Posts Tagged ‘answers to questions’

Personal favorites, and more answers

May 12, 2009  |  advice  |  3 Comments

More answers to questions (from bzzzzgrrrl of City Mouse Country).

What’s your favorite bit of smut you’ve written in the last three years?

The Sugarbutch Star stories in general, and probably Diner in the Corner (last year’s winner) and The Girl in the Red Dress (from this year) in particular.

I also really like the stories about Kristen, go figure (have I mentioned I kind of like this girl?) – like My slutty little girl and Wait for me on your knees. Look in the sidebar under the “popular” tab for more of the very top posts on this site – usually the readers and I agree about which ones are the hottest.

I’ve been working on getting a “best of” collection together, the page is still not up, but you can look through the “best of” tag if you want to get a sense of some of the other favorite things that I’ve written.

What’s your favorite bit of smut you’ve read elsewhere in the last three years?

I’ve read so much … if you follow my Google Reader shared items, you’ll see many, many of my favorite things that I’m reading in the sexblog circles. I am still reading a lot of smut and erotica books, too, but they are slower, and often not as good, as the good sexblogs – the online stuff seems more cutting edge, more real. Also probably because I get to start developing deeper relationships with these blog writers, I follow their stories through identity development or heartbreak or growth, so I become more invested.

So: what jumps to mind, and a story that I frequently come back to (and jack off to), is Jack Stratton’s story A Life Exposed and Amplified from his blog Writing Dirty.

I’ve also been really into Patrick Califia lately, and re-reading Doing it for Daddy and Macho Sluts. I also often re-read some parts of Carol Queen’s book The Leather Daddy and the Femme (like the gangbang, gawdamn).

What’s your favorite comment?

I don’t know if I could pick one single comment. I love the ones where people say they understand something about themselves, or about their lovers, better, because of what I’ve written. I love the ones that say someone is coming to a new identity, a new understanding, a more solid and improved place. Those tiny moments of transformation are huge, and I’m so thrilled to have any part of it, so glad that my stories resonate, at all.

What comment caused you to stop and think most?

I don’t know about which comment overall for the site caused me to stop and think the most, but lately, someone has asked about putting a warning label on potentially triggering stories (especially regarding BDSM and the ways that can possibly trigger survivors) and I’ve been thinking a lot about that. It’s why I put up the warning (“If you’re new here, you should know that this site contains BDSM, kink, gender explorations, and explicit queer sex. You may want to subscribe to my RSS feed, or not. This warning will self-destruct.”) which will go away after you visit the site 3 or 5 times or something, but I’m still wondering if individual posts need to be more contained and protected too. I have a lot of thoughts about why to do this, or why not to do this, and I’m still asking around and chewing on it.

What perspective do you wish someone else would write about, well?

I find it fascinating that women are the primary authors of sexblogs. I think this is for a few reasons, like for example that depiction of men’s sexual desire is not rare and perhaps perceived as not even interesting enough in this culture to read about or consume, and also that men do not have to create and re-create spaces for their desire to be explored and heard the same way women do. But I also think we’re in a transformational point in masculinity, which I’ve been thinking a lot about lately, and I think it’s really important for men to be writing about “the new male” gender stuff, defining it for themselves, talking about it. Like Figleaf’s Real Adult Sex for example, which is incredibly thoughtful and cutting edge, and always one of my favorite blogs.

Other perspectives I’d love to read more of: guys who identify as femme, butches (we seem to be on the rise, but there still aren’t as many as there are femme blogs out there), guys who identify as butch, gay guys (where are all of those sexblogs? I must be just totally out of the loop), butch bottoms, femme tops … there are so many different ways to identify and navigate and explore sexuality, I’m interested in just about all of them really. Especially the ones that are underrepresented.

Sadism, and the Study of Pain

May 7, 2009  |  advice, essays  |  9 Comments

i have noticed elsewhere online that you have added ’sadistic’ to your lineup of adjectives. i was very interested in your explanation of how you came to claim those words as part of your identity (forgive me if this is not accurate), and would be interested in hearing a similar description of how you came to claim sadistic as well.

Yes, I have added “sadistic” in a couple of my taglines or bios or descriptions recently, and it is an identity label that I claim, at least to a degree. I think the identity of “sadist” is understood much less – outside of kink communities and circles – than the other identity tags I use (queer, butch, top), and it can be incredibly off-putting for folks who don’t understand it.

There’s just so much stigma around it – you like to give others pain? You enjoy that, you get off on it, it turns you on? That’s seen as, well, kind of fucked up by a lot of people.

And it kind of is fucked up, if that’s the way you’re looking at it. But the details of how sadism works a lot more complicated than that – at least, it is for me.

It’s taken me a long time to come to claim a bit more of a sadistic identity, and it’s still something that I say with a little bit of reservation or even shame, partly because I don’t want it to come on too strongly and freak someone out.

First: playing with sadism, for me, must be consensual and intentional. I do not enjoy being cruel in general, and actually it is sometimes very difficult for me to treat someone I love with humiliation or damage, to hit them, to slap someone in the face. I’ve had to go through the feelings of top guilt and, to a greater extend, sadist guilt, when I started exploring this. Those feelings aren’t completely gone, but I know what I’m doing more now and I have more confidence in my perspective and standpoint, so I don’t have as much guilt about it.

I remember precisely when I realized I was a sadist: it was 2002, and I was in a Body Electric workshop called Power, Surrender, and Intimacy. (This is going to get a little bit sacred sex/spiritual, just to warn you.) We had been discussing power, dominance, and sadism – and receiving that with surrender, submission, and masochism – and had been doing exercises all relating to tapping into those feelings. We were in the middle of a ritual (I won’t go into details) when someone had a very strong reaction, and began crying. I was going through my own experience and starting to really feel myself come into some power and dominance in a new way, and I was flooded with the witness of her release. It was a solo ritual, so we weren’t working together or touching, and she probably wasn’t even aware of me, she just started sobbing, loudly, in her own world of release, and I felt the energy as the grief and emotion flooded through her, I was so attuned to the shifts of energy in the room, and started realizing that I was incredibly turned on by her release. It was beautiful – pure and unhindered, just letting go of some really deep things that she’d been carrying and holding on to for who knows how long. I wanted to coax her through it, support her, and in my mind I was soothing her, cradling, holding the space around her so that she herself could have room to be safe and release. I loved the feeling of doing that for someone (even though I wasn’t really doing that for her, I was just imagining the scenario where I would do that) and I got such a rush and release myself from witnessing someone else get into that space of deep release, deep surrender, and then come back, smiling and whole.

So there’s a lot of psychology to it for me: we carry around all sorts of grief, pain, shame, anger, rage, distrust, disassociation, and guilt, especially about our physical bodies and our sexualities. And one of the ways that BDSM and power play and pain play taps into that is through acknowledgment and, ultimately, release – which is why we can feel renewed, refreshed, energized after a deep scene.

We also just don’t have very good tools for release and replenishment available to us. We’re not exactly taught how to remake ourselves and let go of some of our deep grief, and I believe this kind of emotional release is one of those ways.

Aside from the psychology, I also like pain. And as much as I talk about being a sadist, I have spent many years as a masochist also – I’ve been beaten, flogged, caned, whipped, pierced, cut, and slapped; I’ve had 13 piercings (only one of which I wear anymore); I’ve had some experience submitting and surrendering, and using pain as a way to get more present in my body, and then to let go.

There’s a degree to which, though, at this point, I feel like I’ve had enough of that kind of release, I seek something else now. I know how to get myself into a state of deep body release, mostly through yoga or meditation or masturbation or running, and I wanted to explore other things related to that kind of bodily release – namely, guiding it in others. I get more out of the experience of taking someone through it than I do going through it myself, these days. I don’t expect that to be permanent, but I don’t expect it to change either – for now, I know I’m a top who really likes to play with my sadistic side, and that really works for me.

So, after this series of revelations and after some further investigation, and being very sure that I wanted to get deeper into this kind of play, I began studying it more intentionally: how to get someone into that state, how to keep them safe when they’re there, how to encourage the release (but not overwhelmingly so), and how to bring them back from it.

There’s also that moment … how do I describe it. Where put your hand in water and you can’t tell if it’s super hot or super cold – how our senses cross-fire sometimes when sensation is so deep and heavy and stimulating that we can’t tell if it’s pain or pleasure.

I love playing with that line, partly because it is a way to practice pain without suffering – a way to practice pain without being hurt, but to experience it as a release, change, and growth. I think pain play can do a lot of that, too, and it is very interesting to me, as someone who is interested in algology (the study of pain), and someone who studies the cessation of suffering, how to encourage these moments of transformation where pain becomes pleasure, useful, and a methodology of study.

What I’m saying is: sadism is the intentional use of pain, discomfort, and other dark emotions to find deep release, move energy, and renew the self. As someone who is deeply interested in dark emotions, the messy stuff, the hard stuff, and personal transformation and self-awareness, this is a tool that I find incredibly useful.