Saturday, August 17, 2013

Inclusive-Exclusive Balance… and Werewolf Porn

I always enjoy reading what Race Bannon writes. Recently that included:

“I believe it’s a fact that most gay men would rather play in the presence of only gay men, that most most lesbians would rather play in the presence of only lesbians, and that most heterosexuals would rather play in the presence of other heterosexuals. I think that’s totally natural. Some absolutely enjoy mixed places and I think that’s great. But I contend most kinksters do not”

The rest of the post about the virtues of exclusivity can be found at:
If you have the time, you should go and read it.  It's okay; I'll wait.
I’m going to approach this by contrasting my two main playgrounds: CAPEX and Dominion.

CAPEX is an education-based gateway group and a huge open door.  We prid ourselves as being the most welcoming group in the region.  We welcome littles and adult babies, old-school leather M/s couples, puppies, rope fetishists, and pretty much anything else… and of any gender or sexual orientation.  (We even have one fursuiter if you count the bunny.)  I’ve always been very proud of that about my home club.  I’m extremely proud that in our 13 years of existence no (rational) person has ever found CAPEX to be exclusive or cliquish.  Kinksters of all types, genders, and orientations have pretty much always left a CAPEX event saying that they were made to feel very, very welcome.  That’s very cool.

Dominion is men-only.  Admission is (technically) screened; you have to get an invite or else get an okay from Master Dan or Sir Loki before you walk in.  While that is rather different from CAPEX… it’s still a great environment.  I have lots of fun there, enjoy the play, and have met some cool people.

The drama factor?  CAPEX has a reputation for “group politics drama.”  It’s true, about every 3 years we have some big meltdown.  However, as I always point out in our defense, it’s not b/c we’re a bunch of drama-queens.  No, it’s b/c CAPEX is a democratic organization that has elections every 6 months and averages around 100 members – so w/ that set-up, there will be drama.  In some ways, this is good.  Namely, I think this why CAPEX has survived 13 years and 3 or 4 meltdowns: there’s a widespread sense of ownership.  This is our group.  And when people start getting burnt-out, there are others who step in and pick-up the burden.  I know of very few "dictatorship" groups that have lasted 13 years.

Because of our rules and procedures, getting someone booted out of CAPEX (which is necessary on rare occasions) is like getting a bill through congress.  Getting someone booted from Dominion (which is likewise necessary on rare occasions) essentially consists of Sir and Master Dan coming to an agreement.  That makes it sooooo much easier to keep out the trolls and the creeps and the jerks.

Sex vs. no-sex play spaces?  Every 3 or 4 years somebody tries to change the rules at CAPEX to allow sex at our parties.  I have always argued against allowing sex (and I always win).  I have nothing against sex… but my view is that CAPEX is an education-based group targeted at new people, most of our members have been in BDSM only a few years, and we don’t screen people coming in.  Not allowing sex seems like a prudent call for such a group.

There’s no doubt, however, that Bannon is correct about pansexual parties being less sexy.  Dominion has much more of a sexual charge and the activities are more sexual.  CAPEX (primarily) is much more of a “pure” S/m party – it’s mostly about hurting and being hurt.  So… yeah, it’s kind of cool to be in the dungeon, get your ass beat by your Sir, taken off the cross, and dropped to you knees to blow him right there in the dungeon.  It’s a bonding experience.  LOL

(And I suppose I could add to this list a third, more exclusive level – our private, usually-twice-a-year Treehouse parties which are strictly invitation only and sex is “not only allowed but encouraged.”)

It’s not, for me a matter of: you must choose one or the other.  I can have both.  Our community can have room for both!  It’s stupid to say that every club/event/party needs to be pansexual and inclusive… and it’s stupid to say that none should be.  Not every group or space needs to be open to everybody at all times and that is okay.  Balance is good.

All of that being said, there is a form of exclusivity that, I believe, has no place in our community.  The we-are-better-than-you bullshit.  I’ve not encountered a lot of this first-hand, but I’m hearing (second hand) about this going on a lot more.  This attitude of our way is the TRUE way.  If you don’t do M/s like this then you’re not a TRUE Master/slave.  If you’re not old-school leather then you’re not the real deal – you’re just a kinkster.  What a bunch of BS!  That’s a kind of exclusivity that we don’t need anywhere.  And I think what Bannon was getting at is that in moving away from that kind of (bad) exclusivity we’ve moved to a different kind of (bad) inclusiveness that isn’t a logical connection.  I can say “M/s is not any better than other kinky dynamics,” and still support a MAST chapter which is an exclusively M/s group… b/c it’s not a blanket rejection (i.e. 'the rest of you aren’t as good as us'); it’s just a definition of what kind of group you have.

And now for something completely different:  (SQUIRREL!)

So, we don’t have cable, but I finally got around to watching the new Teen Wolf series.  (Filmed in Atlanta; I recognize some of the buildings in the background.)  Loving it.  I picked-up season 1 and 2, and I’ve been marathon-ing them this weekend.  For those who don’t know me: Werewolves are like porn for me.  Literally.  Porn.  There’s a scene in season 1 where, on the night of the full moon, the hero is handcuffed to a radiator by his best friend… and then his friend brings him water in a dog bowl.  I got an instant hard-on.  (Or I would have if I weren't locked up.)  Werewolf + handcuffs + doggie bowl = sex.  (Well, for me anyway...)  So, a dozen episodes in, and I am insanely horny by now, Ma’am is away for the weekend and I’m not allowed to touch myself, and the only reason that I’m able to obey right now is b/c I’m locked in a chastity cage.  Otherwise I’d be humping everything in the house.  *frustrated growl*

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

No Safe Word: Human puppies 201

I need to share some cool links to the No Safe Word podcast.  I got to (briefly) meet Sparky last month when he came to our Atlanta Dominion party.  We didn’t get much chance to talk b/c soon he was busy tying-up and ball-busting Leo while Sir was busy flogging me on the neighboring cross.  (Well, it was a Dominion party.)  Toward the end of podcast episode 37, Sparky says Atlanta Dominion was “awesome,” and does some namedropping (or attempts to).  Neat to have a shout-out for our little club.

Now, this is going to appear to be only about puppy play, but even if you’re thinking, ‘that’s not my thing,’ bear w/ me because a lot of this just has to do w/ community organization, leadership, and inclusiveness.

Episode 38 (the most recent one) is a really good interview w/ IPC’s International Pup 2014 Slavepup Axel (whose new blog is also worth checking out).  It’s really good – informative and entertaining.  Where No Safe Word episode 02 was a fantastic puppy 101 talk (listen to it if you haven’t), I think this one is like the 201 talk.  It gets more into the organization of the pup community (hey, “organized pup” isn’t always an oxymoron), and kind of expands into this meta-level conversation around pup-ing: handlers, moshes, contests…  They have a great take on the whole international title holders contests “controversy” thing that was a whole tempest in a teapot last year.  *rolls eyes*

There’s a great conversation in there about inclusiveness.  At one point Axel says some of the Leathermen “don’t think of us as part of the leather community, and we’re really not – we’re really kinksters.”  Someone else (I don’t remember who) points out that sometimes when you say “leather” you mean specifically the old guard gay leather community and sometimes you mean all of these things – to which Axel suggests the term “kink-fuckers” as a more inclusive alternative to “leather.”  Not a bad idea.  I like kink-fuckers.  But am I a kink-fucker or a kink-fuckee?

But there is this question of where and how does our community fit in to the leather community.  Obviously we overlap w/ them… but we also overlap heavily w/ the furry community for that matter.  But it does seem that for both the TNG and the pup community there is a sense of judgmental-ism and exclusivity coming from a certain segment of the leather crowed.

I also loved the throw-away line: a puppy mosh “is basically like a gay bar for pups.”  LOL

As someone who started into the pup thing almost ten years ago, it really does amaze me how much the puppy community has started to grow just in the last few years.  It’s crazy!  For like five years I was the only pup I knew – certainly the only person who identified as “pup” (b/c, for instance, boy Andy would pup-out w/ me sometimes but he didn’t really identify as a pup).  I really think I may have been the only pup in North Carolina for a time.  Now there are contests and moshes and pup-nights just springing up all over (well... not in North Carolina, but all over everywhere else).  We must be one of the fastest growing segments of the kink community.  (Does this finally make me an early adopter?)

Anyway – the No Safe Word podcast is always fun and informative; I recommend it in general - but if you are curious about pup play, I really, really recommend you check out 02 (if you’re new and starting w/ the 101 stuff) and 38 (for a more meta-level conversation about the evolving – and really very new but rapidly expanding – puppy community).  Great stuff!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Headspace: Puppy, S/m, and Sex

I think one of the ways that I am a little different from other pups (or maybe not – I don’t know) is that my headspace for puppy play, S/m, and sex are all very closely conjoined.  It seems like that isn’t true for other pups I know.  I think it comes from being what Sir calls an "innate pup."

I’m a pain slut.  I like getting ruffed-up.  I love to be bit and scratched.  I like being punched too.  And having my hair pulled.  Now, anybody who has been in the dungeon w/ me when I’m getting my ass beat knows (because I can be a bit loud) that I tend to bark and growl a lot while I’m bottoming.  Part of it is my way of processing pain… and also my way of feeding energy back to my Top.  My Owner hates stoic bottoms.  If she’s beating, bighting, scratching, or cutting somebody and they are just sitting there like a slab of meat, she’ll get board and stop the scene.  I am not a stoic bottom.  When I get hit or bit or cut, I make noise.  The Tops who like to play w/ me and whom I like to play with feed off this energy I’m throwing off.  We like it loud and sweaty and primal. 

That’s why I like my S/m to be more about primal energy that technique.  I’ve played w/ many Tops w/ outstanding technical skill… but I prefer it to be a bit more raw and hands on.  Some toys are cool (I like thuddy toys best) and some bondage is okay (I’m not a huge bondage fetishist, but some is cool – I generally like blindfolds, hoods, and gags)… but if you want to get me going, use your body.  Use your teeth, your fists, your nails…  Growl in my ear.  Beat me, bight me, lick me, scratch me, kiss me, edge me, beat me some more, edge me some more – repeat as necessary.

I growl and bark to process pain and send off energy, but I also do it b/c when I’m in a good S/m scene I tend to get into a non-verbal headspace.  It’s very primal for me.  That’s why I growl and yelp and bark.  I can ride the pain and channel the energy to let the inner animal out… which is also a very spiritual thing for me.  I’m very much into the whole shamanic, animal-spirit thing.  I love to feel the canine inside come forward and take over and the human monkey-mind recedes for a while.  (S/m for me is sooooo far away from the whole, idiotic myth of masochist feel guilt and some weird inner need for punishment.  My head trip is nothing like that.  It’s… empowering.)

What kind of scene do I love?

One of my favorite things to do is to do a heavy S/m scene and then drop straight into pup-mode.  I know this is odd for most other pups who find the two headspaces to be very different.  But when I’ve had a good beating, I am really halfway into pup-space already.  I love if when my Top takes me down from the cross after beating the shit out of me and then pets me, licks me, nips me, scritches me, says “good boy”… helps me into my paws and knee pads… hooks on my leash, lets me have some water out of a dog bowl… and then just keeps me there in pup mode for an hour or so.  I love that!  I can usually drop into a really good pup-space after a good beating.  Let me pup-out for a while… and maybe even let the puppy show his affection and gratitude w/ some yummy, licky, growly, puppy sex.

Ah, yes.  Sex.

I know a lot of pups and Handlers don’t mix sex w/ their puppy play.  I also know some sadomasochists who don’t mix sex w/ their S/m.  For me, these things are all inter-connected.  I like primal sex.  Even if I’m not in pup-mode, I tend to growl, and lick, and nip, and scratch, and drool, and bark, and yelp.  In my head, good sex has much the same impact as good S/m – it shuts out the human monkey-mind and lets the inner animal come out.  I like sex that’s very primal and aggressive.  I like to feel taken.  I like to feel like I’m being taken by a force of nature.  I love that, I don’t know if it’s going to eat me or fuck me, but I have a hard on, so right now I don’t care which

An important part of sex for me is to know that I am totally in my partner’s power.  That’s so key.  Just vanilla intercourse has a frankly limited appeal for me.  I really want to be… well, I guess the word is dominated.  Whether that comes in a violent, primal pouncing or in the more traditional form of orders and bondage and humiliation – either way I love being controlled by someone else I trust and surrender to.  Sometimes Ma’am lets her were-tiger out, and she violently devours me.  I love that!  Other times, it’s just her telling me what to do and making me perform for her – like a trained dog.  I like that too.  It makes my tail wag.  :)

So, Option One:  Take me down from the cross after a rough beating and some edging, drop me in puppy mode, leash me, treat me as your pet… and maybe let your pet show his affection w/ some yummy, licky puppy sex.

Option Two: Take me down from the cross after a rough beating and some edging… get on the floor w/ me and go primal.  Bight, snarl, pounce, and violently fuck me like a pair of wild animals let loose in the dungeon.  Different scene.  Also lots of fun.

Now, mind you, I also can just do S/m, and I can just do pup play, and I can just do sex, and I can have loads of fun w/ any one of those activities.  I’m just making the point that for me, unlike other pups I know, all three of these headspaces are easily mixed and mingled in my twisted head.