Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Dominatrix: A BDSM History

From the fabulous Gloria Brame, "an all-vintage visual odyssey through BDSM history, documenting enchantingly sexy dominant women and professional dominatrices from the 1860s to the 1930s." (With a special appearance by Freud's couch.)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Not for the Faint of Heart: Consensual Erotic Blackmail

Kitty: That's blackmail.

Johnny: It's only blackmail, baby, when you're dumb enough to get caught.

Of course, Johnny’s mistaken. Blackmail is blackmail, even if you don’t get caught. But that doesn’t stop either Kitty or Johnny from luring Chris deeper into their trap. And Chris, smitten with the devious Kitty, falls for scheme after scheme, always coming back, always begging for more.

(Want to know how it ends? Check out the classic film noir Scarlet Street, starring Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, and Dan Duryea.)

But maybe Johnny was on to something. Maybe it’s only blackmail when you don’t have the consent of the person you’re blackmailing.

Consensual blackmail may seem an oxymoron, but as with so many fetishes and fantasies, consent is the difference between a felony and a fulfilling fantasy.

Unlike the classic definition of blackmail, in other words, “the act of forcing somebody to pay money or do something by threatening to reveal shameful or incriminating facts about him,” consensual blackmail is an arrangement entered into with the consent of both parties, no force necessary.

No force, no foul, right?

Consensual doesn’t mean there’s no risk involved. In fact, there’s a great deal of risk.

The frisson of consensual blackmail is the risk of exposure. While the blackmail submissive voluntarily pays money to keep shameful or incriminating evidence from seeing the light of day, the thrill is in skirting the edge, risking exposure, either by not being able to keep up with the agreed to payments, or choosing to not keep up in order to edge closer to being exposed.

Consensual blackmail is edge play at its edgiest. The submissive may not be risking his health or personal safety, but he is risking his relationships, from his most intimate and personal to his professional.

By willingly sharing contact information for the most important people in his life, by willingly giving up incriminating evidence, usually of an erotic nature, and then committing to a financial arrangement with a dominant to keep his “secret” safe, the submissive puts in the hands of the dominant the power to ruin him by revealing his secrets to those who think they know him if he does not hold up his side of the contract.

But it’s not only his life that he puts on the line. By sharing contact information and risking that all of his perversions will be revealed, he also puts the wellbeing of his loved ones at risk.

Think about it. The blackmail submissive is willing to risk hurting his wife, his girlfriend, his parents, his siblings. He is willing to risk embarrassing his co-workers. He is willing to humiliate himself in front of his boss, who then may find reason to let him go. He’s willing to risk his job, his financial obligations to family, and perhaps even the custody of his children.

So why would a dominant risk causing harm to people who never consented to play the blackmail game?

The key is trust.

The submissive trusts the dominant to keep his secret if he adheres to the agreement. The dominant trusts that the submissive will uphold his end of the agreement.

If I accept you as a blackmail submissive, it’s because I trust you to uphold your end of the agreement.

If I accept you as a blackmail submissive, it is because I am confident that you are not using me as a way of revealing your base desires to those closest to you because you don’t have the cojones to come clean and admit who you really are to those you love.

If I accept you as a blackmail submissive, I will push you to the very edge of exposure, to the limits of what is safe.

Most importantly, if I accept you as a blackmail submissive, you risk real exposure, not because I’m cruel and desire to harm people I’ve never met and who never asked me to hurt them. You risk real exposure because if you are the type of person willing to risk the health, heart, and well-being of those you proclaim to love, and then backpedal on your commitment, they deserve to know you for the selfish, irresponsible person that you are.

I am no longer accepting blackmail submissives. You can still purchase copies of the application and the contract, should you so desire. And you know that you do.

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Invention of False Eyelashes

"The invention and use of false eyelashes began in 1916 when director D.W. Griffith was making his film Intolerance. He wanted actress Seena Owen to have lashes that "that brushed her cheeks, to make her eyes shine larger than life." The first false eyelashes was made of human hair woven through fine gauze by a local wig maker. They were then attached to Owen's eyes."

Eyelash extensions on Wikipedia

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

100 Orgasms for Health

This just in from Dr. Ruth via her Twitter account:

"Accordng to Mayo Clinic if u have at least 100 orgasms/yr u can expect to prolong u're life by up to 8 yrs & reduce mortality rate by 1/2"

Worth remembering. Worth achieving.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

To Sit In An Easy Relationship With Our Shame

I'm reading Barbara Carellas' Ecstasy is Necessary: A Practical Guide, a great book which I highly recommend. (Look for a full review in a future post!)

I find Barbara's words to be helpful in framing many of my own ideas about shame and how it limits us.

I was particularly struck by this passage, one that I think is crucial to remember as we move through shame to find our own true selves:

My colleague Tessa Wills adds that it is important for all of us beginning or expanding our erotic exploration "to be able to sit in an easy relationship with our shame." Notice that she did not say that we had to eliminate all our shame before we could begin. We simply have to be willing to allow it to appear every now and then. At each step of the way we are likely to encounter either a little or a lot of shame. Shame must be accepted, forgiven, and gently moved beyond. If you wait to eliminate all your shame before you take the next step in your sexual evolution, you'll never take that step.
Such important advice to keep in mind as we journey forward.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Oui Bit of Red

A little treat for a #footfetish Friday. A Oui Bit of Red and a touch of black marabou.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Having Sex Like a Porn Star

I read with great amusement the article "Dinner, Movie, and a Dirty Sanchez" on the GQ web site.

While the author is quite clever, and the article quite entertaining, there is an underbelly to the conversation that is quite distressing.

No, it's not that men have been raised on internet porn. Nor is it that so many have had so many expectations not just about sex, but also about eroticism and intimacy, informed by internet porn.

It's that there's a complete lack of communication around sexual desire, and the notion of consent is completely absent.

If the lover (and, in this context, I use the term quite loosely) in question had simply asked "Do you like it when..." rather than simply stating, "Where do you want this?," an entirely different paradigm would have been set into motion.

Communication is sexy. Knowing what your lover enjoys, what they want and what they hunger for, is so much more stimulating than "Where do you want this?"

"Where do you want this" implies that I am the only one of any concern or of any importance in this exchange. That you're really not worthy of the more important question, "Do you want this?"

And with the question framed so very differently — asking "Do you want this?" rather than "Where do you want this?" — we enter the realm of consent. In other words, "Do you want this?" "Do you like this?" "Would you like to do this," and more specifically, "Would you like to do this with me?"

The problem isn't the desire in question. The problem is being unwilling — or unable — to communicate that desire, to confirm enthusiastic consent (as opposed to implied consent) to engaging in that desire, and to graciously accept someone's lack of desire for engaging in said behavior when consent isn't forthcoming.

I hope Robbie learns how to better communicate his desire, to seek enthusiastic consent for the acts in which he wishes to engage, and to refrain if consent isn't granted.

And I hope, too, that the author finds the words she needs (if she hasn't already), in the moment when confronted with an act in which she doesn't wish to participate, to decline, however indelicate the offer.

Because it's not just communication that is sexy. Consent is sexy, too.

Monday, January 30, 2012

"Shame is the lie someone told you about yourself." ~ Anaïs Nin

What would the world be like if we weren't ashamed of our own desires?

An interesting question. And one I find myself returning to time and time again. We're taught to fear our sexuality, to hide it, quelch it, repress it. But somehow our darker passions make themselves known, finding the chinks in the armour, and finding ways to express themselves (and quite often at the most inopportune times).

I'm fascinated by human sexuality. What an amazing gift to be able to express ourselves, to enjoy ourselves, to revel in our deepest desires. And how unfortunate it is when our sexual selves are beaten not into submission, but into repression and self-loathing.

I'm fascinated by what compels us, what drives us, what motivates us.

And I hope that one day, we can all live in a world without shame.

❧ ❧ ❧