Friday, January 12, 2007

First, about the new column. The Stranger is doing a re-org of both the website and the dead-tree paper, and things have been a little confused. Thank you to all my fans who wrote the webmaster and said, "hey, where's Control Tower?" They were still in process, but have no fear, here is the link.

I haven't seen a paper copy of this issue yet - but it's possible I got bumped. No one has told me so, it's just a hunch I have. So if you're a paper-reader, and I am not there, I'll be back next week. (Edit: I checked. I got bumped. Whoops. Oh well, read me online for this week.)

The Kink Calendar, sadly, will now be online-only. Sorry, kids, they needed some space. There will be a little blurb in the paper saying "Hey, go look online for the kinky events!"

Okay, now we have that squared away... Boys, prepare to be bored. (Unless you're a drag queen. Or seriously, seriously metrosexual.) Because the rest of this post is all about makeup.

So, ladies, after some nudging by pals, I decided that perhaps I was in a rut, and thus I have lately been trying out a wider range of hair and beauty stuff. Allow me to share with you what worked and what didn’t.

Girlie stuff I have tried lately that rocked:
Jonathan Product: Create Root Volume Brushable Lifting Spray. We Southern girls like big hair, and this stuff, whoo! Volume is right. High volume. It is the stuff teenage-beauty-pageant dreams are made of. I could be in an eighties music video with this hairspray. I love it.

Shu Uemura Fiber Xtension Mascara. It’s good, although it gets clumpy if you reapply later, so that’s a problem. But still, impressive.

Nars Powder Blush. I got the color called "Orgasm", of course. I don't know if it's really the color of afterglow, but it's a pretty natural-looking shade that blends nicely and stays put better than most.

Nars Cream Eye Shadow. I chose the shade called “Swing”, which is an eggplant color I think looks nice with brown eyes. Teamed with Urban Decay lid primer, this stuff actually - gasp - stays on my eyelids with vanishing or getting all creased. I’m in awe.

And ladies, SkinCeuticals? Woot. Love this stuff. The C+E Ferulic makes my skin so happy and bright. Yeah, it is pricey…but you know, eBay is a wonderful place. I’m just saying.

Stuff that was pretty good:
Frederic Fekkai Technician Color Care Mask. My hair wasn’t really damaged before, because Craig, my Hair God, would never allow that to be so. So I wouldn’t say this conditioner changed my life or anything. But still, winter-time dryness and all, one’s hair needs some extra pampering, and it’s a good intense conditioner.

Jonathan Product: Silky Dirt Shine & Define Crème: Not bad, although I think Secret Weapon is nearly as good and much less expensive.

Stuff I thought was lame:
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer: Everyone loves this stuff. I tried it and it made me look like a corpse. Maybe the problem is that I don’t actually wear foundation, just a little powder, so… But it felt like I was wearing Spackle. I hated it, so back to the store it went.

Jonathan Product: Create Volume Thickening Foam: Uh, Jonathan, this watery foam of yours doesn’t create anything except crunchy, stringy rat-tail-looking hair. Refund, please!

Stuff that the jury is still out on:
MD Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Body Peel: Well, I don’t know about “peel”, because I am not peeling. However, there’s a 30-day supply of these product-soaked pads – which are rather small, and annoyingly prone to rolling up into a wad – and you’re supposed to rub them all over yourself. So I’ll see what I think when I have used them all up…but I wouldn’t rush right out and buy this.

MAC Studio Fix powder. Again, everyone else loves this stuff, and I’m not sure. It’s a nice texture and the oh-so-glamorous boy at the MAC counter downtown did a good job picking out the right shade for me.
However, it's pretty heavy, which, if that’s what you want, is great. But I’m not used to wearing thick makeup on my skin, especially not for everyday. I think I might save it and use it for photo shoots, any kind of performance I might do, or for going out clubbing, I think it would be fine for that. Max is taking me shopping for (belated) Xmas gifts this weekend, maybe I’ll look for something sheerer from MAC.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Last night was interesting: I got snowed in at my studio. I started a session at four pm with Milo, and all was clear. We were playing pretty seriously for about two hours, and I forgot all about snow. Then, as I slowly returned to an awareness of a world outside my dungeon, I thought, Oh, I should check outside. I pulled back the curtains, and boom, it was winter wonderland out there.

Milo has a 4-wheel drive and he’s used to driving in snow, so he got out on the road to go home. But I went outside and looked down the not-small hill my house sits on top of, and looked at the three-plus inches of snow, and thought, no way. The Florida girl is staying right here.

I was, however, hungry. Now, my part of town is not extensively served by food delivery people. It’s pretty much Pizza Hut and Dominos. So I called Pizza Hut, because I can actually stomach Pizza Hut pizza okay.

They weren’t delivering. Because of the snow. Damn.

Now, I haven’t eaten Dominos since I found out they were owned by a Bible-thumper. Well, actually, I think I’d given them up before that, because their pizza’s not very good. But I believe he’s since sold out, and desperate times call for desperate measures.

I called. It sounded a bit confused on the other end. “Are you still delivering?” I asked.

“….uh, yeah. Yeah. (speaks off-phone: Are we still delivering?) Yeah, sure.”

I was not filled with confidence by that exchange. But in the spirit of optimism, I gave them an order and got on with other things.

Forty-five minutes went by. Dinner began to seem like an unlikely possibility.

An hour. Okay, I’ve officially given up, and instead successfully made arrangement with a rescue party to send in a St Bernard.

Then: ding-dong! I fling open the door to find a small dark-skinned man in a red cap, holding a flat box. Snow was falling steadily behind him.

“Holy cow! I can’t believe you made it!”

“I left car,” he said, gesturing down to the bottom of the steep hill. “I walk up hill.” He held out the box.

“You walked up the hill? Good god.” I took the box. It was warm. “Here,” I said, handing him some money. “That’s for the pizza.” Then I handed him another twenty. “And that’s for you.”

He looked at the bill, seeming confused. “Is too much money.”

“No, keep that, that’s for you, for walking up the hill. Hazard pay!”

He looked unconvinced.

“Take it,” I said.

He smiled uncertainly and ducked his head. “Thanks.”

The pizza itself? About as good as I remembered it: not terribly. But hey, it was hot and it was food. And I hope that dedicated pizza guy bought himself a stiff drink with that tip, because he deserves one.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

From the Mailbag

…I am only 21 but I have known for several years that I don’t want to be involved in any sexual dynamic other than as a submissive. This means I occasionally have to deflect perfectly interesting girls because I know any vanilla entanglements are ultimately doomed. No big deal really, people turn each other down for a millions reasons every day. But recently I fucked up in a big way. I allowed myself to get swept away by a girl and before I knew it we were dating. I realized that I was making an absolute douchebag move by allowing her to get attached in a romantic sense but I couldn’t seem to halt the momentum. I then made the unforgivably cowardly choice of faking sexual enjoyment until I could think of a way to diffuse the situation with out making her feel rejected because of something that is not her fault. So far I have no ideas. I could tell her the truth but I am almost positive that would result in my entire social circle finding out about my proclivities. Which I am not really ashamed of but I think most people would rather not know, even my urbane, little hipster buddies.
So how do you tell a really great person that you can’t see them anymore because you need a girl who can make you cry? Is better for everyone to lie about things like this? What is an uncreepy way of telling your friends about your sexual variance?
Thank you very much for your time. Good luck with a new year of columns.


PS Has becoming a public figure altered the dynamic of meeting new clients? I mean do subs approach you differently now that you are 'famous'?

Last question first: yeah, it’s changed the dynamic. I know some perfectly nice guys are afraid to approach me. And being high-profile means people come in with a lot of preconceived ideas about what you’ll be like, many of which are inaccurate. But it’s nice that in I now get so much potential business that I can really pick and choose.

Now, to your situation. Sweet boy, integrity is an important thing, but don’t flay yourself bloody over this. (That’s a woman’s job.) I myself did this exact same thing when I was in my late teens and early twenties. You know you’re kinky, but if you’re not finding other kink partners, it’s easy to drift into vanilla relationships. You meet someone nice and fun and cute, and you’re bored, and perhaps a bit lonely and horny…And then whoops, you wake up in bed with your new girl/boyfriend and think, “Shit, what I am doing here? This isn’t going to work.”

And I agree that yeah, sometimes it’s okay to lie in this situation. The vague, non-judgmental, “You’re great, but this just isn’t working out for me” – that’s the way to go here. No matter what she says, do not get into the kink thing. Coming out under stress like this is the worst way to go. Be gentlemanly about it, but be firm and do not waffle. Do not discuss her or the situation with your mutual pals. Once it’s broken off, do not go back.

If you decide later that you want to talk about your kink to your friends, I suggest you let it happen sort of organically. My practice – back when I had vanilla friends - was that I didn’t volunteer a lot of information, but I would respond to remarks like the one in this hypothetical situation…

Friend: (watching TV) Hey, look at that chick all dressed in leather with a whip in her hand, that’s freaky.

You: I think it’s pretty cool.

Friend: You do?

You: Yeah. I like kinky girls.

Friend: You mean, you’d like a girl to like tie you up and whip you or something?

You: Yeah, I think it would be hot. (Or, “Yeah, I’ve done it and it was hot.”)

Friend. Wow…. (silence as friend thinks about this.)

Don’t act embarrassed, be very cool and matter-of-fact about it. Don’t try to prolong the exchange, just let your friend shut up and mull the whole idea over, and I can pretty much guarantee that soon, they’ll raise the topic with you again. The trick is to make them ask the questions. That removes the creepy TMI aspect. So, respond honestly to remarks about kink, and if that provokes questions, answer them, although not at too much length. Maintain a little mystery.

My experience is that if someone brings up the topic more than, say, twice, it may be because they’re curious about kink themselves. They may or may not be someone you want to date, however.

One exception to the answering-remarks rule: if someone presents themselves as rabidly anti-BDSM, or is openly mocking you for your sexuality, do not engage them in conversation. That’s a no-win situation. Just shrug and smile and refuse to debate them, and remove yourself from the situation if they won't let it drop.

Now get out of that vanilla relationship and go find a nasty girl.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Just a few remarks, because I’m busy writing a column…
The workshop Sunday where I tied up Monk’s bits? Was great. It was just about twenty minutes or so, very basic cock and ball ties, but Monk and I always have great comic timing together whenever we perform, and we had fun. Monk looked oh-so-buff and muscular and sexy all naked. I was quite proud of him - he’s got balls, that man. (As everyone saw.) I was a stripper for years, but there’s a difference between being one dancer among many in a dark club, and being the only naked person in a brightly-lit room with forty-something people looking at you. That takes a lot of self-confidence. But considering how hard Monk works at the gym, he should be self-confident. Woot.
We got a lot of feedback from people wanting more genital-bondage information, so we’re considering doing a specific class for that sometime, rather than just an overview mixed in with the head- and hair-bondage class. But I think we should charge more for the tickets, because while our bondage models are usually volunteers, I’d want to pay anyone who modeled for an in-depth class on that subject. That would be pretty intense for them.
So, completely off the kink map… I’ve been following this story with interest, and I totally support the parents and doctors in their decision. This poor child is destined to be a permanent infant, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with making it easier for her family to care for her. So what if she’s shorter? She’s not going to be playing pro basketball or walking a runway in Milan, so it doesn’t matter to her. And she definitely doesn’t need to have periods, let alone have the possibility of getting pregnant. Even at the size she is now, changing her diapers, bathing her, and moving her from bed to wheelchair has got to be difficult. I don’t begrudge those parents anything they can do to try to preserve some time and energy for their other kids, and for their own lives.

Monday, January 08, 2007

So I was looking at the rather low level of comments last week and thinking, huh, must be a slow week for blog hits. That happens sometimes. I get a respectable number of hits per day, on average. Sometimes it dips a bit, other times there are little spikes when some higher-ranking blog links to me. But I don’t fuss much about it.
Then I checked my actual numbers. Wow, Wednesday of last week I had more than double the usual visitors! Ya’ll weren’t saying much, but you sure were here. I thought maybe ErosBlog or someone else big had linked to me because of the naughty photos. But there’s no big surge from any one URL. The numbers dipped back to normal over the next few days. Funny.
Monk and I have talked about what kinds of posts generate the most comments on our blogs. The amusing thing is that, lately, I think I get the most comments when I talk about clothes or fashion. Maybe it’s that unlike kink or poly or sex work, those are easily accessible topics and people can feel comfortable offering their opinion. Whereas if I talk about how I tied up Monk’s boy bits for the genital bondage section of the bondage class yesterday, that’s not an experience everyone can relate to, so people don’t talk back as much.
It’s not that the sheer number of comments is the only measure of success in a blog. I get a lot of really sweet emails telling me how much they enjoy reading me, and a lot of in-person comments as well, which is nice. And I am pleased by how rarely I have to delete nasty flame-type stuff. Comment-spamming is a worse problem, but still, it’s easy enough to delete and ban the IP.
It’s been almost three years that I’ve been blogging now, and overall, I’m pleased about how this blog has turned out for me. It’s had a big effect on my life, much bigger than I ever thought it would. My existing clients now know much more about my day to day life than they used to, and potential new clients tell me they feel more at ease with me having read how I feel about what I do. My friends can keep up with what I’m doing, and I’ve met some really neat new people that I probably wouldn’t have known otherwise. And I got a chunk of it published, which was quite delightful.
The fact that Time magazine named bloggers (among others) Person of The Year suggests to some that blogs are now hopelessly out of fashion. Perhaps they are no longer the hippest new thing, but I doubt they’re going anywhere soon.