Category: kink


Okay. So still playing catch-up, but maybe, possibly, getting close to being on schedule. Right!
Paddles.
Honestly… Meh.
I’m a stingy gal more than a thuddy one, so you’d think that I’d be all about paddles. But I’m not. Maybe it’s because I’m used to paddles that are just shapes cut out of wood (like, say, a spaghetti measurer that packs a hell of a punch and leaves awesome marks, but also has a pretty useless handle when it comes to actually getting a grip on things), but I find them hard to weild and a bit ungainly. Not like a flogger (where splatter radius is kind of an issue on a number of levels), but ungainly in their own, annoying way.
Besides that, I’m typically a hands-on type so using a paddle, for the most part, is just like… “Why wouldn’t I just spank someone with my hands, which feels so much more intimate, and also gives me a lot more control over how I choose to hit someone? If my hands get tired, I’ll just switch to this awesome crop! That’ll be great!”
I’m not really a paddles kind of girl.
 
None the less: Onwards!
 
I have used paddles before. And I wouldn’t say I’m adverse to using, say, a heavy wooden spoon, or maybe a ruler, on someone since it would give a fairly satisfying thwack when it landed. But, by and large, I’m not fond of them. The skinnier and whippier the toy, the better, for me. 😉
 
As far as using paddles for punishment (instead of fun/pleasure) goes… Eugh. I generally try and stay away from corporeal punishment in general, just because I don’t want to there to be any confusion (my own, or my Person’s) about what’s going on when I start pulling things out of the toy bag. I don’t want to start building associations between “being angry/disapointed about something” and “acting violently towards my Person”, even within a kink context.
Which has nothing to do with paddles, and everything to do with wanting to be a Good Sadist and a decent human being, but there you go.
 
As far as having tried them goes… The one time the idea that you could get pleasure from pain actually made sense to me, on a visceral level, it was when I slapped my thigh with a big, wooden ruler with a metal edge down one side. It stung like fuck (duh), but there was a shadow of electric thrill on the tail end of the sting.
I remember thinking “Oh… That’s what that’s about…” and… that was a bout it, really. Not exactly a paddle experience, but y’know, hey. Something close.
 
Kink of the Week
 
 
TTFN,
Ms Syren.

So I’m trying this Kink of the Week thing, and playing catch-up for the moment, since I’ve started it rather late. Today, we’re talking about Dacryphilia (tear fetish).
 
Look. There’s a wide enough streak of Fairy Godmother in me that I’d be lying if I said tears and sniffles had no effect on me. But I wouldn’t call them a turn-on. If my partner/bottom is crying due to a scene, I kind of feel like I must have messed up somewhere, rather than anything close to satisfaction at a job well done.
But I’ve also played with the possibility of making someone cry, and I’ve definitely made my property/wife sob due to the kind of physical stuff I was doing. (I try to avoid emotional sadism, for the most part. It’s too easy to screw up and – unlike staunching bleeding or patching up a bruise – I really, really don’t have a clue how to fix it if I’ve sent someone spiralling into a trigger that they didn’t know was there).
Crying can be, often is, seriously cathartic. I’ve been known to coax someone to tears when they were clearly holding a lot of stuff in. But I do that with people I know really well. It’s not something to be undertaken lightly, and it’s not something I’d do in a scene, any more than I’d blur the lines between punishment and “fun-ishment”.
People cry when they’re overwhelmed. When I’m bottoming (sexually), and my partner and I are working towards fisting, I’m aware that a giant crying jag is a likely side effect of getting more than three fingers into me. But so are facial spasms and random numbness in my hips and face. Tears aren’t something I try to cause during a scene. I’m not entirely sure how I’d handle it, after the initial stop-everything-and-check-in at least, if one of my victims cried.
 
Kink of the Week
 
 
TTFN,
Ms Syren.

So I’m trying this Kink of the Week thing, and playing catch-up for the moment, since I’ve started it rather late. Today, we’re talking about The Look.
 

It’s not the mascara
It’s not the tight dress
It’s a look in her eyes that’ll scare you to death
Vampire girl
Vampire gi-i-irl…

 
My property/wife talks about “Ms Syren’s Monster”, a look I get that’s all hunger. I have one photo of me, with a friend sitting in my lap. It’s from years ago, when I was worryingly underweight, but I looked at the camera with eyes that were all pupil, all wildness, and every time I look at that photo of me with this much-smaller-than-me person wrapped up in my arms, all I can think is “Crap… You can see what I actually am…” I look like the kind of creature who lives among the river reeds, the kind with webbed toes and inhumanly long fingers, who hides her sharp teeth behind shy smiles and huge, dark eyes. Rusalka. Huldra. Glaistig.
 
My wife loves that look. It means I’ve pushed through all the filters and my sadistic self is out and getting fed, taking what it wants.
I love that she loves it. It’s nice to be able to come all the way out. 🙂
 
Kink of the Week
 
 
TTFN,
Ms Syren.

So I’m trying this Kink of the Week thing, and playing catch-up for the moment, since I’ve started it rather late. Today, we’re talking about Stockings, Pantyhose and Tights.
 
To be frank, I’m a socks and stockings gal. On me. On other women. Gartered or stay-ups. They’re a lot more comfortable. The little flash of skin between the top of the stocking (or the thigh-high sock – I’m a big fan of OTK/thigh-high socks – warm, practical, and sexy as all get out) and the hem of the skirt is just delicious. Colour isn’t a big deal (although socks and stockings that match my skin, more or less, are kind of boring), and it’s not the confinement or anything. They’re just elegant. And, hey, I like legs, and stockings (and socks) show them off nicely.
 
All that being said, I’m a femme chicky, and how I cover (or don’t cover) my legs is a Gender Presentation Thing as much as it’s a practical, “warmth in -30 winters” Thing. I kind of despise trousers, and I’m quite tall. So thigh-high socks are a way to keep myself warm while also feeling like like look like myself. If that makes any sense.
 
Anyway. That’s it for me.
 
Kink of the Week
 
 
TTFN,
Ms Syren.

So I’m giving the “Kink of the Week” thing a try.
Piercings: Yes or No?
I had my ears pierced in the 6th grade, done with a piercing gun at Arden or that kind of costume jewelry mall store. It hurt (big shock – although it was, at the time, a shock just how much it hurt), and I was only okay with doing it after I’d seen my younger sister get it done and live to tell the tale. I can sadist with the best of them, but my relationship with receiving pain is mostly about avoiding it whenever possible.
My earring holes grew over in my late teens, although not really. None the less, I spent a good ten years believing that I couldn’t wear earrings unless they were screw-ons or clip-ons (ouch!), and a good 3+ of that time making earrings for other people. A few years ago, though, my Ghost opened the holes up again, and I’ve been having a grand time, ever since, wearing the earrings that I make. It’s been lovely. They’re not part of my kink, by any stretch of the imagination, though I’ve made kink-related earrings (one based on Leatherwood Honey – a poem by Amal El Mohtar – for Ghost) on occasion.
What makes a piercing part of kink instead of (or in addition to) being decorative… Okay. My lovely wife has a couple of tattoos on her wrists. These are my tattoos. They’re just not on my body. I wonder if piercings aren’t similar. They can be something that you get (or give, or demand) as a way of marking or honouring a power dynamic.
 
As for being pierced: No.
I like play-piercing, but that’s piercing other people. That’s great fun.
But I don’t want people sticking needles into me, thank you very much. It’s not a pleasant experience. Piercing someone else, however… That’s lovely.
I love that it’s hard to screw up. That you get a lot of pain (and a lot of blood, if you’re lucky and have good aim) for not a lot of Actual Physical Damage. That it’s easy to undo if your Bottom starts getting dizzy or queasy or otherwise needs to stop. I like that you can make it more painful (and more bloody!) if you drag (cut from the inside, basically) the needles out rather than slipping them out carefully. I love that your person has to trust you enough to let you put actual holes in/through their skin – which is kind of a big deal. I love that it gets bloody (and I’m a blood player, so that’s a Thing with me). I like that it’s easy to scale up or scale down the intensity of the scene just by changing the gage, or the number, or the placement, of the needles. I find it makes for a very versatile way of playing with people, a safe way to get your feet wet, so to speak, but easy to scale up if you find out that you love-love-love experiencing it.
 
As for getting piercings because someone else wanted me to… I actually got my ears pierced when I did because my mom (who had originally mandated a “not ‘til you’re sixteen” policy with regards to even such a common-place body modification) wanted an easy go-to for birthday presents for her daughters. But that’s probably not what was meant by that particular question.
With regards to liking piercings on other people: Yeah, I do. It’s not exactly a turn-on. It’s more a marker that “You are probably My People”. Someone with holes in their face is probably someone who wanted the world to see their difference. It piques my interest. Let’s call it that.
 
Kink of the Week
 
 
TTFN,
Ms Syren.

Management Tips for Dominants Types

Hi folks.
So, from time to time, I post links to stuff written for the business-suit set because I find that they can be helpful for dominant folks in full-time power-exchanges.
 
With that in mind, here are two such articles. Some of you may find them handy. Some of you may find them kind of old hat. Either way, here we go:
 
10 Rules for Successful Delegation
AND
Giving Constructive Criticism
 
There you go. I hope they’re useful to at least some of you.
 
 
TTFN,
Ms Syren.

Okay, maybe this is a really bizarre title for a GGBP post, but work with me here. The other night (more than a week ago, now), I went to a dinner that included a number of people in what I think of as my extended poly family. I made the dessert.
 
It’s funny.
 
Maybe in a more conventially-structured family, I’d look at this kind of an evening as “getting together with friends”. But some of those friends are my wife’s other partners, which makes them more than friends. Some of them are related by leather ties rather than ties of “blood or alliance” (as we like to say in Anthropology Kinship Diagrams). Some are both.
 
In these small, fringe communities (the queers, the perverts) we are fairly used to (re-)building family from scratch, and – because our communities tend to be small – we frequently wind up being “exes in law” or whatever with just about everybody we know. Throw polyamoury and the amicable disolution/redefinition of power dynamics (like when someone goes from being So-and-So’s owner to being hir mentor, for example) into the mix, and you wind up with these intersecting familial-relationships that can make a community look like the cosmic web.
 
And the thing is, this isn’t all that unusual. Any small community – think tiny farming towns, for example – winds up with most families linked to most other families through marriage or cousins or what-have-you. It’s just that, when those interconnections are based around The Fucking (kinky stuff, power-exchanges, sex parties, multiple sweeties… you know, all those things that an up-bringing in Patriarchy doesn’t really prepare you for) rather than around weddings and grandkids[1], it’s like we forget that there was ever a map at all.
 
But it’s there.
 
I have a friend who loves Miss Manners and Emily Post. She loves etiquette books because they basically boil down to answering the question “What do I say if my son brings his gay trans leather-daddy home for the holidays” with “You say: It’s a pleasure to meet you”.
 
We don’t have to come up with a script from scratch. We just have to addapt what’s already there.
 
 
TTFN,
Ms Syren.
 
 
[1] Although those could argueably be grouped under The Fucking as well…

So… I was originally going to use my “B” prompt to talk about Blood and Branding – two points on the S/M (or, well, “S” in my case) spectrum where I like to play because (a) they tend to involve inflicting a lot of pain on my co-player, and (b) they let me make art using my co-player’s skin as a canvas/medium. They’re faboo.
HOWEVER.
I’ve been… not “playing around with”, exactly, but… increasingly aware of how my body-language or physical actions can ‘cause my Servant to Drop.
I’m fascinated by this, partially because the “big as the cosmos” feeling that I associate with embodying my own power in a Very Aware Way (uh… for lack of better words) is… rare. I think I’ve only experienced it (at least in a heavy enough way to really go “Wow… I know what this is – Woah”) a couple of times and, typically, it’s happened by accident. I have a little bit of that awareness going on now – nothing like the Full Effect, but noticeable – sitting in my ribcage and across my shoulders, and tingling in the curves of my ears. I don’t entirely know if those locations are significant, but I figured I’d point them out.
Seeing someone else drop into their headspace like that, at the touch of a hand, is kind of amazing, in large part because I don’t know how to do that to myself. I have theories. But they are theories and I don’t have a tonne of practice (lately) in making that happen[1].
 
So, right. Body Language. I figure, if I can’t (or am not sure how to) tweak my own body language to be able to (ful)fill/embody My Place, as it were, I can at least put more attention into how and when I am dropping Ghost into hers.
So far, I grant you, it’s been largely accidental. Trial and error, and sometimes what I think will work doesn’t do anything, and sometimes what I think is just a nice, gentle way to touch someone I care about will wind up Dropping her unexpectedly.
But I’m keeping a mental list of what works and the circumstances under-which it has that effect. It’s interesting… Anyone else seen/experienced stuff like this?
 
 
TTFN,
Ms Syren.
 
 
[1] It tends to happen – frequently, though not 100% of the time – when I’m doing something that is both fairly emotion-heavy and fairly artistic/creative. It has usually involved some sort of significant prep – however unintentional – on my part, to the tune of an hour of vocal warm-ups, days/weeks of anticipation, or three hours of soul-searching followed by Spontaneous Poetry. That kind of thing. :-\

So, I was reading… I think it was Radical Ecstasy, but I might be wrong… and one of the authors was talking about how, in so many books on SM, the actions and work of the bottom/masochist get ignored. That they only ever talked about techniques and tricks for the top.
And she’s right.
It’s very, very rare that I see anything in print that talks about techniques for pain processing or for working yourself towards your Happy Place (or your Scared All To Hell Place, as the case may be. Wherever the scene is meant to take you, at any rate), or for running that energy through you and back out to complete the circuit between you and your top (hint: this will help your top stay energized)… granted, I tend not to seek out stuff that’s specifically about bottoming, so I do have a bit of a bias here. Has anyone else noticed this?
 
Anyway. Trick is, when I have read “How To SM” books (Screw the Roses, The New Topping Book, The Safe Edge, etc) what I’ve seen is typically writing that only ever talks about the experience of the bottom and the facilitation of that experience through the actions of the top. A situation that leaves me, as a top, feeling a bit like I’m expected to be nothing but a operating system for a flogger (as the saying goes) or else that if I experience something like “top drop” (a situation so common that it has its own cutesy name, no less) or otherwise need aftercare, I’m Doing It Wrong either because I need it at all, or because I’ve had the audacity to ask for some when the scene is supposed to be all about the bottom.
 
It was, therefore, interesting to see someone coming at it from a different perspective. It’s a good reminder that we can all get caught in a dichotomy of “bottom = vulnerable/passive” and “top = active/invulnerable”, a dichotomy that’s a little too simplistic to really work in real life.
 
I think there are holes, at least in The Published Stuff, around how doing a scene “is supposed to” go. When I was learning “how to top”, what I was learning was how to aim a cain, how insert a needle, how to swing a flogger. That kind of thing. I was learning that tops check in with bottoms rather than (or to the exclusion of?) checking in with themselves. And I was learning, by-the-book, that SM energy was unidirectional Top–>Bottom.
In practice, thank goodness, it’s something else. But how to reach for and establish that link, from both directions, and using different techniques – whether low-key or High Woo – that stuff wasn’t typically treated as even something to consider in the intro books I was reading.
 
Maybe that’s because they were “intro books” and How To Books typically aim to, well, aim and avoid things like broken bones and miscommunications. None the less, it’s important to talk about stuff like how Reactions on the part of the bottom are actions on their part and are integral to the scene going well; or Syncronizing your breathing can deepen a given scene; or A top might need a glass of orange juice, a cuddle, and some crackers with peanut butter after a scene to help with recovery, just as much as a bottom might.
 
I’d like to see the complexity of these interactions given more air time. I think it will make us all better (and by that I mean more satisfied) perverts if we have the chance to bring that stuff up and look at it in the light. 🙂
 
 
TTFN,
Ms Syren.

Management Techniques for Dominants?

I think a lot of us are the kind of people who either (a) were always that one member of the group-work team in high school who actually bothered to do the project, and/or (b) are creative/knowledge-hungry types who tend to self-start[1] on things that we’re passionate about or fascinated with.
It wouldn’t shock me a whole lot to find out that some of you folks who are reading this are the kind of people who really do believe that you can get something done faster and “the right way” (that being my way, of course) if you just do it yourself.
 
I’ve talked before about Service-Oriented Dominants, and I’m going to talk a little bit about a related topic.
 
Punishment.
 
I don’t “do” punishment.
To me, it feels like I’m rewarding bad behaviour with undeserved attention, whether that’s using my Very Disappointed Voice – a tone of voice that feels anything but sexy, but that I’ve learned is a bit of a turn-on… and thus backfires completely when I employ it – or doing something corporal that I’d really rather keep as something that’s enjoyable for both of us.
Likewise, having the give someone a punishment like writing lines where I then have to stand over their shoulder to make sure that they actually do it? Why am I wasting my time and energy on this?
Having the wheedle and badger and, let’s just drag that loaded, gendered term right out into the open, nag a servant to get shit done or behave appropriately… it feels incredibly demoralizing and disempowering.
 
So if I want to avoid using a “punishment model” (or a “carrot and stick” model where you punish for fuck-ups and it requires fucking bribery to get something done right), what can I do instead?
 
That’s the $64,000 question, isn’t it?
 
I’ve started reading “management” literature. Tips for small-scale entrepreneurs who have a couple of employees working for them, stuff about how to manage effectively, keep lines of communication open, work towards solutions for existing problems while avoiding The Swamp Of Shame and similar pitfalls.
 
Much as I’m embarrassed to admit it to The Entire Internet, I am a really terrible manager.
I put off bringing up Problems because I know what their sources are – meaning that if I know my managee is overwhelmed in X part of their life, or has emotional issues around Y situation, I’m more likely to cut them some slack when Task Q isn’t getting done to the standards, or with the frequency, that I would prefer – and this means that I wind up with these, just, laundry lists of “Things That Need Improvement” and no clue how to adress them effectively, efficiently, and in a successful fashion.
 
So I’ve started poking at the idea of seasonal performance reviews.
 
I know. I kind of loathe the whole idea, if only because “performance review” tends to translate in my head into “job security roulette” or “let’s find out who’s getting fired today”. And yet, I think if I made it just part of the routine, then I could use it as a way to wipe the slate clean a few times a year and, in another way, also track my Person’s progress through the year.
 
Of course, I’m not managing a business in this context – I’m managing a household. This may require some tweaking of traditional techniques. However, that doesn’t mean those techniques aren’t easy to addapt or incorporate into what I want to do.
 
For example, this handy list of tips for building and managing a team has a few things I’d like to work into my own house.
I particularly like Suggestion #5, which is Set a quarterly theme and vision.
A theme and vision might be as simple as “establish routines, train as necessary; goal: well-oiled machine” early on in a dynamic, so that the accomplishment of that goal then serves as a foundation for further themes like “increase luxury skills and incorporate into routine” or “find therapist, work on anxiety issues”.
 
Likewise, the “Recognition” section of this article suggests the (well-known) formula of (1) Highlight something good. (2) Point out what needs improving, and (3) Suggest how to improve. So one might opt for something like: “You’re really putting those cooking lessons to good use. Dinner has been amazing these past two weeks. Well done. I do want to turn your attention to the situation with the left-overs in the fridge. We’ll need to eat those up over the course of the next week. After that, if you can work to cut your recipe quantities in half, that will allow us to enjoy your new sills without having a left-overs pile-up in the fridge every week.”
…Or something. I don’t know.
Similarly, the suggestion to phrase/identify problems in ways that are measurable: Not “Jolene is lazy” but “Jolene typically lets her outerwear pile up in the front hallway rather than hanging them back up in the closet”; not “Frank is disorganized” but “Frank routinely misplaces important documents that need to be filled out and sent off by specific deadlines”. Addressing measurable specifics rather than generalities makes it much easier for Jolene or Frank to suggest solutions without (hopefully) feeling overwhelmed or beaten down by the magnitude and, well, vagueness of the stated problem.
 
Management Tips for Creative Folks offers a variety of management styles (I tend to fluctuate between “tell” and “involve”, and this may be causing confusion or something on the home front), suggests that successes or emplyee effectiveness be measured by achievement (what they are getting done) and not activity (how they spent their time). It also stresses the importance of measurable goals, targets, and stretch-challenges for employees. Their time-division chart is also handy to keep in mind:
 

My time is often split between I and IV, with not nearly enough focus put on II. How ’bout yours?


 
I may have to go and borrow myself a copy of The One Minute Manager, as it might be a handy thing to read.
 
 
TTFN,
Ms Syren.