what she’s laying down. She often shares on Facebook, and does weekly reading and affirmation shares. One afternoon in October, I tuned in for QuiAnna Ray’s Monday reading. On this particular day, she drew a card that was labeled “THE SLAVE” so this of course perked my ears up…this ain’t yo average tarot deck!
As I was listening, truly feeling seen as she integrated the reality of power exchange relationships into her interpretation of the card, she spoke to how critical it was that we not see submission as a weakening or as a loss of our power. Then she said something that absolutely electrified and grounded me in the same moment:
Surrender does not mean you become ‘less than.’
Surrender means you become ‘more with.’
Lady Speech Sankofa
My heart leapt up. This. This was a pure distillation of the path I have been walking for these five years.
I’m a fan of Google calendar. I’ve never had a head for recalling dates, and time has an odd, elastic quality for me. An event that went down 38 years ago will sometimes resonate with greater strength than yesterday’s happenings, and even a phrase or a snippet of song can pull my entire body back to a memory that surprises and delights with its power.
Knowing this about myself, I’ve often relied on talismans and touchstones to pull myself back to previous times. As a storyteller, and as a forgetter, these mental way markers are critical to my work. This is one reason why my e-mail accounts are virtually overflowing with old messages and why I obsessively check and re-up old social media accounts. Some of these contain unique access codes to my past.
Tomorrow marks five years since I received my first message from some OKCupid dude who went by the bemusing handle “spicyspiritlove.” I still have a cut/paste copy of it. And that’s helpful, since OKC doesn’t keep old messages indefinitely. On that day I was in my online dating endgame. I’d had a combative conversation with my higher power not a week prior, and the outcome was that I planned to shut down my dating accounts, take down my BDSM Sex Ed pages, get a Real Job™ and get my shit together on my own. The exception to this plan was my meeting, in the next 2 weeks, the dominant who would make these choices obsolete and reset the course of my life so that I could focus on the shit I had been fantasizing about for over 2 decades. I knew this was impossible. And I was, frankly and honestly, totally fine with this. There is a freedom to accepting reality on reality’s terms and deciding to sculpt your own niche in the world without shame, sadness or regret.
And then this e-mail was in my account.
wow – your profile is great (theatre, sub, unusual spiritual fodder, curvifat black chick, trembling flower of submission…) I am older than you want (60) but I have a strong German/Austrian accent. I am strongly interested in BDSM with some experience (I am top) and I do not drink any alcohol. I trust in the definition of Robert Mapplethorpe “SM means Sex and magic”.I am an artist, very successful (probably member of the of top 10 or 20 in my genre in the world), crazy, developing new spaces. Especially interested in the dark sides of emotions.I would like to tame you.
Georg Friedrich Haas, December 19th, 2013
He didn’t have any photos on his page – claimed this was due to concerns around his notoriety – but offered to send me one as soon as he could, if that was okay.
It was, and boy was I amused when he sent them.
To myself I thought “Any dude who is trying to get into someone’s pants and sends these photos is truly living that WYSIWYG Lyfe.”
We made a date for a couple of days later and, as they say, the rest is history.
Of course, the story unfolded before us immediately…this is one of the very few times in my life that anniversaries are clear and memorable. Perhaps that is so that I can remember that the story is a Story, not a fairytale with fascinating twists. It is just…happening.
Swear to Ganesha if one more person grins at me at is all “But which is which?! HAHAHAHA!” I’ll gnaw their elbows.
The time is upon us! The award winning doc about this one Austrian composer and some Black woman storyteller – both of whom also are kinky – has been spreading like a big knüdly hug all over the world and finally we are cracking the seal in the USA.
NOVEMBER 11TH as part of the NY DOC Festival.
Much as I’d love to be all “AND IT’S SOLD OUT!!” of course it isn’t because these cynical ass New Yorkers are all “Yeah yeah. Perverts. I saw 16 on the Q this morning.” I’m sure there are lots of folks who would thoroughly enjoy seeing this strange relationship, hearing the stories, learning a bit about our histories and seeing me AS A CARTOON which is the best thing ever. Really.
Los Angeles, 1993.
I was working at a pool bar that was actually an Armenian mafia front, but I did not know that yet. A co-worker invited me to her Mom's bar...free drinks all night. How could a fledging alkie resist? She casually mentioned it was absolutely the safest place to go hang out because it was a cop bar.
I looked at her like she had 3 heads and a tail.
How. How can you look at me and tell me a cop bar is safe? She assured me that, as the guest of the owner's daughter, I'd be fine. I was young enough to still have hope in these matters. So I went.
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Going to Leather, Kink and BDSM events brings so much to the forefront of my mind. Most impactful are my social anxiety and the pressure I place(d) on myself to excel at everything. To be the best presenter. The most amazing bottom/sub. To be a part of one of the most memorable scenes. Once I realised my perfectionism no longer served me, it initiated a slow process of detachment.
I was thinking about how attached I’d been to the idea of being a hardcore player…an intense masochist. What we in the scene will call a “heavy bottom,” because it met my need to overachieve. Over the years, I went from loving very intense sensations and edgier play to being neutral on these to finally dreading these scenes but still doing them…because I had a reputation to uphold, dammit.But then my sobriety took over. And lying to myself was over. And selfcare took over. And the “Me” who started off enjoying physical intensity evolved to the “Me” who cares less about impressing people than about being who I am…today.
It occurred to me it ain’t just me living inside this deception, and it doesn’t just apply to the dungeon.
Life is Growth and Change. The “You” you are today is not the “You” of your childhood…and probably is not even the “You” of a few years ago. Don’t let your attachment to a previous iteration of “You” frighten you away from your Truth. Don’t let someone else’s attachment to a previous “You” stunt your growth, hold you back, crush your spirit.
Those attached to a previous release can enter download your upgrade or uninstall, clear their cache and get the fuck out.
You’ll find it difficult to accept the beauty of who you are becoming if you hold tight to who you were.
I have nothing to prove to anyone, and everything to gain by letting go of the need to reiterate previous versions of myself so that other folks can feel comfortable while I bleed inside.
Because being your authentic fucking self is edge-play enough, yo.
This week sees the publishing of one of my True Tales in an anthology and one of my Fairy Tales in another anthology that is being RE-published!
“Leather Ever After” has some amazing and brilliant stories…and I’m gonna do a thing I rarely do and toot MY horn because I am swaggeringly proud of my contribution to this particular anthology.
When approached to write a fairy tale, I was initially dubious. I am not a fan of most fairy tales, and most American versions are merely cleaned up versions of brutal European stores. The few I knew of African origin didn’t feel that close to me, and the few Black American folk tales from my youth were problematic. Like the Uncle Remus stories. And then it hit me…I would make my own fairy tale one of setting right the wrongs so often perpetrated in these stories. I remembered “Tar Baby” and the rest of my own take on it wrote itself on my heart. I am excited that it will find its way back to the world. Congrats to Sassafras on this awesome feat!
I have been telling stories for as long as I have been speaking and I have been speaking since I was about 9 months old…so we are looking at over 48 years of me running my mouth. In the tradition of the Griot, I have share my stories and the stories of those I have encountered around the world and one of my favourite outlets is definitely the RISK! podcast. Kevin Allison is a tireless advocate of the story, and has helped to give voice to hundreds of humans and their gloriously unique stories.
One of the risker types of kink in which I have participated involves race and how it informs, permeates and – wait for it – colours all of my interactions within the BDSM, Leather and kink “communities.” I’ve spoken and written quite a bit about the topic(s) and sometimes, get a bit weary of doing so. But wen Kevin asked me to recount, in detail, my experiences with race and kink, in particular a rather notorious scene in which I’d had some difficulty, I could not say no, Story is important. The more difficult and personal, the higher the stakes and the more urgent the need to share.