Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Hey. Good to see you. Come on in.

I'm just out on the deck here, at the barbecue. Gorgeous night, huh?

There's beer in the fridge, but help yourself to the bottle on the counter. Glasses are in the cabinet there. It's a really robust 2009 Tilia Malbec. Argentina. The new girlfriend picked it out for dinner last night, and I'm turned on by it.

You want cheese on your burger? Cheddar or provolone?

The new girlfriend?

Yeah. No, I haven't written about her yet, but she's fucking cool. And the really ironic part? She's mulâtresse. Actually, she dislikes that word and identifies as black, although I have to admit that the biracial thing is hot for me. And it blows my mind since it was just a short while ago that I was yearning at the stars, Aphrodite, for a black lover again. It's been since Pamela.

Those smell good. ...Hey, about your last post. Can I ask you something?

Go for it. Yeah, they do.

Alright, like, I know it's just a blog and all, but really, what were you thinking? I mean, you were pretty harsh there.

Mm. I love it when the flame embraces the meat like that, you know? Won't be long now. Yeah, I've been thinking about that, actually. Over the last day or two, I've had some interesting responses to it on the blog, in my personal email box, and even on FetLife. They run the spectrum.

Not everyone who reads the blog might be in the know as far as kink ideas are concerned. You said before that most of your readers seem to be women, and if someone found your blog for the first time and read that post, dude, you'd probably come off... well...

As an arrogant, misogynistic jerk airing personal dirty laundry in a public forum?

Well, kinda, yeah. They look done. You gonna toast the buns?

Already did. Yeah, that occured to me. But I'm hoping the context comes through.


Here you go. More wine? Just nudge her off of your seat there, she won't bite. Whoah, these look awesome.

Hell yeah.

So, yeah. I realize that that post was pretty volatile, but I was trying to make some important points. Normally, no, I wouldn't use the blog as a platform to target someone on some nasty personal level. I mean, sure, I've made the occasional snippy remark about my ex-wife, but even that's extremely rare and brief, and always, I hope, reflecting a bigger picture. And I've earned it. But to cite someone broadly like that? Not something I'd normally do.

So why do it to Little Ginger?

Well, for one thing, she kinda walked right into it. I mean, I was already wanting to draft some posts with my thoughts about the power dynamics behind topping anyway, but when she started targeting me with this weird nonsense, it just seemed like the perfect springboard to make an example with. I can be a little snarky anyway, but the writer in me just saw this delicious opportunity to use her actions as backdrop to illustrate that, for one thing, respecting Tops and Dominants is a pretty paramount feature to power exchange play. At least in my view. For me, the post really had less to do with her than it had to do with making that point. She became the perfect example of what not to do, and I ran with it. And it's not like she's going to be hurt by the post anyway, since, duh, her moniker is a pseudonym.

But don't you think a certain amount of detachment would have made a stronger point? Could I have the steak sauce? Christ, these burgers are great.

A friend actually suggested that very thing to me, and yeah, after more thought, I think maybe that's true. Being more objective does add to a strong argument, I agree. But, you know, at the same time... well, it's not like she didn't deserve some kind of punishment too, you know? It wasn't the main intent, no, but it's not like it was entirely accidental, either. Just not as much as perhaps some readers might have thought. Especially those who emailed me to say that I'm an ass.

Maybe some of those people were offended because they're SAMs too.

Sure, maybe. And SAMs generally dislike it when the jig is up for them and they've been called on their shit.

So, do you think then that any bratty sub is a SAM?

Oh, hell no. SAMs aren't just brats: they actively ruin a playsession or a scene because they're deliberately manipulative and personally hurtful. A bratty sub might totally enjoy whimpering and refusing to comply with instructions or do other things to play up the role, and I can easily see how a Top in that playspace could have scads of fun with it. But even in that kind of scene, it's still about the bratty sub's submission, eventually anyway, to the Top's playful "wrath." Being naughty to acquire "punishment" can be awesome fun. But SAMs are much more destructive: they say and do things that deliberately, consciously attempt to incite a Dominant into stronger and stronger retributive responses, and they'll do it with chiding, shaming, disrespectful remarks and taunts. That's just hurtful and sexually impolite. It would be like a man saying something shaming to his BBW partner about her bodytype when in the very middle of deep lovemaking, or a woman making a rude comment about her man's cock size in the same situation. It's just not something good, healthy, caring lovers would do. SAMs deflect their own inner demons by playing this you-can't-catch-me mindgame which is inherently unwinnable by a reactionary Dominant.

Why so?

Because it ruins the sense of power exchange. There is no power exchange: it becomes a battle of wills. A reactionary Dominant feels the need to stand ground, and so the matter just gets bigger and bigger. And most importantly, it becomes unfun.

At least for the Top. Is that like "topping from the bottom"?

Can be, I think.

So, what "context" was that last post written from? Or are you really an arrogant, misogynistic jerk?

I think the blog demonstrates pretty clearly that I'm anything but. Then again, that post...

Oh, c'mon. "Cuntswipe?"

Ha! Yeah, I have no idea where that came from. Not a word I've ever used before. Although, the new girlfriend I mentioned did tell me that she thought that was hysterical. But remember: that post was written in the context of a pissed-off Top actively in scene mode. I tried to indicate that by noting how my approach to Ginger changed when I figured her SAMmishness, and when I included the now-we're-in-scene warning label. I think I may write a post or two to help clarify things as well. Oh, hell, we're almost out of wine.

And the real violence you mentioned? You said your past BDSM mentors would wipe the walls with her, and that physical assaults could have happened.

I like to believe that the vasy majority of kinksters in the world are safe, sane, consensual-minded people, and I certainly count myself as among them. No, I certainly don't condone something like genuine physical assault. But, the fact of the matter is, SAMs push buttons on some people and sometimes, unfortunately, unpleasant results can and could happen. Now, that doesn't mean it's right or healthy or advisable or good, but it's one reason why fetish educator Laura Goodwin has even suggested that mortal injury can be a risk factor in those circumstances. Tops protect their territory; it's part of the whole point.

Have I witnessed genuine violence in such a situation? Yes. I've seen people slapped, backhanded, when something Really Ugly happened during a playparty or in a fetish club. People can be dramatic sometimes. People don't always think clearly.

I think it's important to remember that power exchange play, dominance and submission play, is about roles. Masks. It's supposed to be a game, like a grown-up version of "Cowboys And Indians" or "Cops And Robbers" or some sexually kinkified version of "House." Oh, it can get deeply serious, but there's something to be said, I think, relating those childhood roleplay scenarios to the naughty adult potentials.

So that also means that the game can, and often has, definite start and endpoints. Me, I'm a big stickler for ritual and protocol and symbols, so I use real and concrete ways to illustrate the parameters of a scene. It might be the gear I'm wearing: if that leather band is still on my left wrist, I'm still in Top mode, and if that collar is still around your pretty neck, we're still Playing. It might be a handsome candle that's burning: as long as it hasn't been blown out, the game continues. That sort of imagery allows players to sink deeply, and safely, into the skewed-but-scandalously-fun role dynamics happening during the scene. It also means that when the scene is over, we're equal partners again.

But it's all about roles, personas, roleplay. And people choose their roles, and how deeply or consistently they want to take them, based on their fantasies and experiences and what they want to achieve and/or release through the process. It's kind of like ancient ritual theater in that way; it's cthonic.

And that's also why there's a sense, at least a subtle one, of violence to Topping. In life, certainly no, I'd never dream of laying a hand on anyone. Well, not usually anyway. But to some extent, can't it be argued that a fundamental part of the mythology behind this whole Topping thing is the image, the hint, the whisper of a chance that he or she could fuck you up? Isn't that part of the playful element of danger to it all? And, for that matter, wouldn't any self-respecting Top possess some amount of arrogance? Now, that doesn't mean that I really believe that women can or should be threatened or treated with sexist disrespect... but it might mean that, during a pre-negotiated, limited, consensual, limits-respecting scene between trusting partners who know what they are doing is a game, a roleplay, yeah, I just might call you some nasty name when you've "transgressed" and "require punishment."

So, are you saying that taking on any role means you're basically faking it?

No, I don't think so. It depends and what you want out of it, no? Sometimes people wear one role because their daily lives are so entrenched with its opposite: the submissive male who, during the day, is a barking corporate CEO for example, and who seeks release from the stress of responsibility. Or, the other way around, someone with real authority in the daily lives who enjoys that authority so much that they carry it into their sexplay. And then, there are people for whom the roles are entirely and happily fluid, and can wield a riding crop just as quickly and easily as receive the strokes of one. Those sorts of kinksters, it seems to me, are more interested in the shared physical sensations of the toys than in delving into the theatric psychodrama of the power exchanging. But that's just me. In any event, it's all good.

What about 24/7 kinksters? And Ginger's remark about "true Doms"?

For me, trying to be in Topspace 24/7 would be a huge amount of work. Besides, I adore knowing that my intimate partners are, in daily life, my equals: I expect her to have her own pursuits, goals, and interests outside of me. I think doing extended play over a few days would be a blast, but then there are times when I don't feel like making all the decisions too. And, again, that's me.

And this whole "true Dom" stuff is, as far as I'm concerned, hurtful, splitting nonsense. I'm certain that even the haughtiest, slickest, most deliciously ominous professional dominatrix with a walk-in closet full of PVC and leatherwear has her days when she just wants to kick back and catch Sex In The City reruns over a tub of ice cream.

Ooo ice cream. Have any for dessert?


Anonymous said...

Well said.

Aurore said...

Cuntswipe *giggles*

Seriously though, if someone took the last post out of context this should help clarify why you took the tone you did previously.

And yes, that wine is sexy :)

One more thing: mulâtresse for a woman.

Rose Redd said...

You are a writer, an artist, a spinner of waking wet dreams, you have poetic license. You educate, inform, enthrall and inspire.
You are sane, sensitive and compassionate ( I was going to say sexy... s s s) You offer clarity and humanity, and being so human, you too are allowed your rant and your legitimate feelings. Always a great read. Thank you!

Rogue said...

Thank you, all of you.

And Aurore? Je me tiens agréablement corrigé, vous la belle chose.