Friday, December 8, 2006

Revamping My Website

You may have noticed that the usual pages to Xia-BDSM.com are missing. Since I launched it in '03, it has gone through several incarnations and lots of ongoing tweaks. This time I decided to take the whole thing down while I revamp it. I am basically overhauling the entire site to more accurately reflect where I am as a dominatrix.

I am privileged to have such a wonderful stable of submissives who serve me regularly. They have spoiled me with their kindness, generosity and thoughtfulness. And as I have become more seasoned and sophisticated as a Mistress, it only makes sense that I have in turn grown more selective and demanding of new applicants. I am crafting my site to reflect this new reality.

I took the old site down in the meantime in part because I wanted to stem the tide of inquiries of a disrespectful nature. The kind which use crass language and explicit sexual descriptions, implying a baseless familiarity along with undisciplined and unnegotiated luridness. It is unfortunate that some feel there are no boundaries involved in this play. Or that simply because I am a professional involved in an erotic exchange, I should be delighted to read graphic scenarios from perfect strangers.

In an ideal world, a Mistress could present beautiful images which reflect her many facets: sensual, strong, demanding, giving. Yet I have come to realize that certain images and phrases attract the wrong kind of attention, leading to a false sense of intimacy. And so these considerations also play a part in the re-working of my site.

Re-thinking my online presentation is an exciting challenge. Stay tuned. I'll have the site up again in a few weeks. But I am taking my sweet time. For it's the process itself which I savor -- a journey of exploring, learning and discovering myself as Mistress.

Blessings

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Healing

A great martial arts master once said that a true warrior will spend as much time learning how to heal as she does learning how to fight. And it is also said that true strength comes from working on one's weaknesses. Balancing yin and yang, we can more fully embrace the subtlety and complexities of life.

So with this in mind, I have embarked on a journey of learning the healing arts alongside my continued explorations as a domme. I have said before that being a dominatrix comes quite naturally to me. Ever since I can remember, I have been an assertive, strong-willed and confident person. These qualities serve me well in my work as a dominant. And now I feel compelled to broaden my outlook, pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone and allowing myself to get in touch with a more nurturing side.

I have come to realize how my own desire to appear "strong" has influenced my choices in life. I exuded a steely hardness in my personality so as not to be perceived as a fragile, weak, or any of the other adjectives we too often associate with femininity.

Yet lately I have come to question this conventional view of strength vs. weakness and consequently how I have embodied dominance in my craft. Have I simply internalized the sort of oppression that we have only recently started to shed? Does my power have to rely on the subjugation of another's will?

Perhaps dominance does not simply have to be a reversal of male dominance, but can be a complete re-defining of power dynamics. I am far from clear what that new definition would be. But I am excited to pursue this new line of inquiry.

It's strange though, how fear of change still nags me. I have been so successfully rewarded for being the way that I am, that a little part of me clings to it. I have cultivated that which makes me different from most women -- my emotional stoicism; my boldness regarding sexual matters; my lack of interest in traditionally "girly" things like make-up, the color pink or women's magazines; my disdain for hearing perfectly fine-looking women show their insecurity when talking about their looks and weight. I cringe at the thought of losing my uniqueness. Yet in the end, I know that my evolution will not take away from who I already am, only build upon it, enhancing the best aspects while shedding vestiges of a more immature self.

Of course, there is a time and place for developing traits of tenderness, a soft touch and healing energy. Just as the warrior knows that the time to heal is not in the heat of battle, I doubt I will be directly incorporating my new knowledge into my SM scenes. Indirectly, I look forward to an increased awareness of how energy plays a role in power exchange and even greater empathy towards my submissives. But this is all conjecture, for where this takes me has yet to be written.

Wide open to the possibilities. . .

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

On Beauty

Hmm.... I do not like this term "provider", at least not referring to me. I actually cringe at the thought that I am a service provider, and continue to move further away from this conception of my craft as I rely less on the income it generates for me.

I suppose that is the unadulterated ideal of a Mistress anyway: one who indulges in these daliances purely for her own enjoyment rather than for financial gain or the approval of men. And really, that is how it started out for me.

You see, I was a bit naive when I embarked on this career and did not know about the online review system. Seeing my work framed in this way -- lumped together with more explicit sex workers, my face and body rated on a scale of 1-10, feeling spyed upon in an imtimate situation -- it was earth-shattering at the time.

Ah well, casting away the illusions which we hold so dear is vital to one's growth, painful as it may be. It did make me face my Achilles heel, which I am sure many women share with me, namely a vulnerability to male judgment of my looks. From the time we are little girls, we are taught that our worth is inextricably connected with being pretty.

Women who do not subject themselves to the glare of criticism may never face this fact because they usually only see the positive side of it. Yet I have learned that accepting validation through rosy appraisals of my appearance only makes me open to feelings of rejection should any less-than-stellar assessment creep into my consciousness.

Now my typical response to compliments on my looks is "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." I mean, why should I be pleased that I am judged better than other women on this superficial front? Like some tap dance for the spotlight, elbowing each other as we say to the men "No, look at me!"

Beauty is so unique. Yet by turning it into a competition we encourage homogenization and standardization to the point of boring "perfection." And anyways, I no longer accept the authority of those who seek to judge me on this surface level.

Monday, November 20, 2006

More on Closed Doors

I received an interesting response from one of my submissives about my last post "Why I Keep It All Behind Closed Doors." He wrote about how in meeting outside the dungeon it would be impossible either to fully acknowledge or completely ignore the D/s nature of the relationship, making for an awkward and ultimately unfulfilling exchange.

I think what makes it particularly challenging is the fact that, for better or worse, we do not live in a femme domme world.

In public, or even in a private setting that is purely vanilla, there is a strong pull towards conventional male-female dynamics. These patterns are so deeply engrained in all of us that they can be hard to escape. When one is surrounded by the manifestations of male dominance, interacting with others who are working on this assumption (e.g. in a dinner setting, the waiter may automatically confer with the man when taking the order), it can be a struggle to preserve the integrity and dignity of a true femme domme experience.

Obviously, a case can be made for attempting to break some of these patterns and illuminate another template for gender power dynamics. Yet I think there is a time and place for such things -- not necessarily when Mistress is attempting to enjoy her dinner or engage in a scene!

I see the dungeon as a refuge from the male-dominated world. A place where my power as a woman is not questioned, but rather assumed as my birth right and cherished as such. We create an alternate reality and revel in it.

It reminds me of how I feel during Pride week in San Francisco. Though I do not identify primarily as queer, I am always overwhelmed with feelings of hope, joy and love when I am in the middle of these festivities. Because for one weekend, it's OK to be sexually different. And everywhere you look, us freaks are getting it on! The outside world is turned on its head, and for a few days you can vividly imagine what it would be like to have an alternate reality be the predominant way of life.

Why I Keep It All Behind Closed Doors

I thought the following might be instructive. . .

The former slave who I talk on the phone with on a rare occasion is not allowed to session with me (the erotic part of the connection feels strange now that I know him as a friend). Other experiments in offsite meetings have all fallen flat and ended. It seems much more difficult for that Mistress-slave connection to remain tenable in the world outside of The Gates. I have tried, believe me. But it has just been a hassle, needless misunderstanding and waste of perfectly fine relationships that are meant to remain within a dungeon setting. "Xia" does not really exist once I step out the door. This is an aspect of my personality I value, even hold sacred, and cherish within the protective chambers of my lair. It is like a plant that requires very specific environmental conditions, so that once it is taken out of the hothouse it quickly shrivels up and dies. . .

Sunday, November 19, 2006

"The Insightful Domme"

As I am sure so many of you do, I occasionally google my name to see what comes up. It's quite gratifying when I find that my blog entries are being quoted on other sites.

I am mentioned and quoted in Femdom Weblogs & Forums, which states that I am "among the more self-insightful and eloquent professional dominatrices."

DownOnMyKnees.com: Kink Notes by a Pansexual Polyfetishist also quotes my blog, referring to me as an example of the "insightful ProDomme."

In Femdom Blogs, a post of mine is excerpted under the heading "BDSM's Advantage: Clear Communication."

One thing that I'd still like to find out is what kind of traffic I am generating with my blog. My Alexa toolbar only shows me the ranking for the entire Blogger network, but I am sure with a little more research I can figure this out as well...

Yup Google Analytics looks like the way to go!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

New Gates Profile

Mistress appreciates all the wonderful birthday wishes!

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I recently updated my description on The Gates site to more accurately reflect my current stage of development as a domina. This summer was a time for me to step back, reflect and push forward in my evolution as a powerful, well-rounded woman of the world. I love that this craft allows me room to expand and diversify my interests, pursue new approaches and refine tried and true favorites.

My focus now is on honest connections, rather than mere fantasy roleplay. Mind you, I still believe that assuming different roles can be a liberating experience. Yet these avatars should serve to shine a light on one's own personal truth rather than enable further running away from the unpalatable or shame-ridden. We learn to embrace ourselves in all our wretched glory and celebrate the strange beauty of our existence.

Whenever I enter a new phase of my growth as a dominant I must brace myself for that groundless feeling of not knowing. Will there be submissives who are ready and willing to accept my new powers? I can never know. I can only have faith that I must move forward. And so far, I have been fortunate to find thoughtful and caring individuals who feel privileged to embark in this dance of power with me.

Here is my new Gates text:

Delve into sweet submission in my seasoned hands. Sophisticated, intuitive, alluring, my stunning Eurasian beauty and powerful presence will bring you to your knees.

Wielding absolute control over my submissives, I combine devious discipline with precious rewards in my slave training. Adept at both mind games and sensation play, I am driven to explore the intensity of sadomasochism alongside the delicious control of psychological and physical restraint. Sexuality, gender and power form the rich territory of my decadent playground.

Succumb to the feminine divine and bow down to a true goddess!

My knowledge and experience shines through in my naturally seductive, commanding style and the ease with which I engage in a diversity of approaches to hold slaves in my thrall. I excel at tapping into myriad layers of desire, claiming darkly sensual yearnings and beautifully twisted fantasies as my own.

Picture this. . . Purring a teasing taunt in my captive's ear, a throaty laugh escapes from my luscious lips as I coax my submissive to new heights of pleasure and pain. With a firm hand I grab my slave, moving in closer as my hot breath tantalizes the senses, throwing him off for what comes next. . .

My power is subtle yet unyielding as I pursue my passion for the perverse with excellence and elegance. No doubt, serving me will be a wickedly memorable experience. Surrender to the extraordinary woman that I am and discover the ecstatic joy of a bittersweet release.

Favorite Activities:

Slave Training
Sadomasochism
Rewards & Discipline
Corporal Punishment
Bondage & Restraint
NT & CBT
Roleplays & Psychodrama
Face-slapping & Hair-pulling
Light Breath Play & Choking
Electroplay (TENS & Violet Wand)
Sensory Deprivation
Behavior Modification
Firm Control
Abandonment
Gender Play
Foot Worship
Fetishes

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

All Star Doms Interview

Goddess Calico of All Star Fem Doms recently interviewed me. You can read it here.

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Coming out as a Dominatrix

It feels so good to "come out" as a domme. Not to everyone, mind you. I appreciate that my mysterious image allows me the choice of who to let in on the secret. Yet when it's right, it feels so liberating!

There are people in my life who do not know what I do for a living. I tell people when necessary. Yet in the end, those who know me best know that I am a dominatrix. It is such a big part of my life that I want to share it with those closest to me. So it was with this in mind that I revealed my vocation to a wonderful woman who I have known for years on a social basis. We met through mutual friends in the party circuit. In that environment, it can be hard to casually throw out this information. It becomes such the focus of fascination, drawing in everyone in the immediate vicinity in a way I am not always comfortable with. Yet I knew if I was ever to connect with her on a deeper level, I would need to open up to her.

So when she called me up to invite me to a dinner party, something inside me told me it was the right time to reveal myself. The timing was fateful indeed, as she and I seem to be at similar crossroads with our work, which both entail balancing creativity with business acumen. And now that she knows what I do, she has offered to contribute her talents to further refine my online presentation. So it's all worked out for the best!

Truth be told, not every "coming out" story has turned out so well for me. That's why I now proceed with forethought and discretion in these matters, allowing my intuition to lead the way. It isn't that I am ashamed of what I do. But I know not everyone is ready for my truth.

Friday, October 20, 2006

SM is good for the soul!

I had a wonderfully languid yet hard-driving scene the other day. It was over two hours of sadomasochism and sensory deprivation play. Delivering intense sensations to a cherished submissive in a quiet, calm manner over a generous period of time achieved an amazing sense of release for me -- and I believe for my slave as well. What a special and unique experience to be able to act out aggression and suffering in such a controlled and deeply caring way. I truly consider it a gift for all involved.

There are times when a scene I am in nudges me toward some breakthrough in my growth, giving the key to a fresh insight. It almost always surprises me. Perhaps it's my very lack of expectation, along with an openness to understanding, that leads me to uncover these truths.

#


I recently added my blog to the Technorati network (see my new sidebar). Spreading the word! In the same vein, I was motivated to "come out of the closet" as a dominatrix to a former publisher and editor from my previous life as a journalist. I am interested in reaching out to a wider audience, so we will see what comes of it. Baring my soul was terrifying at the time, but afterwards I felt relief -- lighter and freer :-)

Friday, October 13, 2006

All Hallow's Eve

Autumn is in the air. That cool, crisp moistness blowing through the breeze. Darkness descending upon the days.

The change of seasons is not such a dramatic shift on the west coast, yet it still seems momentous to me. "Feels like fall." Something about that phrase flows so well for me. Maybe it's that my favorite holiday, Halloween, is just around the corner. And then my birthday arrives a few days after that. El Dia de Los Muertos is a pretty cool day to be born, if I do say so myself!

Halloween is such a fun holiday because it's the one day where I come out as a dominatrix -- and everyone just thinks I'm kidding, anyway! I get to reveal a side of myself I usually am quite private and protective of, and it feels liberating ane exhilarating. All right, maybe it's not the most original costume for yours truly. But come on, I have so many awesome fetish outfits and it's nice to don them on occasion outside the dungeon :-)

Last year I went to a big party dressed up in my black latex along with a girlfriend on a leash. What a reaction the two of us generated all night! Most people were intrigued by this set-up. A few playfully challenged the dynamic by trying to flirt with my collared friend. As the evening wore on, more men came directly up to me -- perhaps the liquor having emboldened them to reveal their hidden desire to submit. We had a blast adding a little twist to the vanilla sexiness all around us. Display of sexual possession on that level definitely peaks people's interest.

So the next time you are at a costumed affair and there is a vinyl-clad vixen amongst the crowd, just think... She might not just be playing at the role for one night, she may be the real deal ;-}

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Xia-BDSM.com temporarily unavailable

Hello Lovelies :-) Don't be alarmed when you check out my main site! It is down for technical maintenance and should be back up in the next day or so. . .

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Lifestyler?

I have never claimed to be a lifestyle dominatrix. I am not a regular
attendee of BDSM play parties at the Citadel or other semi-public playspaces
(I prefer private scenes without an audience. I am not a performer on that
level). I socialize with a select few in the pervy community but I do not
adhere to slave-Mistress protocol in everyday situations or believe in 24/7
total power exchange relationships.

Yet nothing that I do in a session is disingenuous. It is reflective of who
I really am: a strong, independent and kinky woman who is beholden only to
myself. Though I may not utilize the same formal structures of the
dominance/submission dynamic in my day to day life, I am anything but
vanilla or submissive in the way most women have been trained to be --
whether they like to admit it or not.

My life outside The Gates both mirrors and is the inverse of my life as a
Mistress. At The Gates, I have a stable of slaves who serve me well. I
craft a unique connection with every person who serves me. I share my
energy with these individuals, yet none possesses me. And though we may
actively exchange emails between sessions, at the end of the scene we each
go back to our respective lives.

Outside of the dungeon I am a committed polyamorist. I engage in multiple,
long-term relationships with enlightened women and men. Jealousy is a
virtual non-issue because we are secure in ourselves and do not cling to a
sense of attachment. Certainly, there are obligations as there are in all
relationships but there is also a sense of liberation -- the feeling that
one wakes up each day and chooses to be with the people one is with.
I believe this web of parallel relationships, each person occupying a
special niche in one's life, can be immensely fulfilling.

One may be reading this and thinking, "Wait a minute. If you believe in
freedom in relationships how can you also enjoy the idea of enslaving
another to your will?" This is where gender comes in. I have often
commiserated with other amazing women how too many men have felt threatened
by our power, intelligence, beauty and sexuality -- all that we are, all
that makes us great -- and therefore react by belittling our
accomplishments, criticizing our decisions and just generally trying to make
us feel small.

At one point, I thought I would give up completely on the entire male
persuasion. But then I found a better solution. If they weren't willing to
treat me as a true equal, then I would teach them a lesson in subjugation.
Give them a taste of their own medicine. And have wicked fun in the
process!

I acted out this desire to even the score well before the thought of
becoming a dominatrix was on my radar. It manifested as a fuck 'em and
leave 'em attitude, where I'd literally kick a guy out of bed. I wanted to beat him to the punch, get him far away before he started with that annoying yet predictable possessiveness. It's like they've staked their flag in the ground and feel the need to start pissing on you to mark their territory. Yawn. I never
dated and only had one night stands because I figured men were only good for
one thing!

Obviously, my reason for being a Mistress has expanded since that initial
concept. I definitely still mine those bittersweet emotions of a voice
stifled and misheard, but is isn't all about revenge anymore. Thanks to my
own evolution as a domme and as a person -- as evident in this blog, my
website and my actual sessions -- the vast majority of those who see me are
pretty awesome people.

I continue to find the femme domme dynamic so compelling in large part
because it begins with the assumption that I am in control and I can make my
own rules. And no matter whether I am in the dungeon or outside in the
"real" world, that's what works for me.

©2006 Xia Vox. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, October 7, 2006

Witch

I sometimes feel like if I were born in another time I would have been branded a witch. For my unwillingness to submit to a man, for the strength of my character, for my confidence in my own abilities, for my unapologetic hunger for the sensual, for my fierce intelligence and for my intuitive powers of seduction. I imagine being branded the devil's consort and condemned for fear of the world I represent.

It never ceases to amaze me how some men who have seen me seem to think that behind my role as dominatrix lies a simple, conventional woman. That I am really just waiting for the right man -- a knight in shining armor to save me from this debauchery.

I have known for a long time that I am not like most women. And I don't say this because I believe I am better than the norm. I don't mean to demean the many women out there who strive to find a husband, dream of walking down the aisle in a white dress like a princess, and fetishize the role of wife and mother. Obviously this fantasy plays an important part in our society, otherwise it wouldn't have withstood the changes which have taken place since the feminist movement of the '70s.

I think it's much easier for men to exempt a woman from all the backward, traditional rituals which still make up modern male-female interactions when the woman calls herself a lesbian. And I know other dommes who, though they may sleep with men as well as women, define themself as queer. Yet somehow this seems to avoid the main issue to me: that there is another way for men and women to interact intimately. That even if a woman enjoys being erotic with a man, that doesn't necessarily mean she wants to be wined and dined, given flowers and candy, her precious beauty flattered endlessly, her very being treated like a prized possession waiting to be taken. These trappings of romance do little for me if not outright offend my sensibilities.

At times I like to think of myself as a gay man in a woman's body. When I visualize my dealings with men in an almost non-gendered way, I feel the most power. The dogma underlying how a woman is expected to act with a man is inculcated in all of us from day one. I find myself having to remain constantly vigilant of its creep. It's a sad reality that sometimes the more familiar a slave becomes with me, the more he thinks he can relax back into an everyday male-female dynamic, which by virtue of our patriarchal society is more male domme than femme domme or even equal. And so there is continual correction of this behaviour, shifting the energy back into these roles which I find so much more appealing in the first place.

Well, don't lament too much for me. I feel fortunate to have created a space (online and in the dungeon) to express how I feel things should be -- if not for everyone, at least for me!

©2006 Xia Vox. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Luscious Ladies in our Lovely Latex

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

One of the things I most appreciate about what I do is being able to play with individuals who I might not get a chance to interact with in the "real world." Don't get me wrong. It's not that I'm a snob outside of the dungeon. It's more that we all inhabit our insular little circles -- by necessity and choice -- and that there just aren't the same opportunities to get acquainted with so many different types of people with such interesting and varied backgrounds. It's a nice haven from all those structures and social rules which keep us on our various tracks.

Monday, October 2, 2006

I used to be trapped in the belief that all relationships have to be completely reciprocal. That the only way one could be balanced was to have each one-on-one dynamic perfectly balanced. Now I take a most wholistic view, with my various interactions occupying the niches necessary to achieve an overall symmetry. Life is so much more complicated than the easy answers.

In the past I have written about being a responsible top by asking oneself the question, "Would I want that done to me?" The answer does not always have to be a straight yes to work. Sometimes, the answer is more like, "No, I wouldn't want to be treated like that. Yet that is exactly how women have been put down, held back and restrained through out history, and I want to show this man what it feels like so he can understand, empathize and thereby grow in awareness." Female domination allows the male submissive an opportunity to practice symbolic repentance, atonement and ecstatic catharsis for the traditional suppression of women's natural powers.

When I think about being a Mistress or Master, my ideal often falls into the vein of Eastern martial arts and spiritual masters. Those who have mastered themselves through self-discipline, control over one's emotions, and self-reflection. With BDSM play, I envision a balance of the placid, serene qualities of truly being at ease along with the more wild, driving and fierce energies which exist within and all around each of us. So once again, each engagement may swing the pendulum from one extreme to another, yet the whole encompasses an overarching equilibrium.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

It poses an interesting challenge in this work: to dominate from a place of pure intentions, compassion and lovingkindness. Whether one comes from a place of healthy play or dysfunction, I have seen that one can be successful. Like attracts like as we mirror each other's hidden pains, secret aspirations and basic sense of self.

In this way, letting one's ethics lapse can be a downward spiral - negative elements can cling and pull one down even further. The hope is that it won't be too long before one surfaces with the realization: I need to clean house! I admit to having gone through this on several occasions. What is pretty amazing about this work is the incredible range of play within its borders, which makes it relatively easy to shift from one way of being to another. The trickier part is keeping one's heart open in whatever one's current incarnation.

Cruelty is a characteristic which is often considered a positive in this line of work. Yet to me, cruelty with callousness, without forethought or reflection, is more of an energy drain than an energy exchange. Empathy is key. It allows me to enjoy the ride along with the submissive, but also tells me when we are treading on psychologically dangerous territory.

A simple question to ask oneself when topping: Would it be OK if someone did that to me? Even if you are strictly domme and never switch, the question is still valid. It cuts to heart of the matter. Namely, am I acting in a humane way? Top or bottom, domme or sub -- we are all still human.

Indeed, cruelty is a trait which I possess in good measure. I would like to think I am proficient at controlling my sadistic urges in a manner befitting my position. I do feel very fortunate to have this outlet.

Four years of sessioning on average seven times a week. That's a lot of scenes. Countless intense, intimate and magical encounters with the known and unknown. It makes sense to me that I learn at an exponential rate because of the gift of these wealth of experiences. I know that if I hadn't found this vocation, it would have come out anyway -- the scheming, erotically ravenous side of me. But it would probably not be as consciously articulated, as wholesomely contained, or as embraced and celebrated!

I have seen others who have subjected themselves to the seedier side of sex work for years. By the time they say "Enough!" there is so much heaviness there, the baggage left behind from a world of pain. It's not necessarily that the work they chose was inherently exploitative and degrading (though that is debatable -- I for one, could only do what I do!). Rather, it was as much about how they approached it as anything else. I have seen the cycle. The money that's so good for the amount of time put in, it makes all other work seem less desirable. The alcohol or drugs used to numb the discontent. The disassociation with what one is doing. Then the anger at all who participated, including oneself. I have seen these ladies finally end up in the pro domme arena, ready to take it all out on the men. And I actually think it's not a half-bad way to go. Working out one's issues in this way can be empowering and even fun. What is of utmost importance, in the big picture, is approaching it all with a sense of gentleness and compassion towards oneself and one's play partners.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Hey "extended" slave -- your email is bouncing! I will be at The Gates until 6 today.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Catching Up on Emails

I've been completely swamped and am a couple weeks behind on returning emails from new people. As you may have guessed, I get a lot of inquiries as well as spam! The appointment line at The Gates can be a helpful source of information as well - 510.261.7243.

Friday, September 15, 2006

If we are to survive, we must reinvent cultural practices that satisfy our deep-rooted need for non-ordinary states, interpersonal bonding, and the intensification of both our individuality and our tribal belonging. we must create contemporary forms of sacred pursuits that are at least as engaging, enlivening, and complex as war, and which, more importantly, engender life, thriving communities, healthy natural environments, genuine education, joyful service, soulful maturity, cultural evolution, and love.

Soulcraft: Crossing the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche
Bill Plotkin, Ph.D.



I have been a spiritual seeker and BDSM player for some time now. The issue of how the two fit together is still not entirely clear to me. Admittedly, I keep my work affairs to myself when around my yoga and meditation brethren. But there is no shame there on my part. It's more that there is so much misunderstanding about this kind of play that I'd rather not get into it at those moments. Yet I am not a believer in an absolute world who is simply turning a blind eye to a state of dissonance. It would be too easy to say that BDSM play, because it incorporates so many elements associated with the aesthetics of evil-doers, is incongruent with peaceful, positive personal growth.

Perhaps a case can be made that BDSM play makes for a convenient hiding place for dysfunction. I have seen evidence of abdication of personal responsibility and mindless cruelty, particularly within the community which define themselves as lifestylers (the idea of manifesting outwardly inequal power dynamics on a permanent basis seems to be a central stumbling block). Certainly, as in all relationships, there needs to be vigilance and mindfulness to stop the slide into unhealthy co-dependencies.

Yet this is balanced by the advantage of greater and more clear communication than more traditional relationships. Negotiation is key in a typical BDSM interaction. Play partners discuss their desires, limits, concerns and state of mind before delving into a scene. This level of premeditation is rare in most vanilla versions of sensual power play -- and as far as I am concerned, all sex is power play. The darkness may still come out, but the shyness, shame and fear which prevented an open discussion beforehand makes it that much more likely that someone will leave feeling hurt, disrespected or misunderstood. In good BDSM play the darkness is negotiated, channelled and controlled. It is not denied. Rather, it is given space to breathe its fire.

I have been struck how in both the realms of spiritual exploration and BDSM play, one seeks out a connection to the divine and mystical. One shirks off the limitations of the individual self, giving in to greater forces at work. And in both, there can be a frustrating desire to find salvation through the power of another -- be it a deity or your "owner" -- when the truth is we all can only save ourselves.

#


Some more thoughts on this...

I was talking with a surfer who, at my behest, was regaling me with his own version of "war stories" from his time on the water. He is a BDSM player too, so as he spoke of these immense waves with their ferocious beauty he also related the experience to submission to a Mistress. How at some point the resistance stops and you just have to let go or be pummeled into the ground. He also talked about how important it is to be mindful when you are out there, to let the ego rest and be in tune with the endless flow.

Surfing, women's power, and spirituality. Teasing the big picture out of my head...

As women, we are deeply attuned to the forces of nature. Our very cycle is aligned with that of the earth's moon. And each month we bleed, we are reminded of our true animal nature: of the smell of the soil, the flow of rivers, these mortal coils we inhabit, and life itself.

Bill Plotkin's Soulcraft and other works view the shift long ago from matriarchal, goddess-worshipping societies to the current patriarchal paradigm as the denial and outright castigation of the infinite mysteriousness of natural creation and feminine wildness. The words "soiled" and "dirty" take on negative meanings in this new world, as does the very act of sex. Women's innate powers are suppressed and dismissed.

In the Philippines, before the Spanish came, women were the mystics and healers of their communities. Their special bond with nature and their keen intuitive powers were acknowledged and elevated into central, decision-making roles within the village. These roles were overtaken by the arrival of the priests with their western medicine and mutually exclusive religion. Yet that was only 600 years ago. One can still see the power of women evident in Filipino culture, where there have been two women presidents and Mother Mary is always in the background.

Women's wrath as a force of nature. Seeing a dominatrix as an act of primal submission, as a metaphor of one's submission to the forces of the universe. Harkening back to a time when the sacred and sexual were not separate and polarized. When ecstasy of the body and spirit could be one and the same. When heaven was a place on Mother Earth.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I love nerds. I come from a family of nerds. Introverted and introspective, yet highly articulate (you know that nerd tendency to talk too loud? A few of my brothers have it). Into science fiction and fantasy, comic books and anime, computers and tech, as well as arthouse movies and liberal counterculture. Beyond the glamour and the feminine affections, I am a nerd at heart :-)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I've been venting in recent posts. Perhaps I am alarming some of you? No, I am not turning into a man-hating domme. But I think it's important to express oneself honestly. If darker emotions surface, one should not flinch. Rather, one should embrace and explore the meaning behind it, thereby growing larger in one's perspective. And besides, it is my truth and it is real.

What's interesting is how after I write a blog which is critical in one way or another about men, I find that some of my more thoughtful and sensitive slaves will write to me to commiserate. It's ironic because these are the men who already get it on some level. So no need to apologize for all the rest!

And no, there is nothing wrong with wanting to be submissive sometimes. It can be just fun. For a woman, this is too often the assumed state of being. So I rebel against that. But for a man, it is a very brave thing indeed to step into one's submissiveness.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

When it comes to porn with a little kink in it, no one does it better than the Europeans. I don't know if it's because of our Puritan beginnings, but when Americans try to do it kinky it often just looks silly.

I've seen two gonzo-style porns lately where the man has sex with the woman's armpit. That's right. Putting the stud's cock between her upper arm and side, then pumping it in and out. Of course, she moans like it's the hottest thing ever. Must've been hard not to laugh!

How about this for absurd? I saw this one vid where the woman sucks up semen from the other lady's ass with a straw, spits it out onto a table, makes rails out of it with a credit card, snorts it up her nose, then shoots it out onto the camera lens. Nice. Now that's a real turn on ;-)

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

"Let me see the piercings on your ear," she said to her friend, a beautiful blonde Brasilian woman who pulled back her long hair to reveal her lobe. "Oh yeah I like that one up high. Nice jewelry too."

"I never take it out."

"I'm the same way. I never take any of my piercings out either." Pointing to her belly button, "This one I've had since '95. Same niobium ring."

"Navel hurts the most!"

"Yeah but the great thing about piercings is once they're in, you'll never lose them. I can't stand wearings rings or bracelets. After a while my fingers feel too swollen and my wrist feels like the circulation is getting cut off. When I'm drunk i just end up taking them off and forgetting about them."

"I know. I'm the same way."

"So you guys don't like being cuffed, but getting pierced is fine?" a third friend interjected.

"Ha ha. Hate being cuffed, but don't mind being penetrated. That's it!"

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Eastbound Bay Bridge Closed Monday

Just wanted to alert anyone who is planning on seeing me this coming Monday the 4th that the Eastbound section of the Bay Bridge from San Francisco to the East Bay will be closed Friday midnight to Tuesday 5am. The BART subway train is probably going to be the best way to get to The Gates from the City.

Friday, August 25, 2006

End of Summer break

I'll be taking a vacation next week as I'm making the most of this beautiful summer before it's over! I hope everyone enjoys the upcoming long weekend. I'll actually be back at The Gates on Labor Day Monday - a rare opportunity to see me on a holiday. Take care and stay kinky...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Alternate Email

Oh yeah, make sure not to open that video from my prior posting in the office. heh heh.

I have been asked if I have an alternate email address that isn't obviously kinky. Though I prefer you send messages to xia.bdsm@gmail.com, if all else fails you can reach me at test012345@yahoo.com.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Though I don't do much slut training these days, I still found this video to be laugh-out-loud funny!
I must admit I have been very busy with all the other things that make up my life besides professional domination. Soul-searching and spiritual explorations, getting in shape and taking it to the next level, travelling, enjoying the beautiful summer weather at outdoor day parties and in nature, hanging out with my best mates and re-connecting with old friends, challenging my fears and hang-ups, as well as embarking on a large-scale creative project.

Although some of you may be disappointed to know that Mistress' life does not always revolve around the dungeon, I think most of you will agree that a truly well-rounded woman is a more powerful dominatrix.

I am supremely grateful to my loyal stable for supporting me in my endeavors. I feel so fortunate that this path allows me the time and comfort to focus on my artistic aspirations.

©2006 Xia Vox. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Schedule Add: Monday 14th 10am-5pm

FYI -- I'll be at The Gates Monday the 14th 10am-5pm instead of Friday the 18th.

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Testimonials

I've decided to add a testimonial page to my website. There are some lovely emails I have received in the past that I plan on utilizing once I get in touch with the writers. Feel free to send me a testament if you feel inspired. Just note that I will not be able to use each and every one I receive, as I'll be looking for different viewpoints to round out the perspective.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

New Photos

I just published two new galleries entitled Strength and Beauty. I also added new photos on the "Mistress Xia" and "Slave Profile" pages of my xia-bdsm.com site. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I have more photos from my last shoot which should be posted on xia-bdsm.com soon. I'm really excited to get them up, but also a bit anxious as I'm awaiting word on a technical glitch which is currently preventing me from uploading the new galleries. Crossing my fingers that you all get to see these new images soon!

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In the meantime, here is a little taste of what's to come.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Away for Independence Day

I am heading out of town for the holiday, returning to The Gates Friday the 7th 11am-8pm. Have a good one...

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Alert readers may have noticed that I changed my xia-bdsm.com page previously entitled “Submissive Profile” to “Slave Profile.” After some consideration, I came to the conclusion that the latter is a more apt description for the majority of those who see me.

It can be difficult, especially in the beginning, for some men to admit to having a submissive side. Understandable when one considers the many restrictions put upon the traditional male role. Restrictions in what they can wear, how they talk, even how and what they eat -- and still confidently call themselves masculine.

In my experience, the male ego is often deeply entangled in conventions of male dominance. So in a way, the word “slave” is more all-encompassing in that it can include willing submissives as well as those who have mixed feelings and even resistance to the role.

The idea of enslavement -- being forced against one’s will to submit to deviant acts – can be a means of liberating oneself from any lingering guilt or shame, those shadows of our repressed past.

Slave play is not the most politically correct fantasy, which is one reason why I originally changed the page on my site to “Submissive Profile.” Yet in the end, I believe that the taboo nature of this roleplay is exactly what makes it so arousing.

I actually reverted back to “Slave Profile” some time ago. I hesitated to write about it in my blog because I didn’t want to come off as being indecisive, waffling back and forth. Yet changing one’s mind is a natural part of one’s evolution in thinking and perception. It’s strange and a little sad how in this world that can be construed so negatively.
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I consider what I do in a play scene to be an art form -- part performance art, part psycho-intuitive channeling. As an artist, I take my domination seriously. I do not just run through a list of activities which have been requested. I look at the scene as a composition bringing together various fetishes with compelling music, costumes, scenery and at least two willing mind-bodies ready to exchange energy.

My passion for this work sometimes flares. My artistic temperament can bring forth an outburst of emotion. I feel strongly about what I consider my proper role as a domina, and the strength of my conviction can be quite firm.

In an initial session with me, I can be fairly stern in my corrections of behaviour I deem inappropriate. Please do not be dismayed or overly apologetic if this happens. I would simply be remiss if I didn’t take the training aspect of slave training seriously.

Rarely do I find a slave who is not in need of some behaviour modification! Each domina is a unique person with her very own preferences and I wouldn't expect a virtual stranger to know what mine are.

You don’t have to be perfect, just willing to learn and grow as a slave while enjoying the journey with me. It can be a wild and intensely gratifying trip when you truly surrender.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I confess to being a bit of an adrenaline junkie. I love the rush of a hard-driving experience. Whether it's working out, dancing all night or topping one of my submissives, I revel in breakthrough moments when pure, overwhelming intensity washes over everything. Getting swept up in a whirlwind of energy, yet never losing control completely as one spirals through pleasure and pain.

The charge that comes with dominating is often not a directly physically-induced sensation. Much of it depends on establishing a good connection with the slave. Being highly attuned to the permutations of their masochistic and submissive leanings as we act them out. The pleasure I derive is almost like a contact high. It's being there psychically, so that I also ride out the peaks and valleys of their journey.

For me, being a sadist is not about remaining the outsider, simply observing the pain of another. I like to call myself a sadomasochist because the word blends the twin concepts of sadism and masochism, hinting at their yin-yang duality. When I am guiding a scene and a space of ecstatic SM is created -- be it from physical or psychological torment -- I am immersed in a way that is bigger than any individual self, and in this sense I am both sadist and masochist.

I have always had sadistic inclinations, but I have not always known how to deal with them in a healthy way. I remember making my little brother stand on a stool to reach up for something in the cupboard, just so I could pull it out from under him and watch him fall. I remember seeing how many times I could bring my little sister to tears, then console her, then bring her back to tears again. I remember verbally castigating my older brother countless times for what I perceived of as his emotional weakness.

I am not proud of these childish forays, when I was still finding my moral compass. I did not know how to be a decent sadist -- certainly never heard of safe, sane and consensual! I only knew that it sometimes felt good to be mean, but that it also made me feel like there was something wrong with me. At the worst of times, I felt rotten to the core. Sadly, conventional society provided very few pointers.

Back then I was an angry kid, frustrated at a world that just didn't seem to fit me, particularly in my sense of gender-power relations or sexuality. How could I know then that there was a perfect place for me? That one day I could be happy playing "mean" to people I genuinely care about. And that afterwards they wouldn't try to make me feel guilty for these darker instincts, but would applaud me and pay tribute to me for my talents. I count my lucky stars :-)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I had a fun shoot yesterday with photographer David Perry, who is awesome to work with -- creative, exacting and at the same time easy-going. In this photo I'm wearing a vintage kimono and holding a bo-ken, which is a wooden stick used for practicing samurai sword-fighting.

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Four Years

This past Monday marked my four-year anniversary as a professional dominant. Since I have been with The Gates from the very beginning, Monday also marks my four-year anniversary at the Bay Area's premiere House of Domination.

I am still having the time of my life! I love being a pro domme. And I love the women of The Gates. I consider it a rare privilege to be a part of this community of strong-willed women so diverse in lifestyle and background, yet who are all sexually open-minded and agreeable :-)

It really is quite special to work with so many unique and independent spirits. We have different ideas about what this is all about. Different fetishes turn us on or off. Yet we share a space of non-judgment and camraderie with one another. I am grounded at The Gates and I know that feeling of centeredness is transferred into my power play.

I feel so fortunate to be able to support myself doing this work. It's been so much fun that one of the bigger challenges has been not turning into a workaholic! ;-) And with that, I bid you adieu*

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

FYI: I am heading out of town until the 6th. I won't be checking my messages while I'm gone.

Monday, May 15, 2006

I read an interesting article in San Francisco Chronicle Magazine called Wired for Life, which looked at concerns over how much time young people are spending plugged in via computers, cell phones, text messages, blogs, video games and web-based communities. Even though it was focused on school kids, I found it to be a thought-provoking article for anyone who spends a fair amount of time online.

The Gates website was down for a while last Friday. I happened to be taking sessions at The Gates that day. We received quite a few calls letting us know that the site wasn't working. One man seemed genuinely put out by this. Perhaps feeling like he wasn't getting his fix? ;-) I mean, it's not like we make vast changes on it from day to day.

I admit that at times I worry that some of my followers may be hooked on the computer. Hey I've been guilty myself of getting sucked into the Matrix. As with all things from which we derive pleasure -- whether it be computers, food, sex, shopping, gambling, drugs or even exercise -- moderation is key.

From conversations with "old school" dommes, I know that the internet has profoundly changed professional domination. I also know that my comfort and proficiency in this brave new world has been to my advantage. Moderation can sometimes be a challenge when one sees a direct correlation between the amount of time spent online and the level of interest in sessions, especially during the early stages of building one's stable of slaves.

Thankfully, I have been well sought out for some time now and can therefore spend less time plugged in. It feels good to be able to get away from that glowing screen. After all, a Mistress shouldn't be a slave to anyone or anything, including her computer!

Yet in the big picture, I think all this interactivity is a good thing. When I was growing up I spent hours and hours watching television. I absorbed a lot of crap, but also found myself rebelling against stupid messages about womanhood, beauty and romance.

TV is basically a one-way street, which like all old media is frustratingly ineffective as a true platform for debate and change. There's very limited avenues for viewers to participate in the creative process. So having the youth of today blogging, sharing music and playing games together doesn't seem so bad in comparison.

Actually, the most disconcerting part of this Chronicle article was the writer's detailing of all the junk food these kids were eating while online. Cans of pringles, high-caffeine sodas and candy. Now that is depressing!

Monday, May 1, 2006

On a whim, I decided to netflix Maxim: The Real Swimsuit DVD: Vol 1. I was pleasantly surprised by their choice of models. They were all exotic with unique faces and naturally sexy bodies. The aesthetic of the shoots featured -- like the tropical island they were set on -- was hot, lush, wet... I recommend it!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

I was perusing the Max Fisch message board and came across a discussion about the merits of house vs. independent dominas. Though specifically addressing the New York scene, I thought Diana Balance's well thought out response did an excellent job of highlighting the overall pros and cons. You can read the thread here.

I am so thankful to not be caught up in that old debate anymore. I am secure in myself and having the time of my life as a Lady of The Gates.

When I first started out, I fell for a lot of the talk about what made a real pro domme. I was first exposed to the belief system that you learned the ropes, so to speak, at a house. Then when you "graduated" you went off on your own as an independent.

Watching woman after woman leave The Gates to follow this well-worn path, I honestly had a bit of an inferiority complex. Yet something told me to not follow blindly; not to take for granted all the benefits that a collective offered. I am glad to have exercised such caution.

In the time I have been with The Gates, most of the ladies who chose independence are no longer active professionally. There would often be a big show of spreading one's wings, casting off the restrictions of a house for liberation. There would be expectations of a big splash into the wider world of pro domination. Then finally, rumors of loneliness and lack of security. It reminds me of that song, "Is that all there is?"

Early on, when I still naively believed I could never achieve true legitimacy working out of a house, I decided to investigate my options. Yet I treaded lightly, testing the waters rather than jumping in head-first. After all, did I know how cold or deep those waters were? Did I know where the rocks were just underneath the surface?

When a respected former colleague put up her website shortly after leaving The Gates, I decided I would also create my own pages. Why couldn't a domina at a house have a signature site, where she could detail her interests, guidelines, specifications and the like?

During several forays to Los Angeles, I would put up a visiting ad in Eros and experience a taste of things as an indie -- taking phone calls and arranging my own sessions. Though I had a great time playing out of the Wicked Garden, I did not feel compelled to cut off my association with a house. After seeing it from both sides, I concluded that my gig at The Gates was perfect for my needs.

I can understand why from the man's perspective, seeing an independent domina would be preferred. You have her telephone number and get the pleasure of hearing her voice when arranging a session. She arrives at her private space especially for her date with you. You two might even be alone on the premises together. I can see how he would find this set up advantageous.

Yet in my mind, being so accessible compromises my sense of dominance. It begins to feel too much like I am doing the serving. I like the idea of hanging out at The Gates, with the possibility of a few submissives paying me a visit while I'm there. Now this is not a judgment on my independent sisters. It is simply how I feel and what works for me. And in this endeavor, one's approach must be highly customized in order to be truly fulfilling.

Some admit to seeing me despite the fact that I session out of a house, while many prefer this arrangement as much as I do. As long as an appropriate attitude of humility and gratitude is present, I am happy to be served by both.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A few things you should know about my email practices-

I am often on the go when I am not at The Gates, so typically I check email during the day using my phone. If you are perplexed as to why you are sometimes given a wordy reply and why other times my message is extremely brief, don't think too much about it. It's more than likely that in the latter case I have punched in the text via my cell.

With regards to scheduling, please note that The Gates handles my appointment bookings. They will know better than me my latest availability on any given day. I do sometimes coordinate directly with out-of-towners who need to plan their trip far ahead of time as well as those new to The Gates who opt to send me a deposit to secure an advance appointment.

Otherwise, going back and forth with me via email to try to schedule a session will be slow-going compared to calling The Gates at 510.261.7243. It is not rare for me to have prime spots already reserved beforehand, so it's best to call up as soon as possible to get the time you desire.

I offer these tips to avoid disappointment and make it that much easier to serve me. Hope this helps!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The role of dominatrix continues to fascinate me. There are so many reasons why I love what I do. High up on that list is the broad range within which I can practice this craft. The vast array of activities and approaches that all fall under the rubric of BDSM and fetish allows for virtually endless explorations.

As my four-year anniversary approaches, I find that there is still so much room for growth. Perhaps it is because so much of what I learn acts as a catalyst for changes beyond my role as a domina.

I mean what is a scene if not the quintessence of human interaction? A connection at once fundamental and complex: physical, sensual, emotional, spiritual, creative and intellectual. This play becomes a metaphor for the shaping of my life.

We play with darkness and light. We make games out of the taboo. There is a timelessness to it. A sense of the primal. We are acting out ancient roles -- the archetypes of our collective consciousness. We are goddesses, queens, priestesses, warriors, witches. The sacred and the sexual reunited. Worship of the divine feminine unearthed. Yet hidden away from modernity in these scary, Medieval-looking dungeons. Seems fitting somehow...

I think for a while there I was very much into the sadistic aspects of domination. Lately I have been balancing that out with more control- and service-oriented training, as some of the latest additions to my stable are not so much masochists as submissives. Keeping things interesting!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

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I finally got around to sorting through my photos from my trip to Asia in February. I found this fountain sculpture in a crafts market near the Golden Triangle. An elegant and exotic goddess as beautiful and natural as her surroundings. Gorgeous!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Please note that I sometimes need more than a week to get caught up with emails. Of course, if you have not heard back from me in a couple of weeks -- or if it's time-sensitive -- feel free to send a follow up message.

Stepping out to blue skies and a shining sun. Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Tuesday April 18th now 3pm-10pm

The recent additions to The Gates staff have allowed us to go back to double shift days. So on Tuesday the 18th I will now be taking sessions from 3pm to 10pm.

Schedule Update for Mondays & Friday: Now 3-10pm

Slight change in time that I will be at The Gates this Friday and the next two Mondays. I will now be at The Gates 3pm to 11pm Friday the 14th as well as Mondays the 17th and 24th.

Note that whatever time is listed for the last session -- whether I am listed as there 3-10pm, 10am-5pm or 11am-7pm -- the latter number bracketing my availability is the latest start time for a one-hour session. So on a day where I am available from 3pm to 10pm, last session would be from 10 to 11pm. I've noticed quite a few pre-books lately ending right before that last hour, so if you are trying to get the latest appointment possible do keep this in mind!

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Everyone seems to be bewailing the waterlogged weather, yet the longer it stays wet the more I am enjoying it. I procured a stormproof jacket and pants which has made walking in rain a lot of fun. Even in a downpour it's not so bad. Rain can feel very sensual and enlivening, as long as you don't get too soggy! Being from LA, I find just about any change of season exciting ;-)

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

On rare occasions, I find myself sucked into watching the boob tube (for something other than my favorite show Battlestar Galactica, that is) and whenever I do I remember why I like the set better off than on. Especially bad are those entertainment shows which go on about the weirdest and most mundane little things that have to do with members of the celebrity class. I feel sorry for the utter lack of privacy these stars endure.

I have a pretty awesome life, if I do say so myself, so turning off the television is easy because I have much to look forward to in my real world. But it's amazing how shrill and controlling the media can be -- all these horrible messages about valuing oneself and achieving one's dreams presented through this very narrow, rigid lenses. Throw in a load of hypocritical judgment of others to brace the fragile yet overly enlarged ego and voila! it's modern mass marketing and media.

Thank goodness for blogs, podcasts, homegrown websites and other alternative forms of expression to strike a balance. It's funny because I've heard more than one person bewail all this guerilla media. "If everyone blogs, who will read it?" they say. There is a sort of nervousness at this hyper-proliferation of ideas, words, images, video et al. A comfort with the monolithic order of traditional media.

I subscribe to a more village view of things: smaller groupings of genuinely interest-aligned individuals sharing artistic expression and celebrating life. Basically, media as a representation of various subcultures. And it's already happening.

I recently watched some old episodes of The Honeymooners for the first time, wanting to check out this classic of early television. Interestingly, in a few episodes the plot revolved around watching TV or being on TV and dealt with some of the social implications of this new technology. It made me realize that TV shows today rarely directly address the viewer. That invisible forth wall is no longer acknowledged. By erasing a certain level of self-consciousness, it becomes harder to question what is being fed to the viewer, who is essentially treated as non-existent or assuming the role of the omniscent.

It should come as no surprise that I click best with those who think critically about what they take in.

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I am just starting to read an interesting memoir called Timepass. It is about the life of Protima Bedi, a classical Indian dancer, model and wife of a Bollywood star who led a scandalous and liberated life.

A good friend and former domme lent it to me. And just in the nick of time, as it gave me an excuse to stop reading another book which had become more and more unpleasant.

I had gotten almost halfway through a very thick science fiction book which had really begun to irk me. It had some violent undercurrents in it, with women and children being butchered. As the story went on, these themes became stronger and more explicit. Well actually, the killings of the children, though disturbing, were extremely light on detail. Yet the terrorizing of the women was told quite explicitly, distastefully and in a way that showed the author's true colors. It was so obvious to me, as I read this crap, that the author was living out his sick fantasies. Of course, all the while taking a righteous and condemnatory tone against the character who's acting it out. Whatever...

Back to more pleasant topics, then! I do love reading about the lives of unique women. Another great read is Athenais: The Real Queen of France, which is the scintillatingly decadent true tale of King Louis XIV's mistress Athenais de Montespan. Beautiful, brilliant, and a key participant in France's highly influential culture of Versailles, Athenais had to live by her wits in a time when women were denied conventional avenues of power. A juicy story!

Friday, March 31, 2006

My Email

It recently came to my attention that messages to mistress@xia-bdsm.com were bouncing. I switched to gmail last year but kept the same "reply to" for convenience sake. So anyways, my xia-bdsm.com email has been choked full of spam and I had to go clean it all out.

For those who have been attempting to reach me to no avail, I encourage you to try again. Either mistress@xia-bdsm.com or xia.bdsm@gmail.com will work. Though it sometimes takes me about a week to answer, I do make an effort to reply to all serious, appropriately directed inquiries.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

I remember when I first started as a pro domme, if I took a vacation it would be such a trip to get into doing sessions again. Jumping into the "real" world after a streak of playing hard, then showing up at the dungeon with my mind still miles away, there would be serious cognitive dissonance going on in both directions.

People say that after a break, the familiar can feel fresh and exciting. Over and above that, my first day back I would be positively shocked as I engaged in the outrageous exploits which occupy my day-to-day existence at The Gates.

For years, I had only imagined of such incredibly wild and kinky fun happening behind closed doors. And here I was living the life of a dominatrix. Why watch movies when you can play out your own hot story?


After almost four years of having the time of my life, returning feels awesome in a different way. I realize now that I am completely taken. It's in my bones; it's a part of me. I miss it when I am gone and cherish it that much more when I am back -- the twisted eroticism, the camraderie with my fellow players, the delicious submission of my slaves. It really is like coming home.

Ah, the sweet smell of it all...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I am easing back into things since returning from my vacation abroad, enjoying being served as a Mistress once again. Travelling is lovely. Thankfully, my life at home is pretty groovy ;-) And now people are telling me that I seem chilled out from my three weeks off. It'd be nice to be able to keep this leisurely feeling. My time in Thailand was particularly impactful. I've been dreaming of spicy green curry, hotel mini bars full of Singha and iced coffee, the streets teeming with crazy sexy bar girls.

And I have a headful of ideas percolating about the ladyboys of Siam. Once I have it all sorted out I'll post my thoughts -- at first, I was mentally taking notes, composing an essay in my head, but it seemed like the more I witnessed, the less clear it all became! A whirlwind of sensory input to ponder.

Mind you, I would never want to winnow down all that I actually experienced just to make a good story. For the sake of my readers though, I will have to make rhyme and reason of it. Yet those days in Thailand exist in my memory not so much in a linear fashion, but more as a series of impressions.

I read an excellent thriller on the plane back that was like a hallucinatory version of my trip. It's called Bangkok 8 by John Burdett. Bangkok reminded me of a futuristic dystopia a la Blade Runner. Perpetually non-moving traffic jams full of cars, motorbikes and even elephants; pirated music, software and clothes crowding up the sidewalks alongside roasted beetles and barbecued meat sticks. I could go on... OK, definitely to be continued. Gotta run!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Novices, I love being the first!

Taking a break from my sweet little playground and reaching out to the wider world is always a good thing. I can lead a fairly spoiled, insular existence here in my San Francisco bay area community of party people, artists and pervs. Experiencing a parallel reality, thousands of miles away, makes me all the more grateful for what I have, while opening me up to new ways of doing and being, thereby deepening my understanding of the human condition. And yes, my trip to Asia was also a whole hell of a lot of fun!

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On the subject of novices, I know that some of my peers - whom I respect greatly - would rather not deal with them. Indeed, the learning curve can be steep for would-be slaves, with many potential stumbles along the way. The dynamic of Mistress and slave, which is so familiar to a seasoned femme domme player, can be quite alien to one green to all this. And unfortunately, cluelessness in this arena may easily lead to offense. What might work in a vanilla (aka conventional) interaction with a woman often just won't do for a Mistress.

Yet I have found more and more that I enjoy my encounters with newbies. Perhaps it's their freshness which is so contagious and invigorating. And the rush of being able to truly shock and surprise the novitiate, while being the first to guide them to the heights of blissful submission. Ah yes, the joys of turning someone out! It can make me rather giddy to deprave a supplicant in some deliciously wicked fashion. To see a look in their eyes of "yes, dreams can come true" or even the nonplussed look of "yikes, what have I goten myself into?!" can be a real thrill.

I do not expect novices who serve me to know everything already, though I do appreciate when one does their homework. More important to me is the proper attitude: receptivity to my ideas, attentiveness to my commands, humble acceptance of one's lack of experience relative to me. In the beginning of one's journey of servitude, intention means more to me than purity of action. Perfection is not necessary; an appropriately deferential attitude is most important!

Monday, March 13, 2006

I am back! Tanned, relaxed and raring to go. ;-) I promise to post more soon.

Monday, January 30, 2006

I'll be heading off to the jungles of Asia for 3 weeks after the 17th of February, so serve me while you can...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Gates is Moving

Exciting News! We will be moving to a nearby location later this week. It is within sight of our current house, so remember not to ring the wrong doorbell :-)

I am sure there will be an adjustment period as we settle into our new space during these next few weeks. Patience as we get everything set up. When we are finished the payoff will be more playrooms with fun themes and lavish decor. It's going to fabulous!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Recently, I was asked why I write my blog. It took me a moment to formulate an answer, as for me it is now such a given. The desire for self-expression is one of the most fundamental urges. Art feeds upon itself.

I remember skimming through The Diaries of Anais Nin when I was young. My mother was a big fan of her work and would frequently check out a volume of her prolific diaries from the library. Perhaps this French literary figure/femme fatale's steamy exploits, lyrically recorded in her private journals, were an inspiration as well. If you are not familiar with Anais Nin's diaries, you might have heard of the film Henry and June about her romance with the writer Henry Miller and his wife June. "Just one page of Nin's extraordinary diaries contains more sex, melodrama, fantasies, confessions, and observations than most novels, and reflects much about the human psyche we strive to repress," writes Donna Seaman of Booklist.

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I just finished the Jenna Jameson memoir I mentioned in my last post. Now that was a harrowing tale. No doubt about it, she graduated from the school of hard knocks: a chaotic, neglectful familiy life, unsavory, exploitive men, self-esteem issues and drug addiction. The path she has travelled and the things she has experienced are very different from my own. I am fortunate to have been raised by a loving family who supported me throughout my schooling here and abroad. It was an intellectually inquisitive and socially progressive home where I was never pushed to grow up too fast. In large part because of my stable roots, I avoided all those problems -- abusive men, eating disorders, addiction -- which Jenna and too many other women have faced.

Though I cannot entirely relate to this porn superstar, I completely respect her for all that she has been through and accomplished. Jenna Jameson is a survivor. A strong woman who has become a powerful player in the adult industry, a best-selling author and a household name. I admire her for her strength of will and her trailblazing autonomy as a female performer in a tough business.

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I saw Memoirs of a Geisha the other day. It was a visually beautiful film. And I thought Gong Li was especially exceptional as Hatsumomo, the main character Sayuri's rival. The movie closely followed the novel. Yet somehow it made it all seem more sad. There were slight changes that seemed to tilt the tone in this direction (OK if you don't want any plot points spoiled, please read no further).

In the book, I don't recall Mameha screaming at Sayuri that she was "worthless" when her precious virginity was in question. Or Sayuri collapsing to the floor in tears when the Baron forced her to expose herself to him. And in the novel, Pumpkin did not declare the reason for her betrayal at all. Whereas in the film, she says to Sayuri, "You took away the only thing that mattered to me. And I wanted you to know how it feels." And of course, the film ended before she left Japan and re-settled in New York, which somehow struck me as less uplifting as well.

In the end, I am glad that the film did not glamorize the life of the geisha. Though I find it interesting how differently the book and movie affected me. After reading the novel, I stayed immersed in that world and let myself imagine what it would have been like to have been a geisha. Yet after the film, I did not feel any identification with these women.

I think a core difference is that in the novel, Sayuri spoke of her trials and tribulations with a soft, accepting tone. I suppose having little or no emotional reaction to events does not convey well, so for drama's sake the film was more charged and more negative.

One thing that I think is awesome about the movie is it's the first Hollywood production with an all-Asian cast. A few times while watching it, I would stop for a moment and look around the packed theater and marvel at how everyone was engrossed in the storyline, seeing Asian actors simply as people in a story rather than alien beings. I know there has been controversy in China and Japan because the three main actresses are Chinese rather than Japanese. Well, at least none of them are white pretending to be Asian as we have seen the past! Every step helps.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Christmas time brought me many gifts of books which I have been pouring through during my free moments. Dan Brown's DaVinci Code was a fun read. Despite its enormous popularity, I had no idea that the central premise had to do with the supression of the sacred feminine. Though it would seem the research behind the book is questionable, I appreciated how the author was able to portray goddess worship and ancient sex rites without seeming gratuitous or too off the wall. I believe the spiritual is so connected to the sexual and think it's a shame how the two have become so separate in the modern world. I have formulated specific ideas on this, but I know many would think that my vision is pretty outlandish. Perhaps a topic for another blog entry...

I was also given a book with the tongue in cheek title Are Men Necessary? by Pulitzer-prize winning New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd. I tried several times to read this collection of essays to the end, each time throwing it down in frustration. The author bewails society's zigzag trail of gender politics from the "let's go dutch" 1970s to the Botox addicted, stay-young-forever current age.

Yet the wall I repeatedly hit in her musings was a firm insistence on her part of some elemental differences between men and women which, at least for me, don't really exist. Her entire approach struck me as just so old-fashioned. Like her assertion that men can find cartoon characters like Jessica Rabbit and Disney's Pocahontas sexy, whereas women could never be attracted to a male cartoon character. I mean, when I was young I thought Linus from Peanuts was totally my type. I'm serious ;-) Then again, maybe I am just weird.

Just started digging into Jenna Jameson's memoir How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale. I have only skimmed the sections around the books's many hot photos (who says women aren't visual? please!), though I do plan on reading it from start to finish.

I went to high school in the San Fernando Valley -- the epicenter of the adult industry -- and my family spent a lot of time in Jenna's hometown of Vegas when I was growing up. And though I was a chaste and studious teen, I loved finding porn magazines, X-rated comics and erotic novels underneath beds, in the corners of cupboards, in the basement, and all those hiding places that never stay hidden. So I am curious to read her story, since in some ways it is familiar territory.

Of course, I don't expect to be able to relate to it all. Jenna Jameson's roots are in stripping. And dommes and strippers are like apples and oranges (or mangos and passionfruit -- that sounds sexier ;-) I know my stripper friends are disturbed by what I do. And frankly, I am disturbed by what they do. Yet we can still all hang out, party and support each other as we go about our wild lives. Cie la vie!

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Safe, sane and consensual. That phrase gets thrown around a lot amongst kinksters. There is no doubt of its importance to me, as evident in the subpage I dedicate to the topic on my site. I have heard others say that the entire concept is flawed, based upon the false assumption that BDSM play should or even can be these things. "It's about losing control, not keeping things sane," said a long-time player.

Indeed, the energies unleashed in a scene can be frenzied and extremely powerful. I like to think of it as controlled chaos. Bottling up the essence of the dark furies and dancing with it for a few brief moments. The most common word used by submissives immediately after they have been topped by me is "intense." That's how I like it most of the time. Driving, urgent and unpredictable. It's a wild ride!

As for safety, this is of the utmost importance to me. When one embarks on certain activities there are always issues with which to be concerned. That is why the link on my homepage adds the word aware to the phrase: "Safe, Sane, Consensual and Aware." Awareness of what one is getting into at all times is key. And isn't it so much more comfortable when one can rest easy knowing that the highest degree of safety measures were employed? Then it's pleasure without the guilt. No matter how mean or nasty the scene turns, there must always be control on this level.

Consensuality is the most charged issue. We roleplay resistance. The slave pretends to not want to be subjugated and invaded, made to bow down like a dog or take it like a slut. The very idea of violating one's boundaries -- and thereby one's sense of egoic self -- arouses with the strength of the transgression. Yet the difference between fantasy and reality are worlds apart.

On occasion, I receive emails from someone who describes a seemingly unhealthy real-life situation of humiliation, degradation, cuckoldry and the like. Naturally, they are aroused by such victimization as well as ashamed and confused. I counsel these seekers to ensure that they surround themselves with caring individuals and protect themselves against nonconsensual exploitation.

Just because something turns you on doesn't mean it is right or good. There are so many ethical ways to have fun and get your jollies, why resort to preying or being preyed upon? It's been said more than a few times that if more people engaged in safe, sane, consensual power play there would probably be a lot less domestic violence and messy relationships. Now I'm sure that sounds like complete absurdity to lifestyle conservatives, but I tend to think it would be true.