Friday, May 30, 2008

4-day weeks go by so fast.

Granted, I could have made appointments on Memorial Day. People asked. But I couldn't play in my dungeon, because I was having my yard done.

See, I'm not a gardener, so I pay two guys to come out periodically and mow and weed and hack down blackberry bushes and so on. I find yard care to be a huge hassle, since all the yard guys I have ever dealt with do not feel the need to be very precise about the times of their comings and goings. "Probably Tuesday - unless it's Wednesday," is their idea of a schedule. I suppose it's a benefit of the profession.

I say things like, "Okay, but if you come Tuesday, you need to be gone by 1pm. And if you come Wednesday, you can't come until after 3pm."

They look at me blankly - why does this crazy chick care about exactly what time we mow her yard? - and then they show up whenever they bloody well please. It's maddening.

Because if there's anything that's going to instantly kill the mood in a kinky role-playing game, it's the sound of a weed-whacker racketing away right underneath the window. You know they can't see you, but still. It's a total Murphy's Law thing - you'll be at a very pivotal point in the scene, and the guys outside will start having a bellowing-over-the-lawn-mower chat about where to go for lunch. Never fails. And I can't let my good boys suffer that kind of torture.

I have actually found a team who will a least commit to a specific day, and stick to that. It seems to be the best I can hope for. So Monday the yard guys worked, I didn't, and now it's Friday and where did my week get to? I have a busy weekend ahead of me. So while I'm busy in the social whirl, I hope you'll be entertained by the newest column...

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Wednesday night, late: I've had a good but busy day, and I'm so sleepy that I'm a bit punchy, and right now even spam seems deeply profound and laden with meaning.

When your lassie sees your new big love gun, she'll be beside herself with excitement. Convert your little gun into a perfectly working big cannon!
1917 - Tsar Nicholas II of Russia was forced to abdicate Baseball's Pete Rose: "I bet on my team every night" than the Rattlers.

Love gun, huh? Yeah, I've got something like that. But if this is a little gun, I'm not sure what I'd do with a cannon. (Although the names Chance and Hannah come to mind.)

But: lassie? Who composed this spam, Scotty? Maybe. Maybe it's dialog from a deleted scene in the episode entitled "Shore Leave", when the crew beams down to a planet where one's thoughts come true, and Scotty thinks of Yeoman Rand telling him she wants to fire his photon torpedoes.

(I've seen a lassie beside herself with excitement. But it was because Timmy had fallen down in the well.)

Wait, no - there's a Russian reference! It must have been Ensign Chekhov who sent me this email.

Whoa. Very silly around here. It's time to go to bed.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I've gotten some very nice emails lately. It gives me great pleasure when people write and tell me they like my blog/column.
Hello MM,

…(greetings and very nice compliments)…Anyway, I have a specific question: where do I buy decent quality but not bank-breaking corsets? I don't mean cheap corsets, but more like $250 than $500 (these are NYC prices.) I know you don't do that much with fetishwear these days, but I bet you're still quite knowledgeable.

Thank you for the nice things you said about my writing. To answer your question:
Well, I hate to say it, but $250 is a cheap corset. I know that seems outrageous, but - there it is. I have some corsets from Dark Garden and a few other places, and my observation is that you will have to shop very carefully to find something for that price. Have you looked on eBay or any of the other auction sites?
If you don’t want to go that way, this is a company I have been seeing around at fetish conventions for years. I am very casually acquainted with the folks that run it, and they seem like nice people. I don’t personally have any of their corsets, but they seem fine, and I think they have some options around the $300 range.
If you were in Seattle, I would direct you to my excellent friend Orion Excalibur of, who makes custom corsets. (Having sat in his workshop and watched him do the painstaking labor involved in making those things, I now understand why they are so bloody expensive. It’s a lot of work. )
But Orion is a clever man and I think if you said to him, “This is what I can spend,” he would try to create an option for you. Have you asked in your local kink community if anyone makes corsets and would work with you on a budget?
Mistress Matisse,

I have a couple questions for you. If you cannot publish them, please respond in some way still. I would greatly appreciate it. Moving on...
I am sexually experimenting with my incredible bf. Both of us are bi and into bondage. I'm trying to learn how to be more dominant so that I could be more of a switch than a sub. Any advice on how I can become more dominant?
My next question is about polyamory. My bf and I had a very short lived polyamorous relationship with new friends of ours who are both bisexual-- one being male, the other female. It was lovely, but they weren't in it for the long haul like we wanted. So, my bf and I are trying to find another polyamorous couple. I read your rules on this subject and feel as though we're ready for this, seeing as how we have excellent communication. Where should we go to meet our next couple?

Okay, I’m sure you’re a nice person, and I’d like to help you - but I have to tell you, you’ve made it rather difficult for me to do that. You may have excellent communication skills with your lover, but you’re not demonstrating them to me.
Please take note of what I say here, All Those Who Would Email Me: I have observed before that I don’t get paid to answer the questions of strangers. I’m very happy to help if I can, but a lot of people want my attention, and you are asking me to take time away from both my loved ones and my profession to serve your need. A little thought and explanation on your end makes that much easier for me, and thus you’re more likely to get an answer.
I am using this writer as an example, because it’s not the worst case of intellectual laziness I have ever seen. But I ignore dozens of emails from people every week from people who seem to expect me to read their mind, and act as their unpaid research monkey. Uh, no. That’s not going to happen.
So, my Dear Reader, let’s see what I can do for you. Not much, I fear.
No, I don’t know how you can be become more dominant. That’s a very vague phrase, and what you seem to be asking is how you can feel a certain way. Not knowing you, I’m sorry, I really can’t tell you what’s going to get you into a dominant headspace.
It may be that you’re asking me to suggest some activities? I can’t tell, and I wouldn’t know what to tell you, anyway. You speak of being into bondage. When I say “bondage” I mean “physically restraining someone” and that’s ALL I mean. I do not mean spanking, for example, or role play, or nipple clamps, or anything else except limiting someone’s ability to move. That’s the definition of the word “bondage”. But I know that some people – especially new people - lump all kinds of kinky activities into that term. So I’m not really clear what you’re doing with your partner.
(Purely subjective aside: Please don’t say sub. Submissive, if you like, or bottom. I’m on a one-woman campaign against that word. I know it’s doomed to failure, but I have to try. The word sub, to me, is like fingernails on a black-board. Hate. It.)
But, if you’re looking for general tips, tricks and suggestions for kink-ifying your sex life, I recommend this book: Sensuous Magic: A Guide to S/M for Adventurous Couples by Patrick Califia. It’s excellent – beginner-oriented, fun to read, and full both good advice and little erotic stories that you can easily steal and use in your own bedroom.
It’s also pretty straight-couple-oriented, and you did not tell me what gender you are. But I think, based on looking at your email address, that you’re a girl, so that should be all right.
Other educational venues:  My partner Monk has a bunch of video clips demonstrating rope bondage. Or, read more books. I am a fervent believer in reading kinky books.
Now onto the second part. I’m glad you hear that you and your lover feel ready to explore polyamory, and I wish you luck. But: where should you go to find a couple? Dear girl, I don’t know where you are. You didn’t tell me. Thus, I’m unable to direct you to events. What you need to do is Google polyamory and the name of your city and see what you find. If you have done so and found nothing – which you didn’t tell me – then you need to expand your search to a state level, or even search for national conferences. Look for mailing lists/communities on Yahoo, Tribe, LiveJournal, etc.
Of course, it’s possible to meet poly people in surroundings that are not specifically poly-oriented. Kinky social events, swinger stuff, any general sex-positive event is a decent bet. I’ve talked about the “How do I/we find somebody?” issue, and most of what I suggest to BDSM people is applicable to other sexual minorities as well. There's also personal-ad sites, although that tends to be more swinger stuff.
But no matter what, it's going to take time to find people for a ongoing relationship. It's not like one can just bop down to the local Poly-Couples-For-The-Long-Haul Bar. Plan on kissing a lot of frogs. And be grateful you're not trying to find a single bi female.
Now as I said, I get letters like this all the time, so this goes out to all the people who write me and ask me to do their Googling for them: Come on, kids, don’t try to make me think for you. I don’t believe any grown-up person should need me to tell them to do these things, they seem very elementary to me.
But maybe I do have a skewed perspective - I think being a successful sexual outlaw means you do have to be smarter than your average bear. You cannot autopilot your way through an erotic life less ordinary. Kink and polyamory (and sex work) are graduate-level sexuality. It's okay to ask for help, but often there are no neatly pre-fabricated answers. So when you're a new student, work on framing the most precise possible question.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Blast From The Past
I was cleaning out some corners of my office where the dust lay thick yesterday, and I came across a box I hadn’t seen in quite some time. Opened it up, and what did I find? Wedding pictures – mine. Oh, wow.
I had two weddings, actually. I had one here in Seattle. It was a lovely event, pretty traditional - on board the Skansonia, if you know that boat. I wore a long ivory satin dress and veil, a friend of mine officiated, there were bridesmaids and groomsmen, both our bio-families came, and our kinky friends came and behaved themselves. 
However, unbeknownst to both my then-husband’s family and my own, that was not my legal wedding. The moment at which I actually became a married woman happened shortly before the Seattle wedding. It was in Las Vegas, on the stage of the International Ms Leather Contest in 1999.
How I came to be getting married on stage at a largely lesbian-oriented event is a story unto itself. Let us say, to preserve a veil of anonymity for my former husband, that he had a connection with the title.
I also have to shake my head at the idea that it would be cool to get legally hitched in front of a crowd who were unable to marry their own lovers. I don’t know what we were thinking. It just seems in bad taste now, but the relationship of queer women and transmen was (and still is) a confusing topic. It sounded like a neat idea at the time.
Anyhow, since we were getting married at a leather event, we chose wedding clothes that reflected our identities in the kink community. Thus, The Sex Worker marries The Leatherman. (pic). And here.
Miss K made me that veil. Between it and the six-inch heels I was wearing, I had to duck to get through the hotel room doors. I’ve still got it, somewhere. I still have the dress, too, although it was basically nylon stocking material, so it’s probably disintegrated by now. But it came from Leg Avenue, and I think I paid twenty dollars for it at Castle Superstore, so I feel I got my money’s worth.
Jae got me the bouquet, although it took her a lot longer than she thought to get it, so I was literally standing outside the doors to the stage, saying Dammit, where is that girl? when she ran up holding them. Trust Jae to make a dramatic last-minute save.
It seems like a lot longer than nine years ago. Funny to look back at that. I wasn't married very long, and I don't think I'd get married again - I'm not cut out to be a Mrs. But if I had to do it, I'm glad I at least did it kinky.

Monday, May 26, 2008

I don’t usually blog about current events, unless they are kink-related and I find them particularly noteworthy. There’s plenty of bona-fide journalists and bloggers doing that already. But people do write and ask me my opinion of this or that, so here’s a brief rundown on what I think:
Presidential politics: I would have been fine with Hilary being president, but her campaign is dead in the water and she should bow out now. The race is the Democrat’s to lose, but God knows, Democrats excel at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, so I’m not assuming Obama is a slam-dunk to win in November. But I hope he does, and I think he’ll do a good job. I am a rather moderate Democrat, but the Bush and his cronies are corrupt incompetents, and the Republicans in general have driven us off a cliff for the last eight years. We need a new regime.
And I’d be pleased to see Hilary as VP. But I have a feeling that when it comes right down to it, she has too much pride to take the job even if she’s offered it.
I’m very pleased about the gay marriage news in California. It is not by any means the final chapter, I imagine there are still years of legal battles ahead, but it’s a great step forward.
I think airlines charging you extra for bags is like sex workers charging you extra for condoms – tacky.
I think Warren Buffet is one smart individual, but I think he shouldn’t say the word “recession” unless what he means is, actually, recession. Surely a man like that can express himself more precisely? Meanwhile, I'm watchful of the situation, but I've been through recessions before in the sex industry, and what I know is: people do not give up their pleasures permanently. I don't like the term recession-proof, that seems like hubris. I think it's entirely possible that I'll have to be a bit more on my game if the US economic situation goes further downhill. But I can do that, so I'm not hugely worried about it.
Would you people just get over seeing Miley Cyrus’s naked back already? Jesus, you’d think she’d been photographed going down on Osama Bin Laden or something. I don’t find those pictures that shocking, but even if you do - she’s fifteen. She’s going to do dumb things occasionally, and the people really to blame are the adults around her. So quit picking on the poor girl, or she’ll wind up like Britney Spears.
Yes, I heard the new Indiana Jones movie is so-so. But I’ll go see it anyway. I mean, it’s Harrison Ford. You have to. But Max and I are both looking forward to the Get Smart movie coming out soon. The TV show was already in reruns when I was a kid, but I loved it.
A story that didn't make headlines, but is nonetheless quite important: my pal Lenora just had a baby girl. Mother and daughter - and Daddy, too - are doing fine. Congratulations!
That’s what I know today.