Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thirty letters

I've seen this meme on a few other blogs, but originally on Britni's.  The idea is that over the course of thirty days, you write thirty letters, each to someone different.  The list is as follows:

Day 1 — Your Best Friend
Day 2 — Your Crush/ Boyfriend
Day 3 — Your parents
Day 4 — Your sibling (or closest relative)
Day 5 — Your dreams
Day 6 — A stranger
Day 7 — Your Ex-boyfriend/girlfriend/love/crush
Day 8 — Your favorite internet friend
Day 9 — Someone you wish you could meet
Day 10 — Someone you don’t talk to as much as you’d like to
Day 11 — A Deceased person you wish you could talk to
Day 12 — The person you hate most/caused you a lot of pain
Day 13 — Someone you wish could forgive you
Day 14 — Someone you’ve drifted away from
Day 15 — The person you miss the most
Day 16 — Someone that’s not in your state/country
Day 17 — Someone from your childhood
Day 18 — The person that you wish you could be
Day 19 — Someone that pesters your mind—good or bad
Day 20 — The one that broke your heart the hardest
Day 21 — Someone you judged by their first impression
Day 22 — Someone you want to give a second chance to
Day 23 — The last person you kissed
Day 24 — The person that gave you your favorite memory
Day 25 — The person you know that is going through the worst of times
Day 26 — The last person you made a pinky promise to
Day 27 — The friendliest person you knew for only one day
Day 28 — Someone that changed your life
Day 29 — The person that you want tell everything to, but too afraid to
Day 30 — Your reflection in the mirror

I hated writing assignments in school, and I don't do deadlines or dailies very well, but I like the concept.  When I have ideas for what at least half of these would look like, after just looking at the list, clearly I need to participate.  There's a lot to work with here, and I think "interesting" would be just the tip of the iceberg.

Still, I'm not going to do one every day, nor am I going to do them in order, I think.  I might not even do all of them.  But, there are some I definitely want to write.

Maybe even send.

So over the next while, you'll see some of these popping up on the blog.  They won't be "Day such-and-such", they'll be "Number such-and-such", and they'll be tagged.  Let's see how far the rabbit hole goes, hmmm?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

See also: On the Notion of Consent and Personal Responsibility

If you haven't already heard about this story, you're lucky.

Basically, a woman sued Girls Gone Wild for taping her without her consent when she was in a bar a number of years ago.  A jury ruled that since she was in the bar, she consented to being filmed.

It gets worse.  One, she only found out that she was in the film after an acquaintance told her, a number of years after the fact.  Two, what was filmed was her being sexually assaulted.  In the video, another woman pulls down her shirt while she can clearly be heard to be saying "no no no".

How fucked up is our culture when not even NO means no?

Never mind the fact that I have issues with the entire "no means no" structure of consent anyway.  As you've noticed in previous entries - and probably by my blogroll - I'm a fan of the enthusiastic consent structure.  Unless there's a clear "yes", there is no consent.  But I recognize that for many people, the only education they receive on matters of consent is in fact "no means no", and so I'm willing to at least work with that.  It is, after all, better than nothing.

But in this case, there was not only a lack of enthusiastic, clear consent - the GGW company did not produce a written consent, nor could they produce verbal consent captured on video - but there was a definite presence of the revoking of consent.  She was asked to flash the camera.  She said no.  Someone else assaulted her - and make no mistake, that was assault - and pulled down her shirt, exposing her breasts.  There was no consent, and this should have never been put in to the video.

Moreover, I'd say that the camera person has a responsibility to say "HEY THAT ISN'T COOL" and stop the tapes from rolling.  Never mind everyone else the bar having a responsibility to say the same thing, at a bare fucking minimum.

The message that this verdict sends is just a reaffirmation of the one rape culture gives us every day.  That women are public property.  That if we aren't good little girls we deserve whatever happens to us.  That going out and having a good time means that anything and everything is on the table.

And that is just fucking bullshit.

No fucking thank you

So, I don't actually like receiving oral.

Giving?  Oh, I adore giving.  I fantasize about cocks in my mouth on a regular basis.

Receiving?  Not so much.

For the most part I try to be, mmm, nonchalant about it.  "It's nice", I say, "but that's about all it is".  Or, "I can take it or leave it".

That is more where I want to be, where I strive to be, than where I really am.

Where I actually am is Saturday morning, Jay and I had woken up, and I was feeling decidedly frisky.  We started making out, he put his hand on my throat, starting using the paddle on my tits (which have I mentioned?  I love), started using it on my cunt.  I was sprawled on the bed, legs open, really starting to get in to things and thinking to myself "oh god please fuck me" when he bends over me, puts his face between my legs, and ever-so-gently starts licking my clit.

"It's okay, I'm cool" I practically chanted to myself and laid absolutely still.  Yeah, it was cool for about 90 seconds, tops, when it was definitely OHMYGODNOTCOOL and I pretty much freaked.

A couple of things:

  1. The better I'm doing on a given day with respect to my body image, the easier it is for me to chill out and not freak out when Jay starts eating me out.  If I'm already anxious in some way about my body, it's far easier for me to be extremely anxious about the state of my vadge.  On Saturday, I was already low-level freaking about the fact that we were due to be going to the beach with friends, and I would be wearing a swimsuit, and my legs were kind of hairy, and none of these friends had ever seen me in a swimsuit before.  Yes, intellectually, who the fuck cares?  It's my body, my body is wonderful, if they have a problem with it it's their problem not mine blah blah blah etc. and so on.  And most of the time, I can maintain that.  But unlearning the self-loathing for my body that I've been marinating in for nearly 30 years is a long, arduous process, and clearly is not done yet.  It was definitely an "EW NO GROSS" moment.  I'm not proud of it, but there it is.
  2. At the best of times, oral sex performed on me is pleasant and nothing more.  It does not come close to getting me off, and doesn't do anything to increase the pleasure I'm feeling.  If anything, it decreases it, as it's kind of ho-hum.  As you can imagine, this doesn't provide any incentive to get over myself in this area.
  3. I'm really sick of hearing from various sources, such as magazines and the like, that oral is the end-all-be-all of getting off and that women all looooove oral.  Fuck you.  By stating that women are a monolith you do a disservice to women fucking everywhere.  We all get off in different ways and like different things and that's okay.
  4. Joseph and I, in our myriad discussions, have discussed oral.  Upon finding out that I actually don't like receiving, his reply was "When we get together, I WILL go down on you, and you WILL like it."  My immediate reaction was "Fuck you, no I won't".  I don't respond well to orders.  SHOCKING, I know.  But that conversation popped in to my head Saturday morning.  It added to the fucked-up-ness, which I didn't appreciate.
  5. I also hear about all these women who just wish their guys would go down on them, and I wish mine wouldn't.  How is it that a woman who despises oral keeps attracting guys who love giving it?  What the fuck?
  6. Jay's and my relationship is such that should he choose to dominate this hang-up out of me, he probably could.  In other words, he could order me to like it, proceed to do it to me on a regular basis, and basically train my reaction out of me.  He hasn't, and I'm not sure I want him to.
  7. My sense of smell has been cranked to 11 lately, so I am hyper-sensitive to odors, and have a hard time remembering this under pressure.
So I got triggered in a bad, ugly way, and proceeded to cry in the shower, and then be unspeakably tetchy and angry the entire rest of the day. We also did not go to the beach, for mostly related reasons.

We eventually processed it all out (at 3 in the morning, when we both went to bed, wheee!), whereupon I cried again.  Jay had gotten blindsided when I freaked in the morning, because one, he had no way of knowing what kind of headspace I was already in, and 2, when we had last discussed this topic and I had said "it's not unpleasant?" I had not made clear that that was more in the way of being a goal than my default state of being.

Having processed and reconnected, we were both feeling better, whereupon he proceeded to apply the new clips I bought at Ikea to my nipples, which, I have to share, was DIVINE.  Which will teach him to doubt my purchases!  And lo, it was good.

Still do not have any desire to be eaten out, ever though, thanks.  Just... no.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Joseph and I frequently entertain ourselves during our respective work days by having salacious and flirtatious conversations.  Nearly as often, we're discussing politics or philosophy or something else, but the conversations do regularly turn sexual.  Sometimes it's describing what we'd like to to do to each other should we ever find ourselves in the same city.  Sometimes it's more prosaic - asking and answering questions about what the other likes, limits, etc.

While we were planning Tuesday's escapades, he made a passing remark that I might find it easier to write erotica after I'd "cum a bit".

Never mind the writing, there is no "bit" in cumming for me, and I promptly let him know.  We moved on in the conversation but I got the impression that he really didn't understand what I was saying.

Later that night, he did actually get to see me in the throes of orgasm.  Now, let me explain.  For me, orgasm is often explosive.  I've been told by Jay that it looks like I'm having a seizure, for starters.  My entire body spasms, and if I'm capable of any vocalization at all, it's merely guttural shrieks and or moans.  (Actually, I tend to lose verbal faculties fairly early on in arousal, which drives Joseph up a wall sometimes.  Seeing as how we largely communicate through text and phone calls.)  After orgasm, my brain more or less shuts down and I spend that time in a daze.  This daze can last anywhere from one minute to half an hour, depending on the severity of the orgasm.  I myself find it pretty fucking awesome; orgasm is the only thing I've found that can reliably halt my otherwise-constant brain activity.  It's a nice break, and would be even if I didn't find orgasm itself intensely pleasurable.

Anyway.  After I came to and was capable of moving again, I returned to the conversation.

"Holy fuck.  I did not think you were serious.  No wonder you fall asleep after; you look like you just got punched in the fucking skull."


"That or you're channeling a cat in a sunbeam.  God damn, woman."


Like seriously, you didn't believe me?  I'm pretty sure I'm the resident expert on my orgasm, thanks.

Although it was nice to find that I am occasionally able to read people through just text, and not just in person.  No, he did not really understand what I was saying.  *sigh*

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Defintitely maybe.

Well, at least Disqus installed properly, and is working right out of the box.  Unlike IntenseDebate.


We'll see if the comment import works.

EDIT:  Hooooly fuck, it looks like it worked.  Color me shocked.
Also, goddammit, comments are still broken.  I love how my options are "use Blogger's shitty internal comments" or "break your shit".


I probably shouldn't be surprised that I've been having the dreams I've been having lately.  First, everyone seems to be having vivid dreams lately, especially last weekend and in to this week.  Secondly, it's been a hell of a week.  I'm stressed, but almost touching on euphoric, really.

Monday I worked with Hal again.  I like to think our relationship is maturing, seeing as how we are now capable of getting things done while laughing and falling all over ourselves.  It's kind of nice, actually.

What was not nice - and I don't mean that negatively, just that "nice" isn't the word at all - was that on Monday, we wound up not talking.  Probably because we were busy gazing in to each others' eyes.  Like, seriously gazing.  There are a number of reasons that Hal is off-limits right now, but oh good lord, that boy is dangerous.

Tuesday, I was in a training session at work that was largely not applicable to me.  Being an immature sort, I was chatting away on my BlackBerry.  Joseph and I had quite the conversation.  Said conversation led to our indulging in a bit of simultaneous naked camera time, which we haven't done in god knows how long.

I always seem to feel particularly vulnerable after engaging sexually with Joseph.  Intellectually, I know that he's attracted.  He's told me as such - and shown me.  I apparently need more aftercare than he's capable of providing from where he is, and I'm not sure if I mean that physically or emotionally.  Probably a bit of both, now that I think about it.  He's very much a "sensory" type - that is, his focus is on his senses.  His writing is full of those sorts of details - how things smell, taste, look, sound.  Me?  Not so much.  And I definitely am feeling vulnerable, four days later!

Basically, I need some reassurance.  Have I explicitly mentioned this?  Of course not.

But anyway, with the intensity of what's been going on this week, it's probably no wonder that both Hal and Joseph have been making regular appearances in my dreams.  I could live without waking up feeling like I'm in a bed surrounded by people.

Of course, I think I could happily live if that happened in reality on a regular basis, so maybe I shouldn't complain too much.

But when your first thought of the day is "jesus god have mercy" or a related variant, it's a little trying, I have to admit.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


So I opened my mouth again, and Jay and I drove down to the Flea yesterday.



We wandered a round for a while, just getting the lay of the land and adjusting to being in a kinky public space.  We don't do that very often.  But once we were feeling a bit more comfortable, we bought a few things.

The first thing we bought was a paddle.  Nothing large, just a small hairbrush-type.  It's small, and rather pretty.

And it stings like fucking hell.

Jay, naturally, is enamoured of it.  "Ooh!" says he.  "I can smack you a lot and my hand doesn't hurt!  And your ass turns red so much faster!"

Oh why thank you darling, that's lovely OW OW OW OW OW.

He also tried it out my my breasts.  It was still an OW for me, but a very different kind of ow, which Jay picked up on rather quickly.  Activities commonly referred to as "breast torture":  I LIKES THEM.

Regardless, I have the feeling that this, our very first paddle (how the hell were we kinky for ten years, and including so many spankings, and didn't have a paddle?  I don't know.) is going to be making a LOT of appearances.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Being a feminist kinkster

A thought occurred to me the other day:

But if it's my sexual agency, my power - isn't it mine to give away if I want?

If, as per feminism, I am an agent of my own free will, if I own my own agency, if I have the power to make choices for myself, why can't I sometimes choose - CHOOSE - to give that power away to someone else?

As has probably now been made quite clear, I identify as a feminist.  I firmly believe that I am the equal of anyone on the planet - not the same, but equal - that I am fully capable of making my own choices, that no one has the right to take those choices away from me.  I believe that I am a person, too - and that we are all people, even the ones I don't like.

What's probably painfully obvious is that I also identify as kinky.  And while as a switch, there are definitely times when I want to be giving out the beatings, more often than not I want to be on the receiving end.  (And sometimes, I just want to go to sleep oh god just let me sleep.)  (Who am I kidding, most times I want to sleep.  Mmm, sleep.)

And I've spent a lot of time, well, anguishing over these two parts of my identity and trying to bring them in to alignment with the whole of me.  It's not an easy fit for me.  Being less than anyone doesn't go down easy.  This entry is the result of a lot of reading, and a fair number of years of thinking distilled.

I see no signs of being finished with the whole "cohesive identity" thing yet; I fully expect that to take a lifetime.  And there's a lot to unpack, I think, with kink and the intersection with the culture I live in.  (Note to self:  write about kink intersectionality at some point.)

But, my will, my power, my agency, belong to me - inasmuch as they can belong to anyone raised in the miasma of the patriarchy.  I may not own every aspect of it, and I may not understand owning it completely.  I may not even fully know how far that agency goes. After all, I was raised under the memo that I don't own that, that I am subject to someone else's will.  But even if that ownership is a work in progress, I am choosing - there's that word again - to act as if it isn't.  To own, in totality, what I have, and to act as if I do completely own my own agency.

So therefore, if the choices are mine, why can't I give them away?

But, and this is a big but, the important part is that I am in fact choosing.  It is, incontrovertably, my choice to give away my agency, or part of it, to Jay.  Sometimes.  Under certain circumstances.  Where I am completely involved and invested in negotiating what those circumstances are, and just what choices I'm giving up.

There's a huge, vast difference for me in choosing to give away  my choices, my power, and having them taken away from me.  Having my choices taken away from me, my freedom as a person taken away, happens every day, in big ways and small - from court rulings and laws enacted that take away from my bodily autonomy and limit my access to reproductive healthcare, to the person on the street who says "Oh honey you really shouldn't wear that".  It's a kind of theft; it's a violation.

But it's a different feeling and experience than voluntarily giving up a choice, or a group of choices, or a fair number of choices.  It's different when it's a conscious choice.  Regardless of what informs or motivates that choice.

So.  If it's mine - and I have to function as and believe that it is - why can't I give it away?

Friday, July 09, 2010

On the notion of consent and personal responsibility

Okay, this has come up a lot lately, all over the internets, and I've been leaving a lot of comments about it, so clearly it's time to write an entry about it.


First, go read this entry, so that you have the basic vocabulary you'll need to understand this post.  It's okay, I'll wait.  (For extra credit, read everything on this page.)

Done?  Good.

So let me break this down for you all.  The person at fault in a sexual assault, regardless of what that sexual assault is, is the person doing the assaulting.

Additionally:  If you do not have clear, explicit, enthusiastic consent from a person you're interacting with, you're assaulting them.

(Cue trolls regarding my tone, also cue trolls regarding taking personal responsibility.)

Here's the thing about taking personal responsibility.  Regardless of what personal responsibility I do or do not undertake, I am still not responsible for other people's actions.  If you want to do something to or with me, I should be consenting to that.  If I'm not, you're assaulting me and need to fuck off and leave me alone.

That goes regardless of what clothing I wear - since clothing can't give consent on my behalf for anything.  That goes regardless of what bars, clubs, restaurants, venues, or streets I visit - since the only consent I have clearly given is to be in that place.  That goes regardless of what activities I undertake - since the only consent I have clearly given is to be doing said activity and nothing else.

For example!  If I am riding the subway, here is the list of things I have explicitly consented to:
  1. Riding the subway.
Here is the list of things I have not explicitly consented to:
  1. Conversation.  With anyone.
  2. Being groped or otherwise sexually assaulted, including being flashed.
  3. Being punched or otherwise hit.
  4. Being hit on (see also:  conversation).
  5. Being stared at as if I were an object specifically put there for your amusement, entertainment, etc.
  6. Anything else that is not riding the subway.
See how that works?  Here, I'll do another one for you.  I'm a dancer.  I dance ballroom, I dance in clubs, I dance socially.  When I am out dancing, here is the list of things that I have consented to when I have walked in the door to the venue:

  1. Being at the venue.
  2. Probably being asked to dance.
Note how being at the venue does not mean I have consented to dance with you specifically.

If you do ask me to dance, and I accept, thereby giving my consent, here is what I have consented to:
  1. Dancing with you at this point in time.
See that?  Okay, now here is the list of things I have not consented to by being at the venue and consenting to dance with you:
  1. Talking while dancing.
  2. Being groped.
  3. Being humped.
  4. Going home with you.
  5. Having a drink with you.
  6. Being surrounded by your friends.
  7. Dancing with you the rest of the night.
  8. Having sex with you.
  9. Taking you home.
  10. Having sex with you on the dance floor.
  11. Being touched by you in any way that is not prescribed by the dance (in ballroom, you have to touch in certain places/ways)
  12. Anything else that is not dancing with you at this specific point in time.
Have I made myself clear?

Unfortunately, we live in a culture that gives us lessons like "if a girl's wearing a short skirt, she's a slut", and "sluts all want it, no matter what they say".  Please be assured, these lessons are wrong, so wrong, so wrong I can't even tell you.  I got the same lessons as everyone else.

But here's the thing.  Even though we all were taught these lessons, we are not obligated to follow them.  If anything, we're obligated to unlearn them and not follow them, because they're fucking wrong and lead directly to things like rape.

And because of those lessons we all got, I can take all the personal responsibility in the world - never going to a club, never going dancing, always wearing modest clothes - hell, wearing a burka - never walking alone at night, learning self-defense, all of those sorts of things - and it is still possible for me to be sexually assaulted.  As in that link I posted earlier, the only way I can ever truly prevent my self from being assaulted is to never be in a room with a rapist or person who commits sexual assault, which is kind of fucking difficult seeing as how they don't all have nice big signs on their foreheads alerting me to the fact that they are in fact the kind of person who would assault someone.  Because we teach people that it's okay to rape.  It's okay to assault.  That clothes can give consent, that sluts are out there and just asking for it, that you're more of a man the more sex you have.

(cue trolls about how well then obviously I want everyone to just never interact)

Here's the other thing.  None of this precludes my being asked.  None of this precludes you trying to strike up a conversation while we're dancing or riding the subway, none of this precludes your asking me if you can buy me a drink, none of this precludes you asking me if I'd be interested in going home with you, none of this precludes your asking me if I'm interested in making out, fucking, doing anything else.  Asking is not the problem.  The problem is either, you don't ask, you assume, or, you do ask, I don't consent, and you go ahead anyway.

If you strike up a conversation with me, and I don't immediately jump right in and participate?  I'm not consenting to the conversation.  If you ask me in the club if I want to go home with you, and I don't immediately enthusiastically agree that's a great idea?  It's because I don't think it's a great idea, and I'm not consenting.  If we're making out, getting all hot and heavy, and you put your hand in my pants and I don't immediately moan, start grinding, say "oh yes" or otherwise make it really, really fucking clear that I liked that, I'm not actually consenting to that.  If you continue to converse with me, or continue to try to convince me to go home with you, or keep your hand in my pants, fuck you, I haven't consented.

If we are dancing, and you figure it's okay to hump me?  If we're in the club and you assumed we're going home?  If you're sitting next to me at the subway and figure it's okay to just talk at me?  If we're making out and you figure that means clearly I want some piv sex?  Fuck you.  I haven't consented to any of the things you've figured on or assumed.   Don't give me this "grey area"  or "misunderstanding" bullshit that I see so often.  If you are paying a modicum of attention to the world, and are at all a decent person, it should be pretty fucking easy for you to figure out if the person you're doing things with is consenting.  And if it is at all not clear?  You can fucking ask, and in fact, are obligated to.

The person doing the initiating is obligated to make absolutely sure they have consent to continue before continuing.

See how that works now kids?

Here's the other thing about consent:  capitulation is not consent.  For example, if someone is attempting to rape me, and I figure I have better odds of surviving and being less physically injured if I just let them rape me, rather than try to fight them off, that does not mean that I have consented to sex with them.  It means they are raping me, and I have capitulated out of survival instinct.

And here's the last thing about personal responsibility:  the person who needs to take some fucking personal responsibility in an assault is the person doing the assaulting. 


With a capital 'T'

I've been seeing a lot of Hal recently, which has led to a lot of very interesting conversations.

I saw him Wednesday, and long story short the conversation ended with me saying that if he was going to be "torturing" our mutual friend on Wednesday, then he was aware that he'd have to torture me on Thursday when we were working together, right?  To which he responds "Of course, but the difference is, you want it."

Thursday's session also included him asking "Wait, so who's the sadist and who's the masochist here?"  Responding with "Oh honey, I'm a switch" just seemed a bit too beyond the pale, although I am reconsidering.

Our conversations are always relatively flirty, and he's also admitted that he likes messing with my head as much as I like messing with his.  But lately there's been a lot of kink-hints included, and I'm not the one bringing them up.  I am not entirely sure what to make of this situation, and what to think about that boy, that is for damned sure.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Drunken non-escapades

I have this entire week off of work, and oh dear god it is wonderful.  I get to wake up at 9 when Jay leaves for the day, kiss him goodbye, and then snooze for a bit.  Then I get to do whatever I want.  It is extremely awesome and I don't want to go back to work, like, ever.

Unfortunately, I still have not figured out a way to make money without going to work, so Monday's going to suck it.

Over the long weekend - well, Jay's long weekend; he is, as mentioned, working this week - we went to visit some dear friends of ours and stayed with them.  There was much drinking, much movie watching, and much video game  playing, as it was about A MILLION DEGREES OUTSIDE and none of us are fans of the heat.

Saturday night we made salsa and were drinking mojitos.  I would not have called myself a rum fan - and still wouldn't - but oh lord I love me a good mojito.  I lost count at 5, which was somewhere around 11 that night.  Jay and I eventually went to bed around 3, and, being drunk, that meant I was horny.  The problem is, I'm loud.  Like, really loud.  I am an extremely vocal person anyway, that doesn't stop during sexual activity, and my voice really carries.  And we were in our friends' apartment, with four other people, so being loud wasn't an option.  Jay being an asshole, he was doing things specifically designed to make me scream, such as trying to remove my nipples by hand (swear to god that's what he was doing).  It's a lot more intense, I think, when you have to deal with the pain silently.

This went on for a while, and my control started slipping and I let out a whimper.   Jay responded by putting his hand over my mouth to keep me quiet, which was hot as hell for the thirty seconds it took my brain to work out that there was something on my fucking face ohohgodohgodgetitoff.  Things on my face - like hands, scarves, masks, etc. - freak me out proper.  So I freaked, Jay cuddled me, and we passed out.  Dammit.

We did make up for it Monday  night when we got home, though, so that makes me feel a bit better.  But it was sober, which is a completely different sensation.  Ah well.  It's good to be home.