Friday, September 04, 2009

You know, every now and then I have to post pictures of something scary just so ya'll don't forget I am, actually, very mean.
Don't misunderstand me: I'm sweet. I am undoubtedly the nicest, sweetest sadist you'll ever meet. But just because I'm sweet doesn't mean I don't also really enjoy putting needles in people's nipples. Because I do.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Notes About My Schedule

For my friends who like to plan ahead: I’m out of town Sept 26th to the 29th – I’ll be at Folsom Street Fair. (And that looks like it’s going to be a very, very interesting trip indeed.)

I’m back for a week, and then I’m in Vegas from Oct 5th through the 9th.

It’s looking like I might be going to Atlanta for the last week of October, or the first week of November, but I’ll post dates for that when it gets firmed up.

So now you know. And knowing is half the battle. (The other half? Stapling someone's balls to a chair. Heh.)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

I love fashion. Especially when it looks like this.

Photo on the left? Eh. I don't do belts, generally, and those boots are odd. But: nice gymnastics, guys.

Photo on the right? Yum. Love the jacket (even with the belt), love that skirt! Love the shoes, and love the boy - although he doesn't look appropriately frightened. Hate the hair, but who cares about that. Nice set, too.

Full spread, for W magazine, with more pretty pictures.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I was reading a message board lately and saw someone talking about “open poly versus closed poly.” And I thought: what is the point of that term? It really baffles me.

“Closed polyamory,” as I understand it, is: more than two people in a sexual/romantic relationship who do not have sex or become romantically involved with anyone else outside their group.

If that’s how the people involved want to do their poly, that’s completely and utterly fine with me. But - why is it necessary to stick the word closed on the front of it? I do not see that system of poly as being somehow so different than other systems that it needs a discrete category. It just sounds like the speaker is trying to minimize the situation. “Okay, so we’re not monogamous. But we’re like monogamy + one. We opened up our relationship and let just this one other person in (or just these two other people, or however many). And then we closed the door again, boom! So we’re not like those other poly people, all open and stuff.”

Well, the people in the original dyad had to be open at least long enough to find another person, didn’t they? And let’s be realistic, most relationships – both mono and poly - end. So what happens when one of them does? Do the people remaining in a relationship switch over to being open again until they meet someone else, and then go back to being closed? If the relationship can be opened, then what is the advantage of designating it as closed in the first place? It’s not like people are taxis, and have to turn the light on the roof off and on.

I have no quarrel with words like triad, quad, or group marriage. I think those are clear, useful terms. And I'm mostly okay with the term polyfidelity, although it always reminds me of the movie High Fidelity with John Cusack.

As I said, people get to do poly however they want. If you want to have a designated group of people who have sex only amongst themselves, more power to you. But when phrases seem designed to minimize something, or distance the reality of a situation, then those phrases bother me. They remind me of chicks who have girlfriends but say, “Oh, I’m not really a lesbian, I just love her.” I have never met any homophobes who gave out The First Pussy Is Free! exemptions, so why bother with the limp denials? Likewise, I have never met an anti-poly person who would say, "Well, if you're just non-monogamous with these few people, that's all right."

I could channel John Cleese in the Bring Out Your Dead scene from Monty Python and The Holy Grail. “You’re not fooling anyone, you know.” In my opinion, you got the name, you might as well play the game.

Monday, August 31, 2009

From The Mailbag

Ever since I read The Story of O, I have been having some interesting thoughts on BDSM and Feminism. None of my friends are practitioners... I have been arguing the point that BDSM is compatible with feminism, as a woman who is in the dominant role would be actively exercising power over another person. The submissive role is also an expression of feminism, as the woman, comes to realize her own agency, and then of her own volition delegates that agency to another party.

My friends however, argue that's its violence against oneself (belief that comes from Sarte) to ever surrender agency, and furthermore, its anti-feminist to ever surrender any agency, as its is the ultimate goal of feminism to empower women to use their own agency, to be equals, not to subjugate themselves.

I have responded to this by mentioning that we all surrender our agency each and everyday when we walk into the work place, as another person delegates what our job should be, and with in what parameters we can operate.

I know that response is not great, but its the best I come up with on such short notice. I have a feeling that you would weigh in on the side of BDSM and Feminism being completely compatible, and I would love to hear what your response would be.

Oh, sweet reader, you are asking me to wade into one of the meanest, nastiest, longest-running debates in feminism. And my response is: I don’t care. I really do not give a damn if other people think my sexuality and feminism are compatible or not.

(I will say it’s slightly odd that your friends are using Sarte to defend their position, given that Mr. Being and Nothingness isn’t generally the darling of the feminist movement. What, no Audre Lorde? But hey, it’s been a long time since I was in a Philosophy class. Maybe perceptions have changed.)

My position is that if you think I’m a feminist, you’re right. And if you think I’m not a feminist, you’re right. What I definitely know that I am as kinky as hell. Don’t like that? Then don’t get in bed with me - in any sense of the word. But I do not define and practice my sexuality by any philosophy but my own.

In closing, The Story of O is not only a work of fiction, it’s a period piece. There’s nothing wrong with that, if you like it. But it is not a good basis for theorizing about women in the BDSM community today, and I would not cite it as a source to skeptical listeners. For more current discussions about BDSM and feminism, go here.