Friday, May 16, 2008

So it's somehow gotten to be 1 am and sleepy around here again. This time, instead of pretending to discuss literature, I thought I'd give you art. But with semi-naked chicks, so you don't get too bored. I went into the photo archive and pulled out, more or less at random, two images I took some years ago. (Possibly NWS.)

Here's a very early one of my self-portraits, one I always liked, although it drew mixed reactions from critics. It's been chopped up and generally mangled about in Photoshop, which accounts for it's odd shape. It was taken about 1999. (Long-time pals will recognize the bathroom of my then-dungeon.)

This second one is from one of my short-lived photographic obsessions, shooting color film through a red filter. Mostly it's just too bloody dark, unless you light the bejesus out of whatever you're shooting. But I also had a phase of shooting people with masks on, and I liked the way this one turned out. Probably taken in 2003, I'm not sure. (Long-time pals will recognize the bondage chair I had when I first opened up shop in 1998. Looks sort of like a kiddie chair next to the one I have now, doesn't it?)

Have a lovely sunny weekend!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I meant to write a longer post for today, but wow, it's Wednesday night at midnight, and I'm a little tired... I had a rather eventful day, and then a nice large glass of champagne.

So, for now, here's three new books I'm wanting. (one, two, three.) I say wanting, not reading. You see, I have a Kindle, because I have the most fabulous friends in the whole wide world. And while I wasn't sure how much I'd use it... it's become a little bit addictive.

True, the whole e-book thing isn't quite perfect. I really like having the physical book, with pages to turn, et cetera. But those who know me know how charmed I am by instant gratification. And that is a feature of the Kindle. Want it? Read it now.

Thus I am unreasonably annoyed to note that none of these books are immediately available on Kindle. What? I have to wait? No! Oh, all right, fine, I'll order them, like in the old days. Maybe they'll be delivered by covered wagon or something.

Oh dear, that's pretty bad, isn't it? As my mom used to say, in that mother sing-song guaranteed to annoy small children, "I think somebody is tired...." When I was a kid I would always protest vociferously: I was not tired! But it's the sign of being a real grown-up that you want to go to bed.

So I will...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Letter From A Reader

I pulled this from the inbox. The writer greets me and says some nice stuff, and then gets to the issue…

I've had a D/s relationship with a submissive girl for almost a year. It's partly virtual because we do not live in the same place, but we have been together and taken the D/s relationship into real life too. It is the first time for both of us. We are also pretty much in love with each other…. We are both around 38 - she just broke up a marriage of 7 years. I mentioned going into a new relationship in such a short while was maybe not a good idea. She decided to go on. And everything has really been fine. Except these last months where I have not been handling the long distance communication things so well. It gets me cranky.

She is now free from a marriage that gave her hard times and did not help much with her self esteem, so she is happy and enjoying her freedom (I don't mean sexually), finding herself again, etc. I understand all of that, and share the joy for her. But, I feel this is not a point for someone to be submissive to someone else….I feel her attention is not as centered, she is not too disciplined, and all of this has been pissing me off a bit.

So I said I needed to take some space, and did. This, meaning less emails, less chat, less cam, etc. Now she says she doesn't want to be a burden for me, that she wants me to want her, etc., and that she can't be submissive if she feels she is a burden. She will come live closer soon, in a couple of months. But now she said until she comes she needs to feel free and so wants to lay things down for a while until we meet again, that it is for the better and that she still loves me and still wants to be my sub, that she adores me and has never felt so strong.

Ok, fine. Sorry for the rant, but, my question is: This attitude of hers has made me feel very angry. I decided to take space, she thinks it's better to stop for a while, sort of even saying it will be better for me. I have felt like she is taking over the control of the relationship by deciding something like this. I said I only want her here if she wants to be here, anything else is not good for me.

So, how does a Dom handle a situation like this? Where he feels the sub is somehow taking control of the situation? It makes me feel uncomfortable. Sort of like the person who was under me is now on top.

We both love each other a lot, I know this.

I get a lot of emails about, “How do I handle X situation in a D/s context?” And my answer is often, “Dominance and submission have nothing to do with your problem.”

You see, I’m 100% behind anyone who wants to live in a 24/7, dominant/submissive arrangement. If that’s what you want, that’s great. But it is my observation that very, very, very few people really give up total control of their lives, for good. Like, very few. People will give up some control, some of the time, as Master Abe Lincoln might have said. But when a dominant runs up against an emotional boundary, boom, that’s it. All of a sudden the submissive who’s been talking about his/her complete and undying submission stands up and says, “No, uh-uh, I don’t want to do this.”

And that’s normal. That’s a perfectly reasonable thing to do. People often don’t know their limits until they get to one. You two are both very new to D/s. When you began this, she could not have known what would be okay for her and what would not. Neither could you. So I don’t blame either of you, you’re learning as you go. But that's occasionally a bruising process.

Many, many kinky relationships are essentially romantic/sexual partnerships with a twist. Stripped of all the trimmings, this is a long-distance love affair that’s faltering. That happens. You’ve pointed out all the reasons it has for faltering. Can it be saved? I don’t know. But what I do know is that the fact that you’re dominant and she’s submissive is beside the point. So, my Dear Reader, this is a boyfriend-girlfriend problem, and you should put aside any idea that you being dominant means you get to control her emotions in that way.

I can’t tell you exactly why she’s doing what she’s doing, or who’s right and who’s wrong, or anything like that. I grant you that she’s doing a somewhat classic conflict-avoidance thing by saying “It would be better for you.” She shouldn’t use that line, but it’s a small offense. And really, weren’t you doing the same when you said, "I feel this is not a point for someone to be submissive to someone else"?

But it’s not about who’s right and who’s wrong. I would say: yes, why not take a break? If she’s going to be moving physically closer to you soon, that seems like a natural place to resume spending time together and see if you two can pick up what you had again.

Sometimes – and I don’t know if this is you or not – but sometimes I think people gravitate to a dominant role because it makes them think they’ll be safe from being hurt. They think that they’ll be able to control their relationships, and that their heart will never be broken. I wish that were true. But it’s not. If anything, the deeper intimacy of intense and taboo love means that you risk more hurt, more disappointment. It’s a trade-off for the powerful pleasure we take in what we do. You might consider if that underlying belief is playing a part in your feelings of anger with her, because letting go of that idea will make your emotional life as a dominant much smoother.

I wish you both luck…

Monday, May 12, 2008

Hot Or Not?

I am very bad about listening to voicemail on the 329- number. I let it stack up for days. But eventually I get to it….

BEEP: Uh, so like, if I was in Seattle I’d come see you. You’re really hot. But I’m in California. Do you know any mistresses in California? Who are like, really hot? Could you call me and tell me about them? Like, how to find them, and what they’d do to me? And if they’re hot? Hotness is really important to me. END OF MESSAGE

You have got to be kidding. What am I, Google? No, I will not call you and tell you how to find all the many, many pro dommes located in the very large state of California. That is not my job.

I wonder how this man found me. Occasionally, even now, I get calls from people in all kinds of distant places who somehow got my number, and who say they don’t have internet, and thus cannot find BDSM resources online, and want me to do it for them. I feel sorry for people who are limited in this way, but I really can’t spend tons of time searching for local phone numbers for folks like this. They just need to brave the public library and get online.

So it's unlikely enough when someone wants me to find them a phone number for a munch coordinator in Deer Creek, Minnesota, or Bartow, Florida, or Gardiner, Maine. But this guy wants me to find him a pro domme? Oh, please.

If he’s not in Seattle, then I assume he’s not looking at my ad in a paper copy of The Stranger or The Weekly. Thus, he must be able to get online. So the question is: why is he asking me to do his searching for him? Answer: he just wants me to call him back and talk dirty about pro dommes to him. There are girls who do that professionally, and it’s pretty cheap these days, too. I would not be one of them.

So you’ll have to find the hotness by yourself, buddy.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Calidora review, for those of you who are interested in such things....

My experience: not terrible, but not perfect, either. Here's why...

Before you get services, you have to do an "complexion analysis" session where they take close-up photos of your skin, show them to you, and then basically sales-pitch you on buying packages of services. I am a very educated skin-care-services consumer, so I was quite prepared to be clear about what I wanted from them and what I didn't. And it wasn't a super-hard sell or anything, they didn't push me when I said, "No, I'll just try the one regular facial today."

I was at the University Village location, and it's a very pretty space. The staff were all very friendly and pleasant.

The facial itself was fine, mainly a pretty standard spa facial. My only problem was that I told the girl giving it to me, "Don't do anything that's going to made me red." (One's skin is often a bit flushed and red for a few hours after a regular facial, that's normal. But I didn't want to do anything that would make me more red than that.)

But then she suggested a treatment with lactic acid. Now, I have not ever had any kind of acid peels. But I know they usually make you red.

So I said, "Is it going to make me red afterwards?"

"No, it's very mild," she replied.

"All right, I'll try it."

Well, guess what? Yeah. I was red. Not like people-staring-at-me-in-the-street sort of thing. But I looked like I had a mild sunburn for about 2 days. Makeup took care of some of it, and it didn't ruin my world or anything, but still - I asked, she said no. I understand that people respond differently, but I think she should have given me a better answer. She either didn't know it could happen, which isn't great, or she just wanted to sell the treatment, which also isn't great.

My skin looks fine now - in fact, it looks nice. So it wasn't a bad treatment. Just bad communication.

I love and adore the people at my dermatologist's office, but that's a M-F, 9-5 situation, and scheduling stuff is often challenging. I tried Calidora mainly because they're open evenings and weekends. I'm not saying I'd never go back, but I don't think I'd trust them to do anything new and different. And based on this imperfect communication about what could happen, I would definitely not advise getting anything serious, like injectables, there. Go there strictly for simple maintenance.