Friday, May 15, 2009

At last, another podcast. (They were held up by a software-translation problem, but Monk fixed them. Yay!)

In this one, we talk about hierarchy in poly relationships. Polyamorous people can geek out ad nauseum about stuff like: "What does primary mean? What does secondary mean? Do I need these terms? Are they useful or limiting?"

So if you get off on that kind of analysis, you'll loooooove this podcast. It's heavy polyamory theory.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I Feel Pretty

Hello MM,
You've written before about being a pretty girl. I'm a pretty girl, too… I've been getting into the public bdsm world lately, and I have found being a pretty girl to be something of a problem. The totally unattractive, unskilled guys who only want a blowjob are all over me all the time. The scene-devoted artisan tops and bottoms are all already taken and/ or fairly unimpressed with yet another pretty girl. That's fine with me... I want them to play with me because I'm a good player, not just because I'm pretty. But I don't know how to get them to talk to me when there's always a mess of gross newbies trying to talk to me about my breasts. How do I become a respected member of the community and not just a pretty girl? I'm not planning on this happening overnight, I'm just not sure how to start. I try to be friendly with everyone who talks to me, but this feels like the first days in a new school, praying the cool kids will show interest.
Can you please obscure my name if this goes on your blog? I know I sound hopelessly bratty to those with different genetics.


Oh, I don’t think you’re being a brat... Well, okay, actually you are. Just a bit.

I mean, come on, darlin'. I say this as one pretty girl to another: cut the crap. Pretty girls get to jump in lines. Pretty girls get off with just a warning. Pretty girls get free drinks. Pretty girls get an extension on the deadline. We both know that’s true. Not every time, not all the time, but often enough.

Being pretty is not a handicap, my dear, so let us just dispense with that idea. If it was really that much of a burden, there are lots of occasion-specific ways to dull one’s glamour. I would bet you’re not employing them for kink social events. And I don’t think you should.

But as my grandmother used to say, “Pretty is as pretty does.” An important part of being pretty, in my opinion, is being nice. How many people have you met who weren’t conventionally perfect, but who were made attractive by a great personality? And how many people have you thought were pretty/handsome - until you got to know them, and then it was “Ew, what a twit, I can’t believe I ever thought he/she was hot.”

So don’t be that girl. Be nice. And I mean nice to everyone. Even the guys* you’re dismissing as trolls. I don’t mean give them blowjobs, I mean just ordinary social courtesy.

(Note: I’m reading what you said as meaning: you’re at a kink social event, and guys are attempting to chat you up. Within limits, that’s acceptable. It is, in fact, the whole point of social events: to socialize. We both know there’s always a way to gracefully extricate yourself from polite-if-undesired attention. Obviously if someone is truly being rude and inappropriate, you remove yourself and report him to whoever’s in charge.)

Let me tell you why you should be nice. (Aside from basic kindness.)

You say you’re new in the public scene. I doubt you've been handed a flowchart of who’s who, and who’s friends/lovers/political allies/business partners with who. You may think you’ve sussed out who are the cool kids, and who are the nerds. But it’s not as simple as high school.

Take me, for example. I myself was a total nonentity in high school. Yes, really. I moved to Seattle in 1992 specifically because I heard the BDSM scene was good. I knew no one here. I was very young and pretty clueless. I threw myself into the community, such as it was then, with great enthusiasm - but with a great lack, I’m sure, of skill and social grace. There are people around town who were kind and patient with me then. They taught me skills and overlooked my social faux pas. I’m in a good position to be helpful to them now, and if they need a favor, I’ll do it. I’ll always think of them - and speak of them - with gratitude and respect.

On the flip side are the people who utterly dissed me when I was just a kinky pup. You think I don’t remember who snubbed me and sneered at me back then? Oh hell yes I do. Very clearly. You think I do favors for those people now? Oh hell no I don’t. What goes around, comes around.

Now, within the scene, people think I’m a cool kid. That feels sort of odd some days. However, I am friends with many people who do not aspire to Kinky Rockstar status. A few of them have a social manner that could best be described as… eccentric? Quirky? Unusual? One sighs, sometimes, and rolls one’s eyes gently. But friendship is friendship, dammit, and if some girl was mean to a friend of mine because she’d judged him uncool – ooh, I wouldn’t think much of her. Not at all.

So in some ways, it is like high school – we all come into the scene as nervous, awkward kids, but given a little time, some of us mature into the kind of people you want to know. Be rude now, and you run the risk of alienating someone you’ll regret not being on at least smile-and-wave terms later.

You may think I’ve been severe with you. But hey, that’s my job, right? I will also encourage you. Here’s something I wrote about being an A-List perve** that might be helpful to you. (Note: being a volunteer at an event means always having a good excuse to say “So nice to see you – but excuse me, I need to run and check on the whatever now.”)

I hear you saying that you try to be friendly to everyone. Believe me, I know there are people in the world who are hard to be friendly to. If someone is rude or crosses boundaries, that’s one thing. But if they’re simply not super-cool - well, can you smile and nod for just three minutes? Trust me when I say I notice stuff like that. A former nerd like me? Yeah, I really do.

Gaining people’s respect and friendship does take time. Fortunately, if you do it right, it will last longer than being pretty.

* Everything I say here applies to all possible gender configurations. I am simply using the writer’s set of pronouns for convenience.

**And I just realized I quoted myself in this post. Whoops. Oh well.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I know, I'm bad for posting nothing but video links the last two days. There will be a real post tomorrow. Meanwhile, enjoy footage from SEAF.

Monday, May 11, 2009

There's no new episode of the polyamory web-series "Family" this week. They are doing interviews with the three main actors, though. So, here's eight minutes with performer Ernie Joseph, who plays Ben.

One of the interesting things about this interview is that there's no discussion of Mr. Joseph's personal views on polyamory. I imagine that's at least partly due to career concerns, a concern I don't condemn him for.

But one of the benefits of a show like this is that it raises people's consciousness. I'd be interested to know if the actors who do not identify themselves as poly feel that they now have a greater understanding of polyamorous culture. Perhaps we'll have some discussion of that in the future.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Question for Seattle Escorts

I’m writing a column for The Stranger about couples seeing escorts. If you’ve spent time with couples, and you’re interested in giving me some of your thoughts and opinions about that, drop me a note, and I’ll send you the interview questions. They won’t take long to answer, maybe five-ten minutes.

I will NOT use your professional name in connection with the remarks, everyone’s privacy will (as always) be protected.

If you haven’t read my column before, the archives are here.

Email me at MistressMatisse at

Thank you!