Friday, August 20, 2010

Today I'm running an article that was originally published in online magazine Filthy Gorgeous Things. It's on how I feel about the space in which I play.

They say you remember lessons best when you’re in the place where you learned them. I believe that, because when I walk into my dungeon, I always remember the lessons I’ve learned about who I am, and what I can do.

I said “dungeon” – but actually, I rarely use that word, because it isn’t one I much care for. I’m a dominatrix, a consensual BDSM player, not a priest in the Spanish Inquisition. The rooms where I play are not cold, hard, impersonal spaces. They are an extension of me, of how I play, and what matters to me. I’m not a cold woman, and I am not distant. I’m not interested in trying to scare you with a space that looks like a jail cell. If I frighten you with anything in a scene, it will be with the heat and the intimacy of my gaze.

So rather, call these rooms my salon, my boudoir, my private chambers. The walls are deep red, and the ceiling is black. When I told the painter what colors to use, he looked at me quizzically and asked, “What kind of room is this going to be?” The thick carpet is black, too. When I bought it, the salesman said, “Black? You’re sure you want black carpet?” I gave all of them the stare I use to quell unruly submissives. They didn’t question me further. My word is law in these rooms. I do not apologize for who I am, nor do I have to justify my wishes. You don’t challenge me here - you do as I say, or you leave.

I have heavy curtains over my windows, because I want the outside world to go away when I’m here. I have large mirrors on my walls because I want to see everything, and I want you to see it too. I will not allow you to think that your desires are ugly and should be hidden. In these rooms, we will speak of them and look at them and love them.

There is furniture of a special kind – furniture that’s tautly upholstered in slick, shiny black and trimmed with gleaming metal. A table large enough to lie down on, a tall chair with a seat that forces you to sit with your legs spread wide apart, and something that looks like a particularly large and sturdy prayer kneeler. I designed all these pieces, and they were built especially for me by a man who wanted to occupy them.

I was already an experienced dominant when I met him. But in the scenes I did with him on the furniture he crafted for me, I went deeper into my capacity for sadism than I’d ever been before. He trusted me enough to tell me where he wanted to go – right up to the brink of unendurable pain. I trusted him enough to take him there. My challenge was to listen to him and not to the disapproving voices in my head that said Stop! You’re going too far! On these pieces of furniture, I learned how to really call forth, direct, and trust my talent for taking people’s bodies and minds through intense sensations.

I carry a sense of power and an awareness of what I am capable of with me everywhere I go. But I am told by people who know me that a subtle change comes over me when I walk into my space. In the rest of my world, I can be as polite and correct as a diplomat. Here, the filter of socially acceptable behavior comes off me. I feel utterly myself in these rooms. I do nothing I don’t wish to do, I say whatever it pleases me to say, and I indulge myself in whatever pleasure take my fancy. Paradoxically, the more license for selfishness I permit myself in these rooms, the more generous to my partners I become. When you call yourself “Mistress”, most people assume you’ll be a mean bitch – and I can be. But when I am freed from any expectation of kindness and compassion, I find that I also have much of those traits to bestow.

I can play in other places, and I do. But this space is special to me. I’m proud of what I have created here. These are not just rooms. When you’re in my space, you’re inside my head. And if you’re in my space, it’s because I want to get into yours.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A new podcast! First, Monk and I have a brief discussion about our ability to fight off an attack by maniacal clowns.

Then we answer a letter from a woman who wants to be a sex worker, but who made the mistake of asking strippers for advice about being an escort. I discuss my thoughts about sex work hierarchies, and how sex work businesses are like Fight Club. Hope it’s educational… (About ten minutes.)

(Note: I'm aware the show is not currently showing up in iTunes. I don't know why. I'll investigate and fix that as soon as I get a chance, but that probably won't be instantly. This is a direct-download link, if you prefer that to the above one. Hope that holds you for now.)