Friday, April 22, 2005

Just Another Day

Wow, I've got a busy day scheduled. Get up, say good morning to Max and Maura, make some coffee for Roman, kiss him goodbye, get showered and dressed, kiss Max goodbye, and then hit the dungeon for three back-to-back sessions with 3 different boys.

(But hey, I'm glad for busy days like this, because the check I wrote to IRS last week just about exsanguinated my bank account. That self-emploment tax, good lord...)

And then two hours at the gym, god help me, where I will try not to drop another fifteen pound weight on my foot like I did Wednesday. Ouch.

This weekend is Max's 2-day bondage class, so we'll be busy with that. And Saturday night I'm going to a very swanky party given by a friend. We'll say no more about that - but he knows how he is...

But enough about what you're doing Matisse, you think. What about me? Well, the new column and the Kink Calendar are up, perhaps they'll entertain you.

Also, if you have a partner and you're kinky, Dr. Gabriele Hoff, a doctor of clinical psychology in San Francisco, would like you to fill out an anonymous survey about BDSM couples. I don't know the lady personally, but it looks interesting...

And lastly, for those of you who said you'd never seen a picture of me smiling...Voila.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Voicemail Hell

Some of the odd ones I've gotten lately…

FIRST MESSAGE:"Uh, Hi Mistress, my name is Doug, I talked to you on the phone about two years ago. I'd like to book an appointment now, I've been, um, thinking about what you said and I think I'm finally ready to do the scene we talked about. So give me a call at…"
Well, that's all fine, except of course I have no earthly idea who he is or what we talked about, and he may think I do. If you're not one of my regular boys, I will not remember talking to you longer than a few days. There are just too many phone calls.

NEXT MESSAGE: "Yeaah, well, my name's Bobby, but ya can't call me back, cuz the warden's gonna be home soon. So I'll have to call you back later when she's not around. (pause) Hell, you must be some woman to be booking out 24-48 hours in advance. Mmnn. Yeah, I'll call ya back."
Oh, hey, Country Boy, dissing your wife in a message to me like this really doesn't impress me. It's tacky and undignified.
And if you think I'm unusual for booking a few days out, I'm really afraid to think about what kind of sex workers you're used to seeing. Pacific Highway comes to mind, unfortunately.

NEXT MESSAGE: Hi, Mistress, my name is Lisa! I've seen your column and I think you're really great, I really admire you so much, and I'd be really grateful if you could help me out. So, this is my question for you. How do you go about starting a dungeon as a non-profit business? I've thought a lot about how to do this and it seems like going with a non-profit is the best way to go, you know, because of the special nature of the business."

(Edited for length – a lot more talk, with the same lack of clear information.)

"So I'd be really grateful if you could talk to me about this, because I need to get the paperwork started. Thanks a lot! Bye-bye!"
Say what? This was one of those really incomprehensible messages – so much so that I played it for Max and said, "What the hell is she talking about?" (His reply: "I have no idea.") The whole message was a whopping three minutes and thirty seconds long, and she managed not to give me any useful information except that a) she admired me and b) she wants to start a dungeon c) as a non-profit.

I have no clue why she thinks I'd know a thing about non-profits of any variety. I don't know what she means by "a dungeon". She may mean something like the Wet Spot, which is actually a not-for-profit organization, so that would kinda make some sense to me. Except that I'm not on the WS board or anything, so why ask me?

Or she may mean that she wants to set up shop as a pro domme, and for some inexplicable reason she thinks it would be a good idea to do some kind of non-profit thing around that? Which makes no sense whatsoever. And either way, I have no useful information to give her – except that she needs to work on her clear-communication skills - so I'm not calling her back.

NEXT MESSAGE: "I'm a bad bad boy, don't you wanna spank me? Ha ha ha ha haaaa!"
Oh, god, this guy. He's been calling me off and on for years. It's always the same message, with that wild Riddler-esque laugh. And I've never talked to him live that I know of, he usually calls in the middle of the night. It's harmless, if weird…I have a picture of someone who's a night watchman, or something similar, sitting around somewhere with a telephone and too much time on his hands.
But, you know, it's nice that he keeps in touch.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Warning: This is Matisse geeking out about photography. Skip it if you're only interested in the nasty stuff, because...

In Springtime, A Young Woman's Fancy Turns To Film!

Black-and-white infrared film, to be precise. I haven't been shooting much the last year or so, and this blog is partly to blame for that. One only has so much free time, and I've been spending a chunk of mine writing.
But when the sun comes out and the weather warms up, that's when I like to load up the b/w IR and shoot weird-looking stuff. Or, rather, shoot stuff that the film will render in an interesting way. I don't shoot IR in the winter because strong sunlight is the best light for IR. It's such slow film that you need a ton of light, regardless. And I haven't gotten such good results with indoor shots, with either flash or hot lights.

Some of my IR shots…

Beach at Golden Gardens
The Gateway
James Monroe School
Model at Discovery Park Beach, Midday
Rose, with Roses
Max, with the Apple (not my-lover-Max)
Models On the Railroad Tracks

I have done some color infra-red, which creates some very strange-looking foilage and landscapes. But it can also be fun, and I think if you got good with it you could produce some wild artwork. Here are two examples of color IR. (This is just how it comes out of the camera, these are not digitally retouched.)
Madrona Tree
Fireplace in the Yard

I haven't shot people in color IR, so that might be worth trying. I have no idea how they'd look.
Right now, I'm mentally framing up some images of Roman, cavorting naked in the front yard at the studio. Yay, tall hedges!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Letters From Blog Readers

I am a young woman who is new to seattle, and fairly new to kink in general and am curious about involving myself in the kink community around the area. any tips for a beginner? My long term partner and I have toyed with flogging, hot wax and other fun things, but i would like to bottom someone, if simply for the experience, and to learn technique, (and maybe to indulge my masochistic side.) I know that you do not run a dating service, nor do you see women professionally, I am simply seeking some of your wisdom!
My advice is: join the Wet Spot. It's the most reliable entry point into the local BDSM community, and it's a safe, well-run, and relatively non-threatening atmosphere. My lover Max is teaching a "Bondage For Sex" class on Sunday, May 1st, and that might be an excellent opportunity for ya'll to come scope out the place. (Membership is required for most WS events, but not for Max's class.)

In your professional opinion (Christ, now she’ll probably charge me!), just how prevalent is the submissive male in our culture? And what if anything do you think the phenomenon says about our society? Susie Bright has said that she sees a definite trend in the number of porn manuscripts that cross her desk containing submissive male themes and that this must be emblematic of deeper fault lines in our culture. I find Elise Sutton’s stuff interesting, but I don’t buy her thesis that a female-dominant society would fundamentally change the world. After all, Elizabeth I, Catherine the Great, Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi and Margaret Thatcher weren’t exactly paragons of peaceful but firm maternal leaders!
The really submissive male? Not terribly prevalent. Of course, I don’t think there are that many genuinely submissives females, either. I think there are a lot of people of both genders who have sexual fantasies involving dominance and submission. But only within the confines of what they find erotic, and only to the degree they want it. Bedroom submissives, we sometimes say.

There's not a damn thing wrong with that, you understand. I myself do not identify as submissive at all, but do I like to get tied up while I have sex sometimes? Hell yes, that's fun. And as a dominant, I've done intense D/s scenes lasting as long as a weekend.
But people who want and can happily sustain the "total power exchange" thing, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week? Quite rare. I've only met a few. (And I've met a lot of kinky people.) I think the number of men interested in kink is simply about a) it being more accessible than it used to be and b) men generally pursuing their sexual fantasies more aggressively than women.

Re: female dominant societies - I agree with you; Ms. Sutton's perspective is interesting, but I don't support the idea that women are fundamentally superior to men, morally or in any other way. Power corrupts, and I don't think that women are any more immune to the temptations of mass political power than men.

Generally speaking, what she does really isn't my style, anyway. I like taking people on an intense trip, but I think part of the fun for me is taking them out of a "normal" headspace and into a submissive one. If they just lived there all the time, I think I'd get bored pretty quickly. No challenge.

An amusing final note: Don't you hate it when this happens during your kidnapping scenes? Of course, only in Holland would they be cool enough not to arrest the people on some obscure charge of "disturbing the public morals" or something…

Monday, April 18, 2005

I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day concerning something her partner was doing. Her situation was that her partner - her husband, in fact - was continuing to have occasional friendly contact with an ex of hers. (They're poly, obviously.) She was not altogether comfortable with that but she wasn't sure what she wanted to do about it. So she asked me what I'd do if I were her. Here's what I said…

"I myself want to *control Max – or any partner I have - as little as possible, and that's mainly because I think controlling (or trying to control) your partner is an unhealthy coping mechanism that ultimately damages the relationship. If I'm not directly impacted by something my partner is doing, then I usually don't think I should try to control it. So the policy I have with myself is: if it's something that Max is doing when I'm not in the room, then I ask myself to consider very, very carefully if it's mine to control.

"Now, obviously there are times when stuff your partner does while away from you does affect you directly: safer sex boundaries certainly come immediately to mind. So it's not a black and white situation. But overall, I find the when-I'm-not-in-the-room yardstick helps me know if the issue is really something that affects me or not. "

"Huh, very interesting. I assume you mean a metaphorical room, rather than a real one?"

"Yeah, for the most part. And let me be clear - I'm not saying I don't struggle with this issue. There are times when I really want control of things even though they have no measurable impact on me. But it's the standard that I try to live up to."

"So," she said, "hypothetically, what if Max was seeing someone who was a huge drama queen and had terrible boundaries?"

"As long as it doesn't affect my life, that's his choice. I wouldn't want to spend time around her myself, but…"

"What if she showed up at the house and pitched some big drama fit?"

"Now she's in the room with me and that's legitimately my problem."

"What if they were having big dramatic upsets all the time, over at her place, but he was coming home all upset from them?"

I thought about it. "That's sort of borderline. I mean, stuff happens. Your partner is going to be upset about things from time to time, that's part of being in a relationship. So I'd say that if it's occasional, I'd let it go. If it was every week, and he was just beside himself with unhappiness or anger or something to the point where it was a struggle for me to cope with it, then we'd have to talk. But even then I'd try to frame it in terms of "how can we change the situation so that your feelings don't impact me so strongly", rather than, "You can't see her anymore!"

Hmmn," she said. "So you're saying that if my husband wants to have dinner with a crazy person, that's his business and I shouldn't tell him not to."

"Yeah, that's my opinion."

"But what if she thinks-" then she stopped. "Oh, right. I don't get to control what she thinks, do I?"

"Honey, if you could do that, you'd still be dating her."

"What if she calls me?"

"Then she's in the room with you, so to speak, and you can deal with that however you think necessary. And you can tell him that she called you, even though you've told her not to, and he can decide what he wants to do with that information.

"Plus," I went on, "I think that when you do things to control your partner, you set precedents that tend to come back and bite you on the ass later on. I know that one of the other reasons I don't want to control Max's behavior is that I don't want him trying to control mine. And you can't reasonably expect to have a double-standard, so… Do you want your husband telling you who you can and can't be friendly with?"

She raised an eyebrow. "Oh, I don't think so. Good point."

I'm still refining my if-I'm-not-in-the-room approach to control within relationships. But conversations like one help me keep sharpening it.

(*Obviously we're not talking about erotic/BDSM-type control here. We're talking about being controlling in a pejorative sense.)