Friday, January 26, 2007

Fans of the silly phone calls will enjoy this week's new column...

In other news, Blue Eyes, that sweet man, brought me a cute little toy this week...

I've seen these before around town, but hadn't bought one for myself. It's sort of like a little baby cattle prod. I've got a lot of electrical gear, but no wireless handheld stuff, so this was fun. It's not super-powerful, but it's a noticeable tingle, for sure. He wiggled and gasped very nicely.

Jae was there playing with us and I had a very good time zapping her with it, too. I love the way she squeals. Apparently the effect is heightened on wet areas - who would have guessed? So, see, it's not my fault, if she hadn't been - ahem - moist, it wouldn't have been so bad.

I believe it's available through HoydenGear, if you want one. (Warning: site has loud music and no easily-findable music off button. Adjust your speakers accordingly.)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

From The Mailbag
Hi Mistress Matisse,

I have a friend in an Master/slave relationship (she's the slave) and from some of the things she's said, I think it's not going well….(edited for length)
1) She has considerable familial pressure to get married to the M, and deep down, I think she longs for it, too. So she in turn pressures him to marry, which is probably breaking the rules, but whatever...
2) I've only met the M a few times, and my impression was that he was kind of just using her, but that he's gradually grown to love her and reluctantly entered the M/s phase but he remains a big doof who doesn't deserve her, let alone to be Master over her. I may not be understanding how the dynamic works, but she's explicitly stated that.
3) She doesn't trust him to make the right decisions and she worries that they pushed this too soon. (Fair enough, I wouldn't trust the guy to water my plant).
4) She feels as though, in the community, only a slave has value and that a sub is a meaningless place holder. She feels like she HAS to be a slave.
My suspicion is that she's latched on to this guy in response to issues like "Daddy Abandoned Me"…and other old-boyfriend issues. I think she knows that she can go out and find another guy - she's got the "look" - but I think she's afraid of having another failed relationship. And then there's the whole feeling like a "sub" is worthless and she needs to be a slave.
In the past I've not hesitated to tell her to Lose the Loser but that I'll stand by her no matter what, but I don't want to violate a sacred trust if I can avoid it. What's your take on this? Is it a huge faux pas to try to employ liberation theology, here? Barring that, is there anything I can do or say or any direction I can point her to help her get through this?

Sacred trust? Bah. It’s nothing of the kind. Frankly, I don’t think I’d label any adult relationship sacred. Important and meaningful, sure. But not sacred.
And regardless of what activities they engage in and what they call their roles, I think anyone in any relationship should ask for what they want, and if they aren’t getting it, then they have the right to consider what they need to do about that. Your friend may like to call herself a slave, but the reality is she’s a free agent and can do as she pleases.
So stripped of all the BDSM trimmings, what’s going on is: your pal has a partner you think isn’t right for her. Can you tell her to dump him? Sure. Will she listen? I very much doubt it. Will it do any good? None whatsoever.
Everyone has been here at one time or another. I myself have a friend in a similar circumstance right now. I’m waiting, patiently, for her to realize she can do so much better. And that’s all I can do – wait. I could keep telling her, over and over, that her lover is a looooooooooser. But it would not change matters one bit. In affairs of the heart, people very rarely listen to anyone else’s advice.
Put yourself in her place – haven’t you ever been the one with the partner everyone said was a waste of DNA? I’ve had one or two of those, and I was always sure that my friends were simply mistaken, that they just didn’t understand that my sweetie had hidden stellar qualities. In time, I was sure they’d all see their error and come to value my darling the way I did.
Ha. They were right, I was wrong, and eventually, I wised up and dumped the loser in question. (No, I’m not referring to anyone who has even been mentioned on this blog. I’m going back to the late nineties.) However, one has to get to the dumping point in one’s own head and heart, even when the process sucks. Loved ones can watch and wish they could spare us heartache, and we often wish they could, too. Jack Twist is not the only one who ever wished he knew how to quit someone. But it’s going to take as long as it does.
To me, it sounds like she needs therapy more than anything, because even if she broke up with this guy, as long as her operating system is out of whack, she’ll just pick someone else who will participate in her dysfunction. But you can’t make anyone else do that, either. No one does anything until they are ready to, and all the advice in the world is not going to make your friend leave this guy, or get into therapy, or anything. All you can do is assure her that you’ll be her pal and love her no matter what.
Dear Ms,

I am a (EDITED: he’s European) man, 50 years old living in (European country) for the moment. Been a sub/slave for 5 years. I do have some experience as i am trained to serve domestic, even pain and bondage. Been long time in chastity as well, 8 months at the most, milking prostate during that time.
I crave to become a real slave, into a situation with no end, total slavery, even financially. Note that i have a very well-paid job and as well earning money at the stockmarket.
I crave to become a slave under total control, the Ms control what I wear, eat, financial servitude (my salary goes to Ms account and I live on an allowance for example), chastity, no more women etc...
is it possible??
slave X

Is it possible? Anything’s possible. Is it likely? Not in my experience. No one in my immediate circle has a dominant/submissive relationship like the one you’re describing. I have seen some situations that resembled it in some ways. But you know, very few of them lasted very long. Either the level of the D/s gradually dropped, or the relationship ended. I don’t think that’s sheer coincidence. The situation you’re describing has always looked to me somewhat like being a parent of a child who never grows up. I’m not saying that slaves are childish. But that’s a very high level of attention/direction to be focusing on another human being’s moment-to-moment behavior, and it’s simply never appealed to me.
However, I am just one woman, and other women will feel differently. The fact that you could support a mistress financially is a strong point in your favor. I cannot tell you how many men have asked to be my live-in, full-time slave under the assumption that folding laundry and making the beds would pay for their keep, no further financial contributions required.
But recognize that you are asking for a very large commitment of time and energy from a woman. I don’t know as much about the European scene as I do the US, but I’m thinking that unless you want to come to an arrangement with a professional domme, you are going to have spend a lot of time looking for this mistress, and you will probably have to be flexible about things like her age and her looks. And whatever happens, it’s not going to look just like your fantasy, because real life never does.
My only advice is to stay open to people and situations that may not be exactly what you thought you wanted, because you might find something that suits you very well. Otherwise, I wish you luck…

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

So, this past weekend I was formally inducted into the Official Nerd club. I have a lot of nerdy/geeky tendencies anyway – I read a lot, I don’t watch TV, I’m about five years behind on most pop music, and I hate most sports. I’m an undercover nerd - sex bomb on the outside, geeky introvert on the inside. And I’m okay with that.

But last Saturday I participated for the first time in a rite of social passage for the deeply unhip, and that is: a role playing game. Now, I can already hear the protests – how dare I call RPG nerdy? It’s kewl. People, no. It’s fun. But it’s pretty seriously nerdy/geeky. It’s nerdier than being in the band in high school. (Which I wasn’t, although I dated guys in the band, so there you go.) It’s nerdier than being in the Science and Math club in college. (I wasn’t in that, either, although I cracked up every time they announced the next meeting of the S&M club in the dining hall.) And it’s nerdier than not knowing a damn thing about Runway. (Which I don’t. Except that I think Seal’s wife is on it. Since Seal had a lot of big hits in the nineties, I know who he is.)

Not surprisingly, many of my kinky pals are also pretty geeky/nerdy. (There is a definite overlap between certain social subcultures. For example, take these groups: BDSM people, pagans, Ren Faire people, Goths, poly people, and science fiction/fantasy fans. These social groups interlock like the Olympic rings – if you actively participate in any one of them, you definitely know people in some of the others. And chances are good you actually belong to more than one group. Why is this true? That I can’t say, although it’s amusing to speculate about after a drink or two.)

I knew that my pal Griffin was a gamer and that he has, in fact, designed and published his own game. And when Griffin found out I’d never done RPG, well, that just wouldn’t do. So he and his lovely partner Liss organized a dinner and game-playing night, designed to introduce little old me into the joys of RPG.

We played Vampire: The Requiem, because while I’ve read some Tolkien, I’m not really into the classic D&D characters and storylines. So we did the vampire-themed game, which I’m told is a favorite of teenage Goths everywhere. I wore extra black eyeliner for the occasion.

It was lots of fun. Griffin is a good game-master, and Galahad and Monk are experienced gamers who are highly amusing to watch. I was slightly self-conscious about being the only new person, and I was just kinda feeling my way along, trying to learn the rhythm of the thing. But the boys both threw themselves into character and totally went with the story. Tambo, Nerdygirl, and Alex also played, and they were quite good, too. (It entertains me no end that Monk’s sweet, soft-spoken wife Tambo likes to play feral, violent characters whose solution to any problem is to kill something.)

And while wouldn't want to do it every weekend, I can see why people dig this. It’s a fun way to interact with your friends, and it’s a creative, active thing - sort of like group story-telling, where everyone takes a turn making up the action.

So just in case you thought I spent every weekend beating my slaves - imagine me instead laughing with my friends around a dining-room table as I roll the dice to see if I can shove a stake through the heart of another vampire. Oooo, kinky.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

This is one of those brief-entry-because-I’m-busy-writing-a-column posts. So, some random thoughts I had today...

About books: Did you know that it takes an average of 475 hours to write a fiction title and 725 hours to write a nonfiction title?

About my latest expensive addictions: fresh pineapple and blueberries - why couldn’t I just love chocolate like a normal girl? And Sledge long-sleeved T-shirts.

About my fashion abberations: Every now and then the urge to wear something pink overwhelms me.

About my latest cheesy eighties pleasures from iTunes: Radioactive and Satisfaction Guaranteed, by The Firm. I know, I know - The Firm? But it’s Paul Rodgers and Jimmy Page, for god’s sake. How can that be bad? I used to dance (as in: strip) to Satisfaction Guaranteed all the time when I worked down south many years ago. It’s got that great hip-grindy beat and the suggestive refrain, and for some reason the serious blue-collar guys, with the farmer’s tans and the permanent line of black under their beat-to-hell fingernails, loved this song. Friday afternoons between 6 and about 8, the bar’s full of construction workers who just got paid, the DJ would play me this song, and I’d totally bank. It's funny how many of my music-memories involve stripping.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Books On My Bedside Table...

Who Was The Man In The Iron Mask? And Other Historical Mysteries, by Hugh Ross Williamson.
“This is a title of historical "whodunits", in which the author uses techniques of modern detection to answer such questions as: Who was Elizabeth I's father? Did Buckingham poison James I? Who was the Man in the Iron Mask? And who was King Charles I's executioner?” It's sort of dense, with small print and a lot of footnotes. Total history-geek stuff. I’m loving it.

Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach
My mom gave me this for Christmas, since she’s aware that I’m gotten quite interested in personal investing over the last few years. Part of it is questions to ask yourself about what you want from your investments, which is very thought-provoking. For example, since I don't have children, I have no interest in building up wealth to leave them. I'm all about providing for myself in my old age.
The other part is advice on how to actually pick your investments, which is less pressing to me because I have an extremely good personal financial advisor who tells me what I should do, and plus I have Max, who knows his way around basic personal investment quite well and is happy to explain stuff to me. But education is never a waste.

The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time, by John Kelly
“The author tracks the medieval plague from its beginnings in Central Asia to its devastating impact on the teeming cities of Europe, painting a vivid picture of what the end of the world looked like in the 14th century.” My interest in history has typically been in post- Renaissance periods, but I do like socio-medical stuff, and this was interesting. You know that Monty Python sketch where the medieval guy is wheeling a cart along crying out, “Bring out your dead!” and people are throwing bodies onto it? Apparently they actually did that.

A Thread Across the Ocean: The Heroic Story of the Transatlantic Cable, by John Steele Gordon.
“Shedding fascinating new light on an American saga, Gordon explores the laying of the transatlantic cable in 1866, one of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century.” I’m not so much on American history, but the engineering aspect of this caught my fancy. Strange to consider that communication between America and Europe used to be only as fast as a ship could sail. And it looks like Gordon gets into the personalities of the different people, which is what makes a book like this interesting to me.

The Family That Couldn't Sleep: a Medical Mystery, by D. T. Max
"Beginning with the story of an Italian clan whose members die of a mysterious inability to sleep, Max traces science's tortuous path toward understanding prion diseases—a category that includes scrapie in sheep, B.S.E. in cows, and kuru, a disease spread by cannibalism which decimated one New Guinean tribe." I think I mentioned this a few weeks ago, and it’s as good as I thought it would be. I now have a basic grasp of what prions are, and how they work - or don’t. Not for the hypochondriacs, though, or the easily suggestible. You’ll start flipping yourself out every time you can’t sleep, thinking you have prion disease.

The Life and Revolutionary Times of Eugene Vidocq: Criminal, Spy and Private Eye, by James Morton. “A gloriously enjoyable historical romp through the eighteenth century - in the company of a man who was many things to many men - a jewel thief, a spy, a policeman and a private eye.” Exactly the sort of thing I like - a biography of an unusual and little-known person who led an interesting and varied life. I haven’t started it yet, but it looks like great fun.

Breaking The Spell: Religion As A Natural Phenomenon, by Daniel Clement Dennett
This looks fascinating. It’s a scientific analysis of religion and it’s pros and cons, and a discussion of how religion came to be in the first place. Although human nature being what it is, anything that can be called opiate of the masses could hardly fail to be invented. I'm sure it'll be quite thought-provoking.