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Yearly Archives: 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

{Warning: this will take you off site to xtube}: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge… the kinky way

I’ve already tagged 3 friends here, but I hope that my kinky peeps will make more scenes for charity!

For My Husband on Our Tenth Wedding Anniversary

Our culture has a terrible habit of thinking that a relationship is only successful if the couple stays together until they die. You and I have said that we think we’re entitled to one successful relationship at least every 5 good years. That means we’ve had 3 good relationships together so far, with 1 of them as a pair of kids dating, 1 as a pretty normally married young adult couple, and 1 of them as a zanily married not-very-grown-up couple. I love the life we have built together, and I thank the gods constantly for the blessing you have been in my life. I hope that I am fortunate enough to have a lot more successful relationships with you; I certainly intend to. I don’t really like the idea of being old, but I hope with all my heart that if the gods are kind enough to let me grow old with you, we’ll be the crotchety old people shocking everyone else with the indecent amounts of fun we have. I am a better person because of who you are and what you bring to my life. I know of no better way to say “I love you” than that.

I didn’t believe in marriage when I met you, and I still have a lot of doubts about the institution as a whole. But I believe in the life we have made together, eccentric as it is.

Happy 10th anniversary, husband. May our very different gods continue to compromise and bless our peculiar union.

I love you.

On Relationship Statuses and Labels

“Boyfriend,” “girlfriend,” “husband,” and “wife,” are really the only labels that we grow up learning a pseudo-intuitive meaning for in our culture. Of course, as it turns out, everybody’s definitions are different for those terms, so they’re nowhere near as helpful as we fantasize they are. That is, we think we know what they mean, but in reality, everyone has highly individualized notions, expectations, boundaries, and “meanings of relationships.”

Even in monogamous world, those labels have proven spectacularly inadequate. Young people tend to participate in a hook-up culture these days, which deliberately blurs the lines between “in” and “not in” a relationship. Even older friends of mine who have tried to date monogamously seem to have found that dating in our culture has become—to use sociological jargon–anomic. That’s a fancy way of saying that nobody knows what the hell the rules are anymore, and that dating tends to be accompanied by a lot of angst and uncertainty partly because the rules are so vague.

But as crazy as things are in MonoWorld, they’re a helluva lot more complicated over here in PolyWorld.

There are two basic types of polyamory that I’ve discovered: hierarchical poly and anarchical poly. Hierarchical polys try to simplify the mad complexities of poly life by labeling relationships and dynamics like crazy: husbands, boyfriends, friend with benefits, play partners, lovers… and then often surreptitiously layer labels like “primary,” “secondary,” and very occasionally “tertiary” on top of those (how often do you hear someone introduce someone with, “This is Beth, my secondary”?). Anarchical polys, on the other hand, try to disengage from the labels altogether and often pretend like there’s no real prioritizations happening between and among their relationships. They tend to eschew relationship labels and titles altogether, frequently just introducing people with the incredibly nebulous title “partner.”

For several years, I’ve been practicing my own form of pseudo-anarchical polyamory with a husband/primary and a collection of my own “partners.” Unfortunately, in spite of my current lifestyle, I don’t think that anarchical poly is my native relationship language. I like my world ordered and precise and I reeeeeeally like security and stability. All of these preferences are antithetical to the way that anarchical poly functions. And yet, I find that anarchical poly has seemed to be the best way to meet my own and my partners’ wants and desires for quite some time. The thing I find myself questioning regularly is does it meet my needs? How valuable is the security of a label?

Do you actually get more from someone because he calls you his “girlfriend”? There might be peace of mind in the label and the feeling of security that comes with it, but what does it ultimately really provide? If someone does all the things you expect a boyfriend to do, does it matter if you call him your boyfriend? Obviously, it matters to me on some level or I wouldn’t be writing this. But that doesn’t mean that it should matter.

The thing is, when you have a bad day, and you doubt someone’s feelings for you, the relationship titles give you something to fall back on. Sure, she got busy and didn’t text you this morning, but she’s still your girlfriend. At the same time, the titles can be expectation traps: it’s okay if your “play partner” didn’t text you, but it’s not okay if your “girlfriend” didn’t. In the end, what do those labels really give you except an illusion of stability and security?

I can get over the vocabulary awkwardness; but the real biggest challenges of anarchical poly life for me are 1. That it feels impossible to plan for the future more than two weeks from now (who knows what the “relationship” will look like in a month? Can we take for granted that we’ll spend time together at x event? How do we decide who’s staying with whom? Am I doing this wrong if I assume I’m staying with you?). And 2. That it feels so fucking hard to say “I love you” and have it mean the same thing to the person I’m saying it to that it means to me. At the point where you’ve abandoned all the standard social norms of relationships entirely, it’s like you need to invent a completely new vocabulary just to explain the way you feel about someone. Part of me imagines having this stupidly awkward conversation that goes something like, “I have very deep and intense feelings for you that in no way resemble the ones I have for my husband, and I would never under any circumstances consider living with you for more than a few days at a time, but I care greatly about your happiness, I miss you a lot when you’re not around, and I think being with you greatly enriches my life, so I think that means I love you.” Are you allowed to say that to someone?

In some ways, anarchical polyamory feels like a spectacularly immature way to do relationships—as if we’re bundles of hormones who are terrified of commitment because it might limit the number of people we get to fuck. In other ways, it seems extremely sophisticated and vastly more realistic than any other relationship system I can imagine. It acknowledges the ever-changing nature of humans and their relationship needs, and most importantly, I think it takes into account a truth which our society mostly just doesn’t get: love is contextual. Love—even romantic love—is absolutely not a one-size-fits-all proposition, and that was the truth which polyamory was supposed to encompass all along. You should take for granted that I don’t love you like I love my husband, because that just wouldn’t make sense anyway. You and I are what we are, and what we are is sexy and powerful and loving and special; trying to find a fetlife box to check to legitimate it in the eyes of other people or ourselves probably won’t make us even a little bit happier, and I seriously doubt that it will extend the longevity of our relationship by a day, and stressing about it is likely to shorten the length of the relationship considerably.

That sounds true, at least.

This comic is by me.

I came up with this in one of my more cynical moments

Advice for the Polycurious

I regularly have people who are contemplating polyamory with various degrees of seriousness ask me for advice on becoming poly, and for tales of my own polyamorous conversion. So here goes.

Becoming poly is a radically different proposition depending on your current relationship status. The easiest way to become poly is if you’re currently single and you decide to “try poly”; this decision usually is most successful if you’ve already made the decision and don’t become effectively coerced into it by a situation. For example, there’s a world of difference between thinking, “I don’t know about this whole monogamy thing” and falling for a married woman, versus coincidentally falling for a married woman and sort of stumbling into polyamory as a result. If you’re single and want to date poly, it’s pretty easy: get on okcupid and claim to be “available” even though you’re technically single. Voila. Go to kink or pagan events, which tend to be frequented by poly folks, to pick up partners. Go to poly meet-ups. Not too tricky.

Turning your happy long-term monogamous relationship into a happy long-term polyamorous relationship is a much trickier proposition, however. I’ll start by telling my story, I’ll review some common problems with this dynamic, and then I’ll offer some practical tips and advice, most of which apply for poly singles and couples.

My Story

Once upon a time, I was an 18-year-old high school student who scoffed at the “doomed institution of marriage,” and doubted my capacity for successful monogamy after spending the previous summer engaged in wild crushes and flirtations with at least three boys at once. Lo and behold, I met Bastard, another 18-year-old virgin high school student who was the sexy geek I never dared dream about. I told him before we ever started seriously dating, “I doubt I can be monogamous,” and he said, “Good, because I doubt I could be either.” Well, that was easy enough. Time went on, and as our relationship grew more serious, we sort-of defaulted to monogamy (neither of us was exactly drowning in options, anyway), but we were miles away from a traditional monogamous dynamic either. Eventually, after Bastard and I had been together about four years, I accidentally fell in love with a good (female) friend; although that didn’t work out, Bastard was extremely supportive, and I had great faith that we could do this whole non-monogamy thing. I eventually decided that marriage might be a redeemable social institution after all, but we deliberately wrote monogamy out of our wedding vows.

That was back in 2003, and we inhabited a different world back then. I had never been to a pagan gathering and never met anyone who identified as poly (I had only been introduced to the word the year before). I went to my first pagan gathering in 2005 and met a whole passel of practicing polys. All of a sudden, I was surrounded by people who were living my nervous fantasy. It seemed possible.

Bastard was always less nervous about embarking on a poly life than I was. We talked incessantly, processing the numerous possibilities and problems that might arise once we took the “poly plunge.” (I’ve discussed some of the necessary evils of poly processing here). Some of the issues I had to work through for myself were: worrying that if he fell in love with someone else, he wouldn’t love me the same way; being anxious about spending the night alone; believing that he was as okay with me seeing other men as he was with me seeing women; working through the fact that he has always harbored the desire to “share” a woman with me–a fantasy I find much less appealing. I was never worried about the prospect of him having sex with someone else. But neither of us found the idea of swinging appealing, so I knew I had to be able to deal with the prospect of him forming a relationship with someone else. I felt reasonably comfortable with all these things by the time we finally decided to finish being monogamous. Three things precipitated the timing of our eventual plunge into polyamory: (1) me finishing grad school, which greatly reduced the overall stress level in the house, (2) the two of us playing together in a public sex space, which we enjoyed very much, and (3) my increasing desire (bordering on need) to have sex with women.

Since taking the poly plunge, our greatest challenge has always been that I have a much easier time finding partners than he does. I don’t have any easy answers to that one; I wouldn’t say we’ve “solved” the problem. (For anyone reading this, my husband is an awesome catch. He’s just geeky and shy on first acquaintance). Our other big issue is the same one all poly people have: time. Our culture brings us up to believe you can’t be in love with more than one person at the same time, but I believe this is nonsense. We have an infinite capacity to love; what we don’t have is an infinite capacity to spend a healthy amount of time with an indefinite number of lovers (I’ve written more on that problem here). Again, this remains an ongoing problem that requires regular attention for us.

My Advice to Couples

As you and a partner consider polyamory for yourselves and your relationship, I would encourage you to think about some of the following things. First, what do you each of you as individuals hope to get by opening your relationship? Second, what do each of you hope that your relationship will get by opening it? Answering these questions will help you decide if you just want to “open” your relationship, or if you want to be polyamorous. This diagram (not mine) is both a hilarious and accurate depiction of the many varieties of “open relationship” forms. I don’t personally have any experience with open relationship forms other than polyamory. The term “polyamory” remains hotly debated, and in my opinion, the word “poly” is more of an identity and subcultural label at this point than a clear indicator of relationship preferences.

It’s important to discuss your biggest fears about polyamory with your partner beforehand. I think of becoming polyamorous as being very similar to the decision to have a baby: it needs a lot of talking about beforehand, and it works best when both partners want similar things. Also, much like having while it can solve some of your relationship problems, it definitely can’t solve most of them–and it can make many a helluva lot worse. The difference between poly life and parenting is that you usually have more role models for good parenting than for successful polyamory.

My Advice to All Polycurious Folks

Regardless of whether you have a well-established monogamous relationship or are a single embarking upon “poly dating,” it’s still important to try to get a sense for people’s “poly rules.” Everyone has different poly rules, and there’s no way to know what they’ll be ahead of time.
• One of the most basic has to be rules for safer sex (which I promise I’ll write a separate post about soon).
• Another common rule is that many people (including me) have primaries with “veto power” over their relationships–that is, the primary reserves the right to approve the other person’s relationships. While this rule might sound comforting to new poly couples in principle, my husband and I learned rapidly that it’s only really useful very early on in a relationship. You risk a lot less telling your partner that someone makes you uncomfortable after their first date than if you tell them after they’ve been dating for six months (at that point, you pretty much have to try to gently talk them into breaking up). If this veto power dynamic sounds appealing to you, I strongly recommend biting the bullet and introducing your dates to your primary ASAP. Yes, it’s often awkward, but not nearly as awkward as going forward with a relationship that (either) partner is deeply uncomfortable with. In short, don’t kid yourself. If you’re dating a married woman and think her husband is a douche, then your relationship probably has a quick expiration date, unless she also thinks her husband is a douche, in which case you’re going to get cooked in a hot mess.
• Try to get a sense for how much time you and your partner are willing to spend away from each other every week (both days and nights). When embarking upon a new relationship, never deceive someone about how much time they’re likely to get with you.
• Be alert for what I consider a Big Poly Red Flag: namely, extremely restrictive poly rules. Not only are these rules often very difficult to keep to (and thus a recipe for Poly Fail), to me they are also indicative of people who aren’t really comfortable with polyamory. That’s entirely subjective, but you don’t want to fall into somebody else’s poly trap, and you don’t want to create one yourself. Examples that I have seen include, “Monday night is my night with him. Period.” “No one else can call after 9 PM and on holidays” (no, I’m not making that one up). I have talked to many people, and the main reason these rules are so destructive (aside from being hard to remember) is that shit happens. People’s parents die, they fight with their best friend, they lose their job, they go to the hospital, etc. (And don’t think age negates these things. My friends are in their late 20’s, and in a single six month period, my husband’s girlfriend at the time went to the hospital, my boyfriend at the time went to the hospital, and I had to take a dear friend to the hospital. Trust me. SHIT HAPPENS). Even if they just have a really bad day, people need to be able to get (extra) support from their partners, or the relationship is doomed. (Of course, if shit is constantly happening, the relationship is likely doomed for other reasons). All partners need to understand that when shit happens, plans will fall through. If they can’t deal with that without getting sulky, angry, or depressed, they can’t deal with polyamory. Period.

After discussing angst, worries, and rules, I want to end this post on a more positive note. People tend to frame the decision to become polyamorous as one of loss and risk. They rarely consider the idea that monogamy also can be risky, as I pointed out here. Imagine if we lived in a culture where polyamory was the default and couples had to make the decision to be monogamous. Imagine the cautions and warnings we would give people: you’ll have to be really careful because most people admit that they’ve cheated on a partner at some point, you’ll lose the opportunity to enjoy and experience lots of other people, your social support network will be much more limited, you might end up trying to parent with only two people, and you’ll have to try to fulfill all of each other’s sexual needs. Put like that, does polyamory really sound like such a bad idea?

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I encourage readers of this post to reply with their own stories in the comments section and post links to favorite posts and articles. I would love to create a resource here for polycurious folks.

The Self-Defeating Flirtation

My friends and I discovered a paradox of dating/picking up long ago, which I have discussed before slightly differently: essentially, humans have an ironic and disastrous habit of assuming the people they’re more attracted to aren’t attracted to them.

Let’s take a moment and dissect that. The people you think are hottest, the people that you reeeeally think you might click with, the people that you really fucking want are the ones who you’re most likely to think, “Aw, s/he’s just not that into me.” I’ve had many conversations with people where they readily admitted that they couldn’t tell someone was interested in them because of their own interest; behaviors that appeared flirtatious from someone they were not interested in immediately became ambiguous or neutral because they wanted that person.

WHY?

Why automatically assume that someone is not interested in you if you’re interested in them? It causes a disastrous cycle of dating failure; it’s spectacularly self-defeating in three crucial ways.

The first is that whoever the object of your attraction (OYA) may be, regardless of gender, they are less likely to be attracted to you if you believe that they’re not attracted to you. Don’t believe me? True story. They did an experiment where they didn’t let some poor guys bathe for 48 hours. Then at the end of it, they let some of the guys put on some scented body spray and some of them unscented deodorant, asked them to rate their feelings of confidence and then took the guys’ pictures and had them make videos. The guys who were scented rated their self-confidence higher than the unscented guys. Now here’s the kicker: they showed the pictures and videos to a bunch of women (who had no idea what the premise of the experiment was), and the chicks thought the guys who had on the scented body spray were hotter than the guys who didn’t. Now, unless women have developed some magical method of smelling men through photographs, the logical conclusion from this weird experiment is that guys are genuinely more physically attractive to women when they feel more attractive and confident (someone should try replicating this experiment with women). Which means that if you walk up to someone you’re attracted to, convinced that they aren’t into you, the chances that they’ll be into you are probably substantially lower than if you walk up to them, reasonably certain that they will be into you (overconfidence probably goes too far in the other direction).

The second problem with the conviction that the OYA isn’t into you is that you’re less likely to notice when they’re flirting with you, trying to make moves, or showing interest. Believing that they’re uninterested, you hesitate to interpret anything shy of, “Can we please fuck now?” as actual interest. (And I’ve even heard the insecurity extend past that point too! [Eeyore voice] “Well, she wanted me for sexxxx, but I doubt she wants to actually go out with meeeee”). If you get into a situation where both people are like this, then you have a fantastic recipe for a hookup or a relationship that is just never going to happen.

By now you should be able to see what the third problem is: if you continually “fail” to pick people up—because they’re genuinely less attracted to you because you think you’re unattractive, compounded by your failure to notice their cues of interest—then you end up “confirming” your own belief that you’re “not that hot.” Every time you fail to pick up someone you’re interested in, you become that much more insecure the next time you try… and less attractive to potential partners… and so the cycle of what we nicknamed “the self-defeating flirtation” goes.

But as obnoxious as this spiral of learned helplessness is, the thing I hate the most about the self-defeating flirtation is that it means that people often end up partnering with people that they’re less attracted to. If you’re terrified to approach the people you’re reeeeeally attracted to, and either don’t approach them at all or do so awkwardly, but more confidently approach people that you’re merely attracted to, you’re more likely to catch the people you’re merely attracted to than the people you’re really attracted to. And what a fucking waste. Go fuck the people you reeeeeally want!

“But how do I break the cycle?”

I’d be lying if I pretended like there was some easy way to just suddenly say to yourself, “I’m reasonably attractive. I might even be hot. There is a better than 50% chance that Person X that I am interested in wants me.” Me and my best friend realized that this cycle existed, and then pinky promised each other that we would try to always believe that people we wanted most found us desirable; in our cases, the pinky promise and Aphrodite worship worked. For some people, just being aware that they’re shooting themselves in the foot helps them try to change their thought processes and behaviors. If you genuinely, deeply believe that you’re unattractive, I don’t think any blog post will be enough to change your attitudes or behaviors on its own; that type of change requires something deep and powerful. But I feel like the majority of people that I know are insecure about how attractive they are in ways that are more changeable: the sort-of casual, everyday belief that one “just isn’t hot enough” has a hope of being overcome through practice, application, and the support of one’s friends.

Personally, I just find the reminder that the person is more likely to say “yes” if I believe they will to be a pretty damned good incentive.

“Does This Look Sexual to You?”

In one of the final scenes of the classic kinky rom com Secretary, Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character tries to prove herself to the man she wants to become her Dom by remaining seated and unmoving for… a really long time. She’s haunted by various hallucinations while she sits there, one of whom asks, “Lee, are you doing something sexual right now?” Fiercely, she responds, “Does this look sexual to you?!” The question is left rhetorical in the film, and I’ve never been satisfied with my own answer to it. She’s sitting, fully dressed in her wedding dress, swaying with exhaustion, and the film even shows her peeing herself at one point. But my gut response to her question has always been an uncomfortable and unsatisfying, “Well, maybe-sort-of-kind-of-a-little-yeah.” I found the question so thought-provoking that I made it one of my research questions for my project on BDSM.  I also meandered around the question a bit recently when I was interviewed by The People of Kink

But this post isn’t about other people, or what BDSM means to other people, or how different BDSM microcultures construct sex and sexuality. I just spent the last month frantically assembling that shit. This post is about me, dammit. Because the whole time I was putting that darned presentation together, I kept asking myself how would I answer the question–is BDSM/kink sexual/about sex–if I interviewed myself. And this post is what I would say.

When I first entered the Scene several years ago, it never in a million years crossed my mind that kink could be anything other than sexual. At that point, kink was all about sex for me: what could make me cum harder, what could make my partners cum harder, what could make them aroused and wanting to fuck me? Whether playing with violet wands, getting poked with needles, getting my clothes cut off with knives, or scratching people with my claws: it was really all about sex for me. The first time I got suspended in rope, I got fucked with a glass dildo; the third time I got suspended, it was so I could fuck a girl in the air. I really had no idea there were kink events that forbade sex, and I couldn’t really wrap my brain around the idea that there were BDSM activities that people engaged in for reasons other than sex. Once I started talking to people who claimed that they engaged in BDSM for non-sexual reasons, my brain tended to give them patronizing looks even as the rest of me sometimes tried to hang on to a poker face. Why the fuck were they doing this shit if not for sex?

Then one night I flogged a guy I wasn’t attracted to just because my fingers were itching to beat the crap out of someone. It was sexy to hurt someone like that, but I don’t know that I could really call it sexual. It made me excited, but I couldn’t really say that it made my clit hard. Pretty much the same thing happened a few weeks later when I got tied up in a really uncomfortable position for the first time: it was sexy and fun and exciting, but I couldn’t really say it got me hard. In both cases, the exhiliration I experienced wasn’t that different from doing other things that I find really sexy that are physically challenging, like poledancing or dancing with fire. The analogy is extremely apt for me: I’ve done competitive poledancing, which didn’t get my clit hard at all–it’s art and an athletic competition; it’s sensual and fun, but that’s it. But I’ve poledanced at kink events, and it’s an entirely different experience that leaves my pussy smelling like I’ve just been fucked. Ditto with firedancing. For both poledancing and firedancing, I will readily admit that I’ve jerked off fantasizing about doing those things in specific contexts, but they certainly aren’t inherently sexual. And I’ve learned to think of a lot of kink activities the same way.

Conversely, I’ve done scenes that I didn’t expect to get my clit hard that did. One of the first fetish photography shoots I did was mostly just me, naked, doing sensual and sexy things that I enjoy for three enthusiastic photographers. Totally unattracted to anyone there, I was startled when I got dressed later and realized that I smelled like I had been having sex. I didn’t just smell like I was aroused; I smelled like I had actually been having sex. The same thing happened when I just observed at a kinky wrestling party (I reeeeeally like to watch sexy people wrestle sexily…). Then another time, a couple of years ago, I bought a single-tail, and my friend InspiredIniquity gamely volunteered to let me hit him with it, even though I’d never wielded one before. I was really a downright lousy whip top, and he was being very good about letting me know what I was doing wrong and what I needed to modify, and he and I were just friends… but somehow, whip practice devolved into something that felt supiciously like a scene that definitely left both of us panting. There was absolutely nothing overtly sexual about what we were doing–we were standing a good 3 feet apart–and yet both of us left with hard-ons. We both like single-tails a lot, but much more was happening than a shared kink: there was chemistry in that interaction that had nothing to do with the whip. (He quipped that he could have been teaching me to sautee vegetables, and it still would have been arousing, because that’s what the best chemistry does).

The weirdest point of convergence for me happened just a couple of weeks ago at Winterfire. I arrived there wicked horny because my pre-birthday orgy got genitalia-blocked by a snowstorm. I started asking around for “Trouble” (it’s my generic term for kink and/or sex), and B offered me rope. Now, a sensible person would have said, “Could there be sex first, please?,” but I’m not always a sensible person. I’m a spoiled slut, and I’ve learned that sometimes, sexy, weird, and delightful things come my way when I don’t ask for what I want (it’s not a strategy I’d recommend to other people. I live a strange life). The thing was, I’d never done a rope scene with him when I was that horny since he and I started sleeping together, and I wanted to see what it would feel like. And…alkalgohotgih… that’s not a typo. That’s my brain on rope. It’s just a scramble of unwords…

He was fully clothed and I was still in my underwear, but whatever it was we were doing felt far more intimate than sex. I’m not normally a twue rope slut (people who space out just from the pleasures of rope on their skin), but the moment his ropes touched my flesh, I felt like I was being completely encased in his body. I started spacing out from a simple TK, which is a tie I don’t even like very much. In no time, I found myself wishing that he would choke me, and without me ever saying a word, he did. I don’t really have a clue what that tie consisted of. It started out with me hanging low, then hanging higher, then higher still, with my back got arched at some fairly outrageous angle. But while I usually let myself have an energy orgasm in rope like that, this time, I kept holding back, torturing myself with energy and desire and letting myself be relatively gently tortured with rope and manipulated desires that I couldn’t control. By the time he let me down onto the ground, still very tied, I found myself desperately grinding my crotch into the top of his boot. I never did quite orgasm from all of that, but when all was said and done, I felt like rope had been a dizzying and intense substitution for sex. “Substitution” is a major disservice there. Maybe I should say that it was a dizzying and intense “upgrade.”

…And so that is the gamut of my experience with the relationships between sex and kink: from obviously kinky sex to not particularly sexy kink to kink that just plain felt like sex. To this day, 99% of my non-rope bottoming is sexual, and the idea of taking most forms of pain without getting to cum is just awful, and I can take a lot more pain when I get to cum. However, about 80% of my rope bottoming is not-very-sexual (although I usually have energy orgasms from it, which certainly calls the “non-sexual” part into question). Pretty much 100% of my switching is sexual. I actually mostly refuse to wrestle people I’m not at least minimally sexually involved with because it feels too much like sex to me (although I feel the same way about most forms of partner dancing as well). At the same time, about 75% of my (unswitchy) topping is not-very-sexual. I’ve even made people cum by hurting them without getting a particularly sexual thrill out of the experience (although it was certainly enjoyable for other reasons).

Does it look sexual to me? Much of the time, yes. But so does wrestling, massage, most forms of dance, many sung duets, and lots of other creative and sensual things that people do together. I still mostly do kink because of sex and because of the intimate and sexual connections I feel with people when I do it. Even ostensibly “non-sexual” scenes almost always lead me to just go off and fuck somebody else. When I kink with people I have sexual chemistry with, the scenes pretty much always make me obviously aroused; when I kink with people I’m not sure if I have sexual chemistry with, the scenes often leave me feeling vaguely aroused; and when I kink with people I’m definitely not attracted to, the scenes often leave me feeling excited, but not particularly aroused. So I guess my final answer my own question is: kink isn’t inherently sexual, but it’s mostly sexual for me most of the time.

That was the droid I was looking for

Some cocks cast a long shadow…

"Oh R2! You were the droid I was looking for!"

“Oh R2! You were the droid I was looking for!”

My husband tied the strap-on on our favorite droid.

Well, Easter/Ostara is nigh

So it’s time for a good old fashioned peeps dungeon.  Every kinky household needs one of these, right?

We actually based some of these peeps on people that we know and love...

We actually based some of these peeps on people that we know and love…

My husband and I made this a crazy labor of love awhile back.  There’s a St. Andrew’s Cross, a bondage table, a metal suspension rig with a peep in a gas mask, a bondage wheel, a wooden suspension rig, a metal cage, and a peep in saran wrap bondage.  I made silly peep pin-up pics and a leather daddy peep for the background just to add color.  This was definitely the most entertaining arts and crafts project I’ve ever done.  Even more fun than the threesome barbies.

In Praise of Female Condoms

They’re obnoxiously expensive. They’re awkward as hell. They’re so intimidating to put in that most people give up before they even try. They were someone’s misguided attempt to create female liberation on the safer sex front by providing women with a “female-controlled” method of sexually transmitted infection (STI) protection (sorry, folks, it didn’t really work out that way; female condoms definitely require a guy’s cooperation). They’re way too thick, and they occasionally make squeaky sounds when you’re fucking with them. I avoided them for years because they were so damned awkward-looking, and I only used them for the first time because I couldn’t think what else to do. I can’t for the life of me imagine successfully having sex in the dark with one (but that’s not really my thing, so whatever).

They’re incredibly poorly marketed.  They’re supposed to keep women in control of safer sex, but they require total cooperation from men in order to work effectively; the name “female condom” understandably pisses off genderqueer folks, who usually colloquially refer to them as “internal condoms” instead; and the damned things work better for anal than vaginal sex and should be selling like wildfire to gay men… who, of course, don’t realize that they could even be using them, because why would a gay guy use a “female condom”?  Worst of all,  they’re terrifying to try to figure out how to use (especially when the risks are high), and the instructions on the package are no help at all.  In fact, the instructions on the packaging are so crappy that I created a couple of internet videos to help people figure out how to use them.

And yet, after only a single personal use, I found myself online shopping for an affordable 100-pack of female condoms (your best bets are usually amazon.com vendors or condomdepot.com with a discount code).  That’s partly because my husband’s girlfriend/my play partner is allergic to latex, and the female condoms sold in the U.S. are all non-latex. But it’s also partly for me. Because I’ve discovered that despite their myriad disadvantages, female condoms can be extremely handy. And being able to use female condoms or male condoms depending on the sexual situation turns out to be quite advantageous.

In case you’re wondering what advantages could possibly outweigh all those negatives above, I figured I’d write out a list of their advantages.

  • They’re sometimes great for guys whose dicks are annoyed by male condoms.  Guys with large foreskins and guys who feel like male condoms are cutting off the circulation to their dicks often find female condoms more pleasant.
  • They’re not made of latex, so they can be great if either partner has a latex allergy.
  • You can put them in long before you have sex. No need to stop the sexy and make the condom happen. You can grind all up and down your partner before you ever fuck, and voila! There is protection.  I’ve (consensually) woken up a partner in the middle of the night, put in a female condom the bathroom, then sat on my partner’s hard cock in his sleep.  You can pull off a trick like that with a male condom, but it’s a helluva lot sexier to wake someone up by sliding your (protected) pussy down his cock than by putting a condom on him… unless you do it with your mouth.

  • You can (and in my opinion, usually should) get your partner to put it in for you.  Ignore those dumb instructions telling you the woman should put it in herself.  Moreover, unlike putting a condom on with your mouth, putting a female condom in with a finger is something that pretty much anyone can do. And thus the safer sex is naturally integrated with foreplay.

  • A guy can keep losing his erection, and your female condom doesn’t care.  Sucking a guy’s cock or giving him a handjob to get him hard again is much easier when there’s no latex in the way.

  • In general, it’s easy to pop back and forth between fucking and oral sex. Female condoms don’t really taste much at all (I can’t taste them anyway), so both people’s genitals will just taste like whatever lube you used, not latex. This also means that it’s a cinch for a guy to pull out and cum in the girl’s mouth, on her chest, or whatever.

  • They’re extremely useful for multi-person sex. If two women want to fuck one guy, both the girls can use female condoms and he can pop back and forth between them with ease. And they turn out to be pretty fucking fantastic for coitalingus–which is where a guy fucks a girl’s pussy and someone else goes down on the pair of them simultaneously. Again, there’s no taste of latex, his dick is mostly exposed, and her clit is easily exposed.

  • They’re great for giving girls hand-jobs, especially if you’re trying to give multiple girls hand-jobs. You don’t have to keep changing gloves, because the girls pretty much already have gloves in their pussies! So handy! (Pun pun)

  • Unless you mess them up (which admittedly a lot of people do), they’re better disease protection than male condoms, because they’re somewhat better at protecting against skin-transmitted STI’s like herpes.

  • They are the only thing I’ll use for protected anal sex.  Whereas male condoms have a terrible habit of tearing in tight poorly lubricated asses, female condoms are much less likely to break (although you do have to worry about them bunching up).  On top of that, you don’t really have to worry about the santorum experience so much until you’re already done with the sex and have to pull the condom all the way out.  It makes the whole anal sex experience waaaay cleaner, and it’s safer to boot.

They’re definitely not perfect. I’ve heard guys complain that they’re like fucking a plastic bag and they look weird. But they’ve got their uses.

Two cheers for female condoms 😉