Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Another go-read-other-people's-stuff post today, because I'm busy writing an extra-long "Control Tower" and tomorrow is deadline.

Conrad James of Death, Sex and Hunger writes feelingly about his relationships with sex work and sex workers...

The rougher side of sex work - Two exotic dancers punctured a third dancer's breast implant with a broken wine glass...
I saw plenty of catfights in my time as a dancer, although I managed to avoid being involved in any. But I can say that the one time another woman threatened to kick my ass, I told her if she tried I'd punch her right in her store-bought boobs and rupture them. And she backed off.
(Link snagged from Daze Reader.)

And the prettier side - an absolutely gorgeous photo of my friend Rose Algren, as taken by well-known fetish photographer Ken Marcus. (I'm so jealous she got to work with him!)

Monday, July 05, 2004

Last night I stood on a balcony overlooking Lake Union with a group of friends and watched a great fireworks display. We could see the ones over the waterfront in the distance, too. I used to be kinda "yeah, whatever" about fireworks, but the technology of that stuff is so amazing these days, it's pretty cool. So I still hate the insane traffic on the 4th of July, but I do like everything else about it.

I'm going to work out, and then go see "Fahrenheit 9/11", so I'm off. But meanwhile, for your reading pleasure…

From the You-Go-Girl Department: Woman Fights Off Rapist By Biting His Penis

Monk makes note of my bruise fetish...

And a interesting discussion about polyamory, with a set of definitions, from Lilith, the Cosmic Babe.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

A somewhat disturbing personal essay about one woman's masochistic desires.
Sometime this summer, in a high-rise condo looking out over the city, I will be given something I've been wanting for a long time: a black eye.

Let me preface this by saying: the author is a grown woman and she can do what she likes. I respect her right to make choices even if I don't agree with them. And I can't really make a bullet-proof judgment about her based solely on this article.

Still, if she was a friend of mine, and she told me all this and asked for my opinion, I'd tell her she should be working with a kink-friendly therapist.

It's not the physical intensity of the play that bothers me. I've participated in some very extreme scenes, and I loved it. It's the way she sees herself, and the way she feels about her behavior. Anytime that someone says, "I have strong sexual urges that lead me to actions I later regret. More than regret: I hate myself for them."- that's a problem. The author says she's seen therapists and taken medication, and that it doesn't help. My answer – not the right therapists, not the right medication. They say cigarette smokers try to quit an average of eight times before they're successful. Get back on the couch, and get back to the pharmacist.

And I tell you what - I would never, but never, want to top someone like this. It gives me the creeps just thinking about it. I've met people who I think were something like this woman, and I can remember thinking, They're looking for a monster and they're hoping it's me. Fuck that, I don't want to play with someone who's hoping to bring out my inner serial killer.

SM is not, in and of itself, a pathological activity. But there is such a thing as doing SM for all the wrong reasons. That's what this looks like to me.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Master and Commander

Ring Ring!

Me: hello?
Caller: Uh, yes, hello, is this Mistress Matisse?
Me: Yes it is.
Caller: Fine, fine – I, uh, have a question.

This guy is speaking in a quick, nervous, reedy sort of voice that makes me think of Woody Allen. I picture him making a lot of jerky hand gesticulations as he talks.

Me: Okay, what is it?
Caller: So you have that column in The Stranger, and you've talked about your submissive, Jae.
Me: Yes...
Caller: And that's the same Jae who's an escort, right? I've seen her ad.
Me: Yes, that's right.
Caller: Well, I've always been, uh, very curious, you know, about submissive role play. Women, I mean, being submissive. To me, I mean.

Based on about fifteen seconds of conversation with this guy, I'm finding it hard to really picture him as a dominant. But hey, none of us popped out of our mother's womb with floggers in our hands, and one should be nice to the new kids.

Me: I understand. So - what question do you have that I can answer for you?
Caller: Uh, well, I was wondering if Jae would be willing to be, uh, submissive. To me. In a scene like the ones you talk about.

This is not what I expected.

Me: Hmmmnn. You know, I really couldn't say. You would need to ask her about that.
Caller: Um, I was – well, I was hoping you'd just tell her she had to do it.

Oh yeah, because a dominant guy like him doesn't want to have to do anything scary like ask her himself. Jesus, how lame is this?

And he doesn't understand that Jae and I don't have that kind of D/s relationship. It's not a formal thing anymore. I really enjoy smacking her around and so, given the opportunity, I'll do that. But she's by no means my slave.

It occurs to me that I'm assuming he means he wants to hire her as a professional submissive. I hope to God he doesn't think that I would order Jae to – well, I don't order her to do anything, really, because that's pretty much a waste of time. Jae isn't going to do a damn thing she doesn't want to do. It's simply smart planning on my part that when I play with Jae, most of the things I tell her I want her to do are things she wants to do anyway, so she does them.

But I'm crystal clear about the fact that I will not be ordering Jae to bottom to some weirdo guy for free. So let's just make sure we're on the same page about that.

Me: I'm actually not involved in any of Jae's business arrangements, you would need to talk to her about anything like that.
Caller: Yes, but she's more likely to do it if you ask her.

At least we both know this would be a business arrangement. Now he simply needs to understand that it's not my business. Sometimes sheer repetition is the key to dealing with situations like this.

Me: I'm not involved in any of her business arrangements. You would need to talk to her about that.
Caller: But she'll do it if you tell her to.

Okay, the broken-record technique doesn't seem to be working here. Let's try challenging some of his assumptions.

Me: So, why would I want to have her be submissive to you?

This seems to surprise him. There some hemming and stammering, and then he says,

Caller: I don't know, maybe like as a punishment?

Obviously he has a clear sense of what playing with him would be like for Jae.

Me: Look, I don't have that kind of relationship with Jae. I don't order her to play with strangers, and I don't punish her for things. (Although God knows it's a charming idea sometimes.) You're going to have to call Jae and talk to her about this yourself.

I silently apologize to Jae as I say this, knowing full well she'd prefer I tell this guy that he's not allowed to call her, ever. Sorry, honey, you'll have to handle this, I think, making a mental note to call her and give her a heads-up after I hang up with this guy.

Caller: I really wish you'd tell her to.
Me: No, I'm not going to do that.
Caller: I could pay you a fee.
Me: No, I do not want money from you. I will not be involved in this.
Caller: I'm really disappointed.
Me: I hear that.
Caller: Well, if that's your final word…
Me: Yes, it is.

Grumpily, he says goodbye and hangs up. I'm driving in heavy traffic and so I concentrate on the road for, perhaps, fifteen minutes. Then…

Ring ring!
Me: Hello?
Caller: Hey, it's me.
Me: Hey Jae! How you doing, honey?
Jae: I'm fine. But I just got the weirdest fucking phone call. Listen, did you tell some guy you'd order me to bottom to him?

I hold the phone away from my mouth and howl with outrage.

Friday, July 02, 2004

I went on my second date with Jake tonight. We had a lovely time, and he got to meet Max, which I'm pleased about. Max and I don't have an absolutely iron-clad rule about this like some poly couples we know, but we both strongly prefer that we meet each other's new partners before any clothing starts being shed. So I told Max where Jake and I were having dinner and he dropped by for a few minutes on his way to his date with Maura.
I did tell Jake this would be happening, in case you were wondering. But Jake's a guy who seems to roll with things fairly easily, so I doubt he would have been hugely thrown if Max had just walked up.

The three of us chatted a bit, and that was all fine, and then Max took off, having done the official primary-partner thing.

Not that Jake and I shed any of our clothing tonight. In fact, he's been so very gentlemanly towards me that I was sort of wondering what his – ahem – intentions were, and I decided to be direct about it. We went to Septieme for dessert after dinner, and I asked him straight out, "So, are you, like, attracted to me?"
He blinked at me. "Yes, can't you tell?"
Well, I wasn't sure. I mean, we've been having a great time talking and hanging out, and I could tell he liked me as a person, but that's different than wanting to jump someone.

That question has now been resolved to my satisfaction. He kisses very well...

Thursday, July 01, 2004

I knew I liked Bill Clinton. I mean, if I didn't, I wouldn't have stood in line for five and half hours in Pioneer Square - with a thousand or so other people - just to have him sign a copy of his book for me.

But now, having met him in person, shaken his hand, and had him smile at me – well, I think I have new fetish. (Roman, are you listening?) Oh, wow. Serious, but serious, charisma. In about seven seconds of interaction, he made me feel like I was the person he came there to see.

Max and I got downtown at about four in the afternoon, with folding chairs and an ice chest, and settled down at the back of a line of several hundred people. We weren't at the end of the line for long – I'm glad we didn't get there any later than we did, because pretty soon the line behind us was snaking up and down the square as the Elliot Bay Bookstore employees struggled to keep order. It wasn't easy, especially since a lot of people in line were joined by partners or friends, prompting a few accusations of line-jumping from touchy types in the crowd.

About six-thirty, the police and Secret Service agents started arriving. Guys in black suits with wires in their ears everywhere, and motorcycle cops cruising around and around the block.

At eight-fifteen, the word went through the crowd: he's here. I started getting excited.

About nine pm, our section of the line was within sight of the door. Bookstore employees instructed us in what we were allowed to take inside with us, and made sure the inner flap of the book jacket was tucked into the page Clinton would be signing, so it could easily be found.

Nine-thirty, and we're in the room with him, at the back of the line. I stared at him. He looks slimmer in person – or maybe he's just lost weight. But otherwise he looked just like he does on TV.

And then we were at the front of the line, and he signed my book. As I shook his hand, I smiled at him and said, "I wish you were still the president."

He looked me in the eye and said, "That's a nice thing to say, thank you." And he smiled back. I do not lie, I felt my heart beating faster. His assistant handed me my book back, and I walked away, but I paused and looked back at him over my shoulder. He happened to look up and catch my eye, and he smiled at me again. I think I actually blushed. I felt like a fourteen-year-old. I caught myself thinking, I wonder if he thinks I'm pretty? I had to shake myself: Matisse, get a grip. He can't even see you - he's smiled at so many people today, he probably hasn't completely focussed his eyes since he had breakfast.

I've met a few celebrities before, but I have not met many people who had such an effect on me in such a tiny space of time. And according to the lady counting heads at the door, I was the seven-hundredth-and-some-odd person at the Elliot Bay Bookstore whose book he had signed, and who he had smiled at and shaken hands with. He was at Costco earlier in the day, doing the same thing, and from what I hear his whole book-tour schedule has been pretty non-stop. I mean, that's a talent. Lots of people can be charming and attentive and make you feel special - for short spaces of time. I think I can do all right in that department myself on good days. But do that for hours and days on end - wow, that's impressive. I knew it intellectually before, but now that I've experienced just that little snippet...Well, all I can say is: Bill Clinton has definitely got a gift.