Tag Archive: kink


Hi, folks!
 
So, today, I’m taking part in a blog tour promoting a new erotica anthology – Show Yourself to Me – from author Xan West (You can find the whole tour at this link, yesterday’s stop can be found here, and tomorrows – which involves a time-difference – can be found here. The tour itself includes a number of reviews, but you can also find – and add – reviews at Good Reads and Amazon). I jumped at the chance to read a slew of stories from an author I respect and admire, as well as the opportunity to ask some writerly questions about the nuts, bolts, and decisions involved in writing an anthology like this.
 

Show Yourself To Me - Cover Art Close-up of a hand, holding a chain-leash, thumb brushing the lips of the person on the other end of the leash.

Show Yourself To Me – Cover Art
Close-up of a hand, holding a chain-leash, thumb brushing the lips of the person on the other end of the leash.


 
Before we get to the interview, here’s the blurb about the book itself:
 

In Show Yourself to Me: Queer Kink Erotica, Xan West introduces us to pretty boys and nervous boys, vulnerable tops and dominant sadists, good girls and fierce girls and scared little girls, mean Daddies and loving Daddies and Daddies that are terrifying in delicious ways.
 
Submissive queers go to alleys to suck cock, get bent over the bathroom sink by a handsome stranger, choose to face their fears, have their Daddy orchestrate a gang bang in the park, and get their dream gender-play scene—tied to a sling in an accessible dungeon.
 
Dominants find hope and take risks, fall hard and push edges, get fucked and devour the fear and tears that their sadist hearts desire.
 
Within these 24 stories, you will meet queers who build community together, who are careful about how they play with power, who care deeply about consent. You will meet trans and genderqueer folks who are hot for each other, who mentor each other, who do the kind of gender play that is only possible with other trans and genderqueer folks.
 
This is
Show Yourself to Me. Get ready for a very wild ride.

 

And now, on with the interview! 😀
 
 
~*~
 
1) Show Yourself to Me opens with a story that, fundamentally, is about belonging. Can you talk to me about that, and why you chose to open your anthology with this piece?
 
“Missing Daddy” sets the mood of the book in so many ways, and belonging is absolutely one of them. For me, as a queer writer who centers my fantasies and desires in my work, belonging is such a central aspect of that, of my queerness, of my kink, of my politic. Being connected, not just in the context of a romantic couple apart from the world, but being in the world, belonging to community and family, belonging to self, as well as being claimed and claiming in the context of D/s. They balance and match each other, all those belongings. Especially for a story that begins by speaking openly about abuse in the context of kink, and the legacy of that in kink life and community, it is so important to center this story of longing and nostalgia in a deep memory of belonging and care in the context of BDSM. This story wants the reader to hold all of that reality in queer kink life: abuse of power and also care with power, legacies of abuse that last long beyond abusive relationships, and legacies of leather that feel whole and beautiful that also come with us, belonging to self, giving self to a partner, belonging in community and family.
 
 
2) Pieces like “My Pretty Boy”, “The Tender, Sweet, Young Thing”, and “How He Likes It” touch on how it can be easier to accept cruelty than gentleness. Can you talk about that for a bit?
 
I’ve had a lifetime of experiencing sensory input in ways that didn’t match how people thought I should be experiencing it, how it was “supposed” to feel. It took me a long time to come to terms with and accept that reality, which has shaped so much of my daily life, especially play and sex. The simple truth is that people are different, and they experience sensations differently. Something that is intolerable for me might be pleasurable or neutral for you. Kink really helped me hold that reality, because although there were cultural expectations about how people would experience sensations, I kept finding, as a top, that the folks I played with would experience them so very differently from each other.
 
This theme in my work, of light touch and gentleness feeling close to or actually intolerable, where sharp, firm or intense touch, and pain in particular, feel welcome and desired, is my attempt to center and validate an experience that is so rarely acknowledged, even in kink life. It is an experience that often resonates for stone-identified folks, and that is definitely part of my motivation as well, to write stories where stone folks can see themselves reflected without judgment or pathologization, as those stories are incredibly rare.
 
It’s also a layered thing, one that gives opportunities for internal struggle within a scene, and pathways for sadism. In “My Pretty Boy,” they consensually play with the fact that Rickie hates gentleness. This created a wonderful way to shift perspective on what cruelty and sadism can look like, and illustrate that sometimes gentleness can be very cruel indeed.
 
 
3) This is a collection of your erotic writing, some of-which is forthcoming (I think… like the excerpt from Shocking Violet), and some of-which has been published elsewhere. A lot of them run to what I think of, accurately or not, as “standard anthology length”, but some are longer and some are much, much shorter (“This Boy”). I’m wondering how many of these pieces were written for specific calls (“Facing the Dark” seems like a likely example), how many just turned up in your head demanding to be written down, how many were born out of personal explorations or writing practice? (Yes, this is essentially a “where do you get your ideas” question).
 
You got it right, close to half of these stories were written for specific calls (including some of the shorter ones, for flash fiction collections). For a number of years, writing to a specific market was part of what drove my writing process. “Facing the Dark” was written because an editor asked me to write something for a gay fireman anthology. “Missing Daddy” was for a bear call, “Ready” for a gay motorcycle collection, “Falling for Essex” for a college boys call, “My Will” for a gay time travel anthology. “Please” was written as an exercise in writing to a tight editorial preference—for Violet Blue’s Best Women’s Erotica series. “The Tale of Jan and Tam” was written for a fairy tale retellings call.
 
When I’m contemplating writing for a call, or am solicited by an editor for a specific kind of story, I sit with it for a while, do some research if needed, see what wants to stick. I often go through a few ideas before I land on one that works for the call and feels doable to me. I’m especially looking for a spark, a beginning, a strong voice, or a moment in the story that I find so compelling I feel like I need to write it. My notebooks are filled with potential ideas like this, and there are some I will bring out years later, and try to write them.
 
The other times, I often find a spark in something else. “The Tender Sweet Young Thing” was sparked by a conversation I had at a regular queer gathering I go to. “Compersion” was sparked partly by a class I went to on the subject, that felt like it completely left out so much of my own experiences of compersion. “Nervous Boy” was written in response to a craigslist ad I saw, and answered, though I never got a response. I’ve also written fantasies and dreams that kept returning demanding to be told. I’ve written pieces for lovers, and potential lovers. I’ve written stories in response to scenes I’ve watched.
 
Often, it’s a mesh of things that drive my writing; the spark or the voice or the lines that come into my mind are just the beginning. There are often experiences and ideas I want to capture, and things I want to talk about in my stories. I’m fairly unabashed about having certain agendas in my work.
 
 
4) I know you make a point of showcase a lot of different bodies in your erotica – your characters don’t default to “able-bodied and thin”, for example, and you make sure your readers know it. With that in mind, when a character ends up being white or fat, fem/me or cis or disabled (or whatever cluster of identities a given character may have), how much of those intersecting privileges and oppressions are just “how the character showed up in my head” versus how much of it is an active decision on your part as an author about the kind of story you want to tell?
 
Much of the time, not defaulting takes conscious work. Sometimes I catch myself not having defined some aspects of a character’s identity and there I am, stuck in my usual defaults. I usually am stuck by the things I haven’t defined, a little ways in, not knowing where to go. Conscious work gets me unstuck, and a lot of the time that is at least partly about establishing specificities of identity.
 
Some aspects of a character’s identity will come to me with the character’s voice or the situation or the conflict I’m imagining at the beginning of the process. Sometimes those choices are driven by the way I puzzle out what I can bring to a specific call, how I can imagine bringing these people together.
 
One of the things that has become very clear to me is how much the specificities of identity of my characters are often shaped by my own identities and needs. When I think about the specifics of the queer genders that appear in this collection, it is clear that I’ve mostly been writing stories about my own gender experiences, or about genders that I have fantasized about being. Over the past 15 years of writing erotica, the body of work from which I drew the stories for this collection does not include the diversity of genders of the people in my life and my communities. Instead, my deep hunger for putting myself into a genre where I have mostly been erased or misrepresented has driven many of my choices about the genders of my characters. As a whole collection, those choices contribute to a deep erasure that mirrors the ways trans misogyny and misogyny often operate in queer communities. For me, this recognition is even more reason to work more on consciously considering the identities of my characters.
 
When I was pulling stories together for the collection, from the body of my existing work, one of the things I worked on was more clearly marking the identities of the characters, so that they weren’t just clear to me, but were clear to the reader. So the reader also was less likely to go to defaults while reading. I needed to do this much more with my earlier work than with my later work.
 
A few years ago I began a project of deliberately centering disabled characters in my work, one that coincided with my decision to live more deeply into my own disabilities. I wanted my creative work to hold the same intentions as my personal work, so they could feed each other. I have found writing these stories to be so powerful in my own life. Many of them are included in this collection; they are the ones written in the third person.
 
 
5) On a related note, you tell stories from a lot of different perspectives – both from story to story and sometimes within a single piece. Can you talk about the factors that determine whose PoV you’re writing from, which stories are going to involve “head hopping” versus which ones stay with a single narrator? I’m thinking, in particular, of stories like “My Precious Whore” where you’re dealing with some fairly heavy edges (for the characters but also for, um, me as a reader…) but also of “The Tender, Sweet, Young Thing” where the narration is bouncing between half a dozen heads. Can you talk a little bit about that?
 
Most of my early work was in the first person, though I played with that some by having POV characters sometimes imagine that they knew the perspective of other people (like in “Nervous Boy”). My recent work has been in third person. It was a conscious choice to shift that way, because I found it unblocked me. Until I tried third person, I kept hitting up against a wall, couldn’t figure out how to more clearly mark characters as disabled.
 
When I chose to shift my work, I embraced head hopping, something that is often frowned upon in erotica circles. I wanted to explore multiple interior experiences, see where that got me. In “The Tender Sweet Young Thing”, I wanted to stick with three perspectives—to stay inside the heads of the three queers that were central to plotting the fantasy scene, because they each were deeply invested in creating this scene from a different place. Dax, from a fantasy ze had held since childhood, Mikey partly as a gift of love and recognition for Dax, and partly for her own self, and Téo, who recognized a gender he wanted to play with. The story shifts from one to the other as the dynamics shift between the characters, that’s how it flowed out, so by the time you get to the actual scene, you hopefully have a stake in each of them getting what they need from it, and from each other.
 
With first person, often a voice comes to me as a story sparks. Point of view is one of the first things that solidifies in the story. In “My Precious Whore”, I was working on a few things in that story:
1. I was working to illuminate the edges inherent in playing with misogyny and whorephobia, to take the reader deep enough to really be able to see how deeply dangerous this kind of play is.
2. I was trying to illustrate how a structure of D/s and consciously chosen power play can create a container for this sort of intense and risky psychological edge play, make it possible to do it.
3. I wanted to capture something specific about orgasm control, how it can work in humiliation play scenes, how helplessness from forced orgasms can be particularly intense and beautiful.
4. I wanted to write a story that explored possessive top desire that wasn’t feral (which I’d mostly been writing), but went to colder places, wielded power differently, grappled with the edges of misogyny and deep psychological play.
5. I was attempting to illuminate the ways being the top in a scene centered on humiliation, objectification, and play with oppression can be incredibly edgy for the top and how the top can need support from the bottom.
 
Some of those things would be a good match for the bottom’s point of view, especially #3. (I want to write another story from a bottom’s point of view that can get me there more deeply.) #1 and #2 could work from either point of view. But for #4 and #5 I needed the top’s perspective to get me there.
 
I put that story in a drawer for a while after I wrote it. It felt too volatile to put out into the world, and too personally edgy. That’s how it has often worked for me with the stories that go deep into play with misogyny. (“Strong” is another example.) I was concerned about the damage they might do in the world, and worried about the ways they could be misinterpreted. This version of “My Precious Whore” illuminates top vulnerability much more than earlier versions, and it showcases the support of the bottom. Telling it from the top’s perspective really helps it get there, helps the reader touch those things.
 
 
6) In “The Ballad of Tam and Jan” (and I love that Carter Hall turns up in more than one story, by the way), you talk about transformative experiences for tops. In it, and also stories like “My Pretty Boy”, you talk about tops needing to remember and honour their own needs. There’s this pervasive (or maybe it’s just me?) thing where sadistic, and even just toppy, desires are framed as not okay – like it’s totally fine to want to be anonymously skull-fucked by a truck-load of random people, but wanting to turn someone into “just a hole” (to pick a theme that ran through a lot of your stories), to dehumanize them, is less okay. Wanting to beat someone to a pulp because it feels good to hit defenseless people is, well, monstrous. I find in a lot of Kink 101 stuff, the top is framed as facilitating the bottom’s experience, with the bottom being “really in charge” and the top being a provider in a lot of ways. Can you talk about that stuff in the context of the needs and vulnerabilities of tops?
 
The fear of top desires and needs that you describe is one of the most frustrating aspects of kink culture for me. I’ve written several essays about it. It’s a big problem, and can make navigating play so much harder for everyone, so much less likely to be mutual. This image of the top as facilitating the bottom’s experience and having no needs of their own is a huge contributing factor to ableism in kink communities. It’s been a challenge for me, personally, to find play partners that are up for considering and honoring my needs as a top, especially my needs for support around pushing my own edges.
 
My work, and in particular the stories in this book, are invested in creating different images of tops, different narratives about what tops need and desire, what bottoms do to support tops, what play that is mutual and honors the needs and desires of all parties can be like. Stories help create culture, and this book is one of the ways I’m trying to shift the way we think about top desires, top needs, and top vulnerabilities.
 
These stories openly celebrate sadistic and dominant desire, and that aspect of them alone is likely to make people uncomfortable. I’ve had stories rejected (with rather intense judgmental language) for openly describing sadistic desire. Once I had an editor suggest that I edit the story so that the dominant was not so clearly getting off on making the submissive cry during sex, because that felt inherently non-consensual. The editor suggested that I change the story so that the dominant was doing it to facilitate the experience the submissive needed.
 
In these stories, I am attempting to carve out room for the beauty and heat of unapologetically sadistic desire, and it is partly to meet my own needs. I need a kink culture that honors sadists who have their own desires, that supports tops to be vulnerable, that asks bottoms to support tops in play, that honors that everyone has needs. Not just because I’m human, but particularly as a disabled top.
 
 
7) Tell me something you love about this collection and want everybody to know.
 
I’ve talked about writing stories that center disabled and sick characters, how that was my project over the last few years. These stories often include disabled and chronically ill fat trans and genderqueer characters playing with each other, in community with each other, creating accessible spaces together. I’ve never read stories like that before, which is one of the reasons I needed to write them.
 
What I haven’t talked about is how impossible it has been to place these stories in anthologies. I’ve been aching to share these stories with the world, but have had no luck getting them published. I finally decided that I had to try to sell them as a group with my other work, in a collection like this, in order to get them printed.
 
Before I could seriously tackle that project, Go Deeper Press approached me to request a manuscript. They love these stories in particular, which makes me incredibly glad. And now these stories are out in the world, and I am so thrilled that people get to read them! I love that my first collection shows some of my oldest work, next to the new directions I’ve been going in as a writer.
 
 
Thank you, Xan. 🙂
 
 
~*~
 
 
You can pick up a copy of Show Yourself to Me from Go Deeper Press (print or digital), or as a e-book from Amazon.
 
You can find Xan’s thoughts about the praxis of sex, kink, queerness, power, and writing at xanwest.wordpress.com.

So there’s this JAKEtalk (like a TEDtalk, but really gay) and I haven’t listened to it all the way through, because he opened his talk with a quotation about Gay Assimilation into the Het world, and then spoke briefly about the Queer Bubble, about increasing (ish?) acceptance of The Gay[1] in mainstream[2] society, and what that means, or could mean, when it comes to maintaining a Queer Identity when that identity is no-longer based on, or reliant upon, being The Other or being an Outsider.
 
Which seems very strange to me, at first blush, so I thought I’d ramble a bit and see if I can parse it out. (The JAKEtalk intro is being used as a jumping-off-point here, rather than this post being an actual response to anything in the JAKEtalk).
Onwards!
 
So, look. I’m a weirdo. I spent my teens and early 20s wearing All The Velvet and All The Eyeliner because (a) PRETTY!, but also because (b) I figured out fairly early on that, at 6’4”, there is no protective colouration that will make e look “normal”, so I might as well (i) wear what I actually like, and/or (ii) give them something to fucking stare at.
So I’m fairly well-versed in Identity As Defined By Otherness, even if it’s on the relatively shallow level of being an unusually shaped/sized cis chick. I’m pagan – in the “Bioregional Animism” and “Ancestor Veneration” senses of the word, rather than the more widely recognized “Wiccan Offshoots” sense of the word (thank you gods, for a country where we have “Freedom TO”-based freedom of religion), and I’m a poly, kinky bi-dyke femme. A lot of my personal identities/labels/shorthands-for-what-I-am are frequently explained by highlighting the ways that they contrast with more mainstream/normative/normalized identities.
BUT that doesn’t mean that my identities can’t exist without that opposition.
Being married to my wife doesn’t make me Not Queer. Or “not queer enough” for that matter.
One of my poly-leather family members once said (gods, lifetimes ago now, back when my wife and I hadn’t even been dating for six months yet) that being a “married queer” didn’t change the way that she built family, that she didn’t stop being poly (or kinky, or anti-o, or a TIFD) just because she was also a Nice Jewish Girl with a ring on her left finger.
This has stuck with me for years now.
 
I love my Bubble. My kinky, poly, trans-inclusive dyke bubble is awesome. But, specifically because it’s so awesome, I kind of wish 100% of humanity was in here with me. Not in here diluting the awesomeness with their hetcis-normative expectations, with their “stay out of my bathroom” and their “I don’t understand how that kind of relationship could be anything but abusive”, their “porn is the theory” and their “multiple concurrent relationships are a sign of emotional immaturity[3]”, their “you’re in love with your own oppression” and their “you just haven’t found the right man yet”… No. I mean I want 100% of humanity in here with our norms and ideals and social expectations[4] which, largely, boil down to “Your kink[5] is okay, whether or not it’s mine” and that the more options we have, and can put words around, the better.
 
I don’t think that we stop having our identities just because more people accept, normalize, and celebrate them.
 
My wife is not “less poly” just because her mother is happy to meet her many partners, and to have us in attendance for her 65th birthday. I’m not “less queer” just because my own gay auntie paved the way for me in our family, or because her parents responded with absolute love (I know, because she read the letter from them, responding to her coming-out letter, at my wedding) when she came out decades ago. My friends are not “less trans” because zir mom took zir shopping for more gender-appropriate clothing, or because her nieces call her their favourite auntie; and they’re not “less kinky” because they can talk about their desires and relationships with their vanilla friends.
We do not stop being what we are just because the Normal People still love us, or let us on the PTA, or look to us as part of our faith community. Being unwanted is not a prerequisite for being us.
 
It’s sucks beyond all possible measure that any of my poly friends have to keep coming out to their families-of-origin, have to worry about how said relatives are going to handle it when they bring their multiple people home for the holidays. It sucks beyond all possible measure that my family members have fam-of-o or (extended-community-members, for that matter – get with the program, y’all…) who keep getting their pronouns wrong even though it’s been YEARS since they came out. It sucks beyond all possible measure that any of my dyke Fam has to deal with out and out hatred as part of “being a good daughter”.
I know that we face this stuff, that our bubble is (our bubbles are) how we protect each other, hold each other up, keep each other safe, help each other heal. And I don’t want to lose the love that comes with building our own families in spite of the Charmed Circle wishing that we weren’t around being our fabulous, unapologetic selves “at” them. But we don’t have to lose it.
We don’t have to stop being big-hearted and open-hearted with each other just because we’re gaining the chance to be open-hearted with the people we came from, too.
 
 
TTFN,
Ms. Syren.
 
 
[1] Less-so The Trans, so let’s keep pushing for that one, shall we?
 
[2] Meaning heteronormative, cisnormative.
 
[3] TRY IT SOME TIME, I DARE YOU, KIDDO.
 
[4] Which, full disclosure: I ain’t perfect yet. None of us are. But I know where I’m going.
 
[5] Gender / family-structure / body / employment situation / sexual identity / etc – Choose your own adventure(s).

Hi, folks!
So it’s catch-up week at KotW, and the most recent prompt has been corsets. Consequently, I’ll be talking a bit about them in this post.
 
Look. I love how a corset – an underbust, a plastic-boned bodice, even tight-lacing – looks. I recently did a portrature sitting where I deisilpunked it up as an alternate-earth WASP in her leather & pvc dress uniform. (I wore my Unholy Harvest dogtags, for those keeping track). Wish I had a photo to show you, ’cause I swear I felt like Amanda Fucking Palmer in that getup. 🙂
I love the way a nipped-in waist – whether through actual hardware or just through wearing a fitted top – can accestuate my already-fairly-hourglass figure and play up my awesome shoulders and hips. I love the feel of the fitted, structured fabric. I love the way my hips and ribs feel moving against it.
But.
I kind of loathe the sore back that comes with wearing boned articles of clothing. Sorry folks. My fetwear is more likley to be a sarong and some gladiator sandals, even if the aesthetics of giant high heels + heaps-o-boning totally turn my crank.
Alas.
I am, occasionally, a practical girl.
 
That said, I do have a tonne of the things – mostly the plastic-boned kind that you can get on ebay for $9.99 – that I use primarily for modeling jobs (see above re: portraiture class, for example). Because they’re not understood, these days, as “underwear” (sexwear is a different story, mind you), and because our contemporary clothing tends not to be particularly structured (even a lot of business-formal-style “blouses” are actually knits these days), the boning and obvious shaping of a corset (or similar item) tends to lend an element of instant formality to a given outfit while also playing (however inacurately) with anacronistic themes. They’re a useful thing to have in a work-wardrobe when your job involves bringing fantasy to life – or at least depictions of same. Case in point:
 
Pixie x1
 
 
So those are my thoughts on corsets.
&hnbsp;
Kink of the Week
 
 
TTFN,
Ms Syren.

Hey folks.
So someone tossed up a beautiful piece of piercing performance on twitter today, and it reminded me of the thrill of threading sharp objects through other people’s bodies. The kind of rush you get – or at least that I get – from doing that is a bit of a trip. I need to be careful about shaking hands. It makes my stomach lurch the way too much rich food, too fast, will make my stomach lurch (advice I need to take: Remember to pace yourself as a top – get your breath back under you before you drive that next spike in…). But the payoff, when your Person goes Under, when her breath deepens and her body turns liquid-boneless in your arms… Guh.
I want it.
I want more.
 
To that end, I’m just going to drop these three little videos (neither by me in any way, shape, or form) here for future reference. None of them are how-to videos, I don’t think. But they’re worth a look, none the less.
 

 

 

 
 
TTFN,
Ms Syren.

So this week’s Kink of the Week Prompt is Begging. I’m kind of uncomfortable with begging, at least in the hyperbolic, incessant-until-they-get-what-they’re-asking-for sense of the word. I feel an unpleasant mix of put-upon and embarrassed, like I should probably give in and do whatever-it-is just to shut them up.
And yet… There’s something about “please”, about “let me?”, about that vulnerable voicing of want and hunger combined with the holding back, with not just taking… Now, that I love.
I fantasize about that stuff. About being the kind of top who doesn’t just listen with her skin, but with her ears, who makes sure this, or this, or this is wanted; about hearing please gasped breathless and half-involuntary by someone yearning for my hands, my mouth, all over her lit-up body; that makes me shiver all over, that makes my breath go shallow and my blood race.
But, too, there’s something about hearing it coming from someone who’s buried her face in my neck, who’s risking the terror of letting her own hunger show, hesitant and hopeful as the brush of fingertips along my lower back, breath whispering over my skin. There’s such a delicious power in that, in the inviting and the allowing, when it works, when trust is the right way to go. And I want that, too.
I want it all.
 
Kink of the Week
 
 
TTFN,
Ms Syren.

Kink of the Week – Belts (#KotW)

Rightio.
So “belts” is the topic for this half of February’s KotW challenge.
While I appreciate a good hobble belt as a way of flagging (and also hanging stuff upon one’s person), I don’t tend to reach for a belt when I want to give someone a taste of leather.
Part of that is just…. I don’t wear them.
I mean, my wife/property wears them, and I suppose I could take off her belt and smack her with it, but… Meh? I just don’t wanna.
Like I’ve said before, I’m a crops and quirts kind of gal. Single Tails are wonderful things, yes, and I’d love to take another workshop on how to use them. But, by and large, I’m not into long-range toys. I like to make things up close and personal. 😉
So that’s where I stand on belts.
 
Kink of the Week
 
 
TTFN,
Ms Syren.

Alright, folks.
This is another old Kink of the Week topic, but it’s one that’s dear to my heart, so I’m going with it.
I am, as-you-know-bob, an exhibitionist. I suppose, when you’ve been getting stared at since you were fourteen, or whenever it was that I topped six feet tall, you tend to decide that you might as well make it work for you and give ’em something to stare at.
The reality, though, is that I’ve actually spent a huge amount of time trying to make myself smaller, less intimidating. I took a burlesque class (years ago, now), and I remember the look of fear – like, “Oh, god, is she going to run me over??” – on the face of of a class-mate (who, at that point was acting as A Member Of The Audience) when I started taking up the amount of space I’m capable of during performance.
 
Now… I’m a (performance) poet, a long-time singer, and a professional naked chick who makes her living taking her clothes off in front of strangers. I’m not sure that I don’t qualify as an exhibitionist just because of that.
But… As an exhibitionist, I’m maybe a little weird? Or possibly I’m calling it “exhibitionism” when it’s really something else… It’s not that I crave a audience – though having been a performer of one sort or another pretty-much since I was seven, I’m kind of used to having an audience around, and enjoy putting on a good show – it’s that, sexually speaking, I like being so “swept away” by desire that the random bystanders stop mattering.
Yes, I like public sex.
But I like public sex for reasons like “I like sex with clothes on” and “I like making out up against a wall or a bar”. And, sure, I also like the idea of my lover’s hand sliding up under the hem of my skirt, of grinding together on a dance floor or in a shadowy corner, getting each other off – or at least really, really on – in a big crowd of people. But… I don’t actually want the Big Crowd of People to be watching. I want them to be happily going about their business while my sweetie and I get it on in a little world of our own.
Is that still exhibitionism?
I’m not sure that it is.
I like that something can be so public, so easy to spot – convenient alcove, or bathroom stall[1], or whatever notwithstanding – and yet so intimate and personal, so “our little secret”. It’s delightful and really titilating… but I’m not sure that it qualifies as exhibitionism… Hm…
 
Kink of the Week
 
 
TTFN,
Ms Syren.
 
 
[1] Re: Bathroom stalls. As mentioned, I’m quite a bit over six feet tall. Most bathroom stalls aford zero privacy for folks of my stature, at least from a fucking-while-standing perspective. I think I’ve come across two whole washrooms that allowed for this – one was in a government building, and the other was in a dance studio. Get with it clubs. Seriously. O.O

My Bloody Valentine (#KotW)

So this week’s Kink of the Week topic is Blood Play.
Woohoo! 😀 😀 😀
Seriously, I saw this topic, and what popped into my head was “YAY! Jade and I actually have a kink in common!”
Not so much, apparently. But hey. Onwards!
 
So blood play – and knife play, and biting, and vampirism (which is a whole other topic, though I will definitely be touching on it here, possibly a lot) and scarification, and all the other stuff that goes along with blood-letting and why you might want to do it – is kind of my bag. My jam. My rich, oozing, red, red, jam.
😀
Yum.
 
I’ve been interested in vampires since I was about seven years old, so that’s bound up with it somewhere. I’ve read those pulpy anthologies of lesbian vampire erotica (Blood Sisters and that sort of thing) and… the formula there is so far from what vampirism means to me. It’s not a Power Exchange thing in the D/s sense of the word, for a start – although I won’t argue that my Domme wakes up sniffing the air when there’s blood to play with and in – it’s a Power Exchange in the sense of an energetic feedback loop where we are feeding into each other (like being in a really good dance club where the music is fantastic and everyone’s moving) and on each other. It’s so far from “Oh my god, she bit my clit” (although I think I’ve probably done that, or something like that, at least once) that the trope is straight-up laughable. Drinking from another can be worship and gratitude, and it’s always about trust, about welcoming. “I will make you my own[1]”, take you in, devour you, make you part of my body. We are both letting someone get under our skin, in different ways.
That’s what biting is – a kiss that goes deeper than skin.
I remember, when I was about 20, thinking “Blood sharing is more intimate than sex, because you need a lot more trust to do it, you can’t put a condom over a vein”.
In retrospect, this was, perhaps, a little simplistic. But my feelings about the intimacy of blood-sharing haven’t actually changed. I mean, yes, you have to do your homework, be aware of how to avoid getting sick – gloves, drop-sheets, STI tests – and usually, when I’m doing blood play (the exception being my wife, because: fluid bonding) I don’t actually get to drink anything, much as I might want to follow those enticing crimson rivers with my tongue. Rather, I tend to opt for the much safer second choice, which is running my hands through my Person’s blood and feeding it to her, dripping from my fingertips.
Ng.
I’ll be in my bunk.
 
Anyway. So that’s part of it. A big part of it.
But some of it is just straight-up predatory Monster Food.
The hiss and the tremble and way the blood beads bright on broken skin, there’s no red like it, no smell. My voice teacher used to tell me to imagine smelling something wonderful, in order to get me to breathe properly, and what I imagined was the mingling of blood and sex. Not that I ever told her this, because that’s got to be a little disconcerting coming from a 16-year-old, particularly one who doesn’t yet know she’s kinky. But that’s what I was imagining and, yes, since I hadn’t even kisses another person at that point, the smell I was thinking of was specifically menstrual blood. When that stuff’s fresh, it’s the best smell on earth. (Three minutes after the fact, though, it’s really, really not. Pro-Tip for those who want to save their own. Although once it’s completely dried out, it smells like honey. For real. Such sweetness under hte iron).
 
Moving along. Some of it – touching back to that energetic feedback loop – exists at the Sex Magic end of S/M. I love to carve words into my Person using a scalpel or an 18-gage needle (if you want more tearing and, thense, more pain), to carve them in mirror-script so that they can be read specifically in the mirror. It’s magic like that pen in Harry Potter – write it until it sinks in:
Hope
You Are Loved
You Are Mine
My Horse, My Servant
[2]
 
It’s all intimacy, when you get right down to it. Yes, beauty. Yes, emphatically, lust. Yes, Woo, on a number of levels. But it’s the sharing, the deep and gracious vulnerability that is offered, entrusted, accepted. That’s why it matters to me.
 
Anyway.
So those are my FEELINGS on blood play.
 
Kink of the Week
 
 
TTFN,
Ms Syren.
 
 
[1] That line is from a poem called Leatherwood Honey by Amal El Mohtar – from her book The Honey Month, which you should all buy. Go on, I’ll wait. 🙂
 
[2] P.S.: It’s our 5-year service-versary today. 😀

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.