In Xanadu did Kublah Khan a stately pleasure dome decree

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Memphis, darling

It is for days like today that I gave Myself a blog.  Days when My thoughts are running like a shallow stream, lots of glinting and hard to catch.  The new boys I have found lately should be named Ethelred... unready at best.  Perhaps ill-advised too, each in his own way.

About a year ago, I reconnected online with an old boyfriend I dated 20 years ago, back when I was certainly already kinky but keeping it confined to My choice of reading material.  He was and remains a good man.  From half a continent's safe distance and the certainty we will never meet, it has grown most unexpectedly into a wonderful, mutually supportive friendship. This GoodMan is married with kids and career deep in the heartland, and though he was initially very curious to hear about My kink life, he doesn't much ask anymore. I gather he would like to experiment, but it is the usual story of conventional spouse, small community, and an otherwise-good life that makes the risk of exploring his edges too great to take. GoodMan sent me a simple photo today, just a guy in a safety vest and hardhat, in a dirt yard, standing next to some heavy machinery. It was about the machinery, not him. But seeing his hands, I was reminded of the sex we used to have. Chatting by text later, I got confused about where he was in his travels, and I made a comment about being in Nashville.  In a blink, the GoodMan texted back:

"Memphis, darling"

It was a velvet harpoon. I was wet, elated, sad and tearful all at once.

I know he didn't mean it the way it hit me. He meant it jestingly with an exaggerated hey-I'm-in-the-South Southern accent. He meant the first syllable drawn out, and an apostrophe at the end -- daaaahlin -- no letter g at all.  He was merely being lighthearted to gently cushion correcting My mistake. But despite knowing that in My head, and knowing My reaction must be partly hormones cycling as they will, far away in My heart I couldn't argue with the harpoon embedded in My sternum.

For the first time, I felt genuine doubt. Could I have made a grievous mistake?

Eight years ago, I had a boyfriend whom I could see as a husband. We were so wonderful reading in bed together each night, it felt very Right.  He loved collecting old silver and it gave him real joy to polish spoons, it made him feel close to his departed mom which I found very sweet. One night during an erotic frolic, I made my first run at the topics I always waited a while to raise with a man, and I suggested spanking him.  It was a non-starter. While he laughed his un-spanked ass off, I had an epiphany. Certain things had been increasingly Nice To Have with a boyfriend, enjoyed but not problematic when absent.  This thing of spanking had just gone from Nice To Have to a Must Have. You must be this tall to ride this ride.  When the relationship had collapsed inward like the gossamer souffle it turned out to be, I was certain it no longer made sense to look in the dating population for someone compatibly kinky.  It was time to look among the kinky population for someone to date. This led me to come out as kinky, supporting community organizations, public play, femdom, and certainly awareness that an essential part of what I get out of Topping and Domme-ing, is feeling adored and important in a way I never found in vanilla space.

But in time I have come to feel like a very specific kind of Coke machine. These femdom relationships don't deepen; in most cases the boy just vaporizes without explanation. In over 80% of the cases, the subs who approach Me are not even a candidate for relationship because they are firmly married and usually their kink life is a secret.  In almost all cases, the boys are acting a part they have written for themselves, and despite My insistence on being real, I can tell they are not seeing Me. The adoration is for an archetype, not for Me as a person. They are attentive until they get their fix of pain or humiliation or blissful absence of control for a few hours, and the moment they go out the front door, I am forgotten until whatever compels them has time to revive and reach the limits of their pressure gauges, then they are all attentiveness again, and the cycle repeats.

What subby male in this world is going to spontaneously say to Me, "Memphis, darling" the way I wanted to hear it?

Suddenly I fear this whole undertaking was just a very poor substitute for the affection and tenderness I really wanted and wasn't finding... am still not finding.  I don't think any amount of reconsidering will change the fact I am happily sadistic. I cannot imagine trying to return to the vanilla dating pool.  I do not relish falling for another vanilla who cannot understand this about Me and does not want to engage with it.  After all, the more I like you, the more I enjoy hurting you in certain ways. But I have trouble seeing where this sort of tenderness has space to manifest in the dynamics I am finding. I cannot picture ever being able to successfully train a submissive or slave to provide a "Memphis, darling" moment that works. Is this a necessary trade-off? I know just one boy who touches me that way, and he is unavailable too. What's more, the part of Me that wants to hear "Memphis, darling" feels an ocean apart from the equally important piece of Me that likes to wrap a pediatric sphygnomometer around a man's cockshaft and inflate it repeatedly while he begs.  What then is the answer?

The only thing I'm coming up with is Gatsby.

And so we beat on, boats against the current borne back ceaselessly into the past.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Yes, Yes, YES!!

After attending the Butchmann's Experience this summer, I went on a reading bender unlike anything I've done since my first six months in the scene. I began with the two books that are suggested reading for MTTA, which I hope to attend in November, finances permitting.  Early on in My erotic life, I started with, what else? Erotica, specifically English literature. The Pearl. The Oyster. Diary of a Flea. These were a good start and after reading every book I could find repeatedly, I even flirted with going for a Master's degree in English literature, focusing on 19th century erotica.  I even had an idea for a research thesis, something to do with how social outcasts such as deaf-mutes, dwarfs and other freaks are consistently well endowed. But I suspected job opportunities would be scarce and at 21, I certainly had no idea how to explain this idea to the parents.

Eventually I got a job in the bookstore and was assigned to manage the social sciences section, including the sexuality and erotica section. Maybe they intuited I was comfortable with the topic?  I could never get the chain to understand that shelving Erotica right next to Death and Dying was a bad idea.  It might seem like Death and La Petite Mort are closely related, but really, not.  Soon I was completely up to speed on every mainstream erotica and sex self-help book,  I could even spot customers who had come to the store to buy the glossy lipstick red book, put out by a religious publishing house, called something like How To Make Love To A Woman And Make Her Beg For More. I was also reading My way at slow cash register shifts through related literature like men's studies, though our selection there was pretty thin.  It was at this time I discovered the Beauty books, which made a huge impression and by the time I met My first subby male, I was full of ideas and clued in to My desire to penetrate beautiful male bottoms.  Once I reached the big city, I sought out gay bookstores for the male nude photography of  Robert Maplethorpe and later Tom Bianchi.

Slowly, I tapped into femdom books. One of My first was a velo-spiral bound, seemingly self-published The Sexually Dominant Woman: A Workbook for Nervous Beginners. Soon I had read my way into a comprehensive collection. But I kept coming back to the Beauty books.

When I came out into the public scene, I read a number of books on M/s, heavy on protocol contract-writing, for some reason, which was wildly premature. I came away from them with glazed eyes and unable to picture ever wanting, much less using, either significant protocol or a slave contract. I was still getting to know Myself as a top and possibly a Domme, I really had no business dabbling in M/s, but I was with someone who wanted to be collared, so we gave it the old college try. I heard references to "the Old Guard" and "high protocol" but I had picked up the idea there wasn't much in the gay leather literature for Me as a straight, female, not-leather Domme. And from there, I went into books about specific skills, techniques, and types of play. Too bad!  This summer, as I grow into recognizing myself as Master, I finally started reading some of the more classic gay leather literature and damn-Sam, I've been reinventing the wheel this whole time!  What an eye-opener to see problems for which I have lacked language all along -- recent problems that I am actively wrestling with -- described for the first time, accurately, and to find myself reading and saying aloud, "Yes, Yes, YES!!!"

Thursday, September 4, 2014

My Inner Child Is a Gay Leather Daddy

For several years now, I have been making the arch observation that My inner child is a gay leather daddy.  It usually elicits either a laugh or a moderately confused smile. But as time goes on, it's less of a funny quip and feels closer to the truth.  I increasingly find that I would rather hang out with gay male Masters than any other profile of person, and find it curious that this should be so. I like men, I really do, and I wonder sometimes whether that is true for most Dommes. Certainly, many Dommes, including Me, have at some point used the defined Dominant role to provide a form of safety which allows us to get close to men after prior experiences left us feeling distinctly unsafe.  Thankfully, I feel I have outgrown using the Domme role as a crutch.  I also have realized that gay leather Masters (at least the ones I meet in MAsT, MsC, and Butchmann's circles) not only share my love of men, they are themselves thoughtful about sexuality, spirituality, and relationships in a deeper way one does not often find among het males. The sight of a well bonded gay male couple is joyous to Me in a very particular way, it feels like I can really see them, because they are clearly seeing each other.

I watched quite a bit of Dan Savage youtube video within the last few weeks and was struck by his story that he began the Savage Love column as a way form of payback to straight people, especially straight men, whom he didn't particularly like at the time.  But over the course of a few years Dan (raised Catholic and one of the most consistently ethical people I see in media) came to feel real compassion for straight men, because he realized the culture forbids them to be like women and forbids them to be like gay men; that doesn't leave a very wide range of expression for them to inhabit.  Certainly, I believe that for a straight man to acknowledge a desire to submit to Feminine Authority is one of the most cultur-klastic things he can do.

Monday, September 1, 2014

MsC Takeaway

Just back from the 2014 Master slave Conference.  If I had to point to only one thing I took away from the experience, that thing would be a point made by Patrick Mulcahey:  If Master-slave is not the easiest form of relationship you can envision with this person, seriously consider whether you should continue.

There are no direct quotes around that because I didn't catch it verbatim in My notes. But I think the point is excellent. This only works if we are not playing at a role.  There has to be an integrity. If M/s is natural, organic to your dynamic, then do it by all means. But if not, don't try to force the square peg.

He made a related point:  we want to be known deeply, completely, and to know another person at a similarly deep level. We want to be in a relationship where we can be fully ourselves.  For people who have been told throughout their lives that they are in some sense too much -- too smart, too bossy, too whatever -- this is profoundly important. I know what it is like to invisibly pare away the too-much parts of myself that a partner objected to, only to find well into the relationship that I no longer knew who I was.  I like Master-slave for many reasons, not least of all because the whole construct seems set up to prevent Me from repeating such nonsense again, in fact, demands that I be fully present, fully everything.