Posts Tagged ‘fetish’
I’ve been to a lot of munches.* York: a dingy function room in a dingy pub, a running joke that the announcements were interminable that didn’t make sitting through them any more amusing. The Fab Munch: as much fun as you might expect sitting in a cold basement with a dalek would be. The Under 35s munch: takes over 35s, bus has good beer and fruit in the Pimms. The Spanko Munch: Saturday’s adventure.
I liked the Spanko Munch. I liked it even though it was in a cold bar, with, I counted, five hen parties over the course of the afternoon. The members of the munch, distinguished by their lack of sashes and tiaras, were mostly male, mostly middle aged, and not one of them was screaming. They had manners. They introduced themselves at the beginnings of conversations, offered chairs, and used verbal signifiers to notify when they were going to talk to someone else. I feel like I ought to send them a thank-you-for-having me card.
Within first half hour, though, I was cornered by an excited middle aged man. I have manners, too, but as I nodded and smiled, and (rarely) uttered a sentence, I wondered why every munch has one of these men, and why they always talk to me.
This man was overjoyed to be at his first munch. He told me about his wife giving him permission to come, then he told me that he didn’t feel guilty about it. He told me how excited he was to be there, and then told me again that he feels no guilt, and how he’s told his wife that she might have to stay away overnight, sometimes, on spanking related business. Then he told all those things to the Lover, while I talked to someone else.
Not a big deal, individually. Put it alongside the man at York Munch who, within a few minutes of conversation, was telling me about oral sex with his previous girlfriend, and how much he likes black women. Put it alongside the man who gave me, it seemed, his life history at a Manchester munch. The man who told me all about his kinky weekend, pointing out the players in the room along the way. The sheer number of kinky epiphany stories I’ve heard from middle aged men.
I understand your excitement, boys. The man I met on Saturday said he felt like he’d be set free from a cage. All the same, this is a social interaction like any other, and the normal rules apply. Two rules intersect here: don’t tell strangers about your sexual fantasies, and don’t tell strangers about things they’ve expressed no interest in at great length. Your foot-flogging fetish, ranks, I’m afraid, with your matchbox collection in conversational terms, characterised by your infatuation and my indifference.
So ask questions. Save your great act of self-revelation for your lover, your cat, your blog, your masterpiece of literature. Ask questions, but not just any questions. We haven’t crossed the border into a Never-Never Land of your kink, so don’t dive in with, “Do you like anal fisting?” Start with something simple like, “Have you travelled far?” or, “Did you go to the caning workshop last week?” Yes, you’re going to be faced with the challenge of moving the conversation away from the state of the roads between here and Bolton, and onto topics of interest, but that’s a challenge you’re more than up to, armed with all clues about shared interests that come in the answers to your questions. If you fail to find the clues, though, you’re slowly reclassifying the answerer. After all, I don’t mind when my acquaintances ask me whether I’m into tawses.
*Munches are socials for kinky people. All talk, no play, and no kinky outfits. Usually.
In my last post, I tried to stay away from the topic of whether some kinky events should have an age limit. Generally, I’ve found this to be a debate where many more people are speaking than listening, and everyone’s getting personally offended. It’s one I see often on message boards, and any discussion that will predictably reach the point where someone says, “you’re going to get sued!” within the first ten responses seems like one best avoided to me. However, Abel brought up the issue in his comment, and when my reply reached a certain length I decided the topic deserved its own post. So here I am, another voice in the din.
In my last post I tried to gesture towards an acceptable level of discrimination. In small scenes, that level is low. To make an analogy, when I lived in Coventry the gay community was small, so we all—gays, lesbians, bears, cross-dressers, leatherdykes, that man in the high heels and PVC—had to share a space, and the only acceptable discrimination was against the straight men who turned up looking for threesomes. That shouldn’t be overlooked: straight people seeking sex weren’t welcome. That’s acceptable, I think, because they were welcome in almost every other bar in the city, but it was discrimination nonetheless. In Manchester, where the gay scene is huge, different places cater to different groups, and there’s no reason for the lesbian femmes to encroach on the space of the gay men who like to party in their y-fronts, other than in the shared smoking area at Legends. People divide into their special interest groups when they get a chance. If there’s only one club in town, and they won’t let me in, it’s important. If there are three, and one of them suits my interest but I’m excluded from the other two, there’s no reason for me to be upset. I don’t go, for example, to the Gentlemen’s Munch, or rubber events, because I’m not a man and I don’t enjoy rubber. I don’t complain to the rubberists that I’m being left out, I just go to events that do interest me.
Of course, what may not be obvious on a club-by-club basis may be a wider cultural problem, leaving one group routinely excluded. So I have no problem, in a large scene, with the existence of clubs dedicated to black domme women and the male subs who like them (yes, they exist), even if I find the kink itself a little troublesome. However, if there weren’t places for white women or lesbians to go, if white women were a group generally thought to be unattractive, I’d have a problem. It’s the same logic that says it’s ok to have government initiatives to help women, gays, minority ethnic groups, etc, without a mainstream equivalent: they’re disadvantaged, and attacks on them are more troubling than attacks on the groups with more power and position. One of my many uncomfoprtable feelings about FemSub, is that it includes those who have a good position on the scene (female subs and male dominants) and excludes those who have a less privileged position (male subs) and anyone who maintains an ambiguous identity around their gender or kink (queers and switches, for example).
And so to the Under 35s. Manchester has a large scene, with so many munches that they actually clash with each other, the Under 35s with the Spanko munch, for example. And people over 35 aren’t a disadvantaged minority group. In the scene, they often have advantages of experience and the money to spend on toys and playspaces that younger people don’t. Yes, 35 is an arbitrary cut-off point, but all such boundaries are arbitrary. What definition of blackness are the clubs for black dommes using? How large do you have to be to attend events for Big Beautiful Women? How much do you have to like spanking to qualify as a spanko?
One of the reasons I came to Manchester was the fact that the scene was large enough to divide into groups by interest. When I was picking my city, it was SM Dykes that convinced me of the vibrancy of Manchester’s scene. Dykes excludes men, it’s a group of women who like to play with women. Yesterday, when everyone in my poly group was there except the lover, too male to attend, he probably did feel a bit sorry for himself. We had a Christmas party, during which I managed to be one of the last three bottoms still in musical spankings (yay!), and was tied up with tinsel for a Christmas bondage tableaux. It was fabulous, it was absurd, and it was peopled with woman from all over the North. I found myself chatting to a girl from my hometown about the club where I had my first lesbian kiss. Would she have come if we removed discrimination and let men in? I doubt it. People travel a long way to be part of the Manchester scene because they know that they can find an event that suits them. For the annual SM Dykes conference they come from all over Europe. Discrimination is in fact a strength, not a weakness, of the scene.
How would I feel if I was an older person with an under 35 partner who wanted to go? Probably not great. A bit like the lover feels when he’s told he has to learn how to make something to be allowed at the Crafty Munch, or I feel when everyone’s talking excitedly about the scene they did last weekend. It’s the same way I feel when I’m not invited to a party (although the last time it turned out that I had been invited but hadn’t realised, and didn’t get to go because I was too proud to ask). Well, you know what, have your own party. Show people how fabulous you are! If you’re anything like me, it won’t be a very big party, but you’ll actually like the people who are there. And if you have your very own, you’re in charge of who is excluded, so you can avoid getting stuck beside the nibbles with a girl who’s into spanking, having to listen politely as she goes on and on about culture and discrimination in the scene.
At the end of my last post I was setting out to Club Lash with a red cape and a basket of cakes for Grandmother. Conscious of my lack of social graces and with a feeling of alienation from the fetish community, I had precisely the attitude necessary to making new friends. I cycled to the venue, wondering why these events are always in the middle of the night. There is a symbolic value in pursuing your deviant desires in a dark dungeon during the Witching Hour, but some of us are ready for cocoa and stories by that time. It was a decidedly sleepy Not an Odalisque who sipped espresso as she applied her makeup, and an apprehensive one who descended the stairs into Lash.
I was immediately identified. “It’s Little Red Riding Hood! You’re in the right place.” I rewarded the speaker, a furry person with horns, with one of the cakes I’d brought for Grandmother, in the hope of prolonging friendliness. Inside, I stood between the bar and dance floor and looked around at people in huddles, here a gaggle of women in corsets, there a glowering of men in black. None of them appeared approachable. Suddenly, I found myself in a flock of people in wigs, rubber and platforms. I was obviously in the way, and I desperately wanted not to be. Spurred by the desire to be out of the way, I picked a dark corner and asked a man if I could share his sofa.
I made a fair stab at small talk until my sofa-mate was called to kneel at the feet of a Domme, then took Tennyson from my wicker basket and read Mariana. After each stanza I self-consciously glanced up at people engaged in their own conversations. Eventually someone asked what I was reading, and I traded cupcakes for conversation. I found myself joined on the sofa by a man in a zentai suit—well, most of a zentai suit; a hoodless zentai suit, allowing me to see his earnest expression—and after a few minutes he asked if I was looking for play. I said I wasn’t, offering clichés about meaningfulness and trust as justification. We made our mutual escapes from one another when I pretended I needed the bathroom. Or so I thought. Half an hour later, as I was watching one acquaintance beat another with a paddle, he appeared at my shoulder. I was saved from replying to his enquiry as to which is the hottest scene I’ve played by the approach of a woman with a tight white corset and a feather in her hair. “I’d like to see you tied to one of those,” she said, gesturing at the crosses and benches festooned with rope in the play area. There was a pause.
“Oh, thank you, I think,” I stammered. I looked pleadingly at her for a conversational pointer, but she just smiled and swayed away, leaving me with the zentai man. I distractedly answered his questions, thinking of the woman thinking of me, and I must have seemed particularly dense when unable to visualise his ‘dressage whip’, even after extensive description. It was to show me what he meant that he produced a holdall stuffed with rope, handcuffs, uniforms, a broken cane and a battered boater. The whip was…a whip, but his exhibition provided several minutes of conversation during which I didn’t have to wrack my brains for topics or answer difficult questions. The boater was exciting. It suited me well; I’m sure of that because I scampered off to look in the mirror as soon as I had it on my head. I carried, for no particular reason, the broken cane.
Beside me in the mirror was the sofa-man. “Oh, please,” he said, looking at the cane. I wondered what it would be like; I imagine inflicting pain would bring a delicious sensation of power. So I said I’d have a go. I can’t pretend I found the sight of him, bending over, particularly enticing,* but I pressed on. I brought the cane down to no effect. I tried again, feeling foolish,
“I’m no good. I don’t know what I’m doing.” He straightened, and caught the eye of a woman glossing her lips in the mirror. She, he said, was an expert, and he invited her to instruct me. She brought the cane down, ineffectually. She swung it though the air, and brought it down hard, but neither it, nor the man, made a sound. Then she removed a shard of wood from her hand and said, “it’s not you. This is useless.” I took its remains back to the man in the zentai suit.
He looked at the boater and said he’d brought a uniform, too. I’m not always up for kink, but it’s a rare day that I don’t want to dress up. He produced a navy blazer, a white blouse and a short navy skirt. I put the blouse and blazer on over my slip and went to see how I looked; quite fetching, I thought. Although blue isn’t my colour, it was balanced by the joy of arranging the boater at a jaunty angle. He pressed the skirt into my hands, and so I found myself fully kitted out as a schoolgirl. I looked slightly incongruous, surrounded by people in corsets and rubber.
I have a reputation, among my friends, for getting myself into sticky situations. It may surprise you, but not them, that I didn’t even think, adjusting the angle of my hat, of play. I was fully focussed on my narcissistic endeavour. It was with mild surprise, therefore, that I heard the man in the zentai suit address me as Head Girl, and ask why I’d been sent to his office. By that juncture it seemed it would be rather rude to refuse. It was hard to take him seriously, even when he wasn’t inventing details of my imagined transgressions mid-sentence. A submissive headspace clearly wasn’t coming, so I embraced defiance. In real life, I went to a school so soft they didn’t give detentions, and the level of impertinence I displayed would have got me in trouble even there. He didn’t seem to notice my disrespect. The scene stumbled towards a spanking, and I stretched over his lycraed knees. As he administered a few light taps, I rested my chin on my hand and brought to my face a look of supreme unconcernedness and insolence. It was wasted on the wall in front of me.
Not my best work. I was rolling my eyes through a talk about repentance when a woman interrupted to say, “your persistence paid off, then!” to the zentai man. I felt cheap. I took off the uniform and left him to chat. Rounding a pillar, I nearly trod on the fingers of the man I’d failed to cane, now stripped to his underpants and laying on the sticky floor, where two women rested the spikes of their heels on his chest. Looking down, I realised it was too late to prevent an unfortunate view up my slip. I apologised (whether for possibly flashing my knickers or nearly crushing his fingers I am uncertain).
“Never apologise!” he said. He gave me a pleading look and glanced at my feet. Twice. “You don’t know where they’ve been!” I said, shrilly, as he kissed my nearest shoe. I watched with some detachment as he licked them, then removed a piece of fluff from his tongue. “I told you I didn’t know where they’d been,” I said, apologetically, and walked away, trying not to think of the damp floor in the restroom.
It was a strange night: fragmented, odd, lacking in narrative drive. I can only hope that I learned some lessons. I confirmed that cake is an excellent inducement to conversation. I learned that I’m as bad at saying ‘no’ in the kinky world as the vanilla one. I didn’t go intending to play. I didn’t particularly want to play and I said so, but when it began I felt it would be impolite to stop. It wasn’t unpleasant, but given the things that go on in some corners of clubs, perhaps the ability to refuse would be a useful one. The most important discovery of the night, however, was this: I want a boater, and a blazer, and a slightly-too-short schoolgirl skirt. Or possibly a gymslip; all the girls in books have gymslips. But absolutely, definitely, a boater. And some one stern to tell me off while I’m wearing it. That would be even better than a big, bad wolf.
*That isn’t to say he’s an unenticing man, just that, predictably, I don’t find caning other people hot.
I write this sitting on a very sore bottom.*I went away for the Bank Holiday weekend. Like most people, I sat in traffic jams and swore at caravans, unlike most, I was spanked.
I went to visit HH. Well, partly to visit HH, and partly to see his house, which he describes as “a CP fairyland.” When internet users try to show off about their collections of kinky paraphernalia, posting pictures of items spread on carpets and duvets, they strike me as paltry and self-indulgent, but a whole house? That has promise.
I was fairly worried before I set off. I’ve had more kinky experiences than some, but my knowledge is very limited, nonetheless. Mostly, I’ve found myself reassuring self-identified non-kinky people as they “experiment”. It’s not that I don’t like being tied up and lightly swatted by someone who is constantly asking if what they’re doing is ok, but it’s hardly the stuff thrilling nightmares are made of. I wanted something more. I wanted someone with an authoritative presence and a hard hand. At the very least, someone who knew what they were doing, and were sure they wanted to do it. HH checked the boxes, but he clinched it with his stories. He suggested role-play scenarios which really got to me, terrifying, exciting narratives which made it difficult for me to meet his eye.
Stories are one thing, being beaten is another. There is one major obstacle to spanking me. I don’t like pain. I really, really, don’t like pain. I’m never brave about it. I screech and cry and look around for sympathy. So I was sure that I would be a disappointment to an experienced player. At worst, I would have to call a halt early on, admit to my incredible wussiness and ruin the whole weekend. Perhaps he would spend the whole time thinking that this was a pale shadow of what he really wanted, but, unable to tell me to go away, administer the odd pat at regular intervals until it was time for me to leave.
There wasn’t much I could do about that, so I channelled my anxiety into other things. What should I take as a ‘thank you for having me’ present? Is the present I’ve chosen adequate? Can I think of a pretty way of packaging it? (it wasn’t, and I didn’t). Am I going to end up in a state of undress, which is important because I don’t have three days worth of matching underwear? Should I, therefore, buy some matching underwear just in case? Will he serve instant coffee? Should I put the cafetiere in the car in case he does, or trust in his self-declared snobbishness? How would I introduce the cafetiere if he does get the Nescafe out? Do I have any suitable clothing for the scenes we’ve talked about? What did they wear in the 1940s, anyway? Will he think very badly of me and my lack of authenticity?
I could go on.
I hate to be a disappointment, and I was sure I was going to be. It was my only certainty about the weekend. When I arrived, late, dishevelled, and rather tired, I didn’t know what was coming next. Then something wonderful happened: he made a cafetiere of coffee.
Of all the scenarios we had spoken of the first time we met, one had stuck in my mind. He speculated on the fate of an evacuee, finding herself in the home of an influential man in a remote village, unable to escape whatever he has in store for her. I don’t know why that one stayed with me, but two nights later I was awake in the early hours of the morning jotting down notes about plot and character. A few days after that I had five thousand words of first draft, a heroine called Marianne, cast of minor characters and a difficult scene approaching in which I would have to describe something I’d never experienced. How was a novice like me to write a spanking scene?
I’d emailed HH a short plot summary. His role-play scenario had been hijacked and was now being driven not only by my perverse mind, but the literary influences of Angela Carter, Daphne du Maurier and Sarah Waters. I really didn’t know what he would make of it, and there was no way I was going to poke my head over the parapet and lose the protection of literature as an excuse for my less savoury thoughts. So what he was expecting, I did not know.
I successfully avoided the subject for some time. There was coffee to be drunk, lunch to eat, historic buildings to look at, and you’d be surprised how much time can be spent enquiring into the correct operation of a shower or the organisation of a library. Eventually, though, the topic loomed large and I succumbed.
He declared that we would perform the first punishment scene from my plot, with some adjustments. A variation on the Bluebeard tale, but with books instead of dead wives and a good, hard spanking rather than decapitation. He provided a costume: a dress a size too small, made of thin fabric, with short sleeves, so that I felt rather exposed and shivery. Then I was left, alone, without the protective worries about presents or outfits to shield me.
When I went downstairs, I was going to be spanked. He was preparing to do exactly that, as I paced my room. I eyed the wooden hairbrush on the dressing table with unease. I stopped at the window and tried to draw in some air, but standing still was too difficult. I’d signed up for this; he was going to hurt me. He wanted to hurt me. Worse than that, he was probably going to pull me over his knee and feel me precariously squirming on his lap, staring at the carpet, while he had an embarrassingly clear view of my bottom. I couldn’t imagine coming out of that with much dignity. Mostly, though, I was terrified about the pain. Why on earth had I agreed to this? Was it too late to put it off for a day, an hour or just five minutes? Too late to call it off?
From downstairs I heard him call my name. In an even tone he said, “Would you come here, please?” I descended and stopped, just outside the door. I stood there in silence. Then an evacuee called Marianne opened the door and stepped inside the room.
*Well, not very sore, since it’s been a couple of days, but I’ve wanted to write that line ever since I read ‘I Capture the Castle’ and I’m not going to let the facts get in the way.