Jul 212009
 
'Sekhmet" ~ by Laurel Green
“Sekhmet” ~ by Laurel Green

 As often happens my brain revs up to impossible speeds just as I’m going to sleep. I am certain that this is because “normal working hours” are at odds with the hours in which I work best. I am NOT. Bloody. Diurnal. If the average person has an 8-hour window within which they can best rock the mike, mine is sure as fuck not 9-5.  I’m at the height of focus at the 6PM-2AM shift. I loved working graveyard, back in the day.

Every day I fight against the way I have been my entire life to squeeze into a system that isn’t working and never did. My Mom has stories of literally walking me though morning as a kid, and yet finding me under the blankets with a book and a flashlight in the middle of the night.

Last few nights I have been flipping back and forth between thoughts about a solo show that is hammering on my brain…a story that I have to tell and it is becoming more important.

OK, fair enough.

Continue reading »

Jun 122009
 

The other day I was told “No, you’ll do it this way.” In my professional life.

And, Ganesha help me, I loved it.

Sure, at first, not so much.  But within a few minutes I was strangely pleased. Smoothed out. Dare I say, perky, even.

I had a customer issue I needed to address, and it had been shuttled around for a bit. A number of people had their fingerprints on the e-trail for this problem, but I had to actually respond to the customer. This is something I do well, and I have in fact been given recognition, prizes, plaques and awards for this shit.  I fucking RULE at customer service.

Yeah, shocking, I know.

So this fairly standard issue, addressing a customer complaint, was a piece of cake. I dusted off my high-falutin’ CorporateFuckYouHaveALovelyDay approach, dashed out an e-mail, and forwarded to one of the Powers That Be for approval.

And they said “No, I don’t want it this way.”

I sat, a bit frustrated because I am rather proud of my writing ability and my 20+ years working in Customer Service of one kind or another. 

Then I realized that I wasn’t angry or even really that frustrated. That what I wanted was to receive the back-patting I felt I deserved for my not-inconsiderable skills.

After some lighthearted banter, I (only partially joking) pulled the “Well if you can do better, bring it! Let’s see whatcha got!” gambit.  And then I waited for the re-write.

The new draft of the response to the customer had little to do with my initial response, which was not designed to leave much room for the complainant to continue their diatribe. It was far more personable, friendly, all that shit.

I made one or two tiny adjustments to make it sound at least a BIT like something I MIGHT say, and sent it off.

What the hell does this have to do with kink?

OK, I’m getting to that. STFU. Furthermore, as I work on kink-oriented websites (to get meta on that ass) anything work related IS, technically, kink related.

But that’s not my point.

My point is this: I have shifted my perspective a whole lot in the past 2+ years of sobriety. Things I never noticed before are thrown into sharp razor-slicing relief, and loom large as blue whales.  And things that used to be crushing blows to my ego roll off of my back like so much dew on the head of a cygnet. But I only take criticism with calm, unruffled grace in a HANDFUL of situations. 

  • From a director I respect, while working in theater.
  • From a dominant I respect while working in submission
  • From a friend I respect when I KNOW they know me well and intimately.

In most other situations, criticism usually had to filter though defensive mechanisms more Byzantine than I am even capable of describing to you now.

So when I realized I’d accepted a criticism in a NEW way, and not had the hackles raised, and in fact feel calmed and pleased that I was able to see the value in the criticism without it having to diminish my self-worth, that is kind of amazing.

To further wonkify it, it felt…submissive. Yah OK so, what’s new? Work IS submission, right? Submission to the clock, to the almighty dolla bill, y’all, dolla bill y’all.  But I had an additional little extra frisson in that I actually kind of enjoyed it. It felt good, to me, to be able to take that adjustment in stride, to remain on task. It mirrored other branches of submission.

I let go and managed, somehow in the relinquishing of my ego, just for a little bit there, to see that what I wanted, and my own pride in purpose, was perforce secondary to the larger vision, which wasn’t necessarily mine at the time. That type of release is something I am not often aware that I do when in a submissive mindset, because that IS one of the pillars of my submission.  But for me, submitting is dissolving into a larger spiritual lattice. I am losing my focus on submitting to a person, in total and finding that I submit to my life itself. To what I do, and to what I do not do.  To people who are in and around and throughout my life.

But not in a way that permits them to abuse me, not by a longshot. In fact, when I take stock, I feel more honored and loved and respected than I have in a long time.

But there is something to submitting to one’s own life.

I hear so many people talking, myself included, about “managing their lives.”

Increasingly this sounds like so much bullshit.

You can’t manage it. You can only ride it. Submit to it.

And in doing so, with the fight between me and destiny and pain slowly grinding to a standstill, the quiet is filled with some really strange and beautiful music.

I’m sure I won’t hit mental subspace each and every time I am smacked down for a decision that is at odds with the position of someone in authority over me, and that is OK.

Because even the occasional emotional smackdown is sufficient to help me to “get it.”

…and frankly, it doesn’t hurt to get the “correction” from someone wearing Engineer style motorcycle boots.

Jun 052009
 

“There’s a difference,” I mused, while furiously scanning kinky profiles to find a couple of dozen that meet the insane criteria for my Nefarious Corporate purposes  “…for me there IS a difference between being obedient and being submissive.”

 This gets the attention of Mo’s Internal Committee for a moment. Today we’ve had some shit rolling around that, in retrospect, really dug itself in yesterday but has been simmering for a couple of years.  I am not super adept at managing my emotionality on multiple fronts, so the past 6 months or so have been…challenging.

 “So, uh…what’s the difference?” the MIC finally begrudgingly responds.  Like starved squirrels on a pack of peanuts they’ve been worrying over the same shit for a while now, so a change of pace is a nice relief.

 “Unfortunately I have to dedicate a lot of bandwidth to external shit like…oh…work…so I don’t have much room to process this fuckball right now.” I reply to the MIC, wincing at the florid overwrought prose of a self-styled “Master_Sir_Mucketymuck” demanding the submission of every nubile slender single female reader of his profile.

 The MIC grumbles snippily “You can’t bloody well bring that shit up and then claim work-impunity here. Don’t fuck around with us. We’ve gotten you on the brink of tears TWICE today before 2:00 PM PDT, so it isn’t wise to be a fucking smartass.”

I back off, because yeah, we’ve been at it for hours now.

“Fair enough, Committee.

What I’m hitting my head against is this. 

I often am obedient. I do what I am supposed to do, follow the rules, smile and nod, but still try to maintain integrity.

And sometimes it is second nature.

And sometimes it is insufficiently contained, barely-restrained, sociopathic crazymaking energy.  

Obedience I can do. I click into it. Submission is another animal. No, not another animal…an animal and…a parasite? A symbiotic…no, no…wait…”

 MIC waits patiently as I fumble this one out. Kinda patiently.  My Id is idling now, feeling stabby and ready to go back to gnawing at the ragged feet of my self-esteem, hobbling under the weight of a metric fuckton of guilt and pride. But they, unlike, me, have All/None of the time in the world.  SO they wait.

 I take another breath.

 “What I think I’m trying to say is that Obedience is the part that I can do, even when it sucks, but I don’t have to like it.

Submission is the part I do even when I don’t like it, but it becomes something I DO enjoy…because the submitting feels right.”

 The MIC mutters, and Bubbles, of course, knows what I’m talking about. Being the part of me that is addictive, she knows all about doing what you don’t wanna do for the best and the worst reasons.

After a few minutes of confabulation, the MIC has an interim verdict.

 “You,”  they proclaim “are a hot mess. And you probably have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about.”

 “I don’t,” I reply “and that is why I’m writing this right now. I’m taking the 15 minutes I need to disgorge this cud and swallow it back to another stomach for continued ruminations….”

 The Committee waves the yellow flag

 “Your Analogies are fucking grossing us the fuck out. Please.  Just…just stop. Yellow.”

 I back off again…mostly because I have lots of work to do but also because the Office Whistler is making it impossible for me to think.

 “Oh and doofus, do not fucking post this on your blog,”  they add “because someone will sure as fuck, and rightfully so, advise you see someone about that MPD you have going untreated there.”

 I don’t listen, of course.

 But I do wonder, in the back of my mind, in a small cage with a smaller hamster, running running running…why it is so easy for me to be obedient but so hard for me to really deeply submit…

Apr 172009
 

Some things are indelible in the soft clay of my heart. Those moments of connection with someone where it isn’t about verbal communication. Where the lips the teeth the tip of the tongue aren’t in play because you look at someone and you get volumes of information instantaneously.

I love this moment. I have them often. I’m highly empathetic and I am easily read so those feedback loops are readily accessible.

I more often have the problem of receiving too much information from someone. I’m left winded and looking at them thinking “Oh mercy…that is too much for me to feel with you right now….”

And then sometimes there is the opacity. The moment where, in the words of the unlamented Donald Rumsfeld, we realize we may be up shit’s creek.

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.

~Donald Rumsfeld

BDSM is exactly the path of Unknown Unknowns.

One of my favourite moments in BDSM play is the moments just as a scene starts. Mostly because those moments are so fleeting and often The Look is the only clue you have some Fucked Up Shit is about to go down.

And it is right then I KNOW I have no fucking idea what is going to happen and that makes me so fucking high.

As a submissive, I tend to not be a fighter. Someone who wants constant resistance is not going to be amused by me. Because if you are doing it right and you somehow manage to intimidate me, I’m in. You win.

There is, however, an interesting second breaking point, where I suddenly wake up from that “bird in the cobra stare” and realize I am about to be lost and there is no turning back, and THEN I’ll fight you.

It is that borderline between drowning and kicking to the surface for that one last desperate breath of air before my own submission reaches up from the depths, wraps its mute, reptilian tentacle around my ankle and pulls me back down to the Abyssal Plain of my being. That Cold dark place of tremendous pressures where nothing exists but that faith and prayer that maybe; maybe perhaps, by being still and quiet, I will survive “This.”

If you are one of those who willingly take that ride, and take it again and again, you might know what I mean.

And if you are one of the people who operate that ride, you certainly know what I mean.

Of late I’ve had several very dark fantasies that have felt more like sensememory of brutality that are revisiting me. Depending on your cosmology there may or may not be a reason for these feelings.

Were I in an ongoing relationship I would be interested in talking about these things to my partner, pulling at the edges of that tarp, peeking at what is beneath.  But that isn’t an excavation I can conduct solo. I instead I am treated to ever increasing odd recollections of moments. A look, a scene that viscerally terrified me. A particularly tender moment suddenly recollected yet juxtaposed with a sobbing ecstasy.

And then I leave that room, and shut the door behind me.

But I can still hear the echo.

…clearly I need to get my ass beaten.

Mar 012009
 

One of the Happier Discoveries I made about being a pervert is that lots of the idiosyncrasies, pathologies, fetishes and freakish desires that many people frown upon in the General Public are not only just fine by pervs, but are actively encouraged.

You Like to boss people around? Great! Find yourself a pliant submissive and knock yerself out!

You wanna be degraded and heaped in abuse and scorn? AWESOME. Get yourself at the feet of a skilled top and you can rootle like the pig you are to your heart’s content.

But it is a continuous process, for me, accepting myself.

I have yet to run across a fetish or a play-style that I absolutely cannot fathom. 

I understand why people wish to pretend to be children.

I can see why scatological play fascinates people.

I absolutely grok furries.

I have no trouble at all embodying the desire to hurt, be hurt, to hit some dude in the grapes with a ball-peen hammer.

And I can view these things with compassion.

Except in one notable case.

And that is me.

See, I need a boss. A Daddy.  A Platoon Leader for my Army of One.

I need guidance, encouragement, a cheerleader, a parental figure.

Someone who will put my picture up on the refrigerator and call me in the middle of the day to tell me how proud they are.

And I see this as a fatal weakness. A character flaw.

I SHOULD be self-motivated. I SHOULD be able to be a “Self-Starter.”  I SHOULD be able to motivate myself to do for myself by myself. I SHOULD not need someone to pull me along by the nose, sometimes kicking and screaming, toward what I need.  I SHOULD keep my room tidy because that is what Good Girls Do.

That’s a whole shitload of shoulds.

The drawback to functioning so well under the measured guidance of a Boss is that the absence of said boss leaves one at loose ends sometimes.

Now, sometimes I do get motivated.  I was quite proud of myself last Friday when I took much-needed time off of work, wrestled the Mighty Kaiser Permanente, asked for help by way of borrowing a friend’s car,  saw 2 doctors for 2 different issues,  got my Flu AND Pneumonia vaccines, had my scrips filled, fucked shit up at Target,  did my shopping, hauled my loot home and up; the the 3rd floor all by myself, went to dinner for delicious matzoh ball soup,  and got back to bed in one piece.

On Friday, I had my Big Girl Panties on.

But it fucking stung to want nothing more at the end of the day to have that acknowledged by someone who was present and loving. 

The thing about being in service to someone is that it takes you out of your “You-centric”  headspace and puts you into a mindset of gleaning joy from the service to another. 

And I love that, and I get that.

And I miss that. And it is an unshakable seismic ache, sometimes.

That’s all.

I…um.

Yeah. 

I have no pithy clever wrap-up tonight.

Just me, wondering why I’m built in this strange way.

Dec 012008
 

I don’t usually advertise myself as a switch. Why? Because I’m not, centrally, switch-focused. I have found a depth of fulfillment within my submissive nature that is pretty fucking startlingly WINtastic.

But every once in a while someone gets through the cracks and I think “Well, maybe, maybe I could switch…”

And I wish it were not so, but this seems to be the case with insanely attractive submissive men.

Almost Perfect...Wait! Who you callin' a size queen?!?!

I received a message on CollarMe that didn’t make me want to run screaming for the hills or rant insanely about the puerility of most of the membership on that particular site. But it was from a submissive. I idly scrolled down to the profile picture and holymotherfucking shit the man is gorgeous. GORGEOUS. And it seems that I am precisely his type.

Check and mate.

First off, there ain’t nothing much more attractive than someone who thinks that who you are is simply over-the-top fantastic. There aren’t busloads of men stopping in front of my flat looking for “That thick black blonde woman,” so when someone specifically digs me, I am thinking “OK, let’s look further.”

And then he’s smoking hot. Yay!

But submissive. Boo!

Or…not?

My ex-boyfriend, The Pizza Guy*, didn’t identify as a “dominant” per se. But our relationship worked out well while it lasted. And I know plenty of people who become involved with folks who fall outside of their desired core identification.

I rarely say “Never.” Primarily because to make that kind of call is hubris. And anyone who has read their mythology knows how well hubristic heroes fare in the end!

But I cannot help feeling a bit shallow and petty. If an equally sincere submissive with whom I might also have an interesting relationship approached me but was not some Adonis, would I consider a coffee date as readily? And if not, is that fair? If if not fair, who cares?

This is all probably moot. The flake factor on these sites is markedly overwhelming, and I probably will not wind up meetig this man. But when I am next at a Munch or a Kink Convention and meet that really really hot submissive, I may well not move them into the “ineligible” category quite so quickly.


*Someone remind me to blog about that later.
Nov 182008
 

I cringe and bristle when I hear the phrase “topping from the bottom” It is often used as a pejorative within the Leather and BDSM community to denote one who is in the position of receiving sensation (the bottom) directing or “topping” from what “should be” a subordinate place.

The problem I have is this: the term top and bottom Do not OF NECESSITY denote a relinquishing of power, or submission to another’s will.  One can “bottom” without being submissive. Bottoming really just means that you are the one on the receiving end of the whip, bondage, flogger, etc.

A bottom has EVERY RIGHT and, I’ll add, the RESPONSIBILITY, to make sure that the scene is as they have called, because they are there to get their fucking rocks off.

And how they get their rocks off may be very particular.

If they leave that shit up to guesswork on the part of the top, and the top doesn’t get it right, who bears the responsibility there?

Often the term is also used to smack down “pushy” or “unsubmissive” slave or submissive types. 

I will agree that passive-aggressive behaviour isn’t sexy. Whining and puling and moaning to goad a partner into the type of behaviour you want isn’t the essence of submitting. 

It is lame ass fuckery.

Trust.

But.

It isn’t always about that.  For some, the “bratty sub” who pouts and resists is hot. And for others, pleasing the bottom or submissive is PRECISELY what gets them off. And the folk’s I know who are “Compassionate Sadists” [i.e. a person whose sadism is dependant on the masochistic pleasure of their partner] are secure enough within their kink to accept guidance from their bottom and relish the feedback. It is an excellent mark of healthy communication.

And all too often, people look at the components of a behaviour and miss the soul of service within.

Years ago, back when I was still in Formal Leather Service to my first Trainer, I was out with him, 2 other subs in his House, and a group of about 20 kinky people.

The local Kinky Flea Markethad been the amusement for the afternoon, and we were catching our collective breath prior to heading to the CastleBar (RIP, CastleBar!) for the kick ass ass-kickings that were sure to follow an afternoon shopping for floggers and bindings and whips. (Oh. My.)

We went to Timo’s (RIP, Timo’s!) a Tapas restaurant that was well-known to me. Now, having 24 people at one long-ass table at a restaurant, especially a Tapas place, is a recipe for “Check, please!” epic disaster.

People started discussing who had cash, who had credit, who was not drinking, who was vegetarian…I felt this tremendous anxiety building. I wanted everyone to just be happy and have a nice meal. Plus, too many tops spoil the damned supper. Fo’reals.

I spoke aside to my Trainer and asked if he’d approve me handling this. He nodded and said “Of course.”

I stood at the end of the table, clapped my hands to get everyone’s attention.

I advised the group of the fact that, unless we had some consensus, this was not necessarily going to be a pleasant experience. I took a quick survey to see how much cash everyone was comfortable spending. I asked who had that amount in available cash, and who might need to put it on a card. I gathered those who were vegetarian in one section, those who were drinking in another, with enough overlap to break down the checks fairly. I re-arranged the seating to take these factors into account. I ordered for the table, assisted the waiter in disbursing the plates as the kitchen cranked them out, made sure everyone was fed, and when the check came I made sure that everyone paid their fair share, and that the waiter was well taken care of.

Several “dominants” at the table seemed nonplussed. They asked my Trainer if I was actually in service training, since I’d spent most of the evening telling people what to do. 

“Kinda bossy topping from the bottom type, isn’t she. She must be a handful.””

He smiled.

“Was she topping from the bottom? Telling people what to do, or relieving you of the annoyance and burden of worrying about what had to be done? When was the last time you went out with such a large group, ate your fill, knew what the check was going to be, and then had everything fall into place? That is what a well trained slave or submissive does for you: they make your life that much easier. They smooth the path. And they take pride in it.”

I’ll tell you this…more than one dominant was second-guessing their assumptions that evening.

Plus I love the “Awwww snap!! In your FACE, bitches!!” aspect of the thing. And I appreciated that he acknowledged the heart of the work I’d done.

Serving someone can often don the wolf’s hide of dominance.

A personal trainer is your employee, but they bust your ass to insure that you meet your desired goals. A person in service can often fulfill that role.

The trick is to do it with joy, and from a place of willingness, and because it fills your heart.

Nov 152008
 

If you are a self-identified kinky person, you may have heard of “Top’s Disease”: the dominant who shows off in scenes, is riddled with self-importance bordering on clinical monomania may fall into the category of victim of  “Top’s Disease.” This is the idea that a dominant or top has a terminal kink-centric narcissism. Believing their own hype.

Showing off flashy technique, being a “One True Way” elitist, making seemingly extravagant demands of partners or even bystanders, using submissives in a way that seems like a less than profound spiritual manner may well see you relegated to a toppy Bardo, in a purgatory of sorts.

Nobody like a show-off, after all.

Questioning someone’s motives, dominance, submission, etc because of what you are capable of observing about their play style is a slippery slope.

For example.

I was once ordered, before a scene, not to make a sound. Went to the dungeon, did a pretty heavy flogging then whipping scene, through which I remained completely silent.

Those who were used to hearing me shriek, kick, scream and speak in tongues (Seriously. Ask anyone who has seen me get seriously fucked up.) immediately assumed something was wrong, and asked the DM to intervene. Thank the gods she said, “You people complain when they scream too loud, now you want me to tell a bottom that they are BEING TOO QUIET? I’ll pass.”

Dominance is different things to different people. Perhaps showing off their mastery of flogging is what the dominant wanted to do. Isn’t it their right to do so?

As to egoism in a dominant, I ask ya: who DOESN’T want a dominant with a (healthy) ego? If you aren’t AT LEAST egotistical enough to assume control of me, you are not taping in to my submissive core.

Just because your particular style of “connected” doesn’t look like someone else’s is no reason to scorn it, them, or their approach.

I actually like a healthy ego in a dominant. I love an edge of arrogance, because it takes that for me to really believe you can outdo me.

If you don’t want to see a scene that has spectacular aspects, to it, fine. But some of the most breathtaking scenes I have seen have involved play that was quite obviously extensively elaborate, and often was a gift to those watching, a “Thank you!” for lending their energy and attention.

Why throw their gift back in their face by scoffing at their style of playing?

Unless this person is unsafe, and the submissive is in physical or emotional danger, I don’t get the dismissiveness of a more theatrical level of play.

I mean, we CALL IT A PLAY PARTY. Refer to it as play. Shit, I do theatrically based plays too. And if people weren’t watching, clapping, feeling something, getting something back from my performance, I’d feel like shit. And if I didn’t bow at the end, you’d feel cheated.

You CAN be in tune with the audience and in tune with your “co-star” or “supporting actor” or even “prop” at the same time. Any actor worth their salt does it any time they step on stage.

And it ain’t a far cry away from playing.

I wouldn’t trade anything for the scene where the top I was playing with asked people from the audience watching what he should do to me, having them laugh, then be shocked when he went even farther, and me cursing the 12 generations of their families and all of their pets for being such assholes. Or how about someone helping to “recapture” me when I slipped from some bondage? Or a top actually stopping to explain something about his toys to another top, giving me the opportunity to quip, as thought bored while suspended upside down:

“Hey, if you’re busy, can I go have a smoke?”?

Yeah, I can be a smart ass. That is when I get slapped around. And that ain’t bad neither.

A crippling case of “Top’s Disease” is not becoming. But a nice healthy dose of well-earned ego, mastery and a scoop of arrogance topped with the cherry of entitlement…whew. Yes, please!

Oct 282008
 

Trying out this new thing, seeing if I can pull off telling an (in)decent fucktale in under 500 words. Whaddya think?


“Don’t move. Don’t fucking move. if you move and you make me come right now I swear to god you’ll make me very angry and I don’t think you want that.” I could hardly breathe as his belt, looped once around my throat buckle cutting into my shoulder pulled tight under my back tail gripped firmly in his hand growing tighter incrementally slowly becoming the focus of my attention as I focused on not moving which was hard. It was hard because his full weight was on me and when he wasn’t threatening me with effulgent glistening stepping-razor violence he was biting me really hard and it isn’t all that easy to focus on not moving about when someone is biting you. Really hard. Continue reading »